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Sample records for european starling sturnus

  1. Effects of auditory recognition learning on the perception of vocal features in European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)

    PubMed Central

    Daniel Meliza, C.

    2011-01-01

    Learning to recognize complex sensory signals can change the way they are perceived. European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) recognize other starlings by their song, which consists of a series of complex, stereotyped motifs. Song recognition learning is accompanied by plasticity in secondary auditory areas, suggesting that perceptual learning is involved. Here, to investigate whether perceptual learning can be observed behaviorally, a same–different operant task was used to measure how starlings perceived small differences in motif structure. Birds trained to recognize conspecific songs were better at detecting variations in motifs from the songs they learned, even though this variation was not directly necessary to learn the associative task. Discrimination also improved as the reference stimulus was repeated multiple times. Perception of the much larger differences between different motifs was unaffected by training. These results indicate that sensory representations of motifs are enhanced when starlings learn to recognize songs. PMID:22087940

  2. Specific floater home ranges and prospective behaviour in the European starling, Sturnus vulgaris

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tobler, Michael; Smith, Henrik G.

    In many bird species, floaters are present on the breeding grounds in one or more years before they breed. There is increasing evidence that they have specific home ranges in which they search for information about current and future breeding opportunities. We investigated the role of prospecting in a migratory European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) population. Radio-tracking showed that male starling floaters use specific home range areas during the breeding period. Nest-box observations demonstrated that non-parental nest intrusion is common in the starling and that it is significantly more frequent during the nestling than during the incubation period. In addition, small groups of nest boxes were more likely to be occupied by starlings if they had been put up during the preceding breeding season. The results suggest that floaters try to acquire information about local breeding communities. One specific type of information may be the location of potential breeding sites.

  3. Effects of dietary quality on basal metabolic rate and internal morphology of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Geluso, K.; Hayes, J.P.

    1999-01-01

    European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) were fed either a low- or high-quality diet to test the effects of dietary quality on basal metabolic rate (BMR) and internal morphology. Basal metabolic rate did not differ significantly between the two dietary groups, but internal morphology differed greatly. Starlings fed the low-quality diet had heavier gastrointestinal tracts, gizzards, and livers. Starlings fed the high-quality diet had heavier breast muscles. Starlings on the low-quality diet maintained mass, while starlings on the high-quality diet gained mass. Dry matter digestibility and energy digestibility were lower for starlings fed the low-quality diet, and their food and water intake were greater than starlings on the high-quality diet. The lack of dietary effect on BMR may be the result of increased energy expenditure of digestive organs paralleling a reduction of energy expenditure of organs and tissues not related to digestion (i.e., skeletal muscle). This trade-off in energy allocation among organs suggests a mechanism by which organisms may alter BMR in response to a change in seasonal variation in food availability.

  4. Mid-winter temperatures, not spring temperatures, predict breeding phenology in the European starling Sturnus vulgaris

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Tony D.; Bourgeon, Sophie; Cornell, Allison; Ferguson, Laramie; Fowler, Melinda; Fronstin, Raime B.; Love, Oliver P.

    2015-01-01

    In many species, empirical data suggest that temperatures less than 1 month before breeding strongly influence laying date, consistent with predictions that short lag times between cue and response are more reliable, decreasing the chance of mismatch with prey. Here we show in European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) that mid-winter temperature ca 50–90 days before laying (8 January–22 February) strongly (r2 = 0.89) predicts annual variation in laying date. Mid-winter temperature also correlated highly with relative clutch size: birds laid later, but laid larger clutches, in years when mid-winter temperatures were lower. Despite a high degree of breeding synchrony (mean laying date 5–13 April = ±4 days; 80% of nests laid within 4.8 days within year), European starlings show strong date-dependent variation in clutch size and productivity, but this appears to be mediated by a different temporal mechanism for integration of supplemental cue (temperature) information. We suggest the relationship between mid-winter temperature and breeding phenology might be indirect with both components correlating with a third factor: temperature-dependent development of the starling's insect (tipulid) prey. Mid-winter temperatures might set the trajectory of growth and final biomass of tipulid larvae, with this temperature cue providing starlings with information on breeding season prey availability (though exactly how remains unknown). PMID:26064582

  5. Mid-winter temperatures, not spring temperatures, predict breeding phenology in the European starling Sturnus vulgaris.

    PubMed

    Williams, Tony D; Bourgeon, Sophie; Cornell, Allison; Ferguson, Laramie; Fowler, Melinda; Fronstin, Raime B; Love, Oliver P

    2015-01-01

    In many species, empirical data suggest that temperatures less than 1 month before breeding strongly influence laying date, consistent with predictions that short lag times between cue and response are more reliable, decreasing the chance of mismatch with prey. Here we show in European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) that mid-winter temperature ca 50-90 days before laying (8 January-22 February) strongly (r (2) = 0.89) predicts annual variation in laying date. Mid-winter temperature also correlated highly with relative clutch size: birds laid later, but laid larger clutches, in years when mid-winter temperatures were lower. Despite a high degree of breeding synchrony (mean laying date 5-13 April = ±4 days; 80% of nests laid within 4.8 days within year), European starlings show strong date-dependent variation in clutch size and productivity, but this appears to be mediated by a different temporal mechanism for integration of supplemental cue (temperature) information. We suggest the relationship between mid-winter temperature and breeding phenology might be indirect with both components correlating with a third factor: temperature-dependent development of the starling's insect (tipulid) prey. Mid-winter temperatures might set the trajectory of growth and final biomass of tipulid larvae, with this temperature cue providing starlings with information on breeding season prey availability (though exactly how remains unknown). PMID:26064582

  6. Captive European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) in breeding condition show an increased cardiovascular stress response to intruders.

    PubMed

    Dickens, Molly J; Nephew, Benjamin C; Romero, L Michael

    2006-01-01

    European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) alter their physiology and behavior between seasons, becoming territorial during the spring/summer and flocking during the fall/winter. We used captive male starlings in breeding (photostimulated to 18L : 6D) and nonbreeding (11L : 13D) conditions to determine whether changing physiology and behavior alters their reaction to crowding. One or five intruders entered a resident's cage without human disturbance. A subcutaneous heart rate transmitter recorded cardiovascular output in residents. Corticosterone and testosterone were measured in plasma samples taken before and after the intrusion. While corticosterone concentrations did not change, heart rate changed significantly, indicating that these responses can be regulated independently. Long-day birds showed a significantly elevated heart rate response to the single-bird intrusion compared to short-day birds. Whereas five intruders elicited an identical peak response in both groups, long-day birds also demonstrated an equivalent response to one intruder. In addition, one intruder induced longer elevation in heart rate for long-day birds. Male starlings in breeding condition, therefore, demonstrate an increased sensitivity to additional conspecifics. This seasonal shift in response suggests that a higher tolerance for intrusion (i.e., considering a nearby starling as less stressful) may facilitate flocking behavior, while a lower tolerance may aid in territoriality. PMID:16927240

  7. Lead concentrations and reproductive success in European starlings Sturnus vulgaris nesting within highway roadside verges

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grue, C.E.; Hoffman, D.J.; Beyer, W.N.; Franson, L.P.

    1986-01-01

    In 1981, the authors studied lead concentrations and reproductive success in free-living European starlings Sturnus vulgaris nesting within the verges of two Maryland highways with different traffic volumes, Route 197(average daily traffic volume[ADT] = 10,800 vehicles) and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (ADT=52,500 vehicles) and a nearby control area. Concentrations (mg kg-1 dry weight) of lead in the ingesta (84-94 mg kg-1), carcasses (4.0-9.6 mg kg-1)and feathers (6.8-52 mg kg-1) of Parkway nestlings and adults were 3 to 13 times those found in starlings from the control area, whereas lead concentrations in the ingesta and tissues of starlings from the verge of Route 197 were similar to those of controls. Activity of delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) in red blood cells (RBCs) of adult and nestling starlings from the Parkway was depressed from 43 to 60% compared to controls. RBC ALAD activity in adults from nests along Route 197 was similar to that of adult starlings from the control area, but that of their young was depressed 17%. Haemoglobin concentrations (-16%) and haematocrits (-10%) in Parkway nestlings were depressed compared with those of nestlings from the other two study areas, whereas those of adults were not affected. Clutch size, number of young hatched and the number of young in nests 1 to 3 days before fledging were similar among sites, as were body weights of adults and prefledging weights of their young. However, brain weights of Parkway nestlings were lower (P < 0.05) than those of nestlings from the other study areas. Results suggests that lead within verges of major highways probably does not pose a serious hazard to adult ground-foraging songbirds. However, the effects of lead-induced reductions in haemoglobin concentration, haematocrit, RBC ALAD activity and brain weight on the postfledging survival of their young are not known.

  8. Helminth parasites of the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) (Aves, Sturnidae), an invasive bird in Argentina.

    PubMed

    Valente, Romina; Ibañez, Lucía Mariel; Lorenti, Eliana; Fiorini, Vanina Dafne; Montalti, Diego; Diaz, Julia Inés

    2014-07-01

    The aim of this work is to contribute to the knowledge of gastrointestinal parasites of the European starling Sturnus vulgaris, an invasive bird from Argentina. Seventy-six birds were collected during the spring of 2007 and were examined for helminths. Six parasite species were found: one trematoda of the Echinostoma revolutum "group," four nematodes (Synhimantus nasuta, Microtetrameres sp., Pterothominx exilis, and Ornithocapillaria ovopunctata), and one acanthocephalan (Plagiorhynchus cylindraceus). All species found have been recorded in Eurasia and/or North America previously, although present reports enlarge their geographical distribution. As expected in an invasive host, the parasite community shows much lower species richness (n = 6) than those observed in their native area (79 and 35 in the Eurasia and North America, respectively). PMID:24804922

  9. Reproductive state modulates testosterone-induced singing in adult female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)

    PubMed Central

    Stevenson, Tyler J.; Fortune, Eric S.; Ball, Gregory F.

    2015-01-01

    European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) exhibit seasonal changes in singing and in the volumes of the neural substrate. Increases in song nuclei volume are mediated at least in part by increases in day length, which is also associated with increases in plasma testosterone (T), reproductive activity, and singing behavior in males. The correlations between photoperiod (i.e. daylength), T, reproductive state and singing hamper our ability to disentangle causal relationships. We investigated how photoperiodic-induced variation in reproductive state modulates the effects of T on singing behavior and song nuclei volumes in adult female starlings. Female Starlings do not naturally produce measureable levels of circulating T but nevertheless respond to exogenous T, which induces male-like singing. We manipulated photoperiod by placing birds in a photosensitive or photorefractory state and then treated them with T-filled or empty silastic implants. We recorded morning singing behavior for three weeks, after which we assessed reproductive condition and measured song nuclei volumes. We found that T-treated photosensitive birds sang significantly more than all other groups including T-treated photorefractory birds. All T-treated birds had larger song nuclei volumes than with blank-treated birds (despite photorefractory T-treated birds not increasing song-rate). There was no effect of photoperiod on the song nuclei volumes of T-treated birds. These data show that the behavioral effects of exogenous T can be modulated by reproductive state in adult female songbirds. Furthermore, these data are consistent with other observations that increases in singing rate in response to T are not necessarily due to the direct effects of T on song nuclei volume. PMID:25989596

  10. Reproductive state modulates testosterone-induced singing in adult female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Rouse, Melvin L; Stevenson, Tyler J; Fortune, Eric S; Ball, Gregory F

    2015-06-01

    European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) exhibit seasonal changes in singing and in the volumes of the neural substrate. Increases in song nuclei volume are mediated at least in part by increases in day length, which is also associated with increases in plasma testosterone (T), reproductive activity, and singing behavior in males. The correlations between photoperiod (i.e. daylength), T, reproductive state and singing hamper our ability to disentangle causal relationships. We investigated how photoperiodic-induced variation in reproductive state modulates the effects of T on singing behavior and song nuclei volumes in adult female starlings. Female starlings do not naturally produce measureable levels of circulating T but nevertheless respond to exogenous T, which induces male-like singing. We manipulated photoperiod by placing birds in a photosensitive or photorefractory state and then treated them with T-filled or empty silastic implants. We recorded morning singing behavior for 3 weeks, after which we assessed reproductive condition and measured song nuclei volumes. We found that T-treated photosensitive birds sang significantly more than all other groups including T-treated photorefractory birds. All T-treated birds had larger song nuclei volumes than with blank-treated birds (despite photorefractory T-treated birds not increasing song-rate). There was no effect of photoperiod on the song nuclei volumes of T-treated birds. These data show that the behavioral effects of exogenous T can be modulated by reproductive state in adult female songbirds. Furthermore, these data are consistent with other observations that increases in singing rate in response to T are not necessarily due to the direct effects of T on song nuclei volume. PMID:25989596

  11. Heritability of Nestling Growth in Cross-Fostered European Starlings Sturnus Vulgaris

    PubMed Central

    Smith, H. G.; Wettermark, K. J.

    1995-01-01

    In altricial birds, growth rates and nestling morphology vary between broods. For natural selection to produce evolutionary change in these variables, there must exist heritable variation. Since nestling traits are not any longer present in parents, traditional offspring-parent regressions cannot estimate heritabilities of these. In this study, a partial cross-fostering experiment was performed, where nestlings of the European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) were reciprocally exchanged between nests. The experiment demonstrated a significant heritability of nestling tarsus length and body mass, but not of the growth trajectories followed by individual nestlings. The heritability estimate for tarsus length obtained in the cross-fostering experiment using full-sib analysis was lower than those obtained by offspring-parent regressions. This is likely due to a genotype-by-environment effect on tarsus length, with nestlings destined to become large but in poor condition having a low probability of appearing as parents. The main reason for the low heritability of growth was probably the large within-brood variation in growth pattern due to the initial size hierarchy of nestlings. Nestlings demonstrated targeted growth, where small-sized nestlings that initially grew slower than their siblings, managed to catch up. PMID:8647400

  12. Developmental Exposure to Aroclor 1254 Alters Migratory Behavior in Juvenile European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Flahr, Leanne M; Michel, Nicole L; Zahara, Alexander R D; Jones, Paul D; Morrissey, Christy A

    2015-05-19

    Birds exposed to endocrine disrupting chemicals during development could be susceptible to neurological and other physiological changes affecting migratory behaviors. We investigated the effects of ecologically relevant levels of Aroclor 1254, a polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) mixture, on moult, fattening, migratory activity, and orientation in juvenile European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Birds were orally administered 0 (control), 0.35 (low), 0.70 (intermediate), or 1.05 (high) μg Aroclor 1254/g-body weight by gavage from 1 through 18 days posthatch and later exposed in captivity to a photoperiod shift simulating an autumn migration. Migratory activity and orientation were examined using Emlen funnel trials. Across treatments, we found significant increases in mass, fat, and moulting and decreasing plasma thyroid hormones over time. We observed a significant increase in activity as photoperiod was shifted from 13L:11D (light:dark) to 12L:12D, demonstrating that migratory condition was induced in captivity. At 12L:12D, control birds oriented to 155.95° (South-Southeast), while high-dosed birds did not. High-dosed birds showed a delayed orientation to 197.48° (South-Southwest) under 10L:14D, concomitant with apparent delays in moult. These findings demonstrate how subtle contaminant-induced alterations during development could lead to longer-scale effects, including changes in migratory activity and orientation, which could potentially result in deleterious effects on fitness and survival. PMID:25893686

  13. Latent cognitive effects from low-level polychlorinated biphenyl exposure in juvenile European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Zahara, Alexander R D; Michel, Nicole L; Flahr, Leanne M; Ejack, Leanne E; Morrissey, Christy A

    2015-11-01

    Ecotoxicology research on polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) mixtures has focused principally on short-term effects on reproduction, growth, and other physiological endpoints. Latent cognitive effects from early life exposure to low-level PCBs were examined in an avian model, the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris). Thirty-six birds, divided equally among 4 treatment groups (control = 0 µg, low = 0.35 µg, intermediate = 0.70 µg, and high = 1.05 µg Aroclor 1254/g body weight), were dosed 1 d through 18 d posthatch, then tested 8 mo to 9 mo later in captivity in an analog to an open radial arm maze. Birds were subject to 4 sequential experiments: habituation, learning, cue selection, and memory. One-half of the birds did not habituate to the test cage; however, this was not linked to a treatment group. Although 11 of the remaining 18 birds successfully learned, only 1 was from the high-dosed group. Control and low-dosed birds were among the only treatment groups to improve trial times throughout the learning experiment. High-dosed birds were slower and more error-prone than controls. Cue selection (spatial or color cues) and memory retention were not affected by prior PCB exposure. The results indicate that a reduction in spatial learning ability persists among birds exposed to Aroclor 1254 during development. This may have implications for migration ability, resource acquisition, and other behaviors relevant for fitness. PMID:26033510

  14. PCB and heavy metal contamination and effects in European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) at a superfund site

    SciTech Connect

    Arenal, C.A.; Halbrook, R.S.

    1997-02-01

    From 1946-1967 industrial activities at the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge (CONWR) included the construction of landfills and dumps for disposal of hazardous waste. Heavy metals such as cadmium, chromium, mercury, and lead and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a special concern because of transport to biotic communities. During routine monitoring, Hite and King found elevated concentrations of mercury in fish from Crab Orchard Lake, and Kohler et al. reported PCB concentrations greater than FDA safety limits (2 ppm) in 38% of the fish collected in the eastern portion of Crab Orchard Lake. Additionally, livers from hunter harvested white-tailed deer killed on CONWR contained significantly greater concentrations of nickel and lead compared to deer collected off CONWR. In 1984, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) added 7 sites within CONWR to the National Priorities List under the Comprehensive Environmental Recovery, Compensation and Liabilities Act. These site contained varying concentrations of PCBs (Aroclor 1254) and heavy metals that were assessed as posing risk to wildlife. Because few studies have been completed on the effects of PCB and heavy metal concentrations on avian species among sites on the refuge, and preliminary studies by McKee indicated possible avian reproductive impairment due to contaminant exposure, additional study to evaluate adverse effects in avian species was initiated. Using the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) as an avian model, this project provided biological and contaminant baseline data for evaluating avian exposure and effects, and provides a benchmark for determining the effectiveness of proposed remedial actions on CONWR. 18 refs., 5 figs., 2 tabs.

  15. Artificial rain and cold wind act as stressors to captive molting and non-molting European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    de Bruijn, Robert; Romero, L Michael

    2013-03-01

    Free-roaming animals continually cope with changes in their environment. One of the most unpredictable environmental phenomena is weather. Being able to respond to weather appropriately is crucial as it can be a threat to survival. The stress response, consisting of increases in heart rate and release of glucocorticoids, is an important mechanism by which animals cope with stressors. This study examined behavioral, heart rate, and corticosterone responses of captive European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) to two aspects of weather mimicked under controlled conditions, a subtle (3 °C) decrease in temperature and a short, mild bout of rain. Both decreased temperature and exposure to rain elicited increases in heart rate and corticosterone in non-molting starlings. Molt is an important life history stage in birds that affects feather cover and may require a different response to weather-related stressors. We repeated the experiment in molting starlings and found increases in heart rate in response to rain and cold wind. However, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis was suppressed during molt, as molting starlings did not increase corticosterone release in response to either stimulus. These data suggest these stimuli induce increased allostatic load in starlings, and that animals may adjust their response depending on the life-history stage. PMID:23277223

  16. Behavioural and hormonal effects of social isolation and neophobia in a gregarious bird species, the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Apfelbeck, Beate; Raess, Michael

    2008-08-01

    Separating gregarious individuals from their group members often results in behavioural and physiological changes, like increased levels of corticosterone. Testosterone and corticosterone, in particular, have been implicated in the response of mammals to novelty. Data in birds are, however, rare. The presence or absence of group members may also influence an individual's response to novel stimuli. We assessed the behaviour and hormonal response of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) to a novel object in two different situations and seasons: each starling was tested when separated and when in contact with its group members in May/June (breeding season) and again in September/October (non-breeding season). Starlings are gregarious throughout the year, but as foraging flocks are small during the breeding season and large during the non-breeding season, we assumed that non-breeding starlings would be more affected by social isolation. Overall, starlings had higher levels of corticosterone, lost more body mass, and were more active when they were separated from their group. Isolated individuals, however, did not show a greater neophobic response than individuals in the presence of their group members in either season. Circulating levels of testosterone and corticosterone were higher after a test with novel object than after a test with only the familiar feeding dish in both sexes and seasons. However, control tests for handling effects confirmed only the increase in testosterone. Our study shows that social isolation is stressful for unrelated and unpaired members of a wild flocking bird species and demonstrates that novelty can lead to a rise in testosterone in birds. PMID:18514197

  17. Experimental analysis of perching in the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris: Passeriformes; Passeres), and the automatic perching mechanism of birds.

    PubMed

    Galton, Peter M; Shepherd, Jeffrey D

    2012-04-01

    The avian automatic perching mechanism (APM) involves the automatic digital flexor mechanism (ADFM) and the digital tendon-locking mechanism (DTLM). When birds squat on a perch to sleep, the increased tendon travel distance due to flexion of the knee and ankle supposedly causes the toes to grip the perch (ADFM) and engage the DTLM so perching while sleeping involves no muscular effort. However, the knees and ankles of sleeping European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) are only slightly flexed and, except for occasional balancing adjustments, the distal two-thirds of the toes are not flexed to grip a 6-mm-diameter perch. The cranial ankle angle (CAA) is ∼120° and the foot forms an inverted "U" that, with the mostly unflexed toes, provides a saddle-like structure so the bird balances its weight over the central pad of the foot (during day weight further back and digits actively grasp perch). In the region of the pad, the tendon sheath of many birds is unribbed, or only very slightly so, and it is always separated from the tendon of the M. flexor digitorum longus by tendons of the other toe flexor muscles. Passive leg flexion produces no toe flexion in anesthetized Starlings and only after 15-20 min, at the onset of rigor mortis, in freshly sacrificed Starlings. Anesthetized Starlings could not remain perched upon becoming unconscious (ADFM, DTLM intact). Birds whose digital flexor tendons were severed or the locking mechanism eliminated surgically (no ADFM or DTLM), so without ability to flex their toes, slept on the perch in a manner similar to unoperated Starlings (except CAA ∼90°-110°). Consequently, there is no APM or ADFM and the DTLM, although involved in lots of other activities, only acts in perching with active contraction of the digital flexor muscles. PMID:22539208

  18. Metabolic power, mechanical power and efficiency during wind tunnel flight by the European starling Sturnus vulgaris.

    PubMed

    Ward, S; Möller, U; Rayner, J M; Jackson, D M; Bilo, D; Nachtigall, W; Speakman, J R

    2001-10-01

    We trained two starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) to fly in a wind tunnel whilst wearing respirometry masks. We measured the metabolic power (P(met)) from the rates of oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production and calculated the mechanical power (P(mech)) from two aerodynamic models using wingbeat kinematics measured by high-speed cinematography. P(met) increased from 10.4 to 14.9 W as flight speed was increased from 6.3 to 14.4 m s(-1) and was compatible with the U-shaped power/speed curve predicted by the aerodynamic models. Flight muscle efficiency varied between 0.13 and 0.23 depending upon the bird, the flight speed and the aerodynamic model used to calculate P(mech). P(met) during flight is often estimated by extrapolation from the mechanical power predicted by aerodynamic models by dividing P(mech) by a flight muscle efficiency of 0.23 and adding the costs of basal metabolism, circulation and respiration. This method would underestimate measured P(met) by 15-25 % in our birds. The mean discrepancy between measured and predicted P(met) could be reduced to 0.1+/-1.5 % if flight muscle efficiency was altered to a value of 0.18. A flight muscle efficiency of 0.18 rather than 0.23 should be used to calculate the flight costs of birds in the size range of starlings (approximately 0.1 kg) if P(met) is calculated from P(mech) derived from aerodynamic models. PMID:11606605

  19. European starlings ( Sturnus vulgaris ) suggest that landfills are an important source of bioaccumulative flame retardants to Canadian terrestrial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Chen, Da; Martin, Pamela; Burgess, Neil M; Champoux, Louise; Elliott, John E; Forsyth, Douglas J; Idrissi, Abde; Letcher, Robert J

    2013-01-01

    Landfills are used as the primary means for the disposal of municipal solid waste in Canada. In the present study, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and other flame retardants (FRs) were determined in fresh European starling ( Sturnus vulgaris ) eggs collected in 2009, 2010, and 2011 from nest boxes established within, adjacent to, and 10 and 40 km distant to five major urban centers across Canada, i.e., Vancouver, British Columbia (BC); Calgary, Alberta (AB); Hamilton, Ontario (ON); Montréal, Québec (QC); and Halifax, Nova Scotia (NS). Nest boxes were located in several land use types: urban industrial areas (districts of industrial activity within city limits), landfill sites (adjacent to cities), and rural (agricultural) sites located 10 and 40 km distant from the major urban centers, as well as a national reference site. Of the 14 PBDE congeners and 16 non-PBDE FR substances determined in the starling eggs, BDE-17, -28, -47, -49, -66, -85, -99, -100, -138, -153, -154, -183, and -209, Dechlorane Plus isomers (anti and syn), and bis(2-ethylhexyl)-3,4,5,6-tetrabromophthalate (BEHTBP) were most frequently quantifiable. The data revealed orders of magnitude greater PBDE concentrations in eggs from starlings nesting in landfill sites (median: 28-280 ng/g wet weight) relative to those from urban industrial and rural environments. However, the percent fractional composition of the PBDE congener patterns did not vary significantly between the types of land uses or between years. Additionally, the median ∑PBDE concentration in eggs from landfill sites and the human population density of the metropolitan region that the landfill serves were highly correlated (r(2) = 0.998, p < 0.001). As the first transcontinental effort in assessing FR contamination in Canadian terrestrial ecosystems, the present study strongly suggest that landfills are an important FR source to starlings nesting nearby and that other terrestrial organisms could also be similarly exposed. PMID

  20. Behavioral and physiological responses of wild-caught European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) to a minor, rapid change in ambient temperature.

    PubMed

    de Bruijn, Robert; Romero, L Michael

    2011-10-01

    Free-ranging animals continuously adjust to changes in their environment. The stress response, typified by increases in heart rate and glucocorticoids, is an important physiological response regulating these changes. This study investigated heart rate, corticosterone and behavioral responses of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) to a rapid 30min decrease in temperature using an air-conditioning unit. Ten wild-caught birds were divided into pairs and exposed to four different trials. Three trials were controls: undisturbed birds; exposing birds to only the noise of the air-conditioning unit; and exposing the birds to 20°C airflow. For the experimental trial birds were exposed to 12°C air, leading to a rapid but modest 3°C drop in ambient temperature inside the birdcages. Heart rate and behavior were recorded before and during trials, while blood samples were collected before and after each trial for corticosterone measurements. Cooling, but none of the control conditions, induced an increase in heart rate and corticosterone. Additionally, cooling led to an increase in perch hopping and feather ruffling. We conclude that minor changes in temperature can elicit a stress response in European starlings, which suggests that this may be an important mechanism by which animals cope with minor rapid environmental changes. PMID:21723407

  1. Chronic stress alters glucocorticoid receptor and mineralocorticoid receptor mRNA expression in the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) brain.

    PubMed

    Dickens, M; Romero, L M; Cyr, N E; Dunn, I C; Meddle, S L

    2009-10-01

    Although the glucocorticoid response to acute short-term stress is an adaptive physiological mechanism that aids in the response to and survival of noxious stimuli, chronic stress is associated with a negative impact on health. In wild-caught European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), chronic stress alters the responsiveness of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis as measured by the acute corticosterone response. In the present study, we investigated potential underlying neuroendocrine mechanisms by comparing glucocorticoid receptor and mineralocorticoid receptor mRNA expression in the brains of chronically and nonchronically-stressed starlings. Hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, but not hippocampal, glucocorticoid receptor mRNA expression in chronically-stressed birds was significantly lower compared to controls, suggesting changes in the efficacy of corticosterone negative feedback. In addition, chronically-stressed birds showed a significant decrease in hippocampal MR mRNA expression. Together, these results suggest that chronic stress changes the brain physiology of wild birds and provides important information for the understanding of the underlying mechanisms that result in dysregulation of the HPA axis in wild animals by chronic stress. PMID:19686439

  2. Estradiol differentially affects auditory recognition and learning according to photoperiodic state in the adult male songbird, European starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

    PubMed Central

    Knudsen, Daniel P.; Krause, Jesse S.; Wingfield, John C.; Gentner, Timothy Q.

    2013-01-01

    Changes in hormones can affect many types of learning in vertebrates. Adults experience fluctuations in a multitude of hormones over a temporal scale, from local, rapid action to more long-term, seasonal changes. Endocrine changes during development can affect behavioral outcomes in adulthood, but how learning is affected in adults by hormone fluctuations experienced during adulthood is less understood. Previous reports have implicated the sex steroid hormone estradiol (E2) in both male and female vertebrate cognitive functioning. Here, we examined the effects of E2 on auditory recognition and learning in male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). European starlings are photoperiodic, seasonally breeding songbirds that undergo different periods of reproductive activity according to annual changes in day length. We simulated these reproductive periods, specifically 1. photosensitivity, 2. photostimulation, and 3. photorefractoriness in captive birds by altering day length. During each period, we manipulated circulating E2 and examined multiple measures of learning. To manipulate circulating E2, we used subcutaneous implants containing either 17-β E2 and/or fadrozole (FAD), a highly specific aromatase inhibitor that suppresses E2 production in the body and the brain, and measured the latency for birds to learn and respond to short, male conspecific song segments (motifs). We report that photostimulated birds given E2 had higher response rates and responded with better accuracy than those given saline controls or FAD. Conversely, photosensitive, animals treated with E2 responded with less accuracy than those given FAD. These results demonstrate how circulating E2 and photoperiod can interact to shape auditory recognition and learning in adults, driving it in opposite directions in different states. PMID:24058881

  3. Constitutive immune function in European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, is decreased immediately after an endurance flight in a wind tunnel.

    PubMed

    Nebel, Silke; Bauchinger, Ulf; Buehler, Deborah M; Langlois, Lillie A; Boyles, Michelle; Gerson, Alexander R; Price, Edwin R; McWilliams, Scott R; Guglielmo, Christopher G

    2012-01-15

    Life-history theory predicts that animals face a trade-off in energy allocation between performing strenuous exercise, such as migratory flight, and mounting an immune response. We experimentally tested this prediction by studying immune function in European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, flown in a wind tunnel. Specifically, we predicted that constitutive immune function decreases in response to training and, additionally, in response to immediate exercise. We compared constitutive immune function among three groups: (1) 'untrained' birds that were kept in cages and were not flown; (2) 'trained' birds that received flight training over a 15 day period and performed a 1-4 h continuous flight, after which they rested for 48 h before being sampled; and (3) 'post-flight' birds that differed from the 'trained' group only in being sampled immediately after the final flight. A bird in our trained group represents an individual during migration that has been resting between migratory flights for at least 2 days. A bird in our post-flight group represents an individual that has just completed a migratory flight and has not yet had time to recover. Three of our four indicators (haptoglobin, agglutination and lysis) showed the predicted decrease in immune function in the post-flight group, and two indicators (haptoglobin, agglutination) showed the predicted decreasing trend from the untrained to trained to post-flight group. Haptoglobin levels were negatively correlated with flight duration. No effect of training or flight was detected on leukocyte profiles. Our results suggest that in European starlings, constitutive immune function is decreased more as a result of immediate exercise than of exercise training. Because of the recent emergence of avian-borne diseases, understanding the trade-offs and challenges faced by long-distance migrants has gained a new level of relevance and urgency. PMID:22189771

  4. Eastern equine encephalitis virus in birds: relative competence of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Komar, N; Dohm, D J; Turell, M J; Spielman, A

    1999-03-01

    To determine whether eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus infection in starlings may be more fulminant than in various native candidate reservoir birds, we compared their respective intensities and durations of viremia. Viremias are more intense and longer lasting in starlings than in robins and other birds. Starlings frequently die as their viremia begins to wane; other birds generally survive. Various Aedes as well as Culiseta melanura mosquitoes can acquire EEE viral infection from infected starlings under laboratory conditions. The reservoir competence of a bird is described as the product of infectiousness (proportion of feeding mosquitoes that become infected) and the duration of infectious viremia. Although starlings are not originally native where EEE is enzootic, a starling can infect about three times as many mosquitoes as can a robin. PMID:10466964

  5. Influence of Testosterone Metabolites on Song-Control System Neuroplasticity during Photostimulation in Adult European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)

    PubMed Central

    Hall, Zachary J.; MacDougall-Shackleton, Scott A.

    2012-01-01

    The song-control system is a network of discrete nuclei in the songbird brain that controls the production and learning of birdsong and exhibits some of the best-studied neuroplasticity found in the adult brain. Photoperiodic growth of the song-control system during the breeding season is driven, at least in part, by the gonadal steroid testosterone. When acting on neural tissue, however, testosterone can be metabolized into 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) or 17β-estradiol (E2), which activate different hormonal signaling pathways. By treating adult starlings with both testosterone metabolites and metabolite antagonists, we attempted to isolate the effects of androgen and estrogen treatment on neuroplasticity during photostimulation in male and female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Photostimulation resulted in a large HVC volume typical of the breeding season in all treatments independent of hormone treatment. E2 had additional effects on HVC growth by reducing neuron density and enhancing early survival of new neurons recruited to HVC in females but did not significantly affect HVC volume. Conversely, DHT reduced the migration of new neurons, assessed by the expression of doublecortin, to HVC. DHT also increased syrinx mass and maintained RA (robust nucleus of the arcopallium) cytoarchitecture in the presence of aromatase inhibitors. In addition, we document the first evidence of sex-specific neuroplastic responses of the song-control system to androgens and estrogens. These findings suggest that the contributions of DHT and E2 signaling in songbird neuroplasticity may be regulated by photoperiod and that future studies should account for species and sex differences in the brain. PMID:22792214

  6. Dietary mercury exposure causes decreased escape takeoff flight performance and increased molt rate in European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Carlson, Jenna R; Cristol, Daniel; Swaddle, John P

    2014-10-01

    Mercury is a widespread and persistent environmental contaminant that occurs in aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Recently, songbirds that forage from primarily terrestrial sources have shown evidence of bioaccumulation of mercury, but little research has assessed the effects of mercury on their health and fitness. There are many indications that mercury negatively affects neurological functioning, bioenergetics, and behavior through a variety of mechanisms and in a wide array of avian taxa. Effective flight is crucial to avian fitness and feather molt is an energetically expensive life history trait. Therefore, we investigated whether mercury exposure influenced flight performance and molt in a common songbird, the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris). Specifically, we dosed the diet of captive starlings with methylmercury cysteine at 0.0, 0.75, or 1.5 μg/g wet weight and recorded changes in flight performance after 1 year of dietary mercury exposure. We also recorded the annual molt of wing feathers. We found that individuals dosed with mercury exhibited decreased escape takeoff flight performance compared with controls and blood mercury was also correlated with an increased rate of molt, which can reduce flight performance and thermoregulatory ability. This study reveals two novel endpoints, flight performance and molt, that may be affected by dietary mercury exposure. These findings suggest a potential impact on wild songbirds exposed to mercury levels comparable to the high dosage levels in the present study. Any decrease in flight efficiency could reduce fitness due to a direct impact on survival during predation events or by decreased efficiency in other critical activities (such as foraging or migration) that require efficient flight. PMID:25030113

  7. Status-appropriate singing behavior, testosterone and androgen receptor immunolabeling in male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Cordes, M A; Stevenson, S A; Riters, L V

    2014-04-01

    Vocalizations convey information about an individual's motivational, internal, and social status. As circumstances change, individuals respond by adjusting vocal behavior accordingly. In European starlings, a male that acquires a nest site socially dominates other males and dramatically increases courtship song. Although circulating testosterone is associated with social status and vocal production it is possible that steroid receptors fine-tune status-appropriate changes in behavior. Here we explored a possible role for androgen receptors. Male starlings that acquired nest sites produced high rates of courtship song. For a subset of males this occurred even in the absence of elevated circulating testosterone. Immunolabeling for androgen receptors (ARir) was highest in the medial preoptic nucleus (POM) in males with both a nest site and elevated testosterone. For HVC, ARir was higher in dominant males with high testosterone (males that sang longer songs) than dominant males with low testosterone (males that sang shorter songs). ARir in the dorsal medial portion of the nucleus intercollicularis (DM) was elevated in males with high testosterone irrespective of dominance status. Song bout length related positively to ARir in POM, HVC and DM, and testosterone concentrations related positively to ARir in POM and DM. Results suggest that the role of testosterone in vocal behavior differs across brain regions and support the hypothesis that testosterone in POM underlies motivation, testosterone in HVC relates to song quality, and testosterone in DM stimulates vocalizations. Our data also suggest that singing may influence AR independent of testosterone and that alternative androgen-independent pathways regulate status-appropriate singing behavior. PMID:24594286

  8. Status-appropriate singing behavior, testosterone and androgen receptor immunolabeling in male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)

    PubMed Central

    Cordes, M.A.; Stevenson, S.A.; Riters, L.V.

    2014-01-01

    Vocalizations convey information about an individual’s motivational, internal, and social status. As circumstances change, individuals respond by adjusting vocal behavior accordingly. In European starlings, a male that acquires a nest site socially dominates other males and dramatically increases courtship song. Although circulating testosterone is associated with social status and vocal production it is possible that steroid receptors fine-tune status-appropriate changes in behavior. Here we explored a possible role for androgen receptors. Male starlings that acquired nest sites produced high rates of courtship song. For a subset of males this occurred even in the absence of elevated circulating testosterone. Immunolabeling for androgen receptors (ARir) was highest in the medial preoptic nucleus (POM) in males with both a nest site and elevated testosterone. For HVC, ARir was higher in dominant males with high testosterone (males that sang longer songs) than dominant males with low testosterone (males that sang shorter songs). ARir in the dorsal medial portion of the nucleus intercollicularis (DM) was elevated in males with high testosterone irrespective of dominance status. Song bout length related positively to ARir in POM, HVC and DM, and testosterone concentrations related positively to ARir in POM and DM. Results suggest the role of testosterone in vocal behavior differs across brain regions and support the hypothesis that testosterone in POM underlies motivation, testosterone in HVC relates to song quality, and testosterone in DM stimulates vocalizations. Our data also suggest that singing may influence AR independent of testosterone and that alternative androgen-independent pathways regulate status-appropriate singing behavior. PMID:24594286

  9. Early life disadvantage strengthens flight performance trade-offs in European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris

    PubMed Central

    O'Hagan, Daniel; Andrews, Clare P.; Bedford, Thomas; Bateson, Melissa; Nettle, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Developmental stress has been shown to affect adult flight performance in birds, with both negative and positive effects reported in the literature. Previous studies have used developmental manipulations that had substantial effects on patterns of growth. They have also examined mean levels of flight performance per individual, rather than investigating how developmental stress might alter trade-offs between different components of flight performance. We recorded multiple components of escape flight performance in 20 adult European starlings previously subjected to a manipulation likely to have altered levels of developmental stress. Siblings had been cross-fostered to nests where they were either slightly larger (advantaged treatment) or slightly smaller (disadvantaged treatment) than their competitors. The manipulation had no detectable effect on growth. However, developmental treatment affected performance in escape flights a year later by strengthening the trade-offs between different flight parameters. Disadvantaged birds faced a steeper trade-off between take-off speed and take-off angle, and a steeper trade-off between take-off angle and total time in flight, than advantaged birds. The results suggest that even subtle early life adversity that has no obvious effect on growth or size can leave a lasting legacy in the form of constraints on locomotor performance later in life. PMID:25843958

  10. Estimation of Unsteady Aerodynamics in the Wake of a Freely Flying European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

    PubMed Central

    Ben-Gida, Hadar; Kirchhefer, Adam; Taylor, Zachary J.; Bezner-Kerr, Wayne; Guglielmo, Christopher G.; Kopp, Gregory A.; Gurka, Roi

    2013-01-01

    Wing flapping is one of the most widespread propulsion methods found in nature; however, the current understanding of the aerodynamics in bird wakes is incomplete. The role of the unsteady motion in the flow and its contribution to the aerodynamics is still an open question. In the current study, the wake of a freely flying European starling has been investigated using long-duration high-speed Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) in the near wake. Kinematic analysis of the wings and body of the bird has been performed using additional high-speed cameras that recorded the bird movement simultaneously with the PIV measurements. The wake evolution of four complete wingbeats has been characterized through reconstruction of the time-resolved data, and the aerodynamics in the wake have been analyzed in terms of the streamwise forces acting on the bird. The profile drag from classical aerodynamics was found to be positive during most of the wingbeat cycle, yet kinematic images show that the bird does not decelerate. It is shown that unsteady aerodynamics are necessary to satisfy the drag/thrust balance by approximating the unsteady drag term. These findings may shed light on the flight efficiency of birds by providing a partial answer to how they minimize drag during flapping flight. PMID:24278243

  11. Spatial epidemiology of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in dairy cattle in relation to night roosts Of Sturnus vulgaris (European Starling) in Ohio, USA (2007-2009).

    PubMed

    Swirski, A L; Pearl, D L; Williams, M L; Homan, H J; Linz, G M; Cernicchiaro, N; LeJeune, J T

    2014-09-01

    The goal of our study was to use spatial scan statics to determine whether the night roosts of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) act as point sources for the dissemination of Escherichia coli O157:H7 among dairy farms. From 2007 to 2009, we collected bovine faecal samples (n = 9000) and starling gastrointestinal contents (n = 430) from 150 dairy farms in northeastern Ohio, USA. Isolates of E. coli O157:H7 recovered from these samples were subtyped using multilocus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA). Generated MLVA types were used to construct a dendrogram based on a categorical multistate coefficient and unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA). Using a focused spatial scan statistic, we identified statistically significant spatial clusters among dairy farms surrounding starling night roosts, with an increased prevalence of E. coli O157:H7-positive bovine faecal pats, increased diversity of distinguishable MLVA types and a greater number of isolates with MLVA types from bovine-starling clades versus bovine-only clades. Thus, our findings are compatible with the hypothesis that starlings have a role in the dissemination of E. coli O157:H7 among dairy farms, and further research into starling management is warranted. PMID:24279810

  12. Hand-Rearing Reduces Fear of Humans in European Starlings, Sturnus vulgaris

    PubMed Central

    Feenders, Gesa; Bateson, Melissa

    2011-01-01

    Pending changes in European legislation ban the use of wild-caught animals in research. This change is partly justified on the assumption that captive-breeding (or hand-rearing) increases welfare of captive animals because these practices result in animals with reduced fear of humans. However, there are few actual data on the long-term behavioural effects of captive-breeding in non-domestic species, and these are urgently needed in order to understand the welfare and scientific consequences of adopting this practice. We compared the response of hand-reared and wild-caught starlings to the presence of a human in the laboratory. During human presence, all birds increased their general locomotor activity but the wild-caught birds moved away from the human and were less active than the hand-reared birds. After the human departed, the wild-caught birds were slower to decrease their activity back towards baseline levels, and showed a dramatic increase in time at the periphery of the cage compared with the hand-reared birds. We interpret these data as showing evidence of a greater fear response in wild-caught birds with initial withdrawal followed by a subsequent rebound of prolonged attempts to escape the cage. We found no effects of environmental enrichment. However, birds in cages on low shelves were less active than birds on upper shelves, and showed a greater increase in the time spent at the periphery of their cages after the human departed, perhaps indicating that the lower cages were more stressful. In demonstrating reduced fear of humans in hand-reared birds, our results support one of the proposed welfare benefits of this practice, but without further data on the possible welfare costs of hand-rearing, it is not yet possible to reach a general conclusion about its net welfare impact. However, our results confirm a clear scientific impact of both hand-rearing and cage position at the behavioural level. PMID:21364770

  13. Early life adversity increases foraging and information gathering in European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris

    PubMed Central

    Andrews, Clare; Viviani, Jérémie; Egan, Emily; Bedford, Thomas; Brilot, Ben; Nettle, Daniel; Bateson, Melissa

    2015-01-01

    Animals can insure themselves against the risk of starvation associated with unpredictable food availability by storing energy reserves or gathering information about alternative food sources. The former strategy carries costs in terms of mass-dependent predation risk, while the latter trades off against foraging for food; both trade-offs may be influenced by an individual's developmental history. Here, we consider a possible role of early developmental experience in inducing different mass regulation and foraging strategies in European starlings. We measured the body mass, body condition, foraging effort, food consumption and contrafreeloading (foraging for food hidden in sand when equivalent food is freely available) of adult birds (≥10 months old) that had previously undergone a subtle early life manipulation of food competition (cross-fostering into the highest or lowest ranks in the brood size hierarchy when 2–12 days of age). We found that developmentally disadvantaged birds were fatter in adulthood and differed in foraging behaviour compared with their advantaged siblings. Disadvantaged birds were hyperphagic compared with advantaged birds, but only following a period of food deprivation, and also spent more time contrafreeloading. Advantaged birds experienced a trade-off between foraging success and time spent contrafreeloading, whereas disadvantaged birds faced no such trade-off, owing to their greater foraging efficiency. Thus, developmentally disadvantaged birds appeared to retain a phenotypic memory of increased nestling food competition, employing both energy storage and information-gathering insurance strategies to a greater extent than their advantaged siblings. Our results suggest that subtle early life disadvantage in the form of psychosocial stress and/or food insecurity can leave a lasting legacy on foraging behaviour and mass regulation even in the absence of food insufficiency during development or adulthood. PMID:26566292

  14. Neurotensin immunolabeling relates to sexually-motivated song and other social behaviors in male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)

    PubMed Central

    Merullo, Devin P.; Cordes, Melissa A.; Stevenson, Sharon A.; Riters, Lauren V.

    2015-01-01

    The brain regions involved in vocal communication are well described for some species, including songbirds, but less is known about the neural mechanisms underlying motivational aspects of communication. Mesolimbic dopaminergic projections from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) are central to mediating motivated behaviors. In songbirds, VTA provides dopaminergic innervation to brain regions associated with motivation and social behavior that are also involved in sexually-motivated song production. Neurotensin (NT) is a neuropeptide that strongly modulates dopamine activity, co-localizes with dopamine in VTA, and is found in regions where dopaminergic cells project from VTA. Yet, little is known about how NT contributes to vocal communication or other motivated behaviors. We examined the relationships between sexually-motivated song produced by male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) and NT immunolabeling in brain regions involved in social behavior and motivation. Additionally, we observed relationships between NT labeling, non-vocal courtship behaviors (another measure of sexual motivation), and agonistic behavior to begin to understand NT’s role in socially-motivated behaviors. NT labeling in VTA, lateral septum, and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis correlated with sexually-motivated singing and non-vocal courtship behaviors. NT labeling in VTA, lateral septum, medial preoptic nucleus, and periaqueductal gray was associated with agonistic behavior. This study is the first to suggest NT’s involvement in song, and one of the few to implicate NT in social behaviors more generally. Additionally, our results are consistent with the idea that distinct patterns of neuropeptide activity in brain areas involved in social behavior and motivation underlie differentially motivated behaviors. PMID:25595421

  15. Bottom of the Heap: Having Heavier Competitors Accelerates Early-Life Telomere Loss in the European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris

    PubMed Central

    Nettle, Daniel; Monaghan, Pat; Boner, Winnie; Gillespie, Robert; Bateson, Melissa

    2013-01-01

    Early-life adversity is associated with poorer health and survival in adulthood in humans and other animals. One pathway by which early-life environmental stressors could affect the adult phenotype is via effects on telomere dynamics. Several studies have shown that early-life adversity is associated with relatively short telomeres, but these are often cross-sectional and usually correlational in design. Here, we present a novel experimental system for studying the relationship between early-life adversity and telomere dynamics using a wild bird, the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris). We used cross-fostering to experimentally assign sibling chicks to either small or large broods for twelve days of the growth period. We measured telomere length in red blood cells using quantitative PCR near the beginning of the experimental manipulation (4 days old), at the end of the experimental manipulation (15 days old), and once the birds were independent (55 days old). Being in a larger brood slowed growth and retarded wing development and the timing of fledging. We found no evidence that overall brood size affected telomere dynamics. However, the greater the number of competitors above the focal bird in the within-brood size hierarchy, the greater was the telomere loss during the period of the experimental manipulation. The number of competitors below the focal in the hierarchy had no effect. The effect of heavier competitors was still evident when we controlled for the weight of the focal bird at the end of the manipulation, suggesting it was not due to retarded growth per se. Moreover, the impact of early competition on telomeres was still evident at independence, suggesting persistence beyond early life. Our study provides experimental support for the hypothesis that social stress, in this case induced by the presence of a greater number of dominant competitors, accelerates the rate of telomere loss. PMID:24386235

  16. Neurotensin immunolabeling relates to sexually-motivated song and other social behaviors in male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Merullo, Devin P; Cordes, Melissa A; Stevenson, Sharon A; Riters, Lauren V

    2015-04-01

    The brain regions involved in vocal communication are well described for some species, including songbirds, but less is known about the neural mechanisms underlying motivational aspects of communication. Mesolimbic dopaminergic projections from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) are central to mediating motivated behaviors. In songbirds, VTA provides dopaminergic innervation to brain regions associated with motivation and social behavior that are also involved in sexually-motivated song production. Neurotensin (NT) is a neuropeptide that strongly modulates dopamine activity, co-localizes with dopamine in VTA, and is found in regions where dopaminergic cells project from VTA. Yet, little is known about how NT contributes to vocal communication or other motivated behaviors. We examined the relationships between sexually-motivated song produced by male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) and NT immunolabeling in brain regions involved in social behavior and motivation. Additionally, we observed relationships between NT labeling, non-vocal courtship behaviors (another measure of sexual motivation), and agonistic behavior to begin to understand NT's role in socially-motivated behaviors. NT labeling in VTA, lateral septum, and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis correlated with sexually-motivated singing and non-vocal courtship behaviors. NT labeling in VTA, lateral septum, medial preoptic nucleus, and periaqueductal gray was associated with agonistic behavior. This study is the first to suggest NT's involvement in song, and one of the few to implicate NT in social behaviors more generally. Additionally, our results are consistent with the idea that distinct patterns of neuropeptide activity in brain areas involved in social behavior and motivation underlie differentially motivated behaviors. PMID:25595421

  17. The memory of hunger: developmental plasticity of dietary selectivity in the European starling, Sturnus vulgaris

    PubMed Central

    Bloxham, Louise; Bateson, Melissa; Bedford, Thomas; Brilot, Ben; Nettle, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    The decision to consume toxic prey is a trade-off between the benefits of obtaining nutrients and the costs of ingesting toxins. This trade-off is affected by current state: animals will consume more toxic prey if they are food deprived. However, whether the trade-off is affected by developmental history is currently unknown. We studied the decision to eat quinine-injected mealworms in adult starling siblings that had been exposed to either high or low levels of food competition as chicks, via a brood size manipulation. At the time of our experiments, the two groups of birds did not differ in size, body weight or current environment. Each bird was presented with the toxic prey while living on a high-quality diet and a low-quality diet. We found an effect of diet, with birds consuming more toxic prey while on the low-quality diet, and also of developmental history, with birds from the high-competition brood size treatment eating more toxic prey than their low-competition siblings. The effects of brood size treatment were not completely mediated by early growth, although we did find evidence that early growth affected toxic prey consumption independently of brood size treatment. We discuss our results in relation to adaptive developmental plasticity and the developmental origins of behavioural variation. PMID:24910465

  18. The memory of hunger: developmental plasticity of dietary selectivity in the European starling, Sturnus vulgaris.

    PubMed

    Bloxham, Louise; Bateson, Melissa; Bedford, Thomas; Brilot, Ben; Nettle, Daniel

    2014-05-01

    The decision to consume toxic prey is a trade-off between the benefits of obtaining nutrients and the costs of ingesting toxins. This trade-off is affected by current state: animals will consume more toxic prey if they are food deprived. However, whether the trade-off is affected by developmental history is currently unknown. We studied the decision to eat quinine-injected mealworms in adult starling siblings that had been exposed to either high or low levels of food competition as chicks, via a brood size manipulation. At the time of our experiments, the two groups of birds did not differ in size, body weight or current environment. Each bird was presented with the toxic prey while living on a high-quality diet and a low-quality diet. We found an effect of diet, with birds consuming more toxic prey while on the low-quality diet, and also of developmental history, with birds from the high-competition brood size treatment eating more toxic prey than their low-competition siblings. The effects of brood size treatment were not completely mediated by early growth, although we did find evidence that early growth affected toxic prey consumption independently of brood size treatment. We discuss our results in relation to adaptive developmental plasticity and the developmental origins of behavioural variation. PMID:24910465

  19. Experimental Challenge of a Peridomestic Avian Species, European Starlings ( Sturnus vulgaris ), with Novel Influenza A H7N9 Virus from China.

    PubMed

    Hall, Jeffrey S; Ip, Hon S; TeSlaa, Joshua L; Nashold, Sean W; Dusek, Robert J

    2016-07-01

    In 2013 a novel avian influenza H7N9 virus was isolated from several critically ill patients in China, and infection with this virus has since caused more than 200 human deaths. Live poultry markets are the likely locations of virus exposure to humans. Peridomestic avian species also may play important roles in the transmission and maintenance of H7N9 at live poultry markets. We experimentally challenged wild European Starlings ( Sturnus vulgaris ) with the novel H7N9 virus and measured virus excretion, clinical signs, and infectious dose. We found that European Starlings can be infected with this virus when inoculated with relatively high doses, and we predict that infected birds excrete sufficient amounts of virus to transmit to other birds, including domestic chickens. Infected European Starlings showed no clinical signs or mortality after infection with H7N9. This abundant peridomestic bird may be a source of the novel H7N9 virus in live poultry markets and may have roles in virus transmission to poultry and humans. PMID:27285413

  20. Fear and Exploration in European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris): A Comparison of Hand-Reared and Wild-Caught Birds

    PubMed Central

    Feenders, Gesa; Klaus, Kristel; Bateson, Melissa

    2011-01-01

    The revision of EU legislation will ban the use of wild-caught animals in scientific procedures. This change is partially predicated on the assumption that captive-rearing produces animals with reduced fearfulness. Previously, we have shown that hand-reared starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) indeed exhibit reduced fear of humans compared to wild-caught conspecifics. Here, we asked whether this reduction in fear in hand-reared birds is limited to fear of humans or extends more generally to fear of novel environments and novel objects. Comparing 6–8 month old birds hand-reared in the lab with age-matched birds caught from the wild as fledged juveniles a minimum of 1 month previously, we examined the birds' initial reactions in a novel environment (a small cage) and found that wild-caught starlings were faster to initiate movement compared to the hand-reared birds. We interpret this difference as evidence for greater escape motivation in the wild-caught birds. In contrast, we found no differences between hand-reared and wild-caught birds when tested in novel object tests assumed to measure neophobia and exploratory behaviour. Moreover, we found no correlations between individual bird's responses in the different tests, supporting the idea that these measure different traits (e.g. fear and exploration). In summary, our data show that developmental origin affects one measure of response to novelty in young starlings, indicative of a difference in either fear or coping style in a stressful situation. Our data contribute to a growing literature demonstrating effects of early-life experience on later behaviour in a range of species. However, since we did not find consistent evidence for reduced fearfulness in hand-reared birds, we remain agnostic about the welfare benefits of hand-rearing as a method for sourcing wild birds for behavioural and physiological research. PMID:21526000

  1. Wild European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) adjust to captivity with sustained sympathetic nervous system drive and a reduced fight-or-flight response.

    PubMed

    Dickens, Molly J; Romero, L Michael

    2009-01-01

    Although research on wild species typically involves capture, handling, and some degree of captivity, few studies examine how these actions affect and/or alter the animal's underlying stress physiology. Furthermore, we poorly understand the immediate changes that occur as wild animals adjust to captive conditions. Most studies to date have investigated relatively long-term changes in the glucocorticoid response to an acute stressor, but immediate changes in the fight-or-flight response are relatively understudied in wild-caught species. In this study, we investigated changes to the cardiovascular stress response during the first 10 d of captivity of freshly captured wild European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). We demonstrated that (1) baseline heart rate (HR) remains elevated for several days following transport into captivity, (2) the normal balance between sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and parasympathetic nervous system regulation of HR is disrupted, with the SNS exerting relatively greater control over baseline HR for the first days of captivity, and (3) the HR response to startle, a mild stressor, becomes significantly reduced compared to that of starlings maintained in captivity for several months and remains below the control response for at least 10 d. These data are the first to show that successive acute stressors and introduction to a captive setting significantly alter the physiology and responsiveness of the cardiovascular stress response system. PMID:19642947

  2. Two seconds is all it takes: European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) increase levels of circulating glucocorticoids after witnessing a brief raptor attack.

    PubMed

    Jones, Blake C; Smith, Adam D; Bebus, Sara E; Schoech, Stephan J

    2016-02-01

    Researchers typically study "acute" activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis by measuring levels of circulating glucocorticoids in animals that have been exposed to a predator or a cue from a predator (e.g., odor), or have experienced a standardized capture-and-restraint protocol, all of which are many minutes in duration. However, exposure to predators in the "wild", either as the subject of an attack or as a witness to an attack, is generally much shorter as most depredation attempts upon free-living animals last <5s. Yet, whether a stimulus lasting only seconds can activate the HPA axis is unknown. To determine if a stimulus of a few seconds triggers a glucocorticoid response, we measured levels of corticosterone (CORT; the primary avian glucocorticoid) in wild-caught European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) after they witnessed a brief (<2-8s) raptor attack upon a conspecific, a human "attack" (i.e., a researcher handling a conspecific), and an undisturbed control. Witnesses of a raptor attack responded with CORT levels comparable to that induced by a standardized capture-and-restraint protocol. Glucocorticoid levels of individuals following the control treatment were similar to baseline levels, and those that witnessed a human "attack" had intermediate levels. Our results demonstrate that witnessing a predator attack of very brief duration triggers a profound adrenocortical stress response. Given the considerable evidence of a role for glucocorticoids in learning and memory, such a response may affect how individuals learn to recognize and appropriately react to predators. PMID:26522494

  3. Metabolic power of European starlings Sturnus vulgaris during flight in a wind tunnel, estimated from heat transfer modelling, doubly labelled water and mask respirometry.

    PubMed

    Ward, S; Möller, U; Rayner, J M V; Jackson, D M; Nachtigall, W; Speakman, J R

    2004-11-01

    It is technically demanding to measure the energetic cost of animal flight. Each of the previously available techniques has some disadvantage as well advantages. We compared measurements of the energetic cost of flight in a wind tunnel by four European starlings Sturnus vulgaris made using three independent techniques: heat transfer modelling, doubly labelled water (DLW) and mask respirometry. We based our heat transfer model on thermal images of the surface temperature of the birds and air flow past the body and wings calculated from wing beat kinematics. Metabolic power was not sensitive to uncertainty in the value of efficiency when estimated from heat transfer modelling. A change in the assumed value of whole animal efficiency from 0.19 to 0.07 (the range of estimates in previous studies) only altered metabolic power predicted from heat transfer modelling by 13%. The same change in the assumed value of efficiency would cause a 2.7-fold change in metabolic power if it were predicted from mechanical power. Metabolic power did not differ significantly between measurements made using the three techniques when we assumed an efficiency in the range 0.11-0.19, although the DLW results appeared to form a U-shaped power-speed curve while the heat transfer model and respirometry results increased linearly with speed. This is the first time that techniques for determining metabolic power have been compared using data from the same birds flying under the same conditions. Our data provide reassurance that all the techniques produce similar results and suggest that heat transfer modelling may be a useful method for estimating metabolic rate. PMID:15531650

  4. Shape from Shading in Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)

    PubMed Central

    Qadri, Muhammad A.; Romero, L. Michael; Cook, Robert G.

    2014-01-01

    Birds behave as if they quickly and accurately perceive an object-filled visual world. Beyond the extensive research with pigeons, however, there is a large and important gap in our knowledge about the mechanisms of object perception and recognition in other avian visual systems. The pattern of shading reflected from object surfaces is one important optical feature providing fundamental information about shape. To better understand how surface and object shading is processed by a passerine species, five starlings were tested with differentially illuminated convex and concave curved surfaces in three experiments using a simultaneous visual discrimination procedure. Starlings rapidly learned this shape-from-shading discrimination independent of varied lighting direction, surface color, and camera perspective. Variations in the pattern of lighting through experimental manipulations of camera perspective, surface height, contrast, material specularity, and surface shape were consistent with the hypothesis that the starlings perceived these illuminated surfaces as having three-dimensional shape, similar to results previously collected with pigeons. These similarities across different orders of birds indicate that the relative shading for objects in a visual scene is a highly salient feature for shape processing in birds and is likely a highly conserved visual process that is widely distributed within this class of animal. PMID:25111630

  5. Shape from shading in starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Qadri, Muhammad A J; Romero, L Michael; Cook, Robert G

    2014-11-01

    Birds behave as if they quickly and accurately perceive an object-filled visual world. Beyond the extensive research with pigeons, however, there is a large and important gap in our knowledge about the mechanisms of object perception and recognition in other avian visual systems. The pattern of shading reflected from the surfaces of objects is one important optical feature that provides fundamental information about shape. To better understand how surface and object shading is processed by a passerine species, 5 starlings were tested with differentially illuminated convex and concave curved surfaces in 3 experiments using a simultaneous visual discrimination procedure. Starlings rapidly learned this shape-from-shading discrimination independent of varied lighting direction, surface color, and camera perspective. Variations in the pattern of lighting through experimental manipulations of camera perspective, surface height, contrast, material specularity, and surface shape were consistent with the hypothesis that the starlings perceived these illuminated surfaces as having 3-dimensional shape, similar to results previously collected with pigeons. These similarities across different orders of birds indicate that the relative shading of objects in a visual scene is a highly salient feature for shape processing in birds and is likely a highly conserved visual process that is widely distributed within this class of animal. PMID:25111630

  6. Context-Dependent Links between Song Production and Opioid-Mediated Analgesia in Male European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)

    PubMed Central

    Kelm-Nelson, Cynthia A.; Stevenson, Sharon A.; Riters, Lauren V.

    2012-01-01

    Little is known about the neural mechanisms that ensure appropriate vocal behaviors within specific social contexts. Male songbirds produce spontaneous (undirected) songs as well as female-directed courtship songs. Opioid neuropeptide activity in specific brain regions is rewarding, at least in mammals, and past studies suggest that the opioid met-enkephalin in such areas is more tightly linked to undirected than female-directed song. Recent data using a song-associated place preference paradigm further suggest that production of undirected but not directed song is tightly linked to intrinsic reward. Opioids have analgesic properties. Therefore, if production of undirected song is closely linked to opioid-mediated reward, the production of undirected but not directed song should be associated with analgesia. Consistent with this prediction, in male starlings we identified a positive correlation between analgesia (decreased reactivity to a hot water bath) and undirected song (in non-breeding season condition males in affiliative flocks) but not female-directed song (in breeding season condition males presented with females). When breeding condition males were divided according to social status, a negative correlation was found in subordinate males (i.e. males that failed to acquire a nest box). These data are consistent with the hypotheses 1) that the production of undirected song is facilitated or maintained by opioids (and/or other neuromodulators that also induce analgesia) and 2) that production of female-directed song is not linked in the same way to release of the same neuromodulators. Results also demonstrate a link between analgesia and song in subordinate individuals lacking a nesting territory within the breeding season. Overall, the findings indicate that distinct neural mechanisms regulate communication in different social contexts and support the working hypothesis that undirected but not directed song is tightly linked to opioid release. PMID:23056422

  7. Context-dependent links between song production and opioid-mediated analgesia in male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Kelm-Nelson, Cynthia A; Stevenson, Sharon A; Riters, Lauren V

    2012-01-01

    Little is known about the neural mechanisms that ensure appropriate vocal behaviors within specific social contexts. Male songbirds produce spontaneous (undirected) songs as well as female-directed courtship songs. Opioid neuropeptide activity in specific brain regions is rewarding, at least in mammals, and past studies suggest that the opioid met-enkephalin in such areas is more tightly linked to undirected than female-directed song. Recent data using a song-associated place preference paradigm further suggest that production of undirected but not directed song is tightly linked to intrinsic reward. Opioids have analgesic properties. Therefore, if production of undirected song is closely linked to opioid-mediated reward, the production of undirected but not directed song should be associated with analgesia. Consistent with this prediction, in male starlings we identified a positive correlation between analgesia (decreased reactivity to a hot water bath) and undirected song (in non-breeding season condition males in affiliative flocks) but not female-directed song (in breeding season condition males presented with females). When breeding condition males were divided according to social status, a negative correlation was found in subordinate males (i.e. males that failed to acquire a nest box). These data are consistent with the hypotheses 1) that the production of undirected song is facilitated or maintained by opioids (and/or other neuromodulators that also induce analgesia) and 2) that production of female-directed song is not linked in the same way to release of the same neuromodulators. Results also demonstrate a link between analgesia and song in subordinate individuals lacking a nesting territory within the breeding season. Overall, the findings indicate that distinct neural mechanisms regulate communication in different social contexts and support the working hypothesis that undirected but not directed song is tightly linked to opioid release. PMID:23056422

  8. The Perception of Glass Patterns by Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)

    PubMed Central

    Qadri, Muhammad A. J.; Cook, Robert G.

    2014-01-01

    Glass patterns are structured dot stimuli used to investigate the visual perception of global form. Studies have demonstrated that humans and pigeons differ in their processing of circular versus linearly organized Glass patterns. To test whether this comparative difference is characteristic of birds as a phylogenetic class, we investigated for the first time how a passerine (starlings, Sturnus vulgaris) discriminated multiple Glass patterns from random dot stimuli in a simultaneous discrimination. Examining acquisition, steady-state performance, and the effects of diminishing global coherence, it was found that the perception of Glass patterns by five starlings differed from human perception and corresponded to that established with pigeons. This suggests an important difference in how birds and primates are specialized in their processing of circular visual patterns, perhaps related to face perception, or in how these highly visual animals direct attention to the global and local components of spatially separated form stimuli. PMID:25117091

  9. The perception of Glass patterns by starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Qadri, Muhammad A J; Cook, Robert G

    2015-06-01

    Glass patterns are structured dot stimuli used to investigate the visual perception of global form. Studies have demonstrated that humans and pigeons differ in their processing of circular versus linearly organized Glass patterns. To test whether this comparative difference is characteristic of birds as a phylogenetic class, we investigated for the first time how a passerine (starlings, Sturnus vulgaris) discriminated multiple Glass patterns from random-dot stimuli in a simultaneous discrimination. By examining acquisition, steady-state performance, and the effects of diminishing global coherence, it was found that the perception of Glass patterns by 5 starlings differed from human perception and corresponded to that established with pigeons. This suggests an important difference in how birds and primates are specialized in their processing of circular visual patterns, perhaps related to face perception, or in how these highly visual animals direct attention to the global and local components of spatially separated form stimuli. PMID:25117091

  10. Postfledging survival of European starlings

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krementz, D.G.; Nichols, J.D.; Hines, J.E.

    1989-01-01

    We tested the hypotheses that mass at fledging and fledge date within the breeding season affect postfledging survival in European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Nestlings were weighed on day 18 after hatch and tagged with individually identifiable patagial tags. Fledge date was recorded. Marked fledglings were resighted during weekly two-day intensive observation periods for 9 weeks postfledging. Post-fledging survival and sighting probabilities were estimated for each of four groups (early or late fledging by heavy or light fledging mass). Body mass was related to post-fledging survival for birds that fledged early. Results were not clear-cut for relative fledge date, although there was weak evidence that this also influenced survival. Highest survival probability estimates occurred in the EARLY-HEAVY group, while the lowest survival estimate occurred in the LATE-LIGHT group. Sighting probabilities differed significantly among groups, emphasizing the need to estimate and compare survival using models which explicitly incorporate sighting probabilities.

  11. Synchronization by low-amplitude light-dark cycles of 24-hour pineal and plasma melatonin rhythms of hatchling European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Gwinner, E; Zeman, M; Klaassen, M

    1997-11-01

    In young European starlings, as in other avian species, high-amplitude 24-hr rhythms in plasma and pineal melatonin are already present around the time of hatching. In chickens this rhythmicity results at least partly from the light sensitivity of the melatonin-producing and -secreting system. In contrast to the chicken, the starling is a hole-nesting bird, and it seemed questionable whether the low light intensities in the nest are sufficient to synchronize perinatal melatonin rhythms. We therefore exposed starling eggs to light cycles roughly simulating those measured in nest-boxes, i.e., an 11-hr phase of complete darkness and a 13-hr phase consisting of 15 min of dim light (10 lux) alternating with 30 min of darkness. For one group the photophase lasted from 0600 to 1900 hr; for the other group the photophase lasted from 1800 to 0700 hr. In approximately 10-hr-old hatchlings of both groups, plasma and pineal melatonin concentrations were high during the dark phase and low during the light phase. We conclude that perinatal low-amplitude light intensity changes of the kind experienced by hatching starlings in the field are sufficient for synchronizing the melatonin-producing and -secreting system in the pineal and possibly other organs. PMID:9462849

  12. Differential relationships between D1 and D2 dopamine receptor expression in the medial preoptic nucleus and sexually-motivated song in male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    DeVries, M S; Cordes, M A; Stevenson, S A; Riters, L V

    2015-08-20

    Converging data in songbirds support a central role for the medial preoptic nucleus (POM) in motivational aspects of vocal production. Recent data suggest that dopamine in the POM plays a complex modulatory role in the production of sexually-motivated song and that an optimal level of dopamine D1 receptor stimulation is required to facilitate singing behavior. To further explore this possibility, we used quantitative real-time PCR to examine relationships between mRNA expression of D1 as well as D2 receptors in the POM (and also the lateral septum and Area X) and sexually-motivated singing behavior in male European starlings. Results showed that both males with the highest and lowest D1 expression in the POM sang significantly less than males with intermediate levels of expression. Furthermore, singing behavior rose linearly in association with increasing levels of D1 expression in POM but dropped abruptly, such that individuals with D1 expression values higher than the mean sang very little. Analysis of birds with low and intermediate levels of D1 expression in POM revealed strong positive correlations between D1 expression and song but negative relationships between D2 receptor expression and song. These findings support prior work suggesting an optimal level of POM D1 receptor stimulation best facilitates sexually-motivated singing behavior. Results also suggest that D2 receptors may work in opposition to D1 receptors in POM to modify vocal production. PMID:26079111

  13. Sexually-motivated song is predicted by androgen-and opioid-related gene expression in the medial preoptic nucleus of male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)

    PubMed Central

    Cordes, M.A.; Stevenson, S.A.; Driessen, T.M.; Eisinger, B.E.; Riters, L.V.

    2015-01-01

    Across vertebrates, communication conveys information about an individual’s motivational state, yet little is known about the neuroendocrine regulation of motivational aspects of communication. For seasonally breeding songbirds, increases in testosterone in spring stimulate high rates of sexually-motivated courtship song, though not all birds sing at high rates. It is generally assumed that testosterone or its metabolites act within the medial preoptic nucleus (POM) to stimulate the motivation to sing. In addition to androgen receptors (ARs) and testosterone, opioid neuropeptides in the POM influence sexually-motivated song production, and it has been proposed that testosterone may in part regulate song by modifying opioid systems. To gain insight into a possible role for androgen-opioid interactions in the regulation of communication we examined associations between sexually-motivated song and relative expression of ARs, mu opioid receptors (muORs), and preproenkephalin (PENK) in the POM (and other regions) of male European starlings using qPCR. Both AR and PENK expression in POM correlated positively with singing behavior, whereas muOR in POM correlated negatively with song. Furthermore, the ratio of PENK/muOR expression correlated negatively with AR expression in POM. Finally, in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), PENK expression correlated negatively with singing behavior. Results support the hypothesis that ARs may alter opioid gene expression in POM to fine-tune singing to reflect a male’s motivational state. Data also suggest that bidirectional relationships may exist between opioids and ARs in POM and song, and additionally support a role for opioids in the VTA, independent of AR activity in this region. PMID:25264575

  14. Sexually-motivated song is predicted by androgen-and opioid-related gene expression in the medial preoptic nucleus of male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Cordes, M A; Stevenson, S A; Driessen, T M; Eisinger, B E; Riters, L V

    2015-02-01

    Across vertebrates, communication conveys information about an individual's motivational state, yet little is known about the neuroendocrine regulation of motivational aspects of communication. For seasonally breeding songbirds, increases in testosterone in spring stimulate high rates of sexually-motivated courtship song, though not all birds sing at high rates. It is generally assumed that testosterone or its metabolites act within the medial preoptic nucleus (POM) to stimulate the motivation to sing. In addition to androgen receptors (ARs) and testosterone, opioid neuropeptides in the POM influence sexually-motivated song production, and it has been proposed that testosterone may in part regulate song by modifying opioid systems. To gain insight into a possible role for androgen-opioid interactions in the regulation of communication we examined associations between sexually-motivated song and relative expression of ARs, mu opioid receptors (muORs), and preproenkephalin (PENK) in the POM (and other regions) of male European starlings using qPCR. Both AR and PENK expression in POM correlated positively with singing behavior, whereas muOR in POM correlated negatively with song. Furthermore, the ratio of PENK/muOR expression correlated negatively with AR expression in POM. Finally, in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), PENK expression correlated negatively with singing behavior. Results support the hypothesis that ARs may alter opioid gene expression in POM to fine-tune singing to reflect a male's motivational state. Data also suggest that bidirectional relationships may exist between opioids and ARs in POM and song, and additionally support a role for opioids in the VTA, independent of AR activity in this region. PMID:25264575

  15. COMPARATIVE RESPONSE OF NESTLING EUROPEAN STARLINGS AND RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS TO AN ORAL ADMINISTRATION OF EITHER DIMETHOATE OR CHLORPYRIFOS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus: ed-wings) and European starling (Sturnus vulgaris: Starling) nestlings were dosed with either 2.0 mg/kg body weight chlorpyrifos, 50.0 mg/kg body weight dimethoate, or a propylene glycol carrier in situ. he sensitivity to these compounds...

  16. Nationwide residues of organochlorine compounds in starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), 1976

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    White, D.H.

    1979-01-01

    Organochlorine pesticide and PCB residues in starlings from 126 sites within the contiguous 48 states were monitored during fall 1976. The average nationwide level of DDE and PCBs has increased significantly since 1974, but the number of sites reporting PCB residues has decreased fivefold. Dieldrin residues have remained unchanged since 1974. Highest DDE levels occurred in samples from parts of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Louisiana, and New Mexico.

  17. Nationwide residues of organochlorine compounds in starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), 1976.

    PubMed

    White, D H

    1979-03-01

    Organochlorine pesticide and PCB residues in starlings from 126 sites within the contiguous 48 states were monitored during fall 1976. The average nationwide level of DDE and PCBs has increased significantly since 1974, but the number of sites reporting PCB residues has decreased fivefold. Dieldrin residues have remained unchanged since 1974. Highest DDE levels occurred in samples from parts of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Louisiana, and New Mexico. PMID:111216

  18. Drowning is an apparent and unexpected recurrent cause of mass mortality of Common starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)

    PubMed Central

    Lawson, Becki; Duff, J. Paul; Beckmann, Katie M.; Chantrey, Julian; Peck, Kirsi M.; Irvine, Richard M.; Robinson, Robert A.; Cunningham, Andrew A.

    2015-01-01

    Drowning is infrequently reported as a cause of death of wild birds and such incidents typically involve individual, rather than multiple, birds. Over a 21-year period (1993 to 2013 inclusive), we investigated 12 incidents of mortality of multiple (2 − 80+) Common starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) in Great Britain that appeared to be due to drowning. More than ten birds were affected in ten of these reported incidents. These incidents always occurred during the spring and early summer months and usually involved juvenile birds. In all cases, circumstantial evidence and post-mortem examinations indicated drowning to be the most likely cause of death with no underlying disease found. A behavioural explanation seems likely, possibly related to the gregarious nature of this species combined with juvenile inexperience in identifying water hazards. A review of data from the ringed bird recovery scheme across Great Britain (1909–2013 inclusive) of both starlings and Common blackbirds (Turdus merula), also a common garden visitor, identified additional suspected drowning incidents, which were significantly more common in the former species, supporting a species predisposition to drowning. For each species there was a marked seasonal peak from April to August. Drowning should be included as a differential diagnosis when investigating incidents of multiple starling mortality, especially of juveniles. PMID:26601771

  19. Short photoperiod increases energy intake, metabolic thermogenesis and organ mass in silky starlings Sturnus sericeus

    PubMed Central

    WANG, Jia-Qi; WANG, Jia-Jia; WU, Xu-Jian; ZHENG, Wei-Hong; LIU, Jin-Song

    2016-01-01

    Environmental cues play important roles in the regulation of an animal’s physiology and behavior. One such cue, photoperiod, plays an important role in the seasonal acclimatization of birds. It has been demonstrated that an animal’s body mass, basal metabolic rate (BMR), and energy intake, are all affected by photoperiod. The present study was designed to examine photoperiod induced changes in the body mass, metabolism and metabolic organs of the silky starling, Sturnus sericeus. Captive silky starlings increased their body mass and BMR during four weeks of acclimation to a short photoperiod. Birds acclimated to a short photoperiod also increased the mass of certain organs (liver, gizzard and small intestine), and both gross energy intake (GEI) and digestible energy intake (DEI), relative to those acclimated to a long photoperiod. Furthermore, BMR was positively correlated with body mass, liver mass, GEI and DEI. These results suggest that silky starlings increase metabolic thermogenesis when exposed to a short photoperiod by increasing their body and metabolic organ mass, and their GEI and DEI. These findings support the hypothesis that bird species from temperate climates typically display high phenotypic flexibility in thermogenic capacity. PMID:27029864

  20. Drowning is an apparent and unexpected recurrent cause of mass mortality of Common starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Lawson, Becki; Duff, J Paul; Beckmann, Katie M; Chantrey, Julian; Peck, Kirsi M; Irvine, Richard M; Robinson, Robert A; Cunningham, Andrew A

    2015-01-01

    Drowning is infrequently reported as a cause of death of wild birds and such incidents typically involve individual, rather than multiple, birds. Over a 21-year period (1993 to 2013 inclusive), we investigated 12 incidents of mortality of multiple (2 - 80+) Common starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) in Great Britain that appeared to be due to drowning. More than ten birds were affected in ten of these reported incidents. These incidents always occurred during the spring and early summer months and usually involved juvenile birds. In all cases, circumstantial evidence and post-mortem examinations indicated drowning to be the most likely cause of death with no underlying disease found. A behavioural explanation seems likely, possibly related to the gregarious nature of this species combined with juvenile inexperience in identifying water hazards. A review of data from the ringed bird recovery scheme across Great Britain (1909-2013 inclusive) of both starlings and Common blackbirds (Turdus merula), also a common garden visitor, identified additional suspected drowning incidents, which were significantly more common in the former species, supporting a species predisposition to drowning. For each species there was a marked seasonal peak from April to August. Drowning should be included as a differential diagnosis when investigating incidents of multiple starling mortality, especially of juveniles. PMID:26601771

  1. Short photoperiod increases energy intake, metabolic thermogenesis and organ mass in silky starlings Sturnus sericeus.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jia-Qi; Wang, Jia-Jia; Wu, Xu-Jian; Zheng, Wei-Hong; Liu, Jin-Song

    2016-03-18

    Environmental cues play important roles in the regulation of an animal's physiology and behavior. One such cue, photoperiod, plays an important role in the seasonal acclimatization of birds. It has been demonstrated that an animal's body mass, basal metabolic rate (BMR), and energy intake, are all affected by photoperiod. The present study was designed to examine photoperiod induced changes in the body mass, metabolism and metabolic organs of the silky starling, Sturnus sericeus. Captive silky starlings increased their body mass and BMR during four weeks of acclimation to a short photoperiod. Birds acclimated to a short photoperiod also increased the mass of certain organs (liver, gizzard and small intestine), and both gross energy intake (GEI) and digestible energy intake (DEI), relative to those acclimated to a long photoperiod. Furthermore, BMR was positively correlated with body mass, liver mass, GEI and DEI. These results suggest that silky starlings increase metabolic thermogenesis when exposed to a short photoperiod by increasing their body and metabolic organ mass, and their GEI and DEI. These findings support the hypothesis that bird species from temperate climates typically display high phenotypic flexibility in thermogenic capacity. PMID:27029864

  2. Use of dairies by postreproductive flocks of European starlings.

    PubMed

    Homan, H J; LeJeune, J T; Pearl, D L; Seamans, T W; Slowik, A A; Morasch, Mark R; Linz, G M

    2013-07-01

    Knowledge of the behavior and movement patterns of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris L.) is important to wildlife managers that seek to resolve conflicts at livestock facilities. We captured and radio tagged 10 starlings at each of 5 dairies in northeastern Ohio. From September 19 to October 31, 2007, we obtained sufficient data from 40 birds to study their behavior and movements. The birds visited the dairies where they were initially captured (home sites) on 85% of the days, spending 58% of each day at the dairies. Onsite arrival and departure times were 2.5h after sunrise and 3.1h before sunset. Daily visits by radio-tagged cohorts from the other dairies were greatest for the 2 most proximate dairies (1.3 km apart), with number of visits between this pairing >7× that of the 9 other pairings combined (4.1-6.5 km apart). Two birds used their home sites intermittently as roosts, arriving 3.8h before sunset and departing 0.2h after sunrise. In addition to using home-site roosts, these birds also used a distant roost (22km) that was used by 36 of the 40 birds. The efficacy of starling management programs, especially lethal management, depends on degree of site fidelity, use of other facilities, and roosting behavior. For example, starlings that use dairies as roosting sites may require a different management strategy than required at dairies used as daytime sites because of differences in arrival and departure behavior. Our research will help resource managers evaluate current management strategies already in place and change them, if needed, to fit the behavior profile of starlings using dairies and other types of livestock facilities. PMID:23684017

  3. Pathogen Presence in European Starlings Inhabiting Commercial Piggeries in South Australia.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Hayley E; Lapidge, Steven J; Hernández-Jover, Marta; Toribio, Jenny-Ann L M L

    2016-06-01

    The majority of bacterial diarrhea-causing illnesses in domestic pigs result from infection with Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp., or Campylobacter spp. These bacterial enteropathogens also correspond with the most-common bacteria isolated from wild birds. Additionally, viral pathogens such as avian influenza virus (AIV), West Nile virus (WNV, including Kunjin disease), and Newcastle disease virus (NDV) may also be carried and transmitted by birds in Australia. Introduced European starlings (Sturnus vulgarus) are one of the most-frequently reported birds on piggeries in Australia. The presence of the three bacterial pathogens, Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp., and Escherichia coli , as well as the three viral pathogens AIV, WNV, and NDV, were evaluated in starlings captured on four commercial piggeries in South Australia. A total of 473 starlings were captured on the four piggeries in 2008 and 2009. A cloacal swab was taken from each bird and cultured for bacterial identification, with follow-up serotyping of any positives, whilst fifty samples were analyzed by PCR for the three target viral pathogens. There was no AIV, WNV, or NDV detected in the 50 starlings sampled. Escherichia coli was found to be present in the starling populations on all four piggeries whilst Salmonella spp. and Campylobacter jejuni were found to be present only in the starling population sampled on one piggery. Serotyping identified pig-pathogenic strains of the bacteria. The prevalence of these production-limiting bacterial pathogens in starlings, coupled with the large starling populations often found inside piggeries during daylight hours in the summer months, presents a disease transmission risk and jeopardizes piggery disease management. Removal of starlings from agricultural enterprises (as shown by international studies), or prevention of starling access to animal feed and water, could substantially reduce the risk of transmission of enterobacterial pathogens from starlings to

  4. Dairy cattle management factors that influence on-farm density of European starlings in Ohio, 2007-2009.

    PubMed

    Medhanie, Genet A; Pearl, David L; McEwen, Scott A; Guerin, Michele T; Jardine, Claire M; LeJeune, Jeffrey T

    2015-06-15

    Potential dairy farm management and environmental factors that attract European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) to dairy farms were explored. During the period from 2007 to 2009, 150 dairy farms were each visited twice (once during the summer and again in the fall) and the number of starlings was recorded. Risk factors were assessed for possible association with the number of starlings per milking cow (starling density), using a zero-inflated negative binomial model. Starling density was higher on farms visited in 2007 compared to those visited in 2008 or 2009. The interaction term between feeding method and feeding site was significantly associated with starling density on farm; generally, feeding outdoors was associated with increased starling density. The odds of a zero starling count (compared to a count greater than zero) was higher on farms that removed manure from barns weekly or less frequently than weekly compared to those that removed manure daily or after every milking. The odds of a zero starling count decreased with increasing distance of a farm from the closest night roost. Identifying on farm risk factors that expose farms to starlings will help farmers develop strategies that minimize the number of birds on their farms and thereby reduce physical damage to the farms as well as the potential for pathogen transmission from birds to cattle and humans. PMID:25940010

  5. Efficacy of European starling control to reduce Salmonella enterica contamination in a concentrated animal feeding operation in the Texas panhandle

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) are an invasive bird species known to cause damage to plant and animal agriculture. New evidence suggests starlings may also contribute to the maintenance and spread of diseases within livestock facilities. Identifying and mitigating the risk pathways that contribute to disease in livestock is necessary to reduce production losses and contamination of human food products. To better understand the impact starlings have on disease transmission to cattle we assessed the efficacy of starling control as a tool to reduce Salmonella enterica within a concentrated animal feeding operation. We matched a large facility, slated for operational control using DRC-1339 (3-chloro-4-methylaniline hydrochloride, also 3-chloro p-toluidine hydrochloride, 3-chloro-4-methylaniline), with a comparable reference facility that was not controlling birds. In both facilities, we sampled cattle feed, cattle water and cattle feces for S. enterica before and after starling control operations. Results Within the starling-controlled CAFO, detections of S. enterica contamination disappeared from feed bunks and substantially declined within water troughs following starling control operations. Within the reference facility, detections of S. enterica contamination increased substantially within feed bunks and water troughs. Starling control was not observed to reduce prevalence of S. enterica in the cattle herd. Following starling control operations, herd prevalence of S. enterica increased on the reference facility but herd prevalence of S. enterica on the starling-controlled CAFO stayed at pretreatment levels. Conclusions Within the starling-controlled facility detections of S. enterica disappeared from feed bunks and substantially declined within water troughs following control operations. Since cattle feed and water are obvious routes for the ingestion of S. enterica, starling control shows promise as a tool to help livestock producers manage

  6. Ectoparasitism and the role of green nesting material in the European starling

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fauth, P.T.; Krementz, D.G.; Hines, J.E.

    1991-01-01

    The use of green nesting material is wide-spread among birds. Recent evidence suggests that birds use secondary chemicals contained in green plants to control ectoparasites. We manipulated green nesting material and ectoparasites of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris ) to test two hypotheses: (1) ectoparasites adversely affect prefledging survival and morphometrics or postfledging survival, and (2) green nesting material ameliorates the effects of ectoparasites. We recorded fat score, number of scabs, tarsal length, body mass, and hematocrit level on each nestling 17 days after hatching. We also fitted each nestling with unique patagial tags and resighted the starlings for 6-8 weeks after fledging to estimate survival and sighting rates. Nests devoid of green nesting material and dusted with the insecticide, carbaryl, had fewer high ectoparasite infestations, and nestlings had significantly lower scab scores, and significantly higher body masses than nestlings in undusted boxes. However, there was no difference in postfledging survival between birds from carbaryl-treated and undusted nests.

  7. Brood size modifications affect plumage bacterial assemblages of European starlings.

    PubMed

    Lucas, Françoise S; Moureau, Benoit; Jourdie, Violaine; Heeb, Philipp

    2005-02-01

    During reproduction, birds face trade-offs between time and energy devoted to parental effort and traits associated with self-maintenance. We manipulated brood sizes to investigate the effects of such trade-offs on feather bacterial densities and the structure of bacterial assemblages on feathers in adult European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, and in vitro feather degradation. As predicted by a trade-off between parental effort and self-maintenance, we found that birds with enlarged broods had more free-living bacteria on their feathers than birds with reduced broods. Furthermore, we found a significant interaction between brood manipulation and original brood size on free-living bacterial densities suggesting that the trade-off is mediated by the adults' initial reproductive investment. In contrast, brood size manipulations had no significant effect on densities of attached bacteria. Using ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (RISA), we demonstrated that brood manipulations significantly modified the structure (band pattern) of feather-degrading bacterial assemblages, but had no significant effect on their richness (number of bands) or the in vitro feather degradation. In vitro feather degradation varied in relation to the premanipulation brood size and positively with the richness of the feather degrading bacterial community. Besides brood manipulation effect, we found that ecological factors and individual traits, such as the age, the nest location or the capture date, shaped bacterial assemblages and feather degradation capacities. PMID:15660952

  8. The non-photic induction of spermatogenic development in European starlings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rutledge, J. T.

    1980-03-01

    Detailed studies of the photosexual biology of male European starlings ( Sturnus vulgaris) document a non-obligatory involvement of photoperiod in the induction of testicular metamorphosis. Although post-winter solstice increases in daily photophase duration are responsible for the ecologically correct chronology of the annual reproductive cycle, starlings maintained in the absence of daily photostimulation under go testicular metamorphosis with complete spermatogenic development. Present experiments reveal that the rate of testicular growth in starlings held in constant darkness (DD) is affected by previous photoperiodic experience. Birds held under a natural northtemperate zone photoperiod and transferred to DD on 13 September require significantly fewer days to achieve spermatogenic testes than birds pretreated under 12-and 14-h photoperiods or in constant light (LL). Complete spermatogenesis in the 14-h group is achieved only after a greater duration of DD exposure than in all other birds. Variations in the extent of the 12-h pretreatment period do not alter the testis growth rate in starlings subsequently transferred to DD. It is suggested that photoperiodic conditions applied prior to the initiation of DD treatment may affect the characteristics of circadian oscillations that occur in the absence of a photoperiodic zeitgeber, and thus change the reproductive response rate through alterations of hormonal secretions from the hypothalamo-hypophyseal axis.

  9. Plasma leptin during reproduction in European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Leptin, a systemic hormone produced by adipocytes or fat cells, has been widely studied in mammals, and is known to play diverse roles in body mass regulation, immune function, reproduction, etc. However we know very little about avian leptin, especially in free-living birds; indeed, this remains a ...

  10. Metabolic costs of avian flight in relation to flight velocity: a study in Rose Coloured Starlings (Sturnus roseus, Linnaeus).

    PubMed

    Engel, Sophia; Biebach, Herbert; Visser, G Henk

    2006-06-01

    The metabolic costs of flight at a natural range of speeds were investigated in Rose Coloured Starlings (Sturnus roseus, Linnaeus) using doubly labelled water. Eight birds flew repeatedly and unrestrained for bouts of 6 h at speeds from 9 to 14 m s(-1) in a low-turbulence wind tunnel, corresponding to travel distances between 200 and 300 km, respectively. This represents the widest speed range where we could obtain voluntarily sustained flights. From a subset of these flights, data on the wing beat frequency (WBF) and intermittent flight behaviour were obtained. Over the range of speeds that were tested, flight costs did not change with velocity and were on an average 8.17+/-0.64 W or 114 W kg(-1). Body mass was the only parameter with a significant (positive) effect on flight costs, which can be described as EE(f)=0.741 M(0.554). WBF changed slightly with speed, but correlated better with body mass. Birds showed both types of intermittent flight, undulating and bounding, but their frequencies did not systematically change with flight speed. PMID:16425018

  11. THE USE OF STARLING NEST BOXES FOR FIELD REPRODUCTION STUDIES: PROVISIONAL GUIDANCE DOCUMENT AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT DOCUMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The purpose of this report is to propose nest box field testing guidelines for determining reproductive effects of agricultural pesticides on European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), and provide background information and justification for the procedures and methodology described. ...

  12. Water and heat balance during flight in the rose-colored starling (Sturnus roseus).

    PubMed

    Engel, Sophia; Biebach, Herbert; Visser, G Henk

    2006-01-01

    Water imbalance during flight is considered to be a potentially limiting factor for flight ranges in migrating birds, but empirical data are scarce. We studied flights under controlled ambient conditions with rose-colored starlings in a wind tunnel. In one experiment, we measured water fluxes with stable isotopes at a range of flight speeds (9-14 m s(-1)) at constant temperature (15 degrees C). In a second experiment, we measured evaporation rates at variable ambient temperatures (Ta = 5 deg -27 deg C) but constant speed (12 m s(-1)). During all flights, the birds experienced a net water loss. On average, water influx was 0.98 g h(-1) (SD = 0.16; n = 8), and water efflux was 1.29 g h(-1) (SD = 0.14; n = 8), irrespective of flight speed. Evaporation was related to temperature in a biphasic pattern. At temperatures below 18.2 degrees C, net evaporation was constant at 0.36 g h(-1) (SD = 0.18; n = 10), rising at higher temperatures with a slope of 0.11 per degree to about 1.5 g h(-1) at 27 degrees C. We calculated the relative proportion of dry and evaporative heat loss during flight. Evaporative heat loss at Ta < 18.2 deg C was 14% of total heat production during flight, and dry heat loss accounted for 84%. At higher temperatures, evaporative heat loss increased linearly with T(a) to about 25% at 27 degrees C. Our data suggest that for prolonged flights, rose-colored starlings should adopt behavioral water-saving strategies and that they cannot complete their annual migration without stopovers to replenish their water reserves. PMID:16826502

  13. European starlings recognize the location of robotic conspecific attention

    PubMed Central

    Butler, Shannon R.; Fernández-Juricic, Esteban

    2014-01-01

    Looking where others are allocating attention can facilitate social interactions by providing information about objects or locations of interest. We asked whether European starlings follow the orientation behaviour of conspecifics owing to their highly gregarious behaviour. Starlings reoriented their attention to follow that of a robot around a barrier more often than when the robot's attention was directed elsewhere. This is the first empirical evidence of reorienting in response to conspecific attention in a songbird. Starlings may use this behaviour to obtain fine-tuned spatial information from conspecifics (e.g. direction of predator approach, spatial location of food patches), enhancing group cohesion. PMID:25319821

  14. European starlings recognize the location of robotic conspecific attention.

    PubMed

    Butler, Shannon R; Fernández-Juricic, Esteban

    2014-10-01

    Looking where others are allocating attention can facilitate social interactions by providing information about objects or locations of interest. We asked whether European starlings follow the orientation behaviour of conspecifics owing to their highly gregarious behaviour. Starlings reoriented their attention to follow that of a robot around a barrier more often than when the robot's attention was directed elsewhere. This is the first empirical evidence of reorienting in response to conspecific attention in a songbird. Starlings may use this behaviour to obtain fine-tuned spatial information from conspecifics (e.g. direction of predator approach, spatial location of food patches), enhancing group cohesion. PMID:25319821

  15. Identification of European starling GnRH-I precursor mRNA and its seasonal regulation.

    PubMed

    Ubuka, Takayoshi; Cadigan, Penelope A; Wang, Ariel; Liu, Jennifer; Bentley, George E

    2009-07-01

    Songbirds show dynamic seasonal changes in their reproductive activities during the year. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone-I (GnRH-I) is critical for the control of reproduction in vertebrates. The molecular mechanisms controlling reproduction are not well understood in songbirds, largely because the GnRH-I precursor polypeptide gene was unknown until now. Here, we report the complete sequence and seasonal regulation of GnRH-I precursor polypeptide mRNA in a songbird, European starling (Sturnus vulgaris). The translated starling GnRH-I precursor polypeptide contained an amino acid sequence that can be processed into chicken GnRH-I peptide (pEHWSYGLQPG-NH(2)). However, the overall homology of GnRH-I precursor polypeptide (including a 23 amino acid signal peptide, the decapeptide hormone and Gly-Lys-Arg cleavage site followed by 55 amino acid GnRH-associated peptide sequences) between starling and chicken was only 58%. GnRH-I mRNA and GnRH-I peptide were observed to be co-localized in the preoptic area of sexually mature birds using in situ hybridization and immunocytochemistry. GnRH-I mRNA exhibited large variance in photosensitive birds, and converged to a high level in photostimulated birds. Subsequently, GnRH-I mRNA decreased to below detectability in most of the photorefractory birds. Changes were also observed in GnRH-I peptide levels, although changes in GnRH-I peptide were not as marked. Our data indicate that GnRH-I mRNA synthesis commences but is variable in photosensitive birds, stabilizes in photostimulated birds, then ceases when birds become photorefractory. Finer-scale investigation into temporal regulation of GnRH-I precursor polypeptide mRNA will provide insight into its regulation by environmental, social and physiological cues. PMID:19362556

  16. Distributed Recognition of Natural Songs by European Starlings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knudsen, Daniel; Thompson, Jason V.; Gentner, Timothy Q.

    2010-01-01

    Individual vocal recognition behaviors in songbirds provide an excellent framework for the investigation of comparative psychological and neurobiological mechanisms that support the perception and cognition of complex acoustic communication signals. To this end, the complex songs of European starlings have been studied extensively. Yet, several…

  17. Assessment of concentrations and effects of organohalogen contaminants in a terrestrial passerine, the European starling.

    PubMed

    Eng, Margaret L; Williams, Tony D; Letcher, Robert J; Elliott, John E

    2014-03-01

    European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) are a valuable model species for the assessment of concentrations and effects of environmental contaminants in terrestrial birds. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are found in birds throughout the world, but relatively little is known of their concentrations or effects in free-living terrestrial passerines. We used a nest box population of European starlings to 1) measure the variation in egg concentrations of persistent organohalogen contaminants at an agricultural site, and 2) assess whether individual variation in PBDE concentrations in eggs was related to reproductive parameters, as well as maternal or nestling characteristics including body condition, thyroid hormones, oxidative stress, and hematocrit. As PBDEs were the main contaminant class of interest, we only assessed a subset of eggs for other organohalogen contaminants to establish background concentrations. Exposure to organohalogen contaminants was extremely variable over this relatively small study area. Geometric mean wet weight concentrations (range in brackets) of the major contaminants were 36.5 (12-174) ng/g ΣDDT (n=6 eggs) and 10.9 (2-307) ng/g ΣPBDEs (n=14). ΣPCBs at 3.58 (1.5-6.4) ng/g (n=6) were lower and less variable. There were low levels of other organochlorine (OC) pesticides such as dieldrin (2.02 ng/g), chlordanes (1.11 ng/g) and chlorobenzenes (0.23 ng/g). The only form of DDT detected was p,p'-DDE. The congener profiles of PBDEs and PCBs reflect those of industrial mixtures (i.e. DE-71, Aroclors 1254, 1260 and 1262). For all of the contaminant classes, concentrations detected in eggs at our study site were below levels previously reported to cause effects. Due to small sample sizes, we did not assess the relationship between ΣPCBs or ΣOCs and adult or chick condition. We observed no correlative relationships between individual variation in PBDE concentrations in starling eggs and reproductive success, maternal condition, or nestling

  18. Female aggression and the maintenance of monogamy: female behaviour predicts male mating status in European starlings

    PubMed Central

    Sandell, M. I.

    1998-01-01

    Any reduction in the fitness of a breeding female induced by the settlement of additional females with her mate creates a conflict between the sexes over mating system. In birds, females are often aggressive towards other females but few studies have been able to quantify the importance of female-female aggression for the maintenance of monogamy. This study of the European starling, Sturnus vulgaris, quantifies male and female behaviour towards a potential prospecting female, presented in a cage during the pre-laying period, and relates it to the subsequent mating status of the male. A solitary breeding male was given the opportunity to attract an additional mate, which almost half of the males did. No biometric characters of the male or female were related to the subsequent mating status. Males demonstrated mate-attraction behaviour towards the caged female but the behaviour of the male did not predict the likelihood to attract an additional female. However, the proportion of time that the female spent near the potential settler was related to mating status, indicating that females that reacted more strongly towards a potential female competitor maintained their monogamous status. These results suggest that female behaviour may play an important role in shaping the mating system of facultatively polygynous species.

  19. Postfledging survival of European starlings exposed as nestlings to an organophosphorus insecticide

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stromborg, K.L.; Grue, C.E.; Nichols, J.D.; Hepp, G.R.; Hines, J.E.; Bourne, H.C.

    1988-01-01

    To test the hypothesis that exposure to organophosphorus (OP) insecticides reduces postfledging survival of altricial birds, 16-d-old European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) were weighed and orally dosed with corn oil containing 6.0 mg of dicrotophos per kilogram of body mass or an equivalent exposure of pure corn oil (controls). Two days later, each survivor was weighed again and patagially tagged for identification after fledging. Resightings of marked fledglings were made during weekly 2-d intensive observations yielding four estimates of postfledging survival. Before fledging, only OP-dosed birds died (18.5%), and OP-dosed survivors lost more mass (5.2%, P = .001) than controls (1.4%) but their masses on day 18 were only slightly lower (2% of control mean, P = .10). Brain cholinesterase activity, a sensitive indicator of OP exposure in birds, was depressed and average of 93% in OP-dosed nestlings that died compared to controls, and an average of 46% in OP-dosed nestlings alive on day 18. Age at fledging, postfledging survival, flocking behavior, and habitat use, however, did not differ between OP-dosed and control birds. The effects of the OP on the nestlings appeared to be rapid, to be reversible in survivors, and did not extend into the postfledging period. In addition, we found no relationship between body mass at fledging and postfledging survival.

  20. Fibre architecture and song activation rates of syringeal muscles are not lateralized in the European starling

    PubMed Central

    Uchida, A. M.; Meyers, R. A.; Cooper, B. G.; Goller, F.

    2010-01-01

    The songbird vocal organ, the syrinx, is composed of two sound generators, which are independently controlled by sets of two extrinsic and four intrinsic muscles. These muscles rank among the fastest vertebrate muscles, but the molecular and morphological foundations of this rapid physiological performance are unknown. Here we show that the four intrinsic muscles in the syrinx of male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) are composed of fast oxidative and superfast fibres. Dorsal and ventral tracheobronchialis muscles contain slightly more superfast fibres relative to the number of fast oxidative fibres than dorsal and ventral syringealis muscles. This morphological difference is not reflected in the highest, burst-like activation rate of the two muscle groups during song as assessed with electromyographic recordings. No difference in fibre type ratio was found between the corresponding muscles of the left and right sound generators. Airflow and electromyographic measurements during song indicate that maximal activation rate and speed of airflow regulation do not differ between the two sound sources. Whereas the potential for high-speed muscular control exists on both sides, the two sound generators are used differentially for modulation of acoustic parameters. These results show that large numbers of superfast fibre types are present in intrinsic syringeal muscles of a songbird, providing further confirmation of rapid contraction kinetics. However, syringeal muscles are composed of two fibre types which raises questions about the neuromuscular control of this heterogeneous muscle architecture. PMID:20228343

  1. Residues of organochlorine pesticides and polychloribiphenyls [sic] in starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), from the continental United States, 1982

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bunck, C.M.; Prouty, R.M.; Krynitsky, A.J.

    1987-01-01

    Starlings were collected from 129 sites throughout the contiguous United States in the fall of 1982 and analyzed for organochlorine compounds as part of a nationwide monitoring program. Residues of 14 organochlorine compounds were found. Only DDE, polychlorobiphenyls (PCB), dieldrin, and heptachlor epoxide occurred in more than 50% of the lO-starling pools. Geographical variation in the occurrence of seven organochlorine compounds was noted. Mean DDE levels were higher in the southwestern United States. Mean PCB levels were higher in the eastern United States. The occurrence frequency of most organochlorines in 1982 was similar to that which was reported in the previous nationwide study in 1979. A slight increase in occurrence was noted for trans-nonachlor. Mean DDE level I in 1982 was similar to that of 1979. Mean PCB level in 1982 was lower than the 1979 mean, but this change may not reflect a decrease in environmental PCB levels.

  2. An assessment of the developmental toxicity of BDE-99 in the European starling using an integrated laboratory and field approach.

    PubMed

    Eng, Margaret L; Elliott, John E; Williams, Tony D

    2014-10-01

    Developmental exposure of wildlife to anthropogenic contaminants can have long-term effects that are difficult to assess in field monitoring studies, and may not be evident in laboratory studies that lack ecological components. The objective of this study was to assess the long-term effects of early exposure to contaminants under ecological conditions in a model passerine species, the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris). We selected 2,2',4,4',5-pentabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-99) as a representative contaminant, as it is one of the major constituents of the commercial penta-BDE flame retardant mixture, and has been reported in avian egg and tissue samples worldwide. We developed a novel approach to assess the developmental toxicity of BDE-99 in starlings by combining aspects of laboratory and field studies. We dosed free-living nestlings living in natural broods in the field with environmentally relevant concentrations of BDE-99 (0-173.8 ng/g bw/day) for the duration of the nesting cycle. To simulate monitoring of long-term effects we brought birds into captivity just prior to fledging and used photoperiod manipulations to induce reproductive development. We assessed a range of physiological and development measures such as hematocrit, oxidative stress, thyroid hormones, neuroanatomy, growth, molt rate, bill color, and testes development. We found some evidence of thyroid hormone disruption, but there were no effects on any other measures of physiology or development. The European starling could serve as a valuable model species for assessing early exposure and long-term effects of anthropogenic contaminants in terrestrial wildlife using this combined field/laboratory approach. PMID:25081382

  3. Recent experience modulates forebrain gene-expression in response to mate-choice cues in European starlings.

    PubMed

    Sockman, Keith W; Gentner, Timothy Q; Ball, Gregory F

    2002-12-01

    Mate-choice decisions can be experience dependent, but we know little about how the brain processes stimuli that release such decisions. Female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) prefer males with long-bout songs over males with short-bout songs, and show higher expression of the immediate early gene (IEG) ZENK in the auditory forebrain when exposed to long-bout songs than when exposed to short-bout songs. We exposed female starlings to a short-day photoperiod for one of three durations and then, on an increased photophase, exposed them to one week of long-bout or short-bout song experience. We then examined their IEG response to novel long-bout versus novel short-bout songs by quantifying ZENK protein in two song-processing areas: the caudo-medial hyperstriatum ventrale and the caudo-medial neostriatum. ZENK expression in both areas increased with tenure on short-day photoperiods, suggesting that short days sensitize females to song. The ZENK response bias toward long-bout songs was greater in females with long-bout experience than in females with short-bout experience, indicating that the forebrain response bias toward a preferred trait depends on recent experience with that category of trait. This surprising level of neuroplasticity is immediately relevant to the natural history and fitness of the organism, and may underlie a mechanism for optimizing mate-choice criteria amidst locally variable distributions of secondary sexual characteristics. PMID:12495492

  4. Recent experience modulates forebrain gene-expression in response to mate-choice cues in European starlings.

    PubMed Central

    Sockman, Keith W; Gentner, Timothy Q; Ball, Gregory F

    2002-01-01

    Mate-choice decisions can be experience dependent, but we know little about how the brain processes stimuli that release such decisions. Female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) prefer males with long-bout songs over males with short-bout songs, and show higher expression of the immediate early gene (IEG) ZENK in the auditory forebrain when exposed to long-bout songs than when exposed to short-bout songs. We exposed female starlings to a short-day photoperiod for one of three durations and then, on an increased photophase, exposed them to one week of long-bout or short-bout song experience. We then examined their IEG response to novel long-bout versus novel short-bout songs by quantifying ZENK protein in two song-processing areas: the caudo-medial hyperstriatum ventrale and the caudo-medial neostriatum. ZENK expression in both areas increased with tenure on short-day photoperiods, suggesting that short days sensitize females to song. The ZENK response bias toward long-bout songs was greater in females with long-bout experience than in females with short-bout experience, indicating that the forebrain response bias toward a preferred trait depends on recent experience with that category of trait. This surprising level of neuroplasticity is immediately relevant to the natural history and fitness of the organism, and may underlie a mechanism for optimizing mate-choice criteria amidst locally variable distributions of secondary sexual characteristics. PMID:12495492

  5. Songs of two starling species: common traits versus adaptations to the social environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houdelier, C.; Hausberger, M.; Craig, A. J. F. K.

    2012-12-01

    We analysed, for the first time, songs of the African Red-winged Starling Onychognathus morio and compared their general characteristics with those of the European Starling Sturnus vulgaris. Both species are gregarious during the non-breeding season, but European Starlings tend to nest in colonies, form unstable pair-bonds and are occasionally polygynous, whereas Red-winged Starlings form long-term pair-bonds and occupy exclusive nesting territories. Red-winged Starlings produced the same basic song categories as European Starlings: warbles and whistles. These two categories appeared to be involved in similar social interactions in the two species. However, several aspects of song behaviour differed between the two species: Red-winged Starlings, breeding in isolated nests, preferentially used whistles for long-distance communication and showed a simpler organization of warbling song. Whistles in the Red-winged Starling were mostly shared between birds and, in contrast to the European Starling, were not indicators of individual identity. Also in contrast to the European Starling, female song in Red-winged Starlings appeared very important throughout the breeding period. Our results suggest that some song characteristics in the two species are phylogenetically conserved whereas others are affected by the distinct social systems of the two species.

  6. Photoperiodic Condition Is Associated with Region-Specific Expression of GNRH1 mRNA in the Preoptic Area of the Male Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)1

    PubMed Central

    Stevenson, Tyler J.; Bernard, Daniel J.; Ball, Gregory F.

    2009-01-01

    Many seasonally breeding avian species exhibit marked changes in hypothalamic content of gonadotropin-releasing vhormone 1 (GNRH1) protein that are reflective of breeding condition. We recently cloned the GNRH1 cDNA in European starlings and demonstrated that changes in GNRH1 mRNA levels occur with a time course similar to what has been observed with GNRH1 protein. However, we did not previously resolve whether these differences were attributable to changes in the number of cells expressing the gene. Herein, we investigated photoperiod-induced changes in the number and distribution of GNRH1 mRNA-expressing cells in the preoptic area of male starlings. GNRH1 mRNA-expressing cell number was significantly greater in breeding birds than in nonbreeding birds. Starlings maintained in short nonstimulatory day length (i.e., prebreeding) showed intermediate cell numbers. Detailed analysis of the rostrocaudal and mediolateral distribution revealed that breeding birds had greater numbers of cells expressing GNRH1 mRNA in the medial intermediate, mediocaudal, and lateral intermediate preoptic area compared with prebreeding and nonbreeding birds. These data demonstrate that photoperiodic changes in reproductive state in starlings are associated with region-specific alterations in the number of cells expressing the GNRH1 gene. It remains to be determined whether these changes reflect quantitative differences in gene expression among an otherwise stable population of cells or a phenotypic switch in which cells gain or lose the ability to make GNRH1 mRNA in response to environmental cues. PMID:19516022

  7. Developmental and familial predictors of adult cognitive traits in the European starling

    PubMed Central

    Nettle, Daniel; Andrews, Clare P.; Monaghan, Pat; Brilot, Ben O.; Bedford, Thomas; Gillespie, Robert; Bateson, Melissa

    2015-01-01

    In birds, there is evidence that adult cognitive traits can both run in families and be affected by early developmental influences. However, different studies use different cognitive tasks, which may not be measuring the same traits, and also focus on different developmental factors. We report results from a study in which we administered multiple cognitive tasks (autoshaping, discrimination learning, reversal learning, progressive ratio schedule, extinction learning and impulsivity) to a cohort of 34 European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, for which several early developmental measures were available. The cohort consisted of siblings raised either apart or together, whose position in the size hierarchy of the rearing brood had been experimentally manipulated. We examined how the different cognitive measures covaried, the extent to which they ran in families, and which of the developmental factors predicted which of the cognitive outcomes. We found that discrimination and reversal learning speeds were positively correlated, as were breakpoint on the progressive ratio schedule and resistance to extinction. Otherwise, the cognitive measures were uncorrelated, suggesting that they reflected different underlying traits. All traits except discrimination and reversal learning speed ran in families to a substantial extent. Using a model selection approach, we found evidence that natal brood size and developmental telomere attrition (the extent to which the birds' erythrocyte telomeres shortened in early life, an integrative measure of developmental stress) were related to several adult cognitive measures. Results are discussed with respect to the best way of measuring avian cognitive abilities, and the utility of developmental telomere attrition as a predictor of adult outcomes. PMID:26405302

  8. Hand rearing affects emotional responses but not basic cognitive performance in European starlings.

    PubMed

    Feenders, Gesa; Bateson, Melissa

    2013-07-01

    Hand rearing is a common procedure in behavioural research on birds. While likely to produce tamer experimental animals, there is a risk that it could induce pathological changes in brain and behaviour similar to those seen in mammals that have experienced maternal separation. We explored the effects of hand rearing on the cognitive and behavioural development of European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, to assess the generality of results obtained from hand-reared animals. Two groups of age-matched birds were created from the same wild population: one hand-reared from 10 days posthatch and one brought into the laboratory as independent juveniles. These groups were compared on a battery of neuropsychological tasks designed to probe different aspects of cognitive function including learning, perseverative cognition, interval timing, neophobia and impulsivity. There was no evidence for cognitive impairment in the hand-reared birds. They did not have reduced learning speed, impairments in accuracy or precision of interval timing or pathological perseverative cognition compared to the wild-caught birds. Additionally, there was no evidence that birds that developed stereotypies in laboratory cages (predominantly the wild-caught birds) had any cognitive impairments, although this may be because no birds had severe, crystallized stereotypies. There was some evidence that hand-reared birds were less neophobic and less impulsive than wild-caught birds, suggesting that hand rearing might alter emotionally mediated decision making in a direction usually associated with reduced developmental stress in mammals. This study therefore supports the use of hand rearing as an experimental procedure in behavioural research on passerine birds. PMID:23888084

  9. Escherichia coli, Salmonella, and Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis in wild European starlings at a Kansas cattle feedlot.

    PubMed

    Gaukler, Shannon M; Linz, George M; Sherwood, Julie S; Dyer, Neil W; Bleier, William J; Wannemuehler, Yvonne M; Nolan, Lisa K; Logue, Catherine M

    2009-12-01

    The prevalence of Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp., and Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis isolated from the feces of wild European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) humanely trapped at a feedlot in central Kansas was assessed. All E. coli and Salmonella isolates recovered were tested for antimicrobial susceptibility using National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System panels and the E. coli isolates were classified as to their content of genes associated with pathogenic E. coli of birds and cattle, including cvaC, iroN2, ompTp, hlyF2, eitC, iss, iutA, ireA, papC, stxI, stxII, sta, K99, F41, and eae. Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis were not detected and Salmonella was isolated from only three samples, two of which displayed antimicrobial resistance. Approximately half of the E. coli isolates were resistant to antimicrobial agents with 96% showing resistance to tetracycline. Only one isolate was positive for a single gene associated with bovine pathogenic E. coli. An interesting finding of this study was that 5% of the E. coli isolates tested met the criteria established for identification as avian pathogenic E. coli (APEC). Thus these findings suggest that starlings are not a significant source of Salmonella spp., Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis, E. coli O157, or other shiga toxin-producing E. coli in this feedlot. However, they may have the potential to spread APEC, an important pathogen of poultry and a potential pathogen to human beings. PMID:20095155

  10. Near wake features of a flying European Starling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirchhefer, Adam; Kopp, Gregory; Gurka, Roi

    2013-11-01

    A great deal of research focusing on flapping wings has been motivated by their high performance capabilities, especially in low Reynolds number configurations where static wing performance typically suffers. The approaches to studying flapping wings have taken different forms. One form has been the systematic investigation of the parameters that influence the relationship between flapping wings and their wake. The other form, and the approach used in the present work, is the investigation of flapping wings in nature. While the earliest work on the flapping wings of animals consists of observations of bird flight by Leonardo DaVinci, advances in technology have allowed for quantitative measurements of the wake. The near wake of a freely flying European starling has been measured using high speed, time-resolved, particle image velocimetry, simultaneously with high speed cameras which imaged the bird. These have been used to measure the near wake two-dimensional velocity field that can be associated with the bird's location and wing configuration in an avian wind tunnel. Time series of the velocities have been expressed as composite wake plots, which depict segments of the wing beat cycle for various spanwise locations in the wake. Measurements indicate that downwash is not produced during the upstroke, suggesting that the upstroke does not generate lift. As well, the wake velocities imply the presence of streamwise vortical structures, in addition to tip vortices. These two characteristics indicate similarities between the wake of a bird and the wake of a bat.

  11. Site-specific regulation of adult neurogenesis by dietary fatty acid content, vitamin E and flight exercise in European starlings.

    PubMed

    Hall, Zachary J; Bauchinger, Ulf; Gerson, Alexander R; Price, Edwin R; Langlois, Lillie A; Boyles, Michelle; Pierce, Barbara; McWilliams, Scott R; Sherry, David F; Macdougall-Shackleton, Scott A

    2014-03-01

    Exercise is known to have a strong effect on neuroproliferation in mammals ranging from rodents to humans. Recent studies have also shown that fatty acids and other dietary supplements can cause an upregulation of neurogenesis. It is not known, however, how exercise and diet interact in their effects on adult neurogenesis. We examined neuronal recruitment in multiple telencephalic sites in adult male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) exposed to a factorial combination of flight exercise, dietary fatty acids and antioxidants. Experimental birds were flown in a wind tunnel following a training regime that mimicked the bird's natural flight behaviour. In addition to flight exercise, we manipulated the composition of dietary fatty acids and the level of enrichment with vitamin E, an antioxidant reported to enhance neuronal recruitment. We found that all three factors - flight exercise, fatty acid composition and vitamin E enrichment - regulate neuronal recruitment in a site-specific manner. We also found a robust interaction between flight training and vitamin E enrichment at multiple sites of neuronal recruitment. Specifically, flight training was found to enhance neuronal recruitment across the telencephalon, but only in birds fed a diet with a low level of vitamin E. Conversely, dietary enrichment with vitamin E upregulated neuronal recruitment, but only in birds not flown in the wind tunnel. These findings indicate conserved modulation of adult neurogenesis by exercise and diet across vertebrate taxa and indicate possible therapeutic interventions in disorders characterized by reduced adult neurogenesis. PMID:24372878

  12. Levels of PBDEs in plasma of juvenile starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) from British Columbia, Canada and assessment of PBDE metabolism by avian liver microsomes.

    PubMed

    Erratico, Claudio; Currier, Heidi; Szeitz, András; Bandiera, Stelvio; Covaci, Adrian; Elliott, John

    2015-06-15

    In this study, the levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), HO-PBDEs, and bromophenols were monitored in starling chick plasma samples collected in Delta (British Columbia, Canada) close to the Vancouver municipal landfill and in Glen Valley, a rural area in British Columbia. The in vitro formation of hydroxylated metabolites of 2,2',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47) and 2,2',4,4',5-pentabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-99) was also investigated using starling chick liver microsomes. Total PBDE plasma levels were approximately 60 times higher in starling chicks from Delta than from Glen Valley, suggesting that the Delta site is a major source of PBDEs for the local population of starlings and that PBDEs previously measured in starling eggs are bioavailable to chicks. In both locations, BDE-47 and BDE-99 were the two major congeners present at similar concentrations, suggesting contamination with the Penta-BDE mixture. Among the several possible hydroxylated metabolites of PBDEs monitored in starling plasma, only 2,4,5-tribromophenol was detected and its levels did not exceed 18±7 pg/mL. Also, several hydroxylated metabolites of BDE-47 and BDE-99 were formed by starling chick liver microsomes, but in low amounts. Therefore, our data consistently suggest that oxidative metabolism of PBDEs in starling chicks proceeds at low rate in vivo and in vitro. In conclusion, the landfill located in Delta is a relevant source of bioavailable PBDEs for the local starling population. Because of the limited ability of starling chicks to metabolize PBDEs, these compounds are likely to bioaccumulate in starlings over time. The possible toxicological implications of PBDEs bioaccumulation in starlings are currently unknown and require further research. PMID:25747361

  13. Opposite Effects of Early-Life Competition and Developmental Telomere Attrition on Cognitive Biases in Juvenile European Starlings.

    PubMed

    Bateson, Melissa; Emmerson, Michael; Ergün, Gökçe; Monaghan, Pat; Nettle, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Moods are enduring affective states that we hypothesise should be affected by an individual's developmental experience and its current somatic state. We tested whether early-life adversity, induced by manipulating brood size, subsequently altered juvenile European starlings' (Sturnus vulgaris) decisions in a judgment bias task designed to provide a cognitive measure of mood. We predicted that starlings from larger broods, specifically those that had experienced more nest competitors larger than themselves would exhibit reduced expectation of reward, indicative of a 'pessimistic', depression-like mood. We used a go/no-go task, in which 30 starlings were trained to probe a grey card disc associated with a palatable mealworm hidden underneath and avoid a different shade of grey card disc associated with a noxious quinine-injected mealworm hidden underneath. Birds' response latencies to the trained stimuli and also to novel, ambiguous stimuli intermediate between these were subsequently tested. Birds that had experienced greater competition in the nest were faster to probe trained stimuli, and it was therefore necessary to control statistically for this difference in subsequent analyses of the birds' responses to the ambiguous stimuli. As predicted, birds with more, larger nest competitors showed relatively longer latencies to probe ambiguous stimuli, suggesting reduced expectation of reward and a 'pessimistic', depression-like mood. However, birds with greater developmental telomere attrition--a measure of cellular aging associated with increased morbidity and reduced life-expectancy that we argue could be used as a measure of somatic state--showed shorter latencies to probe ambiguous stimuli. This would usually be interpreted as evidence for a more positive or 'optimistic' affective state. Thus, increased competition in the nest and poor current somatic state appear to have opposite effects on cognitive biases. Our results lead us to question whether increased

  14. Mechanisms of antimicrobial resistant Salmonella enterica transmission associated with starling-livestock interactions.

    PubMed

    Carlson, James C; Hyatt, Doreene R; Ellis, Jeremy W; Pipkin, David R; Mangan, Anna M; Russell, Michael; Bolte, Denise S; Engeman, Richard M; DeLiberto, Thomas J; Linz, George M

    2015-08-31

    Bird-livestock interactions have been implicated as potential sources for bacteria within concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO). European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) in particular are known to contaminate cattle feed and water with Salmonella enterica through their fecal waste. We propose that fecal waste is not the only mechanisms through which starlings introduce S. enterica to CAFO. The goal of this study was to assess if starlings can mechanically move S. enterica. We define mechanical movement as the transportation of media containing S. enterica, on the exterior of starlings within CAFO. We collected 100 starlings and obtained external wash and gastrointestinal tract (GI) samples. We also collected 100 samples from animal pens. Within each pen we collected one cattle fecal, feed, and water trough sample. Isolates from all S. enterica positive samples were subjected to antimicrobial susceptibility testing. All sample types, including 17% of external starling wash samples, contained S. enterica. All sample types had at least one antimicrobial resistant (AMR) isolate and starling GI samples harbored multidrug resistant S. enterica. The serotypes isolated from the starling external wash samples were all found in the farm environment and 11.8% (2/17) of isolates from positive starling external wash samples were resistant to at least one class of antibiotics. This study provides evidence of a potential mechanism of wildlife introduced microbial contamination in CAFO. Mechanical movement of microbiological hazards, by starlings, should be considered a potential source of bacteria that is of concern to veterinary, environmental and public health. PMID:25960334

  15. Amino acid sequence of the AhR1 ligand-binding domain predicts avian sensitivity to dioxin like compounds: in vivo verification in European starlings.

    PubMed

    Eng, Margaret L; Elliott, John E; Jones, Stephanie P; Williams, Tony D; Drouillard, Ken G; Kennedy, Sean W

    2014-12-01

    Research has demonstrated that the sensitivity of avian species to the embyrotoxic effects of dioxin-like compounds can be predicted by the amino acid identities at two key sites within the ligand-binding domain of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor 1 (AhR1). The domestic chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) has been established as a highly sensitive species to the toxic effects of dioxin-like compounds. Results from genotyping and in vitro assays predict that the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) is also highly sensitive to dioxin-like compound toxicity. The objective of the present study was to test that prediction in vivo. To do this, we used egg injections in field nesting starlings with 3,3',4,4',5-pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB-126), a dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyl. Eggs were dosed with either the vehicle control or 1 of 5 doses (1.4, 7.1, 15.9, 32.1, and 52.9 ng PCB-126/g egg). A dose-dependent increase in embryo mortality occurred, and the median lethal dose (LD50; 95% confidence interval [CI]) was 5.61 (2.33-9.08) ng/g. Hepatic CYP1A4/5 messenger RNA (mRNA) expression in hatchlings also increased in a dose-dependent manner, with CYP1A4 being more induced than CYP1A5. No effect of dose on morphological measures was seen, and we did not observe any overt malformations. These results indicate that, other than the chicken, the European starling is the most sensitive species to the effects of PCB-126 on avian embryo mortality reported to date, which supports the prediction of relative sensitivity to dioxin-like compounds based on amino acid sequence of the AhR1. PMID:25209921

  16. On the Estimation of Time Dependent Lift of a European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) during Flapping Flight.

    PubMed

    Stalnov, Oksana; Ben-Gida, Hadar; Kirchhefer, Adam J; Guglielmo, Christopher G; Kopp, Gregory A; Liberzon, Alexander; Gurka, Roi

    2015-01-01

    We study the role of unsteady lift in the context of flapping wing bird flight. Both aerodynamicists and biologists have attempted to address this subject, yet it seems that the contribution of unsteady lift still holds many open questions. The current study deals with the estimation of unsteady aerodynamic forces on a freely flying bird through analysis of wingbeat kinematics and near wake flow measurements using time resolved particle image velocimetry. The aerodynamic forces are obtained through two approaches, the unsteady thin airfoil theory and using the momentum equation for viscous flows. The unsteady lift is comprised of circulatory and non-circulatory components. Both approaches are presented over the duration of wingbeat cycles. Using long-time sampling data, several wingbeat cycles have been analyzed in order to cover both the downstroke and upstroke phases. It appears that the unsteady lift varies over the wingbeat cycle emphasizing its contribution to the total lift and its role in power estimations. It is suggested that the circulatory lift component cannot assumed to be negligible and should be considered when estimating lift or power of birds in flapping motion. PMID:26394213

  17. Variation in plasma leptin-like immunoreactivity in free-living European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Leptin, a protein hormone secreted by fat cells, is best known for its role as an adiposity signal; however, leptin has diverse physiological roles ranging from regulation of feeding behavior and body weight, to effects on reproduction and immune function. Although leptin has been extensively studi...

  18. On the Estimation of Time Dependent Lift of a European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) during Flapping Flight

    PubMed Central

    Stalnov, Oksana; Ben-Gida, Hadar; Kirchhefer, Adam J.; Guglielmo, Christopher G.; Kopp, Gregory A.; Liberzon, Alexander; Gurka, Roi

    2015-01-01

    We study the role of unsteady lift in the context of flapping wing bird flight. Both aerodynamicists and biologists have attempted to address this subject, yet it seems that the contribution of unsteady lift still holds many open questions. The current study deals with the estimation of unsteady aerodynamic forces on a freely flying bird through analysis of wingbeat kinematics and near wake flow measurements using time resolved particle image velocimetry. The aerodynamic forces are obtained through two approaches, the unsteady thin airfoil theory and using the momentum equation for viscous flows. The unsteady lift is comprised of circulatory and non-circulatory components. Both approaches are presented over the duration of wingbeat cycles. Using long-time sampling data, several wingbeat cycles have been analyzed in order to cover both the downstroke and upstroke phases. It appears that the unsteady lift varies over the wingbeat cycle emphasizing its contribution to the total lift and its role in power estimations. It is suggested that the circulatory lift component cannot assumed to be negligible and should be considered when estimating lift or power of birds in flapping motion. PMID:26394213

  19. CYCLOPHOSPHAMIDE EFFECTS ON IMMUNE FUNCTION OF EUROPEAN STARLINGS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cyclophosphamide (CY) is a widely used immunosuppressive and chemotherapeutic agent. t is a potent immunotoxicant that suppresses some aspects of immune function in most animals in which it has been researched. n this study, CY suppressed immunological endpoints measured in starl...

  20. Individual variation in parental workload and breeding productivity in female European starlings: is the effort worth it?

    PubMed Central

    Fowler, Melinda A; Williams, Tony D

    2015-01-01

    We analyzed individual variation in work load (nest visit rate) during chick-rearing, and the consequences of this variation in terms of breeding productivity, in a highly synchronous breeder, the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) focusing on female birds. There was marked (10- to 16-fold) variation in total, female and male nest visit rates, among individuals, but individual variation in female nest visit rate was independent of environment (rainfall, temperature) and metrics of individual quality (laying date, clutch size, amount of male provisioning help), and was only weakly associated with chick demand (i.e., day 6 brood size). Female nest visit rate was independent of date and experimentally delayed birds provisioned at the same rate as peak-nesting birds; supporting a lack of effect of date per se. Brood size at fledging was positively but weakly related to total nest visit rate (male + female), with >fivefold variation in nest visit rate for any given brood size, and in females brood size at fledging and chick mass at fledging were independent of female nest visit rate, that is, individual variation in workload was not associated with higher productivity. Nevertheless, nest visit rate in females was repeatable among consecutive days (6–8 posthatching), and between peak (first) and second broods, but not among years. Our data suggest that individual females behave as if committed to a certain level of parental care at the outset of their annual breeding attempt, but this varies among years, that is, behavior is not fixed throughout an individual's life but represents an annually variable decision. We suggest females are making predictable decisions about their workload during provisioning that maximizes their overall fitness based on an integration of information on their current environment (although these cues currently remain unidentified). PMID:26380688

  1. Individual differences in the motivation to communicate relate to levels of midbrain and striatal catecholamine markers in male European starlings

    PubMed Central

    Heimovics, Sarah A; Salvante, Katrina G; Sockman, Keith W; Riters, Lauren V

    2013-01-01

    Individuals display dramatic differences in social communication even within similar social contexts. Across vertebrates dopaminergic projections from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and midbrain central gray (GCt) strongly influence motivated, reward-directed behaviors. Norepinephrine is also rich in these areas and may alter dopamine neuronal activity. The present study was designed to provide insight into the roles of dopamine and norepinephrine in VTA and GCt and their efferent striatal target, song control region area X, in the regulation of individual differences in the motivation to sing. We used high pressure liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection to measure dopamine, norepinephrine and their metabolites in micropunched samples from VTA, GCt, and area X in male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). We categorized males as sexually motivated or non-sexually motivated based on individual differences in song produced in response to a female. Dopamine markers and norepinephrine in VTA and dopamine in area X correlated positively with sexually-motivated song. Norepinephrine in area X correlated negatively with non-sexually-motivated song. Dopamine in GCt correlated negatively with sexually-motivated song, and the metabolite DOPAC correlated positively with non-sexually-motivated song. Results highlight a role for evolutionarily conserved dopaminergic projections from VTA to striatum in the motivation to communicate and highlight novel patterns of catecholamine activity in area X, VTA, and GCt associated with individual differences in sexually-motivated and non-sexually-motivated communication. Correlations between dopamine and norepinephrine markers also suggest that norepinephrine may contribute to individual differences in communication by modifying dopamine neuronal activity in VTA and GCt. PMID:21907203

  2. Individual variation in parental workload and breeding productivity in female European starlings: is the effort worth it?

    PubMed

    Fowler, Melinda A; Williams, Tony D

    2015-09-01

    We analyzed individual variation in work load (nest visit rate) during chick-rearing, and the consequences of this variation in terms of breeding productivity, in a highly synchronous breeder, the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) focusing on female birds. There was marked (10- to 16-fold) variation in total, female and male nest visit rates, among individuals, but individual variation in female nest visit rate was independent of environment (rainfall, temperature) and metrics of individual quality (laying date, clutch size, amount of male provisioning help), and was only weakly associated with chick demand (i.e., day 6 brood size). Female nest visit rate was independent of date and experimentally delayed birds provisioned at the same rate as peak-nesting birds; supporting a lack of effect of date per se. Brood size at fledging was positively but weakly related to total nest visit rate (male + female), with >fivefold variation in nest visit rate for any given brood size, and in females brood size at fledging and chick mass at fledging were independent of female nest visit rate, that is, individual variation in workload was not associated with higher productivity. Nevertheless, nest visit rate in females was repeatable among consecutive days (6-8 posthatching), and between peak (first) and second broods, but not among years. Our data suggest that individual females behave as if committed to a certain level of parental care at the outset of their annual breeding attempt, but this varies among years, that is, behavior is not fixed throughout an individual's life but represents an annually variable decision. We suggest females are making predictable decisions about their workload during provisioning that maximizes their overall fitness based on an integration of information on their current environment (although these cues currently remain unidentified). PMID:26380688

  3. Opposite Effects of Early-Life Competition and Developmental Telomere Attrition on Cognitive Biases in Juvenile European Starlings

    PubMed Central

    Bateson, Melissa; Emmerson, Michael; Ergün, Gökçe; Monaghan, Pat; Nettle, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Moods are enduring affective states that we hypothesise should be affected by an individual’s developmental experience and its current somatic state. We tested whether early-life adversity, induced by manipulating brood size, subsequently altered juvenile European starlings’ (Sturnus vulgaris) decisions in a judgment bias task designed to provide a cognitive measure of mood. We predicted that starlings from larger broods, specifically those that had experienced more nest competitors larger than themselves would exhibit reduced expectation of reward, indicative of a ‘pessimistic’, depression-like mood. We used a go/no-go task, in which 30 starlings were trained to probe a grey card disc associated with a palatable mealworm hidden underneath and avoid a different shade of grey card disc associated with a noxious quinine-injected mealworm hidden underneath. Birds’ response latencies to the trained stimuli and also to novel, ambiguous stimuli intermediate between these were subsequently tested. Birds that had experienced greater competition in the nest were faster to probe trained stimuli, and it was therefore necessary to control statistically for this difference in subsequent analyses of the birds’ responses to the ambiguous stimuli. As predicted, birds with more, larger nest competitors showed relatively longer latencies to probe ambiguous stimuli, suggesting reduced expectation of reward and a ‘pessimistic’, depression-like mood. However, birds with greater developmental telomere attrition—a measure of cellular aging associated with increased morbidity and reduced life-expectancy that we argue could be used as a measure of somatic state—showed shorter latencies to probe ambiguous stimuli. This would usually be interpreted as evidence for a more positive or ‘optimistic’ affective state. Thus, increased competition in the nest and poor current somatic state appear to have opposite effects on cognitive biases. Our results lead us to question

  4. Nationwide residues of organochlorines in starlings, 1974

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    White, D.H.

    1976-01-01

    Organochlorine residues in starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) from 126 collection sites were monitored during the fall of 1974. DDE, DDT, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB's), and benzene hexachloride were present in all samples. Dieldrin, heptachlor expoxide, hexachlorobenzene, and oxychlordane were present in approximately 97% of the samples. DDE, dieldrin, and PCB residues in starlings were significantly lower than they had been in 1972.

  5. Nationwide residues of organochlorines in starlings, 1974.

    PubMed

    White, D H

    1976-06-01

    Organochlorine residues in starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) from 126 collection sites were monitored during the fall of 1974. DDE, DDT, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB's), and benzene hexachloride were present in all samples. Dieldrin, heptachlor expoxide, hexachlorobenzene, and oxychlordane were present in approximately 97% of the samples. DDE, dieldrin, and PCB residues in starlings were significantly lower than they had been in 1972. PMID:940731

  6. Flame retardants in eggs of American kestrels and European starlings from southern Lake Ontario region (North America).

    PubMed

    Chen, Da; Letcher, Robert J; Martin, Pamela

    2012-11-01

    While a number of studies have extensively investigated flame retardant (FR) contamination in aquatic ecosystems from the Laurentian Great Lakes basin, there remains a dearth of information for terrestrial ecosystems. In the current study, American kestrels (Falco sparverius) (AMKE) and European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) (EUST) that are terrestrial ecosystem consumers, and from the southern Lake Ontario regions, were investigated as potential terrestrial bio-monitoring species. Egg homogenates were screened for sixteen PBDE congeners and nineteen non-PBDE FRs of established or emerging environmental importance. PBDE congeners dominated the FR burdens in eggs of AMKE and EUST, with total concentrations ranging from 3.4 to 39.8 (median: 13.5) and 1.5 to 117 (median: 4.9) ng g(-1) wet weight (ww), respectively. Although the production and application of the Firemaster FF-1 (a commercial hexabromobiphenyl PBB mixture) has been discontinued for over four decades, its major component, 2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexabromobiphenyl (BB-153), was still frequently detected in AMKE and EUST eggs. Two isomers of the chlorinated FR Dechlorane plus (DP) were mostly detected in eggs collected from Niagara-on-the-Lake in the western portion of Lake Ontario, approximately 15 km from the only North American DP manufacturing site, clearly reflecting point source influences. FR comparisons in eggs from AMKE, EUST and Great Lakes herring gulls revealed species-specific contamination burdens and PBDE congener profiles, likely due to influences from trophic levels and PBDE congener-specific bioaccumulation and biomagnification capacities in terrestrial versus aquatic food chains. Insectivorous birds (e.g. great tit) and relatives of AMKE have also been used as bio-monitoring tools in European and Asian regions, allowing investigation of spatial distribution patterns on a more international scale. AMKE and EUST have also been used as model species for laboratory evaluation of FR toxic effects in

  7. Molecular characterization of Salmonella enterica isolates associated with starling-livestock interactions.

    PubMed

    Carlson, James C; Hyatt, Doreene R; Bentler, Kevin; Mangan, Anna M; Russell, Michael; Piaggio, Antoinette J; Linz, George M

    2015-08-31

    Bird-livestock interactions have been implicated as potential sources for bacteria within concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO). In this study we characterized XbaI-digested genomic DNA from Salmonella enterica using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). The PFGE analysis was conducted using 182 S. enterica isolates collected from a single CAFO between 2009 and 2012. Samples collected in 2012 were subjected to antimicrobial susceptibility testing. The analysis was limited to S. enterica serotypes, with at least 10 isolates, known to occur in both European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) and cattle (Bos taurus) within this CAFO. A total of five different serotypes were screened; S. Anatum, S. Kentucky, S. Meleagridis, S. Montevideo, S. Muenchen. These samples were recovered from five different sample types; starling gastrointestinal tracts (GI), starling external wash, cattle feces, cattle feed and cattle water troughs. Indistinguishable S. enterica PFGE profiles were recovered from isolates originating in all sample types. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) was also associated with indistinguishable S. enterica isolates recovered from all samples types. These data suggests that AMR S. enterica is transmitted between cattle and starlings and that shared feed sources are likely contributing to infections within both species. Moreover we isolated indistinguishable PFGE profiles across all years of data collection, suggesting long-term environmental persistence may be mediated by starling visits to CAFO. PMID:25866128

  8. Stereotyping starlings are more 'pessimistic'.

    PubMed

    Brilot, Ben O; Asher, Lucy; Bateson, Melissa

    2010-09-01

    Negative affect in humans and animals is known to cause individuals to interpret ambiguous stimuli pessimistically, a phenomenon termed 'cognitive bias'. Here, we used captive European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) to test the hypothesis that a reduction in environmental conditions, from enriched to non-enriched cages, would engender negative affect, and hence 'pessimistic' biases. We also explored whether individual differences in stereotypic behaviour (repetitive somersaulting) predicted 'pessimism'. Eight birds were trained on a novel conditional discrimination task with differential rewards, in which background shade (light or dark) determined which of two covered dishes contained a food reward. The reward was small when the background was light, but large when the background was dark. We then presented background shades intermediate between those trained to assess the birds' bias to choose the dish associated with the smaller food reward (a 'pessimistic' judgement) when the discriminative stimulus was ambiguous. Contrary to predictions, changes in the level of cage enrichment had no effect on 'pessimism'. However, changes in the latency to choose and probability of expressing a choice suggested that birds learnt rapidly that trials with ambiguous stimuli were unreinforced. Individual differences in performance of stereotypies did predict 'pessimism'. Specifically, birds that somersaulted were more likely to choose the dish associated with the smaller food reward in the presence of the most ambiguous discriminative stimulus. We propose that somersaulting is part of a wider suite of behavioural traits indicative of a stress response to captive conditions that is symptomatic of a negative affective state. PMID:20464439

  9. Force estimation and turbulence in the wake of a freely flying European Starling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ben-Gida, Hadar; Kirchhefer, Adam; Kopp, Gregory; Gurka, Roi

    2011-11-01

    Flapping wings are one of the most complex yet widespread propulsion method found in nature. Although aeronautical technology has advanced rapidly over the past 100 years, natural flyers, which have evolved over millions of years, still feature higher efficiency and represent one of nature's finest locomotion methods. One of the key questions is the role of the unsteady motion in the flow due to the wing flapping and its contribution to the forces acting on a bird during downstroke and upstroke. The wake of a freely flying European Starling is investigated as a case study of unsteady wing aerodynamics. Measurements of the near wake have been taken using long duration high-speed PIV in the wake behind a freely flying bird in a specially designed avian wind tunnel. The wake has been characterized by means of velocity and vorticity fields. The measured flow field is decomposed based on the wing position phases. Drag and lift have been estimated using the mean velocity deficit and the circulation at the wake region. In addition, kinematic analysis of the wing motion and the body has been performed using additional high-speed cameras that recorded the bird movement simultaneously with the PIV. Correlations between the wing kinematics and the flow field characteristics are presented as well as the time evolution of the velocity, vorticity and additional turbulence parameters.

  10. Behavioural response of European starlings exposed to video playback of conspecific flocks: effect of social context and predator threat.

    PubMed

    Zoratto, Francesca; Manzari, Leonardo; Oddi, Ludovica; Pinxten, Rianne; Eens, Marcel; Santucci, Daniela; Alleva, Enrico; Carere, Claudio

    2014-03-01

    We studied the behavioural response of European starlings to a socially mediated predation event. Adult starlings were exposed to either a video of a flock attacked by a peregrine falcon or a video of a flock not under attack. We investigated whether the social condition affected the anti-predator response under the hypothesis that in such a gregarious species singletons would increase their anti-predator behaviour more than individuals in groups, to compensate for potential increased risk. The video of the flock under attack caused an increase in immobility and vigilance, more marked in singletons, both during and after the exposure. The video of the non-threatened flock caused an increase in activity levels, especially during the exposure. Furthermore, we observed a marked increase in comfort activities in singletons as well as in social interactions and vocalizations in mini-flocks. Only birds in mini-flocks vocalized, which may be explained by an audience effect, a process of social cognition mediated by the social context, and not only by the stimulus. The results are in line with previous field studies, which showed that isolated starlings are exposed to a higher risk of predation compared to individuals in flocks. PMID:24468212

  11. Spatio-temporal variation in European starling reproductive success at multiple small spatial scales

    PubMed Central

    Brickhill, Daisy; Evans, Peter GH; Reid, Jane M

    2015-01-01

    Understanding population dynamics requires spatio-temporal variation in demography to be measured across appropriate spatial and temporal scales. However, the most appropriate spatial scale(s) may not be obvious, few datasets cover sufficient time periods, and key demographic rates are often incompletely measured. Consequently, it is often assumed that demography will be spatially homogeneous within populations that lack obvious subdivision. Here, we quantify small-scale spatial and temporal variation in a key demographic rate, reproductive success (RS), within an apparently contiguous population of European starlings. We used hierarchical cluster analysis to define spatial clusters of nest sites at multiple small spatial scales and long-term data to test the hypothesis that small-scale spatio-temporal variation in RS occurred. RS was measured as the number of chicks alive ca. 12 days posthatch either per first brood or per nest site per breeding season (thereby incorporating multiple breeding attempts). First brood RS varied substantially among spatial clusters and years. Furthermore, the pattern of spatial variation was stable across years; some nest clusters consistently produced more chicks than others. Total seasonal RS also varied substantially among spatial clusters and years. However, the magnitude of variation was much larger and the pattern of spatial variation was no longer temporally consistent. Furthermore, the estimated magnitude of spatial variation in RS was greater at smaller spatial scales. We thereby demonstrate substantial spatial, temporal, and spatio-temporal variation in RS occurring at very small spatial scales. We show that the estimated magnitude of this variation depended on spatial scale and that spatio-temporal variation would not have been detected if season-long RS had not been measured. Such small-scale spatio-temporal variation should be incorporated into empirical and theoretical treatments of population dynamics. PMID:26380670

  12. Flying starlings, PET and the evolution of volant dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Gold, Maria Eugenia Leone; Schulz, Daniela; Budassi, Michael; Gignac, Paul M; Vaska, Paul; Norell, Mark A

    2016-04-01

    Birds have evolved behavioral and morphological adaptations for powered flight. Many aspects of this transition are unknown, including the neuroanatomical changes that made flight possible [1]. To understand how the avian brain drives this complex behavior, we utilized positron emission tomography (PET) scanning and the tracer (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) to document regional metabolic activity in the brain associated with a variety of locomotor behaviors. FDG studies are typically employed in rats [2] though the technology has been applied to birds [3]. We examined whole-brain function in European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), trained to fly in a wind tunnel while metabolizing the tracer. Drawing on predictions from early anatomical studies [4], we hypothesized increased metabolic activity in the Wulst and functionally related visual brain regions during flight. We found that flight behaviors correlated positively with entopallia and Wulst activity, but negatively with thalamic activity. PMID:27046806

  13. Effects of dietary aluminum, calcium, and phosphorus on egg and bone of European starlings

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miles, A.K.; Grue, C.E.; Pendleton, G.W.; Soares, J.H., Jr.

    1993-01-01

    Egg and bone of passerine birds nesting in acidified habitats may be affected by high levels of Al or P, or low levels of Ca. Nine treatments of three levels of dietary Al (target levels of 200, 1,000, and 5,000 ?g/g) and three levels of Ca:P (target levels of NN = 1.3% Ca: 0.9% P; LL = 0.19 Ca:0.45 P; LH = 0.19 Ca:1.65 P) were fed to 16-17 starling pairs during two breeding seasons. Eggs of starlings fed the LH diet were smaller and weighed less than eggs from the NN and LL treatments. Treatment effects on thickness, strength, and weight of eggshells were not consistent between seasons, probably because of differences in actual dietary levels of AI, Ca, and P or in incubation intervals. In one season, birds fed the highest Al diet had thicker eggshells than those from the other Al treatments (no effect from Ca:P); the following season, eggshells from the NN and LH treatments were thicker and stronger than those from the LL treatment. Eggshells from the NN treatment weighed more than those from the other Ca:P treatments. Starlings on the LH diet had the strongest femurs, but the effect was interactive with different levels of dietary AI. Effects of Ca:P on egg and bone were more evident than Al effects.

  14. A starling-deterrent wood duck nest box

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McGilvrey, F.B.; Uhler, F.M.

    1971-01-01

    In many parts of the United States, the starling (Sturnus vulgaris) has I become a serious competitor for nest boxes erected for wood ducks (Aix sponsa). Research at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and at Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge near Rock Hall, Maryland, demonstrated that horizontal nest structures with semicircular entrance holes 11 inches in diameter were acceptable to nesting wood ducks but discouraged nesting by starlings. Starlings seemed to prefer boxes in open impoundments to those in wooded impoundments, whereas wood ducks seemed to show no preference.

  15. Neural endocannabinoid CB1 receptor expression, social status, and behavior in male European starlings.

    PubMed

    DeVries, M Susan; Cordes, Melissa A; Rodriguez, Jonathan D; Stevenson, Sharon A; Riters, Lauren V

    2016-08-01

    Many species modify behavior in response to changes in resource availability or social status; however, the neural mechanisms underlying these modifications are not well understood. Prior work in male starlings demonstrates that status-appropriate changes in behavior involve brain regions that regulate social behavior and vocal production. Endocannabinoids are ubiquitously distributed neuromodulators that are proposed to play a role in adjusting behavior to match social status. As an initial step to provide insight into this hypothesis we observed flocks of male starlings in outdoor aviaries during the breeding season. We used quantitative real-time PCR to measure expression of endocannabinoid CB1 receptors in brain regions involved in social behavior and motivation (lateral septum [LS], ventral tegmental area [VTA], medial preoptic nucleus [POM]) and vocal behavior (Area X and robust nucleus of the arcopallium; RA). Males with nesting sites sang to females and displaced other males more than males without nesting sites. They also had higher levels of CB1 receptor expression in LS and RA. CB1 expression in LS correlated positively with agonistic behaviors. CB1 expression in RA correlated positively with singing behavior. CB1 in VTA also correlated positively with singing when only singing birds were considered. These correlations nicely map onto the well-established role of LS in agonistic behavior and the known role of RA in song production and VTA in motivation and song production. Studies are now needed to precisely characterize the role of CB1 receptors in these regions in the production of status-appropriate social behaviors. PMID:27206544

  16. Molecular epidemiology and public health relevance of Campylobacter isolated from dairy cattle and European starlings in Ohio, USA.

    PubMed

    Sanad, Yasser M; Closs, Gary; Kumar, Anand; LeJeune, Jeffrey T; Rajashekara, Gireesh

    2013-03-01

    Dairy cattle serve as a potential source for Campylobacter infection in humans. Outbreaks associated with consumption of either Campylobacter contaminated raw milk or contaminated milk after treatment were previously recorded in the United States. Further, starlings have been implicated in the spread of bacterial pathogens among livestock. Here, we determined the prevalence, genotypic, and phenotypic properties of Campylobacter isolated from fecal samples of dairy cattle and starlings found on the same establishment in northeastern Ohio. Campylobacter were detected in 83 (36.6%) and 57 (50.4%) out of 227 dairy and 113 starling fecal samples, respectively. Specifically, 79 C. jejuni, five C. coli, and two other Campylobacter spp. were isolated from dairy feces, while all isolates from starlings (n=57) were C. jejuni. Our results showed that the prevalence of C. jejuni in birds was significantly (p<0.01) higher than that in dairy cattle. The pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analysis showed that C. jejuni were genotypically diverse and host restricted; however, there were several shared genotypes between dairy cattle and starling isolates. Likewise, many shared clonal complexes (CC) between dairy cattle and starlings were observed by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis. As in humans, both in cattle and starlings, the CC 45 and CC 21 were the most frequently represented CCs. As previously reported, CC 177 and CC 682 were restricted to the bird isolates, while CC 42 was restricted to dairy cattle isolates. Further, two new sequence types (STs) were detected in C. jejuni from dairy cattle. Interestingly, cattle and starling C. jejuni showed high resistance to multiple antimicrobials, including ciprofloxacin, erythromycin, and gentamicin. In conclusion, our results highlight starlings as potential reservoirs for C. jejuni, and they may play an important role in the epidemiology of clinically important C. jejuni in dairy population. PMID:23259503

  17. Transmission of avian pox from starlings to Rothchild's mynahs.

    PubMed

    Landolt, M; Kocan, R M

    1976-07-01

    Several wild species of birds, including starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and pigeons (Columba livia) gained access to an aviary housing Rothchild's mynahs (Leucospar rothchildii) and over 100 additional birds representing a variety of species. Six of approximately 15 mynahs became infected with avian pox and all of them died. None of the other birds in the aviary developed lesions. Pox virus was isolated from mynah facial lesions on chicken chorioallantoic membrane and in duck embryo fibroblast cell culture. It did not produce lesions in white Leghorn chickens, but did produce lesions in 4 of 11 wild starlings captured outside the aviary. Results indicated the agent was an indigenous starling pox capable of infecting and producing disease in mynah birds. Destruction of the captive starlings and isolation of the remaining mynahs immediately stopped the mortality. PMID:16498876

  18. Social cues regulate reciprocal switching of hypothalamic Dio2/Dio3 and the transition into final follicle maturation in European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Perfito, Nicole; Guardado, Daisy; Williams, Tony D; Bentley, George E

    2015-02-01

    With final maturation of ovarian follicles, birds are committed to a major energetic investment: egg laying. Follicles develop in a 2-step process: 1) initial development of regressed follicles stimulated by long days and 2) yolk incorporation into hierarchical follicles, ovulation, and oviposition. We know little about how females transduce environmental cues into neuroendocrine signals regulating the second step. The present study measures gene expression in tissues within the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis. Females were housed in seminatural enclosures experiencing natural changes in photoperiod and environmental cues (eg, temperature, rainfall, etc), without males or with constant access to males (January to April). By April, females with males had begun to lay eggs, whereas those without males had not. In a second study, females without males for 3.5 months were then given access to males for 7 days. Restricting male access completely inhibited final follicle maturation, whereas 7-day male access stimulated full vitellogenesis and follicle maturation. Few gene expression changes were attributable to constant male access (January to March), but naïve females given 7-day male access had increased type 2 deiodinase (DIO2) and decreased DIO3 synthesis in the hypothalamus, potentially influencing local thyroid hormone metabolism, increased expression of LH receptor and aromatase in follicles and vitellogenin in liver. Our data suggest that initial follicle development may be more heavily influenced by photoperiod, but the second step (final maturation) is sensitive to other cues such as social interactions. This is the first demonstration of a social effect on the Dio2/Dio3 system, previously thought only responsive to photoperiod cues. PMID:25490148

  19. Reward Associated with Singing Behavior Correlates with Opioid-Related Gene Expression in the Medial Preoptic Nucleus in Male European Starlings

    PubMed Central

    Riters, Lauren V.; Stevenson, Sharon A.; DeVries, M. Susan; Cordes, Melissa A.

    2014-01-01

    Birdsong consists of species-specific learned vocal sequences that are used primarily to attract mates and to repel competitors during the breeding season. However, many birds continue to sing at times when vocal production has no immediate or obvious impact on conspecific behavior. The mechanisms that ensure that animals produce important behaviors in contexts in which the function of these behaviors is not immediate or obvious are not known. One possibility is that animals engage in such behaviors because they are associated with pleasure. Here we examined the hypothesis that male European starlings sing outside of the breeding season in part because the act of singing in this context is facilitated and/or maintained by opioid-mediated reward. We measured song-associated reward using a conditioned place preference (CPP) test in male starlings producing fall, non-breeding season-typical song. We used quantitative real time PCR to measure expression of the enkephalin opioid precursor preproenkephalin (PENK) and mu opioid receptors (MOR) in the medial preoptic nucleus (POM; a region in which opioids are implicated in both reward and starling fall song) and additionally the song control region HVC as a control. Starlings developed a strong preference for a place that had been paired previously with the act of producing fall-typical song, indicating that fall song production was associated with a positive affective state. Both PENK and MOR mRNA expression in the POM, but not HVC, correlated positively with both individual reward state (as reflected in CPP) and undirected singing behavior. These results suggest that singing induces opioid receptor and enkephalin expression in the POM and consequent reward, and/or that opioid release in the POM induced by individual or environmental factors (e.g., the presence of food, safety of a flock or the absence of predators) induces a positive affective state which then facilitates singing behavior. PMID:25521590

  20. Reward associated with singing behavior correlates with opioid-related gene expression in the medial preoptic nucleus in male European starlings.

    PubMed

    Riters, Lauren V; Stevenson, Sharon A; DeVries, M Susan; Cordes, Melissa A

    2014-01-01

    Birdsong consists of species-specific learned vocal sequences that are used primarily to attract mates and to repel competitors during the breeding season. However, many birds continue to sing at times when vocal production has no immediate or obvious impact on conspecific behavior. The mechanisms that ensure that animals produce important behaviors in contexts in which the function of these behaviors is not immediate or obvious are not known. One possibility is that animals engage in such behaviors because they are associated with pleasure. Here we examined the hypothesis that male European starlings sing outside of the breeding season in part because the act of singing in this context is facilitated and/or maintained by opioid-mediated reward. We measured song-associated reward using a conditioned place preference (CPP) test in male starlings producing fall, non-breeding season-typical song. We used quantitative real time PCR to measure expression of the enkephalin opioid precursor preproenkephalin (PENK) and mu opioid receptors (MOR) in the medial preoptic nucleus (POM; a region in which opioids are implicated in both reward and starling fall song) and additionally the song control region HVC as a control. Starlings developed a strong preference for a place that had been paired previously with the act of producing fall-typical song, indicating that fall song production was associated with a positive affective state. Both PENK and MOR mRNA expression in the POM, but not HVC, correlated positively with both individual reward state (as reflected in CPP) and undirected singing behavior. These results suggest that singing induces opioid receptor and enkephalin expression in the POM and consequent reward, and/or that opioid release in the POM induced by individual or environmental factors (e.g., the presence of food, safety of a flock or the absence of predators) induces a positive affective state which then facilitates singing behavior. PMID:25521590

  1. Absence of circannual toxicity of parathion to starlings

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Grue, C.E.

    1990-01-01

    Ambient temperature and season have been observed to influence the toxicity of several environmental pollutants in homeotherms. The circannual toxicity of ethyl parathion (EP) was examined in adult European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Groups of birds housed in outdoor pens received oral doses of EP (20-150 mg/kg body weight) in fall, winter, spring and summer (temperature range -3.3 to 36.7?C). The median lethal dosage (LD50), and brain and plasma cholinesterase inhibition, were found to be quite similar among seasons. There was some suggestion that EP may have been more toxic during hot weather (winter versus summer LD50 estimate [95% confidence interval]:160 [114-225] vs. 118 [102-136] mg/kg; P<0.10). In view of previous reports in which ambient temperature extremes and harsh weather have enhanced organophosphorus insecticide toxicity to birds, it is concluded that circannual toxicity studies should include measures of sensitivity (acute oral exposure) and vulnerability (dietary exposure) to better predict responses of free-ranging birds

  2. Extrapolating laboratory avian toxicity data to free-living birds: Comparison of the toxicity of parathion to captive and free-living European starlings

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grue, C.E.; Rattner, B.A.; Bunck, C.M.

    1993-01-01

    In 1985 and 1986, we captured nesting wild female European starlings with young 8-10 days of age. Birds were weighted, banded, and given one of four dosages of the OP insecticide parathion (50, 72, 104 or 150 mg/kg dissolved in corn oil) or pure corn-oil (control). and their young weighed. Nest boxes (7- 12/treatment) were observed and young re-weighed 2-3 days postdose to determine presence/absence of the females. If necessary, males were captured and fate of young used to confirm female response. Brain ChE inhibition in dosed birds (based on a pilot study) was 55-74%. EC50's (failure to return to nest box) for the females was 74 mg/kg in 1985 and 92 mg/kg in 1986. Confidence limit (95%) for these estimates overlapped LD50's for captive female starlings dosed with the OP in spring and early summer 1987 (136, 128 mg/kg, respectively). Results suggest that responses of captive and free-living birds to potentially lethal concentrations of OP's are similar, despite the additional stresses in the wild.

  3. A longitudinal study of feed contamination by European starling excreta in Ohio dairy farms (2007-2008).

    PubMed

    Medhanie, G A; Pearl, D L; McEwen, S A; Guerin, M T; Jardine, C M; Schrock, J; LeJeune, J T

    2014-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to understand the temporal pattern of contamination of cattle feed by starling excrement on dairy farms and to evaluate the temporal pattern in recovering Escherichia coli O157:H7 or Salmonella in relation to the absolute mass of excrement recovered. A longitudinal study was conducted on 15 dairy farms in Ohio from July 2007 to October 2008. One open-topped tray filled with bird feed was placed near a cattle feeding site; bird excrement from the tray was weighed monthly for 12 consecutive months. Linear regression models with a random intercept for farm were computed to examine the association between the absolute weight of excrement recovered each month or the farm-specific standard score for weight of excrement, and month or season. Exact logistic regression was used to determine whether an association between recovering E. coli O157:H7 or Salmonella was present and the amount of excrement recovered and season. A spatial scan statistic was used to test for evidence of space-time clustering of excrement, based on the standard score for the weight of the excrement, among our study farms. A total of 5 of 179 excrement samples (2.79%) were positive for E. coli O157:H7 and 2 (1.12%) were positive for Salmonella. A significantly higher level of contamination with excrement was observed during the winter. The odds of recovering a pathogen increased with the amount of excrement recovered and decreased if the excrement was collected in the winter. A spatio-temporal cluster of contamination with excrement was detected. These findings provide basic information for future quantitative microbial risk assessments concerning the role of starlings in spreading enteric pathogens on dairy farms. PMID:24881798

  4. Effects of 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene on immune function and mixed-function oxygenase activity in the European starling

    SciTech Connect

    Trust, K.A.; Hooper, M.J. . Inst. of Wildlife and Environmental Toxicology); Fairbrother, A. . Environmental Research Lab.)

    1994-05-01

    Immune function and hepatic MFO activity were examined in adult and nestling starlings administered a synthetic PAH, 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA). Methods used to examine the starling immune system included immunopathology, macrophage phagocytosis, lymphocyte blastogenesis to concanavalin A, and hemagglutination of sheep erythrocytes (SRBC). Concomitant investigations of MFO activity were conducted in starlings exposed to DMBA. Ethoxyresorufin O-dealkylase (EROD) and pentoxyresorufin O-depentylase (PROD) were used as indicators of hepatic MFO activity. Changes in MFO activity were compared to chemically altered immune responses following DMBA exposure. Subcutaneous exposure of adult starlings to 125 mg/kg DMBA resulted in suppression of lymphocyte blastogenesis and antibody production to SRBC. EROD and PROD activity were increased 2.8- and 3.4-fold, respectively. Lymphocyte blastogenesis was impaired in adult starlings orally exposed to 125 mg/kg DMBA. The immune system of nestling starlings exposed orally to 100 mg/kg DMBA was altered, as evidenced by decreased phagocytic ability of macrophages and inhibition of lymphocyte blastogenesis. Oral exposure to DMBA did not induce MFO activity in starlings of either age class. Effects of DMBA on immune function and MFO activity in starlings varied with the age of birds and route and length of chemical exposure.

  5. EFFECTS OF 7,12-DIMETHYLBENZ[A]ANTHRACENE ON IMMUNE FUNCTION AND MIXED-FUNCTION OXYGENASE ACTIVITY IN THE EUROPEAN STARLING

    EPA Science Inventory

    Immune function and hepatic mixed-function oxygenase (MFO) activity were xamined in adult and nestling starlings administered a synthetic PAH, 7,12dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA). ethods used to examine the starling immune system included immunopathology, macrophage phagocytosis...

  6. Developmental telomere attrition predicts impulsive decision-making in adult starlings.

    PubMed

    Bateson, Melissa; Brilot, Ben O; Gillespie, Robert; Monaghan, Pat; Nettle, Daniel

    2015-01-22

    Animals in a poor biological state face reduced life expectancy, and as a consequence should make decisions that prioritize immediate survival and reproduction over long-term benefits. We tested the prediction that if, as has been suggested, developmental telomere attrition is a biomarker of state and future life expectancy, then individuals who have undergone greater developmental telomere attrition should display greater choice impulsivity as adults. We measured impulsive decision-making in a cohort of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) in which we had previously manipulated developmental telomere attrition by cross-fostering sibling chicks into broods of different sizes. We show that as predicted by state-dependent optimality models, individuals who had sustained greater developmental telomere attrition and who had shorter current telomeres made more impulsive foraging decisions as adults, valuing smaller, sooner food rewards more highly than birds with less attrition and longer telomeres. Our findings shed light on the biological embedding of early adversity and support a functional explanation for its consequences that could be applicable to other species, including humans. PMID:25473012

  7. Winter habitat associations of blackbirds and starlings wintering in the south-central United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Matthew Strassburg; Crimmins, Shawn M.; George M. Linz; McKann, Patrick C.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.

    2015-01-01

    Birds can cause extensive crop damage in the United States. In some regions, depredating species comprise a substantial portion of the total avian population, emphasizing their importance both economically and ecologically. We used the National Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count data from the south-central United States and mixed-effects models to identify habitat factors associated with population trend and abundance for 5 species: red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), common grackle (Quiscalus quiscula), rusty blackbird (Euphagus carolinus), Brewer’s blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus), and European starling (Sturnus vulgaris). Overall, we found positive associations between bird abundance and agricultural land-cover for all species. Relationships between abundance and other land-cover types were species-specific, often with contrasting relationships among species. Likewise, we found no consistent patterns among abundance and climate. Of the 5 species, only red-winged blackbirds had a significant population trend in our study area, increasing annually by 2.4%. There was marginal evidence to suggest population increases for rusty blackbirds, whereas all other species showed no trend in population size within our study area. Our study provides managers who are interested in limiting crop damage in the south-central United States with novel information on habitat associations in the region that could be used to improve management and control actions.

  8. Nationwide residues of mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, and selenium in starlings, 1973

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    White, D.H.; Bean, J.R.; Longcore, J.R.

    1977-01-01

    Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) collected in 1973 at 51 sites throughout the continental United States were analyzed for mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, and selenium. All samples contained detectable levels of these elements. In general, residues were low: mercury residues ranged from <0.01 to 0.20 ppm: lead, from <0.10 10 3.20 ppm: cadmium, from <0.05 to 0.20 ppm: arsenic, from <0.05 to 1.40 ppm: and selenium, from 0.10 to 1.10 ppm. There was a significant overall decline in mercury and lead residues in starlings since 1971, and a significant increase in arsenic residues. Lead residues were significantly higher in starlings from urban areas than from rural areas.

  9. Inverted-U shaped effects of D1 dopamine receptor stimulation in the medial preoptic nucleus on sexually motivated song in male European starlings.

    PubMed

    Riters, Lauren V; Pawlisch, Benjamin A; Kelm-Nelson, Cynthia A; Stevenson, Sharon A

    2014-02-01

    Past studies in songbirds have highlighted a central role for the medial preoptic nucleus (mPOA) in context-appropriate vocal communication. During the breeding season, male songbirds sing primarily to attract females (sexually motivated song) and to repel competitors (agonistically motivated song). Past data have linked dopamine and D1 dopamine receptors in the mPOA to sexually motivated but not agonistically motivated song; however, direct effects of dopamine receptor manipulations in the mPOA on song have not been experimentally tested. Here, we tested the hypothesis that D1 receptor stimulation in the mPOA selectively influences sexually motivated male song, and the possibility that the effects of D1 receptor agonism differ at low and high doses. In a first study, breeding-condition male European starlings received infusions of saline or a single dose of the D1 receptor agonist SKF 38393 on separate test days into the mPOA or hypothalamic control areas. Stimulation of D1 receptors in the mPOA triggered sexually motivated but not agonistically motivated song. A second study showed inverted-U shaped dose-response effects of the agonist, such that low levels of sexually motivated song were observed at low and high levels of D1 receptor activation. A third study showed that the effects of the D1 receptor agonist were blocked by the D1 receptor antagonist SCH 23390. These findings suggest that an optimal level of D1 receptor stimulation in the mPOA is needed to facilitate sexually motivated vocal production. The results support a central, context-specific role for the mPOA in vocal communication, and more broadly demonstrate a complex, modulatory influence of D1 receptors in the mPOA on sexually motivated behavior. PMID:24528137

  10. Do spotless starlings place feathers at their nests by ultraviolet color?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avilés, Jesús M.; Parejo, Deseada; Pérez-Contreras, Tomás; Navarro, Carlos; Soler, Juan J.

    2010-02-01

    A considerable number of bird species carry feathers to their nests. Feathers’ presence in the nests has traditionally been explained by their insulating properties. Recently, however, it has been suggested that feathers carried to the nests by females of the spotted starling ( Sturnus unicolor L.) could have an ornamental function based on their ultraviolet (300-400 nm) and human-visible longer wavelength (400-700 nm) coloration. In our population, 95.7% of feathers found inside next-boxes occupied by nesting starlings were rock dove fly feathers. Of these feathers, 82.7% were naturally positioned with their reverse side oriented toward the entrance hole and 42.4% of all found feathers were situated within the nest-cup. Here we experimentally assess the signaling function of ultraviolet coloration of feathers in nests of spotless starlings by providing nests with a number of pigeon flight feathers that were respectively treated on their obverse, reverse, both, or neither side with a UV blocker. Starlings placed 42.5% of the experimental feathers in the nest-cup irrespective of the UV block treatment. Orientation of feathers toward the entrance hole was not related with their ultraviolet radiation. However, feathers placed within the nest-cup were more likely found with their reverse side oriented toward the entrance hole confirming our correlative findings. These results suggest a minor role of ultraviolet coloration on feather location by spotless starlings.

  11. Diffusion of individual birds in starling flocks.

    PubMed

    Cavagna, A; Duarte Queirós, S M; Giardina, I; Stefanini, F; Viale, M

    2013-04-01

    Flocking is a paradigmatic example of collective animal behaviour, where global order emerges out of self-organization. Each individual has a tendency to align its flight direction with those of neighbours, and such a simple form of interaction produces a state of collective motion of the group. When compared with other cases of collective ordering, a crucial feature of animal groups is that the interaction network is not fixed in time, as each individual moves and continuously changes its neighbours. The possibility to exchange neighbours strongly enhances the stability of global ordering and the way information is propagated through the group. Here, we assess the relevance of this mechanism in large flocks of starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). We find that birds move faster than Brownian walkers both with respect to the centre of mass of the flock, and with respect to each other. Moreover, this behaviour is strongly anisotropic with respect to the direction of motion of the flock. We also measure the amount of neighbours reshuffling and find that neighbours change in time exclusively as a consequence of the random fluctuations in the individual motion, so that no specific mechanism to keep one's neighbours seems to be enforced. On the contrary, our findings suggest that a more complex dynamical process occurs at the border of the flock. PMID:23407827

  12. Recursion, Language, and Starlings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corballis, Michael C.

    2007-01-01

    It has been claimed that recursion is one of the properties that distinguishes human language from any other form of animal communication. Contrary to this claim, a recent study purports to demonstrate center-embedded recursion in starlings. I show that the performance of the birds in this study can be explained by a counting strategy, without any…

  13. Are Female Starlings Able to Recognize the Scent of Their Offspring?

    PubMed Central

    Amo, Luisa; Tomás, Gustavo; Parejo, Deseada; Avilés, Jesús Miguel

    2014-01-01

    Background Although there is growing evidence that birds may have individual chemical profiles that can function in several social contexts, offspring recognition based on olfactory cues has never been explored. This ability should be more likely evolved in colonial birds and/or species suffering brood parasitism, in which the risk of being engaged in costly misdirected parental care is high. Methodology/Principal Findings We performed a choice experiment to examine whether females of the spotless starling, Sturnus unicolor, a species that is colonial, and where a fraction of the population is exposed to intraspecific brood parasitism, can discriminate between the scent of their offspring and that of unrelated nestlings. We also explored whether the development of the uropygial gland secretion may play a role in such olfactory discrimination by performing the choice experiments to females rearing nestlings of two different ages, that is, without and with developed uropygial glands. Results showed that female starlings did not preferentially choose the scent of their offspring, independently of whether the gland of nestlings was developed or not. Conclusions/Significance Our results suggest that female starlings do not have or do not show the ability to distinguish their offspring based on olfaction, at least up to 12–14 days of nestling age. Further research is needed to examine whether odour-based discrimination may function when fledgling starlings leave the nest and the risk of costly misidentification is likely to increase. PMID:25299305

  14. DDT residues in starlings, 1974.

    PubMed

    Nickerson, P R; Barbehenn, K R

    1975-06-01

    In the preceding issue of this journal, the authors suggested that the mean level of DDT plus metabolites in starlings should drop below 0.1 ppm for the 1974 collection. They based their prediction on an analysis of the relationship between mean levels of DDT and its metabolites in starlings and estimates of domestic disappearance of DDT. The present brief summarizes initial findings from the 1974 starling collection. Authors indicate that their eariler estimates for disappearance of total DDT were optimistic: the geometric mean for 1974 was 0.282, a 36 percent reduction from the 1972 mean of 0.442. PMID:1181546

  15. Campylobacter jejuni colonization and population structure in urban populations of ducks and starlings in New Zealand

    PubMed Central

    Mohan, Vathsala; Stevenson, Mark; Marshall, Jonathan; Fearnhead, Paul; Holland, Barbara R; Hotter, Grant; French, Nigel P

    2013-01-01

    Abstract A repeated cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the prevalence of Campylobacter spp. and the population structure of C. jejuni in European starlings and ducks cohabiting multiple public access sites in an urban area of New Zealand. The country's geographical isolation and relatively recent history of introduction of wild bird species, including the European starling and mallard duck, create an ideal setting to explore the impact of geographical separation on the population biology of C. jejuni, as well as potential public health implications. A total of 716 starling and 720 duck fecal samples were collected and screened for C. jejuni over a 12 month period. This study combined molecular genotyping, population genetics and epidemiological modeling and revealed: (i) higher Campylobacter spp. isolation in starlings (46%) compared with ducks (30%), but similar isolation of C. jejuni in ducks (23%) and starlings (21%), (ii) significant associations between the isolation of Campylobacter spp. and host species, sampling location and time of year using logistic regression, (iii) evidence of population differentiation, as indicated by FST, and host-genotype association with clonal complexes CC ST-177 and CC ST-682 associated with starlings, and clonal complexes CC ST-1034, CC ST-692, and CC ST-1332 associated with ducks, and (iv) greater genetic diversity and genotype richness in ducks compared with starlings. These findings provide evidence that host-associated genotypes, such as the starling-associated ST-177 and ST-682, represent lineages that were introduced with the host species in the 19th century. The isolation of sequence types associated with human disease in New Zealand indicate that wild ducks and starlings need to be considered as a potential public health risk, particularly in urban areas. We applied molecular epidemiology and population genetics to obtain insights in to the population structure, host-species relationships, gene flow and

  16. Diffusion and Topological Neighbours in Flocks of Starlings: Relating a Model to Empirical Data

    PubMed Central

    Hemelrijk, Charlotte K.; Hildenbrandt, Hanno

    2015-01-01

    Moving in a group while avoiding collisions with group members causes internal dynamics in the group. Although these dynamics have recently been measured quantitatively in starling flocks (Sturnus vulgaris), it is unknown what causes them. Computational models have shown that collective motion in groups is likely due to attraction, avoidance and, possibly, alignment among group members. Empirical studies show that starlings adjust their movement to a fixed number of closest neighbours or topological range, namely 6 or 7 and assume that each of the three activities is done with the same number of neighbours (topological range). Here, we start from the hypothesis that escape behavior is more effective at preventing collisions in a flock when avoiding the single closest neighbor than compromising by avoiding 6 or 7 of them. For alignment and attraction, we keep to the empirical topological range. We investigate how avoiding one or several neighbours affects the internal dynamics of flocks of starlings in our computational model StarDisplay. By comparing to empirical data, we confirm that internal dynamics resemble empirical data more closely if flock members avoid merely their single, closest neighbor. Our model shows that considering a different number of interaction partners per activity represents a useful perspective and that changing a single parameter, namely the number of interaction partners that are avoided, has several effects through selforganisation. PMID:25993474

  17. Diffusion and topological neighbours in flocks of starlings: relating a model to empirical data.

    PubMed

    Hemelrijk, Charlotte K; Hildenbrandt, Hanno

    2015-01-01

    Moving in a group while avoiding collisions with group members causes internal dynamics in the group. Although these dynamics have recently been measured quantitatively in starling flocks (Sturnus vulgaris), it is unknown what causes them. Computational models have shown that collective motion in groups is likely due to attraction, avoidance and, possibly, alignment among group members. Empirical studies show that starlings adjust their movement to a fixed number of closest neighbours or topological range, namely 6 or 7 and assume that each of the three activities is done with the same number of neighbours (topological range). Here, we start from the hypothesis that escape behavior is more effective at preventing collisions in a flock when avoiding the single closest neighbor than compromising by avoiding 6 or 7 of them. For alignment and attraction, we keep to the empirical topological range. We investigate how avoiding one or several neighbours affects the internal dynamics of flocks of starlings in our computational model StarDisplay. By comparing to empirical data, we confirm that internal dynamics resemble empirical data more closely if flock members avoid merely their single, closest neighbor. Our model shows that considering a different number of interaction partners per activity represents a useful perspective and that changing a single parameter, namely the number of interaction partners that are avoided, has several effects through selforganisation. PMID:25993474

  18. Campylobacter jejuni colonization and population structure in urban populations of ducks and starlings in New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Mohan, Vathsala; Stevenson, Mark; Marshall, Jonathan; Fearnhead, Paul; Holland, Barbara R; Hotter, Grant; French, Nigel P

    2013-08-01

    A repeated cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the prevalence of Campylobacter spp. and the population structure of C. jejuni in European starlings and ducks cohabiting multiple public access sites in an urban area of New Zealand. The country's geographical isolation and relatively recent history of introduction of wild bird species, including the European starling and mallard duck, create an ideal setting to explore the impact of geographical separation on the population biology of C. jejuni, as well as potential public health implications. A total of 716 starling and 720 duck fecal samples were collected and screened for C. jejuni over a 12 month period. This study combined molecular genotyping, population genetics and epidemiological modeling and revealed: (i) higher Campylobacter spp. isolation in starlings (46%) compared with ducks (30%), but similar isolation of C. jejuni in ducks (23%) and starlings (21%), (ii) significant associations between the isolation of Campylobacter spp. and host species, sampling location and time of year using logistic regression, (iii) evidence of population differentiation, as indicated by FST , and host-genotype association with clonal complexes CC ST-177 and CC ST-682 associated with starlings, and clonal complexes CC ST-1034, CC ST-692, and CC ST-1332 associated with ducks, and (iv) greater genetic diversity and genotype richness in ducks compared with starlings. These findings provide evidence that host-associated genotypes, such as the starling-associated ST-177 and ST-682, represent lineages that were introduced with the host species in the 19th century. The isolation of sequence types associated with human disease in New Zealand indicate that wild ducks and starlings need to be considered as a potential public health risk, particularly in urban areas. PMID:23873654

  19. Organochlorine residues in starlings, 1972.

    PubMed

    Nickerson, P R; Barbehenn, K R

    1975-03-01

    During the fall of 1972 starlings were collected from 130 sites in conjunction with the National Pesticide Monitoring Program. They were analyzed for DDT and its metabolites, dieldrin, heptachlor epoxide, benzene hexachloride, polychlorinated biphenyls and, for the first time in the series, oxychlordane and HCB. Mean DDT and dieldrin residue levels have declined significantly since 1967 and a regression analysis suggests that levels of DDT and its metabolites should fall below a mean of 0.1 ppm for the 1974 starling collection. PMID:1161450

  20. Feathers at nests are potential female signals in the spotless starling

    PubMed Central

    Veiga, José P; Polo, Vicente

    2005-01-01

    Although the presence of feathers in the nest is widespread among birds, it has not been previously suggested that feathers can be used as sexual signals. Females of the spotless starling (Sturnus unicolor) regularly carry feathers to their nest, mostly during laying and incubation. We show that the arrangement of these feathers was non-random with respect to the side (obverse or reverse) placed upwards (which can be viewed from the nest entrance). Feathers of the wood pigeon (Columba palumbus) and the spotless starling, which exhibit higher ultraviolet and visible reflectance on their reverse side, were predominantly placed with this side upwards. On the contrary, feathers of the jay (Garrulus glandarius) were predominantly found exhibiting the obverse side, which possesses higher reflectance in this species. Feathers of the azure-winged magpie (Cyanopica cyana), with similar reflectance values on either side, were placed indiscriminately in obverse and reverse positions. The results suggest that feathers are arranged to maximize their conspicuousness within the nest and hence that they might be potentially used as intraspecific signals. PMID:17148200

  1. Starlings uphold principles of economic rationality for delay and probability of reward.

    PubMed

    Monteiro, Tiago; Vasconcelos, Marco; Kacelnik, Alex

    2013-04-01

    Rationality principles are the bedrock of normative theories of decision-making in biology and microeconomics, but whereas in microeconomics, consistent choice underlies the notion of utility; in biology, the assumption of consistent selective pressures justifies modelling decision mechanisms as if they were designed to maximize fitness. In either case, violations of consistency contradict expectations and attract theoretical interest. Reported violations of rationality in non-humans include intransitivity (i.e. circular preferences) and lack of independence of irrelevant alternatives (changes in relative preference between options when embedded in different choice sets), but the extent to which these observations truly represent breaches of rationality is debatable. We tested both principles with starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), training subjects either with five options differing in food delay (exp. 1) or with six options differing in reward probability (exp. 2), before letting them choose repeatedly one option out of several binary and trinary sets of options. The starlings conformed to economic rationality on both tests, showing strong stochastic transitivity and no violation of the independence principle. These results endorse the rational choice and optimality approaches used in behavioural ecology, and highlight the need for functional and mechanistic enquiring when apparent violations of such principles are observed. PMID:23390098

  2. Starlings uphold principles of economic rationality for delay and probability of reward

    PubMed Central

    Monteiro, Tiago; Vasconcelos, Marco; Kacelnik, Alex

    2013-01-01

    Rationality principles are the bedrock of normative theories of decision-making in biology and microeconomics, but whereas in microeconomics, consistent choice underlies the notion of utility; in biology, the assumption of consistent selective pressures justifies modelling decision mechanisms as if they were designed to maximize fitness. In either case, violations of consistency contradict expectations and attract theoretical interest. Reported violations of rationality in non-humans include intransitivity (i.e. circular preferences) and lack of independence of irrelevant alternatives (changes in relative preference between options when embedded in different choice sets), but the extent to which these observations truly represent breaches of rationality is debatable. We tested both principles with starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), training subjects either with five options differing in food delay (exp. 1) or with six options differing in reward probability (exp. 2), before letting them choose repeatedly one option out of several binary and trinary sets of options. The starlings conformed to economic rationality on both tests, showing strong stochastic transitivity and no violation of the independence principle. These results endorse the rational choice and optimality approaches used in behavioural ecology, and highlight the need for functional and mechanistic enquiring when apparent violations of such principles are observed. PMID:23390098

  3. Can starling eggs be useful as a biomonitoring tool to study organohalogenated contaminants on a worldwide scale?

    PubMed

    Eens, Marcel; Jaspers, Veerle L B; Van den Steen, Evi; Bateson, Melissa; Carere, Claudio; Clergeau, Philippe; Costantini, David; Dolenec, Zdravko; Elliott, John E; Flux, John; Gwinner, Helga; Halbrook, Richard S; Heeb, Philipp; Mazgajski, Tomasz D; Moksnes, Arne; Polo, Vicente; Soler, Juan José; Sinclair, Ron; Veiga, José P; Williams, Tony D; Covaci, Adrian; Pinxten, Rianne

    2013-01-01

    Large-scale international monitoring studies are important to assess emission patterns and environmental distributions of organohalogenated contaminants (OHCs) on a worldwide scale. In this study, the presence of OHCs was investigated on three continents (Europe, North America and Australasia), using eggs of starlings (Sturnus vulgaris and Sturnus unicolor) to assess their suitability for large-scale monitoring studies. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study using bird eggs of the same species as a biomonitor for OHCs on an intercontinental scale. We found significant differences in OHC concentrations of the eggs among sampling locations, except for hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs). Mean concentrations of sum polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in eggs ranged from 78±26 ng/glipid weight (lw) in Australia to 2900±1300 ng/g lw in the United States. The PCB profile was dominated by CB 153 and CB 138 in all locations, except for New Zealand, where the contribution of CB 95, CB 101 and CB 149 was also high. The highest mean sum polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) concentrations were found in Canada (4400±830 ng/g lw), while the lowest mean PBDE concentrations were measured in Spain (3.7±0.1 ng/g lw). The PBDE profile in starling eggs was dominated by BDE 47 and BDE 99 in all countries, but in Belgium, the higher brominated PBDEs had a higher contribution compared to other countries. For the organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs) ranged from 110±16 ng/g lw in France to 17,000±3400 ng/g lw in New Zealand, while HCHs and hexachlorobenzene were generally in low concentrations in all sampling locations. Chlordanes were remarkably high in eggs from the United States (2500±1300 ng/g lw). The OCP profile in all countries was largely dominated by p,p'-DDE. In general, the worldwide trends we observed in starling eggs were in accordance with the literature on human and environmental OHC data, which suggests that there is

  4. Further studies on the use of enzyme profiles to monitor residue accumulation in wildlife: Plasma enzymes in starlings fed graded concentrations of morsodren, DDE, Aroclor 1254, and malathion

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dieter, M.P.

    1975-01-01

    Wild-trapped starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) were fed concentrations of Morsodren (2, 4, and 8 ppm), DDE or Aroclor 1254 (5, 25, and 100 ppm), or malathion (8, 35, and 160 ppm) that were found to be sublethal in pen-reared Coturnix quail fed these amounts for 12 weeks. Plasma enzymes had to be measured earlier than planned in starlings fed Morsodren (at three weeks) or the organochlorine compounds (at seven weeks) because of unexpected, subsequent mortality. Variations in enzyme response were greater in wild than in pen-reared birds, but not enough to mask the toxicant-induced changes in enzyme activity. Cholinesterase activities decreased in birds fed Morsodren or malathion, and increased in those fed the organochlorine compounds. Lactate dehydrogenase activities increased two-fold in starlings fed Morsodren and two- to four-fold in those fed the organochlorine compounds, but only 50% in those fed malathion. Further examination of enzyme profiles showed that creatine kinase and aspartate aminotransferase activities increased two-to four-fold in birds fed Morsodren or the organochlorine compounds but not at all in those fed malathion. Thus the classes of environmental contaminants fed to starlings could be easily distinguished by these enzymatic parameters. Evaluation of enzymatic profiles appears to be a potentially valuable technique to monitor the presence of toxicants in wild populations, especially if used to complement standard chemical residue analyses. Here the residue analyses showed, after three weeks feeding, that mercury in the carcasses reflected the concentrations fed daily, whereas accumulation in the livers was two- to four-fold greater. After seven weeks feeding, liver residues of either organochlorine compound were about three-fold higher than the concentrations fed daily. However, four times as much DDE as Aroclor 1254 had accumulated in the carcasses.

  5. A three-dimensional digital atlas of the starling brain.

    PubMed

    De Groof, Geert; George, Isabelle; Touj, Sara; Stacho, Martin; Jonckers, Elisabeth; Cousillas, Hugo; Hausberger, Martine; Güntürkün, Onur; Van der Linden, Annemie

    2016-05-01

    Because of their sophisticated vocal behaviour, their social nature, their high plasticity and their robustness, starlings have become an important model species that is widely used in studies of neuroethology of song production and perception. Since magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) represents an increasingly relevant tool for comparative neuroscience, a 3D MRI-based atlas of the starling brain becomes essential. Using multiple imaging protocols we delineated several sensory systems as well as the song control system. This starling brain atlas can easily be used to determine the stereotactic location of identified neural structures at any angle of the head. Additionally, the atlas is useful to find the optimal angle of sectioning for slice experiments, stereotactic injections and electrophysiological recordings. The starling brain atlas is freely available for the scientific community. PMID:25690327

  6. Effect of urbanisation on habitat generalists: starlings not so flexible?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mennechez, Gwénaëlle; Clergeau, Philippe

    2006-09-01

    The small variability of habitat generalist abundances in relation to landscape changes has been related to their behavioural flexibility. We hypothesise that successful generalists, such as the starling, compensate for feeding resource difficulties (poor quality of food, accessibility) in habitats such as urban ecosystems and that its behavioural flexibility allows for similar breeding performance in rural and urban areas. Along an urbanisation gradient we compared simultaneously (1) success factors such as the abundance of breeding starlings, their breeding performance and the fitness of nestlings, and (2) possible flexibility quantified through the rate of parental food-provisioning, and the composition and the amount of food delivered to nestlings. Abundance of breeding starlings are similar throughout the urbanisation gradient, but urbanisation profoundly and negatively affects reproductive parameters of starlings. Differences in the amount of food delivered to nestlings by parents (less food in town centre), and the small masses of nestlings reared in the urban sectors support the idea that urban nestlings received insufficient food loads. Despite modifications to their diurnal food-provisioning rhythm and the incorporation of some human food refuse into their diet, starling parents have a significantly reduced production of young in the urban centre sector. We rebut the idea that the "generalist" starling is able to breed successfully anywhere: other more "specialist" species succeed in producing their young by innovating more in terms of diet resources. We suggest defining successful birds with respect to colonisation or invasion process through behavioural innovation rather than an ambiguous habitat generalist definition.

  7. Hand rearing affects emotional responses but not basic cognitive performance in European starlings☆

    PubMed Central

    Feenders, Gesa; Bateson, Melissa

    2013-01-01

    Hand rearing is a common procedure in behavioural research on birds. While likely to produce tamer experimental animals, there is a risk that it could induce pathological changes in brain and behaviour similar to those seen in mammals that have experienced maternal separation. We explored the effects of hand rearing on the cognitive and behavioural development of European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, to assess the generality of results obtained from hand-reared animals. Two groups of age-matched birds were created from the same wild population: one hand-reared from 10 days posthatch and one brought into the laboratory as independent juveniles. These groups were compared on a battery of neuropsychological tasks designed to probe different aspects of cognitive function including learning, perseverative cognition, interval timing, neophobia and impulsivity. There was no evidence for cognitive impairment in the hand-reared birds. They did not have reduced learning speed, impairments in accuracy or precision of interval timing or pathological perseverative cognition compared to the wild-caught birds. Additionally, there was no evidence that birds that developed stereotypies in laboratory cages (predominantly the wild-caught birds) had any cognitive impairments, although this may be because no birds had severe, crystallized stereotypies. There was some evidence that hand-reared birds were less neophobic and less impulsive than wild-caught birds, suggesting that hand rearing might alter emotionally mediated decision making in a direction usually associated with reduced developmental stress in mammals. This study therefore supports the use of hand rearing as an experimental procedure in behavioural research on passerine birds. PMID:23888084

  8. Patterns of phosphorylated tyrosine hydroxylase vary with song production in female starlings

    PubMed Central

    Ellis, Jesse M. S.; Riters, Lauren V.

    2013-01-01

    Vocal signal production in male songbirds is well studied, but the neural correlates of female song production are poorly understood. In European starlings, females sing to defend nesting resources, and song can be considered agonistically motivated. Across vertebrates catecholamines strongly influence motivated, agonistic social behaviors. The present study was designed to provide insight into a possible role for catecholamine activity in territorial song in female starlings. We presented females that were defending nest-cavities with an unfamiliar female and assessed song production. We then measured immunolabeling for phosphorylated tyrosine hydroxylase (pTH-ir), a rate-limiting enzyme for catecholamine synthesis, in brain regions in which catecholamines stimulate agonistic behavior. Females that sang had higher pTH-ir in the caudomedial ventral tegmental area and the lateral septum than females that did not sing. Furthermore, the number of songs produced correlated positively with pTH-ir in the medial preoptic nucleus. Phosphorylation of TH is thought to occur after catecholamine release, so these results link increased catecholamine activity in several brain regions governing agonistic behavior to territorial song production in females. PMID:23270608

  9. Care of nestlings by wild female starlings exposed to an organophosphate pesticide

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grue, C.E.; Powell, G.V.N.; McChesney, M.J.

    1982-01-01

    (1) Our objective was to determine the effect of exposure to an organophosphate pesticide (OP), dicrotophos (3-hydroxy-N,N-dimethyl-cis-scrotonamide dimethyl phosphate), on care of nestlings by wild female starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)....(2) We selected twelve pairs of active nests based on synchrony in the reproductive cycle. When nestlings were 10 days old (day 10), adult males were captured and killed and brood size was adjusted to four. The frequency and temporal distribution of sorties made by each pair of females to feed their young were recorded for 2 h at 18.00 hours on day 11 and 06.00 hours on day 12. One female from each pair was given a single oral dose of dicrotophos (2.5 mg/kg of body weight) dissolved in corn oil; the second female received an equivalent exposure of pure corn oil. Birds were released and their nestlings weighed. Parental care was again monitored between 18.00 and 20.00 hours on day 12 and 06.00 and 08.00 hours on day 13. Females were then captured and they with their young were weighed and killed. Changes in parental care in OP-dosed and control females were compared using paired t-tests. ....(3) The OP-dosed females made significantly (P < 0.5) fewer sorties to feed their young and remained away from their boxes for longer periods of time than controls. Nestlings of OP-treated females lost significantly more weight (X = 9.3%) than nestlings of controls (X = 3.2%). Brain ChE activity in OP-treated females was inhibited an average of 50.7% compared with controls. Weight changes in OP-dosed (X = -8.9%) and control females (X = -8.3%) were similar.....(4) Results indicate that parental care may be significantly reduced in songbirds receiving severe but sublethal exposure to organophosphate pesticides. The potential for a reduction or modification in parental care to alter reproductive success in passerines is discussed..... (5) Techniques utilized, or modifications thereof, may be useful in collecting the additional data needed to

  10. Starling flock networks manage uncertainty in consensus at low cost.

    PubMed

    Young, George F; Scardovi, Luca; Cavagna, Andrea; Giardina, Irene; Leonard, Naomi E

    2013-01-01

    Flocks of starlings exhibit a remarkable ability to maintain cohesion as a group in highly uncertain environments and with limited, noisy information. Recent work demonstrated that individual starlings within large flocks respond to a fixed number of nearest neighbors, but until now it was not understood why this number is seven. We analyze robustness to uncertainty of consensus in empirical data from multiple starling flocks and show that the flock interaction networks with six or seven neighbors optimize the trade-off between group cohesion and individual effort. We can distinguish these numbers of neighbors from fewer or greater numbers using our systems-theoretic approach to measuring robustness of interaction networks as a function of the network structure, i.e., who is sensing whom. The metric quantifies the disagreement within the network due to disturbances and noise during consensus behavior and can be evaluated over a parameterized family of hypothesized sensing strategies (here the parameter is number of neighbors). We use this approach to further show that for the range of flocks studied the optimal number of neighbors does not depend on the number of birds within a flock; rather, it depends on the shape, notably the thickness, of the flock. The results suggest that robustness to uncertainty may have been a factor in the evolution of flocking for starlings. More generally, our results elucidate the role of the interaction network on uncertainty management in collective behavior, and motivate the application of our approach to other biological networks. PMID:23382667

  11. Cardiac thin filament regulation and the Frank-Starling mechanism.

    PubMed

    Kobirumaki-Shimozawa, Fuyu; Inoue, Takahiro; Shintani, Seine A; Oyama, Kotaro; Terui, Takako; Minamisawa, Susumu; Ishiwata, Shin'ichi; Fukuda, Norio

    2014-07-01

    The heart has an intrinsic ability to increase systolic force in response to a rise in ventricular filling (the Frank-Starling law of the heart). It is widely accepted that the length dependence of myocardial activation underlies the Frank-Starling law of the heart. Recent advances in muscle physiology have enabled the identification of the factors involved in length-dependent activation, viz., titin (connectin)-based interfilament lattice spacing reduction and thin filament "on-off" regulation, with the former triggering length-dependent activation and the latter determining the number of myosin molecules recruited to thin filaments. Patients with a failing heart have demonstrated reduced exercise tolerance at least in part via depression of the Frank-Starling mechanism. Recent studies revealed that various mutations occur in the thin filament regulatory proteins, such as troponin, in the ventricular muscle of failing hearts, which consequently alter the Frank-Starling mechanism. In this article, we review the molecular mechanisms of length-dependent activation, and the influence of troponin mutations on the phenomenon. PMID:24788476

  12. Social coordination in animal vocal interactions. Is there any evidence of turn-taking? The starling as an animal model

    PubMed Central

    Henry, Laurence; Craig, Adrian J. F. K.; Lemasson, Alban; Hausberger, Martine

    2015-01-01

    Turn-taking in conversation appears to be a common feature in various human cultures and this universality raises questions about its biological basis and evolutionary trajectory. Functional convergence is a widespread phenomenon in evolution, revealing sometimes striking functional similarities between very distant species even though the mechanisms involved may be different. Studies on mammals (including non-human primates) and bird species with different levels of social coordination reveal that temporal and structural regularities in vocal interactions may depend on the species' social structure. Here we test the hypothesis that turn-taking and associated rules of conversations may be an adaptive response to the requirements of social life, by testing the applicability of turn-taking rules to an animal model, the European starling. Birdsong has for many decades been considered as one of the best models of human language and starling songs have been well described in terms of vocal production and perception. Starlings do have vocal interactions where alternating patterns predominate. Observational and experimental data on vocal interactions reveal that (1) there are indeed clear temporal and structural regularities, (2) the temporal and structural patterning is influenced by the immediate social context, the general social situation, the individual history, and the internal state of the emitter. Comparison of phylogenetically close species of Sturnids reveals that the alternating pattern of vocal interactions varies greatly according to the species' social structure, suggesting that interactional regularities may have evolved together with social systems. These findings lead to solid bases of discussion on the evolution of communication rules in relation to social evolution. They will be discussed also in terms of processes, at the light of recent neurobiological findings. PMID:26441787

  13. Energy expenditure during flight in relation to body mass: effects of natural increases in mass and artificial load in Rose Coloured Starlings

    PubMed Central

    Engel, Sophia; Visser, G. Henk

    2008-01-01

    Rose Coloured Starlings (Sturnus roseus) flew repeatedly for several hours in a wind tunnel while undergoing spontaneous variation in body mass. The treatments were as follows: flying unrestrained (U), with a control harness of 1.2% of their body mass (C), or with a harness of 7.4% of their body mass, which was either applied immediately before the flight (LS) or at least 9 days in advance (LL). Energy expenditure during flight (ef in W) was measured with the Doubly Labelled Water method. Flight costs in LS and LL were not significantly different and therefore were pooled (L). The harness itself did not affect ef, i.e. U and C flights were not different. ef was allometrically related with body mass m (in g). The slopes were not significantly different between the treatments, but ef was increased by 5.4% in L compared to C flights (log10(ef) = 0.050 + 0.47 × log10(m) for C, and log10(ef) = 0.073 + 0.47 × log10(m) for L). The difference in ef between C, LS and LL was best explained by taking the transported mass mtransp (in g) instead of m into account (log10(ef) = −0.08 + 0.54 × log10(mtransp)). Flight costs increased to a lesser extent than expected from interspecific allometric comparison or aerodynamic theory, regardless of whether the increase in mass occurred naturally or artificially. We did not observe an effect of treatment on breast muscle size and wingbeat frequency. We propose that the relatively low costs at a high mass are rather a consequence of immediate adjustments in physiology and/or flight behaviour than of long-term adaptations. PMID:18481070

  14. Microvascular fluid exchange and the revised Starling principle.

    PubMed

    Levick, J Rodney; Michel, C Charles

    2010-07-15

    Microvascular fluid exchange (flow J(v)) underlies plasma/interstitial fluid (ISF) balance and oedematous swelling. The traditional form of Starling's principle has to be modified in light of insights into the role of ISF pressures and the recognition of the glycocalyx as the semipermeable layer of endothelium. Sum-of-forces evidence and direct observations show that microvascular absorption is transient in most tissues; slight filtration prevails in the steady state, even in venules. This is due in part to the inverse relation between filtration rate and ISF plasma protein concentration; ISF colloid osmotic pressure (COP) rises as J(v) falls. In some specialized regions (e.g. kidney, intestinal mucosa), fluid absorption is sustained by local epithelial secretions, which flush interstitial plasma proteins into the lymphatic system. The low rate of filtration and lymph formation in most tissues can be explained by standing plasma protein gradients within the intercellular cleft of continuous capillaries (glycocalyx model) and around fenestrations. Narrow breaks in the junctional strands of the cleft create high local outward fluid velocities, which cause a disequilibrium between the subglycocalyx space COP and ISF COP. Recent experiments confirm that the effect of ISF COP on J(v) is much less than predicted by the conventional Starling principle, in agreement with modern models. Using a two-pore system model, we also explore how relatively small increases in large pore numbers dramatically increase J(v) during acute inflammation. PMID:20200043

  15. Test of the Starling resistor model in the human upper airway during sleep

    PubMed Central

    Genta, Pedro R.; Owens, Robert L.; Edwards, Bradley A.; Sands, Scott A.; Loring, Stephen H.; White, David P.; Jackson, Andrew C.; Pedersen, Ole F.; Butler, James P.

    2014-01-01

    The human pharyngeal airway during sleep is conventionally modeled as a Starling resistor. However, inspiratory flow often decreases with increasing effort (negative effort dependence, NED) rather than remaining fixed as predicted by the Starling resistor model. In this study, we tested a major prediction of the Starling resistor model—that the resistance of the airway upstream from the site of collapse remains fixed during flow limitation. During flow limitation in 24 patients with sleep apnea, resistance at several points along the pharyngeal airway was measured using a pressure catheter with multiple sensors. Resistance between the nose and the site of collapse (the upstream segment) was measured before and after the onset of flow limitation to determine whether the upstream dimensions remained fixed (as predicted by the Starling resistor model) or narrowed (a violation of the Starling resistor model). The upstream resistance from early to mid inspiration increased considerably during flow limitation (by 35 ± 41 cmH2O·liter−1·s−1, P < 0.001). However, there was a wide range of variability between patients, and the increase in upstream resistance was strongly correlated with the amount of NED (r = 0.75, P < 0.001). Therefore, patients with little NED exhibited little upstream narrowing (consistent with the Starling model), and patients with large NED exhibited large upstream narrowing (inconsistent with the Starling model). These findings support the idea that there is not a single model of pharyngeal collapse, but rather that different mechanisms may dominate in different patients. These differences could potentially be exploited for treatment selection. PMID:25324514

  16. Selection, constraint, and the evolution of coloration in African starlings.

    PubMed

    Maia, Rafael; Rubenstein, Dustin R; Shawkey, Matthew D

    2016-05-01

    Colorful plumage plays a prominent role in the evolution of birds, influencing communication (sexual/social selection), and crypsis (natural selection). Comparative studies have focused primarily on these selective pressures, but the mechanisms underlying color production can also be important by constraining the color gamut upon which selection acts. Iridescence is particularly interesting to study the interaction between selection and color-producing mechanisms because a broad range of colors can be produced with a shared template, and innovations to this template further expand this by increasing the parameters interacting to produce colors. We examine the patterns of ornamentation and dichromatism evolution in African starlings, a group remarkably diverse in color production mechanisms, social systems, and ecologies. We find that the presence of iridescence is ancestral to the group, being predominantly lost in females and cooperative breeders, as well as species with less labile templates. Color-producing mechanisms interact and are the main predictors of plumage ornamentation and elaboration, with little influence of selective pressures in their evolution. Dichromatism, however is influenced by social system and the loss of iridescence. Our results show the importance of considering both selection and constraints, and the different roles that they may have, in the evolution of ornamentation and dimorphism. PMID:27071847

  17. Nationwide residues of mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, and selenium in starlings, 1973.

    PubMed

    White, D H; Bean, J R; Longcore, J R

    1977-06-01

    Starlings (Sturnum vulgaris) collected in 1973 at 51 sites throughout the continental United States were analyzed for mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, and selenium. All samples contained detectable levels of these elements. In general, residues were low: mercury residues ranged from less than 0.01 to 0.20 ppm; lead, from less than 0.10 to 3.20 ppm; cadmium, from less than 0.05 to 0.20 ppm; arsenic, from less than 0.05 to 1.40 ppm; and selenium, from 0.10 to 1.10 ppm. There was a significant overall decline in mercury and lead residues in starlings since 1971, and a significant increase in arsenic residues. Lead residues were significantly higher in starlings from urban areas than from rural areas. PMID:887380

  18. Identification of Starling Circovirus in an Estuarine Mollusc (Amphibola crenata) in New Zealand Using Metagenomic Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Dayaram, Anisha; Goldstien, Sharyn; Zawar-Reza, Peyman; Gomez, Christopher; Harding, Jon S.

    2013-01-01

    Two complete genomes of starling circovirus (StCV) were recovered from Amphibola crenata, an estuarine New Zealand mollusc. This is the first report of StCV outside Europe. The viral genomes were recovered from rolling circle-amplified enriched circular DNA followed by back-to-back primers and specific primer PCR amplification. PMID:23723397

  19. Effect of thermal stress on Frank-Starling relations in humans.

    PubMed

    Wilson, T E; Brothers, R M; Tollund, C; Dawson, E A; Nissen, P; Yoshiga, C C; Jons, C; Secher, N H; Crandall, C G

    2009-07-01

    The Frank-Starling 'law of the heart' is implicated in certain types of orthostatic intolerance in humans. Environmental conditions have the capacity to modulate orthostatic tolerance, where heat stress decreases and cooling increases orthostatic tolerance. The objective of this project was to test the hypothesis that heat stress augments and cooling attenuates orthostatic-induced decreases in stroke volume (SV) via altering the operating position on a Frank-Starling curve. Pulmonary artery catheters were placed in 11 subjects for measures of pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP) and SV (thermodilution derived cardiac output/heart rate). Subjects experienced lower-body negative-pressure (LBNP) of 0, 15 and 30 mmHg during normothermia, skin-surface cooling (decrease in mean skin temperature of 4.3 +/- 0.4 degrees C (mean +/- s.e.m.) via perfusing 16 degrees C water through a tubed-lined suit), and whole-body heating (increase in blood temperature of 1.0 +/- 0.1 degrees C via perfusing 46 degrees C water through the suit). SV was 123 +/- 8, 121 +/- 10, 131 +/- 7 ml prior to LBNP, during normothermia, skin-surface cooling, and whole-body heating, respectfully (P = 0.20). LBNP of 30 mmHg induced greater decreases in SV during heating (-48.7 +/- 6.7 ml) compared to normothermia (-33.2 +/- 7.4 ml) and to cooling (-10.3 +/- 2.9 ml; all P < 0.05). Relating PCWP to SV indicated that cooling values were located on the flatter portion of a Frank-Starling curve because of attenuated decreases in SV per decrease in PCWP. In contrast, heating values were located on the steeper portion of a Frank-Starling curve because of augmented decreases in SV per decrease in PCWP. These data suggest that a Frank-Starling mechanism may contribute to improvements in orthostatic tolerance during cold stress and orthostatic intolerance during heat stress. PMID:19417092

  20. European Starlings Are Capable of Discriminating Subtle Size Asymmetries in Paired Stimuli

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swaddle, John P.; Johnson, Charles W.

    2007-01-01

    Small deviations from bilateral symmetry (fluctuating asymmetries) are cues to fitness differences in some animals. Therefore, researchers have considered whether animals use these small asymmetries as visual cues to determine appropriate behavioral responses (e.g., mate preferences). However, there have been few systematic studies of animals'…

  1. Improving propulsive efficiency through passive mechanisms using a Starling vortex generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whittlesey, Robert; Dabiri, John

    2011-11-01

    Ruiz et al. (2011) demonstrated that pulsed propulsion with vortex rings, much like those seen in the wake of jellyfish and squid, can greatly enhance the overall efficiency of submersible vehicles. The objective of the present research is to achieve pulsed propulsion passively using a Starling vortex generator which consists of a collapsible tube within an airtight box. Recent work has shown that a Starling vortex generator is able to generate vortex rings, which indicates enhanced propulsion, while requiring less energy to generate pulsatility than the system by Ruiz et al. (2011). Current work is focused on conducting an experimental parameter study to determine an empirical scaling law suitable for design purposes, with the aim to integrate the device into a full-scale unmanned undersea vehicle. Support is greatly appreciated from ONR Awards N000140810918 and N000141010137.

  2. Thyroidectomy prevents the development of photorefractoriness and the associated rise in plasma prolactin in starlings

    SciTech Connect

    Goldsmith, A.R.; Nicholls, T.J.

    1984-05-01

    Intact and radiothyroidectomized male starlings were transferred from short (8-hr) to long (16-hr) day lengths and measurements made of testicular development and of plasma prolactin concentrations. In intact birds the testes reached full maturity within 3 weeks and regressed after 6 weeks of photostimulation, indicative of the development of photorefractoriness . Prolactin levels increased gradually, reaching maximal values at the time of testicular regression. Testicular growth was normal in the thyroidectomized birds. Removal of the testes from thyroidectomized birds after 1 year on long days resulted in a marked rise in plasma FSH, indicating that these birds were indeed not photorefractory ; FSH levels in the refractory-intact starlings remained low after castration. These results confirm that the presence of an intact thyroid gland is essential for the development of photorefractoriness and for the release of prolactin which normally follows photostimulation.

  3. Extent of utilization of the Frank-Starling mechanism in conscious dogs. [preload effects on myocardial regulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boettcher, D. H.; Vatner, S. F.; Heyndrickx, G. R.; Braunwald, E.

    1978-01-01

    The left ventricular end-diastolic pressure-dimension relationships in conscious dogs were studied; the ventricle was stressed to its limit in terms of myocardial preload in order to assess the extent of use of the Frank-Starling mechanism under these conditions. The preload was increased through volume loading with saline infusions, the provocation of global myocardial ischemia by constriction of the left main coronary artery, and infusion of methoxamine. While left ventricular end-diastolic pressure increased substantially in the reclining conscious animals, the left ventricular end-diastolic diameter did not increase, suggesting a minimum role for the Frank-Starling mechanism in this case.

  4. Empirical evidence of cold stress induced cell mediated and humoral immune response in common myna ( Sturnus tristis)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sandhu, Mansur A.; Zaib, Anila; Anjum, Muhammad S.; Qayyum, Mazhar

    2015-11-01

    Common myna ( Sturnus tristis) is a bird indigenous to the Indian subcontinent that has invaded many parts of the world. At the onset of our investigation, we hypothesized that the immunological profile of myna makes it resistant to harsh/new environmental conditions. In order to test this hypothesis, a number of 40 mynas were caught and divided into two groups, i.e., 7 and 25 °C for 14 days. To determine the effect of cold stress, cell mediated and humoral immune responses were assessed. The macrophage engulfment percentage was significantly ( P < 0.05) higher at 25 °C rather than 7 °C either co-incubated with opsonized or unopsonized sheep red blood cells (SRBC). Macrophage engulfment/cell and nitric oxide production behaved in a similar manner. However, splenic cells plaque formation, heterophil to lymphocyte (H/L) ratio, and serum IgM or IgG production remained non-significant. There was a significant increase of IgG antibody production after a second immunization by SRBC. To the best of our knowledge, these findings have never been reported in the progression of this bird's invasion in frosty areas of the world. The results revealed a strengthened humoral immune response of myna and made this bird suitable for invasion in the areas of harsh conditions.

  5. Prolactin is associated with the development of photorefractoriness in intact, castrated, and testosterone-implanted starlings

    SciTech Connect

    Goldsmith, A.R.; Nicholls, T.J.

    1984-05-01

    Using radioimmunoassays, prolactin, luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) were measured in the plasma of intact, castrated, and testosterone-implanted male starlings. Two groups of birds (intact and castrated males) were transferred when photosensitive from short (8-hr) to long (16-hr) day lengths; in both cases plasma prolactin levels increased steadily reaching a peak after 5 weeks of photostimulation, at the time of the onset of photorefractoriness. Three groups (intacts, castrates, and castrates implanted with Silastic capsules containing testosterone) were exposed to day lengths increasing by 30 min per week from 8 to 16 hr. Again, prolactin levels increased in a similar fashion in all three groups at the time of refractoriness, which occurred when the day length reached 15-16 hr. Thus the timing of photorefractoriness and the associated rise in prolactin secretion which occur in response to photostimulation do not depend upon the presence of the gonads and are not affected when testosterone is maintained at a constant high level. Nor is the increase in prolactin altered when the cycle of gonadotrophin secretion which normally precedes it is completely suppressed by the implantation of a testosterone capsule. It would seem that prolactin secretion in the starling is stimulated by transfer from short to long day lengths, but not as a consequence of high gonadotrophin or androgen secretion rates.

  6. Assessing Video Presentations as Environmental Enrichment for Laboratory Birds

    PubMed Central

    Coulon, Marion; Henry, Laurence; Perret, Audrey; Cousillas, Hugo; Hausberger, Martine; George, Isabelle

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of video presentations of natural landscapes on European starlings' (Sturnus vulgaris) stereotypic behaviours (SBs) and other abnormal repetitive behaviours (ARBs) and to evaluate the impact of past experience by comparing wild-caught and hand-reared starlings' reactions. Ten wild-caught and five hand-reared starlings were presented 1-hour videos of landscapes twice a day for five successive days, while a control group of eight wild-caught and four hand-reared starlings was presented a grey screen for the same amount of time. The analysis of the starlings' behaviour revealed that the video presentations of landscapes appeared to have a positive but limited and experience-dependent effect on starlings' SBs and other ARBs compared to the controls. Indeed, whereas video presentations seemed to modulate high rates of SBs and ARBs, they did not appear to be enriching enough to prevent the emergence or the development of SBs and ARBs in an impoverished environment. They even appeared to promote a particular type of SB (somersaulting) that is thought to be linked to escape motivation. The fact that this effect was observed in hand-reared starlings suggests that videos of landscapes could elicit motivation to escape even in birds that never experienced outdoor life. These results highlight the importance of investigating stereotypic behaviour both quantitatively and qualitatively in order to provide crucial clues on animal welfare. PMID:24827457

  7. Congestive heart failure with preserved ejection fraction is associated with severely impaired dynamic Starling mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Shibata, Shigeki; Hastings, Jeff L.; Prasad, Anand; Fu, Qi; Bhella, Paul S.; Pacini, Eric; Krainski, Felix; Palmer, M. Dean; Zhang, Rong

    2011-01-01

    Sedentary aging leads to increased cardiovascular stiffening, which can be ameliorated by sufficient amounts of lifelong exercise training. An even more extreme form of cardiovascular stiffening can be seen in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), which comprises ∼40∼50% of elderly patients diagnosed with congestive heart failure. There are two major interrelated hypotheses proposed to explain heart failure in these patients: 1) increased left ventricular (LV) diastolic stiffness and 2) increased arterial stiffening. The beat-to-beat dynamic Starling mechanism, which is impaired with healthy human aging, reflects the interaction between ventricular and arterial stiffness and thus may provide a link between these two mechanisms underlying HFpEF. Spectral transfer function analysis was applied between beat-to-beat changes in LV end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP; estimated from pulmonary artery diastolic pressure with a right heart catheter) and stroke volume (SV) index. The dynamic Starling mechanism (transfer function gain between LVEDP and the SV index) was impaired in HFpEF patients (n = 10) compared with healthy age-matched controls (n = 12) (HFpEF: 0.23 ± 0.10 ml·m−2·mmHg−1 and control: 0.37 ± 0.11 ml·m−2·mmHg−1, means ± SD, P = 0.008). There was also a markedly increased (3-fold) fluctuation of LV filling pressures (power spectral density of LVEDP) in HFpEF patients, which may predispose to pulmonary edema due to intermittent exposure to higher pulmonary capillary pressure (HFpEF: 12.2 ± 10.4 mmHg2 and control: 3.8 ± 2.9 mmHg2, P = 0.014). An impaired dynamic Starling mechanism, even more extreme than that observed with healthy aging, is associated with marked breath-by-breath LVEDP variability and may reflect advanced ventricular and arterial stiffness in HFpEF, possibly contributing to reduced forward output and pulmonary congestion. PMID:21310890

  8. Sexing Adult Pale-Winged Starlings Using Morphometric and Discriminant Function Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Henry, Laurence; Biquand, Véronique; Craig, Adrian J. F. K.; Hausberger, Martine

    2015-01-01

    Accurate sexing of birds is vital for behavioral studies but can be a real problem in the field, especially for monomorphic species. Our goal here was to characterize the morphology of male and female monomorphic pale-winged starlings (Onychognathus nabouroup), a South African sturnid whose plumage is sexually monomorphic. Morphological measurements of genetically sexed animals indicated that males were statistically larger than females for five measurements: Mass, tail length, tarsus length and wing length. By using a Discriminant Function Analysis based on the measurements taken by one ringer, we were able to predict correctly the sex of 81.10% of the birds of data collected in the field and 77.9% of museum skins independently of year of capture and ringer. The model developed here should be useful for further field studies of this species. PMID:26367269

  9. Chemical trends in Finnish wildlife: a study on time trends in starling during 1967-1983

    SciTech Connect

    Paasivirta, J.; Paukku, R.; Surma-Aho, K.; Welling, L.

    1985-01-01

    The OECD monitoring programs 1966-71 and 1972-75 have been extended at national level in Finland to 1983 by analyzing chlorinated hydrocarbons, mercury and chlorophenols in starlings (terrestrial environment). At the end of the study period levels in fresh muscles were for DDE 10, PCB 30, HCB 1, Lindan 8 and mercury 50 ppb. Of chlordane residues only traces of oxychlordane were found. Ten different chlorophenol compounds were detected at ppb levels, but most of them in only few samples. Pentachlorophenol was most frequently found. Statistical treatment of the analysis results gave some decreasing trends which were very significant for DDE, DDT and PCB 1967-83, significant for mercury 1967-83 and somewhat significant for lindane 1978-83.

  10. Sexing Adult Pale-Winged Starlings Using Morphometric and Discriminant Function Analysis.

    PubMed

    Henry, Laurence; Biquand, Véronique; Craig, Adrian J F K; Hausberger, Martine

    2015-01-01

    Accurate sexing of birds is vital for behavioral studies but can be a real problem in the field, especially for monomorphic species. Our goal here was to characterize the morphology of male and female monomorphic pale-winged starlings (Onychognathus nabouroup), a South African sturnid whose plumage is sexually monomorphic. Morphological measurements of genetically sexed animals indicated that males were statistically larger than females for five measurements: Mass, tail length, tarsus length and wing length. By using a Discriminant Function Analysis based on the measurements taken by one ringer, we were able to predict correctly the sex of 81.10% of the birds of data collected in the field and 77.9% of museum skins independently of year of capture and ringer. The model developed here should be useful for further field studies of this species. PMID:26367269

  11. [Interpretation of the epizootic outbreak among wild and domestic birds in the south of the European part of Russia in December 2007].

    PubMed

    L'vov, D K; Shchelkanov, M Iu; Prilipov, A G; Deriabin, P G; Fediakina, I T; Galkina, I V; Kireev, D E; Frolov, A V; Akanina, D S; Usacheva, O V; Shliapnikova, O V; Poglazov, A B; Morozova, T N; Proshina, E S; Grebennikova, T V; Zaberezhnyĭ, A D; Iakovlev, S S; Shcherbakova, L O; Shapovalov, A B; Zhalin, M V; Rudenko, V P; Pichuev, A E; Litvin, K N; Varkentin, A V; Steshenko, V V; Kharitonov, S P; Proshina, E S; Samokhvalov, E I; Al'khovskiĭ, S V; Aliper, T I; Martynovchenko, V V; Lysenko, S N; Vlasov, N A; Nepoklonov, E A

    2008-01-01

    The paper presents the results of interpreting the epizootic outbreak etiologically associated with high-virulent influenza virus A/H5N1 among domestic and wild birds in the Zernogradsky and Tselinsky districts of the Rostov Region. Epizooty was characterized by a high infection rate in the synanthropic birds of a ground-based complex. RT-PCT revealed influenza virus A/H5 in 60% of pigeons and crows and in around 20% of starlings, and in 10% of tree sparrows. Fifteen viral strains from chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus), Indian ducks (Cairina moschata), rooks (Corvus frugilegus), rock pigeons (Columba livia), tree sparrows (Passer montanus), common starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), and great white herons (Egretta alba) were isolated and deposited in the State Collection of Viruses of the Russian Federation. Full-sized genomes of 5 strains were sequenced and deposited in the international database GenBank. The isolated strains belong to the Quinhai-Siberian (2.2) genotype, an Iranian-Northern Caucasian subgroup, they are phylogenetically closest to the strain A/chicken/Moscow/2/2007 (inducing epizooty among poultry in the near-Moscow Region in February 2007) and have 13 unique amino acid replacements as the consensus of the Quinhai-Siberian genotypes in the proteins PB2, PA, HA, NP, NA, and M2, by preserving thereby 4 unique replacements first describes for the strain A/chicken/Moscow/2/2007. The findings are indicative of a different mechanism that is responsible for bringing the virus into the northeastern part of the Azov Sea area in September 2007 (during the fall migration of wild birds) and in December 2007 in the south-western Rostov Region where a human factor cannot be excluded. Mass infection of synanthropic birds endangers the further spread of epizooty, including that in the central regions of the Russian Federation in spring after near migrants return after wintering. PMID:18756811

  12. Systematics, morphology, and ecological history of the Mascarene starlings (Aves: Sturnidae) with the description of a new genus and species from Mauritius.

    PubMed

    Hume, Julian Pender

    2014-01-01

    Two endemic starlings, both extinct, have been described from the Mascarene Islands of Réunion and Rodrigues: the Hoopoe Starling, Huppe or Réunion Crested Starling Fregilupus varius, which is known from 19 skins and a single Holocene proximal end of a fossil femur, and the Rodrigues Starling Necropsar rodericanus, which is known as specimens only from fossils of most skeletal elements. Both were recorded alive in early accounts of Mascarene faunas. A third species of starling Cryptopsar ischyrhynchus gen. nov. sp. nov. is described herein from fossils from Mauritius, but was never reported in the early literature. This paper provides an analysis of the Sturnidae of the Mascarene Islands based on newly discovered fossil remains, and details historical reports and accounts. Their ecology and extinction are interpreted from historical evidence. Necropsar, Cryptopsar and Fregilupus clearly form part of the same clade, but morphological analysis shows that Necropsar and Cryptopsar are more closely related to each other than to Fregilupus and may have been part of a different colonisation event. All three genera appear to have their origins in SE Asia and have morphological similarities with the SE Asian sturnid genera, Sturnia and Gracupica, so they presumably colonised the islands via island-hopping during lower sea level stands.  PMID:25112426

  13. Myosin head orientation: a structural determinant for the Frank-Starling relationship

    SciTech Connect

    Farman, Gerrie P.; Gore, David; Allen, Edward; Schoenfelt, Kelly; Irving, Thomas C.; de Tombe, Pieter P.

    2011-09-06

    The cellular mechanism underlying the Frank-Starling law of the heart is myofilament length-dependent activation. The mechanism(s) whereby sarcomeres detect changes in length and translate this into increased sensitivity to activating calcium has been elusive. Small-angle X-ray diffraction studies have revealed that the intact myofilament lattice undergoes numerous structural changes upon an increase in sarcomere length (SL): lattice spacing and the I{sub 1,1}/I{sub 1,0} intensity ratio decreases, whereas the M3 meridional reflection intensity (I{sub M3}) increases, concomitant with increases in diastolic and systolic force. Using a short ({approx}10 ms) X-ray exposure just before electrical stimulation, we were able to obtain detailed structural information regarding the effects of external osmotic compression (with mannitol) and obtain SL on thin intact electrically stimulated isolated rat right ventricular trabeculae. We show that over the same incremental increases in SL, the relative changes in systolic force track more closely to the relative changes in myosin head orientation (as reported by IM3) than to the relative changes in lattice spacing. We conclude that myosin head orientation before activation determines myocardial sarcomere activation levels and that this may be the dominant mechanism for length-dependent activation.

  14. Emergence of collective changes in travel direction of starling flocks from individual birds' fluctuations

    PubMed Central

    Attanasi, Alessandro; Cavagna, Andrea; Del Castello, Lorenzo; Giardina, Irene; Jelic, Asja; Melillo, Stefania; Parisi, Leonardo; Pohl, Oliver; Shen, Edward; Viale, Massimiliano

    2015-01-01

    One of the most impressive features of moving animal groups is their ability to perform sudden coherent changes in travel direction. While this collective decision can be a response to an external alarm cue, directional switching can also emerge from the intrinsic fluctuations in individual behaviour. However, the cause and the mechanism by which such collective changes of direction occur are not fully understood yet. Here, we present an experimental study of spontaneous collective turns in natural flocks of starlings. We employ a recently developed tracking algorithm to reconstruct three-dimensional trajectories of each individual bird in the flock for the whole duration of a turning event. Our approach enables us to analyse changes in the individual behaviour of every group member and reveal the emergent dynamics of turning. We show that spontaneous turns start from individuals located at the elongated tips of the flocks, and then propagate through the group. We find that birds on the tips deviate from the mean direction of motion much more frequently than other individuals, indicating that persistent localized fluctuations are the crucial ingredient for triggering a collective directional change. Finally, we quantitatively verify that birds follow equal-radius paths during turning, the effects of which are a change of the flock's orientation and a redistribution of individual locations in the group. PMID:26236825

  15. Emergence of collective changes in travel direction of starling flocks from individual birds' fluctuations.

    PubMed

    Attanasi, Alessandro; Cavagna, Andrea; Del Castello, Lorenzo; Giardina, Irene; Jelic, Asja; Melillo, Stefania; Parisi, Leonardo; Pohl, Oliver; Shen, Edward; Viale, Massimiliano

    2015-07-01

    One of the most impressive features of moving animal groups is their ability to perform sudden coherent changes in travel direction. While this collective decision can be a response to an external alarm cue, directional switching can also emerge from the intrinsic fluctuations in individual behaviour. However, the cause and the mechanism by which such collective changes of direction occur are not fully understood yet. Here, we present an experimental study of spontaneous collective turns in natural flocks of starlings. We employ a recently developed tracking algorithm to reconstruct three-dimensional trajectories of each individual bird in the flock for the whole duration of a turning event. Our approach enables us to analyse changes in the individual behaviour of every group member and reveal the emergent dynamics of turning. We show that spontaneous turns start from individuals located at the elongated tips of the flocks, and then propagate through the group. We find that birds on the tips deviate from the mean direction of motion much more frequently than other individuals, indicating that persistent localized fluctuations are the crucial ingredient for triggering a collective directional change. Finally, we quantitatively verify that birds follow equal-radius paths during turning, the effects of which are a change of the flock's orientation and a redistribution of individual locations in the group. PMID:26236825

  16. Perching but not foraging networks predict the spread of novel foraging skills in starlings.

    PubMed

    Boogert, Neeltje J; Nightingale, Glenna F; Hoppitt, William; Laland, Kevin N

    2014-11-01

    The directed social learning hypothesis suggests that information does not spread evenly through animal groups, but rather individual characteristics and patterns of physical proximity guide the social transmission of information along specific pathways. Network-based diffusion analysis (NBDA) allows researchers to test whether information spreads following a social network. However, the explanatory power of different social networks has rarely been compared, and current models do not easily accommodate random effects (e.g. allowing for individuals within groups to correlate in their asocial solving rates). We tested whether the spread of two novel foraging skills through captive starling groups was affected by individual- and group-level random and fixed effects (i.e. sex, age, body condition, dominance rank and demonstrator status) and perching or foraging networks. We extended NBDA to include random effects and conducted model discrimination in a Bayesian context. We found that social learning increased the rate at which birds acquired the novel foraging task solutions by 6.67 times, and acquiring one of the two novel foraging task solutions facilitated the asocial acquisition of the other. Surprisingly, the spread of task solutions followed the perching rather than the foraging social network. Upon acquiring a task solution, foraging performance was facilitated by the presence of group mates. Our results highlight the importance of considering more than one social network when predicting the spread of information through animal groups. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Cognition in the wild. PMID:25178191

  17. Ernest Henry Starling (1866-1927) on the glomerular and tubular functions of the kidney.

    PubMed

    Fine, Leon G

    2014-01-01

    Around the turn of the 20th century, Ernest Henry Starling (1866-1927) made many fundamental contributions to the understanding of human physiology. With a deep interest in how fluid balance is regulated, he naturally turned to explore the intricacies of kidney function. Early in his career he focused upon the process of glomerular filtration and was able to substantiate the view of Carl Ludwig that this process can be explained entirely upon the basis of hydrostatic and oncotic pressure gradients across the glomerular capillary wall and that the process can be regulated by alterations in the tone of the afferent and efferent arterioles. To explore renal tubular function he employed a heart-lung-kidney model in the dog and was able to infer that certain substances are reabsorbed by the tubules (e.g. sodium chloride) and certain by tubular secretion (e.g. uric acid, indigo carmine dye). By temporarily blocking tubular function using hydrocyanic acid he was able to conclude that secreted substances must be taken up on the peritubular side of the cell and concentrated within the cell to drive the secretory process. Finally, he was able to appreciate that the kidney is an organ which is regulated according to the needs of the organism and that the processes of glomerular filtration, tubular secretion and reabsorption are all subject to regulatory influences, which have evolved to conserve the normal chemical composition of the cells and fluids of the body. PMID:24970544

  18. The classical Starling resistor model often does not predict inspiratory airflow patterns in the human upper airway

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Bradley A.; Sands, Scott A.; Butler, James P.; Eckert, Danny J.; White, David P.; Malhotra, Atul; Wellman, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    The upper airway is often modeled as a classical Starling resistor, featuring a constant inspiratory airflow, or plateau, over a range of downstream pressures. However, airflow tracings from clinical sleep studies often show an initial peak before the plateau. To conform to the Starling model, the initial peak must be of small magnitude or dismissed as a transient. We developed a method to simulate fast or slow inspirations through the human upper airway, to test the hypothesis that this initial peak is a transient. Eight subjects [4 obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), 4 controls] slept in an “iron lung” and wore a nasal mask connected to a continuous/bilevel positive airway pressure machine. Downstream pressure was measured using an epiglottic catheter. During non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, subjects were hyperventilated to produce a central apnea, then extrathoracic pressure was decreased slowly (∼2–4 s) or abruptly (<0.5 s) to lower downstream pressure and create inspiratory airflow. Pressure-flow curves were constructed for flow-limited breaths, and slow vs. fast reductions in downstream pressure were compared. All subjects exhibited an initial peak and then a decrease in flow with more negative pressures, demonstrating negative effort dependence (NED). The rate of change in downstream pressure did not affect the peak to plateau airflow ratio: %NED 22 ± 13% (slow) vs. 20 ± 5% (fast), P = not significant. We conclude that the initial peak in inspiratory airflow is not a transient but rather a distinct mechanical property of the upper airway. In contrast to the classical Starling resistor model, the upper airway exhibits marked NED in some subjects. PMID:24458746

  19. Modulation of the Cardiomyocyte Contraction inside a Hydrostatic Pressure Bioreactor: In Vitro Verification of the Frank-Starling Law

    PubMed Central

    Fassina, Lorenzo; Magenes, Giovanni; Gimmelli, Roberto; Naro, Fabio

    2015-01-01

    We have studied beating mouse cardiac syncytia in vitro in order to assess the inotropic, ergotropic, and chronotropic effects of both increasing and decreasing hydrostatic pressures. In particular, we have performed an image processing analysis to evaluate the kinematics and the dynamics of those pressure-loaded beating syncytia starting from the video registration of their contraction movement. By this analysis, we have verified the Frank-Starling law of the heart in in vitro beating cardiac syncytia and we have obtained their geometrical-functional classification. PMID:25667923

  20. A computational model of cerebrospinal fluid production and reabsorption driven by Starling forces.

    PubMed

    Buishas, Joel; Gould, Ian G; Linninger, Andreas A

    2014-10-01

    Experimental evidence has cast doubt on the classical model of river-like cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow from the choroid plexus to the arachnoid granulations. We propose a novel model of water transport through the parenchyma from the microcirculation as driven by Starling forces. This model investigates the effect of osmotic pressure on water transport between the cerebral vasculature, the extracellular space (ECS), the perivascular space (PVS), and the CSF. A rigorous literature search was conducted focusing on experiments which alter the osmolarity of blood or ventricles and measure the rate of CSF production. Investigations into the effect of osmotic pressure on the volume of ventricles and the flux of ions in the blood, choroid plexus epithelium, and CSF are reviewed. Increasing the osmolarity of the serum via a bolus injection completely inhibits nascent fluid flow production in the ventricles. A continuous injection of a hyperosmolar solution into the ventricles can increase the volume of the ventricle by up to 125%. CSF production is altered by 0.231 μL per mOsm in the ventricle and by 0.835 μL per mOsm in the serum. Water flux from the ECS to the CSF is identified as a key feature of intracranial dynamics. A complete mathematical model with all equations and scenarios is fully described, as well as a guide to constructing a computational model of intracranial water balance dynamics. The model proposed in this article predicts the effects the osmolarity of ECS, blood, and CSF on water flux in the brain, establishing a link between osmotic imbalances and pathological conditions such as hydrocephalus and edema. PMID:25358881

  1. Cooperative cross-bridge activation of thin filaments contributes to the Frank-Starling mechanism in cardiac muscle.

    PubMed

    Smith, L; Tainter, C; Regnier, M; Martyn, D A

    2009-05-01

    Myosin cross-bridges play an important role in the regulation of thin-filament activation in cardiac muscle. To test the hypothesis that sarcomere length (SL) modulation of thin-filament activation by strong-binding cross-bridges underlies the Frank-Starling mechanism, we inhibited force and strong cross-bridge binding to intermediate levels with sodium vanadate (Vi). Force and stiffness varied proportionately with [Ca(2+)] and [Vi]. Increasing [Vi] (decreased force) reduced the pCa(50) of force-[Ca(2+)] relations at 2.3 and 2.0 microm SL, with little effect on slope (n(H)). When maximum force was inhibited to approximately 40%, the effects of SL on force were diminished at lower [Ca(2+)], whereas at higher [Ca(2+)] (pCa < 5.6) the relative influence of SL on force increased. In contrast, force inhibition to approximately 20% significantly reduced the sensitivity of force-[Ca(2+)] relations to changes in both SL and myofilament lattice spacing. Strong cross-bridge binding cooperatively induced changes in cardiac troponin C structure, as measured by dichroism of 5' iodoacetamido-tetramethylrhodamine-labeled cardiac troponin C. This apparent cooperativity was reduced at shorter SL. These data emphasize that SL and/or myofilament lattice spacing modulation of the cross-bridge component of cardiac thin-filament activation contributes to the Frank-Starling mechanism. PMID:19413974

  2. Sexual and natural selection in the evolution of extended phenotypes: the use of green nesting material in starlings.

    PubMed

    Rubalcaba, J G; Polo, V; Maia, R; Rubenstein, D R; Veiga, J P

    2016-08-01

    Although sexual selection is typically considered the predominant force driving the evolution of ritualized sexual behaviours, natural selection may also play an important and often underappreciated role. The use of green aromatic plants among nesting birds has been interpreted as a component of extended phenotype that evolved either via natural selection due to potential sanitary functions or via sexual selection as a signal of male attractiveness. Here, we compared both hypotheses using comparative methods in starlings, a group where this behaviour is widespread. We found that the use of green plants was positively related to male-biased size dimorphism and that it was most likely to occur among cavity-nesting species. These results suggest that this behaviour is likely favoured by sexual selection, but also related to its sanitary use in response to higher parasite loads in cavities. We speculate that the use of green plants in starlings may be facilitated by cavity nesting and was subsequently co-opted as a sexual signal by males. Our results represent an example of how an extended phenotypic component of males becomes sexually selected by females. Thus, both natural selection and sexual selection are necessary to fully understand the evolution of ritualized behaviours involved in courtship. PMID:27168035

  3. Association of wild bird density and farm management factors with the prevalence of E. coli O157 in dairy herds in Ohio (2007-2009).

    PubMed

    Cernicchiaro, N; Pearl, D L; McEwen, S A; Harpster, L; Homan, H J; Linz, G M; Lejeune, J T

    2012-08-01

    Our objective was to determine the role that European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) play in the epidemiology of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in dairy cattle. We visited 150 dairy farms in Ohio twice during summer and fall months from 2007 to 2009. Fresh faecal pats from 30 lactating cows were collected during each visit. Information on farm management and environmental variables was gathered through a questionnaire administered to the farm owner. The number of starlings observed on the farm was also recorded. Approximately 1% of dairy cattle and 24% of farms were positive for E. coli O157. Risk factors associated with the presence of E. coli O157 in faecal pats included contact between adult cattle and calves, types or number of ventilation and manure management systems and number of birds per milking cow. PMID:22333436

  4. Description of two new Isospora species causing visceral coccidiosis in captive superb glossy starlings, Lamprotornis superbus (Aves: Sturnidae).

    PubMed

    Hafeez, Mian A; Stasiak, Iga; Delnatte, Pauline; El-Sherry, Shiem; Smith, Dale A; Barta, John R

    2014-09-01

    Isospora greineri sp. n. and Isospora superbusi sp. n. are described from captive superb glossy starlings, Lamprotornis superbus, from the Toronto Zoo succumbing to visceral coccidiosis. Sequence data from nuclear 18S recombinant DNA (rDNA) and mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) loci from sporulated oocysts and infected tissues (liver, lung, or spleen) demonstrated two distinct Isospora sp. genotypes that varied in their relative abundance. In the tissues of one affected bird, as well as its associated fecal sample, two distinct COI sequences (1.7% divergence) and two distinct 18S rDNA sequences (0.6% divergence) were found at almost the same abundance; in other specimens, one of the 18S and one of the COI sequences were less abundant than the other. In the tissues of some birds, only a single COI and single 18S sequence were present. In all cases, the same pair of 18S rDNA and COI sequences fluctuated in abundance in parallel, indicating that there were two distinct species present rather than one species with more than one COI or 18S locus. The oocysts of these new species cannot be differentiated morphologically. Sporulated oocysts of both were spherical to subspherical measuring 17.7 ± 0.22 μm by 17.1 ± 0.20 μm with a mean L/W ratio of 1.03 ± 0.004. Sporocysts were ovoid measuring 13.5 ± 0.17 μm by 9.3 ± 0.15 μm with a mean L/W ratio of 1.4 ± 0.02. Sporocysts had a small Stieda body with indistinct sub-Stieda body; each sporocyst had a compact residuum. Two morphologically similar but genetically divergent Isospora species were shown to cause simultaneous enteric and extraintestinal infections in captive superb glossy starlings. PMID:24948107

  5. Mycoplasmosis in captive crows and robins from Minnesota.

    PubMed

    Wellehan, J F; Calsamiglia, M; Ley, D H; Zens, M S; Amonsin, A; Kapur, V

    2001-07-01

    Mycoplasma sturni is a recently described organism previously associated with conjunctivitis in European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), northern mockingbirds (Mimus polyglottos) and blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata). Herein we describe the isolation of M. sturni from an American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) presenting with conjunctivitis. A nested-PCR was designed for identification of M. sturni in clinical specimens and the sensitivity of the reaction was found to be 10 colony-changing units. The organism was found in asymptomatic American crows caged with a nestmate of the crow with conjunctivitis. Mycoplasma sturni also was found in asymptomatic American robins (Turdus migratorius) and in a European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) housed at the same facility as the crows. Heterogenity of M. sturni isolates from different host species was found by random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analyses. Heterogeneity also was found among M. sturni isolates recovered from American crows. We suggest that M. sturni can successfully infect American crows and American robins with or without the presence of clinical disease. Furthermore, we demonstrate that nested-PCR is an effective method for the detection of M. sturni and that substantial genetic heterogeneity exists among natural isolates of this bacterial pathogen. PMID:11504228

  6. Possible environmental contaminant effects in neotropical migrants nesting at a Superfund site

    SciTech Connect

    Arenal, C.; Halbrook, R.

    1995-12-31

    Forest fragmentation, insularization, and tropical deforestation have been named as significant factors in the decline of many neotropical migrant bird species, however, contamination of breeding grounds also may be of concern. Additionally, neotropical migrants may serve as a route of transport of contaminants from breeding grounds in North America to wintering grounds in the tropics. Accumulation and effects of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and heavy metal concentrations in avian species were evaluated at a Superfund site (Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, Illinois) using the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) as a model. Starlings were monitored at 12 nest boxes constructed at each of 3 study and 2 reference sites. Behavior of adult starlings was observed in the field to assess possible contaminant effects on nest attentiveness and reproductive success was recorded as the number of chicks surviving to 15 days post-hatch. Effects included a significant reduction in nest attentiveness behavior and increased chick mortality between PCB and reference sites. There were no significant differences among study and reference sites in number of eggs laid and percent of eggs hatched. Because Crab Orchard NWR serves as breeding ground for approximately 80 neotropical migrant species, the results suggest that species with feeding habits similar to starlings also may have greater body burdens of metals and PCBs and may suffer similar reductions in nesting success. The potential exists for transport and incorporation of environmental contaminants into the food chain at sites along the migration route.

  7. Oculomotor strategy of an avian ground forager: tilted and weakly yoked eye saccades.

    PubMed

    Tyrrell, Luke P; Butler, Shannon R; Fernández-Juricic, Esteban

    2015-08-01

    Many bird species are capable of large saccadic eye movements that can result in substantial shifts in gaze direction and complex changes to their visual field orientation. In the absence of visual stimuli, birds make spontaneous saccades that follow an endogenous oculomotor strategy. We used new eye-tracking technology specialized for small birds to study the oculomotor behavior of an open-habitat, ground-foraging songbird, the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris). We found that starlings primarily move their eyes along a tilted axis 13.46 deg downwards anteriorly and upwards posteriorly, which differs from the axis parallel to the horizon employed by other species. This tilted axis could enhance foraging and anti-predator strategies while starlings are head-down looking for food, allowing them to direct vision between the open mandibles to visually inspect food items, and above and behind the head to scan areas where predators are more likely to attack. We also found that starlings have neither fully conjugate saccades (as in humans, for example) nor independent saccades (as in chameleons, for example). Rather, they exhibit weakly yoked saccades where the left and right eyes move at the same time but not at the same magnitude. Functionally, weakly yoked saccades may be similar to independent saccades in that they allow the two eyes to concomitantly perform different tasks. The differences between the oculomotor strategies of studied species suggest eye movements play variable but important roles across bird species with different ecological niches. PMID:26139661

  8. Interpreting population estimates of birds following pesticide applications--behavior of male starlings exposed to an organophosphate pesticide

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grue, C.E.; Shipley, B.J.

    1981-01-01

    We determined activity budgets for 10 pairs of captive male Starlings between 7 May and 18 July 1980. Our objective was to quantify changes in behavior after exposure to an organophosphate (OP) pesticide and to assess the impact of changes in behavior on the interpretation of population estimates of birds following pesticide applications. We observed each pair of males for an hour at 07:30 and 09:30 for four days and classified their behavior into one of four categories: flying, perching, foraging, or singing and displaying. At 06:30 on day 2, one male received a single oral dose of 2.5 mg dicrotophos (3-hydroxy-N, N-dimethyl-cis-crotonamide dimethyl phosphate) per kg of body weight; the other male received an equivalent exposure of corn oil. Changes in the activity budgets of OP-dosed and control males were compared using t-tests. Activity of OP-dosed males was significantly (P _ 0.05) reduced within the 2-4 h following exposure. OP-dosed males spent more time perching (46.1%) than controls and less time flying (-96.6%), foraging (-28.5%), and singing and displaying (-49.5%). The frequency of perching (-75.3%), flying (-83.8%), foraging (-54.1%), and singing and displaying (- 59.2%) was significantly reduced. Activity in OP-dosed males returned to normal by 26-28 h posttreatment. Results suggest that movement and vocalization may be significantly reduced in birds exposed to organophosphate and carbamate pesticides. Conventional censusing techniques and population estimating procedures may, therefore, be inadequate to assess changes in bird populations after pesticide applications because of the difficulty in separating decreases in density due to mortality or emigration from reductions in activity.

  9. European Mistletoe

    MedlinePlus

    ... gov Key References American mistletoe. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Accessed at www.naturaldatabase.com on July 7, 2009. European mistletoe. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Accessed at www.naturaldatabase.com on July ...

  10. European Community.

    PubMed

    1987-05-01

    The European Community was established in 1951 to reconcile France and Germany after World War II and to make possible the eventual federation of Europe. By 1986, there were 12 member countries: France, Italy, Belgium, the Federal Republic of Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Greece, Spain, and Portugal. Principal areas of concern are internal and external trade, agriculture, monetary coordination, fisheries, common industrial and commercial policies, assistance, science and research, and common social and regional policies. The European Community has a budget of US$34.035 billion/year, funded by customs duties and 1.4% of each member's value-added tax. The treaties establishing the European Community call for members to form a common market, a common customs tariff, and common agricultural, transport, economic, and nuclear policies. Major European Community institutions include the Commission, Council of Ministers, European Parliament, Court of Justice, and Economic and Social Committee. The Community is the world's largest trading unit, accounting for 15% of world trade. The 2 main goals of the Community's industrial policy are to create an open internal market and to promote technological innovation in order to improve international competitiveness. The European Community aims to contribute to the economic and social development of Third World countries as well. PMID:12177941

  11. The Role of the Frank–Starling Law in the Transduction of Cellular Work to Whole Organ Pump Function: A Computational Modeling Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Niederer, Steven A.; Smith, Nicolas P.

    2009-01-01

    We have developed a multi-scale biophysical electromechanics model of the rat left ventricle at room temperature. This model has been applied to investigate the relative roles of cellular scale length dependent regulators of tension generation on the transduction of work from the cell to whole organ pump function. Specifically, the role of the length dependent Ca2+ sensitivity of tension (Ca50), filament overlap tension dependence, velocity dependence of tension, and tension dependent binding of Ca2+ to Troponin C on metrics of efficient transduction of work and stress and strain homogeneity were predicted by performing simulations in the absence of each of these feedback mechanisms. The length dependent Ca50 and the filament overlap, which make up the Frank-Starling Law, were found to be the two dominant regulators of the efficient transduction of work. Analyzing the fiber velocity field in the absence of the Frank-Starling mechanisms showed that the decreased efficiency in the transduction of work in the absence of filament overlap effects was caused by increased post systolic shortening, whereas the decreased efficiency in the absence of length dependent Ca50 was caused by an inversion in the regional distribution of strain. PMID:19390615

  12. Titin strain contributes to the Frank–Starling law of the heart by structural rearrangements of both thin- and thick-filament proteins

    PubMed Central

    Ait-Mou, Younss; Hsu, Karen; Farman, Gerrie P.; Kumar, Mohit; Greaser, Marion L.; Irving, Thomas C.; de Tombe, Pieter P.

    2016-01-01

    The Frank–Starling mechanism of the heart is due, in part, to modulation of myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity by sarcomere length (SL) [length-dependent activation (LDA)]. The molecular mechanism(s) that underlie LDA are unknown. Recent evidence has implicated the giant protein titin in this cellular process, possibly by positioning the myosin head closer to actin. To clarify the role of titin strain in LDA, we isolated myocardium from either WT or homozygous mutant (HM) rats that express a giant splice isoform of titin, and subjected the muscles to stretch from 2.0 to 2.4 μm of SL. Upon stretch, HM compared with WT muscles displayed reduced passive force, twitch force, and myofilament LDA. Time-resolved small-angle X-ray diffraction measurements of WT twitching muscles during diastole revealed stretch-induced increases in the intensity of myosin (M2 and M6) and troponin (Tn3) reflections, as well as a reduction in cross-bridge radial spacing. Independent fluorescent probe analyses in relaxed permeabilized myocytes corroborated these findings. X-ray electron density reconstruction revealed increased mass/ordering in both thick and thin filaments. The SL-dependent changes in structure observed in WT myocardium were absent in HM myocardium. Overall, our results reveal a correlation between titin strain and the Frank–Starling mechanism. The molecular basis underlying this phenomenon appears not to involve interfilament spacing or movement of myosin toward actin but, rather, sarcomere stretch-induced simultaneous structural rearrangements within both thin and thick filaments that correlate with titin strain and myofilament LDA. PMID:26858417

  13. Heart rate and heart-rate variability responses to acute and chronic stress in a wild-caught passerine bird.

    PubMed

    Cyr, Nicole E; Dickens, Molly J; Romero, L Michael

    2009-01-01

    The cardiovascular-stress response has been studied extensively in laboratory animals but has been poorly studied in naturally selected species. We determined the relative roles of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) in regulating stress-induced changes in heart rate (HR) in wild-caught European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). In both heart-rate variability (HRV) analysis and receptor blockade (atropine and propranolol) experiments, baseline HR was controlled predominantly by the PNS, whereas the increase in HR resulting from acute restraint stress was controlled predominantly by the SNS. These results indicate similar cardiac control of baseline and acute-stress-induced HR in wild-caught starlings and mammals. We further investigated HR responses during chronic stress. Driven primarily by changes in PNS regulation, baseline HR increased during the day but decreased at night. In addition, elevated HRs during acute restraint stress were attenuated throughout chronic stress and were accompanied by decreased HRV. This suggested that increased SNS drive elevated HR, but the attenuated HR response combined with resistance to the SNS blocker propranolol suggested that the sympathetic signal was less effective during chronic stress. Overall, chronic stress in wild-caught starlings elicited profound changes in cardiac function that were primarily regulated by changes in the PNS. PMID:19115847

  14. Brain cholinesterase activity of nestling great egrets snowy egrets and black-crowned night-herons

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, T.W.; Ohlendorf, H.M.

    1989-01-01

    Inhibition of brain cholinesterase (ChE) activity in birds is often used to diagnose exposure or death from organophosphorus or carbamate pesticides. Brain ChE activity in the young of altricial species increases with age; however, this relationship has only been demonstrated in the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris). Brain ChE activity of nestling great egrets (Casmerodius albus) collected from a colony in Texas (USA) increased significantly with age and did not differ among individuals from different nests. Brain ChE activity of nestling snowy egrets (Egretta thula) and black-crowned night-herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) collected in one colony each from Rhode Island, Texas and California (USA) also increased significantly with age and did not differ among individuals from different nests or colonies. This study further demonstrates that age must be considered when evaluating exposure of nestling altricial birds to ChE inhibitors.

  15. Brain cholinesterase activity of nestling great egrets, snowy egrets, and black-crowned night-herons

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, T.W.; Ohlendorf, H.M.

    1989-01-01

    Inhibition of brain cholinesterase (ChE) activity in birds is often used to diagnose exposure or death from organophosphorus or carbmate pesticides. Brain ChE activity in the young of altricial species increase with age; however, this relationship has only been demonstrated in the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris). Brain ChE activity of nestling great egrets (Casmerodius albus) collected from a colony in Texas increased significantly with age and did not differ among individuals from different nests. Brain ChE activity of nestling snowy egrets (Egretta thula) and black-crowned night -herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) collected in one colony each from Rhode Island, Texas, and California also increased significantly with age and did not differ among individuals from different nests or colonies. This study further demonstrates that age must be considered when evaluating exposure of nestling altricial birds to ChE inhibitors.

  16. Investigation of nitrogen transformations in a southern California constructed wastewater treatment wetland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sartoris, J.J.; Thullen, J.S.; Barber, L.B.; Salas, D.E.

    2000-01-01

    We tested the hypotheses that mass at fledging and fledge date within the breeding season affect postfledging survival in European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Nestlings were weighed on day 18 after hatch and tagged with individually identifiable patagial tags. Fledge date was recorded. Marked fledglings were resighted during weekly two-day intensive observation periods for 9 weeks postfledging. Post-fledging survival and sighting probabilities were estimated for each of four groups (early or late fledging by heavy or light fledging mass). Body mass was related to post-fledging survival for birds that fledged early. Results were not clear-cut for relative fledge date, although there was weak evidence that this also influenced survival. Highest survival probability estimates occurred in the EARLY-HEAVY group, while the lowest survival estimate occurred in the LATE-LIGHT group. Sighting probabilities differed significantly among groups, emphasizing the need to estimate and compare survival using models which explicitly incorporate sighting probabilities.

  17. Brain cholinesterase activity of nestling great egrets, snowy egrets and black-crowned night-herons.

    PubMed

    Custer, T W; Ohlendorf, H M

    1989-07-01

    inhibition of brain cholinesterase (ChE) activity in birds is often used to diagnose exposure or death from organophosphorus or carbamate pesticides. Brain ChE activity in the young of altricial species increases with age; however, this relationship has only been demonstrated in the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris). Brain ChE activity of nestling great egrets (Casmerodius albus) collected from a colony in Texas (USA) increased significantly with age and did not differ among individuals from different nests. Brain ChE activity of nestling snowy egrets (Egretta thula) and black-crowned night-herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) collected in one colony each from Rhode Island, Texas and California (USA) also increased significantly with age and did not differ among individuals from different nests or colonies. This study further demonstrates that age must be considered when evaluating exposure of nestling altricial birds to ChE inhibitors. PMID:2761008

  18. The seroprevalence of avipoxvirus and its association with avian malaria (Plasmodium spp.) infection in introduced passerine birds in the southern regions of the North Island of New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Ha, H J; Banda, M; Alley, M R; Howe, L; Gartrell, B D

    2013-03-01

    Blood samples were collected from 65 free-ranging birds from six species in the southern North Island of New Zealand. Sera from the birds were tested for the presence of avipoxvirus (APV) antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and blood cells from 55 birds were also tested for Plasmodium spp. by PCR. Forty-five birds (69.2%) tested seropositive to APV. Song thrushes (Turdus philomelos) presented the highest seroprevalence at 100% (4/4), followed by Eurasian blackbirds (Turdus merula) (96.86%, 31/32), chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs) (54.55%, 6/11), starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) (25%, 3/12), greenfinches (Carduelis chloris) (25%, 1/4), and European goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis) (0%, 0/2). Plasmodium spp. DNA was detected in 15/55 birds (27.3%), including 11 Eurasian blackbirds, one song thrush, and three starlings. Eight Eurasian blackbird isolates (73%) grouped within the subgenus Novyella. Two Eurasian blackbird isolates and the song thrush isolate clustered within a different group with previously reported lineages LINN1 and AFTRU5. In addition, all three starling isolates clustered within the well-characterized lineage Plasmodium (Huffia) elongatum GRW06. All Plasmodium-positive Eurasian blackbirds and the song thrush were seropositive to APV, whereas only 67% of Plasmodium-positive starlings showed evidence of previous exposure to APV. A significant relationship between birds seropositive to APV and birds infected by Plasmodium spp. was observed (chi2 = 5.69, df = 1, P = 0.0086). To the authors' knowledge this is the first report describing the seroprevalence of APV and its association with Plasmodium spp. infection in introduced bird species in New Zealand. PMID:23678738

  19. Abnormal splicing in the N‐terminal variable region of cardiac troponin T impairs systolic function of the heart with preserved Frank‐Starling compensation

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Han‐Zhong; Chen, Guozhen; Nan, Changlong; Huang, Xupei; Jin, Jian‐Ping

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Abnormal splice‐out of the exon 7‐encoded segment in the N‐terminal variable region of cardiac troponin T (cTnT‐ΔE7) was found in turkeys and, together with the inclusion of embryonic exon (eTnT), in adult dogs with a correlation with dilated cardiomyopathy. Overexpression of these cTnT variants in transgenic mouse hearts significantly decreased cardiac function. To further investigate the functional effect of cTnT‐ΔE7 or ΔE7+eTnT in vivo under systemic regulation, echocardiography was carried out in single and double‐transgenic mice. No atrial enlargement, ventricular hypertrophy or dilation was detected in the hearts of 2‐month‐old cTnT‐ΔE7 and ΔE7+eTnT mice in comparison to wild‐type controls, indicating a compensated state. However, left ventricular fractional shortening and ejection fraction were decreased in ΔE7 and ΔE7+eTnT mice, and the response to isoproterenol was lower in ΔE7+eTnT mice. Left ventricular outflow tract velocity and gradient were decreased in the transgenic mouse hearts, indicating decreased systolic function. Ex vivo working heart function showed that high afterload or low preload resulted in more severe decreases in the systolic function and energetic efficiency of cTnT‐ΔE7 and ΔE7+eTnT hearts. On the other hand, increases in preload demonstrated preserved Frank‐Starling responses and minimized the loss of cardiac function and efficiency. The data demonstrate that the N‐terminal variable region of cardiac TnT regulates systolic function of the heart. PMID:25194024

  20. Experimentally Increasing TITIN Compliance in a Novel Mouse Model Attenuates the Frank-Starling Mechanism but has a Beneficial Effect on Diastole

    PubMed Central

    Methawasin, Mei; Hutchinson, Kirk R; Lee, Eun-Jeong; Smith, John E; Saripalli, Chandra; Hidalgo, Carlos G; Ottenheijm, Coen AC; Granzier, Henk

    2014-01-01

    Background Experimentally upregulating compliant titins has been suggested as a therapeutic for lowering pathological diastolic stiffness levels. However, how increasing titin compliance impacts global cardiac function requires in-depth study. We investigate the effect of upregulating compliant titins in a novel mouse model with a genetically altered titin splicing factor; integrative approaches were used from intact cardiomyocyte mechanics to pressure(P)-volume(V) analysis and Doppler echocardiography. Methods and Results Compliant titins were upregulated through deletion of the RNA Recognition Motif of the splicing factor RBM20 (Rbm20ΔRRM mice). A genome-wide exon expression analysis and a candidate approach revealed that the phenotype is likely to be dominated by greatly increased lengths of titin’s spring-elements. At both cardiomyocyte and left ventricular (LV)chamber levels diastolic stiffness was reduced in heterozygous (+/−) Rbm20ΔRRM mice with a further reduction in homozygous (−/−) mice at only the intact myocyte level. Fibrosis was present in only −/− Rbm20ΔRRM hearts. The Frank-Starling Mechanism was reduced in a graded fashion in Rbm20ΔRRM mice, at both the cardiomyocyte and LV chamber levels. Exercise tests revealed an increase in exercise capacity in +/− mice. Conclusions Titin is not only important in diastolic but also in systolic cardiac function. Upregulating compliant titins reduces diastolic chamber stiffness due to increased compliance of myocytes but depresses end-systolic elastance; under conditions of exercise the beneficial effects on diastolic function dominate. Therapeutic manipulation of the RBM20-based splicing system might be able to minimize effects on fibrosis and systolic function while improving diastolic function of heart failure patients. PMID:24599837

  1. Acute oral toxicity of sodium cyanide in birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wiemeyer, Stanley N.; Hill, E.F.; Carpenter, J.W.; Krynitsky, A.J.

    1986-01-01

    Sensitivities of six avian species, black vulture (Coragyps atratus), American kestrel (Falco sparverius), Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica), domestic chicken (Gallus domesticus), eastern screech-owl (Otus asio), and European starling (Sturnus vulgaris), to acute poisoning by sodium cyanide (NaCN) were compared by single dose LD50's. Three species, domestic chickens, black vultures, and turkey vultures (Cathartes aura), were dosed with NaCN to determine cyanide residues in those that died and also in survivors, in addition to postmortem fate. Three flesh-eating species (black vulture, American kestrel, and eastern screech-owl; LD50's 4.0-8.6 mg/kg) were more sensitive to NaCN than three species (Japanese quail, domestic chicken, and European starling; LD50's 9.4-21 mg/kg) that fed predominantly on plant material. Elevated concentrations of cyanide were found in the blood of birds that died of cyanide poisoning; however, concentrations in birds that died overlapped those in survivors. Blood was superior to liver as the tissue of choice for detecting cyanide exposure. No gross pathological changes related to dosing were observed at necropsy.

  2. Seasonal variation in diagnostic enzymes and biochemical constituents of captive northern bobwhites and passerines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hill, E.F.; Murray, H.C.

    1987-01-01

    1. A variety of biochemical measurements were taken periodically in captive northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus L.), European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris L.), red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus L.) and common grackles (Quiscalus quiscula L.) to determine whether baseline values remain sufficiently stable throughout the year for general clinical use in the absence of concurrent control specimens. 2. Variables included whole blood hematocrit and hemoglobin, plasma lactate dehydrogenase, alpha-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, creatine kinase, butyrylcholinesterase, alkaline phosphatase, glucose, albumin, total protein, creatinine, urea nitrogen, uric acid, cholesterol, and triglycerides, and brain acetylcholinesterase. Butyryl- and acetylcholinesterase were included because of their specific uses in toxicology. 3. Significant seasonal differences were detected for each of the variables except brain acetylcholinesterase in at least one of the species. Significant species differences were detected during at least one season for all of the variables measured. 4. All species were maintained outdoors, but only northern bobwhites came into reproductive condition and showed sex-differences in the clinical variables during their normal breeding season. 5. It was concluded that reference values for the 18 clinical variables measured could be calculated from our data for adult specimens of the species studied, and that results for one species cannot be extrapolated with certainty to any other species. 6. Estimated normal bounds for each of the 18 variables measured by commonly used clinical procedures are presented for reproductively quiescent northern bobwhites, European starlings, red-winged blackbirds, and common grackles.

  3. Digestive efficiencies of Cape white-eyes (Zosterops virens), red-winged starlings (Onychognathus morio) and speckled mousebirds (Colius striatus) fed varying concentrations of equicaloric glucose or sucrose artificial fruit diets.

    PubMed

    Zungu, Manqoba M; Downs, Colleen T

    2016-09-01

    Digestive physiology is important for understanding the feeding behaviour of organisms. Specifically, studies on the digestive physiology of frugivorous and nectarivorous birds are important for elucidating their preference patterns in the wild and the selective pressures they exert on fruit pulp and nectar. In this study, digesta transit times and digestive efficiencies of three species of birds, the Cape white-eyes (Zosterops virens), red-winged starlings (Onychognathus morio) and speckled mousebirds (Colius striatus) were investigated on equicaloric glucose or sucrose artificial fruit diets. Three concentrations, approximating the natural range of sugar concentrations in sugary, bird-dispersed fruits were used: low (6.6%), medium (12.4%) and high (22%). Digesta transit times of birds increased with an increase in concentration for all diets but were generally higher on glucose diets. Intake rates, on the other hand, decreased with an increase in sugar concentration. All species of birds failed to maintain a constant assimilated energy intake on glucose diets but mousebirds and white-eyes maintained it on sucrose diets. Apparent assimilation efficiencies of glucose diets for all species were comparable and typical of those found in other frugivorous birds. However, assimilation efficiencies for sucrose diets differed widely with red-winged starlings displaying very low assimilation efficiencies and as a consequence; they lost significant body mass on all sucrose diets. These results demonstrate the importance of digestive physiology in explaining fruit selection patterns in frugivorous birds and how a seemingly trivial physiological trait can have dire ecological consequences. PMID:27174647

  4. Evaluation of two methods for quantifying passeriform lice

    PubMed Central

    Koop, Jennifer A. H.; Clayton, Dale H.

    2013-01-01

    Two methods commonly used to quantify ectoparasites on live birds are visual examination and dust-ruffling. Visual examination provides an estimate of ectoparasite abundance based on an observer’s timed inspection of various body regions on a bird. Dust-ruffling involves application of insecticidal powder to feathers that are then ruffled to dislodge ectoparasites onto a collection surface where they can then be counted. Despite the common use of these methods in the field, the proportion of actual ectoparasites they account for has only been tested with Rock Pigeons (Columba livia), a relatively large-bodied species (238–302 g) with dense plumage. We tested the accuracy of the two methods using European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris; ~75 g). We first quantified the number of lice (Brueelia nebulosa) on starlings using visual examination, followed immediately by dust-ruffling. Birds were then euthanized and the proportion of lice accounted for by each method was compared to the total number of lice on each bird as determined with a body-washing method. Visual examination and dust-ruffling each accounted for a relatively small proportion of total lice (14% and 16%, respectively), but both were still significant predictors of abundance. The number of lice observed by visual examination accounted for 68% of the variation in total abundance. Similarly, the number of lice recovered by dust-ruffling accounted for 72% of the variation in total abundance. Our results show that both methods can be used to reliably quantify the abundance of lice on European Starlings and other similar-sized passerines. PMID:24039328

  5. Functional changes between seasons in the male songbird auditory forebrain

    PubMed Central

    De Groof, Geert; Poirier, Colline; George, Isabelle; Hausberger, Martine; Van der Linden, Annemie

    2013-01-01

    Songbirds are an excellent model for investigating the perception of learned complex acoustic communication signals. Male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) sing throughout the year distinct types of song that bear either social or individual information. Although the relative importance of social and individual information changes seasonally, evidence of functional seasonal changes in neural response to these songs remains elusive. We thus decided to use in vivo functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine auditory responses of male starlings that were exposed to songs that convey different levels of information (species-specific and group identity or individual identity), both during (when mate recognition is particularly important) and outside the breeding season (when group recognition is particularly important). We report three main findings: (1) the auditory area caudomedial nidopallium (NCM), an auditory region that is analogous to the mammalian auditory cortex, is clearly involved in the processing/categorization of conspecific songs; (2) season-related change in differential song processing is limited to a caudal part of NCM; in the more rostral parts, songs bearing individual information induce higher BOLD responses than songs bearing species and group information, regardless of the season; (3) the differentiation between songs bearing species and group information and songs bearing individual information seems to be biased toward the right hemisphere. This study provides evidence that auditory processing of behaviorally-relevant (conspecific) communication signals changes seasonally, even when the spectro-temporal properties of these signals do not change. PMID:24391561

  6. Social visual contact, a primary "drive" for social animals?

    PubMed

    Perret, Audrey; Henry, Laurence; Coulon, Marion; Caudal, Jean-Pierre; Richard, Jean-Pierre; Cousillas, Hugo; Hausberger, Martine; George, Isabelle

    2015-05-01

    Social animals are always searching for conspecifics, thereby expressing a genuine "social need". This need is illustrated by the fact that social isolation can induce isolation syndromes that can be attenuated by devices such as mirrors. Social contacts appear to be so vital for social animals that they may be ready to work to obtain social stimulations. We used operant conditioning to investigate the possibility to use visual contact (through pictures of conspecifics) as a primary reinforcer. Isolated European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) were offered the choice of seeing either social images (i.e. pictures of conspecifics) or non-social images (i.e. pictures of landscapes or pictures of monkeys) by triggering sensors. In contrast with most studies, our subjects were presented still pictures of conspecifics and not videos. Moreover, these pictures were used as primary reinforcers and thus were not paired with food. Our data show that starlings were ready to work and to use the apparatus (i.e. sensors) to see pictures in the absence of any other reward. Moreover, they actively and significantly preferred pictures of conspecifics to pictures of inanimate objects (landscapes) or of heterospecifics (monkeys). This suggests that 2D pictures with a social overtone can be used as primary reinforcers for isolated social birds. PMID:25604422

  7. [Biobanks European infrastructure].

    PubMed

    Kinkorová, Judita; Topolčan, Ondřej

    2016-01-01

    Biobanks are structured repositories of human tissue samples connected with specific information. They became an integral part of personalized medicine in the new millennium. At the European research area biobanks are isolated not well coordinated and connected to the network. European commission supports European infrastructure BBMRI-ERIC (Biobanks and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure European Research Infrastructure Consortium), consortium of 54 members with more than 225 associated organizations, largely biobanks from over 30 countries. The aim is to support biomedical research using stored samples. Czech Republic is a member of the consortium as a national node BBMRI_CZ, consisting of five partners. PMID:27256149

  8. European auxiliary propulsion, 1972

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holcomb, L. B.

    1972-01-01

    The chemical and electric auxiliary propulsion technology of the United Kingdom, France, and West Germany is discussed in detail, and the propulsion technology achievements of Italy, India, Japan, and Russia are reviewed. A comparison is presented of Shell 405 catalyst and a European spontaneous hydrazine catalyst called CNESRO I. Finally, conclusions are drawn regarding future trends in European auxiliary propulsion technology development.

  9. The European Spallation Source

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindroos, M.; Bousson, S.; Calaga, R.; Danared, H.; Devanz, G.; Duperrier, R.; Eguia, J.; Eshraqi, M.; Gammino, S.; Hahn, H.; Jansson, A.; Oyon, C.; Pape-Møller, S.; Peggs, S.; Ponton, A.; Rathsman, K.; Ruber, R.; Satogata, T.; Trahern, G.

    2011-12-01

    In 2003 the joint European effort to design a European Spallation Source (ESS) resulted in a set of reports, and in May 2009 Lund was agreed to be the ESS site. The ESS Scandinavia office has since then worked on setting all the necessary legal and organizational matters in place so that the Design Update and construction can be started in January 2011, in collaboration with European partners. The Design Update phase is expected to end in 2012, to be followed by a construction phase, with first neutrons expected in 2018-2019.

  10. Evaluating the risk of pathogen transmission from wild animals to domestic pigs in Australia.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Hayley E; Toribio, Jenny-Ann L M L; Lapidge, Steven J; Hernández-Jover, Marta

    2016-01-01

    Wild animals contribute to endemic infection in livestock as well as the introduction, reintroduction and maintenance of pathogens. The source of introduction of endemic diseases to a piggery is often unknown and the extent of wildlife contribution to such local spread is largely unexplored. The aim of the current study was to quantitatively assess the probability of domestic pigs being exposed to different pathogens from wild animals commonly found around commercial piggeries in Australia. Specifically, this study aims to quantify the probability of exposure to the pathogens Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp. and Campylobacter spp. from European starlings (Sturnus vulgarus); Brachyspira hyodysenteriae, Lawsonia intracellularis and Salmonella spp. from rats (Rattus rattus and Rattus norvegicus); and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae, Leptospira spp., Brucella suis and L. intracellularis from feral pigs (Sus scrofa). Exposure assessments, using scenario trees and Monte Carlo stochastic simulation modelling, were conducted to identify potential pathways of introduction and calculate the probabilities of these pathways occurring. Input parameters were estimated from a national postal survey of commercial pork producers and from disease detection studies conducted for European starlings, rats and feral pigs in close proximity to commercial piggeries in Australia. Based on the results of the exposure assessments, rats presented the highest probability of exposure of pathogens to domestic pigs at any point in time, and L. intracellularis (median 0.13, 5% and 95%, 0.05-0.23) and B. hyodysenteriae (median 0.10, 0.05-0.19) were the most likely pathogens to be transmitted. Regarding European starlings, the median probability of exposure of domestic pigs to pathogenic E. coli at any point in time was estimated to be 0.03 (0.02-0.04). The highest probability of domestic pig exposure to feral pig pathogens at any point in time was found to be for M. hyopneumoniae (median 0.013, 0

  11. European PTTI report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cordara, Franco; Grimaldi, Sabrina; Leschiutta, Sigfrido

    1994-01-01

    Time and frequency metrology in Europe presents some peculiar features in its three main components: research on clocks, comparisons and dissemination methods, and dissemination services. Apart from the usual activities of the national metrological laboratories, an increasing number of cooperation between the European countries are promoted inside some European organizations, such as the ECC, EFTA, EUROMET, and WECC. Cooperation between these organizations is covered. The present, evolving situation will be further influenced by the recent political changes in Eastern Europe.

  12. European Education, European Citizenship? On the Role of Education in Constructing Europeanness.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ollikainen, Aaro

    2000-01-01

    Focuses on the role of the European Union (EU) education programs in fostering a sense of European citizenship. Addresses the five meanings given to the concept of European citizenship: (1) recognition of European heritage; (2) EU loyalty; (3) right of free movement; (4) political participation; and (5) active citizenship. (CMK)

  13. WFPDB: European Plate Archives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsvetkov, Milcho

    2007-08-01

    The Wide-Field Plate Database (WFPDB) gives an inventory of all wide-field (>~ 1 sq. deg) photographic observations archived in astronomical institutions over the world. So it facilitates and stimulates their use and preservation as a valuable source of information for future investigations in astronomy. At present WFPDB manages plate-index information for 25% of all existing plates providing on-line access from Sofia (http://www.skyarchive.org/search) and in CDS, Strasbourg. Here we present the new development of WFPDB as an instrument for searching of long term brightness variations of different sky objects stressing on the European photographic plate collections (from existing 2 million wide-field plates more than 55% are in Europe: Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Italy, Czech Republic, etc.). We comment examples of digitization (with flatbed scanners) of the European plate archives in Sonneberg, Pulkovo, Asiago, Byurakan, Bamberg, etc. and virtual links of WFPDB with European AVO, ADS, IBVS.

  14. European Universe Awareness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russo, P.; Miley, G.; Westra van Holthe, F.; Schrier, W.; Reed, S.

    2011-10-01

    The European Universe Awareness (EU-UNAWE) programme uses the beauty and grandeur of the cosmos to encourage young children, particularly those from underprivileged backgrounds, to develop an interest in science and technology and to foster a sense of global citizenship. EU-UNAWE is already active in 40 countries and comprises a global network of almost 500 astronomers, teachers and other educators. The programme was recently awarded a grant of 1.9 million euros by the European Union so that it can be further developed in five European countries and South Africa. The grant will be used to organise teacher training workshops and to develop educational materials, such as an astronomy news service for children and games. During this presentation we will outline some of the biggest achievements of EU-UNAWE to date and discuss future plans for the programme.

  15. European security and France

    SciTech Connect

    deRose, A.

    1985-01-01

    A French authority on security argues for new European initiatives in the face of the ''danger represented by Soviet military power deployed in support of an imperialistic ideology.'' His proposals, including the strengthening of conventional forces without abandoning the option of the first use of nuclear weapons, are meant to give substance to President Mitterrand's declaration in 1983: ''The European nations now need to realize that their defense is also their responsibility....'' A part of the increasingly important debate in France over defense policy in Europe.

  16. Teaching European Identities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raento, Pauliina

    2008-01-01

    The political, cultural and social make-up of Europe is changing fast. A new European identity is under construction, but old contradictions and diversity challenge its contents, forms and boundaries. Migration, the changing role of the nation-state and Europe's regions, the reshaping of politico-administrative and perceptional boundaries, the…

  17. The European VLBI network

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schilizzi, R. T.

    1980-01-01

    The capabilities of the European very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) network are summarized. The range of baseline parameters, sensitivities, and recording and other equipment available are included. Plans for upgrading the recording facilities and the use of geostationary satellites for signal transfer and clock synchronization are discussed.

  18. European Music Year 1985.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alexanderson, Thomas; And Others

    1984-01-01

    Articles concerning music are included in this newsletter dedicated to cultural venture to be jointly carried out by the Council of Europe and the European communities. Many events will mark Music Year 1985, including concerts, dance performances, operas, publications, recordings, festivals, exhibitions, competitions, and conferences on musical…

  19. Multilingualism in European Workplaces

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gunnarsson, Britt-Louise

    2014-01-01

    This state-of-the-art article includes a review of past and recent studies on multilingualism at work in European environments. One aim is to provide the reader with a cross-cultural picture of workplace studies on various languages in Europe, another to discuss both positive and problem-based accounts of multilingualism at work. The overview…

  20. European Civilization. Teacher's Manual.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leppert, Ella C.; Halac, Dennis

    The instructional materials in this teaching guide for Course II, Unit IV, follow and build upon a previous sequential course described in SO 003 169 offering ninth grade students a study on the development of Western European Civilization. Focus is upon four periods of high development: The High Middle Ages (12th Century), The Renaissance (15th…

  1. Scientists attack European MRI rules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, Margaret

    2010-08-01

    A report by the European Science Foundation (ESF) has sharply criticized a European Union (EU) directive on electromagnetic fields, arguing that limits on workers' exposure will have "potentially disastrous" consequences for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

  2. The European Mobile System (EMS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jongejans, A.; Rogard, R.; Mistretta, I.; Ananasso, F.

    1993-01-01

    The European Space Agency is presently procuring an L band payload in order to promote a regional European L band system coping with the specific needs of the European market. The payload, and the two communications systems to be supported, are described below. The potential market for EMS in Europe is discussed.

  3. Education and European integration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowe, John

    1992-11-01

    The main purpose of this article is to discuss the implications for education and training of the movement towards integration in Europe in the historic context of the creation of a single market within the European Community (EC) and the end of the Communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe. The experience of the EC is used to illustrate trends and problems in the development of international cooperation in education and training. Common concerns and priorities throughout the new Europe are then identified and discussed. These include the pursuit of quality in schooling, efforts to serve the interests of disadvantaged learners, and the treatment of European Studies in the curriculum, including the improvement of the teaching of foreign languages.

  4. Telemedicine and European law.

    PubMed

    Callens, Stefaan

    2003-01-01

    A Directive of the European Union was first published in 2000, which dealt with telemedicine as part of its provisions. This E-Commerce Directive, as it became known, was subjected to further study which revealed some problems relative to the practice of telemedicine. Among the subjects discussed in this paper are those of privacy, data protection, free movement of services, the impact of electronic communication and ethical issues. PMID:15074761

  5. The European Spallation Source

    SciTech Connect

    Peggs, S; Eshraqi, M; Hahn, H; Jansson, A; Lindroos, M; Ponton, A; Rathsman, K; Trahern, G; Bousso, S; Calaga, R; Devanz, G; Duperrier, R D; Eguia, J; Gammino, S; Moller, S P; Oyon, C; Ruber, R.J.M.Y.; Satogata, T

    2011-03-01

    The European Spallation Source (ESS) is a 5 MW, 2.5 GeV long pulse proton linac, to be built and commissioned in Lund, Sweden. The Accelerator Design Update (ADU) project phase is under way, to be completed at the end of 2012 by the delivery of a Technical Design Report. Improvements to the 2003 ESS design will be summarised, and the latest design activities will be presented.

  6. Biophotonics: a European perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robin, Thierry; Cochard, Jacques; Breussin, Frédéric

    2013-03-01

    The objective of the present work is to determine the opportunities and challenges for Biophotonics business development in Europe for the next five years with a focus on sensors and systems: for health diagnostics and monitoring; for air, water and food safety and quality control. The development of this roadmap was initiated and supported by EPIC (The European Photonics Industry Consortium). We summarize the final roadmap data: market application segments and trends, analysis of the market access criteria, analysis of the technology trends and major bottlenecks and challenges per application.

  7. Eastern European risk management

    SciTech Connect

    Honey, J.A. )

    1992-01-01

    Here the authors assess Eastern European risk management practices through the evaluation of the nuclear power plants in the region. This evaluation is limited to the Soviet-designed and -built VVER-440 pressurized water reactors (PWRs) that are currently operating in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Russia, and the Ukraine and until recently operated at Greifswald in the former East Germany. This evaluation is based on the basic design of the plants, a safety evaluation of the Greifswald facility by representatives from the Federal Republic of Germany and personal visits by the author to Greifswald and Loviisa.

  8. Aroclor 1254 residues in birds: Lethal levels and loss rates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stickel, W.H.; Stickel, L.F.; Dyrland, R.A.; Hughes, D.L.

    1984-01-01

    Lethal residues of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were determined experimentally in four species of wild birds (male common grackles (Quiscalus quiscula ), immature female red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus ), adult male brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater ) and immature female starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)) given dietary dosage of 1,500 ppm of Aroclor 1254) until one-half had died, sacrificing the survivors, chemically analyzing the tissues, and comparing results in dead birds and survivors. For all species, residues of 310 ppm or higher in the brain showed increasing likelihood of death from PCB poisoning. Residues in dead birds did not differ among species except for starlings (Sturnus vulgaris ), which averaged slightly lower than the others. However, the species differed in the length of time to 50% mortality and in the levels of PCBs in brains at sacrifice.

  9. EAC: The European Astronauts Centre

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ripoll, Andres

    The newly established European Astronauts Centre (EAC) in Cologne represents the European Astronauts Home Base and will become a centre of expertise on European astronauts activities. The paper gives an overview of the European approach to man-in-space, describes the European Astronauts Policy and presents the major EAC roles and responsibilities including the management of selection, recruitment and flight assignment of astronauts; the astronauts support and medical surveillance; the supervision of the astronauts' non-flight assignments; crew safety; the definition of the overall astronauts training programme; the scheduling and supervision of the training facilities; the implementation of Basic Training; the recruitment, training and certification of instructors, and the interface to NASA in the framework of the Space Station Freedom programme. An overview is given on the organisation of EAC, and on the European candidate astronauts selection performed in 1991.

  10. European Conference on Health Economics.

    PubMed

    Malmivaara, Antti

    2010-12-01

    The biennial European Conference on Health Economics was held in Finland this year, at the Finlandia Hall in the centre of Helsinki. The European conferences rotate among European countries and fall between the biennial world congresses organized by the International Health Economics Association (iHEA). A record attendance of approximately 800 delegates from 50 countries around the world were present at the Helsinki conference. The theme of the conference was 'Connecting Health and Economics'. All major topics of health economics were covered in the sessions. For the first time, social care economics was included in the agenda of the European Conference as a session of its own. PMID:21155696

  11. A New Impetus for European Youth. European Commission White Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Commission of the European Communities, Brussels (Belgium).

    Despite their highly divergent situations, young people largely share the same values, ambitions, and difficulties. Despite the more complex social and economic context in which young Europeans are currently living, they are well equipped to adapt. National and European policymakers must facilitate this process of change by making young people…

  12. European Schoolnet: Enabling School Networking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scimeca, Santi; Dumitru, Petru; Durando, Marc; Gilleran, Anne; Joyce, Alexa; Vuorikari, Riina

    2009-01-01

    School networking is increasingly important in a globalised world, where schools themselves can be actors on an international stage. This article builds on the activities and experience of the longest established European initiative in this area, European Schoolnet (EUN), a network of 31 Ministries of Education. First, we offer an introduction…

  13. What Audience for European Television?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wendelbo, Harald Arni

    This discussion of the audience for European television argues that satellite television has taken an upside-down approach, i.e., it has begun by focusing on the hardware, and then the software, before checking to see if there would be a user at the end of the line willing to pay for the whole operation. "European television" is then defined as…

  14. The European Dimension in Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Council of Europe, Strasbourg (France). Directorate of Education, Culture and Sport, Documentation Section.

    This paper addresses concerns about a European dimension in education that has been created by the enlargement of the European Union (EU) (the inclusion of Austria, Finland, and Sweden) and the gradual transformations of institutions into a future federal state. Sections of the paper include: (1) "Introduction"; (2) "Defining the European…

  15. An American Construction of European Education Space

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Silova, Iveta; Brehm, William C.

    2010-01-01

    The construction of the European education space has typically been attributed to European education policy makers, institutions, and networks. Rarely do scholars consider the role of outside, non-European actors in shaping the terrain of European education thought and practice. This article considers the construction of the European education…

  16. European Citizenship and European Union Expansion: Perspectives on Europeanness and Citizenship Education from Britain and Turkey

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilkins, Chris; Busher, Hugh; Lawson, Tony; Acun, Ismail; Goz, Nur Leman

    2010-01-01

    This article discusses some perspectives on citizenship education in Turkey and Britain in the context of current contested discourses on the nature of European identity and of the European Union (EU). It is based on data collected during an EU-funded student teacher exchange programme between three universities in Turkey and Leicester University…

  17. Relationship between DDE concentrations and laying sequence in eggs of two passerine species.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, K D; Skipper, S L; Cobb, G P; McMurry, S T

    2004-10-01

    Passerine eggs make useful biomonitors of environmental pollutants. Among passerines, it is not known whether organochlorine contaminants in eggs within the same clutch are independent observations or follow a laying order effect. Intraclutch variation of DDE (1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis[(p-chlorophenyl)]ethylene) concentrations was studied in eggs collected from prothonotary warblers (Protonotaria citrea) and European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) nesting on National Priority List sites in lower Alabama and central Colorado, respectively. All 209 eggs collected for this study contained detectable levels of DDE. Mean concentration of DDE across all prothonotary warbler eggs (mean 8.71 microg/g +/- 1.19, n = 20) was almost two orders of magnitude greater than mean concentrations of DDE in all starling eggs (mean 0.70 microg/g +/- 0.06, n = 189). In both species, there was a large amount of variability among individual eggs of the same clutch and no significant relationship between laying order and DDE concentration. Variation among eggs laid in the same sequential order was high and effectively masked any potential trends in laying order effect. We hypothesized that the variability was caused by the spatial heterogeneity of DDE on our study sites, the nature of egg development within a female passerine, or a combination of these factors. Investigators focusing on lipophilic contaminants should exercise caution when making inferences about contaminant concentrations in an entire clutch of passerine eggs after the collection and analysis of a single egg because our data show that DDE levels in a single egg collected for analysis do not consistently reflect DDE levels in the eggs remaining in the nest. PMID:15386134

  18. Adjustable frequency selectivity of auditory forebrain neurons recorded in a freely moving songbird via radiotelemetry.

    PubMed

    Nieder, A; Klump, G M

    1999-01-01

    One of the hearing system's basic properties that determines the detection of signals is its frequency selectivity. In the natural environment, a songbird may achieve an improved detection ability if the neuronal filters of its auditory system could be sharpened to adapt to the spectrum of the background noise. To address this issue, we studied 35 multi-unit clusters in the input layer of the primary auditory forebrain of nine European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Microelectrodes were chronically implanted in this songbird's cortex analogue and the neuronal activity was transmitted from unrestrained birds via a miniature FM transmitter. Frequency tuning curves (FTCs) and inhibitory sidebands were determined by presenting a matrix of frequency-level combinations of pure tones. From each FTC, the characteristic frequency (CF) and several parameters describing the neurons' filter characteristics were derived and compared to the same recording site's filter function while simultaneously stimulating with a continuous CF tone 20 dB above the response threshold. Our results show a significant improvement of frequency selectivity during two-tone stimulation, indicating that spectral filtering in the starling's auditory forebrain depends on the acoustic background in which a signal is presented. Moreover, frequency selectivity was found to be a function of the time over which the stimulus persisted, since FTCs were much sharper and inhibitory sidebands were largely expanded several milliseconds after response onset. Neuronal filter bandwidths during two-tone stimulation in the auditory forebrain are in good agreement with psychoacoustically measured critical bandwidths in the same species. Radiotelemetry proved to be a powerful tool in studying neuronal activity in freely behaving birds. PMID:9925015

  19. Stress, captivity, and reproduction in a wild bird species.

    PubMed

    Dickens, Molly J; Bentley, George E

    2014-09-01

    In seasonal species, glucocorticoid concentrations are often highest during the breeding season. However, the role of increased hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity in the regulation of reproduction remains poorly understood. Our study is the first, to our knowledge, to document reproductive consequences of a non-pharmacological hindrance to seasonal HPA fluctuations. Using wild-caught male and female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) housed in an outdoor, semi-natural environment, we divided birds into two mixed-sex groups. One group remained in the outdoor aviary, where starlings breed at the appropriate time of year. The other group was transferred into an indoor flight aviary, where we predicted reproductive suppression to occur. We measured changes in corticosterone (CORT) at baseline and stress-induced concentrations prior to group separation and at the experiment's conclusion. After ten days, the birds showed remarkable differences in breeding behavior and HPA activity. Outdoor birds exhibited increases in baseline and stress-induced CORT and progressed into active breeding (pairing, nest building, egg laying, etc.). In contrast, indoor birds displayed no change in baseline or stress-induced CORT and few signs of active breeding. We found significant sex and treatment effects on expression of HPA and hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis elements, suggesting sex-specific regulatory mechanisms. Our data suggest a novel, facilitating role for the HPA axis in the transition between early breeding and active breeding in a wild, seasonal avian species. In addition, understanding how changes in housing condition affect seasonal HPA fluctuations may help alleviate barriers to breeding wild animals in captivity. PMID:25257808

  20. Europeans: an endangered species?

    PubMed

    Von Cube, A

    1986-10-01

    Below replacement fertility has become the norm in 21 of Europe's 27 countries. Their average total fertility rate is 1.69. This trend has raised concerns about insufficient numbers in the economically active population and prospective personnel shortages in the military. In the Federal Republic of Germany, fertility has been below replacement for the past 17 years and its 1985 total fertility rate of 1.28 is a record low. Only a few European countries (Bulgaria, France, and Romania) have explicitly pronatalist policies. Other nations (Belgium, Finland, Luxembourg, and the German Democratic Republic) have instituted a progressive system of child allowances, increasing payments with each additional birth. Ironically, policies that seek to promote social opportunities for women, such as participation in the labor force, are likely to reduce fertility even farther. Without increased services such as reasonably priced housing, child care centers, and economic incentives to compensate women for lost opportunity costs in the labor market, policies that seek to increase fertility will not succeed. Policy options that were once available to increase fertility (for example, prohibiting abortion) are no longer socially acceptable. New policies will have to be developed through research on the determinants of fertility behavior in postindustrial societies. PMID:12315251

  1. European Neutron Activation System.

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    2013-01-11

    Version 03 EASY-2010 (European Activation System) consists of a wide range of codes, data and documentation all aimed at satisfying the objective of calculating the response of materials irradiated in a neutron flux. The main difference from the previous version is the upper energy limit, which has increased from 20 to 60 MeV. It is designed to investigate both fusion devices and accelerator based materials test facilities that will act as intense sources of high-energymore » neutrons causing significant activation of the surrounding materials. The very general nature of the calculational method and the data libraries means that it is applicable (with some reservations) to all situations (e.g. fission reactors or neutron sources) where materials are exposed to neutrons below 60 MeV. EASY can be divided into two parts: data and code development tools and user tools and data. The former are required to develop the latter, but EASY users only need to be able to use the inventory code FISPACT and be aware of the contents of the EAF library (the data source). The complete EASY package contains the FISPACT-2007 inventory code, the EAF-2003, EAF-2005, EAF-2007 and EAF-2010 libraries, and the EASY User Interface for the Window version. The activation package EASY-2010 is the result of significant development to extend the upper energy range from 20 to 60 MeV so that it is capable of being used for IFMIF calculations. The EAF-2010 library contains 66,256 reactions, almost five times more than in EAF-2003 (12,617). Deuteron-induced and proton-induced cross section libraries are also included, and can be used with EASY to enable calculations of the activation due to deuterons and proton [2].« less

  2. European MEMS foundries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salomon, Patric R.

    2003-01-01

    According to the latest release of the NEXUS market study, the market for MEMS or Microsystems Technology (MST) is predicted to grow to $68B by the year 2005, with systems containing these components generating even higher revenues and growth. The latest advances in MST/MEMS technology have enabled the design of a new generation of microsystems that are smaller, cheaper, more reliable, and consume less power. These integrated systems bring together numerous analog/mixed signal microelectronics blocks and MEMS functions on a single chip or on two or more chips assembled within an integrated package. In spite of all these advances in technology and manufacturing, a system manufacturer either faces a substantial up-front R&D investment to create his own infrastructure and expertise, or he can use design and foundry services to get the initial product into the marketplace fast and with an affordable investment. Once he has a viable product, he can still think about his own manufacturing efforts and investments to obtain an optimized high volume manufacturing for the specific product. One of the barriers to successful exploitation of MEMS/MST technology has been the lack of access to industrial foundries capable of producing certified microsystems devices in commercial quantities, including packaging and test. This paper discusses Multi-project wafer (MPW) runs, requirements for foundries and gives some examples of foundry business models. Furthermore, this paper will give an overview on MST/MEMS services that are available in Europe, including pure commercial activities, European project activities (e.g. Europractice), and some academic services.

  3. [French European military haemovigilance guidelines].

    PubMed

    Sailliol, A; Clavier, B; Cap, A; Ausset, S

    2010-12-01

    European military transfusion services follow operational guidelines established by their respective national health systems and conform with European Union directives and NATO standards as applicable to member countries. Certain features are common to all of these standards, especially the pre-selection of volunteer, almost exclusively unpaid donors. NATO requirements are very close to European guidelines, with the exception that NATO permits the use of blood products collected in emergency conditions in theater when circumstances allow no better option. Blood product traceability exists for every country but is not always centralized or computerized. Serious adverse event reporting relies on national haemovigilance networks. Military considerations become important mainly in overseas operations, where the overall policy is to implement the relevant national, European or NATO guidelines with adjustments made for unique wartime circumstances and the risk/benefit ratio for the individual patient needing a transfusion. PMID:21051263

  4. [European general practice research agenda].

    PubMed

    Mäntyselkä, Pekka; Koskela, Tuomas

    2014-01-01

    The EGPRN (European General Practice Research Network) research agenda is a review compiling the strengths and areas of development of European general practice, based on a systematic literature survey and its versatile analysis. The research agenda is a framework paper sharpening the definition and functions of general practice as well as its significance for researchers and decisionmakers. The agenda is useful in structuring the research, evaluation of research needs, strengthening of infrastructure and strategic planning of new research. PMID:24961062

  5. Surveillance for Ixodes pacificus and the tick-borne pathogens Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi in birds from California's Inner Coast Range.

    PubMed

    Dingler, Regina J; Wright, Stan A; Donohue, Ann M; Macedo, Paula A; Foley, Janet E

    2014-06-01

    We investigated the involvement of birds in the ecology of the western black-legged tick, Ixodes pacificus, and its associated zoonotic bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum, at two interior coast-range study sites in northern California. Anaplasma phagocytophilum, the agent of granulocytic anaplasmosis (GA), and B. burgdorferi s.s., the agent of Lyme disease (LD), are tick-borne pathogens that are well established in California. We screened blood and ticks from 349 individual birds in 48 species collected in 2011 and 2012 using pathogen-specific PCR. A total of 617 immature I. pacificus was collected with almost three times as many larvae than nymphs. There were 7.5 times more I. pacificus at the Napa County site compared to the Yolo County site. Two of 74 (3%) nymphal pools from an Oregon junco (Junco hyemalis) and a hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) and 4 individual larvae (all from Oregon juncos) were PCR-positive for B. burgdorferi. Blood samples from a golden-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) and a European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) were positive for A. phagocytophilum DNA at very low levels. Birds that forage on ground or bark and nest on the ground, as well as some migratory species, are at an increased risk for acquiring I. pacificus. Our findings show that birds contribute to the ecologies of LD and GA in California by serving as a blood-meal source, feeding and transporting immature I. pacificus, and sometimes as a source of Borrelia infection. PMID:24690191

  6. Carotenoids, Birdsong and Oxidative Status: Administration of Dietary Lutein Is Associated with an Increase in Song Rate and Circulating Antioxidants (Albumin and Cholesterol) and a Decrease in Oxidative Damage

    PubMed Central

    Casagrande, Stefania; Pinxten, Rianne; Zaid, Erika; Eens, Marcel

    2014-01-01

    Despite the appealing hypothesis that carotenoid-based colouration signals oxidative status, evidence supporting the antioxidant function of these pigments is scarce. Recent studies have shown that lutein, the most common carotenoid used by birds, can enhance the expression of non-visual traits, such as birdsong. Nevertheless, the underlying physiological mechanisms remain unclear. In this study we hypothesized that male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) fed extra lutein increase their song rate as a consequence of an improved oxidative status. Although birdsong may be especially sensitive to the redox status, this has, to the best of our knowledge, never been tested. Together with the determination of circulating oxidative damage (ROMs, reactive oxygen metabolites), we quantified uric acid, albumin, total proteins, cholesterol, and testosterone, which are physiological parameters potentially sensitive to oxidation and/or related to both carotenoid functions and birdsong expression. We found that the birds fed extra lutein sang more frequently than control birds and showed an increase of albumin and cholesterol together with a decrease of oxidative damage. Moreover, we could show that song rate was associated with high levels of albumin and cholesterol and low levels of oxidative damage, independently from testosterone levels. Our study shows for the first time that song rate honestly signals the oxidative status of males and that dietary lutein is associated with the circulation of albumin and cholesterol in birds, providing a novel insight to the theoretical framework related to the honest signalling of carotenoid-based traits. PMID:25549336

  7. Variation in wing pattern and palatability in a female-limited polymorphic mimicry system

    PubMed Central

    Long, Elizabeth C; Hahn, Thomas P; Shapiro, Arthur M

    2014-01-01

    Checkerspot butterflies in the genera Euphydryas and Chlosyne exhibit phenotypic polymorphisms along a well-defined latitudinal and elevational gradient in California. The patterns of phenotypic variation in Euphydryas chalcedona, Chlosyne palla, and Chlosyne hoffmanni suggest a mimetic relationship; in addition, the specific patterns of variation in C. palla suggest a female-limited polymorphic mimicry system (FPM). However, the existence of polymorphic models runs counter to predictions of mimicry theory. Palatability trials were undertaken to assess whether or not the different color morphs of each species were distasteful or toxic to a generalized avian predator, the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris). Results indicate that the black morph of E. chalcedona is distasteful, but not toxic, to predators, while the red morph is palatable. C . hoffmanni and both color morphs of C. palla are palatable to predators. Predators that learn to reject black E. chalcedona also reject black C. palla, suggesting that the latter is a FPM of the former. C. hoffmanni does not appear to be involved in this mimetic relationship. PMID:25512850

  8. Better the devil you know: avian predators find variation in prey toxicity aversive.

    PubMed

    Barnett, Craig A; Bateson, Melissa; Rowe, Candy

    2014-11-01

    Toxic prey that signal their defences to predators using conspicuous warning signals are called 'aposematic'. Predators learn about the toxic content of aposematic prey and reduce their attacks on them. However, through regulating their toxin intake, predators will include aposematic prey in their diets when the benefits of gaining the nutrients they contain outweigh the costs of ingesting the prey's toxins. Predators face a problem when managing their toxin intake: prey sharing the same warning signal often vary in their toxicities. Given that predators should avoid uncertainty when managing their toxin intake, we tested whether European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) preferred to eat fixed-defence prey (where all prey contained a 2% quinine solution) to mixed-defence prey (where half the prey contained a 4% quinine solution and the other half contained only water). Our results support the idea that predators should be more 'risk-averse' when foraging on variably defended prey and suggest that variation in toxicity levels could be a form of defence. PMID:25392317

  9. Juveniles exposed to embryonic corticosterone have enhanced flight performance

    PubMed Central

    Chin, Eunice H.; Love, Oliver P.; Verspoor, Jan J.; Williams, Tony D.; Rowley, Kyle; Burness, Gary

    2008-01-01

    Exposure to maternally derived glucocorticoids during embryonic development impacts offspring phenotype. Although many of these effects appear to be transiently ‘negative’, embryonic exposure to maternally derived stress hormones is hypothesized to induce preparative responses that increase survival prospects for offspring in low-quality environments; however, little is known about how maternal stress influences longer-term survival-related performance traits in free-living individuals. Using an experimental elevation of yolk corticosterone (embryonic signal of low maternal quality), we examined potential impacts of embryonic exposure to maternally derived stress on flight performance, wing loading, muscle morphology and muscle physiology in juvenile European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Here we report that fledglings exposed to experimentally increased corticosterone in ovo performed better during flight performance trials than control fledglings. Consistent with differences in performance, individuals exposed to elevated embryonic corticosterone fledged with lower wing loading and had heavier and more functionally mature flight muscles compared with control fledglings. Our results indicate that the positive effects on a survival-related trait in response to embryonic exposure to maternally derived stress hormones may balance some of the associated negative developmental costs that have recently been reported. Moreover, if embryonic experience is a good predictor of the quality or risk of future environments, a preparative phenotype associated with exposure to apparently negative stimuli during development may be adaptive. PMID:18842541

  10. An experimental demonstration that early-life competitive disadvantage accelerates telomere loss

    PubMed Central

    Nettle, Daniel; Monaghan, Pat; Gillespie, Robert; Brilot, Ben; Bedford, Thomas; Bateson, Melissa

    2015-01-01

    Adverse experiences in early life can exert powerful delayed effects on adult survival and health. Telomere attrition is a potentially important mechanism in such effects. One source of early-life adversity is the stress caused by competitive disadvantage. Although previous avian experiments suggest that competitive disadvantage may accelerate telomere attrition, they do not clearly isolate the effects of competitive disadvantage from other sources of variation. Here, we present data from an experiment in European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) that used cross-fostering to expose siblings to divergent early experience. Birds were assigned either to competitive advantage (being larger than their brood competitors) or competitive disadvantage (being smaller than their brood competitors) between days 3 and 12 post-hatching. Disadvantage did not affect weight gain, but it increased telomere attrition, leading to shorter telomere length in disadvantaged birds by day 12. There were no effects of disadvantage on oxidative damage as measured by plasma lipid peroxidation. We thus found strong evidence that early-life competitive disadvantage can accelerate telomere loss. This could lead to faster age-related deterioration and poorer health in later life. PMID:25411450

  11. Body size matters for aposematic prey during predator aversion learning.

    PubMed

    Smith, Karen E; Halpin, Christina G; Rowe, Candy

    2014-11-01

    Aposematic prey advertise their toxicity to predators using conspicuous warning signals, which predators learn to use to reduce their intake of toxic prey. Like other types of prey, aposematic prey often differ in body size, both within and between species. Increasing body size can increase signal size, which make larger aposematic prey more detectable but also gives them a more effective and salient deterrent. However, increasing body size also increases the nutritional value of prey, and larger aposematic prey may make a more profitable meal to predators that are trading off the costs of eating toxins with the benefits of ingesting nutrients. We tested if body size, independent of signal size, affected predation of toxic prey as predators learn to reduce their attacks on them. European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) learned to discriminate between defended (quinine-injected) and undefended (water-injected) mealworm prey (Tenebrio molitor) using visual signals. During this process, we found that birds attacked and ate more defended prey the larger they were. Body size does affect the probability that toxic prey are attacked and eaten, which has implications for the evolutionary dynamics of aposematism and mimicry (where species share the same warning pattern). PMID:25256160

  12. Ambient temperature influences birds' decisions to eat toxic prey☆

    PubMed Central

    Chatelain, M.; Halpin, C.G.; Rowe, C.

    2013-01-01

    Aposematic prey warn predators of their toxicity using conspicuous signals. However, predators regularly include aposematic prey in their diets, particularly when they are in a poor energetic state and in need of nutrients. We investigated whether or not an environmental factor, ambient temperature, could change the energetic state of predators and lead to an increased intake of prey that they know to contain toxins. We found that European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, increased their consumption of mealworm, Tenebrio molitor, prey containing quinine (a mild toxin) when the ambient temperature was reduced below their thermoneutral zone from 20 °C to 6 °C. The birds differed in their sensitivity to changes in ambient temperature, with heavier birds increasing the number of toxic prey they ate more rapidly with decreasing temperature compared to birds with lower body mass. This could have been the result of their requiring more nutrients at lower temperatures or being better able to detoxify quinine. Taken together, our results suggest that conspicuous coloration may be more costly at lower temperatures, and that aposematic prey may need to invest more in chemical defences as temperatures decline. Our study also provides novel insights into what factors affect birds' decisions to eat toxic prey, and demonstrates that selection pressures acting on prey defences can vary with changing temperature across days, seasons, climes, and potentially in response to climate change. PMID:24109148

  13. Are novel objects perceived as stressful? The effect of novelty on heart rate.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Clare Parker; Franco, Leor A; Romero, L Michael

    2016-07-01

    Neophobia, or the fear of novel objects, is a behavior that is often found in wild animals. Neophobia appears to be related to the physiological stress response because individuals with higher glucocorticoid responses to stress often are more neophobic. The relationship between the heart rate response and novelty, however, has not been tested in a wild species. We implanted heart rate transmitters in captive European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) to measure increases in heart rate as an index of the adrenomedullary stress response. Specifically, we measured heart rate in animals encountering novel objects on or near their food dishes using a system to display the novel objects while the experimenters remained outside the room, thereby minimizing the confounding effects of experimenter presence on heart rate. We analyzed three conditions: the period of adjustment to the experimental setup before any exposure to novelty, novel object trials, and no object controls (presented in a random order after 0-5 novel objects). Birds approached their food dishes faster during the adjustment period than during novel object trials. Although they demonstrated a behavioral aversion to novelty, the effect on heart rate was unexpected. Heart rate increased sharply when the food dishes were displayed. The duration of the startle response was longer during no object controls than during novel object exposure, the opposite of the anticipated result. There were no correlations between behavior and metrics of the heart rate response. Novel object exposure does not cause an increase in heart rate. PMID:27072510

  14. Cognitive mechanisms of risky choice: is there an evaluation cost?

    PubMed

    Aw, Justine; Monteiro, Tiago; Vasconcelos, Marco; Kacelnik, Alex

    2012-02-01

    We contrast two classes of choice processes, those assuming time-consuming comparisons and those where stimuli for each option act independently, competing for expression by cross censorship. The Sequential Choice Model (SCM) belongs in the latter category, and has received empirical support in several procedures involving deterministic alternatives. Here we test this model in risky choices. In two treatments, each with five conditions, European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) faced choices between options with unpredictable outcomes and risk-free alternatives. In the delay treatment the five conditions involved choices between a variable option offering two equiprobable delays to reward and a fixed option with delay differing between conditions. The amount treatment was structurally similar, but amount of reward rather than delay was manipulated. As assumed (and required) by the SCM, latency to respond in no-choice trials reflected each option's richness with respect to the background alternatives, and, crucially, preferences in simultaneous choices were predictable from latencies to each option in forced trials. However, we did not detect reliable differences in response times between forced and choice trials, neither the lengthening expected from evaluation models nor the shortening expected from the SCM. PMID:22001371

  15. Habitat relationships and nest site characteristics of cavity-nesting birds in cottonwood floodplains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sedgwick, James A.; Knopf, Fritz L.

    1990-01-01

    We examined habitat relationships and nest site characteristics for 6 species of cavity-nesting birds--American kestrel (Falco sparverius), northern flicker (Colaptes auratus), red-headed woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus), black-capped chickadee (Parus atricapillus), house wren (Troglodytes aedon), and European starling (Sturnus vulgaris)--in a mature plains cottonwood (Populus sargentii) bottomland along the South Platte River in northeastern Colorado in 1985 and 1986. We examined characteristics of cavities, nest trees, and the habitat surrounding nest trees. Density of large trees (>69 cm dbh), total length of dead limbs ≥10 cm diameter (TDLL), and cavity density were the most important habitat variables; dead limb length (DLL), dbh, and species were the most important tree variables; and cavity height, cavity entrance diameter, and substrate condition at the cavity (live vs. dead) were the most important cavity variables in segregating cavity nesters along habitat, tree, and cavity dimensions, respectively. Random sites differed most from cavity-nesting bird sites on the basis of dbh, DLL, limb tree density (trees with ≥1 m dead limbs ≥10 cm diameter), and cavity density. Habitats of red-headed woodpeckers and American kestrels were the most unique, differing most from random sites. Based on current trends in cottonwood demography, densities of cavity-nesting birds will probably decline gradually along the South Platte River, paralleling a decline in DLL, limb tree density, snag density, and the concurrent lack of cottonwood regeneration.

  16. A statistical framework for genetic association studies of power curves in bird flight

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Min; Zhao, Wei

    2006-01-01

    How the power required for bird flight varies as a function of forward speed can be used to predict the flight style and behavioral strategy of a bird for feeding and migration. A U-shaped curve was observed between the power and flight velocity in many birds, which is consistent to the theoretical prediction by aerodynamic models. In this article, we present a general genetic model for fine mapping of quantitative trait loci (QTL) responsible for power curves in a sample of birds drawn from a natural population. This model is developed within the maximum likelihood context, implemented with the EM algorithm for estimating the population genetic parameters of QTL and the simplex algorithm for estimating the QTL genotype-specific parameters of power curves. Using Monte Carlo simulation derived from empirical observations of power curves in the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris), we demonstrate how the underlying QTL for power curves can be detected from molecular markers and how the QTL detected affect the most appropriate flight speeds used to design an optimal migration strategy. The results from our model can be directly integrated into a conceptual framework for understanding flight origin and evolution. PMID:17066123

  17. Chemical bird repellents: Possible use in cyanide ponds

    SciTech Connect

    Clark, L. ); Shah, P.S. )

    1993-07-01

    Regulatory agencies are pressuring the mining industry to protect wildlife from mortality associated with the consumption of dump leachate pond water containing cyanide. Using European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) as an avian model, we tested the effectiveness of 5 chemical bird repellents at reducing consumption of pond water containing cyanide. The repellents, which were previously shown to be good bird repellents, were: o-aminoacetophenone (OAP), 2-amino-4,5-dimethoxyacetophenone (2A45DAP), methyl anthranilate (MA), 4-ketobenztriazine (4KBT), and veratryl amine (VA). Despite the high pH (10.6) and presence of chelating metals, conditions which we hypothesized might destroy the activity of repellents, each of the additives reduced pond water intake relative to controls for up to 5 weeks. The rank order (from best to worst) of repellents was: OAP, 2A45DAP, VA, MA and 4KBT, although only OAP and 4KBT differed at the P < 0.05 level. These candidate repellents hold promise as a strategy to reduce bird losses at cyanide ponds and should be tested in the field.

  18. An experimental demonstration that early-life competitive disadvantage accelerates telomere loss.

    PubMed

    Nettle, Daniel; Monaghan, Pat; Gillespie, Robert; Brilot, Ben; Bedford, Thomas; Bateson, Melissa

    2015-01-01

    Adverse experiences in early life can exert powerful delayed effects on adult survival and health. Telomere attrition is a potentially important mechanism in such effects. One source of early-life adversity is the stress caused by competitive disadvantage. Although previous avian experiments suggest that competitive disadvantage may accelerate telomere attrition, they do not clearly isolate the effects of competitive disadvantage from other sources of variation. Here, we present data from an experiment in European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) that used cross-fostering to expose siblings to divergent early experience. Birds were assigned either to competitive advantage (being larger than their brood competitors) or competitive disadvantage (being smaller than their brood competitors) between days 3 and 12 post-hatching. Disadvantage did not affect weight gain, but it increased telomere attrition, leading to shorter telomere length in disadvantaged birds by day 12. There were no effects of disadvantage on oxidative damage as measured by plasma lipid peroxidation. We thus found strong evidence that early-life competitive disadvantage can accelerate telomere loss. This could lead to faster age-related deterioration and poorer health in later life. PMID:25411450

  19. Increased predation of nutrient-enriched aposematic prey.

    PubMed

    Halpin, Christina G; Skelhorn, John; Rowe, Candy

    2014-04-22

    Avian predators readily learn to associate the warning coloration of aposematic prey with the toxic effects of ingesting them, but they do not necessarily exclude aposematic prey from their diets. By eating aposematic prey 'educated' predators are thought to be trading-off the benefits of gaining nutrients with the costs of eating toxins. However, while we know that the toxin content of aposematic prey affects the foraging decisions made by avian predators, the extent to which the nutritional content of toxic prey affects predators' decisions to eat them remains to be tested. Here, we show that European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) increase their intake of a toxic prey type when the nutritional content is artificially increased, and decrease their intake when nutritional enrichment is ceased. This clearly demonstrates that birds can detect the nutritional content of toxic prey by post-ingestive feedback, and use this information in their foraging decisions, raising new perspectives on the evolution of prey defences. Nutritional differences between individuals could result in equally toxic prey being unequally predated, and might explain why some species undergo ontogenetic shifts in defence strategies. Furthermore, the nutritional value of prey will likely have a significant impact on the evolutionary dynamics of mimicry systems. PMID:24598424

  20. Effects of sibling competition on growth, oxidative stress, and humoral immunity: a two-year brood-size manipulation.

    PubMed

    Bourgeon, Sophie; Guindre-Parker, Sarah; Williams, Tony D

    2011-01-01

    We investigated the effects of ecological context (by comparing data from two consecutive years) and experimentally manipulated nestling developmental conditions (large vs. small brood size) on immune function (immunoglobulin Y [IgY]) and oxidative stress in nestling European starlings Sturnus vulgaris. On the basis of annual differences in chicks' morphological traits and body masses close to fledging, we established that 2007 was a relative low-quality year and 2008 was a relatively high-quality year. Total antioxidant capacity (TAC) was significantly lower in experimentally enlarged broods, but only in the low-quality year (2007). Total oxidant status (TOS) was independent of brood size in both years but was 45% higher in the low-quality year. Consequently, plasma oxidative status (the ratio between TOS and TAC) was higher in 2007. In contrast, plasma IgY levels were higher in the experimentally enlarged broods and in the high-quality year (2008). Thus, immune function and oxidative stress showed inverse relationships with developmental conditions and annual variation in year quality. Finally, TOS and TAC were positively correlated, but only in the low-quality year (2007), and there was no relationship observed between IgY and markers of oxidative stress. Our results demonstrate the importance of taking into account year effects or ecological context when assessing environmental effects on physiological mechanisms underlying the life-history traits of chicks, such as oxidative stress. PMID:21743256

  1. Alien invasive birds.

    PubMed

    Brochier, B; Vangeluwe, D; van den Berg, T

    2010-08-01

    A bird species is regarded as alien invasive if it has been introduced, intentionally or accidentally, to a location where it did not previously occur naturally, becomes capable of establishing a breeding population without further intervention by humans, spreads and becomes a pest affecting the environment, the local biodiversity, the economy and/or society, including human health. European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) and Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer) have been included on the list of '100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species', a subset of the Global Invasive Species Database. The 'Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventories for Europe' project has selected Canada Goose (Branta canadensis), Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis), Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri) and Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus) as among 100 of the worst invasive species in Europe. For each of these alien bird species, the geographic range (native and introduced range), the introduction pathway, the general impacts and the management methods are presented. PMID:20919578

  2. Songbirds use spectral shape, not pitch, for sound pattern recognition

    PubMed Central

    Bregman, Micah R.; Patel, Aniruddh D.; Gentner, Timothy Q.

    2016-01-01

    Humans easily recognize “transposed” musical melodies shifted up or down in log frequency. Surprisingly, songbirds seem to lack this capacity, although they can learn to recognize human melodies and use complex acoustic sequences for communication. Decades of research have led to the widespread belief that songbirds, unlike humans, are strongly biased to use absolute pitch (AP) in melody recognition. This work relies almost exclusively on acoustically simple stimuli that may belie sensitivities to more complex spectral features. Here, we investigate melody recognition in a species of songbird, the European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), using tone sequences that vary in both pitch and timbre. We find that small manipulations altering either pitch or timbre independently can drive melody recognition to chance, suggesting that both percepts are poor descriptors of the perceptual cues used by birds for this task. Instead we show that melody recognition can generalize even in the absence of pitch, as long as the spectral shapes of the constituent tones are preserved. These results challenge conventional views regarding the use of pitch cues in nonhuman auditory sequence recognition. PMID:26811447

  3. Songbirds use spectral shape, not pitch, for sound pattern recognition.

    PubMed

    Bregman, Micah R; Patel, Aniruddh D; Gentner, Timothy Q

    2016-02-01

    Humans easily recognize "transposed" musical melodies shifted up or down in log frequency. Surprisingly, songbirds seem to lack this capacity, although they can learn to recognize human melodies and use complex acoustic sequences for communication. Decades of research have led to the widespread belief that songbirds, unlike humans, are strongly biased to use absolute pitch (AP) in melody recognition. This work relies almost exclusively on acoustically simple stimuli that may belie sensitivities to more complex spectral features. Here, we investigate melody recognition in a species of songbird, the European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), using tone sequences that vary in both pitch and timbre. We find that small manipulations altering either pitch or timbre independently can drive melody recognition to chance, suggesting that both percepts are poor descriptors of the perceptual cues used by birds for this task. Instead we show that melody recognition can generalize even in the absence of pitch, as long as the spectral shapes of the constituent tones are preserved. These results challenge conventional views regarding the use of pitch cues in nonhuman auditory sequence recognition. PMID:26811447

  4. A sonic net excludes birds from an airfield: implications for reducing bird strike and crop losses.

    PubMed

    Swaddle, John P; Moseley, Dana L; Hinders, Mark K; Smith, Elizabeth P

    2016-03-01

    Collisions between birds and aircraft cause billions of dollars of damages annually to civil, commercial, and military aviation. Yet technology to reduce bird strike is not generally effective, especially over longer time periods. Previous information from our lab indicated that filling an area with acoustic noise, which masks important communication channels for birds, can displace European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) from food sources. Here we deployed a spatially controlled noise (termed a "sonic net"), designed to overlap with the frequency range of bird vocalizations, at an airfield. By conducting point counts, we monitored the presence of birds for four weeks before deployment of our sonic net, and for four weeks during deployment. We found an 82% reduction in bird presence in the sonic net area compared with change in the reference areas. This effect was as strong in the fourth week of exposure as in the first week. We also calculated the potential costs avoided resulting from this exclusion. We propose that spatially controlled acoustic manipulations that mask auditory communication for birds may be an effective long term and fairly benign way of excluding problem birds from areas of socioeconomic importance, such as airfields, agricultural sites, and commercial properties. PMID:27209777

  5. Increased predation of nutrient-enriched aposematic prey

    PubMed Central

    Halpin, Christina G.; Skelhorn, John; Rowe, Candy

    2014-01-01

    Avian predators readily learn to associate the warning coloration of aposematic prey with the toxic effects of ingesting them, but they do not necessarily exclude aposematic prey from their diets. By eating aposematic prey ‘educated’ predators are thought to be trading-off the benefits of gaining nutrients with the costs of eating toxins. However, while we know that the toxin content of aposematic prey affects the foraging decisions made by avian predators, the extent to which the nutritional content of toxic prey affects predators' decisions to eat them remains to be tested. Here, we show that European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) increase their intake of a toxic prey type when the nutritional content is artificially increased, and decrease their intake when nutritional enrichment is ceased. This clearly demonstrates that birds can detect the nutritional content of toxic prey by post-ingestive feedback, and use this information in their foraging decisions, raising new perspectives on the evolution of prey defences. Nutritional differences between individuals could result in equally toxic prey being unequally predated, and might explain why some species undergo ontogenetic shifts in defence strategies. Furthermore, the nutritional value of prey will likely have a significant impact on the evolutionary dynamics of mimicry systems. PMID:24598424

  6. Interactions between European Citizenship and Language Learning among Adolescent Europeans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hennebry, Mairin

    2011-01-01

    Recent enlargement of the European Union (EU) has created debate as to the suitability of current structures and policies for effectively engaging citizens and developing social cohesion. Education and specifically modern foreign language (MFL) teaching are argued by the literature to play a key role in equipping young people to interact and…

  7. Reconstructing Indo-European Syllabification

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Byrd, Andrew Miles

    2010-01-01

    The chief concern of this dissertation is to investigate a fundamental, yet unsolved problem within the phonology of Proto-Indo-European (PIE): the process of syllabification. I show that by analyzing the much more easily reconstructable word-edge clusters we may predict which types of consonant clusters can occur word-medially, provided that we…

  8. The European NEO Coordination Centre

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perozzi, E.; Borgia, B.; Micheli, M.

    An operational approach to NEO (Near-Earth Object) hazard monitoring has been developed at European level within the framework of the Space Situational Awareness Program (SSA) of the European Space Agency (ESA). Through federating European assets and profiting of the expertise developed in European Universities and Research Centers, it has been possible to start the deployment of the so-called SSA NEO Segment. This initiative aims to provide a significant contribution to the worldwide effort to the discovery, follow-up and characterization of the near-Earth object population. A major achievement has been the inauguration in May 2013 of the ESA NEO Coordination Centre located at ESRIN (Frascati, Italy). The goal of the NEOCC Precursor Service operations is twofold: to make available updated information on the NEO population and the associated hazard and to contribute to optimize the NEO observational efforts. This is done by maintaining and improving a Web Portal publicly available at http://neo.ssa.esa.int and by performing follow-up observations through a network of collaborating telescopes and facilities. An overview of the SSA-NEO System and a summary of the first two years of NEOCC operations is presented.

  9. European Curricula, Xenophobia and Warfare.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coulby, David

    1997-01-01

    Examines school and university curricula in Europe and the extent of their influence on xenophobia. Considers the pluralistic nature of the European population. Discusses the role of curriculum selection and language policy in state efforts to promote nationalism. Assesses the role of curricular systems in the actual encouragement of warfare,…

  10. Beyond "Ability": Some European Alternatives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wrigley, Terry

    2013-01-01

    This article draws on European approaches to differentiation that do not entail fatalistic determinism. It describes two challenging initiatives in Denmark, where democratic learning and learning for democracy are enshrined in law. Other examples come from Germany, from the Bielefeld laboratory school and a sixth form college, where planning for…

  11. Attitudes of Europeans toward Age.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ageing International, 1993

    1993-01-01

    Two Commission of European Communities surveys of people over age 15 and of those over 60 demonstrated a widespread belief that older people deserve public support and services and face employment discrimination. Socioeconomic factors influenced older people's sense of security and life satisfaction. Positive intergenerational attitudes appeared.…

  12. OER: A European Policy Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alquézar Sabadie, Jesús Maria; Castaño Muñoz, Jonatan; Puni, Yves; Redecker, Christine; Vuorikari, Riina

    2014-01-01

    The potential benefits of OER have led many European governments to implement policies supporting their creation and use. This chapter aims to put these OER policies in context, discussing their focus and scope and highlighting challenges and bottlenecks. On the basis of the analysis of the current state of the art, it is argued that one of main…

  13. The European Board of Orthodontists.

    PubMed

    Cozzani, Mauro; Weiland, Frank

    2016-06-01

    The multiplicity of nations, languages and differing ways and levels of specialized orthodontic education in Europe lead to the need for an objective review of the quality of orthodontic care. To this purpose, The European Board of Orthodontists (EBO) was introduced. This article gives an overview of the objectives of the EBO, its development and the requirements for membership. PMID:27066742

  14. Adolescent Leisure across European Nations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flammer, August; Schaffner, Brigitta

    2003-01-01

    Examined variations in adolescent time use within Europe and their relation to culture, focusing on organization of free time, most frequent leisure activities, and resulting emotional states. Found that European adolescents spent free time in a range of activities, including electronic media, computer games, playing musical instruments, reading,…

  15. EMSO: European multidisciplinary seafloor observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Favali, Paolo; Beranzoli, Laura

    2009-04-01

    EMSO has been identified by the ESFRI Report 2006 as one of the Research Infrastructures that European members and associated states are asked to develop in the next decades. It will be based on a European-scale network of multidisciplinary seafloor observatories from the Arctic to the Black Sea with the aim of long-term real-time monitoring of processes related to geosphere/biosphere/hydrosphere interactions. EMSO will enhance our understanding of processes, providing long time series data for the different phenomenon scales which constitute the new frontier for study of Earth interior, deep-sea biology and chemistry, and ocean processes. The development of an underwater network is based on past EU projects and is supported by several EU initiatives, such as the on-going ESONET-NoE, aimed at strengthening the ocean observatories' scientific and technological community. The EMSO development relies on the synergy between the scientific community and industry to improve European competitiveness with respect to countries such as USA, Canada and Japan. Within the FP7 Programme launched in 2006, a call for Preparatory Phase (PP) was issued in order to support the foundation of the legal and organisational entity in charge of building up and managing the infrastructure, and coordinating the financial effort among the countries. The EMSO-PP project, coordinated by the Italian INGV with participation by 11 institutions from as many European countries, started in April 2008 and will last four years.

  16. BSE : the European regulatory context.

    PubMed

    Chalus, T; Peutz, I

    2000-10-01

    The Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy crisis provoked a fundamental re-appraisal of the way in which the European Community approaches matters of food safety. Between 28 July 1989, when restrictions on the dispatch of certain live cattle from the UK starte PMID:12631966

  17. Phased Retirement: The European Experience.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swank, Constance

    This report provides United States corporate and union policymakers with practical information on one alternative work pattern for older employees--phased retirement--from European colleagues who already have implemented or negotiated specific phasing programs. An introduction provides details on the collection of information from companies in…

  18. Current issues in European migration.

    PubMed

    Straubhaar, T; Wolter, A

    1996-01-01

    The authors examine recent migration patterns into and within the European Union. Issues involving asylum and migration policy are discussed, and problems caused by differing naturalization practices in different countries are considered. Skill patterns of migrants and problems in labor markets are also investigated. PMID:12321414

  19. European tests on materials outgassing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zwaal, A.

    1977-01-01

    With a view to international coordination of spacecraft materials, a number of European firms and institutes performed outgassing tests on identical materials at 125 C in high vacuum. The outgassing data obtained with the different types of equipment is presented and both the results and the critical parameters are discussed.

  20. The European Location Framework - from National to European

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pauknerova, E.; Sidlichovsky, P.; Urbanas, S.; Med, M.

    2016-06-01

    The European Location Framework (ELF) means a technical infrastructure which will deliver authoritative, interoperable geospatial reference data from all over Europe for analysing and understanding information connected to places and features. The ELF has been developed and set up through the ELF Project, which has been realized by a consortium of partners (public, private and academic organisations) since March 2013. Their number increased from thirty to forty in the year 2016, together with a project extension from 36 to 44 months. The project is co-funded by the European Commission's Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and will end in October 2016. In broad terms, the ELF Project will deliver a unique gateway to the authoritative reference geospatial information for Europe (harmonised pan-European maps, geographic and land information) sourced from the National Mapping and Cadastral Authorities (NMCAs) around Europe and including transparent licensing. This will be provided as an online ELF web service that will deliver an up-to-date topographic base map and also as view & download services for access to the ELF datasets. To develop and build up the ELF, NMCAs are accompanied and collaborate with several research & academia institutes, a standardisation body, system integrators, software developers and application providers. The harmonisation is in progress developing and triggering a number of geo-tools like edge-matching, generalisation, transformation and others. ELF will provide also some centralised tools like Geo Locator for searching location based on geographical names, addresses and administrative units, and GeoProduct Finder for discovering the available web-services and licensing them. ELF combines national reference geo-information through the ELF platform. ELF web services will be offered to users and application developers through open source (OSKARI) and proprietary (ArcGIS Online) cloud platforms. Recently, 29 NMCAs plus the

  1. European Cargo Ship Launches to Station

    NASA Video Gallery

    The European Space Agency's third Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-3) launched atop an Ariane 5 rocket from the European space port in Kourou, French Guiana, at 12:34 a.m. EDT Friday, beginning a si...

  2. New head picked for European Spallation Source

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banks, Michael

    2016-06-01

    The UK physicist John Womersley is to become the next director-general of the €1.8bn European Spallation Source (ESS), which is currently being built in Lund, Sweden, by a 17-member consortium of European countries.

  3. European physics impact - to a first approximation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Starckx, Senne

    2013-05-01

    Physics-based industries contributed around 14%, or €3800bn, to the total value of the European economy in 2010 - exceeding that of the construction and retail sectors combined - according to a report by the European Physical Society (EPS).

  4. European psychotraumatology – alongside the recent European history

    PubMed Central

    Lueger-Schuster, Brigitte

    2013-01-01

    This article outlines a personal reflection of experiences within the field of traumatic stress, especially in relation to specific events, which affected the author's professional life. Conclusions for further challenges for European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS) are delineated. ESTSS's role in the global network of traumatic stress societies is discussed. This is a personal view of Brigitte Lueger-Schuster, president of ESTSS on behalf of the 20th birthday of ESTSS. PMID:23755321

  5. How Is European Governance Configuring the EHEA?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Magalhães, António; Veiga, Amélia; Sousa, Sofia; Ribeiro, Filipa

    2012-01-01

    This article focuses on the interaction between the European dimension driven by the creation of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and the development of national reforms to fulfil that objective. On the basis of data gathered in eight countries involved in EuroHESC project TRUE (Transforming European Universities), the curricular and the…

  6. Our European Neighbours. Vocational Training No. 2.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vocational Training, 1989

    1989-01-01

    This document addresses vocational training in European countries. The document contains the following articles: (1) "Dear Readers" (Ernst Piehl and Georges Dupont); (2) "Interview with Lord Plumb, President of the European Parliament" (Georges Dupont); "The European Community's 'Ostpolitik'" (Horst G. Krenzler); "Opening up to the East in the…

  7. Europeanizing Education: Governing a New Policy Space

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawn, Martin; Grek, Sotiria

    2012-01-01

    The study of common and diverse effects in the field of education across Europe is a growing field of inquiry and research. It is the result of many actions, networks and programmes over the last few decades and the development of common European education policies. "Europeanizing Education" describes the origins of European education policy, as…

  8. European Initiatives in Postgraduate Education in Gerontology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Rijsselt, Rene J. T.; Parkatti, Terttu; Troisi, Joseph

    2007-01-01

    This paper describes three innovative European initiatives in postgraduate education in gerontology. The first is the European Masters Program in Gerontology (EuMaG), developed as an interdisciplinary joint program, supported and delivered by 22 European universities. Second, the Nordplus initiative to increase mobility of students and staff in…

  9. European Community Databases: Online to Europe.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hensley, Colin

    1989-01-01

    Describes three groups of databases sponsored by the European Communities Commission: Eurobases, a textual database of the contents of the "Official Journal" of the European Community; the European Community Host Organization (ECHO) databases, which offer multilingual information about Europe; and statistical databases. Information on access and…

  10. ETUDE - European Trade Union Distance Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Creanor, Linda; Walker, Steve

    2000-01-01

    Describes transnational distance learning activities among European trade union educators carried out as part of the European Trade Union Distance Education (ETUDE) project, supported by the European Commission. Highlights include the context of international trade union distance education; tutor training course; tutors' experiences; and…

  11. Making Citizens, Being European? European Symbolism in Slovenian Citizenship Education Textbooks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Banjac, Marinko; Pušnik, Tomaž

    2015-01-01

    Citizenship education has been an important part of the European Union's (EU) agenda to integrate a European dimension into schools' curricula. The usage of European symbolism in citizenship education curriculum material has been an especially important (yet understudied) means not only to promote a distinct European identity and increase…

  12. European Biospheric Network Takes Off

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brovkin, Victor; Reick, Christian; van Bodegom, Peter

    2010-04-01

    Opening Symposium of the TERRABITES Network; Hamburg, Germany, 9-11 February 2010; The huge amount of recently acquired information about the functioning of the terrestrial biosphere and the ever increasing spatial resolution of Earth system models call for a new level of integrating efforts among biosphere modelers, developers of ecological theory, and data-gathering communities. Responding to this call, a new European network, Terrestrial Biosphere in the Earth System (TERRABITES), held its opening symposium in Germany. The meeting was organized jointly with another recently founded European network, Advancing the Integrated Monitoring of Trace Gas Exchange Between Biosphere and Atmosphere (ABBA). Almost 100 scientific contributions covered the latest advances in modeling ecophysiological and biogeochemical processes; analyses of model constraints set by measurements of water and carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes, including carbon isotopes; and new perspectives in using remote sensing data for evaluation of global terrestrial biosphere models.

  13. Security Economics and European Policy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Ross; Böhme, Rainer; Clayton, Richard; Moor, Tyler

    In September 2007, we were awarded a contract by the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) to investigate failures in the market for secure electronic communications within the European Union, and come up with policy recommendations. In the process, we spoke to a large number of stakeholders, and held a consultative meeting in December 2007 in Brussels to present draft proposals, which established most had wide stakeholder support. The formal outcome of our work was a detailed report, “Security Economics and the Internal Market”, published by ENISA in March 2008. This paper presents a much abridged version: in it, we present the recommendations we made, along with a summary of our reasoning.

  14. Traceability from a European perspective.

    PubMed

    Schwägele, F

    2005-09-01

    At pan-European level there is a need for traceability systems giving information on origin, processing, retailing and final destination of foodstuffs. Such systems shall enhance consumer confidence in food; enable the regulatory authorities to identify and to withdraw health hazardous and non-consumable foodstuffs from the market. Animal feeds are an element in this "food-to-farm" approach to public health. Such feedstuffs are preliminary elements of some foods for human consumption, and hence are an inherent element of the food chain. A harmonised pan-European food traceability protocol would greatly assist authorities in detecting fraud as well as dangerous substances. The food chain comprises a range of sequential and parallel stages bridging the full spectrum from agricultural production to the consumable foodstuffs by consumers. EU legislation on traceability and the technologies needed to implement this system for meat and meat products are the focus of this paper. PMID:22064062

  15. Biosimilar insulins: a European perspective.

    PubMed

    DeVries, J H; Gough, S C L; Kiljanski, J; Heinemann, L

    2015-05-01

    Biosimilar insulins are likely to enter clinical practice in Europe in the near future. It is important that clinicians are familiar with and understand the concept of biosimilarity and how a biosimilar drug may differ from its reference product. The present article provides an overview of biosimilars, the European regulatory requirements for biosimilars and safety issues. It also summarizes the current biosimilars approved in Europe and the key clinical issues associated with the use of biosimilar insulins. PMID:25376600

  16. Biosimilar insulins: a European perspective

    PubMed Central

    DeVries, J H; Gough, S C L; Kiljanski, J; Heinemann, L

    2015-01-01

    Biosimilar insulins are likely to enter clinical practice in Europe in the near future. It is important that clinicians are familiar with and understand the concept of biosimilarity and how a biosimilar drug may differ from its reference product. The present article provides an overview of biosimilars, the European regulatory requirements for biosimilars and safety issues. It also summarizes the current biosimilars approved in Europe and the key clinical issues associated with the use of biosimilar insulins. PMID:25376600

  17. Progress in European CELSS activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Skoog, A. I.

    1987-01-01

    The European Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) activities started in the late 1970's with system analysis and feasibility studies of Biological Life Support Systems (BLSS). The initiation for CELSS came from the industry side in Europe, but since then planning and hardware feasibility analyses have been initiated also from customer/agency side. Despite this, it is still too early to state that a CELSS program as a concerted effort has been agreed upon in Europe. However, the general CELSS objectives were accepted as planning and possible development goals for the European effort for manned space activities, and as experimental planning topics in the life sciences community for the next decades. It is expected that ecological life support systems can be tested and implemented on a space station towards the end of this century or early in the next. For the European activities a possible scenario can be projected based on ongoing life support system development activities and the present life sciences goals.

  18. International Heliophysical Year: European Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briand, C.

    2007-08-01

    The First European General Assembly of the "International Heliophysical Year" (IHY) took place at the headquarters of the Centre Nationial de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Paris, France, 10-13 January 2006. There were 113 participants representing 27 nations. The science concerned with the International Heliophysical Year programme was first illustrated. Then, the status of current instruments as well as practical information on the campaign management policy was given. Twenty European National Coordinators described the progress of their IHY activities. Representatives from Egypt, Angola and the coordinator of the Balkan, Black and Caspian Sea Region also reported on the progress of IHY activities in their respective regions. People from the IHY Secretariat provided a summary of the global IHY efforts including the United Nations Basic Space Sciences Program. In the education and public outreach front, a variety of activities have been planned: TV and radio shows, board games on space weather, specific programmes for schools and universities, workshops for teachers are some of the actions that were presented by the delegates. Beyond of these national and individual initiatives, specific activities requiring European coordination were discussed. This paper provides an extended summary of the main talks and discussions that held during the meeting.

  19. Third European Stroke Science Workshop.

    PubMed

    Dichgans, Martin; Planas, Anna M; Biessels, Geert Jan; van der Worp, Bart; Sudlow, Cathie; Norrving, Bo; Lees, Kennedy; Mattle, Heinrich P

    2016-07-01

    Lake Eibsee, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, November 19 to 21, 2015: The European Stroke Organization convened >120 stroke experts from 27 countries to discuss latest results and hot topics in clinical, translational, and basic stroke research. Since its inception in 2011, the European Stroke Science Workshop has become a cornerstone of European Stroke Organization's academic activities and major highlight for researchers in the field. Participants include stroke researchers at all career stages who convene for plenary lectures and discussions, thus facilitating crosstalk among researchers from different fields. As in previous years, the workshop was organized into 7 scientific sessions each focusing on a major research topic. All sessions started with a keynote lecture that provided an overview on current developments and set the scene for the following presentations. The latter were short focused talks on a timely topic and included the most recent findings, including unpublished data. A new element at this year's meeting was a hot topic session in which speakers had to present a provocative concept or update sharply within 5 minutes. In the following, we summarize the key contents of the meeting. The program is provided in the online-only Data Supplement. PMID:27283200

  20. European rendezvous and docking system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pairot, J. M.; Frezet, M.; Tailhades, J.; Fehse, W.; Tobias, A.; Getzschmann, A.

    This paper first describes the major design drivers and the key features of the European RendezVous and Docking System Concept. Stemming from technology activities led by the European Space Agency (ESA) with European Industry and National Space Agencies since the beginning of the eighties, the concept has been developed and integrated in the frame of an ESA RVD System Pre-Development Programme initiated at ESTEC in 1989, with MATRA as main contractor. The objective is to verify the overall concept and the main elements within a RVD Proof of Concept Programme in order to provide an early proof of validity to the user projects, the first of which will be the Hermes manned space shuttle. The selected mission scenarii, the RVD functions addressed and the overall system architecture are described. The results of supporting safety, performance and operations analyses are presented. The paper further presents the verification objectives and the major results obtained in the RVD System Pre-Development Programme. This verification approach involves hardware breadboards, software prototypes, development of test facilities in four main development areas: test of RV sensors on a 6 d.o.f. kinematic test facility, test of a docking mechanism front-end mock-up on the docking dynamics test facility, closed-loop test of a prototype RV control software, test of man-in-the-loop concept involving both supervisory control and manual control modes.

  1. EMSO: European Multidisciplinary Seafloor Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Favali, Paolo; Partnership, Emso

    2010-05-01

    EEMSO, an ESFRI Research Infrastructure, is the European-scale network of multidisciplinary seafloor observatories from the Arctic to the Black Sea with the scientific objective of long-term real-time monitoring of processes related to geosphere/biosphere/hydrosphere interactions. EMSO will enhance our understanding of processes through long time series appropriate to the scale of the phenomena, constituting the new frontier of studying Earth interior, deep-sea biology and chemistry and ocean processes. EMSO will reply also to the need expressed in the frame of GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) to develop a marine segment integrated in the in situ and satellite global monitoring system. The EMSO infrastructure will extend the coverage to the sea of the monitoring, integrating the land-based networks with multidisciplinary seafloor measurements. With this aim the two European research infrastructures EPOS (European Plate Observing System) and EMSO can operate in coordination in order to increase the mutual benefits. EMSO is presently at the stage of Preparatory Phase, funded in the EC FP7. The EMSO status, the perspectives and relations with other existing or incoming sensor networks and data infrastructures are outlined.

  2. European missile aerodynamics and developments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gregoriou, G.

    1980-04-01

    The joint development of new generation missiles by many European countries not only minimizes the costs and the technological risks for each individual country, but also increases the degree of weapons systems standardization within NATO. Focal points of research in recent years include: (1) jet influence on the dispersion of artillery rockets; (2) problems associated with the vertical launch of missiles; and (3) air intakes of ramjets. These areas are examined with respect to their significance in missile design. Some characteristic theoretical and measurement results are given.

  3. Neutron bomb and European defense

    SciTech Connect

    Sweet, W.

    1980-08-15

    France's development of the controversial neutron bomb is in line with the US goal of flexible response to a Soviet threat in Europe. US neutron bomb production is on a standby basis pending agreement among the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members for deployment. Controversy over the bomb centers on its anti-personnel nature, which many see as immoral in comparison with weapons that primarily damage property. Opponents also see it as lowering the nuclear threshold and increasing the chance of nuclear war. Supporters view the bomb as a tactical weapon to be used on a limited scale as a last resort. If Germany's Chancellor Schmidt fails to negotiate a limit to European nuclear arms deployment with the Soviet Union, neutron-bomb production in the US and France will most likely proceed. The prospects for including European nuclear weapons in the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) III are jeopardized by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the failure of an early SALT II ratification. 17 references. (DCK)

  4. European Hands-on Universe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doran, Rosa; Ferlet, Roger; Gómez de Castro, Ana I.; Hill, Robert; Horellou, Cathy; Mankiewicz, Lech; Melchior, Anne-Laure; Metaxa, Margarita; Zanazzi, Alessandra

    2007-08-01

    Hands-on Universe is a project born at UC@Berkeley. A project devoted to enrich the teaching of Astronomy within the classroom environment with a different approach, more connected to the new technologies. Its main goals are not only to promote the use of such technologies but also to reawaken on students the taste for STEM (Science, technologies, engineering and math) related issues and also to increase their scientific culture. Eight countries in Europe decided to adopt the method and, funded by MINERVA, formed the European Hands-on Universe. Several resources were produced and a data reduction software developed http://www.euhou.net/.Other European countries are interested and should join this coordinated effort in the near future. At an international level there are 20 countries using this approach. There are plans to develop scientific cooperation among these countries. Pilot scientific research projects in schools are being tested in EU-HOU schools, Russia and USA. There is also a game being developed to be used as a new tool for teaching scientific content in the classroom environment. An effort to develop an international network of scientific / educational collaboration is the next step.

  5. The European preexposure prophylaxis revolution

    PubMed Central

    Cairns, Gus; McCormack, Sheena; Molina, Jean-Michel

    2016-01-01

    Purpose of review The review describes the European epidemic and the challenges in moving from clinical trials of preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to routine practice. Recent findings Two European trials conducted in gay and other MSM and transgender women reported a high and consistent reduction in HIV incidence using oral PrEP with tenofovir/emtricitabine (TDF/FTC). The incidence of HIV infection in the control group was much higher than anticipated, based on routine surveillance data in MSM, in spite of the highest standard of HIV prevention available. Summary Recent results have highlighted the urgent need to make PrEP available to key populations in Europe as an additional prevention tool. Gilead has not yet submitted an application to use TDF/FTC as PrEP in Europe. Although regulatory approval would accelerate implementation, countries are already dispensing TDF/FTC as postexposure prophylaxis without this. Services for prevention are diverse across countries ranging from free, walk-in services for the diagnosis and treatment of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, to insurance-dependent reimbursement of private clinical services. Momentum is gathering in Europe with PrEP demonstration projects in MSM and a growing demand from community organizations. Each Member State urgently needs to identify their key populations and determine the service best placed to provide this new prevention strategy within a comprehensive prevention package. PMID:26599164

  6. Summer Schools for European teachers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ros, Rosa M.

    The Summer Schools have been organised by the European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE) for European teachers. The first was organised in La Seu d'Urgell, Spain, the second was organised in 1998 in Fregene, Italy and the third in 1999, during the week of the eclipse in Briey, France, on the line of total darkness. We had a cloudy eclipse, but fortunately we could observe it. We are preparing the 4th one next July in Tavira, Portugal. A group of 50 participants are involved in each Summer School. In the last one the participants were from 14 countries. The activities are organised in General Lectures, Working Groups and Workshops to reduced groups and day and night Observations. To increase communication, each Summer School has three official languages: the language of the host country, English and another well-known by the participants. The proceedings are published beforehand with all the contents to facilitate participation. Each paper appears in English and another language. The activities are organised in General Lectures, Working Groups and Workshops to reduced groups and day and night Observations. To increase communication, each Summer School has three official languages: the language of the host country, English and another well-known by the participants. The proceedings are published beforehand with all the contents to facilitate participation. Each paper appears in English and another language.

  7. Participation in European water policy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Ast, J. A.; Boot, S. P.

    This paper considers the possibilities for interactive policy-making in European water management. In the new European Water Framework Directive, public information and consultation are major elements in the procedure (process) that leads to River Basin Management Plans. In general, decision making in integrated water management should not be limited to the application of models and desk studies. Important decisions need a high level of participation. In this interactive approach, visions, ideas, patterns of behaviour and solutions to perceived problems of different societal actors can be identified and incorporated into the decision-making process. For example, farmer organisations, environmental groups and associations of house owners, but also individual citizens often have various and differing ideas about measures that change the physical, chemical or biological characteristics of a river basin. Well-organised interaction has two main potential advantages: The quality of the decision will be higher because specific knowledge of people involved and their different views are taken into consideration. The interaction enables exchange of information which can lead to a better understanding of the ins and outs of the specific situation and in this way contribute to public support. By means of two examples of water related policy issues in Europe, i.e. economic approaches in the water framework directive and Integrated Product Policy, various opportunities for pluralistic as well as corporatist types of participation in modern water management are presented and discussed.

  8. The new European Hubble archive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Marchi, Guido; Arevalo, Maria; Merin, Bruno

    2016-01-01

    The European Hubble Archive (hereafter eHST), hosted at ESA's European Space Astronomy Centre, has been released for public use in October 2015. The eHST is now fully integrated with the other ESA science archives to ensure long-term preservation of the Hubble data, consisting of more than 1 million observations from 10 different scientific instruments. The public HST data, the Hubble Legacy Archive, and the high-level science data products are now all available to scientists through a single, carefully designed and user friendly web interface. In this talk, I will show how the the eHST can help boost archival research, including how to search on sources in the field of view thanks to precise footprints projected onto the sky, how to obtain enhanced previews of imaging data and interactive spectral plots, and how to directly link observations with already published papers. To maximise the scientific exploitation of Hubble's data, the eHST offers connectivity to virtual observatory tools, easily integrates with the recently released Hubble Source Catalog, and is fully accessible through ESA's archives multi-mission interface.

  9. Policymaking in European healthy cities.

    PubMed

    de Leeuw, Evelyne; Green, Geoff; Spanswick, Lucy; Palmer, Nicola

    2015-06-01

    This paper assesses policy development in, with and for Healthy Cities in the European Region of the World Health Organization. Materials for the assessment were sourced through case studies, a questionnaire and statistical databases. They were compiled in a realist synthesis methodology, applying theory-based evaluation principles. Non-response analyses were applied to ascertain the degree of representatives of the high response rates for the entire network of Healthy Cities in Europe. Further measures of reliability and validity were applied, and it was found that our material was indicative of the entire network. European Healthy Cities are successful in developing local health policy across many sectors within and outside government. They were also successful in addressing 'wicked' problems around equity, governance and participation in themes such as Healthy Urban Planning. It appears that strong local leadership for policy change is driven by international collaboration and the stewardship of the World Health Organization. The processes enacted by WHO, structuring membership of the Healthy City Network (designation) and the guidance on particular themes, are identified as being important for the success of local policy development. PMID:26069314

  10. The New European Wind Atlas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lundtang Petersen, Erik

    2013-04-01

    The New European Wind Atlas 1. European wind resource assessment through a ERA-NET Plus project 1.1 The new EU Atlas The Commission decided earlier this year to issue an ERA-NET Plus call for the creation and publication of a new EU wind atlas. The atlas will cover Member states as well as Member states' exclusive economic zones, both onshore and offshore. It involved the launch of a single joint call for proposals by promoters of national and/or regional programmes, thereby allowing a more efficient use of existing financial resources. Therefore the funding scheme is that of ERA-NET Plus which implies that at least 5 MS shall commit at least 1 million Euros each and the Commission tops up with on third of the MS contribution. Basically it is the MS research programmes that will execute the project but an important part of the project is to create "open project development platforms" with associated protocols allowing a wider range of scientists worldwide to contribute. The project has a duration of 5 years. The decision on the new wind atlas was taken after several years of work by the European Wind Energy Technology Platform and the European Energy Research Alliances' Joint programme for Wind Energy. 2. Structure of the project The project will be structured around three areas of work, to be implemented in parallel: 2.1 Creation and publication of a European wind atlas in electronic form, which will include the underlying data and a new EU wind climate database. The database will at a minimum include: Wind resources and their associated uncertainty; Extreme wind; Turbulence characteristics; Adverse weather conditions; Predictability for short term prediction; Guidelines. 2.2 Development of dynamical downscaling methodologies and open-source models. The developed downscaling methodologies and models will be fully documented and made public available and will be used to produce overview maps of wind resources and relevant data at several heights and a horizontal

  11. Seams issues in European transmission investments

    SciTech Connect

    Buijs, Patrik; Bekaert, David; Belmans, Ronnie

    2010-12-15

    European policy goals are challenging for transmission networks, requiring investments in cross-border capacity. Despite those goals, an increased awareness of the need for investments and the voluntary cooperation among countries sharing the challenges, a regulatory gap between national and European interests persists. Further development of a European cross-border planning and financing framework is required. U.S. experiences may serve as food for thought. (author)

  12. European virtual campus for biomedical engineering EVICAB.

    PubMed

    Malmivuo, Jaakko A; Nousiainen, Juha O; Lindroos, Kari V

    2007-01-01

    European Commission has funded building a curriculum on Biomedical Engineering to the Internet for European universities under the project EVICAB. EVICAB forms a curriculum which will be free access and available free of charge. Therefore, in addition to the European universities, it will be available worldwide. EVICAB will make high quality education available for everyone, not only for the university students, and facilitate the development of the discipline of Biomedical Engineering. PMID:18002654

  13. European security, nuclear weapons and public confidence

    SciTech Connect

    Gutteridge, W.

    1982-01-01

    This book presents papers on nuclear arms control in Europe. Topics considered include political aspects, the balance of power, nuclear disarmament in Europe, the implications of new conventional technologies, the neutron bomb, theater nuclear weapons, arms control in Northern Europe, naval confidence-building measures in the Baltic, the strategic balance in the Arctic Ocean, Arctic resources, threats to European stability, developments in South Africa, economic cooperation in Europe, European collaboration in science and technology after Helsinki, European cooperation in the area of electric power, and economic cooperation as a factor for the development of European security and cooperation.

  14. Developments in international/European health law.

    PubMed

    Abbing, Henriette D C Roscam

    2009-03-01

    International (European) organizations have impact on health law. The most recent developments are: a revision of the world Medical's Association Declaration of Helsinki, a proposal for a Directive (European Commission) on standards of quality and safety of human organs intended for transplantation, accompanied by a ten point action plan; a proposal (European Commission) for a Directive on the application of patients' rights in cross-border health care; a proposal (European commission) for a Directive on information to the general public on medicinal products subject to medical prescription. PMID:19353913

  15. The Revised European Social Fund and Action to Combat Unemployment in the European Community.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vandamme, Francois

    1984-01-01

    The tasks of the European Social Fund, the European Economic Community's social policy instrument, were reviewed in l983 in the light of the worsening unemployment situation and the priority placed on employment and vocational training policies. (Author/SSH)

  16. EMSO: European Multidisciplinary Seafloor Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Favali, Paolo

    2010-05-01

    EMSO, a Research Infrastructure listed within ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures) Roadmap (Report 2006, http://cordis.europa.eu/esfri/roadmap.htm), is the European-scale network of multidisciplinary seafloor observatories from the Arctic to the Black Sea with the scientific objective of long-term real-time monitoring of processes related to geosphere/biosphere/hydrosphere interactions. EMSO will enhance our understanding of processes through long time series appropriate to the scale of the phenomena, constituting the new frontier of studying Earth interior, deep-sea biology and chemistry and ocean processes. The development of an underwater network is based on previous EU-funded projects since early '90 and is being supported by several EU initiatives, as the on-going ESONET-NoE, coordinated by IFREMER (2007-2011, http://www.esonet-emso.org/esonet-noe/), and aims at gathering together the Research Community of the Ocean Observatories. In 2006 the FP7 Capacities Programme launched a call for Preparatory Phase (PP) projects, that will provide the support to create the legal and organisational entities in charge of managing the infrastructures, and coordinating the financial effort among the countries. Under this call the EMSO-PP project was approved in 2007 with the coordination of INGV and the participation of other 11 Institutions of 11 countries. The project has started in April 2008 and will last 4 years. The EMSO is a key-infrastructure both for Ocean Sciences and for Solid Earth Sciences. In this respect it will enhance and complement profitably the capabilities of other European research infrastructures such as EPOS, ERICON-Aurora Borealis, and SIOS. The perspective of the synergy among EMSO and other ESFRI Research Infrastructures will be outlined. EMSO Partners: IFREMER-Institut Français de Recherche pour l'exploitation de la mer (France, ref. Roland Person); KDM-Konsortium Deutsche Meeresforschung e.V. (Germany, ref. Christoph

  17. EMSO: European Multidisciplinary Seafloor Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Favali, P.; Partnership, Emso

    2009-04-01

    EMSO, a Research Infrastructure listed within ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures) Roadmap), is the European-scale network of multidisciplinary seafloor observatories from the Arctic to the Black Sea with the scientific objective of long-term real-time monitoring of processes related to geosphere/biosphere/hydrosphere interactions. EMSO will enhance our understanding of processes through long time series appropriate to the scale of the phenomena, constituting the new frontier of studying Earth interior, deep-sea biology and chemistry and ocean processes. EMSO will reply also to the need expressed in the frame of GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) to develop a marine segment integrated in the in situ and satellite global monitoring system. The EMSO development relays upon the synergy between the scientific community and the industry to improve the European competitiveness with respect to countries like USA/Canada, NEPTUNE, VENUS and MARS projects, Taiwan, MACHO project, and Japan, DONET project. In Europe the development of an underwater network is based on previous EU-funded projects since early '90, and presently supported by EU initiatives. The EMSO infrastructure will constitute the extension to the sea of the land-based networks. Examples of data recorded by seafloor observatories will be presented. EMSO is presently at the stage of Preparatory Phase (PP), funded in the EC FP7 Capacities Programme. The project has started in April 2008 and will last 4 years with the participation of 12 Institutions representing 12 countries. EMSO potential will be significantly increased also with the interaction with other Research Infrastructures addressed to Earth Science. 2. IFREMER-Institut Français de Recherche pour l'exploitation de la mer (France, ref. Roland Person); KDM-Konsortium Deutsche Meeresforschung e.V. (Germany, ref. Christoph Waldmann); IMI-Irish Marine Institute (Ireland, ref. Michael Gillooly); UTM-CSIC-Unidad de

  18. Assessing European wild fire vulnerability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oehler, F.; Oliveira, S.; Barredo, J. I.; Camia, A.; Ayanz, J. San Miguel; Pettenella, D.; Mavsar, R.

    2012-04-01

    Wild fire vulnerability is a measure of potential socio-economic damage caused by a fire in a specific area. As such it is an important component of long-term fire risk management, helping policy-makers take informed decisions about adequate expenditures for fire prevention and suppression, and to target those regions at highest risk. This paper presents a first approach to assess wild fire vulnerability at the European level. A conservative approach was chosen that assesses the cost of restoring the previous land cover after a potential fire. Based on the CORINE Land Cover, a restoration cost was established for each land cover class at country level, and an average restoration time was assigned according to the recovery capacity of the land cover. The damage caused by fire was then assessed by discounting the cost of restoring the previous land cover over the restoration period. Three different vulnerability scenarios were considered assuming low, medium and high fire severity causing different levels of damage. Over Europe, the potential damage of wild land fires ranges from 10 - 13, 732 Euro*ha-1*yr-1 for low fire severity, 32 - 45,772 Euro*ha-1*yr-1 for medium fire severity and 54 - 77,812 Euro*ha-1*yr-1 for high fire severity. The least vulnerable are natural grasslands, moors and heathland and sclerophyllous vegetation, while the highest cost occurs for restoring broad-leaved forest. Preliminary validation comparing these estimates with official damage assessments for past fires shows reasonable results. The restoration cost approach allows for a straightforward, data extensive assessment of fire vulnerability at European level. A disadvantage is the inherent simplification of the evaluation procedure with the underestimation of non-markets goods and services. Thus, a second approach has been developed, valuing individual wild land goods and services and assessing their annual flow which is lost for a certain period of time in case of a fire event. However

  19. Genital Schistosomiasis in European Women

    PubMed Central

    Catteau, Xavier; Fakhri, Anass; Albert, Valérie; Doukoure, Brahima; Noël, Jean-Christophe

    2011-01-01

    Female genital schistosomiasis (FGS) is an isolated chronic form of schistosomiasis. Although most infections occur in residents of endemic areas, it has been clearly documented that brief freshwater exposure is sufficient to establish infection; thus, travellers may also be infected. The clinical manifestations of FGS are nonspecific, and lesions may mimic any neoplastic or infectious process in the female genital tract. It is important to take a careful history and physical examination, making sure to consider travel history in endemic areas. The diagnosis is confirmed by microscopy with egg identification or by serology. The standard of care for treatment is a single dose of oral praziquantel which avoids complications and substantial morbidity. Herein, we report a rare and original case of FGS in a European woman. PMID:21776398

  20. PRACE - The European HPC Infrastructure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stadelmeyer, Peter

    2014-05-01

    The mission of PRACE (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe) is to enable high impact scientific discovery and engineering research and development across all disciplines to enhance European competitiveness for the benefit of society. PRACE seeks to realize this mission by offering world class computing and data management resources and services through a peer review process. This talk gives a general overview about PRACE and the PRACE research infrastructure (RI). PRACE is established as an international not-for-profit association and the PRACE RI is a pan-European supercomputing infrastructure which offers access to computing and data management resources at partner sites distributed throughout Europe. Besides a short summary about the organization, history, and activities of PRACE, it is explained how scientists and researchers from academia and industry from around the world can access PRACE systems and which education and training activities are offered by PRACE. The overview also contains a selection of PRACE contributions to societal challenges and ongoing activities. Examples of the latter are beside others petascaling, application benchmark suite, best practice guides for efficient use of key architectures, application enabling / scaling, new programming models, and industrial applications. The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) is an international non-profit association with its seat in Brussels. The PRACE Research Infrastructure provides a persistent world-class high performance computing service for scientists and researchers from academia and industry in Europe. The computer systems and their operations accessible through PRACE are provided by 4 PRACE members (BSC representing Spain, CINECA representing Italy, GCS representing Germany and GENCI representing France). The Implementation Phase of PRACE receives funding from the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreements RI-261557, RI-283493 and RI

  1. EERA and Its European Conferences on Educational Research: A Patchwork of Research on European Educational Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keiner, Edwin; Hofbauer, Susann

    2014-01-01

    The process of Europeanisation is closely linked to the process of an emerging European Educational Research Area and an education research identity. The European Conferences on Educational Research (ECER), European Educational Research Association (EERA) and its networks are involved in new directions and strands of educational research in…

  2. The European Dimension in Education: Exploring Pupils' Perceptions at Three European Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Savvides, Nicola

    2008-01-01

    This article outlines some themes that have emerged from research investigating the European dimension in education at three European Schools. It focuses on pupils' perceptions of the conditions in place at these schools that make a significant contribution to the European dimension. Findings are presented on the school environment and community,…

  3. European Industrial Doctorates: Marie Curie Actions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    European Commission, 2012

    2012-01-01

    European industrial doctorates are joint doctoral training projects funded by the European Union (EU) and open to all research fields. The project brings together an academic participant (university, research institution, etc.) and a company. They have to be established in two different EU Member States or associated countries. Associated partners…

  4. The European standards of Haemophilia Centres

    PubMed Central

    Giangrande, Paul; Calizzani, Gabriele; Menichini, Ivana; Candura, Fabio; Mannucci, Pier Mannuccio; Makris, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Introduction The European haemophilia community of professionals and patients has agreed on the principles of haemophilia care to address comprehensive optimal delivery of care which is nowadays scattered throughout Europe. Many of the health facilities call themselves Haemophilia Centres despite their variation in size, expertise and services provided. Only a small number of countries have Haemophilia Centre accreditation systems in place. Methods In the framework of the European Haemophilia Network project, following an inclusive process of stakeholder involvement, the European Guidelines for the certification of haemophilia centres have been developed in order to set quality standards for European Haemophilia Centres and criteria for their certification. Results The Guidelines define the standards and criteria for the designation of two levels of care delivery: European Haemophilia Treatment Centres, providing local routine care, and European Haemophilia Comprehensive Care Centres, providing specialised and multi-disciplinary care and functioning as tertiary referral centres. Additionally, they define standards about general requirements, patient care, provision of an advisory service and establishment of network of clinical and specialised services. Conclusions The implementation of the European Guidelines for the certification of Haemophilia Centres will contribute to the reduction of health inequalities through the standardisation of quality of care in European Union Member States and could represent a model to be taken into consideration for other rare disease groups. PMID:24922293

  5. A European Vision for Adult Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waddington, Sue; Tuckett, Alan; Boucher, Fiona

    2012-01-01

    The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) is the UK national coordinator for the European Agenda for Adult Learning, with the challenge of creating a coherent message across the four countries to inform European cooperation on adult learning. To start the debate, the journal staff asked Sue Waddington, Alan Tuckett, and Fiona…

  6. The Bologna Process: Transforming European Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Floud, Roderick

    2006-01-01

    This article describes and discusses the Bologna Process, an agreement among the education ministries and the universities and colleges of 45 European countries to create the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) by 2010. At the core of the agreement is the decision that all higher education institutions in Europe will adopt the three-tiered…

  7. The Future of Copyright Management: European Perspectives.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Battisti, Michele

    This paper presents European perspectives on the future of copyright management. The first section is an overview of intellectual property rights in Europe, including differences between copyright countries and "droit d'auteur" countries. The second section addresses European Community legal policy, including examples related to the directives for…

  8. Transnational Lives in European Educational Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawn, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Transnational collaboration by educational researchers in Europe has grown fast since the mid-1990s and the means to support it have become more easily accessible. A study of the growth of the European Educational Research Association (EERA) since its foundation in the mid-1990s shows how transnational research in European education began, and how…

  9. Universal Services in the European Union.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bauer, Johannes M.

    1999-01-01

    Discusses universal service policies in the European Union. Topics include information access; the demise of the public service model; the effects of competition on universal service; financing; national implementation of member states; programs for schools and libraries; and pertinent Web sites on European universal service policy. (LRW)

  10. Report from the European Prison Education Association

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Behan, Cormac

    2005-01-01

    This paper presents updates on the recent activities of the European Prison Education Association. The main activity of the Association during the quarter has been the biennial conference, "Challenges for European Prison Education: Let's make the changes together," which was held in Sofia, Bulgaria. The conference was open to prison educators…

  11. The Words That Buoy the European Impulse.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hogenraad, Robert; Tousignant, Nathalie; Castano, Emanuele; Bestgen, Yves; Dumoulin, Michel

    With a view on analyzing the deeper trends in the European discourse that will shape the European Union's (EU's) future, a study examined 121 speeches made by EU political leaders over the period 1985-1997 and concorded and statisticized which words were used, how often, where, and when with the help of a computer-aided content analysis engine.…

  12. European and Intercultural Dimension in Greek Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Damanakis, Michael

    2005-01-01

    Negotiations concerning Greece's accession into the European Union began as early as 1961, when a cooperation agreement was signed between Greece and the European Economic Community. These negotiations were concluded 20 years later, on 1 January 1981, when Greece became the tenth full member of the EU. The next major step in Greece's progress…

  13. Mathematics Teaching in Four European Countries

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andrews, Paul; Sayers, Judy

    2006-01-01

    This article discusses a comparative study, funded by the European Union, of the teaching of mathematics in five European countries, (Flanders, England, Finland, Hungary and Spain) to students in the upper primary (ages 10-12) and lower secondary (12-14) years. These ages were chosen as they represent a time when many students' experiences of…

  14. Implications of 1992 for European Telecommunications.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muller, Jurgen

    This paper analyzes the effect of the unified single market of 1992 on European telecommunications. The major policy aspects of the European Economic Commission's Green Paper on "The Development of the Common Market for Telecommunications Services and Equipment" are highlighted, and the effects of these policies in the equipment market are…

  15. Internationalisms--Identical Vocabularies in European Languages.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Braun, Peter

    Linguistic history has described borrowing in the European languages as a process exclusive to one language at any given time. However, it is more likely that there is a core of common loan words, or internationalisms, in many European languages. These internationalisms have come from a variety of sources: the historic interrelatedness of…

  16. European Rabbits as Reservoir for Coxiella burnetii

    PubMed Central

    González-Barrio, David; Maio, Elisa; Vieira-Pinto, Madalena

    2015-01-01

    We studied the role of European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) as a reservoir for Coxiella burnetii in the Iberian region. High individual and population seroprevalences observed in wild and farmed rabbits, evidence of systemic infections, and vaginal shedding support the reservoir role of the European rabbit for C. burnetii. PMID:25988670

  17. EuroPlaNet: European Planetology Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blanc, M.; Europlanet Coordinating Team

    2006-12-01

    Funded by the European Commission under the FP6, Euro-PlaNet's goal is munity for maximizing the science produced by the international planetary missions with European involvement. Formed by an initial consortium composed of about sixty laboratories throughout 17 different European member and candidate countries, EuroPlaNet started in January 2005 for a period of four years. The main objective of EuroPlaNet is to achieve a long-term integration of Planetary Sciences in Europe through the networking of the European research groups involved in this field. EuroPlaNet will develop and coordinate synergies between space observations, Earth-based observations, laboratory research, numerical simulations and databases development through six networking activities. EuroPlaNet will also develop, through specific outreach activities, including a multi-lingual approach, science communication on planetary observation and exploration programmes for the benefit of European citizens, especially children and young people.

  18. Prospects for European labour demand.

    PubMed

    Lindley, R M

    1988-07-01

    The impact of economic and technological trends upon the level and structure of labor demand is examined, exploring the methods used to model the labor market and making special reference to demography and technology. Evidence on recent and prospective changes in labor demand is reviewed for France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the UK. The models used to explore future employment scenarios usually fail to incorporate the linkages required to fully analyze the various demographic-economic interactions. Further, this is not generally viewed as a limitation, given the time frame of most employment projections and their preoccupation with changes in the structure of labor demand. Medium-term multisectoral models tend to pay more attention to both demographic and technical change, but the treatment of both aspects is limited. The projections provide a framework for considering how both socioeconomic behavior and policy might change to achieve different outcomes. The greater a model's behavioral content, as expressed in its relationships between different variables, the greater the insight obtainable from simulation exercises. The 1st half of the 1970s was characterized by a reduction in German employment, representing the severest of European reactions to the oil crisis. The 2nd half of the decade recorded rapid growth in Italy and the Netherlands. The 1980s started with marked declines in Germany and the UK. Overall, the net gains of the 1970s were lost in the recession following the 2nd oil crisis. In none of the 5 countries studied does any realistic prospect emerge of achieving full employment before 2000. The most optimistic outcome is that unemployment will decline only slowly, it at all. The growth of both new forms and areas of employment will not compensate sufficiently for the loss of jobs elsewhere and the growth of labor supply. The industrial sector will continue to experience change in favor of the service sector but at a slower rate than during

  19. European National Society Cardiovascular Journals

    PubMed Central

    Alfonso, F.; Ambrosio, G.; Pinto, F.J.; van der Wall, E.E.

    2008-01-01

    Anesti Kondili MD, Djamaleddine Nibouche MD, Karlen Adamyan MD, Kurt Huber MD, Hugo Ector MD, Izet Masic MD, Rumiana Tarnovska MD, Mario Ivanusa MD, Vladimír Stane˘k MD, Jørgen Videbæk MD, Mohamed Hamed MD, Alexandras Laucevicius MD, Pirjo Mustonen MD, Jean-Yves Artigou MD, Ariel Cohen MD, Mamanti Rogava MD, Michael Böhm MD, Eckart Fleck MD, Gerd Heusch MD, Rainer Klawki MD, Panos Vardas MD, Christodoulos Stefanadis MD, József Tenczer MD, Massimo Chiariello MD, Aleksandras Laucevicius MD, Joseph Elias MD, Halima Benjelloun MD, Olaf Rødevand MD, Piotr Kul/akowski MD, Edvard Apetrei MD, Victor A. Lusov MD, Rafael G. Oganov MD, Velibor Obradovic MD, Gabriel Kamensky MD, Miran F. Kenda MD, Christer Höglund MD, Thomas F. Lüscher MD, René Lerch MD, Moufid Jokhadar MD, Habib Haouala MD, Vedat Sansoy MD, Valentin Shumakov MD, Adam Timmis MD. (European National Society Cardiovascular Journals Editors, see Appendix for complete affiliations) PMID:18665206

  20. Current european regulatory perspectives on insulin analogues.

    PubMed

    Enzmann, Harald G; Weise, Martina

    2011-01-01

    Insulin analogues are increasingly considered as an alternative to human insulin in the therapy of diabetes mellitus. Insulin analogues (IAs) are chemically different from human insulin and may have different pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic properties. The significance of the modifications of the insulin molecule for the safety profile of IAs must be considered. This review describes the regulatory procedure and the expectations for the scientific content of European marketing authorization applications for innovative IAs submitted to the European Medicines Agency. Particular consideration is given to a potential cancer hazard. Specific regulatory guidance on how to address a possible carcinogenic or tumor promoting effect of innovative IAs in non-clinical studies is available. After marketing authorization, the factual access of patients to the new product will be determined to great extent by health technology assessment bodies, reimbursement decisions and the price. Whereas the marketing authorization is a European decision, pricing and reimbursement are national or regional responsibilities. The assessment of benefit and risk by the European Medicines Agency is expected to influence future decisions on price and reimbursement on a national or regional level. Collaborations between regulatory agencies and health technology assessment bodies have been initiated on European and national level to facilitate the use of the European Medicines Agency's benefit risk assessment as basis on which to build the subsequent health technology assessment. The option for combined or joint scientific advice procedures with regulators and health technology assessment bodies on European level or on a national level in several European Member States may help applicants to optimize their development program and dossier preparation in regard of both European marketing authorization application and reimbursement decisions. PMID:21736748

  1. An overview on European SPS activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reinhartz, K. K.

    1980-01-01

    The organization of space and energy research in Europe is discussed. The European situation is highlighted with emphasis on the dependency of energy imports and on the energy requirements of Europe. The status of SPS research in the countries that form the European Space Agency was reviewed. It is concluded that in view of the unfavorable geographical and climatic situation of large parts of Europe, terrestrial solar energy conversion is unlikely to make a significant contribution to Europe's future energy supply. Thus, SPS development is of special interest to the European community.

  2. Recycling policy in the european union

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaballah, I.; Kanari, N.

    2001-11-01

    Recycling in the European Union (EU) has benefited from R&D efforts and strict environmental regulations of the EU’s members. Thanks to the adoption of sustainable development policies by the EU’s European Institutions, economic incentives are expected to further strengthen the recycling industry. Moreover, the historical accumulation of non-ferrous metals in Europe will likely enhance secondary metal production. Also contributing to EU recycling is mining in East European countries and the resulting industrial waste. The rate of growth of the recycling industry is expected to approach double digits for at least this decade.

  3. A study of the rete testis epithelium in several wild birds.

    PubMed

    Barker, S G; Kendall, M D

    1984-01-01

    Material from six wild non-breeding starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), twelve adult wild quelea (Quelea quelea) in prenuptial, full and post-breeding condition and one wild puffin (Fratercula arctica) was examined by light and electron microscopy. Contrary to previous accounts of avian material, the epithelium of the rete testis was composed of a mixture of numerous non-ciliated and fewer ciliated cells. Both cell types contained many inclusions in the cytoplasm all of which indicated that the cells could modify the luminal contents. All rete testis epithelial cells showed a strong reaction with stains for alkaline phosphatase. PMID:6706832

  4. Prevalence of Bordetella bronchiseptica in certain central Iowa.

    PubMed

    Farrington, D O; Jorgenson, R D

    1976-10-01

    Bordetella bronchiseptica was isolated from 6 of 13 short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) and 1 of 47 house sparrows (Passer domesticus) trapped in the vicinity of a swine Bordetella rhinitis experimental area. The organism was found in four of 50 foxes (Vulpes fulva), 2 of 36 opossums (Didelphis marsupialis) and 1 of 37 raccoons (Procyon lotor) trapped in the Ames, Iowa area. This bacterium was not culturally isolated from 14 deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), 64 house mice (Mus Musculus), 10 masked shrews (Sorex cinereus) and 54 starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). PMID:16502690

  5. European small geostationary communications satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Wei, , Dr.; Ellmers, Frank; Winkler, Andreas; Schuff, Herbert; Sansegundo Chamarro, Manuel Julián

    2011-04-01

    Hispasat Advanced Generation 1 (HAG1) is the first satellite using the SGEO platform, which is under the development in the ESA Artes-11 program. Since the last presentation in the IAC 2007, a European industrial consortium led by OHB has completed the mission and spacecraft design. The platform Preliminary Design Review has been carried out in May 2008. The customer for the first mission is a commercial operator—Hispasat. The contract was signed in December 2008 and the satellite will be launched in 2012. To give confidence to the customer, SGEO platform will use up to date flight proven technologies. HAG1 carries 20/24 Ku-band and 3/5 Ka-band transponders to provide commercial services. Some innovative payload technologies will also be flown on board of HAG1 to gain in-orbit heritage. SGEO has also been selected as the baseline platform for the ESA Data Relay Satellite (EDRS). Phase-A study has just kicked off in January 2009. The targeted launch date is 2013. Heinrich Hertz will also use the SGEO platform. Heinrich Hertz is funded by the German Space Agency (DLR) and provides flight opportunities for technologies and components developed by the German Space Industry. With the HAG1 contract in hand, and EDRS and Heinrich Hertz in the line, OHB with its partners has the confidence that it will be able to speed up the product development of the SGEO platform for potential customers in the commercial market. This paper will first present the updated platform design and the status of the product development will be followed with the introduction of innovative payload technologies on board the first mission—HAG1 and ended with the mission concepts of EDRS and Heinrich Hertz missions.

  6. Developing indicators for European birds

    PubMed Central

    Gregory, Richard D; van Strien, Arco; Vorisek, Petr; Gmelig Meyling, Adriaan W; Noble, David G; Foppen, Ruud P.B; Gibbons, David W

    2005-01-01

    The global pledge to deliver ‘a significant reduction in the current rate of biodiversity loss by 2010’ is echoed in a number of regional and national level targets. There is broad consensus, however, that in the absence of conservation action, biodiversity will continue to be lost at a rate unprecedented in the recent era. Remarkably, we lack a basic system to measure progress towards these targets and, in particular, we lack standard measures of biodiversity and procedures to construct and assess summary statistics. Here, we develop a simple classification of biodiversity indicators to assist their development and clarify purpose. We use European birds, as example taxa, to show how robust indicators can be constructed and how they can be interpreted. We have developed statistical methods to calculate supranational, multi-species indices using population data from national annual breeding bird surveys in Europe. Skilled volunteers using standardized field methods undertake data collection where methods and survey designs differ slightly across countries. Survey plots tend to be widely distributed at a national level, covering many bird species and habitats with reasonable representation. National species' indices are calculated using log-linear regression, which allows for plot turnover. Supranational species' indices are constructed by combining the national species' indices weighted by national population sizes of each species. Supranational, multi-species indicators are calculated by averaging the resulting indices. We show that common farmland birds in Europe have declined steeply over the last two decades, whereas woodland birds have not. Evidence elsewhere shows that the main driver of farmland bird declines is increased agricultural intensification. We argue that the farmland bird indicator is a useful surrogate for trends in other elements of biodiversity in this habitat. PMID:15814345

  7. Review of European microgravity measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hamacher, Hans

    1994-01-01

    AA In a French/Russion cooperation, CNES developed a microgravity detection system for analyzing the Mir space station micro-g-environment for the first time. European efforts to characterize the microgravity (1/9) environment within a space laboratory began in the late seventies with the design of the First Spacelab Mission SL-1. Its Material Science Double Rack was the first payload element to carry its own tri-axial acceleration package. Even though incapable for any frequency analysis, the data provided a wealth of novel information for optimal experiment and hardware design and operations for missions to come. Theoretical investigations under ESA contract demonstrated the significance of the detailed knowledge of micro-g data for a thorough experiment analysis. They especially revealed the high sensitivity of numerous phenomena to low frequency acceleration. Accordingly, the payloads of the Spacelab missions D-1 and D-2 were furnished with state-of-the-art detection systems to ensure frequency analysis between 0.1 and 100 Hz. The Microgravity Measurement Assembly (MMA) of D-2 was a centralized system comprising fixed installed as well as mobile tri-axial packages showing real-time data processing and transmission to ground. ESA's free flyer EURECA carried a system for continuous measurement over the entire mission. All EURECA subsystems and experimental facilities had to meet tough requirements defining the upper acceleration limits. In a French/Russion cooperation, CNES developed a mi crogravity detection system for analyzing the Mir space station micro-g-environment for the first time. An approach to get access to low frequency acceleration between 0 and 0.02 Hz will be realized by QSAM (Quasi-steady Acceleration Measurement) on IML-2, complementary to the NASA system Spacelab Acceleration Measurement System SAMS. A second flight of QSAM is planned for the Russian free flyer FOTON.

  8. European Cargo Ship Launches to Station

    NASA Video Gallery

    The European Space Agency's (ESA) fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle cargo craft (ATV-4) launched atop an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana at 5:52 p.m. EDT on Wednesday to begin a 10-day t...

  9. European attitudes to gene therapy and pharmacogenetics.

    PubMed

    Hudson, John; Orviska, Marta

    2011-10-01

    Views on pharmacogenetics and gene therapy systematically differ across European countries. But despite a complex regulatory regime there is a balance of support, albeit laced with considerable uncertainty. PMID:21745587

  10. European packaging laws: Can it happen here?

    SciTech Connect

    Rogers, B.

    1996-06-01

    European packaging recycling and reduction efforts helped reshape recycling efforts and thinking. This article provides an update on what is happening with packaging recycling in Europe and how it affects the rest of the world, especially the US. World recycling markets were shaken by the enactment of the German Packaging Recycling ordinance of 1991. While the initial market shock waves may have subsided, the effects are still being felt. The ordinance has changed the way European countries think about packaging waste, and that way of thinking has spread, in various forms, around the world, affecting US manufacturers and causing US lawmakers to at least consider similar legislation here. The German Packaging Ordinance, its counterparts in other countries, and the European Union (EU) Directive have, themselves, been evolutionary as well as revolutionary--reacting and changing over the past five years. US reaction to the European laws has also evolved, moving from horror and annoyance to a reasoned analysis and evaluation.

  11. Suggesting a new European language policy.

    PubMed

    Nelde, Peter H

    2004-01-01

    Conflict is the most intriguing aspect of contact linguistics. Throughout history ever since the Tower of Babel was left unfinished, contacts between speakers of different languages have unavoidably resulted in conflicts between speakers of those languages. Without any doubt, the European Union (EU)--above all after the decision to enlarge the community--has accepted the multidisciplinary symbolic function of language and culture as a basis for European political unification. Accordingly, European Union policy makers have had to analyze conflicts caused by monolingualism and multilingualism, all aspects of contact linguistics. Can these conflicts be solved, minimized or neutralized by strategies of language planning, language policies and language politics? Initial results of European language policy strategies permit at least a cautious measure of optimism and open broad perspectives for the future of a New Multilingualism which will be discussed in our contribution. PMID:15156723

  12. European Flood Awareness System - now operational

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alionte Eklund, Cristina.; Hazlinger, Michal; Sprokkereef, Eric; Garcia Padilla, Mercedes; Garcia, Rafael J.; Thielen, Jutta; Salamon, Peter; Pappenberger, Florian

    2013-04-01

    The European Commission's Communication "Towards a Stronger European Union Disaster Response" adopted and endorsed by the Council in 2010, underpins the importance of strengthening concerted actions for natural disasters including floods, which are amongst the costliest natural disasters in the EU. The European Flood Awareness System (EFAS) contributes in the case of major flood events. to better protection of the European Citizen, the environment, property and cultural heritage. The disastrous floods in Elbe and Danube rivers in 2002 confronted the European Commission with non-coherent flood warning information from different sources and of variable quality, complicating planning and organisation of aid. Thus, the Commission initiated the development of a European Flood Awareness System (EFAS) which is now going operational. EFAS has been developed and tested at the Joint Research Centre, the Commission's in house science service, in close collaboration with the National hydrological and meteorological services, European Civil Protection through the Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) and other research institutes. EFAS provides Pan-European overview maps of flood probabilities up to 10 days in advance as well as detailed forecasts at stations where the National services are providing real time data. More than 30 hydrological services and civil protection services in Europe are part of the EFAS network. Since 2011, EFAS is part of the COPERNICUS Emergency Management Service, (EMS) and is now an operational service since 2012. The Operational EFAS is being executed by several consortia dealing with different operational aspects: • EFAS Hydrological data collection centre —REDIAM and ELIMCO- will be collecting historic and realtime discharge and water levels data in support to EFAS • EFAS Meteorological data collection centre —outsourced but running onsite of JRC Ispra. Will be collecting historic and realtime meteorological data in support to EFAS

  13. Medical ethics in the European Community.

    PubMed Central

    Riis, P

    1993-01-01

    Increasing European co-operation must take place in many areas, including medical ethics. Against the background of common cultural norms and pluralistic variation within political traditions, religion and lifestyles, Europe will have to converge towards unity within the field of medical ethics. This article examines how such convergence might develop with respect to four major areas: European research ethics committees, democratic health systems, the human genome project and rules for stopping futile treatments. PMID:8459444

  14. Demographics of the European Apicultural Industry

    PubMed Central

    Chauzat, Marie-Pierre; Cauquil, Laura; Roy, Lise; Franco, Stéphanie; Hendrikx, Pascal; Ribière-Chabert, Magali

    2013-01-01

    Over the last few years, many European and North American countries have reported a high rate of disorders (mortality, dwindling and disappearance) affecting honeybee colonies (Apis mellifera). Although beekeeping has become an increasingly professional activity in recent years, the beekeeping industry remains poorly documented in Europe. The European Union Reference Laboratory for Honeybee Health sent a detailed questionnaire to each Member State, in addition to Kosovo and Norway, to determine the demographics and state of their beekeeping industries. Based on data supplied by the National Reference Laboratory for honeybee diseases in each European country, a European database was created to describe the beekeeping industry including the number and types of beekeepers, operation size, industry production, and health (notifiable diseases, mortalities). The total number of beekeepers in Europe was estimated at 620 000. European honey production was evaluated at around 220 000 tons in 2010. The price of honey varied from 1.5 to 40 €/kg depending on the country and on the distribution network. The estimated colony winter mortality varied from 7 to 28% depending on the country and the origin of the data (institutional survey or beekeeping associations). This survey documents the high heterogeneity of the apicultural industry within the European Union. The high proportion of non-professional beekeepers and the small mean number of colonies per beekeeper were the only common characteristics at European level. The tremendous variation in European apicultural industries has implication for any comprehensive epidemiological or economic analysis of the industry. This variability needs to be taken into account for such analysis as well as for future policy development. The industry would be served if beekeeping registration was uniformly implemented across member states. Better information on the package bee and queen production would help in understanding the ability of

  15. Demographics of the European apicultural industry.

    PubMed

    Chauzat, Marie-Pierre; Cauquil, Laura; Roy, Lise; Franco, Stéphanie; Hendrikx, Pascal; Ribière-Chabert, Magali

    2013-01-01

    Over the last few years, many European and North American countries have reported a high rate of disorders (mortality, dwindling and disappearance) affecting honeybee colonies (Apis mellifera). Although beekeeping has become an increasingly professional activity in recent years, the beekeeping industry remains poorly documented in Europe. The European Union Reference Laboratory for Honeybee Health sent a detailed questionnaire to each Member State, in addition to Kosovo and Norway, to determine the demographics and state of their beekeeping industries. Based on data supplied by the National Reference Laboratory for honeybee diseases in each European country, a European database was created to describe the beekeeping industry including the number and types of beekeepers, operation size, industry production, and health (notifiable diseases, mortalities). The total number of beekeepers in Europe was estimated at 620,000. European honey production was evaluated at around 220,000 tons in 2010. The price of honey varied from 1.5 to 40 €/kg depending on the country and on the distribution network. The estimated colony winter mortality varied from 7 to 28% depending on the country and the origin of the data (institutional survey or beekeeping associations). This survey documents the high heterogeneity of the apicultural industry within the European Union. The high proportion of non-professional beekeepers and the small mean number of colonies per beekeeper were the only common characteristics at European level. The tremendous variation in European apicultural industries has implication for any comprehensive epidemiological or economic analysis of the industry. This variability needs to be taken into account for such analysis as well as for future policy development. The industry would be served if beekeeping registration was uniformly implemented across member states. Better information on the package bee and queen production would help in understanding the ability of

  16. The Western European Union Satellite Centre

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jasani, Bhupendra; Mara, Simon

    1993-06-01

    In January 1993, the FALCON consortium of 13 European companies, led by Cray Systems, won the contract to supply a turnkey satellite image processing facility to the Western European Union. The project started immediately and will be installed at WEU's Data Center in Torrejon near Madrid in December 1993. This paper discusses the development of an idea for a Regional Satellite Monitioring Agency (RSMA) which will be realized in December 1993 when the Center becomes fully operational.

  17. Look at European RF industrial applications.

    PubMed

    Roussy, G; Willmann, B

    2001-01-01

    The authors review the European RF industrial applications. European RF technology produced the 50omega-technology, which has been the basis for many successful applications in classical industrial domains such as food tempering and defrosting, rubber curing but also in new domains such as RF for curing of many car products. These new applications make clear the fundamental advantage of fast processing with RF technology. PMID:15038560

  18. Experienced discrimination amongst European old citizens.

    PubMed

    van den Heuvel, Wim J A; van Santvoort, Marc M

    2011-12-01

    This study analyses the experienced age discrimination of old European citizens and the factors related to this discrimination. Differences in experienced discrimination between old citizens of different European countries are explored. Data from the 2008 ESS survey are used. Old age is defined as being 62 years or older. The survey data come from 28 European countries and 14,364 old-age citizens. Their average age is 72 years. Factor analysis is used to construct the core variable 'experienced discrimination'. The influence of the independent variables on experienced discrimination is analysed using linear regression analysis. About one-quarter of old European citizens sometimes or frequently experience discrimination because of their age. Gender, education, income and belonging to a minority are related to experienced age discrimination. Satisfaction with life and subjective health are strongly associated with experienced age discrimination, as is trust in other people and the seriousness of age discrimination in the country. Large, significant differences in experienced discrimination due to old age exist between European countries. A north-west versus south-east European gradient is found in experienced discrimination due to old age. The socio-cultural context is important in explaining experienced age discrimination in old European citizens. Old-age discrimination is experienced less frequently in countries with social security arrangements. Further research is needed to understand the variation in (old) age discrimination between European countries. Measures recommended include increasing public awareness about the value of ageing for communities and changing public attitudes towards the old in a positive way. PMID:22207825

  19. Work of the European Haemovigilance Network (EHN).

    PubMed

    Faber, Jean-Claude

    2004-02-01

    Haemovigilance has become a crucial part of the blood safety concept. In the Member States of the European Union, national haemovigilance systems are already in place or are developing. With the coming into force of the European Blood Directive 2002/98/EC, Community haemovigilance has become a priority: cooperation between the national haemovigilance systems will be of vital interest. The process of collaboration has already been initiated some years ago by the European Haemovigilance Network (EHN) with the following objectives: to favour the exchange of valid information between its members, to increase rapid alert/early warning between the members, to encourage joint activities between the members and to undertake educational activities relating to haemovigilance. This has been achieved by the EHN by developing and maintaining a website [http://www.ehn-org.net], by establishing a system for rapid alert and early warning (RAS), by discussing on all kinds of definitions relevant to haemovigilance, initiating standardisation of processes and forms (developing a common "mother matrix"), by starting with the compilation and analysis of European data (generated by the national haemovigilance systems in Europe) and by organising annual European Haemovigilance Seminars, where all these items are discussed. As in the past, the EHN will continue in the future to play a major role in promoting European haemovigilance. PMID:14980542

  20. Mineral Metabolism in European Children Living with a Renal Transplant: A European Society for Paediatric Nephrology/European Renal Association–European Dialysis and Transplant Association Registry Study

    PubMed Central

    Bonthuis, Marjolein; Busutti, Marco; Jager, Kitty J.; Baiko, Sergey; Bakkaloğlu, Sevcan; Battelino, Nina; Gaydarova, Maria; Gianoglio, Bruno; Parvex, Paloma; Gomes, Clara; Heaf, James G.; Podracka, Ludmila; Kuzmanovska, Dafina; Molchanova, Maria S.; Pankratenko, Tatiana E.; Papachristou, Fotios; Reusz, György; Sanahuja, Maria José; Shroff, Rukshana; Groothoff, Jaap W.; Schaefer, Franz; Verrina, Enrico

    2015-01-01

    Background and objectives Data on mineral metabolism in pediatric renal transplant recipients largely arise from small single-center studies. In adult patients, abnormal mineral levels are related to a higher risk of graft failure. This study used data from the European Society for Paediatric Nephrology/European Renal Association–European Dialysis and Transplant Association Registry to study the prevalence and potential determinants of mineral abnormalities, as well as the predictive value of a disturbed mineral level on graft survival in a large cohort of European pediatric renal transplant recipients. Design, setting, participants, & measurements This study included 1237 children (0–17 years) from 10 European countries, who had serum calcium, phosphorus, and parathyroid hormone measurements from 2000 onward. Abnormalities of mineral metabolism were defined according to European guidelines on prevention and treatment of renal osteodystrophy in children on chronic renal failure. Results Abnormal serum phosphorus levels were observed in 25% (14% hypophosphatemia and 11% hyperphosphatemia), altered serum calcium in 30% (19% hypocalcemia, 11% hypercalcemia), and hyperparathyroidism in 41% of the patients. A longer time since transplantation was associated with a lower risk of having mineral levels above target range. Serum phosphorus levels were inversely associated with eGFR, and levels above the recommended targets were associated with a higher risk of graft failure independently of eGFR. Conclusions Abnormalities in mineral metabolism are common after pediatric renal transplantation in Europe and are associated with graft dysfunction. PMID:25710805

  1. Assessing nitrogen pressures on European surface water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grizzetti, B.; Bouraoui, F.; de Marsily, G.

    2008-12-01

    The European environmental legislation on water, in particular the 2000 Water Framework Directive, requires the evaluation of nutrient pressures and the assessment of mitigation measures at the river basin scale. Models have been identified as tools that can contribute to fulfill these requirements. The objective of this research was the implementation of a modeling approach (Geospatial Regression Equation for European Nutrient losses (GREEN)) to assess the actual nitrogen pressures on surface water quality at medium and large basin scale (European scale) using readily available data. In particular the aim was to estimate diffuse nitrogen emissions into surface waters, contributions by different sources (point and diffuse) to the nitrate load in rivers, and nitrogen retention in river systems. A comprehensive database including nutrient sources and physical watershed characteristics was built at the European scale. The modeling partially or entirely covered some of the larger and more populated European river basins, including the Danube, Rhine, Elbe, Weser, and Ems in Germany, the Seine and Rhone in France, and the Meuse basin shared by France and Belgium. The model calibration was satisfactory for all basins. The source contribution to the in-stream nitrogen load, together with the diffuse nitrogen emissions and river nitrogen retention were estimated and were found to be in the range of values reported in the literature. Finally, the model results were extrapolated to estimate the diffuse nitrogen emission and source apportionment at the European scale.

  2. Genetics and the origin of European languages.

    PubMed Central

    Piazza, A; Rendine, S; Minch, E; Menozzi, P; Mountain, J; Cavalli-Sforza, L L

    1995-01-01

    A new set of European genetic data has been analyzed to dissect independent patterns of geographic variation. The most important cause of European genetic variation has been confirmed to correspond to the migration of Neolithic farmers from the area of origin of agriculture in the Middle East. The next most important component of genetic variation is apparently associated with a north-south gradient possibly due to adaptation to cold climates but also to the differentiation of the Uralic and the Indo-European language-speaking people; however, the relevant correlations are not significantly different from zero after elimination of the spatial autocorrelation. The third component is highly correlated with the infiltration of the Yamna ("Kurgan") people, nomadic pastoralists who domesticated the horse and who have been claimed to have spread Indo-European languages to Europe; this association, which is statistically significant even when taking spatial autocorrelations into account, does not completely exclude the hypothesis of Indo-European as the language of Neolithic farmers. It is possible that both expansions were responsible for the spread of different subfamilies of Indo-European languages, but our genetic data cannot resolve their relative importance. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 PMID:7597038

  3. European utilities requirements for future reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Roch, M.

    1996-12-31

    The prospect for future nuclear power plants has led the utilities of seven European countries to launch an effort to define the requirements that should be common to all utilities for the next reactors to be built in Europe. These requirements will ultimately be part of a four-volume document and will cover all aspects of a plant: performance, grid connection, codes and standards, materials, quality assurance, cost, and, of course, safety. The seven European countries - France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, and Belgium - issued revision A of Vols 1 and 2 in Nov. 1994, which deal with all the general requirements, not specific to any design, originally issued in March 1994. Comments were requested from most of the nuclear utilities as well as from reactor vendors worldwide. This gave rise to an enormous number of comments, which were duly considered by the European Union. The relevant ones were incorporated into revision B of Vols. 1 and 2, which was issued in Nov 1995, the objective of this revision B being essentially to gain approval from the safety authorities. A particular aspect of the European approach resides in the fact that these European requirements will have to be discussed and agreed on by at least nine safety authorities, i.e., the authorities of the seven counties that launched revision B, plus the authorities of two newcomers, Finland and Sweden, which have just applied for European Union membership.

  4. The European Marine Strategy: Noise Monitoring in European Marine Waters from 2014.

    PubMed

    Dekeling, René; Tasker, Mark; Ainslie, Michael; Andersson, Mathias; André, Michel; Borsani, Fabrizio; Brensing, Karsten; Castellote, Manuel; Dalen, John; Folegot, Thomas; van der Graaf, Sandra; Leaper, Russell; Liebschner, Alexander; Pajala, Jukka; Robinson, Stephen; Sigray, Peter; Sutton, Gerry; Thomsen, Frank; Werner, Stefanie; Wittekind, Dietrich; Young, John V

    2016-01-01

    The European Marine Strategy Framework Directive requires European member states to develop strategies for their marine waters leading to programs of measures that achieve or maintain good environmental status (GES) in all European seas by 2020. An essential step toward reaching GES is the establishment of monitoring programs, enabling the state of marine waters to be assessed on a regular basis. A register for impulsive noise-generating activities would enable assessment of their cumulative impacts on wide temporal and spatial scales; monitoring of ambient noise would provide essential insight into current levels and any trend in European waters. PMID:26610961

  5. European Sail Tower SPS concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seboldt, W.; Klimke, M.; Leipold, M.; Hanowski, N.

    2001-03-01

    Based on a DLR-study in 1998/99 on behalf of ESA/ESTEC called "System Concepts, Architectures and Technologies for Space Exploration and Utilization (SE&U)" a new design for an Earth-orbiting Solar Power Satellite (SPS) has been developed. The design is called "European Sail Tower SPS" and consists mainly of deployable sail-like structures derived from the ongoing DLR/ESA solar sail technology development activity. Such a SPS satellite features an extremely light-weight and large tower-like orbital system and could supply Europe with significant amounts of electrical power generated by photovoltaic cells and subsequently transmitted to Earth via microwaves. In order to build up the sail tower, 60 units - each consisting of a pair of square-shaped sails - are moved from LEO to GEO with electric propulsion and successively assembled in GEO robotically on a central strut. Each single sail has dimensions of 150m × 150 m and is automatically deployed, using four diagonal light-weight carbon fiber (CFRP) booms which are initially rolled up on a central hub. The electric thrusters for the transport to GEO could also be used for orbit and attitude control of the assembled tower which has a total length of about 15 km and would be mainly gravity gradient stabilized. Employing thin film solar cell technology, each sail is used as a solar array and produces an electric power in orbit of about 3.7 MW e. A microwave antenna with a diameter of 1 km transmits the power to a 10 km rectenna on the ground. The total mass of this 450 MW SPS is about 2100 tons. First estimates indicate that the costs for one kWh delivered in this way could compete with present day energy costs, if launch costs would decrease by two orders of magnitude. Furthermore, mass production and large numbers of installed SPS systems must be assumed in order to lower significantly the production costs and to reduce the influence of the expensive technology development. The paper presents the technical concept

  6. Evaporative cooling and water balance during flight in birds.

    PubMed

    Torre-Bueno, J R

    1978-08-01

    The rate of evaporative cooling was calculated from the rate of mass loss in starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) during 90 min flights in a wind-tunnel. Evaporative heat loss ranged from 5% of the metabolic rate at -5 degrees C to 19% of the metabolic rate at 29 degrees C. Radiation and convection accounted for the balance of the heat loss. On average, starlings dehydrated during flights at all temperatures above 7 degrees C. The comparison of these results with data from field studies, which indicate that long-distance migrants do not dehydrate, suggests that migrants may maintain water balance by ascending to colder air in which convection carries off most of the heat produced. PMID:702042

  7. Using European Systems from a North American Library.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clinton, Marshall; Grenville, Sally

    1980-01-01

    Illustrates the special considerations of using European search systems from North America: steps in establishing a telephone link with the European Space Agency's system, lack of availability to North Americans of some European databases through this system, user reaction, and costs. Brief descriptions of some European databases and a connect…

  8. European Vertical Reference System Influence in Latvia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Celms, A.; Reķe, I.; Ratkevičs, A.

    2015-11-01

    Till 1 December, 2014, in Latvia the heights were determined in Baltic Normal Height System 1977. The national height system is determined by the Cabinet of Ministers and internal laws. Now for the change of the national height system to reconcile it with the European Vertical Reference System, amendments to the laws and regulations have been developed, but so far only the amendment to the Geospatial Information Law is in force, the amendment to the regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers is still not approved. This amendment declares the Latvia Height System based on the European Vertical Reference System in Latvia as the national height system. For height transformation, there is a transformation formula for each European country. After calculations it is seen that height difference between Baltic Normal Height System 1977 and European Vertical Reference System depends on point location in the territory (coordinates). This unequal height difference between both height systems will cause unequal height values on border connection points between Baltic countries. The aim of the research is to evaluate the European Vertical Reference System in Latvia. To reach the aim the following tasks are set: 1) to evaluate the components of transformation formulas; 2) using the transformation formulas to calculate height differences between Baltic Normal Height System 1977 and the European Vertical Reference System realization EVRF2007 for the territory of Latvia and also between Baltic Normal Height System 1977 and the Latvia Normal Height System; 3) to get height differences in the European Vertical Reference System on the borderlines of Latvia - Estonia and Latvia - Lithuania.

  9. Host selection by Culex pipiens mosquitoes and West Nile virus amplification.

    PubMed

    Hamer, Gabriel L; Kitron, Uriel D; Goldberg, Tony L; Brawn, Jeffrey D; Loss, Scott R; Ruiz, Marilyn O; Hayes, Daniel B; Walker, Edward D

    2009-02-01

    Recent field studies have suggested that the dynamics of West Nile virus (WNV) transmission are influenced strongly by a few key super spreader bird species that function both as primary blood hosts of the vector mosquitoes (in particular Culex pipiens) and as reservoir-competent virus hosts. It has been hypothesized that human cases result from a shift in mosquito feeding from these key bird species to humans after abundance of the key birds species decreases. To test this paradigm, we performed a mosquito blood meal analysis integrating host-feeding patterns of Cx. pipiens, the principal vector of WNV in the eastern United States north of the latitude 36 degrees N and other mosquito species with robust measures of host availability, to determine host selection in a WNV-endemic area of suburban Chicago, Illinois, during 2005-2007. Results showed that Cx. pipiens fed predominantly (83%) on birds with a high diversity of species used as hosts (25 species). American robins (Turdus migratorius) were marginally overused and several species were underused on the basis of relative abundance measures, including the common grackle (Quiscalus quiscula), house sparrow (Passer domesticus), and European starling (Sturnus vulgaris). Culex pipiens also fed substantially on mammals (19%; 7 species with humans representing 16%). West Nile virus transmission intensified in July of both years at times when American robins were heavily fed upon, and then decreased when robin abundance decreased, after which other birds species were selected as hosts. There was no shift in feeding from birds to mammals coincident with emergence of human cases. Rather, bird feeding predominated when the onset of the human cases occurred. Measures of host abundance and competence and Cx. pipiens feeding preference were combined to estimate the amplification fractions of the different bird species. Predictions were that approximately 66% of WNV-infectious Cx. pipiens became infected from feeding on just

  10. Predators' decisions to eat defended prey depend on the size of undefended prey☆

    PubMed Central

    Halpin, Christina G.; Skelhorn, John; Rowe, Candy

    2013-01-01

    Predators that have learned to associate warning coloration with toxicity often continue to include aposematic prey in their diet in order to gain the nutrients and energy that they contain. As body size is widely reported to correlate with energetic content, we predicted that prey size would affect predators' decisions to eat aposematic prey. We used a well-established system of wild-caught European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, foraging on mealworms, Tenebrio molitor, to test how the size of undefended (water-injected) and defended (quinine-injected) prey, on different coloured backgrounds, affected birds’ decisions to eat defended prey. We found that birds ate fewer defended prey, and less quinine, when undefended prey were large compared with when they were small, but that the size of the defended prey had no effect on the numbers eaten. Consequently, we found no evidence that the mass of the defended prey or the overall mass of prey ingested affected the amount of toxin that a predator was willing to ingest, and instead the mass of undefended prey eaten was more important. This is a surprising finding, challenging the assumptions of state-dependent models of aposematism and mimicry, and highlighting the need to understand better the mechanisms of predator decision making. In addition, the birds did not learn to discriminate visually between defended and undefended prey based on size, but only on the basis of colour. This suggests that colour signals may be more salient to predators than size differences, allowing Batesian mimics to benefit from aposematic models even when they differ in size. PMID:23814280

  11. Cascade of ecological consequences for West Nile virus transmission when aquatic macrophytes invade stormwater habitats.

    PubMed

    Mackay, Andrew J; Muturi, Ephantus J; Ward, Michael P; Allan, Brian F

    2016-01-01

    Artificial aquatic habitats are ubiquitous in anthropogenic landscapes and highly susceptible to colonization by invasive plant species. Recent research into the ecology of infectious diseases indicates that the establishment of invasive plant species can trigger ecological cascades which alter the transmission dynamics of vector-borne pathogens that imperil human health. Here, we examined whether the presence or management of two invasive, emergent plants, cattails (Typha spp.) and phragmites (Phragmites australis), in stormwater dry detention basins (DDBs) alter the local distribution of vectors, avian hosts, or West Nile virus (WNV) transmission risk in an urban residential setting. Mosquitoes and birds were surveyed at 14 DDBs and paired adjacent residential sites. During the study period, emergent vegetation was mowed by site managers in three DDBs. In the absence of vegetation management, the overall abundance and species composition of both adult vectors and avian hosts differed between residential and DDB habitats; however, WNV entomological risk indices were equivalent. Communal bird roosts composed primarily of three species, European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus), and Common Grackles (Quiscalus quiscula), representing a broad range of WNV reservoir competence, were observed at half (three out of six) of the DDBs containing unmanaged stands of phragmites; however, their presence was associated with a lower seasonal increase in vector infection rate. Conversely, mowing of emergent vegetation resulted in a significant and sustained increase in the abundance of WNV-infected vectors in DDBs and the increase in risk extended to adjacent residential sites. These findings indicate that management of invasive plants in DDBs during the growing season can increase, while presence of communal bird roosts can decrease, WNV transmission risk. PMID:27039521

  12. Developmental stress impairs performance on an association task in male and female songbirds, but impairs auditory learning in females only.

    PubMed

    Farrell, Tara M; Morgan, Amanda; MacDougall-Shackleton, Scott A

    2016-01-01

    In songbirds, early-life environments critically shape song development. Many studies have demonstrated that developmental stress impairs song learning and the development of song-control regions of the brain in males. However, song has evolved through signaller-receiver networks and the effect stress has on the ability to receive auditory signals is equally important, especially for females who use song as an indicator of mate quality. Female song preferences have been the metric used to evaluate how developmental stress affects auditory learning, but preferences are shaped by many non-cognitive factors and preclude the evaluation of auditory learning abilities in males. To determine whether developmental stress specifically affects auditory learning in both sexes, we subjected juvenile European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, to either an ad libitum or an unpredictable food supply treatment from 35 to 115 days of age. In adulthood, we assessed learning of both auditory and visual discrimination tasks. Females reared in the experimental group were slower than females in the control group to acquire a relative frequency auditory task, and slower than their male counterparts to acquire an absolute frequency auditory task. There was no difference in auditory performance between treatment groups for males. However, on the colour association task, birds from the experimental group committed more errors per trial than control birds. There was no correlation in performance across the cognitive tasks. Developmental stress did not affect all cognitive processes equally across the sexes. Our results suggest that the male auditory system may be more robust to developmental stress than that of females. PMID:26238792

  13. Signal detection in amplitude-modulated maskers. II. Processing in the songbird's auditory forebrain.

    PubMed

    Nieder, A; Klump, G M

    2001-03-01

    In the natural environment, acoustic signals have to be detected in ubiquitous background noise. Temporal fluctuations of background noise can be exploited by the auditory system to enhance signal detection, especially if spectral masking components are coherently amplitude modulated across several auditory channels (a phenomenon called 'comodulation masking release'). In this study of neuronal mechanisms of masking release in the primary auditory forebrain (field L) of awake European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), we determined and compared neural detection thresholds for 20-ms probe tones presented in a background of sinusoidally amplitude modulated (10-Hz) noise maskers. Responses of a total of 34 multiunit clusters were recorded via radiotelemetry with chronically implanted microelectrodes from unrestrained birds. For maskers consisting of a single noise band centred around the recording site's characteristic frequency, a substantial reduction in detection threshold (21 dB on average) was found when probe tones were presented during envelope dips rather than during envelope peaks. Such effects could also explain results obtained for masking protocols where the on-frequency noise band was presented together with excitatory or inhibitory flanking bands that were either coherently modulated (in-phase) or incoherently modulated (phase-shifted). Generally, masking release for probe tones in maskers with flanking bands extending beyond the frequency range of a cell cluster's excitatory tuning curve was not substantially improved. Only some of the neurophysiological results are in agreement with behavioural data from the same species if only the average population response is considered. A subsample of individual neurons, however, could account for behavioural thresholds. PMID:11264677

  14. Endocannabinoid Signaling in the Stress Response of Male and Female Songbirds.

    PubMed

    Dickens, Molly J; Vecchiarelli, Haley A; Hill, Matthew N; Bentley, George E

    2015-12-01

    Endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling plays an important role in the stress response pathways of the mammalian brain, yet its role in the avian stress response has not been described. Understanding eCB signaling in avian species (such as the European starling, Sturnus vulgaris) allows a model system that exhibits natural attenuation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) responsiveness to stressors. Specifically, seasonally breeding birds exhibit the highest HPA activity during the breeding season and subsequently exhibit a robust HPA down-regulation during molt. Because eCB signaling in mammals has an overall inhibitory effect on HPA activity, we expected shifts in eCB signaling to regulate the seasonal HPA down-regulation during molt. However, our data did not support a role for eCB signaling in the molt-related suppression of HPA activity. For example, injection of the cannabinoid receptor (CB1) antagonist, AM251, did not potentiate molt-suppressed HPA activity. Instead, our data suggest eCB regulation of HPA plasticity as birds transition from breeding to molt. In support of this hypothesis, birds in the late breeding season demonstrated a more dynamic response at the level of avian amygdala eCB content in response to acute stress. The response and directionality of this effect match that seen in mammals. Overall, our data suggest that eCB signaling may allow for a dynamic range in HPA responsiveness (eg, breeding), but the signaling pathway's role may be limited when the HPA response is restrained (eg, molt). This first characterization of eCB signaling in the avian stress response also emphasizes that although the system functions similarly to other species, its exact role may be species specific. PMID:26431225

  15. Evidence for baseline glucocorticoids as mediators of reproductive investment in a wild bird.

    PubMed

    Love, Oliver P; Madliger, Christine L; Bourgeon, Sophie; Semeniuk, Christina A D; Williams, Tony D

    2014-04-01

    Determining the mechanisms that mediate investment decisions between current and future reproductive attempts is still a key goal of life-history studies. Since baseline levels of stress hormones (glucocorticoids - GCs) act as predictive and labile regulators of daily energetic balance in vertebrates they remain excellent candidates for mediating investment decisions both within and across reproductive attempts. Using free-living female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) we experimentally reduced investment in current reproduction (number of offspring raised in the first brood) to examine whether baseline corticosterone (CORT) acted as a hormonal mediator preparing individuals for a predictable increase in future investment (number of offspring raised in the second brood). Although treatment and control birds raised the same total amount of offspring across two broods, the experimental birds increased reproductive investment in second broods to compensate for the reduced investment in the first brood. Data on both mean and intra-individual changes in baseline CORT support the idea that an increase in baseline CORT between the incubation stages in treatment birds strongly predicted this increase in investment. Importantly, we measured the increase in baseline CORT during late incubation prior to the increase in energetic demand associated with increased reproductive investment in offspring, indicating that flexible within-individual changes in baseline GCs can act as a labile mechanism preparing individuals for predictable increases in reproductive investment. As such, our experimental results indicate that elevated baseline GCs can prepare individuals for investment in energetically expensive life-history stages, rather than simply being elevated as a consequence of increased effort or demand. This suggests that short-term preparative increases in baseline GCs benefit individuals by successfully allowing them to maximize fitness under varying environmental

  16. Effects of early-developmental stress on growth rates, body composition and developmental plasticity of the HPG-axis.

    PubMed

    Farrell, Tara M; Morgan, Amanda; Sarquis-Adamson, Yanina; MacDougall-Shackleton, Scott A

    2015-10-01

    In altricial songbirds, food restriction in early development has adverse effects on various physiological systems. When conditions improve birds can accelerate growth, but this compensatory strategy is associated with long-term adverse consequences. One system affected by altered growth rates is the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. Here, we subjected European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, to an unpredictable food manipulation from 35 to 115days of age. We assessed the effects of the treatment by measuring overall body mass and body composition during and following the treatment period (i.e., accelerated growth). In adulthood, we measured the long-term effects of the treatment on overall body mass, testis volume, and HPG axis function in both sexes by quantifying androgen levels before and after a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) challenge. During the treatment period, treatment birds had less body fat than controls. Following the treatment period, treatment birds weighed more than controls, but these gains were attributed to changes in lean mass. In adulthood, treatment males had lower baseline androgen levels, but there was no difference in peak androgen levels compared to controls. Treatment females did not differ from controls on any of the androgen measures. However, females that accelerated growth faster following the termination of the treatment had lower integrated androgen levels. When faced with limited developmental resources, birds may alter the developmental trajectory of physiological systems as a compensatory strategy. Such a strategy may have long-term consequences on endocrine regulation that could affect courtship and reproductive behaviors. PMID:26253500

  17. The adaptive value of stress-induced phenotypes: effects of maternally derived corticosterone on sex-biased investment, cost of reproduction, and maternal fitness.

    PubMed

    Love, Oliver P; Williams, Tony D

    2008-10-01

    The question of why maternal stress influences offspring phenotype is of significant interest to evolutionary physiologists. Although embryonic exposure to maternally derived glucocorticoids (i.e., corticosterone) generally reduces offspring quality, effects may adaptively match maternal quality with offspring demand. We present results from an interannual field experiment in European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) designed explicitly to examine the fitness consequences of exposing offspring to maternally derived stress hormones. We combined a manipulation of yolk corticosterone (yolk injections) with a manipulation of maternal chick-rearing ability (feather clipping of mothers) to quantify the adaptive value of corticosterone-induced offspring phenotypes in relation to maternal quality. We then examined how corticosterone-induced "matching" within this current reproductive attempt affected future fecundity and maternal survival. First, our results provide support that low-quality mothers transferring elevated corticosterone to eggs invest in daughters as predicted by sex allocation theory. Second, corticosterone-mediated sex-biased investment resulted in rapid male-biased mortality resulting in brood reduction, which provided a better match between maternal quality and brood demand. Third, corticosterone-mediated matching reduced investment in current reproduction for low-quality mothers, resulting in fitness gains through increased survival and future fecundity. Results indicate that the transfer of stress hormones to eggs by low-quality mothers can be adaptive since corticosterone-mediated sex-biased investment matches the quality of a mother to offspring demand, ultimately increasing maternal fitness. Our results also indicate that the branding of the proximate effects of maternal glucocorticoids on offspring as negative ignores the possibility that short-term phenotypic changes may actually increase maternal fitness. PMID:18793091

  18. Plasticity in body composition in breeding birds: what drives the metabolic costs of egg production?

    PubMed

    Vézina, François; Williams, Tony D

    2003-01-01

    Body composition in vertebrates is known to show phenotypic plasticity, and changes in organ masses are usually rapid and reversible. One of the most rapid and reversible changes is the transformation of the female avian reproductive organs before breeding. This provides an excellent system to investigate the effects of plasticity in organ size on basal metabolic rate (BMR) through relationships between organ masses and BMR. We compared body composition of female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) during various reproductive stages over 3 yr and investigated the pattern of changes in reproductive and nonreproductive organ mass during follicular development and ovulation. Furthermore, we analyzed the relationship between organ mass and resting metabolic rate (RMR) in nonbreeding, laying, and chick-rearing females. Our analysis revealed marked variation in organ masses between breeding stages but no consistent pattern among years except for kidney and pectoralis muscle. Furthermore, changes in nonreproductive organs did not parallel the cycle of growth and regression of the reproductive organs. The oviduct gained 62% of its 22-fold increase in mass in only 3 d, and oviduct regression was just as rapid and began even before the final egg of the clutch was laid, with 42% of the oviduct mass lost before laying of the final egg. In laying females, 18% of variation in mass-corrected RMR was explained by the mass of the oviduct (r2=0.18, n=80, P<0.0005), while pectoralis muscle mass in nonbreeding individuals and liver and gizzard mass in chick-rearing females were the only organs significantly related to RMR (r2=0.31-0.44). We suggest that the nonreproductive organs are affected more by changes in local ecological conditions than the reproductive state itself and that the activity and maintenance cost of the oviduct is high enough that selection has led to a very tight size-function relationship for this organ. PMID:14671719

  19. How Green Are European Curricula? A Comparative Analysis of Primary School Syllabi in Five European Countries

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hanish, Anna; Rank, Astrid; Seeber, Gunther

    2014-01-01

    The authors conducted a cross-national curriculum analysis as part of a European Union Comenius project regarding the implementation of an online tool to foster environmental education (EE) in primary schools. The overall goal was to determine the extent and intensity that EE is embedded in the syllabi of five European countries. To this end, the…

  20. The European Round Table of Industrialists and the Restructuring of European Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kauppinen, Ilkka

    2014-01-01

    The restructuring of European higher education (EHE) since the 1980s is a widely studied subject. However, this paper argues that previous studies have paid insufficient attention to the role of transnational policy-making groups in this complex and multilevel process. This argument is supported by focusing on how the European Round Table of…

  1. European Higher Education Policy and the Formation of Entrepreneurial Students as Future European Citizens

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Papatsiba, Vassiliki

    2009-01-01

    In this article, the author argues that European education policies and rhetoric are imbued with orthodoxy of agency and models of empowered, entrepreneurial actors, striving to surpass the limits of national boundaries. Free circulation of citizens has progressively underpinned a new construction of "the European", who is entrepreneurial,…

  2. Governing by Inspection? European Inspectorates and the Creation of a European Education Policy Space

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grek, Sotiria; Lawn, Martin; Ozga, Jenny; Segerholm, Christina

    2013-01-01

    This paper draws on the first, completed phase of a research project on inspection as governing in three European inspection systems. The data presented here draw attention to the rather under-researched associational activities of European inspectorates and their developing practices of policy learning and exchange, and highlight their…

  3. The Emergent European Educational Policies under Scrutiny: The Bologna Process from a Central European Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kwiek, Marek

    2004-01-01

    In this article, the Bologna Process and the European Research Area are viewed as the two sides of the same coin: that of the redefinition of the missions of the institution of the university. The Bologna Process is viewed as relatively closed to global developments: as largely inward-looking, focused on European regional problems (and European…

  4. Working towards a European Geological Data Infrastructure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Krogt, Rob; Hughes, Richard; Pedersen, Mikael; Serrano, Jean-Jacques; Lee, Kathryn A.; Tulstrup, Jørgen; Robida, François

    2013-04-01

    The increasing importance of geological information for policy, regulation and business needs at European and international level has been recognized by the European Parliament and the European Commission, who have called for the development of a common European geological knowledge base. The societal relevance of geoscience data/information is clear from many current issues such as shale gas exploration (including environmental impacts), the availability of critical mineral resources in a global economy, management and security with regard to geohazards (seismic, droughts, floods, ground stability), quality of (ground-)water and soil and societal responses to the impacts of climate change. The EGDI-Scope project responds to this, aiming to prepare an implementation plan for a pan-European Geological Data Infrastructure (EGDI), under the umbrella of the FP7 e- Infrastructures program. It is envisaged that the EGDI will build on geological datasets and models currently held by the European Geological Surveys at national and regional levels, and will also provide a platform for datasets generated by the large number of relevant past, ongoing and future European projects which have geological components. With European policy makers and decision makers from (international) industry as the main target groups (followed by research communities and the general public) stakeholder involvement is imperative to the successful realization and continuity of the EGDI. With these ambitions in mind, the presentation will focus on the following issues, also based on the first results and experiences of the EGDI-Scope project that started mid-2012: • The organization of stakeholder input and commitment connected to relevant 'use cases' within different thematic domains; a number of stakeholder representatives is currently involved, but the project is open to more extensive participation; • A large number of European projects relevant for data delivery to EGDI has been reviewed

  5. European activities in radiation protection in medicine.

    PubMed

    Simeonov, Georgi

    2015-07-01

    The recently published Council Directive 2013/59/Euratom ('new European Basic Safety Standards', EU BSS) modernises and consolidates the European radiation protection legislation by taking into account the latest scientific knowledge, technological progress and experience with implementing the current legislation and by merging five existing Directives into a single piece of legislation. The new European BSS repeal previous European legislation on which the national systems for radiation protection in medicine of the 28 European Union (EU) Member States are based, including the 96/29/Euratom 'BSS' and the 97/43/Euratom 'Medical Exposure' Directives. While most of the elements of the previous legislation have been kept, there are several legal changes that will have important influence over the regulation and practice in the field all over Europe-these include, among others: (i) strengthening the implementation of the justification principle and expanding it to medically exposed asymptomatic individuals, (ii) more attention to interventional radiology, (iii) new requirements for dose recording and reporting, (iv) increased role of the medical physics expert in imaging, (v) new set of requirements for preventing and following up on accidents and (vi) new set of requirements for procedures where radiological equipment is used on people for non-medical purposes (non-medical imaging exposure). The EU Member States have to enforce the new EU BSS before January 2018 and bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with it. The European Commission has certain legal obligations and powers to verify the compliance of the national measures with the EU laws and, wherever necessary, issue recommendations to, or open infringement cases against, national governments. In order to ensure timely and coordinated implementation of the new European legal requirements for radiation protection, the Commission is launching several actions

  6. Midwifery and the enlarged European Union.

    PubMed

    Mead, Marianne

    2003-06-01

    The freedom of movement of midwives within the European Union has been guaranteed by the application of midwives' sectoral directives signed in 1980 and applied in 1983. Since then the size of the European Union has grown from 9 to 15 members and is due for a next wave of enlargement of another 10 member states in 2004. The rules and regulations that govern the European Union are being revisited to accommodate this change. Midwifery will be affected and some changes are potentially worrying, in particular the proposed loss of the Advisory Committee on the Training of Midwives. Six other professions regulated in a very similar way are also to lose their own advisory committees. The European Commission has proposed the adoption of a single directive for all professions, together with the setting up of an expert group whose function would be to deal principally with health professions. However, neither its remit nor its membership has been determined. Whereas previous movement of midwives within Europe has been minimal, it is anticipated that this may well be changed at the next enlargement stage. Without clear directives and some form of controlling power at European level, public health may be threatened. In this paper the developments to date and the concerns that have emerged from the recent proposals are outlined. PMID:12809627

  7. In Brief: European cooperation in polar research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2009-07-01

    A new European Polar Framework agreement aims to increase research cooperation, streamline links between many European national research programs in the Arctic and Antarctic, and possibly create international research teams similar to the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program. The new framework includes commitments to collaborate on new multinational research initiatives and to have national polar programs converge where appropriate. “Recent environmental shifts in the poles have been large and rapid. By linking together Europe's polar research more closely we can get a better grasp on the wide-ranging series of changes taking place,” said Paul Egerton, executive director of the European Science Foundation's European Polar Board, which aims to facilitate cooperation among various organizations. The agreement was signed on 24 June by 26 European scientific institutions, including the British Antarctic Survey; the Agency of Culture, Education, Research and the Church Affairs, Greenland; the Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Germany; Italy's Programma Nazionale di Ricerche in Antartide; Norway's Norsk Polarinstitutt; and the Romanian Antarctic Foundation.

  8. Defence electro-optics: European perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartikainen, Jari

    2011-11-01

    In 2009 the United States invested in defence R&T 3,6 times and in defence research and development 6,8 times as much as all member states of the European Defence Agency (EDA) combined while the ratio in the total defence expenditure was 2,6 in the US' favour. The European lack of investments in defence research and development has a negative impact on the competitiveness of European defence industry and on the European non-dependence. In addition, the efficiency of investment is reduced due to duplication of work in different member states. The Lisbon Treaty tasks EDA to support defence technology research, and coordinate and plan joint research activities and the study of technical solutions meeting future operational needs. This paper gives an overview how EDA meets the challenge of improving the efficiency of European defence R&T investment with an emphasis on electro-optics and describes shortly the ways that governmental and industrial partners can participate in the EDA cooperation. Examples of joint R&T projects addressing electro-optics are presented.

  9. Introduction: European bioethics on a rocky road.

    PubMed

    Sass, H M

    2001-06-01

    There are quite a number of rocky roads on which the 'old continent' has embarked. There is, first, a harmonization of cultures and attitudes in the creation of a common European market of values and valuables, a harmonization undertaken in order to survive in an increasingly competitive global market. Second, there is a reactivation of specific European traditions in discourse, peaceable hermeneutics, solidarity, subsidiarity, tolerance in both conflict reduction and solution, and respect for self-determination and self-responsibility. Third, there is an integration of theory and practice, of visions and reality, of national identity or pride and common European rights, and of obligations and cultural heritages. Last but not least, there is a question about the definition of 'European' in a world which, at least in part, has been developed by successful European missionary work in the distribution of Age-of-Reason principles such as personal autonomy and social and ideational tolerance, the promotion of science-based technologies, and the creation of global markets for goods and services. PMID:11445878

  10. European Fuel Cells R&D Review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michael, P. D.; Maguire, J.

    1994-09-01

    A review is presented on the status of fuel cell development in Europe, addressing the research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) and commercialization activities being undertaken, identifying key European organizations active in development and commercialization of fuel cells, and detailing their future plans. This document describes the RD&D activities in Europe on alkaline, phosphoric acid, polymer electrolyte, direct methanol, solid oxide, and molten carbonate fuel cell types. It describes the European Commission's activities, its role in the European development of fuel cells, and its interaction with the national programs. It then presents a country-by-country breakdown. For each country, an overview is given, presented by fuel cell type. Scandinavian countries are covered in less detail. American organizations active in Europe, either in supplying fuel cell components, or in collaboration, are identified. Applications include transportation and cogeneration.

  11. Environmental sustainability in European public healthcare.

    PubMed

    Chiarini, Andrea; Vagnoni, Emidia

    2016-01-01

    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to enlarge the debate concerning the influence of leadership on environmental sustainability implementation in European public healthcare organisations. Design/methodology/approach - This paper is a viewpoint. It is based on preliminary analysis of European standards dedicated to environmental sustainability and their spread across Europe in public healthcare organisations. Viewpoints concerning leadership are then discussed and asserted. Findings - This paper found a limited implementation of standards such as Green Public Procurement criteria, Eco-Management and Audit Scheme and ISO 14001 in public healthcare. Some clues indicate that the lack of implementation is related to leadership and management commitment. Originality/value - For the first time, this paper investigates relationships between leadership and environmental sustainability in European public healthcare opening further avenues of research on the subject. PMID:26764957

  12. ECS - The European Communication Satellite system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wooster, C. B.

    1981-09-01

    The evolution of the European Communication Satellite system (ECS) is traced from feasibility studies in 1970 to the development and launch in 1978 of the Orbital Test Satellite (OTS) by the European Space Agency to prove the new satellite and radio transmission technology being used on ECS. This was followed by the establishment of 'Interim EUTELSAT' in 1979 as the organization to operate ECS. The satellite, which operates at 11/14 GHz, covers all the capitals in Europe via three spot beam antennas, supplemented by a 'Eurobeam' regional coverage antenna which extends the range to cover all of Europe and the Mediterranean basin. Telephony channels are transmitted digitally using time division multiple access (TDMA) with digital speech interpolation (DSI) to optimize satellite capacity. Television transmission is by analog FM over the Eurobeam antenna to North African as well as European capitals. System implications of TDMA operation are discussed, and the EUTELSAT policy for Special Services or satellite business systems is discussed.

  13. European Patient Summary Guideline: Focus on Greece.

    PubMed

    Berler, Alexander; Tagaris, Anastassios; Chronaki, Catherine

    2016-01-01

    The European Patient Summary (PS) guideline specifies a minimal dataset of essential and important information for unplanned or emergency care initially defined in the epSOS project with aim to improve patients' safety and quality of Care. The eHealth Network of European Union (EU) Member State (MS) representatives established under Article 14 of the EU directive 2011/24 on patient rights to cross-border healthcare adopted PS guideline in November 2013 and since then the guideline has been part of MS strategic eHealth implementation plans, standardization efforts, and concrete regional, national, European and international projects. This paper reviews implementation efforts for the implementation of an operational patient summary service in Greece drawing on challenges and lessons learned for sustainable standards-based large scale eHealth deployment in Europe and abroad, as well as the reuse of best practices from international standards and integration profiles. PMID:27225544

  14. Laryngeal cancer mortality trends in European countries.

    PubMed

    Chatenoud, Liliane; Garavello, Werner; Pagan, Eleonora; Bertuccio, Paola; Gallus, Silvano; La Vecchia, Carlo; Negri, Eva; Bosetti, Cristina

    2016-02-15

    After a steady increase between the 1950s and the 1970s, laryngeal cancer mortality has been levelling off since the early 1980s in men from most western and southern European countries and since the early 1990s in central and eastern Europe. To update trends in laryngeal cancer mortality, we analyzed data provided by the World Health Organization over the last two decades for 34 European countries and the European Union (EU) as a whole. For major European countries, we also identified significant changes in trends between 1980 and 2012 using joinpoint regression analysis. Male mortality in the EU was approximately constant between 1980 and 1991 (annual percent change, APC=-0.5%) and declined by 3.3% per year in 1991-2012. EU age-standardized (world population) rates were 4.7/100,000 in 1990-91 and 2.5/100,000 in 2010-2011. Rates declined in most European countries, particularly over the last two decades. In 2010-11, the highest male rates were in Hungary, the Republic of Moldova, and Romania (over 6/100,000), and the lowest ones in Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland (below 1/100,000). In EU women, mortality was stable around 0.29/100,000 between 1980 and 1994 and slightly decreased thereafter (APC=-1.3%; 0.23/100,000 in 2000-01). We also considered male incidence trends for nine European countries or cancer registration areas. In most of them, declines were observed over recent decades. Laryngeal cancer mortality thus showed favourable trends over the last few decades in most Europe, following favourable changes in tobacco and, mostly for Mediterranean countries, alcohol consumption. PMID:26335030

  15. Serving European Science: The EIROforum Collaboration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madsen, C.

    2004-06-01

    OVER THE LAST FEW years, the idea of a “European Research Area” (ERA) has gained strong support among science policy makers and, increasingly, among scientists themselves. The goal of the ERA is to establish a single “market” for research on our continent, allowing for better co-ordination of research efforts, synergies between projects, the achievement of “critical mass” (both human and financial) and thus to strengthen the competitiveness of European research. These goals necessitate deep structural changes in the way science is organised, breaking up existing borderlines and barriers between national research systems in Europe.

  16. The molecular genetics of European ancestry.

    PubMed Central

    Sykes, B

    1999-01-01

    In an earlier paper we proposed, on the basis of mitochondrial control region variation, that the bulk of modern European mitochondrial DNA(mtDNA) diversity had its roots in the European Upper Palaeolithic. Refining the mtDNA phylogeny and enlarging the sample size both within Europe and the Middle East still support this interpretation and indicate three separate phases of colonization: (i) the Early Upper Palaeolithic about 50,000 BP; (ii) the Late Upper Palaeolithic 11,000-14,000 BP; and (iii) the Neolithic from 8500 BP. PMID:10091253

  17. Pharmaceutical regulation in the single European market.

    PubMed

    Matthews, D; Wilson, C

    1998-01-01

    This paper assesses the impact of new EU-wide drug authorisation procedures. The paper examines various attempts to introduce harmonised market authorisation routes for pharmaceuticals including the establishment of the multi-state, concentration, decentralised and centralised procedures. The paper considers the current role of the European Medicines Evaluation Agency and the likelihood that its powers will be increased in the future. Finally, the paper assesses whether EU regulation has created beneficial market conditions for pharmaceutical companies operating in the single European market. PMID:9922630

  18. European XFEL: Soft X-Ray instrumentation

    SciTech Connect

    Molodtsov, S. L.

    2011-12-15

    The currently constructed European X-Ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) will generate new knowledge in almost all the technical and scientific disciplines that are shaping our daily life-including nanotechnology, medicine, pharmaceutics, chemistry, materials science, power engineering and electronics. On 8 January 2009, civil engineering work (tunnels, shafts, halls) has been started at all three construction sites. In this presentation status and parameters of the European XFEL facility and instrumentation as well as planned research applications particularly in the range of soft X-rays are reviewed.

  19. European Extremely Large Telescope: progress report

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tamai, R.; Spyromilio, J.

    2014-07-01

    The European Extremely Large Telescope is a project of the European Southern Observatory to build and operate a 40-m class optical near-infrared telescope. The telescope design effort is largely concluded and construction contracts are being placed with industry and academic/research institutes for the various components. The siting of the telescope in Northern Chile close to the Paranal site allows for an integrated operation of the facility providing significant economies. The progress of the project in various areas is presented in this paper and references to other papers at this SPIE meeting are made.

  20. [Major milestones for European pharmaceutical policy].

    PubMed

    Sauer, Fernand

    2014-01-01

    Under the 1985 White Paper on the completion of the single market, several pharmaceutical harmonisation measures were unanimously adopted, in favor of biotech products and on pricing transparency, legal status of prescription, wholesale distribution and advertising. The European pharmaceutical harmonisation was extended to Norway and Iceland, to new accession member states and through major international conferences with the US and Japan (ICH). Starting in 1995, the European medicines agency has produced an efficient marketing authorisation system for new human and veterinary medicines. The system was extended to pediatric medicines and advanced therapies. The monitoring of drug adverse effects (pharmacovigilance) has been gradually strengthened. PMID:25668913

  1. European scientific notes. Volume 34, Number 9

    SciTech Connect

    Burt, W.V.; Peters, D.J.

    1980-09-30

    This is a monthly publication presenting brief articles concerning recent developments in European Scientific Research. It is hoped that these articles (which do not constitute part of the scientific literature) may prove of value to American scientists by calling attention to current development and to institutions and individuals engaged in these scientific efforts. The articles are written primarily by members of the staff of ORNL and occasionally articles are prepared by, or in cooperation with, members of the scientific staffs of the United States Air Force's European Office of Aerospace Research and Development and the United States ARmy Research and Standardization Group. Articles are also contributed by visiting Stateside scientists.

  2. European pharmacovigilance: increasingly outsourced to drug companies.

    PubMed

    2014-12-01

    New regulations reorganising pharmacovigilance at the European level were adopted in late 2010, then revised in 2012 in the wake of the Mediator (benfluorex) disaster. The European Commission's original proposals, released in 2008, would have represented a major step backwards in the protection afforded to European citizens, in particular by facilitating earlier marketing authorisations. Thanks to the mobilisation of civil society, the Members of the European Parliament have improved these proposals, supported by EU health ministers. The role of the new European Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) has been strengthened. Patients in every Member State have the right to report adverse drug effects directly to health authorities. EU drug regulatory agencies are required to provide greater transparency, and public access to information about adverse effects has been improved. However, one major regression persists: the central role given to pharmaceutical companies in the collection and interpretation of reports of adverse drug effects, despite their conflicts of interest. Drug companies are asked to record the adverse effect reports of which they are aware in a vast European centralised database, Eudravigilance, without going through drug regulatory agencies. Pharmaceutical companies remain responsible for producing "a scientific evaluation of the risk-benefit balance" of their drug, as part of the periodic benefit-risk assessment reports they are required to submit to drug regulatory agencies. These reports are analysed for the entire EU by two Member States (one rapporteur and one co-rapporteur), so that harmonised decisions can be taken. But these decisions are based on data preanalysed by the drug companies. In addition, the independence of the European Medicines Agency is undermined by its financial reliance on the fees paid by pharmaceutical companies in exchange for these assessments. In 2012, following France's Mediator disaster, several modest

  3. The European LeukemiaNet: achievements and perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Hehlmann, Rüdiger; Grimwade, David; Simonsson, Bengt; Apperley, Jane; Baccarani, Michele; Barbui, Tiziano; Barosi, Giovanni; Bassan, Renato; Béné, Marie C.; Berger, Ute; Büchner, Thomas; Burnett, Alan; Cross, Nicolas C.P.; de Witte, Theo J.M.; Döhner, Hartmut; Dombret, Hervé; Einsele, Hermann; Engelich, Georg; Foà, Robin; Fonatsch, Christa; Gökbuget, Nicola; Gluckman, Elaine; Gratwohl, Alois; Guilhot, Francois; Haferlach, Claudia; Haferlach, Thorsten; Hallek, Michael; Hasford, Jörg; Hochhaus, Andreas; Hoelzer, Dieter; Kiladjian, Jean-Jaques; Labar, Boris; Ljungman, Per; Mansmann, Ulrich; Niederwieser, Dietger; Ossenkoppele, Gert; Ribera, José M.; Rieder, Harald; Serve, Hubert; Schrotz-King, Petra; Sanz, Miguel A.; Saußele, Susanne

    2011-01-01

    The only way to cure leukemia is by cooperative research. To optimize research, the European LeukemiaNet integrates 105 national leukemia trial groups and networks, 105 interdisciplinary partner groups and about 1,000 leukemia specialists from 175 institutions. They care for tens of thousands of leukemia patients in 33 countries across Europe. Their ultimate goal is to cure leukemia. Since its inception in 2002, the European LeukemiaNet has steadily expanded and has unified leukemia research across Europe. The European LeukemiaNet grew from two major roots: 1) the German Competence Network on Acute and Chronic Leukemias; and 2) the collaboration of European Investigators on Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. The European LeukemiaNet has improved leukemia research and management across Europe. Its concept has led to funding by the European Commission as a network of excellence. Other sources (European Science Foundation; European LeukemiaNet-Foundation) will take over when the support of the European Commission ends. PMID:21048032

  4. The European College of Veterinary Pathologists (ECVP): the professional body for European veterinary pathologists.

    PubMed

    Kipar, Anja; Aleksandersen, Mona; Benazzi, Cinzia; Suter, Maja

    2007-01-01

    The European College of Veterinary Pathologists (ECVP) was established in 1995 with the aim of advancing veterinary pathology and promoting high standards within the specialty in Europe. The ECVP is one of 21 European colleges recognized by the European Board of Veterinary Specialisation (EBVS), which represents a quality-assurance system for European veterinary specialists. Until the ECVP was founded, there was no unified European system recognizing the specialty of pathology, and many European countries followed their own qualification systems, which varied in form and standard. The ECVP provides an annual certifying examination, the passing of which is required to gain membership (diplomate status) in the college. This qualification is now accepted on equal terms by the well-established American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP). In line with EBVS requirements, the ECVP has also established a standard continuing professional development (CPD) and re-registration system for its membership. Furthermore, it has promoted and unified European post-graduate training in veterinary pathology by setting up requirements for residency training programs and making registration and monitoring of these programs by the ECVP a prerequisite for approval of an institution as a training facility. The concurrent establishment, together with the European Society of Veterinary Pathology, of an annual summer school that trains residents for the certifying examination has further fostered European post-graduate training. Within 10 years, the ECVP has succeeded in establishing common standards and a unified approach to veterinary pathology throughout Europe. This article describes the evolution and organization of the ECVP. PMID:18287475

  5. Issues of Discrimination in European Education Systems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gundara, Jagdish S.

    2000-01-01

    Examines difficulties and complexities in researching issues of discrimination in education across European countries as a first step in devising intercultural curricula. Discusses cross-national differences in terminology, in the ways in which research issues related to racism and interculturalism are formulated, and in the educational experience…

  6. Indo-Europeans in the Near East.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hodge, Carleton T.

    1981-01-01

    Outlines factors to consider regarding movements of peoples and cultural change, including the thousands of years between the departure of Indo-Europeans from the Near East and their arrival in localities where we find them, and their movements in the second millenium. Available from: Anthropological Linguistics, Dr. Florence Voegelin, Dept. of…

  7. Comparative "Glocal" Perspectives on European Teacher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caena, Francesca

    2014-01-01

    This article reports the findings of a PhD study, which offers comparative perspectives on teacher education in a period of reforms, inquiring into stakeholders' perceptions in English, French, Italian and Spanish contexts as case studies. The interaction of needs and constraints in European initial teacher education within higher education…

  8. The European Qualifications Framework: A Technical Critique

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lester, Stan

    2015-01-01

    The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) was introduced in 2008 as a "meta-framework" or common reference point for national qualifications frameworks in Europe, a function for which, with some caveats, it has been pragmatically successful. It has also been used with variable success to support the development or referencing of…

  9. European distributed seismological data archives infrastructure: EIDA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clinton, John; Hanka, Winfried; Mazza, Salvatore; Pederson, Helle; Sleeman, Reinoud; Stammler, Klaus; Strollo, Angelo

    2014-05-01

    The European Integrated waveform Data Archive (EIDA) is a distributed Data Center system within ORFEUS that (a) securely archives seismic waveform data and related metadata gathered by European research infrastructures, and (b) provides transparent access to the archives for the geosciences research communities. EIDA was founded in 2013 by ORFEUS Data Center, GFZ, RESIF, ETH, INGV and BGR to ensure sustainability of a distributed archive system and the implementation of standards (e.g. FDSN StationXML, FDSN webservices) and coordinate new developments. Under the mandate of the ORFEUS Board of Directors and Executive Committee the founding group is responsible for steering and maintaining the technical developments and organization of the European distributed seismic waveform data archive and the integration within broader multidisciplanry frameworks like EPOS. EIDA currently offers uniform data access to unrestricted data from 8 European archives (www.orfeus-eu.org/eida), linked by the Arclink protocol, hosting data from 75 permanent networks (1800+ stations) and 33 temporary networks (1200+) stations). Moreover, each archive may also provide unique, restricted datasets. A webinterface, developed at GFZ, offers interactive access to different catalogues (EMSC, GFZ, USGS) and EIDA waveform data. Clients and toolboxes like arclink_fetch and ObsPy can connect directly to any EIDA node to collect data. Current developments are directed to the implementation of quality parameters and strong motion parameters.

  10. Asian Perspectives on European Higher Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mongkhonvanit, Pornchai; Emery, Silvio Laszlo

    2003-01-01

    Asserts the importance of educational mobility among countries, especially between Asia and Europe. Suggests that this requires bilingualism (English as the common medium for learning and instruction) and internationally recognized diplomas, such as ERASMUS ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) and UCTS (UMAP Credit Transfer System). (EV)

  11. Geographical assemblages of European raptors and owls

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-López, Pascual; Benavent-Corai, José; García-Ripollés, Clara

    2008-09-01

    In this work we look for geographical structure patterns in European raptors (Order: Falconiformes) and owls (Order: Strigiformes). For this purpose we have conducted our research using freely available tools such as statistical software and databases. To perform the study, presence-absence data for the European raptors and owl species (Class Aves) were downloaded from the BirdLife International website. Using the freely available "pvclust" R-package, we applied similarity Jaccard index and cluster analysis in order to delineate biogeographical relationships for European countries. According to the cluster of similarity, we found that Europe is structured into two main geographical assemblages. The larger length branch separated two main groups: one containing Iceland, Greenland and the countries of central, northern and northwestern Europe, and the other group including the countries of eastern, southern and southwestern Europe. Both groups are divided into two main subgroups. According to our results, the European raptors and owls could be considered structured into four meta-communities well delimited by suture zones defined by Remington (1968) [Remington, C.L., 1968. Suture-zones of hybrid interaction between recently joined biotas. Evol. Biol. 2, 321-428]. Climatic oscillations during the Quaternary Ice Ages could explain at least in part the modern geographical distribution of the group.

  12. Overview on Biofuels from a European Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ponti, Luigi; Gutierrez, Andrew Paul

    2009-01-01

    In light of the recently developed European Union (EU) Biofuels Strategy, the literature is reviewed to examine (a) the coherency of biofuel production with the EU nonindustrial vision of agriculture, and (b) given its insufficient land base, the implications of a proposed bioenergy pact to grow biofuel crops in the developing world to meet EU…

  13. European Perspectives on Global Climate Change.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kempton, Willett; Craig, Paul P.

    1993-01-01

    Explores why some European countries are much more eager than the United States to endorse international environmental treaties and the roles history, culture, economics, and geography play. Influential policymakers throughout Austria, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom are interviewed. (12 references) (Author/MCO)

  14. The European Perspective on Women's Leadership

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Macha, Hildegard; Bauer, Quirin J.

    2009-01-01

    In this article, the authors show the perspective on women's leadership in Europe. The authors present the European data on the educational status of girls and women at schools and universities and in academic careers. Data from Germany is presented as an example to provide evidence of some details. First, the authors point out four contradictions…

  15. AstRoMap European Astrobiology Roadmap

    PubMed Central

    Horneck, Gerda; Westall, Frances; Grenfell, John Lee; Martin, William F.; Gomez, Felipe; Leuko, Stefan; Lee, Natuschka; Onofri, Silvano; Tsiganis, Kleomenis; Saladino, Raffaele; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke; Palomba, Ernesto; Harrison, Jesse; Rull, Fernando; Muller, Christian; Strazzulla, Giovanni; Brucato, John R.; Rettberg, Petra; Capria, Maria Teresa

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The European AstRoMap project (supported by the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme) surveyed the state of the art of astrobiology in Europe and beyond and produced the first European roadmap for astrobiology research. In the context of this roadmap, astrobiology is understood as the study of the origin, evolution, and distribution of life in the context of cosmic evolution; this includes habitability in the Solar System and beyond. The AstRoMap Roadmap identifies five research topics, specifies several key scientific objectives for each topic, and suggests ways to achieve all the objectives. The five AstRoMap Research Topics are • Research Topic 1: Origin and Evolution of Planetary Systems• Research Topic 2: Origins of Organic Compounds in Space• Research Topic 3: Rock-Water-Carbon Interactions, Organic Synthesis on Earth, and Steps to Life• Research Topic 4: Life and Habitability• Research Topic 5: Biosignatures as Facilitating Life Detection It is strongly recommended that steps be taken towards the definition and implementation of a European Astrobiology Platform (or Institute) to streamline and optimize the scientific return by using a coordinated infrastructure and funding system. Key Words: Astrobiology roadmap—Europe—Origin and evolution of life—Habitability—Life detection—Life in extreme environments. Astrobiology 16, 201–243. PMID:27003862

  16. Study Offers Ways to Better European Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cavanagh, Sean

    2006-01-01

    School systems that track students into certain classes and academic programs based on ability end up worsening disparities between high and low performers, according to a far-ranging report that offers recommendations for improving education across Europe. The study, commissioned by a branch of the European Union (EU), also found that bilingual…

  17. Report from the European Prison Education Association

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Behan, Cormac

    2005-01-01

    In this paper, Behan discusses the correctional educational systems in Europe, focusing on two correctional education policies. The European Prison Rules and Education in Prison provide a framework for correctional education in the forty-six member states of the Council of Europe. They may also help to inform the debate about the treatment of…

  18. European Year of Lifelong Learning 1996.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Commission of the European Communities, Brussels (Belgium). Directorate-General for Education, Training, and Youth.

    This publication provides glimpses of how different individuals and organizations have responded to the spirit of lifelong learning during the European Year. Each case study consists of the project's location, name, and objective and brief description. They include the following: Chapito Project, Lisbon, Portugal; Ligerius Project, a…

  19. European students explore possible mission to Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1999-07-01

    The Russian Yuri Gagarin was the first man in orbit, the American Neil Armstrong the first man on the Moon, on 21 July, 1969. Is there a chance that the first human being to set foot on Mars will be a European? Attendants at the 1999 Alpbach Summer School will be putting their minds to this challenging question. Seventy-four students from member states of the European Space Agency will be attending the Summer School from 3 to 12 August in the small mountain village of Alpbach in the Austrian Tyrol. They will be set the task of defining a future Mars Exploration Mission. 25 European experts will provide them with an overview of all aspects of the Red Planet. Basic questions such as the chemical and mineralogical composition of its surface, its geophysics and geochemistry or the search for life on Mars will be addressed. A review of past, present and future exploration of Mars will be presented. The annual Summer School is co-organised by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Transport, the European Space Agency and the Austrian Space Agency. ESA's Director of Science, Prof. Roger Bonnet, will open this year's at 9 a.m. on 3 August, in Alpbach Secondary School with a lecture on "Mars Exploration: For What Purpose? How?" Media representatives are most welcome.

  20. Mobility Attitudes and Behaviours among Young Europeans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Doherty, Noeleen; Dickmann, Michael; Mills, Timothy

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: The paper seeks to explore the career attitudes, motivations and behaviours of young people in initial vocational education and training (IVET) in Europe. Design/methodology/approach: This exploratory web-based survey was conducted during the European year for mobility. Drawing on existing research on the motivators of international…

  1. Organizing the future of European ORL.

    PubMed

    Grénman, Reidar; Hörmann, Karl; Olofsson, Jan

    2011-04-01

    Since 1990 Europe has undergone highly significant political and economic changes: the end of the division of East and West, the disintegration of the Soviet Union into independent countries and the enlargement of the European Union (EU). This has also changed the scenario from the perspective of the medical profession to a high degree. PMID:21401447

  2. European Training Thesaurus: A Multilingual Synopsis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cedefop - European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, 2012

    2012-01-01

    Education and training issues are similar across Europe, but how can we ensure we mean the same things with the same terms? The new format of the European training thesaurus (ETT) is a multilingual synopsis. It is an online tool enabling those working in education, training and employment to have a common understanding of terms. It helps…

  3. The Information Economy--A European Agenda.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilmot, R.

    From a European perspective, this paper focuses on a set of issues affecting the emerging information economy. Among the issues covered are: developing a means of measuring the value of information and knowledge; studying other institutions such as the United States Department of Defense and the United States venture capital industry which are…

  4. School Improvement from a European Perspective.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vandenberghe, Roland

    Three research questions are addressed in this paper: (1) What does school improvement mean in relation to the context of a research project? (2) Given particular developments in European society and the nature of primary research data, what should schools be like in the year 2001? (3) What steps are being taken in research and development to…

  5. The Lisbon Process: A European Odyssey

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dion, David-Pascal

    2005-01-01

    This article deals with the process in the field of education and training that the European Union has put forward to tackle the main challenges it is facing: globalisation, ageing and the ICT revolution. In order to take advantage of the opportunities brought by these three forces and to counteract their potential negative impact, the European…

  6. Western European Art Foundations and Publishing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    King, Lindsay M.; Clement, Russell T.

    2011-01-01

    Western European art foundations create invaluable opportunities for research and exhibition by artists, curators, and scholars. These activities are often documented and disseminated via high-quality publications. This article highlights an important but under-recognized collecting resource for academic and museum libraries by profiling several…

  7. Why We Need a European Vision

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ravenhall, Mark

    2012-01-01

    All the countries of the United Kingdom have something to learn from nations facing comparable challenges elsewhere in Europe. Seeing these challenges through a European lens can help these countries understand them and their selves better. The author thinks they need to join in solidarity with adult educators across Europe and, indeed, further…

  8. Willingness for Mobility amongst European Fishermen

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pita, Cristina; Dickey, Heather; Pierce, Graham J.; Mente, Elena; Theodossiou, Ioannis

    2010-01-01

    The global trend of fisheries overexploitation and collapse has resulted in the need to reduce fishing effort, and providing alternative employment for fishermen is a frequently mentioned policy option in order to achieve this goal. Reducing fishing effort is central to the European Commission Common Fisheries Policy and over the years, the…

  9. Qualification and the Internal European Market.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heidemann, Winfried

    1991-01-01

    Discusses effects of integration of the European Community and internal market on qualifications for occupational activity. Describes German objections to the community's attempts to set educational policy. Urges common community definitions of professions and recognition of vocational qualifications to facilitate freedom of movement of the work…

  10. Promoting European Dimensions in Lifelong Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Field, John, Ed.

    This collection of 19 essays shares the lessons of a wealth of experience and challenges professionals to open up adult learning to a variety of international perspectives. The first essay, "Building a European Dimension: A Realistic Response to Globalization?" (John Field), is an introduction to the essays. The six essays in Section I, Learning…

  11. European Education in a World Civilization.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garrido, Jose Luis Garcia

    1992-01-01

    Discusses problems facing European education as the world continues to become more interconnected through politics, communication, and economics. Stresses the need to maintain national values without regressing to nationalism. Examines teacher training, history instruction, and television as areas where divisions can be lessened. Warns against…

  12. Europe's Universities in the European Research Area

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, John H.

    2008-01-01

    Universities are placed strategically at the interplay of research and technological development, educational and regional development policies at both national and European level. Universities are also unique environments in which interdisciplinary skills are being developed to tackle the complex challenges facing human, social and economic…

  13. The European Centre for Leisure and Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Convergence, 1969

    1969-01-01

    Supported by UNESCO, the European Centre for Leisure and Education is an establishment of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. The task of the Centre lies in the search for common trends of leisure and education in Europe, involving four types of activity: research, editorial, bibliographic, and documentary. It has sponsored conferences, and has…

  14. AstRoMap European Astrobiology Roadmap.

    PubMed

    Horneck, Gerda; Walter, Nicolas; Westall, Frances; Grenfell, John Lee; Martin, William F; Gomez, Felipe; Leuko, Stefan; Lee, Natuschka; Onofri, Silvano; Tsiganis, Kleomenis; Saladino, Raffaele; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke; Palomba, Ernesto; Harrison, Jesse; Rull, Fernando; Muller, Christian; Strazzulla, Giovanni; Brucato, John R; Rettberg, Petra; Capria, Maria Teresa

    2016-03-01

    The European AstRoMap project (supported by the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme) surveyed the state of the art of astrobiology in Europe and beyond and produced the first European roadmap for astrobiology research. In the context of this roadmap, astrobiology is understood as the study of the origin, evolution, and distribution of life in the context of cosmic evolution; this includes habitability in the Solar System and beyond. The AstRoMap Roadmap identifies five research topics, specifies several key scientific objectives for each topic, and suggests ways to achieve all the objectives. The five AstRoMap Research Topics are • Research Topic 1: Origin and Evolution of Planetary Systems • Research Topic 2: Origins of Organic Compounds in Space • Research Topic 3: Rock-Water-Carbon Interactions, Organic Synthesis on Earth, and Steps to Life • Research Topic 4: Life and Habitability • Research Topic 5: Biosignatures as Facilitating Life Detection It is strongly recommended that steps be taken towards the definition and implementation of a European Astrobiology Platform (or Institute) to streamline and optimize the scientific return by using a coordinated infrastructure and funding system. PMID:27003862

  15. Is There a European Language History?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mattheier, Klaus J.

    2010-01-01

    The thoughts on a language history within a European context sketched out here represent an attempt to extend the concepts of regional and particularly national language history by adding a third dimension: transnational language history in Europe. After a few general thoughts on the extended area of research, in which so-called external language…

  16. European Unification: A Conceptual Guide for Educators.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Steven L., Ed.

    This book is intended to provide educators with the means to observe and teach about the unification process in Europe. The book contains a collection of essays about different aspects of unification. The Preface, by Dagmar Kraemer and Manfred Stassen, presents a brief historic overview of the development of the European Union. Chapter 1 is the…

  17. Common Core History for Young Europeans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rogers, Peter

    1993-01-01

    A required core contemporary history course is proposed for Europe's senior pupils, needed because of prospects for European integration. The course could be shaped by pairing three fundamental ideas with related conflicts: Reformation/30 Years War, Enlightenment/French Revolution and Napoleanic Wars, and Nationalism/World Wars I and II. (IAH)

  18. European Universities and Their International Perspectives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farquhar, Robin H.

    2008-01-01

    This presentation was prepared in response to a request from the European University Association for a brief comparative analysis of higher education internationalization in Europe and North America from a North American perspective. After adapting de Wit's four-category definition of internationalization (academic programs, technical assistance,…

  19. A European Profile of Games for Health.

    PubMed

    Baranowski, Moderator Tom; Coshott, Participants Richard; Michaelis, Ilja; Prins, Pier J M; Wiederhold, Brenda K

    2013-10-01

    October is time for the Games for Health Europe meeting in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Games for Health Journal would like to highlight exciting developments in games for health in Europe by asking European members of our Editorial Board to comment on what developments they see. PMID:26196926

  20. Satisfaction with Social Contacts of Older Europeans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bonsang, Eric; van Soest, Arthur

    2012-01-01

    This paper analyses the determinants of an important component of well-being among individuals aged 50 years or older in eleven European countries: satisfaction with social contacts. We use data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe and anchoring vignettes to correct for potential differences in responses scales across…

  1. Professionalization in Universities and European Convergence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vivas, Amparo Jimenez; Hevia, David Menendez Alvarez

    2009-01-01

    The constant assessment of the quality of higher education within the framework of European convergence is a challenge for all those universities that wish their degrees and diplomas to reflect a unified Europe. As is the case in any assessment, change and review process, the quest to improve quality implies measuring achievement of the objectives…

  2. Standardizing the European Education Policy Space

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawn, Martin

    2011-01-01

    Countries in Europe, through the European Union, are creating, as part of the market and its governance, a new policy space in education. It is being formed through law, regulation, networking and harmonization. The development of standards across the different fields of policy, statistical calculation and commerce underpins and extends the…

  3. Poverty in Ireland in Comparative European Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whelan, Christopher T.; Maitre, Bertrand

    2010-01-01

    In this paper we seek to put Irish poverty rates in a comparative European context. We do so in a context whereby the Irish economic boom and EU enlargement have led to increasing reservations being expressed regarding rates deriving from the EU "at risk of poverty" indicator. Our comparative analysis reports findings for both overall levels of…

  4. Contribution of European research to risk analysis.

    PubMed

    Boenke, A

    2001-12-01

    The European Commission's, Quality of Life Research Programme, Key Action 1-Health, Food & Nutrition is mission-oriented and aims, amongst other things, at providing a healthy, safe and high-quality food supply leading to reinforced consumer confidence in the safety, of European food. Its objectives also include the enhancing of the competitiveness of the European food supply. Key Action 1 is currently supporting a number of different types of European collaborative projects in the area of risk analysis. The objectives of these projects range from the development and validation of prevention strategies including the reduction of consumers risks; development and validation of new modelling approaches, harmonization of risk assessment principles methodologies and terminology; standardization of methods and systems used for the safety evaluation of transgenic food; providing of tools for the evaluation of human viral contamination of shellfish and quality control; new methodologies for assessing the potential of unintended effects of genetically modified (genetically modified) foods; development of a risk assessment model for Cryptosporidium parvum related to the food and water industries, to the development of a communication platform for genetically modified organism, producers, retailers, regulatory authorities and consumer groups to improve safety assessment procedures, risk management strategies and risk communication; development and validation of new methods for safety testing of transgenic food; evaluation of the safety and efficacy of iron supplementation in pregnant women, evaluation of the potential cancer-preventing activity of pro- and pre-biotic ('synbiotic') combinations in human volunteers. An overview of these projects is presented here. PMID:11761126

  5. Regulatory pathways in the European Union.

    PubMed

    Kohler, Manuela

    2011-01-01

    In principle, there are three defined procedures to obtain approval for a medicinal product in the European Union. As discussed in this overview of the procedures, the decision on which regulatory pathway to use will depend on the nature of the active substance, the target indication(s), the history of product and/or the marketing strategy. PMID:21487236

  6. Report from the European Prison Education Association

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Behan, Cormac

    2008-01-01

    This article presents several news stories from the European Prison Education Association (EPEA). These include: (1) The 7th International Conference for Directors of Prison Education held in Malmo, Sweden from September 11-14, 2008; (2) The visit of EPEA representatives to the Modern University of the Humanities (MUH) in Russia to examine how the…

  7. European summer temperatures since Roman times

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luterbacher, Jürg

    2016-04-01

    The spatial context is critical when assessing present-day climate anomalies, attributing them to potential forcings and making statements regarding their frequency and severity in a long-term perspective. Recent international initiatives have expanded the number of high-quality proxy-records and developed new statistical reconstruction methods. These advances allow more rigorous regional past temperature reconstructions and, in turn, the possibility of evaluating climate models on policy-relevant, spatio-temporal scales. Here we provide a new proxy-based, annually-resolved, spatial reconstruction of the European summer (June-August) temperature fields back to 755 CE based on Bayesian hierarchical modelling (BHM), together with estimates of the European mean temperature variation since 138 BCE based on BHM and composite-plus-scaling (CPS). Our reconstructions compare well with independent instrumental and proxy-based temperature estimates, but suggest a larger amplitude in summer temperature variability than previously reported. Both CPS and BHM reconstructions indicate that the mean 20th century European summer temperature was not significantly different from some earlier centuries, including the 1st, 2nd, 8th and 10th centuries CE. The 1st century (in BHM also the 10th century) may even have been slightly warmer than the 20th century, but the difference is not statistically significant. Comparing each 50 yr period with the 1951-2000 period reveals a similar pattern. Recent summers, however, have been unusually warm in the context of the last two millennia and there are no 30-yr periods in either reconstruction that exceed the mean average European summer temperature of the last 3 decades (1986-2015 CE). A comparison with an ensemble of climate model simulations suggests that the reconstructed European summer temperature variability over the period 850-2000 CE reflects changes in both internal variability and external forcing on multi-decadal time-scales. For pan-European

  8. Brazil to Join the European Southern Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2010-12-01

    The Federative Republic of Brazil has yesterday signed the formal accession agreement paving the way for it to become a Member State of the European Southern Observatory (ESO). Following government ratification Brazil will become the fifteenth Member State and the first from outside Europe. On 29 December 2010, at a ceremony in Brasilia, the Brazilian Minister of Science and Technology, Sergio Machado Rezende and the ESO Director General, Tim de Zeeuw signed the formal accession agreement aiming to make Brazil a Member State of the European Southern Observatory. Brazil will become the fifteen Member State and the first from outside Europe. Since the agreement means accession to an international convention, the agreement must now be submitted to the Brazilian Parliament for ratification [1]. The signing of the agreement followed the unanimous approval by the ESO Council during an extraordinary meeting on 21 December 2010. "Joining ESO will give new impetus to the development of science, technology and innovation in Brazil as part of the considerable efforts our government is making to keep the country advancing in these strategic areas," says Rezende. The European Southern Observatory has a long history of successful involvement with South America, ever since Chile was selected as the best site for its observatories in 1963. Until now, however, no non-European country has joined ESO as a Member State. "The membership of Brazil will give the vibrant Brazilian astronomical community full access to the most productive observatory in the world and open up opportunities for Brazilian high-tech industry to contribute to the European Extremely Large Telescope project. It will also bring new resources and skills to the organisation at the right time for them to make a major contribution to this exciting project," adds ESO Director General, Tim de Zeeuw. The European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) telescope design phase was recently completed and a major review was

  9. European Commission activities in eHealth.

    PubMed

    Olsson, Silas; Lymberis, Andreas; Whitehouse, Diane

    2004-12-01

    Health-care is an information-intensive and knowledge-demanding sector, which is why eHealth solutions are so important in this field. The European Commission (EC) has been initiating and funding research and development activities regarding Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for health, or "eHealth", since 1988. These programmes covered priority topics like electronic health-care records, regional and national health networks, telemedicine in homecare and care-at-the-point-of-need to support continuity of care concepts, systems to support people to stay healthy, and systems and tools to support health professionals to work more efficiently and safely on patients. During the 15-year span of the programmes, the European Union (EU) has contributed about 500 million Euro to approximately 400 R&D projects, support activities, best practice and studies covering technical, clinical, ethical, legal, organisational and market issues. eHealth has shown proven benefits in application fields like improved access to care, care at the point-of-need, citizen-centred care, improved quality and cost containment. Such applications were on show at the EU High Level eHealth Conferences in Brussels, Belgium, in 2003, and in Cork, Ireland, in 2004. eHealth is now on the governmental agenda of EU Member States to be implemented on a broader scale. In line with this development, the Commission has taken a number of policy initiatives. A European Union Action Plan for a European eHealth Area was published by the Commission in April 2004 and endorsed by the EU health ministers in June 2004. This means that, for the first time, Europe has a coherent agenda for the implementation of eHealth. This report will concentrate on eHealth activities initiated by the Information Society Directorate-General of the European Commission. PMID:15709306

  10. PEP725 Pan European Phenological Database

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koch, E.; Adler, S.; Lipa, W.; Ungersböck, M.; Zach-Hermann, S.

    2010-09-01

    Europe is in the fortunate situation that it has a long tradition in phenological networking: the history of collecting phenological data and using them in climatology has its starting point in 1751 when Carl von Linné outlined in his work Philosophia Botanica methods for compiling annual plant calendars of leaf opening, flowering, fruiting and leaf fall together with climatological observations "so as to show how areas differ". Recently in most European countries, phenological observations have been carried out routinely for more than 50 years by different governmental and non governmental organisations and following different observation guidelines, the data stored at different places in different formats. This has been really hampering pan European studies as one has to address many network operators to get access to the data before one can start to bring them in a uniform style. From 2004 to 2009 the COST-action 725 established a European wide data set of phenological observations. But the deliverables of this COST action was not only the common phenological database and common observation guidelines - COST725 helped to trigger a revival of some old networks and to establish new ones as for instance in Sweden. At the end of 2009 the COST action the database comprised about 8 million data in total from 15 European countries plus the data from the International Phenological Gardens IPG. In January 2010 PEP725 began its work as follow up project with funding from EUMETNET the network of European meteorological services and of ZAMG the Austrian national meteorological service. PEP725 not only will take over the part of maintaining, updating the COST725 database, but also to bring in phenological data from the time before 1951, developing better quality checking procedures and ensuring an open access to the database. An attractive webpage will make phenology and climate impacts on vegetation more visible in the public enabling a monitoring of vegetation development.

  11. Europa Uomo: the European Prostate Cancer Coalition.

    PubMed

    Hudson, Tom; Denis, Louis J

    2007-01-01

    Europa Uomo is a patient-led, non-governmental association (NGO), launched formally in Milan in 2004 with a legal base in Antwerp. As a coalition of prostate cancer patient groups with representation in 18 European countries, the NGO focusses on awareness, early detection, optimal treatment, multi-professional care and, above all, quality of life and patient advocacy. In the majority of European countries prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer affecting men beyond middle age. The incidence and substantial mortality rises with age, peaking in the seventh decade. Standards of diagnosis and treatment vary across Europe and attitudes differ. Information about the early detection and awareness of prostate cancer available to the public leaves much to be desired. Since 2002, involved individuals, patient support groups, patients, family members, physicians, urologists, oncologists and nurses joined in the formation of an independent, international, non-profit association of patient-led prostate cancer support groups from European countries known as Europa Uomo, the European Prostate Cancer Coalition. This Coalition was legally established as an NGO in June 2004 in Milan with the headquarters and secretariat in Antwerp, Belgium. Its membership represents 18 countries by the national or regional groups listed in Table 16.1 with their respective contact persons. The coalition is led by a steering committee under the control of the annual general assembly. The steering committee members and their co-ordinates are listed in Table 16.2. Scientific advice is given by a scientific committee chaired by Prof. H. Van Poppel as the liaison officer with the European Association of Urology (EAU). The support for EAU guidelines appears on the Web site and will be linked to all members in their own language (www.cancerworld.org/europauomo). The goals and activities of Europa Uomo have been condensed in a series of slides at the request of the Eurocan+Plus collaboration to

  12. Sea & Space: a New European Educational Programme

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1998-01-01

    This spring, teachers across Europe will enjoy support for exciting, novel educational projects on astronomy, navigation and environmental observations. The largely web-based and highly interactive SEA & SPACE programme makes it possible for pupils to perform field experiments and astronomical observations and to obtain and process satellite images. A contest will take the best pupils for one week to Lisbon (Portugal), to Europe's space port in Kourou (French Guyana) where the European launcher lifts off or to ESO's Very Large Telescope at the Cerro Paranal Observatory in Chile, the largest optical telescope in the world. The SEA & SPACE project is a joint initiative of the European Space Agency (ESA) , the European Southern Observatory (ESO) , and the European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE). It builds on these organisations' several years' successful participation in the European Week for Scientific and Technological Culture organised by the European Commission that they intend to continue in 1998. The 1998 World Exhibition EXPO98 in Lisbon will focus on the oceans. This is why the umbrella theme of SEA & SPACE is concerned with the many relations between the oceans and the space that surrounds us, from ancient times to present days. Under the new programme, teaching resources are offered for three major areas, Remote Sensing of Europe's Coastal Environment, Navigation and Oceans of Water. Remote Sensing of Europe's Coastal Environment : observations of the Earth from Space are made accessible to pupils who will appreciate their usefulness through interactive image processing and field observations; Navigation : the capabilities and functioning of different navigation techniques are explored through experiments using navigation by the stars, with GPS, and via satellite images/maps; Oceans of Water : What is the role of water in Nature? How can one detect water from satellites or with telescopes? How much water is there in rivers and floods, in an ocean

  13. A European Humus Forms Reference Base

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zanella, A.; Englisch, M.; Ponge, J.-F.; Jabiol, B.; Sartori, G.; Gardi, C.

    2012-04-01

    From 2003 on, a panel of experts in humus and humus dynamics (Humus group) has been working about a standardisation and improvement of existing national humus classifications. Some important goals have been reached, in order to share data and experiences: a) definition of specific terms; b) description of 15 types of diagnostic horizons; c) of 10 basic humus forms references; d) subdivision of each main reference in 2-4 sub-unities; e) elaboration of a general European Humus Form Reference Base (http://hal-agroparistech.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/56/17/95/PDF/Humus_Forms_ERB_31_01_2011.pdf); f) publication of the scientific significance of this base of classification as an article [A European morpho-functional classification of humus forms. Geoderma, 164 (3-4), 138-145]. The classification will be updated every 2 years and presently the Humus group is assessing biological (general: soil, vegetation, biome; specific: fungi, bacteria, pedofauna), physical (air temperature, rainfall) and chemical (pH, mineral elements, organic matter, quality and quantity of humic components…) factors which characterize basic humus forms and their varieties. The content of the new version of the classification is planned to be more "practical", like an ecological manual which lists associated humus forms and environmental data in the aim to contribute to a more precise environmental diagnosis of every analysed terrestrial and semiterrestrial European ecosystem. The Humus group is also involved in an endeavour to include humus forms in the World Reference Base for Soils (WRB-FAO) according to nomenclatural principles erected for soil profiles. Thirty basic references have been defined, complemented by a set of qualifiers (prefixes and suffixes), allowing to classify European humus forms and probably a large majority of humus forms known worldwide. The principles of the classification, the diagnostic horizons and humus forms main references are presented at the General Assembly of

  14. The European Qualification Framework: Skills, Competences or Knowledge?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mehaut, Philippe; Winch, Christopher

    2012-01-01

    The European Qualification Framework (EQF) is intended to transform European national qualification frameworks (NQFs) by moulding them into a learning outcomes framework. Currently adopted as an enabling law by the European Union, the EQF has now operated for several years. In order to secure widespread adoption, however, it will be necessary for…

  15. Politics and Policies of Promoting Multilingualism in the European Union

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Romaine, Suzanne

    2013-01-01

    This article examines the politics of policies promoting multilingualism in the European Union (EU), specifically in light of the recently released European Union Civil Society Platform on Multilingualism. As the most far-reaching and ambitious policy document issued by the European Commission, the Platform warrants close scrutiny at a significant…

  16. 76 FR 52543 - European Larch Canker; Expansion of Regulated Areas

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-08-23

    ... Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 7 CFR Part 301 European Larch Canker; Expansion of Regulated... European larch canker to include additional areas in Maine. We are also correcting some misidentifications... of European larch canker from infested areas to noninfested areas. DATES: This interim rule...

  17. World Studies in the European Classroom. Education and Culture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Connor, Edmund

    The study of world problems in secondary European schools is examined. The study reflects the concerns of a group of teachers from 15 European countries and from a range of disciplines who attended a course on "World Problems in the European Classroom" which was held at Lillehammer in July, 1979 as a contribution by Norway to the Council of…

  18. European Law: Ending Discrimination against Girls in Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rendel, Margherita

    1992-01-01

    Examines how the European Convention on Human Rights and its case law could combat sexist education and develop concepts of philosophical convictions, the European Community's duty, and children's rights. Considers feminist strategies for improving girls' education, English and European procedural laws, and difficulties of using English law. (RLC)

  19. The Organisation and Management of a European Educational Satellite System.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bates, A. W.

    This paper looks at the possible roles that the European Economic Community (EEC), as a pan-European quasi-governmental institution, might play in the management and organization of a European educational satellite system. The argument is made that there is a need for the EEC Commission to play an ongoing, regulatory role in this area. An…

  20. Expert Groups in the Building of European Public Policy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robert, Cecile

    2012-01-01

    When it comes to building European public action, expertise is ubiquitous and polymorphic. This article intends to study the ways expertise is being used in the European Commission and the logics underlying its use. The massive use of expertise also has consequences for the practices and identities of actors with whom European institutions…

  1. Reconciling Energy Use with Environmental Protection in the European Community.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Axelrod, Regina S.

    1992-01-01

    Presents the energy and environmental policymaking strategies of the European Community to regulate the consumption of energy. Strategies include the stabilization of carbon dioxide emissions, the creation of the European Environmental Agency, the implementation of the European Energy Charter, the SAVE Program, and economic and fiscal instruments…

  2. A European Space for Education Looking for Its Public

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wahlstrom, Ninni

    2010-01-01

    The open method of coordination (OMC) within the Lisbon strategy is discussed in terms of a European Space for Education and "programme ontology". The focus is on indicators and the European dimension, and how they "work" in the forming of contents and identities in this European Space for Education. The OMC is analyzed in relation to Nancy…

  3. A European Approach to Lifelong Learning: Goals and Realities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thery, Michel; Roussel, Patrick; Zygmunt, Christian

    2003-01-01

    Comparison of company practices regarding continuing training of employees shows great diversity among the 15 European Union member states. In 11 countries, over 70 percent of companies are "training involved" (TICs). South European countries have a low percentage of TICs; the proportion of TICs in north European countries is over 80 percent. The…

  4. Project Report ECLIPSE: European Citizenship Learning Program for Secondary Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bombardelli, Olga

    2014-01-01

    This paper reports on a European project, the Comenius ECLIPSE project (European Citizenship Learning in a Programme for Secondary Education) developed by six European partners coordinated by the University of Trento in the years 2011-2014. ECLIPSE (co-financed by the EACEA--Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency) aims at developing,…

  5. Possible Orientations of the European Dimension in Romanian Educational Policy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Enache, Roxana

    2011-01-01

    Curricular reform in any educational system should be to balance national, European or international elements and should integrate diversity. European education calls for a democratic citizenship education that includes a political, cultural, social and economic education--an overall European dimension, which implies an awareness of the drive and…

  6. Languages and Institutions in the European Union. Mercator Working Papers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alcaraz, Manuel

    This paper situates languages in the framework of European construction, analyzing problems resulting from the definition of languages' official status in the European Union (EU) juridical system. It explains that the process of European construction is historically defined by means of two distinct features (it is an open process, and at the same…

  7. Report from the European Prison Education Association: December 2007

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Behan, Cormac

    2007-01-01

    This article presents three organizations: (1) The Executive Board of European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA); (2) The Albanian General Directorate of Prisons; and (3) The Freemuse. The Executive Board of European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) will recommend the European Prison Education Association as Associate…

  8. Putting Dreyfus into Action: The European Credit Transfer System

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Markowitsch, Jorg; Luomi-Messerer, Karin; Becker, Matthias; Spottl, Georg

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this article is to look closely at the development of a European Credit Transfer System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET). The European Commission, together with the member States, are working on it and several pilot projects have been initiated within the Leonardo da Vinci Programme of the European Commission.…

  9. European research priorities for intracerebral haemorrhage.

    PubMed

    Steiner, Thorsten; Petersson, Jesper; Al-Shahi Salman, Rustam; Christensen, Hanne; Cordonnier, Charlotte; Csiba, Laszlo; Harnof, Sagi; Krieger, Derk; Mendelow, David; Molina, Carlos; Montaner, Joan; Overgaard, Karsten; Roine, Risto O; Schmutzhard, Erich; Tatlisumak, Turgut; Toni, Danilo; Stapf, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Over 2 million people are affected by intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) worldwide every year, one third of them dying within 1 month, and many survivors being left with permanent disability. Unlike most other stroke types, the incidence, morbidity and mortality of ICH have not declined over time. No standardised diagnostic workup for the detection of the various underlying causes of ICH currently exists, and the evidence for medical or surgical therapeutic interventions remains limited. A dedicated European research programme for ICH is needed to identify ways to reduce the burden of ICH-related death and disability. The European Research Network on Intracerebral Haemorrhage EURONICH is a multidisciplinary academic research collaboration that has been established to define current research priorities and to conduct large clinical studies on all aspects of ICH. PMID:21986448

  10. Supernovae and cosmology with future European facilities.

    PubMed

    Hook, I M

    2013-06-13

    Prospects for future supernova surveys are discussed, focusing on the European Space Agency's Euclid mission and the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), both expected to be in operation around the turn of the decade. Euclid is a 1.2 m space survey telescope that will operate at visible and near-infrared wavelengths, and has the potential to find and obtain multi-band lightcurves for thousands of distant supernovae. The E-ELT is a planned, general-purpose ground-based, 40-m-class optical-infrared telescope with adaptive optics built in, which will be capable of obtaining spectra of type Ia supernovae to redshifts of at least four. The contribution to supernova cosmology with these facilities will be discussed in the context of other future supernova programmes such as those proposed for DES, JWST, LSST and WFIRST. PMID:23630381

  11. ECLAT: The European Cluster Assimilation Technology Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milan, S. E.; Imber, S. M.; Lester, M.; Nakamura, R.; Boakes, P.; Kauristie, K.; Palmroth, M.; Opgenoorth, H.; Sergeev, V.

    2013-09-01

    The European Cluster Assimilation Technology project is a collaboration funded by the European Commission through the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). ECLAT will ingest a variety of contextual datasets into the Cluster Active Archive to complement the existing Cluster data. These datasets will include SuperDARN ionospheric convection measurements, auroral observations, MIRACLE measurements of ionospheric currents in the Scandinavian sector, detailed magnetic field modelling and Cluster footprint tracing, detailed Cluster boundary crossings information, and state-of-the-art physics-based modelling of the magnetosphere using the GUMICS code. This poster will provide an overview of the ECLAT project, its datasets, and software tools. ECLAT provides extensive information from key regions for Earth's space-weather sciences, i.e. solar wind, magnetosphere, and ionosphere, suitable for studies of local process as well as large-scale response to solar wind drivers.

  12. ECLAT: The European Cluster Assimilation Technology Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milan, S. E.; Lester, M.; Nakamura, R.; Kauristie, K.; Palmroth, M.; Opgenoorth, H.; Sergeev, V.

    2012-04-01

    The European Cluster Assimilation Technology project is a collaboration between the University of Leicester, UK, the Institutet för rymdfysik, Sweden, St. Petersberg State University, Russia, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, Finland, and the Oesterreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Austria, funded by the European Commission through the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). ECLAT will ingest a variety of contextual datasets into the Cluster Active Archive to complement the existing Cluster data. These datasets will include SuperDARN ionospheric convection measurements, auroral observations, MIRACLE measurements of ionospheric currents in the Scandinavian sector, detailed magnetic field modelling and Cluster footprint tracing, detailed Cluster boundary-crossings information, and state-of-the-art physics-based modelling of the magnetosphere using the GUMICS code. This poster will provide an overview of the ECLAT project, its datasets, and software tools.

  13. A European Languages Virtual Network Proposal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Peñalvo, Francisco José; González-González, Juan Carlos; Murray, Maria

    ELVIN (European Languages Virtual Network) is a European Union (EU) Lifelong Learning Programme Project aimed at creating an informal social network to support and facilitate language learning. The ELVIN project aims to research and develop the connection between social networks, professional profiles and language learning in an informal educational context. At the core of the ELVIN project, there will be a web 2.0 social networking platform that connects employees/students for language practice based on their own professional/academic needs and abilities, using all relevant technologies. The ELVIN remit involves the examination of both methodological and technological issues inherent in achieving a social-based learning platform that provides the user with their own customized Personal Learning Environment for EU language acquisition. ELVIN started in November 2009 and this paper presents the project aims and objectives as well as the development and implementation of the web platform.

  14. A European approach to clinical investigator training.

    PubMed

    Boeynaems, Jean-Marie; Canivet, Cindy; Chan, Anthony; Clarke, Mary J; Cornu, Catherine; Daemen, Esther; Demotes, Jacques; Nys, Katelijne De; Hirst, Barry; Hundt, Ferdinand; Kassai, Behrouz; Kerpel-Fronius, Sandor; Kiessig, Lucy; Klech, Heinrich; Kraehenbuhl, Jean-Pierre; Lafolie, Pierre; Lucht, Martin; Niese, Detlef; Pauli-Magnus, Christiane; Peters, Barbara; Schaltenbrand, Ralf; Stockis, Armel; Stykova, Martina; Verheus, Nicolette; Klingmann, Ingrid

    2013-01-01

    A better education and training of clinical investigators and their teams is one of the factors that could foster the development of clinical research in Europe, a key objective of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). PharmaTrain (an IMI programme on training in medicines development), and European Clinical Research Infrastructures Network (ECRIN) have joined forces to address this issue. An advisory group composed of representatives of universities, pharmaceutical companies and other organisations met four times between June 2011 and July 2012. This resulted in a position paper proposing a strategy to improve and harmonize clinical investigator training in Europe, and including a detailed syllabus and list of learning outcomes. Major recommendations are the establishment of minimal and mutually recognized certification requirement for investigators throughout the EU and the creation of a European platform to provide a suitable course and examination infrastructure. PMID:24058345

  15. European user trial of paging by satellite

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fudge, R. E.; Fenton, C. J.

    1990-01-01

    British Telecom conceived the idea of adapting their existing paging service, together with the use of existing terrestrial pagers, to yield a one way data (i.e., paging) satellite service to mobiles. The user trial of paging by satellites was successful. It demonstrated that services could be provided over a wide geographical area to low priced terminals. Many lessons were learned in unexpected areas. These include the need for extensive liaison with all users involved, especially the drivers, to ensure they understood the potential benefits. There was a significant desire for a return acknowledgement channel or even a return data channel. Above all there is a need to ensure that the equipment can be taken across European borders and legitimately used in all European countries. The next step in a marketing assessment would be to consider the impact of two way data messaging such as INMARSAT-C.

  16. Survey: Ochratoxin A in European special wines.

    PubMed

    Valero, Ana; Marín, Sonia; Ramos, Antonio J; Sanchis, Vicente

    2008-05-15

    The occurrence of Ochratoxin A (OTA) was examined in 121 special wines made using different winemaking techniques and from many European origins. The wine groups with the highest OTA content and occurrence, above 90%, were those were the must was fortified before fermentation (mean: 4.48μg/l) and those made from grapes dried by means of sun exposure (mean: 2.77μg/l). Fortified wines with long aging in wooden casks were about 50% contaminated, with OTA levels below 1.00μg/l. Wines affected by noble rot, late harvest wines and ice wines did not contain OTA. Overall, 19.8% of the wines studied contained OTA levels above the maximum permissible limit for the European Union (2μg/kg) in wine (excluding liqueur wines). PMID:26059137

  17. European approach to the Human Gene Project.

    PubMed

    Ferguson-Smith, M A

    1991-01-01

    In the history of gene mapping, which extends through most of the present century, Europe has played an important role. This has continued during the evolution of the 10 International Human Gene Mapping Workshops that have been held in seven different countries since 1973. Nationally coordinated programs have been a recent development, and several European countries, including the United Kingdom and Italy, have followed the lead of the United States in investing substantial sums of money in research on the human genome. In addition, the European Community has launched a multinational program of research on Human Genome Analysis to complement the various national initiatives. The particular approach in Europe has been to support those in the field by establishing resource centers for distributing biomaterials and accessing databases, by assisting in the training of scientists, and by funding programs of research directed at present needs in both physical and genetic mapping. PMID:1991586

  18. European Research Priorities for Intracerebral Haemorrhage

    PubMed Central

    Steiner, Thorsten; Petersson, Jesper; Al-Shahi Salman, Rustam; Christensen, Hanne; Cordonnier, Charlotte; Csiba, Laszlo; Harnof, Sagi; Krieger, Derk; Mendelow, David; Molina, Carlos; Montaner, Joan; Overgaard, Karsten; Roine, Risto O.; Schmutzhard, Erich; Tatlisumak, Turgut; Toni, Danilo; Stapf, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Over 2 million people are affected by intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) worldwide every year, one third of them dying within 1 month, and many survivors being left with permanent disability. Unlike most other stroke types, the incidence, morbidity and mortality of ICH have not declined over time. No standardised diagnostic workup for the detection of the various underlying causes of ICH currently exists, and the evidence for medical or surgical therapeutic interventions remains limited. A dedicated European research programme for ICH is needed to identify ways to reduce the burden of ICH-related death and disability. The European Research Network on Intracerebral Haemorrhage EURONICH is a multidisciplinary academic research collaboration that has been established to define current research priorities and to conduct large clinical studies on all aspects of ICH. PMID:21986448

  19. Generation of a Catalogue of European Windstorms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varino, Filipa; Baptiste Granier, Jean; Bordoy, Roger; Arbogast, Philippe; Joly, Bruno; Riviere, Gwendal; Fandeur, Marie-Laure; Bovy, Henry; Mitchell-Wallace, Kirsten; Souch, Claire

    2016-04-01

    The probability of multiple wind-storm events within a year is crucial to any (re)insurance company writing European wind business. Indeed, the volatility of losses is enhanced by the clustering of storms (cyclone families), as occurred in early 1990 (Daria, Vivian, Wiebke), December 1999 (Lothar, Martin) or December 2015 (Desmond, Eva, Frank), among others. In order to track winter extratropical cyclones, we use the maximum relative vorticity at 850 hPa of the new-released long-term ERA-20C reanalysis from the ECMWF since the beginning of the 20th Century until 2010. We develop an automatic procedure to define events. We then quantify the severity of each storm using loss and meteorological indices at country and Europe-wide level. Validation against market losses for the period 1970-2010 is undertaken before considering the severity and frequency of European windstorms for the 110 years period.

  20. [Sexual risk factors among European young people].

    PubMed

    Calatrava, María; López-Del Burgo, Cristina; de Irala, Jokin

    2012-05-01

    The sexual transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other sexually transmitted infections (STI) in Europe are still rising. In order to prioritize STI prevention strategies in Europe, it is important to describe the prevalence of different sexual risk factors for STIs among European young people. We carried out a systematic review of published articles and studies performed by European institutions. A total of 21 articles and 10 studies were identified. The data shows an increase in early sexual initiation and the number of sexual partners. Young people who use condoms inconsistently ranged from 15 to 20%. The observed risk factors are: unawareness about other STIs different from HIV, being in favour of casual sex, wrongly believing that some measures are effective in avoiding HIV, not being aware of the risks from having multiple sexual partners and unawareness about the sexual transmission of HIV. The data suggests the need to improve the information addressed to youth. PMID:22015005

  1. Making instruments work on the European ELT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casali, Mark M.; Gonzalez, Juan Carlos; D'Odorico, Sandro

    2008-07-01

    The title of this paper was chosen to highlight the fact that the installation and operation of instrumentation on Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs) will not be entirely simple or straightforward. The cost of construction and operation of ELTs will be such that substantial pressures will develop for proportional increases in the level of performance of the instrumentation, using as much of the electromagnetic information arriving at the focal plane as possible. This in turn will require complex instruments using adaptive optics, multiple channels or highly spatially multiplexed instruments. In the case of the European ELT, it will be a facility much in demand by ESOs 4000+ community of astronomers. The instrument infrastructure must therefore be able to accommodate the full range of projects likely to be undertaken. In this paper, we will discuss the instrument interfaces and infrastructure as envisioned in the current baseline for the European ELT and the requirements underpinning them.

  2. Health care for undocumented migrants: European approaches.

    PubMed

    Gray, Bradford H; van Ginneken, Ewout

    2012-12-01

    European countries have smaller shares of undocumented migrants than does the United States, but these individuals have substantial needs for medical care and present difficult policy challenges even in countries with universal health insurance systems. Recent European studies show that policies in most countries provide for no more than emergency services for undocumented migrants. Smaller numbers of countries provide more services or allow undocumented migrants who meet certain requirements access to the same range of services as nationals. These experiences show it is possible to improve access to care for undoc­umented migrants. Strategies vary along three dimensions: (1) focusing on segments of the population, like children or pregnant women; (2) focusing on types of services, like preventive services or treatment of infectious diseases; or (3) using specific funding policies, like allowing undocumented migrants to purchase insurance. PMID:23289160

  3. European standardization effort: interworking the goal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mattheus, Rudy A.

    1993-09-01

    In the European Standardization Committee (CEN), the technical committee responsible for the standardization activities in Medical Informatics (CEN TC 251), has agreed upon the directions of the scopes to follow in this field. They are described in the Directory of the European Standardization Requirements for Healthcare Informatics and Programme for the Development of Standards adopted on 02-28-1991 by CEN/TC 251 and approved by CEN/BT. Top-down objectives describe the common framework and items like terminology, security, more bottom up oriented items describe fields like medical imaging and multi-media. The draft standard is described; the general framework model and object oriented model; the interworking aspects, the relation to ISO standards, and the DICOM proposal. This paper also focuses on all the boundaries in the standardization work, which are also influencing the standardization process.

  4. Survey of studies in European languages.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sen, S. N.

    The beginnings of the study in European languages of ancient Indian astronomy can hardly be fixed with any degree of certainty. Indian astronomy appears to have reached Europe through Arabic astronomical literature during the eleventh-thirteenth century. In this transmission Spain played a crucial part. With the revival of learning in Latin Europe, particularly during the active period of translation from Arabic into Latin, certain Hindu astronomical elements and tradition inevitably passed into Western Europe.

  5. Evolution of Trends in European Medical Informatics

    PubMed Central

    I. Mihalas, George

    2014-01-01

    This presentation attempts to analyze the trends in Medical Informatics along half a century, in the European socio-political and technological development context. Based on the major characteristics which seem dominant in some periods, a staging is proposed, with a description of each period – the context, major ideas, views and events. A summary of major features of each period is also added. This paper has an original presentation of the evolution of major trends in medical informatics. PMID:24648618

  6. Geriatric dentistry education in European dental schools.

    PubMed

    Preshaw, P M; Mohammad, A R

    2005-05-01

    As the numbers of elderly adults continue to grow within European populations, the need for dental students to be trained in the management of geriatric patients becomes increasingly important. Many dental schools have developed training programmes in geriatric dentistry in response to the changing oral health needs of older adults. The purpose of this on-line survey was to identify the current status of geriatric dentistry education in European dental schools. A questionnaire relating to the teaching of geriatric dentistry was posted on the Internet, and 194 dental schools in 34 European countries were invited to participate. Data from completed questionnaires were submitted to the investigators via email from 82 schools in 27 countries (42% response rate). Thirty-six percent of schools offered a specific geriatric dentistry course that included didactic teaching or seminar groups, 21% taught geriatric dentistry by means of organised presentations in the curriculum, and 36% taught the subject by occasional lectures. 7% of schools did not teach geriatric dentistry at all. A clinical component to the geriatric dentistry curriculum was reported by 61% of schools and 18% reported operating a specific geriatric dentistry clinic within the school. Of those providing clinical geriatric dentistry training, it was provided within the school in 45% of cases, with a further 29% of schools providing training both within the school and at a remote location. Seven percent of schools operated a mobile dental clinic for treating geriatric patients. Twenty-eight percent of schools had a geriatric programme director or a chairman of a geriatric section and 39% indicated that they plan to extend the teaching of geriatric dentistry in the future. Geriatric dental education has clearly established itself in the curricula of European dental schools although the format of teaching the subject varies widely. It is of concern that geriatric dentistry was not taught at all in 7% of schools

  7. EUTELTRACS: The European land mobile satellite service

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colcy, Jean-Noel; Steinhaeuser, Rafael; Mock, Kimberly

    1992-07-01

    EUTELTRACS is Europe's first commercially operated land mobile satellite service. EUTELTRACS provides an integrated message exchange and position reporting service for the European transportation industry with the aim of increasing cost effectiveness, radically improving efficiency and security and enhancing business flexibility. The architecture of the system is described, outlining the accuracy of the position determination, and an overview of the commercial deployment of EUTELTRACS is given.

  8. The Physical Tourist. A European Study Course

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kortemeyer, Gerd; Westfall, Catherine

    2010-03-01

    We organized and led a European study course for American undergraduate university students to explore the early history of relativity and quantum theory. We were inspired by The Physical Tourist articles published in this journal on Munich, Bern, Berlin, Copenhagen, and Göttingen. We describe this adventure both for others wishing to teach such a course and for anyone wishing to walk in the footsteps of the physicists who revolutionized physics in the early decades of the twentieth century.

  9. Sarcopenia: European consensus on definition and diagnosis

    PubMed Central

    Cruz-Jentoft, Alfonso J.; Baeyens, Jean Pierre; Bauer, Jürgen M.; Boirie, Yves; Cederholm, Tommy; Landi, Francesco; Martin, Finbarr C.; Michel, Jean-Pierre; Rolland, Yves; Schneider, Stéphane M.; Topinková, Eva; Vandewoude, Maurits; Zamboni, Mauro

    2010-01-01

    The European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP) developed a practical clinical definition and consensus diagnostic criteria for age-related sarcopenia. EWGSOP included representatives from four participant organisations, i.e. the European Geriatric Medicine Society, the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism, the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics—European Region and the International Association of Nutrition and Aging. These organisations endorsed the findings in the final document. The group met and addressed the following questions, using the medical literature to build evidence-based answers: (i) What is sarcopenia? (ii) What parameters define sarcopenia? (iii) What variables reflect these parameters, and what measurement tools and cut-off points can be used? (iv) How does sarcopenia relate to cachexia, frailty and sarcopenic obesity? For the diagnosis of sarcopenia, EWGSOP recommends using the presence of both low muscle mass + low muscle function (strength or performance). EWGSOP variously applies these characteristics to further define conceptual stages as ‘presarcopenia’, ‘sarcopenia’ and ‘severe sarcopenia’. EWGSOP reviewed a wide range of tools that can be used to measure the specific variables of muscle mass, muscle strength and physical performance. Our paper summarises currently available data defining sarcopenia cut-off points by age and gender; suggests an algorithm for sarcopenia case finding in older individuals based on measurements of gait speed, grip strength and muscle mass; and presents a list of suggested primary and secondary outcome domains for research. Once an operational definition of sarcopenia is adopted and included in the mainstream of comprehensive geriatric assessment, the next steps are to define the natural course of sarcopenia and to develop and define effective treatment. PMID:20392703

  10. EUROPEAN SCIENCE: Research Behemoth Slated for Overhaul.

    PubMed

    Koenig, R

    2000-09-22

    Disaffection with the European Union's (E.U.'s) flagship research effort has found a sympathetic ear in the program's upper echelons. Last week, the E.U.'s top two research officials said they are pushing for big changes in the successor to Europe's 5-year, $17 billion Framework 5, including stronger efforts to coordinate research across the continent and to support innovative projects. PMID:17799385

  11. PEP725 Pan European Phenological Database

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koch, Elisabeth; Adler, Silke; Ungersböck, Markus; Zach-Hermann, Susanne

    2010-05-01

    Europe is in the fortunate situation that it has a long tradition in phenological networking: the history of collecting phenological data and using them in climatology has its starting point in 1751 when Carl von Linné outlined in his work Philosophia Botanica methods for compiling annual plant calendars of leaf opening, flowering, fruiting and leaf fall together with climatological observations "so as to show how areas differ". The Societas Meteorologicae Palatinae at Mannheim well known for its first European wide meteorological network also established a phenological network which was active from 1781 to 1792. Recently in most European countries, phenological observations have been carried out routinely for more than 50 years by different governmental and non governmental organisations and following different observation guidelines, the data stored at different places in different formats. This has been really hampering pan European studies, as one has to address many National Observations Programs (NOP) to get access to the data before one can start to bring them in a uniform style. From 2004 to 2005 the COST-action 725 was running with the main objective to establish a European reference data set of phenological observations that can be used for climatological purposes, especially climate monitoring, and detection of changes. So far the common database/reference data set of COST725 comprises 7687248 data from 7285 observation sites in 15 countries and International Phenological Gardens (IPG) spanning the timeframe from 1951 to 2000. ZAMG is hosting the database. In January 2010 PEP725 has started and will take over not only the part of maintaining, updating the database, but also to bring in phenological data from the time before 1951, developing better quality checking procedures and ensuring an open access to the database. An attractive webpage will make phenology and climate impacts on vegetation more visible in the public enabling a monitoring of

  12. Comparison with European observations of meteor impact

    SciTech Connect

    Canavan, G.H.

    1997-06-01

    A model for the inference of object size and speed from observations is used to discuss European observations of impact. It compares the observed and predicted breakup altitudes for the objects larger than one meter and observes useful correlations. Trends in magnitude correlate well with measured velocities, altitudes, and trajectories and inferred size and strength parameters, but each parameter is subject to dispute, which can only be addressed when the sensitivity of predictions to uncertainties in these parameters is assessed.

  13. PEP725 Pan European Phenological Database

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koch, E.; Lipa, W.; Ungersböck, M.; Zach-Hermann, S.

    2012-04-01

    PEP725 is a 5 years project with the main object to promote and facilitate phenological research by delivering a pan European phenological database with an open, unrestricted data access for science, research and education. PEP725 is funded by EUMETNET (the network of European meteorological services), ZAMG and the Austrian ministry for science & research bm:w_f. So far 16 European national meteorological services and 7 partners from different nati-onal phenological network operators have joined PEP725. The data access is very easy via web-access from the homepage www.pep725.eu. Ha-ving accepted the PEP725 data policy and registry the data download can be done by different criteria as for instance the selection of a specific plant or all data from one country. At present more than 300 000 new records are available in the PEP725 data-base coming from 31 European countries and from 8150 stations. For some more sta-tions (154) META data (location and data holder) are provided. Links to the network operators and data owners are also on the webpage in case you have more sophisticated questions about the data. Another objective of PEP725 is to bring together network-operators and scientists by organizing workshops. In April 2012 the second of these workshops will take place on the premises of ZAMG. Invited speakers will give presentations spanning the whole study area of phenology starting from observations to modelling. Quality checking is also a big issue. At the moment we study the literature to find ap-propriate methods.

  14. International arrivals: widespread bioinvasions in European Seas

    PubMed Central

    Galil, B.S.; Marchini, A.; Occhipinti-Ambrogi, A.; Minchin, D.; Narščius, A.; Ojaveer, H.; Olenin, S.

    2014-01-01

    The European Union lacks a comprehensive framework to address the threats posed by the introduction and spread of marine non-indigenous species (NIS). Current efforts are fragmented and suffer substantial gaps in coverage. In this paper we identify and discuss issues relating to the assessment of spatial and temporal patterns of introductions in European Seas (ES), based on a scientifically validated information system of aquatic non-indigenous and cryptogenic species, AquaNIS. While recognizing the limitations of the existing data, we extract information that can be used to assess the relative risk of introductions for different taxonomic groups, geographic regions and likely vectors. The dataset comprises 879 multicellular NIS. We applied a country-based approach to assess patterns of NIS richness in ES, and identify the principal introduction routes and vectors, the most widespread NIS and their spatial and temporal spread patterns. Between 1970 and 2013, the number of recorded NIS has grown by 86, 173 and 204% in the Baltic, Western European margin and the Mediterranean, respectively; 52 of the 879 NIS were recorded in 10 or more countries, and 25 NIS first recorded in European seas since 1990 have since been reported in five or more countries. Our results highlight the ever-rising role of shipping (commercial and recreational) as a vector for the widespread and recently spread NIS. The Suez Canal, a corridor unique to the Mediterranean, is responsible for the increased introduction of new thermophilic NIS into this warming sea. The 2020 goal of the EU Biodiversity Strategy concerning marine Invasive Alien Species may not be fully attainable. The setting of a new target date should be accompanied by scientifically robust, sensible and pragmatic plans to minimize introductions of marine NIS and to study those present. PMID:24899770

  15. The magnetic susceptibility of European agricultural soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fabian, K.; Reimann, C.

    2012-04-01

    The GEMAS (Geochemical mapping of agricultural soils) project, a cooperation project between EuroGeoSurveys and Eurometaux, aims at providing soil quality data for Europe. Samples of arable soil were taken during 2008 at an average density of 1 site/2500 km2 covering the member states of the European Union (except Malta and Romania) and several neighbouring countries (e.g., Norway, Serbia, Ukraine). While the primary aim of the GEMAS project is to produce REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of CHemicals - EC, 2006) consistent soil geochemistry data at the continental scale, the data set is also optimally apt to provide the first continental scale overview of magnetic properties in European soils. Soil samples from the upper 20 cm were taken as composites from 5 sites spread over a ca. 100 m2 area in a large agricultural field (Ap-sample). The samples were air dried and sieved to pass a 2 mm nylon screen. Weight normalized magnetic susceptibility of these dried samples was measured using a Sapphire Instruments SI2B susceptibility meter with dynamic background removal. The here presented maps of magnetic susceptibility in relation to geochemical composition and geological structures for the first time allow to outline the large scale influence of tectonics and climate on magnetic mineral concentration in European soils. The data set also provides the background variability for regional studies aiming to relate magnetic susceptibility of soils to local contamination sources.

  16. An overview of European space transportation systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lo, R. E.

    1985-01-01

    With the completion of the launch rocket series Ariane 1 to 4, Europe will have reached the same capacity to transport commercial payloads as the USA has with the Space Shuttle and the kick stages which are presently operative. The near term development of these capacities would require Europe to develop a larger launch rocket, Araine 5. Further motivations for this rocket are access to manned spaceflight, the development of an European space station, and the demand for shuttle technology. Shuttle technology is the subject of research being done in France on the winged re-entry vehicle Hermes. Operation of the European space station Columbus will require development of an interorbital transport system to facilitate traffic between the various segments of the space station. All European space transportation systems will have to match their quality to that of the other countries involve in space flight. All areas of development are marked not only by possible cooperation but also by increased competition because of increasing commercialization of space flight.

  17. European plans for new clocks in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leschiutta, Sigfrido M.; Tavella, Patrizia

    1995-01-01

    An outline of the future European space research program where precise clocks are necessary is presented, pointing out how space applications are posing impressive requirements as regards clock mass, power, ruggedness, long life, accuracy and, in some cases, spectral purity. The material presented was gathered in some laboratories; useful information was obtained from the Space Agencies of France (CNES), Germany (DARA) and Italy (ASI), but the bulk is coming from a recent exercise promoted inside ESA (the European Space Agency) and aimed to prefigure space research activities at the beginning of the next millennium. This exercise was called Horizon 2000 plus; the outcomings were summarized in two reports, presented by ESA in may 1994. Precise clocks and time measurements are needed not only for deep-space or out-ward space missions, but are essential tools also for Earth oriented activities. In this latter field, the European views and needs were discussed in October 1994, in a meeting organized by ESA and devoted to Earth Observation problems. By a scrutiny of these reports, an analysis was performed on the missions requiring a precise clock on board and the driving requirements were pointed out, leading to a survey of the necessary PTTI developments that, to some extent, are in the realm of possibility but that pose serious challenges. In this report the use of frequency standards in the satellite navigation systems is not considered.

  18. Patentability of genes: a European Union perspective.

    PubMed

    Cole, Paul

    2015-05-01

    Unlike the position in the United States following the recent Supreme Court decision in Myriad, in the European Union naturally occurring genetic sequences, whether of human or other origin, remain patent-eligible. Here the basis for such eligibility in legislation and in case law is explained. The utility of a sequence must be disclosed as a condition of eligibility, and requirements outlined in European Patent Office (EPO) and U.K. case law are discussed. A claimed sequence must also satisfy requirements of novelty and inventive step, the latter being considered primarily using the tests of "obvious to try" and reasonable expectation of success. From both positive and negative examples the significance of an identifiable difficulty supported by documentary and/or experimental evidence is apparent. Issues of priority and subject matter added by amendment during prosecution of an application can create unexpected problems given the narrow interpretation within the EPO of the identity of a disclosed sequence, and these problems are explored using as an example an opposition to a European patent covering BRCA1 gene sequences. Practical steps for the drafting of patent specifications to be filed in Europe are outlined. PMID:25324232

  19. Nano-education from a European perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malsch, I.

    2008-03-01

    At a global level, educating the nanotechnology workforce has been discussed since the beginning of the new millennium. Scientists, engineers and technicians should be trained in nanotechnology. Most educators prefer training students first in their own discipline at the Bachelor level (physics, chemistry, biology, etc) followed by specialisation in nanoscience and technology at the Master's level. Some favour a broad interdisciplinary basic training in different nanosciences followed by specialisation in a particular application area. What constitutes a good nanoscience curriculum is also being discussed, as well as the application of e-learning methodologies. The European Union is stimulating the development of nanoscience education in universities. The Erasmus Mundus programme is funding nanoscience and nanotechnology education programmes involving universities in several European countries. The policy debate in Europe is moving towards vocational training in nanotechnology for educating the technicians needed in industry and research. The EU vocational training institute CEDEFOP published a report in 2005 The EU funded European gateway to nanotechnology Nanoforum has stimulated the accessibility of nano-education throughout Europe with reports and online databases of education courses and materials. For university education, they list courses at the Bachelor, Master's, and PhD level as well as short courses. The EU funded EuroIndiaNet project also reviewed Nano-education courses at the Master's level, short courses, e-learning programmes, summerschools and vocational training courses. In this presentation, I review Nanoforum and other publications on nano-education in Europe and highlight current trends and gaps.

  20. Electronic health records: the European scene.

    PubMed

    Kalra, D

    1994-11-19

    Caring for patients' health problems relies increasingly on sharing information between clinical departments and disciplines and with managers. The medical record of the future will need to provide a flexible and shareable framework for recording and analysing the consultation process. The advanced informatics in medicine (AIM) programme seeks to encourage research and development in telemedicine in areas that are beyond the scope of any one country. It includes many European projects attempting to define the best storage and transmission formats for such diverse data types as laboratory results, biosignals, x ray images, and photographs, and in clinical specialties varying from intensive care to medicine for elderly people. One example, the good European health record project, is developing a model architecture for computerised health records across Europe that is capable of operating on a wide variety of computer hardwares and will also be able to communicate with many different information systems. The ultimate European health record will be comprehensive and medicolegally acceptable across clinical domains, hold all data types, and be automatically translated between languages. PMID:7866088