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1

Phylogeography of the Bothrops jararaca complex (Serpentes: Viperidae): past fragmentation and island colonization in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest.  

PubMed

The Brazilian Atlantic Forest is one of the world's major biodiversity hotspots and is threatened by a severe habitat loss. Yet little is known about the processes that originated its remarkable richness of endemic species. Here we present results of a large-scale survey of the genetic variation at the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene of the pitviper, jararaca lancehead (Bothrops jararaca), and two closely related insular species (Bothrops insularis and Bothrops alcatraz), endemic of this region. Phylogenetic and network analyses revealed the existence of two well-supported clades, exhibiting a southern and a northern distribution. The divergence time of these two phylogroups was estimated at 3.8 million years ago, in the Pliocene, a period of intense climatic changes and frequent fragmentation of the tropical rainforest. Our data also suggest that the two groups underwent a large size expansion between 50,000 and 100,000 years ago. However, the southern group showed a more marked signal of population size fluctuation than the northern group, corroborating evidences that southern forests may have suffered a more pronounced reduction in area in the late Pleistocene. The insular species B. alcatraz and B. insularis presented very low diversity, each one sharing haplotypes with mainland individuals placed in different subclades. Despite their marked morphological and behavioural uniqueness, these two insular species seem to have originated very recently and most likely from distinct costal B. jararaca populations, possibly associated with late Pleistocene or Holocene sea level fluctuations. PMID:17054497

Grazziotin, Felipe G; Monzel, Markus; Echeverrigaray, Sergio; Bonatto, Sandro L

2006-11-01

2

A NEW INSULAR SPECIES OF PITVIPER FROM BRAZIL, WITH COMMENTS ON EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY AND CONSERVATION OF THE BOTHROPS JARARACA GROUP (SERPENTES, VIPERIDAE)  

Microsoft Academic Search

We describe a new pitviper species, Bothrops alcatraz, of the Bothrops jararaca group, from Alcatrazes Island, off the coast of Sao Paulo, southeastern Brazil. It differs from the mainland coastal populations of B. jararaca in southeastern Brazil mostly by its darker coloration; smaller size; lower number of ventrals, subcaudals, and infralabials; number and shape of anterior cephalic scales; shape of

Otavio A. V. Marques; Marcio Martins; Ivan Sazima

2002-01-01

3

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY OF AGKISTRODON PISCIVORUS LACE PE` DE (SQUAMATA, SERPENTES, VIPERIDAE, CROTALINAE)  

E-print Network

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY OF AGKISTRODON PISCIVORUS LACE´ PE` DE (SQUAMATA, SERPENTES, VIPERIDAE; Squamata; Ultrastructure; Viperidae. RECENTLY, Agkistrodon piscivorus (Cotton- mouth), a semiaquatic Agkistrodon piscivorus, seasonal timing of reproductive events, and v

Sever, David M.

4

Historical Biogeography of the Western Rattlesnake (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalus viridis), Inferred from  

E-print Network

Historical Biogeography of the Western Rattlesnake (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalus viridis- snake (Crotalus viridis) using phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequences from 1345 bp populations from east and south of the Rocky Moun- tains (conventionally referred to as Crotalus viridis

Thorpe, Roger Stephen

5

Seasonal, daily activity, and habitat use by three sympatric pit vipers (Serpentes, Viperidae) from southern Brazil.  

PubMed

Viperid snakes are widely distributed in the South America and the greater distribution range of the family is found at the Crotalinae subfamily. Despite the abundance of this snakes along their geographic distribution, some ecological aspects remain unknown, principally at subtropical areas. In the present study, we evaluated the activity (daily and seasonal) and the use of the habitat by Bothrops diporus, B. jararaca and B. jararacussu, in an Atlantic Forest area at southern Brazil. We observed higher incidence of viperid snakes during the months with higher temperatures, while no snakes were found during the months with lower temperatures. The data suggest the minimum temperature as environmental variable with the greatest influence on the seasonal activity of this species. Considering the daily activity, we observed a tendency of snakes to avoid the warmest hours. Bothrops jararacussu tend to avoid open areas, being registered only inside and at the edges of the forest. We compared our results with previous studies realized at tropical areas and we suggest the observed seasonal activity as an evolutive response, despite the influence of the different environmental variables, according to the occurence region. PMID:24770455

Rocha, Marcelo C; Hartmann, Paulo A; Winck, Gisele R; Cechin, Sonia Z

2014-04-25

6

The genus Atheris (Serpentes: Viperidae) in East Africa: phylogeny and the role of rifting and climate in shaping the current pattern of species diversity.  

PubMed

Past climatic and tectonic events are believed to have strongly influenced species diversity in the Eastern Afromontane Biodiversity Hotspot. We investigated the phylogenetic relationships and historical biogeography of the East African genus Atheris (Serpentes: Viperidae), and explored temporal and spatial relationships between Atheris species across Africa, and the impact of palaeoclimatic fluctuations and tectonic movements on cladogenesis of the genus. Using mitochondrial sequence data, the phylogeny of East African species of Atheris shows congruent temporal patterns that link diversification to major tectonic and aridification events within East Africa over the last 15million years (my). Our results are consistent with a scenario of a delayed direct west-east colonisation of the Eastern Arc Mountains of Atheris by the formation of the western rift. Based on the phylogenetic patterns, this terrestrial, forest-associated genus has dispersed into East Africa across a divided route, on both west-southeasterly and west-northeasterly directions (a C-shaped route). Cladogenesis in the Eastern Arc Mountains and Southern Highlands of Tanzania corresponds to late Miocene and Plio-Pleistocene climatic shifts. Taxonomically, our data confirmed the monophyly of Atheris as currently defined, and reveal four major East African clades, three of which occur in discrete mountain ranges. Possible cryptic taxa are identified in the Atheris rungweensis and A. ceratophora clades. PMID:24952316

Menegon, M; Loader, S P; Marsden, S J; Branch, W R; Davenport, T R B; Ursenbacher, S

2014-10-01

7

Choleoeimeria salaselensis sp. n. (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from the gall bladder of the horned viper Cerastes gasperettii (Serpentes: Viperidae) in Saudi Arabia.  

PubMed

Oocyst morphology and endogenous developmental stages are described for Choleoeimeria salaselensis sp. n. from the gall bladder of 10 horned vipers, Cerastes gasperettii Leviton and Anderson, in Saudi Arabia. Sporulated oocysts are ellipsoidal, 23 x 15 (22-25 x 14-17) microm, length/width ratio (L/W) 1.5 (1.4-1.6), each with 4 sporocysts (Eimeria-like), but lack a micropyle, polar granules and oocysts residuum. Sporocysts are ellipsoidal, 8 x 5 (7-9 x 5-) microm, L/W 1.5 (1.4-1.6), and Stieda, substieda and parasubstieda bodies are all absent, but a longitudinal suture, which divided the sporocysts into 2 plates, is present. Endogenous development is confined to epithelial cells in the bile duct and gall bladder; mature meronts were 11 x 7 microm, each with 10-16 merozoites, microgamonts were -12 microm wide, and macrogamonts were -16 microm wide with a prominent nucleus and wall-forming bodies. Given these two diagnostic features, sporocysts with a suture and composed of two plates and endogenous development limited to the biliary epithelium, we believe this coccidium is best classified as a member of Choleoeimeria Paperna et Landsberg, 1989. There are 5 known Eimeria species from vipers that have sporocysts somewhat similar in size to those of our new form, but all of them have much larger oocysts and larger sporocysts, some of which differ significantly in shape; there are not yet any Choleoeimeria species known from the Viperidae. PMID:25065125

Abdel-Baki, Abdel-Azeem S; Al-Quraishy, Saleh; Duszynski, Donald W

2014-06-01

8

Discovery of a Novel Accessory Structure of the Pitviper Infrared Receptor Organ (Serpentes: Viperidae)  

PubMed Central

The facial pits of rattlesnakes, copperheads, lanceheads, bushmasters and other American and Asian pitvipers (Crotalinae) are highly innervated and densely vascularized infrared (IR) receptor organs. For over a century, studies have focused on a small sample of model species from North America and Asia. Based on an expanded survey of Central and South American crotalines, we report a conspicuous accessory structure composed of well-defined papillae that project from the anterior orbital adnexa. The papillae are continuous with the inner chamber of the IR receptor organ and our histological and ultrastructural data suggest that they possess a well-developed nervous network and extensive vascularization; however, they lack the characteristic IR-sensitive terminal nerve masses found in the IR-receptive pit membrane. The function of the IR receptor organ papillae is unknown. PMID:24595025

Bolívar-G, Wilmar; Antoniazzi, Marta M.; Grant, Taran; Jared, Carlos

2014-01-01

9

Is the population of Crotalus durissus (Serpentes, Viperidae) expanding in Brazil?  

PubMed

Crotalus durissus are found from Mexico to northern Argentina in a highly disjunct distribution. According to some studies, this species is prone to occupy areas disturbed by human activities and floods comprise a plausible method of dispersal as inferred for some North American rattlesnakes. Based on the literature, it seems plausible that Crotalus durissus expanded their natural distribution in Brazil due to floods, but only in a few municipalities in Rio de Janeiro State. Data entries of Butantan Institute, in São Paulo, Brazil, from 1998 to 2012 show a declining tendency of snakes brought by donors. In addition, research shows no evidence of Crotalus durissus being an expanding species in the Brazilian territory. PMID:24314146

Duarte, Marcelo Ribeiro; Menezes, Frederico Alcântara

2013-01-01

10

[Neutralization of the hemorrhagic effect induced by Bothrops asper (Serpentes: Viperidae) venom with tropical plant extracts].  

PubMed

Organic extracts representing 48 species included in 30 families of Costa Rican tropical plants were evaluated for their ability to neutralize hemorrhagic activity induced by the venom of the snake Bothrops asper. A bioassay in mice was used, based on intradermal injection of either venom or venom-extract mixtures followed by the measurement of hemorrhagic areas. Total inhibition of hemorrhage was observed with the ethanolic, ethyl acetate and aqueous extracts of Bursera simaruba, Clusia torresii, C. palmana, Croton draco, Persea americana, Phoebe brenesii, Pimenta dioica, Sapindus saponaria, Smilax cuculmeca and Virola koschnyi. Chemical analysis of these extracts identified catequines, flavones, anthocyanines and condensated tannins, which may be responsible for the inhibitory effect observed, probably owing to the chelation of the zinc required for the catalytic activity of venom's hemorrhagic metalloproteinases. PMID:10883329

Castro, O; Gutiérrez, J M; Barrios, M; Castro, I; Romero, M; Umaña, E

1999-09-01

11

Historical biogeography of the Western Rattlesnake (Serpentes: viperidae: Crotalus viridis), inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequence information.  

PubMed

We infer the phylogeography of the Western Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis) using phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequences from 1345 bp of the genes for cytochrome b and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 4. Two main clades are revealed: one includes populations from east and south of the Rocky Mountains (conventionally referred to as Crotalus viridis viridis and C. v. nuntius), and the other consists of populations west of the Rocky Mountains. Within the western clade, a population from southern Arizona (C. v. cerberus) represents the sister taxon to the remaining western populations. The conventional subspecies recognized in this species do not fully correspond to the phylogenetic pattern, and a review of the systematic status of several populations is needed. Our data allow the inferences that small body size evolved twice and that the ability of one population (C. v. concolor) to secrete highly lethal toxins related to Mojave toxin arose within the complex. Our phylogeny should represent the basis for further studies on the causes of geographical variation in this complex. PMID:10837156

Pook, C E; Wüster, W; Thorpe, R S

2000-05-01

12

Historical Biogeography of the Western Rattlesnake (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalus viridis), Inferred from Mitochondrial DNA Sequence Information  

Microsoft Academic Search

We infer the phylogeography of the Western Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis) using phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequences from 1345 bp of the genes for cytochrome b and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 4. Two main clades are revealed: one includes populations from east and south of the Rocky Mountains (conventionally referred to as Crotalus viridis viridis and C. v. nuntius), and the

Catharine E. Pook; Wolfgang Wüster; Roger S. Thorpe

2000-01-01

13

Interaction of Bothrops jararaca venom metalloproteinases with protein inhibitors.  

PubMed

Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) play important roles in the local and systemic hemorrhage observed upon envenomation. In a previous study on the structural elements important for the activities of HF3 (highly hemorrhagic, P-III-SVMP), bothropasin (hemorrhagic, P-III-SVMP) and BJ-PI (non-hemorrhagic, P-I-SVMP), from Bothrops jararaca, it was demonstrated that they differ in their proteolysis profile of plasma and extracellular matrix proteins. In this study, we evaluated the ability of proteins DM43 and ?2-macroglobulin to interfere with the proteolytic activity of these SVMPs on fibrinogen and collagen VI and with their ability to induce hemorrhage. DM43 inhibited the proteolytic activity of bothropasin and BJ-PI but not that of HF3, and was not cleaved the three proteinases. On the other hand, ?2-macroglobulin did not inhibit any of the proteinases and was rather cleaved by them. In agreement with these findings, binding analysis showed interaction of bothropasin and BJ-PI but not HF3 to DM43 while none of the proteinases bound to ?2-macroglobulin. Moreover, DM43 promoted partial inhibition of the hemorrhagic activity of bothropasin but not that of HF3. Our results demonstrate that metalloproteinases of B. jararaca venom showing different domain composition, glycosylation level and hemorrhagic potency show variable susceptibilities to protein inhibitors. PMID:24433992

Asega, Amanda F; Oliveira, Ana K; Menezes, Milene C; Neves-Ferreira, Ana Gisele C; Serrano, Solange M T

2014-03-01

14

Ultrastructure of Spermiogenesis in the Cottonmouth, Agkistrodon piscivorus (Squamata: Viperidae: Crotalinae)  

E-print Network

Ultrastructure of Spermiogenesis in the Cottonmouth, Agkistrodon piscivorus (Squamata: Viperidae of spermiogenesis within squamates. Testicular tissues were collected from Cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorus

Sever, David M.

15

Inhibitory effect of the plant Clusia fluminensis against biological activities of Bothrops jararaca snake venom.  

PubMed

The ability of extracts of the plant Clusia fluminensis Planch & Triana (Clusiaceae Lindl.) to neutralize proteolysis, clotting, hemolysis, hemorrhagic and lethality activities of Bothrops jararaca snake venom was studied. Clusianone and lanosterol from the flower and fruit extracts, respectively, were also tested. The extracts of different organs of C. fluminensis inhibited proteolysis and hemolysis induced by B. jararaca venom, but with different potencies. Only the stems prevented blood clotting. Only the acetone extract of the fruit protected mice from hemorrhage while the acetone or methanol extracts prevented mice from death. Clusianone and lanosterol did not inhibit clotting or hemorrhage, but the former inhibited proteolysis and the latter hemolysis. PMID:24660453

de Oliveira, Eduardo Coriolano; Anholeti, Maria Carolina; Domingos, Thaisa Francielle; Faioli, Camila Nunes; Sanchez, Eladio Flores; de Paiva, Selma Ribeiro; Fuly, André Lopes

2014-01-01

16

Appraisal of antiophidic potential of marine sponges against Bothrops jararaca and Lachesis muta venom.  

PubMed

Snakebites are a health problem in many countries due to the high incidence of such accidents. Antivenom treatment has regularly been used for more than a century, however, this does not neutralize tissue damage and may even increase the severity and morbidity of accidents. Thus, it has been relevant to search for new strategies to improve antiserum therapy, and a variety of molecules from natural sources with antiophidian properties have been reported. In this paper, we analyzed the ability of ten extracts from marine sponges (Amphimedon viridis, Aplysina fulva, Chondrosia collectrix, Desmapsamma anchorata, Dysidea etheria, Hymeniacidon heliophila, Mycale angulosa, Petromica citrina, Polymastia janeirensis, and Tedania ignis) to inhibit the effects caused by Bothrops jararaca and Lachesis muta venom. All sponge extracts inhibited proteolysis and hemolysis induced by both snake venoms, except H. heliophila, which failed to inhibit any biological activity. P. citrina inhibited lethality, hemorrhage, plasma clotting, and hemolysis induced by B. jararaca or L. muta. Moreover, other sponges inhibited hemorrhage induced only by B. jararaca. We conclude that Brazilian sponges may be a useful aid in the treatment of snakebites caused by L. muta and B. jararaca and therefore have potential for the discovery of molecules with antiophidian properties. PMID:24141284

Faioli, Camila Nunes; Domingos, Thaisa Francielle Souza; de Oliveira, Eduardo Coriolano; Sanchez, Eládio Flores; Ribeiro, Suzi; Muricy, Guilherme; Fuly, Andre Lopes

2013-10-01

17

Appraisal of Antiophidic Potential of Marine Sponges against Bothrops jararaca and Lachesis muta Venom  

PubMed Central

Snakebites are a health problem in many countries due to the high incidence of such accidents. Antivenom treatment has regularly been used for more than a century, however, this does not neutralize tissue damage and may even increase the severity and morbidity of accidents. Thus, it has been relevant to search for new strategies to improve antiserum therapy, and a variety of molecules from natural sources with antiophidian properties have been reported. In this paper, we analyzed the ability of ten extracts from marine sponges (Amphimedon viridis, Aplysina fulva, Chondrosia collectrix, Desmapsamma anchorata, Dysidea etheria, Hymeniacidon heliophila, Mycale angulosa, Petromica citrina, Polymastia janeirensis, and Tedania ignis) to inhibit the effects caused by Bothrops jararaca and Lachesis muta venom. All sponge extracts inhibited proteolysis and hemolysis induced by both snake venoms, except H. heliophila, which failed to inhibit any biological activity. P. citrina inhibited lethality, hemorrhage, plasma clotting, and hemolysis induced by B. jararaca or L. muta. Moreover, other sponges inhibited hemorrhage induced only by B. jararaca. We conclude that Brazilian sponges may be a useful aid in the treatment of snakebites caused by L. muta and B. jararaca and therefore have potential for the discovery of molecules with antiophidian properties. PMID:24141284

Faioli, Camila Nunes; Domingos, Thaisa Francielle Souza; de Oliveira, Eduardo Coriolano; Sanchez, Eládio Flores; Ribeiro, Suzi; Muricy, Guilherme; Fuly, Andre Lopes

2013-01-01

18

A Transcriptomic View of the Proteome Variability of Newborn and Adult Bothrops jararaca Snake Venoms  

PubMed Central

Background Snake bite is a neglected public health problem in communities in rural areas of several countries. Bothrops jararaca causes many snake bites in Brazil and previous studies have demonstrated that the pharmacological activities displayed by its venom undergo a significant ontogenetic shift. Similarly, the venom proteome of B. jararaca exhibits a considerable variation upon neonate to adult transition, which is associated with changes in diet from ectothermic prey in early life to endothermic prey in adulthood. Moreover, it has been shown that the Brazilian commercial antibothropic antivenom, which is produced by immunization with adult venom, is less effective in neutralizing newborn venom effects. On the other hand, venom gland transcripts of newborn snakes are poorly known since all transcriptomic studies have been carried out using mRNA from adult specimens. Methods/Principal Findings Here we analyzed venom gland cDNA libraries of newborn and adult B. jararaca in order to evaluate whether the variability demonstrated for its venom proteome and pharmacological activities was correlated with differences in the structure of toxin transcripts. The analysis revealed that the variability in B. jararaca venom gland transcriptomes is quantitative, as illustrated by the very high content of metalloproteinases in the newborn venom glands. Moreover, the variability is also characterized by the structural diversity of SVMP precursors found in newborn and adult transcriptomes. In the adult transcriptome, however, the content of metalloproteinase precursors considerably diminishes and the number of transcripts of serine proteinases, C-type lectins and bradykinin-potentiating peptides increase. Moreover, the comparison of the content of ESTs encoding toxins in adult male and female venom glands showed some gender-related differences. Conclusions/Significance We demonstrate a substantial shift in toxin transcripts upon snake development and a marked decrease in the metalloproteinase P-III/P-I class ratio which are correlated with changes in the venom proteome complexity and pharmacological activities. PMID:22428077

Zelanis, André; Andrade-Silva, Débora; Rocha, Marisa M.; Furtado, Maria F.; Serrano, Solange M. T.; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L. M.; Ho, Paulo Lee

2012-01-01

19

Comparison of antihemorrhagic activities in skeletal muscle extracts from various animals against Bothrops jararaca snake venom.  

PubMed

Antihemorrhagic activities of skeletal muscle extracts from various animals were compared in inhibiting the hemorrhagic activity of Bothrops jararaca venom. The muscle extracts of the European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) exhibited the strongest activity, followed by those of other insectivores such as the shrew (Crocidura russula) and mole (Talpa europaea). The antihemorrhagic activities of muscle extracts from experimental animals such as mice, rats, guinea-pigs, hamsters and rabbits were negligible. PMID:9620591

Omori-Satoh, T; Takahashi, M; Nagaoka, Y; Mebs, D

1998-02-01

20

Depletion of Plasma Albumin for Proteomic Analysis of Bothrops jararaca Snake Plasma  

PubMed Central

The proteomic analysis of plasma samples represents a challenge as a result of the presence of highly abundant proteins such as albumin. To enable the detection of biomarkers, which are commonly low-abundance proteins, in complex blood fluids, it is necessary to remove high-abundance proteins efficiently. Moreover, there is a range of about 10 orders of magnitude for the abundance of different protein species in serum. Here, we describe for the first time a study of reptilian albumin depletion using resins usually used in mammalian plasma depletion procedures. We performed the depletion of albumin from Bothrops jaraca plasma using the HiTrap Blue high-performance column (GE Healthcare Life Sciences, Piscataway, NJ, USA) and the kit Albumin & IgG Depletion SpinTrap column (GE Healthcare Life Sciences). In addition, proteomic approaches were used to analyze reptilian plasma. Our results showed that B. jararaca albumin bound to both columns, but those interactions were not enough to remove a large amount of albumin to reach an enrichment of low-abundance proteins. Although the depletion techniques used in this work were not the best to remove B. jararaca plasma albumin, our present work highlights the similarity between B. jararaca and mammalian albumin, contributing to the knowledge of comparative hemostatic proteins. PMID:21738439

de Morais-Zani, Karen; Grego, Kathleen Fernandes; Tanaka, Aparecida Sadae; Tanaka-Azevedo, Anita Mitico

2011-01-01

21

Proteomic Analysis of the Ontogenetic Variability in Plasma Composition of Juvenile and Adult Bothrops jararaca Snakes  

PubMed Central

The ontogenetic variability in venom composition of some snake genera, including Bothrops, as well as the biological implications of such variability and the search of new molecules that can neutralize the toxic components of these venoms have been the subject of many studies. Thus, considering the resistance of Bothrops jararaca to the toxic action of its own venom and the ontogenetic variability in venom composition described in this species, a comparative study of the plasma composition of juvenile and adult B. jararaca snakes was performed through a proteomic approach based on 2D electrophoresis and mass spectrometry, which allowed the identification of proteins that might be present at different levels during ontogenetic development. Among the proteins identified by mass spectrometry, antihemorrhagic factor Bj46a was found only in adult plasma. Moreover, two spots identified as phospholipase A2 inhibitors were significantly increased in juvenile plasma, which can be related to the higher catalytic PLA2 activity shown by juvenile venom in comparison to that of adult snakes. This work shows the ontogenetic variability of B. jararaca plasma, and that these changes can be related to the ontogenetic variability described in its venom. PMID:24062950

de Morais-Zani, Karen; Grego, Kathleen Fernandes; Tanaka, Aparecida Sadae; Tanaka-Azevedo, Anita Mitico

2013-01-01

22

A Dream of Serpents Taking Down the Gang That Sold College Degrees, Hijacked an  

E-print Network

A Dream of Serpents Taking Down the Gang That Sold College Degrees, Hijacked an Embassy, and Bought, be a bystander. --Yehuda Bauer © 2012 George Gollin #12;2 George Gollin A Dream of Serpents Taking Down the Gang

Gollin, George

23

Antivenom Effects of 1,2,3-Triazoles against Bothrops jararaca and Lachesis muta Snakes  

PubMed Central

Snake venoms are complex mixtures of proteins of both enzymes and nonenzymes, which are responsible for producing several biological effects. Human envenomation by snake bites particularly those of the viperid family induces a complex pathophysiological picture characterized by spectacular changes in hemostasis and frequently hemorrhage is also seen. The present work reports the ability of six of a series of 1,2,3-triazole derivatives to inhibit some pharmacological effects caused by the venoms of Bothrops jararaca and Lachesis muta. In vitro assays showed that these compounds were impaired in a concentration-dependent manner, the fibrinogen or plasma clotting, hemolysis, and proteolysis produced by both venoms. Moreover, these compounds inhibited biological effects in vivo as well. Mice treated with these compounds were fully protected from hemorrhagic lesions caused by such venoms. But, only the B. jararaca edema-inducing activity was neutralized by the triazoles. So the inhibitory effect of triazoles derivatives against some in vitro and in vivo biological assays of snake venoms points to promising aspects that may indicate them as molecular models to improve the production of effective antivenom or to complement antivenom neutralization, especially the local pathological effects, which are partially neutralized by antivenoms. PMID:23710441

Domingos, Thaisa F. S.; Moura, Laura de A.; Carvalho, Carla; Campos, Vinícius R.; Jordão, Alessandro K.; Cunha, Anna C.; Ferreira, Vitor F.; de Souza, Maria Cecília B. V.; Sanchez, Eladio F.; Fuly, André L.

2013-01-01

24

Antivenom effects of 1,2,3-triazoles against Bothrops jararaca and Lachesis muta snakes.  

PubMed

Snake venoms are complex mixtures of proteins of both enzymes and nonenzymes, which are responsible for producing several biological effects. Human envenomation by snake bites particularly those of the viperid family induces a complex pathophysiological picture characterized by spectacular changes in hemostasis and frequently hemorrhage is also seen. The present work reports the ability of six of a series of 1,2,3-triazole derivatives to inhibit some pharmacological effects caused by the venoms of Bothrops jararaca and Lachesis muta. In vitro assays showed that these compounds were impaired in a concentration-dependent manner, the fibrinogen or plasma clotting, hemolysis, and proteolysis produced by both venoms. Moreover, these compounds inhibited biological effects in vivo as well. Mice treated with these compounds were fully protected from hemorrhagic lesions caused by such venoms. But, only the B. jararaca edema-inducing activity was neutralized by the triazoles. So the inhibitory effect of triazoles derivatives against some in vitro and in vivo biological assays of snake venoms points to promising aspects that may indicate them as molecular models to improve the production of effective antivenom or to complement antivenom neutralization, especially the local pathological effects, which are partially neutralized by antivenoms. PMID:23710441

Domingos, Thaisa F S; Moura, Laura de A; Carvalho, Carla; Campos, Vinícius R; Jordão, Alessandro K; Cunha, Anna C; Ferreira, Vitor F; de Souza, Maria Cecília B V; Sanchez, Eladio F; Fuly, André L

2013-01-01

25

The Symbol of the Serpent in Peter Stoica's Poetry  

Microsoft Academic Search

The purpose of this study was to make a presentation of how is described serpent's symbol in Peter Stoica's poetry. Diachronic method, followed by the symbolic approach has been used in this scientific work. Through an analytical approach I have commented on the lyrical vision, a doctrine which expresses his ideation. We have noticed that for the poet the theme

Florentina GHITA-NICA

2011-01-01

26

The defensive strike of five species of lanceheads of the genus Bothrops (Viperidae).  

PubMed

We studied the defensive strike of one species of each of five recognized lineages within the genus Bothrops, namely, B. alternatus, B. jararaca, B. jararacussu, B. moojeni and B. pauloensis. The defensive strike of the studied species was in general similar to that of Crotalus viridis and C. atrox, but some important differences were observed. Bothrops alternatus and B. pauloensis struck preferentially from a tight body posture, whereas B. jararaca and B. moojeni from a loose body posture. Defensive strikes were either true or false (during the latter, the mouth remains closed or partially open). Almost all strikes were successful; only on a few occasions snakes missed their target (flawed strikes). Strike variables were very conservative among the five species, especially strike distance and height, and one possible explanation may be related to constraints imposed on strike variables as a way of increasing strike accuracy. PMID:17876444

Araújo, M S; Martins, M

2007-05-01

27

Comparative Analysis of Viperidae Venoms Antibacterial Profile: a Short Communication for Proteomics  

PubMed Central

Bacterial infections involving multidrug-resistant strains are one of the ten leading causes of death and an important health problem in need for new antibacterial sources and agents. Herein, we tested and compared four snake venoms (Agkistrodon rhodostoma, Bothrops jararaca, B. atrox and Lachesis muta) against 10 Gram-positive and Gram-negative drug-resistant clinical bacteria strains to identify them as new sources of potential antibacterial molecules. Our data revealed that, as efficient as some antibiotics currently on the market (minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) = 1–32 ?g mL?1), A. rhodostoma and B. atrox venoms were active against Staphylococcus epidermidis and Enterococcus faecalis (MIC = 4.5 ?g mL?1), while B. jararaca inhibited S. aureus growth (MIC = 13 ?g ml?1). As genomic and proteomic technologies are improving and developing rapidly, our results suggested that A. rhodostoma, B. atrox and B. jararaca venoms and glands are feasible sources for searching antimicrobial prototypes for future design new antibiotics against drug-resistant clinical bacteria. They also point to an additional perspective to fully identify the pharmacological potential of these venoms by using different techniques. PMID:18955360

Ferreira, Bruno L.; Santos, Dilvani O.; dos Santos, André Luis; Rodrigues, Carlos R.; de Freitas, Cícero C.; Cabral, Lúcio M.; Castro, Helena C.

2011-01-01

28

Generation of SFR few-group constants using the Monte Carlo code Serpent  

SciTech Connect

In this study, the Serpent Monte Carlo code was used as a tool for preparation of homogenized few-group cross sections for the nodal diffusion analysis of Sodium cooled Fast Reactor (SFR) cores. Few-group constants for two reference SFR cores were generated by Serpent and then employed by nodal diffusion code DYN3D in 2D full core calculations. The DYN3D results were verified against the references full core Serpent Monte Carlo solutions. A good agreement between the reference Monte Carlo and nodal diffusion results was observed demonstrating the feasibility of using Serpent for generation of few-group constants for the deterministic SFR analysis. (authors)

Fridman, E.; Rachamin, R. [Helmholz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, POB 510119, Dresden, 01314 (Germany); Shwageraus, E. [Ben-Gurion University, POB 653, 84105 Beer-Sheva (Israel)

2013-07-01

29

Proteoforms of the platelet-aggregating enzyme PA-BJ, a serine proteinase from Bothrops jararaca venom.  

PubMed

Snake venoms contain serine proteinases that are functionally similar to thrombin and specifically cleave fibrinogen to convert it into fibrin or activate platelets to aggregation. PA-BJ is a serine proteinase from Bothrops jararaca venom that promotes platelet aggregation and this effect is mediated by the G-coupled protein receptors PAR1 and PAR4. In this study we describe an improved procedure to obtain PA-BJ from B. jararaca venom that uses less chromatographic steps, and, interestingly, results in the isolation of eight proteoforms showing slightly different pIs and molecular masses due to variations in their glycosylation levels. The identity of the isolated PA-BJ forms (1-8) was confirmed by mass spectrometry, and they showed similar platelet-activating activity on washed platelet suspensions. N- and O-deglycosylation of PA-BJ 1-8 under denaturing conditions generated variable electrophoretic profiles and showed that some forms were resistant to complete deglycosylation. Furthermore, N- and O-deglycosylation under non-denaturing conditions also showed different electrophoretic profiles between the PA-BJ forms and caused partial loss of their ability to cleave a recombinant exodomain of PAR1 receptor. In parallel, three cDNAs encoding PA-BJ-like enzymes were identified by pyrosequencing of a B. jararaca venom gland library constructed with RNA from a single specimen. Taken together, our results suggest that PA-BJ occurs in the B. jararaca venom in multiple proteoforms displaying similar properties upon platelets regardless of their variable isoelectric points, molecular masses, carbohydrate moieties and susceptibility to the activity of glycosidases, and highlight that variability of specific venom components contributes to venom proteome complexity. PMID:25239612

Yamashiro, Edson T; Oliveira, Ana K; Kitano, Eduardo S; Menezes, Milene C; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L; Paes Leme, Adriana F; Serrano, Solange M T

2014-09-18

30

Ancient scientific basis of the "great serpent" from historical evidence  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Zoological data and a growing mythology contributed to ancient Western knowledge about large serpents. Yet little modern attention has been paid to the sources, transmission, and receipt in the early Middle Ages of the ancients' information concerning "dragons" and "sea serpents." Real animals--primarily pythons and whales--lie behind the ancient stories. Other animals, conflations of different animals, simple misunderstandings, and willful exaggerations are found to account for the fanciful embellishments, but primitive myths played no significant role in this process during classical times. The expedition of Alexander the Great into India (327-325 B.C.) and the Bagradas River incident in North Africa (256 B.C.) had enormous repercussions on the development of serpent lore. Credible evidence is found for the presence of ancient populations of pythons living along the North African coast west of Egypt and along the coast of the Arabian Sea between the Indus River and the Strait of Hormuz--places where they no longer exist today. The maximum sizes of ancient pythons may have been greater than those of today's specimens.

Stothers, Richard B.

2004-01-01

31

Effect of Diterpenes Isolated of the Marine Alga Canistrocarpus cervicornis against Some Toxic Effects of the Venom of the Bothrops jararaca Snake.  

PubMed

Snake venoms are composed of a complex mixture of active proteins and peptides which induce a wide range of toxic effects. Envenomation by Bothrops jararaca venom results in hemorrhage, edema, pain, tissue necrosis and hemolysis. In this work, the effect of a mixture of two secodolastane diterpenes (linearol/isolinearol), previously isolated from the Brazilian marine brown alga, Canistrocarpus cervicornis, was evaluated against some of the toxic effects induced by B. jararaca venom. The mixture of diterpenes was dissolved in dimethylsulfoxide and incubated with venom for 30 min at room temperature, and then several in vivo (hemorrhage, edema and lethality) and in vitro (hemolysis, plasma clotting and proteolysis) assays were performed. The diterpenes inhibited hemolysis, proteolysis and hemorrhage, but failed to inhibit clotting and edema induced by B. jararaca venom. Moreover, diterpenes partially protected mice from lethality caused by B. jararaca venom. The search for natural inhibitors of B. jararaca venom in C. cervicornis algae is a relevant subject, since seaweeds are a rich and powerful source of active molecules which are as yet but poorly explored. Our results suggest that these diterpenes have the potential to be used against Bothropic envenomation accidents or to improve traditional treatments for snake bites. PMID:25699595

Domingos, Thaisa Francielle Souza; Vallim, Magui Aparecida; Cavalcanti, Diana Negrão; Sanchez, Eládio Flores; Teixeira, Valéria Laneuville; Fuly, André Lopes

2015-01-01

32

Winter proWle of plasma sex steroid levels in free-living male western diamond-backed rattlesnakes, Crotalus atrox (Serpentes: Viperidae)  

Microsoft Academic Search

Recent Weld studies on the reproductive ecology of western diamond-backed rattlesnakes (Crotalus atrox) from populations in southern Ari- zona showed signiWcant diVerences in the concentration of plasma sex steroids (testosterone, T; 5-dihydrotestosterone, DHT; and 17-estra- diol, E2) throughout the active season (March-October), and peak levels were coincident with the two mating periods (late summer and early spring). There is, however,

Gordon W. Schuett; Roger A. Repp; Emily N. Taylor; Dale F. DeNardo; Ryan L. Earley; Edward A. Van Kirk; William J. Murdoch

33

Bothrops jararaca Venom Metalloproteinases Are Essential for Coagulopathy and Increase Plasma Tissue Factor Levels during Envenomation  

PubMed Central

Background/Aims Bleeding tendency, coagulopathy and platelet disorders are recurrent manifestations in snakebites occurring worldwide. We reasoned that by damaging tissues and/or activating cells at the site of the bite and systemically, snake venom toxins might release or decrypt tissue factor (TF), resulting in activation of blood coagulation and aggravation of the bleeding tendency. Thus, we addressed (a) whether TF and protein disulfide isomerase (PDI), an oxireductase involved in TF encryption/decryption, were altered in experimental snake envenomation; (b) the involvement and significance of snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMP) and serine proteinases (SVSP) to hemostatic disturbances. Methods/Principal Findings Crude Bothrops jararaca venom (BjV) was preincubated with Na2-EDTA or AEBSF, which are inhibitors of SVMP and SVSP, respectively, and injected subcutaneously or intravenously into rats to analyze the contribution of local lesion to the development of hemostatic disturbances. Samples of blood, lung and skin were collected and analyzed at 3 and 6 h. Platelet counts were markedly diminished in rats, and neither Na2-EDTA nor AEBSF could effectively abrogate this fall. However, Na2-EDTA markedly reduced plasma fibrinogen consumption and hemorrhage at the site of BjV inoculation. Na2-EDTA also abolished the marked elevation in TF levels in plasma at 3 and 6 h, by both administration routes. Moreover, increased TF activity was also noticed in lung and skin tissue samples at 6 h. However, factor VII levels did not decrease over time. PDI expression in skin was normal at 3 h, and downregulated at 6 h in all groups treated with BjV. Conclusions SVMP induce coagulopathy, hemorrhage and increased TF levels in plasma, but neither SVMP nor SVSP are directly involved in thrombocytopenia. High levels of TF in plasma and TF decryption occur during snake envenomation, like true disseminated intravascular coagulation syndrome, and might be implicated in engendering bleeding manifestations in severely-envenomed patients. PMID:24831016

Yamashita, Karine M.; Alves, André F.; Barbaro, Katia C.; Santoro, Marcelo L.

2014-01-01

34

The Serpent Monte Carlo Code: Status, Development and Applications in 2013  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The Serpent Monte Carlo reactor physics burnup calculation code has been developed at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland since 2004, and is currently used in 100 universities and research organizations around the world. This paper presents the brief history of the project, together with the currently available methods and capabilities and plans for future work. Typical user applications are introduced in the form of a summary review on Serpent-related publications over the past few years.

Leppänen, Jaakko; Pusa, Maria; Viitanen, Tuomas; Valtavirta, Ville; Kaltiaisenaho, Toni

2014-06-01

35

Helminthic parasites of water snakes, Natrix spp. (Serpentes: Colubridae), from southeast Texas  

E-print Network

HELMINTHIC PARASITES OF WATER SNAKES, NATRIX spp. (SERPENTES: COLUBRIDAE), FROM SOUTHEAST TEXAS A Thesis by EDMUND VAUGHN GUIDRY, III Submitted to the Graduate College of Texas A&M University in partial fulfillment of the requirement... for the degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE August 1976 Major Subject: Zoology HELMINTHIC PARASITES OF WATER SNAKES, NATRIX spp. (SERPENTES: COLUBRIDAE), FROM SOUTHEAST TEXAS A Thesis by EDMUND VAUGHN GUIDRY, III Approved as to style and content by: Co-c airma...

Guidry, Edmund Vaughn

1976-01-01

36

Comparison of SERPENT and CASMO-5M for pressurized water reactors models  

SciTech Connect

The objective of this work is to perform a preliminary assessment of the capability of SERPENT to generate cross sections for a PWR Beginning-of-Life (BOL) isothermal mini-core by comparing a SERPENT/PARCS solution with the results obtained using a CASMO-5M/PARCS approach. The PARCS code is used instead of the usual SIMULATE-3 to analyze the Swiss Reactors, because interfaces with PARCS already exist to obtain neutronic data from SERPENT. For the PWR configurations, the differences between CASMO-5M and SERPENT solutions are within 200 pcm at the assembly level and thus rather small when considering the deterministic transport method (energy/angular/space discretization) in CASMO-5M versus the stochastic treatment of SERPENT, the statistical uncertainties in the Monte-Carlo approach as well as the eventual differences in nuclear data used by both codes. At the 2D mini-core level, no major difference is observed when comparing PARCS run with CASMO-5M versus SERPENT cross sections. For the generation of kinetic parameters, non trivial differences are observed due both to the methods and the data used. For the relatively limited number of configurations considered, it is hard to make any definitive statement on the benefits of using Monte Carlo codes in terms of nuclear data generation. (authors)

Hursin, M.; Vasiliev, A.; Ferroukhi, H.; Pautz, A. [Paul Scherrer Institut, Nukleare Energie und Sicherheit PSI, Villigen, 5232 (Switzerland)

2013-07-01

37

Characterization of a Paramyxovirus from a Fer de Lance viper (Bothrops jararaca): partial nucleotide sequence of the putative fusion protein.  

PubMed

During the generation of Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs) from the Fer de Lance viper (Bothrops jararaca) venom glands, a partial cDNA (clone H8) coding for a protein with all the features of a paramyxovirus fusion protein was characterized. It has 920 bp and codes for a partial protein of 279 amino acids. Two potential N-glycosylation sites are present in the sequence which also possesses a typical membrane anchoring domain made of a stretch of hydrophobic amino acids. The polyadenylation signal sequence was identified. When compared to other fusion proteins, it showed the highest sequence similarity (37-39%) with those of human parainfluenza 3 and Sendai virus. PMID:11266217

Junqueira de Azevedo, I L; Prieto da Silva, A R; Carmona, E; Ho, P L

2001-01-01

38

Aqueous leaf extract of Jatropha gossypiifolia L. (Euphorbiaceae) inhibits enzymatic and biological actions of Bothrops jararaca snake venom.  

PubMed

Snakebites are a serious public health problem due their high morbi-mortality. The main available specific treatment is the antivenom serum therapy, which has some disadvantages, such as poor neutralization of local effects, risk of immunological reactions, high cost and difficult access in some regions. In this context, the search for alternative therapies is relevant. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the antiophidic properties of Jatropha gossypiifolia, a medicinal plant used in folk medicine to treat snakebites. The aqueous leaf extract of the plant was prepared by decoction and phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of sugars, alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, terpenes and/or steroids and proteins. The extract was able to inhibit enzymatic and biologic activities induced by Bothrops jararaca snake venom in vitro and in vivo. The blood incoagulability was efficiently inhibited by the extract by oral route. The hemorrhagic and edematogenic local effects were also inhibited, the former by up to 56% and the latter by 100%, in animals treated with extract by oral and intraperitoneal routes, respectively. The inhibition of myotoxic action of B. jararaca reached almost 100%. According to enzymatic tests performed, it is possible to suggest that the antiophidic activity may be due an inhibitory action upon snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) and/or serine proteinases (SVSPs), including fibrinogenolytic enzymes, clotting factors activators and thrombin like enzymes (SVTLEs), as well upon catalytically inactive phospholipases A2 (Lys49 PLA2). Anti-inflammatory activity, at least partially, could also be related to the inhibition of local effects. Additionally, protein precipitating and antioxidant activities may also be important features contributing to the activity presented. In conclusion, the results demonstrate the potential antiophidic activity of J. gossypiifolia extract, including its significant action upon local effects, suggesting that it may be used as a new source of bioactive molecules against bothropic venom. PMID:25126759

Félix-Silva, Juliana; Souza, Thiago; Menezes, Yamara A S; Cabral, Bárbara; Câmara, Rafael B G; Silva-Junior, Arnóbio A; Rocha, Hugo A O; Rebecchi, Ivanise M M; Zucolotto, Silvana M; Fernandes-Pedrosa, Matheus F

2014-01-01

39

Aqueous Leaf Extract of Jatropha gossypiifolia L. (Euphorbiaceae) Inhibits Enzymatic and Biological Actions of Bothrops jararaca Snake Venom  

PubMed Central

Snakebites are a serious public health problem due their high morbi-mortality. The main available specific treatment is the antivenom serum therapy, which has some disadvantages, such as poor neutralization of local effects, risk of immunological reactions, high cost and difficult access in some regions. In this context, the search for alternative therapies is relevant. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the antiophidic properties of Jatropha gossypiifolia, a medicinal plant used in folk medicine to treat snakebites. The aqueous leaf extract of the plant was prepared by decoction and phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of sugars, alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, terpenes and/or steroids and proteins. The extract was able to inhibit enzymatic and biologic activities induced by Bothrops jararaca snake venom in vitro and in vivo. The blood incoagulability was efficiently inhibited by the extract by oral route. The hemorrhagic and edematogenic local effects were also inhibited, the former by up to 56% and the latter by 100%, in animals treated with extract by oral and intraperitoneal routes, respectively. The inhibition of myotoxic action of B. jararaca reached almost 100%. According to enzymatic tests performed, it is possible to suggest that the antiophidic activity may be due an inhibitory action upon snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) and/or serine proteinases (SVSPs), including fibrinogenolytic enzymes, clotting factors activators and thrombin like enzymes (SVTLEs), as well upon catalytically inactive phospholipases A2 (Lys49 PLA2). Anti-inflammatory activity, at least partially, could also be related to the inhibition of local effects. Additionally, protein precipitating and antioxidant activities may also be important features contributing to the activity presented. In conclusion, the results demonstrate the potential antiophidic activity of J. gossypiifolia extract, including its significant action upon local effects, suggesting that it may be used as a new source of bioactive molecules against bothropic venom. PMID:25126759

Félix-Silva, Juliana; Souza, Thiago; Menezes, Yamara A. S.; Cabral, Bárbara; Câmara, Rafael B. G.; Silva-Junior, Arnóbio A.; Rocha, Hugo A. O.; Rebecchi, Ivanise M. M.; Zucolotto, Silvana M.; Fernandes-Pedrosa, Matheus F.

2014-01-01

40

Ribosomal cistrons in Bothrops neuwiedi (Serpentes) subspecies from Brazil.  

PubMed

The ribosomal cistrons of six subspecies of Bothrops neuwiedi (Serpentes) were studied at both the cytogenetic and molecular levels. These subspecies populations occur in several Brazilian regions. The analysis of the nucleolar organizing region banding patterns showed variability in the chromosomal localization of rDNA cistrons. The rDNA clusters were found in two microchromosomes, in chromosome pair Number 6, or even in the one homologue of chromosome 6, and one microchromosome, according to the specimen examined but independent of the population from which it was selected. The organization of the rDNA repeat was studied by Southern blot hybridization using Xenopus laevis ribosomal DNA probes. The size of the repeat is 10.4 kilobases (kb), and the intergenic spacer (IGS), 2.6 kb long, is relatively small compared with the size of other vertebrate IGSs. Restriction mapping using the restriction enzymes EcoRI, BamHI, HindIII, and PvuII showed a highly conserved organization of the ribosomal repeats in the total genomic DNA of the subspecies studied. PMID:18470192

Trajtengertz, I; Beçak, M L; Ruiz, I R

1995-06-01

41

Ultrastructure of spermiogenesis in the Cottonmouth, Agkistrodon piscivorus (Squamata: Viperidae: Crotalinae).  

PubMed

To date multiple studies exist that examine the morphology of spermatozoa. However, there are limited numbers of data detailing the ontogenic characters of spermiogenesis within squamates. Testicular tissues were collected from Cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorus) and tissues from spermiogenically active months were analyzed ultrastructurally to detail the cellular changes that occur during spermiogenesis. The major events of spermiogenesis (acrosome formation, nuclear elongation/DNA condensation, and flagellar development) resemble that of other squamates; however, specific ultrastructural differences can be observed between Cottonmouths and other squamates studied to date. During acrosome formation vesicles from the Golgi apparatus fuse at the apical surface of the nuclear membrane prior to making nuclear contact. At this stage, the acrosome granule can be observed in a centralized location within the vesicle. As elongation commences the acrosome complex becomes highly compartmentalized and migrates laterally along the nucleus. Parallel and circum-cylindrical microtubules (components of the manchette) are observed with parallel microtubules outnumbering the circum-cylindrical microtubules. Flagella, displaying the conserved 9 + 2 microtubule arrangement, sit in nuclear fossae that have electron lucent shoulders juxtaposed on either side of the spermatids basal plates. This study aims to provide developmental characters for squamates in the subfamily Crotalinae, family Viperidae, which may be useful for histopathological studies on spermatogenesis in semi-aquatic species exposed to pesticides. Furthermore, these data in the near future may provide morphological characters for spermiogenesis that can be added to morphological data matrices that may be used in phylogenetic analyses. PMID:19827154

Gribbins, Kevin M; Rheubert, Justin L; Anzalone, Marla L; Siegel, Dustin S; Sever, David M

2010-03-01

42

Renal sexual segment of the Cottonmouth snake, Agkistrodon piscivorous (Reptilia, Squamata, Viperidae).  

PubMed

The seasonal variation of the renal sexual segment (RSS) of males of the Cottonmouth snake, Agkistrodon piscivorous, is described using light and electron microscopy. This study is the first to describe the ultrastructure of the RSS of a viper (Viperidae) and only the fourth on a snake. Renal sexual segments from males collected February to May and from August to November are similar in appearance. The cells are eosinophilic and react with periodic acid/Schiff procedure (PAS) for neutral carbohydrates and bromphenol blue (BB) for proteins. At the ultrastructure level, the cells contain large (2 microm diameter), electron-dense secretory granules and smaller vesicles with a diffuse material, and these structures abut against the luminal border and upon clear vacuoles continuous with intercellular canaliculi. Evidence was found for both apocrine and merocrine processes of product release. In June and July, the RSS are significantly smaller in diameter, largely basophilic, and have only scattered granules that are PAS+ and BB+. Cytologically, the RSS from June to July lack electron-dense secretory granules and the smaller vesicles with diffuse material. Numerous condensing vacuoles and abundant rough endoplasmic reticulum, however, indicate that active product synthesis is occurring. This is the first report of significant seasonal variation in the histology and ultrastructure of the RSS of a snake, although such reports exist for lizards. The seasons when the RSS is most highly hypertrophied correspond to the fall and spring mating seasons of A. piscivorous, as determined by other studies. PMID:17999397

Sever, David M; Siegel, Dustin S; Bagwill, April; Eckstut, Mallory E; Alexander, Laura; Camus, Angelle; Morgan, Colby

2008-06-01

43

Mitochondrial DNA-Based Phylogeography of North American Rubber Boas, Charina bottae (Serpentes: Boidae)  

E-print Network

Mitochondrial DNA-Based Phylogeography of North American Rubber Boas, Charina bottae (Serpentes the phylogeography of Charina bottae (rubber boa) in western North America, with an emphasis on populations from). Charina bottae (rubber boa) is widespread in west- ern North America, ranging from southwestern Can- ada

Rodríguez, Javier A.

44

Spectropolarimetric Study of Sea-serpent Penumbral Filaments and a Naked Sunspot  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We present a spectropolarimetric study of the sea-serpent penumbral filaments in AR NOAA 10944 and of a naked sunspot (i.e. a sunspot-like feature without penumbra) in AR NOAA 10977. Both active regions were observed by Hinode-SOT/SP in the photospheric lines Fe I 6301 & 6302 [[Unable to Display Character: Ǻ

Sainz Dalda, Alberto; Tarbell, T.; Title, A.; Vargas Dominguez, S.; Bellot Rubio, L. R.

2011-05-01

45

Mass spectrometric analysis of the individual variability of Bothrops jararaca venom peptide fraction. Evidence for sex-based variation among the bradykinin-potentiating peptides.  

PubMed

Variation in the snake venom proteome is well documented and it is a ubiquitous phenomenon at all taxonomical levels. However, variation in the snake venom peptidome is so far not described. In this work we used mass spectrometry [liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOFMS)] to explore sex-based differences among the venom peptides of eighteen sibling specimens of Bothrops jararaca of a single litter born and raised in the laboratory. MALDI-TOFMS analyses showed individual variability among the bradykinin-potentiating peptides (BPPs), and, interestingly, four new peptides were detected only in female venoms and identified by de novo sequencing as cleaved BPPs lacking the C-terminal Q-I-P-P sequence. Similar results were obtained with venom from wild-caught adult non-sibling specimens of B. jararaca and in this case we were able to identify the gender of the specimen by analyzing the MALDI-TOF profile of the peptide fraction and finding the cleaved peptides only in female venoms. Synthetic replicates of the cleaved BPPs were less potent than the full-length BPP-10c in potentiating the bradykinin hypotensive effect, suggesting that the C-terminus is critical for the interaction of the BPPs with their mammalian molecular targets. This work represents a comprehensive mass spectrometric analysis of the peptide fraction of B. jararaca venom and shows for the first time sex-based differences in the snake venom peptidome of sibling and non-sibling snakes and suggests that the BPPs may follow distinct processing pathways in female and male individuals. PMID:17315274

Pimenta, Daniel C; Prezoto, Benedito C; Konno, Katsuhiro; Melo, Robson L; Furtado, Maria F; Camargo, Antonio C M; Serrano, Solange M T

2007-01-01

46

Venom-related transcripts from Bothrops jararaca tissues provide novel molecular insights into the production and evolution of snake venom.  

PubMed

Attempts to reconstruct the evolutionary history of snake toxins in the context of their co-option to the venom gland rarely account for nonvenom snake genes that are paralogous to toxins, and which therefore represent important connectors to ancestral genes. In order to reevaluate this process, we conducted a comparative transcriptomic survey on body tissues from a venomous snake. A nonredundant set of 33,000 unigenes (assembled transcripts of reference genes) was independently assembled from six organs of the medically important viperid snake Bothrops jararaca, providing a reference list of 82 full-length toxins from the venom gland and specific products from other tissues, such as pancreatic digestive enzymes. Unigenes were then screened for nontoxin transcripts paralogous to toxins revealing 1) low level coexpression of approximately 20% of toxin genes (e.g., bradykinin-potentiating peptide, C-type lectin, snake venom metalloproteinase, snake venom nerve growth factor) in body tissues, 2) the identity of the closest paralogs to toxin genes in eight classes of toxins, 3) the location and level of paralog expression, indicating that, in general, co-expression occurs in a higher number of tissues and at lower levels than observed for toxin genes, and 4) strong evidence of a toxin gene reverting back to selective expression in a body tissue. In addition, our differential gene expression analyses identify specific cellular processes that make the venom gland a highly specialized secretory tissue. Our results demonstrate that the evolution and production of venom in snakes is a complex process that can only be understood in the context of comparative data from other snake tissues, including the identification of genes paralogous to venom toxins. PMID:25502939

Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L M; Bastos, Carolina Mancini Val; Ho, Paulo Lee; Luna, Milene Schmidt; Yamanouye, Norma; Casewell, Nicholas R

2015-03-01

47

Subpopulations of mononuclear leukocytes associated with inhibition of Ehrlich ascites tumor growth by treatment with Bothrops jararaca venom.  

PubMed Central

Snake venoms have been used as antineoplastic substances in several experimental models. We demonstrated in previous studies that Bothrops jararaca venom (BjV) induces inhibition of Ehrlich ascites tumor (EAT) growth accompanied by an increase of mononuclear (MN) leukocytes in all groups inoculated with EAT and/or venom. The objective of the present study was to characterize the subpopulations of MN leukocytes involved in the inhibition of EAT growth by treatment with BjV. Swiss mice were inoculated with 1.0x10(3) EAT cells by the intraperitoneal route and treated with 0.4 mg/kg of BjV by the same route (Group TV). Treatment was started 24 h after tumor cell inoculation and consisted of five intraperitoneal injections performed at 72 h intervals. After 2, 8 and 14 days, groups of animals were sacrificed and the number of B, TCD4 and TCD8 lymphocytes, macrophages and natural killer cells present in the peritoneal cavity was determined by flow cytometry. The control group consisted of animals inoculated with EAT and treated with 0.1 ml of saline under the same conditions as the experimental group (Group T). Two additional control groups consisted of animals not inoculated with EAT and treated with saline or venom. Data were analyzed statistically by the Kruskal-Wallis non-parametric test for independent samples. On the 2nd and 8th day we observed a difference between groups T and TV (group T > group TV) for all cell types, except natural killer cells, that only differed on the 2nd day. However, on the 14th day there was no difference in MN cells among groups. These data suggest that the inhibition of EAT is related to the toxic action of BjV on tumor cells and/or to the proteolytic effect of the venom on the mediators produced by the cells for growth modulation. PMID:15203562

de Vieira Santos, Mariana Morena; da Silva, Reinaldo José; da Silva, Márcia Guimarães; Fecchio, Denise

2004-01-01

48

An alternative micromethod to access the procoagulant activity of Bothrops jararaca venom and the efficacy of antivenom.  

PubMed

The assessment of the capacity of antivenoms to neutralize the lethal activity of snake venoms still relies largely on traditional rodent lethality assay (LD50). However, adequately validated in vitro tests should be introduced for assessing antivenom neutralizing capacity in plasma of immunized horses as well as for in-process quality control. The dynamic of fibrin formation in recalcified avian plasma samples is extremely slow, when compared to that presented by mammalian plasmas. In this study, we present one new coagulant assay, by performing dose-response curve after plotting the clotting time (CT) parameter of the ROTEM profile of recalcified chicken plasma samples (target) against semi-logarithmic doses of Bothrops jararaca venom (agonist), either in absence or in presence of the semi-logarithmic doses of anti-bothropic serum (ABS) (antagonist). The mean coagulant dose 50% (CD50) was defined as the quantity of venom (in ?g) which reduces CT to 900 s, between minimum and maximum responses. The CT induced by 5CD50 of the venom was used as the control for calculating the effective dose (ED) of each batch of ABS. ED was defined as the ABS dose (nanoliters, nL) at which CT induced by one amount of venom corresponding to 5CD50 is displaced to the maximum threshold (1800 s). Five batches of the ABS, previously assayed for their lethality neutralizing activity (ED50) were assayed. The correlation coefficient (r) between both in vitro (ED) and in vivo (ED50) values was 0.87 (p value < 0.05). We propose this micro method as highly sensitive for characterization and quantification of possible procoagulant activity of small doses of snake venoms (nanograms) and for detecting small doses (nanoliters) of specific antibodies against this effect in little volume samples of biological fluids. PMID:25128708

Oguiura, N; Kapronezai, J; Ribeiro, T; Rocha, M M T; Medeiros, C R; Marcelino, J R; Prezoto, B C

2014-11-01

49

EXPLANATION OF THE SEA-SERPENT MAGNETIC STRUCTURE OF SUNSPOT PENUMBRAE  

SciTech Connect

Recent spectro-polarimetric observations of a sunspot showed the formation of bipolar magnetic patches in the mid-penumbra and their propagation toward the outer penumbral boundary. The observations were interpreted as being caused by sea-serpent magnetic fields near the solar surface. In this Letter, we develop a three-dimensional radiative MHD numerical model to explain the sea-serpent structure and the wave-like behavior of the penumbral magnetic field lines. The simulations reproduce the observed behavior, suggesting that the sea-serpent phenomenon is a consequence of magnetoconvection in a strongly inclined magnetic field. It involves several physical processes: filamentary structurization, high-speed overturning convective motions in strong, almost horizontal magnetic fields with partially frozen field lines, and traveling convective waves. The results demonstrate a correlation of the bipolar magnetic patches with high-speed Evershed downflows in the penumbra. This is the first time that a three-dimensional numerical model of the penumbra results in downward-directed magnetic fields, an essential ingredient of sunspot penumbrae that has eluded explanation until now.

Kitiashvili, I. N. [Center for Turbulence Research, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 (United States); Bellot Rubio, L. R. [Instituto de Astrofisica de AndalucIa (CSIC), Apdo. de Correos 3004, E-18080 Granada (Spain); Kosovichev, A. G. [NORDITA, Department of Astronomy, AlbaNova University Center, SE 10691 Stockholm (Sweden); Mansour, N. N.; Wray, A. A. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Mountain View, CA 94040 (United States); Sainz Dalda, A., E-mail: irinasun@stanford.ed [Stanford-Lockheed Institute for Space Research, Stanford, CA 94305 (United States)

2010-06-20

50

Type specimens of Crotalus scutulatus (Chordata: Reptilia: Squamata: Viperidae) re-examined, with new evidence after more than a century of confusion  

USGS Publications Warehouse

The original description of Crotalus scutulatus (Chordata: Reptilia: Squamata: Viperidae) was published in 1861 by Robert Kennicott, who did not identify a type specimen or a type locality. We review the history of specimens purported to be the type(s) and various designations of type locality. We provide evidence that ANSP 7069 (formerly one of two specimens of USNM 5027) is the holotype and that the appropriate type locality is Fort Buchanan, near present-day Sonoita, in Santa Cruz County, Arizona.

Cardwell, Michael D.; Gotte, Steve W.; McDiarmid, Roy W.; Gilmore, Ned; Poindexter, James A.

2013-01-01

51

TURAL HISTORY Y Y Y Y, VENOM AND ENVENOMA , VENOM AND ENVENOMA , VENOM AND ENVENOMA , VENOM AND ENVENOMA , VENOM AND ENVENOMATION TION TION TION TION BOTHROPS LEUCURUS WAGLER, 1824 (SERPENTES; VIPERIDAE): HISTÓRIA NATURAL, VENENO E ENVENENAMENTO  

Microsoft Academic Search

Bothrops leucurus has a large distribution in the Brazilian coast, from the State of Maranhão until Espírito Santo, where it occurs in a variety of forested and anthropogenic habitats. It may be found in humid, sub-humid, dry and semi-arid environments. It is terrestrial and medium-sized (250-1840mm). Preys are mostly rodents for adult snakes and frogs\\/lizards for juveniles, indicating an ontogenetic

Rejâne Maria Lira-da-Silva

2009-01-01

52

Simbolul sarpelui in lirica lui Petre Stoica - The Symbol of the Serpent in Petre Stoica's Poetry (Romanian version)  

Microsoft Academic Search

The purpose of this study was to make a presentation of how the serpent symbol is described in Peter Stoica's poetry. Diachronic method, followed by the symbolic approach has been used in this scientific work. Through an analytical approach I have commented on the lyrical vision, a doctrine which expresses his ideation. We have noticed that for the poet the

Florentina GHITA-NICA

2011-01-01

53

Phospholipases a2 from Viperidae snakes: Differences in membranotropic activity between enzymatically active toxin and its inactive isoforms.  

PubMed

We describe the interaction of various phospholipases A2 (PLA2) from snake venoms of the family Viperidae (Macrovipera lebetina obtusa, Vipera ursinii renardi, Bothrops asper) with giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) composed of natural brain phospholipids mixture, visualized through fluorescence microscopy. The membrane fluorescent probes 8-anilino-1-naphthalenesulfonicacid (ANS), LAUDRAN and PRODAN were used to assess the state of the membrane and specifically mark the lipid packing and membrane fluidity. Our results have shown that the three PLA2s which contain either of aspartic acid, serine, or lysine residues at position 49 in the catalytic center, have different effects on the vesicles. The PLA2 with aspartic acid at this position causes the oval deformation of the vesicles, while serine and lysine-containing enzymes lead to an appreciable increase of fluorescence intensity in the vesicles membrane, wherein the shape and dimensions of GUVs have not changed, but in this case GUV aggregation occurs. LAURDAN and PRODAN detect the extent of water penetration into the bilayer surface. We calculated generalized polarization function (GP), showing that for all cases (D49 PLA2, S49 PLA2 and K49 PLA2) both LAUDRAN and PRODAN GP values decrease. A higher LAURDAN GP is indicative of low water penetration in the lipid bilayer in case of K49 PLA2 compared with D49 PLA2, whereas the PRODAN mainly gives information when lipid is in liquid crystalline phase. PMID:25450350

Ghazaryan, Narine A; Ghulikyan, Lusine; Kishmiryan, Arsen; Andreeva, Tatyana V; Utkin, Yuri N; Tsetlin, Victor I; Lomonte, Bruno; Ayvazyan, Naira M

2015-02-01

54

[Sequencing and analysis of the complete mitochondrial genome of the King Cobra, Ophiophagus hannah (Serpents: Elapidae)].  

PubMed

We obtained the complete mitochondrial genome of King Cobra(GenBank accession number: EU_921899) by Ex Taq-PCR, TA-cloning and primer-walking methods. This genome is very similar to other vertebrate, which is 17 267 bp in length and encodes 38 genes (including 13 protein-coding, 2 ribosomal RNA and 23 transfer RNA genes) and two long non-coding regions. The duplication of tRNA-Ile gene forms a new mitochondrial gene rearrangement model. Eight tRNA genes and one protein genes were transcribed from L strand, and the other genes were transcribed genes from H strand. Genes on the H strand show a fairly similar content of Adenosine and Thymine respectively, whereas those on the L strand have higher proportion of A than T. Combined rDNA sequence data (12S+16S rRNA) were used to reconstruct the phylogeny of 21 snake species for which complete mitochondrial genome sequences were available in the public databases. This large data set and an appropriate range of outgroup taxa demonstrated that Elapidae is more closely related to colubridae than viperidae, which supports the traditional viewpoints. PMID:20650853

Chen, Nian; Lai, Xiao-Ping

2010-07-01

55

Effects of N-acetyl-L-cysteine on redox status and markers of renal function in mice inoculated with Bothrops jararaca and Crotalus durissus terrificus venoms.  

PubMed

Renal dysfunction is an important aggravating factor in accidents caused by Crotalus durissus terrificus (Cdt) and Bothrops jararaca (Bj) bites. N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC) is well known as a nephroprotective antioxidant with low toxicity. The present study investigated the effects of NAC on redox status and markers of renal function in mice that received vehicle (controls) or venoms (v) of Cdt and Bj. In controls NAC promoted hypercreatinemia, hypouremia, hyperosmolality with decreased urea in urine, hyperproteinuria, decreased protein and increased dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPPIV) in membrane-bound fraction (MF) from renal cortex (RC) and medulla (RM). NAC ameliorated or normalized altered creatinuria, proteinemia and aminopeptidase (AP) acid in MF, AP basic (APB) in soluble fraction (SF), and neutral AP in SF and MF from RC and RM in vBj envenomation. NAC ameliorated or normalized altered neutral AP in SF from RC and RM, and DPPIV and protein in MF from RC in vCdt envenomation. NAC ameliorated or restored renal redox status respectively in vCdt and vBj, and normalized uricemia in both envenomations. These data are promising perspectives that recommend the clinical evaluation of NAC as potential coadjuvant in the anti venom serotherapy for accidents with these snake's genera. PMID:24412461

Barone, Juliana Marton; Frezzatti, Rodrigo; Silveira, Paulo Flavio

2014-03-01

56

Purification, cloning, and molecular characterization of a high molecular weight hemorrhagic metalloprotease, jararhagin, from Bothrops jararaca venom. Insights into the disintegrin gene family.  

PubMed

A large hemorrhagin, jararhagin, has been cloned from a Bothrops jararaca venom gland cDNA expression library. The cDNA sequence predicts a 421-amino acid residue molecule with strong amino acid sequence homology and similar domain structure to HR1B, a high molecular weight hemorrhagic metalloprotease isolated from Trimeresurus flavoviridis (Habu) venom. Like HR1B, jararhagin contains enzyme, disintegrin, and cysteine-rich carboxyl-terminal regions. In the disintegrin region, the Arg-Gly-Asp sequence is replaced by Glu-Cys-Asp, as found in non-Arg-Gly-Asp disintegrin regions of HR1B and a guinea pig sperm fusion protein PH-30 beta. The cDNA sequence of jararhagin predicts a precursor protein (proprotein) with striking similarity to cryptic regions in precursors of the disintegrin peptides trigramin and rhodostomin. Comparison of jararhagin with disintegrin precursors highlights the modular arrangement of proprotein, metalloprotease, and disintegrin domains in the metalloprotease/disintegrin family and provides an insight into their biosynthesis and evolution. PMID:1385408

Paine, M J; Desmond, H P; Theakston, R D; Crampton, J M

1992-11-15

57

Characterization of a human coagulation factor Xa-binding site on Viperidae snake venom phospholipases A2 by affinity binding studies and molecular bioinformatics  

PubMed Central

Background The snake venom group IIA secreted phospholipases A2 (SVPLA2), present in the Viperidae snake family exhibit a wide range of toxic and pharmacological effects. They exert their different functions by catalyzing the hydrolysis of phospholipids (PL) at the membrane/water interface and by highly specific direct binding to: (i) presynaptic membrane-bound or intracellular receptors; (ii) natural PLA2-inhibitors from snake serum; and (iii) coagulation factors present in human blood. Results Using surface plasmon resonance (SPR) protein-protein interaction measurements and an in vitro biological test of inhibition of prothrombinase activity, we identify a number of Viperidae venom SVPLA2s that inhibit blood coagulation through direct binding to human blood coagulation factor Xa (FXa) via a non-catalytic, PL-independent mechanism. We classify the SVPLA2s in four groups, depending on the strength of their binding. Molecular electrostatic potentials calculated at the surface of 3D homology-modeling models show a correlation with inhibition of prothrombinase activity. In addition, molecular docking simulations between SVPLA2 and FXa guided by the experimental data identify the potential FXa binding site on the SVPLA2s. This site is composed of the following regions: helices A and B, the Ca2+ loop, the helix C-?-wing loop, and the C-terminal fragment. Some of the SVPLA2 binding site residues belong also to the interfacial binding site (IBS). The interface in FXa involves both, the light and heavy chains. Conclusion We have experimentally identified several strong FXa-binding SVPLA2s that disrupt the function of the coagulation cascade by interacting with FXa by the non-catalytic PL-independent mechanism. By theoretical methods we mapped the interaction sites on both, the SVPLA2s and FXa. Our findings may lead to the design of novel, non-competitive FXa inhibitors. PMID:18062812

Faure, Grazyna; Gowda, Veerabasappa T; Maroun, Rachid C

2007-01-01

58

Bov-B long interspersed repeated DNA (LINE) sequences are present in Vipera ammodytes phospholipase A2 genes and in genomes of Viperidae snakes.  

PubMed

Ammodytin L is a myotoxic Ser49 phospholipase A2 (PLA2) homologue, which is tissue-specifically expressed in the venom glands of Vipera ammodytes. The complete DNA sequence of the gene and its 5' and 3' flanking regions has been determined. The gene consists of five exons separated by four introns. Comparative analysis of the ammodytin L and ammodytoxin C genes shows that all intron and flanking sequences are considerably more conserved (93-97%) than the mature protein-coding exons. The pattern of nucleotide substitutions in protein-coding exons is not random but occurs preferentially on the first and the second positions of codons, which suggests positive Darwinian evolution for a new function. An Ruminantia specific ART-2 retroposon, recently recognised as a 5'-truncated Bov-B long interspersed repeated DNA (LINE) sequence, was identified in the fourth intron of both genes. This result suggests that ammodytin L and ammodytoxin C genes are derived by duplication of a common ancestral gene. The phylogenetic distribution of Bov-B LINE among vertebrate classes shows that, besides the Ruminantia, it is limited to Viperidae snakes (Vipera ammodytes, Vipera palaestinae, Echis coloratus, Bothrops alternatus, Trimeresurus flavoviridis and Trimeresurus gramineus). The copy number of the 3' end of Bov-B LINE in the Vipera ammodytes genome is between 62,000 and 75,000. The absence of Bov-B LINE at orthologous positions in other snake PLA2 genes indicates that its retrotransposition in the V. ammodytes PLA2 gene locus has occurred quite recently, about 5 My ago. The amplification of Bov-B LINEs in snakes may have occurred before the divergence of the Viperinae and Crotalinae subfamilies. Due to its wide distribution in Viperidae snakes it may be a valuable phylogenetic marker. The neighbor-joining phylogenetic tree shows two clusters of truncated Bov-B LINE, a Bovidae and a snake cluster, indicating an early horizontal transfer of this transposable element. PMID:9219538

Kordis, D; Gubensek, F

1997-06-15

59

A Place of Transformation: Lessons from the Cosmic Serpent Informal Science Education Professional Development Project  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

A cultural disconnect exists between Western scientists and educators and Native communities in terms of scientific worldviews and Indigenous ways of knowing. This cultural disconnect manifests itself in the lack of participation of Native Americans in Western science and a lack of appreciation by Western scientists of Native science. Our NSF-Funded project "Cosmic Serpent: Bridging Native and Western Learning in Museum Settings" set out to provide a way for informal science education practitioners and tribal museum practitioners to learn about these two worldviews in such a way as to inform their educational practice around these concepts. We began with a pilot workshop in year one of this four-year project. We then provided two week-long professional development workshops in three regions within the Western U.S., and culminated with a final conference for all participants. In total, the workshops served 162 participants, including 115 practitioners from 19 tribal museums and 41 science, natural history, and cultural museums; 23 tribal community members; and 24 "bridge people" with knowledge of both Indigenous and Western science. For this article, we focus on the professional and personal transformations around culture, knowledge, science, and worldviews that occurred as a part of this project. We evaluated the collaborative aspects of this grant between the Indigenous Education Institute; the Center for Science Education at the University of California, Berkeley; the Institute for Learning Innovation; Native Pathways; Association for Science and Technology Centers; and the National Museum of the American Indian. Using evaluation results, as well as our personal reflections, we share our learnings from a place of transformation. We provide lessons we learned with this project, which we hope others will find relevant to their own science education work.

Peticolas, L.; Maryboy, N.; Begay, D.; Stein, J.; Valdez, S.; Paglierani, R.

2012-08-01

60

Epidemiology of venomous and semi-venomous snakebites (Ophidia: Viperidae, Colubridae) in the Kashan city of the Isfahan province in Central Iran  

PubMed Central

Background: Information on the epidemiology of venomous snake species responsible for envenomation to humans in Iran has not been well documented. In the Kashan city, venomous snakebite remains a recurring medical problem. Information providing the correct identification of snake species responsible for envenomation in this geographic region would be useful to regional medical clinics and personnel for the effective and optimal management of the patients. Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, all patient data was collected from Kashan city and its suburbs. The specific data relating to the taxonomic identification of snakes responsible for envenomation were evaluated. A general approach to the diagnosis and management of patients was also provided. Snakes responsible for bites were transported to a laboratory, where their taxonomic classification was confirmed based on key anatomical features and morphological characteristics. Results: A total of 46 snakes were examined. Of these, 37 (80%) were non-venomous species, and 9 (20%) were identified as venomous. Seven of the nine venomous snake species (78%) were of the family Viperidae, and two specimens (22%) were in the family Colubridae. Specifically, the viperid species were Macrovipera lebetina obtusa, Pseudocerastes persicus, Pseudocerastes fieldi, and Echis carinatus. The two colubrid species were Malpolon monspessulanus insignitus and Psammophis schkari. Conclusion: Five different species of venomous snakes responsible for envenomation in the Kashan city region were confirmed. The viper, P. fieldi, was reported for the first time in the central part of Iran. PMID:24672563

Dehghani, Rouhullah; Mehrpour, Omid; Shahi, Morteza Panjeh; Jazayeri, Mehrdad; Karrari, Parissa; Keyler, Dan; Zamani, Nasim

2014-01-01

61

A new species of Eimeria (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from the western hognose snake, Heterodon nasicus (Serpentes: Xenodontidae), from Texas.  

PubMed

A new species of coccidian (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) is described from the feces of a western hognose snake Heterodon nasicus (Serpentes: Xenodontidae) collected from Texas, and housed in the collection of the Zoological Society of London. Oocysts of Eimeria mchenryi n. sp. are cylindrical, 35.0 ± SD 1.4 (32-37) × 17.0 ± 0.7 (16-18) µm; the shape index (length/width) is 2.05. A micropyle, oocyst residuum, and polar granule are absent. Sporocysts are subspherical 9.3 (7-11.5) × 7.7 (6-9) µm, with a shape index of 1.2. There is a sporocyst residuum, but the new species is lacking Stieda bodies. The new species is distinct from those previously named from the Xenodontidae and the allied family, Colubridae. PMID:21506855

Daszak, Peter; Ball, Stanley J; Streicker, Daniel G; Snow, Keith R

2011-06-01

62

Discovery of microscopic evidence for shock metamorphism at the Serpent Mound structure, south-central Ohio: Confirmation of an origin by impact  

USGS Publications Warehouse

The origin of the Serpent Mound structure in south-central Ohio has been disputed for many years. Clearly, more evidence was needed to resolve the confusion concerning the origin of the Serpent Mound feature either by endogenic processes or by hypervelocity impact. A petrographic study of 21 samples taken from a core 903 m long drilled in the central uplift of the structure provides evidence of shock metamorphism in the form of multiple sets of planar deformation features in quartz grains, as well as the presence of clasts of altered impact-melt rock. Crystallographic orientations of the planar deformation features show maxima at the shock-characteristic planes of {101??3} and {101??2} and additional maxima at {101??1}, {213??1}, and {516??1}. Geochemical analyses of impact breccias show minor enrichments in the abundances of the siderophile elements Cr, Co, Ni, and Ir, indicating the presence of a minor meteoritic component.

Carlton, R.W.; Koeberl, C.; Baranoski, M.T.; SchuMacHer, G.A.

1998-01-01

63

Anesthesia with Isoflurane and Sevoflurane in the Crested Serpent Eagle (Spilornis cheela hoya): Minimum Anesthetic Concentration, Physiological Effects, Hematocrit, Plasma Chemistry and Behavioral Effects  

PubMed Central

ABSTRACT The initial goal of this study was to determine the minimum anesthetic concentration (MAC) for isoflurane (ISO) and sevoflurane (SEVO) for the crested serpent eagle. Next, we compared the anesthetic effects of each on the physiological effects, hematocrit, plasma chemistry values and behavior in spontaneously breathing captive adult crested serpent eagles. Sixteen eagles were randomly allocated to two groups for anesthesia with ISO (n=8) or SEVO (n=8). First, we measured the MAC values of ISO and SEVO, and four weeks later, we investigated the effect of each on the physiological effects, hematocrit (HCT) and plasma chemistry values. The MAC values of ISO and SEVO for crested serpent eagles were 1.46 ± 0.30 and 2.03 ± 0.32%, respectively. The results revealed no significant differences between the two anesthetics in induction time, while time of extubation to recovery was significantly shorter with SEVO. A time-related increase in end-tidal CO2 and decreases in body temperature and respiratory rates were observed during anesthesia with each anesthetic. There were no significant differences between the effect of the two anesthetics on heart rate, hematocrit, plasma chemistry values or respiration, although each caused minor respiration depression. We concluded that SEVO is a more effective inhalant agent than ISO for use in eagles, showing the most rapidest induction and recovery from anesthesia. PMID:23955396

CHAN, Fang-Tse; CHANG, Geng-Ruei; WANG, Hsien-Chi; HSU, Tien-Huan

2013-01-01

64

The Descent of the Serpent: Using a Successful Ancient Solar Observatories Webcast from Chichen Itza to Highlight Space Weather Research  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Over the past seven years, NASA's Sun-Earth Connection Education Forum has sponsored and coordinated education and public outreach events to highlight NASA's heliophysics research and discoveries. Our strategy involves using celestial events, such as total solar eclipses and the Transit of Venus, as well as Sun-Earth Day during the March Equinox, to engage K-12 schools and the general public in space science activities, demonstrations, and interactions with space scientists. In collaboration with partners that include the Exploratorium and other museums, Ideum, NASA TV, NASA heliophysics missions, and others, we produce webcasts, other multi-media, and print resources for use by school and informal educators nation-wide and internationally. We provide training and professional development to K-12 educators, museum personnel, amateur astronomers, Girl Scout leaders, etc., so they can implement their own outreach programs taking advantage of our resources. A coordinated approach promotes multiple programs occurring each year under a common theme. As part of an Ancient Observatories theme in 2005, we have successfully featured solar alignments with ancient structures made by indigenous cultures that mark the equinoxes and/or solstices in cultural and historical parks in the Americas. In partnership with the Exploratorium, we produced broadcast-quality and webcast programming during the March equinox that shared heliophysics within a broad cultural context with formal and informal education audiences internationally. The program: "Descent of the Serpent" featured the light and shadow effect at sunset that takes place during the spring equinox at the Pyramid of El Castillo, in Chichén Itzá (México). This program made unique and authentic cultural connections to the knowledge of solar astronomy of the Maya, the living Mayan culture of today, and the importance of the Sun across the ages. We involved Sun-Earth Connection scientists, their missions, and research programs from México and the US to share NASA solar research with diverse audiences in the US and across the world, and to share how our dynamic Sun impacts the Earth and other planets in the solar system. During our presentation, we will highlight the strategies we used to successfully engage Hispanics of native heritage in heliophysics from all over the world.

Hawkins, I.; Higdon, R.; Cline, T.

2006-12-01

65

An extended version of the SERPENT-2 code to investigate fuel burn-up and core material evolution of the Molten Salt Fast Reactor  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

In this work, the Monte Carlo burn-up code SERPENT-2 has been extended and employed to study the material isotopic evolution of the Molten Salt Fast Reactor (MSFR). This promising GEN-IV nuclear reactor concept features peculiar characteristics such as the on-line fuel reprocessing, which prevents the use of commonly available burn-up codes. Besides, the presence of circulating nuclear fuel and radioactive streams from the core to the reprocessing plant requires a precise knowledge of the fuel isotopic composition during the plant operation. The developed extension of SERPENT-2 directly takes into account the effects of on-line fuel reprocessing on burn-up calculations and features a reactivity control algorithm. It is here assessed against a dedicated version of the deterministic ERANOS-based EQL3D procedure (PSI-Switzerland) and adopted to analyze the MSFR fuel salt isotopic evolution. Particular attention is devoted to study the effects of reprocessing time constants and efficiencies on the conversion ratio and the molar concentration of elements relevant for solubility issues (e.g., trivalent actinides and lanthanides). Quantities of interest for fuel handling and safety issues are investigated, including decay heat and activities of hazardous isotopes (neutron and high energy gamma emitters) in the core and in the reprocessing stream. The radiotoxicity generation is also analyzed for the MSFR nominal conditions. The production of helium and the depletion in tungsten content due to nuclear reactions are calculated for the nickel-based alloy selected as reactor structural material of the MSFR. These preliminary evaluations can be helpful in studying the radiation damage of both the primary salt container and the axial reflectors.

Aufiero, M.; Cammi, A.; Fiorina, C.; Leppänen, J.; Luzzi, L.; Ricotti, M. E.

2013-10-01

66

Snakes in the grass: visual research into myth themes as a means of understanding and interpreting current environmental issues, and as a vehicle for generating art works in response to those issues : an exegesis of the serpent archetype in Mesopotamian\\/biblical and aboriginal Australian belief systems  

Microsoft Academic Search

Snakes in the grass is a visual research endeavour that utilises an arts and science disciplinary interface, to develop a method for generating a series of contemporary allegorical artworks that engage a study of Serpent symbolism and mythology.\\u000aOn the side of Trinity Catholic College beside St. Carthage’s Cathedral in Lismore stands a life-sized sculpture of the Virgin Mary standing

Gillian Lenin Rhys

2007-01-01

67

A taxonomic revision of boas (serpentes: boidae).  

PubMed

Large molecular datasets including many species and loci have greatly improved our knowledge of snake phylogeny, particularly within the group including boas (Table 1). Recent taxonomic revisions using molecular phylogenies have clarified some of the previously contentious nomenclature of the group (Wilcox et al. 2002; Lawson et al. 2004; Burbrink 2005; Noonan & Chippindale 2006), resulting in a robust taxonomy that is mostly concordant with the phylogeny as currently known, which includes ~85% of described, extant species (Pyron et al. 2013; Reynolds et al. 2014). However, a few unresolved issues remain, related primarily to the rules of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (the Code hereafter) and the application of Linnaean ranks (International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature et al. 1999).  PMID:25112250

Pyron, R Alexander; Reynolds, R Graham; Burbrink, Frank T

2014-01-01

68

First Results from SERPENT Marine MT Study  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

In April 2010 we conducted a controlled source electromagnetic (CSEM) and magnetotelluric (MT) survey over the Middle Americas subduction zone offshore Nicaragua. Seismic and heat flow studies have been conducted in the region to explore the role water plays at convergent margins, yet the quantity of water entering the downgoing slab remains poorly constrained. Electrical conductivity, however, is highly sensitive to the amount and distribution of water in the crust, and possibly mantle. Our broadband marine MT receivers recorded electric and magnetic field variations at the seafloor in water depths ranging from 60-5100 m. A total of 54 receiver deployments along a 300 km profile resulted in the largest MT dataset ever collected over an active subduction zone, all recorded in a single 28 day cruise aboard the R/V Melville. Spectrograms of the raw data show strong signal, including a significant magnetic storm from 5/2 to 5/3. Robust multiple station processing of the MT data produced high quality apparent resistivity and phase estimates for periods of roughly 10-20,000 s. Impedance polar diagrams and skew estimates display an evolution of 1D structure on the abyssal plain, 2D structure at the outer rise, 3D structure on/near the trench, and 1D-2D structure along the continental shelf. The MT responses generally lack the severe anisotropy usually associated with the ocean-side coast effect in near-shore MT studies. However, large distortions are evident at a few sites on the prism side of the trench, where extremely high skews are strongly localized in both space and frequency; these are spatially correlated with cusps in apparent resistivity and negative phase wrapping of the TE mode. We suspect this is caused by a combination of severe bathymetric effects and local variations in conductivity structure. Initial modeling results will be presented.

Naif, S.; Key, K. W.; Constable, S.; Evans, R. L.

2010-12-01

69

Mitochondrial genome of Protobothrops mangshanensis (Squamata: Viperidae: Crotalinae).  

PubMed

Protobothrops mangshanensis is a venomous pit viper species endemic to Hunan province in China. In this study, the complete mitochondrial genome of P. mangshanensis had been determined. The circle genome with the 17,230?bp total length contained 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes and 2 control regions. Overall base composition of the complete mtDNA was 32.27% A, 24.16% T, 30.34% C and 13.23% G. All the genes in P. mangshanensis were distributed on the H-strand, except for the ND6 subunit gene and eight tRNA genes which were encoded on the L-strand. PMID:23808922

Huang, Xin; Yang, Daode; Zhang, Liang; Zhang, Baowei

2014-12-01

70

Body Size Evolution in Insular Speckled Rattlesnakes (Viperidae: Crotalus mitchellii)  

PubMed Central

Background Speckled rattlesnakes (Crotalus mitchellii) inhabit multiple islands off the coast of Baja California, Mexico. Two of the 14 known insular populations have been recognized as subspecies based primarily on body size divergence from putative mainland ancestral populations; however, a survey of body size variation from other islands occupied by these snakes has not been previously reported. We examined body size variation between island and mainland speckled rattlesnakes, and the relationship between body size and various island physical variables among 12 island populations. We also examined relative head size among giant, dwarfed, and mainland speckled rattlesnakes to determine whether allometric differences conformed to predictions of gape size (and indirectly body size) evolving in response to shifts in prey size. Methodology/Principal Findings Insular speckled rattlesnakes show considerable variation in body size when compared to mainland source subspecies. In addition to previously known instances of gigantism on Ángel de la Guarda and dwarfism on El Muerto, various degrees of body size decrease have occurred frequently in this taxon, with dwarfed rattlesnakes occurring mostly on small, recently isolated, land-bridge islands. Regression models using the Akaike information criterion (AIC) showed that mean SVL of insular populations was most strongly correlated with island area, suggesting the influence of selection for different body size optima for islands of different size. Allometric differences in head size of giant and dwarf rattlesnakes revealed patterns consistent with shifts to larger and smaller prey, respectively. Conclusions/Significance Our data provide the first example of a clear relationship between body size and island area in a squamate reptile species; among vertebrates this pattern has been previously documented in few insular mammals. This finding suggests that selection for body size is influenced by changes in community dynamics that are related to graded differences in area over what are otherwise similar bioclimatic conditions. We hypothesize that in this system shifts to larger prey, episodic saturation and depression of primary prey density, and predator release may have led to insular gigantism, and that shifts to smaller prey and increased reproductive efficiency in the presence of intense intraspecific competition may have led to insular dwarfism. PMID:20209105

Meik, Jesse M.; Lawing, A. Michelle; Pires-daSilva, André

2010-01-01

71

Mitochondrial genome of Protobothrops jerdonii (Squamata: Viperidae: Crotalinae).  

PubMed

Protobothrops jerdonii is a common venomous snake that is widely distributed in southwestern China and other adjacent countries of Asia. In this study, the complete mitochondrial genome of P. jerdonii was determined. The circle genome with the 17,239 bp total length contained 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, and 2 control regions. Overall base composition of the complete mtDNA was 33.13% A, 25.07% T, 29.31% C, and 12.50% G. All the genes in P. jerdonii were distributed on the H-strand, except for the ND6 subunit gene and eight tRNA genes which were encoded on the L-strand. PMID:23316752

Huang, Xin; Zhang, Liang; Zhu, Xiaoxue; Pan, Tao; Wang, Hui; Zhang, Baowei

2013-06-01

72

Mitochondrial genome of Protobothrops cornutus (Squamata: Viperidae: Crotalinae).  

PubMed

Abstract Protobothrops cornutus is the endangered snake which is distributed narrowly in southern China and other adjacent countries of Asia. We determined the complete mitochondrial genome of P. cornutus (HB-pc20090810). The circle genome with the 17,219?bp total length contained 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes and 2 control regions. Overall base composition of the complete mtDNA was 33.18% A, 24.80% T, 29.43% C and 12.58% G. All the genes in P. cornutus were distributed on the H-strand, except for the ND6 subunit gene and eight tRNA genes which were encoded on the L-strand. PMID:24021010

Zhang, Liang; Huang, Xin; Han, Demin; Xue, Chun; Zhang, Baowei

2013-09-11

73

Mitochondrial genome of Protobothrops mucrosquamatus (Squamata: Viperidae: Crotalinae).  

PubMed

Protobothrops mucrosquamatus is the endangered snake that is distributed in southwestern China and other adjacent countries of Asia. We determined the complete mitochondrial genome of P. mucrosquamatus. The circle genome with the total length of 17,233 bp contained 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, and 2 control regions. Overall base composition of the complete mtDNA was 32.98% A, 25.17% T, 29.19% C and 12.67% G. All the genes in P. mucrosquamatus were distributed on the H-strand, except for the ND6 subunit gene and eight tRNA genes that were encoded on the L-strand. PMID:23442168

Zhang, Liang; Huang, Xin; Li, Zhenyu; Hu, Huijian; Zhang, Baowei

2013-10-01

74

Molecular cloning and expression of a functional snake venom vascular endothelium growth factor (VEGF) from the Bothrops insularis pit viper. A new member of the VEGF family of proteins.  

PubMed

During the generation of abundant expressed sequence tags from the Viperidae snake Bothrops insularis venom glands, we identified for the first time a cDNA coding for a putative vascular endothelial growth factor-like (VEGF-like) protein. The deduced primary sequence, after complete sequencing of the longest snake venom VEGF (svVEGF) cDNA, displayed similarity with vertebrate VEGFs and with the hypotensive factor from Vipera aspis venom. Its cDNA was subcloned, expressed in Escherichia coli with a His(6) tag as an insoluble monomer, and purified by Ni(2+)-affinity chromatography after 8 m urea extraction. Antiserum against svVEGF was generated and tested in Western blot against proteins from snake venoms and cellular extracts. The mature svVEGF appears to be ubiquitously distributed throughout snake venoms and was also confirmed by Northern blot studies of other related Viperidae species and by cDNA cloning of svVEGF from Bothrops jararaca pit viper. The produced recombinant protein dimerizes after refolding processes and was biologically characterized, showing ability to increase vascular permeability. These results established that svVEGF is a novel and important active toxin during the early stages of bothropic snake bite envenoming and represents a new member of the VEGF family of proteins. PMID:11517227

Junqueira de Azevedo, I L; Farsky, S H; Oliveira, M L; Ho, P L

2001-10-26

75

Google Explores the 10th Mermaids and Sea Serpents  

E-print Network

waves. The traditional method of mapping the seafloor uses echo sounders aboard large vessels to map floor. (left) A shipboard multibeam echo sounders uses sound waves to map 10-20 km wide swaths at ~200 surface height variations induced by ocean floor topography. While the resolution of the echo sounder

Vernon, Frank

76

Serpent: A Proposal for the Advanced Encryption Standard  

Microsoft Academic Search

We propose a new block cipher as a candidate for the Ad- vanced Encryption Standard. Its design is highly conservative, yet still allows a very ecient implementation. It uses S-boxes similar to those of DES in a new structure that simultaneously allows a more rapid avalanche, a more ecient bitslice implementation, and an easy anal- ysis that enables us to

Ross Anderson; Eli Biham; Lars Knudsen

1998-01-01

77

The complete mitochondrial genome of Elaphe bimaculata (Reptilia, Serpentes, Colubridae).  

PubMed

Abstract The Chinese leopard snake (Elaphe bimaculata) is an endemic species to China. The complete nucleotide sequence of the mitochondrial (mt) genome of E. bimaculata is determined in this study. The circle genome was 17,183?bp in length and consisted of 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes and 2 duplicate control regions. Several peculiar features were observed in mitogenome of E. bimaculata, such as the translocation of tRNA(Leu(UUR)) gene and an incomplete copy for tRNA(Pro). PMID:25090378

Yan, Long; Geng, Zhang-Zhen; Yan, Peng; Wu, Xiao-Bing

2014-08-01

78

Geographic variation in Elaphe guttata (Linnaeus) (Serpentes: Colubridae  

E-print Network

variation of greatest number of mid-body dorsal scale rows in ~ 37 38 ~Ela he guttat ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 42 7. Method of addition and reduction in number of dorsal scale rows observed in ~Ela he guttat ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 8 ~ Summation of scale row formulae for ~Ela he... of the nomenclatorial status of ehe speoies, his sole treatment of E. g ttata was one section of his dissertation (1951b, published ~o ~te). Dowling's main interest in the genus concerned Th style folio d is that of the ~Jou al of ~He )mto~lo E. ~ ~ j ' ~ 'j...

Thomas, Robert Allen

1974-01-01

79

Wound Myiasis due to Musca domestica (Diptera: Muscidae) in Persian Horned Viper, Pseudocerastes persicus (Squamata: Viperidae)  

PubMed Central

A case of myiasis due to Musca domestica describes in Pseudocerastes persicus for the first time. The snake was found in Bari Karafs, Kashan, Iran, with a lesion on its body. Fourteen live larvae of M. domestica removed from its wound. This is the first report of a new larval habitat of M. domestica. PMID:23293783

Dehghani, R; Sedaghat, MM; Bidgoli, M Sabahi

2012-01-01

80

Molecular phylogeography of endangered sharp-snouted pitviper (Deinagkistrodon acutus; Reptilia, Viperidae) in Mainland China.  

PubMed

Using phylogenetic and population genetic approaches, the present study reports the phylogeographic structure of the sharp-snouted pitviper (Deinagkistrodon acutus), a threatened snake species with commercial and medicinal importance in China. The entire mitochondrial ND2 gene (NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2) sequences of 86 individuals of D. acutus from 14 localities across its range in China were determined. Based on the results of phylogenetic analyses, distribution of diagnostic sites, haplotype network, and AMOVA hierarchical analysis, an east-west division of the whole D. acutus population could be observed. Geographically, a line formed by a lake, river, and mountain chain (the Poyang Lake, Gan River to the southern end of the Wuyi Mountains), results in vicariance and approximately vertically splits the range into two and the whole population into two main lineages (western and eastern). The bifurcating tree suggested generally west to east dispersal trend. The data fit the isolation by distance (IBD) model well. Star-like clusters in haplotype network, significantly negative values of Fs statistics, and unimodal mismatch distributions all suggest recent demographic expansions in four areas. The results show that isolation, dispersal, bottleneck, and expansion jointly constitute the history of D. acutus. In a haplotype network, the excessive predominance of central haplotypes, few medium-frequency haplotypes, predominance (73.1%) of the singletons among the derived haplotypes, most of which are connected to the central haplotype by only one mutational step, unsymmetrical campanulate unimodal curve of mismatch distributions and leftwards shift of the peaks, all suggest that the whole D. acutus population is a young population with low genetic diversity. Based on the data, the first priority for conservation action should be given to the Huangshan unit. PMID:17643319

Huang, Song; He, Shunping; Peng, Zuogang; Zhao, Kai; Zhao, Ermi

2007-09-01

81

A relict lineage and new species of green palm-pitviper (Squamata, Viperidae, Bothriechis) from the Chortís Highlands of Mesoamerica  

PubMed Central

Abstract A new species of palm-pitviper of the genus Bothriechis is described from Refugio de Vida Silvestre Texíguat in northern Honduras. The new species differs from congeners by having 19 dorsal scale rows at midbody, a bright green dorsal coloration in adults, the prelacunal scale fused to the second supralabial, and in representing a northern lineage that is sister to Bothriechis lateralis, which is distributed in Costa Rica and western Panama and is isolated from the new taxon by the Nicaraguan Depression. This represents the 15th endemic species occurring in Refugio de Vida Silvestre Texíguat, one of the richest herpetofaunal sites in Honduras, itself being the country with the highest degree of herpetofaunal endemism in Central America. We name this new species in honor of a Honduran conservationist slain in fighting against illegal logging, highlighting the sacrifices of rural activists in battling these issues and the critical importance of conservation in these areas. PMID:23794885

Townsend, Josiah H.; Medina-Flores, Melissa; Wilson, Larry David; Jadin, Robert C.; Austin, James D.

2013-01-01

82

Edema induced by Bothrops asper (Squamata: Viperidae) snake venom and its inhibition by Costa Rican plant extracts.  

PubMed

We tested the capacity of leaf (Urera baccifera, Loasa speciosa, Urtica leptuphylla, Chaptalia nutans, and Satureja viminea) and root (Uncaria tomentosa) extracts to inhibit edema induced by Bothrops asper snake venom. Edema-forming activity was studied plethysmographically in the rat hind paw model. Groups of rats were injected intraperitoneally with various doses of each extract and, one hour later, venom was injected subcutaneously in the right hind paw. Edema was assessed at various time intervals. The edematogenic activity was inhibited in those animals that received an injection U. tomentosa, C. nutans or L. speciosa extract. The extract of U. baccifera showed a slight inhibition of the venom effect. Extract from S. viminea and, to a lesser extent that of U. leptuphylla, induced a pro-inflammatory effect, increasing the edema at doses of 250 mg/kg at one and two hours. PMID:18494294

Badilla, Beatriz; Chaves, Fernando; Mora, Gerardo; Poveda, Luis J

2006-06-01

83

Reproductive cycle of free-living male Saharan sand vipers, Cerastes vipera (Viperidae) in the Negev desert, Israel.  

PubMed

The Saharan sand viper, Cerastes vipera (Linnaeus, 1758), is distributed in all Saharan countries, being confined to sand and dune systems. This relatively small snake, up to 35 cm, is nocturnal, is active from spring to autumn (April to October) and hibernates during the winter (November to March). We predicted that C. vipera would have peak plasma testosterone concentration at mating and that the vas deferens would contain abundant spermatozoa at that time. To test our predictions, we collected information on the time of mating and measured monthly testosterone concentration, testes size and testicular activity in free-living male C. vipera during its active period from April to October. Mating occurred only during spring. The pattern of plasma testosterone concentration, testes volume, seminiferous tubule diameter and spermatogenesis all followed the general pattern of high values in autumn and spring and low values in early summer. Our predictions were partially supported. There was a high plasma testosterone concentration at mating in spring and the vas deferens contained abundant spermatozoa, as predicted, but there was also a high plasma testosterone concentration in autumn without mating. We concluded that: (1) males are both aestival in that they produce spermatozoa in autumn, which they store over the winter hibernation period, and vernal in that they produce spermatozoa in spring prior to mating; (2) matings are associated with spermatogenesis; and (3) the high plasma testosterone concentration is concomitant with both matings and spermatogenesis in spring and with spermatogenesis in autumn. We propose that C. vipera has a single peak of testicular activity and plasma testosterone concentration which start in autumn and end in spring. We also propose that spermatogenesis is prior to spring mating and, consequently, is prenuptial. PMID:22967959

Sivan, Jaim; Kam, Michael; Hadad, Shlomo; Allan Degen, A; Rozenboim, Israel; Rosenstrauch, Avi

2012-11-01

84

Unusual horizontal transfer of a long interspersed nuclear element between distant vertebrate classes  

PubMed Central

We have shown previously by Southern blot analysis that Bov-B long interspersed nuclear elements (LINEs) are present in different Viperidae snake species. To address the question as to whether Bov-B LINEs really have been transmitted horizontally between vertebrate classes, the analysis has been extended to a larger number of vertebrate, invertebrate, and plant species. In this paper, the evolutionary origin of Bov-B LINEs is shown unequivocally to be in Squamata. The previously proposed horizontal transfer of Bov-B LINEs in vertebrates has been confirmed by their discontinuous phylogenetic distribution in Squamata (Serpentes and two lizard infra-orders) as well as in Ruminantia, by the high level of nucleotide identity, and by their phylogenetic relationships. The horizontal transfer of Bov-B LINEs from Squamata to the ancestor of Ruminantia is evident from the genetic distances and discontinuous phylogenetic distribution. The ancestor of Colubroidea snakes is a possible donor of Bov-B LINEs to Ruminantia. The timing of horizontal transfer has been estimated from the distribution of Bov-B LINEs in Ruminantia and the fossil data of Ruminantia to be 40–50 My ago. The phylogenetic relationships of Bov-B LINEs from the various Squamata species agrees with that of the species phylogeny, suggesting that Bov-B LINEs have been maintained stably by vertical transmission since the origin of Squamata in the Mesozoic era. PMID:9724768

Kordis, Dusan; Gubensek, Franc

1998-01-01

85

The proper name of the neotropical tree boa often referred to as Corallus enhydris (Serpentes: Boidae)  

USGS Publications Warehouse

Confusion regarding the application of the proper scientific name for the common Neotropical tree boa has existed since Linnaeus described Boa enydris and Boa hortulana in 1758. We review the nomenclatural history of the species and point out the misapplication of scientific names that have characterized this form. Our review indicates that the proper scientific name for this highly variable, wide-ranging arboreal boid is Corallus hortulanus, not Corallus enydris, as has been used so frequently in recent years.

McDiarmid, R.W.; Toure, T.; Savage, J.M.

1996-01-01

86

Leptophis santamartensis (Serpentes, Colubridae), a junior synonym of Leptophis ahaetulla occidentalis  

USGS Publications Warehouse

Leptophis santamartensis, known only from Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia, is one of the more poorly known species of the genus Leptophis. The characters used for its diagnosis largely overlap with those of other Leptophis, mainly with Leptophis ahaetulla occidentalis, the only other Leptophis known to occur in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. A detailed comparison of L. a. occidentalis with the two known specimens of L. santamartensis leads to the conclusion that the latter should be relegated to the synonymy of the former.

Albuquerque, Nelson R.; de Passos, Paulo; Gotte, Steve W.

2012-01-01

87

Phylogeny of the Colubroidea (Serpentes): New evidence from mitochondrial and nuclear genes  

Microsoft Academic Search

The Colubroidea contains over 85% of all the extant species of snakes and is recognized as monophyletic based on morphological and molecular data. Using DNA sequences (cyt b, c-mos) from 100 species we inferred the phylogeny of colubroids with special reference to the largest family, the Colubridae. Tree inference was obtained using Bayesian, likelihood, and parsimony methods. All analyses produced

R. Lawson; J. B. Slowinski; B. I. Crother; F. T. Burbrink

2005-01-01

88

Monsters of the sea serpent: parasites of an oarfish, Regalecus russellii.  

PubMed

Examination of a small portion of the viscera of an oarfish ( Regalecus russellii ) recovered from Santa Catalina Island, southern California, revealed numerous tetraphyllidean tapeworm plerocercoids, Clistobothrium cf. montaukensis; 2 juvenile nematodes, Contracaecum sp.; and a fragment of an adult acanthocephalan, family Arhythmacanthidae. This suggests that the fish was relatively heavily parasitized. The presence of larval and juvenile worms suggests that oarfish are preyed upon by deep-swimming predators such as the shortfin mako shark, Isurus oxyrinchus , known to be a definitive host for the adult tapeworm, and also by diving mammals such as sperm whales, Physeter catodon L., hosts of Contracaecum spp. nematodes. PMID:25220829

Kuris, Armand M; Jaramillo, Alejandra G; McLaughlin, John P; Weinstein, Sara B; Garcia-Vedrenne, Ana E; Poinar, George O; Pickering, Maria; Steinauer, Michelle L; Espinoza, Magaly; Ashford, Jacob E; Dunn, Gabriela L P

2015-02-01

89

Morphological variation and taxonomy of Atractus latifrons (Günther, 1868) (Serpentes: Dipsadidae).  

PubMed

As currently understood Atractus latifrons is widely distributed in South America, occurring from Suriname to the east of the Andes in Bolivia. Throughout this widespread distribution, at least three distinct color patterns were previously reported in the literature. Here, we test whether quantitative variation and qualitative distribution of morphological characters are correlated with any color pattern displayed by the species along its range. We recognize three aposematic color patterns (bicolor in monads, tricolor in dyads, and tricolor in tetrads) for A. latifrons. We found no obvious correspondence between these patterns and any character systems analyzed herein. Additionally, we redescribe the holotype of A. latifrons and report on morphological variability (meristics, morphometrics, color patterns, and hemipenis) and geographical distribution (extending its distribution to the state Roraima, Brazil) of the species.  PMID:25283190

Almeida, Paula C; Feitosa, Darlan T; Passos, Paulo; Prudente, Ana L C

2014-01-01

90

A new species of Chironius Fitzinger, 1826 from the state of Bahia, Northeastern Brazil (Serpentes: Colubridae).  

PubMed

We describe a new species of Chironius Fitzinger, 1826 from the highlands of Chapada Diamantina, state of Bahia, Brazil. The new species is distinguished from all currently recognized congeners by a unique combination of states of characters on coloration, scale counts, scale ornamentation, and hemipenis. The new species closely resembles Chironius flavolineatus (Jan, 1863) in color pattern, but differs from the later taxon by the presence of two to four posterior temporal scales; cloacal shield entire; six to ten rows of keeled dorsal scales at midbody; ventral scales with posterior dark edges forming conspicuous transverse bars along almost the entire venter; conspicuous dark longitudinal stripes (in "zigzag") in the midventral portion of subcaudals; region of medial constriction of hemipenis slightly covered with spinules separating calyces of apex from spines below region of constriction; and sulcus spermaticus situated on convex face of hemipenis in lateral view. The new species is apparently restricted to Chapada Diamantina, corroborating the biological importance of this region from a conservational perspective. PMID:25543653

Fernandes, Daniel Silva; Hamdan, Breno

2014-01-01

91

Complete mitochondrial genome sequence from an endangered Indian snake, Python molurus molurus (Serpentes, Pythonidae).  

PubMed

This paper reports the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of an endangered Indian snake, Python molurus molurus (Indian Rock Python). A typical snake mitochondrial (mt) genome of 17258 bp length comprising of 37 genes including the 13 protein coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, and 2 ribosomal RNA genes along with duplicate control regions is described herein. The P. molurus molurus mt. genome is relatively similar to other snake mt. genomes with respect to gene arrangement, composition, tRNA structures and skews of AT/GC bases. The nucleotide composition of the genome shows that there are more A-C % than T-G% on the positive strand as revealed by positive AT and CG skews. Comparison of individual protein coding genes, with other snake genomes suggests that ATP8 and NADH3 genes have high divergence rates. Codon usage analysis reveals a preference of NNC codons over NNG codons in the mt. genome of P. molurus. Also, the synonymous and non-synonymous substitution rates (ka/ks) suggest that most of the protein coding genes are under purifying selection pressure. The phylogenetic analyses involving the concatenated 13 protein coding genes of P. molurus molurus conformed to the previously established snake phylogeny. PMID:22331485

Dubey, Bhawna; Meganathan, P R; Haque, Ikramul

2012-07-01

92

Uncertainty propagation in full-core Monte Carlo depletion simulations using Serpent  

SciTech Connect

The desire to accurately model the heterogeneity of the nuclear reactor environment combined with the ever more powerful computational resources have made in recent years the use of Monte Carlo method more attractive and feasible (if challenging) even for 3-D full core depletion simulation. However, in this case statistical uncertainty is combined with error propagating through the calculation from previous steps. In an effort to understand this error propagation, a numerical study was undertaken and previously reported modeling depletion of a four fuel assemblies (a 'quad'). This work extends results and analysis on a full nuclear reactor core depletion simulation where isotopics of individual fuel pins is tracked. By changing the code's initial random number seed, the data produced by a series of 19 replica runs was used to investigate the true and apparent variance in k{sub eff} and pin powers. It is hoped that this results can help to identify some common regularities in the behavior of uncertainty in several key parameters, and ultimately develop a predictive model. (authors)

Wyant, T. [United States Military Academy, Bartlett Hall, Bldg 753, West Point, NY 10996 (United States); Petrovic, B. [Nuclear and Radiological Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 801 Ferst Drive, Atlanta, GA 30332-0745 (United States)

2013-07-01

93

Is the Serpent Eating Its Tail? The Digital Divide and African Americans  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The Digital Divide is alive and well in America. What this means is the technology haves and the have-nots are continually growing further apart. Due to the pace of change in the field of computer technology, this divide widens faster in less time. Playing catch-up becomes an increasingly more difficult game to endure, with the government, public,…

Horton, Jacqueline

2004-01-01

94

Neogene diversification and taxonomic stability in the snake tribe Lampropeltini (Serpentes: Colubridae)  

Microsoft Academic Search

The impact of climate change during the Pleistocene on organ- isms living in temperate areas of the world has been documented for more than fifty years (Rand, 1948). A major impact of Pleisto- cene glacial cycles on vertebrates in temperate zones is hypothe- sized to be the isolation of species into allopatric populations (Avise and Walker, 1998). Refugial isolation and

R. Alexander Pyron; Frank T. Burbrink

2009-01-01

95

The Development of the Skull of the Egyptian Cobra Naja h. haje (Squamata: Serpentes: Elapidae)  

PubMed Central

Background The study of craniofacial development is important in understanding the ontogenetic processes behind morphological diversity. A complete morphological description of the embryonic skull development of the Egyptian cobra, Naja h. haje, is lacking and there has been little comparative discussion of skull development either among elapid snakes or between them and other snakes. Methodology/Principal Findings We present a description of skull development through a full sequence of developmental stages of the Egyptian cobra, and compare it to other snakes. Associated soft tissues of the head are noted where relevant. The first visible ossification centres are in the supratemporal, prearticular and surangular, with slight ossification visible in parts of the maxilla, prefrontal, and dentary. Epiotic centres of ossification are present in the supraoccipital, and the body of the supraoccipital forms from the tectum posterior not the tectum synoticum. The venom glands are visible as distinct bodies as early at stage 5 and enlarge later to extend from the otic capsule to the maxilla level with the anterior margin of the eye. The gland becomes more prominent shortly before hatching, concomitant with the development of the fangs. The tongue shows incipient forking at stage 5, and becomes fully bifid at stage 6. Conclusions/Significance We present the first detailed staging series of cranial development for the Egyptian cobra, Naja h. haje. This is one of the first studies since the classical works of G. de Beer and W. Parker that provides a detailed description of cranial development in an advanced snake species. It allows us to correct errors and misinterpretations in previous accounts which were based on a small sample of specimens of uncertain age. Our results highlight potentially significant variation in supraoccipital formation among squamates and the need for further research in this area. PMID:25860015

Khannoon, Eraqi R.; Evans, Susan E.

2015-01-01

96

Complex evolution in the Neotropics: The origin and diversification of the widespread genus Leptodeira (Serpentes: Colubridae)  

E-print Network

to major biogeographic regions of Mexico, Central America and South America. Our results thus highlight and a north to south expansion with a final colonization of the tropics in South America. Ó 2009 Elsevier Inc to current biodiversity. This is especially true in the Neotropics, given the extreme geolog- ical complexity

Parkinson, Christopher L.

97

Influences on venom yield in Australian tigersnakes (Notechis scutatus) and brownsnakes (Pseudonaja textilis: Elapidae, Serpentes).  

PubMed

The rates at which venomous animals produce venoms are of obvious biological and medical importance, but factors influencing those rates remain poorly understood. We gathered data on venom yield (wet mass of venom) and percentage solids (dry mass of the venom divided by wet mass) for 53 eastern brownsnakes (Pseudonaja textilis) and 36 mainland tigersnakes (Notechis scutatus) over a 4-year period at Venom Supplies Pty. Ltd, a commercial venom production facility in South Australia. Tigersnakes yielded about threefold more venom (by wet mass) than brownsnakes, but with slightly lower percentage solids. Both species showed significant geographic variation in percentage solids. Venom yields varied as a function of the snake's sex and geographic origin, but these effects were secondary consequences of geographic and sex-based differences in body size. Relative head size affected venom yield in brownsnakes but not tigersnakes. Overall, the amount of venom that a snake produced during milking was affected by its species, its geographic origin, its body size and relative head size, and by the time of year that it was milked, as well as by interactions among these factors. Body size was the most important effect on venom yield, with yields increasing more rapidly with size in brownsnakes than in tigersnakes. Research at the intersection of snake ecology and venom characteristics has great potential, but will require a genuinely interdisciplinary approach. PMID:12419509

Mirtschin, P J; Shine, R; Nias, T J; Dunstan, N L; Hough, B J; Mirtschin, M

2002-11-01

98

Collaborative Research: SERPENT: Serpentinite, Extension, and Regional Porosity Experiment across the Nicaraguan Trench  

E-print Network

survey will combine controlled-source electromagnetics (CSEM) with broadband and long period continental margins, and will promote international collaboration. Data and modeling results will be submitted

Smith, Jerome A.

99

Mitochondrial DNA-Based phylogeography of North American rubber boas, Charina bottae (Serpentes: Boidae).  

PubMed

We used 783 bp of mitochondrial DNA sequences to study the phylogeography of Charina bottae (rubber boa) in western North America, with an emphasis on populations from California (U.S.A.). Maximum-parsimony and maximum-likelihood methods identified a basal divergence within C. bottae that corresponds to southern and northern segments of its current distribution. These clades coincide with the ranges of the two recognized subspecies, C. b. umbratica in the south and C. b. bottae to the north. A subsequent cladogenetic event in the C. b. bottae clade resulted in two groupings, which we refer to as the Sierra Nevada and the Northwestern subclades, based on the geographic distribution of their constituent populations. The two subclades have completely allopatric distributions, with a genetic break in the vicinity of Lassen Volcanic National Park in northeastern California, an area that was subjected to glaciation during the Pleistocene and that has been volcanically active in the past 100 years. An earlier genetic study documented fixed differences between populations of bottae and umbratica in four of seven allozymes surveyed, and despite noticeable variation and overlap in the characters that define C. b. bottae and C. b. umbratica, the two forms still can be separated in most cases using a suite of morphological traits. All available evidence thus indicates that C. b. umbratica is a genetically cohesive, allopatric taxon that is morphologically diagnosable, and we conclude that it is an independent evolutionary unit that should be recognized as a distinct species, Charina umbratica. PMID:11161758

Rodríguez-Robles, J A; Stewart, G R; Papenfuss, T J

2001-02-01

100

DISCOVERY OF THE MADAGASCAR SERPENT-EAGLE, EUTRIORCHIS ASTUR, IN CENTRAL AND SOUTHEASTERN MADAGASCAR. (U915543)  

EPA Science Inventory

The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

101

Serpents in the Garden: English Professors in Contemporary Film and Television  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

In an article on "Smart People" (2008), a film in which Dennis Quaid plays an English professor who becomes romantically involved with a former student, Jeffery J. Williams notes that a "common complaint among academics is that films don't depict them correctly, and in some ways Quaid was accoutered by central casting, beginning the movie in a…

Carens, Timothy L.

2010-01-01

102

When colour patterns reflect phylogeography: new species of Dasypeltis (Serpentes: Colubridae: Boigini) from West Africa.  

PubMed

Six colour phases are currently known in the genus Dasypeltis in West Africa, three in the D. scabra complex and three in the D. fasciata complex. Molecular phylogenetic analysis reveals that all correspond to distinct species. D. parascabra sp. nov. is described from wet savannah areas of Guinea and Ivory Coast. D. latericia is given full specific rank. The validity of D. sahelensis, D. gansi and D. confusa - three species recently described on the basis of colour pattern and biogeography - is confirmed. D. fasciata is confined to rain forest areas of West and Central Africa. D. scabra is absent from West Africa. PMID:22847016

Trape, Sébastien; Mediannikov, Oleg; Trape, Jean-François

2012-07-01

103

The Serpent in the Garden State: Juvenile Delinquency in 1920s New Jersey  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

School administrators, educators, psychologists, social workers, the juvenile courts, institutional reformers, and others shape the manner in which children are labeled, portrayed, and treated. However, the agendas, motivations, political language, and influence of these "helping professionals" in "treating" and "reforming" juvenile delinquents…

Ferry, Thomas M.

2010-01-01

104

Comparative study of anticoagulant and procoagulant properties of 28 snake venoms from families Elapidae, Viperidae, and purified Russell's viper venom-factor X activator (RVV-X)  

PubMed Central

Snake venoms consist of numerous molecules with diverse biological functions used for capturing prey. Each component of venom has a specific target, and alters the biological function of its target. Once these molecules are identified, characterized, and cloned; they could have medical applications. The activated clotting time (ACT) and clot rate were used for screening procoagulant and anticoagulant properties of 28 snake venoms. Crude venoms from Daboia russellii siamensis, Bothrops asper, Bothrops moojeni, and one Crotalus oreganus helleri from Wrightwood, CA, had procoagulant activity. These venoms induced a significant shortening of the ACT and showed a significant increase in the clot rate when compared to the negative control. Factor X activator activity was also measured in 28 venoms, and D. r. siamensis venom was 5–6 times higher than those of B. asper, B. moojeni, and C. o. helleri from Wrightwood County. Russell's viper venom-factor X activator (RVV-X) was purified from D. r. siamensis venom, and then procoagulant activity was evaluated by the ACT and clot rate. Other venoms, Crotalus atrox and two Naja pallida, had anticoagulant activity. A significant increase in the ACT and a significant decrease in the clot rate were observed after the addition of these venoms; therefore, the venoms were considered to have anticoagulant activity. Venoms from the same species did not always have the same ACT and clot rate profiles, but the profiles were an excellent way to identify procoagulant and anticoagulant activities in snake venoms. PMID:20677373

Suntravat, Montamas; Nuchprayoon, Issarang; Pérez, John C.

2012-01-01

105

Comparative venom gland transcriptome surveys of the saw-scaled vipers (Viperidae: Echis) reveal substantial intra-family gene diversity and novel venom transcripts  

PubMed Central

Background Venom variation occurs at all taxonomical levels and can impact significantly upon the clinical manifestations and efficacy of antivenom therapy following snakebite. Variation in snake venom composition is thought to be subject to strong natural selection as a result of adaptation towards specific diets. Members of the medically important genus Echis exhibit considerable variation in venom composition, which has been demonstrated to co-evolve with evolutionary shifts in diet. We adopt a venom gland transcriptome approach in order to investigate the diversity of toxins in the genus and elucidate the mechanisms which result in prey-specific adaptations of venom composition. Results Venom gland transcriptomes were created for E. pyramidum leakeyi, E. coloratus and E. carinatus sochureki by sequencing ~1000 expressed sequence tags from venom gland cDNA libraries. A standardised methodology allowed a comprehensive intra-genus comparison of the venom gland profiles to be undertaken, including the previously described E. ocellatus transcriptome. Blast annotation revealed the presence of snake venom metalloproteinases, C-type lectins, group II phopholipases A2, serine proteases, L-amino oxidases and growth factors in all transcriptomes throughout the genus. Transcripts encoding disintegrins, cysteine-rich secretory proteins and hyaluronidases were obtained from at least one, but not all, species. A representative group of novel venom transcripts exhibiting similarity to lysosomal acid lipase were identified from the E. coloratus transcriptome, whilst novel metallopeptidases exhibiting similarity to neprilysin and dipeptidyl peptidase III were identified from E. p. leakeyi and E. coloratus respectively. Conclusion The comparison of Echis venom gland transcriptomes revealed substantial intrageneric venom variation in representations and cluster numbers of the most abundant venom toxin families. The expression profiles of established toxin groups exhibit little obvious association with venom-related adaptations to diet described from this genus. We suggest therefore that alterations in isoform diversity or transcript expression levels within the major venom protein families are likely to be responsible for prey specificity, rather than differences in the representation of entire toxin families or the recruitment of novel toxin families, although the recruitment of lysosomal acid lipase as a response to vertebrate feeding cannot be excluded. Evidence of marked intrageneric venom variation within the medically important genus Echis strongly advocates further investigations into the medical significance of venom variation in this genus and its impact upon antivenom therapy. PMID:19948012

2009-01-01

106

Evolution of rattlesnakes (Viperidae; Crotalus) in the warm deserts of western North America shaped by Neogene vicariance and Quaternary climate change.  

PubMed

During Pleistocene, the Laurentide ice sheet rearranged and diversified biotic distributions in eastern North America, yet had minimal physical impact in western North America where lineage diversification is instead hypothesized to result from climatic changes. If Pleistocene climatic fluctuations impacted desert species, the latter would reflect patterns of restricted gene flow concomitant with indications of demographic bottlenecks. Accordingly, molecular evidence for refugia should be present within these distributions and for subsequent range expansions as conditions improved. We sought answers to these questions by evaluating mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences from four species of rattlesnakes [Crotalus mitchellii (speckled rattlesnake), Crotalus cerastes (sidewinder), Crotalus tigris (tiger rattlesnake), Crotalus ruber (red diamond rattlesnake)] with distributions restricted to desert regions of southwestern North America. We inferred relationships using parsimony and maximum likelihood, tested intraspecific clades for population expansions, applied an isolation-with-migration model to determine bi-directional migration rates (m) among regions, and inferred divergence times for species and clades by applying a semiparametric penalized likelihood approach to our molecular data. Evidence for significant range expansion was present in two of eight regions in two species (Crotalus mitchellii pyrrhus, C. tigris region north). Two species (C. cerastes, C. mitchellii) showed a distribution concomitant with northward displacement of Baja California from mainland México, followed by vicariant separation into subclades. Effects of Pleistocene climate fluctuations were found in the distributions of all four species. Three regional diversification patterns were identified: (i) shallow genetic diversity that resulted from Pleistocene climatic events (C. tigris, C. ruber); (ii) deep Pleistocene divisions indicating allopatric segregation of subclades within refugia (C. mitchellii, C. cerastes); and (iii) lineage diversifications that extended to Pliocene or Late Miocene (C. mitchellii, C. cerastes). Clade-diversifying and clade-constraining effects impacted the four species of rattlesnakes unequally. We found relatively high levels of molecular diversification in the two most broadly distributed species (C. mitchellii, C. cerastes), and lower levels of genetic diversification in the two species (C. tigris, C. ruber) whose ranges are relatively more restricted. Furthermore, in several cases, the distributions of subspecies were not congruent with our molecular information. We suggest regional conservation perspectives for southwestern deserts cannot rely upon subspecies as biodiversity surrogates, but must instead employ a molecular and deep historical perspective as a primary mechanism to frame biodiversity reserves within this region. PMID:16968275

Douglas, Michael E; Douglas, Marlis R; Schuett, Gordon W; Porras, Louis W

2006-10-01

107

Molecular systematics of the western rattlesnake, Crotalus viridis (Viperidae), with comments on the utility of the D-loop in phylogenetic studies of snakes.  

PubMed

Crotalus viridis, the western rattlesnake, ranges throughout western North America and has been divided into at least eight subspecies. However, the validity of and relationships among these subspecies and the monophyly of C. viridis as a whole are questionable. We used mitochondrial DNA sequence data from the D-loop region and ND2 gene to examine the relationships among 26 populations of C. viridis and to test the monophyly of this species. These data were analyzed separately and combined using maximum-likelihood and maximum-parsimony. The C. viridis group was monophyletic in all combined analyses, consisting of two strongly divergent clades. We recommend that these clades be recognized as two distinct evolutionary species: C. viridis and C. oreganus. Crotalus viridis should be restricted to the subspecies viridis and nuntius and the remaining subspecies be assigned to the species C. oreganus. Our data do not allow strong evaluation of the validity of the subspecies. We found that the ND2 gene had greater sequence divergences among closely related individuals than the D-loop region, but this relationship reversed at higher levels of divergence. This pattern is apparently due to: (1) ND2 third positions evolving faster than the D-loop but becoming saturated at higher levels of divergence, and (2) the D-loop evolving faster than ND2 second (and possibly first) positions. Our results suggest that the ND2 gene is preferable for examining intraspecific relationships and the D-loop may better resolve relationships between species of snakes. The latter result is contrary to the common perception of the phylogenetic utility of the D-loop. Another unusual result is that the 145 bp spacer region, adjacent to the 5' end of the light strand of the D-loop, provides greater phylogenetic resolution than the 1030 bp D-loop. PMID:11697914

Ashton, K G; de Queiroz, A

2001-11-01

108

Molecular Systematics of the Western Rattlesnake, Crotalus viridis (Viperidae), with Comments on the Utility of the D-Loop in Phylogenetic Studies of Snakes  

Microsoft Academic Search

Crotalus viridis, the western rattlesnake, ranges throughout western North America and has been divided into at least eight subspecies. However, the validity of and relationships among these subspecies and the monophyly of C. viridis as a whole are questionable. We used mitochondrial DNA sequence data from the D-loop region and ND2 gene to examine the relationships among 26 populations of

Kyle G. Ashton; Alan de Queiroz

2001-01-01

109

Serpent: Magnetic signatures of serpentinized mantle and mesoscale oceanic variability along the Alaska\\/Aleutian subduction zone  

Microsoft Academic Search

NASA recently solicited suborbital missions as a part of its new Earth Venture program element. These missions are designed as complete PI-led investigations to conduct innovative, integrated, hypothesis or scientific question driven approaches to pressing questions in Earth System science. The missions should require sustained observations (<5 years) and significant resources (<30 million USD). The submitted mission proposals have been

Michael Purucker

2010-01-01

110

Sea snakes in Australian waters (Serpentes: subfamilies Hydrophiinae and Laticaudinae)-a review with an updated identification key.  

PubMed

Sea snakes (Elapidae, subfamilies Hydrophiinae and Laticaudinae) reach high species richness in the South China Sea and in the Australian region; however, most countries in the two regions still lack up-to-date checklists and identification tools for these snakes. We present an updated reviewed checklist and a new complete identification key to sea snakes in Australian waters. The identification key includes 29 species documented and 4 possibly occurring taxa and is based mostly on easy-to-use external characters. We find no evidence for breeding populations of Laticauda in Australian waters, but include the genus on the list of possibly occurring taxa.  PMID:25283923

Rasmussen, Arne Redsted; Sanders, Kate Laura; Guinea, Michael L; Amey, Andrew P

2014-01-01

111

Two additional Hepatozoon species (Apicomplexa: Hepatozoidae) from the southern black racer, Coluber constrictor priapus (Serpentes: Colubridae), in northern Florida.  

PubMed

Hepatozoon priapus n. sp. from Coluber constrictor priapus has robust gamonts with broadly rounded ends, 18.0 x 4.2 microm (17.0-20.0 x 3.5-6.0), with LW 76.4 microm2 (59-105) and L/W 4.31 (2.9-5.4). The nucleus is always present in second quarter of gamont, seldom extend into first quarter but often into third quarter, 6.0 x 3.0 (5.0-7.0 x 2.5-4.0), with LW 17.9 (13.7-21.0). Erythrocyte cytoplasm is always thin, appearing dehemoglobinized, with infected cells always distorted. Infected erythrocytes are much longer and wider than uninfected cells, with longer nuclei. Oocysts are spherical to ovoid, 92.5 x 86.0 (55-123 x 47-115) and L/W 1.08 (1.0-1.3), contain 14.0 (6-31) sporocysts. Sporocysts, which are also spherical to ovoid, 26.3 x 23.3 (19-50 x 16-38), LW 641.2 (320-1,500) and L/W 1.13 (1.0-2.2), contain 12.6 (5-18) sporozoites. Hepatozoon confusus n. sp., also from C. constrictor priapus, has slender gamonts with rounded ends, 15.6 x 4.1 (14.0-17.0 x 3.5-5.0), with LW 64.3 (52-80) and L/W 3.82 (2.8-4.4). The nucleus is always present in second quarter of gamont, commonly extending into first and third quarters, 5.0 x 2.7 (2.5-4.4 x 4.0-6.0), with LW 13.5 (11.0-16.5). Erythrocyte cytoplasm is sometimes thin, appearing partially dehemoglobinized, with infected cells usually distorted. Infected erythrocytes are longer than uninfected cells but similar in width, with erythrocyte nuclei longer. Oocysts are spherical to ovoid, 115.5 x 108.9 (52-278 x 50-278), with L/W 1.06 (1.0-1.2), and contain 25.0 (7-111) sporocysts. Sporocysts are spherical to ovoid, 27.6 x 25.2 (21-38 x 20-33), LW 701.3 (420-1,125) and L/W 1.09 (1.0-1.4), containing 20.2 (12-32) sporozoites. PMID:15856888

Telford, Sam R; Butler, J F; Moler, Paul E

2005-02-01

112

How snakes eat snakes: the biomechanical challenges of ophiophagy for the California kingsnake, Lampropeltis getula californiae (Serpentes: Colubridae).  

PubMed

In this study we investigated how ophiophagous snakes are able to ingest prey snakes that equal or exceed their own length. We used X-ray video, standard video, dissection, and still X-rays to document the process of ophiophagy in kingsnakes (Lampropeltis getula) feeding on corn snakes (Elaphe guttata). Most kingsnakes readily accepted the prey snakes, subdued them by constriction, and swallowed them head first. In agreement with previous observations of ophiophagy, we found that the predator snake forces the vertebral column of the prey snake to bend into waves. These waves shorten the prey's body axis and allow it to fit inside the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and body cavity of the predator. Dissection of a kingsnake immediately following ingestion revealed extensive longitudinal stretching of the anterior portion of the GI tract (oesophagus and stomach), and no visible incursion of the prey into the intestine. X-ray video of ingestion showed that the primary mechanism of prey transport was the pterygoid walk, with some contribution from concertina-like compression and extension cycles of the predator's vertebral column in two out of three observations. Complete digestion was observed in only one individual, as others regurgitated before digestion was finished. X-ray stills taken every 4 days following ingestion revealed that the corn snakes were about half digested within the first 4 days, and digestion was complete within 15 days. PMID:16351937

Jackson, Kate; Kley, Nathan J; Brainerd, Elizabeth L

2004-01-01

113

Phylogeography across a continent: The evolutionary and demographic history of the North American racer (Serpentes: Colubridae: Coluber constrictor)  

Microsoft Academic Search

Most phylogeographic studies examine organisms that do not have transcontinental distributions and therefore the genetic and temporal effects of barriers across an entire continent cannot be assessed with respect to a single species. We examined the phylogeographic structure, lineage age, and historical demography using sequences from the mtDNA cytochrome b gene of the widespread North American racer (Coluber constrictor), one

Frank T. Burbrink; Frank Fontanella; R. Alexander Pyron; Timothy J. Guiher; Cynthia Jimenez

2008-01-01

114

The Descent of the Serpent: Using a Successful Ancient Solar Observatories Webcast from Chichen Itza to Highlight Space Weather Research  

Microsoft Academic Search

Over the past seven years, NASA's Sun-Earth Connection Education Forum has sponsored and coordinated education and public outreach events to highlight NASA's heliophysics research and discoveries. Our strategy involves using celestial events, such as total solar eclipses and the Transit of Venus, as well as Sun-Earth Day during the March Equinox, to engage K-12 schools and the general public in

I. Hawkins; R. Higdon; T. Cline

2006-01-01

115

Body sizes, activity times, food habits and reproduction of brown tree snakes (Boiga irregularis) (Serpentes : Colubridae) from tropical north  

E-print Network

Body sizes, activity times, food habits and reproduction of brown tree snakes (Boiga irregularis. Reproductive data were scant from the populations examined. Introduction The brown tree snake (Boiga(Boigairregularis)aremediumtolargecolubridsnakesthatarerelativelycommonwithinthe eastern and northern parts of tropical Australia. An invasive population on Guam in the western Pacific

Canberra, University of

116

Lessons Learned from Cosmic Serpent, a professional development project for informal educators on science and native ways of knowing  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

How can one engage native communities and the public alike in understanding nature and our universe? Our approach has been to bring together practitioners at informal science centers, cultural museums, and tribal museums to develop relationships cross culturally, learn about different ways of studying and learning about nature and our universe, and start to develop informal education programs or exhibits at their institution through their new understandings and peer networks. The design of the grant has been to provide an initial week-long professional development workshop in a region in the Western U.S. with a follow-up workshop in that region the following year, culminating in a final conference for all participants. We focus on three regions: the southwest (SW - Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado); the northwest (Alaska, Washington, and Oregon); and California. We are in our fourth year of our four year grant and have in this time organized and run three regional week-long workshops and two follow-up workshops (in the SW and NW). We have learned many lessons through this work, including: the importance of incorporating workshop participants as presenters in the workshop agenda; how the content of astronomy, earth science, ecology, and health resonates with these museum professionals and can easily be discussed with different world views in this type of cross cultural science education; and how to best present different ways of knowing how nature and our universe work (science) in a manner that provides a context for science educators and museum professionals. In our poster presentation, we will share these and other lessons we have learned from the leadership perspective of bringing together such a diverse and under-represented-in-science group of educators.

Peticolas, L. M.; Maryboy, N.; Begay, D.; Paglierani, R.

2010-12-01

117

The unexpected discovery of blind snakes (Serpentes: Typhlopidae) in Micronesia: two new species of Ramphotyphlops from the Caroline Islands  

USGS Publications Warehouse

Two new blind snakes in the genus Ramphotyphlops are described from Ulithi (R. hatmaliyeb sp. nov.) and Ant Atoll (R. adocetus sp. nov.) in the Caroline Islands, the first blind snake species known from Micronesia east of Palau (excluding Ramphotyphlops braminus). Both species are unusual in being known only from small, low-lying atolls. They can be distinguished from other Ramphotyphlops by the combination of 22 scale rows over the length of the body; a wedge-shaped snout, without a keratinized keel; and a broad, pyriform (R. adocetus) or ovate (R. hatmaliyeb) rostral scale.

Wynn, Addison H.; Reynolds, Robert P.; Buden, Donald W.; Falanruw, Marjorie; Lynch, Brian

2012-01-01

118

The unexpected discovery of blind snakes (Serpentes: Typhlopidae) in Micronesia: Two new species of Ramphotyphlops from the Caroline Islands  

USGS Publications Warehouse

Two new blind snakes in the genus Ramphotyphlops are described from Ulithi (R. hatmaliyeb sp. nov.) and Ant Atoll (R. adocetus sp. nov.) in the Caroline Islands, the first blind snake species known from Micronesia east of Palau (excluding Ramphotyphlops braminus). Both species are unusual in being known only from small, low-lying atolls. They can be distinguished from other Ramphotyphlops by the combination of 22 scale rows over the length of the body; a wedge-shaped snout, without a keratinized keel; and a broad, pyriform (R. adocetus) or ovate (R. hatmaliyeb) rostral scale.

Wynn, A.H.; Reynolds, R.P.; Buden, D.W.; Falanruw, M.; Lynch, B.

2012-01-01

119

Phylogeography across a continent: the evolutionary and demographic history of the North American racer (Serpentes: Colubridae: Coluber constrictor).  

PubMed

Most phylogeographic studies examine organisms that do not have transcontinental distributions and therefore the genetic and temporal effects of barriers across an entire continent cannot be assessed with respect to a single species. We examined the phylogeographic structure, lineage age, and historical demography using sequences from the mtDNA cytochrome b gene of the widespread North American racer (Coluber constrictor), one of the few abundant transcontinental snakes that occurs throughout many diverse biomes. Our results indicate that this complex is comprised of six lineages differing greatly in geographic extent, with the largest (a central US clade) being approximately 26 times greater than the smallest (a lineage restricted to the Florida Panhandle and nearby portions of adjacent States). Most of the six lineages appear to be separated at previously identified genetic barriers for several vertebrates with similar ranges. Lineage diversification in this species began in the late Miocene, separating populations in the Florida Peninsula from the remainder of the US. Diversification of lineages continued throughout the Pliocene and early Pleistocene. Four of the six lineages occur east of the Mississippi River, with only two distinctly young ( approximately 1.5 mya) lineages found west of the Mississippi River (one occurs west of Continental Divide). All methods of demographic inference, including the mismatch distribution, Fu and Li's D and Tajima's D , and Bayesian skyline plots revealed population expansion occurring in the mid-to-late Pleistocene for every lineage, regardless of size or proximity to formerly glaciated areas. Population expansion for lineages found east of the Mississippi River occurred earlier and was much greater than those found west of the River. PMID:18093846

Burbrink, Frank T; Fontanella, Frank; Alexander Pyron, R; Guiher, Timothy J; Jimenez, Cynthia

2008-04-01

120

Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Effects of Prey Type on the Feeding Behavior of Alsophis portoricensis (Serpentes  

E-print Network

.- Alsophis portoricensis can inject the secretion of its Duvernoy's gland (=venom) into its prey, constrict for frogs. Alsophis struck Anolis most frequently on the trunk, whereas it attacked Eleutherodactylus

Leal, Manuel S.

121

A perspective on natural products research and ethnopharmacology in Mexico: the eagle and the serpent on the prickly pear cactus.  

PubMed

Mexico's extraordinarily rich cultural and floristic diversity has fascinated explorers and researchers ever since the "New World" was discovered for and by Europeans. For many decades, natural product research has been a very active field of research in Mexico, and there also are some ongoing ethnopharmacological research efforts. This review provides an overview and critical appraisal on some key developments in these fields and examples of medicinal plants used by indigenous communities that have become of great local importance in Mexican popular medicine. In this review, the focus is on plants with effects on the CNS, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory processes, and gastrointestinal disorders. While some of the major food plants consumed worldwide originate from southern North America, only very few medicinal plants have become of major global importance. Opuntia species are now used increasingly to manage diabetes and metabolic syndrome and represent an example of a novel medicinal product/supplement. Undoubtedly, narcotic and mind-altering drugs both have received the widest scientific interest and have attracted considerable popular attention. The history of use of the indigenous Mexican Materia Medica in the context of research on local and popular resources specifically with regard to the diverse challenges in the context of studying the world's biodiversity and the development of comparative and semiquantitative ethnobotanical research methods is discussed herein. Natural product and ethnopharmacological research in Mexico seems to have been influenced by the political and societal developments originating from the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and subsequent conventions, which have not yet had the desired effect of giving value to these local resources, as they might deserve. Their equitable and sustainable implementation remains a challenge. Natural product research and ethnopharmacology will play a key role in developing an adequate evidence base for such products derived from local and traditional knowledge in Mexico. PMID:24559070

Heinrich, Michael; Frei Haller, Barbara; Leonti, Marco

2014-03-28

122

["Lingue di seripi", "serpents' tongues" and "glossopetrae". Highlights from the history of popular "cult" medicine in early modern times].  

PubMed

In the 16th, 17th and 18th century "Glossopetrae", popularly known as "Lingue di Serpi", found on the Mediterranean island of Malta, were extensively used for medical purposes as antidotes. These fossil teeth, including specimens of the "Carcharodon Megalodon" (an extinct variant of the great white shark), were ground to powder or used as amulet pendants and "credence" and exported to pharmacies and shops in various cities of Europe. In antiquity, authors like Plinius or Solinus, excluding any religious connotations, had regarded "Glossopetrae" as objects "fallen from heaven on dark moonless nights". However, from the beginning of the 16th century the miraculous antidotic power of the specimens found at Malta was very strongly connected with the Pauline cult there. This cult owed ist origin to the excerpt of the shipwreck of the Apostle of the Gentiles on this island, as recorded in the New Testament. As in so many cases found in medieval and early modern medicine and pharmacy, the renown, collection, distribution and use of the antidote "Glossopetrae" or "Lingue di Serpi" was never limited to its real chemical and pharmaceutical properties. In the period of enlightenment and secular thinking mythic medicine as "Glossopetrae" had lost ist "magical" power. Consequently, with beginning of the late 18th century also the Maltese "Glossopetrae" featured in literature merely as exotic objects of curiosity or symbols of an age bound to medical superstition. PMID:9333999

Freller, T

1997-01-01

123

Lessons Learned from Cosmic Serpent: A Professional Development Project for Informal Educators on Science and Native Ways of Knowing  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

How can one engage native communities and the public alike in understanding nature and our universe? Our approach has been to bring together practitioners at informal science centers, cultural museums, and tribal museums to develop relationships cross-culturally, to learn about different ways of studying and learning about nature and our universe, and to start to develop informal education programs or exhibits at their institution through their new understandings and peer networks. The design of this National Science Foundation (NSF) grant has been to provide an initial week-long professional development workshop in a region in the Western U.S. with a follow-up workshop in that region the following year, culminating in a final conference for all participants. We focus on three regions: the southwest (Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado), the northwest (Alaska, Washington, and Oregon); and California. We are in our third year of our four-year grant and have in this time organized and run three regional week-long workshops and a follow-up workshop in the southwest. We have learned many lessons through this work, including: the importance of incorporating workshop participants as presenters in the workshop agenda; how the content of astronomy, ecology, and health resonates with these museum professionals and can easily be discussed with different world views in this type of cross-cultural science education; and how to best present different ways of knowing how nature and our universe work (science) in a manner that provides a context for science educators and museum professionals. In this article, we share these and other lessons we have learned from the leadership perspective of bringing together such a diverse and under-represented-in-science group of educators.

Peticolas, L. M.; Maryboy, N.; Begay, D.; Paglierani, R.; Frappier, R.; Teren, A.

2011-09-01

124

A taxonomic revision of the Asian keelback snakes, genus Amphiesma (Serpentes: Colubridae: Natricinae), with description of a new species.  

PubMed

The Asian keelback snakes (genus Amphiesma) are a widely distributed group of Old World natricines, inhabiting a variety of niches and exhibiting significant morphological variation. Recent molecular phylogenies suggest that this genus is not monophyletic, and that additional cryptic diversity is also likely present. We conducted a phylogenetic analysis of the group based on 3162 bp of one mitochondrial gene (Cyt. b) and three nuclear genes (C-mos, Rag1, NT3), sampling 18 species in addition to those sequenced in previous works. All analyses consistently show that Amphiesma consists of three distinct, monophyletic lineages with strong support. We divide Amphiesma into three genera, Amphiesma, Hebius, and Herpetoreas. The genus Amphiesma is monotypic, Herpetoreas contains three species, and Hebius comprises the remaining 39 species. On the basis of a combination of molecular analyses and external morphological comparisons, we describe a new species in the Herpetoreas group from China as H. burbrinki sp. nov. Several other species are shown to be non-monophyletic or contain significant levels of intraspecific genetic diversity. Another Old World natricine genera, Xenochrophis is also found to be non-monophyletic. Our results indicate that further taxonomic revisions are needed in Natricinae, at multiple levels.  PMID:25544230

Guo, Peng; Liu, Qin; Zhang, Liang; Li, Jian X; Huang, Yu Y; Pyron, R Alexander

2014-01-01

125

Snaclecs (snake C-type lectins) that inhibit or activate platelets by binding to receptors  

Microsoft Academic Search

More than 300 known species of venomous snakes are classified into five families, Hydrophidae, Elapidae, Viperidae, Crotalidae and Colubidae. Venom proteins have also been demonstrated recently in other snakes and some lizards (Fry et al., 2006). Venom components that affect hemostasis are most generally found in Viperidae, and Crotalidae snakes but the others often contain some as well. This review concentrates

Kenneth J. Clemetson

2010-01-01

126

Population genetic structure and geographic differentiation in the hot spring snake Thermophis baileyi (Serpentes, Colubridae): indications for glacial refuges in southern-central Tibet.  

PubMed

The endangered hot spring snake (Thermophis baileyi) is endemic to the Tibetan Plateau and restricted to a few sites at high altitudes (>3500 m a.s.l.). Its strong preference for habitats with hot springs might be an early adaptation to the cooling climate during the plateau uplift. Some of these thermal sites may have been free of ice during the last glacial maximum (LGM) serving as refuges for the snake. To test this and to examine the population genetic structure data of 12 microsatellites and mitochondrial DNA were obtained from 153 individuals from 12 sites across the plateau. Four of the microsatellite loci were newly developed for this study. The results suggest that T. baileyi has at least two genetically diverse clades in Tibet, which developed during the Pleistocene and expanded after the LGM. Accordingly, the existence of separate glacial refuges on the central plateau can be assumed. Analyses of the genetic variation indicated a high level of geographic differentiation and population structure on a regional as well as on a range-wide scale. The study shows that, apart from the phylogeographic signatures, the diversification of current Thermophis populations is caused by (a) a limited dispersal due to mountain ranges, (b) a strong preference for hot springs and (c) the insular distribution of suitable habitats on the plateau. The present data should be taken into account in necessary monitoring and management plans for T. baileyi. PMID:22306823

Hofmann, Sylvia

2012-05-01

127

A phylogeny of the Lampropeltis mexicana complex (Serpentes: Colubridae) based on mitochondrial DNA sequences suggests evidence for species-level polyphyly within Lampropeltis  

Microsoft Academic Search

The systematic relationships of snakes in the Lampropeltis mexicana complex (L. mexicana, L. alterna, and L. ruthveni) are poorly known despite several taxonomic studies over the last 80 years. Mitochondrial DNA sequences were used to infer the phylogeny of the L. mexicana complex. At least one representative sample from the nine currently recognized species of Lampropeltis was sequenced. Our results

Robert W. Bryson Jr.; Jennifer Pastorini; Frank T. Burbrink; Michael R. J. Forstner

2007-01-01

128

Inferring Species Trees from Gene Trees: A Phylogenetic Analysis of the Elapidae (Serpentes) Based on the Amino Acid Sequences of Venom Proteins  

Microsoft Academic Search

Toward the goal of recovering the phylogenetic relationships among elapid snakes, we separately found the shortest trees from the amino acid sequences for the venom proteins phospholipase A2and the short neurotoxin, collectively representing 32 species in 16 genera. We then applied a method we term gene tree parsimony for inferring species trees from gene trees that works by finding the

Joseph B. Slowinski; Alec Knight; Alejandro P. Rooney

1997-01-01

129

Optimization of geometry, material and economic parameters of a two-zone subcritical reactor for transmutation of nuclear waste with SERPENT Monte Carlo code  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

An optimization study of a subcritical two-zone homogeneous reactor was carried out, taking into consideration geometry, material, and economic parameters. The advantage of a two-zone subcritical system over a single-zone system is demonstrated. The study investigated the optimal volume ratio for the inner and outer zones of the subcritical reactor, in terms of the neutron-physical parameters as well as fuel cost. Optimal geometrical parameters of the system are suggested for different material compositions.

Gulik, Volodymyr; Tkaczyk, Alan Henry

2014-06-01

130

A review of the uses of work-class ROVs for the benefits of science: Lessons learned from the SERPENT project  

E-print Network

Vol 26 A review of the uses of work-class ROVs for the benefits of science: Lessons learned from and Environmental ROV Partnership using Existing Industrial Technology) is a collaboration programme that was designed to make better use of remotely operated vehicle (ROV) technology and data available through links

National Oceanography Centre, Southampton

131

Phylogenetic relationships within Bothrops neuwiedi group (Serpentes, Squamata): geographically highly-structured lineages, evidence of introgressive hybridization and Neogene/Quaternary diversification.  

PubMed

Eight current species of snakes of the Bothrops neuwiedi group are widespread in South American open biomes from northeastern Brazil to southeastern Argentina. In this paper, 140 samples from 93 different localities were used to investigate species boundaries and to provide a hypothesis of phylogenetic relationships among the members of this group based on 1122bp of cyt b and ND4 from mitochondrial DNA and also investigate the patterns and processes occurring in the evolutionary history of the group. Combined data recovered the B. neuwiedi group as a highly supported monophyletic group in maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses, as well as four major clades (Northeast I, Northeast II, East-West, West-South) highly-structured geographically. Monophyly was recovered only for B. pubescens. By contrast, B. diporus, B. lutzi, B. erythromelas, B. mattogrossensis, B. neuwiedi, B. marmoratus, and B. pauloensis, as currently defined on the basis of morphology, were polyphyletic. Sympatry, phenotypic intergrades and shared mtDNA haplotypes, mainly between B. marmoratus and B. pauloensis suggest recent introgressive hybridization and the possible occurrence of a narrow hybrid zone in Central Brazil. Our data suggest at least three candidate species: B. neuwiedi from Espinhaço Range, B. mattogrossensis (TM173) from Serra da Borda (MT) and B. diporus (PT3404) from Castro Barros, Argentina. Divergence estimates highlight the importance of Neogene events in the origin of B. neuwiedi group, and the origin of species and diversification of populations of the Neotropical fauna from open biomes during the Quaternary climate fluctuations. Data reported here represent a remarkable increase of the B. neuwiedi group sampling size, since representatives of all the current recognized species from a wide geographic range are included in this study, providing basic information for understanding the evolution and conservation of Neotropical biodiversity. PMID:24140980

Machado, Taís; Silva, Vinícius X; Silva, Maria José de J

2014-02-01

132

Snakes across the Strait: trans-Torresian phylogeographic relationships in three genera of Australasian snakes (Serpentes: Elapidae: Acanthophis, Oxyuranus, and Pseudechis)  

Microsoft Academic Search

We analyze the phylogeny of three genera of Australasian elapid snakes (Acanthophis—death adders; Oxyuranus—taipans; Pseudechis—blacksnakes), using parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian analysis of sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b and ND4 genes. In Acanthophis and Pseudechis, we find evidence of multiple trans-Torresian sister-group relationships. Analyses of the timing of cladogenic events suggest crossings of the Torres Strait on several occasions

Wolfgang Wüster; Alex J. Dumbrell; Chris Hay; Catharine E. Pooka; David J. Williams; Bryan Grieg Fry

2005-01-01

133

Assessing species boundaries and the phylogenetic position of the rare Szechwan ratsnake, Euprepiophis perlaceus (Serpentes: Colubridae), using coalescent-based methods.  

PubMed

Delimiting species and clarifying phylogenetic relationships are the main goals of systematics. For species with questionable taxonomic status, species delimitation approaches using multi-species coalescent models with multiple loci are recommended if morphological data are unavailable or unhelpful. Moreover, these methods will also reduce subjectivity based on genetic distance or requirement of monophyletic genetic lineages. We determine the validity and phylogenetic position of a rare and long controversial species of Chinese reptile, the Szechwan ratsnake (Euprepiophis perlaceus), using multi-locus data from multiple individuals and coalescent-based approaches. Species were first delimited using Bayesian Phylogenetics & Phylogeography (BP&P), Brownie and Bayes Factor model comparison approaches, while relationships among species were estimated using species tree inference in (*)BEAST. Results indicate that Euprepiophis perlaceus is a distinct species sister to Euprepiophis mandarinus. Despite gene tree discrepancy, the coalescent model-based approaches used here demonstrate the taxonomic validity and the phylogenetic position of Euprepiophis perlaceus. These approaches objectively test the validity of questionable species diagnoses based on morphological characters and determine their phylogenetic position. PMID:24060366

Chen, Xin; Jiang, Ke; Guo, Peng; Huang, Song; Rao, Dingqi; Ding, Li; Takeuchi, Hirohiko; Che, Jing; Zhang, Ya-ping; Myers, Edward A; Burbrink, Frank T

2014-01-01

134

IRCFREPTILES&HIBIANS19(1):7175MARCH2012 I N T R O D U C E D S P E C I E S  

E-print Network

the Ecology and Conservation of the Midwest's Giant Serpent...................... Joshua M. Kapfer 190 The Shared History of Treeboas (Corallus grenadensis) and Humans on Grenada: A Hypothetical Excursion

Mahler, D. Luke

135

A regular look at the marine environment under, on and around offshore installations worldwide Issue 3: December  

E-print Network

offshore Mauritania, and evaluate with an ROV for the first time the seabed animals that live there of October in Australia on board SERPENT regular Jack Bates. The Transocean rig working on a short contract off South Australia from 150-1500m. For the 1st time in SERPENT history 2 researchers were resident

National Oceanography Centre, Southampton

136

ROV PACK: INFORMATION AND GUIDELINES www.serpentproject.com  

E-print Network

ROV PACK: INFORMATION AND GUIDELINES www.serpentproject.com SERPENT Project Office 496/02 National © 2008, SERPENT. CONFIDENTIAL. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. #12;ROV PACK: INFORMATION AND GUIDELINES www WELCOME! A BRIEF INTRODUCTION 3 OUR DEEPWATER MISSION 3 OUR PRIORITIES 3 ROV PACKS 4 OUR LOCATIONS 5 AIMS

National Oceanography Centre, Southampton

137

Block Ciphers and Systems of Quadratic Equations  

Microsoft Academic Search

In this paper we compare systems of multivariate poly- nomials, which completely define the block ciphers Khazad, Misty1, Kasumi, Camellia, Rijndael and Serpent in the view of a potential danger of an algebraic re-linearization attack. Keywords: Block ciphers, multivariate quadratic equations, lineariza- tion, Khazad, Misty, Camellia, Rijndael, Serpent.

Alex Biryukov; Christophe De Cannière

2003-01-01

138

Snaclecs (snake C-type lectins) that inhibit or activate platelets by binding to receptors.  

PubMed

More than 300 known species of venomous snakes are classified into five families, Hydrophidae, Elapidae, Viperidae, Crotalidae and Colubidae. Venom proteins have also been demonstrated recently in other snakes and some lizards (Fry et al., 2006). Venom components that affect hemostasis are most generally found in Viperidae, and Crotalidae snakes but the others often contain some as well. This review concentrates on structural and functional properties of venom components of the C-type lectin related class (now named snaclecs) that inhibit or activate platelets by binding to receptors. PMID:20350564

Clemetson, Kenneth J

2010-12-15

139

DIVERSITY OF RECENT AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES Amphibian data from AmphibiaWeb (http://amphibiaweb.org as of January 4, 2012)  

E-print Network

) - 2 species Order Squamata Suborder Sauria (lizards) - 5537 species Suborder Serpentes (snakes) - 3346 species Suborder Amphisbaenia (worm lizards) ­ 181 species Order Crocodilia (alligators, crocodiles eye, offensive smell, harsh voice, squalid habitation, and terrible venom; and so their Creator has

Plummer, Michael V.

140

Seasonal Variation in the Oviduct of Female Agkistrodon piscivorus (Reptilia:Squamata)  

E-print Network

Seasonal Variation in the Oviduct of Female Agkistrodon piscivorus (Reptilia, Hammond, Louisiana 70402 ABSTRACT The annual oviductal cycle of the Cotton- mouth, Agkistrodon piscivorus:980­997, 2008. � 2008 Wiley- Liss, Inc. KEY WORDS: reptilia; serpentes; Agkistrodon piscivorus; ultrastructure

Sever, David M.

141

( paratre en 2006) Ed. Eduardo Kac  

E-print Network

are Echidna (half snake , half nymph ), Geryon , the three-bodied giant , Medusa ( serpent-haired and stony Echidna , and who was , according to Homer ( Illiad VI,179), lion from up front , dragon from the back

Paris-Sud XI, Université de

142

RICIS Software Engineering 90 Symposium: Aerospace Applications and Research Directions Proceedings  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Papers presented at RICIS Software Engineering Symposium are compiled. The following subject areas are covered: synthesis - integrating product and process; Serpent - a user interface management system; prototyping distributed simulation networks; and software reuse.

1990-01-01

143

Anti Echis carinatus venom antibodies from chicken egg yolk: Isolation, purification and neutralization efficacy  

Microsoft Academic Search

High titer antibodies (IgY) were raised in egg yolk of white leghorn chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) by immunizing with the venom of Echis carinatus (Saw scaled viper or carpet viper), an Indian venomous snake belonging to the family Viperidae. The anti-snake venom antibodies (antivenom) were isolated from egg yolk by the water dilution method, enriched by 19% sodium sulfate precipitation

K. Paul; J. Manjula; E. P. Deepa; Z. E. Selvanayagam; K. A. Ganesh; P. V. Subba Rao

2007-01-01

144

A Reference to Snake Identification, Field Safety, Basic Safe Capture and Handling Methods and First Aid Measures for Reptile Envenomation  

Microsoft Academic Search

Each year numerous emergency response personnel including animal control officers, police officers, wildlife rehabilitators, public health officers and others either respond to calls involving venomous snakes or are forced to venture into the haunts of these animals in the scope of their regular duties. North America is home to two distinct families of native venomous snakes: Viperidae (rattlesnakes, copperheads and

Edward J. Wozniak; William M. Niederhofer; John Wisser

145

Snake venom proteins acting on hemostasis  

Microsoft Academic Search

The venoms of Viperidae and Crotalidae snakes are a rich source of proteins with activity against various factors involved in coagulation and fibrinolysis. These proteins are very specific for their molecular targets, resistant to physiological inhibitors and stable in vitro and in vivo. They have therefore proved to be useful for diagnostic tests. Based on sequence similarities, these snake venom

Sandrine Braud; Cassian Bon; Anne Wisner

2000-01-01

146

PERMANENT GENETIC RESOURCES ARTICLE Rapid identification of thousands of copperhead snake  

E-print Network

identification, next-generation sequencing, simple sequence repeats, snake genomics, Viperidae Received 14 April the ever-lower costs of next-generation sequencing approaches, it seems Correspondence: David D. Pollock microsatellite loci sequences may be made cheaper and more efficient by incorporating next-generation sequencing

Castoe, Todd A.

147

Evolution \\/ Évolution The phylogeny and classification of caenophidian snakes inferred from seven nuclear protein-coding genes  

Microsoft Academic Search

More than 80% of the approximately 3000 living species of snakes are placed in the taxon Caenophidia (advanced snakes), a group that includes the families Acrochordidae, Viperidae, Elapidae, Atractaspididae, and the paraphyletic 'Colubridae'. Previous studies using DNA sequences have involved few nuclear genes (one or two). Several nodes have therefore proven difficult to resolve with statistical significance. Here, we investigated

Nicolas Vidal; Anne-Sophie Delmas; Patrick David; Corinne Cruaud; Arnaud Couloux; S. Blair Hedges

148

Does the Jet Stream Indicate the Presence of Transient EMFs also Detected by Native American Environmental Scientists? These Variable EMFs May Impact Regional Power Failures  

Microsoft Academic Search

Ohios Serpent Mound, and other instruments like a schist-like-slate serpent effigy may be monitors that detect transient and periodic electromagnetic field (EMF) effects. Physics courses show that ionic beams transversely entering magnetic fields are deflected at constant velocity into circular paths. Our abstracts of earlier APS\\/AAPT meetings used this analysis as the basis for tornado and hurricane modeling. Ionized jet

Sagamo Pawa Matagamon; Chan Balam Matagmaon

2003-01-01

149

In vitro comparison of enzymatic effects among Brazilian Bothrops spp. venoms.  

PubMed

In various types of snake venom, the major toxic components are proteinases and members of the phospholipase A2 family, although other enzymes also contribute to the toxicity. In this study, we evaluated the proteolytic, phospholipase, and L-Amino acid oxidase activities in the venom of five Bothrops species-Bothrops jararaca, Bothrops jararacussu, Bothrops moojeni, Bothrops neuwiedi, and Bothrops alternatus-all of which are used in the production of commercial antivenom, prepared in horses. The enzymatic activities of each species' venom were classified as high, moderate, or low. B. moojeni venom demonstrated the highest enzymatic activity profile, followed by the venom of B. neuwiedi, B. jararacussu, B. jararaca, and B. alternatus. To our knowledge, this is the first study to compare all of these enzymes from multiple species, which is significant in view of the activity of L-amino acid oxidase across Bothrops species. PMID:23998940

Campos, Lucas B; Pucca, Manuela B; Roncolato, Eduardo C; Bertolini, Thaís B; Netto, Joaquim C; Barbosa, José E

2013-12-15

150

Chronic blockade of nitric oxide biosynthesis in rats: effect on leukocyte endothelial interaction and on leukocyte recruitment  

Microsoft Academic Search

Introduction: Previous studies showed that animals chronically treated with NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) have a reduced inflammatory reaction. Now the role of L-NAME treatment (20 mg\\/Kg\\/day\\/14 days) on leukocyte mobilisation was assessed in rats. Methods: In vivo leukocyte recruitment evoked by Bothrops jararaca venom (BjV) and nitrite\\/nitrate (NO 2 ?\\/NO 3 ?; Griess reaction) were evaluated in the air pouch cavity.

S. H. P. Farsky; P. Borelli; R. A. Fock; S. Z. Proto; J. M. C. Ferreira; S. B. V. Mello

2004-01-01

151

Global richness patterns of venomous snakes reveal contrasting influences of ecology and history in two different clades  

Microsoft Academic Search

Recent studies addressing broad-scale species richness gradients have proposed two main primary drivers: contemporary climate\\u000a and evolutionary processes (differential balance between speciation and extinction). Here, we analyze the global richness\\u000a patterns of two venomous snake clades, Viperidae and Elapidae. We used ordinary least squares multiple regression (OLS) and\\u000a partial regression analysis to investigate to what extent actual evapotranspiration (AET; summarizing

Levi Carina Terribile; Miguel Ángel Olalla-Tárraga; Ignacio Morales-Castilla; Marta Rueda; Rosa M. Vidanes; Miguel Ángel Rodríguez; José Alexandre Felizola Diniz-Filho

2009-01-01

152

Snake venom dipeptidyl peptidase IV: Taxonomic distribution and quantitative variation  

Microsoft Academic Search

The present study examined the taxonomic distribution of dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP IV) activity in venoms of 59 ophidian taxa, representing seven subfamilies of the Families Elapidae and Viperidae. DPP IV activity is extremely variable at all taxonomic levels. It ranged from essentially none in laticaudine, hydrophiine, and some bungarine and elapine venoms, to 10.72 ?mol 4-methoxy-?-naphthylamine liberated per min per

Steven D. Aird

2008-01-01

153

The hypotensive activity of Crotalus atrox (western diamondback rattlesnake) venom: identification of its origin.  

PubMed

Viperidae snakes belonging to the genus Crotalus, subfamily Crotalinae, include the species durissus terrificus, durissus durissus, adamanteus, atrox, cerastes, horridus, molossus, scutulatus, viridis and others. All of them, except for the first 2, are found in North America. Crotalus atrox, or diamondback rattlesnakes, live in the southwest United States and in Mexico. This paper describes the fractionation of C. atrox venom in order to isolate and identify its hypotensive agents. PMID:2035756

de Mesquita, L C; Selistre, H S; Giglio, J R

1991-03-01

154

Cloning of cDNAs encoding C-type lectins from Elapidae snakes Bungarus fasciatus and Bungarus multicinctus.  

PubMed

A number of C-type lectins with various biological activities have been purified and characterized from Viperidae snake venoms. In contrast, only a few reports could be found in literature concerning the C-type lectins in Elapidae snake venoms. Based on the published cDNA sequences of C-type lectins from Viperidae snake venoms, oligonucleotide primers were designed and used to screen the cDNA libraries made from the venom glands of Bungarus fasciatus and Bungarus multicinctus. This allowed the cloning of three full length cDNAs encoding C-type lectins. The encoded proteins, named BFL-1, BFL-2 and BML, exhibit high degrees of sequence identities with Viperidae snake venom saccharide-binding lectins (around 60% with Trimeresurus stejnegeri venom lectin, Crotalus atrox venom lectin and Agkistrodon piscivorus venom lectin). They show much less identities with other venom C-type lectin-like proteins (around 30% with the platelet glycoprotein Ib-binding protein from Agkistrodon blomhoffi venom and the factor IX/X-binding protein from Trimeresurus flavoviridis venom). The cDNAs revealed that the precursors contain potential signal peptides characterized by a hydrophobic core. To our knowledge, these are the first cDNA cloning of group VII C-type lectins (Drickamer K. 1993. Prog. Nucleic Acid Res. Mol. Biol. 45, 207-232) from Elapidae snake venom glands. PMID:11600152

Zha, H G; Lee, W H; Zhang, Y

2001-12-01

155

A Little-known Peculiarity of the Hamadryad Snake  

Microsoft Academic Search

A STRUCTURAL peculiarity of the ``king cobra'' which I have recently ascertained while studying the anatomy of the Ophidia seems to me to be so remarkable that it must have been noticed in such comprehensive works as Bronn's ``Thierreich'' and Dr. Gadow's account of serpents in the ``Cambridge Natural History'' were it known. I venture, therefore, to give a short

Frank E. Beddard

1903-01-01

156

On average, the ocean is 3800 metres deep. It covers 71% of the  

E-print Network

Operated Photography By Alexander Mustard and Daniel Jones Lowered, towed and fixed camera systems. The real change for deep sea photography came with the proliferation of remotely operated vehicles or ROVs between jobs. A new scientific project, SERPENT, hosted at Southampton Oceanography Centre, has been set

National Oceanography Centre, Southampton

157

Snakes of the Everglades Agricultural Area1 Michelle L. Casler, Elise V. Pearlstine, Kenneth L. Krysko, and Frank J. Mazzotti2  

E-print Network

Squamata (suborder Serpentes) and are most closely related to lizards (suborder Sauria). All snakes, 23 may be found in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA). Of the 23, only four are venomous. The venomous species that may occur in the EAA are the coral snake (Micrurus fulvius fulvius), Florida

Mazzotti, Frank

158

Ecological Function of Venom in Varanus, with a Compilation of Dietary Records from the Literature  

Microsoft Academic Search

Until recently, venom in reptiles was thought to be present in two lineages: Serpentes and Heloderma. Research has now shown that venom evolved only once in reptiles, in a venom clade known as Toxicofera. This has resulted in venoms being discovered in many more species within this clade, including monitor lizards, genus Varanus. To date, very little work has been

KEVIN ARBUCKLE

159

Radium226 in cattails, Typha latifolia, and bone of muskrat, Ondatra zibethica (L.), from a watershed with uranium tailings near the city of Elliot Lake, Canada  

Microsoft Academic Search

Radium-226 concentrations were measured in the main food plants (cattails, Typha latifolia) and bone of adult muskrats (Ondatra zibethica (L.)), taken from a study area near Quirke Lake in the Serpent River drainage basin. This watershed receives drainage containing radionuclides from the U tailings near the City of Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada. Two control sites (one local, one 130 km

M. A. Mirka; F. V. Clulow; N. K. Davé; T. P. Lim

1996-01-01

160

Software engineering activities at SEI (Software Engineering Institute)  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Prototyping was shown to ease system specification and implementation, especially in the area of user interfaces. Other prototyping approaches do not allow for the evolution of the prototype into a production system or support maintenance after the system is fielded. A set of goals is presented for a modern user interface environment and Serpent, a prototype implementation that achieves these goals, is described.

Chittister, Clyde

1990-01-01

161

www.serpentproject.com issue 13: april 2008  

E-print Network

Pile at the University of Sydney, Australia, and Dr Mark Benfield continues to carry out mid SERPENT, Australia research is being carried out in Carnarvon Bay with Santos, it continues from the work to quantify the abundance of the larger animals around the well, push core sampling to determine the chemical

National Oceanography Centre, Southampton

162

Kay Lawrence; land, self, loss  

Microsoft Academic Search

A Gorgon in the mid-threads of a shawl, fringed with serpents is the description of a baby's shawl, the key motif of the story of the mythical Greek Kreusa. Raped by Apollo, the young princess hid their baby Ion in a cave at birth, wrapped in a covering woven with a Gorgon head she had made herself. His later recognition

D. W. Conroy

2002-01-01

163

Abundance and distribution of ultramafic microbreccia in Moses Rock dike - Quantitative application of mapping spectroscopy  

Microsoft Academic Search

Data from the Airborne Imaging Spectrometer were used to map the distribution and abundance of the serpentized ultramafic microbreccia (SUM) component in the Moses Rock dike, which is a Tertiary diatreme located on the Colorado Plateau in Utah. The geologic setting and composition of Moses Rock dike are discussed together with its texture and the relationship to the bedrock of

John F. Mustard; Carle M. Pieters

1987-01-01

164

Lady Kaede in Kurosawa's Ran : verbal and visual characterization through animal traditions  

Microsoft Academic Search

This article deals with the characterization of the unique figure of Lady Kaede in Kurosawa's film Ran from within Japanese cultural syncretism, through using different verbal and visual elements of two animals - fox and serpent. The Japanese fox has always played a most important part in Japanese culture, and its ambivalent nature has become a leitmotiv, especially its supernatural

Zvika Serper

2001-01-01

165

Islands and despots  

Microsoft Academic Search

This paper challenges a conventional wisdom: that when discussing political systems, small is democratic. And yet, can there be paradises without serpents? The presumed manageability of small island spaces promotes and nurtures dispositions for domination and control over nature and society. In such dark circumstances, authoritarian rule is a more natural fit than democracy. By adopting an inter-disciplinary perspective, this

Godfrey Baldacchino

2012-01-01

166

Invariance principles for spatial multitype Galton-Watson trees  

E-print Network

hypoth`eses de moments. Mots-clef: Arbre de Galton-Watson multitype, serpent discret, principe dInvariance principles for spatial multitype Galton-Watson trees Gr´egory Miermont November 7, 2007 Abstract. We prove that critical multitype Galton-Watson trees converge after rescaling to the Brownian

Miermont, Grégory

167

Gsazara  

E-print Network

hammerhead shark, while its back section was so long and slender it looked like a serpent's tail. "Manta ray," someone murmured aloud. It was an apt description. "Open a channel to that ship, Uhura," Kirk instructed. Uhura complied. When she turned to nod...

Alain, Alinda

1988-01-01

168

Introductions Espces cls, espces envahissantes, communauts  

E-print Network

of evidence implicate the introduced brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis) as the cause of the range reductions changement dans la composition de la communauté · Ex: Serpent prédateur (Boiga irregularis) introduit à Guam-668 « The island of Guam has experience a precipitous decline of its native forest birds, and several lines

Blouin-Demers, Gabriel

169

PUBLISHED OCCASIONALLY BY THE FRIENDS OF THE BANCROFT LIBRARY UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA 94720  

E-print Network

and manuscripts, includes a rare, India paper proof copy of Dante Gabriel Rossetti's illustration for his own plucked out the heart of the mys- tery in the little design. In it the Soul is instituting the 'memorial used for the Sonnet. Its 'face' bears the Soul, expressed in the butterfly; its 'converse,' the Serpent

California at Berkeley, University of

170

Blood money: An examination of oral narratives concerning wealth?giving snakes in the career of Khotso Sethuntsa, with particular focus on their socioeconomic implications  

Microsoft Academic Search

This article examines the oral narratives concerning the millionaire herbalist Khotso Sethuntsa's purported ownership of wealth?giving snakes and his career as a seller of these magical serpents, a practice known as uthwala. It is argued that the uthwala narratives featuring Khotso Sethuntsa (hereafter referred to as the Khotso narratives) are shaped by the specific milieu from which they spring. Particular

Felicity Wood

2005-01-01

171

Solving Polynomial Systems with Noise over F2: Zhenyu Huang and Dongdai Lin  

E-print Network

the pos- sible noises. It had better performance than other methods in solving the Cold Boot Key recovery a variant ISBS algorithm, and by the experiments of solving the Cold Boot key recovery problem of Serpent was in part supported by National 973 Program of China under Grants No. 2013CB834203 and No. 2011CB302400

172

In Brief . . . Send us your stories!  

E-print Network

innovation research education 1 SERPENT The Scientific and Environmental ROV Partnership using Exisiting i Morvin Norway May 02 - 07 Andrew Gates Yes Science New Stena Carron mission images The Oceaneering ROV ( ) swims lazily away as the ROV approaches. Right: A curious Dumbo Squid (Cirroteuthiidae) watches us as we

National Oceanography Centre, Southampton

173

Reproduced from Underwater Contractor International A collaboration between Southampton  

E-print Network

beyond the depths at which divers can operate. Operations rely heavily on ROV support, which is pro platforms operated by Transocean. As part of the SERPENT (Scientific and Environmen- tal ROV Partnership- nent Subsea 7 Pioneer HD work-class ROV on board the deepwater semi-submersible drilling rig Paul B

National Oceanography Centre, Southampton

174

Universit Paris Descartes Document de synthse  

E-print Network

explosion au bord du domaine [A1] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 2.3 Test de Kolmogorov pour pour le serpent brownien [A6] . . . . . . . 19 3 Approche problème de martingales et interactions 21 3 interactions [A7] . . . . . . . 26 4 Des probabilités qui s'appliquent à la biologie et à l'épidé- miologie 29

Dhersin, Jean-Stéphane

175

Journey to the East: Pilgrimage, Politics, and Gender in Postclassic Mexico  

E-print Network

the historical importance of snake imagery to women whoimagery related to serpent-winged diving gods and ball court sacrifice increased in importanceimagery, identified by its distinctive nose plaque, on the elaborate incensarios found in funerary contexts adds further evidence to the importance

Patel, Shankari

2012-01-01

176

Did Indians of the Americas Preserve Linguistic Place-names Like Willimantic, CT, Indicating Some Islamic Interactions and Applied Physics Use, Before Columbus?  

Microsoft Academic Search

Modern Peruvians document: ``Ñari Huallac is the name of the town in the north of Peru (Piura) where our families come from. The words Ñari Huallac mean Serpent God, [editorial emphasis by underlining script is added], and are some of the few words which remain from the ancient Tallan civilization.'' Tallan seems related to The God, Allah, of Islam, as

Erica Crory; Roger D. Mc Leod

2007-01-01

177

Clip and Save.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Provides information about the artist Katsukawa Shuntei and his artwork entitled "The Warrior Egara no Heita Battling with the Giant Serpent" that is a wood-block print. Describes how block prints are created and offers learning activities. Includes background information on the artwork. (CMK)

Hubbard, Guy

2003-01-01

178

Bradykinin-potentiating peptides and C-type natriuretic peptides from snake venom.  

PubMed

Cloning of cDNAs encoding bradykinin-potentiating peptides (BPPs)-C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) precursor or its homologue was performed for cDNA libraries of Bothrops jararaca (South American snake), Trimeresurus flavoviridis, Trimeresurus gramineus and Agkistrodon halys blomhoffi (Asian snakes), all belonging to Crotalinae subfamily. Each cDNA library was constructed from the venom glands of a single snake to preclude ambiguity by intraspecies variation in venom components. Thirteen positive clones derived from B. jararaca were divided into two types depending on restriction sites. Differences in the nucleotide sequence arise at three locations and two of them accompanied amino acid conversions. Despite the differences, both types of cDNA clones encode the BPP-CNP precursor of 256 amino acid residues. Sequence analysis demonstrated that cDNA clones from three Asian snakes encode homologues of the BPP-CNP precursor from B. jararaca. In a precursor polypeptide, a signal sequence (approximately 25 aa) at the N-terminus is followed by sequences of BPP or the analogue (5-13 aa) with flanking spacer sequences (indefinite number of aa), an intervening linker sequence (approximately 144 aa) with unidentified function, and a CNP sequence (22 aa) with a preceding processing signal sequence (10 aa). cDNA clones from A. halys blomhoffi encode two distinct peptides in place of BPP, and T. flavoviridis and T. gramineus were shown to have considerably different sequences in the BPP domain from those known as BPP sequences. The present results provide evidence for a wide distribution of the orthologous gene expressing a series of bioactive peptides among Crotalinae subfamily. PMID:10604536

Higuchi, S; Murayama, N; Saguchi, K; Ohi, H; Fujita, Y; Camargo, A C; Ogawa, T; Deshimaru, M; Ohno, M

1999-10-15

179

Frequency and effort of reproduction in female Vipera aspis from a southern population  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The frequency of reproduction of the asp viper ( Vipera aspis, Viperidae) was studied in a population living along the coasts of central Italy. An annual reproductive cycle seemed to be the rule during the 5-year study period. Annual reproduction, high average mass of reproductive females, and large size of neonates, compared with other northern or continental populations, are presumably due to the particularly suitable climatic conditions of the area, as in most coastal habitats of the Mediterranean region. Such a scenario should influence the extent of the feeding period, which allows females, within a few months after parturition, to regain their previous body condition and reproduce again the following year.

Zuffi, Marco A. L.; Giudici, Federico; Ioalè, Paolo

1999-11-01

180

Spallation Source Modelling for an ADS Using the MCNPX and GEANT4 Packages for Sensitivity Analysis of Reactivity  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

A simulation for the time evolution of the MYRRHA conceptual reactor was developed. The SERPENT code was used to simulate the nuclear fuel depletion and the spallation source which drives the system was simulated using both MCNPX and GEANT4 packages. The obtained results for the neutron energy spectrum from the spallation are coherent with each other and were used as input for the SERPENT code which simulated a constant power operation regime. The obtained results show that the criticality of the system is not sensitive to the spallation models employed and only relative small deviations with respect to the inverse kinetic model coming from the point kinetic equations proposed by Gandini were observed.

Antolin, M. Q.; Marinho, F.; Palma, D. A. P.; Martinez, A. S.

2014-04-01

181

The Bov-B lines found in Vipera ammodytes toxic PLA2 genes are widespread in snake genomes.  

PubMed

In the fourth intron of two toxic Vipera ammodytes PLA2 genes a Ruminantia specific 5'-truncated Bov-B LINE element was identified. Southern blot analysis of Bov-B LINE distribution in vertebrates shows that, apart from the Ruminantia, it is limited to Viperidae snakes (V. ammodytes, Vipera palaestinae, Echis coloratus, Bothrops alternatus, Trimeresurus flavoviridis and Trimeresurus gramineus). The copy number of the 3' end of Bov-B LINE in the V. ammodytes genome is between 62,000 and 75,000. At orthologous positions in other snake PLA2 genes the Bov-B LINE element is absent, indicating that its retrotransposition in the V. ammodytes PLA2 gene locus has occurred quite recently, about 5 Myr ago. The amplification of Bov-B LINEs in snakes may have occurred before the divergence of the Viperinae and Crotalinae subfamilies. Due to its wide distribution in Viperidae snakes it should be a valuable phylogenetic marker. The neighbour-joining phylogenetic tree shows two clusters of truncated Bov-B LINE, a Bovidae and a snake cluster, indicating an early horizontal transfer of this transposable element. PMID:9792174

Kordis, D; Gubensek, F

1998-11-01

182

A survey of gene expression and diversity in the venom glands of the pitviper snake Bothrops insularis through the generation of expressed sequence tags (ESTs).  

PubMed

In order to produce a global panorama of the transcriptional activity of snake venom glands and to correlate with its venom composition, we constructed a DNA complementary to RNA library from the venom glands of the Viperidae snake Bothrops insularis for the generation of expressed sequence tags (ESTs). Sequences from 610 independent clones were grouped in 297 clusters, revealing the putative identification of 210 distinct gene products. Toxin sequences correspond to 56% of all transcripts (85 clusters), being the metalloproteinases (23%) and the bradykinin-potentiating peptides (11%) the major components. This approach revealed a new highly expressed toxin similar to vascular endothelial growth factor, which was recently reported (J. Biol. Chem. 276 (2001) 39836). Among the 125 clusters matching cellular proteins, the major part represents molecules involved in gene and protein expression, notably in disulfide bond assembly, reflecting a high specialization of this tissue for toxin synthesis. An unusual representation of retrotransposon-like sequences was also found and could be related to the occurrence and diversity of many paralogous forms of toxins in the venom gland. Our B. insularis dbEST allowed the identification of the most common classes of toxins present in Viperidae venoms, which parallels the complex hemorrhagic effects evoked by the venom on the prey. In addition, it provides the first comprehensive set of reptilian gene sequences described so far. PMID:12459276

Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio de L M; Ho, Paulo L

2002-10-16

183

[Role of antivenoms in the treatment of snake envenomation].  

PubMed

The production of antivenoms, which were long deemed ineffective, dangerous and difficult to use, has improved dramatically. These antibodies (immunoglobulin G) are now fragmented, purified and controlled for their quality, leading to significantly better safety and facilitating their emergency use. Envenomation can result in various syndromes depending on the snake species: Viperidae venoms are highly inflammatory, hemorrhagic and necrotising, while Elapidae venoms can cause fatal respiratory paralysis. However, some Viperidae venoms can lead to asphyxiation similar to that observed in Elapidae envenomation while, conversely, Elapidae bites may be complicated by hemorrhage or necrosis, thus complicating etiologic diagnosis. Symptomatic treatment is complex, often insufficient, and frequently associated with adverse events. In contrast, antivenoms neutralize the venom and accelerate its clearance, thus providing an etiological treatment for envenomation, particularly in remote healthcare facilities in developing countries. Current formulations consist of polyvalent antivenoms covering most of the venomous species present in a specific region. The main limitation is their high cost, and the priority should be to develop new treatment strategies, including more affordable antivenoms, especially in developing countries where they are most needed. PMID:25518165

Chippaux, Jean-Philippe

2013-01-01

184

Titania composite microspheres endowed with a size-exclusive effect toward the highly specific revelation of phosphopeptidome.  

PubMed

The efficient isolation of low-abundance phosphopeptides from complicated biological samples containing a significant quantity of nonphosphopeptides and proteins is essential for phosphopeptidome research but remains a great challenge. In this Article, magnetic composite microspheres comprising a magnetic colloidal nanocrystal cluster core and a mesoporous titania shell with an average pore diameter of 3.4 nm were modified by directly coating an amorphous titania shell onto the magnetite core, followed by converting the amorphous titania shell into a crystalline structure via a hydrothermal process at 80 °C. The as-prepared magnetic mesoporous titania microspheres possess a remarkable specific surface area that is as high as 603.5 m2/g, which is an appropriate pore size with a narrow size distribution and a high magnetic responsiveness. These outstanding features imply that the composite microspheres exhibit extraordinary performance in phosphopeptidome research, including high specificity toward phosphopeptides, an excellent size-exclusion effect against phosphoproteins, exceptional enrichment capacity, and efficient separation from mixtures. Encouraged by the experimental results, we employed this method to investigate the phosphopeptidome of snake venom for the first time. A total of 35 phosphopeptides was identified from the snake venom from the family Viperidae, accounting for 75% of the total identified peptides. This result represents the largest data set of the phosphopeptidome in snake venom from the family Viperidae. PMID:24745367

Zhang, Ying; Ma, Wanfu; Zhang, Cheng; Wang, Changchun; Lu, Haojie

2014-05-14

185

The Writings of Thomas Pringle  

E-print Network

nineteenth century colonial/imperial senses, following Pringle' s own usage of the terms. No! the brown Serpent of the Rocks His den doth yet retain; And none who there his sting provokes, Shall find its poison vain! (Pringle: 'Bushman Song', 1825... to intensify his rhetoric against the colonial government, broaden the scope of his writings, and eventually attempt to redefine the nature of his political project, as evidenced in his correspondence, poetry and prose. This will be shown to have important...

Shaw, Damian John

1997-01-28

186

The Sunlight Effect of the Kukulcán Pyramid or The History of a Line  

Microsoft Academic Search

When the sunlight bathes the Kukulcán Pyramid in the Mayan city of Chichén-Itzá during the equinox sunset, it casts seven\\u000a triangles of light and shadow that creep downwards along its northeast stairway. According to the Popol Vuh, the effect can be interpreted as the myth of the gods of the Heart of Sky coming to the Sovereign Plumed Serpent. Unfortunately,

Tomás García-Salgado

2010-01-01

187

A Comparative Study of Performance of AES Final Candidates Using FPGAs  

Microsoft Academic Search

In this paper we study and compare the performanceof FPGA-based implementations of the #ve #-nal AES candidates #MARS, RC6, Rijndael, Serpent,and Two#sh#. FPGAs seem to match extremely wellwith the operations required by the #nal candidates.Among the various time-space implementation tradeo#s, we focused primarily on time performance. Thetime performance metrics are throughput and latency.Throughput corresponds to the amount of data processedpertime

Andreas Dandalis; Viktor K. Prasanna; José D. P. Rolim

2000-01-01

188

Five in situ observations of live oarfish Regalecus glesne (Regalecidae) by remotely operated vehicles in the oceanic waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico.  

PubMed

As part of the SERPENT Project, five observations of apparently healthy oarfish Regalecus glesne by remotely operated vehicles are reported from the northern Gulf of Mexico. Regalecus glesne were observed between 2008 and 2011 at depths from within the epipelagic and mesopelagic zones. These observations include the deepest verified record of R. glesne (463-492?m) and the first record of an arthropod ectoparasite (isopod). PMID:23808690

Benfield, M C; Cook, S; Sharuga, S; Valentine, M M

2013-07-01

189

Patent frenzy!  

Microsoft Academic Search

The Ouroboros is a universal symbol. This iconic depiction of a serpent eating its own tail has been interpreted and re-interpreted by a diverse array of cultures, from Egypt, India, and Japan to the Aztecs and Native Americans. Had the ancient Egyptians filed for a patent with the U.S. Patent Office for the method of drawing said symbol, they'd probably

Aaron Weiss

2004-01-01

190

Fast implementations of secret-key block ciphers using mixed inner- and outer-round pipelining  

Microsoft Academic Search

The new design methodology for secret-key block ciphers, based on introducing an optimum number of pipeline stages inside of a cipher round is presented and evaluated. This methodology is applied to five well-known modern ciphers, Triple DES, Rijndael, RC6, Serpent, and Twofish, with the goal to first obtain the architecture with the optimum throughput to area ratio, and then the

Pawel Chodowiec; Po Khuon; Kris Gaj

2001-01-01

191

Does prey size induce head skeleton phenotypic plasticity during early ontogeny in the snake Boa constrictor ?  

Microsoft Academic Search

Diet was manipulated in juveniles of the snakeBoaconstrictor (Serpentes: Boidae) to test the hypothesis of whether prey size induces phenotypic plasticity of the head skeleton. Additionally, the onset of sexual size dimorphisms (SSDs) was determined under a feeding schedule where total prey mass consumed by snakes was held constant. Twenty-three neonatalB. constrictor from a single-sired litter were placed into two

Gordon W. Schuett; David L. Hardy Sr; Ryan L. Earley; Harry W. Greene

2005-01-01

192

Computation of a Canadian SCWR unit cell with deterministic and Monte Carlo codes  

SciTech Connect

The Canadian SCWR has the potential to achieve the goals that the generation IV nuclear reactors must meet. As part of the optimization process for this design concept, lattice cell calculations are routinely performed using deterministic codes. In this study, the first step (self-shielding treatment) of the computation scheme developed with the deterministic code DRAGON for the Canadian SCWR has been validated. Some options available in the module responsible for the resonance self-shielding calculation in DRAGON 3.06 and different microscopic cross section libraries based on the ENDF/B-VII.0 evaluated nuclear data file have been tested and compared to a reference calculation performed with the Monte Carlo code SERPENT under the same conditions. Compared to SERPENT, DRAGON underestimates the infinite multiplication factor in all cases. In general, the original Stammler model with the Livolant-Jeanpierre approximations are the most appropriate self-shielding options to use in this case of study. In addition, the 89 groups WIMS-AECL library for slight enriched uranium and the 172 groups WLUP library for a mixture of plutonium and thorium give the most consistent results with those of SERPENT. (authors)

Harrisson, G.; Marleau, G. [Inst. of Nuclear Engineering, Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal (Canada)

2012-07-01

193

Malformations in neotropical viperids: qualitative and quantitative analysis.  

PubMed

Malformations can occur in all living species, but there is little information about anomalies that occur in snakes and their frequency. This study assessed malformations in newborn South American pit vipers (Bothrops jararaca) and South American rattlesnakes (Crotalus durissus) from wild captured pregnant females (240 and 35 litters, respectively). Newborn snakes were measured, weighed, sexed and studied grossly and by radiography for the presence of malformations. Ninety-five malformed pit vipers were identified from 4,087 births (2.3%), while 36 malformed rattlesnakes were found from 324 births (11.1%). Spinal abnormalities were the most common in both species, followed by fusion of ventral scales. Pit vipers showed a greater range of malformations including schistosomia (22.1%), kinked tail (13.7%), bicephaly (3.1%) and hydrocephaly (2.1%). PMID:23885804

Sant'Anna, S S; Grego, K F; Lorigados, C A B; Fonseca-Pinto, A C B C; Fernandes, W; Sá-Rocha, L C; Catão-Dias, J L

2013-11-01

194

Caiman kininogen-like cysteine proteinase inhibitor.  

PubMed

Kininogens are the major mammalian plasma cysteine proteinase inhibitors; a kininogen-like protein was also found in the snake Bothrops jararaca plasma. This communication describes a kininogen-like protein in plasma of Caiman crocodilus vacare. Caiman crude plasma, unlike snake plasma, contains a detectable cysteine proteinase inhibitor. The inhibitor was purified by DEAE-Sephadex ion-exchange chromatography and chromatography on carboxy-methylated-papain-Sepharose. The estimated molecular weight of Caiman cysteine proteinase inhibitor is 70,000. Caiman plasma also hydrolyzes plasma kallikrein synthetic substrates and inhibits trypsin. Reptilian kininogen may lack the site for interaction with plasma prokallikrein, and the sequence of the released kinin may be distinct from bradykinin. The poor effectiveness of bradykinin on reptile smooth muscle shows that the reptile kinin receptors may be adapted to a specific kinin. PMID:1466283

Araujo, M S; Andreotti, R; Chudzinski, A M; Sampaio, C A; Sampaio, M U

1992-01-01

195

Fast analysis of low molecular mass compounds present in snake venom: identification of ten new pyroglutamate-containing peptides.  

PubMed

Characterization of the peptide content in snake venoms can be an important tool for the investigation of new pharmacological lead compounds. For this purpose, single-step analysis of crude venoms has recently been demonstrated using mass spectrometry (MS) techniques. Reproducible profiles of ions in MS and MS/MS spectra may also be used to compare venoms from different species. In this work matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOFMS) was used to obtain mass patterns of the major peptides (<8 kDa) found in pooled venoms from the genera Bothrops and Crotalus. Venoms from five different Bothrops species (B. jararaca, B. insularis, B. alternatus, B. jararacussu, and B. neuwiedi) and three Crotalus species (C. viridis, C. adamanteus and C. durissus terrificus) were analyzed. In agreement with other reports, venoms from Bothrops species contained a variety of peptides in the range m/z 1000-1500, and in some samples larger components (m/z 7000-8000) were detected. In the Crotalus species venoms were rich in peptides ranging from m/z 1000-1500 and 4000-5500. MS/MS experiments on the low molecular mass peptides (m/z 1000-1500) confirmed the presence of ten new bradykinin-potentiating peptides among venoms from genera Bothrops and Crotalus. In order to determine whether additional peptides could be identified after partial purification, B. jararaca venom was subjected to size-exclusion chromatography on Sephacryl S-200, and two distinct low molecular mass pools were analyzed further by MALDI-TOFMS. No additional peptides were detected from the pool with masses below 2000 Da but a substantial improvement with better resolution was observed for the pool with masses above 7000 Da, indicating that complex samples such as crude snake venoms can be analyzed for low molecular mass peptides using a single-step procedure. PMID:15912471

Wermelinger, Luciana Serrão; Dutra, Denis L S; Oliveira-Carvalho, Ana L; Soares, Márcia Regina; Bloch, Carlos; Zingali, Russolina B

2005-01-01

196

Wide distribution of cysteine-rich secretory proteins in snake venoms: isolation and cloning of novel snake venom cysteine-rich secretory proteins.  

PubMed

Cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRISPs) are found in epididymis and granules of mammals, and they are thought to function in sperm maturation and in the immune system. Recently, we isolated and obtained clones for novel snake venom proteins that are classified as CRISP family proteins. To elucidate the distribution of snake venom CRISP family proteins, we evaluated a wide range of venoms for immuno-cross-reactivity. Then we isolated, characterized, and cloned genes for three novel CRISP family proteins (piscivorin, ophanin, and catrin) from the venom of eastern cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus), king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), and western diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox). Our results show the wide distribution of snake venom CRISP family proteins among Viperidae and Elapidae from different continents, indicating that CRISP family proteins compose a new group of snake venom proteins. PMID:12646276

Yamazaki, Yasuo; Hyodo, Fumiko; Morita, Takashi

2003-04-01

197

Current challenges for confronting the public health problem of snakebite envenoming in Central America.  

PubMed

Snakebite envenoming is a serious public health problem in Central America, where approximately 5,500 cases occur every year. Panama has the highest incidence and El Salvador the lowest. The majority, and most severe, cases are inflicted by the pit viper Bothrops asper (family Viperidae), locally known as 'terciopelo', 'barba amarilla' or 'equis'. About 1% of the bites are caused by coral snakes of the genus Micrurus (family Elapidae). Despite significant and successful efforts in Central America regarding snakebite envenomings in the areas of research, antivenom manufacture and quality control, training of health professionals in the diagnosis and clinical management of bites, and prevention of snakebites, much remains to be done in order to further reduce the impact of this medical condition. This essay presents seven challenges for improving the confrontation of snakebite envenoming in Central America. Overcoming these challenges demands a coordinated partnership of highly diverse stakeholders though inter-sectorial and inter-programmatic interventions. PMID:24602234

Gutiérrez, José María

2014-01-01

198

Current challenges for confronting the public health problem of snakebite envenoming in Central America  

PubMed Central

Snakebite envenoming is a serious public health problem in Central America, where approximately 5,500 cases occur every year. Panama has the highest incidence and El Salvador the lowest. The majority, and most severe, cases are inflicted by the pit viper Bothrops asper (family Viperidae), locally known as ‘terciopelo’, ‘barba amarilla’ or ‘equis’. About 1% of the bites are caused by coral snakes of the genus Micrurus (family Elapidae). Despite significant and successful efforts in Central America regarding snakebite envenomings in the areas of research, antivenom manufacture and quality control, training of health professionals in the diagnosis and clinical management of bites, and prevention of snakebites, much remains to be done in order to further reduce the impact of this medical condition. This essay presents seven challenges for improving the confrontation of snakebite envenoming in Central America. Overcoming these challenges demands a coordinated partnership of highly diverse stakeholders though inter-sectorial and inter-programmatic interventions. PMID:24602234

2014-01-01

199

Inhibition of Lung Tumor Colonization and Cell Migration with the Disintegrin Crotatroxin 2 Isolated from the Venom of Crotalus atrox  

PubMed Central

Disintegrins are low molecular weight proteins (4-15 kDa) with an RGD binding region at their binding loop. Disintegrin and disintegrin-like proteins are found in the venom of four families of snakes: Atractaspididae, Elapidae, Viperidae and Colubridae. This report describes the biological activity of a disintegrin, crotatroxin 2, isolated by a three-step chromatography procedure from the venom of the Western diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox). The intact molecular mass for crotatroxin 2 was 7.384 kDa and 71 amino acids. Crotatroxin 2 inhibited human whole blood platelet aggregation with an IC50 of 17.5 nM, inhibited cell (66.3p) migration by 63%, and inhibited experimental lung tumor colonization in BALB/c mice at 1000 ?g/kg. Our data suggest that while crotatroxin 2 inhibits platelet aggregation, cancer cell migration, and lung tumor colonization it is done via different integrins. PMID:18387648

Galán, Jacob A.; Sánchez, Elda E.; Rodríguez-Acosta, Alexis; Soto, Julio G.; Bashir, Sajid; McLane, Mary Ann; Paquette-Straub, Carrie; Pérez, John C.

2009-01-01

200

Biochemical Characterization, Action on Macrophages, and Superoxide Anion Production of Four Basic Phospholipases A2 from Panamanian Bothrops asper Snake Venom  

PubMed Central

Bothrops asper (Squamata: Viperidae) is the most important venomous snake in Central America, being responsible for the majority of snakebite accidents. Four basic PLA2s (pMTX-I to -IV) were purified from crude venom by a single-step chromatography using a CM-Sepharose ion-exchange column (1.5 × 15?cm). Analysis of the N-terminal sequence demonstrated that pMTX-I and III belong to the catalytically active Asp49 phospholipase A2 subclass, whereas pMTX-II and IV belong to the enzymatically inactive Lys49 PLA2s-like subclass. The PLA2s isolated from Panama Bothrops asper venom (pMTX-I, II, III, and IV) are able to induce myotoxic activity, inflammatory reaction mainly leukocyte migration to the muscle, and induce J774A.1 macrophages activation to start phagocytic activity and superoxide production. PMID:23509779

Rueda, Aristides Quintero; Rodríguez, Isela González; Arantes, Eliane C.; Setúbal, Sulamita S.; Calderon, Leonardo de A.; Zuliani, Juliana P.; Stábeli, Rodrigo G.; Soares, Andreimar M.

2013-01-01

201

Biochemical characterization and molecular cloning of a plasminogen activator proteinase (LV-PA) from bushmaster snake venom.  

PubMed

The protein (LV-PA) from bushmaster (Lachesis muta muta) venom is a serine proteinase which specifically activates the inactive proenzyme plasminogen. LV-PA is a single chain glycoprotein with an apparent molecular mass of 33 kDa that fell to 28 kDa after treatment with N-Glycosidase F (PNGase F). Approximately 93% of its protein sequence was determined by automated Edman degradation of various fragments derived from a digestion with trypsin. A cDNA library of L. m. muta was constructed to generate expressed sequence tags (ESTs) and the plasminogen activator precursor cDNA was sequenced. The complete amino acid sequence of the enzyme was deduced from the cDNA sequence. LV-PA is composed of 234 residues and contains a single asparagine-linked glycosylation site, Asn-X-Ser, bearing sugars that account for approximately 10% of the enzyme's total molecular mass of 33 kDa. The sequence of LV-PA is highly similar to the plasminogen activators (PAs) TSV-PA from Trimeresurus stejnegeri venom and Haly-PA from Agkistrodon halys. Furthermore, the mature protein sequence of LV-PA exhibits significant similarity with other viperidae venom serine proteinases which affect many steps of hemostasis, ranging from the blood coagulation cascade to platelet function. The Michaelis constant (Km) and the catalytic rate constant (kcat) of LV-PA on four chromogenic substrates were obtained from Lineweaver-Burk plots. In addition, we used an indirect enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay (ELISA) to explore the phylogenetic range of immunological cross-reactivity (using antibodies raised against LV-PA) with analogous serine proteinases from two viperidae venoms and mammals. PMID:17034951

Sanchez, Eladio F; Felicori, Liza F; Chavez-Olortegui, Carlos; Magalhaes, Henrique B P; Hermogenes, Ana L; Diniz, Marcelo V; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inacio de L M; Magalhaes, Arinos; Richardson, Michael

2006-12-01

202

Comparative Sex Chromosome Genomics in Snakes: Differentiation, Evolutionary Strata, and Lack of Global Dosage Compensation  

PubMed Central

Snakes exhibit genetic sex determination, with female heterogametic sex chromosomes (ZZ males, ZW females). Extensive cytogenetic work has suggested that the level of sex chromosome heteromorphism varies among species, with Boidae having entirely homomorphic sex chromosomes, Viperidae having completely heteromorphic sex chromosomes, and Colubridae showing partial differentiation. Here, we take a genomic approach to compare sex chromosome differentiation in these three snake families. We identify homomorphic sex chromosomes in boas (Boidae), but completely heteromorphic sex chromosomes in both garter snakes (Colubridae) and pygmy rattlesnake (Viperidae). Detection of W-linked gametologs enables us to establish the presence of evolutionary strata on garter and pygmy rattlesnake sex chromosomes where recombination was abolished at different time points. Sequence analysis shows that all strata are shared between pygmy rattlesnake and garter snake, i.e., recombination was abolished between the sex chromosomes before the two lineages diverged. The sex-biased transmission of the Z and its hemizygosity in females can impact patterns of molecular evolution, and we show that rates of evolution for Z-linked genes are increased relative to their pseudoautosomal homologs, both at synonymous and amino acid sites (even after controlling for mutational biases). This demonstrates that mutation rates are male-biased in snakes (male-driven evolution), but also supports faster-Z evolution due to differential selective effects on the Z. Finally, we perform a transcriptome analysis in boa and pygmy rattlesnake to establish baseline levels of sex-biased expression in homomorphic sex chromosomes, and show that heteromorphic ZW chromosomes in rattlesnakes lack chromosome-wide dosage compensation. Our study provides the first full scale overview of the evolution of snake sex chromosomes at the genomic level, thus greatly expanding our knowledge of reptilian and vertebrate sex chromosomes evolution. PMID:24015111

Zektser, Yulia; Mahajan, Shivani; Bachtrog, Doris

2013-01-01

203

Spectroscopy of Moses Rock Kimberlite Diatreme  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Three types of remote sensing data (Airborne Imaging Spectroscopy (AIS), NS001, Zeiss IR-photographs) were obtained for the Moses Rock kimberlite dike in southern Utah. The goal is to identify and characterize the mantle derived mafic component in such volcanic features. The Zeiss and NS001 images provide information on the regional setting and allow units of the dike to be distinguished from surrounding material. A potential unmapped satellite dike was identified. The AIS data provide characterizing information of the surface composition of the dike. Serpentized olivine-bearing soils are (tentatively) identified from the AIS spectra for a few areas within the dike.

Pieters, C. M.; Mustard, J. F.

1985-01-01

204

Spectroscopy of Moses Rock kimberlite diatreme  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Three types of remote sensing data (Airborne Imaging Spectroscopy (AIS), NS001, Zeiss IR-photographs) were obtained for the Moses Rock kimberlite dike in southern Utah. The goal is to identify and characterize the mantle derived mafic component in such volcanic features. The Zeiss and NS001 images provide information on the regional setting and allow units of the dike to be distinguished from surrounding material. A potential unmapped satellite dike was identified. The AIS data provide characterizing information of the surface composition of the dike. Serpentized olivine-bearing soils are (tentatively) identified from the AIS spectra for a few areas within the dike.

Pieters, C. M.; Mustard, J. F.

1985-06-01

205

Geobotanical techniques for discriminating serpentine rock types in Western United States  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

The effectiveness of airborne multispectral imagery for identifying vegetation indicative of serpentine soils, which usually contain deposits of Ni, Cr, and Co, was examined with ground truth data. Analyses were carried out in SW Oregon, the Jasper Ridge of the Santa Cruz Mountains, and the Sierra Nevada foothills. Airborne studies were performed with 10-channel scanner, a IR scanner, and with false color composites, while ground studies classified the vegetation and mineral contents of the soil. The airborne studies were successfully used to discern serpentine soils from nonultramafic rock types, although difficulties were encountered in separating serpentine from nonserpentinized peridotite. A lack of deciduous trees on serpentized land was noted.

Mouat, D.; Elvidge, C.; Lyon, R.

1982-01-01

206

Literary reviews  

Microsoft Academic Search

Thinly?veiled autobiographyThe Enigma of Arrival. V S Naipaul, London: Viking. 1987. 318pp. £10.95hbUnmasking MexicoThe Good Conscience. Carlos Fuentes, London: André Deutsch. 1986. 148pp. £8.95hb\\/£3.95pbA Change of Skin. Carlos Fuentes, London: André Deutsch. 1986. 462pp. £6.95pbThe Old Gringo. Carlos Fuentes, London: André Deutsch. 1986. 199pp. £8.95Alternative realities: novels from BrazilDona Flor and Her Two Husbands. Jorge Amado, London: Serpent's Tail. 1986.

Johnt Hieme; Jason Wilson; Amanda Hopkinson; Nissa Torrents; Judie Newman; Maria Couto; William Walsh; Fadia A Faqir; M. M. Badawi; Shahrukh A Husain

1987-01-01

207

Flows along penumbral flux tubes in sunspots. Instability of super-Alfvénic, serpentine solutions  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The super-Alfvénic, undulating "sea-serpent" flow configurations along thin magnetic flux tubes, proposed by Schlichenmaier (2002, Astron. Nachr., 323, 303; 2003, ASP Conf. Ser., 286, 24) to explain both the Evershed flow and moving penumbral grains in a sunspot, are shown to be gravitationally unstable. Any undulations that occur for super-Alfvénic flow speeds will form preferentially in a horizontal plane and hence will not explain Evershed downflows or outward-moving penumbral grains. Sub-Alfvénic, arched flow configurations, on the other hand, are gravitationally stable.

Thomas, J. H.

2005-09-01

208

Astronomy at Teotihuacan  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Located 37 km from Mexico City, during the first part of the first millennium AD, Teotihuacan was one of the world's largest and most populated cities. The city controlled the obsidian mines and developed far-reaching economic and political interactions, especially with the Classic Maya dynasties, Monte Albán in the Valley of Oaxaca and the Mexican Gulf Coast. Teotihuacan-made pottery and jewelry along with talud-tablero architectural style and the cult of the Feathered Serpent and Rain gods was spread throughout Mesoamerica.

Iwaniszewski, Stanis?aw

209

A review of "Shifting Contexts: Reinterpreting Samson Agonistes" by Joseph Wittreich  

E-print Network

to minimize the praise in Hebrews: instead one should recognize a serpentine Samson who with his Danite relatives perished because of the evils foreseen by Jacob. Here too is the source of the strange ?evening Dragon? that appears near the end of the play..., dragons and serpents being nearly synonymous (252). REVIEWS 23 Such a view makes possible an entirely new understanding of Milton?s Samson with concomitant revaluations of the entire play in its shifting contexts that Wittreich investigates and invites his...

William B. Hunter

2003-01-01

210

A Brief History of Tango Monastery  

E-print Network

by himself. The wall paintings on all the 3 storeys are the real work of the great painter Jangchub Sempa. In front of the central tower and in the middle of the courtyard, there is a natural fountain whose flow is constant throughout the year. Then... religious music as presents to Nagas (Serpent Spirits). Such deeds usher in good crops, timely rain, prevention of wars, epidemics and famines in the country. In this way, the ritual of Kagye Desheg Dubchen and consecration in its complete form...

Kuenleg, Tshenyid Lopen

2000-01-01

211

Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) Efforts and Observations at the Rocknest Eolian Sand Shadow in Curiosity's Gale Crater Field Site  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission is focused on assessing the past or present habitability of Mars, through interrogation of environment and environmental records at the Curiosity rover field site in Gale crater. The MSL team has two methods available to collect, process and deliver samples to onboard analytical laboratories, the Chemistry and Mineralogy instrument (CheMin) and the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite. One approach obtains samples by drilling into a rock, the other uses a scoop to collect loose regolith fines. Scooping was planned to be first method performed on Mars because materials could be readily scooped multiple times and used to remove any remaining, minute terrestrial contaminants from the sample processing system, the Collection and Handling for In-Situ Martian Rock Analysis (CHIMRA). Because of this cleaning effort, the ideal first material to be scooped would consist of fine to very fine sand, like the interior of the Serpent Dune studied by the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit team in 2004 [1]. The MSL team selected a linear eolian deposit in the lee of a group of cobbles they named Rocknest (Fig. 1) as likely to be similar to Serpent Dune. Following the definitions in Chapter 13 of Bagnold [2], the deposit is termed a sand shadow. The scooping campaign occurred over approximately 6 weeks in October and November 2012. To support these activities, the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) acquired images for engineering support/assessment and scientific inquiry.

Edgett, K. S.; Yingst, R. A.; Minitti, M. E.; Goetz, W.; Kah, L. C.; Kennedy, M. R.; Lipkaman, L. J.; Jensen, E. H.; Anderson, R. C.; Beegle, L. W.; Carsten, J. L.; Cooper, B.; Deen, R. G.; Dromart, G.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Gupta, S.; Hamilton, V. E.; Hardgrove, C. J.; Harker, D. E.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Herrera, P. N.; Hurowitz, J. A.; Jandura, L.; Ming, D. W.

2013-01-01

212

Is Continuing Contumely Relative to Mc Leod's Vision and ``Secret Sacred Science, (SSS),'': Contagiously Counterproductive in Science, or an Unhealthy Artifact of ``Turf Wars''?  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Mc Leod confirmed, with physics, his models for vision, and for electromagnetic artifacts, by traditional methods, associated with phenomena like tornados, hurricanes, and earthquakes. The latter confirmations are evidently apparent across current ethnology, cultures, linguistics, religion, rituals, exotic astronomy, somewhat concealed evidence of native record-keeping/writing, and iconography. Use of cultural anthropology while observing a modern Peruvian sacred-site-sweeping at Cuzco, coupled with their assertion that Ñari Huallac means ``serpent God,'' plus electromagnet information, reveals that their religious world-view include(s)(d) applied science that is still otherwise unacknowledged. Alexander Thom's precise megalithic site-measurements also imply that ``The Ancients' Serpent'' made/makes precise tracks that convey valuable information. The linguistics of words like Seminole, and unusual visual effects, reveal some traditionalists have done better than most scientists, for vision, and observational physics, and earth science. Tornado and hurricane tracks are predictable, as are some earthquakes. Tornado ``detuning'' or shutdown is electromagnetically possible. To cite this abstract, use the following reference: http://meetings.aps.org/link/BAPS.2007.NES07.C2.7

Leod, Roger

2007-04-01

213

Ophidascaris wangi sp. n. and O. najae (Gedoelst, 1916) (Ascaridida: Ascaridoidea) from snakes in China.  

PubMed

Ophidascaris wangi sp. n. collected from the king rat snake Elaphe carinata (Günther) (Serpentes: Colubridae) in China is described using both light and scanning electron microscopy. The new species differs from its congeners in the presence of narrow lateral alae originating a short distance posterior to the base of the ventrolateral lips, its relatively long oesophagus (3.57-4.54 mm long, representing 6.6-7.6% of body length), its short spicules (1.89-2.14 mm long, representing 3.9-4.3% of body length), the number and arrangement of caudal papillae (49-57 pairs in total, arranged as follows: 43-51 pairs precloacal, 2 pairs joined paracloacal and 4 pairs postcloacal), the presence of a particular papilliform medioventral, postcloacal ornamentation and the morphology of the eggs and tip of the female tail. In addition, Ophidascaris najae (Gedoelst, 1916), collected from the king cobra Ophiophagus hannah Cantor (Serpentes: Elapidae) in China, is also redescribed. The morphology of the cervical papillae, labial denticles and phasmids of the female is described for the first time. PMID:25651700

Li, Liang; Guo, Yan-Ning; Li, Jian; Zhang, Lu-Ping

2014-12-01

214

Effects of Schizolobium parahyba Extract on Experimental Bothrops Venom-Induced Acute Kidney Injury  

PubMed Central

Background Venom-induced acute kidney injury (AKI) is a frequent complication of Bothrops snakebite with relevant morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of Schizolobium parahyba (SP) extract, a natural medicine with presumed anti-Bothrops venom effects, in an experimental model of Bothrops jararaca venom (BV)-induced AKI. Methodology Groups of 8 to 10 rats received infusions of 0.9% saline (control, C), SP 2 mg/kg, BV 0.25 mg/kg and BV immediately followed by SP (treatment, T) in the doses already described. After the respective infusions, animals were assessed for their glomerular filtration rate (GFR, inulin clearance), renal blood flow (RBF, Doppler), blood pressure (BP, intra-arterial transducer), renal vascular resistance (RVR), urinary osmolality (UO, freezing point), urinary neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay [ELISA]), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH, kinetic method), hematocrit (Hct, microhematocrit), fibrinogen (Fi, Klauss modified) and blinded renal histology (acute tubular necrosis score). Principal Findings BV caused significant decreases in GFR, RBF, UO, HcT and Fi; significant increases in RVR, NGAL and LDH; and acute tubular necrosis. SP did not prevent these changes; instead, it caused a significant decrease in GFR when used alone. Conclusion SP administered simultaneously with BV, in an approximate 10?1 concentration, did not prevent BV-induced AKI, hemolysis and fibrinogen consumption. SP used alone caused a decrease in GFR. PMID:24551041

Martines, Monique Silva; Mendes, Mirian M.; Shimizu, Maria H. M.; Melo Rodrigues, Veridiana; de Castro, Isac; Filho, Sebastião R. Ferreira; Malheiros, Denise M. A. C.; Yu, Luis; Burdmann, Emmanuel A.

2014-01-01

215

Parasitological and immunological diagnoses from feces of captive-bred snakes at Vital Brazil Institute.  

PubMed

Fecal samples from 56 snakes at the Vital Brazil Institute, in the city of Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, were tested using the sedimentation and flotation techniques to investigate the evolutionary forms of parasites such as helminths and protozoa, and using enzyme immunoassay techniques to detect antigens of Cryptosporidium sp. and Giardia sp. Among the animals tested, 80.3% were positive for parasites. Out of these, there were 16 Bothrops jararaca, 16 B. jararacussu and 13 Crotalus durissus. The prevalence of parasitic nematodes was 41.1%, and nematodes were found in all three snake species. Among these, the most frequent finding was eggs of Kalicephalus sp., which were diagnosed in 25% of the snakes. The positivity for protozoa detected using parasite concentration techniques was 75%, including oocysts of Caryospora sp. in 75%, cysts with morphology similar to Giardia sp. 3.6%, amoeboid cysts in 41.1% and unsporulated coccidia oocysts in 8.9%. Immunoassays for Cryptosporidium sp. antigens produced positive findings in 60.7%. Pseudoparasites were detected in 64.3%. These results show that there is a need to improve the sanitary handling of captive-bred snakes, and also for the animal house that supplies rodents to feed them. The results also highlight that diagnostic tests should be performed periodically on stool specimens from captive-bred snakes. PMID:25054488

Souza, Janaína Lima de; Barbosa, Alynne da Silva; Vazon, Adriana Prado; Uchôa, Claudia Maria Antunes; Nunes, Beatriz Coronato; Cortez, Myrian Bandeira Vianna; Silva, Valmir Laurentino da; Más, Leonora Brazil; Melgarejo, Aníbal Rafael; Bastos, Otilio Machado Pereira

2014-01-01

216

Bothroalternin, a thrombin inhibitor from the venom of Bothrops alternatus.  

PubMed

Bothroalternin (MW 27 kDa), a new member of the family of C-type lectins is a thrombin inhibitor which was purified from pooled B. alternatus venom by affinity chromatography on PPACK-thrombin-Sepharose, followed by size exclusion and reverse-phase on HPLC columns. Material retained on the affinity column contained proteins with apparent molecular weights ranging from 20 to 60 kDa on SDS-PAGE and inhibited aggregation of rabbit platelets induced by alpha-thrombin (IC50 = 28 microg/ml). A single band of approximately 27 kDa was recognized in Western-blot assays using polyclonal antibodies raised against bothrojaracin, a thrombin inhibitor purified from B. jararaca venom (Zingali et al., 1993). The immunological similarity of this fraction to bothrojaracin was confirmed by ELISA and competitive ELISA. Further purification by size exclusion and reverse-phase on HPLC, produced a single homogenous peak called bothroalternin. This protein was highly homologous to bothrojaracin (95% in its N-terminal sequence-for residues 1 to 25) but displaying lower inhibitory effect on thrombin induced platelet aggregation (Ic50 = 0.19 microg/ml) compared to bothrojaracin (IC50 = 0.06). Altogether, bothroalternin is a new thrombin inhibitor isolated from Bothrops alternatus venom and has been characterized as a bothrojaracin-like protein. PMID:9839674

Castro, H C; Dutra, D L; Oliveira-Carvalho, A L; Zingali, R B

1998-12-01

217

Transcriptome analysis of the Amazonian viper Bothrops atrox venom gland using expressed sequence tags (ESTs).  

PubMed

Bothrops atrox is a highly dangerous pit viper in the Brazilian Amazon region. We produced a global catalogue of gene transcripts to identify the main toxin and other protein families present in the B. atrox venom gland. We prepared a directional cDNA library, from which a set of 610 high quality expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were generated by bioinformatics processing. Our data indicated a predominance of transcripts encoding mainly metalloproteinases (59% of the toxins). The expression pattern of the B. atrox venom was similar to Bothrops insularis, Bothrops jararaca and Bothrops jararacussu in terms of toxin type, although some differences were observed. B. atrox showed a higher amount of the PIII class of metalloproteinases which correlates well with the observed intense hemorrhagic action of its toxin. Also, the PLA2 content was the second highest in this sample compared to the other three Bothrops transcriptomes. To our knowledge, this work is the first transcriptome analysis of an Amazonian rain forest pit viper and it will contribute to the body of knowledge regarding the gene diversity of the venom gland of members of the Bothrops genus. Moreover, our results can be used for future studies with other snake species from the Amazon region to investigate differences in gene patterns or phylogenetic relationships. PMID:19708221

Neiva, Márcia; Arraes, Fabricio B M; de Souza, Jonso Vieira; Rádis-Baptista, Gandhi; Prieto da Silva, Alvaro R B; Walter, Maria Emilia M T; Brigido, Marcelo de Macedo; Yamane, Tetsuo; López-Lozano, Jorge Luiz; Astolfi-Filho, Spartaco

2009-03-15

218

Proteomics application exercise of the Swiss Proteomics Society: report of the SPS'02 session.  

PubMed

After the success of the mass spectrometry (MS) round table that was held at the first Swiss Proteomics Society congress (SPS'01) in Geneva, the SPS has organized a proteomics application exercise and allocated a full session at the SPS'02 congress. The main objective was to encourage the exchange of expertise in protein identification, with a focus on the use of mass spectrometry, and to create a bridge between the users' questions and the instrument providers' solutions. Two samples were sent to fifteen interested labs, including academic groups and MS hardware providers. Participants were asked to identify and partially characterize the samples. They consisted of a complex mixture of peptide/proteins (sample A) and an almost pure recombinant peptide carrying post-translational modifications (sample B). Sample A was an extract of snake venom from the species Bothrops jararaca. Sample B was a recombinant and modified peptide derived from the shrimp Penaeus vannamei penaeidin 3a. The eight labs that returned results reported the use of a wide range of MS instrumentation and techniques. They mentioned a variety of time and manpower allocations. The origin of sample A was generally identified together with a number of database protein entries. The difficulty of the sample identification lay in the incomplete knowledge of the Bothrops species genome sequence and is discussed. Sample B was generally and correctly identified as penaeidin. However, only one group reported the full primary structure. Interestingly, the approaches were again varied and are discussed in the text. PMID:12923782

Binz, Pierre-Alain; Abdi, Fadi; Affolter, Michael; Allard, Laure; Barblan, Jachen; Bhardwaj, Sanjeev; Bienvenut, Willy V; Bulet, Philippe; Burgess, Jennifer; Carrette, Odile; Corthals, Garry; Delalande, François; Diemer, Hélène; Favreau, Philippe; Giuliano, Elia; Gueguen, Yannick; Guillaume, Elisabeth; Hahner, Stephanie; Man, Petr; Michalet, Sophie; Neri, Dario; Noukakis, Dimitrios; Palagi, Patricia; Paroutaud, Pierre; Pimenta, Daniel Carvalho; Quadroni, Manfredo; Resemann, Anja; Richert, Sophie; Rybak, Jascha; Sanchez, Jean-Charles; Scherl, Alexander; Scheurer, Simone; Schweiger Hufnagel, Ulrike; Siethoff, Christoph; Suckau, Detlev; van Dorsselaer, Alain; Wagner Redeker, Winfried; Walter, Nadia; Stöcklin, Reto

2003-08-01

219

Isolation and characterization of a novel bradykinin potentiating peptide (BPP) from the skin secretion of Phyllomedusa hypochondrialis.  

PubMed

Bradykinin potentiating peptides (BPPs) from Bothrops jararaca venom were first described in the middle of 1960s and were the first natural inhibitors of the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). BPPs present a classical motif and can be recognized by their typical pyroglutamyl (Pyr)/proline rich sequences presenting, invariably, a proline residue at the C-terminus. In the present study, we describe the isolation and biological characterization of a novel BPP isolated from the skin secretion of the Brazilian tree-frog Phyllomedusa hypochondrialis. This new BPP, named Phypo Xa presents the sequence Pyr-Phe-Arg-Pro-Ser-Tyr-Gln-Ile-Pro-Pro and is able to potentiate bradykinin activities in vivo and in vitro, as well as efficiently and competitively inhibit ACE. This is the first canonical BPP (i.e. Pyr-Aaa(n)-Gln-Ile-Pro-Pro) to be found not only in the frog skin but also in any other natural source other than the snake venoms. PMID:17098329

Conceição, Katia; Konno, Katsuhiro; de Melo, Robson Lopes; Antoniazzi, Marta M; Jared, Carlos; Sciani, Juliana M; Conceição, Isaltino M; Prezoto, Benedito C; de Camargo, Antônio Carlos Martins; Pimenta, Daniel C

2007-03-01

220

Diagnostic uses of snake venom.  

PubMed

Snake venom toxins are invaluable for the assay of coagulation factors and for the study of haemostasis generally. Thrombin-like enzymes (SVTLE) are used for fibrinogen and fibrinogen breakdown product assays as well as detecting dysfibrinogenaemias. Since SVTLE are not inhibited by heparin, they can be used for assaying antithrombin III in samples containing heparin. Snake venom prothrombin activators are utilised in prothrombin assays, whilst Russell's viper venom (RVV) can be used to assay clotting factors V, VII, X and lupus anticoagulants (LA). Activators from the taipan, Australian brown snake and saw-scaled viper have also been used to assay LA. Protein C (PC) and activated PC (APC) resistance can be measured by means of RVV, Protac (from Southern copperhead snake venom) and STA-Staclot (from Crotalus viridis helleri) whilst von Willebrand factor can be studied with Botrocetin (Bothrops jararaca). Finally, snake venom C-type lectins and metalloproteinase disintegrins are being used to study platelet glycoprotein receptors and show great potential for use in the routine coagulation laboratory. PMID:11910187

Marsh, N A

2001-01-01

221

The e-MERLIN Data Reduction Pipeline  

E-print Network

Written in Python and utilising ParselTongue to interface with the Astronomical Image Processing System (AIPS), the e-MERLIN data reduction pipeline is intended to automate the procedures required in processing and calibrating radio astronomy data from the e-MERLIN correlator. Driven by a plain text file of input parameters, the pipeline is modular and can be run in stages by the user, depending on requirements. The software includes options to load raw data, average in time and/or frequency, flag known sources of interference, flag more comprehensively with SERPent, carry out some or all of the calibration procedures including self-calibration), and image in either normal or wide-field mode. It also optionally produces a number of useful diagnostic plots at various stages so that the quality of the data can be assessed. The software is available for download from the e-MERLIN website or via Github.

Argo, Megan

2015-01-01

222

Spectroscopy of Moses Rock dike using remote sensing  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Zeiss IR-photographs, NS0001 (TM simulator) and airborne imaging spectrometer (AIS) data were obtained for the Moses Rock kimberlite dike in southern Utah to identify and characterize the distinctive mafic mineralogy of the dike as well as the surrounding sedimentary rocks. The Zeiss and NS001 images provide information on the regional setting and allow units of the dike to be distinguished from the sediments. The AIS data are narrow images obtained in 128 near-infrared channels and provide characterizing information on the surface composition through. Three distinct spectroscopic units were found which have been tentatively identified as serpentized olivine-bearing soils found in the dike and two types of gypsum bearing soils found in the surrounding sedimentary soils.

Mustard, J. F.; Pieters, C. M.

1985-01-01

223

Abundance and distribution of ultramafic microbreccia in Moses Rock dike - Quantitative application of mapping spectroscopy  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Data from the Airborne Imaging Spectrometer were used to map the distribution and abundance of the serpentized ultramafic microbreccia (SUM) component in the Moses Rock dike, which is a Tertiary diatreme located on the Colorado Plateau in Utah. The geologic setting and composition of Moses Rock dike are discussed together with its texture and the relationship to the bedrock of surface materials. These observations along with laboratory spectroscopic data are used to interpret surface mineralogy of the dike and the surrounding regions from the imaging spectometer data. The spatial distribution and the abundance of the primary surface components were calculated using a nonlinear model for the mixing of spectra from multicomponent surfaces. The derived SUM distribution and abundance data support McGetchin's (1968) model for the emplacement of Moses Rock dike as a fluidized system.

Mustard, John F.; Pieters, Carle M.

1987-01-01

224

Snake Robots.com  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

One of the latest developments in robotics is flexible, snake-like machines that could be used for such activities as Martian landscape exploration because they are highly flexible, adaptable, and maneuverable into tight spaces and over relatively large obstacles. Snake Robots.com comes from robotics engineer Gavin Miller who developed his own "snakes" with inspiration from his work on physically-based computer animation at Alias Research, Inc. and Apple Computer, Inc. (Note: this private site is not affiliated with those corporations.) Visitors to Miller's site can see color videos, with audio, of his incredibly life-like serpents (.mpeg). Links to other snake robot sites are provided along with information about upcoming museum exhibitions and articles.

225

Snakes as hazards: modelling risk by chasing chimpanzees.  

PubMed

Snakes are presumed to be hazards to primates, including humans, by the snake detection hypothesis (Isbell in J Hum Evol 51:1-35, 2006; Isbell, The fruit, the tree, and the serpent. Why we see so well, 2009). Quantitative, systematic data to test this idea are lacking for the behavioural ecology of living great apes and human foragers. An alternative proxy is snakes encountered by primatologists seeking, tracking, and observing wild chimpanzees. We present 4 years of such data from Mt. Assirik, Senegal. We encountered 14 species of snakes a total of 142 times. Almost two-thirds of encounters were with venomous snakes. Encounters occurred most often in forest and least often in grassland, and more often in the dry season. The hypothesis seems to be supported, if frequency of encounter reflects selective risk of morbidity or mortality. PMID:25600837

McGrew, William C

2015-04-01

226

Hunter-gatherers and other primates as prey, predators, and competitors of snakes.  

PubMed

Relationships between primates and snakes are of widespread interest from anthropological, psychological, and evolutionary perspectives, but surprisingly, little is known about the dangers that serpents have posed to people with prehistoric lifestyles and nonhuman primates. Here, we report ethnographic observations of 120 Philippine Agta Negritos when they were still preliterate hunter-gatherers, among whom 26% of adult males had survived predation attempts by reticulated pythons. Six fatal attacks occurred between 1934 and 1973. Agta ate pythons as well as deer, wild pigs, and monkeys, which are also eaten by pythons, and therefore, the two species were reciprocally prey, predators, and potential competitors. Natural history data document snake predation on tree shrews and 26 species of nonhuman primates as well as many species of primates approaching, mobbing, killing, and sometimes eating snakes. These findings, interpreted within the context of snake and primate phylogenies, corroborate the hypothesis that complex ecological interactions have long characterized our shared evolutionary history. PMID:22160702

Headland, Thomas N; Greene, Harry W

2011-12-27

227

In situ video observations of two manefishes (perciformes: Caristiidae) in the mesopelagic zone of the northern Gulf of Mexico  

USGS Publications Warehouse

This paper describes direct video observations of two manefishes, likely Paracaristius sp., from the mesopelagic waters of the north-central Gulf of Mexico. One fish was observed with a remotely operated vehicle at a depth of 829 m by an industrial ROV as part of the SERPENT Project. The second was observed at 496 m from a manned submersible. Little is known about the behavior of manefishes because most records result from net-collected material. Our observation demonstrates that manefishes are capable of precise locomotory and posture control using extended, erect fins and that the pelvic fins of these fishes are extended in a parachute-like manner. Moreover, one of the specimens exhibited an unusual vertical, sinusoidal oscillation of its caudal fin. One of the observations took place in association with a physonect siphonophore. These observations may include the deepest published record for a manefish in the Gulf of Mexico.

Benfield, M.C.; Caruso, J.H.; Sulak, K.J.

2009-01-01

228

e-MERLIN data reduction pipeline  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Written in Python and utilizing ParselTongue (ascl:1208.020) to interface with AIPS (ascl:9911.003), the e-MERLIN data reduction pipeline processes, calibrates and images data from the UK's radio interferometric array (Multi-Element Remote-Linked Interferometer Network). Driven by a plain text input file, the pipeline is modular and can be run in stages. The software includes options to load raw data, average in time and/or frequency, flag known sources of interference, flag more comprehensively with SERPent (ascl:1312.001), carry out some or all of the calibration procedures (including self-calibration), and image in either normal or wide-field mode. It also optionally produces a number of useful diagnostic plots at various stages so data quality can be assessed.

Argo, Megan

2014-07-01

229

Alteration of Al-rich inclusions inside amoeboid olivine aggregates in the Allende meteorite  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

The primary phases of Al-rich inclusions in amoeboid olivine aggregates have undergone alteration reactions with the solar nebular gas. The simplest interpretation of the present observations is that melilite was the first primary phase to disappear with falling temperature, and was replaced by grossular + anorthite + feldspathoids, followed by fassaite; spinel was the last phase to be altered. Thermodynamic calculations suggest that Na-rich phlogopite could have formed at about 470 K and chlorite at about 328 K at a water fugacity of 0.000001, which is that of a gas of solar composition in this temperature range. The olivine around Al-rich inclusions is not serpentized, indicating the cessation of gas-solid equilibrium above 274 K.

Hashimoto, Akihiko; Grossman, Lawrence

1987-01-01

230

Comets in ancient India  

E-print Network

The Indo-aryans of ancient India observed stars and constellations for ascertaining auspicious times for sacrificial rites ordained by vedas. It is but natural that they would have recounted in the vedic texts about comets. In Rigveda ($\\sim $ 1700 - 1500 BC) and Atharvaveda ($\\sim $ 1150 BC), there are references to dhumaketus and ketus, which stand for comets in Sanskrit. Varahamihira in 550 AD and Ballala Sena ($\\sim $ 1100 - 1200 AD) have described a large number of comets recorded by ancient seers such as Parashara, Vriddha Garga, Narada, Garga, etc. In this article, I conjecture that an episode narrated in Mahabharata of a radiant king, Nahusha, ruling the heavens, and later turning into a serpent after he had kicked the seer Agastya (also the star Canopus), is a mythological retelling of a cometary event.

Gupta, Patrick Das

2014-01-01

231

Abundance and distribution of ultramafic microbreccia in Moses Rock dike - Quantitative application of mapping spectroscopy  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Data from the Airborne Imaging Spectrometer were used to map the distribution and abundance of the serpentized ultramafic microbreccia (SUM) component in the Moses Rock dike, which is a Tertiary diatreme located on the Colorado Plateau in Utah. The geologic setting and composition of Moses Rock dike are discussed together with its texture and the relationship to the bedrock of surface materials. These observations along with laboratory spectroscopic data are used to interpret surface mineralogy of the dike and the surrounding regions from the imaging spectometer data. The spatial distribution and the abundance of the primary surface components were calculated using a nonlinear model for the mixing of spectra from multicomponent surfaces. The derived SUM distribution and abundance data support McGetchin's (1968) model for the emplacement of Moses Rock dike as a fluidized system.

Mustard, John F.; Pieters, Carle M.

1987-09-01

232

Helminth fauna of a Japanese golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos japonica.  

PubMed

A Japanese golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos japonica, was found dead in Nagano Prefecture PB 399-8200, Japan, and subjected to necropsy. The necropsy revealed that the entire length of the intestine was filled with several masses of intestinal parasites. The recovered helminths were identified as one digenean trematode species, Neodiplostomum reflexum; two species of nematodes, Synhimantus sp. and larvae of Porrocaecum sp.; and a single species of Acanthocephala, Centrorhynchus sp. Digenea and acanthocephalans were found in massive numbers, obliterating the intestinal lumen, which suggests that the bird died as a result of the parasitic intestinal obstruction. The same type of helminths as those observed in this case was previously recorded in crested serpent eagles (Spilornis cheela perplexus) in Japan, but the present study emphasizes the presence of the four species in the Japanese golden eagle as a new host record. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of N. reflexum in Japan. PMID:23272374

El-Dakhly, Khaled; El-Nahass, El-Shaymaa; Sudo, Akiko; Uchida, Tadayoshi; Kakogawa, Masayoshi; Hirata, Akihiro; Sakai, Hiroki; Yanai, Tokuma

2012-12-01

233

DNA barcodes of Philippine accipitrids.  

PubMed

DNA barcoding is a molecular method that rapidly identifies an individual to a known taxon or its closest relative based on a 650-bp fragment of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI). In this study, DNA barcodes of members of the family Accipitridae, including Haliastur indus (brahminy kite), Haliaeetus leucogaster (white-bellied sea eagle), Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus (grey-headed fish eagle), Spilornis holospilus (crested serpent-eagle), Spizaetus philippensis (Philippine hawk-eagle), and Pithecophaga jefferyi (Philippine eagle), are reported for the first time. All individuals sampled are kept at the Philippine Eagle Center in Davao City, Philippines. Basic local alignment search tool results demonstrated that the COI sequences for these species were unique. The COI gene trees constructed using the maximum-likelihood and neighbour-joining (NJ) methods supported the monophyly of the booted eagles of the Aquilinae and the sea eagles of the Haliaeetinae but not the kites of the Milvinae. PMID:21429130

Ong, Perry S; Luczon, Adrian U; Quilang, Jonas P; Sumaya, Anna Mae T; Ibañez, Jayson C; Salvador, Dennis J; Fontanilla, Ian Kendrich C

2011-03-01

234

Environmental Aspects of Sites Like America's Stonehenge, (AS), Florida's Miami Tequesta Site, and Lowell's A.D. 1069  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Subtle ``instrumentation" is often unnoticed. Stone-chamber transponder-receivers are principle and secondary wave detectors, part of the ``technologic" arsenal of men like Passaconaway/Metacomen of colonial-era Massachusetts, or the earthquake-predicting Shawnee Tecumseh of the Ohio Valley region, during 1811-1813. An Ohio stone-effigy ``serpent" is a thunderstorm precursor signal indicator. The Hopi require similar ``equipment," when duping gullible ``rain-dance" patrons. Tornado/waterspout activity is documented right in the Tequesta site at the river in Miami, Florida, which generates detectable signals. Columbus could have used similar ``secret sacred science" previously learned from American Indians, and thereby successfully predicted an anomalous hurricane on a subsequent trip. These, and the Hawaiian volcano goddess Pelee, seem to be a mythic equivalent of electromagnetically generated signals, i.e., a metaphor for ``environmental applied physics" we detect at A.S.

Ochs, Michael Ann; Mc Leod, Roger D.

2002-04-01

235

Floridas Miami Tequesta Indian Site, Its Calusa Indian Locations, the Matacumbe Keys, and Orlandos Wikiwa Springs Generate Environmentally Significant EMFs.  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Florida purchased the Tequesta ([Langue] doc Christ Spirit-signal) Indian site along the Miami River site that vigorously pulsates with even minor rainstorms entering or leaving the area. Although there is a laughable chimera of a fountain of youth associated with Ponce de Leons discovery of the Florida peninsula in about AD 1513, the Calusa (Royal Christ Jesus Spirit-signal) Indian Nation has an associated significance with EMF signals they possibly monitored throughout their area of activity. Our efforts have also led to the investigation of cultural and other influences implied by the Matacumbe Keys that indicate a shared commonality of awareness with Native Americans of the northeast such as Metacomet, or regions like Maines Grand Lake Matagamon and its associated electromagnetic Spirit Signal. Wikiwa Springs near Orlando shares much with Massachusetts (adherent of serpent Jesus Christ Spirit-signal) Natick, and New Hampshires Naticook Island. These are the locales of environmentally sensitive instrumentation.

Mac Dougall, Jean S.; Mc Leod, Roger D.; Mc Leod, David M.

2003-10-01

236

We Detect Blue Light Phenomena Correlating with Environmental and Weather Changes, and Historic Native Americans or Their Place Names.  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Katahdin (Christ Cathar Spirit-signal stronghold) in Maine is sacred to the Penobscot Indian Nation. That mountain complex, and areas like Ellis Pond, ME and Penley Hill/Anasagunticook (adherent of Jesus Christ Spirit-signal doctor church) of the Mexico/Rumford/Mountain Valley region, also in Maine, have an association with historic Native Americans like the medicine woman Molocket/Molly Ockett. We have observed that these and other regions generate electromagnetic field (EMF) signals, which we can detect visually and in other ways. Such signals have sometimes been associated with significant and dynamic weather phenomena. Ohio's Serpent Mound and associated regions, or those now occupied by the Hopi Indian Nation, formerly an ancient Anasazi site, or areas of the current and earlier Mayan Nations, or the Nazca Plateau of Peru, may generate signals correlating with climate change, that may impact our technology, as in major power blackouts.

Ochs, Michael Ann; Mc Leod, Roger D.; Mc Leod, Edward M.

2003-10-01

237

Did Secret, Sacred Science: ``Kokopelli/Pamola,'' Motivate the Tarratines' Assassination of the Penobscots' Bashaba ca 1615, and Does ``Orono'' Yield Direct Physics Insights?  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

``Tarratine'' may share cognate phonetics with Tatoosh, (Makah, Pacific NE), Tuitan, Totonac, (coastal ``neighbors'' of the Aztec), Teedyuscung/Tatiuskundt, (Penn.), Teotihuacan, Tomtomhegan, (``ME'' ca 1781-2), Titikaka/Titicaca, and Tantaquidgeon, (Conn.); the military action that led to the assassination of the Penobscots' Bashaba has explanatory roots tying it to the last raid involving `Indian' military action of the Revolutionary War. ``Turf'' rights influenced conflict imperatives. Preserved linguistic roots have it best: Ñari Huallac, coupled with Arizona, Allagash, Allahpatah, and Orono/Orinoco, indicate traditionalists' information, by recognizing Kokopelli/Pamola/Pele/electromagnetics/EMF, says how nature behaves. Penobscots and modern Peruvian descendants of the Incas have it right: the concealed ``Serpent God'' of their EMF alter ego(s), says their science, (applied physics) is sacred because it ``predicts'' nature, even tinnitus, via ``Rawandagon''! To cite this abstract, use the following reference: http://meetings.aps.org/link/BAPS.2007.NES07.C2.8

Ataide, Italani; de Souza, Beatriz; Pawa Matagamon, Sagamo

2007-04-01

238

Evershed Flows along Penumbral Flux Tubes in Sunspots  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Theoretical models of the Evershed flow in a sunspot based on the thin flux tube approximation are compared. The super-Alfvénic, ``sea-serpent'' flow configurations found by Schlichenmaier (2002, 2003) are shown to be gravitationally unstable. If indeed super-Alfvénic flow speeds can be achieved along penumbral flux tubes, any undulations that occur will form preferentially in a horizontal plane and hence will not explain the observed Evershed downflows or outward-moving penumbral grains. On the other hand, sub-Alfvénic, arched flow configurations, such as the siphon-flow models of Montesinos and Thomas (1997), are gravitationally stable. The outer part of a siphon-flow flux tube is submerged, in opposition to its magnetic buoyancy, by downward magnetic flux pumping in the granular convective layer outside the sunspot.

Thomas, J. H.

2006-12-01

239

Penumbral fine structure: Theoretical understanding  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

To understand the dynamic fine structure and the Evershed effect of the sunspot penumbra, we have carried out time-dependent simulations of a thin magnetic flux tube embedded in a static sunspot model (Schlichenmaier et al. 1998a,b). Here, we present new simulation results of the moving tube model which reveal flux tubes that, instead of lying horizontal in the penumbral photosphere, develop waves (photospheric serpent) that reproduce not only the inward migration of penumbral grains, but also their observed outward migration, and which exhibit downflow arches in the outer penumbra. During its evolution the flux tube exhibits quasi-steady states. These states are compared to time-independent solutions of siphon flow models, which have been used to explain the Evershed flow (Meyer & Schmidt 1968, Degenhardt 1991, Montesinos & Thomas 1997).

Schlichenmaier, R.

2002-07-01

240

A Comparison of the Fables Contained in La Fontaine, Marie De France, and the Collections known as Isopet I, Isopet II, Isopet de Lyon  

E-print Network

Mylets, l e Coche et l a Mouche,1e serpent et l a Lime. And the author of 2 Isopet de Lyon d i d not write a fa b l e about l e Loup e t * l a Cicogne l'Ane et l e p e t i t Chien, nor l e S o l i e l et l e s Grenouilles while the other f a b u l i... Fontaine, A. 0. M. Robert, V o l . 1, 11. P a r i s , lff27. Lyoner Yzopet, Wendelin Foerster, P a r i s , 1#25. P o t s i e s de Marie de Frame, B. de Roaiiefort, V o l . I I . P a r i s , 1S20. La Fontaine et l e s F a b u l i s t e s , M. 8aint...

Benn, Rara Margaret

1908-07-01

241

Selections from the Naxi Manuscript Collection  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Residing today primarily in the northwestern part of Chinaâ??s Yunnan province near the Tibetan and Burmese borders, the Naxi people are one of Chinaâ??s fifty-six ethnic national minorities in the country. Their kingdom flourished for close to a thousand years, and along the way they created a language that used primarily pictographs. Recently, the Library of Congress completed cataloging their tremendous collection of Naxi manuscripts, and since that time, they have also created this online presentation. The materials available here include 185 manuscripts, a 39 foot funerary scroll, and an annotated catalog. Visitors may wish to start by reading the overview of the collection, then continue on to search all of the documents here by subject, keyword, or title. Visitors should not miss the lovely â??Warrior riding a white cowâ? or the fragmentary, yet powerful, â??Serpent Kingâ?.

242

Numerous Sinusoidal and Other EMF Phenomena, At Present and Former Native American Sites, May Be Superimposing Themselves onto Regional Power Grids.  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Periodic electromagnetic field signals (EMF), sometimes noticeable as faint blue-light or other phenomena, frequently are also detected at sites associated with Native Americans. We first noticed this sort of information in the vicinity of Wendell, MA about fourteen years ago. Similar and other signals are apparent at Americas Stonehenge, AS, in North Salem, NH. Connecticut provided our first evidence of superposition of two such waves at the Gungywamp site north of Groton, CT. A Maine location first showed orthogonally oriented trajectories in neighborhoods formerly frequented by Molocket and Metallak and their relatives near Rumford and Rangeley, ME. Florida exhibits similar signals in the vicinity of Hollywood and at Miamis Tequesta instrument, as does a separate site in CT. Powerful thunderstorms in the vicinity of a stone serpent effigy in Ohio cause EMF pulsations. Such signals are possibly superimposing themselves onto power-grids, where frequency changes and system instabilities may occur, according to the elementary physics involved.

Cadran, Lawrence R.; Mc Leod, Roger D.; Mc Leod, David M.

2003-10-01

243

Etude numerique de l'autoprotection spatiale dans des echantillons fortement absorbants irradies dans le reacteur SLOWPOKE  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The SLOWPOKE reactor at École Polytechnique de Montréal is used to perform chemical analysis for samples using neutron activation analysis (NAA). This technique works correctly when the sample to analyze is a weak neutron absorber. However, when a sample contains a large amount of isotopes that are strong neutron absorbers, the analysis result will be wrong because the presence of this type of isotopes changes the flux distribution in the sample. This natural effect, known as spatial self-shielding, is difficult to model using codes like SERPENT (Monte Carlo code) and DRAGON (deterministic code) because of the small size of the samples. The aim of this project is to propose simplifying models that can be used in simulation codes to evaluate in an accurate and efficient way the spatial neutron self-shielding effect.

Raouafi, Haykel

244

Scales microstructure of snakes from the Egyptian area.  

PubMed

The morphology of many organisms seems to be related to the environments in which they live. Many snakes are so similar in their morphological patterns that it becomes quite difficult to distinguish any adaptive divergence that may have occurred. Many authors have suggested that the microstructure of the reptile's scales has important functional value. Herein, we investigate variations on the micromorphology of the external surface of dorsal scales on the head, the mid-body region (trunk), and the tail of Rhomphotyphlops braminus (Typhlopidae), Eryx jaculus (Boidae), Psammophis sibilans (Colubridae), Naja haje (Elapidae) and Echis carinatus (Viperidae). The specimens were metallized and analyzed by scanning electron microscopy. All species displayed unique dorsal scale surface microstructures of the investigated regions. The microstructural pattern of the scales of head, trunk, and tail differs in different species of these snakes. In conclusion, we detected ecomorphologic relationships between extant dorsal scale microstructures and snake microhabitat, enabling us to hypothesize that environmental pressures have significant influences not only on these animals' macrostructure, but also on its microstructure as well. PMID:23106563

Allam, Ahmed A; Abo-Eleneen, Rasha E

2012-11-01

245

Purification and cloning of cysteine-rich proteins from Trimeresurus jerdonii and Naja atra venoms.  

PubMed

Three 26 kDa proteins, named as TJ-CRVP, NA-CRVP1 and NA-CRVP2, were isolated from the venoms of Trimeresurus jerdonii and Naja atra, respectively. The N-terminal sequences of TJ-CRVP and NA-CRVPs were determined. These components were devoid of the enzymatic activities tested, such as phospholipase A(2), arginine esterase, proteolysis, L-amino acid oxidase, 5'nucleotidase, acetylcholinesterase. Furthermore, these three components did not have the following biological activities: coagulant and anticoagulant activities, lethal activity, myotoxicity, hemorrhagic activity, platelet aggregation and platelet aggregation-inhibiting activities. These proteins are named as cysteine-rich venom protein (CRVP) because their sequences showed high level of similarity with mammalian cysteine-rich secretory protein (CRISP) family. Recently, some CRISP-like proteins were also isolated from several different snake venoms, including Agkistrodon blomhoffi, Trimeresurus flavoviridis, Lanticauda semifascita and king cobra. We presumed that CRVP might be a common component in snake venoms. Of particular interest, phylogenetic analysis and sequence alignment showed that NA-CRVP1 and ophanin, both from elapid snakes, share higher similarity with CRVPs from Viperidae snakes. PMID:14529736

Jin, Yang; Lu, Qiumin; Zhou, Xingding; Zhu, Shaowen; Li, Rui; Wang, Wanyu; Xiong, Yuliang

2003-10-01

246

Capillary damage in the area postrema by venom of the northern black-tailed rattlesnake (Crotalus molossus molossus)  

PubMed Central

The Northern black-tailed rattlesnake (Crotalus molossus molossus) venom is mainly hemotoxic, hemorrhagic, and neurotoxic. Its effects in the central nervous system are unknown and only poorly described for all Viperidae species in general. This is why we are interested in describe the damage induced by C. m. molossus venom in rat brain, particularly in the area postrema capillaries. Four C. m. molossus venom doses were tested (0.02, 0.05, 0.10 and 0.20mg/kg) injected intramuscularly at the lower limb, incubated by 24 hours and the brains were harvested. Area postrema coronal sections were stained with Haematoxylin and Eosin, and examined to observe the venom effect in quantity of capillaries and porphology. Starting from the 0.10mg/kg treatment we observed lysed extravasated erythrocytes and also capillary breakdown, as a consequence of hemorrhages appearance. The number of capillaries decreased significantly in response to the venom dose increment. Hemorrhages could be caused by the metalloproteinase activity on the basal membrane and the apoptosis generated by L-amino acid oxidases. Hemolysis could be caused by phospholipase A2 hemotoxic effect. We conclude that C. m. molossus crude venom produces hemolysis, capillary breakdown, hemorrhages, and the reduction in number of capillaries in the area postrema. PMID:25035793

Meléndez-Martínez, David; Macias-Rodríguez, Eduardo; Vargas-Caraveo, Alejandra; Martínez-Martínez, Alejandro; Gatica-Colima, Ana; Plenge-Tellechea, Luis Fernando

2014-01-01

247

Isolation and Biochemical Characterization of a New Thrombin-Like Serine Protease from Bothrops pirajai Snake Venom  

PubMed Central

This paper presents a novel serine protease (SP) isolated from Bothrops pirajai, a venomous snake found solely in Brazil that belongs to the Viperidae family. The identified SP, named BpirSP-39, was isolated by three chromatographic steps (size exclusion, bioaffinity, and reverse phase chromatographies). The molecular mass of BpirSP-39 was estimated by SDS-PAGE and confirmed by mass spectrometry (39,408.32?Da). The protein was able to form fibrin networks, which was not observed in the presence of serine protease inhibitors, such as phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride (PMSF). Furthermore, BpirSP-39 presented considerable thermal stability and was apparently able to activate factor XIII of the blood coagulation cascade, unlike most serine proteases. BpirSP-39 was capable of hydrolyzing different chromogenic substrates tested (S-2222, S-2302, and S-2238) while Cu2+ significantly diminished BspirSP-39 activity on the three tested substrates. The enzyme promoted platelet aggregation and also exhibited fibrinogenolytic, fibrinolytic, gelatinolytic, and amidolytic activities. The multiple alignment showed high sequence similarity to other thrombin-like enzymes from snake venoms. These results allow us to conclude that a new SP was isolated from Bothrops pirajai snake venom. PMID:24719874

Zaqueo, Kayena D.; Kayano, Anderson M.; Simões-Silva, Rodrigo; Moreira-Dill, Leandro S.; Fernandes, Carla F. C.; Fuly, André L.; Maltarollo, Vinícius G.; Honório, Kathia M.; da Silva, Saulo L.; Acosta, Gerardo; Caballol, Maria Antonia O.; de Oliveira, Eliandre; Albericio, Fernando; Calderon, Leonardo A.; Soares, Andreimar M.; Stábeli, Rodrigo G.

2014-01-01

248

The effects of selected Australian snake venoms on tumour-associated microvascular endothelial cells (TAMECs) in vitro  

PubMed Central

The effects of various viperid and elapid venoms on the cellular biology of tumour-associated microvascular endothelial cells (TAMECs) were determined in the current study using cells isolated from a rat mammary adenocarcinoma. Previous studies to determine the effects of snake venoms on endothelial cells in vitro have in the main been performed on either human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAECs) or endothelial cell lines. These cell populations are accessible and easy to maintain in culture, however, it is well established that endothelial cells display vast heterogeneity depending upon the local microenvironment of the tissue from which they are isolated. Vascular targeting agents have been isolated from a variety of snake venoms, particularly from snakes of the Viperidae family, but it is yet to be established to what extent the venoms from Australian elapids possess similar vascular targeting properties. The present study used endothelial cells (ECs) isolated from the microvasculature of a rat mammary adenocarcinoma to determine the effects of a panel of snake venoms, including viperid venoms with known apoptotic activity and elapid venoms (both exotic and indigenous to Australia), on endothelial morphology and viability, paying specific attention to apoptotic responses. Three of the five Australian snake venoms investigated in this study elicited significant apoptotic responses in ECs which were in many ways similar to responses elicited by the selected viperid venoms. This suggests that these Australian elapids may possess vascular targeting components similar to those found within viperid venoms. PMID:24191190

Bateman, Emma; Venning, Michael; Mirtschin, Peter; Woods, Anthony

2013-01-01

249

The effects of selected Australian snake venoms on tumour-associated microvascular endothelial cells (TAMECs) in vitro.  

PubMed

The effects of various viperid and elapid venoms on the cellular biology of tumour-associated microvascular endothelial cells (TAMECs) were determined in the current study using cells isolated from a rat mammary adenocarcinoma. Previous studies to determine the effects of snake venoms on endothelial cells in vitro have in the main been performed on either human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAECs) or endothelial cell lines. These cell populations are accessible and easy to maintain in culture, however, it is well established that endothelial cells display vast heterogeneity depending upon the local microenvironment of the tissue from which they are isolated. Vascular targeting agents have been isolated from a variety of snake venoms, particularly from snakes of the Viperidae family, but it is yet to be established to what extent the venoms from Australian elapids possess similar vascular targeting properties. The present study used endothelial cells (ECs) isolated from the microvasculature of a rat mammary adenocarcinoma to determine the effects of a panel of snake venoms, including viperid venoms with known apoptotic activity and elapid venoms (both exotic and indigenous to Australia), on endothelial morphology and viability, paying specific attention to apoptotic responses. Three of the five Australian snake venoms investigated in this study elicited significant apoptotic responses in ECs which were in many ways similar to responses elicited by the selected viperid venoms. This suggests that these Australian elapids may possess vascular targeting components similar to those found within viperid venoms. PMID:24191190

Bateman, Emma; Venning, Michael; Mirtschin, Peter; Woods, Anthony

2013-01-01

250

Snake venom dipeptidyl peptidase IV: taxonomic distribution and quantitative variation.  

PubMed

The present study examined the taxonomic distribution of dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP IV) activity in venoms of 59 ophidian taxa, representing seven subfamilies of the Families Elapidae and Viperidae. DPP IV activity is extremely variable at all taxonomic levels. It ranged from essentially none in laticaudine, hydrophiine, and some bungarine and elapine venoms, to 10.72 mumol 4-methoxy-beta-naphthylamine liberated per min per 200 mug venom, for Ophiophagus hannah. Intra- and interpopulational variation were examined among eight populations of prairie rattlesnakes (Crotalus viridis viridis), Great Basin rattlesnakes (Crotalus viridis lutosus) and southern Pacific rattlesnakes (Crotalus viridis helleri). Among these populations, the mean weighted range of variation was 4.9-fold, and even among litter mates of C. v. lutosus, DPP IV activity varied as much as 5.6-fold. The two most salient findings, the near ubiquity of DPP IV in snake venoms and its great quantitative variability, even among full siblings, are paradoxical. The widespread distribution of the enzyme suggests an important role in envenomation, while the variable activity levels suggest that DPP IV and by extension, other individual enzymatic constituents, may not be under much individual selective pressure. PMID:18440846

Aird, Steven D

2008-06-01

251

'Offensive' snakes: cultural beliefs and practices related to snakebites in a Brazilian rural settlement  

PubMed Central

This paper records the meaning of the term 'offense' and the folk knowledge related to local beliefs and practices of folk medicine that prevent and treat snake bites, as well as the implications for the conservation of snakes in the county of Pedra Branca, Bahia State, Brazil. The data was recorded from September to November 2006 by means of open-ended interviews performed with 74 individuals of both genders, whose ages ranged from 4 to 89 years old. The results show that the local terms biting, stinging and pricking are synonymous and used as equivalent to offending. All these terms mean to attack. A total of 23 types of 'snakes' were recorded, based on their local names. Four of them are Viperidae, which were considered the most dangerous to humans, besides causing more aversion and fear in the population. In general, local people have strong negative behavior towards snakes, killing them whenever possible. Until the antivenom was present and available, the locals used only charms, prayers and homemade remedies to treat or protect themselves and others from snake bites. Nowadays, people do not pay attention to these things because, basically, the antivenom is now easily obtained at regional hospitals. It is understood that the ethnozoological knowledge, customs and popular practices of the Pedra Branca inhabitants result in a valuable cultural resource which should be considered in every discussion regarding public health, sanitation and practices of traditional medicine, as well as in faunistic studies and conservation strategies for local biological diversity. PMID:20346120

2010-01-01

252

Correlation between annual activity patterns of venomous snakes and rural people in the Niger Delta, southern Nigeria  

PubMed Central

Background Venomous snakes are among the most serious health hazards for rural people in tropical regions of the world. Herein we compare the monthly activity patterns of eight venomous snake species (Elapidae and Viperidae) with those of rural people in the Niger Delta area of southern Nigeria, in order to identify the periods of highest potential risk for persons, and the human group actually at greater risk of snakebite. Results We documented that above-ground activity of all venomous snakes peaked in the wet season, and that high snake activity and high human activity were most highly correlated between April and August. In addition, we documented that women and teenagers were at relatively higher risk of encountering a venomous snake than adult males, despite they are less often in the field than men. Conclusions Our results suggest that future programs devoted to mitigate the social and health effects of snakebites in the Niger Delta region should involve especially women and teenagers, with ad-hoc education projects if appropriate. We urge that international organizations working on social and health problems in the developing world, such as IRD, DFID, UNDP, should provide advice through specific programs targeted at especially these categories which have been highlighted in comparatively potential higher threat from snakebites than adult men. PMID:23849681

2013-01-01

253

Capillary damage in the area postrema by venom of the northern black-tailed rattlesnake (Crotalus molossus molossus).  

PubMed

The Northern black-tailed rattlesnake (Crotalus molossus molossus) venom is mainly hemotoxic, hemorrhagic, and neurotoxic. Its effects in the central nervous system are unknown and only poorly described for all Viperidae species in general. This is why we are interested in describe the damage induced by C. m. molossus venom in rat brain, particularly in the area postrema capillaries. Four C. m. molossus venom doses were tested (0.02, 0.05, 0.10 and 0.20mg/kg) injected intramuscularly at the lower limb, incubated by 24 hours and the brains were harvested. Area postrema coronal sections were stained with Haematoxylin and Eosin, and examined to observe the venom effect in quantity of capillaries and porphology. Starting from the 0.10mg/kg treatment we observed lysed extravasated erythrocytes and also capillary breakdown, as a consequence of hemorrhages appearance. The number of capillaries decreased significantly in response to the venom dose increment. Hemorrhages could be caused by the metalloproteinase activity on the basal membrane and the apoptosis generated by L-amino acid oxidases. Hemolysis could be caused by phospholipase A2 hemotoxic effect. We conclude that C. m. molossus crude venom produces hemolysis, capillary breakdown, hemorrhages, and the reduction in number of capillaries in the area postrema. PMID:25035793

Meléndez-Martínez, David; Macias-Rodríguez, Eduardo; Vargas-Caraveo, Alejandra; Martínez-Martínez, Alejandro; Gatica-Colima, Ana; Plenge-Tellechea, Luis Fernando

2014-01-01

254

Isolation and biochemical characterization of a new thrombin-like serine protease from Bothrops pirajai snake venom.  

PubMed

This paper presents a novel serine protease (SP) isolated from Bothrops pirajai, a venomous snake found solely in Brazil that belongs to the Viperidae family. The identified SP, named BpirSP-39, was isolated by three chromatographic steps (size exclusion, bioaffinity, and reverse phase chromatographies). The molecular mass of BpirSP-39 was estimated by SDS-PAGE and confirmed by mass spectrometry (39,408.32 Da). The protein was able to form fibrin networks, which was not observed in the presence of serine protease inhibitors, such as phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride (PMSF). Furthermore, BpirSP-39 presented considerable thermal stability and was apparently able to activate factor XIII of the blood coagulation cascade, unlike most serine proteases. BpirSP-39 was capable of hydrolyzing different chromogenic substrates tested (S-2222, S-2302, and S-2238) while Cu(2+) significantly diminished BspirSP-39 activity on the three tested substrates. The enzyme promoted platelet aggregation and also exhibited fibrinogenolytic, fibrinolytic, gelatinolytic, and amidolytic activities. The multiple alignment showed high sequence similarity to other thrombin-like enzymes from snake venoms. These results allow us to conclude that a new SP was isolated from Bothrops pirajai snake venom. PMID:24719874

Zaqueo, Kayena D; Kayano, Anderson M; Simões-Silva, Rodrigo; Moreira-Dill, Leandro S; Fernandes, Carla F C; Fuly, André L; Maltarollo, Vinícius G; Honório, Kathia M; da Silva, Saulo L; Acosta, Gerardo; Caballol, Maria Antonia O; de Oliveira, Eliandre; Albericio, Fernando; Calderon, Leonardo A; Soares, Andreimar M; Stábeli, Rodrigo G

2014-01-01

255

Snakebite management in Iran: Devising a protocol  

PubMed Central

Background: Snakebite in Iran has been a health concern. However, management of snakebite is not standardized and varies from center to center. This study is aimed at devising an evidence-based comprehensive protocol for snakebite management in Iran, to reduce unnecessary variations in practice. Materials and Methods: A narrative search in electronic databases was performed. Fifty peer-reviewed articles, guidelines, and textbooks were reviewed and practical details were extracted. Our currently used protocol in the Mashhad Toxicology Center was supplemented with this information. Consequently an improved wide-range protocol was developed. The protocol was then discussed and amended within a focus group comprised of medical toxicologists and internal medicine specialists. The amended version was finally discussed with expert physicians specialized in different areas of medicine, to be optimized by supplementing other specific considerations. Results: During a one-year process, the protocol was finalized. The final version of the protocol, which was designed in six steps, comprised of three components: A schematic algorithm, a severity grading scale, and instructions for supportive and adjunctive treatments. The algorithm pertains to both Viperidae and Elapidae snakebite envenomations and consists of a planned course of action and dosing of antivenom, based on the severity of the envenomation. Conclusion: Snakebite envenomation is a clinical toxicologic emergency, which needs to be treated in a timely and organized manner. Hence, a multi-aspect protocol was designed to improve the clinical outcomes, reduce unnecessary administration of antivenom, and help physicians make more proper clinical judgments. PMID:24778670

Monzavi, Seyed Mostafa; Dadpour, Bita; Afshari, Reza

2014-01-01

256

Drosophila E-Cadherin Functions in Hematopoietic Progenitors to Maintain Multipotency and Block Differentiation  

PubMed Central

A fundamental question in stem cell biology concerns the regulatory strategies that control the choice between multipotency and differentiation. Drosophila blood progenitors or prohemocytes exhibit key stem cell characteristics, including multipotency, quiescence, and niche dependence. As a result, studies of Drosophila hematopoiesis have provided important insights into the molecular mechanisms that control these processes. Here, we show that E-cadherin is an important regulator of prohemocyte fate choice, maintaining prohemocyte multipotency and blocking differentiation. These functions are reminiscent of the role of E-cadherin in mammalian embryonic stem cells. We also show that mis-expression of E-cadherin in differentiating hemocytes disrupts the boundary between these cells and undifferentiated prohemocytes. Additionally, upregulation of E-cadherin in differentiating hemocytes increases the number of intermediate cell types expressing the prohemocyte marker, Patched. Furthermore, our studies indicate that the Drosophila GATA transcriptional co-factor, U-shaped, is required for E-cadherin expression. Consequently, E-cadherin is a downstream target of U-shaped in the maintenance of prohemocyte multipotency. In contrast, we showed that forced expression of the U-shaped GATA-binding partner, Serpent, repressed E-cadherin expression and promoted lamellocyte differentiation. Thus, U-shaped may maintain E-cadherin expression by blocking the inhibitory activity of Serpent. Collectively, these observations suggest that GATA:FOG complex formation regulates E-cadherin levels and, thereby, the choice between multipotency and differentiation. The work presented in this report further defines the molecular basis of prohemocyte cell fate choice, which will provide important insights into the mechanisms that govern stem cell biology. PMID:24040319

Gao, Hongjuan; Wu, Xiaorong; Fossett, Nancy

2013-01-01

257

Shocked lithologies at the Wanapitei impact structure, Ontario, Canada  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The approx. 7.5 diameter Wanapitei impact structure (46 deg 45 min N; 80 deg 45 min W) lies entirely within Lake Wanapitei in central Ontario, Canada. Impact lithologies are known only from glacial float at the southern end of the lake. Over 50% of the impact lithologies recovered from this float can be classified as suevite, less than 20% as highly shocked and partially melted arkosic metasediments of the target rock Mississagi Formation or, possibly, the Serpent Formation and less than 20% as glassy impact melt rocks. An additional less than 5% of the samples have similarities to the suevite but have up to 50% glass clasts and are tentatively interpreted as fall-back material. The glassy impact melt rocks fall into two textural and mineralogical types: a perlitically fractured, colorless glass matrix variant, with microlites of hypersthene with up to 11.5% Al2O3 and a 'felted' matrix variant, with evidence of flow prior to the crystallization of tabular orthopyroxene. These melt glasses show chemical inhomogeneities on a microscopic scale, with areas of essentially SiO2, even when appearing optically homogeneous. They are similar in bulk composition for major elements, but the felted matrix variant is approx. 5x more enriched in Ni, Co and Cr, the interelement ratios of which are indicative of an admixture of a chondritic projectile. Mixing models suggest that the glassy impact melt rocks can be made from the target rocks in the proportions: approx. 55% Gowganda wacke, approx. 42% Serpent arkose and approx. 3% Nipissing intrusives. Geologic reconstructions suggest that this is a reasonable mixture of potential target rocks at the time of impact.

Grieve, R. A. F.; Ber, T. J.

1994-09-01

258

A Complex-Geometry Validation Experiment for Advanced Neutron Transport Codes  

SciTech Connect

The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) has initiated a focused effort to upgrade legacy computational reactor physics software tools and protocols used for support of core fuel management and experiment management in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) and its companion critical facility (ATRC) at the INL.. This will be accomplished through the introduction of modern high-fidelity computational software and protocols, with appropriate new Verification and Validation (V&V) protocols, over the next 12-18 months. Stochastic and deterministic transport theory based reactor physics codes and nuclear data packages that support this effort include MCNP5[1], SCALE/KENO6[2], HELIOS[3], SCALE/NEWT[2], and ATTILA[4]. Furthermore, a capability for sensitivity analysis and uncertainty quantification based on the TSUNAMI[5] system has also been implemented. Finally, we are also evaluating the Serpent[6] and MC21[7] codes, as additional verification tools in the near term as well as for possible applications to full three-dimensional Monte Carlo based fuel management modeling in the longer term. On the experimental side, several new benchmark-quality code validation measurements based on neutron activation spectrometry have been conducted using the ATRC. Results for the first four experiments, focused on neutron spectrum measurements within the Northwest Large In-Pile Tube (NW LIPT) and in the core fuel elements surrounding the NW LIPT and the diametrically opposite Southeast IPT have been reported [8,9]. A fifth, very recent, experiment focused on detailed measurements of the element-to-element core power distribution is summarized here and examples of the use of the measured data for validation of corresponding MCNP5, HELIOS, NEWT, and Serpent computational models using modern least-square adjustment methods are provided.

David W. Nigg; Anthony W. LaPorta; Joseph W. Nielsen; James Parry; Mark D. DeHart; Samuel E. Bays; William F. Skerjanc

2013-11-01

259

Human antibody fragments specific for Bothrops jararacussu venom reduce the toxicity of other Bothrops sp. venoms.  

PubMed

Approximately 20,000 snakebites are registered each year in Brazil. The classical treatment for venomous snakebite involves the administration of sera obtained from immunized horses. Moreover, the production and care of horses is costly, and the use of heterologous sera can cause hypersensitivity reactions. The production of human antibody fragments by phage display technology is seen as a means of overcoming some of these disadvantages. The studies here attempted to test human monoclonal antibodies specific to Bothrops jararacussu against other Bothrops sp. venoms, using the Griffin.1 library of human single-chain fragment-variable (scFv) phage antibodies. Using the Griffin.1 phage antibody library, this laboratory previously produced scFvs capable of inhibiting the phospholipase and myotoxic activities of Bothrops jararacussu venom. The structural and functional similarities of the various forms of phospholipase A2 (PLA?) in Bothrops venom served as the basis for the present study wherein the effectiveness of those same scFvs were evaluated against B. jararaca, B. neuwiedi, and B. moojeni venoms. Each clone was found to recognize all three Bothrops venoms, and purified scFvs partially inhibited their in vitro phospholipase activity. In vivo assays demonstrated that the scFv clone P2B7 reduced myotoxicity and increased the survival of animals that received the test venoms. The results here indicate that the scFv P2B7 is a candidate for inclusion in a mixture of specific antibodies to produce a human anti-bothropic sera. This data demonstrates that the human scFv P2B7 represents an alternative therapeutic approach to heterologous anti-bothropic sera available today. PMID:22954026

Roncolato, Eduardo Crosara; Pucca, Manuela Berto; Funayama, Jaqueline Carlos; Bertolini, Thaís Barboza; Campos, Lucas Benício; Barbosa, José Elpidio

2013-01-01

260

A novel peptide from the ACEI/BPP-CNP precursor in the venom of Crotalus durissus collilineatus.  

PubMed

In crotaline venoms, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors [ACEIs, also known as bradykinin potentiating peptides (BPPs)], are products of a gene coding for an ACEI/BPP-C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) precursor. In the genes from Bothrops jararaca and Gloydius blomhoffii, ACEI/BPP sequences are repeated. Sequencing of a cDNA clone from venom glands of Crotalus durissus collilineatus showed that two ACEIs/BPPs are located together at the N-terminus, but without repeats. An additional sequence for CNP was unexpectedly found at the C-terminus. Homologous genes for the ACEI/BPP-CNP precursor suggest that most crotaline venoms contain both ACEIs/BPPs and CNP. The sequence of ACEIs/BPPs is separated from the CNP sequence by a long spacer sequence. Previously, there was no evidence that this spacer actually coded any expressed peptides. Aird and Kaiser (1986, unpublished) previously isolated and sequenced a peptide of 11 residues (TPPAGPDVGPR) from Crotalus viridis viridis venom. In the present study, analysis of the cDNA clone from C. d. collilineatus revealed a nearly identical sequence in the ACEI/BPP-CNP spacer. Fractionation of the crude venom by reverse phase HPLC (C(18)), and analysis of the fractions by mass spectrometry (MS) indicated a component of 1020.5 Da. Amino acid sequencing by MS/MS confirmed that C. d. collilineatus venom contains the peptide TPPAGPDGGPR. Its high proline content and paired proline residues are typical of venom hypotensive peptides, although it lacks the usual N-terminal pyroglutamate. It has no demonstrable hypotensive activity when injected intravenously in rats; however, its occurrence in the venoms of dissimilar species suggests that its presence is not accidental. Evidence suggests that these novel toxins probably activate anaphylatoxin C3a receptors. PMID:16979945

Higuchi, Shigesada; Murayama, Nobuhiro; Saguchi, Ken-ichi; Ohi, Hiroaki; Fujita, Yoshiaki; da Silva, Nelson Jorge; de Siqueira, Rodrigo José Bezerra; Lahlou, Saad; Aird, Steven D

2006-10-01

261

Molecular evolution of vertebrate neurotrophins: co-option of the highly conserved nerve growth factor gene into the advanced snake venom arsenalf.  

PubMed

Neurotrophins are a diverse class of structurally related proteins, essential for neuronal development, survival, plasticity and regeneration. They are characterized by major family members, such as the nerve growth factors (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), which have been demonstrated here to lack coding sequence variations and follow the regime of negative selection, highlighting their extremely important conserved role in vertebrate homeostasis. However, in stark contrast, venom NGF secreted as part of the chemical arsenal of the venomous advanced snake family Elapidae (and to a lesser extent Viperidae) have characteristics consistent with the typical accelerated molecular evolution of venom components. This includes a rapid rate of diversification under the significant influence of positive-selection, with the majority of positively-selected sites found in the secreted ?-polypeptide chain (74%) and on the molecular surface of the protein (92%), while the core structural and functional residues remain highly constrained. Such focal mutagenesis generates active residues on the toxin molecular surface, which are capable of interacting with novel biological targets in prey to induce a myriad of pharmacological effects. We propose that caenophidian NGFs could participate in prey-envenoming by causing a massive release of chemical mediators from mast cells to mount inflammatory reactions and increase vascular permeability, thereby aiding the spread of other toxins and/or by acting as proapoptotic factors. Despite their presence in reptilian venom having been known for over 60 years, this is the first evidence that venom-secreted NGF follows the molecular evolutionary pattern of other venom components, and thus likely participates in prey-envenomation. PMID:24312363

Sunagar, Kartik; Fry, Bryan Grieg; Jackson, Timothy N W; Casewell, Nicholas R; Undheim, Eivind A B; Vidal, Nicolas; Ali, Syed A; King, Glenn F; Vasudevan, Karthikeyan; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Antunes, Agostinho

2013-01-01

262

African Adders: Partial Characterization of Snake Venoms from Three Bitis Species of Medical Importance and Their Neutralization by Experimental Equine Antivenoms  

PubMed Central

Background An alarming number of fatal accidents involving snakes are annually reported in Africa and most of the victims suffer from permanent local tissue damage and chronic disabilities. Envenomation by snakes belonging to the genus Bitis, Viperidae family, are common in Sub-Saharan Africa. The accidents are severe and the victims often have a poor prognosis due to the lack of effective specific therapies. In this study we have biochemically characterized venoms from three different species of Bitis, i.e., Bitis arietans, Bitis gabonica rhinoceros and Bitis nasicornis, involved in the majority of the human accidents in Africa, and analyzed the in vitro neutralizing ability of two experimental antivenoms. Methodology/Principal Findings The data indicate that all venoms presented phospholipase, hyaluronidase and fibrinogenolytic activities and cleaved efficiently the FRET substrate Abz-RPPGFSPFRQ-EDDnp and angiotensin I, generating angiotensin 1–7. Gelatinolytic activity was only observed in the venoms of B. arietans and B. nasicornis. The treatment of the venoms with protease inhibitors indicated that Bitis venoms possess metallo and serinoproteases enzymes, which may be involved in the different biological activities here evaluated. Experimental antivenoms produced against B. arietans venom or Bitis g. rhinoceros plus B. nasicornis venoms cross-reacted with the venoms from the three species and blocked, in different degrees, all the enzymatic activities in which they were tested. Conclusion These results suggest that the venoms of the three Bitis species, involved in accidents with humans in the Sub-Saharan Africa, contain a mixture of various enzymes that may act in the generation and development of some of the clinical manifestations of the envenomations. We also demonstrated that horse antivenoms produced against B. arietans or B. g. rhinoceros plus B. nasicornis venoms can blocked some of the toxic activities of these venoms. PMID:25643358

Paixão-Cavalcante, Danielle; Kuniyoshi, Alexandre K.; Portaro, Fernanda C. V.; da Silva, Wilmar Dias; Tambourgi, Denise V.

2015-01-01

263

Isolation and characterization of two disintegrins inhibiting ADP-induced human platelet aggregation from the venom of Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus (Mohave Rattlesnake)  

SciTech Connect

Disintegrins and disintegrin-like proteins are molecules found in the venom of four snake families (Atractaspididae, Elapidae, Viperidae, and Colubridae). The disintegrins are nonenzymatic proteins that inhibit cell-cell interactions, cell-matrix interactions, and signal transduction, and may have potential in the treatment of strokes, heart attacks, cancers, and osteoporosis. Prior to 1983, the venom of Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus (Mohave Rattlesnake) was known to be only neurotoxic; however, now there is evidence that these snakes can contain venom with: (1) neurotoxins; (2) hemorrhagins; and (3) both neurotoxins and hemorrhagins. In this study, two disintegrins, mojastin 1 and mojastin 2, from the venom of a Mohave rattlesnake collected in central Arizona (Pinal County), were isolated and characterized. The disintegrins in these venoms were identified by mass-analyzed laser desorption ionization/time-of-flight/time-of-flight (MALDI/TOF/TOF) mass spectrometry as having masses of 7.436 and 7.636 kDa. Their amino acid sequences are similar to crotratroxin, a disintegrin isolated from the venom of the western diamondback rattlesnake (C. atrox). The amino acid sequence of mojastin 1 was identical to the amino acid sequence of a disintegrin isolated from the venom of the Timber rattlesnake (C. horridus). The disintegrins from the Mohave rattlesnake venom were able to inhibit ADP-induced platelet aggregation in whole human blood both having IC{sub 5}s of 13.8 nM, but were not effective in inhibiting the binding of human urinary bladder carcinoma cells (T24) to fibronectin.

Sanchez, Elda E. [Natural Toxins Research Center, College of Arts and Science, 920 University Blvd. MSC 158, Texas A and M University-Kingsville, MSC 158, Kingsville, TX 78363 (United States); Galan, Jacob A. [Natural Toxins Research Center, College of Arts and Science, 920 University Blvd. MSC 158, Texas A and M University-Kingsville, MSC 158, Kingsville, TX 78363 (United States); Russell, William K. [Laboratory for Biological Mass Spectrometry, Department of Chemistry, PO Box 30012, Texas A and M University, College Station, TX 77842-3013 (United States); Soto, Julio G. [Department of Biological Sciences, One Washington Square Duncan Hall, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA 95192-0100 (United States); Russell, David H. [Laboratory for Biological Mass Spectrometry, Department of Chemistry, PO Box 30012, Texas A and M University, College Station, TX 77842-3013 (United States); Perez, John C. [Natural Toxins Research Center, College of Arts and Science, 920 University Blvd. MSC 158, Texas A and M University-Kingsville, MSC 158, Kingsville, TX 78363 (United States)]. E-mail: kfjcp00@tamuk.edu

2006-04-01

264

Structural and functional studies with mytoxin II from Bothrops moojeni reveal remarkable similarities and differences compared to other catalytically inactive phospholipases A?-like.  

PubMed

Lys49-phospholipases A? (Lys49-PLA?s) are proteins found in bothropic snake venoms (Viperidae family) and belong to a class of proteins which presents a phospholipase A2 scaffold but are catalytically inactive. These proteins (also known as PLA?s-like toxins) exert a pronounced local myotoxic effect and are not neutralized by antivenom, being their study relevant in terms of medical and scientific interest. Despite of the several studies reported in the literature for this class of proteins only a partial consensus has been achieved concerning their functional-structural relationships. In this work, we present a comprehensive structural and functional study with the MjTX-II, a dimeric Lys49-PLA? from Bothrops moojeni venom which includes: (i) high-resolution crystal structure; (ii) dynamic light scattering and bioinformatics studies in order to confirm its biological assembly; (iii) myographic and electrophysiological studies and, (iv) comparative studies with other Lys49-PLA?s. These comparative analyses let us to get important insights into the role of Lys122 amino acid, previously indicated as responsible for Lys49-PLA?s catalytic inactivity and added important elements to establish the correct biological assembly for this class of proteins. Furthermore, we show two unique sequential features of MjTX-II (an amino acid insertion and a mutation) in comparison to all bothropic Lys49-PLA?s that lead to a distinct way of ligand binding at the toxin's hydrophobic channel and also, allowed the presence of an additional ligand molecule in this region. These facts suggest a possible particular mode of binding for long-chain ligands that interacts with MjTX-II hydrophobic channel, a feature that may directly affect the design of structure-based ligands for Lys49-PLA?s. PMID:23810946

Salvador, Guilherme H M; Cavalcante, Walter L G; Dos Santos, Juliana I; Gallacci, Márcia; Soares, Andreimar M; Fontes, Marcos R M

2013-09-01

265

Structural and Functional Studies of a Bothropic Myotoxin Complexed to Rosmarinic Acid: New Insights into Lys49-PLA2 Inhibition  

PubMed Central

Snakebite envenoming is an important public health problem in many tropical and subtropical countries, and is considered a neglected tropical disease by the World Health Organization. Most severe cases are inflicted by species of the families Elapidae and Viperidae, and lead to a number of systemic and local effects in the victim. One of the main problems regarding viperidic accidents is prominent local tissue damage whose pathogenesis is complex and involves the combined actions of a variety of venom components. Phospholipases A2 (PLA2s) are the most abundant muscle-damaging components of these venoms. Herein, we report functional and structural studies of PrTX-I, a Lys49-PLA2 from Bothops pirajai snake venom, and the influence of rosmarinic acid (RA) upon this toxin's activities. RA is a known active component of some plant extracts and has been reported as presenting anti-myotoxic properties related to bothopic envenomation. The myotoxic activity of Lys49-PLA2s is well established in the literature and although no in vivo neurotoxicity has been observed among these toxins, in vitro neuromuscular blockade has been reported for some of these proteins. Our in vitro studies show that RA drastically reduces both the muscle damage and the neuromuscular blockade exerted by PrTX-I on mice neuromuscular preparations (by ?80% and ?90%, respectively). These results support the hypothesis that the two effects are closely related and lead us to suggest that they are consequences of the muscle membrane-destabilizing activity of the Lys49-PLA2. Although the C-terminal region of these proteins has been reported to comprise the myotoxic site, we demonstrate by X-ray crystallographic studies that RA interacts with PrTX-I in a different region. Consequently, a new mode of Lys49-PLA2 inhibition is proposed. Comparison of our results with others in the literature suggests possible new ways to inhibit bothropic snake venom myotoxins and improve serum therapy. PMID:22205953

dos Santos, Juliana I.; Cardoso, Fábio F.; Soares, Andreimar M.; dal Pai Silva, Maeli; Gallacci, Márcia; Fontes, Marcos R. M.

2011-01-01

266

Molecular Evolution of Vertebrate Neurotrophins: Co-Option of the Highly Conserved Nerve Growth Factor Gene into the Advanced Snake Venom Arsenalf  

PubMed Central

Neurotrophins are a diverse class of structurally related proteins, essential for neuronal development, survival, plasticity and regeneration. They are characterized by major family members, such as the nerve growth factors (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), which have been demonstrated here to lack coding sequence variations and follow the regime of negative selection, highlighting their extremely important conserved role in vertebrate homeostasis. However, in stark contrast, venom NGF secreted as part of the chemical arsenal of the venomous advanced snake family Elapidae (and to a lesser extent Viperidae) have characteristics consistent with the typical accelerated molecular evolution of venom components. This includes a rapid rate of diversification under the significant influence of positive-selection, with the majority of positively-selected sites found in the secreted ?-polypeptide chain (74%) and on the molecular surface of the protein (92%), while the core structural and functional residues remain highly constrained. Such focal mutagenesis generates active residues on the toxin molecular surface, which are capable of interacting with novel biological targets in prey to induce a myriad of pharmacological effects. We propose that caenophidian NGFs could participate in prey-envenoming by causing a massive release of chemical mediators from mast cells to mount inflammatory reactions and increase vascular permeability, thereby aiding the spread of other toxins and/or by acting as proapoptotic factors. Despite their presence in reptilian venom having been known for over 60 years, this is the first evidence that venom-secreted NGF follows the molecular evolutionary pattern of other venom components, and thus likely participates in prey-envenomation. PMID:24312363

Sunagar, Kartik; Fry, Bryan Grieg; Jackson, Timothy N. W.; Casewell, Nicholas R.; Undheim, Eivind A. B.; Vidal, Nicolas; Ali, Syed A.; King, Glenn F.; Vasudevan, Karthikeyan; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Antunes, Agostinho

2013-01-01

267

Catalytically inactive phospholipase A2 homologue binds to vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 via a C-terminal loop region.  

PubMed

VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) regulates neovascularization through binding to its receptor KDR (kinase insert domain-containing receptor; VEGF receptor-2). We recently identified a catalytically inactive PLA(2) (phospholipase A(2)) homologue (KDR-bp) in the venom of eastern cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus) as a third KDR-binding protein, in addition to VEGF(165) and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-3. KDR-bp binds to the extracellular domain of KDR with a K(d) of 10(-8) M, resulting in specific blockade of endothelial cell growth induced by VEGF(165). Inactive PLA(2) homologues are widely distributed in the venoms of Viperidae snakes and are known to act as myotoxins. In the present study, we demonstrated that KDR-binding ability is a common characteristic for inactive PLA(2) homologues in snake venom, but not for active PLA(2)s such as neurotoxic and platelet aggregation-modulating PLA(2)s. To understand better the KDR and KDR-bp interaction, we resolved the binding region of KDR-bp using eight synthetic peptides designed based on the structure of KDR-bp. A synthetic peptide based on the structure of the C-terminal loop region of KDR-bp showed high affinity for KDR, but other peptides did not, suggesting that the C-terminal loop region of KDR-bp is involved in the interaction with KDR. The results of the present study provide insight into the binding of inactive PLA(2) homologues to KDR, and may also assist in the design of novel anti-KDR molecules for anti-angiogenic therapy. PMID:18251716

Fujisawa, Daisuke; Yamazaki, Yasuo; Lomonte, Bruno; Morita, Takashi

2008-05-01

268

Purification and characterization of three distinct types of phospholipase A2 inhibitors from the blood plasma of the Chinese mamushi, Agkistrodon blomhoffii siniticus.  

PubMed Central

Three distinct types of phospholipase A2 (PLA2) inhibitory proteins (PLIalpha, PLIbeta, and PLIgamma) were isolated from the blood plasma of the Chinese mamushi, Agkistrodon blomhoffii siniticus. PLIalpha is an inhibitor that we have already purified and whose amino acid sequence we have already determined [Ohkura, Inoue, Ikeda and Hayashi (1993) J. Biochem. (Tokyo) 113, 413-419]. It inhibited selectively the group-II acidic PLA2s from Crotalidae venom. PLIbeta was a 160-kDa glycoprotein having a trimeric structure composed of 50-kDa subunits. The amino acid sequence of the first 30 amino acids of the N-terminal part of the 50-kDa subunit was determined and found to have no significant homology to that of known proteins. PLIbeta was a selective inhibitor against the group-II basic PLA2s from Crotalidae venom. Some amino acid residues located in or close to the interfacial binding surface of the group-II basic PLA2s were suggested to be involved in selective binding to PLIbeta. PLIgamma was a 100-kDa glycoprotein containing 25-kDa and 20-kDa subunits and inhibited all of the PLA2s investigated equally, including Elapidae venom PLA2s (group I), Crotalidae and Viperidae venom PLA2s (group II) and honey-bee PLA2 (group III). From the N-terminal sequences of the two subunits, PLIgamma was found to be the same type of PLI that had been purified from Thailand cobra plasma. PMID:9230137

Ohkura, N; Okuhara, H; Inoue, S; Ikeda, K; Hayashi, K

1997-01-01

269

In vitro and in vivo genotoxic evaluation of Bothrops moojeni snake venom.  

PubMed

Abstract Context: Bothrops moojeni Hoge (Viperidae) venom is a complex mixture of compounds with therapeutic potential that has been included in the research and development of new drugs. Along with the biological activity, the pharmaceutical applicability of this venom depends on its toxicological profile. Objective: This study evaluates the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of the Bothrops moojeni venom (BMV). Material and methods: The in vitro cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of a pooled sample of BMV was assessed by the MTT and Comet assay, respectively. Genotoxicity was also evaluated in vivo through the micronucleus assay. Results: BMV displayed a 50% cytotoxic concentration (CC50) on Vero cells of 4.09?µg/mL. Vero cells treated with 4?µg/mL for 90?min and 6?h presented significant (p?

Novak Zobiole, Nathalia; Caon, Thiago; Wildgrube Bertol, Jéssica; Alves de Souza Pereira, Cintia; Mary Okubo, Brunna; Moreno, Susana Elisa; Tramontini Gomes de Sousa Cardozo, Francielle

2014-11-28

270

Evaluation of cytotoxic activities of snake venoms toward breast (MCF-7) and skin cancer (A-375) cell lines.  

PubMed

Snake venoms are mixtures of bioactive proteins and peptides that exhibit diverse biochemical activities. This wide array of pharmacologies associated with snake venoms has made them attractive sources for research into potentially novel therapeutics, and several venom-derived drugs are now in use. In the current study we performed a broad screen of a variety of venoms (61 taxa) from the major venomous snake families (Viperidae, Elapidae and "Colubridae") in order to examine cytotoxic effects toward MCF-7 breast cancer cells and A-375 melanoma cells. MTT cell viability assays of cancer cells incubated with crude venoms revealed that most venoms showed significant cytotoxicity. We further investigated venom from the Red-bellied Blacksnake (Pseudechis porphyriacus); venom was fractionated by ion exchange fast protein liquid chromatography and several cytotoxic components were isolated. SDS-PAGE and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry were used to identify the compounds in this venom responsible for the cytotoxic effects. In general, viper venoms were potently cytotoxic, with MCF-7 cells showing greater sensitivity, while elapid and colubrid venoms were much less toxic; notable exceptions included the elapid genera Micrurus, Naja and Pseudechis, which were quite cytotoxic to both cell lines. However, venoms with the most potent cytotoxicity were often not those with low mouse LD50s, including some dangerously venomous viperids and Australian elapids. This study confirmed that many venoms contain cytotoxic compounds, including catalytic PLA2s, and several venoms also showed significant differential toxicity toward the two cancer cell lines. Our results indicate that several previously uncharacterized venoms could contain promising lead compounds for drug development. PMID:25407733

Bradshaw, Michael J; Saviola, Anthony J; Fesler, Elizabeth; Mackessy, Stephen P

2014-11-19

271

Evaluation of the lethal potency of scorpion and snake venoms and comparison between intraperitoneal and intravenous injection routes.  

PubMed

Scorpion stings and snake bites are major health hazards that lead to suffering of victims and high mortality. Thousands of injuries associated with such stings and bites of venomous animals occur every year worldwide. In North Africa, more than 100,000 scorpion stings and snake bites are reported annually. An appropriate determination of the 50% lethal doses (LD??) of scorpion and snake venoms appears to be an important step to assess (and compare) venom toxic activity. Such LD?? values are also commonly used to evaluate the neutralizing capacity of specific anti-venom batches. In the present work, we determined experimentally the LD?? values of reference scorpion and snake venoms in Swiss mice, and evaluated the influence of two main venom injection routes (i.e., intraperitoneal (IP) versus intravenous (IV)). The analysis of experimental LD?? values obtained with three collected scorpion venoms indicates that Androctonus mauretanicus (Am) is intrinsically more toxic than Androctonus australis hector (Aah) species, whereas the latter is more toxic than Buthus occitanus (Bo). Similar analysis of three representative snake venoms of the Viperidae family shows that Cerastes cerastes (Cc) is more toxic than either Bitis arietans (Ba) or Macrovipera lebetina (Ml) species. Interestingly, the venom of Elapidae cobra snake Naja haje (Nh) is far more toxic than viper venoms Cc, Ml and Ba, in agreement with the known severity of cobra-related envenomation. Also, our data showed that viper venoms are about three-times less toxic when injected IP as compared to IV, distinct from cobra venom Nh which exhibited a similar toxicity when injected IP or IV. Overall, this study clearly highlights the usefulness of procedure standardization, especially regarding the administration route, for evaluating the relative toxicity of individual animal venoms. It also evidenced a marked difference in lethal activity between venoms of cobra and vipers, which, apart from the nature of toxins, might be attributed to the rich composition of high molecular weight enzymes in the case of viper venoms. PMID:24926799

Oukkache, Naoual; El Jaoudi, Rachid; Ghalim, Noreddine; Chgoury, Fatima; Bouhaouala, Balkiss; Mdaghri, Naima El; Sabatier, Jean-Marc

2014-06-01

272

The complete mitochondrial genome of a gecko and the phylogeneticposition of the Middle Eastern teratoscincus keyserlingii  

SciTech Connect

Sqamate reptiles are traditionally divided into six groups: Iguania, Anguimorpha, Scincomorpha, Gekkota (these four are lizards), Serpentes (snakes), and Amphisbaenia (the so-called worm lizards). Currently there are complete mitochondrial genomes from two representatives of the Iguania (Janke et al., 2001; Kumazawa, 2004), three from the Anguimorpha (Kumazawa, 2004; Kumazawa and Endo, 2004), two from the Scincomorpha (Kumazawa and Nishida, 1999; Kumazawa, 2004), two from Serpentes (Kumazawa et al., 1998; Kumazawa, 2004) and 12 from Amphisbaenia (Macey et al., 2004). The only traditional group of Squamata from which a complete mitochondrial genome has not been sequenced is the Gekkota. Here we report the complete mitochondrial genome of Teratoscincus keyserlingii, a Middle Eastern representative of the Gekkota. The gekkonid lizard genus Teratoscincus is distributed throughout the deserts of central and southwest Asia as shown in figure 1, with five species currently recognized (Macey et al. 1997a, 1999b). Included in this figure are the positions of mountain ranges discussed in the text; see also figure 1 in Macey et al. (1999b). Two species, T. bedriagai and T. microlepis, are restricted to Southwest Asia south of the Kopet Dagh and Hindu Kush in Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (Anderson, 1999). Two species are found in the deserts of western China and Mongolia, with T. przewalskii occurring in the Taklimakan and lowland Gobi deserts, and T. roborowskii restricted to the Turpan Depression. The fifth species, T. scincus, is sometimes considered to be restricted to the Caspian Basin in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzistan, Tadjikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Alternatively, Teratoscincus populations in Southwest Asia, primarily on the Iranian Plateau, situated directly north of the Arabian Plate, are sometimes considered to be a subspecies of T. scincus or, otherwise, to constitute a sixth species, T. keyserlingii. Macey et al. (1999b) assessed the phylogenetic relationships of four Teratoscincus species with mitochondrial DNA sequences from a {approx}1800 base-pair segment spanning from nad1 to cox1. Phylogenetic analysis places T. microlepis in a basal position to a clade containing T. scincus, T. przewalskii and T. roborowskii, with the later two as sister taxa. This phylogenetic arrangement suggests that tectonic plate movements in Southwest Asia and western China due to the Indian and Arabian collisions caused speciation among Teratoscincus species. No molecular phylogenetic study has included the putative species T. keyserlingii.

Macey, J. Robert; Fong, Jonathan J.; Kuehl, Jennifer V.; Shafiei,Soheila; Ananjeva, Natalia B.; Papenfuss, Theodore J.; Boore, Jeffrey L.

2005-04-22

273

Snake mitochondrial genomes: phylogenetic relationships and implications of extended taxon sampling for interpretations of mitogenomic evolution  

PubMed Central

Background Snake mitochondrial genomes are of great interest in understanding mitogenomic evolution because of gene duplications and rearrangements and the fast evolutionary rate of their genes compared to other vertebrates. Mitochondrial gene sequences have also played an important role in attempts to resolve the contentious phylogenetic relationships of especially the early divergences among alethinophidian snakes. Two recent innovative studies found dramatic gene- and branch-specific relative acceleration in snake protein-coding gene evolution, particularly along internal branches leading to Serpentes and Alethinophidia. It has been hypothesized that some of these rate shifts are temporally (and possibly causally) associated with control region duplication and/or major changes in ecology and anatomy. Results The near-complete mitochondrial (mt) genomes of three henophidian snakes were sequenced: Anilius scytale, Rhinophis philippinus, and Charina trivirgata. All three genomes share a duplicated control region and translocated tRNALEU, derived features found in all alethinophidian snakes studied to date. The new sequence data were aligned with mt genome data for 21 other species of snakes and used in phylogenetic analyses. Phylogenetic results agreed with many other studies in recovering several robust clades, including Colubroidea, Caenophidia, and Cylindrophiidae+Uropeltidae. Nodes within Henophidia that have been difficult to resolve robustly in previous analyses remained uncompellingly resolved here. Comparisons of relative rates of evolution of rRNA vs. protein-coding genes were conducted by estimating branch lengths across the tree. Our expanded sampling revealed dramatic acceleration along the branch leading to Typhlopidae, particularly long rRNA terminal branches within Scolecophidia, and that most of the dramatic acceleration in protein-coding gene rate along Serpentes and Alethinophidia branches occurred before Anilius diverged from other alethinophidians. Conclusions Mitochondrial gene sequence data alone may not be able to robustly resolve basal divergences among alethinophidian snakes. Taxon sampling plays an important role in identifying mitogenomic evolutionary events within snakes, and in testing hypotheses explaining their origin. Dramatic rate shifts in mitogenomic evolution occur within Scolecophidia as well as Alethinophidia, thus falsifying the hypothesis that these shifts in snakes are associated exclusively with evolution of a non-burrowing lifestyle, macrostomatan feeding ecology and/or duplication of the control region, both restricted to alethinophidians among living snakes. PMID:20055998

2010-01-01

274

Changes in deep-water epibenthic megafaunal assemblages in relation to seabed slope on the Nigerian margin  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Local-scale habitat heterogeneity associated with changes in slope is a ubiquitous feature of bathyal continental margins. The response of deep-sea species to high habitat heterogeneity is poorly known and slope can be used as a proxy for many important ecological variables, such as current flow, sedimentation and substratum type. This study determines how slope angle effects megafaunal species density and diversity at the Usan field, offshore Nigeria, between 740 and 760 m depth. This deep-water area is increasingly exploited for hydrocarbons, yet lacking in baseline biological information. Replicated remotely operated vehicle video transect surveys were carried out using industry infrastructure (through the SERPENT Project) at a representative range of slopes (1°, 3°, 11° and 29°). Twenty-four species of benthic megafaunal invertebrate were found, numerically dominated by the echinoid Phormosoma placenta, and nine species of fish were observed. Megafaunal invertebrate deposit feeder density decreased significantly with increasing slope (density range 0.503-0.081 individuals m-2). Densities of megafaunal suspension feeders were very low except at the highest slope site (mean density 0.17 m-2). Overall species richness was greater on steeper slopes, although the richness of deposit feeders was not affected. Reduced labile organic matter in sediments on steeper slopes likely reduced deposit feeder densities, but increased current flow at higher slopes allowed both increased richness and density of suspension feeders.

Jones, Daniel O. B.; Mrabure, Charles O.; Gates, Andrew R.

2013-08-01

275

Genome-Wide Transcription Analysis of Clinal Genetic Variation in Drosophila  

PubMed Central

Clinal variation in quantitative traits is widespread, but its genetic basis awaits identification. Drosophila melanogaster shows adaptive, clinal variation in traits such as body size along latitudinal gradients on multiple continents. To investigate genome wide transcription differentiation between North and South that might contribute to the clinal phenotypic variation, we compared RNA expression patterns during development of D. melanogaster from tropical northern and temperate southern populations using whole genome tiling arrays. We found that genes that were differentially expressed between the cline ends were generally associated with metabolism and growth, and experimental alteration of expression of a sample of them generally resulted in altered body size in the predicted direction, sometimes significantly so. We further identified the serpent (srp) transcription factor binding sites to be enriched near genes up-regulated in expression in the south. Analysis of clinal populations revealed a significant cline in the expression level of srp. Experimental over-expression of srp increased body size, as predicted from its clinal expression pattern, suggesting that it may be involved in regulating adaptive clinal variation in Drosophila. This study identified a handful of genes that contributed to clinal phenotypic variation through altered gene expression level, yet misexpression of individual gene led to modest body size change. PMID:22514645

Chen, Ying; Lee, Siu F.; Blanc, Eric; Reuter, Caroline; Wertheim, Bregje; Martinez-Diaz, Pedro; Hoffmann, Ary A.; Partridge, Linda

2012-01-01

276

Neutronics and Fuel Performance Evaluation of Accident Tolerant Fuel under Normal Operation Conditions  

SciTech Connect

This report details the analysis of neutronics and fuel performance analysis for enhanced accident tolerance fuel, with Monte Carlo reactor physics code Serpent and INL’s fuel performance code BISON, respectively. The purpose is to evaluate two of the most promising candidate materials, FeCrAl and Silicon Carbide (SiC), as the fuel cladding under normal operating conditions. Substantial neutron penalty is identified when FeCrAl is used as monolithic cladding for current oxide fuel. From the reactor physics standpoint, application of the FeCrAl alloy as coating layer on surface of zircaloy cladding is possible without increasing fuel enrichment. Meanwhile, SiC brings extra reactivity and the neutron penalty is of no concern. Application of either FeCrAl or SiC could be favorable from the fuel performance standpoint. Detailed comparison between monolithic cladding and hybrid cladding (cladding + coating) is discussed. Hybrid cladding is more practical based on the economics evaluation during the transition from current UO2/zircaloy to Accident Tolerant Fuel (ATF) system. However, a few issues remain to be resolved, such as the creep behavior of FeCrAl, coating spallation, inter diffusion with zirconium, etc. For SiC, its high thermal conductivity, excellent creep resistance, low thermal neutron absorption cross section, irradiation stability (minimal swelling) make it an excellent candidate materials for future nuclear fuel/cladding system.

Xu Wu; Piyush Sabharwall; Jason Hales

2014-07-01

277

The story of the condom.  

PubMed

Condoms have been a subject of curiosity throughout history. The idea of safer sex has been explored in ancient and modern history, and has been used to prevent venereal diseases. We conducted a historical and medical review of condoms using primary and secondary sources as well as using the RSM library and the internet. These resources show that the first use of a condom was that of King Minos of Crete. Pasiphae, his wife, employed a goat's bladder in the vagina so that King Minos would not be able to harm her as his semen was said to contain "scorpions and serpents" that killed his mistresses. To Egyptians, condom-like glans caps were dyed in different colours to distinguish between different classes of people and to protect themselves against bilharzia. The Ancient Romans used the bladders of animals to protect the woman; they were worn not to prevent pregnancy but to prevent contraction of venereal diseases. Charles Goodyear, the inventor, utilized vulcanization, the process of transforming rubber into malleable structures, to produce latex condoms. The greater use of condoms all over the world in the 20(th) and 21(st) centuries has been related to HIV. This account of the use of condoms demonstrates how a primitive idea turned into an object that is used globally with a forecast estimated at 18 billion condoms to be used in 2015 alone. PMID:23671357

Khan, Fahd; Mukhtar, Saheel; Dickinson, Ian K; Sriprasad, Seshadri

2013-01-01

278

Herpetofauna of an Atlantic rainforest area (Morro São João) in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil.  

PubMed

We studied the herpetofaunal community from the Atlantic forest of Morro São João, in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil, and present data on species composition, richness, relative abundance and densities. We combined three sampling methods: plot sampling, visual encounter surveys and pit-fall traps. We recorded sixteen species of amphibians and nine of reptiles. The estimated densities (based on results of plot sampling) were 4.5 ind/100 m2 for amphibians and 0.8 ind/100 m2 for lizards, and the overall density (amphibians and lizards) was 5.3 ind/100 m2. For amphibians, Eleutherodactylus and Scinax were the most speciose genera with three species each, and Eleutherodactylus binotatus was the most abundant species (mean density of 3.0 frogs/100 m2). The reptile community of Morro São João was dominated by species of the families Gekkonidae and Gymnophtalmidae (Lacertilia) and Colubridae (Serpentes). The gymnophtalmid lizard Leposoma scincoides was the most abundant reptile species (mean density of 0.3 ind/100 m2). We compare densities obtained in our study data with those of other studied rainforest sites in various tropical regions of the world. PMID:18506255

Almeida-Gomes, Mauricio; Vrcibradic, Davor; Siqueira, Carla C; Kiefer, Mara C; Klaion, Thaís; Almeida-Santos, Patrícia; Nascimento, Denise; Ariani, Cristina V; Borges-Junior, Vitor N T; Freitas-Filho, Ricardo F; van Sluys, Monique; Rocha, Carlos F D

2008-06-01

279

Propagation of nuclear data uncertainties for ELECTRA burn-up calculations  

E-print Network

The European Lead-Cooled Training Reactor (ELECTRA) has been proposed as a training reactor for fast systems within the Swedish nuclear program. It is a low-power fast reactor cooled by pure liquid lead. In this work, we propagate the uncertainties in Pu-239 transport data to uncertainties in the fuel inventory of ELECTRA during the reactor life using the Total Monte Carlo approach (TMC). Within the TENDL project the nuclear models input parameters were randomized within their uncertainties and 740 Pu-239 nuclear data libraries were generated. These libraries are used as inputs to reactor codes, in our case SERPENT, to perform uncertainty analysis of nuclear reactor inventory during burn-up. The uncertainty in the inventory determines uncertainties in: the long-term radio-toxicity, the decay heat, the evolution of reactivity parameters, gas pressure and volatile fission product content. In this work, a methodology called fast TMC is utilized, which reduces the overall calculation time. The uncertainty in the long-term radiotoxicity, decay heat, gas pressure and volatile fission products were found to be insignificant. However, the uncertainty of some minor actinides were observed to be rather large and therefore their impact on multiple recycling should be investigated further. It was also found that, criticality benchmarks can be used to reduce inventory uncertainties due to nuclear data. Further studies are needed to include fission yield uncertainties, more isotopes, and a larger set of benchmarks.

H. Sjöstrand; E. Alhassan; J. Duan; C. Gustavsson; A. Koning; S. Pomp; D. Rochman; M. Österlund

2013-04-08

280

Preparation of nuclear libraries with deterministic and stochastic methods for LWR reflectors  

SciTech Connect

The explicit reflector methodology is used in the system of codes CASMO-5 / SIMULATE-3 to include the reflector around the active core into the computational region and avoid adopting any ad-hoc or experimental albedo coefficients as boundary conditions. However, to complete the core calculation, a set of cross sections and discontinuity factors is needed for the reflector nodes and the accuracy of these nuclear parameters influences the final results, in particular along the peripheral regions of the core. In this paper the explicit reflector methodology of CASMO-5 is adopted to evaluate the few-group cross sections and discontinuity factors of the different reflector cases, based on the design of Generation II and III LWR reactors. In addition, in the perspective of using Monte-Carlo codes as a complementary option for lattice calculations of reflector configurations, the stochastic SERPENT code is also included as part of this benchmark. With the latter, the impact of applying 2-D reflector models with homogenized materials instead of explicit representation of the real geometrical structures is moreover evaluated and shown to be limited. (authors)

Canepa, S.; Hursin, M.; Ferroukhi, H.; Pautz, A. [Paul Scherrer Institut PSI, 5232, Villigen PSI (Switzerland)

2013-07-01

281

The life and viper of Dr Patrick Russell MD FRS (1727-1805): physician and naturalist.  

PubMed

It is nearly two hundred years since the publication in 1796 of An Account of Indian Serpents collected on the Coast of Coromandel by Patrick Russell. Within the folio is a drawing and description of the venomous snake called Katuka Rekula Poda in the local Telugu language, whose venom was shown experimentally by Dr Russell to be nearly as lethal as that of Cobra de Capello. The snake is now known as Vipera russelli or Russell's viper. Dr Russell was representative of the naturalistic tendency of British medicine in the late 18th century. He was a keen observer and skilled doctor in clinical practice, particularly in Aleppo, Syria, during an outbreak of the plague, and indefatigable in his study of plant and animal life both in Aleppo and later in the Madras Province of India. As a physician as well as Naturalist to the East India Company in the Carnatic he was concerned with the problem of snakebite. His first aim was to find a means whereby the non-specialist could distinguish between poisonous and harmless snakes and so combat the terrible notion that all bites were mortal. His writing, encompassing social and natural histories and climaxed by a study of snakes, has left a rich legacy. Dr Patrick Russell was a man of the highest integrity and ability, a physician and naturalist par excellence. PMID:7886689

Hawgood, B J

1994-11-01

282

The story of the condom  

PubMed Central

Condoms have been a subject of curiosity throughout history. The idea of safer sex has been explored in ancient and modern history, and has been used to prevent venereal diseases. We conducted a historical and medical review of condoms using primary and secondary sources as well as using the RSM library and the internet. These resources show that the first use of a condom was that of King Minos of Crete. Pasiphae, his wife, employed a goat's bladder in the vagina so that King Minos would not be able to harm her as his semen was said to contain “scorpions and serpents” that killed his mistresses. To Egyptians, condom-like glans caps were dyed in different colours to distinguish between different classes of people and to protect themselves against bilharzia. The Ancient Romans used the bladders of animals to protect the woman; they were worn not to prevent pregnancy but to prevent contraction of venereal diseases. Charles Goodyear, the inventor, utilized vulcanization, the process of transforming rubber into malleable structures, to produce latex condoms. The greater use of condoms all over the world in the 20th and 21st centuries has been related to HIV. This account of the use of condoms demonstrates how a primitive idea turned into an object that is used globally with a forecast estimated at 18 billion condoms to be used in 2015 alone. PMID:23671357

Khan, Fahd; Mukhtar, Saheel; Dickinson, Ian K.; Sriprasad, Seshadri

2013-01-01

283

Combining Total Monte Carlo and Benchmarks for Nuclear Data Uncertainty Propagation on a Lead Fast Reactor's Safety Parameters  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Analyses are carried out to assess the impact of nuclear data uncertainties on keff for the European Lead Cooled Training Reactor (ELECTRA) using the Total Monte Carlo method. A large number of 239Pu random ENDF-formatted libraries generated using the TALYS based system were processed into ACE format with NJOY-99.336 code and used as input into the Serpent Monte Carlo neutron transport code to obtain distribution in keff. The mean of the keff distribution obtained was compared with the major nuclear data libraries, JEFF-3.1.1, ENDF/B-VII.1 and JENDL-4.0. A method is proposed for the selection of benchmarks for specific applications using the Total Monte Carlo approach. Finally, an accept/reject criterion was investigated based on ?2 values obtained using the 239Pu Jezebel criticality benchmark. It was observed that nuclear data uncertainties in keff were reduced considerably from 748 to 443 pcm by applying a more rigid acceptance criteria for accepting random files.

Alhassan, E.; Sjöstrand, H.; Duan, J.; Gustavsson, C.; Koning, A. J.; Pomp, S.; Rochman, D.; Österlund, M.

2014-04-01

284

Carbon Isotope Measurements of Experimentally-Derived Hydrothermal Mineral-Catalyzed Organic Products by Pyrolysis-Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

We report results of experiments to measure the C isotope composition of mineral catalyzed organic compounds derived from high temperature and high pressure synthesis. These experiments make use of an innovative pyrolysis technique designed to extract and measure C isotopes. To date, our experiments have focused on the pyrolysis and C isotope ratio measurements of low-molecular weight intermediary hydrocarbons (organic acids and alcohols) and serve as a proof of concept for making C and H isotope measurements on more complicated mixtures of solid-phase hydrocarbons and intermediary products produced during high temperature and high pressure synthesis on mineral-catalyzed surfaces. The impetus for this work stems from recently reported observations of methane detected within the Martian atmosphere [1-4], coupled with evidence showing extensive water-rock interaction during Martian history [5-7]. Methane production on Mars could be the result of synthesis by mineral surface-catalyzed reduction of CO2 and/or CO by Fischer-Tropsch Type (FTT) reactions during serpentization reactions [8,9]. Others have conducted experimental studies to show that FTT reactions are plausible mechanisms for low-molecular weight hydrocarbon formation in hydrothermal systems at mid-ocean ridges [10-12]. Further, recent experiments by Fu et al. [13] focus on examining detailed C isotope measurements of hydrocarbons produced by surface-catalyzed mineral reactions. Work described in this paper details the experimental techniques used to measure intermediary organic reaction products (alcohols and organic acids).

Socki, Richard A.; Fu, Qi; Niles, Paul B.

2011-01-01

285

Lethal envenomation: medicolegal aspects of snakebites and religious snake handlers in Kentucky: a report of three cases with comment on medical, legal, and public policy ramifications.  

PubMed

Ritualistic serpent qua snake handling, which rests upon inveterate religious conviction arising out of literal interpretation of selected passages of the New Testament, is a rare ceremony practiced by a distinct minority of Christians predominantly in rural Appalachian regions of the United States commonly referred to as the Bible belt. The fervent, frenzied pursuit by anointed "sign-followers" of intimate contact with a variety of poisonous snakes, however, puts the handler together with sect members or bystanders at risk for lethal envenomation, particularly when prompt medical attention is held by the congregation of faith to contravene God's will. The authors report three separate cases of death due to envenomation by snakebite during a church service and the handler's faith-based refusal to seek treatment. Postmortem examination of each yielded similar physical findings attributable to various toxic sequelae of the complex venoms. A review of the injurious constituents of these chemical toxins also includes a discussion of complex pathophysiological mechanisms causing death. In addition, the authors review the history of representative legislative and judicial responses to the sensationally mortal phenomenon, all of which ineluctably grapple with fundamental Constitutional issues devolving from such controversial religious practices. We underscore the view that a thoroughly documented medicolegal investigation and autopsy are indispensable to both inform matters of public health and thereby contribute to the formulation of sound public policy. PMID:16302722

Hunsaker, Donna M; Hunsaker, John C; Clayton, Tara; Spiller, Henry A

2005-11-01

286

Do Cross-circle Designs, the Mayan World Tree, Chitto Tustenuggee's, and Miami's Tequesta, Sites have Analogs in Brazil as they have in Peru, Europe, and Africa?  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Florida's Miami Tequesta site conveys information about potential tornadoes, hurricanes, and even earthquakes. It is visually analogous to cross-circle designs, like other equivalent sites we have located, as in Maine, New Hampshire, in Medicine Wheels, and elsewhere. We focus on the detectable effects of time-and-place dependent electromagnetic signals. Non-technologic societies, and individuals, still find and use them, even today, especially in places like Cuzco, Peru. Modes of detection involve senses, such as sensitive, observant eyesight, and electromagnetically induced nerve signals interpreted as tinnitus, as traditionally indicated by ``Kokopelli's'' flute-playing, ``pins and needles,'' or even odor sensations. Recorded events show that youthful children are sometimes involved, as by Pacal's Classic-Mayan-era son, who became Kan Balum, Serpent Jaguar. Our intent is to check whether similar signals can be technologically identified in Brazil and New England. Site information investigated by us seems to be driven by the electromagnetic field. Enigmatic Brazilian locations should be technologically investigated with site correlations to other possible analogs, such as Florida's Chitto Tustenuggee site at Miramar. To cite this abstract, use the following reference: http://meetings.aps.org/link/BAPS.2007.NES07.C2.6

Ataide, Jade; Mc Leod, Roger; Mc Leod, David

2007-04-01

287

Propagation of Nuclear Data Uncertainties for ELECTRA Burn-up Calculations  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The European Lead-Cooled Training Reactor (ELECTRA) has been proposed as a training reactor for fast systems within the Swedish nuclear program. It is a low-power fast reactor cooled by pure liquid lead. In this work, we propagate the uncertainties in 239Pu transport data to uncertainties in the fuel inventory of ELECTRA during the reactor lifetime using the Total Monte Carlo approach (TMC). Within the TENDL project, nuclear models input parameters were randomized within their uncertainties and 740 239Pu nuclear data libraries were generated. These libraries are used as inputs to reactor codes, in our case SERPENT, to perform uncertainty analysis of nuclear reactor inventory during burn-up. The uncertainty in the inventory determines uncertainties in: the long-term radio-toxicity, the decay heat, the evolution of reactivity parameters, gas pressure and volatile fission product content. In this work, a methodology called fast TMC is utilized, which reduces the overall calculation time. The uncertainty of some minor actinides were observed to be rather large and therefore their impact on multiple recycling should be investigated further. It was also found that, criticality benchmarks can be used to reduce inventory uncertainties due to nuclear data. Further studies are needed to include fission yield uncertainties, more isotopes, and a larger set of benchmarks.

Sjöstrand, H.; Alhassan, E.; Duan, J.; Gustavsson, C.; Koning, A. J.; Pomp, S.; Rochman, D.; Österlund, M.

2014-04-01

288

Histological analysis of spermatogenesis and the germ cell development strategy within the testis of the male Western Cottonmouth Snake, Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma.  

PubMed

Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma) testes were examined histologically to determine the germ cell development strategy employed during spermatogenesis. Testicular tissues from Cottonmouths were collected monthly from swamps around Hammond, Louisiana. Pieces of testis were fixed in Trump's fixative, dehydrated in ethanol, embedded in Spurr's plastic, sectioned with an ultramicrotome, and stained with toluidine blue and basic fuchsin. Spermatogenesis within Cottonmouths occurs in two independent events within a single calendar year. The testes are active during the months of March-June and August-October with spermiation most heavily observed during April-May and October. To our knowledge, this is the first study that describes bimodal spermatogenesis occurring in the same year within the subfamily Crotalinae. During spermatogenesis, no consistent spatial relationships are observed between germ cell generations. Typically, either certain cell types were missing (spermatocytes) or the layering of 3-5 spermatids and/or spermatocytes within the same cross-section of seminiferous tubule prevented consistent spatial stages from occurring. This temporal pattern of sperm development is different from the spatial development found within birds and mammals, being more reminiscent of that seen in amphibians, and has now been documented within every major clade of reptile (Chelonia, Serpentes, Sauria, Crocodylia). This primitive-like sperm development, within a testis structurally similar to mammals and birds, may represent an intermediate testicular model within the basally positioned (phylogenetically) reptiles that may be evolutionarily significant. PMID:18926676

Gribbins, Kevin M; Rheubert, Justin L; Collier, Matthew H; Siegel, Dustin S; Sever, David M

2008-11-20

289

Did Indians of the Americas Preserve Linguistic Place-names Like Willimantic, CT, Indicating Some Islamic Interactions and Applied Physics Use, Before Columbus?  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Modern Peruvians document: ``Ñari Huallac is the name of the town in the north of Peru (Piura) where our families come from. The words Ñari Huallac mean Serpent God, [editorial emphasis by underlining script is added], and are some of the few words which remain from the ancient Tallan civilization.'' Tallan seems related to The God, Allah, of Islam, as are Alaska, Allagash, Illinois, Willimantic, CT, and, in Maine, Metallak, Mollocket and Millinocket, Allahpatah, of Florida, and Allegheny of Pennsylvania. With this significance lies the partially concealed evidence that all three monotheistic faiths, during the times indicated by the language, understood there was a fundamental connection between The God, and what we would call today the electromagnetic field, EMF, of Mother Earth. Metallak: Doctor (at) The God (Spirit-signal, EMF), an ecclesiastical title, like Willimantic, The God Spirit-signal (where there is a) doctor. Alaska: The God Jesus Christ Spirit-signal (EMF). Millinocket: Adherent of The God monk Cathar, provides a reference date of about 1250 A.D. Illinois: The God Spirit-signal (EMF-detecting) monk. Mollocket asserted ownership of western Maine, until 1816. What did she know of importance from her war-hostage days in Boston?

Crory, Erica; Mc Leod, Roger D.

2007-10-01

290

Large Cretaceous sphenodontian from Patagonia provides insight into lepidosaur evolution in Gondwana.  

PubMed

Sphenodontian reptiles successfully radiated during Triassic and Jurassic times, but were driven almost to extinction during the Cretaceous period. The sparse Early Cretaceous record of sphenodontians has been interpreted as reflecting the decline of the group in favour of lizards, their suspected ecological successors. However, recent discoveries in Late Cretaceous beds in Patagonia partially modify this interpretation. Numerous skeletons of a new sphenodontian, Priosphenodon avelasi gen. et sp. nov., were collected from a single locality in the Cenomanian-Turonian Candeleros Formation, where it is more abundant than any other tetrapod group recorded in the quarry (for example, Crocodyliformes, Serpentes, Dinosauria and Mammalia). Adult specimens of Priosphenodon reached one metre in length, larger than any previously known terrestrial sphenodontian. Here we propose, using available evidence, that sphenodontians were not a minor component of the Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystems of South America, and that their ecological replacement by squamates was delayed until the early Tertiary. The new discovery helps to bridge the considerable gap in the fossil record (around 120 million years) that separates the Early Cretaceous sphenodontians from their living relatives (Sphenodon). PMID:14534584

Apesteguía, Sebastián; Novas, Fernando E

2003-10-01

291

Maine's MOLLOCKET and METALLAK: Adherents of God's Secret Spirit Signal, SSS, Applied Physicists of the EMF/Manitou, Doctors, Reincarnationists, "Potlachers," Confidants of the Powerful, and, they Did Own the Land.  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Northeastern ``Indians,'' reputed to ``make the weather,'' actually, from youth, observed earth phenomena, including SSS. These are subtle and barely detectable visual artifacts of the electromagnetic field, special information that led/leads to their spiritual belief in reincarnation, which came from the EMF/SSS communication, backward and forward, (up to) seven generations. It commands communal, democratic, ``potlatch'' redistribution of accumulated wealth, Mother Earth's bounty, from their land, gifted by ``The Great Spirit,'' Manitou, Peru's Ñari Huallac, ``Serpent God.'' Genetics established the non-Asian origins of 1/3 of North American Indians. Linguistics indicates a major impact westwards to us. MILLInocket is ``Adherent of God (Spirit-signal) monk Cathar.'' Katahdin, with a shared root, has Manitou. After 1820, Gov. E. Lincoln and at least one US senator went westward to MetALLAk; his biography is by a Rumford, ME Knight of Pythias. Why? MOLLOCKET frequently asserted ownership of western Maine. ``Great Council Fires,'' religious ``Law Things,'' were at Merrymeeting Bay in pre-Colonial times. ``Medicine men/priests'' often participated as their applied scientist-statesmen. To cite this abstract, use the following reference: http://meetings.aps.org/link/BAPS.2007.NES07.C2.1

Andrade, Jennifer; Ferreira, Nadja; Mc Leod, Roger D.

2007-04-01

292

Adaptive Evolution of the Venom-Targeted vWF Protein in Opossums that Eat Pitvipers  

PubMed Central

The rapid evolution of venom toxin genes is often explained as the result of a biochemical arms race between venomous animals and their prey. However, it is not clear that an arms race analogy is appropriate in this context because there is no published evidence for rapid evolution in genes that might confer toxin resistance among routinely envenomed species. Here we report such evidence from an unusual predator-prey relationship between opossums (Marsupialia: Didelphidae) and pitvipers (Serpentes: Crotalinae). In particular, we found high ratios of replacement to silent substitutions in the gene encoding von Willebrand Factor (vWF), a venom-targeted hemostatic blood protein, in a clade of opossums known to eat pitvipers and to be resistant to their hemorrhagic venom. Observed amino-acid substitutions in venom-resistant opossums include changes in net charge and hydrophobicity that are hypothesized to weaken the bond between vWF and one of its toxic snake-venom ligands, the C-type lectin-like protein botrocetin. Our results provide the first example of rapid adaptive evolution in any venom-targeted molecule, and they support the notion that an evolutionary arms race might be driving the rapid evolution of snake venoms. However, in the arms race implied by our results, venomous snakes are prey, and their venom has a correspondingly defensive function in addition to its usual trophic role. PMID:21731638

Jansa, Sharon A.; Voss, Robert S.

2011-01-01

293

Development and evolution of an Alpine sulphuric acid cave: Kraushoehle (Austria)  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The number of known active and fossil hypogene cave systems is increasing rapidly thanks to recent advances in our understanding of this type of karst. Many cave systems previously thought to be of epigene origin have undergone more or less important phases of hypogene development. Epigene overprinting tends to obliterate hypogene features rendering identification of caves of multiphase speleogenesis a challenge. Among hypogene caves the sulphuric acid ones are the most interesting for a number of reasons: they host important bacterial and arthropod communities, they have peculiar and typical morphologies, and contain a variety of mineralisations. Sulphuric acid caves have been described from the Americas (Lechuguilla and Carlsbad in New Mexico, Cueva de Villa Luz in Mexico, Kane caves in Wyoming), but examples are also known in Europe (Movile cave in Romania, Frasassi and Monte Cucco in Italy). Until recently, the Serpents cave (Aix-les-Bains, northern Prealps) was the only sulphuric acid cave described in the international literature from the Alpine belt. Kraush

de Waele, J.; Plan, L.; Audra, Ph.; Rossi, A.; Spötl, Ch.; Polyak, V.; McIntosh, W.

2009-04-01

294

226Ra and other radionuclides in water, vegetation, and tissues of beavers (Castor canadensis) from a watershed containing U tailings near Elliot Lake, Canada.  

PubMed

Radionuclide levels were measured in tissues, gut contents, diet items, and water at site of capture, of adult beavers from the Serpent River drainage basin which contains U tailings at Elliot Lake, Ontario, and from nearby control sites. Levels of (226)Ra in beaver bone, muscle and kidney were highest in animals from locations close to U tailings; liver levels did not vary by site. Environmental (226)Ra levels were within ranges previously reported at these or similar locations elsewhere; levels in beaver gut contents reflected levels in diet items. Concentration ratios exceeded unity only between some vegetation items and beaver bone at the Elliot Lake site and were less than 0.19 between vegetation and other tissues. In two beavers with tissue levels of (226)Ra higher than other sampled, neither (232)Th nor (230)Th were detected in bone, muscle or liver tissues. U-238 was measurable in bone, muscle and liver, (228)Th in bone, (210)Po bone, muscle and liver; and (210)Pb was measurable only in bone. Estimated yearly intakes of radionuclides by people eating beavers were calculated to be below current allowable levels set by the Canadian regulatory authorities. PMID:15092150

Clulow, F V; Mirka, M A; Davé, N K; Lim, T P

1991-01-01

295

Art exhibit focuses on African astronomy  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Connections between Africans and astronomy are the focus of a new exhibition in the National Museum of African Art in Washington, D. C. “African Cosmos: Stellar Arts,” which includes artwork, cultural items, and scientific displays from ancient to contemporary times, is the first major exhibit “that brings together arts and science focused on Africa's contribution to keen observations of the heavens over time,” curator Christine Mullen Kreamer said at a 20 June news briefing. Among the exhibit's nearly 100 objects are an ancient Egyptian mummy board that includes a representation of the sky goddess Nut, sculptures by the Dogon people of Mali depicting figures in relation to the cosmos, a video that uses data from two square degrees of the Hubble Space Telescope Cosmic Evolution Survey, and a nearly floor-to-ceiling “Rainbow Serpent” constructed of plastic containers by Benin artist Hazoume. An untitled acrylic painting (Figure 1) by South African Gavin Jantjes evokes a myth of the Khoi San people of southern Africa, as it portrays a girl throwing evening fire embers into the night sky, where they remained as the Milky Way.

Showstack, Randy

2012-07-01

296

Snakes antibodies.  

PubMed

Immunoglobulins are basic molecules of the immune system of vertebrates. In previous studies we described the immunoglobulins found in two squamata reptiles, Anolis carolinensis and Eublepharis macularius. Snakes are squamata reptiles too but they have undergone an extreme evolutionary process. We therefore wanted to know how these changes affected their immunoglobulin coding genes. To perform this analysis we studied five snake transcriptomes and two genome draft sequences. Sequences coding for immunoglobulin M (IgM), immunoglobulin D (IgD) and two classes of immunoglobulin Y (IgY - named IgYa and IgYb-) were found in all of them. Moreover, the Thamnophis elegans transcriptome and Python molurus genome draft sequences showed a third class of IgY, the IgYc, whose constant region only presents three domains and lacks the CH2. All data suggest that the IgYb is the evolutionary origin of this IgYc. An exhaustive search of the light chains were carried out, being lambda the only light chain found in snakes. The results provide a clear picture of the immunoglobulins present in the suborder Serpentes. PMID:22426516

Gambón-Deza, Francisco; Sánchez-Espinel, Christian; Mirete-Bachiller, Serafín; Magadán-Mompó, Susana

2012-09-01

297

The Friend of GATA proteins U-shaped, FOG-1, and FOG-2 function as negative regulators of blood, heart, and eye development in Drosophila.  

PubMed

Friend of GATA (FOG) proteins regulate GATA factor-activated gene transcription. During vertebrate hematopoiesis, FOG and GATA proteins cooperate to promote erythrocyte and megakaryocyte differentiation. The Drosophila FOG homologue U-shaped (Ush) is expressed similarly in the blood cell anlage during embryogenesis. During hematopoiesis, the acute myeloid leukemia 1 homologue Lozenge and Glial cells missing are required for the production of crystal cells and plasmatocytes, respectively. However, additional factors have been predicted to control crystal cell proliferation. In this report, we show that Ush is expressed in hemocyte precursors and plasmatocytes throughout embryogenesis and larval development, and the GATA factor Serpent is essential for Ush embryonic expression. Furthermore, loss of ush function results in an overproduction of crystal cells, whereas forced expression of Ush reduces this cell population. Murine FOG-1 and FOG-2 also can repress crystal cell production, but a mutant version of FOG-2 lacking a conserved motif that binds the corepressor C-terminal binding protein fails to affect the cell lineage. The GATA factor Pannier (Pnr) is required for eye and heart development in Drosophila. When Ush, FOG-1, FOG-2, or mutant FOG-2 is coexpressed with Pnr during these developmental processes, severe eye and heart phenotypes result, consistent with a conserved negative regulation of Pnr function. These results indicate that the fly and mouse FOG proteins function similarly in three distinct cellular contexts in Drosophila, but may use different mechanisms to regulate genetic events in blood vs. cardial or eye cell lineages. PMID:11404479

Fossett, N; Tevosian, S G; Gajewski, K; Zhang, Q; Orkin, S H; Schulz, R A

2001-06-19

298

Dexamethasone antagonizes the in vivo myotoxic and inflammatory effects of Bothrops venoms.  

PubMed

In the present work we investigated the toxic activities of two Bothrops snake venoms using in vivo and in vitro experimental protocols in mice and tested the protective effect of dexamethasone (DEXA) in different conditions, comparing it with the polyvalent antivenom. We also expanded the investigations on the antiophidic effect of the Eclipta prostrata (EP) crude extract. The administration of Bothrops jararaca and Bothrops jararacussu snake venoms induced muscle damage demonstrated in vivo by the elevation on plasma creatine kinase (CK) activity in mice and by the decrease in CK content in the extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle of these animals, and in vitro by the increase in the rate of CK release from the isolated EDL muscle. We also observed inflammatory response following perimuscular injection of B. jararacussu venom (1.0 mg/kg). Treatment with DEXA (1.0 mg/kg) preserved over 50% of the EDL muscle CK content in vivo when evaluated 24 and 72 h after the injection of B. jararacussu venom in mice, and likewise reduced about 20% of the edema induced by this venom. DEXA reduced in 50% the presence of inflammatory cells and their activity in EDL muscle. The EP extract (50 mg/kg) showed similar ability in preventing the induction of edema and the decrease in muscle CK content, and its association with DEXA showed additive effect. EP reduced over 77% of the plasma CK activity induced by the B. jararacussu venom. In the in vitro experiments, DEXA was not able to change the rate of CK release from EDL muscles exposed to 25 ?g/mL of B. jararacussu venom, neither to prevent the fall in the amplitude of the indirectly evoked twitch at the phrenic-diaphragm preparation. EP extract showed otherwise a protective effect on these protocols, reaching up to 100% of protection when concentrations of 50.0 and 100.0 ?g/mL were used. Altogether our results show that inflammation is at least in part responsible for the tissue damage induced by Bothrops snake venoms, once the steroidal anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone was able to decrease the myotoxic effects of these venoms, by reducing the inflammatory response to the venom injection. PMID:23416798

Patrão-Neto, Fernando Chagas; Tomaz, Marcelo Amorim; Strauch, Marcelo Abrahão; Monteiro-Machado, Marcos; Rocha, José Roberto Da Silva; Borges, Paula Alvarenga; Calil-Elias, Sabrina; Melo, Paulo A

2013-07-01

299

PepExplorer: a similarity-driven tool for analyzing de novo sequencing results.  

PubMed

Peptide spectrum matching is the current gold standard for protein identification via mass-spectrometry-based proteomics. Peptide spectrum matching compares experimental mass spectra against theoretical spectra generated from a protein sequence database to perform identification, but protein sequences not present in a database cannot be identified unless their sequences are in part conserved. The alternative approach, de novo sequencing, can make it possible to infer a peptide sequence directly from a mass spectrum, but interpreting long lists of peptide sequences resulting from large-scale experiments is not trivial. With this as motivation, PepExplorer was developed to use rigorous pattern recognition to assemble a list of homologue proteins using de novo sequencing data coupled to sequence alignment to allow biological interpretation of the data. PepExplorer can read the output of various widely adopted de novo sequencing tools and converge to a list of proteins with a global false-discovery rate. To this end, it employs a radial basis function neural network that considers precursor charge states, de novo sequencing scores, peptide lengths, and alignment scores to select similar protein candidates, from a target-decoy database, usually obtained from phylogenetically related species. Alignments are performed using a modified Smith-Waterman algorithm tailored for the task at hand. We verified the effectiveness of our approach using a reference set of identifications generated by ProLuCID when searching for Pyrococcus furiosus mass spectra on the corresponding NCBI RefSeq database. We then modified the sequence database by swapping amino acids until ProLuCID was no longer capable of identifying any proteins. By searching the mass spectra using PepExplorer on the modified database, we were able to recover most of the identifications at a 1% false-discovery rate. Finally, we employed PepExplorer to disclose a comprehensive proteomic assessment of the Bothrops jararaca plasma, a known biological source of natural inhibitors of snake toxins. PepExplorer is integrated into the PatternLab for Proteomics environment, which makes available various tools for downstream data analysis, including resources for quantitative and differential proteomics. PMID:24878498

Leprevost, Felipe V; Valente, Richard H; Lima, Diogo B; Perales, Jonas; Melani, Rafael; Yates, John R; Barbosa, Valmir C; Junqueira, Magno; Carvalho, Paulo C

2014-09-01

300

Insights into cardiovascular effects of proline-rich oligopeptide (Bj-PRO-10c) revealed by structure-activity analyses: dissociation of antihypertensive and bradycardic effects.  

PubMed

We have previously reported that the proline-rich decapeptide from Bothrops jararaca (Bj-PRO-10c) causes potent and sustained antihypertensive and bradycardic effects in SHR. These activities are independent of ACE inhibition. In the present study, we used the Ala-scan approach to evaluate the importance of each amino acid within the sequence of Bj-PRO-10c (Pyr(1)-Asn(2)-Trp(3)-Pro(4)-His(5)-Pro(6)-Gln(7)-Ile(8)-Pro(9)-Pro(10)). The antihypertensive and bradycardic effects of the analogues Bj-PRO-10c Ala(3), Bj-PRO-10c Ala(7), Bj-PRO-10c Ala(8) were similar to those of Bj-PRO-10c, whereas the analogues Bj-PRO-10c Ala(2), Bj-PRO-10c Ala(4), Bj-PRO-10c Ala(5), Bj-PRO-10c Ala(9), and Bj-PRO-10c Ala(10) kept the antihypertensive activity and lost bradycardic activity considerably. In contrast, Bj-PRO-10c Ala(1) and Bj-PRO-10c Ala(6) were unable to provoke any cardiovascular activity. In summary, we demonstrated that (1) the Pyr(1) and Pro(6) residues are essential for both, the antihypertensive and bradycardic effects of Bj-PRO-10c; (2) Ala-scan approach allowed dissociating blood pressure reduction and bradycardic effects. Conformational properties of the peptides were examined by means of circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy. The different Ala-scan analogues caused either an increase or decrease in the type II polyproline helix content compared to Bj-PRO-10c. The complete loss of activity of the Pro(6) ? Ala(6) mutant is probably due to the fact that in the parent peptide the His(5)-Pro(6) bond can exist in the cis configuration, which could correspond to the conformation of this bond in the bound state. Current data support the Bj-PRO-10c as a promising leader prototype to develop new agents to treat cardiovascular diseases and its co-morbidities. PMID:24337901

Paschoal, Juliana F B; Yamaguchi, Juliana; Miranda, José R R; Carretero, Gustavo; Melo, Robson L; Santos, Robson A S; Xavier, Carlos H; Schreier, Shirley; Camargo, Antonio C M; Ianzer, Danielle

2014-02-01

301

Occurrence of sulfated fucose branches in fucosylated chondroitin sulfate are essential for the polysaccharide effect preventing muscle damage induced by toxins and crude venom from Bothrops jararacussu snake.  

PubMed

Snake envenoming is an important public health problem around the world, particularly in tropics. Beyond deaths, morbidity induced by snake venoms, such as myotoxicity, is of pivotal consequence to population. Bothrops jararacussu is the main venomous snake in southeast region of Brazil, and particularly presents strong myotoxic effect. The only available therapy, antibothropic antivenom, poorly affects venom-induced myotoxicity. The aim of this study is to assess the ability of fucosylated chondroitin sulfate (fucCS), a glycosaminoglycan with anticoagulant and antithrombotic properties, and its derivatives to inhibit toxic activities of B. jararacussu crude venom and its isolated toxins, named bothropstoxins (BthTX-I and BthTX-II). The in vitro myotoxic activities induced by crude venom, by BthTX-I alone and by toxins together were abolished by fucCS. Carboxyl reduction (fucCS-CR) kept this ability whereas defucosilation (defucCS) abrogates myoprotection. We observed the same pattern in the response of these polysaccharides in antagonizing the increase in plasma creatine kinase (CK) levels, the reduction of skeletal muscle CK content and the rise of myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity induced by crude venom and isolated toxins. FucCS inhibited edematogenic activity and partially prevented the reduction of total leukocytes in blood when pre-incubated with crude venom. Furthermore, the venom procoagulant effect was completely antagonized by increasing concentrations of fucCS, although this polyanion could stop neither the tail bleeding nor the skin hemorrhage induced by Bothrops jararaca venom. The B. jararacussu phospholipase, hyaluronidase, proteolytic and collagenase activities were inhibited in vitro. The results suggest that fucCS could be able to interact with both toxins, and it is able to inhibit BthTX-II phospholipase activity. Light microscopy of extensor digitorum longus muscle (EDL) muscle showed myoprotection by fucCS, once necrotic areas, edema and inflammatory cells were all decreased as compared to venom injection alone. Altogether, data show that fucCS was able to inhibit myotoxicity and inflammation induced by B. jararacussu venom and its phospholipase toxins, BthTX-I and BthTX-II. Thus, fucosylated chondroitin sulfate is a new polyanion with potential to be used as an adjuvant in the treatment of snakebites in the future. PMID:25702961

Monteiro-Machado, Marcos; Tomaz, Marcelo A; Fonseca, Roberto J C; Strauch, Marcelo A; Cons, Bruno L; Borges, Paula A; Patrão-Neto, Fernando C; Tavares-Henriques, Matheus S; Teixeira-Cruz, Jhonatha M; Calil-Elias, Sabrina; Cintra, Adélia C O; Martinez, Ana Maria B; Mourão, Paulo A S; Melo, Paulo A

2015-05-01

302

A new structurally atypical bradykinin-potentiating peptide isolated from Crotalus durissus cascavella venom (South American rattlesnake).  

PubMed

Venom glands of some snakes synthesize bradykinin-potentiating peptides (BPP's) which increase bradykinin-induced hypotensive effect and decrease angiotensin I vasopressor effect by angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition. The present study shows a new BPP (BPP-Cdc) isolated from Crotalus durissus cascavella venom: Pro-Asn-Leu-Pro-Asn-Tyr-Leu-Gly-Ile-Pro-Pro. Although BPP-Cdc presents the classical sequence IPP in the C-terminus, it has a completely atypical N-terminal sequence, which shows very low homology with all other BPPs isolated to date. The pharmacological effects of BPP-Cdc were compared to BBP9a from Bothrops jararaca and captopril. BPP-Cdc (1 ?M) significantly increased BK-induced contractions (BK; 1 ?M) on the guinea pig ileum by 267.8% and decreased angiotensin I-induced contractions (AngI; 10 nM) by 62.4% and these effects were not significantly different from those of BPP9a (1 ?M) or captopril (200 nM). Experiments with 4-week hypertensive 2K-1C rats show that the vasopressor effect of AngI (10 ng) was decreased by 50 ?g BPP-Cdc (69.7%), and this result was similar to that obtained with 50 ?g BPP9a (69.8%). However, the action duration of BPP-Cdc (60 min) was 2 times greater than that of BPP-9a (30 min). On the other hand, the hypotensive effect of BK (250 ng) was significantly increased by 176.6% after BPP-Cdc (50 ?g) administration, value 2.5 times greater than that obtained with BPP9a administered at the same doses (71.4%). In addition, the duration of the action of BPP-Cdc (120 min) was also at least 4 times greater than that of BPP-9a (30 min). Taken together, these results suggest that BPP-Cdc presents more selective action on arterial blood system than BPP9a. Besides the inhibition of ACE, it may present other mechanisms of action yet to be elucidated. PMID:25091347

Lopes, Denise M; Junior, Norberto E G; Costa, Paula P C; Martins, Patrícia L; Santos, Cláudia F; Carvalho, Ellaine D F; Carvalho, Maria D F; Pimenta, Daniel C; Cardi, Bruno A; Fonteles, Manassés C; Nascimento, Nilberto R F; Carvalho, Krishnamurti M

2014-11-01

303

Evolution of CRISPs associated with toxicoferan-reptilian venom and mammalian reproduction.  

PubMed

Cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRISPs) are glycoproteins found exclusively in vertebrates and have broad diversified functions. They are hypothesized to play important roles in mammalian reproduction and in reptilian venom, where they disrupt homeostasis of the prey through several mechanisms, including among others, blockage of cyclic nucleotide-gated and voltage-gated ion channels and inhibition of smooth muscle contraction. We evaluated the molecular evolution of CRISPs in toxicoferan reptiles at both nucleotide and protein levels relative to their nonvenomous mammalian homologs. We show that the evolution of CRISP gene in these reptiles is significantly influenced by positive selection and in snakes (? = 3.84) more than in lizards (? = 2.33), whereas mammalian CRISPs were under strong negative selection (CRISP1 = 0.55, CRISP2 = 0.40, and CRISP3 = 0.68). The use of ancestral sequence reconstruction, mapping of mutations on the three-dimensional structure, and detailed evaluation of selection pressures suggests that the toxicoferan CRISPs underwent accelerated evolution aided by strong positive selection and directional mutagenesis, whereas their mammalian homologs are constrained by negative selection. Gene and protein-level selection analyses identified 41 positively selected sites in snakes and 14 sites in lizards. Most of these sites are located on the molecular surface (nearly 76% in snakes and 79% in lizards), whereas the backbone of the protein retains a highly conserved structural scaffold. Nearly 46% of the positively selected sites occur in the cysteine-rich domain of the protein. This directional mutagenesis, where the hotspots of mutations are found on the molecular surface and functional domains of the protein, acts as a diversifying mechanism for the exquisite biological targeting of CRISPs in toxicoferan reptiles. Finally, our analyses suggest that the evolution of toxicoferan-CRISP venoms might have been influenced by the specific predatory mechanism employed by the organism. CRISPs in Elapidae, which mostly employ neurotoxins, have experienced less positive selection pressure (? = 2.86) compared with the "nonvenomous" colubrids (? = 4.10) that rely on grip and constriction to capture the prey, and the Viperidae, a lineage that mostly employs haemotoxins (? = 4.19). Relatively lower omega estimates in Anguimorph lizards (? = 2.33) than snakes (? = 3.84) suggests that lizards probably depend more on pace and powerful jaws for predation than venom. PMID:22319140

Sunagar, Kartik; Johnson, Warren E; O'Brien, Stephen J; Vasconcelos, Vítor; Antunes, Agostinho

2012-07-01

304

Income breeding allows an aquatic snake Seminatrix pygaea to reproduce normally following prolonged drought-induced aestivation.  

PubMed

1. Capital breeding is an ideal reproductive strategy for many ectotherms because it provides a disassociation between feeding and reproduction, a necessary requirement for animals that become anorexic during pregnancy. Among ectotherms, some viviparous snakes (e.g. Viperidae) exemplify the capital breeding strategy because many species (i) do not feed during pregnancy due to behavioural conflicts between reproduction and foraging, and (ii) take more than one season to accumulate sufficient energetic stores for reproduction. 2. Isolated wetlands often exhibit extreme annual fluctuations in environmental conditions with prolonged droughts periodically leaving wetlands completely dry and devoid of prey. Following droughts, however, wetlands can be extremely productive, rendering prey resources virtually unlimited for some species. 3. This study examines drought survival strategy and reproductive ecology of a small aquatic snake Seminatrix pygaea (Cope) in an isolated wetland. Seminatrix pygaea are atypical from most sympatric snake species in that (i) their small body size, reliance on aquatic prey, and high rates of evaporative water loss make them ill-suited to overland movement, and (ii) they may not be subject to costs typically associated with feeding during pregnancy. 4. We hypothesized that S. pygaea would survive periodic multiyear droughts by aestivating within the dried wetland, a survival strategy heretofore undocumented in snakes. Further, we hypothesized that if S. pygaea rely on 'typical' snake reproductive strategies of 'adaptive anorexia' and capital breeding, reproductive output would be reduced in the first wet year following drought. 5. By encircling a 10-ha wetland with a continuous drift fence before it refilled we were able to demonstrate that S. pygaea were present within the dried wetland prior to the onset of spring rains that refilled the wetland in 2003. Our results suggest that S. pygaea are capable of surviving multiyear droughts by aestivating within the dried wetland. 6. Despite having presumably depleted energy reserves during the drought, S. pygaea reproduced with the same frequency and fecundity during the first season following refilling of the wetland as in pre-drought years. 7. The ability of S. pygaea to rebound rapidly from the stresses of prolonged drought is due in part to their reproductive ecology. Seminatrix pygaea readily feed throughout pregnancy and consequently can rapidly translate high prey abundances into reproductive output through income breeding. PMID:17032367

Winne, Christopher T; Willson, John D; Gibbons, J Whitfield

2006-11-01

305

Diversity, natural history, and geographic distribution of snakes in the Caatinga, Northeastern Brazil.  

PubMed

The present study is a synthesis on snake diversity and distribution in the Caatinga region of northeastern Brazil, providing an updated species list and data on natural history and geographic distribution. Our study is based on the careful revision of 7,102 voucher specimens, housed in 17 herpetological collections, complemented by data on taxonomic literature. We recorded a total of 112 snake species in the Caatinga, belonging to nine families: Anomalepididae, Leptotyphlopidae, Typhlopidae, Aniliidae, Boidae, Viperidae, Elapidae, Colubridae, and Dipsadidae. Our list includes at least 13 never recorded species for this region, as well as distribution records for all species known from the Caatinga (including expansion and new records of distribution). The snake assemblage of the Caatinga is complex, sharing species with other continental open areas (38.4%), forested areas (27.7%), and both open and forested areas (32.1%). The richest areas were isolated plateaus, followed by contact areas, semi-arid caatinga, and sandy dunes of the São Franscisco River. We identified 22 Caatinga endemic species with the sandy dunes of São Franscico River showing the highest endemism level (12 species, with six endemic species restricted to the area) followed by semi-arid caatinga, and isolated plateaus (eight endemic species each, and six and three endemic species with restricted distribution to each area, respectively). Most species show relatively restricted ranges in parts of the Caatinga. The snake assemblage in Caatinga includes mainly terrestrial species (38.4%), followed by fossorial/cryptozoic (26.8%), arboreal/semi-arboreal (26.8%), and aquatic/semi-aquatic (7.1%) species. Vertebrates are the most important dietary item (80.4%), with 56.6% of species being generalist consumers of this kind of prey; 24.4% are frog-eaters, 7.8% prey on caecilians/amphisbaenians, 6.7% lizard-eaters, 3.3% mammal-eaters, and 1.1% are fish-eaters. Only 18.7% of the snakes eat invertebrate prey, as arthropods, annelids, and mollusks. In relation to time of activity, 35.7% of snakes are both diurnal and nocturnal, 33.0% are strictly nocturnal, and 30.4% are diurnal. The data provided herein increase the list of Caatinga snake species from 50 to 112, and includes detailed maps and information on geographic distribution. The Caatinga snake assemblage shows high richness and endemism levels, and our results highlight the usefulness of basic natural history data and revision of voucher specimens as baseline information for biogeographic studies and conservation strategies.  PMID:25283535

Guedes, Thaís B; Nogueira, Cristiano; Marques, Otavio A V

2014-01-01

306

Development of 3D full-core ERANOS-2.2/MCNPX-2.7.0 models and neutronic analysis of the BFS-2 zero-power facility  

SciTech Connect

The present paper is addressing the development and validation against experimental data of 3D full-core models of the BFS-2 zero-power fast-reactor using both the deterministic system code ERANOS-2.2 and the stochastic code MCNPX-2.7.0. The model configuration of BFS considered for analysis is the BFS-62-3A benchmark. To extend the - deterministic/stochastic - code-to-code comparison, neutronic parameters, i.e. reactivity, neutron spectrum and reaction rates, were also simulated at the cell level with the Monte Carlo code SERPENT-1.1.7 with two modern data libraries, ENDF-B/VII and JEFF-3.1.1. The BFS-2 critical zero-power facility at the Inst. of Physics and Power Engineering (IPPE) was designed for simulations of the core and shielding of sodium-cooled, fast reactors, for neutron data validation and comparison with experimental results. At the BFS-2 facility, the BFS-62-3A critical benchmark experiment was set-up as a mock-up of the BN-600 reactor, with hybrid MOX fuel and stainless steel reflectors. A UO{sub 2} blanket and a large non-homogeneous stainless-steel reflector surround the core. The lattice is hexagonal of pitch 5.1 cm and metallic dowels are used to keep in central position cylindrical rods made of different types of material (fissile, fertile, blanket, plenum, shielding and absorber). A typical subassembly is formed in piling up various pellets of about 1 cm in height and 4.6 cm in diameter, conferring large heterogeneity in the axial direction. The full-core model development was a complex task due to the large number of subassemblies and the axial subassembly heterogeneity. In ERANOS-2.2, it was necessary to homogenize axially per region the pellets used to form the subassembly. The self-shielded macroscopic cross-sections were calculated using the cell code ECCO in association with JEFF-3.1 and ENDF/B-VI.8 data libraries. The core calculations were performed with broad cross-sections data in 33 neutron energy groups with the solver AVNM in the diffusion approximation, mostly. In MCNPX-2.7.0, a step-by-step approach was used, starting with a model in which the fissile rods were simulated on a homogeneous level, to finally integrate the actual heterogeneous description of the subassemblies. The code-to-code cell analysis performed between ECCO, SERPENT and MCNPX with different modern nuclear data library revealed that the results for the infinite multiplication factor between Monte Carlo and deterministic analysis are in good agreement ({Delta}p < 100 pcm). The differences between the results were observed to be larger for the neutron data libraries, with reactivity differences up to 350 pcm. (authors)

Girardin, G.; Alonso, M. [Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne EPFL, CH-1015 Lausanne (Switzerland); Mikityuk, K. [Paul Scherrer Institut PSI, CH-5232 Villigen-PSI (Switzerland)

2012-07-01

307

Advanced Test Reactor Core Modeling Update Project Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2012  

SciTech Connect

Legacy computational reactor physics software tools and protocols currently used for support of Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) core fuel management and safety assurance, and to some extent, experiment management, are inconsistent with the state of modern nuclear engineering practice, and are difficult, if not impossible, to properly verify and validate (V&V) according to modern standards. Furthermore, the legacy staff knowledge required for application of these tools and protocols from the 1960s and 1970s is rapidly being lost due to staff turnover and retirements. In late 2009, the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) initiated a focused effort, the ATR Core Modeling Update Project, to address this situation through the introduction of modern high-fidelity computational software and protocols. This aggressive computational and experimental campaign will have a broad strategic impact on the operation of the ATR, both in terms of improved computational efficiency and accuracy for support of ongoing DOE programs as well as in terms of national and international recognition of the ATR National Scientific User Facility (NSUF). The ATR Core Modeling Update Project, targeted for full implementation in phase with the next anticipated ATR Core Internals Changeout (CIC) in the 2014-2015 time frame, began during the last quarter of Fiscal Year 2009, and has just completed its third full year. Key accomplishments so far have encompassed both computational as well as experimental work. A new suite of stochastic and deterministic transport theory based reactor physics codes and their supporting nuclear data libraries (HELIOS, KENO6/SCALE, NEWT/SCALE, ATTILA, and an extended implementation of MCNP5) has been installed at the INL under various licensing arrangements. Corresponding models of the ATR and ATRC are now operational with all five codes, demonstrating the basic feasibility of the new code packages for their intended purpose. Of particular importance, a set of as-run core depletion HELIOS calculations for all ATR cycles since August 2009, Cycle 145A through Cycle 151B, was successfully completed during 2012. This major effort supported a decision late in the year to proceed with the phased incorporation of the HELIOS methodology into the ATR Core Safety Analysis Package (CSAP) preparation process, in parallel with the established PDQ-based methodology, beginning late in Fiscal Year 2012. Acquisition of the advanced SERPENT (VTT-Finland) and MC21 (DOE-NR) Monte Carlo stochastic neutronics simulation codes was also initiated during the year and some initial applications of SERPENT to ATRC experiment analysis were demonstrated. These two new codes will offer significant additional capability, including the possibility of full-3D Monte Carlo fuel management support capabilities for the ATR at some point in the future. Finally, a capability for rigorous sensitivity analysis and uncertainty quantification based on the TSUNAMI system has been implemented and initial computational results have been obtained. This capability will have many applications as a tool for understanding the margins of uncertainty in the new models as well as for validation experiment design and interpretation.

David W. Nigg, Principal Investigator; Kevin A. Steuhm, Project Manager

2012-09-01

308

Radium-226 levels and concentration ratios between water, vegetation, and tissues of ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) from a watershed with uranium tailings near Elliot Lake, Canada.  

PubMed

Radionuclide levels measured in bone, muscle, kidney and liver tissues, gut contents and diet items of 47 grouse from the Serpent River drainage basin, containing uranium (U) tailings at Elliot Lake, and from control areas in Ontario, showed variation by site and tissue. The mean level of 226radium (Ra) in bones of grouse sampled from Elliot Lake (28.5 mBq g(-1)) was higher than that in bones of birds from a distant control site near Sudbury, Ontario (8.0 mBq g(-1)) but similar to the value in a local control population (28.1 mBq g(-1)). Birds from Mid- and Low-Serpent River basin populations (with 17.1 and 17.7 mBw g(-1), respectively) did not differ from local or distant control populations; muscle, liver and kidney had lower 226Ra concentrations, which did not differ significantly among populations. Levels of 226Ra in the crop contents and intestine did not differ significantly by site and were similar to those of food items consumed by the birds. Stomach content values were higher in birds sampled in Elliot Lake and at the local control site than in those taken at the distant control site; birds sampled downstream from Elliot Lake did not differ from distant controls in this regard. Levels of 232thorium (Th) and 230Th were below detection limits (0.1 microg g(-1) and 5.0 mBq g(-1), respectively) in bone, muscle and liver tissue in two grouse with elevated levels of 226Ra. Other radionuclides were measurable in some tissues: 238U in bone at 0.4 microg g(-1), in muscle to 0.2 microg g(-1), in liver to 1.0 gmg g(-1.), 228Th was found only in muscle (8.0 mBq g(-1)), 210poloniuim (Po) was found in bone, muscle and liver (maxima: 24.0, 7.0, 16.0 mBq g(-1)) with the exception of one muscle sample; 210lead (Pb) was detected in only one liver sample (50.0 mBq g(-1)). Environmental levels fell within ranges previously reported at the sites, or at similar locations elsewhere. Leaves of trembling and largetooth aspen growing in the basin had mean 226Ra levels of 14.8 and 52.7 mBq g(-1) (dry weight) respectively, and fungal material carried up to 215.4 mBq g(-1) (air-dried), with some variation by site. River and lake waters sampled near the U tailings had 118.1 mBq litre(-1) of dissolved 226Ra; at the distant control site the value was 12.1 mBq litre(-1). The concentration ratios (CR) between bone of grouse collected at the Elliot Lake sites and trembling and largetooth aspen leaves were 1.38 and 1.09 (fresh weight basis); from other diet items and to other tissues the values were less than unity. Bone tissue: water ratios, based on dissolved 226Ra levels, ranged to 30.89. People eating grouse from the study area are unlikely to consume radionuclides in excess of limits currently established by Canadian regulatory authorities. PMID:15091976

Clulow, F V; Lim, T P; Davé, N K; Avadhanula, R

1992-01-01

309

Isotopic analysis of Bothrops atrox in Amazonian forest  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The poisoning of snakes is considered a public health problem, especially in populations from rural areas of tropical and subtropical countries. In Brazil, the 26,000 snakebites, 90% are of the genus Bothrops, and Bothrops atrox species predominant in the Amazon region including all the Brazilian Amazon. Research shows that using stable isotopes, we can verify the isotopic composition of tissues of animals that depend mainly on food, water ingested and inhaled gases. For this study, samples taken from Bothrops atrox (B. atrox), in forest using pitfall traps and fall ("Pitt-fall traps with drift fence"). The analyzes were performed by mass spectrometry, where the analytical error is 0.3‰ for carbon and 0.5‰ to nitrogen. The results of the forest animals are significantly different from results of animal vivarium. The average values of the tissues and venoms of snakes of the forest for carbon-13 and nitrogen-15 are: ?13C = -24.68‰ and ?15N = 14.22‰ and mean values of tissue and poisons snakes vivarium (Instituto Butantan) to carbon-13 and nitrogen-15 are ?13C = -20.47‰ and ?15N = 8.36‰, with a significantly different due to different sources of food animals. Based on all results isotopic ?13C and ?15N, we can suggest that changes as the power of the serpent, (nature and captivity), changes occur in relation to diet and environment as the means of the isotopic data are quite distinct, showing that these changes can also cause metabolic changes in the body of the animal itself and the different periods of turnover of each tissue analyzed.

Martinez, M. G.; Silva, A. M.; Chalkidis, H.; de Oliveira Júnior, R. C.; Camargo, P. B.

2012-12-01

310

Isotopic change in the tissues of Bothrops atrox in captivity collected from environments of the eastern Amazon  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The Bothrops atrox is little studied because it is sympatric Amazonian animals, and very little is known about the ecology and natural history of this species. It has a generalist diet and the distribution of this species is very wide. The adult animals forage mostly on the ground, while the younger animals prefer to stay on the vegetation. They are easily find in the rainy months in areas near lakes and seasonally flooded and are difficult to find in the driest months, a period where there is less availability of preys in these environments. Due to its aggressiveness, is considered one of the most feared snakes in South America and in the eastern Amazon, being responsible for the largest number of snakebites in the region. Through stable isotope carbon-13 and nitrogen-15, is intended to characterize the variations of the feeding habits of these collected animals in different environments and also when they are kept in captivity, feeding the animal's bioterium. The serpents were collected in environments with different land uses, such as native forest, savannah, pasture and have been brought to the serpentarium Integrated College Tapajos (FIT), being retained in order to Samplings throughout the experiment with feeding mice's own bioterium. When these snakes came from different locations, samples were collected scales and blood (T0), before receiving the new supply (captive), and every time we fed the mice the vivarium, new tissue samples were collected, (T1, T2, T3) to exchange all the nature of food for the food captivity.Based on the results of ?13C and ?15N, the samples collected in the tissues of snakes of different environments (nature and captivity), it was observed that changes in food sources reflect changes in tissues (blood and scales), also reflecting the production of poison different periods of turnover of absorbed material in those tissues, contributing to the study of animal ecology and behavior in relation to habitat.

Martinez, M. G.; Chalkidis, H. D.; Amazonas, D. R.; da Silva, A. M.; De Oliveira, R., Jr.; Camargo, P. B.

2013-12-01

311

Prolonged poststrike elevation in tongue-flicking rate with rapid onset in gila monster,Heloderma suspectum: Relation to diet and foraging and implications for evolution of chemosensory searching.  

PubMed

Experimental tests showed that poststrike elevation in tongue-flicking rate (PETF) and strike-induced chemosensory searching (SICS) in the gila monster last longer than reported for any other lizard. Based on analysis of numbers of tongue-flicks emitted in 5-min intervals, significant PETF was detected in all intervals up to and including minutes 41-45. Using 10-min intervals, PETF lasted though minutes 46-55. Two of eight individuals continued tongue-flicking throughout the 60 min after biting prey, whereas all individuals ceased tongue-flicking in a control condition after minute 35. The apparent presence of PETF lasting at least an hour in some individuals suggests that there may be important individual differences in duration of PETF. PETF and/or SICS are present in all families of autarchoglossan lizards studied except Cordylidae, the only family lacking linguallly mediated prey chemical discrimination. However, its duration is known to be greater than 2-min only in Helodermatidae and Varanidae, the living representatives of Varanoidea. That prolonged PETF and SICS are typical of snakes provides another character supporting a possible a varanoid ancestry for Serpentes. Analysis of 1-min intervals showed that PETF occurred in the first minute. A review of the literature suggests that a pause in tongue-flicking and delay of searching movements are absent in lizards and the few nonvenomous colubrid snakes tested. The delayed onset of SICS may be a specific adaptation of some viperid snakes to allow potentially dangerous prey to be rendered harmless by venom following voluntary release after envenomation and preceding further physical contact with the prey. PMID:24241921

Cooper, W E; Deperno, C S; Arnett, J

1994-11-01

312

Cross-Cultural Astronomy in Informal Education Settings - Collaboration with Integrity  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The richness of astronomical knowledge and traditions from diverse cultures can engage participants of all ages and backgrounds. We will present astronomy-focused programs for museums, planetariums, and community centers designed to enhance participation of underserved populations in celebrating the International Year of Astronomy (IYA) in 2009. We will share examples of how the indigenous astronomies from the Southwestern US and Mesoamerica can be juxtaposed with Western astronomy to enhance education efforts and understanding for all audiences. In these examples, the traditional knowledge has been highlighted and incorporated into the realm of innovative and unique multimedia resources that engage students and the public, and which often ignite a deeper and more authentic interest in western astronomy and astrophysics. We will discuss approaches to displaying the Navajo sky in a digital planetarium in a manner that is true to the Navajo worldview and that also presents images and information from Western astronomy. We will share multi-media resources that highlight the importance of solar alignments in architecture and in landscape within the context of the seasons. We will also discuss how we are exploring ways to protect the intellectual property rights of indigenous sky knowledge while making aspects of it available to the general public. Our collaboration upholds the integrity of both Western and Indigenous astronomy knowledge and research protocols, and honors indigenous languages. We will discuss collaborative and relationship-based evaluation strategies emerging from the above efforts and from a new effort, Cosmic Serpent, a professional development program to increase the capacity of museum practitioners to bridge indigenous and western science learning in informal settings. We will provide links and information to access products and programs to engage all audiences in the wonder, complexity, and beauty of our Universe. We acknowledge the generous support of NASA/SMD and NSF DRL/ISE.

Maryboy, Nancy; Hawkins, I.; Begay, D.; Sakimoto, P.

2008-05-01

313

Molecular systematics of new world gopher, bull, and pinesnakes (Pituophis: Colubridae), a transcontinental species complex.  

PubMed

Pituophis melanoleucus (gopher, bull, and pinesnakes) is among the most widely distributed polytypic species complexes in North America, with most authors recognizing from a single transcontinental species (the melanoleucus complex, composed of 15 subspecies) to four (monotypic and polytypic) species. We used mitochondrial gene sequences from the two middle American species, P. deppei and P. lineaticollis, and from 13 subspecies from most of the range of the melanoleucus complex to test various phylogenetic hypotheses for Pituophis. Maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood methods identified the same major clades within Pituophis and indicated that two segments of the melanoleucus complex, the lodingi-melanoleucus-mugitus eastern pinesnake clade and the affinis-annectens-bimaris-catenifer-deserticola- sayi-ruthveni-vertebr alis clade from central and western United States and northern Mexico, represent divergent, allopatric lineages with no known intergradation zone. We recognize each of these two groupings as a different species. Our data also indicate that some ruthveni are more closely related to sayi than to other ruthveni. Nonetheless, ruthveni is an allopatric taxon diagnosable from its closest relatives by a combination of morphometric characters, and because it is likely that at least some of these traits are independent and genetically inherited, we interpret this as evidence that ruthveni has attained the status of independent evolutionary lineage, despite the fact that it retains strong genetic affinities with sayi. The endemic Baja Californian gopher snakes (bimaris and vertebralis) are considered by some taxonomists as a different species, P. vertebralis, but we discovered that these serpents belong to two different clades and hence we do not agree with the recognition of P. vertebralis as presently defined. In summary, we believe that three distinct species are included in the melanoleucus complex, Pituophis melanoleucus (sensu stricto), P. catenifer, and P. ruthveni, and that their recognition better represents the evolutionary diversity within this species complex. PMID:10631041

Rodríguez-Robles, J A; De Jesús-Escobar, J M

2000-01-01

314

Depletion Analysis of Modular High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor Loaded with LEU/Thorium Fuel  

SciTech Connect

Thorium based fuel has been considered as an option to uranium-based fuel, based on considerations of resource utilization (Thorium is more widely available when compared to Uranium). The fertile isotope of Thorium (Th-232) can be converted to fissile isotope U-233 by neutron capture during the operation of a suitable nuclear reactor such as High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR). However, the fertile Thorium needs a fissile supporter to start and maintain the conversion process such as U-235 or Pu-239. This report presents the results of a study that analyzed the thorium utilization in a prismatic HTGR, namely Modular High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor (MHTGR) that was designed by General Atomics (GA). The collected for the modeling of this design come from Chapter 4 of MHTGR Preliminary Safety Information Document that GA sent to Department of Energy (DOE) on 1995. Both full core and unit cell models were used to perform this analysis using SCALE 6.1 and Serpent 1.1.18. Because of the long mean free paths (and migration lengths) of neutrons in HTRs, using a unit cell to represent a whole core can be non-trivial. The sizes of these cells were set to match the spectral index between unit cell and full core domains. It was found that for the purposes of this study an adjusted unit cell model is adequate. Discharge isotopics and one-group cross-sections were delivered to the transmutation analysis team. This report provides documentation for these calculations

Sonat Sen; Gilles Youinou

2013-02-01

315

Antioxidants Maintain E-Cadherin Levels to Limit Drosophila Prohemocyte Differentiation  

PubMed Central

Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) regulate a variety of biological processes by networking with signal transduction pathways to maintain homeostasis and support adaptation to stress. In this capacity, ROS have been shown to promote the differentiation of progenitor cells, including mammalian embryonic and hematopoietic stem cells and Drosophila hematopoietic progenitors (prohemocytes). However, many questions remain about how ROS alter the regulatory machinery to promote progenitor differentiation. Here, we provide evidence for the hypothesis that ROS reduce E-cadherin levels to promote Drosophila prohemocyte differentiation. Specifically, we show that knockdown of the antioxidants, Superoxide dismutatase 2 and Catalase reduce E-cadherin protein levels prior to the loss of Odd-skipped-expressing prohemocytes. Additionally, over-expression of E-cadherin limits prohemocyte differentiation resulting from paraquat-induced oxidative stress. Furthermore, two established targets of ROS, Enhancer of Polycomb and FOS, control the level of E-cadherin protein expression. Finally, we show that knockdown of either Superoxide dismutatase 2 or Catalase leads to an increase in the E-cadherin repressor, Serpent. As a result, antioxidants and targets of ROS can control E-cadherin protein levels, and over-expression of E-cadherin can ameliorate the prohemocyte response to oxidative stress. Collectively, these data strongly suggest that ROS promote differentiation by reducing E-cadherin levels. In mammalian systems, ROS promote embryonic stem cell differentiation, whereas E-cadherin blocks differentiation. However, it is not known if elevated ROS reduce E-cadherin to promote embryonic stem cell differentiation. Thus, our findings may have identified an important mechanism by which ROS promote stem/progenitor cell differentiation. PMID:25226030

Gao, Hongjuan; Wu, Xiaorong; Simon, LaTonya; Fossett, Nancy

2014-01-01

316

Evolution of the mitochondrial genome in snakes: Gene rearrangements and phylogenetic relationships  

PubMed Central

Background Snakes as a major reptile group display a variety of morphological characteristics pertaining to their diverse behaviours. Despite abundant analyses of morphological characters, molecular studies using mitochondrial and nuclear genes are limited. As a result, the phylogeny of snakes remains controversial. Previous studies on mitochondrial genomes of snakes have demonstrated duplication of the control region and translocation of trnL to be two notable features of the alethinophidian (all serpents except blindsnakes and threadsnakes) mtDNAs. Our purpose is to further investigate the gene organizations, evolution of the snake mitochondrial genome, and phylogenetic relationships among several major snake families. Results The mitochondrial genomes were sequenced for four taxa representing four different families, and each had a different gene arrangement. Comparative analyses with other snake mitochondrial genomes allowed us to summarize six types of mitochondrial gene arrangement in snakes. Phylogenetic reconstruction with commonly used methods of phylogenetic inference (BI, ML, MP, NJ) arrived at a similar topology, which was used to reconstruct the evolution of mitochondrial gene arrangements in snakes. Conclusion The phylogenetic relationships among the major families of snakes are in accordance with the mitochondrial genomes in terms of gene arrangements. The gene arrangement in Ramphotyphlops braminus mtDNA is inferred to be ancestral for snakes. After the divergence of the early Ramphotyphlops lineage, three types of rearrangements occurred. These changes involve translocations within the IQM tRNA gene cluster and the duplication of the CR. All phylogenetic methods support the placement of Enhydris plumbea outside of the (Colubridae + Elapidae) cluster, providing mitochondrial genomic evidence for the familial rank of Homalopsidae. PMID:19038056

Yan, Jie; Li, Hongdan; Zhou, Kaiya

2008-01-01

317

Hydrogen Isotope Measurements of Organic Acids and Alcohols by Pyrolysis-GC-MS-TC-IRMS: Application to Analysis of Experimentally Derived Hydrothermal Mineral-Catalyzed Organic Products  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

We report results of experiments to measure the H isotope composition of organic acids and alcohols. These experiments make use of a pyroprobe interfaced with a GC and high temperature extraction furnace to make quantitative H isotope measurements. This work compliments our previous work that focused on the extraction and analysis of C isotopes from the same compounds [1]. Together with our carbon isotope analyses our experiments serve as a "proof of concept" for making C and H isotope measurements on more complex mixtures of organic compounds on mineral surfaces in abiotic hydrocarbon formation processes at elevated temperatures and pressures. Our motivation for undertaking this work stems from observations of methane detected within the Martian atmosphere [2-5], coupled with evidence showing extensive water-rock interaction during Mars history [6-8]. Methane production on Mars could be the result of synthesis by mineral surface-catalyzed reduction of CO2 and/or CO by Fischer-Tropsch Type (FTT) reactions during serpentization [9,10]. Others have conducted experimental studies to show that FTT reactions are plausible mechanisms for low-molecular weight hydrocarbon formation in hydrothermal systems at mid-ocean ridges [11-13]. Our H isotope measurements utilize an analytical technique combining Pyrolysis-Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometry-High Temperature Conversion-Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (Py-GC-MS-TC-IRMS). This technique is designed to carry a split of the pyrolyzed GC-separated product to a Thermo DSQII quadrupole mass spectrometer as a means of making qualitative and semi-quantitative compositional measurements of separated organic compounds, therefore both chemical and isotopic measurements can be carried out simultaneously on the same sample.

Socki, Richard A.; Fu, Qi; Niles, Paul B.; Gibson, Everett K., Jr.

2012-01-01

318

Carbon Isotopes of Alkanes in Hydrothermal Abiotic Organic Synthesis Processes at High Temperatures and Pressures: An Experimental Study  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Observation of methane in the Martian atmosphere has been reported by different detection techniques [1-4]. With more evidence showing extensive water-rock interaction in Martian history [5-7], abiotic formation by Fischer-Tropsch Type (FTT) synthesis during serpentization reactions may be one possible process responsible for methane generation on Mars [8, 9]. While the experimental studies performed to date leave little doubt that chemical reactions exist for the abiotic synthesis of organic compounds by mineral surface-catalyzed reactions [10-12], little is known about the reaction pathways by which CO2 and/or CO are reduced under hydrothermal conditions. Carbon and hydrogen isotope measurements of alkanes have been used as an effective tool to constrain the origin and reaction pathways of hydrocarbon formation. Alkanes generated by thermal breakdown of high molecular weight organic compounds have carbon and hydrogen isotopic signatures completely distinct from those formed abiotically [13-15]. Recent experimental studies, however, showed that different abiogenic hydrocarbon formation processes (e.g., polymerization vs. depolymerization) may have different carbon and hydrogen isotopic patterns [16]. Results from previous experiments studying decomposition of higher molecular weight organic compounds (lignite) also suggested that pressure could be a crucial factor affecting fractionation of carbon isotopes [17]. Under high pressure conditions, no experimental data are available describing fractionation of carbon isotope during mineral catalyzed FTT synthesis. Thus, hydrothermal experiments present an excellent opportunity to provide the requisite carbon isotope data. Such data can also be used to identify reaction pathways of abiotic organic synthesis under experimental conditions.

Fu, Qi; Socki, Richard A.; Niles, Paul B.

2010-01-01

319

CURRENT BUILDUP IN EMERGING SERPENTINE FLUX TUBES  

SciTech Connect

The increase of magnetic flux in the solar atmosphere during active-region formation involves the transport of the magnetic field from the solar convection zone through the lowest layers of the solar atmosphere, through which the plasma {beta} changes from >1 to <1 with altitude. The crossing of this magnetic transition zone requires the magnetic field to adopt a serpentine shape also known as the sea-serpent topology. In the frame of the resistive flux-emergence model, the rising of the magnetic flux is believed to be dynamically driven by a succession of magnetic reconnections which are commonly observed in emerging flux regions as Ellerman bombs. Using a data-driven, three-dimensional (3D) magnetohydrodynamic numerical simulation of flux emergence occurring in active region 10191 on 2002 November 16-17, we study the development of 3D electric current sheets. We show that these currents buildup along the 3D serpentine magnetic-field structure as a result of photospheric diverging horizontal line-tied motions that emulate the observed photospheric evolution. We observe that reconnection can not only develop following a pinching evolution of the serpentine field line, as usually assumed in two-dimensional geometry, but can also result from 3D shearing deformation of the magnetic structure. In addition, we report for the first time on the observation in the UV domain with the Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) of extremely transient loop-like features, appearing within the emerging flux domain, which link several Ellermam bombs with one another. We argue that these loop transients can be explained as a consequence of the currents that build up along the serpentine magnetic field.

Pariat, E. [Space Weather Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Masson, S.; Aulanier, G. [LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, UPMC, Universite Paris Diderot, 5 place Jules Janssen, 92190 Meudon (France)], E-mail: epariat@helio.gsfc.nasa.gov

2009-08-20

320

Detecting Mantle Anisotropy with Marine CSEM Sounding  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We can detect transverse electrical anisotropy in the oceanic crust and upper mantle using circular transmitter tows around a pair of highly sensitive controlled-source electromagnetic (CSEM) receivers. Our long-wire electromagnetic (LEM) receivers, equipped with 100-200 m antennas, improve signal to noise by about an order of magnitude over standard EM receivers using 8-10 m antennas. LEMs work well in deep water where voltage noise from electrodes and amplifiers dominates, and electric field noise from magnetotelluric signals and water motion is low. When combined with SUESI, our marine EM transmitter, which emits 300 amps across a 250 m antenna, noise floors of 10-17~V/Am2 may be obtained at 2-4 Hz over 40-minute stacks. Towing a transmitter in a 30 km circle around an orthogonal pair of LEMs samples propagation though the crust and upper mantle in all horizontal directions. This purely azimuthal geometry generates linearly polarized data for an isotropic earth, but in the presence of anisotropy the minor axis of the polarization ellipse develops a characteristic clover-leaf pattern when plotted against source-receiver direction, and the major axis becomes elongated. We have conducted such experiments on 40 Ma lithosphere offshore California (the APPLE experiment), and 24 Ma lithosphere as it subducts into the Nicaraguan trench (part of the SERPENT expedition). Both regions produce remarkably similar results, with increased conductivity in the fossil ridge-parallel directions, which we interpret to be caused by serpentinized mantle-penetrating faults. This pattern of anisotropy is modified in the outer rise of the trench, as the lithosphere bends and shallower (crustal) fractures develop.

Constable, S.; Key, K. W.; Behrens, J. P.; MacGregor, L.; Evans, R. L.

2010-12-01

321

STELLAR 'EGGS' EMERGE FROM MOLECULAR CLOUD (Star-Birth Clouds in M16)  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

This eerie, dark structure, resembling an imaginary sea serpent's head, is a column of cool molecular hydrogen gas (two atoms of hydrogen in each molecule) and dust that is an incubator for new stars. The stars are embedded inside finger-like protrusions extending from the top of the nebula. Each 'fingertip' is somewhat larger than our own solar system. The pillar is slowly eroding away by the ultraviolet light from nearby hot stars, a process called 'photoevaporation'. As it does, small globules of especially dense gas buried within the cloud is uncovered. These globules have been dubbed 'EGGs' -- an acronym for 'Evaporating Gaseous Globules'. The shadows of the EGGs protect gas behind them, resulting in the finger-like structures at the top of the cloud. Forming inside at least some of the EGGs are embryonic stars -- stars that abruptly stop growing when the EGGs are uncovered and they are separated from the larger reservoir of gas from which they were drawing mass. Eventually the stars emerge, as the EGGs themselves succumb to photoevaporation. The stellar EGGS are found, appropriately enough, in the 'Eagle Nebula' (also called M16 -- the 16th object in Charles Messier's 18th century catalog of 'fuzzy' permanent objects in the sky), a nearby star-forming region 6,500 light-years away in the constellation Serpens. The picture was taken on April 1, 1995 with the Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. The color image is constructed from three separate images taken in the light of emission from different types of atoms. Red shows emission from singly-ionized sulfur atoms. Green shows emission from hydrogen. Blue shows light emitted by doubly- ionized oxygen atoms. Credit: Jeff Hester and Paul Scowen (Arizona State University), and NASA Image files in GIF and JPEG format and captions may be accessed on Internet via anonymous ftp from oposite.stsci.edu in /pubinfo:

2002-01-01

322

Phylogeography of the Mekong mud snake (Enhydris subtaeniata): the biogeographic importance of dynamic river drainages and fluctuating sea levels for semiaquatic taxa in Indochina.  

PubMed

During the Cenozoic, Southeast Asia was profoundly affected by plate tectonic events, dynamic river systems, fluctuating sea levels, shifting coastlines, and climatic variation, which have influenced the ecological and evolutionary trajectories of the Southeast Asian flora and fauna. We examined the role of these paleogeographic factors on shaping phylogeographic patterns focusing on a species of semiaquatic snake, Enhydris subtaeniata (Serpentes: Homalopsidae) using sequence data from three mitochondrial fragments (cytochrome b, ND4, and ATPase-2785 bp). We sampled E. subtaeniata from seven locations in three river drainage basins that encompassed most of this species' range. Genetic diversities were typically low within locations but high across locations. Moreover, each location had a unique suite of haplotypes not shared among locations, and pairwise ?(ST) values (0.713-0.998) were highly significant between all location pairs. Relationships among phylogroups were well resolved and analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) revealed strong geographical partitioning of genetic variance among the three river drainage basins surveyed. The genetic differences observed among the populations of E. subtaeniata were likely shaped by the Quaternary landscapes of Indochina and the Sunda Shelf. Historically, the middle and lower Mekong consisted of strongly dissected river valleys separated by low mountain ranges and much of the Sunda Shelf consisted of lowland river valleys that served to connect faunas associated with major regional rivers. It is thus likely that the contemporary genetic patterns observed among populations of E. subtaeniata are the result of their histories in a complex terrain that created abundant opportunities for genetic isolation and divergence yet also provided lowland connections across now drowned river valleys. PMID:22393504

Lukoschek, Vimoksalehi; Osterhage, Jennifer L; Karns, Daryl R; Murphy, John C; Voris, Harold K

2011-11-01

323

Transcriptomic analysis of the venom gland of the red-headed krait (Bungarus flaviceps) using expressed sequence tags  

PubMed Central

Background The Red-headed krait (Bungarus flaviceps, Squamata: Serpentes: Elapidae) is a medically important venomous snake that inhabits South-East Asia. Although the venoms of most species of the snake genus Bungarus have been well characterized, a detailed compositional analysis of B. flaviceps is currently lacking. Results Here, we have sequenced 845 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from the venom gland of a B. flaviceps. Of the transcripts, 74.8% were putative toxins; 20.6% were cellular; and 4.6% were unknown. The main venom protein families identified were three-finger toxins (3FTxs), Kunitz-type serine protease inhibitors (including chain B of ?-bungarotoxin), phospholipase A2 (including chain A of ?-bungarotoxin), natriuretic peptide (NP), CRISPs, and C-type lectin. Conclusion The 3FTxs were found to be the major component of the venom (39%). We found eight groups of unique 3FTxs and most of them were different from the well-characterized 3FTxs. We found three groups of Kunitz-type serine protease inhibitors (SPIs); one group was comparable to the classical SPIs and the other two groups to chain B of ?-bungarotoxins (with or without the extra cysteine) based on sequence identity. The latter group may be functional equivalents of dendrotoxins in Bungarus venoms. The natriuretic peptide (NP) found is the first NP for any Asian elapid, and distantly related to Australian elapid NPs. Our study identifies several unique toxins in B. flaviceps venom, which may help in understanding the evolution of venom toxins and the pathophysiological symptoms induced after envenomation. PMID:20350308

2010-01-01

324

Phylogeography of the Mekong mud snake (Enhydris subtaeniata): the biogeographic importance of dynamic river drainages and fluctuating sea levels for semiaquatic taxa in Indochina  

PubMed Central

During the Cenozoic, Southeast Asia was profoundly affected by plate tectonic events, dynamic river systems, fluctuating sea levels, shifting coastlines, and climatic variation, which have influenced the ecological and evolutionary trajectories of the Southeast Asian flora and fauna. We examined the role of these paleogeographic factors on shaping phylogeographic patterns focusing on a species of semiaquatic snake, Enhydris subtaeniata (Serpentes: Homalopsidae) using sequence data from three mitochondrial fragments (cytochrome b, ND4, and ATPase—2785 bp). We sampled E. subtaeniata from seven locations in three river drainage basins that encompassed most of this species’ range. Genetic diversities were typically low within locations but high across locations. Moreover, each location had a unique suite of haplotypes not shared among locations, and pairwise ?ST values (0.713–0.998) were highly significant between all location pairs. Relationships among phylogroups were well resolved and analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) revealed strong geographical partitioning of genetic variance among the three river drainage basins surveyed. The genetic differences observed among the populations of E. subtaeniata were likely shaped by the Quaternary landscapes of Indochina and the Sunda Shelf. Historically, the middle and lower Mekong consisted of strongly dissected river valleys separated by low mountain ranges and much of the Sunda Shelf consisted of lowland river valleys that served to connect faunas associated with major regional rivers. It is thus likely that the contemporary genetic patterns observed among populations of E. subtaeniata are the result of their histories in a complex terrain that created abundant opportunities for genetic isolation and divergence yet also provided lowland connections across now drowned river valleys. PMID:22393504

Lukoschek, Vimoksalehi; Osterhage, Jennifer L; Karns, Daryl R; Murphy, John C; Voris, Harold K

2011-01-01

325

Optimizing the implementation of the target motion sampling temperature treatment technique - How fast can it get?  

SciTech Connect

This article discusses the optimization of the target motion sampling (TMS) temperature treatment method, previously implemented in the Monte Carlo reactor physics code Serpent 2. The TMS method was introduced in [1] and first practical results were presented at the PHYSOR 2012 conference [2]. The method is a stochastic method for taking the effect of thermal motion into account on-the-fly in a Monte Carlo neutron transport calculation. It is based on sampling the target velocities at collision sites and then utilizing the 0 K cross sections at target-at-rest frame for reaction sampling. The fact that the total cross section becomes a distributed quantity is handled using rejection sampling techniques. The original implementation of the TMS requires 2.0 times more CPU time in a PWR pin-cell case than a conventional Monte Carlo calculation relying on pre-broadened effective cross sections. In a HTGR case examined in this paper the overhead factor is as high as 3.6. By first changing from a multi-group to a continuous-energy implementation and then fine-tuning a parameter affecting the conservativity of the majorant cross section, it is possible to decrease the overhead factors to 1.4 and 2.3, respectively. Preliminary calculations are also made using a new and yet incomplete optimization method in which the temperature of the basis cross section is increased above 0 K. It seems that with the new approach it may be possible to decrease the factors even as low as 1.06 and 1.33, respectively, but its functionality has not yet been proven. Therefore, these performance measures should be considered preliminary. (authors)

Tuomas, V.; Jaakko, L. [VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, P.O. Box 1000, FI-02044 VTT (Finland)

2013-07-01

326

Effect of the Target Motion Sampling Temperature Treatment Method on the Statistics and Performance  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Target Motion Sampling (TMS) is a stochastic on-the-fly temperature treatment technique that is being developed as a part of the Monte Carlo reactor physics code Serpent. The method provides for modeling of arbitrary temperatures in continuous-energy Monte Carlo tracking routines with only one set of cross sections stored in the computer memory. Previously, only the performance of the TMS method in terms of CPU time per transported neutron has been discussed. Since the effective cross sections are not calculated at any point of a transport simulation with TMS, reaction rate estimators must be scored using sampled cross sections, which is expected to increase the variances and, consequently, to decrease the figures-of-merit. This paper examines the effects of the TMS on the statistics and performance in practical calculations involving reaction rate estimation with collision estimators. Against all expectations it turned out that the usage of sampled response values has no practical effect on the performance of reaction rate estimators when using TMS with elevated basis cross section temperatures (EBT), i.e. the usual way. With 0 Kelvin cross sections a significant increase in the variances of capture rate estimators was observed right below the energy region of unresolved resonances, but at these energies the figures-of-merit could be increased using a simple resampling technique to decrease the variances of the responses. It was, however, noticed that the usage of the TMS method increases the statistical deviances of all estimators, including the flux estimator, by tens of percents in the vicinity of very strong resonances. This effect is actually not related to the usage of sampled responses, but is instead an inherent property of the TMS tracking method and concerns both EBT and 0 K calculations.

Viitanen, Tuomas; Leppänen, Jaakko

2014-06-01

327

Snake Venom  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

The following collection of Web sites explores the properties and novel medical uses of snake venom. The first Web site (1), a ThinkQuest prizewinner, is one part of a well-crafted and informative guide to the earth's poisonous plants and animals. This particular Web page offers a good introduction to snake venom, including a table detailing the effect and concentration of the different proteins found in venom that can kill or paralyze prey. The next Web site comes from The Reptile House, a commercial breeder and supplier of reptiles and amphibians, and presents photos and facts about the ten deadliest snakes on the planet (2). A straightforward description of the three types of venomous snakes (opisthoglyphs, proteroglyphs, and solenoglyphs) and a short overview of the properties of venom is available from www.venomous.com, a privately hosted Web site (3). The next Web site comes from the online companion to the PBS Nature documentary: The Serpent's Tooth (4). The site contains an engaging article about the intrepid Bill Haast, director of the Miami Serpentarium, who "has been bitten by venomous snakes more than 160 times -- and lived to tell the tale." Howard Reinert, another snake biologist and (surprise!) snakebite victim, relates his experiences with a "dry" bite and the real thing in the next Web site from AnimalPlanet.com (5). The site also includes audio segments of experts discussing the physiological effects of snake venom and what to do if bitten by a rattlesnake. Is rattlesnake venom evolving? Research suggests that North American rattlesnake venom has become increasingly potent -- the focus of an interesting article from the American Museum of Natural History (6). The article also provides a detailed introduction to rattlesnakes and their deadly venom. Scientists around the world have been exploring the possible medicinal uses of venom, and not just for antivenin. The last two Web sites relate just some of the work being done in this area. The BBC news article recounts efforts to determine whether certain snake venoms contain chemicals that could prevent heart attacks and strokes (7). Likewise, scientists at the Howard Hughes Medical Center (8) have found a protein in snake venom that could offer a way to explore how nicotine and other drugs turn on the "pleasure centers" of the brain.

Sohmer, Rachel.

2003-01-01

328

Hubble Unveils Colorful and Turbulent Star-Birth Region on 100,000th Orbit Milestone  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

[figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on the image for orientation annotation

In commemoration of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope completing its 100,000th orbit in its 18th year of exploration and discovery, scientists at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md., have aimed Hubble totake a snapshot of a dazzling region of celestial birth and renewal.

Hubble peered into a small portion of the nebula near the star cluster NGC 2074 (upper, left). The region is a firestorm of raw stellar creation, perhaps triggered by a nearby supernova explosion. It lies about 170,000 light-years away near the Tarantula nebula, one of the most active star-forming regions in our Local Group of galaxies.

The three-dimensional-looking image reveals dramatic ridges and valleys of dust, serpent-head 'pillars of creation,' and gaseous filaments glowing fiercely under torrential ultraviolet radiation. The region is on the edge of a dark molecular cloud that is an incubator for the birth of new stars.

The high-energy radiation blazing out from clusters of hot young stars already born in NGC 2074 is sculpting the wall of the nebula by slowly eroding it away. Another young cluster may be hidden beneath a circle of brilliant blue gas at center, bottom.

In this approximately 100-light-year-wide fantasy-like landscape, dark towers of dust rise above a glowing wall of gases on the surface of the molecular cloud. The seahorse-shaped pillar at lower, right is approximately 20 light-years long, roughly four times the distance between our Sun and the nearest star, Alpha Centauri.

The region is in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a satellite of our Milky Way galaxy. It is a fascinating laboratory for observing star-formation regions and their evolution. Dwarf galaxies like the LMC are considered to be the primitive building blocks of larger galaxies.

This representative color image was taken on August 10, 2008, with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2. Red shows emission from sulfur atoms, green from glowing hydrogen, and blue from glowing oxygen.

2008-01-01

329

Deterministic Modeling of the High Temperature Test Reactor  

SciTech Connect

Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is tasked with the development of reactor physics analysis capability of the Next Generation Nuclear Power (NGNP) project. In order to examine INL’s current prismatic reactor deterministic analysis tools, the project is conducting a benchmark exercise based on modeling the High Temperature Test Reactor (HTTR). This exercise entails the development of a model for the initial criticality, a 19 column thin annular core, and the fully loaded core critical condition with 30 columns. Special emphasis is devoted to the annular core modeling, which shares more characteristics with the NGNP base design. The DRAGON code is used in this study because it offers significant ease and versatility in modeling prismatic designs. Despite some geometric limitations, the code performs quite well compared to other lattice physics codes. DRAGON can generate transport solutions via collision probability (CP), method of characteristics (MOC), and discrete ordinates (Sn). A fine group cross section library based on the SHEM 281 energy structure is used in the DRAGON calculations. HEXPEDITE is the hexagonal z full core solver used in this study and is based on the Green’s Function solution of the transverse integrated equations. In addition, two Monte Carlo (MC) based codes, MCNP5 and PSG2/SERPENT, provide benchmarking capability for the DRAGON and the nodal diffusion solver codes. The results from this study show a consistent bias of 2–3% for the core multiplication factor. This systematic error has also been observed in other HTTR benchmark efforts and is well documented in the literature. The ENDF/B VII graphite and U235 cross sections appear to be the main source of the error. The isothermal temperature coefficients calculated with the fully loaded core configuration agree well with other benchmark participants but are 40% higher than the experimental values. This discrepancy with the measurement stems from the fact that during the experiments the control rods were adjusted to maintain criticality, whereas in the model, the rod positions were fixed. In addition, this work includes a brief study of a cross section generation approach that seeks to decouple the domain in order to account for neighbor effects. This spectral interpenetration is a dominant effect in annular HTR physics. This analysis methodology should be further explored in order to reduce the error that is systematically propagated in the traditional generation of cross sections.

Ortensi, J.; Cogliati, J. J.; Pope, M. A.; Ferrer, R. M.; Ougouag, A. M.

2010-06-01

330

Results for Phase I of the IAEA Coordinated Research Program on HTGR Uncertainties  

SciTech Connect

The quantification of uncertainties in design and safety analysis of reactors is today not only broadly accepted, but in many cases became the preferred way to replace traditional conservative analysis for safety and licensing analysis. The use of a more fundamental methodology is also consistent with the reliable high fidelity physics models and robust, efficient, and accurate codes available today. To facilitate uncertainty analysis applications a comprehensive approach and methodology must be developed and applied. High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactors (HTGR) has its own peculiarities, coated particle design, large graphite quantities, different materials and high temperatures that also require other simulation requirements. The IAEA has therefore launched a Coordinated Research Project (CRP) on the HTGR Uncertainty Analysis in Modeling (UAM) in 2013 to study uncertainty propagation specifically in the HTGR analysis chain. Two benchmark problems are defined, with the prismatic design represented by the General Atomics (GA) MHTGR-350 and a 250 MW modular pebble bed design similar to the HTR-PM (INET, China). This report summarizes the contributions of the HTGR Methods Simulation group at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) up to this point of the CRP. The activities at INL have been focused so far on creating the problem specifications for the prismatic design, as well as providing reference solutions for the exercises defined for Phase I. An overview is provided of the HTGR UAM objectives and scope, and the detailed specifications for Exercises I-1, I-2, I-3 and I-4 are also included here for completeness. The main focus of the report is the compilation and discussion of reference results for Phase I (i.e. for input parameters at their nominal or best-estimate values), which is defined as the first step of the uncertainty quantification process. These reference results can be used by other CRP participants for comparison with other codes or their own reference results. The status on the Monte Carlo modeling of the experimental VHTRC facility is also discussed. Reference results were obtained for the neutronics stand-alone cases (Ex. I-1 and Ex. I-2) using the (relatively new) Monte Carlo code Serpent, and comparisons were performed with the more established Monte Carlo codes MCNP and KENO-VI. For the thermal-fluids stand-alone cases (Ex. I-3 and I-4) the commercial CFD code CFX was utilized to obtain reference results that can be compared with lower fidelity tools.

Gerhard Strydom; Friederike Bostelmann

2015-01-01

331

Profiling the venom gland transcriptomes of Costa Rican snakes by 454 pyrosequencing  

PubMed Central

Background A long term research goal of venomics, of applied importance for improving current antivenom therapy, but also for drug discovery, is to understand the pharmacological potential of venoms. Individually or combined, proteomic and transcriptomic studies have demonstrated their feasibility to explore in depth the molecular diversity of venoms. In the absence of genome sequence, transcriptomes represent also valuable searchable databases for proteomic projects. Results The venom gland transcriptomes of 8 Costa Rican taxa from 5 genera (Crotalus, Bothrops, Atropoides, Cerrophidion, and Bothriechis) of pitvipers were investigated using high-throughput 454 pyrosequencing. 100,394 out of 330,010 masked reads produced significant hits in the available databases. 5.165,220 nucleotides (8.27%) were masked by RepeatMasker, the vast majority of which corresponding to class I (retroelements) and class II (DNA transposons) mobile elements. BLAST hits included 79,991 matches to entries of the taxonomic suborder Serpentes, of which 62,433 displayed similarity to documented venom proteins. Strong discrepancies between the transcriptome-computed and the proteome-gathered toxin compositions were obvious at first sight. Although the reasons underlaying this discrepancy are elusive, since no clear trend within or between species is apparent, the data indicate that individual mRNA species may be translationally controlled in a species-dependent manner. The minimum number of genes from each toxin family transcribed into the venom gland transcriptome of each species was calculated from multiple alignments of reads matched to a full-length reference sequence of each toxin family. Reads encoding ORF regions of Kazal-type inhibitor-like proteins were uniquely found in Bothriechis schlegelii and B. lateralis transcriptomes, suggesting a genus-specific recruitment event during the early-Middle Miocene. A transcriptome-based cladogram supports the large divergence between A. mexicanus and A. picadoi, and a closer kinship between A. mexicanus and C. godmani. Conclusions Our comparative next-generation sequencing (NGS) analysis reveals taxon-specific trends governing the formulation of the venom arsenal. Knowledge of the venom proteome provides hints on the translation efficiency of toxin-coding transcripts, contributing thereby to a more accurate interpretation of the transcriptome. The application of NGS to the analysis of snake venom transcriptomes, may represent the tool for opening the door to systems venomics. PMID:21605378

2011-01-01

332

Latest climate changes in Romania :tornadoes  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Latest climate changes in Romania :tornadoes As climate change has been considered a research priority in the European Strategy for enduring development , I have done a detailed research with my students of the new climate change that has been going on in Romania for the past decade. More precisely I have studied together with my students the phenomenon of tornadoes that have seriously affected on some occasions some our our country's locations, such as Facaeni, in the county of Ialomita, in August 2002. A quite unusual phenomenon occurred on that location situated at 44.56 degrees northern latitude and at 27.89 degrees eastern longitude, that caused severe damage to the local environment and three persons lost their lives in the process, as well as other thirty people suffering from bad injuries. The magnitude of that strong phenomenon rose on the Fujita scale at level F3 which implied wing gusts between 252-300 km/ hour . A main cause of occurrence of such a severe weather was the difference in temperature of two huge air masses, one of Polar origin, and other coming from tropical latitudes . Their crossroads was on that precise territory of Romania. The duration of the worst part of the tornado path lasted only for two minutes, but the consequences of its passage were colossal : total destruction of 33 households, and other 395 were partially damaged, 1,000 people afflicted by the devastation and 100 acres of acacia tree forest ripped off the ground. The first ever recorded tornado phenomenon in Romania was around 1894-1896, considered at that time " a freak of nature" was seen as a cloud formation abnormality , an uncontrolled force of nature that had a huge impact , and at the same time, it vanished into "thin air " fast. The most affected areas in Romania by tornadoes are the south-eastern planes where the cloud formations can create fast columns of air rotating up to 500 km/hour. The local people compared the cloud funnels created on the planes to "serpents " that eat and spit out roofs, animals, trucks and concrete road poles. I have minutely searched with my students all the data of that tornado, the direction of wind gusts, we have calculated the force of the impact by studying the photos taken on that occasion. I have also done some research on other tornadoes that have taken place In Movilita and Brezoaele the past years. I have studied the increase of the centrifugal force and that of Coriolis in the context of repetition of such dangerous atmospheric phenomena that showed their apparition as ten per year in Romania. Therefore the average Coriolis parameter is 10-4 s-1, for a typical atmospheric speed of 10 m/s (22 mph) the radius is 100 km (62 mi), with a period of about 17 hours. The lowering of the air pressure occurring on such occasions has been one of my concerns as well the the speed of the cloud column rotation. All these phenomena are the effect of the climate change occurring all over our Planet due to pollution. As you can see the devastation produced by such extreme climate lead to spontaneous floods and later desertification on the south-eastern part of our country. References : 1. Craciun, Cristina, Bala, Bogdan, Tornadele din Romania, http://dezechilibrenaturale.blogspot.ro/2013/02/tornadele-din-romania.html 2. Bell, Aurora, Tornadele in Romania, http://vremea.meteoromania.ro/node/33 3. Lemon, R. Leslie, Stan-Sion, Aurora, Soci , Cornel, Corduneanu, Elena, A strong, long -track, Romanian tornado, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169809503000632 Author : Mrs. Elena Pop, Science teacher at "Lucian Blaga" Secondary School, Ocna Mures, Romania

Pop, Elena

2014-05-01

333

Clear New View of a Classic Spiral  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

ESO is releasing a beautiful image of the nearby galaxy Messier 83 taken by the HAWK-I instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory in Chile. The picture shows the galaxy in infrared light and demonstrates the impressive power of the camera to create one of the sharpest and most detailed pictures of Messier 83 ever taken from the ground. The galaxy Messier 83 (eso0825) is located about 15 million light-years away in the constellation of Hydra (the Sea Serpent). It spans over 40 000 light-years, only 40 percent the size of the Milky Way, but in many ways is quite similar to our home galaxy, both in its spiral shape and the presence of a bar of stars across its centre. Messier 83 is famous among astronomers for its many supernovae: vast explosions that end the lives of some stars. Over the last century, six supernovae have been observed in Messier 83 - a record number that is matched by only one other galaxy. Even without supernovae, Messier 83 is one of the brightest nearby galaxies, visible using just binoculars. Messier 83 has been observed in the infrared part of the spectrum using HAWK-I [1], a powerful camera on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT). When viewed in infrared light most of the obscuring dust that hides much of Messier 83 becomes transparent. The brightly lit gas around hot young stars in the spiral arms is also less prominent in infrared pictures. As a result much more of the structure of the galaxy and the vast hordes of its constituent stars can be seen. This clear view is important for astronomers looking for clusters of young stars, especially those hidden in dusty regions of the galaxy. Studying such star clusters was one of the main scientific goals of these observations [2]. When compared to earlier images, the acute vision of HAWK-I reveals far more stars within the galaxy. The combination of the huge mirror of the VLT, the large field of view and great sensitivity of the camera, and the superb observing conditions at ESO's Paranal Observatory makes HAWK-I one of the most powerful near-infrared imagers in the world. Astronomers are eagerly queuing up for the chance to use the camera, which began operation in 2007 (eso0736), and to get some of the best ground-based infrared images ever of the night sky. Notes [1] HAWK-I stands for High-Acuity Wide-field K-band Imager. More technical details about the camera can be found in an earlier press release (eso0736). [2] The data used to prepare this image were acquired by a team led by Mark Gieles (University of Cambridge) and Yuri Beletsky (ESO). Mischa Schirmer (University of Bonn) performed the challenging data processing. More information ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and VISTA, the world's largest survey telescope. ESO is the European partner of a revolutionary astronomical telescope ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. ESO is currently planning a 42-metre European Extremely Large optical/near-infrared Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky".

2010-05-01

334

Application de la methode des sous-groupes au calcul Monte-Carlo multigroupe  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

This thesis is dedicated to the development of a Monte Carlo neutron transport solver based on the subgroup (or multiband) method. In this formalism, cross sections for resonant isotopes are represented in the form of probability tables on the whole energy spectrum. This study is intended in order to test and validate this approach in lattice physics and criticality-safety applications. The probability table method seems promising since it introduces an alternative computational way between the legacy continuous-energy representation and the multigroup method. In the first case, the amount of data invoked in continuous-energy Monte Carlo calculations can be very important and tend to slow down the overall computational time. In addition, this model preserves the quality of the physical laws present in the ENDF format. Due to its cheap computational cost, the multigroup Monte Carlo way is usually at the basis of production codes in criticality-safety studies. However, the use of a multigroup representation of the cross sections implies a preliminary calculation to take into account self-shielding effects for resonant isotopes. This is generally performed by deterministic lattice codes relying on the collision probability method. Using cross-section probability tables on the whole energy range permits to directly take into account self-shielding effects and can be employed in both lattice physics and criticality-safety calculations. Several aspects have been thoroughly studied: (1) The consistent computation of probability tables with a energy grid comprising only 295 or 361 groups. The CALENDF moment approach conducted to probability tables suitable for a Monte Carlo code. (2) The combination of the probability table sampling for the energy variable with the delta-tracking rejection technique for the space variable, and its impact on the overall efficiency of the proposed Monte Carlo algorithm. (3) The derivation of a model for taking into account anisotropic effects of the scattering reaction consistent with the subgroup method. In this study, we generalize the Discrete Angle Technique, already proposed for homogeneous, multigroup cross sections, to isotopic cross sections on the form of probability tables. In this technique, the angular density is discretized into probability tables. Similarly to the cross-section case, a moment approach is used to compute the probability tables for the scattering cosine. (4) The introduction of a leakage model based on the B1 fundamental mode approximation. Unlike deterministic lattice packages, most Monte Carlo-based lattice physics codes do not include leakage models. However the generation of homogenized and condensed group constants (cross sections, diffusion coefficients) require the critical flux. This project has involved the development of a program into the DRAGON framework, written in Fortran 2003 and wrapped with a driver in C, the GANLIB 5. Choosing Fortran 2003 has permitted the use of some modern features, such as the definition of objects and methods, data encapsulation and polymorphism. The validation of the proposed code has been performed by comparison with other numerical methods: (1) The continuous-energy Monte Carlo method of the SERPENT code. (2) The Collision Probability (CP) method and the discrete ordinates (SN) method of the DRAGON lattice code. (3) The multigroup Monte Carlo code MORET, coupled with the DRAGON code. Benchmarks used in this work are representative of some industrial configurations encountered in reactor and criticality-safety calculations: (1)Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR) cells and assemblies. (2) Canada-Deuterium Uranium Reactors (CANDU-6) clusters. (3) Critical experiments from the ICSBEP handbook (International Criticality Safety Benchmark Evaluation Program).

Martin, Nicolas

335

The Thousand-Ruby Galaxy  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

ESO's Wide Field Imager has captured the intricate swirls of the spiral galaxy Messier 83, a smaller look-alike of our own Milky Way. Shining with the light of billions of stars and the ruby red glow of hydrogen gas, it is a beautiful example of a barred spiral galaxy, whose shape has led to it being nicknamed the Southern Pinwheel. Messier 83, M83 ESO PR Photo 25/08 Spiral Galaxy Messier 83 This dramatic image of the galaxy Messier 83 was captured by the Wide Field Imager at ESO's La Silla Observatory, located high in the dry desert mountains of the Chilean Atacama Desert. Messier 83 lies roughly 15 million light-years away towards the huge southern constellation of Hydra (the sea serpent). It stretches over 40 000 light-years, making it roughly 2.5 times smaller than our own Milky Way. However, in some respects, Messier 83 is quite similar to our own galaxy. Both the Milky Way and Messier 83 possess a bar across their galactic nucleus, the dense spherical conglomeration of stars seen at the centre of the galaxies. This very detailed image shows the spiral arms of Messier 83 adorned by countless bright flourishes of ruby red light. These are in fact huge clouds of glowing hydrogen gas. Ultraviolet radiation from newly born, massive stars is ionising the gas in these clouds, causing the great regions of hydrogen to glow red. These star forming regions are contrasted dramatically in this image against the ethereal glow of older yellow stars near the galaxy's central hub. The image also shows the delicate tracery of dark and winding dust streams weaving throughout the arms of the galaxy. Messier 83 was discovered by the French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in the mid 18th century. Decades later it was listed in the famous catalogue of deep sky objects compiled by another French astronomer and famous comet hunter, Charles Messier. Recent observations of this enigmatic galaxy in ultraviolet light and radio waves have shown that even its outer desolate regions (farther out than those seen in this image) are populated with baby stars. X-ray observations of the heart of Messier 83 have shown that its centre is a hive of vigorous star formation, held deep within a cloud of superheated gas, with temperatures of 7 million degrees Celsius. Messier 83 is also one of the most prolific producers of supernovae, that is, exploding stars: this is one of the two galaxies, which had 6 supernovae in the past 100 years. One of these, SN 1957D was observable for 30 years! The Wide Field Imager (WFI) is a specialised astronomical camera attached to the 2.2-metre Max-Planck Society/ESO telescope, sited at the La Silla observatory in Chile. Located nearly 2400 m above sea level, atop the mountains of the Atacama Desert, ESO's La Silla enjoys some of the clearest and darkest skies on the whole planet, making the site ideally suited for studying the farthest depths of the Universe. To make this image, the WFI stared at M83 for roughly 100 minutes through a series of specialist filters, allowing the faint detail of the galaxy to reveal itself. The brighter stars in the foreground are stars in our own galaxy, whilst behind M83 the darkness is peppered with the faint smudges of distant galaxies.

2008-09-01

336

The Development of WARP - A Framework for Continuous Energy Monte Carlo Neutron Transport in General 3D Geometries on GPUs  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Graphics processing units, or GPUs, have gradually increased in computational power from the small, job-specific boards of the early 1990s to the programmable powerhouses of today. Compared to more common central processing units, or CPUs, GPUs have a higher aggregate memory bandwidth, much higher floating-point operations per second (FLOPS), and lower energy consumption per FLOP. Because one of the main obstacles in exascale computing is power consumption, many new supercomputing platforms are gaining much of their computational capacity by incorporating GPUs into their compute nodes. Since CPU-optimized parallel algorithms are not directly portable to GPU architectures (or at least not without losing substantial performance), transport codes need to be rewritten to execute efficiently on GPUs. Unless this is done, reactor simulations cannot take full advantage of these new supercomputers. WARP, which can stand for ``Weaving All the Random Particles,'' is a three-dimensional (3D) continuous energy Monte Carlo neutron transport code developed in this work as to efficiently implement a continuous energy Monte Carlo neutron transport algorithm on a GPU. WARP accelerates Monte Carlo simulations while preserving the benefits of using the Monte Carlo Method, namely, very few physical and geometrical simplifications. WARP is able to calculate multiplication factors, flux tallies, and fission source distributions for time-independent problems, and can run in both criticality or fixed source modes. WARP can transport neutrons in unrestricted arrangements of parallelepipeds, hexagonal prisms, cylinders, and spheres. WARP uses an event-based algorithm, but with some important differences. Moving data is expensive, so WARP uses a remapping vector of pointer/index pairs to direct GPU threads to the data they need to access. The remapping vector is sorted by reaction type after every transport iteration using a high-efficiency parallel radix sort, which serves to keep the reaction types as contiguous as possible and removes completed histories from the transport cycle. The sort reduces the amount of divergence in GPU ``thread blocks,'' keeps the SIMD units as full as possible, and eliminates using memory bandwidth to check if a neutron in the batch has been terminated or not. Using a remapping vector means the data access pattern is irregular, but this is mitigated by using large batch sizes where the GPU can effectively eliminate the high cost of irregular global memory access. WARP modifies the standard unionized energy grid implementation to reduce memory traffic. Instead of storing a matrix of pointers indexed by reaction type and energy, WARP stores three matrices. The first contains cross section values, the second contains pointers to angular distributions, and a third contains pointers to energy distributions. This linked list type of layout increases memory usage, but lowers the number of data loads that are needed to determine a reaction by eliminating a pointer load to find a cross section value. Optimized, high-performance GPU code libraries are also used by WARP wherever possible. The CUDA performance primitives (CUDPP) library is used to perform the parallel reductions, sorts and sums, the CURAND library is used to seed the linear congruential random number generators, and the OptiX ray tracing framework is used for geometry representation. OptiX is a highly-optimized library developed by NVIDIA that automatically builds hierarchical acceleration structures around user-input geometry so only surfaces along a ray line need to be queried in ray tracing. WARP also performs material and cell number queries with OptiX by using a point-in-polygon like algorithm. WARP has shown that GPUs are an effective platform for performing Monte Carlo neutron transport with continuous energy cross sections. Currently, WARP is the most detailed and feature-rich program in existence for performing continuous energy Monte Carlo neutron transport in general 3D geometries on GPUs, but compared to production codes like Serpent and MCNP, WARP ha

Bergmann, Ryan

337

First Super-Earth Atmosphere Analysed  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The atmosphere around a super-Earth exoplanet has been analysed for the first time by an international team of astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope. The planet, which is known as GJ 1214b, was studied as it passed in front of its parent star and some of the starlight passed through the planet's atmosphere. We now know that the atmosphere is either mostly water in the form of steam or is dominated by thick clouds or hazes. The results will appear in the 2 December 2010 issue of the journal Nature. The planet GJ 1214b was confirmed in 2009 using the HARPS instrument on ESO's 3.6-metre telescope in Chile (eso0950) [1]. Initial findings suggested that this planet had an atmosphere, which has now been confirmed and studied in detail by an international team of astronomers, led by Jacob Bean (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), using the FORS instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope. "This is the first super-Earth to have its atmosphere analysed. We've reached a real milestone on the road toward characterising these worlds," said Bean. GJ 1214b has a radius of about 2.6 times that of the Earth and is about 6.5 times as massive, putting it squarely into the class of exoplanets known as super-Earths. Its host star lies about 40 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Ophiuchus (the Serpent Bearer). It is a faint star [2], but it is also small, which means that the size of the planet is large compared to the stellar disc, making it relatively easy to study [3]. The planet travels across the disc of its parent star once every 38 hours as it orbits at a distance of only two million kilometres: about seventy times closer than the Earth orbits the Sun. To study the atmosphere, the team observed the light coming from the star as the planet passed in front of it [4]. During these transits, some of the starlight passes through the planet's atmosphere and, depending on the chemical composition and weather on the planet, specific wavelengths of light are absorbed. The team then compared these precise new measurements with what they would expect to see for several possible atmospheric compositions. Before the new observations, astronomers had suggested three possible atmospheres for GJ 1214b. The first was the intriguing possibility that the planet was shrouded by water, which, given the close proximity to the star, would be in the form of steam. The second possibility was that this is a rocky world with an atmosphere consisting mostly of hydrogen, but with high clouds or hazes obscuring the view. The third option was that this exoplanet was like a mini-Neptune, with a small rocky core and a deep hydrogen-rich atmosphere. The new measurements do not show the telltale signs of hydrogen and hence rule out the third option. Therefore, the atmosphere is either rich in steam, or it is blanketed by clouds or hazes, similar to those seen in the atmospheres of Venus and Titan in our Solar System, which hide the signature of hydrogen.. "Although we can't yet say exactly what that atmosphere is made of, it is an exciting step forward to be able to narrow down the options for such a distant world to either steamy or hazy," says Bean. "Follow-up observations in longer wavelength infrared light are now needed to determine which of these atmospheres exists on GJ 1214b." Notes [1] The number of confirmed exoplanets reached 500 on 19 November 2010. Since then, more exoplanets have been confirmed. For the latest count, please visit: http://exoplanet.eu/catalog.php [2] If GJ 1214 were seen at the same distance from us as our Sun, it would appear 300 times fainter. [3] Because the star GJ1214 itself is quite faint - more than 100 times fainter in visible light than the host stars of the two most widely studied hot Jupiter exoplanets - the large collecting area of the Very Large Telescope was critical for acquiring enough signal for these measurements. [4] GJ 1214b's atmospheric composition was studied using the FORS instrument on the Very Large Telescope, which can perform very sensitive spectroscopy of

2010-12-01