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Sample records for earliest life natural

  1. Density-dependent settlement and mortality structure the earliest life phases of a coral population.

    PubMed

    Vermeij, Mark J A; Sandin, Stuart A

    2008-07-01

    The local densities of heterospecifics and conspecifics are known to have profound effects on the dynamics of many benthic species, including rates of settlement and early post-settlement survivorship. We described the early life history of the Caribbean coral, Siderastrea radians by tracking the population dynamics from recently settled planulae to juveniles. Through three years of observation, settlement correlated with the abundance of other benthic organisms, principally turf algae (negatively) and crustose coralline algae (positively). In addition, adult density showed independent effects on coral settlement and early post-settlement survivorship. Settlement rates increased across low levels of adult cover and saturated at a maximum around 10% cover. Early post-settlement survivorship decreased with adult cover, revealing structuring density dependence in coral settlers. The earliest life stages of corals are defined by low survivorship, with survivorship increasing appreciably with colony size. However, recent settlers (one-polyp individuals, < 1-year-old) are more likely to grow into two-polyp juveniles than older single polyps (> 1-year-old) that were delayed in their development. The early benthic phase of corals is defined by a severe demographic bottleneck for S. radians, with appreciable density-dependent and density-independent effects on survivorship. For effective management and restoration of globally imperiled coral reefs, we must focus more attention on this little studied, but dynamic, early life history period of corals. PMID:18705385

  2. The Earliest Fossil Evidence for Life on Land and the Freshwater Origin of Algae?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Battison, L.; Brasier, M. D.; Antcliffe, J. B.

    2009-04-01

    Some 150 years ago, in 1859, Charles Darwin was greatly puzzled by a seeming absence of fossils in rocks older than the Cambrian period. He drew attention to a veritable Lost World that it is now known to have spanned more than 80 per cent of Earth History. And he made a prediction that we here bring again into focus: 'The presence of phosphate nodules and bituminous matter in some of the lowest azoic rocks probably indicates the former existence of life at these periods (Darwin 1859, p.307). His prediction came to fruition in 1899, when Sir Archibald Geikie announced to the world the first discovery of genuine microfossils in Precambrian phosphatic rocks, made by Jephro Teall, Ben Peach and John Horne within the Torridonian rocks of Scotland. The Torridonian phosphate of NW Scotland has, however, been rather little studied until recently. It is remarkable for its fidelity of fossil preservation, and also for its non-marine depositional setting. Dating to the end of the Mesoproterozoic Era around 1Ga ago, thick packages of fluvial sandstones are found to serve the remains of very ancient intermontane lake ecosystems. Fossil assemblages from terrestrial settings are rarely seen before the Devonian ~ 350 Ma ago. Evidence for freshwater and terrestrial life in the Precambrian has therefore been circumstantial rather than detailed and none has yet come from freshwater phosphate. We here demonstrate that phosphate from ~ 1200-1000 Ma Mesoproterozoic lake sediments of the Torridon Group preserve a remarkable suite of organisms forming a freshwater, terrestrial, phototrophic ecosystem. Ephemeral lakes and streams developed in intermontane basins within the interior of the supercontinent of Rodinia and periodically experienced prolonged desiccation allowing phosphate precipitation. The microbiology of these lake sediments is being studied in detail, where they are yielding - with the aid of Automontage - fresh evidence for the earliest known terrestrial ecology and lagerstatte. Delicate cellular structures, and even sub-cellular structures, can be preserved with high fidelity in the phosphate. These cells show evidence for life cycles that ranged from resting cysts - sometimes sculptured - to colonial vegetative stages and thence to single celled dispersal stages. Cyanobacteria, eukaryotic protists and algae are all present. The ecological structure and responses of these Torridon lake communities can be compared with those of modern, mainly acidiphilic, lakes. Together with sedimentary structures and wrinkle mats of demonstrably microbial origin, we can point to the variable development of seasonal eutrophication and stagnation in the photic zone of these ancient lakes. Population statistics of the various morphotypes reveal differences between the assemblages collected from older and younger units of the Torridon Group, attributable to differing lacustrine ecologies. Such exceptional preservation in the Proterozoic is part of an emerging picture of evolving taphonomic styles through time, in which better preservation of cells is found as we go further back into the fossil record. We attribute this remarkable preservation in the Proterozoic to very early diagenesis in a world before the evolution of a sediment Mixed Layer during the Cambrian explosion of the Metazoa. This evidence suggests that Earth's terrestrial biota and its associated phosphorus cycle were well established on land by ~1000 Ma ago. It also suggests that many algal groups, which today are obligate freshwater denizens, may have originated in freshwater lakes over a billion years ago.

  3. Abiotic Earth - Establishing a Baseline for Earliest Life, Data from the Archean of Western Australia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindsay, J. F.; Brasier, M. D.; McLoughlin, N.; Green, O. R.; Fogel, M.; McNamara, K. M.; Steele, A.; Mertzman, S. A.

    2003-01-01

    Stromatolitic structures preserved at two stratigraphic levels within the 3.47-3.43 Ga Warrawoona Group of Western Australia have been interpreted as some of "the least controversial evidence of early life on earth" and "the oldest firmly established biogenic deposits now known from the geologic record". The structures were said to have formed in a shallow sub-tidal to intertidal setting as part of an evaporite succession. In an extensive field program we have re-evaluated exposures of the Strelley Pool Chert from which stromatolites have been described and carried out detailed mapping and sampling of the Strelley Pool West site 13.7 km west of the type locality. Data from our ongoing program cast considerable doubt on the biogenic origins of the stromatolitic structures and on the nature of their depositional setting.

  4. Functional Capabilities of the Earliest Peptides and the Emergence of Life

    PubMed Central

    Milner-White, E. James; Russell, Michael J.

    2011-01-01

    Considering how biological macromolecules first evolved, probably within a marine environment, it seems likely the very earliest peptides were not encoded by nucleic acids, or at least not via the genetic code as we know it. An objective of the present work is to demonstrate that sequence-independent peptides, or peptides with variable and unreliable lengths and sequences, have the potential to perform a variety of chemically useful functions such as anion and cation binding and membrane and channel formation as well as simple types of catalysis. These functions tend to be performed with the assistance of the main chain CONH atoms rather than the more variable or limited side chain atoms of the peptides presumed to exist then. PMID:24710286

  5. The breath of life: an essay on the earliest history of respiration: part ii.

    PubMed

    Gandevia, B

    1970-06-01

    It is to ancient Greek civilization that we must look for the first groping steps towards a naturalistic concept of respiration, although we shall not, of course, expect to find one which is consistent with modern views. Nearly a millennium before Christ, Homer wrote of the gods as more less predictable and very human beings, deserving more of admiration and emulation than worship; they took a fairly commonsense view of man's earthly pursuits, and left him a measure of control over his own destiny. From this relatively disrespectful state-by comparison with primitive or Old Testament views-it is but a stage to a rationalistic view of the universe, that is, to science, and this step was taken about three centuries later (6th century B.C.) by Thales, Anaximander and Anaximenes. We cannot pause to consider their views in detail, nor can we digress, as strictly we should, to consider the emerging relationship between philosophy and science. Suffice it to say that these first philosopher-scientists sought to explain the universe and life in rational terms, basing their rationalizations-we might say extrapolations-on certain specific observations of natural phenomena. The latter were concerned, in the main, with the interrelationships of basic substances (ultimately regarded as the four elements) such as fire, earth, air and water. Water, for example, could be condensed to form earth, or rarefied to form mist and vapour. PMID:25028124

  6. A hypothesis about cellular signaling with nitric oxide in the earliest life forms in evolution.

    PubMed

    Murad, Ferid; Barber, Roger

    2009-11-01

    We propose that nitric oxide participated as an extracellular and intracellular messenger in the early evolution of life. From a toxic and noxious substance it evolved into an important material for cellular communication and regulation with unique chemistry and properties. The presence of some nitric oxide complexes in extraterrestrial samples may support evidence for life forms in the past or present. Although nitric oxide probably participated in the evolution and maintenance of life, if pollution continues at an ever-increasing rate, it could also end life on the planet as we know it today. PMID:19439177

  7. Metasomatic origin of quartz-pyroxene rock, Akilia, Greenland, and implications for Earth's earliest life.

    PubMed

    Fedo, Christopher M; Whitehouse, Martin J

    2002-05-24

    A quartz-pyroxene rock interpreted as a banded iron formation (BIF) from the island of Akilia, southwest Greenland, contains (13)C-depleted graphite that has been claimed as evidence for the oldest (>3850 million years ago) life on Earth. Field relationships on Akilia document multiple intense deformation events that have resulted in parallel transposition of Early Archean rocks and significant boudinage, the tails of which commonly form the banding in the quartz-pyroxene rock. Geochemical data possess distinct characteristics consistent with an ultramafic igneous, not BIF, protolith for this lithology and the adjacent schists. Later metasomatic silica and iron introduction have merely resulted in a rock that superficially resembles a BIF. An ultramafic igneous origin invalidates claims that the carbon isotopic composition of graphite inclusions represents evidence for life at the time of crystallization. PMID:12029129

  8. From the Earliest Evidence of Life to Complex Single-cell Organisms: The First 3 Gyr on Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buick, Roger

    2006-12-01

    Life has probably been present on Earth since the time of the oldest sedimentary rock record 3.8 Gyr ago, as indicated by graphite with light carbon isotope ratios consistent with derivation from organic matter. But certain evidence for life appears only at 3.52 Gyr, in the form of kerogen (insoluble organic matter) in sedimentary carbonate showing a -25 carbon isotope fractionation identical to that imparted by biological carbon fixation. Soon after, at 3.48 Gyr, the first visible evidence for life appears as stromatolites (sediment mounds constructed by microbes), as well as the first evidence for a specific metabolism (large negative sulfur isotope fractionations indicating microbial sulfate reduction). By 2.7 Gyr ago, molecular biomarkers (hydrocarbons derived from biomolecules with distinctive carbon skeletons such as steroids) indicate that all 3 Domains of life: bacteria, eukaryotes (organisms with compartmentalized cells like us) and archaea (bacteria-like organisms with different biochemistry, often inhabiting extreme environments); had evolved. The first multicellular eukaryotes appeared by 1.84 Gyr in the form of fossilized filamentous algae, after the atmosphere changed from anoxic to moderately oxygenated at 2.4 Gyr and following a series of extreme Snowball Earth glaciations between 2.4-2.2 Gyr. Planktonic algae diversified thereafter and modern algal groups arose 1.2 Gyr ago, apparently at the end of a prolonged period of ocean anoxia when the deep sea was sulfidic and presumably toxic. Animal evolution was delayed until 0.65 Gyr ago when biomarkers for sponges first appear in the record, evidently after a further rise in atmospheric oxygen to modern levels but surprisingly pre-dating the last of another series of Snowball Earth glaciations. These sponges co-existed with an enigmatic extinct group of large flat marine organisms called Ediacaran fossils that may have been ancestral to modern animal groups but might also have been a failed attempt at complex multicellular evolution.

  9. Geological constraints on detecting the earliest life on Earth: a perspective from the Early Archaean (older than 3.7 Gyr) of southwest Greenland.

    PubMed

    Fedo, Christopher M; Whitehouse, Martin J; Kamber, Balz S

    2006-06-29

    At greater than 3.7 Gyr, Earth's oldest known supracrustal rocks, comprised dominantly of mafic igneous with less common sedimentary units including banded iron formation (BIF), are exposed in southwest Greenland. Regionally, they were intruded by younger tonalites, and then both were intensely dynamothermally metamorphosed to granulite facies (the highest pressures and temperatures generally encountered in the Earth's crust during metamorphism) in the Archaean and subsequently at lower grades until about 1500 Myr ago. Claims for the first preserved life on Earth have been based on the occurrence of greater than 3.8 Gyr isotopically light C occurring as graphite inclusions within apatite crystals from a 5 m thick purported BIF on the island of Akilia. Detailed geologic mapping and observations there indicate that the banding, first claimed to be depositional, is clearly deformational in origin. Furthermore, the mineralogy of the supposed BIF, being dominated by pyroxene, amphibole and quartz, is unlike well-known BIF from the Isua Greenstone Belt (IGB), but resembles enclosing mafic and ultramafic igneous rocks modified by metasomatism and repeated metamorphic recrystallization. This scenario parsimoniously links the geology, whole-rock geochemistry, 2.7 Gyr single crystal zircon ages in the unit, an approximately 1500 Myr age for apatites that lack any graphite, non-MIF sulphur isotopes in the unit and an inconclusive Fe isotope signature. Although both putative body fossils and carbon-12 enriched isotopes in graphite described at Isua are better explained by abiotic processes, more fruitful targets for examining the earliest stages in the emergence of life remain within greater than 3.7 Gyr IGB, which preserves BIF and other rocks that unambiguously formed at Earth's surface. PMID:16754603

  10. Geological constraints on detecting the earliest life on Earth: a perspective from the Early Archaean (older than 3.7 Gyr) of southwest Greenland

    PubMed Central

    Fedo, Christopher M; Whitehouse, Martin J; Kamber, Balz S

    2006-01-01

    At greater than 3.7 Gyr, Earth's oldest known supracrustal rocks, comprised dominantly of mafic igneous with less common sedimentary units including banded iron formation (BIF), are exposed in southwest Greenland. Regionally, they were intruded by younger tonalites, and then both were intensely dynamothermally metamorphosed to granulite facies (the highest pressures and temperatures generally encountered in the Earth's crust during metamorphism) in the Archaean and subsequently at lower grades until about 1500 Myr ago. Claims for the first preserved life on Earth have been based on the occurrence of greater than 3.8 Gyr isotopically light C occurring as graphite inclusions within apatite crystals from a 5 m thick purported BIF on the island of Akilia. Detailed geologic mapping and observations there indicate that the banding, first claimed to be depositional, is clearly deformational in origin. Furthermore, the mineralogy of the supposed BIF, being dominated by pyroxene, amphibole and quartz, is unlike well-known BIF from the Isua Greenstone Belt (IGB), but resembles enclosing mafic and ultramafic igneous rocks modified by metasomatism and repeated metamorphic recrystallization. This scenario parsimoniously links the geology, whole-rock geochemistry, 2.7 Gyr single crystal zircon ages in the unit, an approximately 1500 Myr age for apatites that lack any graphite, non-MIF sulphur isotopes in the unit and an inconclusive Fe isotope signature. Although both putative body fossils and carbon-12 enriched isotopes in graphite described at Isua are better explained by abiotic processes, more fruitful targets for examining the earliest stages in the emergence of life remain within greater than 3.7 Gyr IGB, which preserves BIF and other rocks that unambiguously formed at Earth's surface. PMID:16754603

  11. The physical nature of life.

    PubMed

    Kalmijn, Ad J; Gonzalez, Ivan Fernando; McClune, Michael C

    2002-01-01

    Life evolved from the primeval world of physics. Sensory systems inform animals of the natural environment, enabling them to conduct responsively. The discovery of weak, DC bioelectric fields in the vicinity of aquatic organisms and the role they play in guiding sharks and rays to their prey have led to the recognition of fundamental, hitherto less well known, physical aspects of sensory biology. The inferred cybernetic algorithm of electric-field orientation in sharks and rays is highly effective and extremely robust. In orienting to the weak DC electric fields of ocean currents and to the earth's magnetic field, sharks and rays unwittingly practise the motional-electric principles that Einstein had in mind when he introduced the special theory of relativity. At the sense-organ, receptor-membrane, and ion-channel levels, the elasmobranch ampullae of Lorenzini operate on the basis of graded positive feedback driven by negative conductance, supposedly employing voltage-sensitive ion channels as the active, excitable elements. The electric sense of sharks and rays presents an exquisite implementation of the very biophysical principles that also govern the graded, much richer than all-or-none, integrative brain processes of animal and man. PMID:14692484

  12. The earliest known reptile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smithson, T. R.

    1989-12-01

    AMNIOTES (reptiles, birds and mammals) are distinguished from non-amniote tetrapods (amphibians) by the presence of complex embryonic membranes. One of these, the amnion, gives its name to the group. Very few skeletal characters distinguish amniotes from amphibians1, making it difficult to recognize early amniotes in the fossil record. The earliest amniote fossil identified so far is Hylonomus from the Westphalian (Upper Carboniferous) of Joggins, Nova Scotia2,3, (~300 Myr). I report here the discovery of a much earlier amniote skeleton from the Brigantian (Lower Carboniferous) of Scotland (~338 Myr) 4, which thus represents the earliest occurrence of amniotes in the fossil record. The specimen was collected from the East Kirkton Limestone, near Bathgate, West Lothian4-8, and is part of a unique terrestrial fauna that includes eurypterids, myriapods, scorpions and the earliest-known harvestman spider7,9, together with the earliest known temno-spondyls, a group that may include the ancestors of all living amphibians10. It will make an important contribution to our knowledge of early amniote morphology and the interrelationships of tetrapods.

  13. The nature of life and the nature of death.

    PubMed

    Brooks, C M

    1983-06-01

    Life is defined as a "condition" that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic materials and dead organisms. Life is comprised of processes and is a maintained state. The most sophisticated form of life is man and our though focuses upon the nature of the life and death of man. Man demonstrates three lives or aspects of life: Life of the body--the physical, life of the mind and life of the spirit. Physical life is basic existence; the mind contributes effectiveness and scope; the spiritual entity contributes maximum living. Physiology: The existence of life physical is demonstrated by the presence of functions. Living tissues and organisms exhibit: Irritability: the ability to be excited or detect stimuli and to respond thereto; Growth and reproduction: this consists of the power of multiplication and duplication, regeneration and differentiation; Adaptability: permitting both change and maintenance of balances (homeostasis); and finally and most characteristic of all is Metabolism: the transformation of energy and the use of materials. These properties, however, can be retained for a while by tissues after death of the organism so there is another mystery of life which we understand only in part. Life consists of structure and processes operating under integrative control. This integrative power is the secret we do not understand--we know it confers all the life properties, the continuous flow of processes related to the organism's need for survival. Death is failure not so much of process but of integrative drive and coordination--but, of course, structure and process can fail too, destroying integrated activity. The total organism is under integrative control by brain and mind, the autonomic nervous system and by the neuroendocrine-endocrine complex, all acting in unison. These physical processes contribute to the existence of the life of the mind and spirit and are in turn powerfully affected by intellect and morale. However, we do not understand the driving force which converts inorganic matter, organizes it and then propels it into life. Life seems to be only a continuation of a heritage--life creating life. Philosophy: The life of the mind requires acquisition of knowledge, curiosity, cultivation of the power to reason, use of thought and contemplation, all under discipline. True life of the mind may not exist and may cease to be even though physical existence may be present. Somewhat the same can be said of the life of the spirit; it also is not automatically genetically granted in completed form.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS) PMID:6679625

  14. The Earliest Matches

    PubMed Central

    Goren-Inbar, Naama; Freikman, Michael; Garfinkel, Yosef; Goring-Morris, Nigel A.; Grosman, Leore

    2012-01-01

    Cylindrical objects made usually of fired clay but sometimes of stone were found at the Yarmukian Pottery Neolithic sites of Sha‘ar HaGolan and Munhata (first half of the 8th millennium BP) in the Jordan Valley. Similar objects have been reported from other Near Eastern Pottery Neolithic sites. Most scholars have interpreted them as cultic objects in the shape of phalli, while others have referred to them in more general terms as “clay pestles,” “clay rods,” and “cylindrical clay objects.” Re-examination of these artifacts leads us to present a new interpretation of their function and to suggest a reconstruction of their technology and mode of use. We suggest that these objects were components of fire drills and consider them the earliest evidence of a complex technology of fire ignition, which incorporates the cylindrical objects in the role of matches. PMID:22870306

  15. The earliest pigeon fanciers.

    PubMed

    Blasco, Ruth; Finlayson, Clive; Rosell, Jordi; Marco, Antonio Sánchez; Finlayson, Stewart; Finlayson, Geraldine; Negro, Juan José; Pacheco, Francisco Giles; Vidal, Joaquín Rodríguez

    2014-01-01

    Feral Pigeons have colonised all corners of the Earth, having developed a close association with humans and their activities. The wild ancestor of the Feral Pigeon, the Rock Dove, is a species of rocky habitats, nesting typically on cliff ledges and at the entrance to large caves. This habit would have brought them into close contact with cave-dwelling humans, a relationship usually linked to the development of dwellings in the Neolithic. We show that the association between humans and Rock Doves is an ancient one with its roots in the Palaeolithic and predates the arrival of modern humans into Europe. At Gorham's Cave, Gibraltar, the Neanderthals exploited Rock Doves for food for a period of over 40 thousand years, the earliest evidence dating to at least 67 thousand years ago. We show that the exploitation was not casual or sporadic, having found repeated evidence of the practice in different, widely spaced, temporal contexts within the cave. Our results point to hitherto unappreciated capacities of the Neanderthals to exploit birds as food resources on a regular basis. More so, they were practising it long before the arrival of modern humans and had therefore invented it independently. PMID:25101932

  16. The earliest pigeon fanciers

    PubMed Central

    Blasco, Ruth; Finlayson, Clive; Rosell, Jordi; Marco, Antonio Sánchez; Finlayson, Stewart; Finlayson, Geraldine; Negro, Juan José; Pacheco, Francisco Giles; Vidal, Joaquín Rodríguez

    2014-01-01

    Feral Pigeons have colonised all corners of the Earth, having developed a close association with humans and their activities. The wild ancestor of the Feral Pigeon, the Rock Dove, is a species of rocky habitats, nesting typically on cliff ledges and at the entrance to large caves. This habit would have brought them into close contact with cave-dwelling humans, a relationship usually linked to the development of dwellings in the Neolithic. We show that the association between humans and Rock Doves is an ancient one with its roots in the Palaeolithic and predates the arrival of modern humans into Europe. At Gorham's Cave, Gibraltar, the Neanderthals exploited Rock Doves for food for a period of over 40 thousand years, the earliest evidence dating to at least 67 thousand years ago. We show that the exploitation was not casual or sporadic, having found repeated evidence of the practice in different, widely spaced, temporal contexts within the cave. Our results point to hitherto unappreciated capacities of the Neanderthals to exploit birds as food resources on a regular basis. More so, they were practising it long before the arrival of modern humans and had therefore invented it independently. PMID:25101932

  17. Natural products in modern life science

    PubMed Central

    Göransson, Ulf; Alsmark, Cecilia; Wedén, Christina; Backlund, Anders

    2010-01-01

    With a realistic threat against biodiversity in rain forests and in the sea, a sustainable use of natural products is becoming more and more important. Basic research directed against different organisms in Nature could reveal unexpected insights into fundamental biological mechanisms but also new pharmaceutical or biotechnological possibilities of more immediate use. Many different strategies have been used prospecting the biodiversity of Earth in the search for novel structure–activity relationships, which has resulted in important discoveries in drug development. However, we believe that the development of multidisciplinary incentives will be necessary for a future successful exploration of Nature. With this aim, one way would be a modernization and renewal of a venerable proven interdisciplinary science, Pharmacognosy, which represents an integrated way of studying biological systems. This has been demonstrated based on an explanatory model where the different parts of the model are explained by our ongoing research. Anti-inflammatory natural products have been discovered based on ethnopharmacological observations, marine sponges in cold water have resulted in substances with ecological impact, combinatory strategy of ecology and chemistry has revealed new insights into the biodiversity of fungi, in depth studies of cyclic peptides (cyclotides) has created new possibilities for engineering of bioactive peptides, development of new strategies using phylogeny and chemography has resulted in new possibilities for navigating chemical and biological space, and using bioinformatic tools for understanding of lateral gene transfer could provide potential drug targets. A multidisciplinary subject like Pharmacognosy, one of several scientific disciplines bridging biology and chemistry with medicine, has a strategic position for studies of complex scientific questions based on observations in Nature. Furthermore, natural product research based on intriguing scientific questions in Nature can be of value to increase the attraction for young students in modern life science. PMID:20700376

  18. Natural products in modern life science.

    PubMed

    Bohlin, Lars; Göransson, Ulf; Alsmark, Cecilia; Wedén, Christina; Backlund, Anders

    2010-06-01

    With a realistic threat against biodiversity in rain forests and in the sea, a sustainable use of natural products is becoming more and more important. Basic research directed against different organisms in Nature could reveal unexpected insights into fundamental biological mechanisms but also new pharmaceutical or biotechnological possibilities of more immediate use. Many different strategies have been used prospecting the biodiversity of Earth in the search for novel structure-activity relationships, which has resulted in important discoveries in drug development. However, we believe that the development of multidisciplinary incentives will be necessary for a future successful exploration of Nature. With this aim, one way would be a modernization and renewal of a venerable proven interdisciplinary science, Pharmacognosy, which represents an integrated way of studying biological systems. This has been demonstrated based on an explanatory model where the different parts of the model are explained by our ongoing research. Anti-inflammatory natural products have been discovered based on ethnopharmacological observations, marine sponges in cold water have resulted in substances with ecological impact, combinatory strategy of ecology and chemistry has revealed new insights into the biodiversity of fungi, in depth studies of cyclic peptides (cyclotides) has created new possibilities for engineering of bioactive peptides, development of new strategies using phylogeny and chemography has resulted in new possibilities for navigating chemical and biological space, and using bioinformatic tools for understanding of lateral gene transfer could provide potential drug targets. A multidisciplinary subject like Pharmacognosy, one of several scientific disciplines bridging biology and chemistry with medicine, has a strategic position for studies of complex scientific questions based on observations in Nature. Furthermore, natural product research based on intriguing scientific questions in Nature can be of value to increase the attraction for young students in modern life science. PMID:20700376

  19. Earth's earliest atmospheres.

    PubMed

    Zahnle, Kevin; Schaefer, Laura; Fegley, Bruce

    2010-10-01

    Earth is the one known example of an inhabited planet and to current knowledge the likeliest site of the one known origin of life. Here we discuss the origin of Earth's atmosphere and ocean and some of the environmental conditions of the early Earth as they may relate to the origin of life. A key punctuating event in the narrative is the Moon-forming impact, partly because it made Earth for a short time absolutely uninhabitable, and partly because it sets the boundary conditions for Earth's subsequent evolution. If life began on Earth, as opposed to having migrated here, it would have done so after the Moon-forming impact. What took place before the Moon formed determined the bulk properties of the Earth and probably determined the overall compositions and sizes of its atmospheres and oceans. What took place afterward animated these materials. One interesting consequence of the Moon-forming impact is that the mantle is devolatized, so that the volatiles subsequently fell out in a kind of condensation sequence. This ensures that the volatiles were concentrated toward the surface so that, for example, the oceans were likely salty from the start. We also point out that an atmosphere generated by impact degassing would tend to have a composition reflective of the impacting bodies (rather than the mantle), and these are almost without exception strongly reducing and volatile-rich. A consequence is that, although CO- or methane-rich atmospheres are not necessarily stable as steady states, they are quite likely to have existed as long-lived transients, many times. With CO comes abundant chemical energy in a metastable package, and with methane comes hydrogen cyanide and ammonia as important albeit less abundant gases. PMID:20573713

  20. Ultraviolet selection pressure on the earliest organisms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sagan, C.

    1973-01-01

    It had been proposed by Sagan (1957, 1961) that UV light, partially penetrating the primitive reducing atmosphere of the earth, posed a major problem for the earliest evolution of life. This argument is now updated and refined. The picture of a secondary reducing atmosphere is presented. It is assumed that an excess of hydrogen from this atmosphere has already escaped to space. The genetic material surrounded itself as a solution to the UV selection pressure with bases or nucleotides having no function whatever in replication or protein synthesis.

  1. Using Plants to Explore the Nature & Structural Complexity of Life

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howard, Ava R.

    2014-01-01

    Use of real specimens brings the study of biology to life. This activity brings easily acquired plant specimens into the classroom to tackle common alternative conceptions regarding life, size, complexity, the nature of science, and plants as multicellular organisms. The activity occurs after a discussion of the characteristics of life and engages

  2. Using Plants to Explore the Nature & Structural Complexity of Life

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howard, Ava R.

    2014-01-01

    Use of real specimens brings the study of biology to life. This activity brings easily acquired plant specimens into the classroom to tackle common alternative conceptions regarding life, size, complexity, the nature of science, and plants as multicellular organisms. The activity occurs after a discussion of the characteristics of life and engages…

  3. The earliest known sauropod dinosaur.

    PubMed

    Buffetaut, E; Suteethorn, V; Cuny, G; Tong, H; Le Loeuff, J; Khansubha, S; Jongautchariyakul, S

    2000-09-01

    Sauropods were a very successful group of dinosaurs during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, but their earlier history is poorly known. Until now, the earliest reported sauropod bones were from the Early Jurassic, and the only tentative evidence of earlier sauropods was in the form of controversial footprints. Here we report the discovery of an incomplete sauropod skeleton from the Late Triassic period of Thailand, which provides the first osteological evidence of pre-Jurassic sauropods. This dinosaur is markedly different from prosauropods and substantiates theoretical predictions that there was a fairly long period of sauropod evolution during the Triassic. PMID:10993074

  4. Electron microscope methods in the search for the earliest life forms on Earth (in 3.5-3.3 GA cherts from the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa): applications for extraterrestrial life studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westall, Frances; Gerneke, Dane

    1998-07-01

    A suite of previously unknown microfossils and related biogenic structures has been revealed in some of the oldest sediments on Earth using scanning electron microscopy. High resolution scanning electron microscopy of HF-etched, biolaminated charts has brought to light a variety of small fossil coccoid and rod-shaped bacteria and associated fossil biofilms containing bedding planes. These microfossils have ben completely replaced by minerals. This vastly improved early Archaean microfossil database sheds new light on the diversity of life on Earth relatively soon after the cessation of heavy bolide bombardment at about 3.8 Ga. This is the critical period when life may have been able to develop on Mars and these early Archaean terrestrial microfossils will serve as valuable analogues for possible extraterrestrial life.

  5. The earliest known holometabolous insects.

    PubMed

    Nel, André; Roques, Patrick; Nel, Patricia; Prokin, Alexander A; Bourgoin, Thierry; Prokop, Jakub; Szwedo, Jacek; Azar, Dany; Desutter-Grandcolas, Laure; Wappler, Torsten; Garrouste, Romain; Coty, David; Huang, Diying; Engel, Michael S; Kirejtshuk, Alexander G

    2013-11-14

    The Eumetabola (Endopterygota (also known as Holometabola) plus Paraneoptera) have the highest number of species of any clade, and greatly contribute to animal species biodiversity. The palaeoecological circumstances that favoured their emergence and success remain an intriguing question. Recent molecular phylogenetic analyses have suggested a wide range of dates for the initial appearance of the Holometabola, from the Middle Devonian epoch (391 million years (Myr) ago) to the Late Pennsylvanian epoch (311 Myr ago), and Hemiptera (310 Myr ago). Palaeoenvironments greatly changed over these periods, with global cooling and increasing complexity of green forests. The Pennsylvanian-period crown-eumetabolan fossil record remains notably incomplete, particularly as several fossils have been erroneously considered to be stem Holometabola (Supplementary Information); the earliest definitive beetles are from the start of the Permian period. The emergence of the hymenopterids, sister group to other Holometabola, is dated between 350 and 309 Myr ago, incongruent with their current earliest record (Middle Triassic epoch). Here we describe five fossils--a Gzhelian-age stem coleopterid, a holometabolous larva of uncertain ordinal affinity, a stem hymenopterid, and early Hemiptera and Psocodea, all from the Moscovian age--and reveal a notable penecontemporaneous breadth of early eumetabolan insects. These discoveries are more congruent with current hypotheses of clade divergence. Eumetabola experienced episodes of diversification during the Bashkirian-Moscovian and the Kasimovian-Gzhelian ages. This cladogenetic activity is perhaps related to notable episodes of drying resulting from glaciations, leading to the eventual demise in Euramerica of coal-swamp ecosystems, evidenced by floral turnover during this interval. These ancient species were of very small size, living in the shadow of Palaeozoic-era 'giant' insects. Although these discoveries reveal unexpected Pennsylvanian eumetabolan diversity, the lineage radiated more successfully only after the mass extinctions at the end of the Permian period, giving rise to the familiar crown groups of their respective clades. PMID:24132233

  6. Natural disasters: forecasting economic and life losses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nishenko, Stuart P.; Barton, Christopher C.

    1997-01-01

    Events such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and tornadoes are natural disasters because they negatively impact society, and so they must be measured and understood in human-related terms. At the U.S. Geological Survey, we have developed a new method to examine fatality and dollar-loss data, and to make probabilistic estimates of the frequency and magnitude of future events. This information is vital to large sectors of society including disaster relief agencies and insurance companies.

  7. Oxygen requirements of the earliest animals

    PubMed Central

    Mills, Daniel B.; Ward, Lewis M.; Jones, CarriAyne; Sweeten, Brittany; Forth, Michael; Treusch, Alexander H.; Canfield, Donald E.

    2014-01-01

    A rise in the oxygen content of the atmosphere and oceans is one of the most popular explanations for the relatively late and abrupt appearance of animal life on Earth. In this scenario, Earths surface environment failed to meet the high oxygen requirements of animals up until the middle to late Neoproterozoic Era (850542 million years ago), when oxygen concentrations sufficiently rose to permit the existence of animal life for the first time. Although multiple lines of geochemical evidence support an oxygenation of the Ediacaran oceans (635542 million years ago), roughly corresponding with the first appearance of metazoans in the fossil record, the oxygen requirements of basal animals remain unclear. Here we show that modern demosponges, serving as analogs for early animals, can survive under low-oxygen conditions of 0.54.0% present atmospheric levels. Because the last common ancestor of metazoans likely exhibited a physiology and morphology similar to that of a modern sponge, its oxygen demands may have been met well before the enhanced oxygenation of the Ediacaran Period. Therefore, the origin of animals may not have been triggered by a contemporaneous rise in the oxygen content of the atmosphere and oceans. Instead, other ecological and developmental processes are needed to adequately explain the origin and earliest evolution of animal life on Earth. PMID:24550467

  8. Oxygen requirements of the earliest animals.

    PubMed

    Mills, Daniel B; Ward, Lewis M; Jones, Carriayne; Sweeten, Brittany; Forth, Michael; Treusch, Alexander H; Canfield, Donald E

    2014-03-18

    A rise in the oxygen content of the atmosphere and oceans is one of the most popular explanations for the relatively late and abrupt appearance of animal life on Earth. In this scenario, Earth's surface environment failed to meet the high oxygen requirements of animals up until the middle to late Neoproterozoic Era (850-542 million years ago), when oxygen concentrations sufficiently rose to permit the existence of animal life for the first time. Although multiple lines of geochemical evidence support an oxygenation of the Ediacaran oceans (635-542 million years ago), roughly corresponding with the first appearance of metazoans in the fossil record, the oxygen requirements of basal animals remain unclear. Here we show that modern demosponges, serving as analogs for early animals, can survive under low-oxygen conditions of 0.5-4.0% present atmospheric levels. Because the last common ancestor of metazoans likely exhibited a physiology and morphology similar to that of a modern sponge, its oxygen demands may have been met well before the enhanced oxygenation of the Ediacaran Period. Therefore, the origin of animals may not have been triggered by a contemporaneous rise in the oxygen content of the atmosphere and oceans. Instead, other ecological and developmental processes are needed to adequately explain the origin and earliest evolution of animal life on Earth. PMID:24550467

  9. The changing nature of life cycle assessment

    PubMed Central

    McManus, Marcelle C.; Taylor, Caroline M.

    2015-01-01

    LCA has evolved from its origins in energy analysis in the 1960s and 70s into a wide ranging tool used to determine impacts of products or systems over several environmental and resource issues. The approach has become more prevalent in research, industry and policy. Its use continues to expand as it seeks to encompass impacts as diverse as resource accounting and social well being. Carbon policy for bioenergy has driven many of these changes. Enabling assessment of complex issues over a life cycle basis is beneficial, but the process is sometimes difficult. LCA's use in framing is increasingly complex and more uncertain, and in some cases, irreconcilable. The charged environment surrounding biofuels and bioenergy exacerbates all of these. Reaching its full potential to help guide difficult policy discussions and emerging research involves successfully managing LCA's transition from attributional to consequential and from retrospective to prospective. This paper examines LCA's on-going evolution and its use within bioenergy deployment. The management of methodological growth in the context of the unique challenges associated with bioenergy and biofuels is explored. Changes seen in bioenergy LCA will bleed into other LCA arenas, especially where it is important that a sustainable solution is chosen. PMID:26664146

  10. The Origin and Earliest History of the Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halliday, A. N.

    2003-12-01

    The purpose of this chapter is to explain the various lines of geochemical evidence relating to the origin and earliest development of the Earth, while at the same time clarifying current limitations on these constraints. The Earth's origins are to some extent shrouded in greater uncertainty than those of Mars or the Moon because, while vastly more accessible and extensively studied, the geological record of the first 500 Myr is almost entirely missing. This means that we have to rely heavily on theoretical modeling and geochemistry to determine the mechanisms and timescales involved. Both of these approaches have yielded a series of, sometimes strikingly different, views about Earth's origin and early evolution that have seen significant change every few years. There has been a great deal of discussion and debate in the past few years in particular, fueled by new kinds of data and more powerful computational codes.The major issues to address in discussing the origin and early development of the Earth are as follows:(i) What is the theoretical basis for our understanding of the mechanisms by which the Earth accreted?(ii) What do the isotopic and bulk chemical compositions of the Earth tell us about the Earth's accretion?(iii) How are the chemical compositions of the early Earth and the Moon linked? Did the formation of the Moon affect the Earth's composition?(iv) Did magma oceans exist on Earth and how can we constrain this from geochemistry?(v) How did the Earth's core form?(vi) How did the Earth acquire its atmosphere and hydrosphere and how have these changed?(vii) What kind of crust might have formed in the earliest stages of the Earth's development?(viii) How do we think life first developed and how might geochemical signatures be used in the future to identify early biological processes?Although these issues could, in principle, all be covered in this chapter, some are dealt with in more detail in other chapters and, therefore, are given only cursory treatment here. Furthermore, there are major gaps in our knowledge that render a comprehensive overview unworkable. The nature of the early crust (item (vii)) is poorly constrained, although some lines of evidence will be mentioned. The nature of the earliest life forms (item (viii)) is so loaded with projections into underconstrained hypothetical environments that not a great deal can be described as providing a factual basis suitable for inclusion in a reference volume at this time. Even in those areas in which geochemical constraints are more plentiful, it is essential to integrate them with astronomical observations and dynamic (physical) models of planetary growth and primary differentiation. In some cases, the various theoretical dynamic models can be tested with isotopic and geochemical methods. In other cases, it is the Earth's composition itself that has been used to erect specific accretion paradigms. Therefore, much of this background is provided in this chapter.All these models and interpretations of geochemical data involve some level of assumption in scaling the results to the big picture of the Earth. Without this, one cannot erect useful concepts that address the above issues. It is one of the main goals of this chapter to explain what these underlying assumptions are. As a consequence, this chapter focuses on the range of interpretations and uncertainties, leaving many issues "open." The chapter finishes by indicating where the main sources of uncertainty remain and what might be done about these in the future.

  11. Life-cycle analysis of shale gas and natural gas.

    SciTech Connect

    Clark, C.E.; Han, J.; Burnham, A.; Dunn, J.B.; Wang, M.

    2012-01-27

    The technologies and practices that have enabled the recent boom in shale gas production have also brought attention to the environmental impacts of its use. Using the current state of knowledge of the recovery, processing, and distribution of shale gas and conventional natural gas, we have estimated up-to-date, life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, we have developed distribution functions for key parameters in each pathway to examine uncertainty and identify data gaps - such as methane emissions from shale gas well completions and conventional natural gas liquid unloadings - that need to be addressed further. Our base case results show that shale gas life-cycle emissions are 6% lower than those of conventional natural gas. However, the range in values for shale and conventional gas overlap, so there is a statistical uncertainty regarding whether shale gas emissions are indeed lower than conventional gas emissions. This life-cycle analysis provides insight into the critical stages in the natural gas industry where emissions occur and where opportunities exist to reduce the greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas.

  12. Earth’s Earliest Atmospheres

    PubMed Central

    Zahnle, Kevin; Schaefer, Laura; Fegley, Bruce

    2010-01-01

    Earth is the one known example of an inhabited planet and to current knowledge the likeliest site of the one known origin of life. Here we discuss the origin of Earth’s atmosphere and ocean and some of the environmental conditions of the early Earth as they may relate to the origin of life. A key punctuating event in the narrative is the Moon-forming impact, partly because it made Earth for a short time absolutely uninhabitable, and partly because it sets the boundary conditions for Earth’s subsequent evolution. If life began on Earth, as opposed to having migrated here, it would have done so after the Moon-forming impact. What took place before the Moon formed determined the bulk properties of the Earth and probably determined the overall compositions and sizes of its atmospheres and oceans. What took place afterward animated these materials. One interesting consequence of the Moon-forming impact is that the mantle is devolatized, so that the volatiles subsequently fell out in a kind of condensation sequence. This ensures that the volatiles were concentrated toward the surface so that, for example, the oceans were likely salty from the start. We also point out that an atmosphere generated by impact degassing would tend to have a composition reflective of the impacting bodies (rather than the mantle), and these are almost without exception strongly reducing and volatile-rich. A consequence is that, although CO- or methane-rich atmospheres are not necessarily stable as steady states, they are quite likely to have existed as long-lived transients, many times. With CO comes abundant chemical energy in a metastable package, and with methane comes hydrogen cyanide and ammonia as important albeit less abundant gases. PMID:20573713

  13. Predicting depression using earliest childhood memories.

    PubMed

    Acklin, M W; Sauer, A; Alexander, G; Dugoni, B

    1989-01-01

    In order to investigate the utility of earliest childhood memories (EMs) in clinical assessment, this study investigated the value of EMs in predicting naturally occurring depressive mood states. Of interest were those features of EMs that discriminate depressed from nondepressed individuals. Subjects were 212 undergraduate volunteers who completed the Beck Depression Inventory, the Profile of Mood States, and a self-administered EM questionnaire. Utilizing thematic predictors derived from cognitive and psychodynamic theories of depression, depressed subjects were differentiated from nondepressed subjects at a rate significantly greater than chance, p less than .001, with a highly respectable estimate of cross-validation shrinkage. The findings demonstrate the phenomenon of mood dependent recall in autobiographical memory, namely, that memory attributes are strongly influenced by current mood state. Consistent with psychodynamic theories of depression and in contrast to cognitive theory, depressive mood states appear to facilitate retrieval of memory schemas involving deprivation and disturbing human interaction. Schemas involving loss of control, failure, or reactions to noncontingent reinforcement (perceptions of the self as agent) appear less salient than relationship schemas (perceptions of the self as related) in depressive experience. PMID:2918458

  14. Adults reports of their earliest memories: Consistency in events, ages, and narrative characteristics over time

    PubMed Central

    Bauer, Patricia J.; Tasdemir-Ozdes, Aylin; Larkina, Marina

    2014-01-01

    Earliest memories have been of interest since the late 1800s, when it was first noted that most adults do not have memories from the first years of life (so-called childhood amnesia). Several characteristics of adults earliest memories have been investigated, including emotional content, the perspective from which they are recalled, and vividness. The focus of the present research was a feature of early memories heretofore relatively neglected in the literature, namely, their consistency. Adults reported their earliest memories 2 to 4 times over a 4-year period. Reports of earliest memories were highly consistent in the events identified as the bases for earliest memories, the reported age at the time of the event, and in terms of qualities of the narrative descriptions. These findings imply stability in the boundary that marks the offset of childhood amnesia, as well as in the beginning of a continuous sense of self over time. PMID:24836979

  15. Theory of the origin, evolution, and nature of life.

    PubMed

    Andrulis, Erik D

    2011-01-01

    Life is an inordinately complex unsolved puzzle. Despite significant theoretical progress, experimental anomalies, paradoxes, and enigmas have revealed paradigmatic limitations. Thus, the advancement of scientific understanding requires new models that resolve fundamental problems. Here, I present a theoretical framework that economically fits evidence accumulated from examinations of life. This theory is based upon a straightforward and non-mathematical core model and proposes unique yet empirically consistent explanations for major phenomena including, but not limited to, quantum gravity, phase transitions of water, why living systems are predominantly CHNOPS (carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur), homochirality of sugars and amino acids, homeoviscous adaptation, triplet code, and DNA mutations. The theoretical framework unifies the macrocosmic and microcosmic realms, validates predicted laws of nature, and solves the puzzle of the origin and evolution of cellular life in the universe. PMID:25382118

  16. Theory of the Origin, Evolution, and Nature of Life

    PubMed Central

    Andrulis, Erik D.

    2011-01-01

    Life is an inordinately complex unsolved puzzle. Despite significant theoretical progress, experimental anomalies, paradoxes, and enigmas have revealed paradigmatic limitations. Thus, the advancement of scientific understanding requires new models that resolve fundamental problems. Here, I present a theoretical framework that economically fits evidence accumulated from examinations of life. This theory is based upon a straightforward and non-mathematical core model and proposes unique yet empirically consistent explanations for major phenomena including, but not limited to, quantum gravity, phase transitions of water, why living systems are predominantly CHNOPS (carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur), homochirality of sugars and amino acids, homeoviscous adaptation, triplet code, and DNA mutations. The theoretical framework unifies the macrocosmic and microcosmic realms, validates predicted laws of nature, and solves the puzzle of the origin and evolution of cellular life in the universe. PMID:25382118

  17. Diet and the evolution of the earliest human ancestors.

    PubMed

    Teaford, M F; Ungar, P S

    2000-12-01

    Over the past decade, discussions of the evolution of the earliest human ancestors have focused on the locomotion of the australopithecines. Recent discoveries in a broad range of disciplines have raised important questions about the influence of ecological factors in early human evolution. Here we trace the cranial and dental traits of the early australopithecines through time, to show that between 4.4 million and 2.3 million years ago, the dietary capabilities of the earliest hominids changed dramatically, leaving them well suited for life in a variety of habitats and able to cope with significant changes in resource availability associated with long-term and short-term climatic fluctuations. PMID:11095758

  18. Sustainable Life Cycles of Natural-Precursor-Derived Nanocarbons.

    PubMed

    Bazaka, Kateryna; Jacob, Mohan V; Ostrikov, Kostya Ken

    2016-01-13

    Sustainable societal and economic development relies on novel nanotechnologies that offer maximum efficiency at minimal environmental cost. Yet, it is very challenging to apply green chemistry approaches across the entire life cycle of nanotech products, from design and nanomaterial synthesis to utilization and disposal. Recently, novel, efficient methods based on nonequilibrium reactive plasma chemistries that minimize the process steps and dramatically reduce the use of expensive and hazardous reagents have been applied to low-cost natural and waste sources to produce value-added nanomaterials with a wide range of applications. This review discusses the distinctive effects of nonequilibrium reactive chemistries and how these effects can aid and advance the integration of sustainable chemistry into each stage of nanotech product life. Examples of the use of enabling plasma-based technologies in sustainable production and degradation of nanotech products are discussed-from selection of precursors derived from natural resources and their conversion into functional building units, to methods for green synthesis of useful naturally degradable carbon-based nanomaterials, to device operation and eventual disintegration into naturally degradable yet potentially reusable byproducts. PMID:26717047

  19. Natural selection drives the evolution of ant life cycles

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Edward O.; Nowak, Martin A.

    2014-01-01

    The genetic origin of advanced social organization has long been one of the outstanding problems of evolutionary biology. Here we present an analysis of the major steps in ant evolution, based for the first time, to our knowledge, on combined recent advances in paleontology, phylogeny, and the study of contemporary life histories. We provide evidence of the causal forces of natural selection shaping several key phenomena: (i) the relative lateness and rarity in geological time of the emergence of eusociality in ants and other animal phylads; (ii) the prevalence of monogamy at the time of evolutionary origin; and (iii) the female-biased sex allocation observed in many ant species. We argue that a clear understanding of the evolution of social insects can emerge if, in addition to relatedness-based arguments, we take into account key factors of natural history and study how natural selection acts on alleles that modify social behavior. PMID:25114217

  20. Convergent evolution as natural experiment: the tape of life reconsidered.

    PubMed

    Powell, Russell; Mariscal, Carlos

    2015-12-01

    Stephen Jay Gould argued that replaying the 'tape of life' would result in radically different evolutionary outcomes. Recently, biologists and philosophers of science have paid increasing attention to the theoretical importance of convergent evolution-the independent origination of similar biological forms and functions-which many interpret as evidence against Gould's thesis. In this paper, we examine the evidentiary relevance of convergent evolution for the radical contingency debate. We show that under the right conditions, episodes of convergent evolution can constitute valid natural experiments that support inferences regarding the deep counterfactual stability of macroevolutionary outcomes. However, we argue that proponents of convergence have problematically lumped causally heterogeneous phenomena into a single evidentiary basket, in effect treating all convergent events as if they are of equivalent theoretical import. As a result, the 'critique from convergent evolution' fails to engage with key claims of the radical contingency thesis. To remedy this, we develop ways to break down the heterogeneous set of convergent events based on the nature of the generalizations they support. Adopting this more nuanced approach to convergent evolution allows us to differentiate iterated evolutionary outcomes that are probably common among alternative evolutionary histories and subject to law-like generalizations, from those that do little to undermine and may even support, the Gouldian view of life. PMID:26640647

  1. The earliest record of human activity in northern Europe.

    PubMed

    Parfitt, Simon A; Barendregt, Ren W; Breda, Marzia; Candy, Ian; Collins, Matthew J; Coope, G Russell; Durbidge, Paul; Field, Mike H; Lee, Jonathan R; Lister, Adrian M; Mutch, Robert; Penkman, Kirsty E H; Preece, Richard C; Rose, James; Stringer, Christopher B; Symmons, Robert; Whittaker, John E; Wymer, John J; Stuart, Anthony J

    2005-12-15

    The colonization of Eurasia by early humans is a key event after their spread out of Africa, but the nature, timing and ecological context of the earliest human occupation of northwest Europe is uncertain and has been the subject of intense debate. The southern Caucasus was occupied about 1.8 million years (Myr) ago, whereas human remains from Atapuerca-TD6, Spain (more than 780 kyr ago) and Ceprano, Italy (about 800 kyr ago) show that early Homo had dispersed to the Mediterranean hinterland before the Brunhes-Matuyama magnetic polarity reversal (780 kyr ago). Until now, the earliest uncontested artefacts from northern Europe were much younger, suggesting that humans were unable to colonize northern latitudes until about 500 kyr ago. Here we report flint artefacts from the Cromer Forest-bed Formation at Pakefield (52 degrees N), Suffolk, UK, from an interglacial sequence yielding a diverse range of plant and animal fossils. Event and lithostratigraphy, palaeomagnetism, amino acid geochronology and biostratigraphy indicate that the artefacts date to the early part of the Brunhes Chron (about 700 kyr ago) and thus represent the earliest unequivocal evidence for human presence north of the Alps. PMID:16355223

  2. Laser-Raman imagery of Earth's earliest fossils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schopf, J. William; Kudryavtsev, Anatoliy B.; Agresti, David G.; Wdowiak, Thomas J.; Czaja, Andrew D.

    2002-03-01

    Unlike the familiar Phanerozoic history of life, evolution during the earlier and much longer Precambrian segment of geological time centred on prokaryotic microbes. Because such microorganisms are minute, are preserved incompletely in geological materials, and have simple morphologies that can be mimicked by nonbiological mineral microstructures, discriminating between true microbial fossils and microscopic pseudofossil `lookalikes' can be difficult. Thus, valid identification of fossil microbes, which is essential to understanding the prokaryote-dominated, Precambrian 85% of life's history, can require more than traditional palaeontology that is focused on morphology. By combining optically discernible morphology with analyses of chemical composition, laser-Raman spectroscopic imagery of individual microscopic fossils provides a means by which to address this need. Here we apply this technique to exceptionally ancient fossil microbe-like objects, including the oldest such specimens reported from the geological record, and show that the results obtained substantiate the biological origin of the earliest cellular fossils known.

  3. Born to Retire: The Foreshortened Life Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ekerdt, David J.

    2004-01-01

    Retirement is no longer a concern solely for the second half of life. Rather, the idea that we will someday retire is increasingly present to all adults and it is even urged on adolescents. The earliest reaches of adulthood are being colonized by frequent reminders that it takes individual effort to achieve retirement. The changing nature of

  4. Born to Retire: The Foreshortened Life Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ekerdt, David J.

    2004-01-01

    Retirement is no longer a concern solely for the second half of life. Rather, the idea that we will someday retire is increasingly present to all adults and it is even urged on adolescents. The earliest reaches of adulthood are being colonized by frequent reminders that it takes individual effort to achieve retirement. The changing nature of…

  5. Considerations on Terrestrial Iron Depositing Analogs to Earliest Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Igor I.; Allen, Carlton C.; Sarkisova, S. A.; Garrison, D. H.; McKay, D. S.

    2007-01-01

    Iron oxide and hydroxide minerals, including hematite, can mineralize and preservemicrofossils and physical biomarkers (Allen at al., 2004). Preserved remnants of phototrophic microorganisms are recognized as biosignatures of past life on Earth (Schopf, 2006). To date, two types of surface iron depositing environments have been studied as analogs to possible habitable environments on earliest Mars: the highly acidified Rio Tinto River (Iberian Belt, Spain) [Gomez Ortis et al., 2007], and the nearneutral iron depositing Chocolate Pots Hot Spring (Yellowstone National Park, US) [Parenteau at al., 2005]. While phototrophs in the Rio Tinto are only represented by eukaryotic algae (Amaral Zettler et all., 2002), Chocolate Pots is mainly populated with cyanobacteria (Pierson et all., 2000; Brown et all., 2007). Which of these environments is the closer analog to a potentially habitable early Mars? Paleobiological data, combined with recent "tree of life" interpretations, suggest that phototrophic eukaryotes evolved not earlier than 2.5 - 2.8 b.y. after Earth s accretion (4.6 b.y.), while cyanobacteria and /or their iron-tolerant predecessors evolved between 1 - 1.5 b.y. after accretion (Brown et al., 2007). Lindsay and Brasier (2002) postulated that microbial life on Mars surface could have lasted no more than 1-1.5 b.y. after Mars accretion (also 4.6 b.y.). Recent multispectral mapping of Mars suggests that near-neutral wet environments prevailed at approximately this time (Bibring, et al., 2006). Thus, near-neutral iron depositing hot springs such as Chocolate Pots Hot Spring seem to be the more likely habitable analogs for earliest Mars.

  6. Cacao usage by the earliest Maya civilization.

    PubMed

    Hurst, W Jeffrey; Tarka, Stanley M; Powis, Terry G; Valdez, Fred; Hester, Thomas R

    2002-07-18

    The Maya archaeological site at Colha in northern Belize, Central America, has yielded several spouted ceramic vessels that contain residues from the preparation of food and beverages. Here we analyse dry residue samples by using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to atmospheric-pressure chemical-ionization mass spectrometry, and show that chocolate (Theobroma cacao) was consumed by the Preclassic Maya as early as 600 bc, pushing back the earliest chemical evidence of cacao use by some 1,000 years. Our application of this new and highly sensitive analytical technique could be extended to the identification of other ancient foods and beverages. PMID:12124611

  7. Vertebral architecture in the earliest stem tetrapods.

    PubMed

    Pierce, Stephanie E; Ahlberg, Per E; Hutchinson, John R; Molnar, Julia L; Sanchez, Sophie; Tafforeau, Paul; Clack, Jennifer A

    2013-02-14

    The construction of the vertebral column has been used as a key anatomical character in defining and diagnosing early tetrapod groups. Rhachitomous vertebrae--in which there is a dorsally placed neural arch and spine, an anteroventrally placed intercentrum and paired, posterodorsally placed pleurocentra--have long been considered the ancestral morphology for tetrapods. Nonetheless, very little is known about vertebral anatomy in the earliest stem tetrapods, because most specimens remain trapped in surrounding matrix, obscuring important anatomical features. Here we describe the three-dimensional vertebral architecture of the Late Devonian stem tetrapod Ichthyostega using propagation phase-contrast X-ray synchrotron microtomography. Our scans reveal a diverse array of new morphological, and associated developmental and functional, characteristics, including a possible posterior-to-anterior vertebral ossification sequence and the first evolutionary appearance of ossified sternal elements. One of the most intriguing features relates to the positional relationships between the vertebral elements, with the pleurocentra being unexpectedly sutured or fused to the intercentra that directly succeed them, indicating a 'reverse' rhachitomous design. Comparison of Ichthyostega with two other stem tetrapods, Acanthostega and Pederpes, shows that reverse rhachitomous vertebrae may be the ancestral condition for limbed vertebrates. This study fundamentally revises our current understanding of vertebral column evolution in the earliest tetrapods and raises questions about the presumed vertebral architecture of tetrapodomorph fish and later, more crownward, tetrapods. PMID:23334417

  8. Nature creates, adapts, protects and sustains life using hydrogen sulfide.

    PubMed

    Tabibzadeh, Siamak

    2016-01-01

    Life emerged on Earth in an anaerobic environment, bathed in noxious gases. Among these gases, the role of hydrogen sulfide is significant since this gas, was required as a building block of life, contributed to abiogenic generation of organic compounds that gave rise to life and drove adaptations of life throughout its entire evolutionary path. During evolution, hydrogen sulfide contributed to sustaining life in face of harsh environmental conditions. Modern cells still utilize hydrogen sulfide as a signaling molecule, in pro and anti-inflammatory responses, for acquisition of tolerance against damage, in directing repair responses, as a source of energy and in modifying their genetic makeup and function to acquire a phenotype reminiscent of early life forms. PMID:26709792

  9. The earliest known case of a lithopaedion.

    PubMed Central

    Bondeson, J

    1996-01-01

    A lithopaedion, or stone-child, is a dead fetus, usually the result of a primary or secondary abdominal pregnancy, that has been retained by the mother and subsequently calcified. This paper describes the earliest known case of this phenomenon. It was discovered in 1582, at the autopsy of a 68-year-old woman in the French city of Sens, and described in a thesis by the physician Jean d'Ailleboust. The woman had carried her lithopaedion for 28 years. In this historical vignette, the lithopaedion of Sens is compared to later instances of this phenomenon. The ultimate fate of the lithopaedion specimen, which was widely traded throughout Europe in the 1600s before finally ending up in Copenhagen, is traced. PMID:8709075

  10. Earliest known crown-group salamanders.

    PubMed

    Gao, Ke-Qin; Shubin, Neil H

    2003-03-27

    Salamanders are a model system for studying the rates and patterns of the evolution of new anatomical structures. Recent discoveries of abundant Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous salamanders are helping to address these issues. Here we report the discovery of well-preserved Middle Jurassic salamanders from China, which constitutes the earliest known record of crown-group urodeles (living salamanders and their closest relatives). The new specimens are from the volcanic deposits of the Jiulongshan Formation (Bathonian), Inner Mongolia, China, and represent basal members of the Cryptobranchidae, a family that includes the endangered Asian giant salamander (Andrias) and the North American hellbender (Cryptobranchus). These fossils document a Mesozoic record of the Cryptobranchidae, predating the previous record of the group by some 100 million years. This discovery provides evidence to support the hypothesis that the divergence of the Cryptobranchidae from the Hynobiidae had taken place in Asia before the Middle Jurassic period. PMID:12660782

  11. Imaging the earliest stages of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Wu, William; Small, Scott A

    2006-12-01

    Historical progress in medicine can be charted along the lines of technical innovations that have visualized the invisible. One hundred years ago, Alois Alzheimer exploited newly developed histological stains to visualize his eponymonous disease in dead tissue under the microscope. Now, as we are entering the second century of Alzheimer's disease research, technical innovation has endowed us with a range of in vivo imaging techniques that promise to visualize Alzheimer' disease in living people. The earliest stage of Alzheimer's disease is characterized by cell-sickness, not cell-death, and can occur before the deposition of amyloid plaques or neurofibrillary tangles. In principle, 'functional' imaging techniques might be able to detect this early stage of the disease, a stage that was invisible to Alzheimer himself. Here, we will first define the neurobiological meaning of 'function' and then review the different approaches that measure brain dysfunction in Alzheimer' disease. PMID:17168652

  12. Examining the Factor Structure and Hierarchical Nature of the Quality of Life Construct

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Mian; Schalock, Robert L.; Verdugo, Miguel A.; Jenaro, Christina

    2010-01-01

    There is considerable debate in the area of individual quality of life research regarding the factor structure and hierarchical nature of the quality of life construct. Our purpose in this study was to test via structural equation modeling an a priori quality of life model consisting of eight first-order factors and one second-order factor. Data

  13. Controlled Ecological Life Support Systems: Natural and Artificial Ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macelroy, Robert D. (Editor); Thompson, Brad G. (Editor); Tibbitts, Theodore W. (Editor); Volk, Tyler (Editor)

    1989-01-01

    The scientists supported by the NASA sponsored Controlled Ecological Life Support Systems (CELSS) program have played a major role in creating a Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) section devoted to the development of bioregenerative life support for use in space. The series of 22 papers were sponsored by Subcommission F.4. The papers deal with many of the diverse aspects of life support, and with outgrowth technologies that may have commercial applications in fields such as biotechnology and bioengineering. Papers from researchers in France, Canada, Japan and the USSR are also presented.

  14. The Earliest Ion Channels in Protocellular Membranes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mijajlovic, Milan; Pohorille, Andrew; Wilson, Michael; Wei, Chenyu

    2010-01-01

    Cellular membranes with their hydrophobic interior are virtually impermeable to ions. Bulk of ion transport through them is enabled through ion channels. Ion channels of contemporary cells are complex protein molecules which span the membrane creating a cylindrical pore filled with water. Protocells, which are widely regarded as precursors to modern cells, had similarly impermeable membranes, but the set of proteins in their disposal was much simpler and more limited. We have been, therefore, exploring an idea that the first ion channels in protocellular membranes were formed by much smaller peptide molecules that could spontaneously selfassemble into short-lived cylindrical bundles in a membrane. Earlier studies have shown that a group of peptides known as peptaibols is capable of forming ion channels in lipid bilayers when they are exposed to an electric field. Peptaibols are small, non-genetically encoded peptides produced by some fungi as a part of their system of defense against bacteria. They are usually only 14-20 residues long, which is just enough to span the membrane. Their sequence is characterized by the presence of non-standard amino acids which, interestingly, are also expected to have existed on the early earth. In particular, the presence of 2-aminoisobutyric acid (AIB) gives peptaibols strong helix forming propensities. Association of the helices inside membranes leads to the formation of cylindrical bundles, typically containing 4 to 10 monomers. Although peptaibols are excellent candidates for models of the earliest ion channels their structures, which are stabilized only by van der Waals forces and occasional hydrogen bonds between neighboring helices, are not very stable. Although it might properly reflect protobiological reality, it is also a major obstacle in studying channel behavior. For this reason we focused on two members of the peptaibol family, trichotoxin and antiamoebin, which are characterized by a single conductance level. This indicates that their structures are unique and stable. In addition, it is also believed that the trichotoxin channel displays some selectivity between potassium and chloride ions. This makes trichotoxin and antiamoebin ideal models of the earliest ion channels that could provide insight into the origins of ion conductance and selectivity. In the absence of crystal structure of the trichotoxin and antiamoebin channels, we propose their molecular models based on experimentally determined number of monomers forming the bundles. We use molecular dynamics simulations to validate the models in terms of their conductance and selectivity. On the basis of our simulations we show that the emergence of channels built of small, alpha-helical peptides was protobiologically plausible and did not require highly specific amino acid sequences, which is a convenient evolutionary trait. Despite their simple structure, such channels could possess properties that, at the first sight, appear to require markedly larger complexity. To this end, we will discuss how the amino acid sequence and structure of primitive channels give rise to the phenomena of ionic conductance and selectivity across the earliest cell walls, which were essential functions for the emergence and early evolution of protocells. Furthermore, we will argue that even though architectures of membrane proteins are not nearly as diverse as those of water-soluble proteins, they are sufficiently flexible to adapt readily to the functional demands arising during evolution.

  15. The earliest ion channels in protocellular membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mijajlovic, Milan; Pohorille, Andrew; Wilson, Michael; Wei, Chenyu

    Cellular membranes with their hydrophobic interior are virtually impermeable to ions. Bulk of ion transport through them is enabled through ion channels. Ion channels of contemporary cells are complex protein molecules which span the membrane creating a cylindrical pore filled with water. Protocells, which are widely regarded as precursors to modern cells, had similarly impermeable membranes, but the set of proteins in their disposal was much simpler and more limited. We have been, therefore, exploring an idea that the first ion channels in protocellular membranes were formed by much smaller peptide molecules that could spontaneously self-assemble into short-lived cylindrical bundles in a membrane. Earlier studies have shown that a group of peptides known as peptaibols is capable of forming ion channels in lipid bilayers when they are exposed to an electric field. Peptaibols are small, non-genetically encoded peptides produced by some fungi as a part of their system of defense against bacteria. They are usually only 14-20 residues long, which is just enough to span the membrane. Their sequence is characterized by the presence of non-standard amino acids which, interestingly, are also expected to have existed on the early earth. In particular, the presence of 2-aminoisobutyric acid (AIB) gives peptaibols strong helix forming propensities. Association of the helices inside membranes leads to the formation of cylindrical bundles, typically containing 4 to 10 monomers. Although peptaibols are excellent candidates for models of the earliest ion channels their struc-tures, which are stabilized only by van der Waals forces and occasional hydrogen bonds between neighboring helices, are not very stable. Although it might properly reflect protobiological real-ity, it is also a major obstacle in studying channel behavior. For this reason we focused on two members of the peptaibol family, trichotoxin and antiamoebin, which are characterized by a single conductance level. This indicates that their structures are unique and stable. In addition, it is also believed that the trichotoxin channel displays some selectivity between potassium and chloride ions. This makes trichotoxin and antiamoebin ideal models of the earliest ion channels that could provide insight into the origins of ion conductance and selectivity. In the absence of crystal structure of the trichotoxin and antiamoebin channels, we propose their molecular models based on experimentally determined number of monomers forming the bundles. We use molecular dynamics simulations to validate the models in terms of their conductance and selectivity. On the basis of our simulations we show that the emergence of channels built of small, ?-helical peptides was protobiologically plausible and did not require highly specific amino acid sequences, which is a convenient evolutionary trait. Despite their simple structure, such channels could possess properties that, at the first sight, appear to require markedly larger complexity. To this end, we will discuss how the amino acid sequence and structure of primitive channels give rise to the phenomena of ionic conductance and selectivity across the earliest cell walls, which were essential functions for the emergence and early evolution of protocells. Furthermore, we will argue that even though architectures of membrane proteins are not nearly as diverse as those of water-soluble proteins, they are sufficiently flexible to adapt readily to the functional demands arising during evolution.

  16. Earliest Archaeological Evidence of Persistent Hominin Carnivory

    PubMed Central

    Ferraro, Joseph V.; Plummer, Thomas W.; Pobiner, Briana L.; Oliver, James S.; Bishop, Laura C.; Braun, David R.; Ditchfield, Peter W.; Seaman, John W.; Binetti, Katie M.; Seaman, John W.; Hertel, Fritz; Potts, Richard

    2013-01-01

    The emergence of lithic technology by ∼2.6 million years ago (Ma) is often interpreted as a correlate of increasingly recurrent hominin acquisition and consumption of animal remains. Associated faunal evidence, however, is poorly preserved prior to ∼1.8 Ma, limiting our understanding of early archaeological (Oldowan) hominin carnivory. Here, we detail three large well-preserved zooarchaeological assemblages from Kanjera South, Kenya. The assemblages date to ∼2.0 Ma, pre-dating all previously published archaeofaunas of appreciable size. At Kanjera, there is clear evidence that Oldowan hominins acquired and processed numerous, relatively complete, small ungulate carcasses. Moreover, they had at least occasional access to the fleshed remains of larger, wildebeest-sized animals. The overall record of hominin activities is consistent through the stratified sequence – spanning hundreds to thousands of years – and provides the earliest archaeological evidence of sustained hominin involvement with fleshed animal remains (i.e., persistent carnivory), a foraging adaptation central to many models of hominin evolution. PMID:23637995

  17. The Tuareg: Nature Changes a Life Style. Mini-Module.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    African-American Inst., New York, NY. School Services Div.

    This module contains a description of the Tuareg society in Africa, a list of resources for teachers and students to learn how the African drought is affecting Tuareg life-style, and a lesson plan with eight questions for class discussion. The social strata are described within the Tuareg, ranging from nomadic herd-tending nobles to servants who

  18. The Management of Nature and Socialization to Outdoor Life.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dahle, Borge

    2001-01-01

    A Norwegian study of socialization into friluftsliv (traditional open-air life) found that factors affecting lifelong interest included parents' and friends' relationship to friluftsliv, proximity to suitable areas, outdoor hobbies, access to a summer home, and owning a dog. Educational experiences outdoors were collectively about as influential

  19. The Tuareg: Nature Changes a Life Style. Mini-Module.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    African-American Inst., New York, NY. School Services Div.

    This module contains a description of the Tuareg society in Africa, a list of resources for teachers and students to learn how the African drought is affecting Tuareg life-style, and a lesson plan with eight questions for class discussion. The social strata are described within the Tuareg, ranging from nomadic herd-tending nobles to servants who…

  20. The changing nature of end of life care

    PubMed Central

    Cauldwell, Katrine; Stone, Paddy

    2015-01-01

    Good end of life care (EOLC) for patients with incurable cancer is becoming a greater priority for oncologists in recent years. Frameworks such as the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) have often been helpful in guiding good care at the end of life. However, in the past year, the LCP has been phased out of use in the United Kingdom (UK), following concerns that it was poorly implemented. This review describes the LCP's origins in the UK, its strengths and limitations, and the concerns that prompted a review of its use. It describes the recommendations for change made by an independent review, and the alternative strategies now being developed in the UK to guide good EOLC. Although the LCP is still being widely used worldwide, the lessons learned from the UK can be widely applied in other countries. PMID:26157285

  1. Earliest Holozoan Expansion of Phosphotyrosine Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Suga, Hiroshi; Torruella, Guifré; Burger, Gertraud; Brown, Matthew W.; Ruiz-Trillo, Iñaki

    2015-01-01

    Phosphotyrosine (pTyr) signaling is involved in development and maintenance of metazoans’ multicellular body through cell-to-cell communication. Tyrosine kinases (TKs), tyrosine phosphatases, and other proteins relaying the signal compose the cascade. Domain architectures of the pTyr signaling proteins are diverse in metazoans, reflecting their complex intercellular communication. Previous studies had shown that the metazoan-type TKs, as well as other pTyr signaling proteins, were already diversified in the common ancestor of metazoans, choanoflagellates, and filastereans (which are together included in the clade Holozoa) whereas they are absent in fungi and other nonholozoan lineages. However, the earliest-branching holozoans Ichthyosporea and Corallochytrea, as well as the two fungi-related amoebae Fonticula and Nuclearia, have not been studied. Here, we analyze the complete genome sequences of two ichthyosporeans and Fonticula, and RNAseq data of three additional ichthyosporeans, one corallochytrean, and Nuclearia. Both the ichthyosporean and corallochytrean genomes encode a large variety of receptor TKs (RTKs) and cytoplasmic TKs (CTKs), as well as other pTyr signaling components showing highly complex domain architectures. However, Nuclearia and Fonticula have no TK, and show much less diversity in other pTyr signaling components. The CTK repertoires of both Ichthyosporea and Corallochytrea are similar to those of Metazoa, Choanoflagellida, and Filasterea, but the RTK sets are totally different from each other. The complex pTyr signaling equipped with positive/negative feedback mechanism likely emerged already at an early stage of holozoan evolution, yet keeping a high evolutionary plasticity in extracellular signal reception until the co-option of the system for cell-to-cell communication in metazoans. PMID:24307687

  2. 29 CFR 4022.10 - Earliest PBGC Retirement Date.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... after the date the participant reaches age 55, the Earliest PBGC Retirement Date for the participant is... reaches age 55, the Earliest PBGC Retirement Date for the participant is the date the participant reaches... a separation from service at a particular age as a “retirement” nor the ability of a participant...

  3. 29 CFR 4022.10 - Earliest PBGC Retirement Date.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... after the date the participant reaches age 55, the Earliest PBGC Retirement Date for the participant is... reaches age 55, the Earliest PBGC Retirement Date for the participant is the date the participant reaches... a separation from service at a particular age as a “retirement” nor the ability of a participant...

  4. 29 CFR 4022.10 - Earliest PBGC Retirement Date.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... after the date the participant reaches age 55, the Earliest PBGC Retirement Date for the participant is... reaches age 55, the Earliest PBGC Retirement Date for the participant is the date the participant reaches... a separation from service at a particular age as a “retirement” nor the ability of a participant...

  5. 29 CFR 4022.10 - Earliest PBGC Retirement Date.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... after the date the participant reaches age 55, the Earliest PBGC Retirement Date for the participant is... reaches age 55, the Earliest PBGC Retirement Date for the participant is the date the participant reaches... a separation from service at a particular age as a “retirement” nor the ability of a participant...

  6. 29 CFR 4022.10 - Earliest PBGC Retirement Date.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... after the date the participant reaches age 55, the Earliest PBGC Retirement Date for the participant is... reaches age 55, the Earliest PBGC Retirement Date for the participant is the date the participant reaches... a separation from service at a particular age as a “retirement” nor the ability of a participant...

  7. 43 CFR 15.2 - Removal or destruction of natural features and marine life.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... LARGO CORAL REEF PRESERVE § 15.2 Removal or destruction of natural features and marine life. No person... this Preserve. No rope, wire or other contrivance shall be attached to any coral, rock or...

  8. 43 CFR 15.2 - Removal or destruction of natural features and marine life.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... LARGO CORAL REEF PRESERVE § 15.2 Removal or destruction of natural features and marine life. No person... this Preserve. No rope, wire or other contrivance shall be attached to any coral, rock or...

  9. 43 CFR 15.2 - Removal or destruction of natural features and marine life.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... LARGO CORAL REEF PRESERVE § 15.2 Removal or destruction of natural features and marine life. No person... this Preserve. No rope, wire or other contrivance shall be attached to any coral, rock or...

  10. 43 CFR 15.2 - Removal or destruction of natural features and marine life.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... LARGO CORAL REEF PRESERVE § 15.2 Removal or destruction of natural features and marine life. No person... this Preserve. No rope, wire or other contrivance shall be attached to any coral, rock or...

  11. Reuniting Art and Nature in the Life of the Child

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Strauch-Nelson, Wendy

    2012-01-01

    Sometimes looking at the history of education can be a bit frustrating. Examination of the past is necessary, however, if people are to move forward responsibly for the sake of the child. In this article, the author examines the common ancestry of the kindergarten, art, and nature study. As the founder of the kindergarten, Friedrich Froebel played

  12. 43 CFR 15.2 - Removal or destruction of natural features and marine life.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 43 Public Lands: Interior 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Removal or destruction of natural features and marine life. 15.2 Section 15.2 Public Lands: Interior Office of the Secretary of the Interior KEY LARGO CORAL REEF PRESERVE § 15.2 Removal or destruction of natural features and marine life. No person shall destroy, injure, deface, mar,...

  13. Learning Evolution and the Nature of Science Using Evolutionary Computing and Artificial Life

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pennock, Robert T.

    2007-01-01

    Because evolution in natural systems happens so slowly, it is difficult to design inquiry-based labs where students can experiment and observe evolution in the way they can when studying other phenomena. New research in evolutionary computation and artificial life provides a solution to this problem. This paper describes a new A-Life software

  14. Learning Evolution and the Nature of Science Using Evolutionary Computing and Artificial Life

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pennock, Robert T.

    2007-01-01

    Because evolution in natural systems happens so slowly, it is difficult to design inquiry-based labs where students can experiment and observe evolution in the way they can when studying other phenomena. New research in evolutionary computation and artificial life provides a solution to this problem. This paper describes a new A-Life software…

  15. Ca Isotopes Fingerprinting the Earliest Crustal Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kreissig, K.; Elliott, T. R.

    2001-12-01

    The mechanisms of continent formation remain unclear and can be explained in two contrasting ways, using either a steady state crustal growth model involving massive crustal recycling or continuous crustal growth models. Recent developments in mass spectrometry manifest in the new Finnigan-Triton allow Ca isotopic measurements precise enough to use the K-Ca isotope system to address the problem of early Archaean crustal evolution. Due to a strong fractionation of 40K and 40Ca during continent formation and a non-linear growth of 40Ca, Archaean continental crust should show radiogenic initial Ca isotopic composition if large volumes of it have already been existed 3.6 Ga ago. Simple 15-step calculations predict a difference in 40Ca /44Ca of 9 epsilon units at 3.6 Ga between the two crustal growth models. To test this, as well as to study the earliest crust formation processes, plagioclase separates from Archaean provinces reflecting the initial Ca isotopic composition and a range of different whole rock samples have been analysed. Preliminary data for ~ 3.6 Ga old TTGs from Zimbabwe show 40Ca /44Ca indistinguishable from the mantle. This is in agreement with rather chondritic initial Sr and Nd data and might reflect a short residence time of the juvenile mafic oceanic crust before partial melting forming the first continental crust. In contrast, the first results for 3.65 Ga old samples from the Itsaq Gneiss Complex of southern West Greenland yield a more evolved radiogenic Ca signature. This can be interpreted in two different ways. Either as partial melting of juvenile mafic crust shortly after its formation but incorporating already existing crust as also suggested by the existence of older inherited zircons in these rocks and negative ? Hf values. Partial melting of mafic oceanic crust long after its formation so that 40K and 40Ca had time to evolve would be an alternative explanation. Importantly, there is no evidence so far for high growth and recycling rates prior to 3.6 Ga as required by the most extreme 'big bang' model.

  16. Life Cycle GHG Emissions from Conventional Natural Gas Power Generation: Systematic Review and Harmonization (Presentation)

    SciTech Connect

    Heath, G.; O'Donoughue, P.; Whitaker, M.

    2012-12-01

    This research provides a systematic review and harmonization of the life cycle assessment (LCA) literature of electricity generated from conventionally produced natural gas. We focus on estimates of greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted in the life cycle of electricity generation from conventionally produced natural gas in combustion turbines (NGCT) and combined-cycle (NGCC) systems. A process we term "harmonization" was employed to align several common system performance parameters and assumptions to better allow for cross-study comparisons, with the goal of clarifying central tendency and reducing variability in estimates of life cycle GHG emissions. This presentation summarizes preliminary results.

  17. Computer Modeling of the Earliest Cellular Structures and Functions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pohorille, Andrew; Chipot, Christophe; Schweighofer, Karl

    2000-01-01

    In the absence of extinct or extant record of protocells (the earliest ancestors of contemporary cells). the most direct way to test our understanding of the origin of cellular life is to construct laboratory models of protocells. Such efforts are currently underway in the NASA Astrobiology Program. They are accompanied by computational studies aimed at explaining self-organization of simple molecules into ordered structures and developing designs for molecules that perform proto-cellular functions. Many of these functions, such as import of nutrients, capture and storage of energy. and response to changes in the environment are carried out by proteins bound to membrane< We will discuss a series of large-scale, molecular-level computer simulations which demonstrate (a) how small proteins (peptides) organize themselves into ordered structures at water-membrane interfaces and insert into membranes, (b) how these peptides aggregate to form membrane-spanning structures (eg. channels), and (c) by what mechanisms such aggregates perform essential proto-cellular functions, such as proton transport of protons across cell walls, a key step in cellular bioenergetics. The simulations were performed using the molecular dynamics method, in which Newton's equations of motion for each item in the system are solved iteratively. The problems of interest required simulations on multi-nanosecond time scales, which corresponded to 10(exp 6)-10(exp 8) time steps.

  18. Discovery of the earliest-known tetrapod stapes.

    PubMed

    Clack, J A

    1989-11-23

    The evolution of the middle ear is central to the discussion of how the first tetrapods adapted to life on land as well as their phylogeny. Here I report the discovery of the stapes of Acanthostega gunnari, from the Upper Devonian of east Greenland. This is the earliest tetrapod stapes so far described, and it throws new light on both these aspects of early tetrapod biology. It has been assumed that the common inheritance of all early tetrapods was a light, rod-like stapes associated with a temporal notch in the otic region that was thought to have supported a tympanum, or eardrum. The stapes would have conducted vibrations from the tympanum to the otic capsule. By contrast, the stapes of Acanthostega was stout with a broad distal ramus associated with the temporal notch. I suggest that the temporal notch of Acanthostega and other early tetrapods supported a spiracular opening rather than a tympanum, and that the stapes controlled palatal and spiracular movements in ventilation. PMID:2586610

  19. Natural Learning: The Life of an Environmental Schoolyard. Creating Environments for Rediscovering Nature's Way of Teaching.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, Robin C.; Wong, Herb H.

    The "Environment Yard" project is a 10-year effort to transform an ordinary asphalt schoolyard into a lush, naturalized environment. This book describes the project from which a natural extension of the classroom was created, reducing student boredom and antisocial behavior as they became engaged in the landscape. It instructs on how to naturalize

  20. Earliest evidence of pollution by heavy metals in archaeological sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monge, Guadalupe; Jimenez-Espejo, Francisco J.; García-Alix, Antonio; Martínez-Ruiz, Francisca; Mattielli, Nadine; Finlayson, Clive; Ohkouchi, Naohiko; Sánchez, Miguel Cortés; de Castro, Jose María Bermúdez; Blasco, Ruth; Rosell, Jordi; Carrión, José; Rodríguez-Vidal, Joaquín; Finlayson, Geraldine

    2015-09-01

    Homo species were exposed to a new biogeochemical environment when they began to occupy caves. Here we report the first evidence of palaeopollution through geochemical analyses of heavy metals in four renowned archaeological caves of the Iberian Peninsula spanning the last million years of human evolution. Heavy metal contents reached high values due to natural (guano deposition) and anthropogenic factors (e.g. combustion) in restricted cave environments. The earliest anthropogenic pollution evidence is related to Neanderthal hearths from Gorham's Cave (Gibraltar), being one of the first milestones in the so-called “Anthropocene”. According to its heavy metal concentration, these sediments meet the present-day standards of “contaminated soil”. Together with the former, the Gibraltar Vanguard Cave, shows Zn and Cu pollution ubiquitous across highly anthropic levels pointing to these elements as potential proxies for human activities. Pb concentrations in Magdalenian and Bronze age levels at El Pirulejo site can be similarly interpreted. Despite these high pollution levels, the contaminated soils might not have posed a major threat to Homo populations. Altogether, the data presented here indicate a long-term exposure of Homo to these elements, via fires, fumes and their ashes, which could have played certain role in environmental-pollution tolerance, a hitherto neglected influence.

  1. Earliest evidence of pollution by heavy metals in archaeological sites

    PubMed Central

    Monge, Guadalupe; Jimenez-Espejo, Francisco J.; García-Alix, Antonio; Martínez-Ruiz, Francisca; Mattielli, Nadine; Finlayson, Clive; Ohkouchi, Naohiko; Sánchez, Miguel Cortés; de Castro, Jose María Bermúdez; Blasco, Ruth; Rosell, Jordi; Carrión, José; Rodríguez-Vidal, Joaquín; Finlayson, Geraldine

    2015-01-01

    Homo species were exposed to a new biogeochemical environment when they began to occupy caves. Here we report the first evidence of palaeopollution through geochemical analyses of heavy metals in four renowned archaeological caves of the Iberian Peninsula spanning the last million years of human evolution. Heavy metal contents reached high values due to natural (guano deposition) and anthropogenic factors (e.g. combustion) in restricted cave environments. The earliest anthropogenic pollution evidence is related to Neanderthal hearths from Gorham's Cave (Gibraltar), being one of the first milestones in the so-called “Anthropocene”. According to its heavy metal concentration, these sediments meet the present-day standards of “contaminated soil”. Together with the former, the Gibraltar Vanguard Cave, shows Zn and Cu pollution ubiquitous across highly anthropic levels pointing to these elements as potential proxies for human activities. Pb concentrations in Magdalenian and Bronze age levels at El Pirulejo site can be similarly interpreted. Despite these high pollution levels, the contaminated soils might not have posed a major threat to Homo populations. Altogether, the data presented here indicate a long-term exposure of Homo to these elements, via fires, fumes and their ashes, which could have played certain role in environmental-pollution tolerance, a hitherto neglected influence. PMID:26388184

  2. Earliest evidence of pollution by heavy metals in archaeological sites.

    PubMed

    Monge, Guadalupe; Jimenez-Espejo, Francisco J; García-Alix, Antonio; Martínez-Ruiz, Francisca; Mattielli, Nadine; Finlayson, Clive; Ohkouchi, Naohiko; Sánchez, Miguel Cortés; de Castro, Jose María Bermúdez; Blasco, Ruth; Rosell, Jordi; Carrión, José; Rodríguez-Vidal, Joaquín; Finlayson, Geraldine

    2015-01-01

    Homo species were exposed to a new biogeochemical environment when they began to occupy caves. Here we report the first evidence of palaeopollution through geochemical analyses of heavy metals in four renowned archaeological caves of the Iberian Peninsula spanning the last million years of human evolution. Heavy metal contents reached high values due to natural (guano deposition) and anthropogenic factors (e.g. combustion) in restricted cave environments. The earliest anthropogenic pollution evidence is related to Neanderthal hearths from Gorham's Cave (Gibraltar), being one of the first milestones in the so-called "Anthropocene". According to its heavy metal concentration, these sediments meet the present-day standards of "contaminated soil". Together with the former, the Gibraltar Vanguard Cave, shows Zn and Cu pollution ubiquitous across highly anthropic levels pointing to these elements as potential proxies for human activities. Pb concentrations in Magdalenian and Bronze age levels at El Pirulejo site can be similarly interpreted. Despite these high pollution levels, the contaminated soils might not have posed a major threat to Homo populations. Altogether, the data presented here indicate a long-term exposure of Homo to these elements, via fires, fumes and their ashes, which could have played certain role in environmental-pollution tolerance, a hitherto neglected influence. PMID:26388184

  3. Earliest Marker for Autism Found in Young Infants

    MedlinePLUS

    ... Release Wednesday, November 6, 2013 Earliest marker for autism found in young infants NIH-funded study finds ... to 6-month-old infants later diagnosed with autism. Decline in eye fixation reveals signs of autism ...

  4. Evaluation of different end-of-life management alternatives for used natural cork stoppers through life cycle assessment.

    PubMed

    Demertzi, Martha; Dias, Ana Cláudia; Matos, Arlindo; Arroja, Luís Manuel

    2015-12-01

    An important aspect of sustainable development is the implementation of effective and sustainable waste management strategies. The present study focuses on a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach to different waste management strategies for natural cork stoppers, namely incineration at a municipal solid waste incinerator, landfilling in a sanitary landfill, and recycling. In the literature, there are no LCA studies analyzing in detail the end-of-life stage of natural cork stoppers as well as other cork products. In addition, cork is usually treated as wood at the end-of-life stage. Thus, the outcome of this study can provide an important insight into this matter. The results showed that different management alternatives, namely incineration and recycling, could be chosen depending on the impact category considered. The former alternative presented the best environmental results in the impact categories of climate change, ozone depletion and acidification, while the latter for photochemical ozone formation and mineral and fossil resource depletion. The landfilling alternative did not present the best environmental performance in any of the impact categories. However, when the biogenic carbon dioxide emission was assessed for the climate change category, the landfilling alternative was found to be the most effective since most of the biogenic carbon would be permanently stored in the cork products and not emitted into the atmosphere. A sensitivity analysis was performed and the results showed that there are various parameters that can significantly influence the results (e.g., carbon content in cork and decay rate of cork in the landfill). Thus, LCA studies should include a detailed description concerning their assumptions when the end-of-life stage is included in the boundaries since they can influence the results, and furthermore, to facilitate the comparison of different end-of-life scenarios. The present study and the obtained results could be useful for the decision-making process concerning public solid waste policies and industrial strategies. PMID:26427936

  5. Rethinking the area of protection "natural resources" in life cycle assessment.

    PubMed

    Dewulf, Jo; Benini, Lorenzo; Mancini, Lucia; Sala, Serenella; Blengini, Gian Andrea; Ardente, Fulvio; Recchioni, Marco; Maes, Joachim; Pant, Rana; Pennington, David

    2015-05-01

    Life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) in classical life cycle assessment (LCA) aims at analyzing potential impacts of products and services typically on three so-called areas of protection (AoPs): Natural Environment, Human Health, and Natural Resources. This paper proposes an elaboration of the AoP Natural Resources. It starts with analyzing different perspectives on Natural Resources as they are somehow sandwiched in between the Natural Environment (their cradle) and the human-industrial environment (their application). Reflecting different viewpoints, five perspectives are developed with the suggestion to select three in function of classical LCA. They result in three safeguard subjects: the Asset of Natural Resources, their Provisioning Capacity, and their role in Global Functions. Whereas the Provisioning Capacity is fully in function of humans, the global functions go beyond provisioning as they include nonprovisioning functions for humans and regulating and maintenance services for the globe as a whole, following the ecosystem services framework. A fourth and fifth safeguard subject has been identified: recognizing the role Natural Resources for human welfare, either specifically as building block in supply chains of products and services as such, either with or without their functions beyond provisioning. But as these are far broader as they in principle should include characterization of mechanisms within the human industrial society, they are considered as subjects for an integrated sustainability assessment (LCSA: life cycle sustainability assessment), that is, incorporating social, economic and environmental issues. PMID:25867920

  6. Long life, natural death. The learned ideal of dying in late medieval commentaries on Avicenna's Canon.

    PubMed

    van 't Land, Karine

    2014-01-01

    Within late medieval learned medicine, natural death functioned both as a theoretical concept and as a goal for practice. Late medieval commentaries on Avicenna's Canon are used as source material in this study, in order to investigate the ways in which these learned medical authors envisaged natural death. The findings are compared to descriptions of natural death by natural philosophers, and to ideals of dying in broader medieval culture. According to the physicians, natural death was caused by the extinction of innate heat, due to a lack of innate moisture. They discussed natural death in relation to regimen, as the right regimen protected the body's heat and moisture, and thus helped a patient to keep natural death aloof. So, in order to think about natural death, the physicians turned to the whole of life, during which heat dried out moisture and regimens ought to be followed. By contrast, natural philosophers tended to focus on the moment of death itself. The comparison of natural death with the Good Death in broad medieval culture highlights the amoral nature of the natural death. PMID:25577929

  7. Father Nature: Fathers as Guides to the Natural World. American Land & Life Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Piper, Paul S., Ed.; Tag, Stan, Ed.

    This book contains 19 personal essays on the role that fathers play in fostering connections between their children and the natural world. Written from the perspective of adult children or of fathers themselves, most essays show how outdoor activities, particularly hunting and fishing, are replicated across the generations and serve to foster

  8. Father Nature: Fathers as Guides to the Natural World. American Land & Life Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Piper, Paul S., Ed.; Tag, Stan, Ed.

    This book contains 19 personal essays on the role that fathers play in fostering connections between their children and the natural world. Written from the perspective of adult children or of fathers themselves, most essays show how outdoor activities, particularly hunting and fishing, are replicated across the generations and serve to foster…

  9. LIFE CYCLE OF SARCOCYSTIS NEURONA IN ITS NATURAL INTERMEDIATE HOST, RACCOON (PROCYON LOTOR)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sarcocystis neurona causes encephalomyelitis in many species of mammals and is the most important cause of neurologic disorders in the horse. Its complete life cycle is unknown, particularly its development and localization in the intermediate host. Recently, raccoon was recognized as a natural in...

  10. Life Cycle Assessment of Hydrogen Production via Natural Gas Steam Reforming

    SciTech Connect

    Spath, P. L.; Mann, M. K.

    2000-09-28

    A life cycle assessment of hydrogen production via natural gas steam reforming was performed to examine the net emissions of greenhouse gases as well as other major environmental consequences. LCA is a systematic analytical method that helps identify and evaluate the environmental impacts of a specific process or competing processes.

  11. The earliest stages of adaptation in an experimental plant population: strong selection on QTLS for seed dormancy.

    PubMed

    Huang, Xueqing; Schmitt, Johanna; Dorn, Lisa; Griffith, Converse; Effgen, Sigi; Takao, Shaun; Koornneef, Maarten; Donohue, Kathleen

    2010-04-01

    Colonizing species may often encounter strong selection during the initial stages of adaptation to novel environments. Such selection is particularly likely to act on traits expressed early in development since early survival is necessary for the expression of adaptive phenotypes later in life. Genetic studies of fitness under field conditions, however, seldom include the earliest developmental stages. Using a new set of recombinant inbred lines, we present a study of the genetic basis of fitness variation in Arabidopsis thaliana in which genotypes, environments, and geographic location were manipulated to study total lifetime fitness, beginning with the seed stage. Large-effect quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for fitness changed allele frequency and closely approached 90% in some treatments within a single generation. These QTLs colocated with QTLs for germination phenology when seeds were dispersed following a schedule of a typical winter annual, and they were detected in two geographic locations at different latitudes. Epistatically interacting loci affected both fitness and germination in many cases. QTLs for field germination phenology colocated with known QTLs for primary dormancy induction as assessed in laboratory tests, including the candidate genes DOG1 and DOG6. Therefore fitness, germination phenology, and primary dormancy are genetically associated at the level of specific chromosomal regions and candidate loci. Genes associated with the ability to arrest development at early life stages and assess environmental conditions are thereby likely targets of intense natural selection early in the colonization process. PMID:20149097

  12. Assessment of dose during the life cycle of natural stone production.

    PubMed

    Turtiainen, Tuukka; Weltner, Anne

    2007-01-01

    The environmental impact during the life cycle of natural stone production was studied. One of the points of interest was radiation. Natural stone samples from 23 quarries were surveyed for the radioactivity. One quarry was selected for a case study where the effective dose to the workers was assessed. The use of these stones in buildings was also evaluated with respect to the excess dose caused to the residents. According to the results the excess effective dose to the workers does not exceed 1 mSv a(-1) at the quarries. In buildings, all natural stones studied can be used safely as surfacing materials. PMID:17525055

  13. Dietary specializations and diversity in feeding ecology of the earliest stem mammals.

    PubMed

    Gill, Pamela G; Purnell, Mark A; Crumpton, Nick; Brown, Kate Robson; Gostling, Neil J; Stampanoni, M; Rayfield, Emily J

    2014-08-21

    The origin and radiation of mammals are key events in the history of life, with fossils placing the origin at 220 million years ago, in the Late Triassic period. The earliest mammals, representing the first 50 million years of their evolution and including the most basal taxa, are widely considered to be generalized insectivores. This implies that the first phase of the mammalian radiation--associated with the appearance in the fossil record of important innovations such as heterodont dentition, diphyodonty and the dentary-squamosal jaw joint--was decoupled from ecomorphological diversification. Finds of exceptionally complete specimens of later Mesozoic mammals have revealed greater ecomorphological diversity than previously suspected, including adaptations for swimming, burrowing, digging and even gliding, but such well-preserved fossils of earlier mammals do not exist, and robust analysis of their ecomorphological diversity has previously been lacking. Here we present the results of an integrated analysis, using synchrotron X-ray tomography and analyses of biomechanics, finite element models and tooth microwear textures. We find significant differences in function and dietary ecology between two of the earliest mammaliaform taxa, Morganucodon and Kuehneotherium--taxa that are central to the debate on mammalian evolution. Morganucodon possessed comparatively more forceful and robust jaws and consumed 'harder' prey, comparable to extant small-bodied mammals that eat considerable amounts of coleopterans. Kuehneotherium ingested a diet comparable to extant mixed feeders and specialists on 'soft' prey such as lepidopterans. Our results reveal previously hidden trophic specialization at the base of the mammalian radiation; hence even the earliest mammaliaforms were beginning to diversify--morphologically, functionally and ecologically. In contrast to the prevailing view, this pattern suggests that lineage splitting during the earliest stages of mammalian evolution was associated with ecomorphological specialization and niche partitioning. PMID:25143112

  14. Hybrid life-cycle assessment of natural gas based fuel chains for transportation.

    PubMed

    Strømman, Anders Hammer; Solli, Christian; Hertwich, Edgar G

    2006-04-15

    This research compares the use of natural gas, methanol, and hydrogen as transportation fuels. These three fuel chains start with the extraction and processing of natural gas in the Norwegian North Sea and end with final use in Central Europe. The end use is passenger transportation with a sub-compact car that has an internal combustion engine for the natural gas case and a fuel cell for the methanol and hydrogen cases. The life cycle assessment is performed by combining a process based life-cycle inventory with economic input-output data. The analysis shows that the potential climate impacts are lowest for the hydrogen fuel scenario with CO2 deposition. The hydrogen fuel chain scenario has no significant environmental disadvantage compared to the other fuel chains. Detailed analysis shows that the construction of the car contributes significantly to most impact categories. Finally, it is shown how the application of a hybrid inventory model ensures a more complete inventory description compared to standard process-based life-cycle assessment. This is particularly significant for car construction which would have been significantly underestimated in this study using standard process life-cycle assessment alone. PMID:16683626

  15. Earliest Recollections and Birth Order: Two Adlerian Exercises.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parrott, Les

    1992-01-01

    Presents two exercises designed to demonstrate the influence of two Adlerian principles on personality. Includes exercises dealing with birth order and earliest recollection. Concludes that the exercises actively demonstrate major concepts for counseling courses in Adlerian psychotherapy. Reports that students rated both exercises highly, with…

  16. Life politics, nature and the state: Giddens' sociological theory and The Politics of Climate Change.

    PubMed

    Thorpe, Charles; Jacobson, Brynna

    2013-03-01

    Anthony Giddens' The Politics of Climate Change represents a significant shift in the way in which he addresses ecological politics. In this book, he rejects the relevance of environmentalism and demarcates climate-change policy from life politics. Giddens addresses climate change in the technocratic mode of simple rather than reflexive modernization. However, Giddens' earlier sociological theory provides the basis for a more reflexive understanding of climate change. Climate change instantiates how, in high modernity, the existential contradiction of the human relationship with nature returns in new form, expressed in life politics and entangled with the structural contradictions of the capitalist state. The interlinking of existential and structural contradiction is manifested in the tension between life politics and the capitalist nation-state. This tension is key for understanding the failures so far of policy responses to climate change. PMID:23488703

  17. Life cycle water consumption for shale gas and conventional natural gas.

    PubMed

    Clark, Corrie E; Horner, Robert M; Harto, Christopher B

    2013-10-15

    Shale gas production represents a large potential source of natural gas for the nation. The scale and rapid growth in shale gas development underscore the need to better understand its environmental implications, including water consumption. This study estimates the water consumed over the life cycle of conventional and shale gas production, accounting for the different stages of production and for flowback water reuse (in the case of shale gas). This study finds that shale gas consumes more water over its life cycle (13-37 L/GJ) than conventional natural gas consumes (9.3-9.6 L/GJ). However, when used as a transportation fuel, shale gas consumes significantly less water than other transportation fuels. When used for electricity generation, the combustion of shale gas adds incrementally to the overall water consumption compared to conventional natural gas. The impact of fuel production, however, is small relative to that of power plant operations. The type of power plant where the natural gas is utilized is far more important than the source of the natural gas. PMID:24004382

  18. Competition as a source of constraint on life history evolution in natural populations.

    PubMed

    Wilson, A J

    2014-01-01

    Competition among individuals is central to our understanding of ecology and population dynamics. However, it could also have major implications for the evolution of resource-dependent life history traits (for example, growth, fecundity) that are important determinants of fitness in natural populations. This is because when competition occurs, the phenotype of each individual will be causally influenced by the phenotypes, and so the genotypes, of competitors. Theory tells us that indirect genetic effects arising from competitive interactions will give rise to the phenomenon of 'evolutionary environmental deterioration', and act as a source of evolutionary constraint on resource-dependent traits under natural selection. However, just how important this constraint is remains an unanswered question. This article seeks to stimulate empirical research in this area, first highlighting some patterns emerging from life history studies that are consistent with a competition-based model of evolutionary constraint, before describing several quantitative modelling strategies that could be usefully applied. A recurrent theme is that rigorous quantification of a competition's impact on life history evolution will require an understanding of the causal pathways and behavioural processes by which genetic (co)variance structures arise. Knowledge of the G-matrix among life history traits is not, in and of itself, sufficient to identify the constraints caused by competition. PMID:23443060

  19. Ichnotaxonomy of the Laetoli trackways: The earliest hominin footprints

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meldrum, D. J.; Lockley, Martin G.; Lucas, Spencer G.; Musiba, Charles

    2011-04-01

    At 3.6 Ma, the Laetoli Pliocene hominin trackways are the earliest direct evidence of hominin bipedalism. Three decades since their discovery, not only is the question of their attribution still discussed, but marked differences in interpretation concerning the footprints' qualitative features and the inferred nature of the early hominin foot morphology remain. Here, we establish a novel ichnotaxon, Praehominipes laetoliensis, for these tracks and clarify the distinctions of these footprints from those of later hominins, especially modern humans. We also contrast hominin, human, and ape footprints to establish morphological features of these footprints correlated with a midtarsal break versus a stiff longitudinal arch. Original photos, including stereo photographs, and casts of footprints from the 1978 Laetoli excavation, confirm midtarsal flexibility, and repeatedly indicate an associated midfoot pressure ridge. In contrast, the modern human footprint reflects the derived arched-foot architecture, combined with a stiff-legged striding gait. Fossilized footprints of unshod modern human pedestrians in Hawaii and Nicaragua unambiguously illustrate these contrasts. Some points of comparisons with ape footprints are complicated by a variable hallucal position and the distinct manner of ape facultative bipedalism. In contrast to the comparatively rigid platform of the modern human foot, midtarsal flexibility is present in the chimpanzee foot. In ape locomotion, flexion at the transverse tarsal joint, referred to as the "midtarsal break," uncouples the respective functions of the prehensile forefoot and the propulsive hindfoot during grasp-climbing. At some point after the transition to habitual bipedalism, these grasp-climb adaptations, presumed to be present in the last common ancestor of apes and humans, were initially compromised by the loss of divergence of the hallux. An analogous trajectory is evident along an array of increasingly terrestrial extant ape species. However, a flexible midfoot was retained, presumably to spare lateral toes from bending stresses by concentrating push-off from the forefoot, beneath the metatarsals. Only later did the evolution of the longitudinal arch permit increased mechanical advantage of the plantarflexors for speed and improved economy of endurance distance walking and running.

  20. Land-Energy Nexus: Life Cycle Land Use of Natural Gas-Fired Electricity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heath, G.; Jordaan, S.; Macknick, J.; Mohammadi, E.; Ben-Horin, D.; Urrea, V.

    2014-12-01

    Comparisons of the land required for different types of energy are challenging due to the fact that upstream land use of fossil fuel technologies is not well characterized. This research focuses on improving estimates of the life cycle land use of natural gas-fired electricity through the novel combination of inventories of the location of natural gas-related infrastructure, satellite imagery analysis and gas production data. Land area per unit generation is calculated as the sum of natural gas life cycle stages divided by the throughput of natural gas, combined with the land use of the power plant divided by the generation of the power plant. Five natural gas life cycle stages are evaluated for their area: production, gathering, processing, transmission and disposal. The power plant stage is characterized by a thermal efficiency ηth, which converts MegaJoules (MJ) to kilowatt hours (kWh). We focus on seven counties in the Barnett shale region in Texas that represent over 90% of total Barnett Shale gas production. In addition to assessing the gathering and transmission pipeline network, approximately 500 sites are evaluated from the five life cycle stages plus power plants. For instance, assuming a 50 foot right-of-way for transmission pipelines, this part of the Barnett pipeline network occupies nearly 26,000 acres. Site, road and water components to total area are categorized. Methods are developed to scale up sampled results for each component type to the full population of sites within the Barnett. Uncertainty and variability are charaterized. Well-level production data are examined by integrating commercial datasets with advanced methods for quantifying estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) for wells, then summed to estimate natural gas produced in an entire play. Wells that are spatially coincident are merged using ArcGIS. All other sites are normalized by an estimate of gas throughput. Prior land use estimates are used to validate the satellite imagery analysis. Results of this research will provide a step towards better quantifying the land footprint of energy production activities and a methodologically consistent baseline from which more robust comparisons with alternative energy choices can be made.

  1. Influence of natural extracts on the shelf life of modified atmosphere-packaged pork patties.

    PubMed

    Lorenzo, José M; Sineiro, Jorge; Amado, Isabel R; Franco, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    In this study four natural extracts from tea (TEA), grape (GRA), chestnut (CHE) and seaweed (SEA) with potential antioxidant activity were evaluated in pork patties. During 20 days of storage in modified atmosphere packs at 2°C, pH, colour, lipid oxidation and microbial spoilage parameters of raw minced porcine patties were examined and compared with a synthetic antioxidant (BHT) and control (CON) batch. Due to their higher polyphenol content, GRA and TEA extracts were the most effective antioxidants against lipid oxidation, also limiting colour deterioration. In addition, both natural extracts led to a decrease of total viable counts (TVC), lactic acid bacteria (LAB), Pseudomonas and psychotropic aerobic bacteria compared to the control. Among the four natural compounds tested, tea and grape extracts showed the most potential as alternatives to commercial antioxidants, for increasing the quality and extending the shelf-life of porcine patties. PMID:24008060

  2. The earliest fossil record of the animals and its significance.

    PubMed

    Budd, Graham E

    2008-04-27

    The fossil record of the earliest animals has been enlivened in recent years by a series of spectacular discoveries, including embryos, from the Ediacaran to the Cambrian, but many issues, not least of dating and interpretation, remain controversial. In particular, aspects of taphonomy of the earliest fossils require careful consideration before pronouncements about their affinities. Nevertheless, a reasonable case can now be made for the extension of the fossil record of at least basal animals (sponges and perhaps cnidarians) to a period of time significantly before the beginning of the Cambrian. The Cambrian explosion itself still seems to represent the arrival of the bilaterians, and many new fossils in recent years have added significant data on the origin of the three major bilaterian clades. Why animals appear so late in the fossil record is still unclear, but the recent trend to embrace rising oxygen levels as being the proximate cause remains unproven and may even involve a degree of circularity. PMID:18192192

  3. ESA on the trail of the earliest stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2003-01-01

    hi-res Size hi-res: 3054 kb Credits: NASA Simulated image of the distant Universe as seen by JWST This is a simulated image showing the abilities of the NGST. Compared to the Hubble Space Telescope the NGST will improve our 'sight' considerably. Artist's impression of JWST hi-res Size hi-res: 3960 kb Credits: ESA Artist's impression of JWST Image shows an artist's impression of the selected design for the JWST spacecraft. Northrop Grumman and Ball Aerospace are the prime contractors for JWST. Gamma-ray burst as seen by Integral Credits: ESA. Original image by the Integral IBIS team. Image processing by ESA/ECF Gamma-ray burst as seen by Integral A gamma-ray burst seen by ESA's Integral satellite. This picture was taken using the Imager on Board the Integral Satellite (IBIS). Astronomers suspect that some gamma-ray bursts are the explosions of individual population III stars. Astronomers know they must have been out there: only in this way could they solve the riddle of the origin and composition of stars in today's Universe. A couple of ESA missions will help astronomers search for this elusive population. When the Universe formed, there was just hydrogen and helium. Chemical elements such as oxygen, carbon, iron and so on were forged later, in the nuclear furnaces at the hearts of stars and then cast into space at the end of the star's life. Astronomers call everything that is heavier than helium a 'metal'. All stars we can observe today contain metals. The youngest contain the most metals and astronomers call them population I stars. The oldest contain only some metals and astronomers call these population II stars. Where do these metals come from? Astronomers have theorised that a first generation of stars, which they call population III, must have existed in the early Universe. This first generation of stars must have formed using only hydrogen and helium, the only elements available in the early cosmic history. After living for 'just' a million years, they extinguished themselves, showering the metals they had created into space. The heavy elements lay dormant until they were collected into the next generation of stars and the first galaxies, sometime later. The theory of population III stars suggests they are long dead in the local Universe. How can their existence then be confirmed? In the most distant realms of space, where what we observe is either very old or even extinguished, some signs of their existence might still be glimpsed. One mission that will help considerably in the search is the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), ESA's collaboration with NASA to replace the Hubble Space Telescope with a six-metre-class telescope. There are many questions for it to answer. "We don't really know what the first generation of stars are like and we don't know where exactly they formed," says Peter Jakobsen, ESA's Study Scientist for the JWST. "One of the biggest questions is whether the first stars formed in clumps or as isolated individuals. If they clumped, we'll be able to see them much more easily and further away than if they didn't." Even if JWST does not see the first stars directly, it will give astronomers an invaluable clue about how far away they are, allowing them to refine their theories. New research suggests that even if the population III stars are extremely far away, JWST would see them exploding as supernovae, at the ends of their individual lives. In addition, some astronomers suspect that some gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are created by the death of these earliest stars. Ironically, we may therefore already be seeing the farewell detonation of some population III stars. ESA's new gamma-ray observatory, Integral, is perfectly placed to shed light on these violent events. It will indirectly help provide clues about population III stars. "I suspect that in the next ten years, we'll know the answers to at least some of our questions about what went on in the early Universe," says Jakobsen. This includes learning more about the existence and role of the earliest stars. JWST The Ja

  4. Chemical and archaeological evidence for the earliest cacao beverages.

    PubMed

    Henderson, John S; Joyce, Rosemary A; Hall, Gretchen R; Hurst, W Jeffrey; McGovern, Patrick E

    2007-11-27

    Chemical analyses of residues extracted from pottery vessels from Puerto Escondido in what is now Honduras show that cacao beverages were being made there before 1000 B.C., extending the confirmed use of cacao back at least 500 years. The famous chocolate beverage served on special occasions in later times in Mesoamerica, especially by elites, was made from cacao seeds. The earliest cacao beverages consumed at Puerto Escondido were likely produced by fermenting the sweet pulp surrounding the seeds. PMID:18024588

  5. Ranges of Likely Earliest Crustal Compositions on Rocky Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Stephanie; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.

    2008-09-01

    The discovery of exoplanets potentially provides a new range of planetary bulk compositions and conditions. Rocky planets have a high likelihood of having been largely or entirely molten early in their evolution as a result of kinetic energy of accretion, short-lived radioisotopes, and metallic iron core formation. Solidification of rocky exoplanets will follow the same chemical and physical processes as planets in our solar system would, and so models of the solidification of these silicate magma oceans provide some constraints on initial crustal compositions of these various bodies. Estimates of crustal compositions can be matched with the spectra that are eventually expected to be obtained from these bodies. Different initial planetary compositions, magma ocean depths, and planetary masses produce different earliest igneous crusts. By using the range of primitive meteorite compositions from our solar system for the planetary initial bulk compositions, a template for a wide range of bodies is created. Sensitivity analyses of changes to bulk compositions are possible by altering the fraction of individual oxide constituents, such as silica or magnesia. Combining these sensitivity analyses with mineralogies suitable for the bulk compositions provides a method of determining a range of earliest crustal compositions. The wide range of initial bulk compositions produce a relatively small selection of predicted earliest crustal compositions, because of predictable actions such as flotation of buoyant minerals in the solidifying magma, as appeared to have occurred on the Moon. The terrestrial bodies that provide a reference and will be discussed include the Earth, Mercury, Mars, the Moon, and asteroid 4 Vesta. Models of the crust-producing processes calibrated on these bodies in our solar system can then be applied to exoplanets in order to estimate their earliest crustal compositions.

  6. Chemical and archaeological evidence for the earliest cacao beverages

    PubMed Central

    Henderson, John S.; Joyce, Rosemary A.; Hall, Gretchen R.; Hurst, W. Jeffrey; McGovern, Patrick E.

    2007-01-01

    Chemical analyses of residues extracted from pottery vessels from Puerto Escondido in what is now Honduras show that cacao beverages were being made there before 1000 B.C., extending the confirmed use of cacao back at least 500 years. The famous chocolate beverage served on special occasions in later times in Mesoamerica, especially by elites, was made from cacao seeds. The earliest cacao beverages consumed at Puerto Escondido were likely produced by fermenting the sweet pulp surrounding the seeds. PMID:18024588

  7. Life on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McKay, Christopher P.; Cuzzi, Jeffrey (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    Although the Viking results may indicate that Mars has no life today, the possibility exists that Mars may hold the best record of the events that led to the origin of life. There is direct geomorphological evidence that in the past Mars had large amounts of liquid water on its surface. Atmospheric models would suggest that this early period of hydrological activity was due to the presence of a thick atmosphere and the resulting warmer temperatures. From a biological perspective the existence of liquid water, by itself motivates the question of the origin of life on Mars. From studies of the Earth's earliest biosphere we know that by 3.5 Gyr. ago, life had originated on Earth and reached a fair degree of biological sophistication. Surface activity and erosion on Earth make it difficult to trace the history of life before the 3.5 Gyr timeframe. If Mars did maintain a clement environment for longer than it took for life to originate on Earth, then the question of the origin of life on Mars follows naturally.

  8. Malnutrition in Early Life and Adult Mental Health: Evidence From a Natural Experiment

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Cheng; Phillips, Michael R.; Zhang, Yali; Zhang, Jingxuan; Shi, Qichang; Song, Zhiqiang; Ding, Zhijie; Pang, Shutao; Martorell, Reynaldo

    2013-01-01

    As natural experiments, famines provide a unique opportunity to test the health consequences of nutritional deprivation during the critical period of early life. Using data on 4,972 Chinese born between 1956 and 1963 who participated in a large mental health epidemiology survey conducted between 2001 and 2005, we investigated the potential impact of famine exposure in utero and during the early postnatal life on adult mental illness. The risk of mental illness was assessed with the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) and eight other risk factors, and the famine impact on adult mental illness was estimated by difference-in-difference models. Results show that compared with women born in 1963, women born during the famine years (19591961) had higher GHQ scores (increased by 0.95 points; CI: 0.26, 1.65) and increased risk of mental illness (OR= 2.80; CI: 1.23, 6.39); those born in 1959 were the most affected and had GHQ scores 1.52 points higher (CI: 0.42, 2.63) and an OR for mental illness of 4.99 (CI: 1.68, 14.84). Compared to men in the 1963 birth cohort, men born during the famine had lower GHQ scores (decreased by 0.89 points; CI: ?1.59, ?0.20) and a nonsignificant decrease in the risk of mental illness (OR = 0.60; CI: 0.26, 1.40). We speculate that the long-term consequences of early-life famine exposure include both the selection of the hardiest and the enduring deleterious effects of famine on those who survive. The greater biological vulnerability and stronger natural selection in utero of male versus female fetuses during severe famine may result in a stronger selection effect among men than women, obscuring the deleterious impact of famine exposure on the risk of mental illness in men later in life. PMID:23313495

  9. Predicting the service life of platinized titanium anodes in hypochlorite production from natural waters

    SciTech Connect

    Mikhailova, L.A.; Khodkevich, S.D.; Yakimenko, L.M.; Rabinovich, A.B.

    1987-07-01

    Radiotracer measurements were used to study the rates of anodic dissolution of the platinum coatings as functions of the three major electrolysis parameters: the current density, electrolyte composition, and temperature. A mathematical expression was obtained from which one can calculate for any specific set of electrolysis conditions the wear of the platinum coating and the amount of platinum that must be plated in order to obtain the required service life of the electrolyzer in the production of active-chlorine solutions from natural waters.

  10. Genes and life-style factors in BELFAST nonagenarians: Nature, Nurture and Narrative.

    PubMed

    Rea, Jennifer Nicola M; Carvalho, Ashley; McNerlan, Susan E; Alexander, H Denis; Rea, Irene Maeve

    2015-10-01

    Understanding how to 'Age Longer and Age Well' is a priority for people personally, for populations globally and for government policy. Nonagenarians are the oldest members of our societies and survivors of their generation. Approximately 10 % of nonagenarians reach 90 years and beyond in good condition and seem to have a combination of both age-span and health-span. But what are the factors which help people reach their ninetieth birthday and beyond in good condition? Are they genetics, as in 'nature', or do they depend on 'nurture' and are related to environment, or are both factors inextricably intertwined within the concept of behavioural genetics? Nonagenarians have rich life experiences that can teach us much about ageing well; they are reservoirs of genetic, life-style and behavioural information which can help dissect out how to live not only longer but better. Personal family history and narrative are powerful tools that help to determine familial traits, beliefs and social behaviours and when used in parallel with new biotechnology methods inform and elaborate causality. Here we present themes and insights from personal narrative enquiry from nonagenarian participants from the Belfast Elderly Longitudinal Free-living Ageing STudy (BELFAST) about factors they consider important for good quality ageing and relate these insights to the emerging genetics and life-style evidence associated with healthy longevity. PMID:25773008

  11. Mapping the lunar shadow - the earliest solar eclipse maps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Gent, Robert H.

    The English astronomer Edmond Halley (1656-1742) is commonly credited as the first to draw and publish maps delineating the paths of totality for solar eclipses. Halley published such maps for the solar eclipses of 3 May 1715 and 22 May 1724, which were both visible from southern England. In this paper, the author presents examples of earlier maps depicting solar eclipse paths from Germany, the Netherlands and France. The earliest eclipse maps of this kind appear to be those showing the path of totality for the solar eclipses of 23 September 1699 and 12 May 1706.

  12. Retina: source of the earliest biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease?

    PubMed

    Krantic, Slavica; Torriglia, Alicia

    2014-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) develops undiagnosed for 10-15 years due to the lack of early diagnostic biomarkers. Visual deficits are common and crippling in AD patients and histopathological alterations found in the retina and brain are similar. We hypothesize that subtle morphological and functional changes in microglial and neuronal activities, such as those recently reported in the hippocampus, may also occur in retina during the preclinical stages of AD. These alterations are likely much more accessible to modern imaging and electrophysiological exploration than those occurring in the hippocampus and therefore, may serve as the earliest diagnostic biomarkers for AD. PMID:24413614

  13. Archaeometallurgical characterization of the earliest European metal helmets

    PubMed Central

    Mdlinger, Marianne; Piccardo, Paolo; Kasztovszky, Zsolt; Kovcs, Imre; Sz?kefalvi-Nagy, Zoltn; Kli, Gyrgy; Szilgyi, Veronika

    2013-01-01

    Archaeometric analyses on conical and decorated cap helmets from the Bronze Age are presented. The helmets are dated to the 1412th century BC according to associated finds in hoards. Alloy composition, material structure and manufacturing processes are determined and shed light on the earliest development of weaponry production in Central and Eastern Europe. Analyses were carried out using light and dark field microscopy, SEMEDXS, PIXE, TOF-ND and PGAA. The results allowed reconstructing the manufacturing process, the differences between the cap of the helmets and their knobs (i.e. alloy composition) and the joining technique of the two parts. PMID:26523114

  14. Presence of the earliest vertebrate hard tissue in conodonts.

    PubMed

    Sansom, I J; Smith, M P; Armstrong, H A; Smith, M M

    1992-05-29

    From histological investigations into the microstructure of conodont elements, a number of tissue types characteristic of the phosphatic skeleton of vertebrates have been identified. These include cellular bone, two forms of hypermineralized enamel homologs, and globular calcified cartilage. The presence of cellular bone in conodont elements provides unequivocal evidence for their vertebrate affinities. Furthermore, the identification of vertebrate hard tissues in the oral elements of conodonts extends the earliest occurrence of vertebrate hard tissues back by around 40 million years, from the Middle Ordovician (475 million years ago) to the Late Cambrian (515 million years ago). PMID:1598573

  15. Probabilistic Forecasting of Life and Economic Losses due to Natural Disasters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barton, C. C.; Tebbens, S. F.

    2014-12-01

    The magnitude of natural hazard events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods are traditionally measured by wind speed, energy release, or discharge. In this study we investigate the scaling of the magnitude of individual events of the 20th and 21stcentury in terms of economic and life losses in the United States and worldwide. Economic losses are subdivided into insured and total losses. Some data sets are inflation or population adjusted. Forecasts associated with these events are of interest to insurance, reinsurance, and emergency management agencies. Plots of cumulative size-frequency distributions of economic and life loss are well-fit by power functions and thus exhibit self-similar scaling. This self-similar scaling property permits use of frequent small events to estimate the rate of occurrence of less frequent larger events. Examining the power scaling behavior of loss data for disasters permits: forecasting the probability of occurrence of a disaster over a wide range of years (1 to 10 to 1,000 years); comparing losses associated with one type of disaster to another; comparing disasters in one region to similar disasters in another region; and, measuring the effectiveness of planning and mitigation strategies. In the United States, life losses due to flood and tornado cumulative-frequency distributions have steeper slopes, indicating that frequent smaller events contribute the majority of losses. In contrast, life losses due to hurricanes and earthquakes have shallower slopes, indicating that the few larger events contribute the majority of losses. Disaster planning and mitigation strategies should incorporate these differences.

  16. Scientific Encounters of the Curious Kind. Reading Activities that Explore Nature's Most Intriguing Life Forms. Grades 4-7.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Embry, Lynn

    Most students enjoy reading interesting selections about unusual plants, animals, insects, spiders, and other creatures. This book attempts to capitalize on the natural curiosity of students by introducing them to some of nature's most intriguing forms of life. The document is designed to provide students with background information, including

  17. Cattle Management for Dairying in Scandinavias Earliest Neolithic

    PubMed Central

    Gron, Kurt J.; Montgomery, Janet; Rowley-Conwy, Peter

    2015-01-01

    New evidence for cattle husbandry practices during the earliest period of the southern Scandinavian Neolithic indicates multiple birth seasons and dairying from its start. Sequential sampling of tooth enamel carbonate carbon and oxygen isotope ratio analyses and strontium isotopic provenancing indicate more than one season of birth in locally reared cattle at the earliest Neolithic Funnel Beaker (EN I TRB, 3950-3500 cal. B.C.) site of Almhov in Scania, Sweden. The main purpose for which cattle are manipulated to give birth in more than one season is to prolong lactation for the production of milk and dairy-based products. As this is a difficult, intensive, and time-consuming strategy, these data demonstrate complex farming practices by early Neolithic farmers. This result offers strong support for immigration-based explanations of agricultural origins in southern Scandinavia on the grounds that such a specialised skill set cannot represent the piecemeal incorporation of agricultural techniques into an existing hunter-gatherer-fisher economy. PMID:26146989

  18. Extending storage life of fresh-cut apples using natural products and their derivatives.

    PubMed

    Buta, J G; Moline, H E; Spaulding, D W; Wang, C Y

    1999-01-01

    Prevention of browning of apples slices has been difficult to achieve because of the rapidity of the enzymatic oxidation of phenolic substrates even under reduced atmospheric pressure storage. Combinations of enzymatic inhibitors, reducing agents, and antimicrobial compounds containing calcium to extend storage life were tested to decrease the browning of Red Delicious apple slices stored at 5 and 10 degrees C under normal atmospheric conditions. Treatments were devised to prevent browning for up to 5 weeks at 5 degrees C with no apparent microbial growth using dipping solutions of compounds derived from natural products consisting of 4-hexylresorcinol, isoascorbic acid, a sulfur-containing amino acid (N-acetylcysteine), and calcium propionate. Analyses of organic acids and the major sugars revealed that the slices treated with the combinations of antibrowning compounds retained higher levels of malic acid and had no deterioration in sugar levels at 5 and 10 degrees C, indicating that higher quality was maintained during storage. PMID:10563838

  19. Primal eukaryogenesis: on the communal nature of precellular States, ancestral to modern life.

    PubMed

    Egel, Richard

    2012-01-01

    This problem-oriented, exploratory and hypothesis-driven discourse toward the unknown combines several basic tenets: (i) a photo-active metal sulfide scenario of primal biogenesis in the porespace of shallow sedimentary flats, in contrast to hot deep-sea hydrothermal vent conditions; (ii) an inherently complex communal system at the common root of present life forms; (iii) a high degree of internal compartmentalization at this communal root, progressively resembling coenocytic (syncytial) super-cells; (iv) a direct connection from such communal super-cells to proto-eukaryotic macro-cell organization; and (v) multiple rounds of micro-cellular escape with streamlined reductive evolution-leading to the major prokaryotic cell lines, as well as to megaviruses and other viral lineages. Hopefully, such nontraditional concepts and approaches will contribute to coherent and plausible views about the origins and early life on Earth. In particular, the coevolutionary emergence from a communal system at the common root can most naturally explain the vast discrepancy in subcellular organization between modern eukaryotes on the one hand and both archaea and bacteria on the other. PMID:25382122

  20. Teleomechanism redux? Functional physiology and hybrid models of life in early modern natural philosophy.

    PubMed

    Wolfe, Charles T

    2014-01-01

    The distinction between 'mechanical' and 'teleological' has been familiar since Kant; between a fully mechanistic, quantitative science of Nature and a teleological, qualitative approach to living beings, namely 'organisms' understood as purposive or at least functional entities. The beauty of this distinction is that it apparently makes intuitive sense and maps onto historico-conceptual constellations in the life sciences, regarding the status of the body versus that of the machine. I argue that the mechanism-teleology distinction is imprecise and flawed using examples including the 'functional' features present even in Cartesian physiology, the Oxford Physiologists' work on circulation and respiration, the fact that the model of the 'body-machine' is not a mechanistic reduction of organismic properties to basic physical properties but is focused on the uniqueness of organic life; and the concept of 'animal economy' in vitalist medicine, which I present as a 'teleomechanistic' concept of organism (borrowing a term of Lenoir's which he applied to nineteenth-century embryology)--neither mechanical nor teleological. PMID:25707100

  1. An improved calculation of the exergy of natural resources for exergetic life cycle assessment (ELCA).

    PubMed

    De Meester, Bram; Dewulf, Jo; Janssens, Arnold; Van Langenhove, Herman

    2006-11-01

    The focus in environmental research is shifting from emission abatement to critical process analysis, including assessment of resource consumption. The exergy theory offers a thermodynamic methodology to account for the consumption of natural resources. However, exergy data on mineral resources available in the literature are inadequate to apply to exergetic life cycle analysis, due to incompleteness, inconsistencies, and a dated thermochemical basis. An uncertainty assessment of the data has to be performed as well. In this work, three recent thermochemical databases were applied to evaluate the chemical exergy of 85 elements and 73 minerals, 21 of which had not yet been quantified in the literature. The process required the choice of a new reference species for aluminum. Muscovite was selected, giving rise to a chemical exergy of 809.4 kJ/mol for aluminum. The theory proved to be robust for the exergy of chemical elements, as exergy values differing by 1.2% on average from most recent literature were found. On the contrary, the exergy values for minerals differed by factors up to 14 from literature values, due to the application of recent thermochemical values and consistently selected reference species. The consistent dataset of this work will enable straightforward resource intake evaluation through an exergetic life cycle assessment. PMID:17144320

  2. Primal Eukaryogenesis: On the Communal Nature of Precellular States, Ancestral to Modern Life

    PubMed Central

    Egel, Richard

    2012-01-01

    This problem-oriented, exploratory and hypothesis-driven discourse toward the unknown combines several basic tenets: (i) a photo-active metal sulfide scenario of primal biogenesis in the porespace of shallow sedimentary flats, in contrast to hot deep-sea hydrothermal vent conditions; (ii) an inherently complex communal system at the common root of present life forms; (iii) a high degree of internal compartmentalization at this communal root, progressively resembling coenocytic (syncytial) super-cells; (iv) a direct connection from such communal super-cells to proto-eukaryotic macro-cell organization; and (v) multiple rounds of micro-cellular escape with streamlined reductive evolution-leading to the major prokaryotic cell lines, as well as to megaviruses and other viral lineages. Hopefully, such nontraditional concepts and approaches will contribute to coherent and plausible views about the origins and early life on Earth. In particular, the coevolutionary emergence from a communal system at the common root can most naturally explain the vast discrepancy in subcellular organization between modern eukaryotes on the one hand and both archaea and bacteria on the other. PMID:25382122

  3. New flutes document the earliest musical tradition in southwestern Germany.

    PubMed

    Conard, Nicholas J; Malina, Maria; Mnzel, Susanne C

    2009-08-01

    Considerable debate surrounds claims for early evidence of music in the archaeological record. Researchers universally accept the existence of complex musical instruments as an indication of fully modern behaviour and advanced symbolic communication but, owing to the scarcity of finds, the archaeological record of the evolution and spread of music remains incomplete. Although arguments have been made for Neanderthal musical traditions and the presence of musical instruments in Middle Palaeolithic assemblages, concrete evidence to support these claims is lacking. Here we report the discovery of bone and ivory flutes from the early Aurignacian period of southwestern Germany. These finds demonstrate the presence of a well-established musical tradition at the time when modern humans colonized Europe, more than 35,000 calendar years ago. Other than the caves of the Swabian Jura, the earliest secure archaeological evidence for music comes from sites in France and Austria and post-date 30,000 years ago. PMID:19553935

  4. Testing microstructural adaptation in the earliest dental tools

    PubMed Central

    Jones, David; Evans, Alistair R.; Rayfield, Emily J.; Siu, Karen K. W.; Donoghue, Philip C. J.

    2012-01-01

    Conodont elements are the earliest vertebrate dental structures. The dental tools on elements responsible for food fracturecusps and denticlesare usually composed of lamellar crown tissue (a putative enamel homologue) and the enigmatic tissue known as white matter. White matter is unique to conodonts and has been hypothesized to be a functional adaptation for the use of elements as teeth. We test this quantitatively using finite-element analysis. Our results indicate that white matter allowed cusps and denticles to withstand greater tensile stresses than do cusps comprised solely of lamellar crown tissue. Microstructural variation is demonstrably associated with dietary and loading differences in teeth, so secondary loss of white matter through conodont phylogeny may reflect changes in diet and element occlusal kinematics. The presence, development and distribution of white matter could thus provide constraints on function in the first vertebrate dental structures. PMID:22764115

  5. Testing microstructural adaptation in the earliest dental tools.

    PubMed

    Jones, David; Evans, Alistair R; Rayfield, Emily J; Siu, Karen K W; Donoghue, Philip C J

    2012-12-23

    Conodont elements are the earliest vertebrate dental structures. The dental tools on elements responsible for food fracture-cusps and denticles-are usually composed of lamellar crown tissue (a putative enamel homologue) and the enigmatic tissue known as 'white matter'. White matter is unique to conodonts and has been hypothesized to be a functional adaptation for the use of elements as teeth. We test this quantitatively using finite-element analysis. Our results indicate that white matter allowed cusps and denticles to withstand greater tensile stresses than do cusps comprised solely of lamellar crown tissue. Microstructural variation is demonstrably associated with dietary and loading differences in teeth, so secondary loss of white matter through conodont phylogeny may reflect changes in diet and element occlusal kinematics. The presence, development and distribution of white matter could thus provide constraints on function in the first vertebrate dental structures. PMID:22764115

  6. The earliest fossil evidence for sexual dimorphism in primates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krishtalka, Leonard; Stucky, Richard K.; Beard, K. C.

    1990-01-01

    Recently obtained material of the early Eocene primate Notharctus venticolus, including two partial skulls from a single stratigraphic horizon, provides the geologically earliest evidence of sexual dimorphism in canine size and shape in primates and the only unequivocal evidence for such dimorphism in strepsirhines. By analogy with living platyrrhines, these data suggest that Notharctus venticolus may have lived in polygynous social groups characterized by a relatively high level of intermale competition for mates and other limited resources. The anatomy of the upper incisors and related evidence imply that Notharctus is not as closely related to extant lemuriform primates as has been recently proposed. The early Eocene evidence for canine sexual dimorphism reported here, and its occurrence in a nonanthropoid, indicates that in the order Primates such a condition is either primitive or evolved independently more than once.

  7. Histology and affinity of the earliest armoured vertebrate

    PubMed Central

    Sansom, Ivan J; Donoghue, Philip C.J; Albanesi, Guillermo

    2005-01-01

    Arandaspids are the earliest skeletonizing vertebrates known from articulated remains. Despite a wealth of data, their affinity remains questionable because they exhibit a random mixture of primitive and derived characteristics. We constrain the affinity of arandaspids by providing the first detailed characterization of their dermoskeleton which is revealed to be three-layered, composed of a basal laminated, cancellous middle and tubercular superficial layers. All three layers are composed of acellular bone but the superficial layer also includes dentine and enameloid, comprising the tubercles. As such, the composition of the arandaspid dermoskeleton is common to heterostracans and astraspids, supporting existing hypotheses of early vertebrate phylogeny. This emphasizes the peculiarity of existing interpretations of aranadaspid anatomy and there is need for a complete reappraisal of the existing anatomical data. PMID:17148229

  8. Process based life-cycle assessment of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale.

    PubMed

    Dale, Alexander T; Khanna, Vikas; Vidic, Radisav D; Bilec, Melissa M

    2013-05-21

    The Marcellus Shale (MS) represents a large potential source of energy in the form of tightly trapped natural gas (NG). Producing this NG requires the use of energy and water, and has varying environmental impacts, including greenhouse gases. One well-established tool for quantifying these impacts is life-cycle assessment (LCA). This study collected information from current operating companies to perform a process LCA of production for MS NG in three areas--greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, energy consumption, and water consumption--under both present (2011-2012) and past (2007-2010) operating practices. Energy return on investment (EROI) was also calculated. Information was collected from current well development operators and public databases, and combined with process LCA data to calculate per-well and per-MJ delivered impacts, and with literature data on combustion for calculation of impacts on a per-kWh basis during electricity generation. Results show that GHG emissions through combustion are similar to conventional natural gas, with an EROI of 12:1 (90% confidence interval of 4:1-13:1), lower than conventional fossil fuels but higher than unconventional oil sources. PMID:23611587

  9. Bringing dinosaurs back to life: exhibiting prehistory at the American Museum of Natural History.

    PubMed

    Rieppel, Lukas

    2012-09-01

    This essay examines the exhibition of dinosaurs at the American Museum of Natural History during the first two decades of the twentieth century. Dinosaurs provide an especially illuminating lens through which to view the history of museum display practices for two reasons: they made for remarkably spectacular exhibits; and they rested on contested theories about the anatomy, life history, and behavior of long-extinct animals to which curators had no direct observational access. The American Museum sought to capitalize on the popularity of dinosaurs while mitigating the risks of mounting an overtly speculative display by fashioning them into a kind of mixed-media installation made of several elements, including fossilized bone, shellac, iron, and plaster. The resulting sculptures provided visitors with a vivid and lifelike imaginative experience. At the same time, curators, who were anxious to downplay the speculative nature of mounted dinosaurs, drew systematic attention to the material connection that tied individual pieces of fossilized bone to the actual past. Freestanding dinosaurs can therefore be read to have functioned as iconic sculptures that self-consciously advertised their indexical content. PMID:23286187

  10. Observing the Earliest Galaxies: Looking for the Sources of Reionization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Illingworth, Garth

    2015-04-01

    Systematic searches for the earliest galaxies in the reionization epoch finally became possible in 2009 when the Hubble Space Telescope was updated with a powerful new infrared camera during the final Shuttle servicing mission SM4 to Hubble. The reionization epoch represents the last major phase transition of the universe and was a major event in cosmic history. The intense ultraviolet radiation from young star-forming galaxies is increasingly considered to be the source of the photons that reionized intergalactic hydrogen in the period between the ``dark ages'' (the time before the first stars and galaxies at about 100-200 million years after the Big Bang) and the end of reionization around 800-900 million years. Yet finding and measuring the earliest galaxies in this era of cosmic dawn has proven to a challenging task, even with Hubble's new infrared camera. I will discuss the deep imaging undertaken by Hubble and the remarkable insights that have accrued from the imaging datasets taken over the last decade on the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field (HUDF, HUDF09/12) and other regions. The HUDF datasets are central to the story and have been assembled into the eXtreme Deep Field (XDF), the deepest image ever from Hubble data. The XDF, when combined with results from shallower wide-area imaging surveys (e.g., GOODS, CANDELS) and with detections of galaxies from the Frontier Fields, has provided significant insights into the role of galaxies in reionization. Yet many questions remain. The puzzle is far from being fully solved and, while much will done over the next few years, the solution likely awaits the launch of JWST. NASA/STScI Grant HST-GO-11563.

  11. Earliest evidence for commensal processes of cat domestication.

    PubMed

    Hu, Yaowu; Hu, Songmei; Wang, Weilin; Wu, Xiaohong; Marshall, Fiona B; Chen, Xianglong; Hou, Liangliang; Wang, Changsui

    2014-01-01

    Domestic cats are one of the most popular pets globally, but the process of their domestication is not well understood. Near Eastern wildcats are thought to have been attracted to food sources in early agricultural settlements, following a commensal pathway to domestication. Early evidence for close human-cat relationships comes from a wildcat interred near a human on Cyprus ca. 9,500 y ago, but the earliest domestic cats are known only from Egyptian art dating to 4,000 y ago. Evidence is lacking from the key period of cat domestication 9,500-4,000 y ago. We report on the presence of cats directly dated between 5560-5280 cal B.P. in the early agricultural village of Quanhucun in Shaanxi, China. These cats were outside the wild range of Near Eastern wildcats and biometrically smaller, but within the size-range of domestic cats. The ?(13)C and ?(15)N values of human and animal bone collagen revealed substantial consumption of millet-based foods by humans, rodents, and cats. Ceramic storage containers designed to exclude rodents indicated a threat to stored grain in Yangshao villages. Taken together, isotopic and archaeological data demonstrate that cats were advantageous for ancient farmers. Isotopic data also show that one cat ate less meat and consumed more millet-based foods than expected, indicating that it scavenged among or was fed by people. This study offers fresh perspectives on cat domestication, providing the earliest known evidence for commensal relationships between people and cats. PMID:24344279

  12. Earliest evidence for commensal processes of cat domestication

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Yaowu; Hu, Songmei; Wang, Weilin; Wu, Xiaohong; Marshall, Fiona B.; Chen, Xianglong; Hou, Liangliang; Wang, Changsui

    2014-01-01

    Domestic cats are one of the most popular pets globally, but the process of their domestication is not well understood. Near Eastern wildcats are thought to have been attracted to food sources in early agricultural settlements, following a commensal pathway to domestication. Early evidence for close human–cat relationships comes from a wildcat interred near a human on Cyprus ca. 9,500 y ago, but the earliest domestic cats are known only from Egyptian art dating to 4,000 y ago. Evidence is lacking from the key period of cat domestication 9,500–4,000 y ago. We report on the presence of cats directly dated between 5560–5280 cal B.P. in the early agricultural village of Quanhucun in Shaanxi, China. These cats were outside the wild range of Near Eastern wildcats and biometrically smaller, but within the size-range of domestic cats. The δ13C and δ15N values of human and animal bone collagen revealed substantial consumption of millet-based foods by humans, rodents, and cats. Ceramic storage containers designed to exclude rodents indicated a threat to stored grain in Yangshao villages. Taken together, isotopic and archaeological data demonstrate that cats were advantageous for ancient farmers. Isotopic data also show that one cat ate less meat and consumed more millet-based foods than expected, indicating that it scavenged among or was fed by people. This study offers fresh perspectives on cat domestication, providing the earliest known evidence for commensal relationships between people and cats. PMID:24344279

  13. Origin and earliest state of the earth's hydrosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Cogley, J.G.; Henderson-Sellers, A.

    1984-05-01

    The origin and earliest history of the earth's hydrosphere, the inventory of excess volatiles defined by Rubey in 1951, can be constrained within wide but useful limits by a consideration of empirical and theoretical evidence from astrophysics and geology. Models for the evolution of the solar system from the protoplanetary nebula and for the growth of the earth to its present dimensions suggest quite strongly that the hydrosphere came into being during accretion. Its format, with H/sub 2/O mostly in the oceans, CO/sub 2/ mostly in sediments, and a residual atmosphere dominated by N/sub 2/, CO/sub 2/, and H/sub 2/O was established at a very early data and has persisted without large, destabilizing climatic excursions until the present day. Alternative accounts of early history, in which the earth either loses a massive primordial atmosphere or acquires its secondary atmosphere by gradual degassing, seem improbable on the basis of a series of circumstantial but cumulatively persuasive arguments. The difficulty of dissipating a massive atmosphere of solar composition in reasonable times, the likelihood that accretion was a highly energetic process and that it triggered early segregation of the core, and the tendency of the planet to accumulate volatiles preferentially in the later stages of accretion are examples of arguments favoring an early origin for the hydrosphere. Several geological isotope systems which can be sampled today require early separation of the atmosphere and probably the hydrosphere ass a whole; these systems recorrd radiogenic enrichment patterns in the noble gases and stable isotope fractionations which suggest an early origin of the biosphere. Certain geological indicators of atmsopheric composition. and the broadly equable character of the rock record, are also consistent with a hydrosphere established in the earliest stages of history and having an initial neutral or weakly reduced composition.

  14. Deep microbial life in the Altmark natural gas reservoir: baseline characterization prior CO2 injection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morozova, Daria; Shaheed, Mina; Vieth, Andrea; Krüger, Martin; Kock, Dagmar; Würdemann, Hilke

    2010-05-01

    Within the framework of the CLEAN project (CO2 Largescale Enhanced gas recovery in the Altmark Natural gas field) technical basics with special emphasis on process monitoring are explored by injecting CO2 into a gas reservoir. Our study focuses on the investigation of the in-situ microbial community of the Rotliegend natural gas reservoir in the Altmark, located south of the city Salzwedel, Germany. In order to characterize the microbial life in the extreme habitat we aim to localize and identify microbes including their metabolism influencing the creation and dissolution of minerals. The ability of microorganisms to speed up dissolution and formation of minerals might result in changes of the local permeability and the long-term safety of CO2 storage. However, geology, structure and chemistry of the reservoir rock and the cap rock as well as interaction with saline formation water and natural gases and the injected CO2 affect the microbial community composition and activity. The reservoir located at the depth of about 3500m, is characterised by high salinity fluid and temperatures up to 127° C. It represents an extreme environment for microbial life and therefore the main focus is on hyperthermophilic, halophilic anaerobic microorganisms. In consequence of the injection of large amounts of CO2 in the course of a commercial EGR (Enhanced Gas Recovery) the environmental conditions (e.g. pH, temperature, pressure and solubility of minerals) for the autochthonous microorganisms will change. Genetic profiling of amplified 16S rRNA genes are applied for detecting structural changes in the community by using PCR- SSCP (PCR-Single-Strand-Conformation Polymorphism) and DGGE (Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis). First results of the baseline survey indicate the presence of microorganisms similar to representatives from other saline, hot, anoxic, deep environments. However, due to the hypersaline and hyperthermophilic reservoir conditions, cell numbers are low, so that the quantification of those microorganisms as well as the determination of microbial activity was not yet possible. Microbial monitoring methods have to be further developed to study microbial activities under these extreme conditions to access their influence on the EGR technique and on enhancing the long term safety of the process by fixation of carbon dioxide by precipitation of carbonates. We would like to thank GDF SUEZ for providing the data for the Rotliegend reservoir, sample material and enabling sampling campaigns. The CLEAN project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in the frame of the Geotechnologien Program.

  15. Implications of low natural gas prices on life cycle greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. electricity sector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaramillo, P.; Venkatesh, A.; Griffin, M.; Matthews, S.

    2012-12-01

    Increased production of unconventional natural gas resources in the U.S. has drastically reduced the price of natural gas. While in 2005 prices went above 10/MMBtu, since 2011 they have been below 3/MMBtu. These low prices have encouraged the increase of natural gas utilization in the United States electricity sector. Natural gas can offset coal for power generation, reducing emissions such as greenhouse gases, sulfur and nitrogen oxides. In quantifying the benefit of offsetting coal by using natural gas, life cycle assessment (LCA) studies have shown up to 50% reductions in life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions can be expected. However, these studies predominantly use limited system boundaries that contain single individual coal and natural gas power plants. They do not consider (regional) fleets of power plants that are dispatched on the basis of their short-run marginal costs. In this study, simplified economic dispatch models (representing existing power plants in a given region) are developed for three U.S. regions - ERCOT, MISO and PJM. These models, along with historical load data are used to determine how natural gas utilization will increase in the short-term due to changes in natural gas price. The associated changes in fuel mix and life cycle GHG emissions are estimated. Results indicate that life cycle GHG emissions may, at best, decrease by 5-15% as a result of low natural gas prices, compared to almost 50% reductions estimated by previous LCAs. This study thus provides more reasonable estimates of potential reductions in GHG emissions from using natural gas instead of coal in the electricity sector in the short-term.

  16. The nature of water within bacterial spores: protecting life in extreme environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rice, Charles V.; Friedline, Anthony; Johnson, Karen; Zachariah, Malcolm M.; Thomas, Kieth J., III

    2011-10-01

    The bacterial spore is a formidable container of life, protecting the vital contents from chemical attack, antimicrobial agents, heat damage, UV light degradation, and water dehydration. The exact role of the spore components remains in dispute. Nevertheless, water molecules are important in each of these processes. The physical state of water within the bacterial spore has been investigated since the early 1930's. The water is found two states, free or bound, in two different areas, core and non-core. It is established that free water is accessible to diffuse and exchange with deuterated water and that the diffusible water can access all areas of the spore. The presence of bound water has come under recent scrutiny and has been suggested the water within the core is mobile, rather than bound, based on the analysis of deuterium relaxation rates. Using an alternate method, deuterium quadrupole-echo spectroscopy, we are able to distinguish between mobile and immobile water molecules. In the absence of rapid motion, the deuterium spectrum of D2O is dominated by a broad line, whose line shape is used as a characteristic descriptor of molecular motion. The deuterium spectrum of bacterial spores reveals three distinct features: the broad peak of immobilized water, a narrow line of water in rapid motion, and a signal of intermediate width. This third signal is assigned this peak from partially deuterated proteins with the spore in which N-H groups have undergone exchange with water deuterons to form N-D species. As a result of these observations, the nature of water within the spore requires additional explanation to understand how the spore and its water preserve life.

  17. Analysis of Phenix end-of-life natural convection test with the MARS-LMR code

    SciTech Connect

    Jeong, H. Y.; Ha, K. S.; Lee, K. L.; Chang, W. P.; Kim, Y. I.

    2012-07-01

    The end-of-life test of Phenix reactor performed by the CEA provided an opportunity to have reliable and valuable test data for the validation and verification of a SFR system analysis code. KAERI joined this international program for the analysis of Phenix end-of-life natural circulation test coordinated by the IAEA from 2008. The main objectives of this study were to evaluate the capability of existing SFR system analysis code MARS-LMR and to identify any limitation of the code. The analysis was performed in three stages: pre-test analysis, blind posttest analysis, and final post-test analysis. In the pre-test analysis, the design conditions provided by the CEA were used to obtain a prediction of the test. The blind post-test analysis was based on the test conditions measured during the tests but the test results were not provided from the CEA. The final post-test analysis was performed to predict the test results as accurate as possible by improving the previous modeling of the test. Based on the pre-test analysis and blind test analysis, the modeling for heat structures in the hot pool and cold pool, steel structures in the core, heat loss from roof and vessel, and the flow path at core outlet were reinforced in the final analysis. The results of the final post-test analysis could be characterized into three different phases. In the early phase, the MARS-LMR simulated the heat-up process correctly due to the enhanced heat structure modeling. In the mid phase before the opening of SG casing, the code reproduced the decrease of core outlet temperature successfully. Finally, in the later phase the increase of heat removal by the opening of the SG opening was well predicted with the MARS-LMR code. (authors)

  18. Sex differences in the early life correlates of natural antibody concentrations.

    PubMed

    Palmer, A C; Schulze, K J; Khatry, S K; De Luca, L M; West, K P

    2015-12-01

    Innate-like B1a lymphocytes arise from long-lived progenitors produced exclusively by fetal stem cells. Any insults coinciding with this early lymphopoietic wave could have a permanent impact on the B1a population and its unique protein products, the natural antibodies (NAb). We investigated early life nutritional influences on NAb concentrations of pre-adolescent children (n=290) in rural Nepal for whom we had extensive information on exposures from pregnancy and early infancy. Infant size and growth were strongly associated with NAb concentrations at 9-13 years of age among males (e.g., for neonatal weight: ?BOYS=0.43; P<0.001), but not females (e.g., for neonatal weight: ?GIRLS=-0.16; P=0.26). In females, season of birth was associated with NAb concentrations, with marked reductions among girls born during the pre-monsoon (March-May; ?GIRLS=-0.39; P=0.01) and pre-harvest (September-November; ?GIRLS=-0.35; P=0.03) seasons. Our findings suggest that nutritional or other environmental influences on immune development may vary by sex, with potential consequences for immune function during infancy and long-term risk of immune-mediated disease. PMID:26279187

  19. Life-cycle greenhouse gas assessment of Nigerian liquefied natural gas addressing uncertainty.

    PubMed

    Safaei, Amir; Freire, Fausto; Henggeler Antunes, Carlos

    2015-03-17

    Natural gas (NG) has been regarded as a bridge fuel toward renewable sources and is expected to play a greater role in future global energy mix; however, a high degree of uncertainty exists concerning upstream (well-to-tank, WtT) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of NG. In this study, a life-cycle (LC) model is built to assess uncertainty in WtT GHG emissions of liquefied NG (LNG) supplied to Europe by Nigeria. The 90% prediction interval of GHG intensity of Nigerian LNG was found to range between 14.9 and 19.3 g CO2 eq/MJ, with a mean value of 16.8 g CO2 eq/MJ. This intensity was estimated considering no venting practice in Nigerian fields. The mean estimation can shift up to 25 g CO2 eq when considering a scenario with a higher rate of venting emissions. A sensitivity analysis of the time horizon to calculate GHG intensity was also performed showing that higher GHG intensity and uncertainty are obtained for shorter time horizons, due to the higher impact factor of methane. The uncertainty calculated for Nigerian LNG, specifically regarding the gap of data for methane emissions, recommends initiatives to measure and report emissions and further LC studies to identify hotspots to reduce the GHG intensity of LNG chains. PMID:25621534

  20. The complex nature of family support across the life span: Implications for psychological well-being.

    PubMed

    Fuller-Iglesias, Heather R; Webster, Noah J; Antonucci, Toni C

    2015-03-01

    This study examines the complex role of family networks in shaping adult psychological well-being over time. We examine the unique and interactive longitudinal influences of family structure (i.e., composition and size) and negative family relationship quality on psychological well-being among young (ages 18-34), middle-aged (ages 35-49), and older adults (ages 50+). A sample of 881 adults (72% White; 26% Black) was drawn from the longitudinal Social Relations, Age, and Health Study. Structural equation modeling indicated that among young and middle-aged adults, increasing family negativity was associated with increases in depressive symptoms over time. In contrast, among older adults, lowered proportion of family in network and an increasing number of family members in the network (i.e., family size) were associated with decreases in depressive symptoms. These findings were moderated by family negativity. Among older adults with low family negativity, having a lower proportion of family and larger family size were associated with decreasing depressive symptoms, but there was no effect among those reporting high family negativity. Overall, these results contribute to an increased understanding of the complex, developmental nature of how family support influences well-being across the life span and highlights unique age differences. PMID:25602936

  1. Potential Biomarkers of the Earliest Clinical Stages of Parkinson's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Alieva, Anelya Kh.; Filatova, Elena V.; Karabanov, Aleksey V.; Illarioshkin, Sergey N.; Slominsky, Petr A.; Shadrina, Maria I.

    2015-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a widespread neurodegenerative disorder. Despite the intensive studies of this pathology, in general, the picture of the etiopathogenesis has still not been clarified fully. To understand better the mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of PD, we analyzed the expression of 10 genes in the peripheral blood of treated and untreated patients with PD. 35 untreated patients with PD and 12 treated patients with Parkinson's disease (Hoehn and Yahr scores 1-2) were studied. An analysis of the mRNA levels of ATP13A2, PARK2, PARK7, PINK1, LRRK2, SNCA, ALDH1A1, PDHB, PPARGC1A, and ZNF746 genes in the peripheral blood of patients was carried out using reverse transcription followed by real-time PCR. A statistically significant and specific increase by more than 1.5-fold in the expression of the ATP13A2, PARK7, and ZNF746 genes was observed in patients with PD. Based on these results, it can be suggested that the upregulation of the mRNA levels of ATP13A2, PARK7, and ZNF746 in untreated patients in the earliest clinical stages can also be observed in the preclinical stages of PD, and that these genes can be considered as potential biomarkers of the preclinical stage of PD. PMID:26483988

  2. Buried Impact Basins and the Earliest History of Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frey, H. V.

    2003-01-01

    The "Quasi-Circular Depressions" (QCDs) seen in MOLA data which have little or no visible appearance in image data have been interpreted as buried impact basins on Mars. These have important implications for the age of the lowland crust, what mechanisms could produce the crustal dichotomy, and the existence of crust older than the oldest observed surface units on Mars. A global survey of large QCDs using high resolution MOLA data now available has provided further details of the earliest history of Mars. The lowlands are of Early Noachian age, slightly younger than the buried highlands and definitely older than the exposed highland surface. A depopulation of large visible basins at diameters 800 to 1300 km suggests some global scale event early in martian history, maybe related to the formation of the lowlands and/or the development of Tharsis. A suggested early disappearance of the global magnetic field can be placed within a temporal sequence of formation of the very largest impact basins.

  3. Investigating the earliest stages of high-mass star formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fontani, Francesco; Dodson, Richard; Burton, Michael; Cesaroni, Riccardo; Brand, Jan; Molinari, Sergio; Sanchez-Monge, Alvaro; Rioja, Maria; Beltran, Maite

    2010-10-01

    We have recently performed a search for free-free continuum emission towards a sample of high-mass, star forming molecular clumps identified from single-dish observations of the 1.2 mm continuum and CS line emission. Our aim is to image a sub-sample of these clumps in the water maser line and four ammonia inversion transitions. The targets correspond to the earliest star formation phase: 25 IR-dark clumps plus a comparable number (15) of luminous, massive clumps undetected in our cm continuum survey with ATCA. Our goal is to verify the model by Molinari et al. (2008), which describes the evolution of a massive star from the prestellar phase to the main sequence. For this purpose we will use the ammonia lines to estimate the gas temperature and turbulence, and the water maser line to reveal embedded stars. Our expectation is that IR-dark sources will be colder, less turbulent, and less associated with H2O masers than IR-bright. The temperature estimates, combined with our previous 1.2 mm continuum measurements, will permit to obtain a better estimate of the clump masses and thus locate our sources more precisely on the evolutionary diagram of Molinari et al. (2008).

  4. Digging up the Earliest Astronomical Observatory in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Wei-Boa; Chen, Jiu-Jin

    2007-09-01

    At the town of Taosi, county of Xiangfen, Shanxi province the earliest (up to date about 4000 years ago) astronomical observatory and sacrificial altar relic was dug up, which consists of an observing site, some tamped soil columniations and slits between those columniations. This construction was used to observe the variations of the sunrise azimuth and determine the tropical year length in order to constitute the calendar. It is indicated from the simulated observations that the two slits located in the southeast and the northwest could be precisely used to determine the dates of the Winter Solstice and the Summer Solstice. Between those two slits there are 10 columniations which could indicate that the visual Sun moving from one columniation to another is a solar term. It implies that in the Emperor Yao time the calendar was the solar calendar in which one year was divided into 20 solar terms. The Yin-Yang five-element calendar, a 10-month calendar, in the very ancient time was based on this calendar.

  5. The earliest Mesopsychidae and revision of the family Mesopanorpodidae (Mecoptera).

    PubMed

    Bashkuev, Alexei S

    2011-01-01

    The family Mesopanorpodidae is revised. Most taxa referred to this family are not related to the type genus Mesopanorpodes Tillyard, 1918. The type species of the latter, Mesopanorpodes wianamattensis,is closely related to Mesopsyche Tillyard, 1917. Therefore Mesopanorpodes is transferred to Mesopsychidae Tillyard, 1917 (= Mesopanorpodidae Tillyard, 1918, syn. n.).The earliest Mesopsychidae are described from the Upper Permian of European Russia (Severodvinian; Isady locality, Vologda Province): Permopsyche issadensisgen. etsp. n. (type species) and Permopsyche rasnitsynisp. n. Two species described under Mesopanorpodes from the Upper Permian of Australia are also included into Permopsyche: Permopsyche belmontensis (Riek, 1953), comb. n., Permopsyche robustus (Riek, 1953) comb. n. The first pre-Triassic Mesopsyche, Mesopsyche incompletasp. n. is described from the uppermost Permian (the town of Vyazniki, Vladimir Province). Bittacopanorpa javorskii Zalessky, 1935 from the uppermost Permian or basal Triassic of Kuznetsk Basin is identified as a hindwing of Mesopsyche: Mesopsyche javorskii (Zalessky, 1935) comb. n. The origin, evolutionary history, and stratigraphic occurrence of Mesopsychidae are discussed. PMID:22259282

  6. Aurorae: The earliest datable observation of the aurora borealis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stephenson, F. Richard; Willis, David M.; Hallinan, Thomas J.

    2004-12-01

    The Late Babylonian astronomical texts, discovered at the site of Babylon (32.5N, 44.4E) more than a century ago, contain what is probably the earliest reliable account of the aurora borealis. A clay tablet recording numerous celestial observations made by the official astronomers during the 37th year of King Nebuchadnezzar II (568/567 BC) describes an unusual ``red glow'' in the sky at night; the exact date of this observation corresponds to the night of 12/13 March in 567 BC. The most likely interpretation of the phenomenon is an auroral display. This event occurred several centuries before the first clearly identifiable observation of the aurora from elsewhere in the world, namely China in 193 BC. The Babylonian auroral observation is remarkable in the sense that it is one of a series of carefully recorded astronomical observations, for each of which the year, month and day are known precisely. This observation occurred at a time when the geomagnetic (dipole) latitude of Babylon was about 41N compared with the present value of 27.5N, suggesting a higher auroral incidence at Babylon in 567 BC than at present.

  7. The first skull of the earliest giant panda

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Changzhu; Ciochon, Russell L.; Dong, Wei; Hunt, Robert M.; Liu, Jinyi; Jaeger, Marc; Zhu, Qizhi

    2007-01-01

    Fossils of the giant panda Ailuropoda (Order Carnivora, Family Ursidae) are largely isolated teeth, mandibles, and a few rare skulls, known from the late Pliocene to late Pleistocene in China and Southeast Asia. Much of this material represents a Pleistocene chronospecies, Ailuropoda baconi, an animal larger than the living giant panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca. The earliest certain record of Ailuropoda is the late Pliocene chronospecies, Ailuropoda microta, smaller than either A. baconi or A. melanoleuca, and previously known only from teeth and a few mandibles from karst caves in south China. Here, we report the discovery of the first skull of A. microta, establishing its cranial anatomy and demonstrating that the specialized cranial and dental adaptations of Ailuropoda for durophagous feeding behavior centered on bamboo were already evident in this late Pliocene species. The skull from Jinyin cave (Guangxi) and dental remains from other karst localities in southeastern China show that Ailuropoda microta occupied south China from ?2 to 2.4 Myr ago after a marked global climatic deterioration. Dental and basicranial anatomy indicate a less specialized morphology early in the history of the lineage and support derivation of the giant panda from the Miocene Asian ursid Ailurarctos PMID:17578912

  8. Ediacaran matground ecology persisted into the earliest Cambrian.

    PubMed

    Buatois, Luis A; Narbonne, Guy M; Mngano, M Gabriela; Carmona, Noelia B; Myrow, Paul

    2014-01-01

    The beginning of the Cambrian was a time of marked biological and sedimentary changes, including the replacement of Proterozoic-style microbial matgrounds by Phanerozoic-style bioturbated mixgrounds. Here we show that Ediacaran-style matground-based ecology persisted into the earliest Cambrian. Our study in the type section of the basal Cambrian in Fortune Head, Newfoundland, Canada reveals widespread microbially induced sedimentary structures and typical Ediacaran-type matground ichnofossils. Ediacara-type body fossils are present immediately below the top of the Ediacaran but are strikingly absent from the overlying Cambrian succession, despite optimal conditions for their preservation, and instead the microbial surfaces are marked by the appearance of the first abundant arthropod scratch marks in Earth evolution. These features imply that the disappearance of the Ediacara biota represents an abrupt evolutionary event that corresponded with the appearance of novel bilaterian clades, rather than a fading away owing to the gradual elimination of conditions appropriate for Ediacaran preservation. PMID:24675373

  9. Earliest electrocardiogram is golden for the diagnosis of Brugada syndrome.

    PubMed

    Celik, Omer Faruk; Akoglu, Haldun; Eroglu, Serkan; Onur, Ozge; Denizbasi, Arzu

    2013-12-01

    Cardiac syncope can be classified as being either structural or dysrhythmogenic in origin, and it may be the only warning symptom of sudden cardiac death. One of the causes of dysrhythmic sudden cardiac death in young adults with structurally normal hearts is Brugada syndrome. Electrocardiogram (ECG) of Brugada syndrome is characterized by an ST-segment elevation in the right precordial leads. A 23-year-old man was presented to our emergency department (ED) with a history of syncope which has occurred 30 minutes before arrival and lasted for 10 minutes. Both physical and neurological examinations were unremarkable. Family history revealed coronary artery disease of his father and sudden death at 45. Initial ECG performed 3 minutes after his arrival showed a type 2 repolarization variant of Brugada syndrome. This pattern was reverted back to normal 5 minutes later and never showed up again on his future ECGs. In our case, it was only the earliest ECG that made the diagnosis possible since all future ECGs showed a perfectly normal pattern throughout the follow-up period. In all syncope patients, initial ECGs should be kept and filed to be reviewed again in case the primary physician is not competent enough for the evaluation of ECG. PMID:23998806

  10. The earliest pterodactyloid and the origin of the group.

    PubMed

    Andres, Brian; Clark, James; Xu, Xing

    2014-05-01

    The pterosaurs were a diverse group of Mesozoic flying reptiles that underwent a body plan reorganization, adaptive radiation, and replacement of earlier forms midway through their long history, resulting in the origin of the Pterodactyloidea, a highly specialized clade containing the largest flying organisms. The sudden appearance and large suite of morphological features of this group were suggested to be the result of it originating in terrestrial environments, where the pterosaur fossil record has traditionally been poor [1, 2], and its many features suggested to be adaptations to those environments [1, 2]. However, little evidence has been available to test this hypothesis, and it has not been supported by previous phylogenies or early pterodactyloid discoveries. We report here the earliest pterosaur with the diagnostic elongate metacarpus of the Pterodactyloidea, Kryptodrakon progenitor, gen. et sp. nov., from the terrestrial Middle-Upper Jurassic boundary of Northwest China. Phylogenetic analysis confirms this species as the basalmost pterodactyloid and reconstructs a terrestrial origin and a predominantly terrestrial history for the Pterodactyloidea. Phylogenetic comparative methods support this reconstruction by means of a significant correlation between wing shape and environment also found in modern flying vertebrates, indicating that pterosaurs lived in or were at least adapted to the environments in which they were preserved. PMID:24768054

  11. The Formation and Growth of the Earliest Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aird, James; Comastri, Andrea; Topical Panel 2. 1

    2015-09-01

    Understanding how supermassive black holes (BHs) form and grow in the very early (z>6) Universe, when the first stars and galaxies were forming, is one of the major science aims of the Athena mission. The physical processes responsible for the initial formation of these BHs and their early growth via accretion - when they are seen as Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs) - remain unclear. Large-scale optical/near-infrared imaging surveys have identified a few tens of luminous AGNs at z>6, powered by extremely massive BHs, and place vital constraints on the range of possible formation and growth mechanisms. To make further progress, however, we must identify lower luminosity and obscured AGNs at z>6, which represent the bulk of early BH growth. I will discuss recent measurements that trace the evolution of AGN population out to the highest possible redshifts (z~5-6) using the latest X-ray surveys with Chandra and XMM-Newton. However, Athena will provide the superb sensitivity over a wide field-of-view that is required to identify the earliest (z>6) growing BHs, trace their evolution within the early galaxy population, and determine the physical mechanisms that drive their formation and growth. Achieving these aims represents a major challenge that will push the capabilities of both Athena and supporting ground- and space-based observatories. I will present the prospects for a large Athena survey programme and discuss both the technical and scientific challenges that must be addressed in preparation for the Athena mission.

  12. A Jurassic mammaliaform and the earliest mammalian evolutionary adaptations.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Chang-Fu; Wu, Shaoyuan; Martin, Thomas; Luo, Zhe-Xi

    2013-08-01

    The earliest evolution of mammals and origins of mammalian features can be traced to the mammaliaforms of the Triassic and Jurassic periods that are extinct relatives to living mammals. Here we describe a new fossil from the Middle Jurassic that has a mandibular middle ear, a gradational transition of thoracolumbar vertebrae and primitive ankle features, but highly derived molars with a high crown and multiple roots that are partially fused. The upper molars have longitudinal cusp rows that occlude alternately with those of the lower molars. This specialization for masticating plants indicates that herbivory evolved among mammaliaforms, before the rise of crown mammals. The new species shares the distinctive dental features of the eleutherodontid clade, previously represented only by isolated teeth despite its extensive geographic distribution during the Jurassic. This eleutherodontid was terrestrial and had ambulatory gaits, analogous to extant terrestrial mammals such as armadillos or rock hyrax. Its fur corroborates that mammalian integument had originated well before the common ancestor of living mammals. PMID:23925238

  13. Developmental Investigation of the Domain-Specific Nature of the Life Satisfaction Construct across the Post-School Transition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Xidan; Morin, Alexandre J. S.; Parker, Philip D.; Marsh, Herbert W.

    2015-01-01

    This study evaluated the nature of the life satisfaction construct with an emphasis on the comparison between a global or domain-specific operationalization during the transition from adolescence to adulthood. A combination of person-centered and variable-centered methods were used to analyze 7 waves of data covering the postschool transition from

  14. Developmental Investigation of the Domain-Specific Nature of the Life Satisfaction Construct across the Post-School Transition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Xidan; Morin, Alexandre J. S.; Parker, Philip D.; Marsh, Herbert W.

    2015-01-01

    This study evaluated the nature of the life satisfaction construct with an emphasis on the comparison between a global or domain-specific operationalization during the transition from adolescence to adulthood. A combination of person-centered and variable-centered methods were used to analyze 7 waves of data covering the postschool transition from…

  15. Elevated Appraisals of the Negative Impact of Naturally Occurring Life Events: A Risk Factor for Depressive and Anxiety Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Espejo, Emmanuel Peter; Hammen, Constance; Brennan, Patricia A.

    2012-01-01

    The tendency to appraise naturally occurring life events (LEs) as having high negative impact may be a predisposing factor for the development of depression and anxiety disorders. In the current study, appraisals of the negative impact of recent LEs were examined in relationship to depressive and anxiety disorders in a sample of 653 adolescents…

  16. Elevated Appraisals of the Negative Impact of Naturally Occurring Life Events: A Risk Factor for Depressive and Anxiety Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Espejo, Emmanuel Peter; Hammen, Constance; Brennan, Patricia A.

    2012-01-01

    The tendency to appraise naturally occurring life events (LEs) as having high negative impact may be a predisposing factor for the development of depression and anxiety disorders. In the current study, appraisals of the negative impact of recent LEs were examined in relationship to depressive and anxiety disorders in a sample of 653 adolescents

  17. Early life history and survival of natural subyearling fall chinook salmon in the Snake and Clearwater rivers in 1995

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Connor, William P.; Bjornn, Theodore C.; Burge, Howard L.; Garcia, Aaron P.; Rondorf, Dennis W.

    1997-01-01

    The objectives of this segment of our study were to (1) describe the early life history characteristics of naturally produced subyearling fall chinook salmon in the Snake and Clearwater rivers, and (2) estimate survival for juvenile fall chinook salmon emigrating from the Snake and Clearwater rivers to the tail race of Lower Granite Dam.

  18. Reducing Uncertainty in Life Cycle CH4 Emissions from Natural Gas using Atmospheric Inversions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwietzke, S.; Griffin, W.; Matthews, H.; Bruhwiler, L.

    2013-12-01

    Rising interest in natural gas (NG) as a potentially cleaner alternative to coal and successful tapping of unconventional resources in North America, particularly shale gas, have led to numerous life cycle assessment (LCA) studies revisiting NG leakage rates, i.e., the fraction of produced NG, mostly methane, emitted to the atmosphere, intentionally or unintentionally. Accurately quantifying leakage rates of the full NG life cycle - extraction, processing, transport, and distribution - is challenging due to the size and complexity of the NG industry. Recent U.S. LCA estimates suggest that current NG leakage could be as high as 8% and 6%, from shale and conventional NG, respectively, compared to less than 2% in the latest EPA GHG emission inventory. Reducing uncertainty in the NG leakage rate is important for assessing potential climate benefits of NG over coal, and for understanding the global CH4 budget. The objective of this research is to analyze which ranges of the global average NG leakage rate are reasonable given existing atmospheric observations. We establish detailed prior global CH4 and C2H6 emission inventory scenarios for NG, oil, and coal using emissions data from the LCA literature including uncertainty estimates. Global CH4 and C2H6 inverse box-modeling is used to test the above hypotheses of various global NG leakage rates over the period 1984-2011. Forward simulations with NOAA's CarbonTracker-CH4 (CT-CH4) model provide additional spatial and seasonal information about CH4 atmospheric distribution. Box model inversion results indicate worst-case scenarios of current (2010) global average NG leakage rates of 7% (128 Tg CH4/yr) and 5% (92 Tg CH4/yr) based on CH4 isotope and C2H6 observations, respectively, as well as available raw gas composition data. Worst-case assumptions include upper bound estimates of the global CH4 and C2H6 budget, lower bound literature estimates of all CH4 and C2H6 sources other than NG simultaneously, and absence of a natural CH4 seepage source from hydrocarbon reservoirs. The maximum possible NG leakage rate in 2000 is 7% (85 Tg CH4/yr) based on C2H6 observations, but NG leakage in 1990 or earlier cannot be constrained below 10% (up to 121 Tg CH4/yr) with confidence. CT-CH4 forward runs suggest best estimate NG leakage rates of 3-5% over the past decade after analyzing the mean meridional CH4 surface gradient and seasonal differences between simulations and observations. Results show that the upper bound LCA estimates of average U.S. NG leakage (6-8%) cannot be reconciled with global atmospheric observations used in both box- and 3D-modeling, particularly if U.S. industry practices are considered superior to those in developing countries. However, potential local NG leakage hot spots, as suggested by recent top-down basin-level studies, are difficult to detect with our approach and the current long-term measurement network. Ongoing work will establish probability distribution functions of NG leakage rates. Other potentially significant CH4 sources, such as natural CH4 seepage, will also be included in the prior inventory. This may reduce NG leakage estimates from this work given the global CH4 and C2H6 budget constraints.

  19. Characterization of the deep microbial life in the Altmark natural gas reservoir

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morozova, D.; Alawi, M.; Vieth-Hillebrand, A.; Kock, D.; Krüger, M.; Wuerdemann, H.; Shaheed, M.

    2010-12-01

    Within the framework of the CLEAN project (CO2 Largescale Enhanced gas recovery in the Altmark Natural gas field) technical basics with special emphasis on process monitoring are explored by injecting CO2 into a gas reservoir. Our study focuses on the investigation of the in-situ microbial community of the Rotliegend natural gas reservoir in the Altmark, located south of the city Salzwedel, Germany. In order to characterize the microbial life in the extreme habitat we aim to localize and identify microbes including their metabolism influencing the creation and dissolution of minerals. The ability of microorganisms to speed up dissolution and formation of minerals might result in changes of the local permeability and the long-term safety of CO2 storage. However, geology, structure and chemistry of the reservoir rock and the cap rock as well as interaction with saline formation water and natural gases and the injected CO2 affect the microbial community composition and activity. The reservoir located at the depth of approximately 3500 m, is characterised by high salinity (420 g/l) and temperatures up to 127°C. It represents an extreme environment for microbial life and therefore the main focus is on hyperthermophilic, halophilic anaerobic microorganisms. In consequence of the injection of large amounts of CO2 in the course of a commercial EGR (Enhanced Gas Recovery), the environmental conditions (e.g. pH, temperature, pressure and solubility of minerals) for the autochthonous microorganisms will change. Genetic profiling of amplified 16S rRNA genes are applied for detecting structural changes in the community by using PCR- SSCP (PCR-Single-Strand-Conformation Polymorphism), DGGE (Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis) and 16S rRNA cloning. First results of the baseline survey indicate the presence of microorganisms similar to representatives from other deep environments. The sequence analyses revealed the presence of several H2-oxidising bacteria (Hydrogenophaga sp., Adicdovorax sp., Ralstonia sp., Pseudomonas sp.), thiosulfate-oxidising bacteria (Diaphorobacter sp.) and biocorrosive thermophilic microorganisms, which have not previously been cultivated. Furthermore, several uncultivated microorganisms were found, that were similar to representatives from other saline, hot, anoxic, deep environments. However, due to the hypersaline and hyperthermophilic reservoir conditions, cell numbers are low, so that the quantification of those microorganisms as well as the determination of microbial activity was not yet possible. Microbial monitoring methods have to be further developed to study microbial activities under these extreme conditions to access their influence on the EGR technique and on enhancing the long term safety of the process by fixation of carbon dioxide by precipitation of carbonates. We thank GDF SUEZ for providing the data for the Rotliegend reservoir, sample material and supporting sampling campaigns. The CLEAN project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in the framework of the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN Program.

  20. Boosting subsurface life: is subseafloor sediment a natural catalyst for radiolytic hydrogen production?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sauvage, J.; Graham, D.; Spivack, A. J.; Dunlea, A. G.; Murray, R. W.; D'Hondt, S.

    2014-12-01

    Naturally occurring production of molecular hydrogen (H2) by water radiolysis may be a fundamentally important source of electron donors (energy) for life in subsurface environments where organic matter is scarce. Previous studies with very high gamma radiation rates and wet mineral phases have reported high H2 production relative to production from water radiolysis in the absence of solid phases. Numerical calculations by other previous studies have predicted enhanced H2 production from seawater radiolysis relative to pure water radiolysis, due to the interaction of anions with hydroxyl radicals. Given these reports, the potential catalytic influences of solid and dissolved chemical phases on radiolytic H2 production need to be carefully quantified in order to fully evaluate the role of radiolytic H2 as a microbial energy source. For such quantification, we undertook gamma-irradiation experiments with pure water, deep ocean water and mixtures (slurries, ? = 0.85) of seawater with: North Pacific abyssal clay and calcareous oozes, coastal sediment, zirconium dioxide, and zeolite. We carried out our experiments at the Rhode Island Nuclear Science Center using a 37Cesium source at low dose rates (up to 0.1 Gy/hr). Our results to date include the following. First, the per-dose radiolytic H2 yield of pure water at low dose rates is directly comparable to the per-dose yield at much higher dose rates (ca. 1 kGy/hr); this result indicates that H2 production rate is linearly related to radiation dose rate across four orders of magnitude. Second, there is no statistically significant difference (90% confidence limit) between the radiolytic H2 yield from pure water and that from seawater; this result rules out influence of abundant seawater salts on H2 yield from water radiolysis. Third, H2 production from a mixture of abyssal clay and seawater is 25% higher than the yield from pure water. This enhanced yield is consistent with catalysis of radiolytic H2 production by zeolite.

  1. The earliest stars and their relics in the Milky Way

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, L.; Theuns, Tom; Frenk, C. S.; Jenkins, A.; Helly, J. C.; Navarro, J.; Springel, V.; White, S. D. M.

    2010-04-01

    We have implemented a simple model to identify the likely sites of the first stars and galaxies in the high-resolution simulations of the formation of galactic dark matter haloes of the Aquarius Project. The first star in a galaxy like the Milky Way formed around redshift z = 35; by z = 10, the young galaxy contained up to ~3 104 dark matter haloes capable of forming stars by molecular hydrogen cooling. These minihaloes were strongly clustered, and feedback may have severely limited the actual number of Population III stars that formed. By the present day, the remnants of the first stars would be strongly concentrated to the centre of the main halo. If a second generation of long-lived stars formed near the first (the first star relics), we would expect to find half of them within 30 h-1kpc of the Galactic Centre and a significant fraction in satellites where they may be singled out by their anomalous metallicity patterns. The first halo in which gas could cool by atomic hydrogen line radiation formed at z = 25; by z = 10, the number of such `first galaxies' had increased to ~300. Feedback might have decreased the number of first galaxies at the time when they undergo significant star formation, but not the number that survive to the present because near neighbours merge. Half of all the `first galaxies' that formed before z = 10 merge with the main halo before z ~ 3 and most lose a significant fraction of their mass. However, today there should still be more than 20 remnants orbiting within the central ~30h-1kpc of the Milky Way. These satellites have circular velocities of a few kilometres per second or more, comparable to those of known Milky Way dwarfs. They are a promising hunting ground for the remnants of the earliest epoch of star formation.

  2. The earliest Lunar Magma Ocean differentiation recorded in Fe isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Kun; Jacobsen, Stein B.; Sedaghatpour, Fatemeh; Chen, Heng; Korotev, Randy L.

    2015-11-01

    Recent high-precision isotopic measurements show that the isotopic similarity of Earth and Moon is unique among all known planetary bodies in our Solar System. These observations provide fundamental constraints on the origin of Earth-Moon system, likely a catastrophic Giant Impact event. However, in contrast to the isotopic composition of many elements (e.g., O, Mg, Si, K, Ti, Cr, and W), the Fe isotopic compositions of all lunar samples are significantly different from those of the bulk silicate Earth. Such a global Fe isotopic difference between the Moon and Earth provides an important constraint on the lunar formation - such as the amount of Fe evaporation as a result of a Giant Impact origin of the Moon. Here, we show through high-precision Fe isotopic measurements of one of the oldest lunar rocks (4.51 0.10 Gyr dunite 72 415), compared with Fe isotope results of other lunar samples from the Apollo program, and lunar meteorites, that the lunar dunite is enriched in light Fe isotopes, complementing the heavy Fe isotope enrichment in other lunar samples. Thus, the earliest olivine accumulation in the Lunar Magma Ocean may have been enriched in light Fe isotopes. This new observation allows the Fe isotopic composition of the bulk silicate Moon to be identical to that of the bulk silicate Earth, by balancing light Fe in the deep Moon with heavy Fe in the shallow Moon rather than the Moon having a heavier Fe isotope composition than Earth as a result of Giant Impact vaporization.

  3. Earliest Example of a Giant Monitor Lizard (Varanus, Varanidae, Squamata)

    PubMed Central

    Conrad, Jack L.; Balcarcel, Ana M.; Mehling, Carl M.

    2012-01-01

    Background Varanidae is a clade of tiny (<20 mm pre-caudal length [PCL]) to giant (>600 mm PCL) lizards first appearing in the Cretaceous. True monitor lizards (Varanus) are known from diagnostic remains beginning in the early Miocene (Varanus rusingensis), although extremely fragmentary remains have been suggested as indicating earlier Varanus. The paleobiogeographic history of Varanus and timing for origin of its gigantism remain uncertain. Methodology/Principal Findings A new Varanus from the Mytilini Formation (Turolian, Miocene) of Samos, Greece is described. The holotype consists of a partial skull roof, right side of a braincase, partial posterior mandible, fragment of clavicle, and parts of six vertebrae. A cladistic analysis including 83 taxa coded for 5733 molecular and 489 morphological characters (71 previously unincluded) demonstrates that the new fossil is a nested member of an otherwise exclusively East Asian Varanus clade. The new species is the earliest-known giant (>600 mm PCL) terrestrial lizard. Importantly, this species co-existed with a diverse continental mammalian fauna. Conclusions/Significance The new monitor is larger (longer) than 99% of known fossil and living lizards. Varanus includes, by far, the largest limbed squamates today. The only extant non-snake squamates that approach monitors in maximum size are the glass-snake Pseudopus and the worm-lizard Amphisbaena. Mosasauroids were larger, but exclusively marine, and occurred only during the Late Cretaceous. Large, extant, non-Varanus, lizards are limbless and/or largely isolated from mammalian competitors. By contrast, our new Varanus achieved gigantism in a continental environment populated by diverse eutherian mammal competitors. PMID:22900001

  4. Comparative life-cycle air emissions of coal, domestic natural gas, LNG, and SNG for electricity generation.

    PubMed

    Jaramillo, Paulina; Griffin, W Michael; Matthews, H Scott

    2007-09-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that in the coming decades the United States' natural gas (NG) demand for electricity generation will increase. Estimates also suggest that NG supply will increasingly come from imported liquefied natural gas (LNG). Additional supplies of NG could come domestically from the production of synthetic natural gas (SNG) via coal gasification-methanation. The objective of this study is to compare greenhouse gas (GHG), SOx, and NOx life-cycle emissions of electricity generated with NG/LNG/SNG and coal. This life-cycle comparison of air emissions from different fuels can help us better understand the advantages and disadvantages of using coal versus globally sourced NG for electricity generation. Our estimates suggest that with the current fleet of power plants, a mix of domestic NG, LNG, and SNG would have lower GHG emissions than coal. If advanced technologies with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) are used, however, coal and a mix of domestic NG, LNG, and SNG would have very similar life-cycle GHG emissions. For SOx and NOx we find there are significant emissions in the upstream stages of the NG/ LNG life-cycles, which contribute to a larger range in SOx and NOx emissions for NG/LNG than for coal and SNG. PMID:17937317

  5. Comparative life-cycle air emissions of coal, domestic natural gas, LNG, and SNG for electricity generation

    SciTech Connect

    Paulina Jaramillo; W. Michael Griffin; H. Scott Matthews

    2007-09-15

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that in the coming decades the United States' natural gas (NG) demand for electricity generation will increase. Estimates also suggest that NG supply will increasingly come from imported liquefied natural gas (LNG). Additional supplies of NG could come domestically from the production of synthetic natural gas (SNG) via coal gasification-methanation. The objective of this study is to compare greenhouse gas (GHG), SOx, and NOx life-cycle emissions of electricity generated with NG/LNG/SNG and coal. This life-cycle comparison of air emissions from different fuels can help us better understand the advantages and disadvantages of using coal versus globally sourced NG for electricity generation. Our estimates suggest that with the current fleet of power plants, a mix of domestic NG, LNG, and SNG would have lower GHG emissions than coal. If advanced technologies with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) are used, however, coal and a mix of domestic NG, LNG, and SNG would have very similar life-cycle GHG emissions. For SOx and NOx we find there are significant emissions in the upstream stages of the NG/LNG life-cycles, which contribute to a larger range in SOx and NOx emissions for NG/LNG than for coal and SNG. 38 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs.

  6. The Changing Nature of the American Family: Implications for Black Family Life.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ginsberg, Leon H.

    1991-01-01

    Contrasts Third World economic and business practices that support family life with their U.S. opposites. Explores changing workplace policies and changing family life of U.S. citizens with emphasis on African-American families. Considers the family basis for certain ethnic successes and links such successes with opportunity theory. (SV)

  7. Stimulating Growth and Renewal of Public Libraries: The Natural Life Cycle as Framework. ERIC Digest.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parry, Norm

    This digest explores the life cycle of public libraries, presenting a "life stages" model and highlighting characteristics of each stage. It provides specific advice on what can be done in each stage to energize the library with "stage-appropriate" action. The characteristics that mark the Birth/Infant stage include: driving enthusiasm and effort

  8. Record of Earliest West Antarctic Ice Sheet Beneath Ross Sea?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, S. M.; Sorlien, C. C.; De Santis, L.; Luyendyk, B. P.; Sauli, C.; Wardell, N.; Bart, P. J.

    2014-12-01

    Recent Global Climate Models, utilizing topography restored for rift-related subsidence and glacial erosion, produce a West Antarctic Ice Sheet for earliest Oligocene (~34 Ma) conditions. Additionally, global isotopic records indicate an Antarctic ice sheet larger than today's at ~34 Ma. However, evidence for a pre-30 Ma major glaciation has been lacking in seismic stratigraphic studies of Ross Sea. Utilizing deep scientific core holes and all available seismic reflection profiles, we investigated subsidence, sedimentation, and glacial erosion in the Ross Sea. These data image a smooth, tilted and laterally continuous (>200 km) unconformity interpreted as metamorphic basement eroded by waves and subaerial processes. At ~34 Ma, much of the central proto-Ross Sea's ground surface was composed of this basement. In the western Ross Sea, a pre-30 Ma trough >50 km-wide cuts downward as much as 2 km into acoustically reflective strata. These reflective strata are interpreted to be 80-55 Ma syn-rift sedimentary rocks cut by faults. The trough fill is unfaulted; therefore erosion postdates the rifting. Using the current depth of the top basement and the age of initial aggrading marine strata, post-~30 Ma to post-~25 Ma subsidence rates are easily calculated. Projecting these rates using tilts of 30 Ma and younger strata, Central Trough has subsided 2-3 km since 30 Ma, similar to published values for this trough. The unconformity flooring the trough currently is as deep as 6 km with shallower sills downflow. If backstripping and thermal modeling also indicate a reverse gradient of the trough axis at ~34 Ma and ~55 Ma, the erosion must have been due to ~34 Ma ice. In the event that the trough was eroded soon after cessation of rifting at 55 Ma, then total differential subsidence might explain both the current depth and reverse gradient. Projecting the known rates of sediment deposition between ~25 Ma and ~30 Ma, the trough fill can easily be post-~34 Ma. Therefore, one of the possible explanations is that the erosional trough comprising deep Central Trough may be evidence of the first advance of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. However, since we have not yet done the modeling, we cannot yet rule out the trough being an early Cenozoic river valley or a submarine canyon.

  9. Curriculum as natural history: A life-history case study of an alternative science learning program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Windward, Rolfe

    The aim of this study is to further our understanding of the nexus between individual development and conceptions of science curriculum with particular emphasis upon root metaphors. The initial conceptual springboard is based upon the rather consistent conflation of selectionist (Darwinian) and developmental cosmologies in most scientific thinking about complex systems. A partial goal of this study then being the development of a visual metaphor that offers a more coherent heuristic of what it means to be a knowing individual within a changing ecosocial reality. This is a paradigmatic examination and it is conjectured that the root assumptions underlying the bulk of curriculum theory are unrealistic, that the appearance of stability in curriculum and practice is largely a byproduct of misclassification or even category error, and that reconceptualizing curriculum as a description of an adaptive system rather than a system-by-design will assist in unpacking a number of problems including the so-called theory-practice gap. The basic procedure is a life-history case study of seven participants--three female high school students, three male high school students, and their teacher--tracked between three learning contexts: the classroom, an extracurricular science "institute," and a virtual astronomy class. The biography of the researcher is incorporated both as a matter of methodology and as a matter of interventionist stance. It is concluded that the 'science institute' embodied a number of innovative features, including more equality among all participants, that also allowed masking-off of countervailing forces perceived as antithetical to its own development. Its organization was not stable but constituted a strongly expansive instrument in the individuation of all participants, allowing the students to more clearly visualize the multiple natures of science and themselves as individuals and scientists. It also allowed the teacher involved to leverage change in his current circumstances and provided elements that made change at the school more likely. Many of these elements were not present by design but accentuated value, an element rarely included in concept-oriented curriculum approaches including those that purport to incorporate affect as an outcome measure. The possibilities for an alternative and more organic model of curricular change are discussed.

  10. Earliest Mexican Turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) in the Maya Region: Implications for Pre-Hispanic Animal Trade and the Timing of Turkey Domestication

    PubMed Central

    Thornton, Erin Kennedy; Emery, Kitty F.; Steadman, David W.; Speller, Camilla; Matheny, Ray; Yang, Dongya

    2012-01-01

    Late Preclassic (300 BC–AD 100) turkey remains identified at the archaeological site of El Mirador (Petén, Guatemala) represent the earliest evidence of the Mexican turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) in the ancient Maya world. Archaeological, zooarchaeological, and ancient DNA evidence combine to confirm the identification and context. The natural pre-Hispanic range of the Mexican turkey does not extend south of central Mexico, making the species non-local to the Maya area where another species, the ocellated turkey (Meleagris ocellata), is indigenous. Prior to this discovery, the earliest evidence of M. gallopavo in the Maya area dated to approximately one thousand years later. The El Mirador specimens therefore represent previously unrecorded Preclassic exchange of animals from northern Mesoamerica to the Maya cultural region. As the earliest evidence of M. gallopavo found outside its natural geographic range, the El Mirador turkeys also represent the earliest indirect evidence for Mesoamerican turkey rearing or domestication. The presence of male, female and sub-adult turkeys, and reduced flight morphology further suggests that the El Mirador turkeys were raised in captivity. This supports an argument for the origins of turkey husbandry or at least captive rearing in the Preclassic. PMID:22905156

  11. Comparison of life cycle greenhouse gases from natural gas pathways for medium and heavy-duty vehicles.

    PubMed

    Tong, Fan; Jaramillo, Paulina; Azevedo, Inês M L

    2015-06-16

    The low-cost and abundant supply of shale gas in the United States has increased the interest in using natural gas for transportation. We compare the life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from different natural gas pathways for medium and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs). For Class 8 tractor-trailers and refuse trucks, none of the natural gas pathways provide emissions reductions per unit of freight-distance moved compared to diesel trucks. When compared to the petroleum-based fuels currently used in these vehicles, CNG and centrally produced LNG increase emissions by 0-3% and 2-13%, respectively, for Class 8 trucks. Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) powered with natural gas-produced electricity are the only fuel-technology combination that achieves emission reductions for Class 8 transit buses (31% reduction compared to the petroleum-fueled vehicles). For non-Class 8 trucks (pick-up trucks, parcel delivery trucks, and box trucks), BEVs reduce emissions significantly (31-40%) compared to their diesel or gasoline counterparts. CNG and propane achieve relatively smaller emissions reductions (0-6% and 19%, respectively, compared to the petroleum-based fuels), while other natural gas pathways increase emissions for non-Class 8 MHDVs. While using natural gas to fuel electric vehicles could achieve large emission reductions for medium-duty trucks, the results suggest there are no great opportunities to achieve large emission reductions for Class 8 trucks through natural gas pathways with current technologies. There are strategies to reduce the carbon footprint of using natural gas for MHDVs, ranging from increasing vehicle fuel efficiency, reducing life cycle methane leakage rate, to achieving the same payloads and cargo volumes as conventional diesel trucks. PMID:25938939

  12. Use of lycopene as a natural antioxidant in extending the shelf-life of anhydrous cow milk fat.

    PubMed

    Siwach, Ruby; Tokas, Jayanti; Seth, Raman

    2016-05-15

    Oxidative rancidity in anhydrous cow milk fat leads to reduction in its shelf life. Use of synthetic antioxidants is prevalent in dairy industry to prevent the development of rancidity. Keeping in view the increasing demand for natural additives, the present study was carried out to explore the potential of lycopene as a natural antioxidant in anhydrous cow milk fat. Lycopene at five different levels (30, 60, 90, 120 and 150ppm) and butylated hydroxyl anisole (200ppm), were incorporated in anhydrous cow milk fat. Potential of lycopene extract to enhance the shelf life of anhydrous cow milk fat was evaluated by measuring Free Fatty Acids, peroxide value, Thiobarbituric Acid value and color value during 12months of storage at ambient conditions (30°C). Lycopene significantly (p<0.05) prevented the development of oxidative rancidity. Lycopene containing samples scored significantly higher in terms of sensory attributes as compared to control. PMID:26776006

  13. Rise of the earliest tetrapods: an early Devonian origin from marine environment.

    PubMed

    George, David; Blieck, Alain

    2011-01-01

    Tetrapod fossil tracks are known from the Middle Devonian (Eifelian at ca. 397 million years ago--MYA), and their earliest bony remains from the Upper Devonian (Frasnian at 375-385 MYA). Tetrapods are now generally considered to have colonized land during the Carboniferous (i.e., after 359 MYA), which is considered to be one of the major events in the history of life. Our analysis on tetrapod evolution was performed using molecular data consisting of 13 proteins from 17 species and different paleontological data. The analysis on the molecular data was performed with the program TreeSAAP and the results were analyzed to see if they had implications on the paleontological data collected. The results have shown that tetrapods evolved from marine environments during times of higher oxygen levels. The change in environmental conditions played a major role in their evolution. According to our analysis this evolution occurred at about 397-416 MYA during the Early Devonian unlike previously thought. This idea is supported by various environmental factors such as sea levels and oxygen rate, and biotic factors such as biodiversity of arthropods and coral reefs. The molecular data also strongly supports lungfish as tetrapod's closest living relative. PMID:21779385

  14. Giant cladoxylopsid trees resolve the enigma of the Earth's earliest forest stumps at Gilboa.

    PubMed

    Stein, William E; Mannolini, Frank; Hernick, Linda VanAller; Landing, Ed; Berry, Christopher M

    2007-04-19

    The evolution of trees of modern size growing together in forests fundamentally changed terrestrial ecosystems. The oldest trees are often thought to be of latest Devonian age (about 380-360 Myr old) as indicated by the widespread occurrence of Archaeopteris (Progymnospermopsida). Late Middle Devonian fossil tree stumps, rooted and still in life position, discovered in the 1870s from Gilboa, New York, and later named Eospermatopteris, are widely cited as evidence of the Earth's 'oldest forest'. However, their affinities and significance have proved to be elusive because the aerial portion of the plant has been unknown until now. Here we report spectacular specimens from Schoharie County, New York, showing an intact crown belonging to the cladoxylopsid Wattieza (Pseudosporochnales) and its attachment to Eospermatopteris trunk and base. This evidence allows the reconstruction of a tall (at least 8 m), tree-fern-like plant with a trunk bearing large branches in longitudinal ranks. The branches were probably abscised as frond-like modules. Lower portions of the trunk show longitudinal carbonaceous strands typical of Eospermatopteris, and a flat bottom with many small anchoring roots. These specimens provide new insight into Earth's earliest trees and forest ecosystems. The tree-fern-like morphology described here is the oldest example so far of an evolutionarily recurrent arborescent body plan within vascular plants. Given their modular construction, these plants probably produced abundant litter, indicating the potential for significant terrestrial carbon accumulation and a detritus-based arthropod fauna by the Middle Devonian period. PMID:17443185

  15. Rise of the Earliest Tetrapods: An Early Devonian Origin from Marine Environment

    PubMed Central

    George, David; Blieck, Alain

    2011-01-01

    Tetrapod fossil tracks are known from the Middle Devonian (Eifelian at ca. 397 million years ago - MYA), and their earliest bony remains from the Upper Devonian (Frasnian at 375385 MYA). Tetrapods are now generally considered to have colonized land during the Carboniferous (i.e., after 359 MYA), which is considered to be one of the major events in the history of life. Our analysis on tetrapod evolution was performed using molecular data consisting of 13 proteins from 17 species and different paleontological data. The analysis on the molecular data was performed with the program TreeSAAP and the results were analyzed to see if they had implications on the paleontological data collected. The results have shown that tetrapods evolved from marine environments during times of higher oxygen levels. The change in environmental conditions played a major role in their evolution. According to our analysis this evolution occurred at about 397416 MYA during the Early Devonian unlike previously thought. This idea is supported by various environmental factors such as sea levels and oxygen rate, and biotic factors such as biodiversity of arthropods and coral reefs. The molecular data also strongly supports lungfish as tetrapod's closest living relative. PMID:21779385

  16. Stress on health-related quality of life in older adults: the protective nature of mindfulness

    PubMed Central

    de Frias, Cindy M.; Whyne, Erum

    2015-01-01

    Objectives: The current study examined whether the link between stress and health-related quality of life was buffered by protective factors, namely mindfulness, in a sample of middle-aged and older adults. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 134 healthy, community-dwelling adults (ages 5085years) were recruited from Dallas, TX. The participants were screened for depressive symptoms and severity (using the Patient Health Questionnaire [PHQ-9]). All participants completed measures of self-reported health status (i.e. SF36v2: mental and physical health composites), life stress (using the Elders Life Stress Inventory [ELSI]), and trait mindfulness (i.e. Mindful Attention Awareness Scale). Results: Hierarchical regressions (covarying for age, gender, and education) showed that life stress was inversely related to physical and mental health. Mindfulness was positively related to mental health. The negative effect of life stress on mental health was weakened for those individuals with higher levels of trait mindfulness. Conclusions: The results suggest that mindfulness is a powerful, adaptive strategy that may protect middle-aged and older adults from the well-known harmful effects of stress on mental health. PMID:24940847

  17. Urban Natural Environments, Obesity, and Health-Related Quality of Life among Hispanic Children Living in Inner-City Neighborhoods.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jun-Hyun; Lee, Chanam; Sohn, Wonmin

    2016-01-01

    Although a substantial body of literature has provided evidence supporting the positive effects of natural environments on well-being, little has been known about the specific spatial patterns of urban nature in promoting health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among children. This study assessed the association that the urban natural environment measured by landscape spatial patterns may have with obesity and HRQOL among Hispanic children. Ninety-two 4th and 5th grade students were recruited from Houston, Texas, and the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) was used to capture the children's HRQOL. The quality of urban natural environments was assessed by quantifying the landscape spatial patterns, using landscape indices generated by Geographic Information Systems and remote sensing. From the bivariate analyses, children's body mass index showed a significantly negative association with their HRQOL. After controlling for socio-demographic factors, the results revealed that larger and more tree areas were positively correlated with children's HRQOL. In addition, those children living in areas with tree patches further apart from each other showed higher HRQOL. This research adds to the current multi-disciplinary area of research on environment-health relationships by investigating the roles of urban greeneries and linking their spatial structures with children's HRQOL. PMID:26771623

  18. Cumulative exergy extraction from the natural environment (CEENE): a comprehensive life cycle impact assessment method for resource accounting.

    PubMed

    Dewulf, J; Bsch, M E; De Meester, B; Van der Vorst, G; Van Langenhove, H; Hellweg, S; Huijbregts, M A J

    2007-12-15

    The objective of the paper is to establish a comprehensive resource-based life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) method which is scientifically sound and that enables to assess all kinds of resources that are deprived from the natural ecosystem, all quantified on one single scale, free of weighting factors. The method is based on the exergy concept. Consistent exergy data on fossils, nuclear and metal ores, minerals, air, water, land occupation, and renewable energy sources were elaborated, with well defined system boundaries. Based on these data, the method quantifies the exergy "taken away" from natural ecosystems, and is thus called the cumulative exergy extraction from the natural environment (CEENE). The acquired data set was coupled with a state-of-the art life cycle inventory database, ecoinvent. In this way, the method is able to quantitatively distinguish eight categories of resources withdrawn from the natural environment: renewable resources, fossil fuels, nuclear energy, metal ores, minerals, water resources, land resources, and atmospheric resources. Third, the CEENE method is illustrated for a number of products that are available in ecoinvent, and results are compared with common resource oriented LCIA methods. The application to the materials in the ecoinvent database showed that fossil resources and land use are of particular importance with regard to the total CEENE score, although the other resource categories may also be significant. PMID:18200882

  19. Urban Natural Environments, Obesity, and Health-Related Quality of Life among Hispanic Children Living in Inner-City Neighborhoods

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jun-Hyun; Lee, Chanam; Sohn, Wonmin

    2016-01-01

    Although a substantial body of literature has provided evidence supporting the positive effects of natural environments on well-being, little has been known about the specific spatial patterns of urban nature in promoting health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among children. This study assessed the association that the urban natural environment measured by landscape spatial patterns may have with obesity and HRQOL among Hispanic children. Ninety-two 4th and 5th grade students were recruited from Houston, Texas, and the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) was used to capture the children’s HRQOL. The quality of urban natural environments was assessed by quantifying the landscape spatial patterns, using landscape indices generated by Geographic Information Systems and remote sensing. From the bivariate analyses, children’s body mass index showed a significantly negative association with their HRQOL. After controlling for socio-demographic factors, the results revealed that larger and more tree areas were positively correlated with children’s HRQOL. In addition, those children living in areas with tree patches further apart from each other showed higher HRQOL. This research adds to the current multi-disciplinary area of research on environment-health relationships by investigating the roles of urban greeneries and linking their spatial structures with children’s HRQOL. PMID:26771623

  20. LIFE CYCLE DESIGN FRAMEWORK AND DEMONSTRATION PROJECTS PROFILES OF AT&T AND ALLIED SIGNAL

    EPA Science Inventory

    Life cycle design seeks to minimize the environmental burden associated with a product life cycle from raw materials acquisition through manufacturing, use, and end-of-life management. ife cycle design emphasizes integrating environmental requirements into the earliest phases of ...

  1. Type 1 diabetes prevalence increasing globally and regionally: the role of natural selection and life expectancy at birth

    PubMed Central

    You, Wen-Peng; Henneberg, Maciej

    2016-01-01

    Objective Prevalence of type 1 diabetes (T1D) disease is increasing worldwide. We aim to test correlation of T1D prevalence to the reduced natural selection measured by Biological State Index (Ibs). Research design and methods Country-specific estimates of T1D prevalence, life expectancy, obesity prevalence rate, urbanization rates, per capita sugars consumption and per capita gross domestic product (GDP) were obtained. Ibs and country-specific longevity (e50) increase for each country were self-calculated. These data were then matched to T1D prevalence by country for our ecological study among 118 countries. Countries were also grouped to study the associations in different regions. SPSS V.22 was used for correlation analysis. Results Worldwide, both Ibs and life expectancy at birth (Ibs proxy) were significantly correlated to T1D prevalence in Pearson r (r=0.713, p<0.001 and r=0.722, p<0.001, respectively) and Spearman's r (r=0.724, p<0.001 and r=0.689, p<0.001, respectively). T1D prevalence was not correlated to longevity increase measured as life expectancy at 50 years old. T1D prevalence was significantly associated with Ibs (r=0.307, p<0.001) and newborn life expectancy (r=0.349, p<0.001) independent of per capita total sugar consumption, per capita GDP, urbanization and obesity prevalence in partial correlation. Globally, both life expectancy at birth and Ibs exponentially correlated to T1D prevalence. Pearson correlations generally existed in different country categorizations by geographic region, culture background and economic status. Conclusions Reduced natural selection may have contributed to the increasing T1D prevalence worldwide. T1D epidemiology study in total population may be the practical solution to identify the causes of increasing T1D prevalence. PMID:26977306

  2. Formative Life Experiences and the Recruitment of Natural Resource Conservation Professionals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Marc

    2013-01-01

    Recruiting young people to serve as future leaders is a major concern for many organizations involved in natural resource conservation. One of the primary reasons for this concern is that youth are becoming less connected to the natural world because of the synergistic effects of urbanization, electronic media, and reduced opportunities to explore

  3. Formative Life Experiences and the Recruitment of Natural Resource Conservation Professionals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Marc

    2013-01-01

    Recruiting young people to serve as future leaders is a major concern for many organizations involved in natural resource conservation. One of the primary reasons for this concern is that youth are becoming less connected to the natural world because of the synergistic effects of urbanization, electronic media, and reduced opportunities to explore…

  4. "Kids for Trees": Student Projects in Real-Life Natural Resource Management.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chandler, Jim

    The "Kids for Trees" program described in this guidebook is a hands-on natural resource management experience where students raise trees from seedlings to harvest and manage other natural resources in a sustainable manner. Sections of the book include key concepts, getting started, needs of different kinds of trees, learning about potential…

  5. The nature and dynamics of world religions: a life-history approach.

    PubMed

    Baumard, Nicolas; Chevallier, Coralie

    2015-11-01

    In contrast with tribal and archaic religions, world religions are characterized by a unique emphasis on extended prosociality, restricted sociosexuality, delayed gratification and the belief that these specific behaviours are sanctioned by some kind of supernatural justice. Here, we draw on recent advances in life history theory to explain this pattern of seemingly unrelated features. Life history theory examines how organisms adaptively allocate resources in the face of trade-offs between different life-goals (e.g. growth versus reproduction, exploitation versus exploration). In particular, recent studies have shown that individuals, including humans, adjust their life strategy to the environment through phenotypic plasticity: in a harsh environment, organisms tend to adopt a 'fast' strategy, pursuing smaller but more certain benefits, while in more affluent environments, organisms tend to develop a 'slow' strategy, aiming for larger but less certain benefits. Reviewing a range of recent research, we show that world religions are associated with a form of 'slow' strategy. This framework explains both the promotion of 'slow' behaviours such as altruism, self-regulation and monogamy in modern world religions, and the condemnation of 'fast' behaviours such as selfishness, conspicuous sexuality and materialism. This ecological approach also explains the diffusion pattern of world religions: why they emerged late in human history (500-300 BCE), why they are currently in decline in the most affluent societies and why they persist in some places despite this overall decline. PMID:26511055

  6. The Encounter With Life-Threatening Danger: Its Nature and Impact.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Noyes, Russell, Jr.

    1981-01-01

    A factor analysis of questionnaire responses from (N=189) victims of life-threatening accidents identified three dimensions of the altered state of consciousness produced by dangerous circumstances. These dimensions, included depersonalization, hyperalertness, and mystical consciousness, appeared meaningful in terms of the endangered personality's…

  7. The nature and dynamics of world religions: a life-history approach

    PubMed Central

    Baumard, Nicolas; Chevallier, Coralie

    2015-01-01

    In contrast with tribal and archaic religions, world religions are characterized by a unique emphasis on extended prosociality, restricted sociosexuality, delayed gratification and the belief that these specific behaviours are sanctioned by some kind of supernatural justice. Here, we draw on recent advances in life history theory to explain this pattern of seemingly unrelated features. Life history theory examines how organisms adaptively allocate resources in the face of trade-offs between different life-goals (e.g. growth versus reproduction, exploitation versus exploration). In particular, recent studies have shown that individuals, including humans, adjust their life strategy to the environment through phenotypic plasticity: in a harsh environment, organisms tend to adopt a ‘fast' strategy, pursuing smaller but more certain benefits, while in more affluent environments, organisms tend to develop a ‘slow' strategy, aiming for larger but less certain benefits. Reviewing a range of recent research, we show that world religions are associated with a form of ‘slow' strategy. This framework explains both the promotion of ‘slow' behaviours such as altruism, self-regulation and monogamy in modern world religions, and the condemnation of ‘fast' behaviours such as selfishness, conspicuous sexuality and materialism. This ecological approach also explains the diffusion pattern of world religions: why they emerged late in human history (500–300 BCE), why they are currently in decline in the most affluent societies and why they persist in some places despite this overall decline. PMID:26511055

  8. Life events and dementia: what is the nature of their relationship?

    PubMed

    Fountoulakis, Konstantinos N; Pavlidis, Ioannis; Tsolaki, Magda

    2011-11-30

    The current study analyzed the life events reported by 1271 demented patients vs. 140 cognitively healthy elderly subjects. The Life Change Unit (LCU) method was used to quantify the results. When all the events were included in the analysis, the two groups had similar LCU scores (61.26 vs. 63.42). However, when events causally related to dementia (e.g. stroke) are excluded, demented patients were found to experience half of the LCU load in comparison to controls (30.70 vs. 63.42). In both groups the level of LCU load is far below 100 which is the threshold suggested for the induction of psychosomatic disorders. Conclusively, the current study suggests that there is no causal role for life events in the etiopathogenesis of dementia. On the contrary, demented patients even the last few months before the clinical onset of dementia experience low life-events-related stress, possibly because of subclinical impairment which is already present. PMID:21621852

  9. The Encounter With Life-Threatening Danger: Its Nature and Impact.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Noyes, Russell, Jr.

    1981-01-01

    A factor analysis of questionnaire responses from (N=189) victims of life-threatening accidents identified three dimensions of the altered state of consciousness produced by dangerous circumstances. These dimensions, included depersonalization, hyperalertness, and mystical consciousness, appeared meaningful in terms of the endangered personality's

  10. The False Spring of 2012, Earliest in North American Record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ault, T. R.; Henebry, G. M.; de Beurs, K. M.; Schwartz, M. D.; Betancourt, J. L.; Moore, D.

    2013-05-01

    Phenology—the study of recurring plant and animal life cycle stages, especially their timing and relationships with weather and climate—is becoming an essential tool for documenting, communicating, and anticipating the consequences of climate variability and change. For example, March 2012 broke numerous records for warm temperatures and early flowering in the United States [Karl et al., 2012; Elwood et al., 2013]. Many regions experienced a "false spring," a period of weather in late winter or early spring sufficiently mild and long to bring vegetation out of dormancy prematurely, rendering it vulnerable to late frost and drought.

  11. Scenario for ultrarelativistic nuclear collisions. II. Geometry of quantum states at the earliest stage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Makhlin, A.

    2001-04-01

    We suggest that the ultrarelativistic collisions of heavy ions provide the simplest situation for the study of strong interactions which can be understood from first principles and without any model assumptions about the microscopic structure of the colliding nuclei. We argue that the boost-invariant geometry of the collision, and the existence of hard partons in the final states, both supported by the data, make a sufficient basis for the quantum theory of the phenomenon. We conclude that the quantum nature of the entire process is defined by its global geometry, which is enforced by a macroscopic finite size of the colliding objects. In this paper, we study the qualitative aspects of the theory and review its development in two subsequent papers. Our key result is that the effective mass of the quark in the expanding system formed in the collision of the two nuclei is gradually built up reaching its maximum by the time the quark mode becomes sufficiently localized. The chromo-magneto-static interaction of the color currents flowing in the rapidity direction is the main mechanism which is responsible for the generation of the effective mass of the soft quark mode and, therefore, for the physical scale at the earliest stage of the collision.

  12. Allocation Games: Addressing the Ill-Posed Nature of Allocation in Life-Cycle Inventories.

    PubMed

    Hanes, Rebecca J; Cruze, Nathan B; Goel, Prem K; Bakshi, Bhavik R

    2015-07-01

    Allocation is required when a life cycle contains multi-functional processes. One approach to allocation is to partition the embodied resources in proportion to a criterion, such as product mass or cost. Many practitioners apply multiple partitioning criteria to avoid choosing one arbitrarily. However, life cycle results from different allocation methods frequently contradict each other, making it difficult or impossible for the practitioner to draw any meaningful conclusions from the study. Using the matrix notation for life-cycle inventory data, we show that an inventory that requires allocation leads to an ill-posed problem: an inventory based on allocation is one of an infinite number of inventories that are highly dependent upon allocation methods. This insight is applied to comparative life-cycle assessment (LCA), in which products with the same function but different life cycles are compared. Recently, there have been several studies that applied multiple allocation methods and found that different products were preferred under different methods. We develop the Comprehensive Allocation Investigation Strategy (CAIS) to examine any given inventory under all possible allocation decisions, enabling us to detect comparisons that are not robust to allocation, even when the comparison appears robust under conventional partitioning methods. While CAIS does not solve the ill-posed problem, it provides a systematic way to parametrize and examine the effects of partitioning allocation. The practical usefulness of this approach is demonstrated with two case studies. The first compares ethanol produced from corn stover hydrolysis, corn stover gasification, and corn grain fermentation. This comparison was not robust to allocation. The second case study compares 1,3-propanediol (PDO) produced from fossil fuels and from biomass, which was found to be a robust comparison. PMID:26061700

  13. The Definition of Life and The Origin of Life on Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baross, J. A.

    2002-12-01

    The definition and origin of life are key questions at the heart of astrobiology, yet we do not have a consensus definition of life, for this requires an understanding of the nature of living systems that has not yet been achieved. Such an understanding is critical for many areas of astrobiology, including the origin and evolution of life on Earth, the detection of extant or extinct life on other solar system bodies, and the possibility for alternative carbon-based life. Ultimately, the question ``What is life?" becomes reduced to listing canonical features of terrestrial life that can be used to construct models for the origin of life and to develop possible ``biosignatures" for detecting life elsewhere. Origin of life studies have focused on the conditions during the first few hundred million years after Earth accreted, the sequence of chemical and biochemical steps leading to a living entity, the characteristics of the earliest microbial communities, and the events leading to greater complexity at the levels of individual cells, multi-cellular organisms and ecosystems. Theories on the origin of life range from the first living entity being clay crystals, protein or ribonucleic acid worlds (``RNA world"), metabolizing entities without information-containing molecules, or self-assembling membranes capable of capturing proteins and nucleic acids. It may be that in fact all of these theories played a role in the origin of life drama, perhaps at different times and places. Even though some experimental progress has been made, the origin of life remains one of the great-unsolved questions of science. Moreover, the possibility for multiple origins of life is an open question with profound implications for detecting life elsewhere in the universe

  14. Your Earliest Memory May Be Earlier than You Think: Prospective Studies of Children's Dating of Earliest Childhood Memories

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Qi; Peterson, Carole

    2014-01-01

    Theories of childhood amnesia and autobiographical memory development have been based on the assumption that the age estimates of earliest childhood memories are generally accurate, with an average age of 3.5 years among adults. It is also commonly believed that early memories will by default become inaccessible later on and this eventually…

  15. Your Earliest Memory May Be Earlier than You Think: Prospective Studies of Children's Dating of Earliest Childhood Memories

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Qi; Peterson, Carole

    2014-01-01

    Theories of childhood amnesia and autobiographical memory development have been based on the assumption that the age estimates of earliest childhood memories are generally accurate, with an average age of 3.5 years among adults. It is also commonly believed that early memories will by default become inaccessible later on and this eventually

  16. Evolution and maintenance of haploid-diploid life cycles in natural populations: The case of the marine brown alga Ectocarpus.

    PubMed

    Couceiro, Lucía; Le Gac, Mickael; Hunsperger, Heather M; Mauger, Stéphane; Destombe, Christophe; Cock, J Mark; Ahmed, Sophia; Coelho, Susana M; Valero, Myriam; Peters, Akira F

    2015-07-01

    The evolutionary stability of haploid-diploid life cycles is still controversial. Mathematical models indicate that niche differences between ploidy phases may be a necessary condition for the evolution and maintenance of these life cycles. Nevertheless, experimental support for this prediction remains elusive. In the present work, we explored this hypothesis in natural populations of the brown alga Ectocarpus. Consistent with the life cycle described in culture, Ectocarpus crouaniorum in NW France and E. siliculosus in SW Italy exhibited an alternation between haploid gametophytes and diploid sporophytes. Our field data invalidated, however, the long-standing view of an isomorphic alternation of generations. Gametophytes and sporophytes displayed marked differences in size and, conforming to theoretical predictions, occupied different spatiotemporal niches. Gametophytes were found almost exclusively on the alga Scytosiphon lomentaria during spring whereas sporophytes were present year-round on abiotic substrata. Paradoxically, E. siliculosus in NW France exhibited similar habitat usage despite the absence of alternation of ploidy phases. Diploid sporophytes grew both epilithically and epiphytically, and this mainly asexual population gained the same ecological advantage postulated for haploid-diploid populations. Consequently, an ecological interpretation of the niche differences between haploid and diploid individuals does not seem to satisfactorily explain the evolution of the Ectocarpus life cycle. PMID:26096000

  17. Born to retire: the foreshortened life course.

    PubMed

    Ekerdt, David J

    2004-02-01

    Retirement is no longer a concern solely for the second half of life. Rather, the idea that we will someday retire is increasingly present to all adults and it is even urged on adolescents. The earliest reaches of adulthood are being colonized by frequent reminders that it takes individual effort to achieve retirement. The changing nature of pensions, the identification of retirement saving with financial markets, the politics of Social Security, the aging baby boom generation, and the interests of a powerful industry and of government are daily compelling people's attention to retirement as a lifelong goal. With retirement as adulthood's great project of deferred gratification, the result could be greater personal readiness to retire but also some ironic outcomes, such as a stronger retirement norm, reluctance to spend on children, and outsized expectations for later life. PMID:14978315

  18. When everyday life becomes a storm on the horizon: families' experiences of good mental health while hiking in nature.

    PubMed

    Baklien, Børge; Ytterhus, Borgunn; Bongaardt, Rob

    2016-04-01

    Hiking in nature is often presented as a yearning for lost harmony premised on an alleged divide between nature as authentically healthy and society as polluted. This paper's aim is to question this strict divide and the strong belief in nature as having an innate health-providing effect, the biophilia hypothesis, by examining what Norwegian families with young children experience when walking in the forest. Twenty-four conversations with families during a hiking trip in the forest were recorded, and the data were analysed with Giorgi's descriptive phenomenological research method. The paper introduces the general descriptive meaning structure of the phenomenon 'family-hiking with young children'. It shows that a hiking trip clears space for the family in their everyday lives which is largely dominated by relations with non-family members at both work and leisure. The families experience that they actively generate a different existence with a sense of here-and-now presences that can strengthen core family relations and also provide the opportunity to pass down experiences that can be recollected and realized by future generations. This experience is complex and constituted by social practices, which indicate that the biophilia hypothesis seems to be an insufficient explanation of why families go hiking in nature. Nature rather represents a peaceful background that allows for the perpetuation of the family as a social institution and the recreation of cohesion in everyday life. PMID:26208677

  19. Natural humic substances effects on the life history traits of Latonopsis australis SARS (1888) (Cladocera--Crustacea).

    PubMed

    de Carvalho-Pereira, Ticiana Soares de Andrade; Santos, Thirza de Santana; Pestana, Edilene M S; Souza, Fbio Neves; Lage, Vivian Marina Gomes Barbosa; Nunesmaia, Brbara Janana Bezerra; Sena, Palloma Thas Souza; Mariano-Neto, Eduardo; da Silva, Eduardo Mendes

    2015-02-01

    Cultivation medium is one of the first aspects to be considered in zooplankton laboratory cultivation. The use of artificial media does not concern to reproduce natural conditions to the cultivations, which may be achieved by using natural organic compounds like humic substances (HS). This study aimed to evaluate the effects of a concentrate of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from the Negro River (NR(1)) and an extraction of humic acids (HA) from humus produced by Eisenia andrei on the life history traits of laboratory-based Latonopsis australis SARS (1888). A cohort life table approach was used to provide information about the effectiveness of NR and HA as supplements for the artificial cultivation of L. australis. Additionally, we seek to observe a maximization of L. australis artificial cultivation fitness by expanding the range of HS concentrations. The first experiment demonstrated that the females of L. australis reared under NR10 (mgDOCL(-1)) may have experienced an acceleration of the population life cycle, as the females have proportionally reproduced more and lived shorter than controls. By contrast, the use of the HA did not improve life history traits considered. The expansion of the concentration range (5, 10, 20 and 50 mgDOCL(-1)) corroborated the patterns observed on the first assay. Results for the fitness estimates combined with shorter lifespans than controls demonstrated trade-offs between reproductive output and female longevity reared under NR conditions, with NR20 been suggested as the best L. australis cultivation medium. This response might be associated with hormone-like effects. PMID:25025739

  20. The Search for Life on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McKay, Christopher P.

    1996-01-01

    Although the Viking results may indicate that Mars has no life today, the possibility exists that Mars may hold the best record of the events that led to the origin of life. There is direct geomorphological evidence that in the past Mars had large amounts of liquid water on its surface. The Mars meteorites also suggest that early Mars was wet with conditions suitable for organic material. Atmospheric models would suggest that this early period of hydrological activity was due to the presence of a thick atmosphere and the resulting warmer temperatures. From a biological perspective, the existence of liquid water by itself motivates the question of the origin of life on Mars. From studies of the Earth's earliest biosphere we know that by 3.5 Gyr. ago, life had originated on Earth and reached a fair degree of biological sophistication. Surface activity and erosion on Earth make it difficult to trace the history of life before the 3.5 Gyr. time frame. If Mars did maintain a clement environment for longer than it took for life to originate on Earth, then the question of the origin of life on Mars follows naturally.

  1. Nature and nurture of the interplay between personality traits and major life goals.

    PubMed

    Bleidorn, Wiebke; Kandler, Christian; Hülsheger, Ute R; Riemann, Rainer; Angleitner, Alois; Spinath, Frank M

    2010-08-01

    Modern personality theories differ in their assumptions about the structure and etiology of the interplay between personality traits and motivational constructs. The present study examined the genetic and environmental sources of the interplay between the Big Five and major life goals concurrently and across time in order to provide a more decisive evaluation of the conflicting assumptions stated in the five-factor theory as opposed to socioanalytic conceptions. Traits and goals were assessed twice across a 5-year period in a sample of 217 identical and 112 fraternal twin pairs from the Bielefeld Longitudinal Study of Adult Twins. About 30% of the variance in agency and communion life goals was genetic; the remaining variance was due to nonshared environmental effects, whereas shared environmental effects were negligible. Both heritable and environmental variance in goals could partly be accounted for by genetic and nonshared environmental effects on personality traits. Across time, we revealed reciprocal genetic and environmental effects between traits and life goals. In sum, our findings yield partial support for both of the 2 competing personality theories, suggesting a readjusted picture of the interplay between traits and goals. PMID:20658849

  2. Microbial biosynthesis of wax esters during desiccation: an adaptation for colonization of the earliest terrestrial environments?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finkelstein, D. B.; Brassell, S. C.; Pratt, L. M.

    2008-12-01

    Biosynthesis of wax esters (WE) by prokaryotes in natural systems, notably bacteria from hot springs and marine phytoplankton, is poorly documented, primarily because saponification is a routine step in the analysis of microbial mat lipids. Use of this preparative procedure, critical for characterization of the diagnostic distributions of carboxylic acids in phospholipids, precludes recovery of intact WE. Examination of non-saponified lipids in emergent and desiccated mats with comparable microbial communities from the Warner Lake region, Oregon, reveals increases in the relative abundance (18.6 to 59.9?g/g Corg) and average chain length (C38 to C46) of WE in the latter, combined with assimilation of phytol and tocopherol moieties. Prokaryotes can accumulate WE as storage lipids in vitro, notably at elevated temperature or under nitrogen limiting conditions, but we propose that biosynthesis of long-chain WE that have a low solubility and are resistant to degradation/oxidation may represent an evolutionary strategy to survive desiccation in evaporative environments. Moreover, aeolian transport of desiccated mat-rip-ups between lake flats allows for migration of microbial communities within and between lake flats and basins during arid conditions. Subsequent rehydration within an alkaline environment would naturally saponify WE, and thereby regenerate alcohol and acid moieties that could serve as membrane lipids for the next viable microbial generation. The evolutionary cradle of WE was likely abiotic generation under hydrothermal conditions, which is consistent with the antiquity of the ester linkage necessitated by its integral role in the membranes of Eubacteria (though not Archaea) and in bacteriochlorophyll. The subsequent capability of microbes to biosynthesize WE may have facilitated their survival when nutrients were limiting, and production of long-chain WE (>C40) may represent a further critical evolutionary threshold that enabled their persistence through and during dehydration or desiccation cycles. Thus, production of WE may have facilitated microbial migration to the lake environments that represented the earliest terrestrial ecosystems, and survival through the Great Oxygenation Event.

  3. Hyperalkaline Springs, Serpentinized Ultramafics, Bentonite Reaction, Exotic Life Forms and Natural Carbon Sequestration: Preliminary Studies from the Philippines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arcilla, C.; Alexander, W. R.; Vargas, E.; Honrado, M.; Sato, T.; Fujii, K.; Yamakawa, M.; Argayosa, J.; Lazaro, J.; Pascua, C.; McKinley, I. G.

    2012-04-01

    We have examined a number of hyperalkaline (pH 9-12) springs situated in ophiolites in various locations in the Philippines (Pangasinan, Zambales, Palawan). These clearly result from interactions of groundwater with mafic minerals, but differences in major- and trace-element compositions suggest complex reactions that need further study. Such springs are associated with massive tufa-like carbonate deposits that precipitate as a result of uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, thus providing a significant locus of natural carbon sequestration (cf. calculations of 5 Gtonnes of CO2 sequestration in similar systems in the UAE). In addition, the interactions of these waters with proximal bentonite deposits provide a natural analogue for projected reactions within the engineered barriers in geological nuclear waste repositories. Lastly, initial studies on life forms inhabiting these springs suggest land-based analogues of the "extreme" environments previously investigated in hyperalkaline submarine ocean ridges.

  4. Life-history evolution and elevated natural mortality in a population of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua)

    PubMed Central

    Swain, Douglas P

    2011-01-01

    Fisheries-induced evolution has been hypothesized to delay the recovery of collapsed fish stocks through effects on their productivity. The cod stock in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence (SGSL) collapsed in the early 1990s and has shown no recovery since then, due mainly to high natural mortality of adult cod. Age and size at maturation of SGSL cod decreased sharply over time in cohorts produced in the 1950s and 1960s, likely reflecting an evolutionary response to intensified fishing, and have remained low since then, despite severe reductions in fishing mortality over the past 15 years. A predicted consequence of early maturation is increased natural mortality due to higher costs to reproduction. Early maturation may be a cause of increases in natural mortality of SGSL cod in the 1970s but does not appear to be related to the much larger increases since then. Instead, the current high natural mortality of SGSL cod appears to be primarily a cause, rather than a consequence, of the continued early maturation in this population, now replacing fishing mortality as the agent of selection favouring early maturity. This striking example of the failure to reverse fisheries-induced evolution by relaxing fishing pressure emphasizes the need for management strategies that minimize the chances of harvest-induced genetic change. PMID:25567950

  5. Learning Daily Life and Vocational Skills in Natural Settings: A Tanzanian Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stone-MacDonald, Angela

    2012-01-01

    At a special education school in Tanzania, children learn in natural settings using a functional curriculum that has been adapted to their local context. Children with developmental disabilities are supported in learning the skills and knowledge they need to participate in their families and the community. The school utilized funds of knowledge…

  6. The hybrid nature of the Eukaryota and a consilient view of life on Earth.

    PubMed

    McInerney, James O; O'Connell, Mary J; Pisani, Davide

    2014-06-01

    The origin of the eukaryotic cell, which is known as eukaryogenesis, has puzzled scientists for more than 100 years, and many hypotheses have been proposed. Recent analyses of new data enable the safe elimination of some of these hypotheses, whereas support for other hypotheses has increased. In this Opinion article, we evaluate the available theories for their compatibility with empirical observations and conclude that cellular life consists of two primary, paraphyletic prokaryotic groups and one secondary, monophyletic group that has symbiogenic origins - the eukaryotes. PMID:24814066

  7. The Origin and Earliest History of the Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halliday, A. N.

    The past 10 years have seen major advances in our understanding of how Earth first developed. With better measurements of circumstellar disk life times and new theories for the Moon-forming giant impact, driven by improvements in theory and modeling that are tensioned against new kinds of isotopic and other geochemical constraints, the origins of Earth-like planets have never been clearer. This is particularly interesting and relevant to the current search for exosolar habitable environments. Isotope geochemistry provides powerful evidence that Earth formed over a protracted period of more than 30 Ma, culminating in the giant impact. Oxygen and titanium isotopes provide evidence that most of the atoms in the Moon were derived from Earth requiring revisions to giant impact simulations. The core started forming early and we now have clear isotopic evidence that silicon is one of the light constituents. The origins of Earth's volatiles are still debated, but there is increasing evidence for the importance of chondrites and comets as opposed to solar volatiles. The timing and importance of any late veneer are still debated, while new isotopic data provide unequivocal evidence of early mantle heterogeneity, much of which has been eliminated with billions of years of mantle convective mixing.

  8. Astronomy in Ireland from earliest times to the eighteenth century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKenna-Lawlor, Susan M. P.

    Evidence that the builders of Irish passage graves and stone circles may have possessed some knowledge of basic celestial cycles is discussed. The introduction of Celtic culture to Ireland circa 600 B.C. is next described and an account of the astronomical learning of the Celts provided based on classical documentation and Irish vernacular sources. Following on the coming of Christianity to Ireland in the fifth century, the necessity to construct Easter tables led Irish monks to such related activities as establishing collections of computi, compiling Annals and undertaking studies of available astronomical material. In particular, through exposure to Helenistic writings, they understood celestial motions in terms of the Ptolemaic model and were recognised authorities in Europe in the eighth and ninth centuries on astronomical matters. The influence of the Viking and Norman invasions in disrupting the intellectual life of the country is then outlined and the circumstances relating to the creation of conditions leading to the brilliant flowering of Irish astronomy in the eighteenth century are elucidated.

  9. Hubble's deepest view ever of the Universe unveils earliest galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2004-03-01

    Hubble sees galaxies galore hi-res Size hi-res: 446 kb Credits: NASA, ESA, and S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team Hubble sees galaxies galore Galaxies, galaxies everywhere - as far as the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope can see. This view of nearly 10,000 galaxies is the deepest visible-light image of the cosmos. Called the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, this galaxy-studded view represents a deep core sample of the universe, cutting across billions of light-years. Hubble reveals galactic drama hi-res Size hi-res: 879 kb Credits: NASA, ESA, and S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team Hubble reveals galactic drama A galactic brawl. A close encounter with a spiral galaxy. Blue wisps of galaxies. These close-up snapshots of galaxies in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field reveal the drama of galactic life. Here three galaxies just below centre are enmeshed in battle, their shapes distorted by the brutal encounter. Hubble reveals galactic drama hi-res Size hi-res: 886 kb Credits: NASA, ESA, and S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team Hubble reveals galactic drama A galactic brawl. A close encounter with a spiral galaxy. Blue wisps of galaxies. These close-up snapshots of galaxies in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field reveal the drama of galactic life. Here three galaxies just below centre are enmeshed in battle, their shapes distorted by the brutal encounter. Hubble reveals galactic drama hi-res Size hi-res: 892 kb Credits: NASA, ESA, and S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team Hubble reveals galactic drama A galactic brawl. A close encounter with a spiral galaxy. Blue wisps of galaxies. These close-up snapshots of galaxies in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field reveal the drama of galactic life. The galaxies in this panel were plucked from a harvest of nearly 10,000 galaxies in the Ultra Deep Field, the deepest visible-light image of the cosmos. This historic new view is actually made up by two separate images taken by Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) and the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-object Spectrometer (NICMOS). Both images reveal some galaxies that are too faint to be seen by ground-based telescopes, or even in Hubble's previous faraway looks, called the Hubble Deep Fields (HDFs), taken in 1995 and 1998. The HUDF field contains an estimated 10,000 galaxies in a patch of sky just one-tenth the diameter of the full Moon. Besides the rich harvest of classic spiral and elliptical galaxies, there is a zoo of oddball galaxies littering the field. Some look like toothpicks; others like links on a bracelet. A few appear to be interacting. Their strange shapes are a far cry from the majestic spiral and elliptical galaxies we see today. These oddball galaxies chronicle a period when the Universe was more chaotic. Order and structure were just beginning to emerge. The combination of ACS and NICMOS images will be used to search for galaxies that existed between 400 and 800 million years after the Big Bang (in cosmological terms this corresponds to a 'redshift' range of 7 to 12). Astronomers around the world will use these data to understand whether in this very early stages the Universe appears to be the same as it did when the cosmos was between 1000 and 2000 million years old. Hubble's ACS allows astronomers to see galaxies two to four times fainter than Hubble could view previously, but the NICMOS sees even farther than the ACS. The NICMOS reveals the farthest galaxies ever seen because the expanding Universe has stretched their light into the near-infrared portion of the spectrum. The ACS uncovered galaxies that existed 800 million years after the Big Bang (at a redshift of 7). But the NICMOS might have spotted galaxies that lived just 400 million years after the birth of the cosmos (at a redshift of 12). Just like the previous HDFs, the new data are expected to galvanise the astronomical community and lead to dozens of research papers that will offer new insights into the birth and evolution of galaxies. This will hold the record as the deepest-ever view of the Universe until ESA together with NASA launches the James Webb Space Telescope in 2011. Notes for editors More information, images, animations and interactive zoomable images are available from http://www.spacetelescope.org/news/html/heic0406.html The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA. Image credit: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team

  10. Fate and persistence of glutaraldehyde and retention lagoon diversity of life at a natural gas storage facility

    SciTech Connect

    Derr, R.M.; Morris, E.A. III; Pope, D.H.

    1995-12-31

    In view of increasingly stringent environmental regulations concerning Produced water disposal, the natural gas industry needs to approximate the maximum amount of biocide which can be applied downhole and not adversely impact the local biology in retention lagoons receiving produced waters. Biocide treatment data from a microbially sour aquifer-storage natural gas facility, archived by the operations personnel, were incorporated into a study sponsored by the Gas Research Institute (GRI), Chicago, Illinois along with additional data from focused field sampling. The sandy assessed the persistence and fate of glutaraldehyde and its possible effects on diversity of life in the produced water system and outfall areas which receive the lagoon discharge under a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. In this study, a mathematical model was constructed that incorporated experimentally-determined glutaraldehyde persistence, wellhead Outaraldehyde residuals, rates of water production, and lagoon specifications. The model was used to calculate the levels of glutaraldehyde in the lagoons as a function of time, based on the amount of glutaraldehyde applied downhole. The modeled results were used to assess the potential impacts of various levels of downhole treatment using glutaraldehyde and confirmed that the current treatment regime provided little potential for adverse environmental effects in the retention lagoons or the lagoon outfall areas. Chemical and biological sampling and diversity of life analyses were performed in the retention lagoon system and outfall areas to further test for environmental impacts relating to biocide use; no evidence of adverse effects was found.

  11. Effect of microbial life stages on the fate of methylmercury in natural waters

    SciTech Connect

    Ramamoorthy, S.; Cheng, T.C.; Kushner, D.J.

    1982-08-01

    The transformations of methylmercury in water under a variety of conditions somewhat similar to those found in nature were studied. The transformations were studied primarily in Ottawa River water, to which had been added a natural organic-rich clay sediment, living or thermally killed bacteria (Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas fluorescens) or the blue-green alga Anabaena flos-aquae. In addition, transformations of methylmercury caused by growing bacteria were studied. Results show that growing bacterial cells can transform mercury and methylmercury to volatile form which is readily lost to the aquatic environment. Living but non-growing bacterial and algal cells cause the demethylation of methylmercury to mercury and dead bacterial cells can lead to methylation of mercury to methylmercury. (JMT)

  12. Environmental education as preparation people for life in conditions of global changes imbalanced Nature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dabrowska, A. E.

    2013-12-01

    The Regional Teacher Training Centre in Skierniewice is one of 49 public, accredited institutions in Poland. It is responsible for organizing of support of schools, institutions, networks of teachers and school managers for cooperation and self education, organizing and conducting forms of in-service training, giving methodological councils and disseminating examples of good practice. I present one example of how Environmental Education has been imparted to school students and their teachers through outdoor activities as part of the learning process. An Environmental Education Program, 'On Bolimov Nature Preserve Trails' has been organized regularly since 2001. The Bolimov Nature Preserve is a protected area in central Poland, situated between two agglomerations: capital city Warsaw to the East and industrial city Lodz to the West. It was established to protect an unique ecosystem on the Rawka River banks from human activity and harmful external factors. Pine tree forests, small streams, wetlands, glades are another elements of the park scenery. Walks on the park's trails are a great opportunity to see unique species of flora (more than 40 protected species and many endangered species on verge of extinction) and fauna. For teachers and students the Bolimov Nature Preserve offers educational lessons and events. The main activity is participation of students and teachers in group walk along trails of the park using various tools of orientation: maps, compasses and GPS. Along the paths they learn recognition of forms of terrain, identification of living species (using flora&fauna guides, magnifying glasses), measuring components of weather (using weather atlases, thermometers, anemometers) as well as preparation of soil profile. A survey is conducted after each such program. A statistical analysis of the survey data reveals that each year more and more students representing all levels of education from primary to upper secondary levels and their teachers are involved in this enterprise. For all participating in these walks it is great opportunity to observe how the Nature is functioning without much man-kind interference, pure, untouched and imbalanced. They can observe the untouched river banks, non regulated and meandering in its own way. They can recognize new species which are appearing every year on non cultivated glades, around overgrowing mid-forest lakes or on wetlands. They can observe traces of beavers' work: dams, cut trees, beaver lodges built on small streams flowing through the forest. Also the nests of unique black storks are possible to see. They can measure and observe how the climate is changing and how it varies in different ecosystems (forest, glade, river, wetlands) untouched by humans. They can learn that Nature can exists itself without human interference and it becomes more diverse and rich. It is necessary to teach students to the correct understand the changes in Nature, explain how are changing the living and non-living nature, what is the man-made imbalances of Nature and also how to prepare people for climate change. Each year almost 700 - 1000 students and about 100 teachers participate in this ecological learning process. Outdoor education, observations and experimentations are crucial issues of national school curricula referring to all educational levels which is successfully addressed by this program.

  13. The onset of life in a natural submarine hydrothermal fractionation reactor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russell, M. J.; Martin, W.

    There was a strong disequilibrium between the carbon dioxide in the early atmosphere and hydrothermal hydrogen. Such a disequilibrium tends to increase at lower temperatures but so do the kinetic barriers to reaction. Ignoring these kinetic barriers the strongest thermodynamic drive is to the production of methane as carbon dioxide reacts with hydrogen. But kinetic barriers prevent this reaction below 500C. In its stead Shock et al. (1998) demonstrate that metastable acetate is overwhelmingly the best represented carbon compound produced theoretically on the mixing of hydrothermal solution with seawater between 10 and 65C. The minor sticky by-product of this reaction, which involves other reactants, can be considered as evolving to protolife. Thus we argue that the organic building modules of life could be generated from the simplest entities within the hydrothermal mound. And the main waste products would be acetate and water: {407H2+10NH3+HS-hydroth'l +{210CO2+H2PO4- + [Fe,Ni,Co]2+ocean → gC70H129O65N10P(Fe,Ni,Co)Sprotolife+{70H3C.COOH+219H2Owaste We suggest that protolife emerged at ˜ 40C where chemical gradients were steep in a hydrothermal mound which developed where alkaline waters seeped into the Hadean ocean. The mound acted as a fractionation reactor. Reactions were catalysed by such sulfide clusters as would produce greigite (NiFe5S8) in membranes also composed of sulfides (Martin and Russell 2003). A greigite cluster was the precursor to the active sites of carbon monoxide dehydrogenase (NiFe4S5) and acetyl coenzyme-A synthase ([Fe4S4]cysNicys2Ni) (Svetlitchnyi et al. 2004). Activation energy was supplied by reaction between photolytic ferric iron and H2 across the membranes comprising FeS compartments at the mound's surface. Small quantities of amino acids, metal-bearing clusters (Milner-White and Russell 2004), and eventually RNA precursors, self-organised to become involved in the more efficient generation of acetate waste, a thermodynamic imperative. Martin, W., Russell, M.J. 2003, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. London. B358, 27-85. Milner-White, E.J., Russell, M.J., 2004, Origins Life Evol. Bios,v. 34, in press. Shock, E.L. et al. (1998) in J. Wiegel and M.W.W. Adams (eds.), Thermophiles: The Keys to Molecular Evolution and the Origin of Life, Taylor and Francis, 59-76. Svetlitchnyi, V. et al. 2004, Proc. natl. Acad. Sci. USA 101, 446-451

  14. Shelf Life and Quality Study of Minced Tilapia with Nori and Hijiki Seaweeds as Natural Additives

    PubMed Central

    Ribeiro, Ingridy Simone; Shirahigue, Ligianne Din; Ferraz de Arruda Sucasas, Lia; Anbe, Lika; da Cruz, Pedro Gomes; Gallo, Cláudio Rosa; Carpes, Solange Teresinha; Marques, Marcos José; Oetterer, Marília

    2014-01-01

    The extraction of mechanically separated meat has emerged as an attractive process. However, it increases the incorporation of oxygen and, consequently, of flavors due to rancidity. Thus, preservatives must be added. The objective of this study was to evaluate the shelf life of minced tilapia to replace synthetic preservatives with Hijiki and Nori seaweeds extracts. The application of the extracts had no effect on the chemical composition of the minced tilapia. The seaweed extracts had inhibitory effect on total volatile base nitrogen. The minced tilapia complied with the microbiological standard set by Brazilin law. The panelists detected no differences in the rancid aroma and only minor differences were detected in the color of the products. It can be concluded that the minced tilapia with added seaweed extracts were within quality standards during frozen storage. PMID:25478593

  15. The nature of fossil bacteria: A guide to the search for extraterrestrial life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westall, Frances

    1999-07-01

    In an attempt to establish reliable criteria for the identification of potential fossil life in extraterrestrial materials, the fossilizable characteristics of bacteria, namely, size, shape, cell wall texture, association, and colony formation, are described, and an overview is given of the ways in which fossil bacteria are preserved (as compressions in fine-grained sediments; preservation in amber; permineralized by silica; replacement by minerals such as silica, pyrite, Fe/Mn oxides, calcite, phosphate, and siderite; or as molds in minerals). The problem of confounding minerally replaced bacteria with non biological structures having a bacterial morphology is addressed. Examples of fossilized bacteria from the Early Archaean through to the Recent are used to illustrate the various modes of preservation and the morphology of fossil bacteria.

  16. Shelf life and quality study of minced tilapia with Nori and Hijiki seaweeds as natural additives.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Ingridy Simone; Shirahigue, Ligianne Din; Ferraz de Arruda Sucasas, Lia; Anbe, Lika; da Cruz, Pedro Gomes; Gallo, Cláudio Rosa; Carpes, Solange Teresinha; Marques, Marcos José; Oetterer, Marília

    2014-01-01

    The extraction of mechanically separated meat has emerged as an attractive process. However, it increases the incorporation of oxygen and, consequently, of flavors due to rancidity. Thus, preservatives must be added. The objective of this study was to evaluate the shelf life of minced tilapia to replace synthetic preservatives with Hijiki and Nori seaweeds extracts. The application of the extracts had no effect on the chemical composition of the minced tilapia. The seaweed extracts had inhibitory effect on total volatile base nitrogen. The minced tilapia complied with the microbiological standard set by Brazilin law. The panelists detected no differences in the rancid aroma and only minor differences were detected in the color of the products. It can be concluded that the minced tilapia with added seaweed extracts were within quality standards during frozen storage. PMID:25478593

  17. Munazza's story: Understanding science teaching and conceptions of the nature of science in Pakistan through a life history study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halai, Nelofer

    In this study I have described and tried to comprehend how a female science teacher understands her practice. Additionally, I have developed some understanding of her understanding of the nature of science. While teaching science, a teacher projects messages about the nature of science that can be captured by observations and interviews. Furthermore, the manner is which a teacher conceptualizes science for teaching, at least in part, depends on personal life experiences. Hence, I have used the life history method to understand Munazza's practice. Munazza is a young female science teacher working in a private, co-educational school for children from middle income families in Karachi, Pakistan. Her stories are central to the study, and I have represented them using a number of narrative devices. I have woven in my own stories too, to illustrate my perspective as a researcher. The data includes 13 life history interviews and many informal conversations with Munazza, observations of science teaching in classes seven and eight, and interviews with other science teachers and administrative staff of the school. Munazza's personal biography and experiences of school and undergraduate courses has influenced the way she teaches. It has also influenced the way she does not teach. She was not inspired by her science teachers, so she has tried not to teach the way she was taught science. Contextual factors, her conception of preparation for teaching as preparation for subject content and the tension that she faces in balancing care and control in her classroom are some factors that influence her teaching. Munazza believes that science is a stable, superior and value-free way of knowing. In trying to understand the natural world, observations come first, which give reliable information about the world leading inductively to a "theory". Hence, she relies a great deal on demonstrations in the class where students "see" for themselves and abstract the scientific concept from the activity. I believe this inquiry is significant because it has led to a better understanding of a science teacher's practice and her conceptions of the nature of science in a school in Pakistan. Moreover, the study has utilized research methods that advocates a more equitable researcher-researched relationship.

  18. Calculation of the Phenix end-of-life test in natural circulation with the CATHARE code

    SciTech Connect

    Maas, L.; Cocheme, F.

    2012-07-01

    The Inst. of Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) acts as technical support to French public authorities. As such, IRSN is in charge of safety assessment of operating and under construction reactors, as well as future projects. In this framework, one current objective of IRSN is to evaluate the ability and accuracy of numerical tools to foresee consequences of accidents. One of the advantages pointed up for fast reactors cooled by heavy liquid metal is the possibility of decay heat removal based on natural convection. The promotion of this passive cooling mode in future safety demonstrations will involve the use of adapted and validated numerical codes. After the final shutdown of the Phenix sodium cooled fast reactor in 2009, a set of tests covering different areas was conducted for code validation, including a natural circulation test in the primary circuit. Experimental data were issued by CEA to organize a benchmark exercise in the frame of an IAEA Coordinated Research Project (CRP), with the objective to assess the system-codes capability in simulating the thermal-hydraulics behavior of sodium cooled fast reactors in such accidental conditions. IRSN participated to this benchmark with the CATHARE code. This code, co-developed by CEA, EDF, AREVA and IRSN and widely used for PWR safety studies, was recently extended for sodium applications. This paper presents the CATHARE modeling of the Phenix primary circuit and the results obtained. A relatively good agreement was found with available measurements considering the experimental uncertainties. This work stressed the local aspects of phenomena occurring during the natural convection establishment and the limits of a 0D/1D approach. (authors)

  19. Earliest Phanerozoic or latest Proterozoic fossils from the Arabian Shield

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cloud, P.; Awramik, S.M.; Morrison, K.; Hadley, D.G.

    1979-01-01

    We report here the first biologically definable fossils from pre-Saq (pre-Middle Cambrian) rocks of the Arabian Shield. They include the distinctive helically coiled tubular filaments of the oscillatorialean blue-green alga Obruchevella parva as well as two size classes of spheroidal unicells of uncertain affinity. Also present is the conical stromatolite Conophyton and unidentified stromatolites. All occur in cherty limestones of the Jubaylah Group, northern Saudi Arabia, a nonmarine to locally marine taphrogeosynclinal sequence that fills depressions along the northwest-trending Najd faults. Conophyton has heretofore been found only in strata older than about 680 Ma (except for puzzling records in modern hot springs) while Obruchevella is so far known only from rocks between about 680 and 470 Ma old. Thus it appears that the Jubaylah Group is close to the Proterozoic-Phanerozoic transition. The simple spheroidal nanno-fossils are not diagnostic as to age. Their relationships within what appears to be early diagenetic chert suggest a classical algal-mat association. The brecciated and microchanneled appearance of much of the fossiliferous rock, its locally dolomitic nature, and the prevalence of cryptalgalaminate favors a very shallow, locally turbulent, and perhaps episodically exposed marine or marginal marine setting. The Jubaylah Group lies unconformably beneath the Siq Sandstone (basal member of the Saq Sandstone) of medial Cambrian age, rests nonconformably on crystalline basement, and has yielded a K-Ar whole-rock age (on andesitic basalt) of ???540 Ma. To judge from the fossils, however, that age may be as much as 100 Ma or more too young. ?? 1979.

  20. Three-dimensional dose-response models of competing risks and natural life span

    SciTech Connect

    Raabe, O.G.

    1987-05-01

    Three-dimensional dose-rate/time/response surfaces for chronic exposure to carcinogens, toxicants, and ionizing radiation dramatically clarify the separate and interactive roles of competing risks. The three dimensions are average dose rate, exposure time, and risk. An illustration with computer graphics shows the contributions with the passage of time of the competing risks of death from radiation pneumonitis/fibrosis, lung cancer, and natural aging consequent to the inhalation of plutonium-239 dioxide by beagles. These relationships are further evaluated by mathematical stripping with three-dimensional illustrations that graphically show the resultant separate contribution of each fatal effect. Radiation pneumonitis predominates at high dose rates and lung cancer at intermediate dose rates. Low dose rates result in spontaneous deaths from natural aging, yielding a type of practical threshold for lung cancer induction. Risk assessment is benefited by the insights that become apparent with these three-dimensional models. The improved conceptualization afforded by them contributes to the planning and evaluation of epidemiological analyses and experimental studies involving chronic exposure to toxicants.

  1. Bioorganic Chemistry. A Natural Reunion of the Physical and Life Sciences

    PubMed Central

    Poulter, C. Dale

    2009-01-01

    Organic substances were conceived as those found in living organisms. Although the definition was soon broadened to include all carbon-containing compounds, naturally occurring molecules have always held a special fascination for organic chemists. From these beginnings, molecules from nature were indespensible tools as generations of organic chemists developed new techniques for determining structures, analyzed the mechanisms of reactions, explored the effects conformation and stereochemistry on reactions, and found challenging new targets to synthesize. Only recently have organic chemists harnessed the powerful techniques of organic chemistry to study the functions of organic molecules in their biological hosts, the enzymes that synthesize molecules and the complex processes that occur in a cell. In this Perspective, I present a personal account my entre into bioorganic chemistry as a physical organic chemist and subsequent work to understand the chemical mechanisms of enzyme-catalyzed reactions, to develop techniques to identify and assign hydrogen bonds in tRNAs through NMR studies with isotopically labeled molecules, and to study how structure determines function in biosynthetic enzymes with proteins obtained by genetic engineering. PMID:19323569

  2. Bioorganic chemistry. A natural reunion of the physical and life sciences.

    PubMed

    Poulter, C Dale

    2009-04-01

    Organic substances were conceived as those found in living organisms. Although the definition was soon broadened to include all carbon-containing compounds, naturally occurring molecules have always held a special fascination for organic chemists. From these beginnings, molecules from nature were indespensible tools as generations of organic chemists developed new techniques for determining structures, analyzed the mechanisms of reactions, explored the effects conformation and stereochemistry on reactions, and found challenging new targets to synthesize. Only recently have organic chemists harnessed the powerful techniques of organic chemistry to study the functions of organic molecules in their biological hosts, the enzymes that synthesize molecules and the complex processes that occur in a cell. In this Perspective, I present a personal account of my entree into bioorganic chemistry as a physical organic chemist and subsequent work to understand the chemical mechanisms of enzyme-catalyzed reactions, to develop techniques to identify and assign hydrogen bonds in tRNAs through NMR studies with isotopically labeled molecules, and to study how structure determines function in biosynthetic enzymes with proteins obtained by genetic engineering. PMID:19323569

  3. Natural resilience in Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus: life history, spatial and dietary alterations along gradients of interspecific interactions.

    PubMed

    Hammar, J

    2014-07-01

    The Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus species complex has been shown to be exceptionally vulnerable to rapid abiotic and biotic changes. Salvelinus alpinus, however, inhabit environmental extremes ranging from lakes and rivers in the High Arctic to deep multi-fish species lakes far outside the polar region. Long-term responses to post-glacial environmental variations and successively increased interspecific interactions reveal an essential degree of natural ecological resilience and phenotypic flexibility. Case studies in Scandinavia and Newfoundland illustrate the alternate trophic roles of S. alpinus, and its flexible niche use and life-history changes in order to regain or maintain body size in gradients of lakes with increasing fish species diversity. While allopatric in northern low-productive upland lakes, landlocked populations are commonly structured by cannibalism. In sympatry with other fish species, S. alpinus mostly serve as prey, with their decreasing growth and body size reflecting the successive diet shift from littoral macro-benthos to zooplankton and profundal microbenthos as interspecific competition for food and habitat intensifies. Interactions with natural and introduced superior zooplankton feeders and ultimate predators finally become detrimental. Consequently, the niche of S. alpinus is increasingly compressed in lakes along latitudinal and altitudinal gradients, although certain natural key conditions offer S. alpinus temporary asylum in the inescapable process towards local and regional extinction. The water temperature drop during winter allows S. alpinus to temporarily resume the richer littoral dietary and spatial niche use in low diversity lakes. In southern lowland and coastal lakes with more complex fish communities, access to key prey species such as profundal macro-crustaceans and smelt Osmerus spp. allow S. alpinus to regain its original niche space and characteristics as a large piscivore. In conclusion, S. alpinus along its evolutionary landscape demonstrates associated alterations of life-history characteristics, such as body size and longevity, and thus reproductive traits demonstrating similarities between northern cannibals and southern piscivores. Although including a high degree of natural resilience, obviously differing among S.alpinus populations along its range, differences seen in extreme marginal populations may have been adaptive and the product of an evolutionary response with optimized growth resulting from natural selection due to ultimate intra or inter-specific competition and predation. PMID:24754706

  4. Impulsive for life? The nature of long-term impulsivity in domestic dogs.

    PubMed

    Riemer, Stefanie; Mills, Daniel S; Wright, Hannah

    2014-05-01

    Individual differences in impulsivity occur at a cognitive and/or behavioural level and are associated with differing life outcomes. However, there is a lack of empirical evidence to support the long-term stability of these characteristics in non-human animals. This study reports on the stability of convergent measures of impulsivity in domestic dogs assessed more than 6 years apart. Measures were (1) owner assessment by means of a questionnaire, the validated 'Dog Impulsivity Assessment Scale' (DIAS) and (2) dogs' performance in a delayed reward choice test. Dogs had 15-min free access to two food dispensers, one dispensing a piece of food immediately, the other dispensing three pieces after a delay, which increased by 1 s every other time the dogs sampled it. Maximum delay reached in this task reflects decision-making, or cognitive impulsivity, whereas the rate of extra presses on the delayed reward device during the delay can be considered as a measure of motor or behavioural impulsivity. DIAS scores were strongly and significantly correlated across years. The maximum delay reached in the behaviour test was also highly stable, whereas paw-pressing rate was uncorrelated between the years. These results demonstrate that cognitive but not motor impulsivity is highly consistent over time in dogs. PMID:24136014

  5. Impulsive for life? The nature of long-term impulsivity in domestic dogs

    PubMed Central

    Riemer, Stefanie; Mills, Daniel; Wright, Hannah

    2014-01-01

    Individual differences in impulsivity occur at a cognitive and/or behavioural level and are associated with differing life outcomes. However there is a lack of empirical evidence to support the long-term stability of these characteristics in non-human animals. This study reports on the stability of convergent measures of impulsivity in domestic dogs assessed more than six years apart. Measures were (1) owner assessment by means of a questionnaire, the validated ‘Dog Impulsivity Assessment Scale’ (DIAS) and (2) dogs’ performance in a delayed reward choice test. Dogs had 15 minutes free access to two food dispensers, one dispensing a piece of food immediately, the other dispensing three pieces after a delay, which increased by one second every other time the dogs sampled it. Maximum delay reached in this task reflects decision making, or cognitive impulsivity, whereas the rate of extra presses on the delayed reward device during the delay can be considered as a measure of motor or behavioural impulsivity. DIAS scores were strongly and significantly correlated across years. The maximum delay reached in the behaviour test was also highly stable, whereas paw pressing rate was uncorrelated between the years. These results demonstrate that cognitive but not motor impulsivity is highly consistent over time in dogs. PMID:24136014

  6. Depigmentation of oral mucosa as the earliest possible manifestation of oral submucous fibrosis in Sri Lankan preschool children.

    PubMed

    Sitheeque, Mohaideen; Ariyawardana, Anura; Jayasinghe, Ruwan; Tilakaratne, Wanninayake

    2010-11-01

    This article reports the presentation of oral submucous fibrosis in five Sri Lankan preschool children, aged 2-3 years, with loss of pigmentation of the lips as the sole clinical feature. Oral submucous fibrosis has not been reported in this age group of children. The five 2-3 year olds did not display any classical features of oral submucous fibrosis, due to the disease having been detected at a very early stage. The present study attempts to establish that depigmentation of the lips and oral mucosa is perhaps the earliest feature to develop in the natural history of oral submucous fibrosis. The differential diagnosis of oral mucosal depigmentation relevant to these cases is also discussed. Previously-reported cases of oral submucous fibrosis in children are reviewed. PMID:25427274

  7. Beyond the Drake Equation: On the Probability of the Nature of Extraterrestrial Life Forms in Our Galaxy Today

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geller, Harold A.

    2014-01-01

    I will discuss my research into the issues associated with the nature of any extraterrestrials that may be encountered in the future in our galaxy. This research was sparked by statements made by Stephen Hawking in 2010 regarding his fear of emitting radiation from our Earth so that an extraterrestrial intelligent civilization may be alerted to our existence in the galaxy today. While addressing issues of extraterrestrial altruism, a probabilistic equation was developed which addresses the number of extraterrestrial intelligent life forms that may exist in our galaxy today, who could use our bodies for nourishment or reproductive purposes. The equation begins with the results from a Drake Equation calculation, and proceeds by addressing such biochemical parameters as the fraction of ETIs with: dextro sugar stereo-isomers; levo amino acid stereo-isomers; similar codon interpretation; chromosomal length and, similar cell membrane structure to allow egg penetration.

  8. Influence of cracking of thiols on zeolite life during removal of Sulfur compounds from natural gas by adsorption

    SciTech Connect

    Kuzmenko, N.M.; Afasasev, Y.M.; Budkina, M.I.; Gerasimova, N.E.

    1986-03-10

    This paper studies the kinetics of coke deposition of NaX zeolite as the result of decomposition of ethanethiol and estimates the loss of the adsorption capacity of the zeolite due to coking. The decrease of the adsorption capacity as a function of the coke content (mass %) is shown in NaX zeolite. The zeolites were laboratory samples obtained under various conditions and zeolites taken from adsorbers in the plant for removing thiols from natural gas. The accumulation of coke in the zeolite as the result of decomposition of thiols at different temperatures is shown. It is shown that the rate of coke accumulation in the zeolite drops sharply with decrease of temperature, and the process virtually stops at 200 degrees. In order to lengthen the service life regeneration of the zeolite desorption should take place of most of the thiols at 200-220 degrees, followed by increase of the bed temperature to 300-320 degrees.

  9. Thermodynamic metrics for aggregation of natural resources in life cycle analysis: insight via application to some transportation fuels.

    PubMed

    Baral, Anil; Bakshi, Bhavik R

    2010-01-15

    While methods for aggregating emissions are widely used and standardized in life cycle assessment (LCA), there is little agreement about methods for aggregating natural resources for obtaining interpretable metrics. Thermodynamic methods have been suggested including energy, exergy, and emergy analyses. This work provides insight into the nature of thermodynamic aggregation, including assumptions about substitutability between resources and loss of detailed information about the data being combined. Methods considered include calorific value or energy, industrial cumulative exergy consumption (ICEC) and its variations, and ecological cumulative exergy consumption (ECEC) or emergy. A hierarchy of metrics is proposed that spans the range from detailed data to aggregate metrics. At the fine scale, detailed data can help identify resources to whose depletion the selected product is most vulnerable. At the coarse scale, new insight is provided about thermodynamic aggregation methods. Among these, energy analysis is appropriate only for products that rely primarily on fossil fuels, and it cannot provide a useful indication of renewability. Exergy-based methods can provide results similar to energy analysis by including only nonrenewable fuels but can also account for materials use and provide a renewability index. However, ICEC and its variations do not address substitutability between resources, causing its results to be dominated by dilute and low-quality resources such as sunlight. The use of monetary values to account for substitutability does not consider many ecological resources and may not be appropriate for the analysis of emerging products. ECEC or emergy explicitly considers substitutability and resource quality and provides more intuitive results but is plagued by data gaps and uncertainties. This insight is illustrated via application to the life cycles of gasoline, diesel, corn ethanol, and soybean biodiesel. Here, aggregate metrics reveal the dilemma facing the choice of fuels: high return on investment versus high renewability. PMID:20020741

  10. Maternal Reminiscing Style during Early Childhood Predicts the Age of Adolescents' Earliest Memories

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jack, Fiona; MacDonald, Shelley; Reese, Elaine; Hayne, Harlene

    2009-01-01

    Individual differences in parental reminiscing style are hypothesized to have long-lasting effects on children's autobiographical memory development, including the age of their earliest memories. This study represents the first prospective test of this hypothesis. Conversations about past events between 17 mother-child dyads were recorded on…

  11. Infantile Amnesia across the Years: A 2-Year Follow-Up of Children's Earliest Memories

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peterson, Carole; Warren, Kelly L.; Short, Megan M.

    2011-01-01

    Although infantile amnesia has been investigated for many years in adults, only recently has it been investigated in children. This study was a 2-year follow-up and extension of an earlier study. Children (4-13 years old) were asked initially and 2 years later for their earliest 3 memories. At follow-up, their age at the time of these memories

  12. Earliest Memories and Recent Memories of Highly Salient Events--Are They Similar?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peterson, Carole; Fowler, Tania; Brandeau, Katherine M.

    2015-01-01

    Four- to 11-year-old children were interviewed about 2 different sorts of memories in the same home visit: recent memories of highly salient and stressful events--namely, injuries serious enough to require hospital emergency room treatment--and their earliest memories. Injury memories were scored for amount of unique information, completeness

  13. Early silurian spore tetrads from new york: earliest new world evidence for vascular plants?

    PubMed

    Gray, J; Boucot, A J

    1971-09-01

    Several taxa of abundant cutinized trilete spores from earliest Silurian shale in New York predate by almost an entire period vascular land plant megafossils. Paleoecological evidence suggests that these spores may represent vascular land or semiaquatic plants but a bryophytic origin cannot be precluded on the basis of spore characters. An algal origin is considered unlikely. PMID:17751316

  14. Infantile Amnesia across the Years: A 2-Year Follow-Up of Children's Earliest Memories

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peterson, Carole; Warren, Kelly L.; Short, Megan M.

    2011-01-01

    Although infantile amnesia has been investigated for many years in adults, only recently has it been investigated in children. This study was a 2-year follow-up and extension of an earlier study. Children (4-13 years old) were asked initially and 2 years later for their earliest 3 memories. At follow-up, their age at the time of these memories…

  15. Earliest Memories and Recent Memories of Highly Salient Events--Are They Similar?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peterson, Carole; Fowler, Tania; Brandeau, Katherine M.

    2015-01-01

    Four- to 11-year-old children were interviewed about 2 different sorts of memories in the same home visit: recent memories of highly salient and stressful events--namely, injuries serious enough to require hospital emergency room treatment--and their earliest memories. Injury memories were scored for amount of unique information, completeness…

  16. Maternal Reminiscing Style during Early Childhood Predicts the Age of Adolescents' Earliest Memories

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jack, Fiona; MacDonald, Shelley; Reese, Elaine; Hayne, Harlene

    2009-01-01

    Individual differences in parental reminiscing style are hypothesized to have long-lasting effects on children's autobiographical memory development, including the age of their earliest memories. This study represents the first prospective test of this hypothesis. Conversations about past events between 17 mother-child dyads were recorded on

  17. The power of visual memory: the earliest remembered drawing of Alberto Giacometti, Snow White in Her Coffin.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Laurie

    2008-04-01

    Since the time of Freud, many psychoanalysts have seen screen memories and earliest memories as reflecting underlying dynamics. I propose that an earliest remembered artwork is a highly condensed construction similar to a screen memory. Alberto Giacometti's earliest remembered drawing, of Snow White in Her Coffin, contains clues to the artist's personality and references to childhood experience. Giacometti's memory of the drawing done in childhood is a striking condensation of significant biographical events and psychodynamic conflicts, as well as a marker of important unconscious fantasies. The artist's postwar sculptural style, utilizing gaunt figures, epitomizes the final transformation of the psychological meaning of his earliest remembered drawing. PMID:18512362

  18. Life cycle greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. liquefied natural gas exports: implications for end uses.

    PubMed

    Abrahams, Leslie S; Samaras, Constantine; Griffin, W Michael; Matthews, H Scott

    2015-03-01

    This study analyzes how incremental U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports affect global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We find that exported U.S. LNG has mean precombustion emissions of 37 g CO2-equiv/MJ when regasified in Europe and Asia. Shipping emissions of LNG exported from U.S. ports to Asian and European markets account for only 3.5-5.5% of precombustion life cycle emissions, hence shipping distance is not a major driver of GHGs. A scenario-based analysis addressing how potential end uses (electricity and industrial heating) and displacement of existing fuels (coal and Russian natural gas) affect GHG emissions shows the mean emissions for electricity generation using U.S. exported LNG were 655 g CO2-equiv/kWh (with a 90% confidence interval of 562-770), an 11% increase over U.S. natural gas electricity generation. Mean emissions from industrial heating were 104 g CO2-equiv/MJ (90% CI: 87-123). By displacing coal, LNG saves 550 g CO2-equiv per kWh of electricity and 20 g per MJ of heat. LNG saves GHGs under upstream fugitive emissions rates up to 9% and 5% for electricity and heating, respectively. GHG reductions were found if Russian pipeline natural gas was displaced for electricity and heating use regardless of GWP, as long as U.S. fugitive emission rates remain below the estimated 5-7% rate of Russian gas. However, from a country specific carbon accounting perspective, there is an imbalance in accrued social costs and benefits. Assuming a mean social cost of carbon of $49/metric ton, mean global savings from U.S. LNG displacement of coal for electricity generation are $1.50 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) of gaseous natural gas exported as LNG ($.028/kWh). Conversely, the U.S. carbon cost of exporting the LNG is $1.80/Mcf ($.013/kWh), or $0.50-$5.50/Mcf across the range of potential discount rates. This spatial shift in embodied carbon emissions is important to consider in national interest estimates for LNG exports. PMID:25650513

  19. Life in Extreme Environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McKay, Christopher P.; Young, Richard E. (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

    Although the Viking results may indicate that Mars has no life today, there is direct geomorphological evidence that, in the past, Mars had large amounts of liquid water on its surface - possibly due to a thicker atmosphere. From a biological perspective the existence of liquid water, by itself motivates the question of the origin of life on Mars. One of the martian meteorites dates back to this early period and may contain evidence consistent with life. From studies of the Earth's earliest biosphere we know that by 3.5 Gyr. ago, life had originated on Earth and reached a fair degree of biological sophistication. Surface activity and erosion on Earth make it difficult to trace the history of life before the 3.5 Gyr timeframe. Ecosystems in cold, dry locations on Earth - such as the Antarctic - provide examples of how life on Mars might have survived and where to look for fossils.

  20. Life cycle emissions and cost of producing electricity from coal, natural gas, and wood pellets in Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yimin; McKechnie, Jon; Cormier, Denis; Lyng, Robert; Mabee, Warren; Ogino, Akifumi; Maclean, Heather L

    2010-01-01

    The use of coal is responsible for (1)/(5) of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Substitution of coal with biomass fuels is one of a limited set of near-term options to significantly reduce these emissions. We investigate, on a life cycle basis, 100% wood pellet firing and cofiring with coal in two coal generating stations (GS) in Ontario, Canada. GHG and criteria air pollutant emissions are compared with current coal and hypothetical natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) facilities. 100% pellet utilization provides the greatest GHG benefit on a kilowatt-hour basis, reducing emissions by 91% and 78% relative to coal and NGCC systems, respectively. Compared to coal, using 100% pellets reduces NO(x) emissions by 40-47% and SO(x) emissions by 76-81%. At $160/metric ton of pellets and $7/GJ natural gas, either cofiring or NGCC provides the most cost-effective GHG mitigation ($70 and $47/metric ton of CO2 equivalent, respectively). The differences in coal price, electricity generation cost, and emissions at the two GS are responsible for the different options being preferred. A sensitivity analysis on fuel costs reveals considerable overlap in results for all options. A lower pellet price ($100/metric ton) results in a mitigation cost of $34/metric ton of CO2 equivalent for 10% cofiring at one of the GS. The study results suggest that biomass utilization in coal GS should be considered for its potential to cost-effectively mitigate GHGs from coal-based electricity in the near term. PMID:19961171

  1. The potential effects of sodium bicarbonate, a major constituent from coalbed natural gas production, on aquatic life

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Farag, Aida M.; Harper, David D.

    2012-01-01

    The production water from coalbed natural gas (CBNG) extraction contains many constituents. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has established aquatic life criteria for some of these constituents, and it is therefore possible to evaluate their risk to aquatic life. However, of the major ions associated with produced waters, chloride is the only one with an established aquatic life criterion (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1988). The focus of this research was NaHCO3, a compound that is a major constituent of coalbed natural gas produced waters in the Tongue and Powder River Basins. This project included laboratory experiments, field in situ experiments, a field mixing zone study, and a fishery presence/absence assessment. Though this investigation focuses on the Tongue and Powder River Basins, the information is applicable to other watersheds where sodium bicarbonate is a principle component of product water either from CBNG or from traditional or unconventional oil and gas development. These data can also be used to separate effects of saline discharges from those potentially posed by other constituents. Finally, this research effort and the additional collaboration with USGS Water Resources and Mapping, Bureau of Land Management, US Environmental Protection Agency, State of Montana, State of Wyoming, Montana State University, University of Wyoming, and others as part of a Powder River Aquatic Task Group, can be used as a model for successful approaches to studying landscapes with energy development. The laboratory acute toxicity experiments were completed with a suite of organisms, including 7 species of fish, 5 species of invertebrates, and 1 amphibian species. Experiments performed on these multiple species resulted in LC50s that ranged from 1,120 to greater than (>) 8,000 milligrams sodium bicarbonate per liter (mg NaHCO3/L) (also defined as 769 to >8,000 milligrams bicarbonate per liter (mg HCO3-/L) or total alkalinity expressed as 608 to >4,181 milligrams calcium carbonate per liter (mg CaCO3/L)) that varied across species and lifestage within a species. The age at which fish were exposed to NaHCO3 significantly affected the severity of toxic responses for some organisms. The chronic toxicity of NaHCO3 was defined in experiments that lasted from 7—60 days post-hatch. For these experiments, sublethal effects such as growth and reproduction, in addition to significant reductions in survival were included in the final determination of effects. Chronic toxicity was observed at concentrations that ranged from 450 to 800mg NaHCO3/L (also defined as 430 to 657 mg HCO3-/L or total alkalinity expressed as 354 to 539 mg CaCO3/L) and the specific concentration depended on the sensitivity of the four species of invertebrates and fish exposed. Sublethal investigations during chronic studies revealed percent decrease in the activity of sodium-potassium adenosine triphosphatase (Na/K ATPase, an enzyme involved in ionoregulation) and the age of the fish at the onset of the decrease may affect the ability of fathead minnow to survive exposures to NaHCO3. A database of toxicity evaluations of NaHCO3 on aquatic life has been constructed. Using these data, sample acute and chronic criteria of 459 and 381 mg NaHCO3/L, respectively, can be calculated for the protection of aquatic life. The final derivation and implementation of such criteria is, of course, left to the discretion of the concerned management agencies. A combination of in situ experiments, static-renewal experiments performed simultaneously with in situ experiments, and static renewal experiments performed with site water in the laboratory, demonstrated that untreated coalbed natural gas (CBNG) product water from the Tongue and Powder River Basins reduces survival of fathead minnow and pallid sturgeon. More precisely, the survival of early-lifestage fathead minnow, especially those less than 6-days post hatch (dph), likely is reduced significantly in the field when concentrations of NaHCO3 rise above 1,500 mg/L. However, age was not a factor for pallid sturgeon and they were sensitive to product water regardless of age. Treatment with the Higgins Loop™ technology and dilution of untreated water increased survival in the laboratory. Both of these situations reduced ammonia in addition to the concentrations of NaHCO3. These experiments addressed the acute toxicity of effluent waters being added to the main stem rivers, but did not address issues related to the volumes of water that may be added to the watershed. Mixing zones of the three outfalls studied ranged from approximately 800—1,200 m below the confluence and the areas within these mixing zones with acutely lethal concentrations of NaHCO3 (as defined by the presence of concentrated dye) are limited. The areas with concentrations of NaHCO3 more than the concentrations likely to cause significant mortality, and more than the calculated sample water-quality criteria in the Tongue and Powder River Basins appear to be limited to tributaries and parts of mixing zones with considerable additions of untreated effluent.

  2. IL-15PI3KAKTmTOR: A Critical Pathway in the Life Journey of Natural Killer Cells

    PubMed Central

    Ali, Alaa Kassim; Nandagopal, Neethi; Lee, Seung-Hwan

    2015-01-01

    Among numerous cytokines modulating natural killer (NK) cell function, interleukin 15 (IL-15) exerts a broad range of effect from development and homeostasis, to activation of mature NK cells during infection. Its significance is further highlighted by clinical trials in which IL-15 is being used to boost the proliferation and anti-tumor response of NK cells. Among the signal transduction pathways triggered by the engagement of IL-15 receptor with its ligand, the PI3KAKTmTOR pathway seems to be critical for the IL-15-mediated activation of NK cells, therefore being responsible for efficient anti-viral and anti-tumor responses. This review provides an overview of the role of IL-15 at multiple stages of NK cell life journey. Understanding the pathway by which IL-15 conveys critical signals for the generation of NK cells with efficient effector functions, in combination with established protocols for NK cell expansion ex vivo, will undoubtedly open new avenues for therapeutic applications for immunomodulation against infections and cancers. PMID:26257729

  3. Integrating early life experience, gene expression, brain development, and emergent phenotypes: unraveling the thread of nature via nurture.

    PubMed

    Weaver, Ian C G

    2014-01-01

    Adaptation to environmental changes is based on the perpetual generation of new phenotypes. Modern biology has focused on the role of epigenetic mechanisms in facilitating the adaptation of organisms to changing environments through alterations in gene expression. Inherited and/or acquired epigenetic factors are relatively stable and have regulatory roles in numerous genomic activities that translate into phenotypic outcomes. Evidence that dietary and pharmacological interventions have the potential to reverse environment-induced modification of epigenetic states (e.g., early life experience, nutrition, medication, infection) has provided an additional stimulus for understanding the biological basis of individual differences in cognitive abilities and disorders of the brain. It has been suggested that accurate quantification of the relative contribution of heritable genetic and epigenetic variation is essential for understanding phenotypic divergence and adaptation in changing environments, a process requiring stable modulation of gene expression. The main challenge for epigenetics in psychology and psychiatry is to determine how experiences and environmental cues, including the nature of our nurture, influence the expression of neuronal genes to produce long-term individual differences in behavior, cognition, personality, and mental health. To this end, focusing on DNA and histone modifications and their initiators, mediators and readers may provide new inroads for understanding the molecular basis of phenotypic plasticity and disorders of the brain. In this chapter, we review recent discoveries highlighting epigenetic aspects of normal brain development and mental illness, as well as discuss some future directions in the field of behavioral epigenetics. PMID:25172353

  4. Glycine identification in natural jarosites using laser desorption Fourier transform mass spectrometry: implications for the search for life on Mars.

    PubMed

    Kotler, J Michelle; Hinman, Nancy W; Yan, Beizhan; Stoner, Daphne L; Scott, Jill R

    2008-04-01

    The jarosite group minerals have received increasing attention since the discovery of jarosite on the martian surface by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. Given that jarosite can incorporate foreign ions within its structure, we have investigated the use of jarosite as an indicator of aqueous and biological processes on Earth and Mars. The use of laser desorption Fourier transform mass spectrometry has revealed the presence of organic matter in several jarosite samples from various locations worldwide. One of the ions from the natural jarosites has been attributed to glycine because it was systematically observed in combinations of glycine with synthetic ammonium and potassium jarosites, Na(2)SO(4) and K(2)SO(4). The ability to observe these organic signatures in jarosite samples with an in situ instrumental technique, such as the one employed in this study, furthers the goals of planetary geologists to determine whether signs of life (e.g., the presence of biomolecules or biomolecule precursors) can be detected in the rock record of terrestrial and extraterrestrial samples. PMID:18393691

  5. Ornaments of the earliest Upper Paleolithic: New insights from the Levant

    PubMed Central

    Kuhn, Steven L.; Stiner, Mary C.; Reese, David S.; Gle, Erksin

    2001-01-01

    Two sites located on the northern Levantine coast, a??zl? Cave (Turkey) and Ksar 'Akil (Lebanon) have yielded numerous marine shell beads in association with early Upper Paleolithic stone tools. Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dates indicate ages between 39,000 and 41,000 radiocarbon years (roughly 41,00043,000 calendar years) for the oldest ornament-bearing levels in a??zl? Cave. Based on stratigraphic evidence, the earliest shell beads from Ksar 'Akil may be even older. These artifacts provide some of the earliest evidence for traditions of personal ornament manufacture by Upper Paleolithic humans in western Asia, comparable in age to similar objects from Eastern Europe and Africa. The new data show that the initial appearance of Upper Paleolithic ornament technologies was essentially simultaneous on three continents. The early appearance and proliferation of ornament technologies appears to have been contingent on variable demographic or social conditions. PMID:11390976

  6. The Fate of Childhood Memories: Children Postdated Their Earliest Memories as They Grew Older

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Qi; Peterson, Carole

    2016-01-01

    Childhood amnesia has been attributed to the inaccessibility of early memories as children grow older. We propose that systematic biases in the age estimates of memories may play a role. A group of 4- to 9-year-olds children were followed for 8 years, recalling and dating their earliest childhood memories at three time points. Although children retained many of the memories over time, their age estimates of these memories shifted forward in time, to later ages. The magnitude of postdating was especially sizable for earlier memories and younger children such that some memories were dated more than a year later than originally. As a result, the boundary of childhood amnesia increased with age. These findings shed light on childhood amnesia and the fate of early memories. They further suggest that generally accepted estimates for people’s age of earliest memory may be wrong, which has far-reaching implications. PMID:26793149

  7. Nature Study, Aborigines and the Australian Kindergarten: Lessons from Martha Simpson's "Australian Programme Based on the Life and Customs of the Australian Black"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Jennifer

    2014-01-01

    This article examines an experimental kindergarten programme "Work in the Kindergarten: An Australian Programme based on the Life and Customs of the Australian Black" developed by Martha Simpson in early twentieth-century Australia. Here Simpson adapted international Revisionist Froebelian approaches to cultural epoch theory and nature

  8. The characteristics and chronology of the earliest Acheulean at Konso, Ethiopia

    PubMed Central

    Beyene, Yonas; Katoh, Shigehiro; WoldeGabriel, Giday; Hart, William K.; Uto, Kozo; Sudo, Masafumi; Kondo, Megumi; Hyodo, Masayuki; Renne, Paul R.; Suwa, Gen; Asfaw, Berhane

    2013-01-01

    The Acheulean technological tradition, characterized by a large (>10 cm) flake-based component, represents a significant technological advance over the Oldowan. Although stone tool assemblages attributed to the Acheulean have been reported from as early as circa 1.6–1.75 Ma, the characteristics of these earliest occurrences and comparisons with later assemblages have not been reported in detail. Here, we provide a newly established chronometric calibration for the Acheulean assemblages of the Konso Formation, southern Ethiopia, which span the time period ∼1.75 to <1.0 Ma. The earliest Konso Acheulean is chronologically indistinguishable from the assemblage recently published as the world’s earliest with an age of ∼1.75 Ma at Kokiselei, west of Lake Turkana, Kenya. This Konso assemblage is characterized by a combination of large picks and crude bifaces/unifaces made predominantly on large flake blanks. An increase in the number of flake scars was observed within the Konso Formation handaxe assemblages through time, but this was less so with picks. The Konso evidence suggests that both picks and handaxes were essential components of the Acheulean from its initial stages and that the two probably differed in function. The temporal refinement seen, especially in the handaxe forms at Konso, implies enhanced function through time, perhaps in processing carcasses with long and stable cutting edges. The documentation of the earliest Acheulean at ∼1.75 Ma in both northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia suggests that behavioral novelties were being established in a regional scale at that time, paralleling the emergence of Homo erectus-like hominid morphology. PMID:23359714

  9. The Earliest Giant Osprioneides Borings from the Sandbian (Late Ordovician) of Estonia

    PubMed Central

    Vinn, Olev; Wilson, Mark A.; Mtus, Mari-Ann

    2014-01-01

    The earliest Osprioneides kampto borings were found in bryozoan colonies of Sandbian age from northern Estonia (Baltica). The Ordovician was a time of great increase in the quantities of hard substrate removed by single trace makers. Increased predation pressure was most likely the driving force behind the infaunalization of larger invertebrates such as the Osprioneides trace makers in the Ordovician. It is possible that the Osprioneides borer originated in Baltica or in other paleocontinents outside of North America. PMID:24901511

  10. Virtual endocranial cast of earliest Eocene Diacodexis (Artiodactyla, Mammalia) and morphological diversity of early artiodactyl brains

    PubMed Central

    Orliac, M. J.; Gilissen, E.

    2012-01-01

    The study of brain evolution, particularly that of the neocortex, is of primary interest because it directly relates to how behavioural variations arose both between and within mammalian groups. Artiodactyla is one of the most diverse mammalian clades. However, the first 10 Myr of their brain evolution has remained undocumented so far. Here, we used high-resolution X-ray computed tomography to investigate the endocranial cast of Diacodexis ilicis of earliest Eocene age. Its virtual reconstruction provides unprecedented access to both metric parameters and fine anatomy of the most complete endocast of the earliest artiodactyl. This picture is assessed in a broad comparative context by reconstructing endocasts of 14 other Early and Middle Eocene representatives of basal artiodactyls, allowing the tracking of the neocortical structure of artiodactyls back to its simplest pattern. We show that the earliest artiodactyls share a simple neocortical pattern, so far never observed in other ungulates, with an almond-shaped gyrus instead of parallel sulci as previously hypothesized. Our results demonstrate that artiodactyls experienced a tardy pulse of encephalization during the Late Neogene, well after the onset of cortical complexity increase. Comparisons with Eocene perissodactyls show that the latter reached a high level of cortical complexity earlier than the artiodactyls. PMID:22764165

  11. An experimental 'Life' for an experimental life: Richard Waller's biography of Robert Hooke (1705).

    PubMed

    Moxham, Noah

    2016-03-01

    Richard Waller's 'Life of Dr Robert Hooke', prefixed to his edition of Hooke's Posthumous Works (1705), is an important source for the life of one of the most eminent members of the early Royal Society. It also has the distinction of being one of the earliest biographies of a man of science to be published in English. I argue that it is in fact the first biography to embrace the subject's natural-philosophical work as the centre of his life, and I investigate Waller's reasons for adopting this strategy and his struggle with the problem of how to represent an early experimental philosopher in print. I suggest that Waller eschews the 'Christian philosopher' tradition of contemporary biography - partly because of the unusually diverse and fragmentary nature of Hooke's intellectual output - and draws instead upon the structure of the Royal Society's archive as a means of organizing and understanding Hooke's life. The most quoted phrase from Waller's biography is that Hooke became 'to a crime close and reserved' in later life; this essay argues that Waller's biographical sketch was fashioned in order to undo the effects of that reserve. In modelling his approach very closely on the structure of the society's records he was principally concerned with making Hooke's work and biography accessible, intelligible and useful to the fellowship in a context familiar to them, a context which had provided the institutional framework for most of Hooke's adult life. I argue that Waller's 'Life' was also intended to make the largest claims for Hooke's intellectual standing that the author dared in the context of the enmity between Hooke and Isaac Newton once the latter became president of the Royal Society. However, I also adduce fresh manuscript evidence that Waller actually compiled, but did not publish, a defence of Hooke's claim to have discovered the inverse square law of gravity, allowing us to glimpse a much more assertive biography of Hooke than the published version. PMID:26877147

  12. Life cycle air emissions impacts and ownership costs of light-duty vehicles using natural gas as a primary energy source.

    PubMed

    Luk, Jason M; Saville, Bradley A; MacLean, Heather L

    2015-04-21

    This paper aims to comprehensively distinguish among the merits of different vehicles using a common primary energy source. In this study, we consider compressed natural gas (CNG) use directly in conventional vehicles (CV) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), and natural gas-derived electricity (NG-e) use in plug-in battery electric vehicles (BEV). This study evaluates the incremental life cycle air emissions (climate change and human health) impacts and life cycle ownership costs of non-plug-in (CV and HEV) and plug-in light-duty vehicles. Replacing a gasoline CV with a CNG CV, or a CNG CV with a CNG HEV, can provide life cycle air emissions impact benefits without increasing ownership costs; however, the NG-e BEV will likely increase costs (90% confidence interval: $1000 to $31 000 incremental cost per vehicle lifetime). Furthermore, eliminating HEV tailpipe emissions via plug-in vehicles has an insignificant incremental benefit, due to high uncertainties, with emissions cost benefits between -$1000 and $2000. Vehicle criteria air contaminants are a relatively minor contributor to life cycle air emissions impacts because of strict vehicle emissions standards. Therefore, policies should focus on adoption of plug-in vehicles in nonattainment regions, because CNG vehicles are likely more cost-effective at providing overall life cycle air emissions impact benefits. PMID:25825338

  13. Chance of Necessity: Modeling Origins of Life

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pohorille, Andrew

    2006-01-01

    The fundamental nature of processes that led to the emergence of life has been a subject of long-standing debate. One view holds that the origin of life is an event governed by chance, and the result of so many random events is unpredictable. This view was eloquently expressed by Jacques Monod in his book Chance or Necessity. In an alternative view, the origin of life is considered a deterministic event. Its details need not be deterministic in every respect, but the overall behavior is predictable. A corollary to the deterministic view is that the emergence of life must have been determined primarily by universal chemistry and biochemistry rather than by subtle details of environmental conditions. In my lecture I will explore two different paradigms for the emergence of life and discuss their implications for predictability and universality of life-forming processes. The dominant approach is that the origin of life was guided by information stored in nucleic acids (the RNA World hypothesis). In this view, selection of improved combinations of nucleic acids obtained through random mutations drove evolution of biological systems from their conception. An alternative hypothesis states that the formation of protocellular metabolism was driven by non-genomic processes. Even though these processes were highly stochastic the outcome was largely deterministic, strongly constrained by laws of chemistry. I will argue that self-replication of macromolecules was not required at the early stages of evolution; the reproduction of cellular functions alone was sufficient for self-maintenance of protocells. In fact, the precise transfer of information between successive generations of the earliest protocells was unnecessary and could have impeded the discovery of cellular metabolism. I will also show that such concepts as speciation and fitness to the environment, developed in the context of genomic evolution also hold in the absence of a genome.

  14. Signatures of natural selection in the mitochondrial genomes of Tachycineta swallows and their implications for latitudinal patterns of the 'pace of life'.

    PubMed

    Stager, Maria; Cerasale, David J; Dor, Roi; Winkler, David W; Cheviron, Zachary A

    2014-08-01

    Latitudinal variation in avian life histories can be summarized as a slow-fast continuum, termed the 'pace of life', that encompasses patterns in life span, reproduction, and rates of development among tropical and temperate species. Much of the variation in avian pace of life is tied to differences in rates of long-term metabolic energy expenditure. Given the vital role of the mitochondrion in metabolic processes, studies of variation in the mitochondrial genome may offer opportunities to establish mechanistic links between genetic variation and latitudinal 'pace of life' patterns. Using comparative genomic analyses, we examined complete mitochondrial genome sequences obtained from nine, broadly distributed Tachycineta swallow species to test for signatures of natural selection across the mitogenome within a phylogenetic framework. Our results show that although purifying selection is the dominant selective force acting on the mitochondrial genome in Tachycineta, three mitochondrial genes (ND2, ND5, and CYTB) contain regions that exhibit signatures of diversifying selection. Two of these genes (ND2 and ND5) encode interacting subunits of NADH dehydrogenase, and amino residues that were inferred to be targets of positive selection were disproportionately concentrated in these genes. Moreover, the positively selected sites exhibited a phylogenetic pattern that could be indicative of adaptive divergence between "fast" and "slow" lineages. These results suggest that functional variation in cytochrome b and NADH dehydrogenase could mechanistically contribute to latitudinal 'pace of life' patterns in Tachycineta. PMID:24814189

  15. Conceptual design study on very small long-life gas cooled fast reactor using metallic natural Uranium-Zr as fuel cycle input

    SciTech Connect

    Monado, Fiber; Ariani, Menik; Su'ud, Zaki; Waris, Abdul; Basar, Khairul; Permana, Sidik; Aziz, Ferhat; Sekimoto, Hiroshi

    2014-02-12

    A conceptual design study of very small 350 MWth Gas-cooled Fast Reactors with Helium coolant has been performed. In this study Modified CANDLE burn-up scheme was implemented to create small and long life fast reactors with natural Uranium as fuel cycle input. Such system can utilize natural Uranium resources efficiently without the necessity of enrichment plant or reprocessing plant. The core with metallic fuel based was subdivided into 10 regions with the same volume. The fresh Natural Uranium is initially put in region-1, after one cycle of 10 years of burn-up it is shifted to region-2 and the each region-1 is filled by fresh Natural Uranium fuel. This concept is basically applied to all axial regions. The reactor discharge burn-up is 31.8% HM. From the neutronic point of view, this design is in compliance with good performance.

  16. Conceptual design study on very small long-life gas cooled fast reactor using metallic natural Uranium-Zr as fuel cycle input

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monado, Fiber; Ariani, Menik; Su'ud, Zaki; Waris, Abdul; Basar, Khairul; Aziz, Ferhat; Permana, Sidik; Sekimoto, Hiroshi

    2014-02-01

    A conceptual design study of very small 350 MWth Gas-cooled Fast Reactors with Helium coolant has been performed. In this study Modified CANDLE burn-up scheme was implemented to create small and long life fast reactors with natural Uranium as fuel cycle input. Such system can utilize natural Uranium resources efficiently without the necessity of enrichment plant or reprocessing plant. The core with metallic fuel based was subdivided into 10 regions with the same volume. The fresh Natural Uranium is initially put in region-1, after one cycle of 10 years of burn-up it is shifted to region-2 and the each region-1 is filled by fresh Natural Uranium fuel. This concept is basically applied to all axial regions. The reactor discharge burn-up is 31.8% HM. From the neutronic point of view, this design is in compliance with good performance.

  17. Earliest tea as evidence for one branch of the Silk Road across the Tibetan Plateau

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Houyuan; Zhang, Jianping; Yang, Yimin; Yang, Xiaoyan; Xu, Baiqing; Yang, Wuzhan; Tong, Tao; Jin, Shubo; Shen, Caiming; Rao, Huiyun; Li, Xingguo; Lu, Hongliang; Fuller, Dorian Q.; Wang, Luo; Wang, Can; Xu, Deke; Wu, Naiqin

    2016-01-01

    Phytoliths and biomolecular components extracted from ancient plant remains from Chang’an (Xi’an, the city where the Silk Road begins) and Ngari (Ali) in western Tibet, China, show that the tea was grown 2100 years ago to cater for the drinking habits of the Western Han Dynasty (207BCE-9CE), and then carried toward central Asia by ca.200CE, several hundred years earlier than previously recorded. The earliest physical evidence of tea from both the Chang’an and Ngari regions suggests that a branch of the Silk Road across the Tibetan Plateau, was established by the second to third century CE. PMID:26738699

  18. The earliest ostracods from the Ordovician of the Prague Basin, Czech Republic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lajblová, Karolína; Kraft, Petr

    2014-12-01

    The earliest ostracods from the Bohemian Massif (Central European Variscides) have been recorded from the Middle Ordovician of the Prague Basin (Barrandian area), in the upper Klabava Formation, and became an abundant component of fossil assemblages in the overlying Šarka Formation. Both early ostracod associations consist of eight species in total, representing mainly eridostracans, palaeocopids, and binodicopids. The revision, description, or redescription of all species and their distribution in the basin is provided. Their diversification patterns and palaeogeographical relationships to ostracod assemblages from other regions are discussed.

  19. Earliest tea as evidence for one branch of the Silk Road across the Tibetan Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Houyuan; Zhang, Jianping; Yang, Yimin; Yang, Xiaoyan; Xu, Baiqing; Yang, Wuzhan; Tong, Tao; Jin, Shubo; Shen, Caiming; Rao, Huiyun; Li, Xingguo; Lu, Hongliang; Fuller, Dorian Q.; Wang, Luo; Wang, Can; Xu, Deke; Wu, Naiqin

    2016-01-01

    Phytoliths and biomolecular components extracted from ancient plant remains from Chang’an (Xi’an, the city where the Silk Road begins) and Ngari (Ali) in western Tibet, China, show that the tea was grown 2100 years ago to cater for the drinking habits of the Western Han Dynasty (207BCE-9CE), and then carried toward central Asia by ca.200CE, several hundred years earlier than previously recorded. The earliest physical evidence of tea from both the Chang’an and Ngari regions suggests that a branch of the Silk Road across the Tibetan Plateau, was established by the second to third century CE.

  20. Earliest tea as evidence for one branch of the Silk Road across the Tibetan Plateau.

    PubMed

    Lu, Houyuan; Zhang, Jianping; Yang, Yimin; Yang, Xiaoyan; Xu, Baiqing; Yang, Wuzhan; Tong, Tao; Jin, Shubo; Shen, Caiming; Rao, Huiyun; Li, Xingguo; Lu, Hongliang; Fuller, Dorian Q; Wang, Luo; Wang, Can; Xu, Deke; Wu, Naiqin

    2016-01-01

    Phytoliths and biomolecular components extracted from ancient plant remains from Chang'an (Xi'an, the city where the Silk Road begins) and Ngari (Ali) in western Tibet, China, show that the tea was grown 2100 years ago to cater for the drinking habits of the Western Han Dynasty (207BCE-9CE), and then carried toward central Asia by ca.200CE, several hundred years earlier than previously recorded. The earliest physical evidence of tea from both the Chang'an and Ngari regions suggests that a branch of the Silk Road across the Tibetan Plateau, was established by the second to third century CE. PMID:26738699

  1. The earliest modern mongoose (Carnivora, Herpestidae) from Africa (late Miocene of Chad)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peign, Stphane; Bonis, Louis; Likius, Andossa; Mackaye, Hassane Tasso; Vignaud, Patrick; Brunet, Michel

    2005-06-01

    We report on the earliest modern mongooses of Africa, from the late Miocene (ca. 7 Ma) of the hominid locality TM 266, Toros-Menalla, Chad. The material is based on fragmentary dentitions of three individuals. The main diagnostic feature of the Chadian species is the great development of the shear in the carnassials, which distinguishes the Chadian specimens from all extant herpestids except Herpestes and Galerella. In comparison with most extinct and extant Herpestes, the species from Toros-Menalla differs by a markedly smaller size and, depending on the species, relatively more elongated carnassials, more transversely elongated M1 and more reduced p4. On the basis of a great morphological similarity and the absence of significant differences, we assign our material to Galerella sanguinea; the Chadian finding therefore represents the earliest appearance of an extant species of Herpestidae. This record ties the first appearance of the genus to a minimum age of ca. 7 Ma, which is consistent with the estimated divergence date of 11.4 Ma known from the literature for the species of Galerella.

  2. Equatorial Precession Drove Mid-Latitude Changes in ENSO-Scale Variation in the Earliest Miocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fox, B.; D'Andrea, W. J.; Lee, D. E.; Wilson, G. S.

    2014-12-01

    Foulden Maar is an annually laminated lacustrine diatomite deposit from the South Island of New Zealand. The deposit was laid down over ~100 kyr of the latest Oligocene and earliest Miocene, during the peak and deglaciation phase of the Mi-1 Antarctic glaciation event. At this time, New Zealand was located at approximately the same latitude as today (~45°S). Evidence from organic geochemical proxies (δD, δ13C) and physical properties (density, colour) indicates the presence of an 11-kyr cycle at the site. Although it is known that 11-kyr insolation (half-precession) cycles occur between the Tropics, this cycle is rarely seen in sedimentary archives deposited outside the immediate vicinity of the Equator. Records from Foulden Maar correlate well with the amplitude and phase of the modelled equatorial half-precession cycle for the earliest Miocene. High-resolution (50 µm) colour intensity measurements and lamina thickness measurements both indicate the presence of significant ENSO-like (2-8 year) variation in the Foulden Maar sediments. Early results from targeted lamina thickness measurements suggest that ENSO-band variation is modulated by the 11-kyr cycle, with power in the ENSO band increasing during periods of increased insolation at the Equator. This implies that equatorial half-precession had a significant effect on ENSO-like variation in the early Miocene, and that this effect was felt as far afield as the mid-latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere.

  3. A structural intermediate between triisodontids and mesonychians (Mammalia, Acreodi) from the earliest Eocene of Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tabuce, Rodolphe; Clavel, Julien; Antunes, Miguel Telles

    2011-02-01

    A new mammal, Mondegodon eutrigonus gen. et sp. nov., is described from the earliest Eocene locality of Silveirinha, Portugal. This species shows dental adaptations indicative of a carnivorous diet. M. eutrigonus is referred to the order Acreodi and considered, along with the early Paleocene North American species Oxyclaenus cuspidatus, as a morphological intermediate between two groups of ungulate-like mammals, namely, the triisodontids and mesonychians. Considering that triisodontids are early to early-late Paleocene North American taxa, Mondegodon probably belongs to a group that migrated from North America towards Europe during the first part of the Paleocene. Mondegodon could represent thus a relict genus, belonging to the ante-Eocene European mammalian fauna. The occurrence of such a taxon in Southern Europe may reflect a period of isolation of this continental area during the Paleocene/Eocene transition. In this context, the non-occurrence of closely allied forms of Mondegodon in the Eocene North European mammalian faunas is significant. This strengthens the hypothesis that the mammalian fauna from Southern Europe is characterized by a certain degree of endemism during the earliest Eocene. Mondegodon also presents some striking similarities with an unnamed genus from the early Eocene of India which could represent the first Asian known transitional form between the triisodontids and mesonychians.

  4. Earliest economic exploitation of chicken outside East Asia: Evidence from the Hellenistic Southern Levant.

    PubMed

    Perry-Gal, Lee; Erlich, Adi; Gilboa, Ayelet; Bar-Oz, Guy

    2015-08-11

    Chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) is today one of the most widespread domesticated species and is a main source of protein in the human diet. However, for thousands of years exploitation of chickens was confined to symbolic and social domains such as cockfighting. The question of when and where chickens were first used for economic purposes remains unresolved. The results of our faunal analysis demonstrate that the Hellenistic (fourth-second centuries B.C.E.) site of Maresha, Israel, is the earliest site known today where economic exploitation of chickens was widely practiced. We base our claim on the exceptionally high frequency of chicken bones at that site, the majority of which belong to adult individuals, and on the observed 2:1 ratio of female to male bones. These results are supported further by an extensive survey of faunal remains from 234 sites in the Southern Levant, spanning more than three millennia, which shows a sharp increase in the frequency of chicken during the Hellenistic period. We further argue that the earliest secure evidence for economic exploitation of chickens in Europe dates to the first century B.C.E. and therefore is predated by the finds in the Southern Levant by at least a century. We suggest that the gradual acclimatization of chickens in the Southern Levant and its gradual integration into the local economy, the latter fully accomplished in the Hellenistic period, was a crucial step in the adoption of this species in European husbandry some 100 y later. PMID:26195775

  5. Structural mouthpart interaction evolved already in the earliest lineages of insects.

    PubMed

    Blanke, Alexander; Rhr, Peter T; Mokso, Rajmund; Villanueva, Pablo; Wilde, Fabian; Stampanoni, Marco; Uesugi, Kentaro; Machida, Ryuichiro; Misof, Bernhard

    2015-08-01

    In butterflies, bees, flies and true bugs specific mouthparts are in close contact or even fused to enable piercing, sucking or sponging of particular food sources. The common phenomenon behind these mouthpart types is a complex composed of several consecutive mouthparts which structurally interact during food uptake. The single mouthparts are thus only functional in conjunction with other adjacent mouthparts, which is fundamentally different to biting-chewing. It is, however, unclear when structural mouthpart interaction (SMI) evolved since this principle obviously occurred multiple times independently in several extant and extinct winged insect groups. Here, we report a new type of SMI in two of the earliest wingless hexapod lineages--Diplura and Collembola. We found that the mandible and maxilla interact with each other via an articulatory stud at the dorsal side of the maxillary stipes, and they are furthermore supported by structures of the hypopharynx and head capsule. These interactions are crucial stabilizing elements during food uptake. The presence of SMI in these ancestrally wingless insects, and its absence in those crustacean groups probably ancestral to insects, indicates that SMI is a groundplan apomorphy of insects. Our results thus contradict the currently established view of insect mouthpart evolution that biting-chewing mouthparts without any form of SMI are the ancestral configuration. Furthermore, SMIs occur in the earliest insects in a high anatomical variety. SMIs in stemgroup representatives of insects may have triggered efficient exploitation and fast adaptation to new terrestrial food sources much earlier than previously supposed. PMID:26203002

  6. Notes on historical aspects on the earliest known observations of noctilucent clouds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalin, P.; Pertsev, N.; Romejko, V.

    2012-03-01

    The present paper considers historical aspects of the earliest known observations of noctilucent clouds (NLCs). The 1884 and 1885 are discussed by considering important historical citations by the pioneers of the earliest known observations of noctilucent clouds. For the first time in NLC studies, we consider seven major volcanic eruptions: Laki in 1783, Mount St. Helens in 1800, Tambora in 1815, Galunggung in 1822, Cosigüina in 1835, Shiveluch in 1854 and Askja in 1875. These all preceded the catastrophic 1883 eruption of Krakatoa, which despite having a lesser magnitude than Tambora in 1815, had pronounced effects on the atmosphere. These eruptions represent possible triggers for the appearance of NLCs. For the first time, we publish an unknown, in English-speaking literature, historical fact on the first determinations of the altitude of noctilucent clouds made by two Russian astronomers V. K. Tseraskii and A. A. Belopolskii on 26 June 1885, who managed to infer the altitude of the clouds in the range of 73-83 km, that is, for the first time, demonstrating the possible existence of the clouds at great altitudes in the Earth's atmosphere. Moreover, V. K. Tseraskii was the first observer to photograph noctilucent clouds in 1885 or 1886, which is 1-2 yr before the German astronomer O. Jesse, who owns the first published images of noctilucent clouds. The photographs made by V. K. Tseraskii, unfortunately, did not reach us.

  7. Earliest economic exploitation of chicken outside East Asia: Evidence from the Hellenistic Southern Levant

    PubMed Central

    Perry-Gal, Lee; Erlich, Adi; Gilboa, Ayelet; Bar-Oz, Guy

    2015-01-01

    Chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) is today one of the most widespread domesticated species and is a main source of protein in the human diet. However, for thousands of years exploitation of chickens was confined to symbolic and social domains such as cockfighting. The question of when and where chickens were first used for economic purposes remains unresolved. The results of our faunal analysis demonstrate that the Hellenistic (fourth–second centuries B.C.E.) site of Maresha, Israel, is the earliest site known today where economic exploitation of chickens was widely practiced. We base our claim on the exceptionally high frequency of chicken bones at that site, the majority of which belong to adult individuals, and on the observed 2:1 ratio of female to male bones. These results are supported further by an extensive survey of faunal remains from 234 sites in the Southern Levant, spanning more than three millennia, which shows a sharp increase in the frequency of chicken during the Hellenistic period. We further argue that the earliest secure evidence for economic exploitation of chickens in Europe dates to the first century B.C.E. and therefore is predated by the finds in the Southern Levant by at least a century. We suggest that the gradual acclimatization of chickens in the Southern Levant and its gradual integration into the local economy, the latter fully accomplished in the Hellenistic period, was a crucial step in the adoption of this species in European husbandry some 100 y later. PMID:26195775

  8. Nature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinhorst, Sabine; Cannon, Gordon

    1997-01-01

    The fact that two of the original articles by this year's Nobel laureates were published in Nature bears witness to the pivotal role of this journal in documenting pioneering discoveries in all areas of science. The prize for Physiology or Medicine was awarded to immunologists Peter C. Doherty (University of Tennessee) and Rolf M. Zinkernagel (University of Zurich, Switzerland), honoring work that, in the 1970s, laid the foundation for our current understanding of the way in which our immune system differentiates between healthy cells and virus-infected ones that are targeted for destruction (p 465 in the October 10 issue of vol. 383). Three researchers share the Chemistry award for their discovery of C60 buckminsterfullerenes. The work by Robert Curl, Richard Smalley (both at Rice University), and Harry Kroto (University of Sussex, UK) has led to a burst of new approaches to materials development and in carbon chemistry (p 561 of the October 17 issue of vol. 383). This year's Nobel prize in physics went to three U.S. researchers, Douglas Osheroff (Stanford University) and David M. Lee and Robert C. Richardson (Cornell University), who were honored for their work on superfluidity, a frictionless liquid state, of supercooled 3He (p 562 of the October 17 issue of vol. 383).

  9. Can environmental conditions experienced in early life influence future generations?

    PubMed Central

    Burton, Tim; Metcalfe, Neil B.

    2014-01-01

    The consequences of early developmental conditions for performance in later life are now subjected to convergent interest from many different biological sub-disciplines. However, striking data, largely from the biomedical literature, show that environmental effects experienced even before conception can be transmissible to subsequent generations. Here, we review the growing evidence from natural systems for these cross-generational effects of early life conditions, showing that they can be generated by diverse environmental stressors, affect offspring in many ways and can be transmitted directly or indirectly by both parental lines for several generations. In doing so, we emphasize why early life might be so sensitive to the transmission of environmentally induced effects across generations. We also summarize recent theoretical advancements within the field of developmental plasticity, and discuss how parents might assemble different ‘internal’ and ‘external’ cues, even from the earliest stages of life, to instruct their investment decisions in offspring. In doing so, we provide a preliminary framework within the context of adaptive plasticity for understanding inter-generational phenomena that arise from early life conditions. PMID:24807254

  10. Investigating the Disney Effect: Are Students Reluctant To Apply Natural Selection Principles to Life Forms with Which They Identify?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jensen, Murray; And Others

    This study was designed to investigate whether a student's responses to test questions about natural selection were influenced by the extent of the student's identification with the organism. The hypothesis was that a student would be reluctant to invoke the ravages of natural selection upon species with which they possessed a greater empathy than

  11. [A New Approach to Fostering Socio-Emotional Communication and Development in the Earliest Years of Life].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fenichel, Emily, Ed.

    1996-01-01

    The five articles in this newsletter theme issue focus on the development of socioemotional and communication skills in infants and toddlers through the Partners in Parenting Education (PIPE) program. The first article, "The Partners in Parenting Education Program: A New Option in Parent Education" (Perry M. Butterfield), describes the program's…

  12. Characterization of the Life Cycle and Heteromeric Nature of the Macronucleus of the Ciliate Chilodonella uncinata Using Fluorescence Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Bellec, Laure; Maurer-Alcala, Xyrus X.; Katz, Laura A.

    2014-01-01

    Only a limited number of studies exist on the life cycles of non-model ciliates such as Chilodonella uncinata (Cl: Phyllopharyngea). The handful of papers on this taxon indicates the presence of a heteromeric macronucleus, marked by separate DNA rich and DNA poor regions. Here, we study the life cycle of C. uncinata using confocal laser scanning microscopy with DAPI staining, which allows us to differentiate nuclear dynamics of the micronucleus and the macronucleus during life cycle stages. We photo-documented various stages and confirm aspects of the development of the new macronucleus previously characterized by electron microscopy. We further reveal the heteromeric structure of the macronucleus with Z-stacks and 3D reconstructions. We find no evidence for the presence of an endosome at the center of the macronucleus during vegetative growth. In addition to illustrating the life cycle of this ciliate, the approaches developed for this study will enable additional comparative analyses of nuclear dynamics using fluorescence microscopy. PMID:24547950

  13. Lactic acid bacteria and natural antimicrobials to improve the safety and shelf-life of minimally processed sliced apples and lamb's lettuce.

    PubMed

    Siroli, Lorenzo; Patrignani, Francesca; Serrazanetti, Diana I; Tabanelli, Giulia; Montanari, Chiara; Gardini, Fausto; Lanciotti, Rosalba

    2015-05-01

    Outbreaks of food-borne disease associated with the consumption of fresh and minimally processed fruits and vegetables have increased dramatically over the last few years. Traditional chemical sanitizers are unable to completely eradicate or kill the microorganisms on fresh produce. These conditions have stimulated research to alternative methods for increasing food safety. The use of protective cultures, particularly lactic acid bacteria (LAB), has been proposed for minimally processed products. However, the application of bioprotective cultures has been limited at the industrial level. From this perspective, the main aims of this study were to select LAB from minimally processed fruits and vegetables to be used as biocontrol agents and then to evaluate the effects of the selected strains, alone or in combination with natural antimicrobials (2-(E)-hexenal/hexanal, 2-(E)-hexenal/citral for apples and thyme for lamb's lettuce), on the shelf-life and safety characteristics of minimally processed apples and lamb's lettuce. The results indicated that applying the Lactobacillus plantarum strains CIT3 and V7B3 to apples and lettuce, respectively, increased both the safety and shelf-life. Moreover, combining the selected strains with natural antimicrobials produced a further increase in the shelf-life of these products without detrimental effects on the organoleptic qualities. PMID:25583340

  14. Biotic Response in Aquatic Reptiles (Testudines) during Earliest Eocene Climatic Warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holroyd, P. A.; Hutchison, J. H.

    2010-12-01

    The earliest Eocene is marked by significant events of global warming: the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) at ~55.8 Ma and two short-lived events (ETM2 or Elmo and H2) approximately 2 Ma later. These environmental changes induced strong responses in the continental biota. Noteworthy changes in North American mid-latitude faunas and floras that are temporally correlated with earliest Eocene warming events include: increased diversity; turnover; and significant range changes, comprising both northward shifts in ranges of North American taxa as well as intercontinental dispersal across Holarctica. Evidence for these biotic changes comes directly from the fossil record and indirectly from phylogeographic analyses of molecular phylogenies of extant biota. To date, the stratigraphic record of biotic change has only been examined for the flora and terrestrial mammals. Data on reptiles and for continental aquatic systems are particularly lacking. In order to assess the impact of climate-mediated faunal change in aquatic systems during early Paleogene warming, we have focused on developing a detailed record of fossil turtles (Testudines) from the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming, where these records can be directly compared to similarly studied mammalian and floral data and to isotopic studies that provide independent proxies of climate change. Using genus-level occurrence data from more than 450 stratigraphically-constrained localities spanning ~2.5 Ma, we calculated first and last appearances, taxonomic richness, and relative abundance as measured by presence-absence (site occupancy). Among turtles, taxonomic richness increased episodically through the earliest Eocene with two new taxa appearing at the PETM, two immediately following it, and two at Biohorizon B, an interval associated with the younger hyperthermals. These new, immigrant taxa eventually comprised 40% of known generic richness. Phylogenetically, the inferred biogeographic source regions are southern North America and Asia, with an equal number of taxa originating in each area. Although immigrant taxa comprised less than half of the known earliest Eocene diversity, their relative dominance in these assemblages varied markedly. Within the PETM interval, immigrant taxa comprise nearly 70% of occurrences. Post-PETM, as temperatures cooled, immigrant taxa and taxa persisting from the Paleocene showed greater evenness, but immigrant taxa again became dominant with renewed warming. Among immigrant taxa, intercontinental dispersers are much more common than those that that dispersed from southern North America. These data are consistent with and stratigraphically correlative with significant changes in the mammalian fauna and flora of the Bighorn Basin and underline the importance of climatic change as a driver in these events. However, the magnitude and relative importance of intra- vs. intercontinental dispersal has not yet been fully examined in other taxonomic groups. The asymmetry of response following immigration that we observe in turtles may be taxon-specific, unique to aquatic systems, or may illustrate a more general pattern of how biotas respond to significant climate change.

  15. Paleozoic-Mesozoic crayfish from Antarctica: Earliest evidence of freshwater decapod crustaceans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babcock, Loren E.; Miller, Molly F.; Isbell, John L.; Collinson, James W.; Hasiotis, Stephen T.

    1998-06-01

    Discovery of an Early Permian claw from Antarctica extends the fossil record of crayfish by 65 m.y. and demonstrates that decapod crustaceans had radiated into freshwater habitats by the late Paleozoic. Burrows in Lower Triassic rocks of Antarctica are among the oldest apparently constructed by crayfish. Their morphology is similar to modern crayfish burrows, and this demonstrates that burrowing behavior was established early in the evolution of this group. The new discoveries show that the earliest Permian crayfish were distributed in high paleolatitudes of southernmost Pangea, where they lived in freshwater lakes fed by glacial meltwater. Modern crayfish habitat, used as a guide to crayfish temperature tolerance, indicates that summer temperatures of streams and lakes near the South Pole that supported the crayfish probably reached 10 20 C during Permian-Triassic interglacial intervals.

  16. Phytoliths reveal the earliest fine reedy textile in China at the Tianluoshan site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jianping; Lu, Houyuan; Sun, Guoping; Flad, Rowan; Wu, Naiqin; Huan, Xiujia; He, Keyang; Wang, Yonglei

    2016-01-01

    Textiles are among the longest and most widespread technologies in human history, although poor preservation of perishable artifacts in Paleolithic and Neolithic contexts makes them difficult to unearth and has hampered study of their production and use. Here we report evidence of a plain-woven mat from the Tianluoshan site, Zhejiang, Eastern China. Phytolith and AMS dating from the mat and modern reference collections shown that the mat was made of reeds (Phragmites australis (Cav.)) and dated to 6775–6645 cal. yr. BP. This is the earliest directly dated fiber artifact so far known in China, over at least one thousand years earlier than any established dates for woven remains elsewhere. The evidence of the mat and other related remains suggest that textile products might occur earlier than 7000–8000 years ago and are significant for understanding the history of textiles, as well as production and human adaptation in Neolithic China.

  17. Earliest record of the invasive Foraminifera Trochammina hadai in San Francisco Bay, California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McGann, Mary

    2014-01-01

    In 1995, Trochammina hadai, a benthic Foraminifera prevalent in Japanese estuaries, was found in San Francisco Bay, California, USA. Subsequent field investigations determined that the species was also present in nearly all of the major ports and estuaries along the western United States. Because of its widespread colonization, it is of interest to determine when T. hadai first appeared as an invasive in the coastal regions of the North Pacific. In San Francisco Bay, the species was not found in 404 surface samples collected between 1930 and 1981. In 1983, however, a grab sediment sample from one of four sites in the southern portion of the bay contained T. hadai. This site was the most northern of the four and contained 12 specimens of the invasive, comprising 1.5% of the assemblage. This is the earliest appearance on record of T. hadai in San Francisco Bay.

  18. Phytoliths reveal the earliest fine reedy textile in China at the Tianluoshan site

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jianping; Lu, Houyuan; Sun, Guoping; Flad, Rowan; Wu, Naiqin; Huan, Xiujia; He, Keyang; Wang, Yonglei

    2016-01-01

    Textiles are among the longest and most widespread technologies in human history, although poor preservation of perishable artifacts in Paleolithic and Neolithic contexts makes them difficult to unearth and has hampered study of their production and use. Here we report evidence of a plain-woven mat from the Tianluoshan site, Zhejiang, Eastern China. Phytolith and AMS dating from the mat and modern reference collections shown that the mat was made of reeds (Phragmites australis (Cav.)) and dated to 6775–6645 cal. yr. BP. This is the earliest directly dated fiber artifact so far known in China, over at least one thousand years earlier than any established dates for woven remains elsewhere. The evidence of the mat and other related remains suggest that textile products might occur earlier than 7000–8000 years ago and are significant for understanding the history of textiles, as well as production and human adaptation in Neolithic China. PMID:26766794

  19. Phytoliths reveal the earliest fine reedy textile in China at the Tianluoshan site.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianping; Lu, Houyuan; Sun, Guoping; Flad, Rowan; Wu, Naiqin; Huan, Xiujia; He, Keyang; Wang, Yonglei

    2016-01-01

    Textiles are among the longest and most widespread technologies in human history, although poor preservation of perishable artifacts in Paleolithic and Neolithic contexts makes them difficult to unearth and has hampered study of their production and use. Here we report evidence of a plain-woven mat from the Tianluoshan site, Zhejiang, Eastern China. Phytolith and AMS dating from the mat and modern reference collections shown that the mat was made of reeds (Phragmites australis (Cav.)) and dated to 6775-6645 cal. yr. BP. This is the earliest directly dated fiber artifact so far known in China, over at least one thousand years earlier than any established dates for woven remains elsewhere. The evidence of the mat and other related remains suggest that textile products might occur earlier than 7000-8000 years ago and are significant for understanding the history of textiles, as well as production and human adaptation in Neolithic China. PMID:26766794

  20. Eocene fossil is earliest evidence of flower-visiting by birds

    PubMed Central

    Mayr, Gerald; Wilde, Volker

    2014-01-01

    Birds are important pollinators, but the evolutionary history of ornithophily (bird pollination) is poorly known. Here, we report a skeleton of the avian taxon Pumiliornis from the middle Eocene of Messel in Germany with preserved stomach contents containing numerous pollen grains of an eudicotyledonous angiosperm. The skeletal morphology of Pumiliornis is in agreement with this bird having been a, presumably nectarivorous, flower-visitor. It represents the earliest and first direct fossil evidence of flower-visiting by birds and indicates a minimum age of 47 million years for the origin of birdflower interactions. As Pumiliornis does not belong to any of the modern groups of flower-visiting birds, the origin of ornithophily in some angiosperm lineages may have predated that of their extant avian pollinators. PMID:24872461

  1. The termites of Early Eocene Cambay amber, with the earliest record of the Termitidae (Isoptera)

    PubMed Central

    Engel, Michael S.; Grimaldi, David A.; Nascimbene, Paul C.; Singh, Hukam

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The fauna of termites (Isoptera) preserved in Early Eocene amber from the Cambay Basin (Gujarat, India) are described and figured. Three new genera and four new species are recognized, all of them Neoisoptera – Parastylotermes krishnai Engel & Grimaldi, sp. n. (Stylotermitidae); Prostylotermes kamboja Engel & Grimaldi, gen. et sp. n. (Stylotermitidae?); Zophotermes Engel, gen. n., with Zophotermes ashoki Engel & Singh, sp. n. (Rhinotermitidae: Prorhinotermitinae); and Nanotermes isaacae Engel & Grimaldi, gen. et sp. n. (Termitidae: Termitinae?). Together these species represent the earliest Tertiary records of the Neoisoptera and the oldest definitive record of Termitidae, a family that comprises >75% of the living species of Isoptera. Interestingly, the affinities of the Cambay amber termites are with largely Laurasian lineages, in this regard paralleling relationships seen between the fauna of bees and some flies. Diversity of Neoisoptera in Indian amber may reflect origin of the amber deposit in Dipterocarpaceae forests formed at or near the paleoequator. PMID:22287892

  2. Earliest known coelacanth skull extends the range of anatomically modern coelacanths to the Early Devonian.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Min; Yu, Xiaobo; Lu, Jing; Qiao, Tuo; Zhao, Wenjin; Jia, Liantao

    2012-01-01

    Coelacanths are known for their evolutionary conservatism, and the body plan seen in Latimeria can be traced to late Middle Devonian Diplocercides, Holopterygius and presumably Euporosteus. However, the group's early history is unclear because of an incomplete fossil record. Until now, the only Early Devonian coelacanth is an isolated dentary (Eoactinistia) from Australia, whose position within the coelacanths is unknown. Here we report the earliest known coelacanth skull (Euporosteus yunnanensis sp. nov.) from the Early Devonian (late Pragian) of Yunnan, China. Resolved by maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses as crownward of Diplocercides or as its sister taxon, the new form extends the chronological range of anatomically modern coelacanths by about 17?Myr. The finding lends support to the possibility that Eoactinistia is also an anatomically modern coelacanth, and provides a more refined reference point for studying the rapid early diversification and subsequent evolutionary conservatism of the coelacanths. PMID:22491320

  3. Can switching fuels save water? A life cycle quantification of freshwater consumption for Texas coal- and natural gas-fired electricity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grubert, Emily A.; Beach, Fred C.; Webber, Michael E.

    2012-12-01

    Thermal electricity generation is a major consumer of freshwater for cooling, fuel extraction and air emissions controls, but the life cycle water impacts of different fossil fuel cycles are not well understood. Much of the existing literature relies on decades-old estimates for water intensity, particularly regarding water consumed for fuel extraction. This work uses contemporary data from specific resource basins and power plants in Texas to evaluate water intensity at three major stages of coal and natural gas fuel cycles: fuel extraction, power plant cooling and power plant emissions controls. In particular, the water intensity of fuel extraction is quantified for Texas lignite, conventional natural gas and 11 unconventional natural gas basins in Texas, including major second-order impacts associated with multi-stage hydraulic fracturing. Despite the rise of this water-intensive natural gas extraction method, natural gas extraction appears to consume less freshwater than coal per unit of energy extracted in Texas because of the high water intensity of Texas lignite extraction. This work uses new resource basin and power plant level water intensity data to estimate the potential effects of coal to natural gas fuel switching in Texas power sector, a shift under consideration due to potential environmental benefits and very low natural gas prices. Replacing Texas coal-fired power plants with natural gas combined cycle plants (NGCCs) would reduce annual freshwater consumption in the state by an estimated 53 billion gallons per year, or 60% of Texas coal powers water footprint, largely due to the higher efficiency of NGCCs.

  4. The use of high pressure processing to enhance the quality and shelf life of reduced sodium naturally cured restructured cooked hams.

    PubMed

    Pietrasik, Z; Gaudette, N J; Johnston, S P

    2016-06-01

    The combined effect of partial salt replacement with modified potassium chloride and high pressure processing (600MPa for 3min at 8°C) on the quality and shelf life of naturally-cured restructured hams was investigated over a 12week storage period. Instrumental, microbiological and consumer acceptability testing was performed. A partial salt substitution with modified potassium chloride adversely affected textural and water binding characteristics of hams and led to a decrease in the consumer acceptance compared to regular salt hams. Celery powder used as a curing agent had beneficial effects on water holding and moisture retention and improved bind of restructured hams; however the consumer acceptability of flavor and aftertaste received significantly lower scores compared to nitrite. No significant differences in all consumer acceptability parameters resulted for hams subjected to HPP compared to non-HPP for all storage periods indicating that HPP can effectively extend shelf-life of restructured ham without compromising eating quality. PMID:26874593

  5. Extraordinary fossils reveal the nature of Cambrian life: a commentary on Whittington (1975) 'The enigmatic animal Opabinia regalis, Middle Cambrian, Burgess Shale, British Columbia'.

    PubMed

    Briggs, Derek E G

    2015-04-19

    Harry Whittington's 1975 monograph on Opabinia was the first to highlight how some of the Burgess Shale animals differ markedly from those that populate today's oceans. Categorized by Stephen J. Gould as a 'weird wonder' (Wonderful life, 1989) Opabinia, together with other unusual Burgess Shale fossils, stimulated ongoing debates about the early evolution of the major animal groups and the nature of the Cambrian explosion. The subsequent discovery of a number of other exceptionally preserved fossil faunas of Cambrian and early Ordovician age has significantly augmented the information available on this critical interval in the history of life. Although Opabinia initially defied assignment to any group of modern animals, it is now interpreted as lying below anomalocaridids on the stem leading to the living arthropods. This commentary was written to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. PMID:25750235

  6. Extraordinary fossils reveal the nature of Cambrian life: a commentary on Whittington (1975) ‘The enigmatic animal Opabinia regalis, Middle Cambrian, Burgess Shale, British Columbia’

    PubMed Central

    Briggs, Derek E. G.

    2015-01-01

    Harry Whittington's 1975 monograph on Opabinia was the first to highlight how some of the Burgess Shale animals differ markedly from those that populate today's oceans. Categorized by Stephen J. Gould as a ‘weird wonder’ (Wonderful life, 1989) Opabinia, together with other unusual Burgess Shale fossils, stimulated ongoing debates about the early evolution of the major animal groups and the nature of the Cambrian explosion. The subsequent discovery of a number of other exceptionally preserved fossil faunas of Cambrian and early Ordovician age has significantly augmented the information available on this critical interval in the history of life. Although Opabinia initially defied assignment to any group of modern animals, it is now interpreted as lying below anomalocaridids on the stem leading to the living arthropods. This commentary was written to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. PMID:25750235

  7. Life at the Edge. Readings from Scientific American Magazine.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gould, James L., Ed.; Gould, Carol Grant, Ed.

    This book contains a collection of 12 articles first printed in the magazine Scientific American. These articles show how life manages to eke out an existence where, by all rights, it shouldn't and helps in explaining the roles of energy and the building-block elements in the cycles of life. The titles include: (1) "The Evolution of the Earliest

  8. Natural history of reflux oesophagitis: a 10 year follow up of its effect on patient symptomatology and quality of life.

    PubMed Central

    McDougall, N I; Johnston, B T; Kee, F; Collins, J S; McFarland, R J; Love, A H

    1996-01-01

    BACKGROUND--Although oesophagitis is the most common diagnosis made at upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, data on the longterm outcome of affected patients are sparse. AIMS--This study assessed the level of reflux symptoms, quality of life, drug consumption, and complications in patients at least 10 years after diagnosis of oesophagitis at one centre. PATIENTS--One hundred and fifty two patients with typical reflux symptoms and a first time diagnosis by endoscopy of grade I-III oesophagitis between 1981 and 1984, were followed up using a postal questionnaire and telephone interview. RESULTS--Eighteen of 152 patients had died, 33 failed to respond, and 101 replied (mean follow up 11 years, range 121-160 months). Over 70% of patients still had heartburn at least daily (32%) or weekly (19%) or required daily acid suppression treatment (20%). Two patients (2%) had developed oesophageal strictures and one had Barrett's oesophagus. Two of eight quality of life scores (physical function and social function) measured by the Short Form-36 were significantly lower than Northern Ireland population scores. CONCLUSION--Nearly three quarters of patients previously diagnosed as having oesophagitis still had significant morbidity related to gastro-oesophageal reflux disease more than 10 years after diagnosis. Some quality of life scores were significantly lower than those of the general population. PMID:8707073

  9. The Wilderness Expedition: An Effective Life Course Intervention to Improve Young People's Well-Being and Connectedness to Nature

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barton, Jo; Bragg, Rachel; Pretty, Jules; Roberts, Jo; Wood, Carly

    2016-01-01

    It is well understood that wilderness expeditions improve well-being; however, there is little supporting quantitative data. The aim of this study was to measure the impact of wilderness expeditions on self-esteem (SE) and connectedness to nature (CN) and assess whether benefits varied according to participant and expedition characteristics. SE

  10. Choosing natural enemies for conservation biological control: use of the prey detectability half-life to rank agroecosystem predators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agroecosystems are speciose, making selection of natural enemies for conservation biological control non-trivial. Molecular gut analysis enables ranking of predators by the incidence of pest remains in the gut. However, predators differ in digestive rates, and ranking by incidence favors those with ...

  11. The study of capability natural uranium as fuel cycle input for long life gas cooled fast reactors with helium as coolant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ariani, Menik; Satya, Octavianus Cakra; Monado, Fiber; Su'ud, Zaki; Sekimoto, Hiroshi

    2016-03-01

    The objective of the present research is to assess the feasibility design of small long-life Gas Cooled Fast Reactor with helium as coolant. GCFR included in the Generation-IV reactor systems are being developed to provide sustainable energy resources that meet future energy demand in a reliable, safe, and proliferation-resistant manner. This reactor can be operated without enrichment and reprocessing forever, once it starts. To obtain the capability of consuming natural uranium as fuel cycle input modified CANDLE burn-up scheme was adopted in this system with different core design. This study has compared the core with three designs of core reactors with the same thermal power 600 MWth. The fuel composition each design was arranged by divided core into several parts of equal volume axially i.e. 6, 8 and 10 parts related to material burn-up history. The fresh natural uranium is initially put in region 1, after one cycle of 10 years of burn-up it is shifted to region 2 and the region 1 is filled by fresh natural uranium fuel. This concept is basically applied to all regions, i.e. shifted the core of the region (i) into region (i+1) region after the end of 10 years burn-up cycle. The calculation results shows that for the burn-up strategy on "Region-8" and "Region-10" core designs, after the reactors start-up the operation furthermore they only needs natural uranium supply to the next life operation until one period of refueling (10 years).

  12. Antioxidant Capacity of “Mexican Arnica” Heterotheca inuloides Cass Natural Products and Some Derivatives: Their Anti-Inflammatory Evaluation and Effect on C. elegans Life Span

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Chávez, José Luis; Nieto-Camacho, Antonio; Delgado-Lamas, Guillermo

    2015-01-01

    It has been suggested that the accumulation of biomolecular damage caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) contributes to aging. The antioxidant activity is related to the ability of certain compounds to protect against the potentially harmful effect of processes or reactions involving ROS. This ability is associated with the termination of free radical propagation in biological systems. From Heterotheca inuloides various compounds which have shown to possess antioxidant capacity and scavenging ROS. The aim of this study was to determine the antioxidant capacity of additional natural components isolated from H. inuloides and some semisynthetic derivatives, their anti-inflammatory activity and the effect on Caenorhabditis elegans nematode life span. Compounds showed ability to inhibit various biological processes such as lipid peroxidation, scavenge nonbiological important oxidants such as 1O2, OH∙, H2O2, and HOCl and scavenge non biological stable free radicals (DPPH). Some cadinane type compounds showed possess antioxidant, ROS scavenging capacity, anti-inflammatory activity, and effect on the C. elegans life span. Flavonoid type compounds increased the life of the nematode and quercetin was identified as the compound with the greatest activity. The modification of chemical structure led to a change in the antioxidant capacity, the anti-inflammatory activity, and the survival of the worm. PMID:25821555

  13. Antioxidant capacity of "Mexican arnica" Heterotheca inuloides Cass natural products and some derivatives: their anti-inflammatory evaluation and effect on C. elegans life span.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Chávez, José Luis; Coballase-Urrutia, Elvia; Nieto-Camacho, Antonio; Delgado-Lamas, Guillermo

    2015-01-01

    It has been suggested that the accumulation of biomolecular damage caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) contributes to aging. The antioxidant activity is related to the ability of certain compounds to protect against the potentially harmful effect of processes or reactions involving ROS. This ability is associated with the termination of free radical propagation in biological systems. From Heterotheca inuloides various compounds which have shown to possess antioxidant capacity and scavenging ROS. The aim of this study was to determine the antioxidant capacity of additional natural components isolated from H. inuloides and some semisynthetic derivatives, their anti-inflammatory activity and the effect on Caenorhabditis elegans nematode life span. Compounds showed ability to inhibit various biological processes such as lipid peroxidation, scavenge nonbiological important oxidants such as (1)O2, OH(∙), H2O2, and HOCl and scavenge non biological stable free radicals (DPPH). Some cadinane type compounds showed possess antioxidant, ROS scavenging capacity, anti-inflammatory activity, and effect on the C. elegans life span. Flavonoid type compounds increased the life of the nematode and quercetin was identified as the compound with the greatest activity. The modification of chemical structure led to a change in the antioxidant capacity, the anti-inflammatory activity, and the survival of the worm. PMID:25821555

  14. Overall results of and lessons learned from the IAEA CRP on sodium natural circulation test performed during the Phenix end-of-life experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Monti, S.; Toti, A.; Tenchine, D.; Pialla, D.

    2012-07-01

    In 2007, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) launched the Coordinated Research Project (CRP) 'Control Rod Withdrawal and Sodium Natural Circulation Tests Performed during the Phenix End-of-Life Experiments'. The overall purpose of the CRP, performed within the framework of the IAEA programme in support of innovative fast reactor technology development and deployment, is to improve the Member States' analytical capabilities in the various fields of research and design of sodium-cooled fast reactors through data and codes verification and validation. In particular the CRP, taking advantage of the End-of-Life set of experiments performed before the final shut-down of the French prototype fast breeder power reactor Phenix, aims at improving fast reactor simulation methods and design capabilities in the field of temperature and power distribution evaluation, as well as of the analysis of sodium natural circulation phenomena. The paper presents the overall results of the CRP, including blind calculations and post-test and sensitivity analyses carried out by the CRP participants, as well as lessons learned and recommendations for further future implementations to resolve open issues. (authors)

  15. Revised Timeline and Distribution of the Earliest Diverged Human Maternal Lineages in Southern Africa

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Eva K. F.; Hardie, Rae-Anne; Petersen, Desiree C.; Beeson, Karen; Bornman, Riana M. S.; Smith, Andrew B.; Hayes, Vanessa M.

    2015-01-01

    The oldest extant human maternal lineages include mitochondrial haplogroups L0d and L0k found in the southern African click-speaking forager peoples broadly classified as Khoesan. Profiling these early mitochondrial lineages allows for better understanding of modern human evolution. In this study, we profile 77 new early-diverged complete mitochondrial genomes and sub-classify another 105 L0d/L0k individuals from southern Africa. We use this data to refine basal phylogenetic divergence, coalescence times and Khoesan prehistory. Our results confirm L0d as the earliest diverged lineage (?172 kya, 95%CI: 149199 kya), followed by L0k (?159 kya, 95%CI: 136183 kya) and a new lineage we name L0g (?94 kya, 95%CI: 72116 kya). We identify two new L0d1 subclades we name L0d1d and L0d1c4/L0d1e, and estimate L0d2 and L0d1 divergence at ?93 kya (95%CI:76112 kya). We concur the earliest emerging L0d12 sublineage L0d1b (?49 kya, 95%CI:3758 kya) is widely distributed across southern Africa. Concomitantly, we find the most recent sublineage L0d2a (?17 kya, 95%CI:1027 kya) to be equally common. While we agree that lineages L0d1c and L0k1a are restricted to contemporary inland Khoesan populations, our observed predominance of L0d2a and L0d1a in non-Khoesan populations suggests a once independent coastal Khoesan prehistory. The distribution of early-diverged human maternal lineages within contemporary southern Africans suggests a rich history of human existence prior to any archaeological evidence of migration into the region. For the first time, we provide a genetic-based evidence for significant modern human evolution in southern Africa at the time of the Last Glacial Maximum at between ?2117 kya, coinciding with the emergence of major lineages L0d1a, L0d2b, L0d2d and L0d2a. PMID:25807545

  16. Precise U-Pb Zircon Constraints on the Earliest Magmatic History of the Carolina Terrane.

    PubMed

    Wortman; Samson; Hibbard

    2000-05-01

    The early magmatic and tectonic history of the Carolina terrane and its possible affinities with other Neoproterozoic circum-Atlantic arc terranes have been poorly understood, in large part because of a lack of reliable geochronological data. Precise U-Pb zircon dates for the Virgilina sequence, the oldest exposed part, constrain the timing of the earliest known stage of magmatism in the terrane and of the Virgilina orogeny. A flow-banded rhyolite sampled from a metavolcanic sequence near Chapel Hill, North Carolina, yielded a U-Pb zircon date of 632.9 +2.6/-1.9 Ma. A granitic unit of the Chapel Hill pluton, which intrudes the metavolcanic sequence, yielded a nearly identical U-Pb zircon date of 633 +2/-1.5 Ma, interpreted as its crystallization age. A felsic gneiss and a dacitic tuff from the Hyco Formation yielded U-Pb zircon dates of 619.9 +4.5/-3 Ma and 615.7 +3.7/-1.9 Ma, respectively. Diorite and granite of the Flat River complex have indistinguishable U-Pb upper-intercept dates of 613.9 +1.6/-1.5 Ma and 613.4 +2.8/-2 Ma. The Osmond biotite-granite gneiss, which intruded the Hyco Formation before the Virgilina orogeny, crystallized at 612.4 +5.2/-1.7 Ma. Granite of the Roxboro pluton, an intrusion that postdated the Virgilina orogeny, yielded a U-Pb upper intercept date of 546.5 +3.0/-2.4 Ma, interpreted as the time of its crystallization. These new dates both provide the first reliable estimates of the age of the Virgilina sequence and document that the earliest known stage of magmatism in the Carolina terrane had begun by 633 +2/-1.5 Ma and continued at least until 612.4 +5.2/-1.7 Ma, an interval of approximately 25 m.yr. Timing of the Virgilina orogeny is bracketed between 612.4 +5.2/-1.7 Ma and 586+/-10 Ma (reported age of the upper Uwharrie Formation). The U-Pb systematics of all units studied in the Virgilina sequence are simple and lack any evidence of an older xenocrystic zircon component, which would indicate the presence of a continental-type basement. This observation, together with the juvenile Nd isotopic character of the Virgilina volcanic arc sequence, suggests that the oldest part of the Carolina terrane was built on oceanic crust away from a continental crustal influence. PMID:10769159

  17. Studies of the earliest generated cells of the cat's visual cortex: cogeneration of subplate and marginal zones.

    PubMed

    Luskin, M B; Shatz, C J

    1985-04-01

    The earliest generated cells of the cat's telencephalon that may play a role in the formation of the primary visual cortex are the subject of this study. Using [3H]thymidine autoradiography, we have found that these cells are generated between embryonic day 24 (E24) and E30 (gestation is 65 days) and that they are present in very low numbers in the white matter of the adult brain. These cells are rarely labeled by injections made after E30, when the cells destined for the cortical layers are generated. Examination of the labeling pattern in the fetal brain 10 days or more after administration of [3H]thymidine between E24 and E30 revealed a bistratified distribution of these early generated cells. Labeled cells were found in large numbers in two embryonic zones flanking the developing cortical plate: above in the marginal zone and below in the subplate. (Some if not all of the marginal zone cells constitute the population of Cajal-Retzius cells of the cat's telencephalon.). These experiments indicate that cells of the subplate and marginal zones are cogenerated in time during the days just preceding the genesis of the cortical plate. We also examined the distribution of the early generated cells shortly after their genesis--on E30, a time when cells of the cortical plate are just being generated at the ventricular zone. In this case, the labeling pattern at the occipital pole was not bistratified. Rather, labeled cells were situated within a single zone extending from the pial surface inward to the border of the ventricular zone. This finding indicates that the cells of the subplate and marginal zones are generated as a contiguous population that is subsequently split apart by the insertion of cells forming the cortical plate. A comparison between the number of early generated cells found in fetal and newborn brains with that found in adult brains suggests that these cells are generated initially in substantial numbers but then largely disappear during early postnatal life, since injections of [3H]thymidine between E24 and E30 yielded large numbers of labeled cells in the white matter and layer 1 at birth, but very few at 2 months postnatal. This significant loss contrasted with the results from injections made just a few days later (E33) that resulted in large numbers of labeled cells in cortical layer 6 not only at birth but also in adulthood.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS) PMID:3981242

  18. Dicer is selectively important for the earliest stages of erythroid development.

    PubMed

    Buza-Vidas, Natalija; Cismasiu, Valeriu B; Moore, Susan; Mead, Adam J; Woll, Petter S; Lutteropp, Michael; Melchiori, Luca; Luc, Sidinh; Bouriez-Jones, Tiphaine; Atkinson, Deborah; O'Carroll, Donal; Jacobsen, Sten Eirik W; Nerlov, Claus

    2012-09-20

    MicroRNAs (miRs) are involved in many aspects of normal and malignant hematopoiesis, including hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) self-renewal, proliferation, and terminal differentiation. However, a role for miRs in the generation of the earliest stages of lineage committed progenitors from HSCs has not been identified. Using Dicer inactivation, we show that the miR complex is not only essential for HSC maintenance but is specifically required for their erythroid programming and subsequent generation of committed erythroid progenitors. In bipotent pre-MegEs, loss of Dicer up-regulated transcription factors preferentially expressed in megakaryocyte progenitors (Gata2 and Zfpm1) and decreased expression of the erythroid-specific Klf1 transcription factor. These results show a specific requirement for Dicer in acquisition of erythroid lineage programming and potential in HSCs and their subsequent erythroid lineage differentiation, and in particular indicate a role for the miR complex in achieving proper balance of lineage-specific transcriptional regulators necessary for HSC multilineage potential to be maintained. PMID:22869792

  19. Gnomon shadow lengths recorded in the Zhoubi Suanjing: the earliest meridian observations in China?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yong; Sun, Xiao-Chun

    2009-12-01

    The Zhoubi Suanjing, one of the most important ancient Chinese books on mathematical astronomy, was compiled about 100 BC in the Western Han dynasty (BC 206 - AD 23). We study the gnomon shadow lengths for the 24 solar terms as recorded in the book. Special attention is paid to the so-called law of 'cun qian li', which says the shadow length of a gnomon of 8 chi (about 1.96 m) high will increase (or decrease) 1 cun (1/10 chi) for every 1000 li (roughly 400 km) the gnomon moves northward (or southward). From these data, one can derive the time and location of the observations. The results, however, do not fit historical facts. We suggest that compilers of the Zhoubi Suanjing must have modified the original data according to the law of 'cun qian li'. Through reversing the situation, we recovered the original data, our analysis of which reveals the best possible observation time as 564 BC and the location of observation as 35.78 N latitude. We conclude that this must be the earliest records of solar meridian observations in China. In the meantime, we give the errors of solar altitudes for the 24 solar terms. The average deviation is 5.22, and the mean absolute deviation is 5.52, signifying the accuracy of astronomical calculations from that time.

  20. The earliest fossil record of Panorpidae (Mecoptera) from the Middle Jurassic of China

    PubMed Central

    Ding, He; Shih, Chungkun; Bashkuev, Alexei; Zhao, Yunyun; Ren, Dong

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The early history of Panorpidae (Mecoptera) is poorly known due to sparse fossil records. Up to date, only nine fossil species have been described, all from the Paleogene, except the Early Cretaceous Solusipanorpa gibbidorsa Lin, 1980. However, we suggest S. gibbidorsa is too incompletely preserved to permit even family classification. A new genus with two new species, Jurassipanorpa impunctata gen. et sp. n. and Jurassipanorpa sticta sp. n., are described based on four well-preserved specimens from the late Middle Jurassic Jiulongshan Formation of Daohugou, Inner Mongolia, China. These two new species are the earliest fossil records of Panorpidae. The new genus is erected based on a combination of forewing characters: both R1 and Rs1 with two branches, 1A reaching posterior margin of wing distad of the forking of Rs from R1, and no crossveins or only one crossvein between veins of 1A and 2A. In all four specimens, long and robust setae ranging from 0.09 to 0.38 mm in length and pointing anteriorly, are present on anal veins of forewings. The function of these setae is enigmatic. PMID:25152669

  1. ESR dating and the human evolution: contribution to the chronology of the earliest humans in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falgures, Christophe

    2003-05-01

    In the last 20 years, the electron spin resonance (ESR) dating method has allowed the establishment of a chronological time frame over most of the history of human evolution. Despite many difficulties found for ESR dating of bones and carbonates, tooth enamel dated by ESR has been proven as a reliable method in its application to fossil teeth and quartz. Both of the latter materials have allowed dating of Early and Middle Pleistocene sites which are not datable using other methods such as the Argon-Argon method. In particular, recent discoveries of human remains in western Europe have been proposed to be sites of the earliest arrival of humans there, and have been dated to the Early Pleistocene by ESR using quartz and tooth enamel. Combined ESR and U-series dating of fossil herbivore teeth are the only means of dating layers from which such ancient remains have been recovered in western Europe. Good examples are the sites of Atapuerca Gran Dolina, Spain and Visogliano, Italy which have been dated using tooth enamel. When no bones and teeth can be found in prehistoric sites, ESR dating on quartz extracted from sediments has been used to date sites whose ages range over the entire Quaternary period. We present here two examples that occur in fluvial terraces of the river Creuse, France and at Monte Poggiolo site, Italy, where several artefacts of an archaic pebble industry have been recovered.

  2. The Earliest Post-Paleozoic Freshwater Bivalves Preserved in Coprolites from the Karoo Basin, South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Yates, Adam M.; Neumann, Frank H.; Hancox, P. John

    2012-01-01

    Background Several clades of bivalve molluscs have invaded freshwaters at various times throughout Phanerozoic history. The most successful freshwater clade in the modern world is the Unionoida. Unionoids arose in the Triassic Period, sometime after the major extinction event at the End-Permian boundary and are now widely distributed across all continents except Antarctica. Until now, no freshwater bivalves of any kind were known to exist in the Early Triassic. Principal Findings Here we report on a faunule of two small freshwater bivalve species preserved in vertebrate coprolites from the Olenekian (Lower Triassic) of the Burgersdorp Formation of the Karoo Basin, South Africa. Positive identification of these bivalves is not possible due to the limited material. Nevertheless they do show similarities with Unionoida although they fall below the size range of extant unionoids. Phylogenetic analysis is not possible with such limited material and consequently the assignment remains somewhat speculative. Conclusions Bivalve molluscs re-invaded freshwaters soon after the End-Permian extinction event, during the earliest part of the recovery phase during the Olenekian Stage of the Early Triassic. If the specimens do represent unionoids then these Early Triassic examples may be an example of the Lilliput effect. Since the oldest incontrovertible freshwater unionoids are also from sub-Saharan Africa, it is possible that this subcontinent hosted the initial freshwater radiation of the Unionoida. This find also demonstrates the importance of coprolites as microenvironments of exceptional preservation that contain fossils of organisms that would otherwise have left no trace. PMID:22319562

  3. Sodium-driven energy conversion for flagellar rotation of the earliest divergent hyperthermophilic bacterium

    PubMed Central

    Takekawa, Norihiro; Nishiyama, Masayoshi; Kaneseki, Tsuyoshi; Kanai, Tamotsu; Atomi, Haruyuki; Kojima, Seiji; Homma, Michio

    2015-01-01

    Aquifex aeolicus is a hyperthermophilic, hydrogen-oxidizing and carbon-fixing bacterium that can grow at temperatures up to 95?C. A. aeolicus has an almost complete set of flagellar genes that are conserved in bacteria. Here we observed that A. aeolicus has polar flagellum and can swim with a speed of 90??m?s?1 at 85 C. We expressed the A. aeolicus mot genes (motA and motB), which encode the torque generating stator proteins of the flagellar motor, in a corresponding mot nonmotile mutant of Escherichia coli. Its motility was slightly recovered by expression of A. aeolicus MotA and chimeric MotB whose periplasmic region was replaced with that of E. coli. A point mutation in the A. aeolicus MotA cytoplasmic region remarkably enhanced the motility. Using this system in E. coli, we demonstrate that the A. aeolicus motor is driven by Na+. As motor proteins from hyperthermophilic bacteria represent the earliest motor proteins in evolution, this study strongly suggests that ancient bacteria used Na+ for energy coupling of the flagellar motor. The Na+-driven flagellar genes might have been laterally transferred from early-branched bacteria into late-branched bacteria and the interaction surfaces of the stator and rotor seem not to change in evolution. PMID:26244427

  4. Basal tissue structure in the earliest euconodonts: Testing hypotheses of developmental plasticity in euconodont phylogeny

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dong, X.-P.; Donoghue, P.C.J.; Repetski, J.E.

    2005-01-01

    The hypothesis that conodonts are vertebrates rests solely on evidence of soft tissue anatomy. This has been corroborated by microstructural, topological and developmental evidence of homology between conodont and vertebrate hard tissues. However, these conclusions have been reached on the basis of evidence from highly derived euconodont taxa and the degree to which they are representative of plesiomorphic euconodonts remains an open question. Furthermore, the range of variation in tissue types comprising the euconodont basal body has been used to establish a hypothesis of developmental plasticity early in the phylogeny of the clade, and a model of diminishing potentiality in the evolution of development systems. The microstructural fabrics of the basal tissues of the earliest euconodonts (presumed to be the most plesiomorphic) are examined to test these two hypotheses. It is found that the range of microstructural variation observed hitherto was already apparent among plesiomorphic euconodonts. Thus, established histological data are representative of the most plesiomorphic euconodonts. However, although there is evidence of a range in microstructural fabrics, these are compatible with the dentine tissue system alone, and the degree of variation is compatible with that seen in clades of comparable diversity. ?? The Palaeontological Association.

  5. A SWIFT LOOK AT SN 2011fe: THE EARLIEST ULTRAVIOLET OBSERVATIONS OF A TYPE Ia SUPERNOVA

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Peter J.; Dawson, Kyle S.; De Pasquale, Massimiliano; Gronwall, Caryl; Siegel, Michael; Holland, Stephen; Immler, Stefan; Kuin, Paul; Oates, Samantha; Mazzali, Paolo; Milne, Peter

    2012-07-01

    We present the earliest ultraviolet (UV) observations of the bright Type Ia supernova SN 2011fe/PTF11kly in the nearby galaxy M101 at a distance of only 6.4 Mpc. It was discovered shortly after explosion by the Palomar Transient Factory and first observed by Swift/UVOT about a day after explosion. The early UV light is well defined, with {approx}20 data points per filter in the five days after explosion. These early and well-sampled UV observations form new template light curves for comparison with observations of other SNe Ia at low and high redshift. We report fits from semiempirical models of the explosion and find the time evolution of the early UV flux to be well fitted by the superposition of two parabolic curves. Finally, we use the early UV flux measurements to examine a possible shock interaction with a non-degenerate companion. From models predicting the measurable shock emission, we find that even a solar mass companion at a distance of a few solar radii is unlikely at more than 95% confidence.

  6. Earliest evidence of dental caries manipulation in the Late Upper Palaeolithic.

    PubMed

    Oxilia, Gregorio; Peresani, Marco; Romandini, Matteo; Matteucci, Chiara; Spiteri, Cynthianne Debono; Henry, Amanda G; Schulz, Dieter; Archer, Will; Crezzini, Jacopo; Boschin, Francesco; Boscato, Paolo; Jaouen, Klervia; Dogandzic, Tamara; Broglio, Alberto; Moggi-Cecchi, Jacopo; Fiorenza, Luca; Hublin, Jean-Jacques; Kullmer, Ottmar; Benazzi, Stefano

    2015-01-01

    Prehistoric dental treatments were extremely rare, and the few documented cases are known from the Neolithic, when the adoption of early farming culture caused an increase of carious lesions. Here we report the earliest evidence of dental caries intervention on a Late Upper Palaeolithic modern human specimen (Villabruna) from a burial in Northern Italy. Using Scanning Electron Microscopy we show the presence of striations deriving from the manipulation of a large occlusal carious cavity of the lower right third molar. The striations have a "V"-shaped transverse section and several parallel micro-scratches at their base, as typically displayed by cutmarks on teeth. Based on in vitro experimental replication and a complete functional reconstruction of the Villabruna dental arches, we confirm that the identified striations and the associated extensive enamel chipping on the mesial wall of the cavity were produced ante-mortem by pointed flint tools during scratching and levering activities. The Villabruna specimen is therefore the oldest known evidence of dental caries intervention, suggesting at least some knowledge of disease treatment well before the Neolithic. This study suggests that primitive forms of carious treatment in human evolution entail an adaptation of the well-known toothpicking for levering and scratching rather than drilling practices. PMID:26179739

  7. Earliest evidence of dental caries manipulation in the Late Upper Palaeolithic

    PubMed Central

    Oxilia, Gregorio; Peresani, Marco; Romandini, Matteo; Matteucci, Chiara; Spiteri, Cynthianne Debono; Henry, Amanda G.; Schulz, Dieter; Archer, Will; Crezzini, Jacopo; Boschin, Francesco; Boscato, Paolo; Jaouen, Klervia; Dogandzic, Tamara; Broglio, Alberto; Moggi-Cecchi, Jacopo; Fiorenza, Luca; Hublin, Jean-Jacques; Kullmer, Ottmar; Benazzi, Stefano

    2015-01-01

    Prehistoric dental treatments were extremely rare, and the few documented cases are known from the Neolithic, when the adoption of early farming culture caused an increase of carious lesions. Here we report the earliest evidence of dental caries intervention on a Late Upper Palaeolithic modern human specimen (Villabruna) from a burial in Northern Italy. Using Scanning Electron Microscopy we show the presence of striations deriving from the manipulation of a large occlusal carious cavity of the lower right third molar. The striations have a “V”-shaped transverse section and several parallel micro-scratches at their base, as typically displayed by cutmarks on teeth. Based on in vitro experimental replication and a complete functional reconstruction of the Villabruna dental arches, we confirm that the identified striations and the associated extensive enamel chipping on the mesial wall of the cavity were produced ante-mortem by pointed flint tools during scratching and levering activities. The Villabruna specimen is therefore the oldest known evidence of dental caries intervention, suggesting at least some knowledge of disease treatment well before the Neolithic. This study suggests that primitive forms of carious treatment in human evolution entail an adaptation of the well-known toothpicking for levering and scratching rather than drilling practices. PMID:26179739

  8. The Earliest Chinese Proto-Porcelain Excavated from Kiln Sites: An Elemental Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yu; Zhang, Bin; Cheng, Huansheng; Zheng, Jianming

    2015-01-01

    In June 2012, the Piaoshan kiln site was excavated in Huzhou, Zhejiang Province, which hitherto proved to be the earliest known Chinese proto-porcelain kiln. Judging from the decorative patterns of unearthed impressed stoneware and proto-porcelain sherds, the site was determined to date to the late Xia (c. 2070–c. 1600 BC), the first dynasty of China. Here, we report on proton-induced X-ray emission analyses of 118 proto-porcelain and 35 impressed stoneware sherds from Piaoshan and five subsequent kiln sites in the vicinity. Using principal components analysis on the major chemical compositions, we reveal the relationships between impressed stoneware and proto-porcelain samples from the six kiln sites. The sherds from different sites have distinctive chemical profiles. The results indicate that the raw materials were procured locally. We find a developmental tendency for early glazes towards mature calcium-based glaze. It is most likely that woody plant ashes with increased calcia-potash ratios were applied to the formula. PMID:26535583

  9. Paleoecology of the earliest skeletal metazoan communities: Implications for early biomineralization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, Rachel A.

    2011-05-01

    The oldest skeletal metazoans (~ 550-543 Ma) are probably of diploblast grade, i.e., stem- or crown-group cnidarians or basal stem-group bilaterians, sessile benthos, and found in shallow marine carbonate settings. The abundant ions in carbonate environments made the formation of carbonate exoskeletons within pre-existing organic matrices physiologically inexpensive. Individuals also reached the largest sizes within reefs, further suggesting that growth in settings conducive to rapid carbonate precipitation promoted skeletonization. Likewise, the preferential precipitation of aragonite and high-Mg calcite mineralogies was thermodynamically-favored by ambient seawater Mg:Ca ratios/ pCO 2. Finally, the sessile habit of the earliest skeletal metazoans may be due to the fact that it is energetically far less costly to mineralise immobile rather than mobile organisms. The morphological and paleoecological characteristics of this biota occupation of progressively younger skeletal parts ( Cloudina and Sinotubulites), aggregating behavior and possession of a stalk or holdfast ( Namacalathus), and the ability to encrust, a modular habit, and large size ( Namapoikia) as well as general attachment to thrombolitic substrates, are all consistent with competitive strategies and anti-predation traits. Together, these observations support the view that skeletonization was promoted by the rise of substrate competitors and bilaterian predators, in predominately carbonate platform and reef environments.

  10. Earliest Carboniferous tetrapod and arthropod faunas from Scotland populate Romer's Gap

    PubMed Central

    Smithson, Timothy R.; Wood, Stanley P.; Marshall, John E. A.; Clack, Jennifer A.

    2012-01-01

    Devonian tetrapods (limbed vertebrates), known from an increasingly large number of localities, have been shown to be mainly aquatic with many primitive features. In contrast, the post-Devonian record is marked by an Early Mississippian temporal gap ranging from the earliest Carboniferous (Tournaisian and early Visan) to the mid-Visan. By the mid-Visan, tetrapods had become effectively terrestrial as attested by the presence of stem amniotes, developed an essentially modern aspect, and given rise to the crown group. Up to now, only two localities have yielded tetrapod specimens from the Tournaisian stage: one in Scotland with a single articulated skeleton and one in Nova Scotia with isolated bones, many of uncertain identity. We announce a series of discoveries of Tournaisian-age localities in Scotland that have yielded a wealth of new tetrapod and arthropod fossils. These include both terrestrial and aquatic forms and new taxa. We conclude that the gap in the fossil record has been an artifact of collection failure. PMID:22393016

  11. Earliest foraminifera and radiolaria from North America: evolutionary and geological implications

    SciTech Connect

    Lipps, J.H.

    1985-01-01

    Foraminifera and radiolaria were found in lower and middle Cambrian rocks in the western US. They occur in clastic rocks associated with archaeocyathid bioherms and shales in SE California, SW Nevada, W Utah and Idaho. The foraminifera are agglutinated tubes, straight or coiled; the radiolaria are spherical or flattened wit robust lattices. They occur together with some of the earliest shelled metazoa. Their widespread occurrence indicates that protozoa were important elements of the first animal-dominated communities. Their presence suggests a complex trophic structure involving secondary consumers that utilized small autotrophs, carnivores, and detritus. Ordovician and Silurian foraminifera and radiolaria, also found in the US and USSR, show that the subsequent radiation of heterotrophic protists follows a pattern similar to that of metazoans. These fossil protozoa indicate that the skeletonization of early organisms was controlled by factors not related solely to a multicellular grade of organization. Hypotheses requiring the attainment of atmospheric oxygen levels high enough for metazoan skeletonization processes to operate, seawater chemistry allowing the use of specific skeletal materials, attainment of large size, evolution of regulatory genes, and similar ideas can be eliminated or modified. The fossils also indicate that the advent of skeletonized metazoa and protists, and their subsequent radiation were probably related to the proliferation of trophic interactions within those early communities.

  12. Crystals stirred up: 2. Numerical insights into the formation of the earliest crust on the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suckale, Jenny; Elkins-Tanton, Linda T.; Sethian, James A.

    2012-08-01

    This is the second paper in a two-part series examining the fluid dynamics of crystal settling and flotation in the lunar magma ocean. In the first paper, we develop a direct numerical method for resolving the hydrodynamic interactions between crystals and their feedback on the flow field in magmatic liquid. In this paper, we use this computational technique to test the leading model for the formation of the earliest crust on the Moon. The anorthositic lithology of the lunar crust is thought to have been formed by the flotation of buoyant plagioclase crystals at a time when the lunar mantle was still wholly or largely molten. This model is appealing from an observational point of view, but its fluid dynamical validity is not obvious, because (1) plagioclase probably started crystallizing very late (i.e., when the magma ocean was already 80% solidified) and (2) a significant portion of the shallow lunar crust consists of almost pure plagioclase (>90 vol. %), requiring very efficient plagioclase segregation. The goal of this study is to better understand the fluid dynamical conditions that hinder or facilitate crystal settling or flotation. Our approach complements earlier studies by explicitly linking the petrological and fluid dynamical evolution and by focusing on the effect of increasing crystal fraction. We find that crystal settling was probably possible throughout the entire solidification history of the lunar magma ocean as long as crystal sizes were sufficiently large (r > 1 mm) and crystal fraction sufficiently low (? < 13%).

  13. A Swift Look at SN 2011fe: The Earliest Ultraviolet Observations of a Type Ia Supernova

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oates, Samantha; Holland, Stephen; Immler, Stefan; Brown, Peter J.; Dawson, Kyle S.; DePasquale, Massimiliano; Gronwall, Caryl; Kuin, Paul; Mazzali, Paolo; Miline, Peter; Siegel, Michael

    2012-01-01

    We present the earliest ultraviolet (UV) observations of the bright Type Ia supernova SN 2011fe/PTF11kly in the nearby galaxy M101 at a distance of only 6.4 Mpc. It was discovered shortly after explosion by the Palomar Transient Factory and first observed by Swift/UVOT about a day after explosion. The early UV light is well-defined, with approx. 20 data points per filter in the 5 days after explosion. With these early UV observations, we extend the near-UV template of SNe Ia to earlier times for comparison with observations at low and high redshift and report fits from semiempirical models of the explosion. We find the early UV count rates to be well fit by the superposition of two parabolic curves. Finally, we use the early UV flux measurements to examine a possible shock interaction with a non-degenerate companion. We find that even a solar mass companion at a distance of a few solar radii is unlikely at more than 95% confidence.

  14. Earliest Holocene South Greenland Ice Sheet Retreat Within its Late Holocene Extent

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carlson, Anders E.; Winsor, Kelsey; Ullman, David J.; Brook, Edward J.; Rood, Dylan H.; Axford, Yarrow; LeGrande, Allegra Nicole; Anslow, Faron S.; Sinclair, Gaylen

    2014-01-01

    Early Holocene summer warmth drove dramatic Greenland ice sheet (GIS) retreat. Subsequent insolation-driven cooling caused GIS margin readvance to late Holocene maxima, from which ice margins are now retreating. We use Be-10 surface exposure ages from four locations between 69.4 deg N and 61.2 deg N to date when in the early Holocene south to west GIS margins retreated to within these late Holocene maximum extents. We find that this occurred at 11.1 +/- 0.2 ka to 10.6 +/- 0.5 ka in south Greenland, significantly earlier than previous estimates, and 6.8 +/- 0.1 ka to 7.9 +/- 0.1 ka in southwest to west Greenland, consistent with existing Be-10 ages. At least in south Greenland, these Be-10 ages likely provide a minimum constraint for when on a multicentury timescale summer temperatures after the last deglaciation warmed above late Holocene temperatures in the early Holocene. Current south Greenland ice margin retreat suggests that south Greenland may have now warmed to or above earliest Holocene summer temperatures.

  15. The earliest mollusc dominated seep fauna from the Early Jurassic of Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaim, Andrzej; Jenkins, Robert; Parent, Horacio; Garrido, Alberto; Moriya, Kazuhiro

    2015-04-01

    The earliest mollusc dominated seep fauna from the Early Jurassic of Argentina Andrzej Kaim, Robert G. Jenkins, Horacio Parent, Alberto C. Garrido The hydrocarbon seep deposits are known from Early Jurassic of Argentina since the report of Gomez-Perez (2003). The latter author identified very negative δ13C values (down to -33) and several fabrics typical for seep carbonates. Nevertheless she identified no macrofaunal assemblages apart from worm tubes. We re-visited the locality of Gomez-Perez (named here La Elina) and we were able to collect several molluscs associated with the seep carbonate. The most common and diversified are molluscs and worm tubes. We identified at least three species of gastropods, including the oldest-known species of neomphalids, lucinid and protobranch bivalves and numerous ammonoids. Unlike another known Early Jurassic seep from Oregon and the only Late Triassic seep (also from Oregon) there are no brachiopods associated with this seep. Therefore we consider the seep at La Elina as the oldest seep of modern aspect where the fauna is dominated by molluscs and not brachiopods.

  16. Part 2: the Earliest World Map, Babylonia, c. 500 B.C. European Cartography on the Eve of the Discoveries.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Danzer, Gerald A.

    1991-01-01

    Discusses a cuneiform Babylonian tablet from about 500 B.C., the earliest extant world map. Explores bases for contemporary interpretation of the map. Observes that the map contains representations found in later maps. Suggests that modern views of the world are no less culturally laden than much earlier perspectives were. (SG)

  17. Nonmarine stromatolites and the search for early life on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Awramik, S. M.

    1991-01-01

    The available evidence permits one to conclude that streams flowed and lakes developed on Mars sometime in the remote past. The lessons learned from the Earth's earliest fossil record suggest that stromatolites might have formed on Mars, speculating that: (1) biopoesis occurred on Mars during its earliest history; (2) life evolved and diversified; (3) life inhabited aqueous environments; and (4) sunlight was an important environmental resource. The most likely place to find stromatolites and possibly microbial fossils on Mars would be in ancient lake and stream deposits. If thermal spring deposits can be identified, then they too are sites for biogeological investigations. Other aspects of this study are presented.

  18. Effect of Addition of Natural Antioxidants on the Shelf-Life of "Chorizo", a Spanish Dry-Cured Sausage.

    PubMed

    Pateiro, Mirian; Bermúdez, Roberto; Lorenzo, José Manuel; Franco, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    The dose effect of the addition of natural antioxidants (tea, chestnut, grape seed and beer extracts) on physicochemical, microbiological changes and on oxidative stability of dry-cured "chorizo", as well as their effect during the storage under vacuum conditions was evaluated. Color parameters were significantly (p < 0.05) affected by the addition of antioxidants so that samples that contained antioxidants were more effective in maintaining color. The improving effects were dose-dependent with highest values with the dose of 50 mg/kg during ripening and depend on the extract during vacuum packaging. Addition of antioxidants decreased (p < 0.05) the oxidation, showing thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) values below 0.4 mg MDA/kg. Natural antioxidants matched or even improved the results obtained for butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). Regarding texture profile analysis (TPA) analysis, hardness values significantly (p < 0.001) decreased with the addition of antioxidants, obtaining the lower results with the dose of 200 mg/kg both during ripening and vacuum packaging. Antioxidants reduced the counts of total viable counts (TVC), lactic acid bacteria (LAB), mold and yeast. Free fatty acid content during ripening and under vacuum conditions showed a gradual and significant (p < 0.05) release as a result of lipolysis. At the end of ripening, the addition of GRA1000 protected chorizos from oxidative degradation. PMID:26785337

  19. Posttranslational modification and sequence variation of redox-active proteins correlate with biofilm life cycle in natural microbial communities

    SciTech Connect

    Singer, Steven; Erickson, Brian K; Verberkmoes, Nathan C; Hwang, Mona; Shah, Manesh B; Hettich, Robert {Bob} L; Banfield, Jillian F.; Thelen, Michael P.

    2010-01-01

    Characterizing proteins recovered from natural microbial communities affords the opportunity to correlate protein expression and modification with environmental factors, including species composition and successional stage. Proteogenomic and biochemical studies of pellicle biofilms from subsurface acid mine drainage streams have shown abundant cytochromes from the dominant organism, Leptospirillum Group II. These cytochromes are proposed to be key proteins in aerobic Fe(II) oxidation, the dominant mode of cellular energy generation by the biofilms. In this study, we determined that posttranslational modification and expression of amino-acid sequence variants change as a function of biofilm maturation. For Cytochrome579 (Cyt579), the most abundant cytochrome in the biofilms, late developmental-stage biofilms differed from early-stage biofilms in N-terminal truncations and decreased redox potentials. Expression of sequence variants of two monoheme c-type cytochromes also depended on biofilm development. For Cyt572, an abundant membrane-bound cytochrome, the expression of multiple sequence variants was observed in both early and late developmental-stage biofilms; however, redox potentials of Cyt572 from these different sources did not vary significantly. These cytochrome analyses show a complex response of the Leptospirillum Group II electron transport chain to growth within a microbial community and illustrate the power of multiple proteomics techniques to define biochemistry in natural systems.

  20. Nature and Age of Neighbours Matter: Interspecific Associations among Tree Species Exist and Vary across Life Stages in Tropical Forests.

    PubMed

    Ledo, Alicia

    2015-01-01

    Detailed information about interspecific spatial associations among tropical tree species is scarce, and hence the ecological importance of those associations may have been underestimated. However, they can play a role in community assembly and species diversity maintenance. This study investigated the spatial dependence between pairs of species. First, the spatial associations (spatial attraction and spatial repulsion) that arose between species were examined. Second, different sizes of trees were considered in order to evaluate whether the spatial relationships between species are constant or vary during the lifetime of individuals. Third, the consistency of those spatial associations with the species-habitat associations found in previous studies was assessed. Two different tropical ecosystems were investigated: a montane cloud forest and a lowland moist forest. The results showed that spatial associations among species exist, and these vary among life stages and species. The rarity of negative spatial interactions suggested that exclusive competition was not common in the studied forests. On the other hand, positive interactions were common, and the results of this study strongly suggested that habitat associations were not the only cause of spatial attraction among species. If this is true, habitat associations and density dependence are not the only mechanisms that explain species distribution and diversity; other ecological interactions, such as facilitation among species, may also play a role. These spatial associations could be important in the assembly of tropical tree communities and forest succession, and should be taken into account in future studies. PMID:26581110

  1. Nature and Age of Neighbours Matter: Interspecific Associations among Tree Species Exist and Vary across Life Stages in Tropical Forests

    PubMed Central

    Ledo, Alicia

    2015-01-01

    Detailed information about interspecific spatial associations among tropical tree species is scarce, and hence the ecological importance of those associations may have been underestimated. However, they can play a role in community assembly and species diversity maintenance. This study investigated the spatial dependence between pairs of species. First, the spatial associations (spatial attraction and spatial repulsion) that arose between species were examined. Second, different sizes of trees were considered in order to evaluate whether the spatial relationships between species are constant or vary during the lifetime of individuals. Third, the consistency of those spatial associations with the species-habitat associations found in previous studies was assessed. Two different tropical ecosystems were investigated: a montane cloud forest and a lowland moist forest. The results showed that spatial associations among species exist, and these vary among life stages and species. The rarity of negative spatial interactions suggested that exclusive competition was not common in the studied forests. On the other hand, positive interactions were common, and the results of this study strongly suggested that habitat associations were not the only cause of spatial attraction among species. If this is true, habitat associations and density dependence are not the only mechanisms that explain species distribution and diversity; other ecological interactions, such as facilitation among species, may also play a role. These spatial associations could be important in the assembly of tropical tree communities and forest succession, and should be taken into account in future studies. PMID:26581110

  2. Natural growth and diet of known-age pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus) early life stages in the upper Missouri River basin, Montana and North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Braaten, P.J.; Fuller, D.B.; Lott, R.D.; Haddix, T.M.; Holte, L.D.; Wilson, R.H.; Bartron, M.L.; Kalie, J.A.; DeHaan, P.W.; Ardren, W.R.; Holm, R.J.; Jaeger, M.E.

    2012-01-01

    Prior to anthropogenic modifications, the historic Missouri River provided ecological conditions suitable for reproduction, growth, and survival of pallid sturgeon Scaphirhynchus albus. However, little information is available to discern whether altered conditions in the contemporary Missouri River are suitable for feeding, growth and survival of endangered pallid sturgeon during the early life stages. In 2004 and 2007, nearly 600 000 pallid sturgeon free embryos and larvae were released in the upper Missouri River and survivors from these releases were collected during 20042010 to quantify natural growth rates and diet composition. Based on genetic analysis and known-age at release (117 days post-hatch, dph), age at capture (dph, years) could be determined for each survivor. Totals of 23 and 28 survivors from the 2004 and 2007 releases, respectively, were sampled. Growth of pallid sturgeon was rapid (1.91 mm day-1) during the initial 1348 dph, then slowed as fish approached maximum length (120140 mm) towards the end of the first growing season. The diet of young-of-year pallid sturgeon was comprised of Diptera larvae, Diptera pupae, and Ephemeroptera nymphs. Growth of pallid sturgeon from ages 16 years was about 48.0 mm year-1. This study provides the first assessment of natural growth and diet of young pallid sturgeon in the wild. Results depict pallid sturgeon growth trajectories that may be expected for naturally produced wild stocks under contemporary habitat conditions in the Missouri River and Yellowstone River.

  3. Analysis of the Phenix end-of-life natural convection test with SAS4A/SASSYS-1

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, J. W.; Fanning, T. H.; Dunn, F. E.; Sofu, T.

    2012-07-01

    From a reduced power and flow condition, the 2009 Phenix Natural Convection Test mimics a protected loss-of-heat sink event. The measured transient response of the Phenix reactor to such an event provides an important data set for validating safety analysis codes. A model of the Phenix reactor and primary coolant system was developed using the reactor safety analysis code system SAS4A/SASSYS-1. While the overall global response of the reactor was predicted reasonably well, there were some non-negligible discrepancies in the temperature predictions during the transient and work continues to improve the model. Some modeling issues have been identified, and will be addressed as improvements to the model continue. (authors)

  4. William Russ Pugh's remarkable life: natural scientist, innovative anaesthetist and founding member of the Royal Society of Tasmania.

    PubMed

    Paull, J D

    2011-07-01

    While well known in anaesthetic circles for being the first to provide ether anaesthesia for a surgical procedure in June 1847 in Launceston, Tasmania, William Russ Pugh's achievements in the field of natural history are less well known. He personally assisted Count Peter de Strzelecki in the chemical analysis of Australian coal and mineral samples and provided the laboratory space and equipment. His analytic skills were utilised by coroners in cases of poisoning. He was consulted about a ship's cargo which threatened to spontaneously combust in Launceston's port. He was a founding member of the Tasmanian Society and subsequently of the Royal Society of Tasmania. He made many presentations on geology, zoology, botany, mineralogy and meteorology to meetings of both Societies. These scientific interests may have provided the knowledge and motivation which encouraged Pugh to proceed so confidently with the introduction of ether anaesthesia. PMID:21916111

  5. Exobiology and future Mars missions - The search for Mars' earliest biosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mckay, Christopher P.

    1986-01-01

    The primordial Mars may have possessed a thick carbon dioxide atmosphere, with liquid water common on the surface, similar in many ways to the primordial earth. During this epoch, billions of years ago, the surface of Mars could have been conducive to the origin of life. It is possible that life evolved on Mars to be later eliminated as the atmospheric pressure dropped. Analysis of the surface of Mars for the traces of this early Martian biota could provide many insights into the phenomenon of life and its coupling to planetary evolution.

  6. Exobiology and Future Mars Missions: The Search for Mars' Earliest Biosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McKay, Christopher P.

    1986-01-01

    The primordial Mars may have possessed a thick carbon dioxide atmosphere, with liquid water Common on the surface, similar in many ways to the primordial Earth. During this epoch, billions of years ago, the surface of Mars could have been conducive to the origin of life. It is possible that life evolved on Mars to be later eliminated as the atmospheric pressure dropped. Analysis of the surface of Mars for the traces of this early martian biota could provide many insights into the phenomenon of life and its coupling to planetary evolution.

  7. The Earliest Stages of Star and Planet Formation: Core Collapse, and the Formation of Disks and Outflows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Z.-Y.; Banerjee, R.; Pudritz, R. E.; Jørgensen, J. K.; Shang, H.; Krasnopolsky, R.; Maury, A.

    The formation of stars and planets are connected through disks. Our theoretical understanding of disk formation has undergone drastic changes in recent years, and we are on the brink of a revolution in disk observation enabled by the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA). Large rotationally supported circumstellar disks, although common around more evolved young stellar objects (YSOs), are rarely detected during the earliest, "class 0" phase; however, a few excellent candidates have been discovered recently around both low- and high-mass protostars. In this early phase, prominent outflows are ubiquitously observed; they are expected to be associated with at least small magnetized disks. Whether the paucity of large Keplerian disks is due to observational challenges or intrinsically different properties of the youngest disks is unclear. In this review, we focus on the observations and theory of the formation of early disks and outflows and their connections with the first phases of planet formation. Disk formation — once thought to be a simple consequence of the conservation of angular momentum during hydrodynamic core collapse — is far more subtle in magnetized gas. In this case, the rotation can be strongly magnetically braked. Indeed, both analytic arguments and numerical simulations have shown that disk formation is suppressed in the strict ideal magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) limit for the observed level of core magnetization. We review what is known about this "magnetic braking catastrophe," possible ways to resolve it, and the current status of early disk observations. Possible resolutions include non-ideal MHD effects (ambipolar diffusion, Ohmic dissipation, and the Hall effect), magnetic interchange instability in the inner part of protostellar accretion flow, turbulence, misalignment between the magnetic field and rotation axis, and depletion of the slowly rotating envelope by outflow stripping or accretion. Outflows are also intimately linked to disk formation; they are a natural product of magnetic fields and rotation and are important signposts of star formation. We review new developments on early outflow generation since Protostars and Planets V (Reipurth et al., 2007). The properties of early disks and outflows are a key component of planet formation in its early stages and we review these major connections.

  8. THE EARLIEST NEAR-INFRARED TIME-SERIES SPECTROSCOPY OF A TYPE Ia SUPERNOVA

    SciTech Connect

    Hsiao, E. Y.; Phillips, M. M.; Morrell, N.; Contreras, C.; Roth, M.; Marion, G. H.; Kirshner, R. P.; Burns, C. R.; Freedman, W. L.; Persson, S. E.; Winge, C.; Gerardy, C. L.; Hoeflich, P.; Im, M.; Jeon, Y.; Pignata, G.; Stanishev, V.; and others

    2013-04-01

    We present ten medium-resolution, high signal-to-noise ratio near-infrared (NIR) spectra of SN 2011fe from SpeX on the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) and Gemini Near-Infrared Spectrograph (GNIRS) on Gemini North, obtained as part of the Carnegie Supernova Project. This data set constitutes the earliest time-series NIR spectroscopy of a Type Ia supernova (SN Ia), with the first spectrum obtained at 2.58 days past the explosion and covering -14.6 to +17.3 days relative to B-band maximum. C I {lambda}1.0693 {mu}m is detected in SN 2011fe with increasing strength up to maximum light. The delay in the onset of the NIR C I line demonstrates its potential to be an effective tracer of unprocessed material. For the first time in a SN Ia, the early rapid decline of the Mg II {lambda}1.0927 {mu}m velocity was observed, and the subsequent velocity is remarkably constant. The Mg II velocity during this constant phase locates the inner edge of carbon burning and probes the conditions under which the transition from deflagration to detonation occurs. We show that the Mg II velocity does not correlate with the optical light-curve decline rate {Delta}m{sub 15}(B). The prominent break at {approx}1.5 {mu}m is the main source of concern for NIR k-correction calculations. We demonstrate here that the feature has a uniform time evolution among SNe Ia, with the flux ratio across the break strongly correlated with {Delta}m{sub 15}(B). The predictability of the strength and the onset of this feature suggests that the associated k-correction uncertainties can be minimized with improved spectral templates.

  9. Stable Isotopes and Zooarchaeology at Teotihuacan, Mexico Reveal Earliest Evidence of Wild Carnivore Management in Mesoamerica

    PubMed Central

    Sugiyama, Nawa; Somerville, Andrew D.; Schoeninger, Margaret J.

    2015-01-01

    From Roman gladiatorial combat to Egyptian animal mummies, the capture and manipulation of carnivores was instrumental in helping to shape social hierarchies throughout the ancient world. This paper investigates the historical inflection point when humans began to control animals not only as alimental resources but as ritual symbols and social actors in the New World. At Teotihuacan (A.D. 1–550), one of the largest pre-Hispanic cities, animal remains were integral components of ritual caches expressing state ideology and militarism during the construction of the Moon and the Sun Pyramids. The caches contain the remains of nearly 200 carnivorous animals, human sacrificial victims and other symbolic artifacts. This paper argues the presence of skeletal pathologies of infectious disease and injuries manifest on the carnivore remains show direct evidence of captivity. Stable isotope analysis (δ13C and δ15N) of bones and teeth confirms that some of these carnivores were consuming high levels of C4 foods, likely reflecting a maize-based anthropocentric food chain. These results push back the antiquity of keeping captive carnivores for ritualistic purposes nearly 1000 years before the Spanish conquistadors described Moctezuma’s zoo at the Aztec capital. Mirroring these documents the results indicate a select group of carnivores at Teotihuacan may have been fed maize-eating omnivores, such as dogs and humans. Unlike historical records, the present study provides the earliest and direct archaeological evidence for this practice in Mesoamerica. It also represents the first systematic isotopic exploration of a population of archaeological eagles (n = 24) and felids (n = 29). PMID:26332042

  10. Driving the growth of the earliest supermassive black holes with major mergers of host galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanaka, Takamitsu L.

    2014-12-01

    The formation mechanism of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in general, and of {{10}9} {{m}? } SMBHs observed as luminous quasars at redshifts z\\gt 6 in particular, remains an open fundamental question. The presence of such massive BHs at such early times, when the Universe was less than a billion years old, implies that they grew via either super-Eddington accretion, or nearly uninterrupted gas accretion near the Eddington limit; the latter, at first glance, is at odds with empirical trends at lower redshifts, where quasar episodes associated with rapid BH growth are rare and brief. In this work, I examine whether and to what extent the growth of the z\\gt 6 quasar SMBHs can be explained within the standard quasar paradigm, in which major mergers of host galaxies trigger episodes of rapid gas accretion below or near the Eddington limit. Using a suite of Monte Carlo merger tree simulations of the assembly histories of 40 likely z\\gt 6 quasar host halos, I investigate (i) their growth and major merger rates out to z 40, and (ii) how long the feeding episodes induced by host mergers must last in order to explain the observed z? 6 quasar population without super-Eddington accretion. The halo major merger rate scales roughly as \\propto {{(1+z)}5/2}, consistent with cosmological simulations at lower redshifts, with quasar hosts typically experiencing ? 10 major mergers between 15\\gt z\\gt 6 (? 650 Myr), compared to 1 for typical massive galaxies at 3\\gt z\\gt 0 (? 11 Gyr). The high rate of major mergers allows for nearly continuous SMBH growth if (for example) a merger triggers feeding for a duration comparable to the halo dynamical time. These findings suggest that the growth mechanisms of the earliest quasar SMBHs need not have been drastically different from their counterparts at lower redshifts.

  11. Assessing the duration and possible causes of the earliest Toarcian carbon isotopic excursion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krencker, Francois-Nicolas; Bodin, Stphane; Suan, Guillaume; Kabiri, Lahcen; Immenhauser, Adrian

    2013-04-01

    The early Toarcian stage (Early Jurassic) records two short-lived events of major faunal turnover and environmental perturbation. The first event (eT-E) occurs during the earliest Toarcian (early Polymorphum chronozone) and has been documented only in a few sites worldwide. The second event, better known as the Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event (T-OAE) has been documented in numerous sites from Northern Siberia to Argentina. Both events are marked by negative carbon isotope excursions (CIE) recorded in carbonate and organic substrate. Therefore they are thought to be associated with major changes in carbon cycling. Similarities between the eT-E and the T-OAE thus lead to the conclusion that these events might have been triggered by similar mechanisms. If this is the case, the CIEs associated with both events should have a comparable duration. In order to valid or falsify this hypothesis, it is therefore crucial to constrain the duration of both events. The duration of the T-OAE CIE was assessed in several papers by cyclostratigraphic analyses thanks to favourable outcropping condition. It is however not the case for the eT-E CIE, this latter being often associated with sedimentary condensation or hiatal surfaces. We make use of the high palaeo-subsidence rates of the Lower Toarcian Moroccan shelf leading to extended sections in the High Atlas Basin. The Foum Tillicht section was sampled in increments of 20 cm across a stratigraphic interval of 50 m, covering the Polymorphum chronozone. Carbon and oxygen isotopes analyses were performed on micritic and organic matter. Ammonites and nannofossils biostratigraphy aided in calibrating geochemical analyses. Carbon isotopes data display a rhythmic pattern. Preliminary results indicate that the eT-E negative carbon isotope excursion lasted around 400 kyr.

  12. Toros-Menalla (Chad, 7Ma), the earliest hominin-bearing area: How many mammal paleocommunities?

    PubMed

    Le Fur, Soizic; Fara, Emmanuel; Mackaye, Hassane Tasso; Vignaud, Patrick; Brunet, Michel

    2014-04-01

    The fossiliferous area of Toros-Menalla (TM) (Djurab Desert, northern Chad) has yielded one of the richest African mammal faunas of the late Miocene. It is also the place where the earliest known hominin, Sahelanthropus tchadensis, was found. Although more than 300 localities are recorded in that area, previous paleoecological studies focused only on the largest and richest one. The integration of the material from other TM localities, and thus of a significant number of mammal taxa, is crucial to improve the corresponding paleoenvironmental reconstructions. Before such inferences can be drawn, it is necessary to test for the ecological integrity of these mammal assemblages: how many paleocommunities do they represent? The faunal structures of several assemblages selected for their apparent resilience to sampling biases are compared here. The criteria used in the inter-assemblage comparison are ecological diversity, taxonomic structure (taxonomic rank of abundance) and taxonomic composition. Based on multivariate analyses, two groups of TM assemblages can be distinguished. One of them contains the hominin-bearing assemblages. It is taxonomically richer and shows a wider ecological spectrum than its counterpart. The degree of taphonomic alteration undergone by the TM assemblages, as well as the distribution of amphibious mammals among them, suggest different depositional settings for these two groups of assemblages, the richest of which was probably associated with lower hydraulic energy. Overall, it seems that the TM assemblages recorded the same mammal paleocommunity preserved in two contrasted depositional settings. Moreover, the spatial overlap of these assemblages provides further evidence for the mosaic character of the landscape associated with S.tchadensis. PMID:24636371

  13. Earliest evidence for cheese making in the sixth millennium BC in northern Europe.

    PubMed

    Salque, Mlanie; Bogucki, Peter I; Pyzel, Joanna; Sobkowiak-Tabaka, Iwona; Grygiel, Ryszard; Szmyt, Marzena; Evershed, Richard P

    2013-01-24

    The introduction of dairying was a critical step in early agriculture, with milk products being rapidly adopted as a major component of the diets of prehistoric farmers and pottery-using late hunter-gatherers. The processing of milk, particularly the production of cheese, would have been a critical development because it not only allowed the preservation of milk products in a non-perishable and transportable form, but also it made milk a more digestible commodity for early prehistoric farmers. The finding of abundant milk residues in pottery vessels from seventh millennium sites from north-western Anatolia provided the earliest evidence of milk processing, although the exact practice could not be explicitly defined. Notably, the discovery of potsherds pierced with small holes appear at early Neolithic sites in temperate Europe in the sixth millennium BC and have been interpreted typologically as 'cheese-strainers', although a direct association with milk processing has not yet been demonstrated. Organic residues preserved in pottery vessels have provided direct evidence for early milk use in the Neolithic period in the Near East and south-eastern Europe, north Africa, Denmark and the British Isles, based on the ?(13)C and ?(13)C values of the major fatty acids in milk. Here we apply the same approach to investigate the function of sieves/strainer vessels, providing direct chemical evidence for their use in milk processing. The presence of abundant milk fat in these specialized vessels, comparable in form to modern cheese strainers, provides compelling evidence for the vessels having being used to separate fat-rich milk curds from the lactose-containing whey. This new evidence emphasizes the importance of pottery vessels in processing dairy products, particularly in the manufacture of reduced-lactose milk products among lactose-intolerant prehistoric farming communities. PMID:23235824

  14. Late Paleocene fossils from the Cerrejn Formation, Colombia, are the earliest record of Neotropical rainforest

    PubMed Central

    Wing, Scott L.; Herrera, Fabiany; Jaramillo, Carlos A.; Gmez-Navarro, Carolina; Wilf, Peter; Labandeira, Conrad C.

    2009-01-01

    Neotropical rainforests have a very poor fossil record, making hypotheses concerning their origins difficult to evaluate. Nevertheless, some of their most important characteristics can be preserved in the fossil record: high plant diversity, dominance by a distinctive combination of angiosperm families, a preponderance of plant species with large, smooth-margined leaves, and evidence for a high diversity of herbivorous insects. Here, we report on an ?58-my-old flora from the Cerrejn Formation of Colombia (paleolatitude ?5 N) that is the earliest megafossil record of Neotropical rainforest. The flora has abundant, diverse palms and legumes and similar family composition to extant Neotropical rainforest. Three-quarters of the leaf types are large and entire-margined, indicating rainfall >2,500 mm/year and mean annual temperature >25 C. Despite modern family composition and tropical paleoclimate, the diversity of fossil pollen and leaf samples is 6080% that of comparable samples from extant and Quaternary Neotropical rainforest from similar climates. Insect feeding damage on Cerrejn fossil leaves, representing primary consumers, is abundant, but also of low diversity, and overwhelmingly made by generalist feeders rather than specialized herbivores. Cerrejn megafossils provide strong evidence that the same Neotropical rainforest families have characterized the biome since the Paleocene, maintaining their importance through climatic phases warmer and cooler than present. The low diversity of both plants and herbivorous insects in this Paleocene Neotropical rainforest may reflect an early stage in the diversification of the lineages that inhabit this biome, and/or a long recovery period from the terminal Cretaceous extinction. PMID:19833876

  15. The Earliest Near-infrared Time-series Spectroscopy of a Type Ia Supernova

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsiao, E. Y.; Marion, G. H.; Phillips, M. M.; Burns, C. R.; Winge, C.; Morrell, N.; Contreras, C.; Freedman, W. L.; Kromer, M.; Gall, E. E. E.; Gerardy, C. L.; Hflich, P.; Im, M.; Jeon, Y.; Kirshner, R. P.; Nugent, P. E.; Persson, S. E.; Pignata, G.; Roth, M.; Stanishev, V.; Stritzinger, M.; Suntzeff, N. B.

    2013-04-01

    We present ten medium-resolution, high signal-to-noise ratio near-infrared (NIR) spectra of SN 2011fe from SpeX on the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) and Gemini Near-Infrared Spectrograph (GNIRS) on Gemini North, obtained as part of the Carnegie Supernova Project. This data set constitutes the earliest time-series NIR spectroscopy of a Type Ia supernova (SN Ia), with the first spectrum obtained at 2.58 days past the explosion and covering -14.6 to +17.3 days relative to B-band maximum. C I ?1.0693 ?m is detected in SN 2011fe with increasing strength up to maximum light. The delay in the onset of the NIR C I line demonstrates its potential to be an effective tracer of unprocessed material. For the first time in a SN Ia, the early rapid decline of the Mg II ?1.0927 ?m velocity was observed, and the subsequent velocity is remarkably constant. The Mg II velocity during this constant phase locates the inner edge of carbon burning and probes the conditions under which the transition from deflagration to detonation occurs. We show that the Mg II velocity does not correlate with the optical light-curve decline rate ?m 15(B). The prominent break at ~1.5 ?m is the main source of concern for NIR k-correction calculations. We demonstrate here that the feature has a uniform time evolution among SNe Ia, with the flux ratio across the break strongly correlated with ?m 15(B). The predictability of the strength and the onset of this feature suggests that the associated k-correction uncertainties can be minimized with improved spectral templates.

  16. Simulating Metal-Poor and Metal-Free Star Formation in the Earliest Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Safranek-Shrader, Chalence

    2014-01-01

    The end of the cosmic dark ages was brought about by the formation of the first stars and galaxies. Since this epoch is currently outside of observational reach, numerical studies are key in understanding this uncharted cosmic epoch. In this dissertation talk, I will describe my work using high-resolution, zoom-in simulations to understand the formation of these earliest stellar associations in a cosmological setting. The overarching focus will be on the fragmentation of collapsing gas and how this process is moderated by the gas chemistry, radiation fields, and realistic cosmological initial conditions. A key aspect of this work has been the development of sophisticated physics modules for the hydrodynamics code FLASH, including non-equilibrium chemistry, radiative transfer schemes, and sink particles. I will begin by describing how more moderate mass Population III stars ended their lives with a relatively quick heavy-element enrichment of their host dark matter halos, resulting in prompt Population II star formation. The introduction of metals from the first supernovae is believed to induce a star formation mode transition from high to low characteristic mass. I will show how the fragmentation of such metal enriched gas depends strongly on the metallicity, with fragmentation setting in when gas hits the CMB temperature floor. If present, an H2 photo-dissociating Lyman-Werner radiation background can delay the formation of the first stars and potentially result in clustered metal-free star formation in more massive, self-shielding halos at lower redshift. I will present results from recent simulations that follow the collapse and fragmentation of the first dust enriched gas to high densities (n ~ 10^14 cm^-3), analyzing the interplay of dust cooling with a CMB temperature floor and gauging the effect that dust heating from protostellar feedback has on the outcome of star formation. Finally, I will discuss this works implications for next-generation observatories, in particular the James Webb Space Telescope.

  17. Indigenous Arabs are descendants of the earliest split from ancient Eurasian populations

    PubMed Central

    Rodriguez-Flores, Juan L.; Fakhro, Khalid; Agosto-Perez, Francisco; Ramstetter, Monica D.; Arbiza, Leonardo; Vincent, Thomas L.; Robay, Amal; Malek, Joel A.; Suhre, Karsten; Chouchane, Lotfi; Badii, Ramin; Al-Nabet Al-Marri, Ajayeb; Abi Khalil, Charbel; Zirie, Mahmoud; Jayyousi, Amin; Salit, Jacqueline; Keinan, Alon; Clark, Andrew G.; Crystal, Ronald G.; Mezey, Jason G.

    2016-01-01

    An open question in the history of human migration is the identity of the earliest Eurasian populations that have left contemporary descendants. The Arabian Peninsula was the initial site of the out-of-Africa migrations that occurred between 125,000 and 60,000 yr ago, leading to the hypothesis that the first Eurasian populations were established on the Peninsula and that contemporary indigenous Arabs are direct descendants of these ancient peoples. To assess this hypothesis, we sequenced the entire genomes of 104 unrelated natives of the Arabian Peninsula at high coverage, including 56 of indigenous Arab ancestry. The indigenous Arab genomes defined a cluster distinct from other ancestral groups, and these genomes showed clear hallmarks of an ancient out-of-Africa bottleneck. Similar to other Middle Eastern populations, the indigenous Arabs had higher levels of Neanderthal admixture compared to Africans but had lower levels than Europeans and Asians. These levels of Neanderthal admixture are consistent with an early divergence of Arab ancestors after the out-of-Africa bottleneck but before the major Neanderthal admixture events in Europe and other regions of Eurasia. When compared to worldwide populations sampled in the 1000 Genomes Project, although the indigenous Arabs had a signal of admixture with Europeans, they clustered in a basal, outgroup position to all 1000 Genomes non-Africans when considering pairwise similarity across the entire genome. These results place indigenous Arabs as the most distant relatives of all other contemporary non-Africans and identify these people as direct descendants of the first Eurasian populations established by the out-of-Africa migrations. PMID:26728717

  18. Stable Isotopes and Zooarchaeology at Teotihuacan, Mexico Reveal Earliest Evidence of Wild Carnivore Management in Mesoamerica.

    PubMed

    Sugiyama, Nawa; Somerville, Andrew D; Schoeninger, Margaret J

    2015-01-01

    From Roman gladiatorial combat to Egyptian animal mummies, the capture and manipulation of carnivores was instrumental in helping to shape social hierarchies throughout the ancient world. This paper investigates the historical inflection point when humans began to control animals not only as alimental resources but as ritual symbols and social actors in the New World. At Teotihuacan (A.D. 1-550), one of the largest pre-Hispanic cities, animal remains were integral components of ritual caches expressing state ideology and militarism during the construction of the Moon and the Sun Pyramids. The caches contain the remains of nearly 200 carnivorous animals, human sacrificial victims and other symbolic artifacts. This paper argues the presence of skeletal pathologies of infectious disease and injuries manifest on the carnivore remains show direct evidence of captivity. Stable isotope analysis (δ13C and δ15N) of bones and teeth confirms that some of these carnivores were consuming high levels of C4 foods, likely reflecting a maize-based anthropocentric food chain. These results push back the antiquity of keeping captive carnivores for ritualistic purposes nearly 1000 years before the Spanish conquistadors described Moctezuma's zoo at the Aztec capital. Mirroring these documents the results indicate a select group of carnivores at Teotihuacan may have been fed maize-eating omnivores, such as dogs and humans. Unlike historical records, the present study provides the earliest and direct archaeological evidence for this practice in Mesoamerica. It also represents the first systematic isotopic exploration of a population of archaeological eagles (n = 24) and felids (n = 29). PMID:26332042

  19. Late Paleocene fossils from the Cerrejon Formation, Colombia, are the earliest record of Neotropical rainforest.

    PubMed

    Wing, Scott L; Herrera, Fabiany; Jaramillo, Carlos A; Gómez-Navarro, Carolina; Wilf, Peter; Labandeira, Conrad C

    2009-11-01

    Neotropical rainforests have a very poor fossil record, making hypotheses concerning their origins difficult to evaluate. Nevertheless, some of their most important characteristics can be preserved in the fossil record: high plant diversity, dominance by a distinctive combination of angiosperm families, a preponderance of plant species with large, smooth-margined leaves, and evidence for a high diversity of herbivorous insects. Here, we report on an approximately 58-my-old flora from the Cerrejón Formation of Colombia (paleolatitude approximately 5 degrees N) that is the earliest megafossil record of Neotropical rainforest. The flora has abundant, diverse palms and legumes and similar family composition to extant Neotropical rainforest. Three-quarters of the leaf types are large and entire-margined, indicating rainfall >2,500 mm/year and mean annual temperature >25 degrees C. Despite modern family composition and tropical paleoclimate, the diversity of fossil pollen and leaf samples is 60-80% that of comparable samples from extant and Quaternary Neotropical rainforest from similar climates. Insect feeding damage on Cerrejón fossil leaves, representing primary consumers, is abundant, but also of low diversity, and overwhelmingly made by generalist feeders rather than specialized herbivores. Cerrejón megafossils provide strong evidence that the same Neotropical rainforest families have characterized the biome since the Paleocene, maintaining their importance through climatic phases warmer and cooler than present. The low diversity of both plants and herbivorous insects in this Paleocene Neotropical rainforest may reflect an early stage in the diversification of the lineages that inhabit this biome, and/or a long recovery period from the terminal Cretaceous extinction. PMID:19833876

  20. Protein structural and surface water rearrangement constitute major events in the earliest aggregation stages of tau.

    PubMed

    Pavlova, Anna; Cheng, Chi-Yuan; Kinnebrew, Maia; Lew, John; Dahlquist, Frederick W; Han, Songi

    2016-01-12

    Protein aggregation plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, and the mechanism of its progression is poorly understood. Here, we examine the structural and dynamic characteristics of transiently evolving protein aggregates under ambient conditions by directly probing protein surface water diffusivity, local protein segment dynamics, and interprotein packing as a function of aggregation time, along the third repeat domain and C terminus of ?tau187 spanning residues 255-441 of the longest isoform of human tau. These measurements were achieved with a set of highly sensitive magnetic resonance tools that rely on site-specific electron spin labeling of ?tau187. Within minutes of initiated aggregation, the majority of ?tau187 that is initially homogeneously hydrated undergoes structural transformations to form partially structured aggregation intermediates. This is reflected in the dispersion of surface water dynamics that is distinct around the third repeat domain, found to be embedded in an intertau interface, from that of the solvent-exposed C terminus. Over the course of hours and in a rate-limiting process, a majority of these aggregation intermediates proceed to convert into stable ?-sheet structured species and maintain their stacking order without exchanging their subunits. The population of ?-sheet structured species is >5% within 5 min of aggregation and gradually grows to 50-70% within the early stages of fibril formation, while they mostly anneal block-wisely to form elongated fibrils. Our findings suggest that the formation of dynamic aggregation intermediates constitutes a major event occurring in the earliest stages of tau aggregation that precedes, and likely facilitates, fibril formation and growth. PMID:26712030

  1. Myosin expression and specialization among the earliest muscle fibers of the developing avian limb.

    PubMed

    Crow, M T; Stockdale, F E

    1986-01-01

    Monoclonal antibodies specific to the light- and heavy-chain subunits of chicken skeletal muscle myosin have been used to identify fast and slow myosin-containing fibers in the thigh muscles of embryonic and adult chickens and to determine when in development diversification of muscle fiber types first occurs. Primary generation fibers which expressed different MLC and MHC types were evident within the dorsal and ventral premuscle masses and in the first muscles to form in the limb. These early embryonic muscle fiber types became distributed among and within the individual muscles of the thigh in a characteristic spatial pattern which served as a "blueprint" for guiding future muscle development and predicting the future fiber composition of the muscle. Despite the continuous addition of muscle fibers to the limb throughout development, the pattern remained unchanged. Neither the time of appearance, initial specialization, nor characteristic distribution of these primary fiber types within the limb was altered during the early embryonic period by chronic neuromuscular paralysis induced by D-tubocurarine. In contrast, muscles at later stages of embryonic development were markedly affected by such treatments and underwent atrophy and loss of differential staining characteristics. These results demonstrate that diversification of fibers in terms of myosin content is one of the earliest events in the formation of these muscles and suggest that the development of avian muscles be divided into two phases: an embryonic phase during which fibers of differing myosin content appear independently of innervation to become distributed in a specific topographic pattern within each muscle as it forms, followed by a fetal phase during which innervation becomes essential for maintaining this pattern and modulating the myosin content of its fibers. PMID:3943663

  2. Indigenous Arabs are descendants of the earliest split from ancient Eurasian populations.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-Flores, Juan L; Fakhro, Khalid; Agosto-Perez, Francisco; Ramstetter, Monica D; Arbiza, Leonardo; Vincent, Thomas L; Robay, Amal; Malek, Joel A; Suhre, Karsten; Chouchane, Lotfi; Badii, Ramin; Al-Nabet Al-Marri, Ajayeb; Abi Khalil, Charbel; Zirie, Mahmoud; Jayyousi, Amin; Salit, Jacqueline; Keinan, Alon; Clark, Andrew G; Crystal, Ronald G; Mezey, Jason G

    2016-02-01

    An open question in the history of human migration is the identity of the earliest Eurasian populations that have left contemporary descendants. The Arabian Peninsula was the initial site of the out-of-Africa migrations that occurred between 125,000 and 60,000 yr ago, leading to the hypothesis that the first Eurasian populations were established on the Peninsula and that contemporary indigenous Arabs are direct descendants of these ancient peoples. To assess this hypothesis, we sequenced the entire genomes of 104 unrelated natives of the Arabian Peninsula at high coverage, including 56 of indigenous Arab ancestry. The indigenous Arab genomes defined a cluster distinct from other ancestral groups, and these genomes showed clear hallmarks of an ancient out-of-Africa bottleneck. Similar to other Middle Eastern populations, the indigenous Arabs had higher levels of Neanderthal admixture compared to Africans but had lower levels than Europeans and Asians. These levels of Neanderthal admixture are consistent with an early divergence of Arab ancestors after the out-of-Africa bottleneck but before the major Neanderthal admixture events in Europe and other regions of Eurasia. When compared to worldwide populations sampled in the 1000 Genomes Project, although the indigenous Arabs had a signal of admixture with Europeans, they clustered in a basal, outgroup position to all 1000 Genomes non-Africans when considering pairwise similarity across the entire genome. These results place indigenous Arabs as the most distant relatives of all other contemporary non-Africans and identify these people as direct descendants of the first Eurasian populations established by the out-of-Africa migrations. PMID:26728717

  3. Origin and age of the earliest Martian crust from meteorite NWA 7533

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Humayun, M.; Nemchin, A.; Zanda, B.; Hewins, R. H.; Grange, M.; Kennedy, A.; Lorand, J.-P.; Göpel, C.; Fieni, C.; Pont, S.; Deldicque, D.

    2013-11-01

    The ancient cratered terrain of the southern highlands of Mars is thought to hold clues to the planet's early differentiation, but until now no meteoritic regolith breccias have been recovered from Mars. Here we show that the meteorite Northwest Africa (NWA) 7533 (paired with meteorite NWA 7034) is a polymict breccia consisting of a fine-grained interclast matrix containing clasts of igneous-textured rocks and fine-grained clast-laden impact melt rocks. High abundances of meteoritic siderophiles (for example nickel and iridium) found throughout the rock reach a level in the fine-grained portions equivalent to 5 per cent CI chondritic input, which is comparable to the highest levels found in lunar breccias. Furthermore, analyses of three leucocratic monzonite clasts show a correlation between nickel, iridium and magnesium consistent with differentiation from impact melts. Compositionally, all the fine-grained material is alkalic basalt, chemically identical (except for sulphur, chlorine and zinc) to soils from Gusev crater. Thus, we propose that NWA 7533 is a Martian regolith breccia. It contains zircons for which we measured an age of 4,428 +/- 25 million years, which were later disturbed 1,712 +/- 85 million years ago. This evidence for early crustal differentiation implies that the Martian crust, and its volatile inventory, formed in about the first 100 million years of Martian history, coeval with earliest crust formation on the Moon and the Earth. In addition, incompatible element abundances in clast-laden impact melt rocks and interclast matrix provide a geochemical estimate of the average thickness of the Martian crust (50 kilometres) comparable to that estimated geophysically.

  4. Origin and age of the earliest Martian crust from meteorite NWA 7533.

    PubMed

    Humayun, M; Nemchin, A; Zanda, B; Hewins, R H; Grange, M; Kennedy, A; Lorand, J-P; Göpel, C; Fieni, C; Pont, S; Deldicque, D

    2013-11-28

    The ancient cratered terrain of the southern highlands of Mars is thought to hold clues to the planet's early differentiation, but until now no meteoritic regolith breccias have been recovered from Mars. Here we show that the meteorite Northwest Africa (NWA) 7533 (paired with meteorite NWA 7034) is a polymict breccia consisting of a fine-grained interclast matrix containing clasts of igneous-textured rocks and fine-grained clast-laden impact melt rocks. High abundances of meteoritic siderophiles (for example nickel and iridium) found throughout the rock reach a level in the fine-grained portions equivalent to 5 per cent CI chondritic input, which is comparable to the highest levels found in lunar breccias. Furthermore, analyses of three leucocratic monzonite clasts show a correlation between nickel, iridium and magnesium consistent with differentiation from impact melts. Compositionally, all the fine-grained material is alkalic basalt, chemically identical (except for sulphur, chlorine and zinc) to soils from Gusev crater. Thus, we propose that NWA 7533 is a Martian regolith breccia. It contains zircons for which we measured an age of 4,428 ± 25 million years, which were later disturbed 1,712 ± 85 million years ago. This evidence for early crustal differentiation implies that the Martian crust, and its volatile inventory, formed in about the first 100 million years of Martian history, coeval with earliest crust formation on the Moon and the Earth. In addition, incompatible element abundances in clast-laden impact melt rocks and interclast matrix provide a geochemical estimate of the average thickness of the Martian crust (50 kilometres) comparable to that estimated geophysically. PMID:24256724

  5. Epicardial myocardial strain abnormalities may identify the earliest stages of arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy.

    PubMed

    Réant, Patricia; Hauer, Arnaud D; Castelletti, Silvia; Pantazis, Antonis; Rosmini, Stefania; Cheang, Mun Hong; Peyrou, Jérôme; Tomé-Esteban, Maite; Syrris, Petros; Lafitte, Stéphane; Moon, James C; McKenna, William J

    2016-04-01

    The aim of this cohort study was to evaluate the value of echocardiographic multilayer strain analysis in the identification of arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy (AC) in its earliest stages in which sudden cardiac death can occurs. Twenty seven asymptomatic relatives of AC probands (mean age 39.6 ± 19.5 years, 37 % male) with a desmosomal pathogenic mutation but no additional criteria for AC (group II) were compared to age and sex-matched healthy controls (group I). In addition, 70 patients harboring a pathogenic desmosomal mutation with "definitive" diagnosis of AC (group IV), and 19 subjects with "borderline" diagnosis (group III) were also studied. A standard echocardiographic evaluation plus left (LV) and right ventricular global and regional transmural, endocardial, and epicardial longitudinal strain (LS) analysis, was performed. In group II, while LV ejection fraction, fractional shortening, and S' were not significantly reduced compared to controls, transmural global LS was significantly reduced to 19.3 ± 1.8 % in group II versus 20.9 ± 1.1 % in controls (p = 0.0003). Compared to controls, group II presented significant (p < 0.05) regional LS decrease in the basal infero-lateral, antero-lateral, latero-apical, infero-septal, and septo-apical segments. Moreover, LS of the latero-apical and the basal antero-lateral segments was significantly altered in the epicardium (p < 0.05) but not significantly in the endocardium. Global and regional LV LS analysis allows detection of AC in an early or non-diagnostic stage of the disease. Moreover, epicardial LS analysis allows the detection of abnormalities earlier than endocardial LS. PMID:26608801

  6. Earliest electrocardiographic evidence of myocardial infarction: implications for thrombolytic treatment. The GREAT Group.

    PubMed Central

    Adams, J; Trent, R; Rawles, J

    1993-01-01

    OBJECTIVES--To determine the incidence of the earliest electrocardiographic changes in patients with suspected myocardial infarction and their sensitivity and specificity for predicting the final diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction. DESIGN--Retrospective study of paired electrocardiograms recorded at home and on admission to hospital. SETTING--29 rural practices in Grampian and teaching hospitals in Aberdeen. PATIENTS--137 patients participating in the early anistreplase trial in the Grampian region, who received placebo at home and for whom paired electrocardiograms were available. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Classified electrocardiographic abnormalities and diagnosis at discharge. RESULTS--Electrocardiograms were recorded immediately before injection of placebo at home and anistreplase in hospital at median times of 110 and 240 minutes after the onset of symptoms. Definite or probable myocardial infarction was later confirmed in 93 (68%) patients. Of these, 66 (71%) had the same findings on both electrocardiograms of either ST elevation, bundle branch block, or a non-specific abnormality, while 27 (29%) showed a major change of classification between home and hospital recordings; 21 (23%) had ST elevation or bundle branch block on only one of the paired recordings. Although ST elevation was the commonest abnormality in the 93 patients with myocardial infarction, in only 51 was it recorded at home (sensitivity 55%) and in 49 on admission (sensitivity 53%). Of 57 patients with ST elevation at home, six did not have infarction (specificity 86%), while of 51 with ST elevation on admission, two did not have infarction (specificity 95%). CONCLUSIONS--Elevation of the ST segment is a transient electrocardiographic abnormality that has high specificity but low sensitivity for predicting the diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction; it is an unsatisfactory precondition for giving thrombolytic treatment to patients with suspected acute myocardial infarction. PMID:8267742

  7. Rapid adaptive divergence of life-history traits in response to abiotic stress within a natural population of a parthenogenetic nematode

    PubMed Central

    Doroszuk, Agnieszka; Wojewodzic, Marcin W; Kammenga, Jan E

    2006-01-01

    Sexual reproduction is acknowledged to facilitate adaptation to novel environments while asexual eukaryotes are often regarded as having low adaptive potential. This view has been challenged in a number of studies, but the adaptive potential of asexual populations in the field is poorly documented. We investigated the response of natural populations of the parthenogenetic nematode Acrobeloides nanus to imposed divergent selective pressures. For this purpose, we employed a replicated evolution experiment in the field. After 20 years of evolution under abiotic stress and control conditions, life-history traits were assessed in reaction norm- and reciprocal transplant experiments. Both these experiments indicated adaptive divergence within the population of A. nanus. Namely, the transplant experiment demonstrated that in the stressed soil environment, body growth rate was more reduced in the nematodes originating from the control treatment. In the reaction norm experiment, survival and reproduction were higher under test conditions corresponding to the native environment of the nematodes. The differences in the analysed traits are discussed in the context of life-history theory. Overall, our results strongly support high adaptive potential of A. nanus and suggest that population structure and distribution of asexual species is shaped by local adaptation events. PMID:17002946

  8. High-resolution stable carbon isotope record of the Permian to earliest Triassic from East Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanson Barrera, Anna; Hochuli, Peter A.; Bucher, Hugo; Meier, Maximiliano; Schneebeli Hermann, Elke; Weissert, Helmut; Bernasconi, Stefano M.

    2013-04-01

    The Late Permian and Early Triassic organic carbon isotope records show global major excursions probably triggered by episodic volcanic degasing of the Siberian Large Igneous Province. Important and rapid fluctuations of the global carbon cycle are also reflected in the biosphere. The geological record seems to comprise several major floral and marine faunal turnovers indicating short-lived biotic recoveries. In northwest Pangea, the active Early Triassic Greenland - Norway rifting system led to the accommodation of thick sedimentary sequences. This basin has a great potential for detailed studies of regional and global biotic and climatic changes with high temporal resolution during this critical interval in Earth's history. The western part of this basin is exposed in north-eastern Greenland and is represented by a succession of deltaic sediments organized in a general regressive trend ranging throughout the Griesbachian and the onset of the Dienerian. On the eastern side of the basin the succession has been drilled off the Norwegian coast. On Hold with Hope (East Greenland, 74°N) up to ca. 800m thick sections of the ammonoid-bearing Early Triassic Wordie Creek Formation have been logged and sampled. Here we present a high-resolution organic carbon isotope record and preliminary palynofacies data of a 500m thick composite section ranging from the Permian into the earliest Triassic. The organic carbon isotope record is closely comparable to the coeval section from the Trøndelag platform in Mid-Norway. The two records show a first major negative shift (ca. -6‰) representing the unconformity between the Ravnefjeld and the Wordie Creek formations, regionally known as the lithological Permian-Triassic boundary. Higher up, a second negative shift of ca. -4‰ correlates with the carbon shift associated with the GSSP Permian-Triassic boundary as defined at Meishan (China), represented by carbon isotope values around -30‰. This negative shift is followed by a steady positive trend, which is interrupted by two striking events, (a) a positive shift reaching values of ca. -22‰, comparable to the values of the Permian Ravnefjeld Formation, and (b) another negative shift of ca. -7‰ bringing the carbon record back to values around -31‰. Our data from north-eastern Greenland indicate multiple and major events recorded by the carbon cycle within less than a million years at the onset of the Triassic.

  9. Paleointensity obtained from late Cretaceous and earliest Paleogene basalts drilled from Louisville seamount trail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamazaki, T.; Yamamoto, Y.

    2013-12-01

    IODP Expedition 330 occupied six sites on five seamounts along the northwestern part of the Louisville seamount trail. The ages of the seamounts range between 50 and 74 Ma. Fresh basalts were recovered by drilling despite the old ages. From onboard examination of the rocks, it is considered that part of basalts erupted in subaerial or shallow submarine conditions and probably suffered high-temperature oxidation, in particular at Sites U1372 and U1373, suggesting that they may be suitable for absolute paleointensity estimation. We conducted paleointensity measurements using the Tsunakawa-Shaw method with low-temperature demagnetization (LTD) and double heating (DHT). First, thermomagnetic curves were measured for all samples with a Curie balance at the Center for Advanced Marine Core Research, Kochi University. Samples that showed evidence for being suffered low-temperature oxidation were excluded. Then, samples from which characteristic magnetization component was isolated by stepwise alternating-field demagnetization were subjected to the paleointensity experiments; samples with MAD of larger than 10 were excluded. Paleointensity of 23.68.9 mirco T was obtained at Site U1372 on the Canopus Seamount, the oldest seamount drilled (74 Ma), as the mean of 15 lithological units (lava flows) that passed the selection criteria of Yamamoto and Tsunakawa (2005). Sites U1373 and U1374 on the Rigil Seamount (70 Ma) yielded paleointensity of 22.2 8.5 micro T (n=18), and Site U1376 on the Burton Seamount (64 Ma) resulted 21.6 6.8 micro T (n=10). The mean paleointensities are converted to virtual axial dipole moment (VADM) of approximately 3.7 x1022 Am2 based on a paleolatitude of 43 to 50S of the Louisville hotspot between 50 and 74 Ma from onboard paleomagnetic results. The results of this study suggests that paleointensity of latest Cretaceous to earliest Paleogene was about a half of the present field intensity and similar to the mean of the last 5 Ma by Yamamoto and Tsunakawa (2005).

  10. Bunbury Basalt: Gondwana breakup products or earliest vestiges of the Kerguelen mantle plume?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olierook, Hugo K. H.; Jourdan, Fred; Merle, Renaud E.; Timms, Nicholas E.; Kusznir, Nick; Muhling, Janet R.

    2016-04-01

    In this contribution, we investigate the role of a mantle plume in the genesis of the Bunbury Basalt using high-precision 40Ar/39Ar geochronology and whole-rock geochemistry, and by using crustal basement thickness of the eastern Indian Ocean and the western Australian continent. The Bunbury Basalt is a series of lava flows and deep intrusive rocks in southwestern Australia thought to be the earliest igneous products from the proto-Kerguelen mantle plume. Nine new plateau ages indicate that the Bunbury Basalt erupted in three distinct phases, at 136.96 ± 0.43 Ma, 132.71 ± 0.43 Ma and 130.45 ± 0.82 Ma. All Bunbury Basalt samples are enriched tholeiitic basalts with varying contributions from the continental lithosphere that are similar to other Kerguelen plume-products. Based on plate reconstructions and the present geochronological constraints, the eruption of the oldest Bunbury Basalt preceded the emplacement of the Kerguelen large igneous province by at least 10-20 m.y. Such age differences between a precursor and the main magmatic event are not uncommon but do require additional explanation. Low crustal stretching factors beneath the Bunbury Basalt (β ≈ 1.4) indicate that decompression melting could not have been generated from asthenospheric mantle with a normal chemistry and geotherm. An elevated geotherm from the mantle plume coupled with the geochemical similarity between the Bunbury Basalt and other Kerguelen plume-products suggests a shared origin exists. However, new age constraints of the oldest Bunbury Basalt are synchronous with the breakup of eastern Gondwana and the initial opening of the Indian Ocean at ca. 137-136 Ma, which may mean an alternative explanation is possible. The enriched geochemistry can equally be explained by a patch of shallow mantle beneath the southern Perth Basin. The patch may have been enriched during Gondwana suturing at ca. 550-500 Ma, during early rifting events by magmatic underplating or by intruded melts into the subcontinental lithospheric mantle. This enriched geochemical signature would then be sufficient to trigger decompression melting from passive rifting between Greater India and Australia with no contribution from the Kerguelen hotspot. We conclude that although the proto-Kerguelen hotspot is certainly a possible explanation for the genesis of the Bunbury Basalt, decompression melting of an enriched patch of subcontinental lithospheric mantle is an alternative theory.

  11. Contribution of the earliest woody trees (lignophytes) to the greening of the continents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer-Berthaud, B.; Decombeix, A.-L.

    2009-04-01

    The diversification of early terrestrial plants is characterized by an intense phase of morphological innovation during the Devonian that resulted in the evolution of a large variety of growth forms. Several unrelated taxa adopted the tree habit, a form characterized by its extended lifetime and the possession of a tall, vertical trunk.This evolution provided large-sized plants with functional advantages over smaller ones in terms of reproduction and light interception. From a biophysical point of view, this increase in stature was a challenge as it created new constraints in terms of biomechanical support and water transport. The various groups that evolved trees resolved these problems by adopting specific strategies in relation to their own evolutionary history and inherited traits. It is uncertain whether the evolution of the tree habit and of forests has directly promoted the diversification of the reproductive systems and the advent of the seed habit. But it created new niches, contributing to the diversication of the terrestrial floras and faunas. It may also have considerably impacted the biosphere and contributed to the dramatic decline of atmospheric CO2 in the Late Devonian through the enhanced development of soils and changes in erosional and sedimentary processes. Understanding these interactions through a better assessment of the structure, development, functioning and evolution of early trees represents a new challenge for paleobotanists. Here we provide a review of the earliest arborescent representatives of the lignophyte clade, paying special attention to the anatomical, morphological and developmental traits that may have contributed to their wide paleogeographical distribution in the Late Devonian and later on. These trees are the first ones in the history of vegetation to possess leaves as well as long-lived roots and branches. Their growth is three-dimensional by comparison to the essentially vertical growth of earlier trees. Using the material we collected from diverse North Gondwanan localities, we investigated the evolution and patterns of changes in the floras of arborescent lignophytes around the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary. New evidence indicates that (1) the time interval between the extinction of the progymnosperm (free-sporing) genus Archaeopteris that flourished in the Late Devonian and the diversification of a new tree flora in the Mississippian was short if any, and (2) that the majority of this renewed arborescent vegetation reproduced by seeds.

  12. Auxosporulation in Paralia guyana MacGillivary (Bacillariophyta) and Possible New Insights into the Habit of the Earliest Diatoms

    PubMed Central

    Kaczmarska, Irena; Ehrman, James M.

    2015-01-01

    Background Diatoms are one of the most ecologically important aquatic micro-eukaryotes. As a group unambiguously recognized as diatoms, they seem to have appeared relatively recently with a limited record of putative remains from oldest sediments. In contrast, molecular clock estimates for the earliest possible emergence of diatoms suggest a considerably older date. Depending on the analysis, Paralia and Leptocylindrus have been recovered within the basal molecular divergences of diatoms. Thus these genera may be in the position to inform on characters that the earliest diatoms possessed. Findings Here we present auxospore development and structure of initial and post-auxospore cells in a representative of the ancient non-polar centric genus Paralia. Their initial frustules showed unusual, but not unprecedented, spore-like morphology. Similarly, initial frustules of Leptocylindrus have been long considered resting spores and a unique peculiarity of this genus. However, even though spore-like in appearance, initial cells of Paralia readily resumed mitotic divisions. In addition, Paralia post-auxospore cells underwent several rounds of mitoses in a multi-step process of building a typical, “perfect” vegetative valve. This degree of heteromorphy immediately post-auxosporulation is thus far unknown among the diatoms. Implications A spore-related origin of diatoms has already been considered, most recently in the form of the “multiplate diploid cyst” hypothesis. Our discovery that the initial cells in some of the most ancient diatom lineages are structurally spore-like is consistent with that hypothesis because the earliest diatoms may be expected to look somewhat similar to their ancestors. We speculate that because the earliest diatoms may have appeared less diatom-like and more spore-like, they could have gone unrecognized as such in the Triassic/Jurassic sediments. If correct, diatoms may indeed be much older than the fossil record indicates, and possibly more in line with some molecular clock predictions. PMID:26485144

  13. Late Permian-earliest Triassic high-resolution organic carbon isotope and palynofacies records from Kap Stosch (East Greenland)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanson-Barrera, Anna; Hochuli, Peter A.; Bucher, Hugo; Schneebeli-Hermann, Elke; Weissert, Helmut; Adatte, Thierry; Bernasconi, Stefano M.

    2015-10-01

    During and after the end Permian mass extinction terrestrial and marine biota underwent major changes and reorganizations. The latest Permian and earliest Triassic is also characterized by major negative carbon isotope shifts reflecting fundamental changes in the carbon cycle. The present study documents a high-resolution bulk organic carbon isotope record and palynofacies analysis spanning the latest Permian-earliest Triassic of East Greenland. An almost 700 meter thick composite section from Kap Stosch allowed discriminating 6 chemostratigraphic intervals that provide the basis for the correlation with other coeval records across the world, and for the recognition of basin wide transgressive-regressive events documenting tectonic activity during the opening of the Greenland-Norway Basin. The identification of the main factors that influenced the organic carbon isotope signal during the earliest Triassic (Griesbachian to Dienerian) was possible due to the combination of bulk organic carbon isotope, palynofacies and Rock-Eval data. Two negative carbon isotopic shifts in the Kap Stosch record can be correlated with negative shifts recorded in coeval sections across the globe. A first negative shift precedes the base of the Triassic as defined by the first occurrence of the conodont Hindeodus parvus in the Meishan reference section, and the second one coincides with the suggested Griesbachian-Dienerian boundary. This new organic carbon isotope record from the extended Kap Stosch section from the Boreal Realm documents regional and global carbon cycle signals of the interval between the latest Palaeozoic and the onset of the Mesozoic.

  14. Planets and Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sullivan, Woodruff T., III; Baross, John

    2007-09-01

    Foreword; Preface; Contributors; Prologue; Part I. History: 1. History of astrobiological ideas W. T. Sullivan and D. Carney; 2. From exobiology to astrobiology S. J. Dick; Part II. The Physical Stage: 3. Formation of Earth-like habitable planets D. E. Brownlee and M. Kress; 4. Planetary atmospheres and life D. Catling and J. F. Kasting; Part III. The Origin of Life on Earth: 5. Does 'life' have a definition? C.E. Cleland and C. F. Chyba; 6. Origin of life: crucial issues R. Shapiro; 7. Origin of proteins and nucleic acids A. Ricardo and S. A. Benner; 8. The roots of metabolism G.D. Cody and J. H. Scott; 9. Origin of cellular life D. W. Deamer; Part IV. Life on Earth: 10. Evolution: a defining feature of life J. A. Baross; 11. Evolution of metabolism and early microbial communities J. A. Leigh, D. A. Stahl and J. T. Staley; 12. The earliest records of life on Earth R. Buick; 13. The origin and diversification of eukaryotes M. L. Sogin, D. J. Patterson and A. McArthur; 14. Limits of carbon life on Earth and elsewhere J. A. Baross, J. Huber and M. Schrenk; 15. Life in ice J. W. Deming and H. Eicken; 16. The evolution and diversification of life S. Awramik and K. J. McNamara; 17. Mass extinctions P. D. Ward; Part V. Potentially Habitable Worlds: 18. Mars B. M. Jakosky, F. Westall and A. Brack; 19. Europa C. F. Chyba and C. B. Phillips; 20. Titan J. I. Lunine and B. Rizk; 21. Extrasolar planets P. Butler; Part VI. Searching for Extraterrestrial Life: 22. How to search for life on other worlds C. P. McKay; 23. Instruments and strategies for detecting extraterrestrial life P. G. Conrad; 24. Societial and ethical concerns M. S. Race; 25. Planetary protection J. D. Rummel; 26. Searching for extraterrestrial intelligence J. C. Tarter; 27. Alien biochemistries P. D. Ward and S. A. Benner; Part VII. Future of the Field: 28. Disciplinary and educational opportunities L. Wells, J. Armstrong and J. Huber; Epilogue C. F. Chyba; Appendixes: A. Units and usages; B. Planetary properties; C. The geological time scale S. Awramik and K. J. McNamara; D. Astrobiological destinations on planet Earth J. Harnmeijer; E. Micro*scope web tool D. J. Patterson and M. L. Sogin; Index.

  15. Earth's earliest biosphere-a proposal to develop a collection of curated archean geologic reference materials.

    PubMed

    Lindsay, John F; McKay, David S; Allen, Carlton C

    2003-01-01

    The discovery of evidence indicative of life in a Martian meteorite has led to an increase in interest in astrobiology. As a result of this discovery, and the ensuing controversy, it has become apparent that our knowledge of the early development of life on Earth is limited. Archean stratigraphic successions containing evidence of Earth's early biosphere are well preserved in the Pilbara Craton of Western Australia. The craton includes part of a protocontinent consisting of granitoid complexes that were emplaced into, and overlain by, a 3.51-2.94 Ga volcanigenic carapace - the Pilbara Supergroup. The craton is overlain by younger supracrustal basins that form a time series recording Earth history from approximately 2.8 Ga to approximately 1.9 Ga. It is proposed that a well-documented suite of these ancient rocks be collected as reference material for Archean and astrobiological research. All samples would be collected in a well-defined geological context in order to build a framework to test models for the early evolution of life on Earth and to develop protocols for the search for life on other planets. PMID:14987479

  16. Earth's earliest biosphere-a proposal to develop a collection of curated archean geologic reference materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindsay, John F.; McKay, David S.; Allen, Carlton C.

    2003-01-01

    The discovery of evidence indicative of life in a Martian meteorite has led to an increase in interest in astrobiology. As a result of this discovery, and the ensuing controversy, it has become apparent that our knowledge of the early development of life on Earth is limited. Archean stratigraphic successions containing evidence of Earth's early biosphere are well preserved in the Pilbara Craton of Western Australia. The craton includes part of a protocontinent consisting of granitoid complexes that were emplaced into, and overlain by, a 3.51-2.94 Ga volcanigenic carapace - the Pilbara Supergroup. The craton is overlain by younger supracrustal basins that form a time series recording Earth history from approximately 2.8 Ga to approximately 1.9 Ga. It is proposed that a well-documented suite of these ancient rocks be collected as reference material for Archean and astrobiological research. All samples would be collected in a well-defined geological context in order to build a framework to test models for the early evolution of life on Earth and to develop protocols for the search for life on other planets.

  17. Water and Life on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McKay, Christopher P.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Mars appears to be cold dry and dead world. However there is good evidence that early in its history it had liquid water, more active volcanism, and a thicker atmosphere. Mars had this earth-like environment over three and a half billion years ago, during the same time that life appeared on Earth. The main question in the exploration of Mars then is the search for a independent origin of life on that planet. Ecosystems in cold, dry locations on Earth - such as the Antarctic - provide examples of how life on Mars might have survived and where to look for fossils. Although the Viking results may indicate that Mars has no life today, there is direct geomorphological evidence that, in the past, Mars had large amounts of liquid water on its surface - possibly due to a thicker atmosphere. From a biological perspective the existence of liquid water, by itself motivates the question of the origin of life on Mars. One of the martian meteorites dates back to this early period and may contain evidence consistent with life. From studies of the Earth's earliest biosphere we know that by 3.5 Gyr. ago, life had originated on Earth and reached a fair degree of biological sophistication. Surface activity and erosion on Earth make it difficult to trace the history of life before the 3.5 Gyr timeframe. Ecosystems in cold, dry locations on Earth - such as the Antarctic - provide examples of how life on Mars might have survived and where to look for fossils.

  18. The earliest phases of high-mass star formation: the NGC 6334-NGC 6357 complex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russeil, D.; Zavagno, A.; Motte, F.; Schneider, N.; Bontemps, S.; Walsh, A. J.

    2010-06-01

    Context. Our knowledge of high-mass star formation has been mainly based on follow-up studies of bright sources found by IRAS, and has thus been incomplete for its earliest phases, which are inconspicuous at infrared wavelengths. With a new generation of powerful bolometer arrays, unbiased large-scale surveys of nearby high-mass star-forming complexes now search for the high-mass analog of low-mass cores and class 0 protostars. Aims: Following the pioneering study of Cygnus X, we investigate the star-forming region NGC 6334-NGC 6357 (~1.7 kpc). Methods: We study the complex NGC 6334-NGC 6357 in an homogeneous way following the previous work of Motte and collaborators. We used the same method to extract the densest cores which are the most likely sites for high-mass star formation. We analyzed the SIMBA/SEST 1.2 mm data presented in Munoz and coworkers, which covers all high-column density areas (A v ? 15 mag) of the NGC 6334-NGC 6357 complex and extracted dense cores following the method used for Cygnus X. We constrain the properties of the most massive dense cores (M > 100 M_?) using new molecular line observations (as SiO, N2H+,H13CO+, HCO+ (1-0) and CH3CN) with Mopra and a complete cross-correlation with infrared databases (MSX, GLIMPSE, MIPSGAL) and literature. Results: We extracted 163 massive dense cores of which 16 are more massive than 200 M_?. These high-mass dense cores have a typical FWHM size of 0.37 pc, an average mass of M ~ 600 M_?, and a volume-averaged density of ~ 1.5 105 cm-3. Among these massive dense cores, 6 are good candidates for hosting high-mass infrared-quiet protostars, 9 cores are classified as high-luminosity infrared protostars, and we find only one high-mass starless clump (~0.3 pc, ~ 4 104 cm-3) that is gravitationally bound. Conclusions: Since our sample is derived from a single molecular complex and covers every embedded phase of high-mass star formation, it provides a statistical estimate of the lifetime of massive stars. In contrast to what is found for low-mass class 0 and class I phases, the infrared-quiet protostellar phase of high-mass stars may last as long as their more well known high-luminosity infrared phase. As in Cygnus X, the statistical lifetime of high-mass protostars is shorter than found for nearby, low-mass star-forming regions which implies that high-mass pre-stellar and protostellar cores are in a dynamic state, as expected in a molecular cloud where turbulent and/or dynamical processes dominate. Based on observations made with Mopra telescope. The Mopra telescope is part of the Australia Telescope which is funded by the Commonwealth of Australia for operation as a National Facility managed by CSIRO.Table 1 and Appendix are only available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.orgProfiles as FITS files are only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/515/A55

  19. Cenozoic analogues support a plate tectonic origin for the Earth’s earliest continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hastie, A. R.; Kerr, A. C.; Mitchell, S. F.; McDonald, I.; Pearce, J. A.; Millar, I. L.; Wolstencroft, M.

    2009-12-01

    Eocene rhyodacite lavas from the Wagwater Basin in eastern Jamaica have adakitic-like major element compositions, low Y and heavy rare Earth element (REE) concentrations and negative Nb and Ta anomalies on a normal mid-ocean ridge basalt normalised multi-element diagram. They also have lower Sr (<400 ppm), MgO (≤2.0 wt.%), Ni (mostly ≤30 ppm) and Cr (mostly ≤40 ppm) concentrations compared to other modern adakites and middle-late Archaean (3.5-2.5 Ga) trondhjemite, tonalite and granodiorite/dacites (TTGs). ɛNd(i) and ɛHf(i) values indicate that the adakites can not been formed by assimilation and fractional crystallisation processes involving any other igneous rock in the area and so the composition of the adakites is the result of the residual mineralogy in the source region. Low Sr and Al2O3 contents indicate a fluid/vapour-absent source with residual plagioclase, and REE systematics point to residual amphibole and garnet in the source region. The plagioclase and garnet residue implies that the Newcastle magmas were derived from partially melting a metabasic protolith at 1.0-1.6 GPa, which would intersect the amphibole dehydration partial melt solidus at ~ 850-900oC. Radiogenic isotopes along with the low MgO, Ni and Cr concentrations in the adakites demonstrate that the garnet amphibolite source region can not be part of (1) the lower Jamaican arc crust, (2) delaminated lower crust or (3) subducted Proto-Caribbean “normal” oceanic crust that may, or may not, have detached. This data, in addition to partial melting models involving a theoretical garnet-amphibolite source region for the Newcastle lavas, shows that the adakites are derived from metamorphosed Caribbean oceanic plateau crust that underthrust Jamaica in the early Tertiary. The underplated oceanic plateau crust partially melted by either (1) influx of basaltic magma during lithospheric extension in the early Tertiary or (2) direct partial melting of the underthrusting (subducting) plateau crust. The Newcastle magmas ascended and erupted without coming into contact with a mantle wedge thus forming the low MgO, Ni and Cr contents. Most Cenozoic adakites have compositions similar to the middle-late Archaean TTG suite of igneous rocks. In contrast, early (>3.5 Ga) Archaean TTG crustal rocks have lower Sr, MgO, Ni and Cr concentrations and prior to this study had no modern adakite analogue. However, the Newcastle adakites have similar compositions to the, early Archaean TTG. The discovery of these rocks has important implications for our understanding of the formation of the Earth’s earliest continental crust and so it is proposed that the Newcastle lavas be classified as a unique sub-group of adakites: Jamaican-type adakite.

  20. New insights into the earliest Quaternary environments in the Central North Sea from 3D seismic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamb, Rachel; Huuse, Mads; Stewart, Margaret; Brocklehurst, Simon H.

    2014-05-01

    In the past the transition between an unconformable surface in the south to a conformable horizon towards the north has made identification and mapping the base-Quaternary in the central North Sea difficult (Sejrup et al 1991; Gatliff et al 1994). However recent integration of biostratigraphy, pollen analysis, paleomagnetism and amino acid analysis in the Dutch and Danish sectors (Rasmussen et al 2005; Kuhlmann et al 2006) has allowed greater confidence in the correlation to the region 3D seismic datasets and thus has allowed the base-Quaternary to be mapped across the entire basin. The base-Quaternary has been mapped using the PGS MegaSurvey dataset from wells in the Danish Sector along the initially unconformable horizon and down the delta front into the more conformable basin giving a high degree of confidence in the horizon pick. The revised base-Quaternary surface reaches a depth of 1248 ms TWT with an elongate basin shape which is significantly deeper than the traditionally mapped surface. Using RMS amplitudes and other seismic attributes the revised base-Quaternary has been investigated along the horizon and in time slice to interpret the environments of the earliest Quaternary prior to the onset of glaciation. Combined with analysis of aligned elongate furrows over 10 km long, 100 m wide and 100 m deep suggest a deep marine environment in an almost enclosed basin with persistent strong NW-SE bottom currents in the deepest parts. Pockmarks were formed by the escape of shallow gas on the sides of a small delta in the eastern part of the basin. The progradation of large deltas from both the north and south into the basin make up the majority of the deposition of sediment into the basin. Key Words: base-Quaternary; seismic interpretation; paleoenvironments References: Gatliff, R.W, Richards, P.C, Smith, K, Graham, C.C, McCormac, M, Smith, N.J.P, Long, D, Cameron, T.D.J, Evans, D, Stevenson, A.G, Bulat, J, Ritchie, J.D, (1994) 'United Kingdom offshore regional report: the geology of the central North Sea.' London: HMSO for the British Geological Survey Kuhlmann, G., Langereis C.G., Munsterman, D., van Leeuwen, R.-J., Verreussel, R., Meulenkamp, J.E., Wong, Th.E., 2006 'Intergrated chronostratigraphy of the Pliocene-Pliestocene interval and its relation to the regional stratigraphical stages in the Southern North Sea region' Netherlands Journal of Geosciences 85(1), 29-45 Rasmussen, E.A., Vejb?k O.V., Bidstrup, T., Piasecki, S., Dybkj?r, K., 2005 'Late Cenozoic depositional history of the Danish North Sea Basin: implications for the petroleum systems in the Kraka, Halfdan, Siri and Nini fields', Petroleum Geology Conference series 6, 1347-1358 Sejrup, H.P., Aareseth, I., Haflidason, H., 1991 'The Quaternary succession in the northern North Sea' Marine Geology 101 103-111

  1. Earth's Earliest Ecosystems in the C: The Use of Microbial Mats to Demonstrate General Principles of Scientific Inquiry and Microbial Ecology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bebout, Brad M.; Bucaria, Robin

    2006-01-01

    Microbial mats are living examples of the most ancient biological communities on Earth. As Earth's earliest ecosystems, they are centrally important to understanding the history of life on our planet and are useful models for the search for life elsewhere. As relatively compact (but complete) ecosystems, microbial mats are also extremely useful for educational activities. Mats may be used to demonstrate a wide variety of concepts in general and microbial ecology, including the biogeochemical cycling of elements, photosynthesis and respiration, and the origin of the Earth's present oxygen containing atmosphere. Microbial mats can be found in a number of common environments accessible to teachers, and laboratory microbial mats can be constructed using materials purchased from biological supply houses. With funding from NASA's Exobiology program, we have developed curriculum and web-based activities centered on the use of microbial mats as tools for demonstrating general principles in ecology, and the scientific process. Our web site (http://microbes.arc.nasa.gov) includes reference materials, lesson plans, and a "Web Lab", featuring living mats maintained in a mini-aquarium. The site also provides information as to how research on microbial mats supports NASA's goals, and various NASA missions. A photo gallery contains images of mats, microscopic views of the organisms that form them, and our own research activities. An animated educational video on the web site uses computer graphic and video microscopy to take students on a journey into a microbial mat. These activities are targeted to a middle school audience and are aligned with the National Science Standards.

  2. Mineral Bionization - Surface Chemical Modeling of the Emergence of Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arrhenius, G.

    2001-12-01

    The earliest stages in entering an RNA-world require natural mechanisms that are capable of selective concentration of simple aldehydes from dilute solution in the environment (4), furthermore phosphorylation of the sequestered aldehydes (2) and their catalytic condensation to form, selectively, tetrose- (threose) or pentose- (ribose) phosphate (3); the latter representing the R in RNA. A variety of common positively charged sheet structure minerals (mixed valence double layer metal hydroxide minerals such as hydrotalcite and green rust) have proven to be remarkably capable of performing these crucial tasks under simplified natural conditions (1). These prebiotic model reactions have demonstrated plausible closure of the gap, previously thought to preclude the natural formation of nucleoside phosphates, the backbone components of the information carrying genetic material. Pioneering research by other workers (5) has demonstrated the feasibility of necessary further steps in the chain toward functional RNA; mineral (montmorillonite) catalyzed oligomerization of nucleotides, the formation of complementary RNA strands (6) and the enzymatic activity of RNA (ribozymes). These contributions have placed the initially conjectural concept of an initial RNA-world on an experimental footing. Remaining problems include the initial transfer of information to spontaneously forming RNA, sufficient to convey biofunctionallity (7). Also in this central problem mineral surface interactions may be speculated to play a natural role; a question that is open to experimental verification. References. 1. Pitsch, S.; Eschenmoser, A.; Gedulin, B.; Hui, S. and Arrhenius, G. Origins Life Evol. Biosphere, 1994, 24 (5), 389. 2. Kolb, V.; Zhang, S.; Xu, Y.; Arrhenius, G. Origins Life Evol. Biosphere, 1997, 27, 485. 3. Krishnamurthy, R.; Pitsch, S.; Arrhenius, G. Origins Life Evol. Biosphere, Origins Life Evol. Biosphere 1999, 29, 139 4. Pitsch, S.; Krishnamurthy, R.; Arrhenius, G. Helv. Chim. Acta. 2000, 83, 2398. 5. Ferris, J. P.; Ertem, G. J. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1993, 115, 1270. 6. Orgel ,L.E. J. Theoretical Biol. 1986, 123, 127-149 7. Arrhenius, G; Life out of Chaos. In Palyi et al. eds. Fundamentals of Life, Elsevier, Paris, 2001

  3. Natural killer T cells constitutively expressing the interleukin-2 receptor ? chain early in life are primed to respond to lower antigenic stimulation.

    PubMed

    Ladd, Mihoko; Sharma, Ashish; Huang, Qing; Wang, Adele Y; Xu, Lixin; Genowati, Indira; Levings, Megan K; Lavoie, Pascal M

    2010-10-01

    Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells are known to constitutively express the high affinity interleukin-2 receptor ? chain (CD25) in neonates, but the functional consequence of this phenotype is unknown. Here, we show that high numbers of CD25-expressing iNKT cells are present early in gestation and represent a significant proportion of the developing immune system. Despite their activated phenotype, neonatal iNKT cells express high levels of the Krppel-like factor-2, a transcription factor associated with quiescent T cells, and require de novo T-cell receptor and CD28 co-stimulation to proliferate. In contrast to bona fide CD4/CD25-expressing regulatory T cells, neonatal iNKT cells do not suppress T-cell responses, indicating that they do not represent an immunosuppressive cell subset. Evidence that neonatal iNKT cells respond to dramatically reduced amounts of CD1d-restricted antigen compared with adult iNKT cells or T cells, and that their proliferation can be induced in the absence of early interleukin-2 suggest that constitutive expression of CD25 'primes' neonatal iNKT cells to respond rapidly to low amounts of antigen. This unique phenotype, which is distinct from adult iNKT cells, as well as other CD25-expressing activated T or regulatory T cells, may be important to ensure stability of a structurally limited peripheral iNKT-cell repertoire early in life. PMID:20545784

  4. Matematica Natural.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lozano, Patricia; Medearis, Linda

    Matematica Natural (Natural Mathematics) is a mathematics curriculum for young children based on the assumption that they learn mathematics through concrete, real life, relevant experiences and that educational differences rather than cultural differences influence math achievement. The curriculum uses hands-on materials and activities to teach…

  5. Nature Detectives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harr, Natalie; Lee, Richard E.; Jr.

    2010-01-01

    Richard Louv's "Last Child in the Woods" (2008) added to a growing consensus to get children outside and experiencing nature. Using ideas from place-based education, the authors present a simple year-long project that brings science, nature, and other curriculum standards to life right in your school yard. With a focus on journaling, this project…

  6. Nature Detectives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harr, Natalie; Lee, Richard E.; Jr.

    2010-01-01

    Richard Louv's "Last Child in the Woods" (2008) added to a growing consensus to get children outside and experiencing nature. Using ideas from place-based education, the authors present a simple year-long project that brings science, nature, and other curriculum standards to life right in your school yard. With a focus on journaling, this project

  7. Matematica Natural.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lozano, Patricia; Medearis, Linda

    Matematica Natural (Natural Mathematics) is a mathematics curriculum for young children based on the assumption that they learn mathematics through concrete, real life, relevant experiences and that educational differences rather than cultural differences influence math achievement. The curriculum uses hands-on materials and activities to teach

  8. Non-basaltic asteroidal magmatism during the earliest stages of solar system evolution: A view from Antarctic achondrites Graves Nunatak 06128 and 06129

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shearer, C. K.; Burger, P. V.; Neal, C.; Sharp, Z.; Spivak-Birndorf, L.; Borg, L.; Fernandes, V. A.; Papike, J. J.; Karner, J.; Wadhwa, M.; Gaffney, A.; Shafer, J.; Geissman, J.; Atudorei, N.-V.; Herd, C.; Weiss, B. P.; King, P. L.; Crowther, S. A.; Gilmour, J. D.

    2010-02-01

    The recently recovered paired Antarctic achondrites Graves Nunatak 06128 and 06129 (GRA) are meteorites that represent unique high-temperature asteroidal processes that are identified in only a few other meteorites. The GRA meteorites contain high abundances of sodic plagioclase, relatively Fe-rich pyroxenes and olivine, abundant phosphates, and low temperature alteration. They represent products of very early planetesimal melting (4565.9 0.3 Ma) of an unsampled geochemical reservoir from an asteroid that has characteristics similar to the brachinite parent body. The magmatism represented by these meteorites is contrary to the commonly held belief that the earliest stages of melting on all planetary bodies during the first 2-30 Ma of solar system history were fundamentally basaltic in nature. These sodic plagioclase-rich rocks represent a series of early asteroidal high-temperature processes: (stage 1) melting and partial extraction of a low-temperature Fe-Ni-S melt, (stage 2) small degrees of disequilibrium partial melting of a sodium- or alkali-rich chondritic parent body with additional incorporation of Fe-Ni-S melt that was not fully extracted during stage 1, (stage 3) volatile-enhanced rapid extraction and emplacement of the Na-rich, high-normative plagioclase melt, (stage 4) final emplacement and accumulation of plagioclase and phosphates, (stage 5) subsolidus reequilibration of lithology between 962 and 600 C at an fO 2 of IW to IW + 1.1, and (stage 6) replacement of merrillite and pyroxene by Cl-apatite resulting from the interaction between magmatic minerals and a Cl-rich fluid/residuum melt. The subsolidus events started as early as 4561.1 Ma and may have continued for upwards of 144 million years. The existence of assemblages similar to GRA on several other planetary bodies with different geochemical characteristics (ureilite, winonaites, IAB irons) implies that this type of early asteroidal melting was not rare. Whereas, eucrites and angrites represent extensive melting of a parent body with low concentrations of moderately-volatile elements, GRA represents low-degrees of melting of a parent body with chondritic abundances of moderately volatile elements. The interpretation of the low-temperature mineral assemblage is somewhat ambiguous. Textural features suggest multiple episodes of alteration. The earliest stage follows the interaction of magmatic assemblages with a Cl-rich fluid. The last episode of alteration appears to cross-cut the fusion crust and earlier stages of alteration. Stable isotopic measurements of the alteration can be interpreted as indicating that an extraterrestrial volatile component was preserved in GRA.

  9. Detection of RHDV strains in the Iberian hare (Lepus granatensis): earliest evidence of rabbit lagovirus cross-species infection.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Ana M; Marques, Sara; Silva, Eliane; Magalhes, Maria J; Pinheiro, Ana; Alves, Paulo C; Le Pendu, Jacques; Esteves, Pedro J; Thompson, Gertrude; Abrantes, Joana

    2014-01-01

    Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) is a highly lethal Lagovirus, family Caliciviridae, that threatens European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Although a related virus severely affects hares, cross-species infection was only recently described for new variant RHDV in Cape hares (Lepus capensis mediterraneus). We sequenced two strains from dead Iberian hares (Lepus granatensis) collected in the 1990s in Portugal. Clinical signs were compatible with a Lagovirus infection. Phylogenetic analysis of the complete capsid gene positioned them in the RHDV genogroup that circulated on the Iberian Peninsula at that time. This is the earliest evidence of RHDV affecting a species other than European rabbits. PMID:25248407

  10. The Chachil Limestone (Pliensbachian-earliest Toarcian) Neuquén Basin, Argentina: U-Pb age calibration and its significance on the Early Jurassic evolution of southwestern Gondwana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leanza, H. A.; Mazzini, A.; Corfu, F.; Llambías, E. J.; Svensen, H.; Planke, S.; Galland, O.

    2013-03-01

    New radiometric U-Pb ages obtained on zircon crystals from Early Jurassic ash layers found within beds of the Chachil Limestone at its type locality in the Chachil depocentre (southern Neuquén Basin) confirm a Pliensbachian age (186.0 ± 0.4 Ma). Additionally, two ash layers found in limestone beds in Chacay Melehue at the Cordillera del Viento depocentre (central Neuquén Basin) gave Early Pliensbachian (185.7 ± 0.4 Ma) and earliest Toarcian (182.3 ± 0.4 Ma) U-Pb zircon ages. Based on these new datings and regional geological observations, we propose that the limestones cropping out at Chacay Melehue are correlatable with the Chachil Limestone. Recent data by other authors from limestones at Serrucho creek in the upper Puesto Araya Formation (Valenciana depocentre, southern Mendoza) reveal ages of 182.16 ± 0.6 Ma. Based on these new evidences, we consider the Chachil Limestone an important Early Jurassic stratigraphic marker, representing an almost instantaneous widespread flooding episode in western Gondwana. The unit marks the initiation in the Neuquén Basin of the Cuyo Group, followed by widespread black shale deposition. Accordingly, these limestones can be regarded as the natural seal of the Late Triassic -earliest Jurassic Precuyano Cycle, which represents the infill of halfgrabens and/or grabens related to a strong extensional regime. Paleontological evidence supports that during Pliensbachian-earliest Toarcian times these limestones were deposited in western Gondwana in marine warm water environments.

  11. Defending definitions of life.

    PubMed

    Mix, Lucas John

    2015-01-01

    Over the past 10 years, it has become unpopular to talk about definitions of life, under the assumption that attempts at a precise definition are counterproductive. Recent attempts have failed to meet strict philosophical criteria for definitions and have failed to reach consensus. I argue that provisional definitions are necessary for clear communications. Our current knowledge of biology justifies a number of universal claims about the category of life. Whether or not "life" represents a natural category, it maps to a number of important, observable processes. Given the importance of those processes and the extent of our knowledge, plural explicit definitions of life (and related categories) will be necessary for progress in astrobiology and origin-of-life studies as well as biology in general. I propose concrete categories related to, but not necessarily coextensive with, life for clear communication and hypothesis formation: Woese life, Darwin life, Haldane life. PMID:25415254

  12. The fuel cell model of abiogenesis: a new approach to origin-of-life simulations.

    PubMed

    Barge, Laura M; Kee, Terence P; Doloboff, Ivria J; Hampton, Joshua M P; Ismail, Mohammed; Pourkashanian, Mohamed; Zeytounian, John; Baum, Marc M; Moss, John A; Lin, Chung-Kuang; Kidd, Richard D; Kanik, Isik

    2014-03-01

    In this paper, we discuss how prebiotic geo-electrochemical systems can be modeled as a fuel cell and how laboratory simulations of the origin of life in general can benefit from this systems-led approach. As a specific example, the components of what we have termed the "prebiotic fuel cell" (PFC) that operates at a putative Hadean hydrothermal vent are detailed, and we used electrochemical analysis techniques and proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell components to test the properties of this PFC and other geo-electrochemical systems, the results of which are reported here. The modular nature of fuel cells makes them ideal for creating geo-electrochemical reactors with which to simulate hydrothermal systems on wet rocky planets and characterize the energetic properties of the seafloor/hydrothermal interface. That electrochemical techniques should be applied to simulating the origin of life follows from the recognition of the fuel cell-like properties of prebiotic chemical systems and the earliest metabolisms. Conducting this type of laboratory simulation of the emergence of bioenergetics will not only be informative in the context of the origin of life on Earth but may help in understanding whether life might emerge in similar environments on other worlds. PMID:24621309

  13. Testing models of dental development in the earliest bony vertebrates, Andreolepis and Lophosteus

    PubMed Central

    Cunningham, John A.; Rcklin, Martin; Blom, Henning; Botella, Hector; Donoghue, Philip C. J.

    2012-01-01

    Theories on the development and evolution of teeth have long been biased by the fallacy that chondrichthyans reflect the ancestral condition for jawed vertebrates. However, correctly resolving the nature of the primitive vertebrate dentition is challenged by a dearth of evidence on dental development in primitive osteichthyans. Jaw elements from the SilurianDevonian stem-osteichthyans Lophosteus and Andreolepis have been described to bear a dentition arranged in longitudinal rows and vertical files, reminiscent of a pattern of successional development. We tested this inference, using synchrotron radiation X-ray tomographic microscopy (SRXTM) to reveal the pattern of skeletal development preserved in the sclerochronology of the mineralized tissues. The tooth-like tubercles represent focal elaborations of dentine within otherwise continuous sheets of the dermal skeleton, present in at least three stacked generations. Thus, the tubercles are not discrete modular teeth and their arrangement into rows and files is a feature of the dermal ornamentation that does not reflect a polarity of development or linear succession. These fossil remains have no bearing on the nature of the dentition in osteichthyans and, indeed, our results raise questions concerning the homologies of these bones and the phylogenetic classification of Andreolepis and Lophosteus. PMID:22628098

  14. Earliest Porotic Hyperostosis on a 1.5-Million-Year-Old Hominin, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    Domnguez-Rodrigo, Manuel; Pickering, Travis Rayne; Diez-Martn, Fernando; Mabulla, Audax; Musiba, Charles; Trancho, Gonzalo; Baquedano, Enrique; Bunn, Henry T.; Barboni, Doris; Santonja, Manuel; Uribelarrea, David; Ashley, Gail M.; Martnez-vila, Mara del Sol; Barba, Rebeca; Gidna, Agness; Yravedra, Jos; Arriaza, Carmen

    2012-01-01

    Meat-eating was an important factor affecting early hominin brain expansion, social organization and geographic movement. Stone tool butchery marks on ungulate fossils in several African archaeological assemblages demonstrate a significant level of carnivory by Pleistocene hominins, but the discovery at Olduvai Gorge of a child's pathological cranial fragments indicates that some hominins probably experienced scarcity of animal foods during various stages of their life histories. The child's parietal fragments, excavated from 1.5-million-year-old sediments, show porotic hyperostosis, a pathology associated with anemia. Nutritional deficiencies, including anemia, are most common at weaning, when children lose passive immunity received through their mothers' milk. Our results suggest, alternatively, that (1) the developmentally disruptive potential of weaning reached far beyond sedentary Holocene food-producing societies and into the early Pleistocene, or that (2) a hominin mother's meat-deficient diet negatively altered the nutritional content of her breast milk to the extent that her nursing child ultimately died from malnourishment. Either way, this discovery highlights that by at least 1.5 million years ago early human physiology was already adapted to a diet that included the regular consumption of meat. PMID:23056303

  15. It's a long way from amphioxus: descendants of the earliest chordate.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Fernndez, Jordi; Benito-Gutirrez, Elia

    2009-06-01

    The origin of chordates and the consequent genesis of vertebrates were major events in natural history. The amphioxus (lancelet) is now recognised as the closest extant relative to the stem chordate and is the only living invertebrate that retains a vertebrate-like development and body plan through its lifespan, despite more than 500 million years of independent evolution from the stem vertebrate. The inspiring data coming from its recently sequenced genome confirms that amphioxus has a prototypical chordate genome with respect to gene content and structure, and even chromosomal organisation. Pushed by joint efforts of amphioxus researchers, amphioxus is now entering a new era, namely its maturation as a laboratory model, through the availability of a large amount of molecular data and the advent of experimental manipulation of the embryo. These two facts may well serve to illuminate the hidden secrets of the genetic changes that generated, among other vertebrates, ourselves. PMID:19408244

  16. The Breath of Life. The Problem of Poisoned Air.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carr, Donald E.

    The origins and nature of air pollution, from earliest days to the present, are examined in this book. Although air pollution has been with us since the discovery of fire, it is proffered that the major culprit now is the burning of gasoline and low-grade heating oil. All other sources of air pollution are negligible. The main thesis is that only…

  17. The Breath of Life. The Problem of Poisoned Air.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carr, Donald E.

    The origins and nature of air pollution, from earliest days to the present, are examined in this book. Although air pollution has been with us since the discovery of fire, it is proffered that the major culprit now is the burning of gasoline and low-grade heating oil. All other sources of air pollution are negligible. The main thesis is that only

  18. The Search for Life from Antarctica to Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McKay, Christopher P.; Cuzzi, Jeffrey N. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    Although the Viking results may indicate that Mars has no life today, the possibility exists that Mars may hold the best record of the events that led to the origin of life. There is direct geomorphological evidence that in the past Mars had large amounts of liquid water on its surface. Atmospheric models would suggest that this early period of hydrological activity was due to the presence of a thick atmosphere and the resulting warmer temperatures. From a biological perspective the existence of liquid water, by itself motivates the question of the origin of life on Mars. From studies of the Earth's earliest biosphere we know that by 3.5 Gyr. ago, life had originated on Earth and reached a fair degree of biological sophistication. Surface activity and erosion on Earth make it difficult to trace the history of life before the 3.5 Gyr timeframe. If Mars did maintain a clement environment for longer than it took for life to originate on Earth, then the question of the origin of life on Mars follows naturally. Human exploration of Mars will probably begin with a small base manned by a temporary crew, a necessary first start. But exploration of the entire planet win require a continued presence on the Martian surface and the development of a self sustaining community in which humans can live and work for very long periods of time. A permanent Mars research base can be compared to the permanent research bases which several nations maintain in Antarctica at the South Pole, the geomagnetic pole, and elsewhere. In the long run, a continued human presence on Mars will be t he most economical way to study that planet in detail. It is possible that at some time in the future we might recreate a habitable climate on Mars, returning it to the life-bearing state it may have enjoyed early in its history. Our studies of Mars are still in a preliminary state but everything we have learned suggests that it may be possible to restore Mars to a habitable climate.

  19. Middle school students' understanding of the natural history of the Earth and life on Earth as a function of deep time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pulling, Azalie Cecile

    The purpose of this study was to use deep time, that is geologic time as a mechanism to explore middle school students' understanding of the natural history of the earth and the evolution of life on earth. Geologic time is a logical precursor to middle school students' understanding of biological evolution. This exploratory, mixed model study used qualitative and quantitative methods in each stage of the research to explore sixth grade students, understanding of geologic time, their worldviews (e.g., conceptual ecology), and conceptual change. The study included fifty-nine students in the large group study and four case studies. The primary data collection instrument was the Geologic Timeline Survey. Additional data collection instruments and methods (e.g., concept evaluation statement, journal entries, word associations, interviews, and formal tests) were used to triangulate the study findings. These data were used to create narrative modal profiles of the categories of student thinking that emerged from the large group analysis: Middle School (MS) Scientists (correct science), MS Protoscientists (approaching correct science), MS Prescientists (dinosaur understanding), and MS Pseudoscientists (fundamental religious understanding). Case studies were used to provide a thick description of each category. This study discovered a pattern of student thinking about geologic time that moved along a knowledge continuum from pseudoscience (fundamental creationist understanding) to prescience (everyday-science understanding) to science (correct or approaching correct science). The researcher described the deep-seated misconceptions produced by the prescience thinking level, e.g., dinosaur misconceptions, and cautioned the science education community about using dinosaurs as a glamour-science topic. The most limiting conceptual frameworks found in this study were prescience (a dinosaur focus) and pseudoscience (a fundamental religious focus). An understanding of geologic time as Piaget's system of time (e.g., chronological ordering of events, before and after relationships, duration or evolutionary time) was a necessary conceptual framework for students to develop a scientific understanding of deep time. An examination of students, worldviews and the interface of science and religion indicated that students often successfully applied a demarcation between science and religion in their public thinking (e.g., the formal classroom setting), but in their private thinking, the demarcation was often blurred.

  20. [Evolution of the genetic code and earliest proteins. Reconstruction from the current sequences].

    PubMed

    Trifonov, E N

    2002-01-01

    One would expect that present-day protein sequences have changed many times during their evolution, at every point, so that there is no chance to recognize in the sequences any traces of their ancient organization. It turns out to be not true. Massive analysis of complete genomes of bacteria allows one to derive, according to very specific predictions, distinct features of very early sequences and to outline the history of evolution protein. Modern proteins appear to have evolved from short peptides of mixed sequences of two alphabet types. They were then closed to sequences of optimal size from which modern folds/domains and multidomain proteins were formed. The reconstruction of amino acid and codon chronology is described. A specific idea on the nature and evolutionary significance of gene splicing is suggested. The gene splicing, while obeying the rules of basic structural organization of proteins, offers accessibility to regions of sequence space that could not be reached by mutational changes typical for prokaryotes. PMID:12298191

  1. The earliest archaeological maize (Zea mays L.) from highland Mexico: new accelerator mass spectrometry dates and their implications.

    PubMed

    Piperno, D R; Flannery, K V

    2001-02-13

    Accelerator mass spectrometry age determinations of maize cobs (Zea mays L.) from Guil Naquitz Cave in Oaxaca, Mexico, produced dates of 5,400 carbon-14 years before the present (about 6,250 calendar years ago), making those cobs the oldest in the Americas. Macrofossils and phytoliths characteristic of wild and domesticated Zea fruits are absent from older strata from the site, although Zea pollen has previously been identified from those levels. These results, together with the modern geographical distribution of wild Zea mays, suggest that the cultural practices that led to Zea domestication probably occurred elsewhere in Mexico. Guil Naquitz Cave has now yielded the earliest macrofossil evidence for the domestication of two major American crop plants, squash (Cucurbita pepo) and maize. PMID:11172082

  2. Earliest domestication of common millet (Panicum miliaceum) in East Asia extended to 10,000 years ago

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Houyuan; Zhang, Jianping; Liu, Kam-biu; Wu, Naiqin; Li, Yumei; Zhou, Kunshu; Ye, Maolin; Zhang, Tianyu; Zhang, Haijiang; Yang, Xiaoyan; Shen, Licheng; Xu, Deke; Li, Quan

    2009-01-01

    The origin of millet from Neolithic China has generally been accepted, but it remains unknown whether common millet (Panicum miliaceum) or foxtail millet (Setaria italica) was the first species domesticated. Nor do we know the timing of their domestication and their routes of dispersal. Here, we report the discovery of husk phytoliths and biomolecular components identifiable solely as common millet from newly excavated storage pits at the Neolithic Cishan site, China, dated to between ca. 10,300 and ca. 8,700 calibrated years before present (cal yr BP). After ca. 8,700 cal yr BP, the grain crops began to contain a small quantity of foxtail millet. Our research reveals that the common millet was the earliest dry farming crop in East Asia, which is probably attributed to its excellent resistance to drought. PMID:19383791

  3. Earliest human occupations at Dmanisi (Georgian Caucasus) dated to 1.85–1.78 Ma

    PubMed Central

    Ferring, Reid; Oms, Oriol; Agustí, Jordi; Berna, Francesco; Nioradze, Medea; Shelia, Teona; Tappen, Martha; Vekua, Abesalom; Zhvania, David; Lordkipanidze, David

    2011-01-01

    The early Pleistocene colonization of temperate Eurasia by Homo erectus was not only a significant biogeographic event but also a major evolutionary threshold. Dmanisi's rich collection of hominin fossils, revealing a population that was small-brained with both primitive and derived skeletal traits, has been dated to the earliest Upper Matuyama chron (ca. 1.77 Ma). Here we present archaeological and geologic evidence that push back Dmanisi's first occupations to shortly after 1.85 Ma and document repeated use of the site over the last half of the Olduvai subchron, 1.85–1.78 Ma. These discoveries show that the southern Caucasus was occupied repeatedly before Dmanisi's hominin fossil assemblage accumulated, strengthening the probability that this was part of a core area for the colonization of Eurasia. The secure age for Dmanisi's first occupations reveals that Eurasia was probably occupied before Homo erectus appears in the East African fossil record. PMID:21646521

  4. Opportunistic Feeding Strategy for the Earliest Old World Hypsodont Equids: Evidence from Stable Isotope and Dental Wear Proxies

    PubMed Central

    Ttken, Thomas; Kaiser, Thomas M.; Vennemann, Torsten; Merceron, Gildas

    2013-01-01

    Background The equid Hippotherium primigenium, with moderately hypsodont cheek teeth, rapidly dispersed through Eurasia in the early late Miocene. This dispersal of hipparions into the Old World represents a major faunal event during the Neogene. The reasons for this fast dispersal of H. primigenium within Europe are still unclear. Based on its hypsodonty, a high specialization in grazing is assumed although the feeding ecology of the earliest European hipparionines within a pure C3 plant ecosystem remains to be investigated. Methodology/Principal Findings A multi-proxy approach, combining carbon and oxygen isotopes from enamel as well as dental meso- and microwear analyses of cheek teeth, was used to characterize the diet of the earliest European H. primigenium populations from four early Late Miocene localities in Germany (Eppelsheim, Hwenegg), Switzerland (Charmoille), and France (Soblay). Enamel ?13C values indicate a pure C3 plant diet with small (<1.4) seasonal variations for all four H. primigenium populations. Dental wear and carbon isotope compositions are compatible with dietary differences. Except for the Hwenegg hipparionines, dental microwear data indicate a browse-dominated diet. By contrast, the tooth mesowear patterns of all populations range from low to high abrasion suggesting a wide spectrum of food resources. Conclusions/Significance Combined dental wear and stable isotope analysis enables refined palaeodietary reconstructions in C3 ecosystems. Different H. primigenium populations in Europe had a large spectrum of feeding habits with a high browsing component. The combination of specialized phenotypes such as hypsodont cheek teeth with a wide spectrum of diet illustrates a new example of the Liems paradox. This dietary flexibility associated with the capability to exploit abrasive food such as grasses probably contributed to the rapid dispersal of hipparionines from North America into Eurasia and the fast replacement of the brachydont equid Anchitherium by the hypsodont H. primigenium in Europe. PMID:24040254

  5. Sequences, stratigraphy and scenarios: what can we say about the fossil record of the earliest tetrapods?

    PubMed

    Friedman, Matt; Brazeau, Martin D

    2011-02-01

    Past research on the emergence of digit-bearing tetrapods has led to the widely accepted premise that this important evolutionary event occurred during the Late Devonian. The discovery of convincing digit-bearing tetrapod trackways of early Middle Devonian age in Poland has upset this orthodoxy, indicating that current scenarios which link the timing of the origin of digited tetrapods to specific events in Earth history are likely to be in error. Inspired by this find, we examine the fossil record of early digit-bearing tetrapods and their closest fish-like relatives from a statistical standpoint. We find that the Polish trackways force a substantial reconsideration of the nature of the early tetrapod record when only body fossils are considered. However, the effect is less drastic (and often not statistically significant) when other reliably dated trackways that were previously considered anachronistic are taken into account. Using two approaches, we find that 95 per cent credible and confidence intervals for the origin of digit-bearing tetrapods extend into the Early Devonian and beyond, spanning late Emsian to mid Ludlow. For biologically realistic diversity models, estimated genus-level preservation rates for Devonian digited tetrapods and their relatives range from 0.025 to 0.073 per lineage-million years, an order of magnitude lower than species-level rates for groups typically considered to have dense records. Available fossils of early digited tetrapods and their immediate relatives are adequate for documenting large-scale patterns of character acquisition associated with the origin of terrestriality, but low preservation rates coupled with clear geographical and stratigraphic sampling biases caution against building scenarios for the origin of digits and terrestrialization tied to the provenance of particular specimens or faunas. PMID:20739322

  6. Earth's Earliest Ecosystems in the Classroom: The Use of Microbial Mats to Illustrate and Demonstrate General Principles of Scientific Inquiry and Microbial Ecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bebout, B. M.; Bucaria, R.

    2004-12-01

    Microbial mats are living examples of the most ancient biological communities on Earth. As Earth's earliest ecosystems, they are centrally important to understanding the history of life on our planet and are useful models for the search for life elsewhere. As relatively small (but complete) ecosystems, microbial mats are also extremely useful for educational activities. Mats may be used to demonstrate a wide variety of concepts in general and microbial ecology, including the biogeochemical cycling of elements, photosynthesis and respiration, and the and the origin of the Earth's present oxygen containing atmosphere. Microbial mats can be found in a number of common environments accessible to teachers, and laboratory microbial mats can even be constructed using materials purchased from biological supply houses. With funding from NASA's Exobiology program, provided as a supplement to our research funding, we are developing curriculum and web-based activities centered on the use of microbial mats as tools for demonstrating general principles in ecology, and the scientific process. A web site with useful background information and links is now on-line. The curriculum, now in the pilot phase, is an integrated module having Science, Math and Language Art threads. A "Web Lab", featuring living mats maintained in a mini-aquarium, and complete with remotely-operable instrumentation not commonly available in classrooms, will be available to classrooms over the Internet. Using that system, the responses of the mat community to changes in environmental parameters, (e.g., light, pH, flow, and temperature) can be monitored using microsensors. Students will be able to develop hypotheses and propose experiments in the Web Lab to test them. Data from these experiments will be posted in real time and students will be able to collect the data, analyze it, and post results and conclusions back to the web page in a true implementation of the scientific inquiry process. The web site will soon feature a four to five minute animated feature of an imaginary voyage into a microbial mat using a computer generated microscopic submarine set against videomicroscopy of real mats. The miniature explorers will point out features of interest as they measure some of the same parameters measured by researchers in our lab. Readouts on board the miniature submersible will be used to teach data graphing and analysis concepts. Some of this animation, and other materials generated by this project, are also being incorporated into the traveling museum exhibit "Alien Earths".

  7. Natural Selection on Female Life-History Traits in Relation to Socio-Economic Class in Pre-Industrial Human Populations

    PubMed Central

    Pettay, Jenni E.; Helle, Samuli; Jokela, Jukka; Lummaa, Virpi

    2007-01-01

    Life-history theory predicts that resource scarcity constrains individual optimal reproductive strategies and shapes the evolution of life-history traits. In species where the inherited structure of social class may lead to consistent resource differences among family lines, between-class variation in resource availability should select for divergence in optimal reproductive strategies. Evaluating this prediction requires information on the phenotypic selection and quantitative genetics of life-history trait variation in relation to individual lifetime access to resources. Here, we show using path analysis how resource availability, measured as the wealth class of the family, affected the opportunity and intensity of phenotypic selection on the key life-history traits of women living in pre-industrial Finland during the 1800s and 1900s. We found the highest opportunity for total selection and the strongest selection on earlier age at first reproduction in women of the poorest wealth class, whereas selection favoured older age at reproductive cessation in mothers of the wealthier classes. We also found clear differences in female life-history traits across wealth classes: the poorest women had the lowest age-specific survival throughout their lives, they started reproduction later, delivered fewer offspring during their lifetime, ceased reproduction younger, had poorer offspring survival to adulthood and, hence, had lower fitness compared to the wealthier women. Our results show that the amount of wealth affected the selection pressure on female life-history in a pre-industrial human population. PMID:17622351

  8. Breaking News: Decoding the earliest "computer": The antikythera astrolabe. Science and technology in ancient Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liritzis, I.

    In the Easter of 1900, just off the tiny island of Antikythera in the Aegean Sea, sponge-fishers from Simi found by chance a very important ancient shipwreck dated to 2nd to the early 1st century B.C. The plethora of objects included bronze fragments of furniture, marble and bronze statues and statuettes, pottery, luxury glass and silver vases, wooden parts of the ship and other. Of the most important find was a corroded bronze mechanism embedded to calcareous cemented matter caused by the seawater. The mechanism was associated to the School of Poseidonius of Rhodes and dated c.87 B.C. The mechanism is a four piece fragmentary, fragile and partly missing calculating device with geared wheels, display scales and Greek inscriptions, displayed at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. Early research (1902-1934) was made by Svoronos, Stais, Rados, Rediadis, Theophanides and even attempted a reconstruction. Later research (1953-1974) was applied by mechanical engineer in collaboration with Karakalos (1973) who applied industrial X-ray radiography and recovered revolutionary structural data and 30 geared wheels. Dr Derek de Solla Price made a second model (two replicas) (Price, 1974). Since then, several other models were made by Roumeliotis, Freeth (2002 a, b), Casselman and Lysozyme. The third research phase (1990 till today) was studied by computer scientists (Bromley and Gardner) as well as mechanical engineer Michael Wright, Greenwich Museum, London. The film images were taken by the laborious X-ray linear tomography. A replica was made by Michael Wright upgrading earlier model by Price producing eventually modifications till this year. The last research effort (2005 till today) the mechanism was studied by the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project researchers from a consortium of public and private establishments led by Mike Edmunds University of Cardiff and included Universities of Athens and Thessaloniki, The National Archaeological Museum Athens, the Center for History and Palaeography, Cultural Foundation of the National Bank of Greece, X-Tek Systems, and Hewlett-Packard. They applied a powerful microfocus X-ray computer assisted tomography (CAT) using reflectance imaging to enhance surface details. The first results were announced in this week issue of the international scientific journal of Nature and at the same time during the 2-day international conference (30th Nov to 1st Dec.,in Athens) where the present information is retrieved from (Deconding the Antikythera Mechnism, Abstract Book). The results are indeed exciting and enabled new detailed 3D reconstruction of the internal structure of the Antikythera Mechanism using a total of one terabyte of CAT data and the surface polynomial mapping images.

  9. Supermassive Star Clusters in Supergiant Galaxies: Tracing the Enrichment of the Earliest Stellar Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, William

    2010-09-01

    The cD-type Brightest Cluster Galaxies contain the richest globular cluster systems {GCSs} that exist. The wealth of results gathered from previous HST imaging programs in many smaller galaxies show that GCSs are powerful and unique tracers that link to origin and evolution of structure in two directions simultaneously: one direction is inward to the structure of the protoglobular clouds, star formation in the densest known conditions, and their chemical enrichment history. The other direction is outward to constraining early galaxy formation history, the nature of the pregalactic dwarfs, or the spatial and dynamic structure of the halo. But we have not yet tapped the vast mine of GCS data waiting for exploitation in the most luminous galaxies of all, the cDs. Surprisingly, we know little about these systems beyond the globular cluster populations in the nearby cDs M87 {Virgo} and NGC 1399 {Fornax}, and these two cases no longer provide adequate tests of the new phenomena now being uncovered, such as the correlation between GC mass and metallicity, the strikingly different formation efficiencies of metal-poor and metal-rich clusters, the galaxy-to-galaxy differences in GC mass distribution, and connections to Ultra-Compact Dwarfs and dE nuclei.We propose to image 7 cD-type systems within 200 Mpc that are representative of the very biggest galaxies known {Mv < -23}. These lie in far richer Abell-cluster environments than we could ever probe in Virgo, Fornax, or nearer systems. We will use ACS/WFC and WFC3 to image their GCSs down to the turnover point of the GC luminosity function, using the B and I filters for an optimal combination of exposure time, field size, and metallicity sensitivity. Our complete survey will produce luminosities, metallicities, and spatial distribution functions for more than 35,000 GCs, the largest GC database in existence and an order of magnitude larger than even the recent Virgo Cluster Survey. The legacy value of our survey will supply a rich resource for a wide array of other GC science and the formation histories of these unique systems.

  10. From L'Homme Machine to metabolic closure: steps towards understanding life.

    PubMed

    Letelier, Juan-Carlos; Crdenas, Mara Luz; Cornish-Bowden, Athel

    2011-10-01

    The nature of life has been a topic of interest from the earliest of times, and efforts to explain it in mechanistic terms date at least from the 18th century. However, the impressive development of molecular biology since the 1950s has tended to have the question put on one side while biologists explore mechanisms in greater and greater detail, with the result that studies of life as such have been confined to a rather small group of researchers who have ignored one another's work almost completely, often using quite different terminology to present very similar ideas. Central among these ideas is that of closure, which implies that all of the catalysts needed for an organism to stay alive must be produced by the organism itself, relying on nothing apart from food (and hence chemical energy) from outside. The theories that embody this idea to a greater or less degree are known by a variety of names, including (M,R) systems, autopoiesis, the chemoton, the hypercycle, symbiosis, autocatalytic sets, sysers and RAF sets. These are not all the same, but they are not completely different either, and in this review we examine their similarities and differences, with the aim of working towards the formulation of a unified theory of life. PMID:21763318

  11. Man-Made Closed Ecological Systems as Model of Natural Ecosystems and as Means to Provide High Quality of Human Life in Adverse Environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gitelson, I. I.; Harper, Lynn (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    For its more than thirty year long history, the experimental creation of closed ecological systems has from its very sources been distinctly and strongly motivated by the development of human life-support systems for space. As the trend developed its fundamental significance and broad opportunities of terrestrial applications of the technologies under development were coming to the foreground. Nowadays, it can be argued that development of closed ecosystems is experimental foundation of a new branch of ecology biospherics, the goal of which is to comprehend the regularities of existence of the biosphere as a unique in the Universe (in that part of it that we know, at least) closed ecosystem. Closed technologies can be implemented in life-support systems under adverse conditions of life on the Earth - in Arctic and Antarctic latitudes, deserts, high mountains or deep in the ocean, as well as under the conditions of polluted water and air. In space where the environment is hostile for life all around the cell of life should be sealed and the life-support system as close to the ideally closed cyclic turnover of the matter as possible. Under terrestrial conditions designers should strive for maximum closure of the limiting factor: water - in deserts, oxygen - in high mountains, energy - in polar latitudes, etc. Essential closure of a life-support systems withstands also pollution of the environment by the wastes of human vital activity. This is of particular importance for the quarantine of visited planets, and on the Earth under the conditions of deficient heat in high latitudes and water in and areas. The report describes experimental ecosystem 'BIOS' and exohabitats being designed on its basis, which are adapted to various conditions, described capacities of the Center for Closed Ecosystems in Drasnoyarsk for international collaboration in research and education in this field.

  12. Time Constraints for the Earliest Records of Glaciation in the Canadian Interior Plains and the American Midwest: Magnetostratigraphy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barendregt, R. W.

    2001-12-01

    The earliest dateable evidence of Laurentide glaciation on the Canadian Prairies occurs in souterhn Alberta and Saskatchewan. Absolute ages for the sedimentary record immediately predating the first arrival of ice were obtained from sections near Galt Island, Alberta (0.43 +/- 0.07 Ma. and Wellsch Valley, Saskatchewan (0.69+/- 0.11 Ma). At Wascana Creek, Saskatchewan a tephra dated at 0.60 +/- 0.04 Ma is contained in glacial lake deposits associated with the first glaciation of that area. At Wascana Creek and Galt Island, the tephras and their encapsulating sediments are normally magnetized, and based on the tephra ages are assigned to the Brunhes Chron. At Wellsch Valley the tephra and associated preglacial fluvial and lacustrine sediments are reversely magnetized, contain late Blancan and Early Irvingtonian fossil assemblages, and are assigned to the uppermost part of the Matuyama Chron. Immediate preglacial fossil vertebrate assemblages at Wellsch Valley, Galt Island and Medicine Hat sections indicate an early middle Pleistocene fauna, and further strengthen a proposed Brunhes age for the first Laurentide glaciation of this region. At Medicine Hat and Galt Island the preglacial sediments are normally magnetized, suggesting that preglacial sedimentation continued on into a portion of the Brunhes Chron, in the valleys to the west of Swift Current. At least two major till sheets, referred to as the Labuma and Buffalo Lake tills are present throughout large portions of southern Alberta and can be correlated in Saskatchewan to the Sutherland Group and Upper Floral Formation respectively. Based on the 0.43 Ma tephra date at Galt Island and late Irvingtonian faunal assemblages of the underlying sediments and Sangamon age of overlying sediments in the Medicine Hat area, the Labuma till is Illinoian (most probably stage 6). The Buffalo Lake till is Late Wisconsin based on Chlorine 36 dates on erratics and Carbon 14 dates on underlying wood and bone. In Manitoba, the most extensive Quaternary record occurs in the Gillam area, where all sediments are normally magnetized. The lowermost (Sundance) till has a well-developed paleosol, and is overlain by the Amery till (most probably stage 6) which can be traced throughout the region. It is overlain by Nelson River sediments which yield amino acid ratios on Hiatella Arctica shells that indicate a Sangamon age. The overlying tills are Wisconsin in age. Recent detailed paleomagnetic studies carried out at or near the "classic" Quaternary sections of the American midwest and in the general vicinity of the Missouri River, in the states of Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas indicate that the earliest glaciations there occurred during the Matuyama Chron. Twelve sections record reversely magnetized lower tills and intertill beds, indicating that the so called "B" and "C" tills predate the Brunhes/Matuyama boundary (0.78 Ma). Tephra dates corroborate a late Pliocene and early Pleistocene age for these tills. Clearly, the extent and timing of the earliest Laurentide glaciations in the Interior Plains of Canada are different from those in the American midwest. Canadian sites reveal only normally magnetized sediments while in the US both normal and reversed sediments occur. The intriguing question is: Why?

  13. Portuguese Students' Understanding at Ages 10-11 and 14-15 of the Origin and Nature of the Earth and the Development of Life.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marques, Luis; Thompson, David

    1997-01-01

    Uses interviews and a written questionnaire to probe students' ideas on the origin of earth and life on earth. A significant number of commonly held misconceptions were prevalent in the sample (N=493). Provides guidelines to assist learners in challenging existing views. Contains 64 references. (DDR)

  14. Quantifying the environmental impact of an integrated human/industrial-natural system using life cycle assessment; a case study on a forest and wood processing chain.

    PubMed

    Schaubroeck, Thomas; Alvarenga, Rodrigo A F; Verheyen, Kris; Muys, Bart; Dewulf, Jo

    2013-01-01

    Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a tool to assess the environmental sustainability of a product; it quantifies the environmental impact of a product's life cycle. In conventional LCAs, the boundaries of a product's life cycle are limited to the human/industrial system, the technosphere. Ecosystems, which provide resources to and take up emissions from the technosphere, are not included in those boundaries. However, similar to the technosphere, ecosystems also have an impact on their (surrounding) environment through their resource usage (e.g., nutrients) and emissions (e.g., CH4). We therefore propose a LCA framework to assess the impact of integrated Techno-Ecological Systems (TES), comprising relevant ecosystems and the technosphere. In our framework, ecosystems are accounted for in the same manner as technosphere compartments. Also, the remediating effect of uptake of pollutants, an ecosystem service, is considered. A case study was performed on a TES of sawn timber production encompassing wood growth in an intensively managed forest ecosystem and further industrial processing. Results show that the managed forest accounted for almost all resource usage and biodiversity loss through land occupation but also for a remediating effect on human health, mostly via capture of airborne fine particles. These findings illustrate the potential relevance of including ecosystems in the product's life cycle of a LCA, though further research is needed to better quantify the environmental impact of TES. PMID:24195778

  15. The feasibility study of small long-life gas cooled fast reactor with mixed natural Uranium/Thorium as fuel cycle input

    SciTech Connect

    Ariani, Menik; Su'ud, Zaki; Waris, Abdul; Khairurrijal,; Monado, Fiber; Sekimoto, Hiroshi

    2012-06-06

    A conceptual design study of Gas Cooled Fast Reactors with Modified CANDLE burn-up scheme has been performed. In this study, design GCFR with Helium coolant which can be continuously operated by supplying mixed Natural Uranium/Thorium without fuel enrichment plant or fuel reprocessing plant. The active reactor cores are divided into two region, Thorium fuel region and Uranium fuel region. Each fuel core regions are subdivided into ten parts (region-1 until region-10) with the same volume in the axial direction. The fresh Natural Uranium and Thorium is initially put in region-1, after one cycle of 10 years of burn-up it is shifted to region-2 and the each region-1 is filled by fresh natural Uranium/Thorium fuel. This concept is basically applied to all regions in both cores area, i.e. shifted the core of i{sup th} region into i+1 region after the end of 10 years burn-up cycle. For the next cycles, we will add only Natural Uranium and Thorium on each region-1. The calculation results show the reactivity reached by mixed Natural Uranium/Thorium with volume ratio is 4.7:1. This reactor can results power thermal 550 MWth. After reactor start-up the operation, furthermore reactor only needs Natural Uranium/Thorium supply for continue operation along 100 years.

  16. The feasibility study of small long-life gas cooled fast reactor with mixed natural Uranium/Thorium as fuel cycle input

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ariani, Menik; Su'ud, Zaki; Waris, Abdul; Khairurrijal, Monado, Fiber; Sekimoto, Hiroshi

    2012-06-01

    A conceptual design study of Gas Cooled Fast Reactors with Modified CANDLE burn-up scheme has been performed. In this study, design GCFR with Helium coolant which can be continuously operated by supplying mixed Natural Uranium/Thorium without fuel enrichment plant or fuel reprocessing plant. The active reactor cores are divided into two region, Thorium fuel region and Uranium fuel region. Each fuel core regions are subdivided into ten parts (region-1 until region-10) with the same volume in the axial direction. The fresh Natural Uranium and Thorium is initially put in region-1, after one cycle of 10 years of burn-up it is shifted to region-2 and the each region-1 is filled by fresh natural Uranium/Thorium fuel. This concept is basically applied to all regions in both cores area, i.e. shifted the core of ith region into i+1 region after the end of 10 years burn-up cycle. For the next cycles, we will add only Natural Uranium and Thorium on each region-1. The calculation results show the reactivity reached by mixed Natural Uranium/Thorium with volume ratio is 4.7:1. This reactor can results power thermal 550 MWth. After reactor start-up the operation, furthermore reactor only needs Natural Uranium/Thorium supply for continue operation along 100 years.

  17. LIFE: Life Investigation For Enceladus A Sample Return Mission Concept in Search for Evidence of Life.

    PubMed

    Tsou, Peter; Brownlee, Donald E; McKay, Christopher P; Anbar, Ariel D; Yano, Hajime; Altwegg, Kathrin; Beegle, Luther W; Dissly, Richard; Strange, Nathan J; Kanik, Isik

    2012-08-01

    Life Investigation For Enceladus (LIFE) presents a low-cost sample return mission to Enceladus, a body with high astrobiological potential. There is ample evidence that liquid water exists under ice coverage in the form of active geysers in the "tiger stripes" area of the southern Enceladus hemisphere. This active plume consists of gas and ice particles and enables the sampling of fresh materials from the interior that may originate from a liquid water source. The particles consist mostly of water ice and are 1-10?? in diameter. The plume composition shows H(2)O, CO(2), CH(4), NH(3), Ar, and evidence that more complex organic species might be present. Since life on Earth exists whenever liquid water, organics, and energy coexist, understanding the chemical components of the emanating ice particles could indicate whether life is potentially present on Enceladus. The icy worlds of the outer planets are testing grounds for some of the theories for the origin of life on Earth. The LIFE mission concept is envisioned in two parts: first, to orbit Saturn (in order to achieve lower sampling speeds, approaching 2 km/s, and thus enable a softer sample collection impact than Stardust, and to make possible multiple flybys of Enceladus); second, to sample Enceladus' plume, the E ring of Saturn, and the Titan upper atmosphere. With new findings from these samples, NASA could provide detailed chemical and isotopic and, potentially, biological compositional context of the plume. Since the duration of the Enceladus plume is unpredictable, it is imperative that these samples are captured at the earliest flight opportunity. If LIFE is launched before 2019, it could take advantage of a Jupiter gravity assist, which would thus reduce mission lifetimes and launch vehicle costs. The LIFE concept offers science returns comparable to those of a Flagship mission but at the measurably lower sample return costs of a Discovery-class mission. PMID:22970863

  18. The Earliest Known Americans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MOSAIC, 1977

    1977-01-01

    Describes archaeological research in the United States. Reconstructs history of Paleo-Indian migrations, discussing archaeological evidence and opposing views regarding specific dates. Reveals cultural details gathered from specific studies at Meadowcroft (Pennsylvania) and Thunderbird (Virginia). (CS)

  19. Altered resting state functional connectivity of anterior cingulate cortex in drug nave adolescents at the earliest stages of anorexia nervosa

    PubMed Central

    Gaudio, Santino; Piervincenzi, Claudia; Beomonte Zobel, Bruno; Romana Montecchi, Francesca; Riva, Giuseppe; Carducci, Filippo; Cosimo Quattrocchi, Carlo

    2015-01-01

    Previous Resting-State Functional Connectivity (RSFC) studies have shown several functional alterations in adults with or recovered from long Anorexia Nervosa (AN). The aim of this paper was to investigate whole brain RSFC in adolescents with AN in the earliest stages, less than 6 months, of the disorder. Sixteen drug-nave outpatient female adolescents with AN-restrictive type (AN-r) (mean age: 15,8; SD 1,7) were compared to 16 age-matched healthy female (mean age: 16,3; SD 1,4). Relevant resting state networks (RSNs) were identified using independent component analysis (ICA) from functional magnetic resonance imaging data; a dual regression technique was used to detect between-group differences in the RSNs. Between-group differences of the functional connectivity maps were found in the executive control network (ECN). Particularly, decreased temporal correlation was observed in AN-r patients relative to healthy controls between the ECN functional connectivity maps and the anterior cingulate cortex (p?

  20. High-resolution δ13Ccarb chemostratigraphy from latest Guadalupian through earliest Triassic in South China and Iran

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Shu-zhong; Cao, Chang-qun; Zhang, Hua; Bowring, Samuel A.; Henderson, Charles M.; Payne, Jonathan L.; Davydov, Vladimir I.; Chen, Bo; Yuan, Dong-xun; Zhang, Yi-chun; Wang, Wei; Zheng, Quan-feng

    2013-08-01

    Large carbon cycle perturbations are associated with the end-Permian mass extinction and subsequent recovery, but Late Permian (Lopingian) carbon cycle dynamics prior to the mass extinction event remain poorly documented. Here we present a high-resolution δ13Ccarb chemostratigraphic framework from latest Guadalupian to earliest Triassic time, calibrated with high-resolution conodont biostratigraphy and high-precision geochronology. We observe two large negative excursions in δ13Ccarb, the first in uppermost Guadalupian strata and the second at the end of the Changhsingian stage, and between these events distinctive excursions from the middle Wuchiapingian to the early Changhsingian. The end-Changhsingian excursion represents a major reorganization of the global carbon cycle associated with the end-Permian mass extinction. However, the extent to which the end-Guadalupian and Wuchiapingian/Changhsingian boundary excursions result from local versus global controls remains unresolved. Regardless of their underlying causes, these three excursions provide chemostratigraphic markers for global correlation of Lopingian strata.

  1. Onwards and upwards in the Caucasus - A multidisciplinary approach to understanding the lifeways of the earliest modern humans in Armenia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kandel, Andrew; Gasparyan, Boris; Bruch, Angela; Deckers, Katleen; Nahapetyan, Samvel; Weissbrod, Lior

    2013-04-01

    The Armenian Highlands have functioned as a gateway with regards to the peopling of the Southern Caucasus. Most importantly, changes in climate have long controlled access to this remote and often inhospitable mountainous region. Here we present the results of the multidisciplinary study of Aghitu-3 Cave which brings together researchers from the fields of archaeology, geology and geomorphology, zooarchaeology, paleobotany and paleoclimate. By integrating these areas of study, we have reconstructed the lifeways of the earliest behaviorally (and presumably anatomically) modern humans who settled Southern Armenia about 35,000 (cal BP) years ago and placed this occupational sequence within a framework of environmental change. These first Upper Paleolithic inhabitants of Armenia made temporary use of this basalt cave located along the Vorotan River corridor at an altitude of 1601 m during seasonal forays into the highlands. The infrequent use of this site as a hunting camp comes to an end at about 31,000 cal BP. The next package of sediment shows little evidence of human occupation, although fauna seem to flourish during the time between 31-29,000 cal BP. Following this phase of depopulation, the intensity of occupation increases substantially after 29,000 cal BP. Human presence is amply documented in the numerous stone artifacts, faunal remains and fireplaces that cover the site. These changes in population movement are echoed in the sequence of sediments preserved in the cave and can be correlated with the fluctuating climatic conditions associated with the late Pleistocene.

  2. Iapetonudus (N. gen.) and Iapetognathus Landing, unusual Earliest Ordovician multielement conodont taxa and their utility for biostratigraphy

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nicoll, R.S.; Miller, J.F.; Nowlan, G.S.; Repetski, J.E.; Ethington, Raymond L.

    1999-01-01

    The Early Ordovician (Tremadocian) multielement conodont genus Iapetognathus is one of the oldest denticulate euconodont genera known. The ramiform-ramiform apparatus structure of Iapetognathus is not similar morphologically to other Late Cambrian to Earliest Ordovician denticulate multielement taxa, such as Eodentatus or Cordyloduts, because the major denticulate process has a lateral rather than a posterior orientation as it is in the other two examples. For this reason the genus is believed to have developed from the coniform-coniform apparatus Iapetonudus ibexensis (N.gen., n.sp.) through the development of the denticulate lateral processes. The two genera have a number of morphologic features in common and appear in stratigraphic succession. Iapetognathus aengensis (Lindstro??m) is redefined as a multielement taxon using topotype material and Ig. preaengensis Landing is placed in synonymy with it. Iapetognathus sprakersi, recently described by Landing in Landing and others (1996), is recognized as a multielement species and the new multielement species, Ig. fluctivagus, Ig. jilinensis and Ig. landingi n. spp. are described herein, based on type specimens from Utah (U.S.A.), Jilin (China) and Colorado (U.S.A.) respectively. Iapetonudus and Iapetognathus are important genera in defining the level of the Cambrian-Ordovician boundary. Iapetonudus is currently recognized only from Utah, Texas and Oklahoma, but Iapetognathus is cosmopolitan in its distribution.

  3. Altered resting state functional connectivity of anterior cingulate cortex in drug nave adolescents at the earliest stages of anorexia nervosa.

    PubMed

    Gaudio, Santino; Piervincenzi, Claudia; Beomonte Zobel, Bruno; Romana Montecchi, Francesca; Riva, Giuseppe; Carducci, Filippo; Quattrocchi, Carlo Cosimo

    2015-01-01

    Previous Resting-State Functional Connectivity (RSFC) studies have shown several functional alterations in adults with or recovered from long Anorexia Nervosa (AN). The aim of this paper was to investigate whole brain RSFC in adolescents with AN in the earliest stages, less than 6 months, of the disorder. Sixteen drug-nave outpatient female adolescents with AN-restrictive type (AN-r) (mean age: 15,8; SD 1,7) were compared to 16 age-matched healthy female (mean age: 16,3; SD 1,4). Relevant resting state networks (RSNs) were identified using independent component analysis (ICA) from functional magnetic resonance imaging data; a dual regression technique was used to detect between-group differences in the RSNs. Between-group differences of the functional connectivity maps were found in the executive control network (ECN). Particularly, decreased temporal correlation was observed in AN-r patients relative to healthy controls between the ECN functional connectivity maps and the anterior cingulate cortex (p?

  4. Changing the picture of Earth's earliest fossils (3.5-1.9 Ga) with new approaches and new discoveries.

    PubMed

    Brasier, Martin D; Antcliffe, Jonathan; Saunders, Martin; Wacey, David

    2015-04-21

    New analytical approaches and discoveries are demanding fresh thinking about the early fossil record. The 1.88-Ga Gunflint chert provides an important benchmark for the analysis of early fossil preservation. High-resolution analysis of Gunflintia shows that microtaphonomy can help to resolve long-standing paleobiological questions. Novel 3D nanoscale reconstructions of the most ancient complex fossil Eosphaera reveal features hitherto unmatched in any crown-group microbe. While Eosphaera may preserve a symbiotic consortium, a stronger conclusion is that multicellular morphospace was differently occupied in the Paleoproterozoic. The 3.46-Ga Apex chert provides a test bed for claims of biogenicity of cell-like structures. Mapping plus focused ion beam milling combined with transmission electron microscopy data demonstrate that microfossil-like taxa, including species of Archaeoscillatoriopsis and Primaevifilum, are pseudofossils formed from vermiform phyllosilicate grains during hydrothermal alteration events. The 3.43-Ga Strelley Pool Formation shows that plausible early fossil candidates are turning up in unexpected environmental settings. Our data reveal how cellular clusters of unexpectedly large coccoids and tubular sheath-like envelopes were trapped between sand grains and entombed within coatings of dripstone beach-rock silica cement. These fossils come from Earth's earliest known intertidal to supratidal shoreline deposit, accumulated under aerated but oxygen poor conditions. PMID:25901305

  5. New dinosaur (Theropoda, stem-Averostra) from the earliest Jurassic of the La Quinta formation, Venezuelan Andes

    PubMed Central

    Langer, Max C.; Rincón, Ascanio D.; Ramezani, Jahandar; Solórzano, Andrés; Rauhut, Oliver W. M.

    2014-01-01

    Dinosaur skeletal remains are almost unknown from northern South America. One of the few exceptions comes from a small outcrop in the northernmost extension of the Andes, along the western border of Venezuela, where strata of the La Quinta Formation have yielded the ornithischian Laquintasaura venezuelae and other dinosaur remains. Here, we report isolated bones (ischium and tibia) of a small new theropod, Tachiraptor admirabilis gen. et sp. nov., which differs from all previously known members of the group by an unique suite of features of its tibial articulations. Comparative/phylogenetic studies place the new form as the sister taxon to Averostra, a theropod group that is known primarily from the Middle Jurassic onwards. A new U–Pb zircon date (isotope dilution thermal-ionization mass spectrometry; ID-TIMS method) from the bone bed matrix suggests an earliest Jurassic maximum age for the La Quinta Formation. A dispersal–vicariance analysis suggests that such a stratigraphic gap is more likely to be filled by new records from north and central Pangaea than from southern areas. Indeed, our data show that the sampled summer-wet equatorial belt, which yielded the new taxon, played a pivotal role in theropod evolution across the Triassic–Jurassic boundary. PMID:26064540

  6. Distinguishing angiophytes from the earliest angiosperms: A Lower Cretaceous (Valanginian-Hauterivian) fruit-like reproductive structure.

    PubMed

    Stockey, Ruth A; Rothwell, Gar W

    2009-01-01

    A remarkably diverse Lower Cretaceous (Valanginian-Hauterivian) flora at Apple Bay, Vancouver Island, preserves seed plants at an important time of floristic evolutionary transition, about the same time as the earliest flowering plant megafossils. The fossils are permineralized in carbonate concretions and include tetrahedral seeds within cupule- or carpel-like structures. These enclosing structures, composed of elongate sclerenchyma cells with spiral thickenings that grade externally to a few layers of parenchyma, are vascularized by one collateral vascular bundle and lack trichomes. They apparently broke open to release the tightly enclosed seeds by valves. Seeds are similar to those of the Triassic seed fern Petriellaea, but are about 100 million years younger and differ in size, vascularization, integumentary anatomy, seed attachment, and number of seeds/cupule. These new seeds are described as Doylea tetrahedrasperma gen. et sp. nov., tentatively assigned to Corystospermales. Inverted cupules are reminiscent of an outer angiosperm integument rather than a carpel. Like fruits, cupules opened to release seeds at maturity, thereby foretelling several aspects of angiospermy. They show that nearly total ovule enclosure, a level of organization approaching angiospermy, was achieved by advanced seed ferns during the Mesozoic. PMID:21628191

  7. The early Middle Pleistocene archeopaleontological site of Wadi Sarrat (Tunisia) and the earliest record of Bos primigenius

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martnez-Navarro, Bienvenido; Karoui-Yaakoub, Narjess; Oms, Oriol; Amri, Lamjed; Lpez-Garca, Juan Manuel; Zerai, Kamel; Blain, Hugues-Alexandre; Mtimet, Moncef-Sad; Espigares, Mara-Patrocinio; Ben Haj Ali, Nebiha; Ros-Montoya, Sergio; Boughdiri, Mabrouk; Agust, Jordi; Khayati-Ammar, Hayet; Maalaoui, Kamel; El Khir, Maahmoudi Om; Sala, Robert; Othmani, Abdelhak; Hawas, Ramla; Gmez-Merino, Gala; Sol, lex; Carbonell, Eudald; Palmqvist, Paul

    2014-04-01

    Here we describe the new, rich lacustrine paleontological and archeological site of Wadi Sarrat (Le Kef, northeastern Tunisia), dated to the beginning of the Middle Pleistocene, 0.7 Ma, by a combination of paleomagnetism and biochronology. This locality preserves the earliest record of auroch, Bos primigenius, the ancestor of the worldwide extant domestic cattle species Bos taurus, which is represented by a nearly complete, giant-sized cranium (specimen OS1). Both the cranial anatomy and the size of this specimen reflect the phylogenetic legacy inherited from its ancestor, the late Early Pleistocene African Bos buiaensis, recorded in the eastern African paleoanthropological site of Buia, Eritrea (1.0 Ma). Given that the latter species is an evolved form of the classical Early Pleistocene African buffalo Pelorovis oldowayensis, the finding of B. primigenius at Wadi Sarrat shows that the genus Bos evolved in Africa and dispersed into Eurasia at the beginning of the Middle Pleistocene, which coincides with the spread of the Acheulian technocomplex in northern Africa and Europe. Therefore, the lineage of Pelorovis-Bos has been part of the human ecological landscape since the appearance of the genus Homo in the African Early Pleistocene.

  8. New dinosaur (Theropoda, stem-Averostra) from the earliest Jurassic of the La Quinta formation, Venezuelan Andes.

    PubMed

    Langer, Max C; Rincón, Ascanio D; Ramezani, Jahandar; Solórzano, Andrés; Rauhut, Oliver W M

    2014-10-01

    Dinosaur skeletal remains are almost unknown from northern South America. One of the few exceptions comes from a small outcrop in the northernmost extension of the Andes, along the western border of Venezuela, where strata of the La Quinta Formation have yielded the ornithischian Laquintasaura venezuelae and other dinosaur remains. Here, we report isolated bones (ischium and tibia) of a small new theropod, Tachiraptor admirabilis gen. et sp. nov., which differs from all previously known members of the group by an unique suite of features of its tibial articulations. Comparative/phylogenetic studies place the new form as the sister taxon to Averostra, a theropod group that is known primarily from the Middle Jurassic onwards. A new U-Pb zircon date (isotope dilution thermal-ionization mass spectrometry; ID-TIMS method) from the bone bed matrix suggests an earliest Jurassic maximum age for the La Quinta Formation. A dispersal-vicariance analysis suggests that such a stratigraphic gap is more likely to be filled by new records from north and central Pangaea than from southern areas. Indeed, our data show that the sampled summer-wet equatorial belt, which yielded the new taxon, played a pivotal role in theropod evolution across the Triassic-Jurassic boundary. PMID:26064540

  9. Stable isotope paleoclimatology of the earliest Eocene using kimberlite-hosted mummified wood from the Canadian Subarctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hook, B. A.; Halfar, J.; Gedalof, Z.; Bollmann, J.; Schulze, D.

    2014-11-01

    The recent discovery of well-preserved mummified wood buried within a subarctic kimberlite diamond mine prompted a paleoclimatic study of the early Eocene "hothouse" (ca. 53.3 Ma). At the time of kimberlite eruption, the Subarctic and Artic were warm and humid producing a temperate rainforest biome well north of the Arctic Circle. Previous studies have estimated mean annual temperatures in this region were 4-20 °C in the early Eocene, using a variety of proxies including leaf margin analysis, and stable isotopes (δ18O) of fossil cellulose. Here, we examine stable isotopes of tree-ring cellulose at subannual to annual scale resolution, using the oldest viable cellulose found to date. We use mechanistic models and transfer functions to estimate earliest Eocene temperatures using mummified cellulose, which was well preserved in the kimberlite. Multiple samples of Piceoxylon wood within the kimberlite were crossdated by tree-ring width. Multiple proxies are used in combination to tease apart likely environmental factors influencing the tree physiology and growth in the unique extinct ecosystem of the Polar rainforest. Calculations of interannual variation in temperature over a multidecadal time-slice in the early Eocene are presented, with a mean temperature estimate of 11.4 °C (1σ = 1.8 °C) based on δ18O. Dual-isotope spectral analysis suggests that multidecadal climate cycles similar to the modern Pacific Decadal Oscillation likely drove temperature and cloudiness trends on 20-30 year timescales.

  10. The Earliest Reference to ADHD in the Medical Literature? Melchior Adam Weikard's Description in 1775 of "Attention Deficit" (Mangel der Aufmerksamkeit, Attentio Volubilis)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barkley, Russell A.; Peters, Helmut

    2012-01-01

    Objective: The present article reports on the discovery and translation of a chapter in a 1775 medical textbook by the German physician, Melchior Adam Weikard, which describes attention disorders. This article is believed to be the earliest reference to the syndrome that today is known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. Method:

  11. Bilingual Readiness in Earliest School Years; A Curriculum Demonstration Project. Bilingual Readiness in Primary Grades; An Early Childhood Demonstration Project. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Finocchiaro, Mary; King, Paul F.

    These two curriculum demonstration projects on bilingual readiness in the earliest school years contain many similarities. Both were formed on the thesis that young children can and will learn a second language readily and that the urban classroom mixture of Spanish-speaking, English-speaking, and Negro-dialect speaking children can be capitalized

  12. WOWBugs: New Life for Life Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matthews, Robert W.; And Others

    This book of life science activities introduces a new experimental animal--the WOWBug, "Melittobia digitata"--that is commonly found in nature but has never before been used in the precollege classroom. It includes 20 activities and experiments for grades 5-12, that cover topics from basic orientation to ecological interactions, from physical

  13. Comparison of life history traits of Tanais dulongii (Tanaidacea: Tanaididae) in natural and artificial marine environments of the south-western Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rumbold, Carlos E.; Obenat, Sandra M.; Spivak, Eduardo D.

    2015-06-01

    Tanaidaceans are small benthic crustaceans with a strictly benthic life cycle and low dispersion rates, so they are good candidates to evaluate the effects of environment over life history strategies and reproductive biology. In this work, we studied two populations of Tanais dulongii (Audouin, 1826) that live in two contrasting habitats in order to determine whether they differ in life history traits. The animals were obtained by systematic sampling in a rocky shore with a lower anthropic impact (La Estafeta: LE) and a polluted area (Mar del Plata harbour: MdP) from March 2011 to March 2012. Seawater temperature and salinity did not differ between sites, but MdP showed more acid and hypoxic conditions than LE. Population density was homogeneous and lower in MdP (ca. 20 ind/100 gr) than that in LE where density varied between 250 and 800 ind/100 gr. Reproductive individuals and juveniles were always present, and both populations showed two main recruitment periods: the first in spring in both populations, and the second in summer in MdP but in autumn-winter in LE. In both populations, sex ratio was strongly female-biased. Juveniles, females and males from LE had larger sizes than that from MdP and reached their sexual differentiation at larger sizes. The estimated lifespan was about 9 and 12 months in MdP and LE, respectively. This study suggests that the differences observed between populations of T. dulongii in life history traits are intimately related to environmental differences in pH and dissolved oxygen between habitats, but should not be discarded a synergistic effect of temperature, organic pollution, food availability and predation pressure.

  14. The Association between Stress Level in Daily Life and Age at Natural Menopause in Korean Women: Outcomes of the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2010-2012

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Byoung-O; Choi, Ji-Ho; Cho, Se-Wook; Im, Hyun-Jung; An, Jee-Eun

    2015-01-01

    Background Although several risk factors associated with reduced age at natural menopause (ANM) have been investigated, the results are inconsistent. Excessive stress, which leads to elevation of stress hormones, can also negatively affect reproductive ability, including by accelerating menopause. However, a direct association between stress level and ANM has not yet been demonstrated. Therefore, the object of this study was to investigate the association between stress level and ANM in Korean women. Methods Study participants were Korean women between 40 and 70 years old who were in natural menopause during the 5th Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (n=3,176). The level of stress in daily life was estimated based on data from the mental health topics of the survey. We used the t-test and one-way analysis of variance to analyze the correlation between stress level and ANM. Regression (β) coefficients calculated by multiple regression analysis were used to estimate various factors affecting ANM. Results Women who experienced a high level of stress in daily life had a lower mean ANM than women with a low stress level (50.17±3.7 and 50.58±3.5 years, respectively), with a statistically significant correlation (P<0.05). This correlation was still observed after adjusting for age, body mass index, menstrual regularity, and personal income (P<0.05 for variables). Conclusion In Korean women between 40 and 70 years of age who are in natural menopause, there is a statistically significant correlation between stress level and ANM. In particular, women who experience a high level of stress in daily life have reduced ANM. PMID:26634097

  15. Astronomers Unveiling Life's Cosmic Origins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-02-01

    Processes that laid the foundation for life on Earth -- star and planet formation and the production of complex organic molecules in interstellar space -- are yielding their secrets to astronomers armed with powerful new research tools, and even better tools soon will be available. Astronomers described three important developments at a symposium on the "Cosmic Cradle of Life" at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago, IL. Chemistry Cycle The Cosmic Chemistry Cycle CREDIT: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF Full Size Image Files Chemical Cycle Graphic (above image, JPEG, 129K) Graphic With Text Blocks (JPEG, 165K) High-Res TIFF (44.2M) High-Res TIFF With Text Blocks (44.2M) In one development, a team of astrochemists released a major new resource for seeking complex interstellar molecules that are the precursors to life. The chemical data released by Anthony Remijan of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and his university colleagues is part of the Prebiotic Interstellar Molecule Survey, or PRIMOS, a project studying a star-forming region near the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. PRIMOS is an effort of the National Science Foundation's Center for Chemistry of the Universe, started at the University of Virginia (UVa) in October 2008, and led by UVa Professor Brooks H. Pate. The data, produced by the NSF's Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia, came from more than 45 individual observations totalling more than nine GigaBytes of data and over 1.4 million individual frequency channels. Scientists can search the GBT data for specific radio frequencies, called spectral lines -- telltale "fingerprints" -- naturally emitted by molecules in interstellar space. "We've identified more than 720 spectral lines in this collection, and about 240 of those are from unknown molecules," Remijan said. He added, "We're making available to all scientists the best collection of data below 50 GHz ever produced for the study of interstellar chemistry," Remijan said. Astronomers have already identified more than 150 molecules in interstellar space in the past 40 years, including complex organic compounds such as sugars and alcohols. "This is a major change in how we search for molecules in space," Remijan explained. "Before, people decided beforehand which molecules they were looking for, then searched in a very narrow band of radio frequencies emitted by those molecules. In this GBT survey, we've observed a wide range of frequencies, collected the data and immediately made it publicly available. Scientists anywhere can 'mine' this resource to find new molecules," he said. Another key development, presented by Crystal Brogan of the NRAO, showed that highly-detailed images of "protoclusters" of massive young stars reveal a complex mix of stars in different stages of formation, complicated gas motions, and numerous chemical clues to the physical conditions in such stellar nurseries. "We saw a much more complex picture than we had expected and now have new questions to answer," she said. Using the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory's Submillimeter Array (SMA) in Hawaii, Brogan and her colleagues studied a nebula 5,500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Scorpius where stars significantly more massive than our Sun are forming. "It's essential to understand what's going on in systems like this because most stars, Sun-like stars included, form in clusters," Brogan said. "The most massive stars in the cluster have a tremendous impact on the formation and environment of the rest of the cluster, including the less-massive stars and their planets," Brogan said, adding that "if we want to understand how solar systems that could support life form and evolve, we need to know how these giant stars affect their environment." Also, Brogan said, the massive young stars are surrounded by "hot cores" that include copious organic material that later may be spewed into interstellar space by stellar winds and other processes. This can help "seed" star-forming regions with some of the chemicals found by the GBT and other telescopes. Narrowing in on the problem of how planets form around young stars, David Wilner of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics presented observations with the SMA that revealed new details of solar systems in the earliest stages of their formation. Wilner and his colleagues studied nine dusty disks surrounding young stars in a region in the constellation Ophiuchus. "These are the most detailed images of such disks made at these wavelengths," Wilner said. The images show the distribution of material on the same size scale as our own Solar System, and indicate that these disks are capable of producing planetary systems. Two of the disks show large central cavities where young planets may already have swept out the material from their neighborhoods. "Before, we knew that such disks have enough material to form solar systems. These new images tell us that material is in the right places to form solar systems. We're getting a tantalizing peek at the very earliest stages of planet formation," said Sean Andrews, a Hubble Fellow at the CfA. All three areas of study are poised for major advances with the impending arrival of powerful new radio-telescope facilities such as the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and the Expanded Very Large Array (EVLA), and new capabilities for the GBT. Studies of protoplanetary disks and young solar systems will benefit greatly from the groundbreaking new capabilities of ALMA, Wilner said. "While we've been able to study a few of these objects so far, ALMA will be able to give us highly-detailed images of many more that we can't study today," he said. Wilner added that ALMA also will likely provide new information on the chemicals in those still-forming planetary systems. The complex motions and chemistry of Brogan's protoclusters of young, massive stars, also will become much clearer with ALMA. "Both the detail of the images and the ability to find molecular spectral lines will improve by a factor of at least 25 with ALMA," she said. In addition, the increased power of the EVLA will give astronomers a far better look into the inner regions of the disks around young stars -- regions obscured to telescopes operating at shorter wavelengths. "We know that complex chemicals exist in interstellar space before stars and planets form. With the new research tools coming in the next few years, we're on the verge of learning how the chemistry of the interstellar clouds, the young stars and their environments, and the disks from which planets are formed is all linked together to provide the chemical basis for life on those planets," Remijan explained. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson of the American Museum of Natural History noted, "Like no other science, astrophysics cross-pollinates the expertise of chemists, biologists, geologists and physicists, all to discover the past, present, and future of the cosmos -- and our humble place within it."

  16. The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Past, Present and Future. A Survey of Teachers, Principals and Students. 25th Anniversary Edition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MetLife, Inc., 2008

    2008-01-01

    This report is the twenty-fifth in a series of surveys sponsored annually by MetLife since 1984 as a public service. This 25th anniversary edition includes the views of teachers, principals and students and looks back to the earliest MetLife Surveys to examine how perspectives on teachers, teaching and public education have changed. It documents…

  17. Heart Rate Variability Reflects the Natural History of Physiological Development in Healthy Children and Is Not Associated with Quality of Life

    PubMed Central

    Seifert, Georg; Calaminus, Gabriele; Wiener, Andreas; Cysarz, Dirk

    2014-01-01

    Background Quality of life (QoL), being the sum expression of diverse influencing factors, is not easy to determine. A clinically relevant option would be to identify and measure quality of life on the basis of physiological parameters which correlate plausibly and statistically with psychometrically measured QoL. Analysis of heart rate variability (HRV) offers readily measurable physiological parameters which could be of use here. A correlation of HRV with both course of disease and QoL has been reported in patients with chronic illness. Various psychometric instruments have been developed for use in paediatric oncology. The aim of this study was to obtain data on HRV and QoL and their correlations, initially in healthy children. Methods Holter ECG and quality of life were examined in 160 children and adolescents (72 male) aged between 8 and 18 years. QoL was determined with the established questionnaire PEDQoL. Standard parameters of HRV from the frequency domain were calculated and correlated with QoL domains using Spearman (nonparametric) correlation analysis. Results Minor but significant associations were revealed only with regard to the PEDQoL domain “autonomy” on the one hand and heart rate and HRV (e.g. MRR, MRRn, MRRd, HRV_ULF, SDNN) parameters which evidently reflect distinct physiological functions on the other. Conclusions In healthy children and adolescents we have a first indication that there is a correlation between parameters of HRV and QoL. However, to a greater extent, HRV reflects associated physiological processes of the autonomic nervous system. A higher correlation is more likely to be found in chronically ill children. PMID:24625571

  18. Short-term follow-up of exercise training program and beta-blocker treatment on quality of life in dogs with naturally acquired chronic mitral valve disease.

    PubMed

    Marcondes-Santos, M; Mansur, A P; Fragata, F S; Strunz, C M C

    2015-10-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the effects of carvedilol treatment and a regimen of supervised aerobic exercise training on quality of life and other clinical, echocardiographic, and biochemical variables in a group of client-owned dogs with chronic mitral valve disease (CMVD). Ten healthy dogs (control) and 36 CMVD dogs were studied, with the latter group divided into 3 subgroups. In addition to conventional treatment (benazepril, 0.3-0.5 mg/kg once a day, and digoxin, 0.0055 mg/kg twice daily), 13 dogs received exercise training (subgroup I; 10.3 ± 2.1 years), 10 dogs received carvedilol (0.3 mg/kg twice daily) and exercise training (subgroup II; 10.8 ± 1.7 years), and 13 dogs received only carvedilol (subgroup III; 10.9 ± 2.1 years). All drugs were administered orally. Clinical, laboratory, and Doppler echocardiographic variables were evaluated at baseline and after 3 and 6 months. Exercise training was conducted from months 3-6. The mean speed rate during training increased for both subgroups I and II (ANOVA, P>0.001), indicating improvement in physical conditioning at the end of the exercise period. Quality of life and functional class was improved for all subgroups at the end of the study. The N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) level increased in subgroup I from baseline to 3 months, but remained stable after training introduction (from 3 to 6 months). For subgroups II and III, NT-proBNP levels remained stable during the entire study. No difference was observed for the other variables between the three evaluation periods. The combination of carvedilol or exercise training with conventional treatment in CMVD dogs led to improvements in quality of life and functional class. Therefore, light walking in CMVD dogs must be encouraged. PMID:26445331

  19. Short-term follow-up of exercise training program and beta-blocker treatment on quality of life in dogs with naturally acquired chronic mitral valve disease

    PubMed Central

    Marcondes-Santos, M.; Mansur, A.P.; Fragata, F.S.; Strunz, C.M.C.

    2015-01-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the effects of carvedilol treatment and a regimen of supervised aerobic exercise training on quality of life and other clinical, echocardiographic, and biochemical variables in a group of client-owned dogs with chronic mitral valve disease (CMVD). Ten healthy dogs (control) and 36 CMVD dogs were studied, with the latter group divided into 3 subgroups. In addition to conventional treatment (benazepril, 0.3-0.5 mg/kg once a day, and digoxin, 0.0055 mg/kg twice daily), 13 dogs received exercise training (subgroup I; 10.3±2.1 years), 10 dogs received carvedilol (0.3 mg/kg twice daily) and exercise training (subgroup II; 10.8±1.7 years), and 13 dogs received only carvedilol (subgroup III; 10.9±2.1 years). All drugs were administered orally. Clinical, laboratory, and Doppler echocardiographic variables were evaluated at baseline and after 3 and 6 months. Exercise training was conducted from months 3-6. The mean speed rate during training increased for both subgroups I and II (ANOVA, P>0.001), indicating improvement in physical conditioning at the end of the exercise period. Quality of life and functional class was improved for all subgroups at the end of the study. The N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) level increased in subgroup I from baseline to 3 months, but remained stable after training introduction (from 3 to 6 months). For subgroups II and III, NT-proBNP levels remained stable during the entire study. No difference was observed for the other variables between the three evaluation periods. The combination of carvedilol or exercise training with conventional treatment in CMVD dogs led to improvements in quality of life and functional class. Therefore, light walking in CMVD dogs must be encouraged. PMID:26445331

  20. Let Nature Take Its Course: Students at Mountain School Take to the Trail Where Nonstop Adventures and Real-Life Lessons Guide Science Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Diegmueller, Karen

    1996-01-01

    Mountain School, run by North Cascades Institute, is a camp in North Cascades National Park, Washington, where elementary school students spend 48 hours living and learning about science and the environment. In addition to science and nature, responsibility and teamwork are taught. Describes innovative instructional methods used, such as "Each One

  1. Life sciences and space research 25 (3): Natural and artifical ecosystems; Meeting F4 of the COSPAR Plenary Meeting, 29th, Washington, DC, Aug. 28-Sep. 5, 1992

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macelroy, R. D. (Editor); Mitchell, C. A. (Editor); Andre, M. (Editor); Blackwell, C. C. (Editor); Tibbitts, T. W. (Editor); Banin, A. (Editor); Levine, J. S. (Editor)

    1994-01-01

    Bioregenerative life support systems will be an essential part of long duration manned space flight. Studies have been made of various components of these closed ecological systems. these studies have included those spaceborne experiments on Spacelab and Mir, as well as ground-based simulations. The effects of reduced gravity include alterations in food crop and other plant growth and vigor. Systems have also been designed and tested to provide a balanced regenerative system that recycles airborne and other wastes while providing nutrients and other input for future cycles. Hydroponic cultivation must include control of pathogens. All closed systems require sensing and automatic control.

  2. Earliest Silicic Volcanism Associated with Mid-Miocene Flood Basalts: Tuffs Interbedded with Steens Basalt, Nevada and Oregon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luckett, M.; Mahood, G. A.; Benson, T. R.

    2013-12-01

    During the main phase of Steens and Columbia River flood basalt eruptions between ~16.7 and 15.0 Ma, spatially associated silicic volcanism was widespread, ~4,000 km3 of silicic magma erupting at calderas and smaller centers dispersed across ~25,000 km2 in eastern Oregon and northern Nevada (Coble and Mahood, 2012). The oldest flood basalts erupted from a focus at Steens Mountain in eastern Oregon, where the section of lavas is ~1 km thick. The Steens Basalt thins southward to only a few flows thick in northern Nevada, either because fewer flows were emplaced this far from the focus or because fewer dikes propagated to the surface on encountering thicker continental crust and/or were intercepted by growing bodies of silicic magma that ultimately erupted in McDermitt Caldera Field (Rytuba and McKee, 1984), High Rock Caldera Complex, and the Lone Mountain/Hawks Valley center (Wypych et al., 2011). Rhyolitic tuffs have not been recognized interbedded with the basalt lavas in the type section, but we have identified several silicic tuffs interbedded with Steens Basalt in the southern Pueblo Mountains and in the Trout Creek Mountains. Although noted by previous workers (e.g., Avent, 1965; Minor, 1986; Hart et al., 1989), they have not been studied. We identified six tuffaceous intervals 20 cm to 15 m thick in the escarpment of the southern Pueblo Mountains near the Oregon-Nevada border where the Steens basalt section is ~250 m thick, with the base unexposed. Two intervals are lithic-rich, reworked volcaniclastic sediments, but four are primary or only slightly reworked sequences of fall deposits that range from fine ash to lapilli in grain size. The heat and weight of the overlying basaltic lava flows has fused the tuffs so that the upper parts of thicker tuffaceous intervals and entire thinner ones are converted to vitrophyres, with crystals of alkali feldspar × quartz × biotite typically 1-2 mm in diameter set in a dense, black, variably hydrated, glassy matrix. We have analyzed the vitrophyres of these four tuffs and, accounting for possible crystal enrichment/depletion in fall deposits and the observed mineralogy, we believe they represent eruption of an alkali rhyolite, two trachydacites and one trachyte. In their weakly alkalic composition they are most similar to the more alkalic lavas from the Hawks Valley/Lone Mountain center or the oldest ignimbrite from High Rock Caldera Complex, the Idaho Canyon Tuff. They appear to be insufficiently allkalic to come from McDermitt Caldera Field. Jarboe et al. (2010) report a reverse paleomagnetic polarity for a sample of Steens Basalt within the section in the southern Pueblo Mountains, making it equivalent to lower Steens Basalt at the type section at Steens Mountain. This suggests that at least minor silicic volcanism accompanied the earliest stages of flood basalt magmatism. We have irradiated alkali feldspar from the fused tuffs for 40Ar/39Ar analysis, and will present this data as a way to determine the timing of these earliest silicic eruptions, and to provide ages for Steens basalt lavas more precise than can be obtained on the low-K basalts themselves.

  3. Earliest evidence for caries and exploitation of starchy plant foods in Pleistocene hunter-gatherers from Morocco.

    PubMed

    Humphrey, Louise T; De Groote, Isabelle; Morales, Jacob; Barton, Nick; Collcutt, Simon; Bronk Ramsey, Christopher; Bouzouggar, Abdeljalil

    2014-01-21

    Dental caries is an infectious disease that causes tooth decay. The high prevalence of dental caries in recent humans is attributed to more frequent consumption of plant foods rich in fermentable carbohydrates in food-producing societies. The transition from hunting and gathering to food production is associated with a change in the composition of the oral microbiota and broadly coincides with the estimated timing of a demographic expansion in Streptococcus mutans, a causative agent of human dental caries. Here we present evidence linking a high prevalence of caries to reliance on highly cariogenic wild plant foods in Pleistocene hunter-gatherers from North Africa, predating other high caries populations and the first signs of food production by several thousand years. Archaeological deposits at Grotte des Pigeons in Morocco document extensive evidence for human occupation during the Middle Stone Age and Later Stone Age (Iberomaurusian), and incorporate numerous human burials representing the earliest known cemetery in the Maghreb. Macrobotanical remains from occupational deposits dated between 15,000 and 13,700 cal B.P. provide evidence for systematic harvesting and processing of edible wild plants, including acorns and pine nuts. Analysis of oral pathology reveals an exceptionally high prevalence of caries (51.2% of teeth in adult dentitions), comparable to modern industrialized populations with a diet high in refined sugars and processed cereals. We infer that increased reliance on wild plants rich in fermentable carbohydrates and changes in food processing caused an early shift toward a disease-associated oral microbiota in this population. PMID:24395774

  4. Earliest evidence for caries and exploitation of starchy plant foods in Pleistocene hunter-gatherers from Morocco

    PubMed Central

    Humphrey, Louise T.; De Groote, Isabelle; Morales, Jacob; Barton, Nick; Collcutt, Simon; Bronk Ramsey, Christopher; Bouzouggar, Abdeljalil

    2014-01-01

    Dental caries is an infectious disease that causes tooth decay. The high prevalence of dental caries in recent humans is attributed to more frequent consumption of plant foods rich in fermentable carbohydrates in food-producing societies. The transition from hunting and gathering to food production is associated with a change in the composition of the oral microbiota and broadly coincides with the estimated timing of a demographic expansion in Streptococcus mutans, a causative agent of human dental caries. Here we present evidence linking a high prevalence of caries to reliance on highly cariogenic wild plant foods in Pleistocene hunter-gatherers from North Africa, predating other high caries populations and the first signs of food production by several thousand years. Archaeological deposits at Grotte des Pigeons in Morocco document extensive evidence for human occupation during the Middle Stone Age and Later Stone Age (Iberomaurusian), and incorporate numerous human burials representing the earliest known cemetery in the Maghreb. Macrobotanical remains from occupational deposits dated between 15,000 and 13,700 cal B.P. provide evidence for systematic harvesting and processing of edible wild plants, including acorns and pine nuts. Analysis of oral pathology reveals an exceptionally high prevalence of caries (51.2% of teeth in adult dentitions), comparable to modern industrialized populations with a diet high in refined sugars and processed cereals. We infer that increased reliance on wild plants rich in fermentable carbohydrates and changes in food processing caused an early shift toward a disease-associated oral microbiota in this population. PMID:24395774

  5. RAPTOR: Closed-Loop monitoring of the night sky and the earliest optical detection of GRB 021211

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vestrand, W. T.; Borozdin, K.; Casperson, D. J.; Fenimore, E.; Galassi, M.; McGowan, K.; Starr, D.; White, R. R.; Wozniak, P.; Wren, J.

    2004-10-01

    We discuss the RAPTOR (Rapid Telescopes for Optical Response) sky monitoring system at Los Alamos National Laboratory. RAPTOR is a fully autonomous robotic system that is designed to identify and make follow-up observations of optical transients with durations as short as one minute. The RAPTOR design is based on Biomimicry of Human Vision. The sky monitor is composed of two identical arrays of telescopes, separated by 38 kilometers, which stereoscopically monitor a field of about 1300 square-degrees for transients. Both monitoring arrays are carried on rapidly slewing mounts and are composed of an ensemble of wide-field telescopes clustered around a more powerful narrow-field telescope called the ``fovea'' telescope. All telescopes are coupled to real-time analysis pipelines that identify candidate transients and relay the information to a central decision unit that filters the candidates to find real celestial transients and command a response. When a celestial transient is found, the system can point the fovea telescopes to any position on the sky within five seconds and begin follow-up observations. RAPTOR also responds to Gamma Ray Burst (GRB) alerts generated by GRB monitoring spacecraft. Here we present RAPTOR observations of GRB 021211 that constitute the earliest detection of optical emission from that event and are the second fastest achieved for any GRB. The detection of bright optical emission from GRB021211, a burst with modest gamma-ray fluence, indicates that prompt optical emission, detectable with small robotic telescopes, is more common than previously thought. Further, the very fast decline of the optical afterglow from GRB 021211 suggests that some so-called ``optically dark'' GRBs were not detected only because of the slow response of the follow-up telescopes.

  6. The ear region of earliest known elephant relatives: new light on the ancestral morphotype of proboscideans and afrotherians.

    PubMed

    Schmitt, Arnaud; Gheerbrant, Emmanuel

    2016-01-01

    One of the last major clades of placental mammals recognized was the Afrotheria, which comprises all main endemic African mammals. This group includes the ungulate-like paenungulates, and among them the elephant order Proboscidea. Among afrotherians, the petrosal anatomy remains especially poorly known in Proboscidea. We provide here the first comparative CT scan study of the ear region of the two earliest known proboscideans (and paenungulates), Eritherium and Phosphatherium, from the mid Palaeocene and early Eocene of Morocco. It is helpful to characterize the ancestral morphotype of Proboscidea to understand petrosal evolution within proboscideans and afrotherians. The petrosal structure of these two taxa shows several differences. Eritherium is more primitive than Phosphatherium and closer to the basal paenungulate Ocepeia in several traits (inflated tegmen tympani, very deep fossa subarcuata and ossified canal for ramus superior of stapedial artery). Phosphatherium, however, retains plesiomorphies such as a true crus commune secundaria. A cladistic analysis of petrosal traits of Eritherium and Phosphatherium among Proboscidea results in a single tree with a low level of homoplasy in which Eritherium, Phosphatherium and Numidotherium are basal. This contrasts with previous phylogenetic studies showing homoplasy in petrosal evolution among Tethytheria. It suggests that evolutionary modalities of petrosal characters differ with the taxonomic level among Afrotheria: noticeable convergences occurred among the paenungulate orders, whereas little homoplasy seems to have occurred at intra-ordinal level in orders such as Proboscidea. Most petrosal features of both Eritherium and Phosphatherium are primitive. The ancestral petrosal morphotype of Proboscidea was not specialized but was close to the generalized condition of paenungulates, afrotherians, and even eutherians. This is consistent with cranial and dental characters of Eritherium, suggesting that the ancestral morphotypes of the different paenungulate orders were close to each other. Specializations occurred rapidly after the ordinal radiation of Paenungulata. PMID:26510535

  7. How did LUCA make a living? Chemiosmosis in the origin of life.

    PubMed

    Lane, Nick; Allen, John F; Martin, William

    2010-04-01

    Despite thermodynamic, bioenergetic and phylogenetic failings, the 81-year-old concept of primordial soup remains central to mainstream thinking on the origin of life. But soup is homogeneous in pH and redox potential, and so has no capacity for energy coupling by chemiosmosis. Thermodynamic constraints make chemiosmosis strictly necessary for carbon and energy metabolism in all free-living chemotrophs, and presumably the first free-living cells too. Proton gradients form naturally at alkaline hydrothermal vents and are viewed as central to the origin of life. Here we consider how the earliest cells might have harnessed a geochemically created proton-motive force and then learned to make their own, a transition that was necessary for their escape from the vents. Synthesis of ATP by chemiosmosis today involves generation of an ion gradient by means of vectorial electron transfer from a donor to an acceptor. We argue that the first donor was hydrogen and the first acceptor CO2. PMID:20108228

  8. Serpentinization as a source of energy at the origin of life.

    PubMed

    Russell, M J; Hall, A J; Martin, W

    2010-12-01

    For life to have emerged from CO₂, rocks, and water on the early Earth, a sustained source of chemically transducible energy was essential. The serpentinization process is emerging as an increasingly likely source of that energy. Serpentinization of ultramafic crust would have continuously supplied hydrogen, methane, minor formate, and ammonia, as well as calcium and traces of acetate, molybdenum and tungsten, to off-ridge alkaline hydrothermal springs that interfaced with the metal-rich carbonic Hadean Ocean. Silica and bisulfide were also delivered to these springs where cherts and sulfides were intersected by the alkaline solutions. The proton and redox gradients so generated represent a rich source of naturally produced chemiosmotic energy, stemming from geochemistry that merely had to be tapped, rather than induced, by the earliest biochemical systems. Hydrothermal mounds accumulating at similar sites in today's oceans offer conceptual and experimental models for the chemistry germane to the emergence of life, although the ubiquity of microbial communities at such sites in addition to our oxygenated atmosphere preclude an exact analogy. PMID:20572872

  9. Deciphering death: a commentary on Gompertz (1825) ‘On the nature of the function expressive of the law of human mortality, and on a new mode of determining the value of life contingencies’

    PubMed Central

    Kirkwood, Thomas B. L.

    2015-01-01

    In 1825, the actuary Benjamin Gompertz read a paper, ‘On the nature of the function expressive of the law of human mortality, and on a new mode of determining the value of life contingencies’, to the Royal Society in which he showed that over much of the adult human lifespan, age-specific mortality rates increased in an exponential manner. Gompertz's work played an important role in shaping the emerging statistical science that underpins the pricing of life insurance and annuities. Latterly, as the subject of ageing itself became the focus of scientific study, the Gompertz model provided a powerful stimulus to examine the patterns of death across the life course not only in humans but also in a wide range of other organisms. The idea that the Gompertz model might constitute a fundamental ‘law of mortality’ has given way to the recognition that other patterns exist, not only across the species range but also in advanced old age. Nevertheless, Gompertz's way of representing the function expressive of the pattern of much of adult mortality retains considerable relevance for studying the factors that influence the intrinsic biology of ageing. This commentary was written to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. PMID:25750242

  10. Deciphering death: a commentary on Gompertz (1825) 'On the nature of the function expressive of the law of human mortality, and on a new mode of determining the value of life contingencies'.

    PubMed

    Kirkwood, Thomas B L

    2015-04-19

    In 1825, the actuary Benjamin Gompertz read a paper, 'On the nature of the function expressive of the law of human mortality, and on a new mode of determining the value of life contingencies', to the Royal Society in which he showed that over much of the adult human lifespan, age-specific mortality rates increased in an exponential manner. Gompertz's work played an important role in shaping the emerging statistical science that underpins the pricing of life insurance and annuities. Latterly, as the subject of ageing itself became the focus of scientific study, the Gompertz model provided a powerful stimulus to examine the patterns of death across the life course not only in humans but also in a wide range of other organisms. The idea that the Gompertz model might constitute a fundamental 'law of mortality' has given way to the recognition that other patterns exist, not only across the species range but also in advanced old age. Nevertheless, Gompertz's way of representing the function expressive of the pattern of much of adult mortality retains considerable relevance for studying the factors that influence the intrinsic biology of ageing. This commentary was written to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. PMID:25750242

  11. Run reconstruction and life-history model. Fish/shellfish study number 28. Exxon Valdez oil spill state/federal natural resource damage assessment final report

    SciTech Connect

    Geiger, H.J.; Templin, W.D.; Collie, J.S.; Quinn, T.J.

    1995-08-01

    The Exxon Valdez oil spill resulted in contaminants of juvenile pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) habitat, including freshwater spawning areas in southwestern Prince William Sound (PWS). The authors estimated the loss of returning wild adult pink salmon in 1990-1992, and speculated about this loss in 1993-1994. The primary cause of death was direct poisoning in the embryo stage of development. These studies have low statistical power to detect oil spill effects in the pre- and post- emergent fry and ocean life stages, therefore the true extent of the injury may be understated. The egg-mortality levels increased in the oiled areas in the 1991 and 1992 brood years. The authors also report on a run-reconstruction model, a deterministic model that assumed Markovian transition probabilities for the migration of each individual stock. The authors` most important finding is that of excessive harvest rates on pink salmon stocks in the northern and northwestern part of PWS.

  12. Life Transitions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eby, Linda C.; Wallender, Janis

    2003-01-01

    This article addresses how by helping students through life transitions--such as a new home, new sibling, or divorcing parents--school counselors can ensure that students are truly prepared academically and emotionally for life. (GCP)

  13. The Limits of Life in the Deep Subsurface - Implications for the Origin of Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baross, John

    2013-06-01

    There are very few environments on Earth where life is absent. Microbial life has proliferated into habitats that span nearly every imaginable physico-chemical variable. Only the availability of liquid water and temperature are known to prevent the growth of organisms. The other extreme physical and chemical variables, such as pH, pressure, high concentrations of solutes, damaging radiation, and toxic metals, are life-prohibiting factors for most organisms but not for all. The deep subsurface environments span all of the extreme conditions encountered by life including habitat conditions not yet explored, such as those that combine high temperature, high and low pH and extreme pressures. Some of the ``extremophile'' microorganisms inhabiting the deep subsurface environments have been shown to be among the most ``ancient'' of extant life. Their genomes and physiologies have led to a broader understanding of the geological settings of early life, the most ancient energy pathways, and the importance of water/rock interactions and tectonics in the origin and early evolution of life. The case can now be made that deep subsurface environments contributed to life's origin and provided the habitat(s) for the earliest microbial communities. However, there is much more to be done to further our understanding on the role of moderate to high pressures and temperatures on the chemical and biochemical ``steps'' leading to life, and on the evolution and physiology of both ancient and present-day subsurface microbial communities.

  14. Nascent multicellular life and the emergence of individuality.

    PubMed

    De Monte, Silvia; Rainey, Paul B

    2014-04-01

    The evolution of multicellular organisms from unicellular ancestors involves a shift in the level at which selection operates. It is usual to think about this shift in terms of the emergence of traits that cause heritable differences in reproductive output at the level of nascent collectives. Defining these traits and the causes of their origin lies at the heart of understanding the evolution of multicellular life. In working toward a mechanistic, take-nothing-for-granted account, we begin by recognizing that the standard Lewontin formulation of properties necessary and sufficient for evolution by natural selection does not necessarily encompass Darwinian evolution in primitive collectives where parent-offspring relationships may have been poorly defined. This, we suggest, limits the ability to conceptualize and capture the earliest manifestations of Darwinian properties. By way of solution we propose a relaxed interpretation of Lewontin's conditions and present these in the form of a set of necessary requirements for evolution by natural selection based upon the establishment of genealogical connections between recurrences of collectives. With emphasis on genealogy - as opposed to reproduction - it is possible to conceive selection acting on collectives prior to any manifestation of heritable variance in fitness. Such possibility draws attention to the evolutionary emergence of traits that strengthen causal relationships between recurrences - traits likely to underpin the emergence of forms of multiplication that establish parent-offspring relationships. Application of this framework to collectives of marginal status, particularly those whose recurrence is not defined by genealogy, makes clear that change at the level of collectives need not arise from selection acting at the higher level. We conclude by outlining applicability of our framework to loosely defined collectives of cells, such as those comprising the slugs of social amoeba and microbes that constitute the human microbiome. PMID:24736157

  15. Stable isotope paleoclimatology of the earliest Eocene using kimberlite-hosted mummified wood from the Canadian Subarctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hook, B. A.; Halfar, J.; Gedalof, Z.; Bollmann, J.; Schulze, D. J.

    2015-10-01

    The recent discovery of well-preserved mummified wood buried within a subarctic kimberlite diamond mine prompted a paleoclimatic study of the early Eocene "hothouse" (ca. 53.3 Ma). At the time of kimberlite eruption, the Subarctic was warm and humid producing a temperate rainforest biome well north of the Arctic Circle. Previous studies have estimated that mean annual temperatures in this region were 4-20 °C in the early Eocene, using a variety of proxies including leaf margin analysis and stable isotopes (δ13C and δ18O) of fossil cellulose. Here, we examine stable isotopes of tree-ring cellulose at subannual- to annual-scale resolution, using the oldest viable cellulose found to date. We use mechanistic models and transfer functions to estimate earliest Eocene temperatures using mummified cellulose, which was well preserved in the kimberlite. Multiple samples of Piceoxylon wood within the kimberlite were crossdated by tree-ring width. Multiple proxies are used in combination to tease apart likely environmental factors influencing the tree physiology and growth in the unique extinct ecosystem of the Polar rainforest. Calculations of interannual variation in temperature over a multidecadal time-slice in the early Eocene are presented, with a mean annual temperature (MAT) estimate of 11.4 °C (1 σ = 1.8 °C) based on δ18O, which is 16 °C warmer than the current MAT of the area (-4.6 °C). Early Eocene atmospheric δ13C (δ13Catm) estimates were -5.5 (±0.7) ‰. Isotopic discrimination (Δ) and leaf intercellular pCO2 ratio (ci/ca) were similar to modern values (Δ = 18.7 ± 0.8 ‰; ci/ca = 0.63 ± 0.03 %), but intrinsic water use efficiency (Early Eocene iWUE = 211 ± 20 μmol mol-1) was over twice the level found in modern high-latitude trees. Dual-isotope spectral analysis suggests that multidecadal climate cycles somewhat similar to the modern Pacific Decadal Oscillation likely drove temperature and cloudiness trends on 20-30-year timescales, influencing photosynthetic productivity and tree growth patterns.

  16. The earliest history of computer-aided optical design on large computers: the previously classified work by James G. Baker 1945-1954

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, Kevin P.

    2007-09-01

    Optical design has always been conducted on the leading edge of computing hardware. In fact, the first significant run on the first large scale computer was made by James G. Baker, in 1945. Recently, a rare, complete set of reports on the earliest work to adapt optical design to large computers surfaced. This paper discusses specifically the early work aimed at automated optical design that is documented in these reports.

  17. Effect of Addition of Natural Antioxidants on the Shelf-Life of “Chorizo”, a Spanish Dry-Cured Sausage

    PubMed Central

    Pateiro, Mirian; Bermúdez, Roberto; Lorenzo, José Manuel; Franco, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    The dose effect of the addition of natural antioxidants (tea, chestnut, grape seed and beer extracts) on physicochemical, microbiological changes and on oxidative stability of dry-cured “chorizo”, as well as their effect during the storage under vacuum conditions was evaluated. Color parameters were significantly (p < 0.05) affected by the addition of antioxidants so that samples that contained antioxidants were more effective in maintaining color. The improving effects were dose-dependent with highest values with the dose of 50 mg/kg during ripening and depend on the extract during vacuum packaging. Addition of antioxidants decreased (p < 0.05) the oxidation, showing thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) values below 0.4 mg MDA/kg. Natural antioxidants matched or even improved the results obtained for butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). Regarding texture profile analysis (TPA) analysis, hardness values significantly (p < 0.001) decreased with the addition of antioxidants, obtaining the lower results with the dose of 200 mg/kg both during ripening and vacuum packaging. Antioxidants reduced the counts of total viable counts (TVC), lactic acid bacteria (LAB), mold and yeast. Free fatty acid content during ripening and under vacuum conditions showed a gradual and significant (p < 0.05) release as a result of lipolysis. At the end of ripening, the addition of GRA1000 protected chorizos from oxidative degradation. PMID:26785337

  18. Climate and environmental effects of electric vehicles versus compressed natural gas vehicles in China: a life-cycle analysis at provincial level.

    PubMed

    Huo, Hong; Zhang, Qiang; Liu, Fei; He, Kebin

    2013-02-01

    Electric vehicles (EVs) and compressed natural gas vehicles (CNGVs), which are mainly coal-based and natural gas-based, are the two most widely proposed replacements of gasoline internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) in P.R. China. We examine fuel-cycle emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), PM(2.5), PM(10), NO(x), and SO(2) of CNGVs and EVs relative to gasoline ICEVs and hybrids, by Chinese province. CNGVs can currently reduce emissions of GHGs, PM(10), PM(2,5), NO(x), and SO(2) by approximately 6%, 7%, 20%, 18% and 22%, respectively. EVs can reduce GHG emissions by 20%, but increase PM(10), PM(2.5), NO(x), and SO(2) emissions by approximately 360%, 250%, 120%, and 370%, respectively. Nevertheless, results vary significantly by province. Regarding their contribution to national emissions, PM increases from EVs are unimportant, because light-duty passenger vehicles contribute very little to overall PM emissions nationwide (≤0.05%); however, their NO(x) and SO(2) increases are important. Since China is striving to reduce power plant emissions, EVs are expected to have equivalent or even lower SO(2) and NO(x) emissions relative to ICEVs in the future (2030). Before then, however, EVs should be developed according to the cleanness of regional power mixes. This would lower their SO(2) and NO(x) emissions and earn more GHG reduction credits. PMID:23276251

  19. Interbasinal correlation between Jameson Land and Hold-with-Hope (Northeast Greenland) organic carbon isotope records during the latest Permian-earliest Triassic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanson Barrera, Anna; Meier, Maximiliano; Hochuli, Peter A.; Bucher, Hugo; Weissert, Helmut; Bernasconi, Stefano M.

    2015-04-01

    Latest Permian-earliest Triassic sequences in Northeast Greenland were deposited during the main rift phase between the two margins of the Greenland-Norway Basin, and were influenced by several relative sea-level fluctuations. The associated crustal extension created several sub-basins that led to marked lateral thicknesses between the latest Permian and earliest Triassic formations. These formations outcrop along the Northeast Greenland coast and can be followed from Jameson Land around 71°N up to Wollaston Forland around 74.5°N. Due to a latest Permian relative sea-level fall, northern sub-basins show a sedimentary gap close to the Permian-Triassic boundary, while southern sub-basins show continuous sedimentation across the Permian-Triassic transition. Earlier studies focused just on the Permian-Triassic boundary from continuous sections from Jameson Land. This study presents the correlation between two new sections from Jameson Land, and one section of a northern sub-basin (Hold-with-Hope) merging terrestrial and marine geochemical and paleontological data. The combination of organic carbon isotopes, palynofacies and palynology analyses, few ammonoids belonging to the Ophiceratidae family found in the sections, and sedimentological observations provides a robust correlation between both sub-basins, and the first interbasinal organic carbon isotope correlation for Northeast Greenland during the latest Permian-earliest Triassic.

  20. Effects of soaking with natural additives in combinations with vacuum or modified atmosphere packaging on microbial populations and shelf life of fresh truffles (Chinese Tuber indicum).

    PubMed

    Miao, Yuzhi; Chen, Cuiping; Ma, Qinqin; Wang, Yiding; Zhang, Xiaoyu; Guo, Fanglan; Li, Wei; Yong, Bin

    2014-10-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the relative effects and interactions of combined soaking treatment using citric acid (CTA) and apple polyphenol (APP) at mild heating temperatures for the inactivation of the external and internal microflora (mesophilic aerobic bacteria, mesophilic anaerobic bacteria, and fungi) in Chinese Tuber indicum, as well as to analyze the microbiological and sensory changes under modified atmosphere packaging (MAP)- and vacuum atmosphere packaging (VAC)-packed Chinese T. indicum stored at 4 C for up to 55 d. Chinese T. indicum was soaked with CTA and APP alone or in combination for 10, 20, and 30 min at 35, 45, and 55 C. A disinfection method using CTA and APP (3% CTA + 3% APP for 20 min at 45 C) was obtained. Under this set of combination, the experimental values of microbial counts of mesophilic aerobic bacteria, mesophilic anaerobic bacteria, and fungi were 2.31 0.4 log CFU/g, <1.0 log CFU/g, and <1.0 log CFU/g, respectively. Through the analysis of sensory qualities and microbial populations for MAP- or VAC-packed Chinese T. indicum, the shelf life of soaked truffles was prolonged to 45 or 40 d, respectively. The synergistic effect of CTA and APP may provide valuable insight into the reduction of microorganisms on fresh truffles. PMID:25227959

  1. Glycine Identification in Natural Jarosites Using Laser-Desorption Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometry: Implications for the search for life on Mars

    SciTech Connect

    J. Michelle Kotler; Nancy W. Hinman; Beizhan Yan; Daphne L. Stoner; Jill R. Scott

    2008-04-01

    The jarosite group minerals have received increasing attention since the discovery of jarosite by the Mars Exploration Rover-Opportunity on the Martian surface. The mineral group has the ability to incorporate foreign ions in its structure leading to investigations regarding its use as an indicator of aqueous and/or biological activity on Earth and Mars. The use of laser desorption Fourier transform mass spectrometry has revealed the presence of organic matter in several jarosite samples from various worldwide locations. One of the organic cluster ions has been attributed to glycine based on results from combinations of glycine with synthetic jarosite and K2SO4. The ability to observe these organic signatures in jarosite samples with an “in situ” instrumental technique, such as employed in this study, furthers the goals of planetary geologists to determine whether signs of life (e.g., the presence of biomolecules or biomolecule precursors) can be detected in the rock record of terrestrial and extraterrestrial samples.

  2. Efficacy of mint (Mentha arvensis) leaf and citrus (Citrus aurantium) peel extracts as natural preservatives for shelf life extension of chill stored Indian mackerel.

    PubMed

    Viji, Pankyamma; Binsi, Puthanpurakkal Kizhakkathil; Visnuvinayagam, Sivam; Bindu, Jaganath; Ravishankar, Chandragiri Nagarajarao; Srinivasa Gopal, Teralandur Krishnaswamy

    2015-10-01

    Efficacy of mint (Mentha arvensis) leaf and citrus (Citrus aurantium) peel extracts in retarding the quality changes in Indian mackerel during chilled storage was investigated. Mint leaf extract showed higher quantity of phenolics and superior in-vitro antioxidant activities than citrus peel extract. Gutted mackerel were given a dip treatment in mint extract (0.5 %, w/v) and citrus extract (1 % w/v), packed in LDPE pouches and stored at 0-2 °C. The biochemical quality indices viz. total volatile base nitrogen (TVB-N), trimethylamine nitrogen (TMA-N), free fattyacids (FFA) were significantly (p < 0.05) lower in mint extract (ME) treated fishes compared to citrus extract (CE) treated and control fishes (C) without any treatment. Plant extract treatment significantly inhibited lipid oxidation in mackerel as indicated by peroxide value (PV) and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS). Aerobic plate count (APC) was markedly higher in C group followed by CE group throughout the storage period. As per sensory evaluation, shelf life of Indian mackerel was determined to be 11-13 days for C group, 13-15 days for CE group and 16-17 days for ME group, during storage at 0-2 °C. PMID:26396373

  3. Chemicals in Everyday Life.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seymour, Raymond B.

    1987-01-01

    Discusses the dependencies of people on chemicals in various aspects of life. Describes some of the natural and synthetic chemicals currently used in food production, clothing, shelter, travel and exploration, sports and recreation, ventilation, heating and cooling, communications, decoration, sanitation, and education. (TW)

  4. Fossil 26Al and 53Mn in the Asuka 881394 eucrite: evidence of the earliest crust on asteroid 4 Vesta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nyquist, L. E.; Reese, Y.; Wiesmann, H.; Shih, C.-Y.; Takeda, H.

    2003-09-01

    Asuka 881394 is a unique magnesian eucrite with pyroxenes that are Mg-rich like those of cumulate eucrites, but with a granulitic texture unlike the textures of cumulate eucrites. Plagioclase compositions are An 98, and are even more calcic than those in cumulate eucrites. Pyroxene does not show pigeonite-to-orthopyroxene inversion textures, suggesting different crystallization conditions than those of cumulate eucrites. Mn-Cr isotopic analyses determined initial 53Mn/ 55Mn=(4.61.7)10 -6 and initial ?( 53Cr) I=0.250.17 in A881394. This initial 53Mn abundance corresponds to a formation interval ? tLEW=-62 Ma relative to the LEW86010 angrite, implying an 'absolute' age of 45642 Ma. Both the initial 53Mn abundance and the initial ?( 53Cr) I value for A881394 are identical to those previously determined for the HED parent body at the time of its differentiation. Al-Mg isotopic analyses determined initial 26Al/ 27Al=(1.180.14)10 -6, from which a formation interval ? tCAI=3.950.13 Ma is calculated relative to the canonical value 26Al/ 27Al=510 -5 for CAI. Combining this formation interval with a recently reported Pb-Pb age of 4567.20.6 Ma for CAI gives 4563.20.6 Ma as the age of A881394, in excellent agreement with the age based on the Mn-Cr formation interval. Alternatively, the 53Mn and 26Al formation intervals of A881394 allow the Mn-Cr and Al-Mg timescales to be intercalibrated, suggesting that an 'absolute' CAI age of 4568 Ma is most consistent with the 4558 Ma Pb-Pb age of LEW86010. The initial 26Al abundance existing in A881394 would have been insufficient to cause global melting in the HED parent body (probably asteroid 4 Vesta). Nevertheless, it could have been derived by radioactive decay over only 2 Ma from an abundance that would have been sufficient to cause global melting. The higher value of molar Mg/(Mg+Fe)=0.57 for A881394 than those of the ordinary (basaltic) eucrites (Mg/(Mg+Fe)=0.30-0.42) suggests additional factors may have been important for magma genesis on the parent body. If 26Al were the only heat source, partial melting would have been the major process in the interior of the parent body, and Mg/(Mg+Fe) would be lower in the melts than in the primordial source material. Late-stage accretion could have supplied relatively magnesian primordial material to the surface of the parent body, thereby increasing Mg/(Mg+Fe) in a shallow magma ocean from which A881394 crystallized, and also may have augmented 26Al heating. The granulitic texture of A881394 may have been produced during residence in the thin, earliest, crust, kept hot by the magma beneath it. If 26Al was, nevertheless, the major heat source for asteroidal melting, it may account for declining post-accretion heating of main belt asteroids with increasing heliocentric distance.

  5. Physicochemical attributes of Nigerian natural honey from honeybees (Apis mellifera adansonii) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) and its shelf life in storage at room temperature.

    PubMed

    Fasasi, K A

    2012-11-01

    Nigerian honey competes globally in the world honey market. The physicochemical parameters of honey samples sourced from colonies of Apis mellifera adansonii were studied with the effect of storage-time over a period of two years. This was done by analyzing and evaluating eleven common physicochemical parameters including colour, moisture content, ash content, sugar content, acidity, pH value, hydroxymethylfurfural, diastase activity, nitrogen content, insoluble matter and viscosity of honey samples with the effect of storage-time on the physicochemical parameters using Association of Official Analytical Chemists methods. Most of the honey samples showed proper maturity considering the moisture content (17.9 +/- 2.0%). The total acidity (21.5 +/- 5.6 meq kg(-1)) indicated absence of undesirable fermentation after harvest and extraction. The Mean +/- SD pH value (3.9 +/- 0.2) of the honey samples was within acceptable standards of Economic European Community (EEC) and Codex. The ash content (0.4 +/- 0.2%) (0.2-0.6%) was slightly higher than 0-0.50% of EEC and Codex standards. The fructose and glucose mean values were 38.9 +/- 0.8% and 28.3 +/- 2.4%, respectively. The Mean +/- S.D value of hydroxymethylfurfural content (8.5 +/- 2.7 mg kg(-1)) was low, while the Mean +/- SD value of diastase activity was high depicting freshness. The evaluated physicochemical parameters of two years old honey samples exhibited no significant deviation (p > 0.05) from that of the fresh samples. This study showed that natural honey if properly harvested, extracted hygienically, preserved and stored can maintain their stability relatively for at least two years at room temperature without undue interference. PMID:24163945

  6. Biological life-support systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shepelev, Y. Y.

    1975-01-01

    The establishment of human living environments by biologic methods, utilizing the appropriate functions of autotrophic and heterotrophic organisms is examined. Natural biologic systems discussed in terms of modeling biologic life support systems (BLSS), the structure of biologic life support systems, and the development of individual functional links in biologic life support systems are among the factors considered. Experimental modeling of BLSS in order to determine functional characteristics, mechanisms by which stability is maintained, and principles underlying control and regulation is also discussed.

  7. Roots: The Life Space Pioneers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    James, Adrienne Brant

    2008-01-01

    Traditional approaches to education and youth work were transformed by two psychologists who came to the United States as Hitler rose to power. Practical theorist Kurt Lewin challenged mechanistic ideas of behavior by studying children in their natural "life space." Theory practitioner Fritz Redl applied life space concepts to work with troubled

  8. Roots: The Life Space Pioneers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    James, Adrienne Brant

    2008-01-01

    Traditional approaches to education and youth work were transformed by two psychologists who came to the United States as Hitler rose to power. Practical theorist Kurt Lewin challenged mechanistic ideas of behavior by studying children in their natural "life space." Theory practitioner Fritz Redl applied life space concepts to work with troubled…

  9. Environmental transcriptome analysis reveals physiological differences between biofilm and planktonic modes of life of the iron oxidizing bacteria Leptospirillum spp. in their natural microbial community

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Extreme acidic environments are characterized by their high metal content and lack of nutrients (oligotrophy). Macroscopic biofilms and filaments usually grow on the water-air interface or under the stream attached to solid substrates (streamers). In the Río Tinto (Spain), brown filaments develop under the water stream where the Gram-negative iron-oxidizing bacteria Leptospirillum spp. (L. ferrooxidans and L. ferriphilum) and Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans are abundant. These microorganisms play a critical role in bioleaching processes for industrial (biominery) and environmental applications (acid mine drainage, bioremediation). The aim of this study was to investigate the physiological differences between the free living (planktonic) and the sessile (biofilm associated) lifestyles of Leptospirillum spp. as part of its natural extremely acidophilic community. Results Total RNA extracted from environmental samples was used to determine the composition of the metabolically active members of the microbial community and then to compare the biofilm and planktonic environmental transcriptomes by hybridizing to a genomic microarray of L. ferrooxidans. Genes up-regulated in the filamentous biofilm are involved in cellular functions related to biofilm formation and maintenance, such as: motility and quorum sensing (mqsR, cheAY, fliA, motAB), synthesis of cell wall structures (lnt, murA, murB), specific proteases (clpX/clpP), stress response chaperons (clpB, clpC, grpE-dnaKJ, groESL), etc. Additionally, genes involved in mixed acid fermentation (poxB, ackA) were up-regulated in the biofilm. This result, together with the presence of small organic acids like acetate and formate (1.36 mM and 0.06 mM respectively) in the acidic (pH 1.8) water stream, suggests that either L. ferrooxidans or other member of the microbial community are producing acetate in the acidophilic biofilm under microaerophilic conditions. Conclusions Our results indicate that the acidophilic filaments are dynamic structures in which different mechanisms for biofilm formation/dispersion are operating. Specific transcriptomic fingerprints can be inferred for both planktonic and sessile cells, having the former a more active TCA cycle, while the mixed acid fermentation process dominate in the latter. The excretion of acetate may play a relevant ecological role as a source of electron donor for heterotrophic Fe3+ reducers like some Alphaproteobacteria, Acidobacterium spp. and Sulfobacillus spp., also present in the biofilm. Additionally, acetate may have a negative effect on bioleaching by inhibiting the growth of chemolithotrophic bacteria. PMID:20576116

  10. Family Life.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naturescope, 1986

    1986-01-01

    Focuses on various aspects of mammal family life ranging from ways different species are born to how different mammals are raised. Learning activities include making butter from cream, creating birth announcements for mammals, and playing a password game on family life. (ML)

  11. Life sciences

    SciTech Connect

    Day, L.

    1991-04-01

    This document is the 1989--1990 Annual Report for the Life Sciences Divisions of the University of California/Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. Specific progress reports are included for the Cell and Molecular Biology Division, the Research Medicine and Radiation Biophysics Division (including the Advanced Light Source Life Sciences Center), and the Chemical Biodynamics Division. 450 refs., 46 figs. (MHB)

  12. Defining life.

    PubMed

    Benner, Steven A

    2010-12-01

    Any definition is intricately connected to a theory that gives it meaning. Accordingly, this article discusses various definitions of life held in the astrobiology community by considering their connected "theories of life." These include certain "list" definitions and a popular definition that holds that life is a "self-sustaining chemical system capable of Darwinian evolution." We then act as "anthropologists," studying what scientists do to determine which definition-theories of life they constructively hold as they design missions to seek non-terran life. We also look at how constructive beliefs about biosignatures change as observational data accumulate. And we consider how a definition centered on Darwinian evolution might itself be forced to change as supra-Darwinian species emerge, including in our descendents, and consider the chances of our encountering supra-Darwinian species in our exploration of the Cosmos. Last, we ask what chemical structures might support Darwinian evolution universally; these structures might be universal biosignatures. PMID:21162682

  13. Investigations into the Early Life-history of Naturally Produced Spring Chinook Salmon and Summer Steelhead in the Grande Ronde River Basin, Annual Report 2001.

    SciTech Connect

    Reischauer, Alyssa; Monzyk, Frederick; Van Dyke, Erick

    2003-06-01

    We determined migration timing and abundance of juvenile spring chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha and juvenile steelhead/rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss using rotary screw traps on four streams in the Grande Ronde River basin during the 2001 migratory year (MY 2001) from 1 July 2000 through 30 June 2001. Based on migration timing and abundance, two distinct life-history strategies of juvenile spring chinook and O. mykiss could be distinguished. An 'early' migrant group left upper rearing areas from 1 July 2000 through 29 January 2001 with a peak in the fall. A 'late' migrant group descended from upper rearing areas from 30 January 2001 through 30 June 2001 with a peak in the spring. The migrant population of juvenile spring chinook salmon in the upper Grande Ronde River in MY 2001 was very low in comparison to previous migratory years. We estimated 51 juvenile spring chinook migrated out of upper rearing areas with approximately 12% of the migrant population leaving as early migrants to overwinter downstream. In the same migratory year, we estimated 16,067 O. mykiss migrants left upper rearing areas with approximately 4% of these fish descending the upper Grande Ronde River as early migrants. At the Catherine Creek trap, we estimated 21,937 juvenile spring chinook migrants in MY 2001. Of these migrants, 87% left upper rearing areas early to overwinter downstream. We also estimated 20,586 O. mykiss migrants in Catherine Creek with 44% leaving upper rearing areas early to overwinter downstream. At the Lostine River trap, we estimated 13,610 juvenile spring chinook migrated out of upper rearing areas with approximately 77% migrating early. We estimated 16,690 O. mykiss migrated out of the Lostine River with approximately 46% descending the river as early migrants. At the Minam River trap, we estimated 28,209 juvenile spring chinook migrated out of the river with 36% migrating early. During the same period, we estimated 28,113 O. mykiss with approximately 14% of these fish leaving as early migrants. Juvenile spring chinook salmon PIT-tagged at trap sites in the fall and in upper rearing areas during winter were used to compare migration timing and survival to Lower Granite Dam of the early and late migrant groups. Juvenile spring chinook tagged on the upper Grande Ronde River were detected at Lower Granite Dam from 4 May to 20 May 2001, with a median passage date of 17 May. Too few fish were collected and tagged to conduct detection rate and survival comparisons between migrant groups. PIT-tagged salmon from Catherine Creek trap were detected at Lower Granite Dam from 27 April to 13 July 2001. Early migrants were detected significantly earlier (median = 10 May) than late migrants (median = 1 June). Also, early migrants from Catherine Creek were detected at a significantly higher rate than fish tagged in upper rearing areas in the winter, suggesting better survival for fish that migrated out of upper rearing areas in the fall. Juvenile spring chinook salmon from the Lostine River were detected at Lower Granite Dam from 2 April through 4 July 2001. Early migrants were detected significantly earlier (median = 27 April) than late migrants (median = 14 May). However, there was no difference in detection rates between early and late migrants. Survival probabilities showed similar patterns as dam detection rates. Juvenile spring chinook salmon from the Minam River were detected at Lower Granite Dam from 8 April through 18 August 2001. Early migrants were detected significantly earlier (median = 28 April) than late migrants (median = 14 May). Late migrants from the Minam River were tagged at the trap in the spring. Spring chinook salmon parr PIT-tagged in summer 2000 on Catherine Creek and the Imnaha, Lostine, and Minam rivers were detected at Lower Granite Dam over an 87 d period from 8 April to 3 July 2001. The migratory period of individual populations ranged from 51 d (Imnaha River) to 67 d (Catherine Creek) in length. Median dates of migration ranged from 30 April (Imnaha River) to 17 May (Catherine Creek). Detection rates differed between populations with Catherine Creek spring chinook salmon detected at the lowest rate (8.2%). Imnaha, Lostine, and Minam detection rates were not significantly different from each other. A similar pattern was seen for survival probabilities. Using mark-and-recapture and scale-aging techniques, we determined the population size and age-structure of spring chinook salmon parr in Catherine Creek and the Lostine River during the summer of 2001. In Catherine Creek, we estimated that 986 mature age-1 parr (precocious males) and 15,032 immature age-0 parr were present during August 2001. We estimated there were 7.5 mature male parr for every anadromous female spawner in Catherine Creek in 2001. We estimated 33,086 immature, age-0 parr inhabited the Lostine River in August 2001.

  14. From the Horse's Mouth: A Unique Resource for Bringing NGSS Standards on the Nature and Process of Science to Life via Educational Access to Videos of Scientists Communicating with Each Other

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morrow, C. A.; Katzenberger, J.; Osenga, E. C.; Arnott, J. C.

    2013-12-01

    "From the Horse's Mouth' (FTHM) is a standards-aligned educational website that is being developed by the Aspen Global Change Institute (AGCI) with NSF support for purposes of both formal and informal education. The project allows students, teachers, and the public to become '(horse) flies on the wall' as science communication on key global change issues is practiced by leading scientists from around the world. The website will offer a uniquely valuable resource for explicitly addressing educational standards about science as human endeavor, the nature of science, the process of science, and cross cutting themes such as systems and cycles. The source material for the FTHM website is more than 1200 hours of video documentation of scientists communicating with each other about both foundational and emerging global change topics at 50 AGCI interdisciplinary workshops (N~25-30 participants/workshop) over the past 24 years. Scientists from more than 35 countries have presented in AGCI workshops on a broad array of topics in Earth system science. The FTHM project team has been scouring the AGCI archive for excerpts (2-8 min) with exceptional educational potential that well illustrate the values, nature, and process of the scientific endeavor in the context of engaging multi-disciplinary topics and concepts. The website surrounds these clips with supporting materials that help the viewer comprehend the communication of scientific concepts and, most importantly, identify key elements of the scientific process. The FTHM website will provide a unique resource for teachers and teacher educators to bring to life the nature of scientific discourse and the process of science that is so important to fulfilling the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). This work was supported by NSF grant GEO-1035125.

  15. Rafinesques names for western American mammals, including the earliest scientific name for the coyote (Canis latrans Say, 1822), based on the apocryphal journal of Charles Le Raye

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, Neal

    2015-01-01

    In 1817, the naturalist Constantine S. Rafinesque named nine new species of mammals from the American West, indicating the recently published journal of Charles Le Raye as the primary source for his descriptions. Le Raye was purported to be a French Canadian fur trader who, as a captive of the Sioux, had traveled across broad portions of the Missouri and Yellowstone river drainages a few years before the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806) traversed much of the same region. Le Raye's journal was relied upon by generations of scholars as a valuable source documenting the native peoples and natural history of the Upper Missouri river in the era just prior to European settlement. Subsequent research, however, has shown that Le Raye never existed, and his purported journal is fraudulent. Despite this, Rafinesque's creation of the names followed conventional and accepted practice at the time, and they are porentially available. Fortunately, much of the Le Raye journal was based on verifiable sources, such as Patrick Gass's published account of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Identification of the original source materials makes it possible to establish the correct application of Rafinesque's names and to determine their current status. This process reveals that the earliest scientific name for the coyote (Canis latrans Say, 1822) was Canis chlorops Rafinesque, 1817; this name is now a nomen oblitum, however, and is no longer available.

  16. Searching for Life: Early Earth, Mars and Beyond

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DesMarais, David J.; Chang, Sherwood (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    We might be entering a golden age for exploring life throughout time and space. Rapid gene sequencing will better define our most distant ancestors. The earliest geologic evidence of life is now 3.8 billion years old. Organic matter and submicron-sized morphologies have been preserved in the martian crust for billions of years. Several new missions to Mars are planned, with a high priority on the search for life, past or present. The recent discovery of large extrasolar planets has heightened interest in spacecraft to detect small, earth-like planets. A recent workshop discussed strategies for life detection on such planets. There is much to anticipate in the near future.

  17. High-resolution carbon isotope changes in the Permian-Triassic boundary interval, Chongqing, South China; implications for control and growth of earliest Triassic microbialites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mu, Xinan; Kershaw, Steve; Li, Yue; Guo, Li; Qi, Yuping; Reynolds, Alan

    2009-11-01

    High-resolution δ 13C CARB analysis of the Permian-Triassic boundary (PTB) interval at the Laolongdong section, Beibei, near the city of Chongqing, south China, encompasses the latest Permian and earliest Triassic major facies changes in the South China Block (SCB). Microbialites form a distinctive unit in the lowermost 190 cm above the top of the Changhsing Formation (latest Permian) at Laolongdong, comparable to a range of earliest Triassic sites in low latitudes in the Tethyan area. The data show that declining values of δ 13C CARB, well-known globally, began at the base of the microbialite. High positive values (+3 to 4 ppt) of δ 13C CARB in the Late Permian are interpreted to indicate storage of 12C in the deep waters of a stratified ocean, that was released during ocean overturn in the earliest Triassic, contributing to the distinctive fall in isotope values; this interpretation has been stated by other authors and is followed here. The δ 13C CARB curve shows fluctuations within the microbialite unit, which are not reflected in the microbialite structure. Comparisons between microbialite branches and adjacent micritic sediment show little difference in δ 13C CARB, demonstrating that the microbialite grew in equilibrium with surrounding seawater. The Early Triassic microbialites are interpreted to be a response to upwelling of bicarbonate-rich poorly oxygenated water in low latitudes of Tethys Ocean, consistent with current ocean models for the PTB interval. However, the decline of δ 13C CARB may be due to a combination of processes, including productivity collapse resulting from mass extinction, return of deep water to ocean surface, oxidation of methane released from methane hydrate destabilisation, and atmospheric deterioration. Nevertheless, build-up of bicarbonate-rich anoxic deep waters may be expected as a result of the partial isolation of Tethys, due to continental geography; release of bicarbonate-rich deep water, by ocean upwelling, in the earliest Triassic may have been an inevitable consequence of this combination of circumstances.

  18. Extraterrestrial Life

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klein, M. J.

    1993-01-01

    Extraterrestrial Intelligence is intelligent life that developed somewhere other than the earth. Such life has not yet been discovered. However, scientific research, including astronomy, biology, planetary science and studies of fossils here on earth have led many scientists to conclude that such life may exist on planets orbiting at least some of the hundreds of billions of stars in our Milky Way Galaxy. Today, some researchers are trying to find evidence for extraterrestrial intelligence. This effort is often called SETI, which stands for Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. SETI researchers decided that looking for evidence of their technology might be the best way to discover other intelligent life in the Galaxy. They decided to use large radio telescopes to search the sky over a wide range of radio frequencies...

  19. Defining life or bringing biology to life.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Mirazo, Kepa; Peret, Juli; Moreno, Alvaro

    2010-04-01

    In the present, post-genomic times, systemic or holistic approaches to living phenomena are compulsory to overcome the limits of traditional strategies, such as the methodological reductionism of molecular biology. In this paper, we propose that theoretical and philosophical efforts to define life also contribute to those integrative approaches, providing a global theoretical framework that may help to deal with or interpret the huge amount of data being collected by current high-throughput technologies, in this so-called 'omics' revolution. We claim that two fundamental notions can capture the core of the living, (basic) autonomy and open-ended evolution, and that only the complementary combination of these two theoretical constructs offers an adequate solution to the problem of defining the nature of life in specific enough-but also encompassing enough-terms. This tentative solution should also illuminate, in its most elementary version, the leading steps towards living beings on Earth. PMID:20182798

  20. Why Is Nature Beneficial?: The Role of Connectedness to Nature

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mayer, F. Stephan; Frants, Cynthia McPherson; Bruehlman-Senecal, Emma; Dolliver, Kyffin

    2009-01-01

    Three studies examine the effects of exposure to nature on positive affect and ability to reflect on a life problem. Participants spent 15 min walking in a natural setting (Studies 1, 2, & 3), an urban setting (Study 1), or watching videos of natural and urban settings (Studies 2 & 3). In all three studies, exposure to nature increased…

  1. Why Is Nature Beneficial?: The Role of Connectedness to Nature

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mayer, F. Stephan; Frants, Cynthia McPherson; Bruehlman-Senecal, Emma; Dolliver, Kyffin

    2009-01-01

    Three studies examine the effects of exposure to nature on positive affect and ability to reflect on a life problem. Participants spent 15 min walking in a natural setting (Studies 1, 2, & 3), an urban setting (Study 1), or watching videos of natural and urban settings (Studies 2 & 3). In all three studies, exposure to nature increased

  2. Defining Life

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Any definition is intricately connected to a theory that gives it meaning. Accordingly, this article discusses various definitions of life held in the astrobiology community by considering their connected “theories of life.” These include certain “list” definitions and a popular definition that holds that life is a “self-sustaining chemical system capable of Darwinian evolution.” We then act as “anthropologists,” studying what scientists do to determine which definition-theories of life they constructively hold as they design missions to seek non-terran life. We also look at how constructive beliefs about biosignatures change as observational data accumulate. And we consider how a definition centered on Darwinian evolution might itself be forced to change as supra-Darwinian species emerge, including in our descendents, and consider the chances of our encountering supra-Darwinian species in our exploration of the Cosmos. Last, we ask what chemical structures might support Darwinian evolution universally; these structures might be universal biosignatures. Key Words: Evolution—Life—Life detection—Biosignatures. Astrobiology 10, 1021–1030. PMID:21162682

  3. Earliest floral grave lining from 13,70011,700-y-old Natufian burials at Raqefet Cave, Mt. Carmel, Israel

    PubMed Central

    Nadel, Dani; Danin, Avinoam; Power, Robert C.; Rosen, Arlene M.; Bocquentin, Fanny; Tsatskin, Alexander; Rosenberg, Danny; Yeshurun, Reuven; Weissbrod, Lior; Rebollo, Noemi R.; Barzilai, Omry; Boaretto, Elisabetta

    2013-01-01

    Flowering plants possess mechanisms that stimulate positive emotional and social responses in humans. It is difficult to establish when people started to use flowers in public and ceremonial events because of the scarcity of relevant evidence in the archaeological record. We report on uniquely preserved 13,70011,700-y-old grave linings made of flowers, suggesting that such use began much earlier than previously thought. The only potentially older instance is the questionable use of flowers in the Shanidar IV Neanderthal grave. The earliest cemeteries (ca. 15,00011,500 y ago) in the Levant are known from Natufian sites in northern Israel, where dozens of burials reflect a wide range of inhumation practices. The newly discovered flower linings were found in four Natufian graves at the burial site of Raqefet Cave, Mt. Carmel, Israel. Large identified plant impressions in the graves include stems of sage and other Lamiaceae (Labiatae; mint family) or Scrophulariaceae (figwort family) species; accompanied by a plethora of phytoliths, they provide the earliest direct evidence now known for such preparation and decoration of graves. Some of the plant species attest to spring burials with a strong emphasis on colorful and aromatic flowers. Cave floor chiseling to accommodate the desired grave location and depth is also evident at the site. Thus, grave preparation was a sophisticated planned process, embedded with social and spiritual meanings reflecting a complex preagricultural society undergoing profound changes at the end of the Pleistocene. PMID:23818584

  4. Earliest floral grave lining from 13,700-11,700-y-old Natufian burials at Raqefet Cave, Mt. Carmel, Israel.

    PubMed

    Nadel, Dani; Danin, Avinoam; Power, Robert C; Rosen, Arlene M; Bocquentin, Fanny; Tsatskin, Alexander; Rosenberg, Danny; Yeshurun, Reuven; Weissbrod, Lior; Rebollo, Noemi R; Barzilai, Omry; Boaretto, Elisabetta

    2013-07-16

    Flowering plants possess mechanisms that stimulate positive emotional and social responses in humans. It is difficult to establish when people started to use flowers in public and ceremonial events because of the scarcity of relevant evidence in the archaeological record. We report on uniquely preserved 13,700-11,700-y-old grave linings made of flowers, suggesting that such use began much earlier than previously thought. The only potentially older instance is the questionable use of flowers in the Shanidar IV Neanderthal grave. The earliest cemeteries (ca. 15,000-11,500 y ago) in the Levant are known from Natufian sites in northern Israel, where dozens of burials reflect a wide range of inhumation practices. The newly discovered flower linings were found in four Natufian graves at the burial site of Raqefet Cave, Mt. Carmel, Israel. Large identified plant impressions in the graves include stems of sage and other Lamiaceae (Labiatae; mint family) or Scrophulariaceae (figwort family) species; accompanied by a plethora of phytoliths, they provide the earliest direct evidence now known for such preparation and decoration of graves. Some of the plant species attest to spring burials with a strong emphasis on colorful and aromatic flowers. Cave floor chiseling to accommodate the desired grave location and depth is also evident at the site. Thus, grave preparation was a sophisticated planned process, embedded with social and spiritual meanings reflecting a complex preagricultural society undergoing profound changes at the end of the Pleistocene. PMID:23818584

  5. Work and Life Balance: Community College Occupational Deans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bailey, Jean M.

    2008-01-01

    This article focuses on work and life balance from a community college occupational dean perspective. It addresses definitions and concepts of work life and the nature of the role of occupational dean. The themes from this study include the use of time both at work and away from work, work/life crossover, perception of work/life, and work/life

  6. Nature's Advice Book

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mahlin, Kathryn; Robertson, Amy

    2005-01-01

    What do can people learn from the world around them? Can a tree really teach something about life? Many times teachers provide students with facts about nature but fail to consider what one can learn from the natural world around them. After many months of exploring various ecosystems such as the prairie, rain forest, and desert, one of the…

  7. Sketching in Nature

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hobart, April

    2005-01-01

    Nature journaling is a useful skill for science students, independent of whether they also consider themselves artists. A pencil and sketchbook can be carried anywhere to record ecological information in many ways. A traditional page in a nature journal may consist of quick studies of plant and animal life sketched out as rudimentary line drawings

  8. The right to life

    PubMed Central

    Boyd, Kenneth M

    1981-01-01

    For much of human history the idea of a right to life has not seemed self-evident. The credibility of the idea appears to depend on a particular kind of intuition concerning the nature of the world. In this paper, the kind of intuition involved is related to the idea of a covenant, illustrated by that of marriage. The paper concludes by suggesting that talk about responsibilities may be more fruitful than talk about rights. PMID:7277408

  9. The Promise of Quality of Life

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peruniak, Geoffrey S.

    2008-01-01

    Little has been written in the career development literature about quality of life, even though this concept is implied in all counselor interventions. In this article, the author suggests that the broad and subjective nature of quality of life, rather than a liability, is its very strength. Quality of life is presented as an important holistic

  10. What is life?

    PubMed

    Anbar, M

    2001-01-01

    Life is a composite process in nature that is as fundamental as the laws of physics that govern the behavior of the inanimate world. The laws of physics change qualitatively as we go from the macroscopic to the atomic and subatomic domains. Likewise, the behavior of living systems changes dramatically when a certain level of complexity, including social organization, has been reached. Moreover, live systems may change the projected course of the inanimate world, as they are already doing on our tiny planet. In brief, life does not only "make the world turn around," it can do this for the whole universe. Consequently, life is probably the most significant process in nature; it is also the least predictable. The behavior of live systems is unpredictable. Unlike the inanimate universe that can be readily modeled using a limited number of parameters, the perpetually increasing complexity of living systems defies modeling. If we would have used all the information available about the behavior of live systems on this planet just five million years ago, we could never have come up with a model describing human civilization of today. Such a prediction would have been, obviously, much harder if we knew everything about living systems on this planet five hundred million years ago. The nonpredictability of the behavior of living systems is not solely due to its stochastic nature. The behavior of live systems is unpredictable because it is based on interactions among millions of independent or partially dependent stochastic processes involving both live and inanimate systems. The number of different pathways constituting such behavior is virtually infinite. This makes the predictability of such behavior qualitatively different from that of conventional stochastic behavior, which is based on a finite number of parameters, each with a finite number of degrees of freedom. Furthermore, unlike statistical mechanics, which are applicable to inanimate systems, the behavior of living systems cannot be delimited by an analog to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. The answer to the question "What is life?" is, in brief: Life is a multifunctional process in nature that is as fundamental as the basic "laws" of physics, used to model the behavior of the inanimate world. Like those "laws," life can control the behavior of our universe, including its lifespan. PMID:11446204

  11. New immature hominin fossil from European Lower Pleistocene shows the earliest evidence of a modern human dental development pattern

    PubMed Central

    Bermdez de Castro, Jos Mara; Martinn-Torres, Mara; Prado, Leyre; Gmez-Robles, Aida; Rosell, Jordi; Lpez-Poln, Luca; Arsuaga, Juan Lus; Carbonell, Eudald

    2010-01-01

    Here we present data concerning the pattern of dental development derived from the microcomputed tomography (microCT) study of a recently discovered immature hominin mandible with a mixed dentition recovered from the TD6 level of the Gran Dolina Lower Pleistocene cave site in Sierra de Atapuerca, northern Spain. These data confirm our previous results that nearly 1 million years ago at least one European hominin species had a fully modern pattern of dental development with a clear slowdown in the development of the molar field regarding the anterior dental field. Furthermore, using available information about enamel formation times and root extension rates in chimpanzees, early hominins, and modern humans, we have estimated that the formation time of the upper and lower first molars of individual 5 (H5) from TD6, which had just erupted at the time of the death of this individual, ranges between 5.3 and 6.6 y. Therefore, the eruption time of the first permanent molars (M1) in the TD6 hominins was within the range of variation of modern human populations. Because the time of M1 eruption in primates is a robust marker of life history, we suggest, as a working hypothesis, that these hominins had a prolonged childhood in the range of the variation of modern humans. If this hypothesis is true, it implies that the appearance in Homo of this important developmental biological feature and an associated increase in brain size preceded the development of the neocortical areas leading to the cognitive capabilities that are thought to be exclusive to Homo sapiens. PMID:20547843

  12. Earliest Evidence for Social Endogamy in the 9,000-Year-Old-Population of Basta, Jordan

    PubMed Central

    Mller, Wolfgang; Berner, Margit E.; Schultz, Michael; Schmidt-Schultz, Tyede H.; Knipper, Corina; Gebel, Hans-Georg K.; Nissen, Hans J.; Vach, Werner

    2013-01-01

    The transition from mobile to sedentary life was one of the greatest social challenges of the human past. Yet little is known about the impact of this fundamental change on social interactions amongst early Neolithic communities, which are best recorded in the Near East. The importance of social processes associated with these economic and ecological changes has long been underestimated. However, ethnographic observations demonstrate that generalized reciprocity such as open access to resources and land had to be reduced to a circumscribed group before regular farming and herding could be successfully established. Our aim was thus to investigate the role of familial relationships as one possible factor within this process of segregation as recorded directly in the skeletal remains, rather than based on hypothetical correlations such as house types and social units. Here we present the revealing results of the systematically recorded epigenetic characteristics of teeth and skulls of the late Pre-Pottery Neolithic community of Basta in Southern Jordan (Figure S1). Additionally, mobility was reconstructed via a systematic strontium (Sr) isotope analysis of tooth enamel of the Basta individuals. The frequency of congenitally missing maxillary lateral incisors in the 9,000-year-old community of Basta is exceptionally high (35.7%). Genetic studies and a worldwide comparison of the general rate of this dental anomaly in modern and historic populations show that the enhanced frequency can only be explained by close familial relationships akin to endogamy. This is supported by strontium isotope analyses of teeth, indicating a local origin of almost all investigated individuals. Yet, the accompanying archaeological finds document far-reaching economic exchange with neighboring groups and a population density hitherto unparalleled. We thus conclude that endogamy in the early Neolithic village of Basta was not due to geographic isolation or a lack of exogamous mating partners but a socio-cultural choice. PMID:23776517

  13. Earliest evidence for social endogamy in the 9,000-year-old-population of Basta, Jordan.

    PubMed

    Alt, Kurt W; Benz, Marion; Mller, Wolfgang; Berner, Margit E; Schultz, Michael; Schmidt-Schultz, Tyede H; Knipper, Corina; Gebel, Hans-Georg K; Nissen, Hans J; Vach, Werner

    2013-01-01

    The transition from mobile to sedentary life was one of the greatest social challenges of the human past. Yet little is known about the impact of this fundamental change on social interactions amongst early Neolithic communities, which are best recorded in the Near East. The importance of social processes associated with these economic and ecological changes has long been underestimated. However, ethnographic observations demonstrate that generalized reciprocity - such as open access to resources and land - had to be reduced to a circumscribed group before regular farming and herding could be successfully established. Our aim was thus to investigate the role of familial relationships as one possible factor within this process of segregation as recorded directly in the skeletal remains, rather than based on hypothetical correlations such as house types and social units. Here we present the revealing results of the systematically recorded epigenetic characteristics of teeth and skulls of the late Pre-Pottery Neolithic community of Basta in Southern Jordan (Figure S1). Additionally, mobility was reconstructed via a systematic strontium (Sr) isotope analysis of tooth enamel of the Basta individuals. The frequency of congenitally missing maxillary lateral incisors in the 9,000-year-old community of Basta is exceptionally high (35.7%). Genetic studies and a worldwide comparison of the general rate of this dental anomaly in modern and historic populations show that the enhanced frequency can only be explained by close familial relationships akin to endogamy. This is supported by strontium isotope analyses of teeth, indicating a local origin of almost all investigated individuals. Yet, the accompanying archaeological finds document far-reaching economic exchange with neighboring groups and a population density hitherto unparalleled. We thus conclude that endogamy in the early Neolithic village of Basta was not due to geographic isolation or a lack of exogamous mating partners but a socio-cultural choice. PMID:23776517

  14. Lake Life.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ohrn, Deborah Gore, Ed.

    1993-01-01

    This quarterly publication of the State Historical Society of Iowa features articles and activities for elementary school students. This summer issue focuses on the topic of lake life. The issue includes the following features: (1) "Where the Lakes Are Map"; (2) "Letter from the Lake"; (3) "Lake People"; (4) "Spirit Lake"; (5) "Lake Manawa"; (6)…

  15. Gastroliths in Yanornis: an indication of the earliest radical diet-switching and gizzard plasticity in the lineage leading to living birds?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Zhonghe; Clarke, Julia; Zhang, Fucheng; Wings, Oliver

    2004-12-01

    Yanornis martini is an Early Cretaceous basal ornithurine bird. Its fish-eating diet was previously recognized from a discrete mass of disarticulated fish remains discovered in its abdominal region. A new complete and articulated specimen of Yanornis martini preserves abundant in-situ gastroliths such as have been associated with a herbivorous diet. We suggest that the occurrence of gastroliths in this specimen, fish remains in a second, and the lack of gastroliths in three others, is consistent with diet-switching in Yanornis martini. Incompatibility of the preserved data with explanations of the grit as an artifact of preservation or result of accidental ingestion is discussed. This discovery indicates the earliest presence of intermittent diet change (and associated gizzard plasticity) observed in extant birds seasonally and in response to changes in available food sources.

  16. Mastritherium (Artiodactyla, Anthracotheriidae) from Wadi Sabya, southwestern Saudi Arabia; an earliest Miocene age for continental rift-valley volcanic deposits of the Red Sea margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Madden, Gary T.; Schmidt, Dwight Lyman; Whitmore, Frank C.

    1983-01-01

    A lower jaw fragment with its last molar (M/3) from the Baid formation in Wadi Sabya, southwestern Saudi Arabia, represents the first recorded occurrence in the Arabian Peninsula of an anthracotheriid artiodactyl (hippo-like, even-toed ungulate). This fossil is identified as a primitive species of Masritherium, a North and East African genus restricted, previously to the later early Miocene. This identification indicates that the age of the Baid formation, long problematical, is early Miocene and, moreover, shows that the age of the fossil site is earliest Miocene (from 25 to 21Ma). The Wadi Sabya anthracothere is the first species of fossil mammal recorded from western Saudi Arabia, and more important, it indicates an early Miocene age for the volcanic deposits of a continental rift-valley that preceded the initial sea-floor spreading of the Red Sea.

  17. On the nature of visible chromosomal gaps and breaks.

    PubMed

    Savage, J R K

    2004-01-01

    From the earliest days of chromosomal aberration studies, the distinction, nature and origin of light-microscope observed "gaps" and "breaks" have been topics for debate and controversy. In this paper we survey, briefly, the various ideas that have appeared in the very extensive literature, and attempt to evaluate them in the light of our current understanding of chromosome structure and aberration formation. Attention is drawn to the problems of interpretation caused by G2/S cell imprecision. PMID:15162014

  18. Identifying patients with diabetes and the earliest date of diagnosis in real time: an electronic health record case-finding algorithm

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Effective population management of patients with diabetes requires timely recognition. Current case-finding algorithms can accurately detect patients with diabetes, but lack real-time identification. We sought to develop and validate an automated, real-time diabetes case-finding algorithm to identify patients with diabetes at the earliest possible date. Methods The source population included 160,872 unique patients from a large public hospital system between January 2009 and April 2011. A diabetes case-finding algorithm was iteratively derived using chart review and subsequently validated (n?=?343) in a stratified random sample of patients, using data extracted from the electronic health records (EHR). A point-based algorithm using encounter diagnoses, clinical history, pharmacy data, and laboratory results was used to identify diabetes cases. The date when accumulated points reached a specified threshold equated to the diagnosis date. Physician chart review served as the gold standard. Results The electronic model had a sensitivity of 97%, specificity of 90%, positive predictive value of 90%, and negative predictive value of 96% for the identification of patients with diabetes. The kappa score for agreement between the model and physician for the diagnosis date allowing for a 3-month delay was 0.97, where 78.4% of cases had exact agreement on the precise date. Conclusions A diabetes case-finding algorithm using data exclusively extracted from a comprehensive EHR can accurately identify patients with diabetes at the earliest possible date within a healthcare system. The real-time capability may enable proactive disease management. PMID:23915139

  19. Where is Extraterrestrial Life Likely to be Found

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McKay, Christopher P.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Mars appears to be cold dry and dead world. However there is good evidence that early in its history it had liquid water, more active volcanism, and a thicker atmosphere. Mars had this earthlike environment over three and a half billion years ago, during the same time that life appeared on Earth. The main question in the exploration of Mars then is the search for a independent origin of life on that planet. Ecosystems in cold, dry locations on Earth - such as the Antarctic - provide examples of how life on Mars might have survived and where to look for fossils. Although the Viking results may indicate that Mars has no life today, there is direct geomorphological evidence that, in the past, Mars had large amounts of liquid water on its surface - possibly due to a thicker atmosphere. From a biological perspective the existence of liquid water, by itself motivates the question of the origin of life on Mars. One of the martian meteorites dates back to this early period and may contain evidence consistent with Ye. From studies of the Earth's earliest biosphere we know that by 3.5 Gyr. ago, life had originated on Earth and reached a fair degree of biological sophistication. Surface activity and erosion on Earth make it difficult to trace the history of life before the 3.5 Gyr timeframe. Ecosystems in cold, dry locations on Earth - such as the Antarctic provide examples of how life on Mars might have survived and where to look for fossils.

  20. Composing life

    PubMed Central

    Segr, Daniel; Lancet, Doron

    2000-01-01

    Textbooks often assert that life began with specialized complex molecules, such as RNA, that are capable of making their own copies. This scenario has serious difficulties, but an alternative has remained elusive. Recent research and computer simulations have suggested that the first steps toward life may not have involved biopolymers. Rather, non-covalent protocellular assemblies, generated by catalyzed recruitment of diverse amphiphilic and hydrophobic compounds, could have constituted the first systems capable of information storage, inheritance and selection. A complex chain of evolutionary events, yet to be deciphered, could then have led to the common ancestors of todays free-living cells, and to the appearance of DNA, RNA and protein enzymes. PMID:11256602

  1. The stories we tell: qualitative research interviews, talking technologies and the 'normalisation' of life with HIV.

    PubMed

    Mazanderani, Fadhila; Paparini, Sara

    2015-04-01

    Since the earliest days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, talking about the virus has been a key way affected communities have challenged the fear and discrimination directed against them and pressed for urgent medical and political attention. Today, HIV/AIDS is one of the most prolifically and intimately documented of all health conditions, with entrenched infrastructures, practices and technologies--what Vinh-Kim Nguyen has dubbed 'confessional technologies'--aimed at encouraging those affected to share their experiences. Among these technologies, we argue, is the semi-structured interview: the principal methodology used in qualitative social science research focused on patient experiences. Taking the performative nature of the research interview as a talking technology seriously has epistemological implications not merely for how we interpret interview data, but also for how we understand the role of research interviews in the enactment of 'life with HIV'. This paper focuses on one crucial aspect of this enactment: the contemporary 'normalisation' of HIV as 'just another' chronic condition--a process taking place at the level of individual subjectivities, social identities, clinical practices and global health policy, and of which social science research is a vital part. Through an analysis of 76 interviews conducted in London (2009-10), we examine tensions in the experiential narratives of individuals living with HIV in which life with the virus is framed as 'normal', yet where this 'normality' is beset with contradictions and ambiguities. Rather than viewing these as a reflection of resistances to or failures of the enactment of HIV as 'normal', we argue that, insofar as these contradictions are generated by the research interview as a distinct 'talking technology', they emerge as crucial to the normative (re)production of what counts as 'living with HIV' (in the UK) and are an inherent part of the broader performative 'normalisation' of the virus. PMID:25753287

  2. Calibration of Biosignatures in Microbial Ca:Mg Carbonates: Fossilized Evidence for Ancient Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKenzie, J. A.; Bontognali, T. R.; Vasconcelos, C.

    2008-12-01

    Ca carbonate minerals, such as calcite or aragonite, are known to precipitate by both abiologically and biologically produced processes. The abundant sedimentary mineral dolomite (CaMgCO3), however, precipitates exclusively as a microbial induced product under Earth surface conditions. Thus, the study of microbial dolomite precipitation in natural environments and laboratory culture experiments provides the potential to calibrate and evaluate the range of microbial biosignatures that may become fossilized in the carbonate rock record. Structural biosignatures associated with microbial dolomite, which are microscopically observable, include characteristic shapes, such as dumbbell, spheroid or cruciform structures, and pervasive exopolymeric substance (EPS) matrices within which the mineral nucleates. The occurrence of these biostructures fossilized in geologic dolomite samples provides unambiguous evidence for the past presence of microorganisms. Identification of comparable biostructures associated with other more ambiguous biominerals may be significant physical evidence for the activity of microorganisms in a variety of terrestrial and planetary environments. Furthermore, the study of microbial dolomite precipitation provides valuable information on relevant environmental conditions that can be extrapolated to interpret paleoenvironments. In particular, microbial dolomite forms under hypersaline conditions often associated with a range of anaerobic microbial processes, such as bacterial sulfate reduction and/or anaerobic methane oxidation. The interactions of these complex microbial communities lead to the incorporation of characteristic carbon-isotope signatures reflecting the various metabolisms involved in the biomineralization. Additionally, the specific organic functional groups of metabolically produced organic molecules, which are included in modern and ancient biominerals, can be quantitatively compared using Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS). Finally, combining these recently calibrated microbial biosignatures with the ultimate classic macroscopic evidence for microbial life, i.e. stromatolites, provides a powerful approach to corroborate the biogenicity of this earliest life form.

  3. The Search for Extraterrestrial Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peter, Ulmschneider

    Looking at the nature, origin, and evolution of life on Earth is one way of assessing whether extraterrestrial life exists on Earth-like planets elsewhere (see Chaps. 5 and 6). A more direct approach is to search for favorable conditions and traces of life on other celestial bodies, both in the solar system and beyond. Clearly, there is little chance of encountering nonhuman intelligent beings in the solar system. But there could well be primitive life on Mars, particularly as in the early history of the solar system the conditions on Mars were quite similar to those on Earth. In addition, surprisingly favorable conditions for life once existed on the moons of Jupiter. Yet even if extraterrestrial life is not encountered in forthcoming space missions, it would be of utmost importance to recover fossils of past organisms as such traces would greatly contribute to our basic understanding of the formation of life. In addition to the planned missions to Mars and Europa, there are extensive efforts to search for life outside the solar system. Rapid advances in the detection of extrasolar planets, outlined in Chap. 3, are expected to lead to the discovery of Earth-like planets in the near future. But how can we detect life on these distant bodies?

  4. What traces of life can we expect on Mars? Lessons from the early Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westall, F.

    2008-09-01

    Abstract Environmental conditions on early Mars, from a microbial point of view, were largely similar to those on the early Earth. The oldest, well-preserved rocks on the early Earth (~3.5 Ga) host a wide range of morphological and geochemical traces of life, including chemolithotrophic, heterotrophic and photosynthetic anaerobic microorganisms. These microorganisms evolved in a tectonically evolving geological context, including carbonate platform formation. This scenario did not exist on Mars. Moreover, Mars was outside the habitable zone and standing bodies of water were probably ice-covered. Evolutionary advancement of martian life (if it appeared) would have been curtailed very early and it is unlikely that photosynthesis could have evolved. It is therefore unlikely that martian life will leave visible traces that can be detected with in situ instrumentation (no biolaminites or stromatolites). Geochemical detection of organic components will be possible but it is unlikely that the results will be conclusive. The return of suitable rocks from Mars is advocated. Early life on Earth and Mars The oldest, well preserved rocks on Earth, including both sedimentary and volcanic lithologies, contain abundant morphological and geochemical traces of life [1]. Evidence of borings into basalt lavas [2] and microbial colonies within volcanic sediments [3,4] testify to microbial utilisation of chemolithotrophy. Microscopic tunnels, tens of microns in length, containing traces of biologically important elements, such as C and N, in the vitreous rinds of pillow lavas are identified in petrographic thin section (Fig. 1) [2]. Similar 5-10 μm-sized tunnels have been channelled into the surfaces of detrital volcanic grains [4]. They contain the remains of microbial polymeric substances (EPS) but can only be identified in petrographic thin section and using the high magnification of a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Furthermore, volcanic sediments deposited in water contain crytic but abundant evidence of past life [3] in the form of fossilised microbial colonies on the surfaces of detrital volcanic grains, in fine volcanic dust deposits, and in the pores of scoriaceous pumice, etc (Fig. 2). Again, these traces can be identified only through petrographic thin section and SEM study. The bulk organic carbon contents of these rocks is very low, ~0.01-0.05% and their C-isotope signature (~ - 25 ‰), although indicative of life, could also be produced through abiological processes [5]. Only the combination of multiple analytical techniques, of which high resolution microscopy is one of the most fundamental, permitted a biogenic origin to be attributed to these structures. Biolaminated sediments, including domal stromatolites, in Early Archaean terrains are the result of anaerobic photosynthetic activity [6-9]. Photosynthesis is a relatively evolved metabolism. Evidence of photosynthetic activity is preserved in the rhythmic laminations found in sediments deposited at the edges of shallow basins due to the growth of photosynthetic microbial mats on the sediment surfaces. These laminations, ranging from a few tens of microns to packets up to a couple of millimetres in thickness, are macroscopically and microscopically visible (Fig. 3). Given sufficient tectonic stability of the shallow water, carbonate platform environments in which they form, photosynthetic microorganisms on the early Earth formed domical stromatolites. In the case of biolaminated sediments, bulk organic carbon contents are again low (0.01 %) but the individual biolaminae have a higher carbon content (0.07%). Certain highly carbonaceous biomaminated cherts have carbon contents ranging up to 0.5% [10]. Photosynthetic organisms, however, are not only restricted to stable substrates and may also be planktonic, living free in the upper layers of water bodies. Evidence of planktonic microorganisms on the early Earth has been suggested by [10]. Whether floating in the ocean or forming mats in the littoral environment, photosynthesisers need unlimited access to sunlight. The very existence of these microorganisms at ~3.5 Ga demonstrates that, although the Earth was at the cold edge of the habitable zone, the oceans were not frozen. Ice would have limited the penetration of light to the microorganisms (depending on thickness). From the microbial perspective, the lack of a global ocean on early Mars is irrelevant [11,12], as is the probability that standing bodies of water would have been covered with ice [13]. There would have been sufficient amounts of liquid water to support chemolithotrophic and heterotrophic microbial life beneath the ice covered basins (N.B. Lake Vostok on Antarctica has liquid water beneath 3 km of ice that is also fed from hydrothermal sources. Genetic traces of these hydrothermal microorganisms are frozen into the base of the ice [14]). Hydrothermal activity associated with volcanism and impact events would provide sufficient heat for liquid water (and life) to be present. However, the presence of ice on the early water bodies would have hindered the evolutionary development of martian life. Since photosynthetic microorganisms require access to sunlight, and since the earliest photosynthesisers were probably substratebound, the presence of ice on the surfaces of water bodies and, especially at their edges in the littoral environment, would have inhibited the development of photosynthesis. Moreover, the early degradation of the environmental conditions on Mars (between 4.2- 3.5 Ga [12]) would have been a further detriment to the evolution of martian life. Conclusions It is most likely that life appeared on Mars independently of the Earth since the planet had the same ingredients and probably the same starting conditions as the Earth. However, the early degradation of its environmental conditions and the fact that the planet was outside the habitable zone with probable ice-covered water surfaces would have limited the development of photosynthetic microorganisms. On the basis of studies of the fossil traces of microorganisms in analogue early terrestrial rocks, it is clear that the in situ search for life on Mars will be even more difficult, since the traces left by eventual chemolithotrophic and heterotrophic martian life will be very subtle and below the visible resolution of in situ instrumentation. Moreover, geochemical identification may not be conclusive. Thus a series of Mars Sample Return mission are essential for detecting whether Mars had or still has life. [1] Westall, F. & Southam, G. 2006. AGU Geophys. Monogr., 164, 283-304.. [2] Furnes, H. et al., 2004. Science, 304, 578-581 [3] Westall, F. et al. 2006. Geol. Soc. Amer. Spec Pub., 405, 105-131. [4] Foucher et al. 2008. ESPC Abstract # 273. [5] van Zuilen, M., et al. (2002), Reassessing the evidence for the earliests traces of life, Nature, 418, 627-630 [6] Westall F, et al. (2006) Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. Lond. Series B., 361, 1857-1875 [7] Allwood, A.C., et al.2005: Stromatolite reef from the Early Archaean era of Australia, Nature, 441, 714- 718. [8] Westall et al. 2007. Abstract-EANA, Türku, October, 2007. [9] Noffke, N., et al., 2006. Earth's earliest microbial mats in a silicilastic marine environment (2.9 Mozaan Group, South Africa), Geology, 31, 673-676 [10] Walsh, M.M., and D.R. Lowe (1999), in Geologic evolution of the Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa, eds. DR. Lowe, G.R. Byerly, Geol. Soc. Am Spec. Paper, 329, 115-132. [11] G. Southam, L. Rothschilde, F. Westall, 2007. in Geology and habitability of terrestrial planets, Space Science Reviews, 1-28. [12] Southam, G. and Westall, F., 2007. in T. Spohn, (Ed.) Treatise on Geophysics - Vol. 10 Planets and Moons, Elsevier, Amsterdam. 421-438. [13] Clifford, S. M., and Parker, T. J. Icarus, vol. 154: 40-79, 2001. [14] Bulat, S. et al., 2006. Geophys. Res. Abstracts, Vol. 8, 07109.

  5. Serpentinite and the dawn of life

    PubMed Central

    Sleep, Norman H.; Bird, Dennis K.; Pope, Emily C.

    2011-01-01

    Submarine hydrothermal vents above serpentinite produce chemical potential gradients of aqueous and ionic hydrogen, thus providing a very attractive venue for the origin of life. This environment was most favourable before Earth's massive CO2 atmosphere was subducted into the mantle, which occurred tens to approximately 100 Myr after the moon-forming impact; thermophile to clement conditions persisted for several million years while atmospheric pCO2 dropped from approximately 25 bar to below 1 bar. The ocean was weakly acid (pH ∼ 6), and a large pH gradient existed for nascent life with pH 9–11 fluids venting from serpentinite on the seafloor. Total CO2 in water was significant so the vent environment was not carbon limited. Biologically important phosphate and Fe(II) were somewhat soluble during this period, which occurred well before the earliest record of preserved surface rocks approximately 3.8 billion years ago (Ga) when photosynthetic life teemed on the Earth and the oceanic pH was the modern value of approximately 8. Serpentinite existed by 3.9 Ga, but older rocks that might retain evidence of its presence have not been found. Earth's sequesters extensive evidence of Archaean and younger subducted biological material, but has yet to be exploited for the Hadean record. PMID:21930576

  6. Serpentinite and the dawn of life.

    PubMed

    Sleep, Norman H; Bird, Dennis K; Pope, Emily C

    2011-10-27

    Submarine hydrothermal vents above serpentinite produce chemical potential gradients of aqueous and ionic hydrogen, thus providing a very attractive venue for the origin of life. This environment was most favourable before Earth's massive CO(2) atmosphere was subducted into the mantle, which occurred tens to approximately 100 Myr after the moon-forming impact; thermophile to clement conditions persisted for several million years while atmospheric pCO(2) dropped from approximately 25 bar to below 1 bar. The ocean was weakly acid (pH ? 6), and a large pH gradient existed for nascent life with pH 9-11 fluids venting from serpentinite on the seafloor. Total CO(2) in water was significant so the vent environment was not carbon limited. Biologically important phosphate and Fe(II) were somewhat soluble during this period, which occurred well before the earliest record of preserved surface rocks approximately 3.8 billion years ago (Ga) when photosynthetic life teemed on the Earth and the oceanic pH was the modern value of approximately 8. Serpentinite existed by 3.9 Ga, but older rocks that might retain evidence of its presence have not been found. Earth's sequesters extensive evidence of Archaean and younger subducted biological material, but has yet to be exploited for the Hadean record. PMID:21930576

  7. Seeding earth - Comets, oceans and life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chyba, C.

    1990-02-01

    Observations by the Giotto and Vega spacecraft, complemented by observations made on the ground, with sounding rockets and with high-altitude aircraft, verified the long-standing hypothesis that comets consist largely of frozen water. The assumption that comets are loaded with organic molecules, the kind needed for the earliest stages in the evolution of life on earth, was also confirmed. Here the result of a cometary collision with a planet is investigated and it is suggested that, striking the surface of the planet, the comet would excavate a crater and vaporize almost entirely in the ensuing explosion. The comet's steam might form a tenuous atmosphere of water and vapor, or perhaps clouds if the planet already has an atmosphere. The impact of a Halley-type comet would deliver to the surface of the target a certain amount of organics and a great deal of water. Thus it is suggested that water covering the earth today may have originated in comets that condensed in the outer regions of the solar system. Additional examples and depictions are cited to further support this hypothesis. However, if comets brought a significant amount of water to earth, it would be expected that they delivered water to the other planets as well. Comets may also have contributed to the terrestrial inventory of organic molecules necessary for the origins of life. Further perspectives are examined to show that comets may have provided an important extraterrestrial link for the origins of terrestrial life.

  8. Through Life Costing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newnes, Linda; Mileham, A. R.; Cheung, W. M.; Goh, Y. M.

    When an innovation is launched in such a market, reliable information about the life cost of the novel product is naturally lacking. This has proven to be a key obstacle to venture capital funded cleantech companies with innovations that are conceptually proven and that deliver significant improvements to conventional alternatives, but that lack enough reference installations to provide reliable data on life costs. One way out of this dilemma that is increasingly discussed among practitioners is servitization, i.e., the notion that the owner of the innovation should be an agency that is specialised in using and maintaining the product, letting the end customer become a buyer of the product's service (such as heat) rather than the product itself.

  9. Bioenergetics and Life's Origins

    PubMed Central

    Deamer, David; Weber, Arthur L.

    2010-01-01

    Bioenergetics is central to our understanding of living systems, yet has attracted relatively little attention in origins of life research. This article focuses on energy resources available to drive primitive metabolism and the synthesis of polymers that could be incorporated into molecular systems having properties associated with the living state. The compartmented systems are referred to as protocells, each different from all the rest and representing a kind of natural experiment. The origin of life was marked when a rare few protocells happened to have the ability to capture energy from the environment to initiate catalyzed heterotrophic growth directed by heritable genetic information in the polymers. This article examines potential sources of energy available to protocells, and mechanisms by which the energy could be used to drive polymer synthesis. PMID:20182625

  10. Why did life emerge?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Annila, Arto; Annila, Erkki

    2008-10-01

    Many mechanisms, functions and structures of life have been unraveled. However, the fundamental driving force that propelled chemical evolution and led to life has remained obscure. The second law of thermodynamics, written as an equation of motion, reveals that elemental abiotic matter evolves from the equilibrium via chemical reactions that couple to external energy towards complex biotic non-equilibrium systems. Each time a new mechanism of energy transduction emerges, e.g., by random variation in syntheses, evolution prompts by punctuation and settles to a stasis when the accessed free energy has been consumed. The evolutionary course towards an increasingly larger energy transduction system accumulates a diversity of energy transduction mechanisms, i.e. species. The rate of entropy increase is identified as the fitness criterion among the diverse mechanisms, which places the theory of evolution by natural selection on the fundamental thermodynamic principle with no demarcation line between inanimate and animate.

  11. Origins and Evolution of Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gargaud, Muriel; Lpez-Garca, Purificacin; Martin, Herv

    2011-01-01

    Part I. What Is Life?: 1. Problems raised by a definition of life M. Morange; 2. Some remarks about uses of cosmological anthropic 'principles' D. Lambert; 3. Minimal cell: the biologist point of view C. Brochier-Armanet; 4. Minimal cell: the computer scientist point of view H. Bersini; 5. Origins of life: computing and simulation approaches B. Billoud; Part II. Astronomical and Geophysical Context of the Emergence of Life: 6. Organic molecules in interstellar medium C. Ceccarelli and C. Cernicharo; 7. Cosmochemical evolution and the origin of life: insights from meteorites S. Pizzarello; 8. Astronomical constraints on the emergence of life M. Gounelle and T. Montmerle; 9. Formation of habitable planets J. Chambers; 10. The concept of galactic habitable zone N. Prantzos; 11. The young Sun and its influence on planetary atmospheres M. Gdel and J. Kasting; 12. Climates of the Earth G. Ramstein; Part III. Role of Water in the Emergence of Life: 13. Liquid water: a necessary condition to all forms of life K. Bartik, G. Bruylants, E. Locci and J. Reisse; 14. The role of water in the formation and evolution of planets T. Encrenaz; 15. Water on Mars J. P. Bibring; Part IV. From Non-Living Systems to Life: 16. Energetic constraints on prebiotic pathways: application to the emergence of translation R. Pascal and L. Boiteau; 17. Comparative genomics and early cell evolution A. Lazcano; 18. Origin and evolution of metabolisms J. Peret; Part V. Mechanisms for Life Evolution: 19. Molecular phylogeny: inferring the patterns of evolution E. Douzery; 20. Horizontal gene transfer: mechanisms and evolutionary consequences D. Moreira; 21. The role of symbiosis in eukaryotic evolution A. Latorre, A. Durbn, A. Moya and J. Peret; Part VI. Life in Extreme Conditions: 22. Life in extreme conditions: Deinococcus radiodurans, an organism able to survive prolonged desiccation and high doses of ionising radiation S. Sommer and M. Toueille; 23. Molecular effects of UV and ionizing radiations on DNA J. Cadet and T. Douki; 24. Molecular adaptations to life at high salt: lessons from Haloarcula marismortui G. Zaccai; Part VII. Traces of Life and Biosignatures: 25. Early life: nature, distribution and evolution F. Westall; 26. Early eukaryotes in precambrian oceans E. Javaux; 27. Biomineralisation mechanisms K. Benzerara and J. Miot; 28. Limits of life and biosphere: lesson from detection of microorganisms in deep sea and deep subsurface in the Earth K. Takai; Part VIII. Life Elsewhere?: 29. Titan and the Cassini-Huygens mission J. Lunine and F. Raulin; 30. The role of terrestrial analogue environments in astrobiology R. Lveill; Index.

  12. Life lessons

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Summary Reminiscing about his younger self: “I mean I can’t very well just 86 [in American slang, to “86” is to eject, remove, or discard someone or something, J.R.N.] this guy from my life. On the other hand, if through some as yet undeveloped technology I were to run into him today, how comfortable would I feel about lending him money, or for that matter even stepping down the street to have a beer and talk over old times?” ― Thomas Pynchon, Slow Learner PMID:26734084

  13. Novel natural food antimicrobials.

    PubMed

    Juneja, Vijay K; Dwivedi, Hari P; Yan, Xianghe

    2012-01-01

    Naturally occurring antimicrobial compounds could be applied as food preservatives to protect food quality and extend the shelf life of foods and beverages. These compounds are na