Science.gov

Sample records for level natural background

  1. Assessment of natural background levels in potentially contaminated coastal aquifers.

    PubMed

    Molinari, A; Chidichimo, F; Straface, S; Guadagnini, A

    2014-04-01

    The estimation of natural background levels (NBLs) of dissolved concentrations of target chemical species in subsurface reservoirs relies on a proper assessment of the effects of forcing terms driving flow and transport processes taking place within the system and whose dynamics drive background concentration values. We propose coupling methodologies based on (a) global statistical analyses and (b) numerical modeling of system dynamics to distinguish between the impacts of different types of external forcing components influencing background concentration values. We focus on the joint application of a statistical methodology based on Component Separation and experimental/numerical modeling studies of groundwater flow and transport for the NBL estimation of selected chemical species in potentially contaminated coastal aquifers. We consider a site which is located in Calabria, Italy, and constitutes a typical example of a Mediterranean coastal aquifer which has been subject to intense industrial development. Our study is keyed to the characterization of NBLs of manganese and sulfate and is geared to the proper identification of the importance of a natural external forcing (i.e., seawater intrusion) on NBL assessment. Results from the Component Separation statistical approach are complemented by numerical simulations of the advective-dispersive processes that could influence the distribution of chemical species (i.e., sulfate) within the system. Estimated NBLs for manganese are consistent with the geochemical composition of soil samples. While Component Separation ascribes the largest detected sulfate concentrations to anthropogenic sources, our numerical modeling analysis suggests that they are mainly related to the natural process of seawater intrusion. Our results indicate that the use of statistical methodologies in complex groundwater systems should be assisted by a detailed characterization of the dynamics of natural (and/or induced) processes to distinguish

  2. Measurement of the natural radiation background level of Riyadh City

    SciTech Connect

    Al-Kusayer, T.A.; Al-Haj, A.N.

    1987-01-01

    A gamma spectroscopy system was used to analyze the radionuclides in soil samples and to determine the cumulative radioactivity of terrestrial origin in the Riyadh City area. Minimal work has been done in the 1980s to measure the natural background radiation level in Saudi Arabia by using thermoluminescent dosimeters. The measurement of the natural radioactivity in the Riyadh area for the radionuclide concentration in becquerels per kilogram, the exposure rate arising from radionuclides in grays per hour, and the equivalent dose rate in sieverts per hour are the goals of this work. Soil samples were collected from 21 places in Riyadh City. Each site was sampled for two depth profiles, 0 to 5 cm and 5 to 15 cm. These measurements were taken before the Chernobyl accident, and in the absence of any measurements for that area in the past, this work can be considered in future work for a reference /sup 137/Cs concentration in Riyadh soil to determine the /sup 137/Cs increase in the soil after the Chernobyl accident.

  3. Geochemistry, biota and natural background levels in an arsenic naturally contaminated volcanic aquifer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Preziosi, Elisabetta; Amalfitano, Stefano; Di Lorenzo, Tiziana; Parrone, Daniele; Rossi, David; Ghergo, Stefano; Lungarini, Silvia; Zoppini, Anna Maria

    2015-04-01

    The tight links between chemical and ecological status are largely acknowledged as for surface water bodies, while aquifers are still considered as hidden groundwater reservoirs, rather than ecosystems to be preserved. Geochemical and biological interactions play a key role in all subterranean processes, including the dynamics of the fate of anthropogenic contaminants. Studies on groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDE) were mainly focused on karst aquifers so far, but an increased awareness on the importance of water-rock interactions and methodological improvements in microbial ecology are rapidly increasing the level of characterization of groundwater ecosystems in various hydrogeological contexts. Similarly, knowledge about groundwater biodiversity is still limited, especially if porous habitats are concerned. Yet, groundwater and GDEs are populated by a diverse and highly adapted biota, dominated by crustaceans, which provide important ecosystem services and act as biological indicators of chemical and quantitative impact on groundwater resources. In a previous research (Amalfitano et al. 2014), we reported that the microbial community heterogeneity may reflect the lithological and hydrogeological complexity within volcanic and alluvial facies transition in a groundwater body. The quantitative tracking of the microbial community structure allowed disentangling the natural biogeochemical processes evolving within the aquifer flow path. The analyses of groundwater crustaceans assemblages may contribute to shed more light upon the state and dynamics of such ecosystems. In the present research, a comprehensive study of a water table aquifer flowing through a quaternary volcanic district is being performed, including the geochemical (inorganic) composition, the microbial composition, and the analysis of crustacean assemblages . Groundwater samples are periodically collected from private wells and springs under a low anthropic impact. The key issues within the

  4. Cancer Mortality Among People Living in Areas With Various Levels of Natural Background Radiation

    PubMed Central

    Fornalski, Krzysztof W.; Feinendegen, Ludwig E.

    2015-01-01

    There are many places on the earth, where natural background radiation exposures are elevated significantly above about 2.5 mSv/year. The studies of health effects on populations living in such places are crucially important for understanding the impact of low doses of ionizing radiation. This article critically reviews some recent representative literature that addresses the likelihood of radiation-induced cancer and early childhood death in regions with high natural background radiation. The comparative and Bayesian analysis of the published data shows that the linear no-threshold hypothesis does not likely explain the results of these recent studies, whereas they favor the model of threshold or hormesis. Neither cancers nor early childhood deaths positively correlate with dose rates in regions with elevated natural background radiation. PMID:26674931

  5. Assessing Natural Background Levels of aquifers in the Metropolitan Area of Milan (Lombardy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Caro, Mattia; Crosta, Giovanni; Frattini, Paolo

    2016-04-01

    The European Water Framework Directive (WFD 2000/60/CE) requires Member States to evaluate the status of groundwater bodies in order to reach a good water quality for human consumption. One of the preliminary steps for defining the status of groundwater bodies consists in the definition and evaluation of the so-called Natural Background Levels (NBL). The NBL or Baseline level can be defined as "the range of concentration of a given element, isotope or chemical compound in solution, derived entirely from natural, geological, biological or atmospheric sources, under conditions not perturbed by anthropogenic activity" (Edmund and Shand, 2009). The qualitative analysis for a large area (ca 4500 Km2) of the Po Plain around the Milan Metropolitan area (Lombardy, Italy) is presented in this study. Despite the aquifers in the Milan metropolitan area are an incredible groundwater resource for a very large population (3.195.629 inhabitants in the metropolitan area, data at November 2014) and a highly industrialized area, a groundwater baseline characterization is still missing. In order to attain the hydro-geochemical characterization a complete geodatabase was built (120.655 chemical samples from 1980 to 2014). This database has been explored by classical and multivariate statistical analyses to provide relationships among the more influential lithological, hydrogeological and hydro-chemical variables. Finally, the NBLs of different chemical species which may be anthropogenic sensitive (Na, Cl, K, NO3, SO4, NH4, As, Fe, Cr, Fe, Mn, Zn) and for multiple aquifer bodies (phreatic, semi-confined and confined aquifer) are evaluated. Two different approaches are applied: the Pre-Selection method (BRIDGE, 2006) and the Component-Separation method. The first one (PS) consists in the exclusion of samples from the available dataset that could indicate human activities then deriving the NBL as the 90th percentile of the remaining data. The second one (CS) consists in the fitting of

  6. Teaching about Natural Background Radiation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Al-Azmi, Darwish; Karunakara, N.; Mustapha, Amidu O.

    2013-01-01

    Ambient gamma dose rates in air were measured at different locations (indoors and outdoors) to demonstrate the ubiquitous nature of natural background radiation in the environment and to show that levels vary from one location to another, depending on the underlying geology. The effect of a lead shield on a gamma radiation field was also…

  7. Quality assurance of temporal variability of natural decay chain and neutron induced background for low-level NORM analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Yoho, Michael; Porterfield, Donivan R.; Landsberger, Sheldon

    2015-09-22

    In this study, twenty-one high purity germanium (HPGe) background spectra were collected over 2 years at Los Alamos National Laboratory. A quality assurance methodology was developed to monitor spectral background levels from thermal and fast neutron flux levels and naturally occurring radioactive material decay series radionuclides. 238U decay products above 222Rn demonstrated minimal temporal variability beyond that expected from counting statistics. 238U and 232Th progeny below Rn gas displayed at most twice the expected variability. Further, an analysis of the 139 keV 74Ge(n, γ) and 691 keV 72Ge(n, n') spectral features demonstrated temporal stability for both thermal and fast neutron fluxes.

  8. Quality assurance of temporal variability of natural decay chain and neutron induced background for low-level NORM analysis

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Yoho, Michael; Porterfield, Donivan R.; Landsberger, Sheldon

    2015-09-22

    In this study, twenty-one high purity germanium (HPGe) background spectra were collected over 2 years at Los Alamos National Laboratory. A quality assurance methodology was developed to monitor spectral background levels from thermal and fast neutron flux levels and naturally occurring radioactive material decay series radionuclides. 238U decay products above 222Rn demonstrated minimal temporal variability beyond that expected from counting statistics. 238U and 232Th progeny below Rn gas displayed at most twice the expected variability. Further, an analysis of the 139 keV 74Ge(n, γ) and 691 keV 72Ge(n, n') spectral features demonstrated temporal stability for both thermal and fast neutronmore » fluxes.« less

  9. Teaching about natural background radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al-Azmi, Darwish; Karunakara, N.; Mustapha, Amidu O.

    2013-07-01

    Ambient gamma dose rates in air were measured at different locations (indoors and outdoors) to demonstrate the ubiquitous nature of natural background radiation in the environment and to show that levels vary from one location to another, depending on the underlying geology. The effect of a lead shield on a gamma radiation field was also demonstrated to emphasize the important role of shielding in radiation protection. The measurements were carried out with a Geiger-Muller (GM)-based dosimeter and a NaI scintillation gamma-ray spectrometer, which are normally available in physics laboratories. Radioactivity in household materials was demonstrated using a gas mantle as an example.

  10. Natural background levels and threshold values of chemical species in three large-scale groundwater bodies in Northern Italy.

    PubMed

    Molinari, Antonio; Guadagnini, Laura; Marcaccio, Marco; Guadagnini, Alberto

    2012-05-15

    We analyze natural background levels (NBLs) and threshold values (TVs) of spatially distributed chemical species (NH(4), B and As) which may be a potential pressure and concern in three large scale alluvial and fluvio-deltaic aquifers at different depths of the Apennines and Po river plains in Emilia-Romagna, Northern Italy. Our results are based on statistical methodologies designed to separate the natural and anthropogenic contributions in monitored concentrations by modeling the empirical distribution of the detected concentration with a mixture of probability density functions. Available chemical observations are taken over a 20 years period and are associated with different depths and cover planar investigation scales of the order of hundreds of kilometers. High concentration values detected for NH(4) and B appear to be related to high natural background levels. Due to interaction with the host rock in different geochemical environments we observed that concentration vary in time and space (including in depth) consistently with the hydrogeochemical features and the occurrence of natural attenuation mechanisms in the analyzed reservoirs. Conversely, estimated As NBLs are not consistent with the conceptual model of the hydrogeochemical behavior of the systems analyzed and experimental evidences of As content in aquifer cores. This is due to the inability of these techniques to incorporate the complex dynamics of the processes associated with the specific hydrogeochemical setting. Statistical analyses performed upon aggregating the concentration data according to different time observation windows allow identifying temporal dynamics of NBLs and TVs of target compounds within the observation time frame. Our results highlight the benefit of a dynamic monitoring process and analysis of well demarcated groundwater bodies to update the associated NBLs as a function of the temporal dependence of natural processes occurring in the subsurface. Monitoring protocols could

  11. Natural background levels and threshold values for groundwater in fluvial Pleistocene and Tertiary marine aquifers in Flanders, Belgium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coetsiers, Marleen; Blaser, Petra; Martens, Kristine; Walraevens, Kristine

    2009-05-01

    Aquifers from the same typology can have strongly different groundwater chemistry. Deducing the groundwater quality of less well-characterized aquifers from well-documented aquifers belonging to the same typology should be done with great reserve, and can only be considered as a preliminary approach. In the EU’s 6th FP BRIDGE project “Background cRiteria for the IDentification of Groundwater thrEsholds”, a methodology for the derivation of threshold values (TV) for groundwater bodies is proposed. This methodology is tested on four aquifers in Flanders of the sand and gravel typology. The methodology works well for all but the Ledo-Paniselian aquifer, where the subdivision into a fresh and saline part is disproved, as a gradual natural transition from fresh to saline conditions in the aquifer is observed. The 90 percentile is proposed as natural background level (NBL) for the unconfined Pleistocene deposits, ascribing the outliers to possible influence of pollution. For the Tertiary aquifers, high values for different parameters have a natural origin and the 97.7 percentile is preferred as NBL. The methodology leads to high TVs for parameters presenting low NBL, when compared to the standard used as a reference. This would allow for substantial anthropogenic inputs of these parameters.

  12. Combining natural background levels (NBLs) assessment with indicator kriging analysis to improve groundwater quality data interpretation and management.

    PubMed

    Ducci, Daniela; de Melo, M Teresa Condesso; Preziosi, Elisabetta; Sellerino, Mariangela; Parrone, Daniele; Ribeiro, Luis

    2016-11-01

    The natural background level (NBL) concept is revisited and combined with indicator kriging method to analyze the spatial distribution of groundwater quality within a groundwater body (GWB). The aim is to provide a methodology to easily identify areas with the same probability of exceeding a given threshold (which may be a groundwater quality criteria, standards, or recommended limits for selected properties and constituents). Three case studies with different hydrogeological settings and located in two countries (Portugal and Italy) are used to derive NBL using the preselection method and validate the proposed methodology illustrating its main advantages over conventional statistical water quality analysis. Indicator kriging analysis was used to create probability maps of the three potential groundwater contaminants. The results clearly indicate the areas within a groundwater body that are potentially contaminated because the concentrations exceed the drinking water standards or even the local NBL, and cannot be justified by geogenic origin. The combined methodology developed facilitates the management of groundwater quality because it allows for the spatial interpretation of NBL values. PMID:27371772

  13. A review on natural background radiation

    PubMed Central

    Shahbazi-Gahrouei, Daryoush; Gholami, Mehrdad; Setayandeh, Samaneh

    2013-01-01

    The world is naturally radioactive and approximately 82% of human-absorbed radiation doses, which are out of control, arise from natural sources such as cosmic, terrestrial, and exposure from inhalation or intake radiation sources. In recent years, several international studies have been carried out, which have reported different values regarding the effect of background radiation on human health. Gamma radiation emitted from natural sources (background radiation) is largely due to primordial radionuclides, mainly 232Th and 238U series, and their decay products, as well as 40K, which exist at trace levels in the earth's crust. Their concentrations in soil, sands, and rocks depend on the local geology of each region in the world. Naturally occurring radioactive materials generally contain terrestrial-origin radionuclides, left over since the creation of the earth. In addition, the existence of some springs and quarries increases the dose rate of background radiation in some regions that are known as high level background radiation regions. The type of building materials used in houses can also affect the dose rate of background radiations. The present review article was carried out to consider all of the natural radiations, including cosmic, terrestrial, and food radiation. PMID:24223380

  14. Determination of environmental radioactivity (238U, 232Th and 40K) and indoor natural background radiation level in Chennai city (Tamilnadu State), India.

    PubMed

    Babai, K S; Poongothai, S; Punniyakotti, J

    2013-01-01

    An extensive study on the determination of the natural radioactivity ((238)U, (232)Th and (40)K) levels in soil samples of Chennai city, India has been undertaken and the results of the same are compared with the levels reported in other Indian cities as well as other parts of the world. The radioactivity content in the soil samples, the absorbed dose rate, annual effective dose equivalent, radium equivalent activity, internal and external hazard indices were calculated and compared with UNSCEAR 2000 recommended values. In addition to the above, mapping of indoor natural background gamma radiation levels has been made using thermo luminescent dosemeters throughout Chennai city and the same are reported. PMID:22847868

  15. Role of light and heavy minerals on natural radioactivity level of high background radiation area, Kerala, India.

    PubMed

    Ramasamy, V; Sundarrajan, M; Suresh, G; Paramasivam, K; Meenakshisundaram, V

    2014-02-01

    Natural radionuclides ((238)U, (232)Th and (40)K) concentrations and eight different radiological parameters have been analyzed for the beach sediments of Kerala with an aim of evaluating the radiation hazards. Activity concentrations ((238)U and (232)Th) and all the radiological parameters in most of the sites have higher values than recommended values. The Kerala beach sediments pose significant radiological threat to the people living in the area and tourists going to the beaches for recreation or to the sailors and fishermen involved in their activities in the study area. In order to know the light mineral characterization of the present sediments, mineralogical analysis has been carried out using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic technique. The eight different minerals are identified and they are characterized. Among the various observed minerals, the minerals such as quartz, microcline feldspar, kaolinite and calcite are major minerals. The relative distribution of major minerals is determined by calculating extinction co-efficient and the values show that the amount of quartz is higher than calcite and much higher than microcline feldspar. Crystallinity index is calculated to know the crystalline nature of quartz present in the sediments. Heavy mineral separation analysis has been carried out to know the total heavy mineral (THM) percentage. This analysis revealed the presence of nine heavy minerals. The minerals such as monazite, zircon, magnetite and illmenite are predominant. Due to the rapid and extreme changes occur in highly dynamic environments of sandy beaches, quantities of major light and heavy minerals are widely varied from site to site. Granulometric analysis shows that the sand is major content. Multivariate statistical (Pearson correlation, cluster and factor) analysis has been carried out to know the effect of mineralogy on radionuclide concentrations. The present study concluded that heavy minerals induce the (238)U and (232)Th

  16. Ambient background particulate composition, outdoor natural background: interferents/clutter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paterno, Dorothea

    2012-06-01

    It has proven a very difficult task to discriminate an actual BW threat from the natural occurring ambient particulate aerosol, which includes a significant fraction of particles consisting of mixed mineral and biological material. The interferent particles [clutter] (bio and non bio) concentration varies widely both by location, weather and season and diurnally. Naturally occurring background particulates are composed of fungal and bacterial spores both fragments and components, plant fragments and debris, animal fragments and debris, all of which may be associated with inert dust or combustion material. Some or all of which could also be considered to be an interferent to a biological warfare detector and cause these biodector systems to cause False Alarms by non specific BW bio detectors. I will share analysis of current long term background data sets.

  17. Natural radiation background in metropolitan Taipei.

    PubMed

    Weng, P S; Chu, T C; Chen, C F

    1991-06-01

    A high-pressure ionization chamber was used to measure the natural background radiation in metropolitan Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C. during a period in 1987-1988. The average exposure rate was 27.55 x 10(-10) C kg-1 h-1 including cosmic radiation, but the radon contribution was excluded. Scintillation survey meter, gamma-ray spectroscopy for soil samples, in-situ measurement with a NaI(Tl) detector coupled to a portable multichannel analyzer, instrumental neutron activation analysis of rock samples, and even thermoluminescent dosimeters were used as complementary measuring devices. Areas of higher radiation background were detected. They are the radium-bearing Peitou stones, an unusual occurrence of uraniferous zone at Sanhsia, and uranium precipitation in the glassy olivine basalt in a tea field at Tachi. All these areas are located in suburban sites of Taipei. Three types of building in Taipei City were selected for radon detection. No significantly elevated level of radon was detected, since Taipei is located in a semitropical area where ventilation of buildings is not a problem. PMID:1941767

  18. Speech recognition in natural background noise.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Julien; Dentel, Laure; Meunier, Fanny

    2013-01-01

    In the real world, human speech recognition nearly always involves listening in background noise. The impact of such noise on speech signals and on intelligibility performance increases with the separation of the listener from the speaker. The present behavioral experiment provides an overview of the effects of such acoustic disturbances on speech perception in conditions approaching ecologically valid contexts. We analysed the intelligibility loss in spoken word lists with increasing listener-to-speaker distance in a typical low-level natural background noise. The noise was combined with the simple spherical amplitude attenuation due to distance, basically changing the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Therefore, our study draws attention to some of the most basic environmental constraints that have pervaded spoken communication throughout human history. We evaluated the ability of native French participants to recognize French monosyllabic words (spoken at 65.3 dB(A), reference at 1 meter) at distances between 11 to 33 meters, which corresponded to the SNRs most revealing of the progressive effect of the selected natural noise (-8.8 dB to -18.4 dB). Our results showed that in such conditions, identity of vowels is mostly preserved, with the striking peculiarity of the absence of confusion in vowels. The results also confirmed the functional role of consonants during lexical identification. The extensive analysis of recognition scores, confusion patterns and associated acoustic cues revealed that sonorant, sibilant and burst properties were the most important parameters influencing phoneme recognition. . Altogether these analyses allowed us to extract a resistance scale from consonant recognition scores. We also identified specific perceptual consonant confusion groups depending of the place in the words (onset vs. coda). Finally our data suggested that listeners may access some acoustic cues of the CV transition, opening interesting perspectives for future studies

  19. Speech Recognition in Natural Background Noise

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Julien; Dentel, Laure; Meunier, Fanny

    2013-01-01

    In the real world, human speech recognition nearly always involves listening in background noise. The impact of such noise on speech signals and on intelligibility performance increases with the separation of the listener from the speaker. The present behavioral experiment provides an overview of the effects of such acoustic disturbances on speech perception in conditions approaching ecologically valid contexts. We analysed the intelligibility loss in spoken word lists with increasing listener-to-speaker distance in a typical low-level natural background noise. The noise was combined with the simple spherical amplitude attenuation due to distance, basically changing the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Therefore, our study draws attention to some of the most basic environmental constraints that have pervaded spoken communication throughout human history. We evaluated the ability of native French participants to recognize French monosyllabic words (spoken at 65.3 dB(A), reference at 1 meter) at distances between 11 to 33 meters, which corresponded to the SNRs most revealing of the progressive effect of the selected natural noise (−8.8 dB to −18.4 dB). Our results showed that in such conditions, identity of vowels is mostly preserved, with the striking peculiarity of the absence of confusion in vowels. The results also confirmed the functional role of consonants during lexical identification. The extensive analysis of recognition scores, confusion patterns and associated acoustic cues revealed that sonorant, sibilant and burst properties were the most important parameters influencing phoneme recognition. . Altogether these analyses allowed us to extract a resistance scale from consonant recognition scores. We also identified specific perceptual consonant confusion groups depending of the place in the words (onset vs. coda). Finally our data suggested that listeners may access some acoustic cues of the CV transition, opening interesting perspectives for future studies

  20. Natural inflation in 5D warped backgrounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González Felipe, R.; Santos, N. M. C.

    2008-07-01

    In light of the five-year data from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), we discuss models of inflation based on the pseudo Nambu-Goldstone potential predicted in five-dimensional gauge theories for different backgrounds: flat Minkowski, anti de Sitter, and dilatonic spacetime. In this framework, the inflaton potential is naturally flat due to shift symmetries and the mass scales associated with it are related to 5D geometrical quantities.

  1. Background noise levels in PC home environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doherty, Rina; Salskov, Eric; Corriveau, Philip J.; Sorenson, Paul; Gabel, Doug; Beltman, Willem M.

    2005-09-01

    A study was designed and conducted to determine the background noise levels in the home environment. This is an important factor in determining the acoustic performance of the computing devices that go into these environments. A specialized methodology was developed and measurements were carried out in homes in the United States, Sweden, Germany, and China. The sound levels in three rooms in 15-18 homes in each country were collected over 24-h periods. The results indicated that the background noise levels ranged between 30 and 40 dBA across the four countries. Variations in the background noise levels between the different rooms in the homes were minimal. No significant variations were found between home types (detached, semi-detached, and apartment) and community types (urban, suburban). However, European homes were quieter than United States and Chinese homes. The variations between countries were statistically significant. In addition to the background noise levels, the acoustical characteristics of the rooms were measured. The results indicated that the reverberation radius was typically below 1 m and was fairly consistent between geographies.

  2. Background compensation for a radiation level monitor

    DOEpatents

    Keefe, D.J.

    1975-12-01

    Background compensation in a device such as a hand and foot monitor is provided by digital means using a scaler. With no radiation level test initiated, a scaler is down-counted from zero according to the background measured. With a radiation level test initiated, the scaler is up-counted from the previous down-count position according to the radiation emitted from the monitored object and an alarm is generated if, with the scaler having crossed zero in the positive going direction, a particular number is exceeded in a specific time period after initiation of the test. If the test is initiated while the scale is down-counting, the background count from the previous down- count stored in a memory is used as the initial starting point for the up-count.

  3. ESTIMATION OF BACKGROUND LEVELS OF CONTAMINANTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Samples from hazardous waste site investigations frequently come from two or more statistical populations. Assessment of "background" levels of contaminants can be a significant problem. This problem is being investigated at the US EPA's EMSL in Las Vegas. This paper describes a ...

  4. Study of Natural Background Radiation around Gurvanbulag Uranium Deposit Area

    SciTech Connect

    Enkhbat, N.; Norov, N.; Khuukhenkhuu, G.; Otgooloi, B.; Bat-Erdene, B.

    2009-03-31

    In this work, we will show the study of natural background radiation level around the Gurvanbulag (GB) uranium deposit area in the eastern part of Mongolia. We collected environmental soil samples from 102 points around GB Uranium deposit. Collected samples were measured by HPGe gamma spectrometer at Nuclear Research Center, National University of Mongolia. The averaged activity concentrations of Ra-226, Th-232, K-40, and Cs-137 were 37.1, 29, 939, and 17.7 Bq/kg, respectively.

  5. Chromo-natural model in anisotropic background

    SciTech Connect

    Maleknejad, Azadeh; Erfani, Encieh E-mail: eerfani@ipm.ir

    2014-03-01

    In this work we study the chromo-natural inflation model in the anisotropic setup. Initiating inflation from Bianchi type-I cosmology, we analyze the system thoroughly during the slow-roll inflation, from both analytical and numerical points of view. We show that the isotropic FRW inflation is an attractor of the system. In other words, anisotropies are damped within few e-folds and the chromo-natural model respects the cosmic no-hair conjecture. Furthermore, we demonstrate that in the slow-roll limit, the anisotropies in both chromo-natural and gauge-flation models share the same dynamics.

  6. VIEW OF INTERIOR SPACE WITH MEZZANINE LEVEL IN BACKGROUND AND ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    VIEW OF INTERIOR SPACE WITH MEZZANINE LEVEL IN BACKGROUND AND SMALL QUENCH TANK IN FOREGROUND, FACING NORTHEAST. - Douglas Aircraft Company Long Beach Plant, Aircraft Parts Shipping & Receiving Building, 3855 Lakewood Boulevard, Long Beach, Los Angeles County, CA

  7. Sinning against nature: the theory of background conditions

    PubMed Central

    Blackford, R

    2006-01-01

    Debates about the moral and political acceptability of particular sexual practices and new technologies often include appeals to a supposed imperative to follow nature. If nature is understood as the totality of all phenomena or as those things that are not artificial, there is little prospect of developing a successful argument to impugn interference with it or sinning against it. At the same time, there are serious difficulties with approaches that seek to identify "proper" human functioning. An alternative approach is to understand interference with nature as acting in a manner that threatens basic background conditions to human choice. Arguably, the theory of background conditions helps explain much of the hostility to practices and technologies that allegedly sin against nature. The theory does not, however, entail that appeals to nature are relevant or rational. Such appeals should be subjected to sceptical scrutiny. Indeed, the theory suggests that arguments against practices and technologies that can be seen as contrary to nature sometimes exercise a psychological attraction that is disproportional to their actual cogency. PMID:17074819

  8. Simulation of natural radioactivity backgrounds in the JUNO central detector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xin-Ying; Deng, Zi-Yan; Wen, Liang-Jian; Li, Wei-Dong; You, Zheng-Yun; Yu, Chun-Xu; Zhang, Yu-Mei; Lin, Tao

    2016-02-01

    The Jiangmen Underground Neutrino Observatory (JUNO) is an experiment proposed to determine the neutrino mass hierarchy and probe the fundamental properties of neutrino oscillation. The JUNO central detector is a spherical liquid scintillator detector with 20 kton fiducial mass. It is required to achieve a energy resolution with very low radioactive background, which is a big challenge to the detector design. In order to ensure the detector performance can meet the physics requirements, reliable detector simulation is necessary to provide useful information for the detector design. A simulation study of natural radioactivity backgrounds in the JUNO central detector has been performed to guide the detector design and set requirements for the radio-purity of the detector materials. The accidental background induced by natural radioactivity in the JUNO central detector is 1.1/day. The result is satisfied for the experiment. Supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA10010900), CAS Center for Excellence in Particle Physics (CCEPP), National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Large-Scale Scientific Facility Program, Joint Large-Scale Scientific Facility Funds of NSFC and CAS (U1332201)

  9. Image Discrimination Models Predict Object Detection in Natural Backgrounds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahumada, Albert J., Jr.; Rohaly, A. M.; Watson, Andrew B.; Null, Cynthia H. (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    Object detection involves looking for one of a large set of object sub-images in a large set of background images. Image discrimination models only predict the probability that an observer will detect a difference between two images. In a recent study based on only six different images, we found that discrimination models can predict the relative detectability of objects in those images, suggesting that these simpler models may be useful in some object detection applications. Here we replicate this result using a new, larger set of images. Fifteen images of a vehicle in an other-wise natural setting were altered to remove the vehicle and mixed with the original image in a proportion chosen to make the target neither perfectly recognizable nor unrecognizable. The target was also rotated about a vertical axis through its center and mixed with the background. Sixteen observers rated these 30 target images and the 15 background-only images for the presence of a vehicle. The likelihoods of the observer responses were computed from a Thurstone scaling model with the assumption that the detectabilities are proportional to the predictions of an image discrimination model. Three image discrimination models were used: a cortex transform model, a single channel model with a contrast sensitivity function filter, and the Root-Mean-Square (RMS) difference of the digital target and background-only images. As in the previous study, the cortex transform model performed best; the RMS difference predictor was second best; and last, but still a reasonable predictor, was the single channel model. Image discrimination models can predict the relative detectabilities of objects in natural backgrounds.

  10. Measurement of Acceptable Noise Level with Background Music

    PubMed Central

    Ahn, Hyun-Jung; Bahng, Junghwa

    2015-01-01

    Background and Objectives Acceptable noise level (ANL) is a measure of the maximum background noise level (BNL) that a person is willing to tolerate while following a target story. Although researchers have used various sources of target sound in ANL measures, a limited type of background noise has been used. Extending the previous study of Gordon-Hickey & Moore (2007), the current study determined the effect of music genre and tempo on ANLs as possible factors affecting ANLs. We also investigated the relationships between individual ANLs and the familiarity of music samples and between music ANLs and subjective preference. Subjects and Methods Forty-one participants were seperated into two groups according to their ANLs, 29 low-ANL listeners and 12 high-ANL listeners. Using Korean ANL material, the individual ANLs were measured based on the listeners' most comfortable listening level and BNL. The ANLs were measured in six conditions, with different music tempo (fast, slow) and genre (K-pop, pop, classical) in a counterbalanced order. Results Overall, ANLs did not differ by the tempo of background music, but music genre significantly affected individual ANLs. We observed relatively higher ANLs with K-pop music and relatively lower ANLs with classical music. This tendency was similar in both low-ANL and high-ANL groups. However, the subjective ratings of music familiarity and preference affected ANLs differently for low-ANL and high-ANL groups. In contrast to the low-ANL listeners, the ANLs of the high-ANL listeners were significantly affected by music familiarity and preference. Conclusions The genre of background music affected ANLs obtained using background music. The degree of music familiarity and preference appears to be associated with individual susceptibility to background music only for listeners who are greatly annoyed by background noise (high-ANL listeners). PMID:26413573

  11. Using epicenter location to differentiate events from natural background seismicity

    SciTech Connect

    Myers, S C; Walter, W R

    1999-07-26

    Efforts to more effectively monitor the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (commonly referred to as the CTBT) include research into methods of seismic discrimination. The most common seismic discriminants exploit differences in seismic amplitude for differing source types. Amplitude discriminants are quite effective when wave-propagation (a.k.a. path) effects are properly accounted for. However, because path effects can be exceedingly complex, path calibration is often accomplished empirically by spatially interpolating amplitude characteristics for a set of calibration earthquakes with techniques like Bayesian kriging. As a result, amplitude discriminants can be highly effective when natural seismicity provides sufficient event coverage to characterize a region. However, amplitude discrimination can become less effective for events that are far from historical (path-calibration) events. It is intuitive that events occurring at a distance from historical seismicity patterns are inherently suspect. However, quantifying the degree to which a particular event is unexpected could be of great utility in CTBT monitoring. Epicenter location is commonly used as a qualitative discriminant. For instance, if a seismic event is located in the deep ocean, then the event is generally considered to be an earthquake. Such qualitative uses of seismic location have great utility; however, a quantitative method to differentiate events from the natural pattern of seismicity could significantly advance the applicability of location as a discriminant for source type. Clustering of earthquake epicenters is the underlying aspect of earthquake seismicity that allows for an epicenter-based discriminant, and we explore the use of fractal characterization of clustering to characterize seismicity patters. We then evaluate the likelihood that an event at any given location is drawn from the background population. The use of this technique can help to identifying events that are inconsistent

  12. In-mine testing of a natural background sensor, part B

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martzloff, F. D.

    1981-01-01

    The capability of a natural background sensor for measuring the thickness of top coal on a longwall face was examined. The limitations on the time during which tests could be performed, and the roof conditions, did not produce readings of top coal measurements during the shearer operation. It was demonstrated that the system is capable to survive operating conditions in the mine environment, while the static tests confirmed that the natural background sensor approach is a valid method of measuring top coal thickness in mines where the roof rock provides a constant radiation level. It is concluded that the practical results will improve sequent development of an integrated vertical control system which is information from the natural background system.

  13. Setting background nutrient levels for coastal waters with oceanic influences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Alastair F.; Fryer, Rob J.; Webster, Lynda; Berx, Bee; Taylor, Alison; Walsham, Pamela; Turrell, William R.

    2014-05-01

    Nutrient enrichment of coastal water bodies as a result of human activities can lead to ecological changes. As part of a strategy to monitor such changes and detect potential eutrophication, samples were collected during research cruises conducted around the Scottish coast each January over the period 2007-2013. Data were obtained for total oxidised nitrogen (TOxN; nitrite and nitrate), phosphate and silicate, and incorporated into data-driven spatial models. Spatial averages in defined sea areas were calculated for each year in order to study inter-annual variability and systematic trends over time. Variation between some years was found to be significant (p < 0.05) but no evidence was found for any trends over the time period studied. This may have been due to the relatively short time series considered here. Modelled distributions were developed using data from groups of years (2007-2009, 2010-2011 and 2012-2013) and compared to the OSPAR Ecological Quality Objectives (EcoQOs) for dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN; the concentration of TOxN and ammonia), the ratio of DIN to dissolved inorganic phosphorous (N/P) and the ratio of DIN to dissolved silicate (N/S). In these three models, TOxN was below the offshore background concentration of 10 μM (12 μM at coastal locations) over more than 50% of the modelled area while N/S exceeded the upper assessment criterion of 2 over more than 50% of the modelled area. In the 2007-2009 model, N/P was below the background ratio (16) over the entire modelled area. In the 2010-2011 model the N/P ratio exceeded the background in 91% of the modelled area but remained below the upper assessment criterion (24). Scottish shelf sea waters were found to be depleted in TOxN relative to oceanic waters. This was not accounted for in the development of background values for the OSPAR EcoQOs so new estimates of these background values were derived. The implications of these results for setting reasonable background nutrient levels when

  14. The nature of the Diffuse Gamma-Ray Background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fornasa, Mattia; Sánchez-Conde, Miguel A.

    2015-10-01

    We review the current understanding of the Diffuse Gamma-Ray Background (DGRB). The DGRB is what remains of the total measured gamma-ray emission after the subtraction of the resolved sources and of the diffuse Galactic foregrounds. It is interpreted as the cumulative emission of sources that are not bright enough to be detected individually. Yet, its exact composition remains unveiled. Well-established astrophysical source populations (e.g. blazars, misaligned AGNs, star-forming galaxies and millisecond pulsars) all represent guaranteed contributors to the DGRB. More exotic scenarios, such as Dark Matter annihilation or decay, may contribute as well. In this review, we describe how these components have been modeled in the literature and how the DGRB can be used to provide valuable information on each of them. We summarize the observational information currently available on the DGRB, paying particular attention to the most recent measurement of its intensity energy spectrum by the Fermi LAT Collaboration. We also discuss the novel analyses of the auto-correlation angular power spectrum of the DGRB and of its cross-correlation with tracers of the large-scale structure of the Universe. New data sets already (or soon) available are expected to provide further insight on the nature of this emission. By summarizing where we stand on the current knowledge of the DGRB, this review is intended both as a useful reference for those interested in the topic and as a means to trigger new ideas for further research.

  15. Trace gases over Northern Eurasia: background level and disturbing factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skorokhod, A.; Shumsky, R.; Pankratova, N.; Moiseenko, K.; Vasileva, A.; Berezina, E.; Elansky, N.

    2012-04-01

    Atmospheric air composition over the vast and low inhabited areas of Northern Eurasia is still poorly studied because of lack of the precise direct measurements. This harms to accuracy of both global and regional models which simulate climatological and ecosystem changes in that highly important region. In this work background trace gases (such as O3, NO, NO2, CO) concentrations and their variability are considered on base of results of continuous measurements at ZOTTO station in the middle of Siberia which have been carried out since March, 2007. Also factors implying background regime (like long-range transport, wild fires emissions) are analyzed. To compliment study data of TROICA train-based campaigns which have been regularly provided across Russia for many years (1995-2010) are used. The concentration of ozone has a pronounced seasonal variation with a clear peak in spring (40-45 ppbv in average and up to 80 ppbv in extreme cases) and minimum in winter. Average ozone level is about 20 ppbv that corresponds to the background conditions. Enhanced concentration in March-July is due to increased stratospheric-tropospheric exchange. In autumn and winter distribution of ozone is close to uniform. Photochemical processes under low light and air temperature does not cause the generation of ozone. Sink on the snow surface is very small, and therefore the diurnal variations are absent. In general, seasonal variations correspond to the average seasonal course, which is typical for Russia. The analysis of diurnal ozone variations in Zotino in different seasons showed that the maximum rate of ozone formation is observed in summer from 9 to 15 h local time and is 1-2 ppbv/hour. It correlates well with the data on the isoprene emissions and others biogenic VOC reacting with OH- radical. Thus they are biogenic VOC emissions that seem to be the main factor of the lower troposphere oxidation power in summer. In other seasons it is significantly lower. NOx concentration does

  16. Is natural background or radiation from nuclear power plants leukemogenic

    SciTech Connect

    Cronkite, E.P.

    1989-01-01

    The objective in this review is to provide some facts about normal hemopoietic cell proliferation relevant to leukemogenesis, physical, chemical, and biological facts about radiation effects with the hope that each person will be able to decide for themselves whether background radiation or emissions from nuclear power plants and facilities significantly add to the spontaneous leukemia incidence. 23 refs., 1 tab.

  17. Natural background concentrations and threshold values of chemical species for groundwater in Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hyun, Y.; Lee, S.; Lee, H.

    2014-12-01

    We analyze natural background concentrations and determine threshold values of chemical species (NO3-N, Cl, As, Pb, Cr) for groundwater using Groundwater Quality Monitoring Network (GQMN) data operated by Korea Ministry of Environment (ME). GQMN data are divided into two groups, A and B. Group A consists of samples collected in aquifers where anthropogenic inputs are forced to be excluded by aquifer typology. Group B consists of samples in aquifers where purely anthropogenic chemicals (e.g., pesticide, PAC) are introduced at the downgradient. Group A is used to derive nationwide natural background concentrations for groundwater in specific aquifer geology under concern, which represents a reference system. Group B is used for deriving site-specific background concentrations for groundwater. For both groups of data, the samples with anthropogenic inputs are forced to be excluded, thus background concentrations are derived based on a pre-selection method accordingly. We determine threshold values according to EU GroundWater Daughter Directive(GWDD 2006/11/EC). For As, Pb, and Cr and some other trace elements, survival analyses are used for estimating background concentrations due to non-detect data. The results show that high concentration values of NO3-N and Cr are related to high natural background concentrations due to rock-water interactions for Group A. In particular, NO3-N concentrations vary with depth, which are consistent with natural attenuation processes. For Group B, some anthropogenic chemical species such as BTEX are observed and site-specific background concentrations of those elements are non-zero, which is apparently not naturally occurred at all. Natural background concentrations and threshold values derived from Group A can be used for setting up reference values for managing groundwater quality on a level of either domestic or drinking water stands. Meanwhile results from Group B provide a useful guidance for managing groundwater quality in

  18. Social Studies: Their Nature and Potential. Background Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wronski, Stanley P.

    The nature of the social studies and their international dimensions are examined. Discussion focuses on the definition of the social studies and the role of knowledge and ways of knowing in the social studies. In contrast to the social sciences, the social studies are designed primarily for instructional purposes. They include the substantive…

  19. Natural inflation: consistency with cosmic microwave background observations of Planck and BICEP2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freese, Katherine; Kinney, William H.

    2015-03-01

    Natural inflation is a good fit to all cosmic microwave background (CMB) data and may be the correct description of an early inflationary expansion of the Universe. The large angular scale CMB polarization experiment BICEP2 has announced a major discovery, which can be explained as the gravitational wave signature of inflation, at a level that matches predictions by natural inflation models. The natural inflation (NI) potential is theoretically exceptionally well motivated in that it is naturally flat due to shift symmetries, and in the simplest version takes the form V(phi) = Λ4 [1 ± cos(Nphi/f)]. A tensor-to-scalar ratio r > 0.1 as seen by BICEP2 requires the height of any inflationary potential to be comparable to the scale of grand unification and the width to be comparable to the Planck scale. The Cosine Natural Inflation model agrees with all cosmic microwave background measurements as long as f >= mPl (where mPl = 1.22 × 1019 GeV) and Λ ~ mGUT ~ 1016 GeV. This paper also discusses other variants of the natural inflation scenario: we show that axion monodromy with potential Vpropto phi2/3 is inconsistent with the BICEP2 limits at the 95% confidence level, and low-scale inflation is strongly ruled out. Linear potentials V propto phi are inconsistent with the BICEP2 limit at the 95% confidence level, but are marginally consistent with a joint Planck/BICEP2 limit at 95%. We discuss the pseudo-Nambu Goldstone model proposed by Kinney and Mahanthappa as a concrete realization of low-scale inflation. While the low-scale limit of the model is inconsistent with the data, the large-field limit of the model is marginally consistent with BICEP2. All of the models considered predict negligible running of the scalar spectral index, and would be ruled out by a detection of running.

  20. natural background radiation dosimetry in the highest altitude region of Iran.

    PubMed

    Shahbazi-Gahrouei, Daryoush

    2003-09-01

    The natural background radiation has been measured in one of the highest altitude regions (Zagros Mountains), Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province, in the south west of Iran. The outdoors-environmental monitoring exposure rate of radiation was measured in 200 randomly chosen regions using portable Geiger-Muller and scintillation detectors. Eight measurements were made in each region and an average value was used to calculate the exposure rate from natural background radiation. The average exposure rate was found to be 0.246 microGy/h and the annual average effective dose equivalent was found to be 0.49 mSv. An overall population-weighted mean outdoor dose rate was calculated to be 49 nGy/h, which is higher than the world-wide mean value of 44 nGy/h, as reported by UNSCEAR in 1998, and is comparable to the annual effective dose equivalent of 0.38 mSv. A good correlation between the altitude and the exposure rate was observed, as the higher altitude regions have higher natural background radiation levels. PMID:14646234

  1. Background in the context of land contaminated with naturally occurring radioactive material.

    PubMed

    Read, D; Read, G D; Thorne, M C

    2013-06-01

    The financial implications of choosing a particular threshold for clearance of radioactively contaminated land are substantial, particularly when one considers the volume of naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) created each year by the production and combustion of fossil fuels and the exploitation of industrial minerals. Inevitably, a compromise needs to be reached between the level of environmental protection sought and the finite resources available for remediation. In the case of natural series radionuclides, any anthropogenic input is always superimposed on the inventory already present in the soil; this 'background' inventory is conventionally disregarded when assessing remediation targets. Unfortunately, the term is not well defined and the concept of 'background dose' is open to alternative interpretations. In this paper, we address the issue of natural background from a geochemical rather than from a solely radiological perspective, illustrating this with an example from the china clay industry. We propose a simple procedure for decision making based on activity concentrations of primordial radionuclides and their progeny. Subsequent calculations of dose need to take into account the mineralogical and chemical characteristics of the contamination, which in the case of NORM are invariably reflected in uranium series disequilibrium. PMID:23519083

  2. Estimating natural background groundwater chemistry, Questa molybdenum mine, New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Verplanck, Phillip L.; Nordstrom, D Kirk; Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Walker, Bruce M.

    2010-01-01

    This 2 1/2 day field trip will present an overview of a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) project whose objective was to estimate pre-mining groundwater chemistry at the Questa molybdenum mine, New Mexico. Because of intense debate among stakeholders regarding pre-mining groundwater chemistry standards, the New Mexico Environment Department and Chevron Mining Inc. (formerly Molycorp) agreed that the USGS should determine pre-mining groundwater quality at the site. In 2001, the USGS began a 5-year, multidisciplinary investigation to estimate pre-mining groundwater chemistry utilizing a detailed assessment of a proximal natural analog site and applied an interdisciplinary approach to infer pre-mining conditions. The trip will include a surface tour of the Questa mine and key locations in the erosion scar areas and along the Red River. The trip will provide participants with a detailed understanding of geochemical processes that influence pre-mining environmental baselines in mineralized areas and estimation techniques for determining pre-mining baseline conditions.

  3. Background neutron spectrum at 2420 m above sea level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vega-Carrillo, Hector Rene; Manzanares-Acuña, Eduardo

    2004-05-01

    The ambient neutron spectrum was measured in-doors at ground level in Zacatecas Mexico at 2420 m above sea level. A Bonner sphere spectrometer with a 6LiI(Eu) scintillator was used to obtain the neutron spectrum. With the spectrum the ambient dose equivalent was calculated using the ICRP 74 neutron fluence-to-dose conversion factors. The neutron fluence rate was 65±3 cm -2 h -1, producing 13.7±0.6 nSv h -1 due to ambient dose equivalent.

  4. Synthesized performance model of thermal imaging systems based on natural background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Song-lin; Wang, Ji-hui; Wang, Xiao-wei; Jin, Wei-qi

    2013-09-01

    The impact of nature environment on the synthesized performance of thermal imaging systems was researched comparing with the targeting task performance (TTP) model. A nature background noise factor was presented and introduced into the minimum resolvable temperature difference channel width (MRTD-CW) model. The method for determining the nature background noise factor was given. A information quantity model based on MRTD-CW model was proposed to evaluate the impact of nature environment on the synthesized performance of thermal imaging systems. A normalized parameter was introduced into the information quantity model. Different background experiments were performed, and the results were analyzed and compared with those of TTP model.

  5. Estimation of collective effective dose due to natural background radiation in Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henaish, B. A.; Tawfik, A. A.; Abu Zaid, H.; Gomaa, M. A.

    1994-07-01

    During the last few years, worldwide attention has been directed towards the estimation of natural background radiation levels. Several environmental monitoring networks have been established for systematic data collection and exchange of information.In the present study, measurements of annual effective dose from terrestrial γ-rays are carried out at pre-selected sites within several Egyptian governorates by using a calibrated gas-filled GM-detector connected to a microcomputer system. Contribution of the secondary cosmic-rays, which is of prime importance at sea level, is achieved by carrying out computation based on theoretical considerations.Terrestrial effective dose in Egypt is found to be between 106 and 371 μSv/yr, meanwhile the computed cosmic rays contribution is 260-296 μSv/yr. Accordingly, the annual collective effective dose due to natural background radiation is about 27,253 Man Sv for the last Egyptian population count (1989) considering 0.8 and 0.2 indoor and outdoor occupancy factors.

  6. An automatic segmentation method for multi-tomatoes image under complicated natural background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, Jianjun; Mao, Hanping; Hu, Yongguang; Wang, Xinzhong; Chen, Shuren

    2006-12-01

    It is a fundamental work to realize intelligent fruit-picking that mature fruits are distinguished from complicated backgrounds and determined their three-dimensional location. Various methods for fruit identification can be found from the literatures. However, surprisingly little attention has been paid to image segmentation of multi-fruits which growth states are separated, connected, overlapped and partially covered by branches and leaves of plant under the natural illumination condition. In this paper we present an automatic segmentation method that comprises of three main steps. Firstly, Red and Green component image are extracted from RGB color image, and Green component subtracted from Red component gives RG of chromatic aberration gray-level image. Gray-level value between objects and background has obviously difference in RG image. By the feature, Ostu's threshold method is applied to do adaptive RG image segmentation. And then, marker-controlled watershed segmentation based on morphological grayscale reconstruction is applied into Red component image to search boundary of connected or overlapped tomatoes. Finally, intersection operation is done by operation results of above two steps to get binary image of final segmentation. The tests show that the automatic segmentation method has satisfactory effect upon multi-tomatoes image of various growth states under the natural illumination condition. Meanwhile, it has very robust for different maturity of multi-tomatoes image.

  7. Wind, waves, and acoustic background levels at Station ALOHA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duennebier, Fred K.; Lukas, Roger; Nosal, Eva-Marie; Aucan, JéRome; Weller, Robert A.

    2012-03-01

    Frequency spectra from deep-ocean near-bottom acoustic measurements obtained contemporaneously with wind, wave, and seismic data are described and used to determine the correlations among these data and to discuss possible causal relationships. Microseism energy appears to originate in four distinct regions relative to the hydrophone: wind waves above the sensors contribute microseism energy observed on the ocean floor; a fraction of this local wave energy propagates as seismic waves laterally, and provides a spatially integrated contribution to microseisms observed both in the ocean and on land; waves in storms generate microseism energy in deep water that travels as seismic waves to the sensor; and waves reflected from shorelines provide opposing waves that add to the microseism energy. Correlations of local wind speed with acoustic and seismic spectral time series suggest that the local Longuet-Higgins mechanism is visible in the acoustic spectrum from about 0.4 Hz to 80 Hz. Wind speed and acoustic levels at the hydrophone are poorly correlated below 0.4 Hz, implying that the microseism energy below 0.4 Hz is not typically generated by local winds. Correlation of ocean floor acoustic energy with seismic spectra from Oahu and with wave spectra near Oahu imply that wave reflections from Hawaiian coasts, wave interactions in the deep ocean near Hawaii, and storms far from Hawaii contribute energy to the seismic and acoustic spectra below 0.4 Hz. Wavefield directionality strongly influences the acoustic spectrum at frequencies below about 2 Hz, above which the acoustic levels imply near-isotropic surface wave directionality.

  8. Below background levels of blood lead impact cytokine levels in male and female mice

    SciTech Connect

    Iavicoli, I. . E-mail: iavicoli.ivo@rm.unicatt.it; Carelli, G. . E-mail: gcarelli@rm.unicatt.it; Stanek, E.J. . E-mail: stanek@schoolph.umass.edu; Castellino, N. . E-mail: iclml@rm.unicatt.it; Calabrese, E.J. . E-mail: edwardc@schoolph.umass.edu

    2006-01-15

    A number of studies have documented that Pb exerts immunotoxic effects on T lymphocytes. In studies designed to explore this general response over a broad dose range, female Swiss mice were administered six different diets containing Pb acetate 1 day after mating. During lactation, the mothers received the same feed given during pregnancy, and the same diets were administered to the offspring for 9 months after weaning. At the end of exposure, blood Pb level in the offspring was determined, and possible changes in two type 1 cytokines (IL-2, INF-{gamma}) and one type 2 cytokine (IL-4) in the serum were measured. At higher dietary Pb levels (40 and 400 ppm), a significant increase in IL-4 production was associated with a profound decrease in INF-{gamma} and IL-2 production. At the lowest Pb diet level (0.02 ppm), which resulted in a blood lead level of (0.8 {mu}g/dL), which is below background (2-3 {mu}g/dL) values in humans, increases in INF-{gamma} and IL-2 production along with a significant decrease in IL-4 production were observed. The findings provide evidence of a reversal of lead-induced cytokine skewing depending on the blood lead concentration. As blood lead concentration increases, there is a notable skewing toward Th2, while the pattern is reversed favoring Th1 development at lower blood lead values. The present findings are also notable since they indicate the potential for dietary Pb to have significant biological effects below normal background concentrations.

  9. Natural 'background' soil water repellency in conifer forests: its prediction and relationship to wildfire occurrence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doerr, Stefan; Woods, Scott; Martin, Deborah; Casimiro, Marta

    2013-04-01

    Soils under a wide range of vegetation types exhibit water repellency following the passage of a fire. This is viewed by many as one of the main causes for accelerated post-fire runoff and soil erosion and it has often been assumed that strong soil water repellency present after wildfire is fire-induced. However, high levels of repellency have also been reported under vegetation types not affected by fire, and the question arises to what degree the water repellency observed at burnt sites actually results from fire. This study aimed at determining 'natural background' water repellency in common coniferous forest types in the north-western USA. Mature or semi-mature coniferous forest sites (n = 81), which showed no evidence of recent fires and had at least some needle cast cover, were sampled across six states. After careful removal of litter and duff at each site, soil water repellency was examined in situ at the mineral soil surface using the Water Drop Penetration Time (WDPT) method for three sub-sites, followed by col- lecting near-surface mineral soil layer samples (0-3 cm depth). Following air-drying, samples were fur- ther analyzed for repellency using WDPT and contact angle (hsl) measurements. Amongst other variables examined were dominant tree type, ground vegetation, litter and duff layer depth, slope angle and aspect, elevation, geology, and soil texture, organic carbon content and pH. 'Natural background' water repellency (WDPT > 5 s) was detected in situ and on air-dry samples at 75% of all sites examined irrespective of dominant tree species (Pinus ponderosa, Pinus contorta, Picea engelma- nii and Pseudotsuga menziesii). These findings demonstrate that the soil water repellency commonly observed in these forest types following burning is not necessarily the result of recent fire but can instead be a natural characteristic. The notion of a low background water repellency being typical for long- unburnt conifer forest soils of the north-western USA is

  10. Reference levels of background radioactivity for beach sands and soils in İnebolu/Kastamonu-Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurnaz, Aslı; Türkdoǧan, Savaş; Hançerlioǧulları, Aybaba; ćetiner, M. Atıf

    2016-03-01

    This paper presents the measurement results of environmental radioactivity levels for İnebolu district (tourist area), Kastamonu-Turkey. The radioactivity concentrations of 238U, 232Th, 40K and the fission product 137Cs in soil samples collected from 13 region surroundings of study area and in 12 beach sand samples collected from along the coast of İnebolu were determined. To evaluate the radiological hazard of the natural radioactivity, based on the measured concentrations of these radionuclides, the mean absorbed gamma dose and the annual effective dose were evaluated separately, and found to be 112.90 nGy h-1 and 138.46 µSv y-1 for soil samples and 75.19 nGy h-1 and 92.22 µSv y-1 for beach sand samples, respectively. The results show that İnebolu does not have high background.

  11. Calculating background levels for ecological risk parameters in toxic harbor sediment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leadon, C.J.; McDonnell, T.R.; Lear, J.; Barclift, D.

    2007-01-01

    Establishing background levels for biological parameters is necessary in assessing the ecological risks from harbor sediment contaminated with toxic chemicals. For chemicals in sediment, the term contaminated is defined as having concentrations above background and significant human health or ecological risk levels. For biological parameters, a site could be considered contaminated if levels of the parameter are either more or less than the background level, depending on the specific parameter. Biological parameters can include tissue chemical concentrations in ecological receptors, bioassay responses, bioaccumulation levels, and benthic community metrics. Chemical parameters can include sediment concentrations of a variety of potentially toxic chemicals. Indirectly, contaminated harbor sediment can impact shellfish, fish, birds, and marine mammals, and human populations. This paper summarizes the methods used to define background levels for chemical and biological parameters from a survey of ecological risk investigations of marine harbor sediment at California Navy bases. Background levels for regional biological indices used to quantify ecological risks for benthic communities are also described. Generally, background stations are positioned in relatively clean areas exhibiting the same physical and general chemical characteristics as nearby areas with contaminated harbor sediment. The number of background stations and the number of sample replicates per background station depend on the statistical design of the sediment ecological risk investigation, developed through the data quality objective (DQO) process. Biological data from the background stations can be compared to data from a contaminated site by using minimum or maximum background levels or comparative statistics. In Navy ecological risk assessments (ERA's), calculated background levels and appropriate ecological risk screening criteria are used to identify sampling stations and sites with contaminated

  12. Computational Assessment of Naturally Occurring Neutron and Photon Background Radiation Produced by Extraterrestrial Sources

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, Thomas Martin; de Wet, Wouter C.; Patton, Bruce W.

    2015-10-28

    In this study, a computational assessment of the variation in terrestrial neutron and photon background from extraterrestrial sources is presented. The motivation of this assessment is to evaluate the practicality of developing a tool or database to estimate background in real time (or near–real time) during an experimental measurement or to even predict the background for future measurements. The extraterrestrial source focused on during this assessment is naturally occurring galactic cosmic rays (GCRs). The MCNP6 transport code was used to perform the computational assessment. However, the GCR source available in MCNP6 was not used. Rather, models developed and maintained by NASA were used to generate the GCR sources. The largest variation in both neutron and photon background spectra was found to be caused by changes in elevation on Earth's surface, which can be as large as an order of magnitude. All other perturbations produced background variations on the order of a factor of 3 or less. The most interesting finding was that ~80% and 50% of terrestrial background neutrons and photons, respectively, are generated by interactions in Earth's surface and other naturally occurring and man-made objects near a detector of particles from extraterrestrial sources and their progeny created in Earth's atmosphere. In conclusion, this assessment shows that it will be difficult to estimate the terrestrial background from extraterrestrial sources without a good understanding of a detector's surroundings. Therefore, estimating or predicting background during a measurement environment like a mobile random search will be difficult.

  13. Molecular Mechanisms of Drug Resistance in Natural Leishmania Populations Vary with Genetic Background

    PubMed Central

    Decuypere, Saskia; Vanaerschot, Manu; Brunker, Kirstyn; Imamura, Hideo; Müller, Sylke; Khanal, Basudha; Rijal, Suman; Dujardin, Jean-Claude; Coombs, Graham H.

    2012-01-01

    The evolution of drug-resistance in pathogens is a major global health threat. Elucidating the molecular basis of pathogen drug-resistance has been the focus of many studies but rarely is it known whether a drug-resistance mechanism identified is universal for the studied pathogen; it has seldom been clarified whether drug-resistance mechanisms vary with the pathogen's genotype. Nevertheless this is of critical importance in gaining an understanding of the complexity of this global threat and in underpinning epidemiological surveillance of pathogen drug resistance in the field. This study aimed to assess the molecular and phenotypic heterogeneity that emerges in natural parasite populations under drug treatment pressure. We studied lines of the protozoan parasite Leishmania (L.) donovani with differential susceptibility to antimonial drugs; the lines being derived from clinical isolates belonging to two distinct genetic populations that circulate in the leishmaniasis endemic region of Nepal. Parasite pathways known to be affected by antimonial drugs were characterised on five experimental levels in the lines of the two populations. Characterisation of DNA sequence, gene expression, protein expression and thiol levels revealed a number of molecular features that mark antimonial-resistant parasites in only one of the two populations studied. A final series of in vitro stress phenotyping experiments confirmed this heterogeneity amongst drug-resistant parasites from the two populations. These data provide evidence that the molecular changes associated with antimonial-resistance in natural Leishmania populations depend on the genetic background of the Leishmania population, which has resulted in a divergent set of resistance markers in the Leishmania populations. This heterogeneity of parasite adaptations provides severe challenges for the control of drug resistance in the field and the design of molecular surveillance tools for widespread applicability. PMID:22389733

  14. Correlation between work concentration level and background music: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Shih, Yi-Nuo; Huang, Rong-Hwa; Chiang, Han-Sun

    2009-01-01

    It is a common phenomenon for office workers {to listen to music} while executing daily routines at their desks. The aim of this study was to investigate the correlation between work concentration level and background music. This research would first follow examples in previous researches, and then explore the influence of background music on participants' scores on attention tests. We hope to gain a preliminary understanding of the possible influence of background music on people's focus and concentration when doing work. Thirty-two college students were separated into three controlled groups; all were given the attention test. Group [a] listened to background music while being tested for 10 minutes; group [b] had no background music at all; and group [c] listened to the music for 10 minutes prior to the attention test. The test was conducted in a "noise free" environment. The means and error rates for each group were then calculated. The findings showed that, in comparison with "no music at all", those who listened to music prior to testing obtained higher scores in attentiveness (most probably a supplemental effect of the music), whereas those who listened to music during attention test showed extremely high level of variation in attention test scoring. Background music does affect people's job-site behavior. In fact, all three test conditions - no background music at all, background music before the work shift, and background music during work - have affected worker performance on different levels. PMID:19759431

  15. Potential health risk in areas with high naturally-occurring cadmium background in southwestern China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yizhang; Xiao, Tangfu; Baveye, Philippe C; Zhu, Jianming; Ning, Zengping; Li, Huajun

    2015-02-01

    In various parts of the world, high cadmium (Cd) concentrations in environment are not related to anthropogenic contamination but have natural origins. Less is known about health risks that arise under these conditions. This study aimed to discuss the pollution of Cd with natural sources, and to investigate the concentration of Cd in food crops and the urine of inhabitants in an area of southwestern China. The results showed that the arable soils are moderately contaminated by Cd (I(geo)=1.51) relative to the local background, with a high ecological risk (Er=218). The chemical fractions of Cd in soils with natural sources are probably controlled by parent materials and mostly in residual phase. The average Cd concentrations were 0.68 mg kg(-1) (fresh weight) in local vegetables, 0.04 mg kg(-1) in rice, and 0.14 μg L(-1) in water. Leafy vegetable tends to accumulate more Cd than the other crops. The calculated Target Hazard Quotient (THQ) had a much higher value (4.33) for Cd, suggesting that Cd represents a significant potential risk to the local population. The urinary Cd concentrations (mean at 3.92 μg L(-1) for male and 4.85 μg L(-1) for female) of inhabitants in the study area were significantly higher (p<0.05) than those from the control area (mean at 0.8 μg L(-1) for male and 0.42 μg L(-1) for female). Male and female test subjects had similar urinary Cd levels (p>0.05), but age seemed to lead to an increase in Cd in the urine. These findings show that naturally-occurring Cd in local soils is taken up appreciably by local food crops, and that dietary exposure of Cd through vegetable ingestion is a major exposure pathway for local populations, and a potential risk to public health in the study area. PMID:25463862

  16. Application Of The Thermoluminescent Dosemeters For The Measurement Of Low Level Background

    SciTech Connect

    Stochioiu, Ana I.; Sahagia, Maria C.; Mihai, Felicia S.; Tudor, Ion L.; Lupescu, Henrieta I.

    2007-04-23

    The results obtained in the measurement of the low level radiation background by using a thermoluminescent (TL) system, in a former salt mine, designed to be used as an underground laboratory , are presented.

  17. Computational Assessment of Naturally Occurring Neutron and Photon Background Radiation Produced by Extraterrestrial Sources

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Miller, Thomas Martin; de Wet, Wouter C.; Patton, Bruce W.

    2015-10-28

    In this study, a computational assessment of the variation in terrestrial neutron and photon background from extraterrestrial sources is presented. The motivation of this assessment is to evaluate the practicality of developing a tool or database to estimate background in real time (or near–real time) during an experimental measurement or to even predict the background for future measurements. The extraterrestrial source focused on during this assessment is naturally occurring galactic cosmic rays (GCRs). The MCNP6 transport code was used to perform the computational assessment. However, the GCR source available in MCNP6 was not used. Rather, models developed and maintained bymore » NASA were used to generate the GCR sources. The largest variation in both neutron and photon background spectra was found to be caused by changes in elevation on Earth's surface, which can be as large as an order of magnitude. All other perturbations produced background variations on the order of a factor of 3 or less. The most interesting finding was that ~80% and 50% of terrestrial background neutrons and photons, respectively, are generated by interactions in Earth's surface and other naturally occurring and man-made objects near a detector of particles from extraterrestrial sources and their progeny created in Earth's atmosphere. In conclusion, this assessment shows that it will be difficult to estimate the terrestrial background from extraterrestrial sources without a good understanding of a detector's surroundings. Therefore, estimating or predicting background during a measurement environment like a mobile random search will be difficult.« less

  18. How Should We Be Determining Background and Baseline Antibiotic Resistance Levels in Agroecosystem Research?

    PubMed

    Rothrock, Michael J; Keen, Patricia L; Cook, Kimberly L; Durso, Lisa M; Franklin, Alison M; Dungan, Robert S

    2016-03-01

    Although historically, antibiotic resistance has occurred naturally in environmental bacteria, many questions remain regarding the specifics of how humans and animals contribute to the development and spread of antibiotic resistance in agroecosystems. Additional research is necessary to completely understand the potential risks to human, animal, and ecological health in systems altered by antibiotic-resistance-related contamination. At present, analyzing and interpreting the effects of human and animal inputs on antibiotic resistance in agroecosystems is difficult, since standard research terminology and protocols do not exist for studying background and baseline levels of resistance in the environment. To improve the state of science in antibiotic-resistance-related research in agroecosystems, researchers are encouraged to incorporate baseline data within the study system and background data from outside the study system to normalize the study data and determine the potential impact of antibiotic-resistance-related determinants on a specific agroecosystem. Therefore, the aims of this review were to (i) present standard definitions for commonly used terms in environmental antibiotic resistance research and (ii) illustrate the need for research standards (normalization) within and between studies of antibiotic resistance in agroecosystems. To foster synergy among antibiotic resistance researchers, a new surveillance and decision-making tool is proposed to assist researchers in determining the most relevant and important antibiotic-resistance-related targets to focus on in their given agroecosystems. Incorporation of these components within antibiotic-resistance-related studies should allow for a more comprehensive and accurate picture of the current and future states of antibiotic resistance in the environment. PMID:27065388

  19. Background level of risk determines how prey categorize predators and non-predators

    PubMed Central

    Chivers, Douglas P.; McCormick, Mark I.; Mitchell, Matthew D.; Ramasamy, Ryan A.; Ferrari, Maud C. O.

    2014-01-01

    Much of the plasticity that prey exhibit in response to predators is linked to the prey's immediate background level of risk. However, we know almost nothing of how background risk influences how prey learn to categorize predators and non-predators. Learning non-predators probably represents one of the most underappreciated aspects of anti-predator decision-making. Here, we provide larval damselfish (Pomacentrus chrysurus) with a high or low background risk and then try to teach them to recognize a cue as non-threatening through the process of latent inhibition. Prey from the low-risk background that were pre-exposed to the novel odour cues in the absence of negative reinforcement for 3 days, and then provided the opportunity to learn to recognize the odour as threatening, failed to subsequently respond to the odour as a threat. Fish from the high-risk background showed a much different response. These fish did not learn the odour as non-threatening, probably because the cost of falsely learning an odour as non-threatening is higher when the background level of risk is higher. Our work highlights that background level of risk appears to drive plasticity in cognition of prey animals learning to discriminate threats in their environment. PMID:24898371

  20. Natural background groundwater composition in the Azores archipelago (Portugal): a hydrogeochemical study and threshold value determination.

    PubMed

    Cruz, J V; Andrade, C

    2015-07-01

    Groundwater discharges were sampled in selected springs from São Miguel (Furnas and Fogo trachytic central volcanoes) and Santa Maria islands (Azores, Portugal), in order to characterize natural background levels (NBLs) and proceed to the determination of threshold values (TVs). Besides being a key issue in order to fully assess the anthropogenic pressures, NBLs are also instrumental to derive TVs, therefore complying with requirements from the European Union Groundwater Directive. The composition of groundwater corresponds mainly to low mineralized Na-HCO3 to Na-Cl water types, the latter dominant in Santa Maria island, with a decreasing order of Na>Ca>Mg>K and Cl>HCO3>SO4>NO3 for cations and anion respectively. The majority of the samples are slightly acid to slightly alkaline (pH range of 5.45-7.43), and the electrical conductivity range between 180 and 1458 μS/cm. Groundwater composition is controlled by two major drivers, addition of sea salts and dissolution of silicate minerals. Results shown that TVs established along the present study are in general in the lower rank when compared to the range of values proposed by the several EU member states, with the main exception of NO3, reflecting the impact of agriculture activities over water quality in the Azores, and lower than the national ones. The comparison between the estimated NBL and TV with values derived with another dataset from the Azores, usually higher, depicts the effect of a larger and diverse number of groundwater sources over calculations. On the other hand, all samples which show a contribution from volcanic/hydrothermal systems were excluded from the dataset, which explains why the derived NBLs and TVs are lower comparing to other active volcanic areas, which is also a conservative approach on a subject that has regulatory implications. PMID:25813965

  1. Nature of association between rural background and practice location: A comparison of general practitioners and specialists

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Rural and remote areas are characterised by a shortage of medical practitioners. Rural background has been shown to be a significant factor associated with medical graduates' intentions and decisions to practise within a rural area, though most studies have only used simple definitions of rural background and not previously looked at specialists. This paper aims to investigate in detail the nature of the association between rural background and practice location of Australian general practitioners (GPs) and specialists Methods Data for 3156 GPs and 2425 specialists were obtained from the Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life (MABEL) study. Data on the number of childhood years resident in a rural location and population size of their rural childhood location were matched against current practice location. Logistic regression modelling was used to calculate adjusted associations between doctors in rural practice and rural background, sex and age. Results GPs with at least 6 years of their childhood spent in a rural area were significantly more likely than those with 0-5 years in a rural area to be practising in a rural location (OR 2.28, 95% CI 1.69-3.08), whilst only specialists with at least 11 years rural background were significantly more likely to be practising in a rural location (OR 2.27, 95% CI 1.77-2.91). However, for doctors with a rural background, the size of the community that they grew up in was not significantly associated with the size of the community in which they currently practise. Both female GPs and female specialists are similarly much less likely to be practising in a rural location compared with males (GPs: OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.45-0.62). Conclusions This study elucidates the association between rural background and rural practice for both GPs and specialists. It follows that increased take-up of rural practice by new graduates requires an increased selection of students with strong rural backgrounds. However, given the

  2. Background Noise Analysis in a Few-Photon-Level Qubit Memory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mittiga, Thomas; Kupchak, Connor; Jordaan, Bertus; Namazi, Mehdi; Nolleke, Christian; Figeroa, Eden

    2014-05-01

    We have developed an Electromagnetically Induced Transparency based polarization qubit memory. The device is composed of a dual-rail probe field polarization setup colinear with an intense control field to store and retrieve any arbitrary polarization state by addressing a Λ-type energy level scheme in a 87Rb vapor cell. To achieve a signal-to-background ratio at the few photon level sufficient for polarization tomography of the retrieved state, the intense control field is filtered out through an etalon filtrating system. We have developed an analytical model predicting the influence of the signal-to-background ratio on the fidelities and compared it to experimental data. Experimentally measured global fidelities have been found to follow closely the theoretical prediction as signal-to-background decreases. These results suggest the plausibility of employing room temperature memories to store photonic qubits at the single photon level and for future applications in long distance quantum communication schemes.

  3. Measurement of speech levels in the presence of time varying background noise

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pearsons, K. S.; Horonjeff, R.

    1982-01-01

    Short-term speech level measurements which could be used to note changes in vocal effort in a time varying noise environment were studied. Knowing the changes in speech level would in turn allow prediction of intelligibility in the presence of aircraft flyover noise. Tests indicated that it is possible to use two second samples of speech to estimate long term root mean square speech levels. Other tests were also performed in which people read out loud during aircraft flyover noise. Results of these tests indicate that people do indeed raise their voice during flyovers at a rate of about 3-1/2 dB for each 10 dB increase in background level. This finding is in agreement with other tests of speech levels in the presence of steady state background noise.

  4. Impact of fertilizers on background radioactivity level in two newly developed desert areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmad, Fawzia

    A survey of soils and plants was carried out to determine the environmental gamma background radiation levels in two newly developed desert areas. The materials and the standards were analyzed by gamma spectroscopy; a shielded high purity germanium detector was used to measure the natural concentration of 238U, 232Th and 40K activities in the samples. The radionuclide content in some commercial fertilizers was determined. The results of the analysis of specific activities in the fertilizers under study were 1.27-950.09 Bq/kg for 238U, 0.73-162.16 Bq/kg for 232Th and 10.22-23845.24 Bq/kg for 40K. All natural soil samples showed low-activity concen-trations. The concentrations of 238U (6.13-38.84 Bq/kg) and 232Th (2.58-25.69 Bq/kg) are quite similar, whereas that of 40K (113.91-9314.11 Bq/kg) are much higher for plant samples. Some of the results obtained are larger than the permissible international radioactivity levels. It is suitable in this regard to compare the activity values of the imported fertilizers and that fabricated in Egypt. The absorbed dose rate was found to be 1.91-1027 nGy/h and the radium equivalent activity concentration was 4.02-1840.98 Bq/kg for fertilizer samples. Soil and plant sample results were 11.86-415E29 nGy/h and 24.20-750.52 Bq/kg for the absorbed dose rate and the radium equivalent activity concentration, respectively. Banana plant contains the largest values. This article presents actual data from investigations of the soil-plant transfer of the primordial radionuclides for some fruits growing on these soils. The transfer factors of 0.35-1.821 for 238U, 0.227-0.480 for 232Th and 1.95-31.85 for 40K were obtained. The increase of the transfer of 40K reflects its great uptake to the fruits. Observed soil-plant factors vary widely, mainly as a result of different soil, vegetation types and environmental conditions. Taking into account the transfer factors of 137Cs to plants, the measured activity concentrations of this isotope should not

  5. Object detection in natural backgrounds predicted by discrimination performance and models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rohaly, A. M.; Ahumada, A. J. Jr; Watson, A. B.

    1997-01-01

    Many models of visual performance predict image discriminability, the visibility of the difference between a pair of images. We compared the ability of three image discrimination models to predict the detectability of objects embedded in natural backgrounds. The three models were: a multiple channel Cortex transform model with within-channel masking; a single channel contrast sensitivity filter model; and a digital image difference metric. Each model used a Minkowski distance metric (generalized vector magnitude) to summate absolute differences between the background and object plus background images. For each model, this summation was implemented with three different exponents: 2, 4 and infinity. In addition, each combination of model and summation exponent was implemented with and without a simple contrast gain factor. The model outputs were compared to measures of object detectability obtained from 19 observers. Among the models without the contrast gain factor, the multiple channel model with a summation exponent of 4 performed best, predicting the pattern of observer d's with an RMS error of 2.3 dB. The contrast gain factor improved the predictions of all three models for all three exponents. With the factor, the best exponent was 4 for all three models, and their prediction errors were near 1 dB. These results demonstrate that image discrimination models can predict the relative detectability of objects in natural scenes.

  6. Effects of background color on GnRH and MCH levels in the barfin flounder brain.

    PubMed

    Amiya, Noriko; Amano, Masafumi; Yamanome, Takeshi; Yamamori, Kunio; Takahashi, Akiyoshi

    2008-01-01

    Effects of background color on gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) levels in the brain of the barfin flounder Verasper moseri were monitored to investigate the interaction of GnRH and MCH in the brain. Fish were reared in white or black tanks from one month after hatching for about 7 months. MCH levels in the brain and pituitary were higher in the white tank fish. In contrast, chicken GnRH-II (cGnRH-II) levels in the brain were higher in the black tank fish. No significant differences between background colors were observed in the brain concerning salmon GnRH and seabream GnRH levels. Furthermore, six-month-old fish that had been reared in white tank were transferred to another white or black tank. Brain cGnRH-II levels were higher in black tank fish than those in white tank at 2 and 7 days after the transfer. Double-staining immunohistochemistry showed that some cGnRH-II-immunoreactive (ir) fibers were in close contact with MCH-ir cell bodies in the hypothalamus. These results indicate that background color affects not only MCH levels but also cGnRH-II levels in the brain and suggest that cGnRH-II may play a role in the regulation of MCH neural function, food intake, in the brain of the barfin flounder. PMID:17475262

  7. Object Detection in Natural Backgrounds Predicted by Discrimination Performance and Models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahumada, A. J., Jr.; Watson, A. B.; Rohaly, A. M.; Null, Cynthia H. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    In object detection, an observer looks for an object class member in a set of backgrounds. In discrimination, an observer tries to distinguish two images. Discrimination models predict the probability that an observer detects a difference between two images. We compare object detection and image discrimination with the same stimuli by: (1) making stimulus pairs of the same background with and without the target object and (2) either giving many consecutive trials with the same background (discrimination) or intermixing the stimuli (object detection). Six images of a vehicle in a natural setting were altered to remove the vehicle and mixed with the original image in various proportions. Detection observers rated the images for vehicle presence. Discrimination observers rated the images for any difference from the background image. Estimated detectabilities of the vehicles were found by maximizing the likelihood of a Thurstone category scaling model. The pattern of estimated detectabilities is similar for discrimination and object detection, and is accurately predicted by a Cortex Transform discrimination model. Predictions of a Contrast- Sensitivity- Function filter model and a Root-Mean-Square difference metric based on the digital image values are less accurate. The discrimination detectabilities averaged about twice those of object detection.

  8. Empirical Confirmation of the Critical Level for Zero and Near Zero Background Measurements

    SciTech Connect

    Hickman, D P; Simpson, T

    2001-06-01

    The alpha spectroscopy system of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Hazards Control Department evaluates electroplated samples, typically urine and feces, for alpha emitting radionuclides. Most of the samples processed by the alpha spectroscopy system are evaluated for Plutonium-239 (Pu-239), an important radionuclide used in research. This paper evaluates the Pu-239 background response of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Hazards Control Department's alpha spectroscopy system. Background measurements of the alpha spectroscopy system have been studied to determine an appropriate method for establishing the a postori critical level for detection of plutonium alpha activity. Several methods of establishing the 95% confidence interval for over 4,900 background measurements were evaluated. Two methods appear to provide reasonable results so as to assure an appropriate 95% confidence interval. This report provides the results of this evaluation and the comparison of the various methods tested to establish an empirical evaluation of the critical level using a commercially available analysis program.

  9. Improving Vocabulary and Comprehension Skills of Secondary-Level Students from Diverse Backgrounds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCollin, Michelle; O'Shea, Doris J.; McQuiston, Kathleen

    2009-01-01

    Secondary-level students from culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) backgrounds who struggle with reading need strategies for aligning new information with their previous knowledge as well as for obtaining and retaining essential information from the text. Important components of all secondary literacy support must include instruction in…

  10. Comparison of background levels of culturable fungal spore concentrations in indoor and outdoor air in southeastern Austria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haas, D.; Habib, J.; Luxner, J.; Galler, H.; Zarfel, G.; Schlacher, R.; Friedl, H.; Reinthaler, F. F.

    2014-12-01

    Background concentrations of airborne fungi are indispensable criteria for an assessment of fungal concentrations indoors and in the ambient air. The goal of this study was to define the natural background values of culturable fungal spore concentrations as reference values for the assessment of moldy buildings. The concentrations of culturable fungi were determined outdoors as well as indoors in 185 dwellings without visible mold, obvious moisture problems or musty odor. Samples were collected using the MAS-100® microbiological air sampler. The study shows a characteristic seasonal influence on the background levels of Cladosporium, Penicillium and Aspergillus. Cladosporium sp. had a strong outdoor presence, whereas Aspergillus sp. and Penicillium sp. were typical indoor fungi. For the region of Styria, the median outdoor concentrations are between 100 and 940 cfu/m³ for culturable xerophilic fungi in the course of the year. Indoors, median background levels are between 180 and 420 cfu/m³ for xerophilic fungi. The I/O ratios of the airborne fungal spore concentrations were between 0.2 and 2.0. For the assessment of indoor and outdoor air samples the dominant genera Cladosporium, Penicillium and Aspergillus should receive special consideration.

  11. Study of natural radionuclide concentrations in an area of elevated radiation background in the northern districts of Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Hamid, B N; Chowdhury, M I; Alam, M N; Islam, M N

    2002-01-01

    The activity concentrations of naturally occurring radioactive materials in soil samples from an elevated radiation background area of three northern districts of Bangladesh were determined using gamma ray spectrometry. The outdoor and indoor external effective dose rates and the radiation hazard indices from these soil activities were evaluated. The dose rates were found to be about four times higher than the reported world average value. The concentration of natural radionuclides, derived radium equivalent activities and the representative level indices were also found to be higher. Recommendations on radiological and dosimetric measures have been suggested with an aim of minimising the harmful effects of ionising radiation to the population of the area concerned. PMID:11926374

  12. Car-borne survey of natural background gamma dose rate in Çanakkale region, Turkey.

    PubMed

    Turhan, S; Arıkan, I H; Oğuz, F; Özdemir, T; Yücel, B; Varinlioğlu, A; Köse, A

    2012-01-01

    Natural background gamma radiation was measured along roads in the environs of Çanakkale region by using a car-borne spectrometer system with a plastic gamma radiation detector. In addition, activity concentrations of ²³⁸U, ²²⁶Ra, ²³²Th and ⁴⁰K in soil samples from the Çanakkale region were determined by using a gamma spectrometer with an HPGe detector. A total of 92,856 data of the background gamma dose rate were collected for the Çanakkale region. The background gamma dose rate of the Çanakkale region was mapped using ArcGIS software, applying the geostatistical inverse distance-weighted method. The average and population-weighted average of the gamma dose are 55.4 and 40.6 nGy h⁻¹, respectively. The corresponding average annual effective dose to the public ranged from 26.6 to 96.8 µSv. PMID:21362693

  13. The proportion of childhood leukaemia incidence in Great Britain that may be caused by natural background ionizing radiation.

    PubMed

    Wakeford, R; Kendall, G M; Little, M P

    2009-04-01

    The aetiology of childhood leukaemia remains generally unknown, although exposure to moderate and high levels of ionizing radiation, such as those experienced during the atomic bombings of Japan or from radiotherapy, is an established cause. Risk models based primarily on studies of the Japanese atomic bomb survivors imply that low-level exposure to ionizing radiation, including ubiquitous natural background radiation, also raises the risk of childhood leukaemia. Using two sets of recently published leukaemia risk models and estimates of natural background radiation red-bone-marrow doses received by children, about 20% of the cases of childhood leukaemia in Great Britain are predicted to be attributable to this source. However, for one of these sets of risk models this attributable fraction is materially dependent on how the radiation-induced risk is assumed to be transferred between the Japanese atomic bomb survivors and Western children. Over a range of annual doses representing the range (0.5-2.5 mSv/year) experienced by most populations, the attributable proportion for the preferred risk-transfer model varies between 8 and 30%, with small deviations from a linear relationship that are largely due to the saturation of the model, although again this range of attributable fractions depends on the assumed transfer of risk between populations. PMID:19151785

  14. Measurement and reduction of low-level radon background in the KATRIN experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Fränkle, F. M.

    2013-08-08

    The KArlsruhe TRItium Neutrino (KATRIN) experiment is a next generation, model independent, large scale experiment to determine the mass of the electron anti-neutrino by investigating the kinematics of tritium beta decay with a sensitivity of 200 meV/c{sup 2}. The measurement setup consists of a high luminosity windowless gaseous molecular tritium source (WGTS), a differential and cryogenic pumped electron transport and tritium retention section, a tandem spectrometer section (pre-spectrometer and main spectrometer) for energy analysis, followed by a detector system for counting transmitted beta decay electrons. Measurements performed at the KATRIN pre-spectrometer test setup showed that the decay of radon (Rn) atoms in the volume of the KATRIN spectrometers is a major background source. Rn atoms from low-level radon emanation of materials inside the vacuum region of the KATRIN spectrometers are able to penetrate deep into the magnetic flux tube so that the alpha decay of Rn contributes to the background. Of particular importance are electrons emitted in processes accompanying the Rn alpha decay, such as shake-off, internal conversion of excited levels in the Rn daughter atoms and Auger electrons. Lowenergy electrons (< 100 eV) directly contribute to the background in the signal region. High-energy electrons can be stored magnetically inside the volume of the spectrometer and are able to create thousands of secondary electrons via subsequent ionization processes with residual gas molecules. In order to reduce the Rn induced background different active and passive counter measures were developed and tested. This proceeding will give an overview on Rn sources within the KATRIN spectrometer, describes how Rn decays inside the spectrometer produce background events at the detector and presents different counter measures to reduce the Rn induced background.

  15. Quantitative phase microscopy: automated background leveling techniques and smart temporal phase unwrapping.

    PubMed

    Goldstein, Goldie; Creath, Katherine

    2015-06-01

    In order for time-dynamic quantitative phase microscopy to yield meaningful data to scientists, raw phase measurements must be converted to sequential time series that are consistently phase unwrapped with minimal residual background shape. Beyond the initial phase unwrapping, additional steps must be taken to convert the phase to time-meaningful data sequences. This consists of two major operations both outlined in this paper and shown to operate robustly on biological datasets. An automated background leveling procedure is introduced that consistently removes background shape and minimizes mean background phase value fluctuations. By creating a background phase value that is stable over time, the phase values of features of interest can be examined as a function of time to draw biologically meaningful conclusions. Residual differences between sequential frames of data can be present due to inconsistent phase unwrapping, causing localized regions to have phase values at similar object locations inconsistently changed by large values between frames, not corresponding to physical changes in the sample being observed. This is overcome by introducing a new method, referred to as smart temporal unwrapping that temporally unwraps and filters the phase data such that small motion between frames is accounted for and phase data are unwrapped consistently between frames. The combination of these methods results in the creation of phase data that is stable over time by minimizing errors introduced within the processing of the raw data. PMID:26192681

  16. Sources and levels of background noise in the NASA Ames 40- by 80-foot wind tunnel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Soderman, Paul T.

    1988-01-01

    Background noise levels are measured in the NASA Ames Research Center 40- by 80-Foot Wind Tunnel following installation of a sound-absorbent lining on the test-section walls. Results show that the fan-drive noise dominated the empty test-section background noise at airspeeds below 120 knots. Above 120 knots, the test-section broadband background noise was dominated by wind-induced dipole noise (except at lower harmonics of fan blade-passage tones) most likely generated at the microphone or microphone support strut. Third-octave band and narrow-band spectra are presented for several fan operating conditions and test-section airspeeds. The background noise levels can be reduced by making improvements to the microphone wind screen or support strut. Empirical equations are presented relating variations of fan noise with fan speed or blade-pitch angle. An empirical expression for typical fan noise spectra is also presented. Fan motor electric power consumption is related to the noise generation. Preliminary measurements of sound absorption by the test-section lining indicate that the 152 mm thick lining will adequately absorb test-section model noise at frequencies above 300 Hz.

  17. The Natural Background Gamma Radiation Exposure in the Metropolitan Area of the Valley of Mexico.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Mary Feild

    Measurements of the natural background radiation have been made at numerous places throughout the world. Very little work in this field has been done in developing countries. In Mexico the natural radiation to which the population is exposed has not been assessed. This dissertation represents a pioneer study in this environmental area. The radiation exposure which occupants within buildings receive as a result of naturally occurring radionuclides present in construction materials is the principal focus. Data were collected between August 1979 and November 1980. Continuous monitoring was done with TLDs placed on site for periods of 3 to 6 months. The instrumentation used for "real-time" measurements was a portable NaI (Tl) scintillation detector. In addition, radiometric measurements were performed on construction materials commonly used in Mexican homes. Based on TLD readings taken within 75 dwellings, the typical indoor exposure for a resident of the study area is 9.2 (mu)Rh('-1). The average reading of the 152 indoor scintillometer surveys was 9.5 (mu)Rh('-1), the outdoor reading 7.5 (mu)Rh('-1). Results of one-way and multi-way analyses of the exposure data to determine the effect due to building materials type, geologic subsoil, age of dwelling, and elevation are also presented. The results of 152 indoor scintillometer surveys are described.

  18. Trichloromethyl compounds--natural background concentrations and fates within and below coniferous forests.

    PubMed

    Albers, Christian Nyrop; Hansen, Poul Erik; Jacobsen, Ole Stig

    2010-11-15

    Pollution with organochlorines has received major attention due to various environmental effects, but it is now increasingly recognized, that they also take part in biogeochemical cycles and that natural background concentrations exist for several chlorinated compounds. We here report the natural occurrence and cycling of organic compounds with a trichloromethyl moiety in common. The study areas are temperate coniferous forests. Trichloromethyl compounds can be found in all compartments of the forests (groundwater, soil, vegetation and throughfall), but not all compounds in all compartments. The atmospheric input of trichloromethyl compounds is found to be minor, with significant contributions for trichloroacetic acid (TCAA), only. In top soil, where the formation of the compounds is expected to occur, there is a clear positive relationship between chloroform and trichloroacetyl containing compounds. Other positive relations occur, which in combination with chlorination experiments performed in the laboratory, point to the fact that all the trichloromethyl compounds may be formed concurrently in the soil, and their subsequent fates then differ due to different physical, chemical and biological properties. TCAA cannot be detected in soil and groundwater, but sorption and mineralization experiments performed in the laboratory in combination with analyses of vegetation, show that TCAA is probably formed in the top soil and then partly taken up by the vegetation and partly mineralized in the soil. Based on this and previous studies, a conceptual model for the natural cycling of trichloromethyl compounds in forests is proposed. PMID:20889185

  19. Source Apportionment of Background PAHs in the Peace-Athabasca Delta (Alberta, Canada) Using Molecular Level Radiocarbon Analysis.

    PubMed

    Jautzy, Josué J; Ahad, Jason M E; Hall, Roland I; Wiklund, Johan A; Wolfe, Brent B; Gobeil, Charles; Savard, Martine M

    2015-08-01

    The downstream accumulation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the Peace-Athabasca Delta (PAD), an ecologically important landscape, is a key issue of concern given the rapid development of the oil sands industry in Northern Alberta, Canada. In addition to PAHs derived from industrial activity (i.e., oil sands mining) within the Athabasca watershed, however, forest fires and erosion of fossil fuel deposits within both the Athabasca and Peace watersheds are two potentially important natural sources of PAHs delivered to the PAD. Consequently, evaluating the environmental impact of mining activities requires a quantitative understanding of natural, background PAHs. Here, we utilize molecular-level natural-abundance radiocarbon measurements on an amalgamated sediment record from a Peace River flood-susceptible oxbow lake in the northern Peace sector of the PAD to quantitatively discriminate sources of naturally occurring alkylated PAHs (fossil and modern biomass). A radiocarbon mass balance quantified a predominantly natural petrogenic source (93% petrogenic, 7% forest fire) for alkylated PAHs during the past ∼50 years. Additionally, a significant petrogenic component determined for retene, a compound usually considered a biomarker for softwood combustion, suggests that its use as a unique forest fire indicator may not be suitable in PAD sediments receiving Peace watershed-derived fluvial inputs. PMID:26115178

  20. The isotropic nature of the background turbulence spectra in the solar wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, X.; Tu, C. Y.; He, J.; Marsch, E.; Wang, L.

    2014-12-01

    At the high-frequency end of the inertial range, the solar wind turbulence power spectrum was recently found to be anisotropic with respect to the direction of local magnetic field, as an evidence for the presence of a "critical balance" style turbulence cascade. However, we find that the spectral anisotropy seems to result from intermittent structures. The following two independent studies corroborate this statement by showing that the power spectra of the background turbulence, in which there are no intermittent structures, have an isotropic nature. In Study 1, we remove the wavelet coefficients of the local intermittency with large partial variance increment (PVI), and find the spectral indices of the magnetic field are 1.63±0.02, independent of the angle θRB between the direction of the local background magnetic field and the radial direction. In Study 2, we make a statistical study on the magnetic field spectral indices obtained by using Fast Fourier Transform on 40 time series, in which no intermittent structures appear. We find that for the time series with 0o<θRB <6o, the probability distribution of the observed spectral indices peaks at -1.7, while the -2 index predicted by the "critical balance" theory rarely appears. For the time series with 84 o <θRB <90 o, the probability distribution of the indices peaks at -1.5. Considering the uncertainty of the statistics, these results show that the background-turbulence spectra are nearly isotropic with respect to θRB, which may be consistent with some explanations based on hydrodynamic turbulence theory.

  1. Development of an Ultra-Low Background Liquid Scintillation Counter for Trace Level Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Erchinger, Jennifer L.; Orrell, John L.; Aalseth, Craig E.; Bernacki, Bruce E.; Douglas, Matthew; Finn, Erin C.; Fuller, Erin S.; Keillor, Martin E.; Morley, Shannon M.; Mullen, Crystal A.; Panisko, Mark E.; Shaff, Sarah M.; Warren, Glen A.; Wright, Michael E.

    2015-09-01

    Low-level liquid scintillation counting (LSC) has been established as one of the radiation detection techniques useful in elucidating environmental processes and environmental monitoring around nuclear facilities. The Ultra-Low Background Liquid Scintillation Counter (ULB-LSC) under construction in the Shallow Underground Laboratory at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory aims to further reduce the MDAs and/or required sample processing. Through layers of passive shielding in conjunction with an active veto and 30 meters water equivalent overburden, the background reduction is expected to be 10 to 100 times below typical analytic low-background liquid scintillation systems. Simulations have shown an expected background of around 14 counts per day. A novel approach to the light collection will use a coated hollow light guide cut into the inner copper shielding. Demonstration LSC measurements will show low-energy detection, spectral deconvolution, and alpha/beta discrimination capabilities, from trials with standards of tritium, strontium-90, and actinium-227, respectively. An overview of the system design and expected demonstration measurements will emphasize the potential applications of the ULB-LSC in environmental monitoring for treaty verification, reach-back sample analysis, and facility inspections.

  2. Development of a Detector to Measure the Angular Dependence of the Cosmic Ray Induced Neutron Background Flux at Ground Level

    SciTech Connect

    Morgan, J F; Gosnell, T B; Luke, S J; Archer, D E; Lochner, R T; Frank, I M; Prussin, S G; Quiter, B J; Chivers, D H

    2002-01-28

    The detection of low intensity sources of radiation in containers is of particular interest for arms control, non-proliferation and nuclear smuggling activities. Attempts to procure and smuggle nuclear materials that could be used in terrorist activities have been well documented in recent years. These incidents have included fissile materials such, as plutonium and uranium, as well as medical and industrial isotopes that could be used in a Radiation Dispersal Device. The vast majority of these incidents have been discovered through human intelligence work due to the difficulty of using radiation monitoring. The detection of radiation sources in well-shielded containers presents a difficult technological challenge. Few neutrons and gamma rays may escape from the container and these may be obscured by the naturally occurring background. The world in general is a radioactive environment. Many elements in the earth's crust, as well as in common plants and building materials, emit a constant stream of radiation. In fact the ultimate limit on the detection of hidden sources is often the background level at the location of interest. It has long been understood that knowledge of the directionality of this background can be used to improve the signal/noise ratio in detectors used for these measurements. Imaging detectors are one method of reducing the effect of the background, but this reduction comes at the expensive of a huge increase in detector complexity. Hence these systems, while important in some specific applications, are probably not suited for the deployment of many detectors over a large area. There may be another way of reducing the effect of backgrounds on monitoring measurements. This method consists of using knowledge of the directional dependence of the background flux to help reduce its effect on the detectors in question. An accurate knowledge of this angular distribution allows one to develop better shielding designs for the detectors.

  3. Levels and potential sources of atmospheric organochlorine pesticides at Korea background sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Guang-Zhu; Kim, Sang-Min; Lee, Su-Yeong; Park, Jin-Soo; Kim, Dong-Hoon; Lee, Min-Jin; Sim, Ki-Tae; Kang, Hak-Gu; Kim, Il-Gyu; Shin, Sun-Kyoung; Seok, Kwang-Seol; Hwang, Seung-Ryul

    2013-04-01

    Data are presented for 11 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) measured by high volume air samplers at three background sites (monthly for one site, seasonally for two sites) in South Korea during June 2008 and December 2009, and levels, seasonal variations and potential sources of high levels of OCPs and impact of long-range transport (LRT) were discussed. Geometric mean (GM) concentrations of OCPs in air samples (pg m-3) were highest for HCB (80, 15.0-256), HCH (71, 10.8-547), a currently used pesticide, DDT (3.50, ND-56.5), and Chlordane (1.15, ND-10.5). Other chemicals regularly detected included, Heptachlor (0.41, ND-2.59), Drins (0.61, ND-4.36) and Mirex (0.04, ND-0.78). Seasonal variation of OCPs was featured by higher concentrations in summer and lower in winter period. This could be associated with their temperature-driven re-volatilization from historical source and recent application of some OCPs (such as dicofol, HCH etc). Ratios of specific OCPs isomers suggest that dominant source of air HCHs in Korea background sites is technical HCH with a little input of lindane in recent time, and dominant source of air DDT is old and used technical DDT with a little bit of dicofol type DDT, and current air chlordane in Korean background sites mainly come from the source of historically used chlordane. The results from this study will provide comparable and scientifically sound data of OCP in background air and will contribute to further long-term POPs monitoring program in East Asia.

  4. Background Acoustics Levels in the 9x15 Wind Tunnel and Linear Array Testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stephens, David

    2011-01-01

    The background noise level in the 9x15 foot wind tunnel at NASA Glenn has been documented, and the results compare favorably with historical measurements. A study of recessed microphone mounting techniques was also conducted, and a recessed cavity with a micronic wire mesh screen reduces hydrodynamic noise by around 10 dB. A three-microphone signal processing technique can provide additional benefit, rejecting up to 15 dB of noise contamination at some frequencies. The screen and cavity system offers considerable benefit to test efficiency, although there are additional calibration requirements.

  5. On the possibility of tree-level leptogenesis from Kalb-Ramond torsion background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Cesare, M.; Mavromatos, Nick E.; Sarkar, Sarben

    2015-10-01

    In this work we consider a phenomenological model for leptogenesis in the context of a Standard Model Extension with an axial-like background coupling to fermions that violates both Lorentz and CPT symmetries. The latter is motivated by a background geometry of the early Universe involving a particular kind of torsion, arising from the Kalb-Ramond antisymmetric tensor field which appears in the gravitational multiplet of string theory, although we do not restrict ourselves to this framework. It is shown that leptogenesis can occur even at tree level and with only one generation of right-handed heavy Majorana neutrinos, due to { CP } and CPT violation introduced by the background geometry. Important issues for the model, including (a) its compatibility with a conventional-like cosmology and (b) current-era phenomenology (characterised by very stringent bounds on the allowed amount of torsion) are pointed out, and potential ways of resolving them, within the framework of string-theory models, are discussed.

  6. Current Background Noise Sources and Levels in the NASA Ames 40- by 80-Foot Wind Tunnel: A Status Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, Christopher S.; Jaeger, Stephen; Soderman, Paul; Koga, Dennis (Technical Monitor)

    1999-01-01

    Background noise measurements were made of the acoustic environment in the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex 40- by 80-Foot Wind Tunnel (40x80) at NASA Ames Research Center. The measurements were acquired subsequent to the 40x80 Aeroacoustic Modernization Project, which was undertaken to improve the anechoic characteristics of the 40x80's closed test section as well as reduce the levels of background noise in the facility. The resulting 40x80 anechoic environment was described by Soderman et. al., and the current paper describes the resulting 40x80 background noise, discusses the sources of the noise, and draws comparisons to previous 40x80 background noise levels measurements. At low wind speeds or low frequencies, the 40x80 background noise is dominated by the fan drive system. To obtain the lowest fan drive noise for a given tunnel condition, it is possible in the 40x80 to reduce the fans' rotational speed and adjust the fans' blade pitch, as described by Schmidtz et. al. This idea is not new, but has now been operationally implemented with modifications for increased power at low rotational speeds. At low to mid-frequencies and at higher wind speeds, the dominant noise mechanism was thought to be caused by the surface interface of the previous test section floor acoustic lining. In order to reduce this noise mechanism, the new test section floor lining was designed to resist the pumping of flow in and out of the space between the grating slats required to support heavy equipment. In addition, the lining/flow interface over the entire test section was designed to be smoother and quieter than the previous design. At high wind speeds or high frequencies, the dominant source of background noise in the 40x80 is believed to be caused by the response of the in-flow microphone probes (required by the nature of the closed test section) to the fluctuations in the freestream flow. The resulting background noise levels are also different for probes of various

  7. Levels of thoron and progeny in high background radiation area of southeastern coast of Odisha, India.

    PubMed

    Ramola, R C; Gusain, G S; Rautela, B S; Sagar, D V; Prasad, G; Shahoo, S K; Ishikawa, T; Omori, Y; Janik, M; Sorimachi, A; Tokonami, S

    2012-11-01

    Exposure to radon, (222)Rn, is assumed to be the most significant source of natural radiation to human beings in most cases. It is thought that radon and its progeny are major factors that cause cancer. The presence of thoron, (220)Rn, was often neglected because it was considered that the quantity of thoron in the environment is less than that of radon. However, recent studies have shown that a high thoron concentration was found in some regions and the exposure to (220)Rn and its progeny can equal or several time exceed that of (220)Rn and its progeny. The results of thoron and its progeny measurements in the houses of high background radiation area (HBRA) of the southeastern coast of Odisha, India presented here. This area is one of the high background radiation areas in India with a large deposit of monazite sand which is the probable source of thoron. Both active and passive methods were employed for the measurement of thoron and its progeny in cement, brick and mud houses in the study area. Thoron concentration was measured using RAD-7 and Raduet. A CR-39 track detector was employed for the measurement of environmental thoron progeny, both in active and passive modes. Thoron and its progeny concentrations were found to be comparatively high in the area. A comparison between the results obtained with various techniques is presented in this paper. PMID:22908359

  8. PM10 concentration levels at an urban and background site in Cyprus: the impact of urban sources and dust storms.

    PubMed

    Achilleos, Souzana; Evans, John S; Yiallouros, Panayiotis K; Kleanthous, Savvas; Schwartz, Joel; Koutrakis, Petros

    2014-12-01

    Air quality in Cyprus is influenced by both local and transported pollution, including desert dust storms. We examined PM10 concentration data collected in Nicosia (urban representative) from April 1, 1993, through December 11, 2008, and in Ayia Marina (rural background representative) from January 1, 1999, through December 31, 2008. Measurements were conducted using a Tapered Element Oscillating Micro-balance (TEOM). PM10 concentrations, meteorological records, and satellite data were used to identify dust storm days. We investigated long-term trends using a Generalized Additive Model (GAM) after controlling for day of week, month, temperature, wind speed, and relative humidity. In Nicosia, annual PM10 concentrations ranged from 50.4 to 63.8 μg/m3 and exceeded the EU annual standard limit enacted in 2005 of 40 μg/m3 every year A large, statistically significant impact of urban sources (defined as the difference between urban and background levels) was seen in Nicosia over the period 2000-2008, and was highest during traffic hours, weekdays, cold months, and low wind conditions. Our estimate of the mean (standard error) contribution of urban sources to the daily ambient PM10 was 24.0 (0.4) μg/m3. The study of yearly trends showed that PM10 levels in Nicosia decreased from 59.4 μg/m3 in 1993 to 49.0 μg/m3 in 2008, probably in part as a result of traffic emission control policies in Cyprus. In Ayia Marina, annual concentrations ranged from 27.3 to 35.6 μg/m3, and no obvious time trends were observed. The levels measured at the Cyprus background site are comparable to background concentrations reported in other Eastern Mediterranean countries. Average daily PM10 concentrations during desert dust storms were around 100 μg/m3 since 2000 and much higher in earlier years. Despite the large impact ofdust storms and their increasing frequency over time, dust storms were responsible for a small fraction of the exceedances of the daily PM10 limit. Implications: This

  9. Enhancement of natural background gamma-radiation dose around uranium microparticles in the human body

    PubMed Central

    Pattison, John E.; Hugtenburg, Richard P.; Green, Stuart

    2010-01-01

    Ongoing controversy surrounds the adverse health effects of the use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions. The biological effects of gamma-radiation arise from the direct or indirect interaction between secondary electrons and the DNA of living cells. The probability of the absorption of X-rays and gamma-rays with energies below about 200 keV by particles of high atomic number is proportional to the third to fourth power of the atomic number. In such a case, the more heavily ionizing low-energy recoil electrons are preferentially produced; these cause dose enhancement in the immediate vicinity of the particles. It has been claimed that upon exposure to naturally occurring background gamma-radiation, particles of DU in the human body would produce dose enhancement by a factor of 500–1000, thereby contributing a significant radiation dose in addition to the dose received from the inherent radioactivity of the DU. In this study, we used the Monte Carlo code EGSnrc to accurately estimate the likely maximum dose enhancement arising from the presence of micrometre-sized uranium particles in the body. We found that although the dose enhancement is significant, of the order of 1–10, it is considerably smaller than that suggested previously. PMID:19776147

  10. Temporal Variability of the Bioaerosol Background at a Subway Station: Concentration Level, Size Distribution, and Diversity of Airborne Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Dybwad, Marius; Skogan, Gunnar

    2014-01-01

    Naturally occurring bioaerosol environments may present a challenge to biological detection-identification-monitoring (BIODIM) systems aiming at rapid and reliable warning of bioterrorism incidents. One way to improve the operational performance of BIODIM systems is to increase our understanding of relevant bioaerosol backgrounds. Subway stations are enclosed public environments which may be regarded as potential bioterrorism targets. This study provides novel information concerning the temporal variability of the concentration level, size distribution, and diversity of airborne bacteria in a Norwegian subway station. Three different air samplers were used during a 72-h sampling campaign in February 2011. The results suggested that the airborne bacterial environment was stable between days and seasons, while the intraday variability was found to be substantial, although often following a consistent diurnal pattern. The bacterial levels ranged from not detected to 103 CFU m−3 and generally showed increased levels during the daytime compared to the nighttime levels, as well as during rush hours compared to non-rush hours. The airborne bacterial levels showed rapid temporal variation (up to 270-fold) on some occasions, both consistent and inconsistent with the diurnal profile. Airborne bacterium-containing particles were distributed between different sizes for particles of >1.1 μm, although ∼50% were between 1.1 and 3.3 μm. Anthropogenic activities (mainly passengers) were demonstrated as major sources of airborne bacteria and predominantly contributed 1.1- to 3.3-μm bacterium-containing particles. Our findings contribute to the development of realistic testing and evaluation schemes for BIODIM equipment by providing information that may be used to simulate operational bioaerosol backgrounds during controlled aerosol chamber-based challenge tests with biological threat agents. PMID:24162566

  11. A comparison of background noise levels and reverberation times measured in unoccupied elementary classrooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Godfrey, Richard D.

    2003-04-01

    The key performance criteria listed in ANSI S12.60-2002, Acoustical Performance Criteria, Design Requirements and Guidelines for Schools, are that the maximum background noise is limited 35 dBA, and that the maximum reverberation time is limited to 0.6 seconds in the most common classroom size. Limits on sound transmission properties of the room envelope are also made. If these performance criteria are met, each student, no matter where he or she sits in the classroom, will be in an environment that affords adequate speech intelligibility, i.e., an adequate opportunity to understand the teacher's words correctly. During the standard development process, the author had the opportunity to work with his colleges at The Ohio State University. The OSU group made measures in 34 classrooms in the Columbus area (inter-city, suburbs, and rural; public and private). The author analyzed these data, and compared the results with ANSI S12.60-2002 performance criteria. It was found that the background noise levels were around 50 dBA. This is 15 dBA above the standard requirement. A majority of the reverberation times were in line with the 0.6-second criteria, but a significant number had reverberation times around 1 second.

  12. State background-radiation levels: results of measurements taken during 1975-1979

    SciTech Connect

    Myrick, T.E.; Berven, B.A.; Haywood, F.F.

    1981-11-01

    Background radiation levels across the United States have been measured by the Off-Site Pollutant Measurements Group of the Health and Safety Research Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). These measurements have been conducted as part of the ORNL program of radiological surveillance at inactive uranium mills and sites formerly utilized during Manhattan Engineer District and early Atomic Energy Commission projects. The measurements included determination of /sup 226/Ra, /sup 232/Th, and /sup 238/U concentrations in surface soil samples and measurement of external gamma-ray exposure rates at 1 m above the ground surface at the location of soil sampling. This information is being utilized for comparative purposes to determine the extent of contamination present at the survey sites and surrounding off-site areas. The sampling program to date has provided background information at 356 locations in 33 states. External gamma-ray exposure rates were found to range from less than 1 to 34 ..mu..R/h, with an US average of 8.5 ..mu..R/h. The nationwide average concentrations of /sup 226/Ra, /sup 232/Th, and /sup 238/U in surface soil were determined to be 1.1, 0.98, and 1.0 pCi/g, respectively.

  13. Estimation of background noise level on seismic station using statistical analysis for improved analysis accuracy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, S. M.; Hahm, I.

    2015-12-01

    We evaluated the background noise level of seismic stations in order to collect the observation data of high quality and produce accurate seismic information. Determining of the background noise level was used PSD (Power Spectral Density) method by McNamara and Buland (2004) in this study. This method that used long-term data is influenced by not only innate electronic noise of sensor and a pulse wave resulting from stabilizing but also missing data and controlled by the specified frequency which is affected by the irregular signals without site characteristics. It is hard and inefficient to implement process that filters out the abnormal signal within the automated system. To solve these problems, we devised a method for extracting the data which normally distributed with 90 to 99% confidence intervals at each period. The availability of the method was verified using 62-seismic stations with broadband and short-period sensors operated by the KMA (Korea Meteorological Administration). Evaluation standards were NHNM (New High Noise Model) and NLNM (New Low Noise Model) published by the USGS (United States Geological Survey). It was designed based on the western United States. However, Korean Peninsula surrounded by the ocean on three sides has a complicated geological structure and a high population density. So, we re-designed an appropriate model in Korean peninsula by statistically combined result. The important feature is that secondary-microseism peak appeared at a higher frequency band. Acknowledgements: This research was carried out as a part of "Research for the Meteorological and Earthquake Observation Technology and Its Application" supported by the 2015 National Institute of Meteorological Research (NIMR) in the Korea Meteorological Administration.

  14. Measured Radiation and Background Levels During Transmission of Megawatt Electron Beams Through Millimeter Apertures

    SciTech Connect

    Alarcon, Ricardo; Balascuta, S.; Benson, Stephen V.; Bertozzi, William; Boyce, James R.; Cowan, Ray; Douglas, David R.; Evtushenko, Pavel; Fisher, P.; Ihloff, Ernest E.; Kalantarians, Narbe; Kelleher, Aidan Michael; Krossler, W. J.; Legg, Robert A.; Long, Elena; Milner, Richard; Neil, George R.; Ou, Longwu; Schmookler, Barack Abraham; Tennant, Christopher D.; Tschalar, C.; Williams, Gwyn P.; Zhang, Shukui

    2013-11-01

    We report measurements of photon and neutron radiation levels observed while transmitting a 0.43 MW electron beam through millimeter-sized apertures and during beam-off, but accelerating gradient RF-on, operation. These measurements were conducted at the Free-Electron Laser (FEL) facility of the Jefferson National Accelerator Laboratory (JLab) using a 100 MeV electron beam from an energy-recovery linear accelerator. The beam was directed successively through 6 mm, 4 mm, and 2 mm diameter apertures of length 127 mm in aluminum at a maximum current of 4.3 mA (430 kW beam power). This study was conducted to characterize radiation levels for experiments that need to operate in this environment, such as the proposed DarkLight Experiment. We find that sustained transmission of a 430 kW continuous-wave (CW) beam through a 2 mm aperture is feasible with manageable beam-related backgrounds. We also find that during beam-off, RF-on operation, multipactoring inside the niobium cavities of the accelerator cryomodules is the primary source of ambient radiation when the machine is tuned for 130 MeV operation.

  15. Level crossing analysis of cosmic microwave background radiation: a method for detecting cosmic strings

    SciTech Connect

    Movahed, M. Sadegh; Khosravi, Shahram E-mail: khosravi@ipm.ir

    2011-03-01

    In this paper we study the footprint of cosmic string as the topological defects in the very early universe on the cosmic microwave background radiation. We develop the method of level crossing analysis in the context of the well-known Kaiser-Stebbins phenomenon for exploring the signature of cosmic strings. We simulate a Gaussian map by using the best fit parameter given by WMAP-7 and then superimpose cosmic strings effects on it as an incoherent and active fluctuations. In order to investigate the capability of our method to detect the cosmic strings for the various values of tension, Gμ, a simulated pure Gaussian map is compared with that of including cosmic strings. Based on the level crossing analysis, the superimposed cosmic string with Gμ∼>4 × 10{sup −9} in the simulated map without instrumental noise and the resolution R = 1' could be detected. In the presence of anticipated instrumental noise the lower bound increases just up to Gμ∼>5.8 × 10{sup −9}.

  16. Gravitoinertial force background level affects adaptation to coriolis force perturbations of reaching movements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lackner, J. R.; Dizio, P.

    1998-01-01

    We evaluated the combined effects on reaching movements of the transient, movement-dependent Coriolis forces and the static centrifugal forces generated in a rotating environment. Specifically, we assessed the effects of comparable Coriolis force perturbations in different static force backgrounds. Two groups of subjects made reaching movements toward a just-extinguished visual target before rotation began, during 10 rpm counterclockwise rotation, and after rotation ceased. One group was seated on the axis of rotation, the other 2.23 m away. The resultant of gravity and centrifugal force on the hand was 1.0 g for the on-center group during 10 rpm rotation, and 1.031 g for the off-center group because of the 0.25 g centrifugal force present. For both groups, rightward Coriolis forces, approximately 0.2 g peak, were generated during voluntary arm movements. The endpoints and paths of the initial per-rotation movements were deviated rightward for both groups by comparable amounts. Within 10 subsequent reaches, the on-center group regained baseline accuracy and straight-line paths; however, even after 40 movements the off-center group had not resumed baseline endpoint accuracy. Mirror-image aftereffects occurred when rotation stopped. These findings demonstrate that manual control is disrupted by transient Coriolis force perturbations and that adaptation can occur even in the absence of visual feedback. An increase, even a small one, in background force level above normal gravity does not affect the size of the reaching errors induced by Coriolis forces nor does it affect the rate of reacquiring straight reaching paths; however, it does hinder restoration of reaching accuracy.

  17. Long-term sea level trends: Natural or anthropogenic?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, M.; Karpytchev, M.; Lennartz-Sassinek, S.

    2014-08-01

    Detection and attribution of human influence on sea level rise are important topics that have not yet been explored in depth. We question whether the sea level changes (SLC) over the past century were natural in origin. SLC exhibit power law long-term correlations. By estimating Hurst exponent through Detrended Fluctuation Analysis and by applying statistics of Lennartz and Bunde, we search the lower bounds of statistically significant external sea level trends in longest tidal records worldwide. We provide statistical evidences that the observed SLC, at global and regional scales, is beyond its natural internal variability. The minimum anthropogenic sea level trend (MASLT) contributes to the observed sea level rise more than 50% in New York, Baltimore, San Diego, Marseille, and Mumbai. A MASLT is about 1 mm/yr in global sea level reconstructions that is more than half of the total observed sea level trend during the XXth century.

  18. Protection Levels of Natural Vegetation Communities in the Conterminous USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henifin, K.; Comendant, T.

    2013-12-01

    Protected Areas are intended to provide in situ conservation and protection of natural communities, ecosystems and cultural resources. The Protected Areas Database of the United States, PAD-US (CBI Edition) and the National Conservation Easement Database portray protected lands across the country with standardized spatial geometry and attribution that are core to tracking land management and conservation actions in the US. Natural vegetation is critical to species habitat and ecosystem health, however, it is not well understood how well natural vegetation is protected by fee designation and easements. To better characterize the level of protection for various natural vegetation communities and the ecosystems within protected areas (fee and easement) relative to lands without protection, we intersected the PAD-US (CBI Edition), NCED and LANDFIRE EVT. We identified current levels of protection for natural vegetation communities across the conterminous US, summarized by TNC ecoregions to characterize regional differences and areas where greater protection is needed in the future.

  19. Background noise levels and correlation with ship traffic in the Gulf of Catania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viola, Salvatore; Buscaino, Giuseppa; Caruso, Francesco; Chierici, Francesco; Embriaco, Davide; Favali, Paolo; Giovanetti, Gabriele; Grammauta, Roasario; Larosa, Giuseppina; Pavan, Gianni; Pellegrino, Carmelo; Pulvirenti, Sara; Riccobene, Giorgio; Sciacca, Virginia; Simeone, Francesco; Beranzoli, Laura; Marinaro, Giuditta

    2015-04-01

    In the last decades the growing interest in the evaluation of the underwater acoustic noise for studies in the fields of geology, biology and high-energy physics is driving the scientific community to collaborate towards a multidisciplinary approach to the topic. In June 2012 in the framework of the European project EMSO, a multidisciplinary underwater observatory, named NEMO-SN1, was installed 25 km off-shore the port of Catania, at a depth of 2100 m and operated until May 2013 by INFN (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare) and INGV (Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia). NEMO-SN1 hosted aboard geophysical, oceanographic and acoustic sensors: among these a seismic hydrophone model SMID DT-405D(V). In this work, conducted within the activity of the SMO project, the results on the evaluation of the underwater acoustic pollution in the Gulf of Catania through SMID DT-405D(V) recordings are presented. The seismic hydrophone provided a data set of about 11 months of continuous (24/7) recordings. Underwater sounds have been continuously digitized at a sampling frequency of 2 kHz and the acquired data have been stored in 10min long files for off-line analysis. To describe one-year background noise levels, the mean integrated acoustic noise was measured every second (sampling frequency 2000, NFFT 2048) in the 1/3 octave bands with centre frequency 63 Hz and for each 10 minutes-long file the 5th, the 50th and the 98th percentiles were calculated. Measured noise was correlated with the shipping traffic in the area, thanks to the data provided by an AIS receiver installed at the INFN-Laboratori Nazionali del Sud. An acoustic noise increment was measured in coincidence with the passing of crafts in the area and it was possible to identify the characteristic spectrum of each ship. A simple model for the estimation of the acoustic noise induced by the ships passing through the area was developed. The model was applied by using AIS data acquired during the operation

  20. Flat tree-level inflationary potentials in the light of cosmic microwave background and large scale structure data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ballesteros, G.; Casas, J. A.; Espinosa, J. R.; Ruiz de Austri, R.; Trotta, R.

    2008-03-01

    We use cosmic microwave background (CMB) and large scale structure (LSS) data to test a broad and physically well-motivated class of inflationary models: those with flat tree-level potentials (typical in supersymmetry). The non-trivial features of the potential arise from radiative corrections which give a simple logarithmic dependence on the inflaton field, making the models very predictive. We also consider a modified scenario with new physics beyond a certain high energy cut-off showing up as non-renormalizable operators (NRO) in the inflaton field. We find that both kinds of models fit CMB and LSS data remarkably well, with very few free parameters. Besides, many of these models naturally predict a reasonable number of e-folds. A robust feature of these scenarios is the smallness of tensor perturbations (r \\lesssim 10^{-3} ). The NRO case can give a sizable running of the spectral index while achieving a sufficient number of e-folds. We use Bayesian model comparison tools to assess the relative performance of the models. We believe that these scenarios can be considered as a standard physical class of inflationary models, on a similar footing to monomial potentials.

  1. How should we be determining background and baseline antibiotic resistance levels in agroecosystem research?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although historically antibiotic resistance has occurred naturally in environmental bacteria, many questions remain regarding the specifics of how humans and animals contribute to the development and spread of antibiotic resistance in agroecosystems. Additional research is necessary to completely u...

  2. Does human activity impact the natural antibiotic resistance background? Abundance of antibiotic resistance genes in 21 Swiss lakes.

    PubMed

    Czekalski, Nadine; Sigdel, Radhika; Birtel, Julia; Matthews, Blake; Bürgmann, Helmut

    2015-08-01

    Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) are emerging environmental contaminants, known to be continuously discharged into the aquatic environment via human and animal waste. Freshwater aquatic environments represent potential reservoirs for ARG and potentially allow sewage-derived ARG to persist and spread in the environment. This may create increased opportunities for an eventual contact with, and gene transfer to, human and animal pathogens via the food chain or drinking water. However, assessment of this risk requires a better understanding of the level and variability of the natural resistance background and the extent of the human impact. We have analyzed water samples from 21 Swiss lakes, taken at sampling points that were not under the direct influence of local contamination sources and analyzed the relative abundance of ARG using quantitative real-time PCR. Copy numbers of genes mediating resistance to three different broad-spectrum antibiotic classes (sulfonamides: sul1, sul2, tetracyclines: tet(B), tet(M), tet(W) and fluoroquinolones: qnrA) were normalized to copy numbers of bacterial 16S rRNA genes. We used multiple linear regression to assess if ARG abundance is related to human activities in the catchment, microbial community composition and the eutrophication status of the lakes. Sul genes were detected in all sampled lakes, whereas only four lakes contained quantifiable numbers of tet genes, and qnrA remained below detection in all lakes. Our data indicate higher abundance of sul1 in lakes with increasing number and capacity of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in the catchment. sul2 abundance was rather related to long water residence times and eutrophication status. Our study demonstrates the potential of freshwater lakes to preserve antibiotic resistance genes, and provides a reference for ARG abundance from lake systems with low human impact as a baseline for assessing ARG contamination in lake water. PMID:25913323

  3. Simulation of background from low-level tritium and radon emanation in the KATRIN spectrometers

    SciTech Connect

    Leiber, B.; Collaboration: KATRIN Collaboration

    2013-08-08

    The KArlsruhe TRItium Neutrino (KATRIN) experiment is a large-scale experiment for the model independent determination of the mass of electron anti-neutrinos with a sensitivity of 200 meV/c{sup 2}. It investigates the kinematics of electrons from tritium beta decay close to the endpoint of the energy spectrum at 18.6 keV. To achieve a good signal to background ratio at the endpoint, a low background rate below 10{sup −2} counts per second is required. The KATRIN setup thus consists of a high luminosity windowless gaseous tritium source (WGTS), a magnetic electron transport system with differential and cryogenic pumping for tritium retention, and electro-static retarding spectrometers (pre-spectrometer and main spectrometer) for energy analysis, followed by a segmented detector system for counting transmitted beta-electrons. A major source of background comes from magnetically trapped electrons in the main spectrometer (vacuum vessel: 1240 m{sup 3}, 10{sup −11} mbar) produced by nuclear decays in the magnetic flux tube of the spectrometer. Major contributions are expected from short-lived radon isotopes and tritium. Primary electrons, originating from these decays, can be trapped for hours, until having lost almost all their energy through inelastic scattering on residual gas particles. Depending on the initial energy of the primary electron, up to hundreds of low energetic secondary electrons can be produced. Leaving the spectrometer, these electrons will contribute to the background rate. This contribution describes results from simulations for the various background sources. Decays of {sup 219}Rn, emanating from the main vacuum pump, and tritium from the WGTS that reaches the spectrometers are expected to account for most of the background. As a result of the radon alpha decay, electrons are emitted through various processes, such as shake-off, internal conversion and the Auger deexcitations. The corresponding simulations were done using the KASSIOPEIA

  4. Natural radionuclide and radiological assessment of building materials in high background radiation areas of Ramsar, Iran

    PubMed Central

    Bavarnegin, Elham; Moghaddam, Masoud Vahabi; Fathabadi, Nasrin

    2013-01-01

    Building materials, collected from different sites in Ramsar, a northern coastal city in Iran, were analyzed for their natural radionuclide contents. The measurements were carried out using a high resolution high purity Germanium (HPGe) gamma-ray spectrometer system. The activity concentration of 226Ra, 232Th, and 40K content varied from below the minimum detection limit up to 86,400 Bqkg-1, 187 Bqkg-1, and 1350 Bqkg-1, respectively. The radiological hazards incurred from the use of these building materials were estimated through various radiation hazard indices. The result of this survey shows that values obtained for some samples are more than the internationally accepted maximum limits and as such, the use of them as a building material pose significant radiation hazard to individuals. PMID:23776313

  5. Natural hydrocarbon background in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound, Alaska: Oil vs coal

    SciTech Connect

    Short, J.W.; Wright, B.A.; Kvenvolden, K.A.; Carlson, P.R.; Hostettler, F.D.; Rosenbauer, R.J.

    1999-01-01

    The source of the background hydrocarbons in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound (PWS), AK, where the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) occurred, has been ascribed to oil seeps in coastal areas of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). The authors present evidence that coal is a more plausible source, including (i) high concentrations of total PAH (TPAH), between 1,670 and 3,070 ng/g, in continental shelf sediments adjacent to the coastal region containing extensive coal deposits; (ii) PAH composition patterns of sediments along with predictive models that are consistent with coal but not oil; (iii) low ratios of triaromatic steranes of methylchrysenes found in sediments and coals, contrasting with the high ratios found in seep oil; and (iv) bioaccumulation of PAH in salmon collected within 100 m of the Katalla oil seeps but not in filter-feeding mussels collected near oilfield drainages 9 km from the seeps, indicating negligible transport of bioavailable PAH from Katalla seeps to the GOA. In contrast with oil, PAH in coal are not bioavailable, so the presence of coal in these benthic sediments confers no adaptive benefit to biota of the marine ecosystem with respect to PAH insults from anthropogenic sources.

  6. The Nature of the Unresolved Extragalactic Cosmic Soft X-Ray Background

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cappelluti, N.; Ranalli, P.; Roncarelli, M.; Arevalo, P.; Zamorani, G.; Comastri, A.; Gilli, R.; Rovilos, E.; Vignali, C.; Allevato, V.; Finoguenov, A.; Miyaji, T.; Nicastro, F.; Georgantopoulos, I.; Kashlinsky, A.

    2013-01-01

    In this paper we investigate the power spectrum of the unresolved 0.5-2 keV cosmic X-ray background (CXB) with deep Chandra 4-Msec (Ms) observations in the Chandra Deep Field South (CDFS). We measured a signal that, on scales >30 arcsec, is significantly higher than the shot noise and is increasing with angular scale. We interpreted this signal as the joint contribution of clustered undetected sources like active galactic nuclei (AGN), galaxies and the intergalactic medium (IGM). The power of unresolved cosmic source fluctuations accounts for approximately 12 per cent of the 0.5-2 keV extragalactic CXB. Overall, our modelling predicts that approximately 20 per cent of the unresolved CXB flux is produced by low-luminosity AGN, approximately 25 per cent by galaxies and approximately 55 per cent by the IGM. We do not find any direct evidence of the so-called 'warm hot intergalactic medium' (i.e. matter with 10(exp 5) less than T less than 10(exp 7) K and density contrast delta less than 1000), but we estimated that it could produce about 1/7 of the unresolved CXB. We placed an upper limit on the space density of postulated X-ray-emitting early black holes at z greater than 7.5 and compared it with supermassive black hole evolution models.

  7. Neutron inelastic scattering in natural Pb as a background in neutrinoless double-beta decay experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Guiseppe, Vincente E; Elliott, Steve R; Hime, Andrew; Perepelitsa, Dennis V

    2008-01-01

    Inelastic neutron scattering on Pb isotopes can result in {gamma} rays near the signature endpoint energy in a number of {beta}{beta} isotopes. In particular, there are {gamma}-ray transitions in {sup 206}Pb and {sup 207}Pb that might produce energy deposits at the {sup 76}Ge Q{sub {beta}{beta}} in Ge detectors used for 0{nu}{beta}{beta} searches. The levels that produce these {gamma} rays can be excited by n,n'{gamma} reactions, but the cross sections are small and previously unmeasured. The cross section on {sup nat}Pb to produce the 2041-keV {gamma} ray from {sup 206}Pb is measured to be 3.1 {+-} 0.6 (stat.) {+-} 0.3 (syst.) mb at {approx} 9.6 MeV. The cross section on {sup nat}Pb to produce the 3062-keV {gamma} ray from {sup 207}Pb is measured to be 4.3 {+-} 0.8 (stat.) {+-} 0.4 (syst.) mb at the same energy. We place upper limits on the cross sections for exciting some other levels in Pb that have transition energies corresponding to Q{sub {beta}{beta}} in orhter {beta}{beta} isotopes.

  8. Background information on sources of low-level radionuclide emissions to air

    SciTech Connect

    Corbit, C.D.; Herrington, W.N.; Higby, D.P.; Stout, L.A.; Corley, J.P.

    1983-09-01

    This report provides a general description and reported emissions for eight low-level radioactive source categories, including facilties that are licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and Agreement States, and non-Department of Energy (DOE) federal facilities. The eight categories of low-level radioactive source facilities covered by this report are: research and test reactors, accelerators, the radiopharmaceutical industry, source manufacturers, medical facilities, laboratories, naval shipyards, and low-level commercial waste disposal sites. Under each category five elements are addressed: a general description, a facility and process description, the emission control systems, a site description, and the radionuclides released to air (from routine operations).

  9. Patterns of Population Differentiation and Natural Selection on the Celiac Disease Background Risk Network

    PubMed Central

    Sams, Aaron; Hawks, John

    2013-01-01

    Celiac disease is a common small intestinal inflammatory condition induced by wheat gluten and related proteins from rye and barley. Left untreated, the clinical presentation of CD can include failure to thrive, malnutrition, and distension in juveniles. The disease can additionally lead to vitamin deficiencies, anemia, and osteoporosis. Therefore, CD potentially negatively affected fitness in past populations utilizing wheat, barley, and rye. Previous analyses of CD risk variants have uncovered evidence for positive selection on some of these loci. These studies also suggest the possibility that risk for common autoimmune conditions such as CD may be the result of positive selection on immune related loci in the genome to fight infection. Under this evolutionary scenario, disease phenotypes may be a trade-off from positive selection on immunity. If this hypothesis is generally true, we can expect to find a signal of natural selection when we survey across the network of loci known to influence CD risk. This study examines the non-HLA autosomal network of gene loci associated with CD risk in Europe. We reject the null hypothesis of neutrality on this network of CD risk loci. Additionally, we can localize evidence of selection in time and space by adding information from the genome of the Tyrolean Iceman. While we can show significant differentiation between continental regions across the CD network, the pattern of evidence is not consistent with primarily recent (Holocene) selection across this network in Europe. Further localization of ancient selection on this network may illuminate the ecological pressures acting on the immune system during this critically interesting phase of our evolution. PMID:23936230

  10. Genome-wide association study of serum minerals levels in children of different ethnic background.

    PubMed

    Chang, Xiao; Li, Jin; Guo, Yiran; Wei, Zhi; Mentch, Frank D; Hou, Cuiping; Zhao, Yan; Qiu, Haijun; Kim, Cecilia; Sleiman, Patrick M A; Hakonarson, Hakon

    2015-01-01

    Calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, chloride and phosphorus are the major dietary minerals involved in various biological functions and are commonly measured in the blood serum. Sufficient mineral intake is especially important for children due to their rapid growth. Currently, the genetic mechanisms influencing serum mineral levels are poorly understood, especially for children. We carried out a genome-wide association (GWA) study on 5,602 European-American children and 4,706 African-American children who had mineral measures available in their electronic medical records (EMR). While no locus met the criteria for genome-wide significant association, our results demonstrated a nominal association of total serum calcium levels with a missense variant in the calcium -sensing receptor (CASR) gene on 3q13 (rs1801725, P = 1.96 × 10(-3)) in the African-American pediatric cohort, a locus previously reported in Caucasians. We also confirmed the association result in our pediatric European-American cohort (P = 1.38 × 10(-4)). We further replicated two other loci associated with serum calcium levels in the European-American cohort (rs780094, GCKR, P = 4.26 × 10(-3); rs10491003, GATA3, P = 0.02). In addition, we replicated a previously reported locus on 1q21, demonstrating association of serum magnesium levels with MUC1 (rs4072037, P = 2.04 × 10(-6)). Moreover, in an extended gene-based association analysis we uncovered evidence for association of calcium levels with the previously reported gene locus DGKD in both European-American children and African-American children. Taken together, our results support a role for CASR and DGKD mediated calcium regulation in both African-American and European-American children, and corroborate the association of calcium levels with GCKR and GATA3, and the association of magnesium levels with MUC1 in the European-American children. PMID:25886283

  11. Lignin-derived phenols in Houston aerosols: implications for natural background sources.

    PubMed

    Shakya, Kabindra M; Louchouarn, Patrick; Griffin, Robert J

    2011-10-01

    Solvent-extractable monomeric methoxyphenols in aerosol samples conventionally have been used to indicate the influence of biomass combustion. In addition, the presence of lignin oxidation products (LOP), derived from the CuO oxidation of vascular plant organic matter, can help trace the source and inputs of primary biological particles in aerosols. Ambient aerosols (coarse and fine) collected in Houston during summer 2010 were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to characterize monomeric and polymeric sources of LOPs. This is the first time polymeric forms of the LOPs have been characterized in ambient aerosols. The absence or small concentrations of solvent-extractable monomeric LOPs and levoglucosan isomers point to the limited influence of biomass burning during the sampling period. The trace levels of anhydrosugar concentrations most likely result from long-range transport. This observation is supported by the absence of co-occurring lignin monomers that undergo photochemical degradation during transport. The larger concentration (142 ng m(-3)) of lignin polymers in coarse aerosols shows the relative importance of primary biological aerosol particles, even in the urban atmosphere. The LOP parameters suggest a predominant influence from woody tissue of angiosperms, with minor influence from soft tissues, gymnosperms, and soil organic matter. PMID:21877739

  12. Estimation of Equivalent Sea Level Cosmic Ray Exposure for Low Background Experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Greene, Austen T.; Orrell, John L.

    2012-08-25

    While scientists at CERN and other particle accelerators around the world explore the boundaries of high energy physics, the Majorana project investigates the other end of the spectrum with its extremely sensitive, low background, low energy detector. The MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR aims to detect neutrinoless double beta decay (0νββ), a rare theoretical process in which two neutrons decay into two protons and two electrons, without the emission of the two antineutrinos that are a product of a normal double beta decay. This process is only possible if – and therefore a detection would prove — the neutrino is a Majorana particle, meaning that it is its own antiparticle [Aaselth et al. 2004] . The existence of such a decay would also disprove lepton conservation and give information about the neutrino's mass.

  13. STS-33 MS Carter on KSC LC Pad 39B 195 ft level with OV-103 in background

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    STS-33 Mission Specialist (MS) Manley L. Carter, Jr, wearing launch and entry suit (LES), poses in front of Discovery, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 103, at the 195 ft level elevator entrance at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Launch Complex (LC) Pad 39B. Visible in the background is the catwalk to OV-103's side hatch and the Atlantic Ocean.

  14. TISSUE CONCENTRATION OF PCBS IN ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS AS COMPARED WITH THOSE IN HUMANS WITH BACKGROUND-LEVEL EXPOSURE

    EPA Science Inventory

    TISSUE CONCENTRATION OF PCBS IN ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS AS COMPARED WITH THOSE IN HUMANS WITH BACKGROUND-LEVEL EXPOSURE. M J DeVito1 and M P Longnecker2. 1NHEERL, ORD, USEPA; Research Triangle Park, NC, USA; 2Epidemiology
    Branch, NIEHS, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA.

    To ...

  15. Background for Community Level Work on Educational Adjustment in Adolescence: Reviewing the Literature on Contributing Factors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Redd, Zakia; Brooks, Jennifer; McGarvey, Ayelish M.

    Given the importance of adolescents' educational adjustment, a key question for those concerned with improving adolescent functioning is what can be done to increase adolescents' levels of educational functioning. This review addresses a number of broad facets of adolescents' educational functioning, including those in the psychological…

  16. Motor performance of tongue with a computer-integrated system under different levels of background physical exertion

    PubMed Central

    Huo, Xueliang; Johnson-Long, Ashley N.; Ghovanloo, Maysam; Shinohara, Minoru

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to compare the motor performance of tongue, using Tongue Drive System, to hand operation for relatively complex tasks under different levels of background physical exertion. Thirteen young able-bodied adults performed tasks that tested the accuracy and variability in tracking a sinusoidal waveform, and the performance in playing two video games that require accurate and rapid movements with cognitive processing using tongue and hand under two levels of background physical exertion. Results show additional background physical activity did not influence rapid and accurate displacement motor performance, but compromised the slow waveform tracking and shooting performances in both hand and tongue. Slow waveform tracking performance by the tongue was compromised with an additional motor or cognitive task, but with an additional motor task only for the hand. Practitioner Summary We investigated the influence of task complexity and background physical exertion on the motor performance of tongue and hand. Results indicate the task performance degrades with an additional concurrent task or physical exertion due to the limited attentional resources available for handling both the motor task and background exertion. PMID:24003900

  17. Educational Background, Teaching Experience and Teachers' Views on the Inclusion of Nature of Science in the Science Curriculum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martín-Díaz, M. J.

    2006-08-01

    The aim of this research is to ascertain teachers’ opinions on what elements of nature of science (NOS) and science technology society relationships (STS) should be taught in school science. To this end an adapted version of the questionnaire developed by Osborne et al. is used. Our results show that experts consulted by Osborne et al. and Spanish teachers confer similar importance on the provisional, experimental, and predictive nature of scientific knowledge based on some of the procedures used such as the drawing up of hypotheses and the analysis and interpretation of data. We also look into the relationship between the teachers’ views and their educational background.1 Results suggest that philosophy teachers are more concerned with the inclusion of NOS and STS topics in science curricula than science teachers, although further studies will be necessary. Some suggestions concerning the university training of science teachers are also discussed.

  18. Disruptive camouflage tricks the human eye: a study of detection times of two near-similar targets in natural backgrounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Selj, Gorm K.

    2015-10-01

    Our understanding of camouflage, in military as well as in evolutionary perspectives, has been developing over the last 100 years. In that period of time several underlying principles have emerged. It has turned out in the recent decade that background pattern matching alone may not be sufficient to conceal targets because of the ubiquitous and revealing information contained by the edges of a target. In this paper we have studied one concealment strategy, the so-called disruptive coloration, further as it predicts that high contrast patches placed at the target's outline will impede detection, by creating false target edges when exposed to the observer. Such disruptive coloration is contra-intuitive as it may impede detection in spite of the fact that the patches themselves may be poorly concealed. In military environments the "disruptive approach" within camouflage has been textbook material for decades. Still, very little has been reported, supporting this idea, especially when it comes to the concealment of human targets in natural sceneries. We report here experimental evidence from a field study, containing detection data from 12 unique natural scenes (5 testing the disruptive effect, 7 as reference tests), with both human targets and human observers, showing that disruptively colored camouflage patches along a human's outline (its head) may increase detection time significantly as when compared to a similar (human) target concealed only with background matching. Hence, our results support the idea that disruptive coloration may impede detection and similarly that the best concealment is achieved when disruptive coloration is added to a target that matches the background (reasonably) well. This study raises important question to the current understanding of human vision and concealment as well as to any approach to describe the human visual system mathematically.

  19. Tritium and 14C background levels in pristine aquatic systems and their potential sources of variability.

    PubMed

    Eyrolle-Boyer, Frédérique; Claval, David; Cossonnet, Catherine; Zebracki, Mathilde; Gairoard, Stéphanie; Radakovitch, Olivier; Calmon, Philippe; Leclerc, Elisabeth

    2015-01-01

    Tritium and (14)C are currently the two main radionuclides discharged by nuclear industry. Tritium integrates into and closely follows the water cycle and, as shown recently the carbon cycle, as does (14)C (Eyrolle-Boyer et al., 2014a, b). As a result, these two elements persist in both terrestrial and aquatic environments according to the recycling rates of organic matter. Although on average the organically bound tritium (OBT) activity of sediments in pristine rivers does not significantly differ today (2007-2012) from the mean tritiated water (HTO) content on record for rainwater (2.4 ± 0.6 Bq/L and 1.6 ± 0.4 Bq/L, respectively), regional differences are expected depending on the biomass inventories affected by atmospheric global fallout from nuclear testing and the recycling rate of organic matter within watersheds. The results obtained between 2007 and 2012 for (14)C show that the levels varied between 94.5 ± 1.5 and 234 ± 2.7 Bq/kg of C for the sediments in French rivers and across a slightly higher range of 199 ± 1.3 to 238 ± 3.1 Bq/kg of C for fish. This variation is most probably due to preferential uptake of some organic carbon compounds by fish restraining (14)C dilution with refractory organic carbon and/or with old carbonates both depleted in (14)C. Overall, most of these ranges of values are below the mean baseline value for the terrestrial environment (232.0 ± 1.8 Bq/kg of C in 2012, Roussel-Debet, 2014a) in relation to dilution by the carbonates and/or fossil organic carbon present in aquatic systems. This emphasises yet again the value of establishing regional baseline value ranges for these two radionuclides in order to account for palaeoclimatic and lithological variations. Besides, our results obtained from sedimentary archive investigation have confirmed the delayed contamination of aquatic sediments by tritium from the past nuclear tests atmospheric fallout, as recently demonstrated from data chronicles (Eyrolle

  20. Examination of Libby, Montana, Fill Material for Background Levels of Amphibole from the Rainy Creek Complex Using Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-Ray Microanalysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adams, David T.; Langer, William H.; Hoefen, Todd M.; Van Gosen, Bradley S.; Meeker, Gregory P.

    2010-01-01

    Natural background levels of Libby-type amphibole in the sediment of the Libby valley in Montana have not, up to this point, been determined. The purpose of this report is to provide the preliminary findings of a study designed by both the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and performed by the U.S. Geological Survey. The study worked to constrain the natural background levels of fibrous amphiboles potentially derived from the nearby Rainy Creek Complex. The material selected for this study was sampled from three localities, two of which are active open-pit sand and gravel mines. Seventy samples were collected in total and examined using a scanning electron microscope equipped with an energy dispersive x-ray spectrometer. All samples contained varying amounts of feldspars, ilmenite, magnetite, quartz, clay minerals, pyroxene minerals, and non-fibrous amphiboles such as tremolite, actinolite, and magnesiohornblende. Of the 70 samples collected, only three had detectable levels of fibrous amphiboles compatible with those found in the rainy creek complex. The maximum concentration, identified here, of the amphiboles potentially from the Rainy Creek Complex is 0.083 percent by weight.

  1. Investigation of natural radioactivity levels in water around Kadugli, Sudan.

    PubMed

    Osman, Alfatih A A; Salih, Isam; Shaddad, Ibrahim A; El Din, Saif; Siddeeg, M B; Eltayeb, Hatem; Idriss, Hajo; Hamza, Walid; Yousif, E H

    2008-11-01

    Surface water from Miri Lake and groundwater from around Kadugli (West-Central Sudan) obtained by means of hand-pumps was analysed for (238)U, (226)Ra, (222)Rn, and (232)Th activity concentrations. The surface water showed very low levels of radionuclide concentrations: <1.0-7.5, 8.5-16.5, <1.6, and <0.1-0.39 mBq L(-1) for (238)U, (226)Ra, (222)Rn, and (232)Th, respectively. Groundwater revealed a significant amount of natural radioactivity (16.1-1720, 7.7-14.3, 3000-139,000, <0.1-39 mBq L(-1)) respectively. The overall annual effective dose was below the WHO reference dose level of 0.1 mSv yr(-1) except in one groundwater sample with an associated dose of 0.7 mSv yr(-1). PMID:18513978

  2. Integrated Molecular Analysis Indicates Undetectable Change in DNA Damage in Mice after Continuous Irradiation at ~ 400-fold Natural Background Radiation

    PubMed Central

    Olipitz, Werner; Wiktor-Brown, Dominika; Shuga, Joe; Pang, Bo; McFaline, Jose; Lonkar, Pallavi; Thomas, Aline; Mutamba, James T; Greenberger, Joel S; Samson, Leona D; Dedon, Peter C; Yanch, Jacquelyn C

    2012-01-01

    Background: In the event of a nuclear accident, people are exposed to elevated levels of continuous low dose-rate radiation. Nevertheless, most of the literature describes the biological effects of acute radiation. Objectives: DNA damage and mutations are well established for their carcinogenic effects. We assessed several key markers of DNA damage and DNA damage responses in mice exposed to low dose-rate radiation to reveal potential genotoxic effects associated with low dose-rate radiation. Methods: We studied low dose-rate radiation using a variable low dose-rate irradiator consisting of flood phantoms filled with 125Iodine-containing buffer. Mice were exposed to 0.0002 cGy/min (~ 400-fold background radiation) continuously over 5 weeks. We assessed base lesions, micronuclei, homologous recombination (HR; using fluorescent yellow direct repeat mice), and transcript levels for several radiation-sensitive genes. Results: We did not observe any changes in the levels of the DNA nucleobase damage products hypoxanthine, 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine, 1,N6-ethenoadenine, or 3,N4-ethenocytosine above background levels under low dose-rate conditions. The micronucleus assay revealed no evidence that low dose-rate radiation induced DNA fragmentation, and there was no evidence of double strand break–induced HR. Furthermore, low dose-rate radiation did not induce Cdkn1a, Gadd45a, Mdm2, Atm, or Dbd2. Importantly, the same total dose, when delivered acutely, induced micronuclei and transcriptional responses. Conclusions: These results demonstrate in an in vivo animal model that lowering the dose-rate suppresses the potentially deleterious impact of radiation and calls attention to the need for a deeper understanding of the biological impact of low dose-rate radiation. PMID:22538203

  3. Trace metal variability in coastal waters of San Jorge Bay, Antofagasta, Chile: An environmental evaluation and statistical approach to propose local background levels.

    PubMed

    Valdés, J; Román, D; Guiñez, M; Rivera, L; Ávila, J; Cortés, P; Castillo, A

    2015-11-15

    Between 2008 and 2011, twelve metals from 384 coastal waters samples from San Jorge Bay (Antofagasta, northern Chile) were collected and analyzed. The goal was to evaluate the quality of the bay's water bodies according to the current Chilean Quality Guideline and to establish background levels for these metals. The result suggests that the coastal waters of San Jorge Bay are of very good quality suitable for recreational activities involving human body contact. The natural background thresholds established for this bay were significantly lower than primary and secondary water quality guidelines. The distribution of Cu, Zn and Pb, along the bay's coastline provides evidence of the effects of industrial activity. Both situations suggest that the threshold indicated in the environmental guidelines of the Chilean legislation may be overestimated and do not represent pollution-free environments. PMID:26365501

  4. Of the necessity of knowledge of the natural pedo-geochemical background content in the evaluation of the contamination of soils by trace elements.

    PubMed

    Baize, D; Sterckeman, T

    2001-01-01

    In order to evaluate the contamination of the Dornach (Switzerland) site within the framework of the CEEM-Soil project, each participating team was allowed to take a maximum of 15 samples. The French team's sampling was organized in such a way as to answer the following questions: (i) what is the natural concentration of the soils at this site (local pedo-geochemical background content)?; (ii) what are the levels of Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn contamination of the soil?; (iii) what is the depth reached by the surface contamination that is derived from atmospheric fallout?; (iv) how is the contamination spread along the longest axis of the area under study? The relationships between total Fe and the trace metals have allowed local variations in the natural pedo-geochemical background content to be detected and thus permitted the anthropogenic contamination to be estimated. There would appear to be a low level of Pb contamination over all the site investigated (an increase of the order of 5-10 mg kg(-1) on the background level), limited to the surface humus-bearing layers. There is also a significant contamination by Cu over all of the site (an increase of the order of 30-40 mg kg(-1)). This contamination has remained in the surface horizons (0-20 cm). Very high Zn and Cd concentrations have been found in the four surface (0-4 cm) and deep horizons (15-70 cm) taken under the forest and very much lower values in the samples taken from cultivated soils. The most likely explanation is an unequal inheritance between the upper part of the site (wooded with thinner very clayey soils) and the lower cultivated part of the site (with thicker less clayey soils developed in a loamy material). For various reasons, it seems unlikely that a contamination of the wooded part should be so much higher than the cultivated part due to the interception of atmospheric dust by the trees. The local pedo-geochemical background Cd and Zn content of the upper wooded part proved to be clearly higher than

  5. Natural and artificial radioactivity levels in Livingston Island (Antarctic regions)

    SciTech Connect

    Baeza, A.; Miro, C.; Paniagua, J.M.; Navarro, E.; Rodriguez, M.J.; Sanchez, F.

    1994-01-01

    Radioactive contamination of the sea and land is due, on the one hand, to fallout from atmospheric atomic explosions since 1945, and, on the other, to emissions produced by nuclear and radioactive facilities. Given its geographic position far distant from the aforementioned main sources of radioactive contamination, Antarctica should have the lowest levels that can be measured on the Earth of artificial radionuclides in the various receptor media which are characteristic of the trophic chain. In the case of Antarctica, these are melt-water, sea-water, mosses, algae, and lichens. With the aim of contributing basic information on the radiation levels present in the Antarctic ecosystem, we have identified and measured for the first time the radioactive levels of natural emitters (of cosmic and terrestrial origin) and man-made emitters in the aforementioned receptor media, in the vicinity of the Spanish Antarctic Base, Juan Carlos I, situated on Livingston Island in the South Shetland archipelago, Antarctic region. 22 refs., 1 fig., 3 tabs.

  6. 'Natural background' soil water repellency in conifer forests of the north-western USA: Its prediction and relationship to wildfire occurrence

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Doerr, S.H.; Woods, S.W.; Martin, D.A.; Casimiro, M.

    2009-01-01

    Soils under a wide range of vegetation types exhibit water repellency following the passage of a fire. This is viewed by many as one of the main causes for accelerated post-fire runoff and soil erosion and it has often been assumed that strong soil water repellency present after wildfire is fire-induced. However, high levels of repellency have also been reported under vegetation types not affected by fire, and the question arises to what degree the water repellency observed at burnt sites actually results from fire. This study aimed at determining 'natural background' water repellency in common coniferous forest types in the north-western USA. Mature or semi-mature coniferous forest sites (n = 81), which showed no evidence of recent fires and had at least some needle cast cover, were sampled across six states. After careful removal of litter and duff at each site, soil water repellency was examined in situ at the mineral soil surface using the Water Drop Penetration Time (WDPT) method for three sub-sites, followed by collecting near-surface mineral soil layer samples (0-3 cm depth). Following air-drying, samples were further analyzed for repellency using WDPT and contact angle (??sl) measurements. Amongst other variables examined were dominant tree type, ground vegetation, litter and duff layer depth, slope angle and aspect, elevation, geology, and soil texture, organic carbon content and pH. 'Natural background' water repellency (WDPT > 5 s) was detected in situ and on air-dry samples at 75% of all sites examined irrespective of dominant tree species (Pinus ponderosa, Pinus contorta, Picea engelmanii and Pseudotsuga menziesii). These findings demonstrate that the soil water repellency commonly observed in these forest types following burning is not necessarily the result of recent fire but can instead be a natural characteristic. The notion of a low background water repellency being typical for long-unburnt conifer forest soils of the north-western USA is

  7. The interaction of natural background gamma radiation with depleted uranium micro-particles in the human body.

    PubMed

    Pattison, John E

    2013-03-01

    In this study, some characteristics of the photo-electrons produced when natural background gamma radiation interacts with micron-sized depleted uranium (DU) particles in the human body have been estimated using Monte Carlo simulations. In addition, an estimate has been made of the likelihood of radiological health effects occurring due to such an exposure. Upon exposure to naturally occurring background gamma radiation, DU particles in the body will produce an enhancement of the dose to the tissue in the immediate vicinity of the particles due to the photo-electric absorption of the radiation in the particle. In this study, the photo-electrons produced by a 10 μm-size particle embedded in tissue at the centre of the human torso have been investigated. The mean energies of the photo-electrons in the DU particle and in the two consecutive immediately surrounding 2 μm-wide tissue shells around the particle were found to be 38, 49 and 50 keV, respectively, with corresponding ranges of 1.3, 38 and 39 μm, respectively. The total photo-electron fluence-rates in the two consecutive 2 μm-wide tissue layers were found to be 14% and 7% of the fluence-rate in the DU particle, respectively. The estimated dose enhancement due to one 10 μm-sized DU particle in 1 cm(3) of tissue was less than 2 in 10 million of the dose received by the tissue without a particle being present. The increase in risk of death from cancer due to this effect is consequently insignificant. PMID:23295360

  8. Ambient air benzene at background sites in China's most developed coastal regions: exposure levels, source implications and health risks.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhou; Wang, Xinming; Zhang, Yanli; Lü, Sujun; Huang, Zhonghui; Huang, Xinyu; Wang, Yuesi

    2015-04-01

    Benzene is a known human carcinogen causing leukemia, yet ambient air quality objectives for benzene are not available in China. The ambient benzene levels at four background sites in China's most developed coastal regions were measured from March 2012 to February 2013. The sites are: SYNECP, in the Northeast China Plain (NECP); YCNCP, in the North China Plain (NCP); THYRD, in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) and DHPRD, in the Pearl River Delta (PRD). It was found that the mean annual benzene levels (578-1297 ppt) at the background sites were alarmingly higher, especially when compared to those of 60-480 pptv monitored in 28 cities in the United States. Wintertime benzene levels were significantly elevated at both sites (SYNECP and YCNCP) in northern China due to heating with coal/biofuels. Even at these background sites, the lifetime cancer risks of benzene (1.7-3.7E-05) all exceeded 1E-06 set by USEPA as acceptable for adults. At both sites in northern China, good correlations between benzene and CO or chloromethane, together with much lower toluene/benzene (T/B) ratios, suggested that benzene was largely related to coal combustion and biomass/biofuel burning. At the DHPRD site in the PRD, benzene revealed a highly significant correlation with methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), indicating that its source was predominantly from vehicle emissions. At the THYRD site in the YRD, higher T/B ratios and correlations between benzene and tetrachloroethylene, or MTBE, implied that benzene levels were probably affected by both traffic-related and industrial emissions. PMID:25618820

  9. COMPARISON OF NATURAL BACKGROUND DOSE RATES FOR RESIDENTS OF THE AMARGOSA VALLEY, NV, TO THOSE IN LEADVILLE, CO, AND THE STATES OF COLORADO AND NEVADA

    SciTech Connect

    D. Moeller and L. C. Sun

    2006-02-24

    In the latter half of 2005, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) published a Proposed Rule (40 CFR Part 197) for establishing a dose rate standard for limiting radionuclide releases from the proposed Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste repository during the time period from 10{sup 4} to 10{sup 6} years after closure. The proposed standard was based on the difference in the estimated total dose rate from natural background in the Amargosa Valley and the ''average annual background radiation'' for the State of Colorado. As defined by the USEPA, ''natural background radiation consists of external exposures from cosmic and terrestrial sources, and internal exposures from indoor exposures to naturally-occurring radon''. On the basis of its assessments, the USEPA estimated that the difference in the dose rate in the two identified areas was 3.5 mSv y{sup -1}. The purpose of this review was to provide an independent evaluation and review of this estimate. One of the first observations was that, because site-specific dose rate measurements for the Amargosa Valley ''were not available'', the dose rates for various sources of natural background in that area, used by the USEPA in its assessment, were based on modifications of the average values for the State of Nevada. A second observation was that the conversion factor applied in estimating the dose rates due to exposures to indoor radon and its decay products was a factor of 2 higher than the currently accepted value. Further review revealed that site-specific data for many natural background sources in the Amargosa Valley were available. One particularly important observation was that about 91% of the residents of that area live in mobile homes which, due to their construction and design, have indoor radon concentrations comparable to, or less than, those outdoors. For that reason, alone, the USEPA estimate of the average dose rate for residents of the Amargosa Valley, due to indoor radon, was not valid

  10. Emission Measurements from Natural Gas Development and Regional Background Characterization of Ambient Air Quality in the Marcellus Shale Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeCarlo, P. F.; Goetz, J.; Shaw, S. L.; Knipping, E. M.; Fortner, E.; Wormhoudt, J.; Massoli, P.; Floerchinger, C.; Brooks, B.; Herndon, S. C.; Kolb, C. E.; Knighton, W. B.

    2012-12-01

    Production of natural gas in the Marcellus shale formation is increasing rapidly due to the vast quantities of natural gas in the formation. Natural gas is liberated from the Marcellus Shale using horizontal drilling techniques, followed by hydraulic fracturing. Activities associated with preparation of a well pad, drilling of a well pad, fracturing of a well, and transport of materials (e.g. water, drilling equipment) to and from a well site, all have associated air emissions. Steady state gas production at well sites may also have additional contribution to air emissions of methane and NOx from gas transport infrastructure. A joint study with the Drexel University, Aerodyne Research and the Electric Power Research institute was conducted in the summer of 2012 to measure both the emissions from various stages of well development and to characterize current levels of air pollutants in the Marcellus Region. To achieve this, the Aerodyne mobile laboratory was deployed and measured in situ concentrations of a multitude of gas-phase and aerosol chemical components with state of the art instrumentation including quantum cascade laser systems, proton transfer mass spectrometry, tunable diode lasers and a soot particle aerosol mass spectrometer. Species quantified include CH4, C2H6, NO, NO2, CO, CO2, SO2, HONO, HOCO, HCOOH and many volatile organic compounds, and aerosol size and chemical composition. Real-time characterization of the air emissions from hydraulic fracturing and other shale gas operations allow for the estimation of emission factors that can be used in predictive air quality modeling for the region. Within the Marcellus Shale both areas of dry gas (>95% methane) and wet gas (contains higher levels of ethane and propane) are found. Measurements were conducted in two regions of Pennsylvania: the NE region that is predominantly dry gas, and the SW region where wet gas is found. A comparison of these two regions and associated impacts will be discussed

  11. PM10 Concentration levels at an urban and background site in Cyprus: The impact of urban sources and dust storms

    PubMed Central

    Achilleos, Souzana; Evans, John S.; Yiallouros, Panayiotis K.; Kleanthous, Savvas; Schwartz, Joel; Koutrakis, Petros

    2016-01-01

    Air quality in Cyprus is influenced by both local and transported pollution including desert dust storms. We examined PM10 concentration data collected in Nicosia (urban representative) from April 1, 1993 through December 11, 2008, and Ayia Marina (rural background representative) from January 1, 1999 through December 31, 2008. Measurements were conducted using a Tapered Element Oscillating Micro-balance (TEOM). PM10 concentrations, meteorological records and satellite data were used to identify dust storm days. We investigated long term trends using a Generalized Additive Model (GAM) after controlling for day of week, month, temperature, wind speed, and relative humidity. In Nicosia, annual PM10 concentrations ranged from 50.4 to 63.8 μg/m3 and exceeded the EU annual standard limit enacted in 2005 of 40 μg/m3 every year. A large, statistically significant impact of urban sources (defined as the difference between urban and background levels) was seen in Nicosia over the period 2000–2008, and was highest during traffic hours, weekdays, cold months, and low wind conditions. Our estimate of the mean (standard error) contribution of urban sources to the daily ambient PM10 was 24.0 (0.4) μg/m3. The study of yearly trends showed that PM10 levels in Nicosia decreased from 59.4 μg/m3 in 1993 to 49.0 μg/m3 in 2008, probably in part as a result of traffic emission control policies in Cyprus. In Ayia Marina, annual concentrations ranged from 27.3 to 35.6 μg/m3, and no obvious time trends were observed. The levels measured at the Cyprus background site are comparable to background concentrations reported in other Eastern Mediterranean countries. Average daily PM10 concentrations during desert dust storms were around 100 μg/m3 since 2000 and much higher in earlier years. Despite the large impact of dust storms and their increasing frequency over time, dust storms were responsible for a small fraction of the exceedances of the daily PM10 limit. PMID:25562931

  12. Background levels of some major, trace, and rare earth elements in indigenous plant species growing in Norway and the influence of soil acidification, soil parent material, and seasonal variation on these levels.

    PubMed

    Gjengedal, Elin; Martinsen, Thomas; Steinnes, Eiliv

    2015-06-01

    Baseline levels of 43 elements, including major, trace, and rare earth elements (REEs) in several native plant species growing in boreal and alpine areas, are presented. Focus is placed on species metal levels at different soil conditions, temporal variations in plant tissue metal concentrations, and interspecies variation in metal concentrations. Vegetation samples were collected at Sogndal, a pristine site in western Norway, and at Risdalsheia, an acidified site in southernmost Norway. Metal concentrations in the different species sampled in western Norway are compared with relevant literature data from Norway, Finland, and northwest Russia, assumed to represent natural conditions. Except for aluminium (Al) and macronutrients, the levels of metals were generally lower in western Norway than in southern Norway and may be considered close to natural background levels. In southern Norway, the levels of cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) in particular appear to be affected by air pollution, either by direct atmospheric supply or through soil acidification. Levels of some elements show considerable variability between as well as within plant species. Calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and potassium (K) are higher in most species at Sogndal compared to Risdalsheia, despite increased extractable concentrations in surface soil in the south, probably attributed to different buffer mechanisms in surface soil. Antagonism on plant uptake is suggested between Ca, Mg, and K on one hand and Al on the other. Tolerance among calcifuges to acid conditions and a particular ability to detoxify or avoid uptake of Al ions are noticeable for Vaccinium vitis-idaea. PMID:26022847

  13. Does short-term exposure to elevated levels of natural gamma radiation in Ramsar cause oxidative stress?

    PubMed Central

    Mortazavi, SMJ; Niroomand-Rad, A; Roshan-Shomal, P; Razavi-Toosi, SMT; Mossayeb-Zadeh, M; Moghadam, M

    2014-01-01

    Background: Ramsar, a city in northern Iran, has areas with some of the highest recorded levels of natural radiation among inhabited areas measured on the earth. Aims: To determine whether short-term exposure to extremely high levels of natural radiation induce oxidative stress. Materials and Methods: In this study, 53 Wistar rats were randomly divided into five groups of 10-12 animals. Animals in the 1st group were kept for 7 days in an outdoor area with normal background radiation while the 2nd , 3rd , 4th and 5th groups were kept in four different outdoor areas with naturally elevated levels of gamma radiation in Ramsar. A calibrated RDS-110 survey meter, mounted on a tripod approximately 1 m above the ground, was used to measure exposure rate at each location. On days 7 and 9 blood sampling was performed to assess the serum levels of catalase (CAT) and malondialdehyde (MDA). On day 8, all animals were exposed to a lethal dose of 8 Gy gamma radiations emitted by a Theratron Phoenix (Theratronics, Canada) Cobalt-60 (55 cGy/min) at Radiotherapy Department of Razi Hospital in Rasht, Iran. Results: Findings obtained in this study indicate that high levels of natural radiation cannot induce oxidative stress. CAT and MDA levels in almost all groups were not significantly different (P = 0.69 and P = 0.05, respectively). After exposure to the lethal dose, CAT and MDA levels in all groups were not significantly different (P = 0.054 and P = 0.163, respectively). Conclusions: These findings indicate that short-term exposure to extremely high levels of natural radiation (up to 196 times higher than the normal background) does not induce oxidative stress. PMID:25143879

  14. Assessment of natural radioactivity concentrations and gamma dose levels around Shorapur, Karnataka

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajesh, S.; Avinash, P.; Kerur, B. R.; Anilkumar, S.

    2015-08-01

    This study assesses the level of background radiation around Shorapur. The study region locates the western part of the Yadgir district of Karnataka. Shorapur and Shahapur talukas are mostly composed of clay, shale sandstone, granite rock and part of study area is black soil. Thirty sample locations were selected along the length and breadth of Shorapur and Shahapur taluka. Natural radionuclide activity concentrations in soil samples were determined using 4"X4" NaI (Tl) gamma spectroscopy. Outdoor gamma dose measurements in air at 1 m above ground level were determined using Rad Eye PRD survey meter. Estimated dose values are compared with the survey meter values and found to be good agreement between them and also with the data obtained from different other areas of Karnataka and India. The average values were found to be slightly higher in the present investigation.

  15. Assessment of natural radioactivity concentrations and gamma dose levels around Shorapur, Karnataka

    SciTech Connect

    Rajesh, S.; Avinash, P.; Kerur, B. R.; Anilkumar, S.

    2015-08-28

    This study assesses the level of background radiation around Shorapur. The study region locates the western part of the Yadgir district of Karnataka. Shorapur and Shahapur talukas are mostly composed of clay, shale sandstone, granite rock and part of study area is black soil. Thirty sample locations were selected along the length and breadth of Shorapur and Shahapur taluka. Natural radionuclide activity concentrations in soil samples were determined using 4'X4' NaI (Tl) gamma spectroscopy. Outdoor gamma dose measurements in air at 1 m above ground level were determined using Rad Eye PRD survey meter. Estimated dose values are compared with the survey meter values and found to be good agreement between them and also with the data obtained from different other areas of Karnataka and India. The average values were found to be slightly higher in the present investigation.

  16. Level of natural and artificial radioactivity in Algeria.

    PubMed

    Baggoura, B; Noureddine, A; Benkrid, M

    1998-07-01

    A national environmental sampling program was carried out during 1993 to determine natural and artificial radionuclides contents in the (0-15 cm) upper layer of the soil. The main objective was to establish a radioactive reference level in the whole territory, since 131I, 134Cs and 137Cs were detected in most of the analysed samples collected right after the Chernobyl accident (May 1986). Soil samples were analysed by direct counting by gamma-ray spectrometry. In addition, terrestrial gamma-ray dose rates in air have been measured out of doors throughout Algeria. In each of the 48 administrative divisions of the country selected sites were chosen to collect soil samples and measure gamma-ray dose rates. The gamma-emitting radionuclides resulting from the radioactive decay of 238U and 232Th, 40K and 137Cs were detected in most of the analysed samples. Radioactivity concentrations in Bq kg-1 dry mass in soil samples of 226Ra, 214Pb, 214Bi, 212Pb, 228Ac, 40K and 137Cs range between (5-176), (2-107), (3-65), (2-97), (3-144), (36-1405) and (0.3-41) respectively. In addition, six selected soil samples were analysed to determine plutonium isotopes contents. Radioactivity concentrations in Bq kg-1 dry mass of 238Pu and 239 + 240Pu vary between (0.012-0.013) and (0.24-0.61) respectively. The dose rates in air measured over the whole country were found to range between 20 and 133 nGy h-1. Presence of 137Cs has been clearly observed. An approach has been made to determine its origin, considering the global fallout, the Chernobyl accident and the French nuclear bomb tests in the 60s as the main potential sources. It is concluded that Algeria has indeed been affected by the Chernobyl accident. PMID:9570102

  17. Structural models used in real-time biosurveillance outbreak detection and outbreak curve isolation from noisy background morbidity levels

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Karen Elizabeth; Crary, David J; Ray, Jaideep; Safta, Cosmin

    2013-01-01

    Objective We discuss the use of structural models for the analysis of biosurveillance related data. Methods and results Using a combination of real and simulated data, we have constructed a data set that represents a plausible time series resulting from surveillance of a large scale bioterrorist anthrax attack in Miami. We discuss the performance of anomaly detection with structural models for these data using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) and activity monitoring operating characteristic (AMOC) analysis. In addition, we show that these techniques provide a method for predicting the level of the outbreak valid for approximately 2 weeks, post-alarm. Conclusions Structural models provide an effective tool for the analysis of biosurveillance data, in particular for time series with noisy, non-stationary background and missing data. PMID:23037798

  18. Peat: a natural repository for low-level radioactive waste

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, E.D.

    1985-12-01

    A study has been initiated to evaluate the possibility of using peat as a natural repository for the disposal of low-level radioactive waste. One aspect of this study was to determine the retentive properties of the peat through measurements of the distribution coefficients (K/sub d/) for Am-241, Ru-106, Cs-137, Co-57, and Sr-85 in two layers of mountain top peat bogs from Lefgren's, NY, and Spruce Flats, PA. These K/sub d/ values were then compared to literature values of various sediment/water systems at similar environmental conditions. Am-241, Ru-106, Co-57, and Sr-85 attained distribution coefficients in the organic rich layers of the bogs two orders of magnitude greater than those obtained previously at pH 4.0. Although, the Cs-137 sorbed strongly to the inorganic rich layer of the Spruce Flats, PA, bog, the K/sub d/ values obtained for this isotope were, again, comparable or higher than those reported previously at pH 4.0, indicating the greater retentive properties of the peat. A chromatographic ''theoretical plate'' model was used to describe the field migration of Cs-137. The advection and diffusion coefficients were higher in the Lefgren's Bog, NY, than those obtained for the Spruce Flats Bog, PA. These field data were substantiated by the lower Cs-137 K/sub d/ values determined in the laboratory for the Lefgren's Bog, NY, compared to the Spruce Flats Bog. Although this model gave a good indication of the field migration, it neglected the process of sorption as defined by the sorption isotherm. Based on the time series data on distribution ratio measurements, a Cameron-Klute type of sorption isotherm was indicated, with rapid equilibrium initially superimposed onto a slower first order linear reversible equilibrium. This sorption isotherm can then be used in the final form of a model to describe the migration of radionuclides in a peat bog. 19 refs., 15 figs., 10 tabs.

  19. Assessment of spatial distribution and radiological hazardous nature of radionuclides in high background radiation area, Kerala, India.

    PubMed

    Ramasamy, V; Sundarrajan, M; Paramasivam, K; Meenakshisundaram, V; Suresh, G

    2013-03-01

    The concentration and distribution of the natural radionuclides ((238)U, (232)Th and (40)K) have been analyzed for the beach sediments of Kerala with an aim of evaluating the radiation hazards. The ranges of activity concentrations of (238)U, (232)Th and (40)K are BDL-1187 ± 21.7 Bq/kg, BDL-5328 ± 23.2 Bq/kg and BDL-693 ± 31.2 Bq/kg respectively. Radiological parameters such as absorbed dose rate, annual effective dose equivalent, annual gonadal dose equivalent, radium equivalent, hazard index, gamma Index, activity utilization index and excess lifetime cancer risk are calculated to know the complete radiological hazardous nature. Concentration of radionuclides ((238)U and (232)Th) and all the calculated radiological parameters are higher in site number S(23) (Chavara beach) due to the presence of rich deposits of black sands. Average concentrations of radionuclides ((238)U and (232)Th) and all calculated radiological parameters are higher than the recommended level. Both univariate and multivariate statistical analyses were applied effectively to assess the distribution of the radionuclides. Univariate statistical analysis shows that the confirmation of infrequent extreme deviations of all radioactive variables. Cluster analysis shows that light minerals play a role in cluster I sampling sites and heavy minerals may be played in sampling sites of other clusters. Calculated activity ratio confirmed the presence of light and heavy minerals in above mentioned sampling sites. The Kerala beach sediments pose significant radiological threat to the people living in the area and tourists going to the beaches for recreation or to the sailors and fishermen involved in their activities in the study area. PMID:23262126

  20. Background noise levels measured in the NASA Lewis 9- by 15-foot low-speed wind tunnel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woodward, Richard P.; Dittmar, James H.; Hall, David G.; Kee-Bowling, Bonnie

    1994-01-01

    The acoustic capability of the NASA Lewis 9 by 15 Foot Low Speed Wind Tunnel has been significantly improved by reducing the background noise levels measured by in-flow microphones. This was accomplished by incorporating streamlined microphone holders having a profile developed by researchers at the NASA Ames Research Center. These new holders were fabricated for fixed mounting on the tunnel wall and for an axially traversing microphone probe which was mounted to the tunnel floor. Measured in-flow noise levels in the tunnel test section were reduced by about 10 dB with the new microphone holders compared with those measured with the older, less refined microphone holders. Wake interference patterns between fixed wall microphones were measured and resulted in preferred placement patterns for these microphones to minimize these effects. Acoustic data from a model turbofan operating in the tunnel test section showed that results for the fixed and translating microphones were equivalent for common azimuthal angles, suggesting that the translating microphone probe, with its significantly greater angular resolution, is preferred for sideline noise measurements. Fixed microphones can provide a local check on the traversing microphone data quality, and record acoustic performance at other azimuthal angles.

  1. Community-level net spillover of natural enemies from managed to natural forest

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Edge effects in fragmented natural habitats may be exacerbated by intensive land-use in the surrounding landscape. Given that most managed systems have higher productivity than adjacent natural systems, theory suggests that subsidised consumers are likely to spill over from managed to natural habita...

  2. Background ozone levels of air entering the west coast of the US and assessment of longer-term changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oltmans, Samuel J.; Lefohn, Allen S.; Harris, Joyce M.; Shadwick, Douglas S.

    An analysis of surface ozone measurements at a west coast site in northern California (Trinidad Head) demonstrates that this location is well situated to sample air entering the west coast of the US from the Pacific Ocean. During the seasonal maximum in the spring, this location regularly observes hourly average ozone mixing ratios ⩾50 ppbv in air that is uninfluenced by the North American continent. Mean daytime values in the spring exceed 40 ppbv. A location in southern California (Channel Islands National Park) demonstrates many of the characteristics during the spring as Trinidad Head in terms of air flow patterns and ozone amounts suggesting that background levels of ozone entering southern California from the Pacific Ocean are similar to those in northern California. Two inland locations (Yreka and Lassen Volcanic National Park) in northern California with surface ozone data records of 20 years or more are more difficult to interpret because of possible influences of local or regional changes. They show differing results for the long-term trend during the spring. The 10-year ozone vertical profile measurements obtained with weekly ozonesondes at Trinidad Head show no significant longer-term change in tropospheric ozone.

  3. Natural gas odor level testing: Instruments and applications

    SciTech Connect

    Roberson, E.H.

    1995-12-01

    An odor in natural and LP gases is necessary. The statistics are overwhelming; when gas customers can smell a leak before the percentage of gas in air reaches a combustible mixture, the chances of an accident are greatly reduced. How do gas companies determine if there is sufficient odor reaching every gas customers home? Injection equipment is important. The rate and quality of odorant is important. Nevertheless, precision odorization alone does not guarantee that customers` homes always have gas with a readily detectable odor. To secure that goal, odor monitoring instruments are necessary.

  4. Concentration of trace metals in sediments and soils from protected lands in south Florida: background levels and risk evaluation.

    PubMed

    Castro, Joffre E; Fernandez, Adolfo M; Gonzalez-Caccia, Valentina; Gardinali, Piero R

    2013-08-01

    A comprehensive environmental evaluation was completed on 20 metals: two reference metals (Fe, Al) and several minor trace metals (As, Ba, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, V, and Zn) for surface soils and sediments collected from 50 sites in Everglades National Park (ENP), the coastal fringes of Biscayne National Park (BNP), and Big Cypress National Preserve. Samples were prepared by acid digestion (EPA3050) and analyzed by ICP/MS detection (EPA6020). Although no widespread contamination was detected across the two parks and one preserve, there were some specific areas where metal concentrations exceeded Florida's ecological thresholds, suggesting that some metals were of concern. A screening-level evaluation based on a proposed effect index grouped trace metals by their potential for causing negligible, possible, and probable effects on the biota. For example, Cu in BNP and Cr and Pb in ENP were considered of concern because their adverse effect likelihood to biota was assessed as probable; consequently, these trace metals were selected for further risk characterization. Also, stations were ranked based on a proposed overall contamination index that showed that: site BB10 in BNP and sites E3 and E5 in ENP had the highest scores. The first site was located in a marina in BNP, and the other two sites were along the eastern boundary of ENP adjacent to current or former agricultural lands. An assessment tool for south Florida protected lands was developed for evaluating impacts from on-going Everglades restoration projects and to assist State and Federal agencies with resource management. The tool consists of enrichment plots and statistically derived background concentrations based on soil/sediment data collected from the two national parks and one preserve. Finally, an equally accurate but much simplified approach is offered for developing enrichment plots for other environmental settings. PMID:23288595

  5. Background Pathological Changes in Minipigs: A Comparison of the Incidence and Nature among Different Breeds and Populations of Minipigs.

    PubMed

    Helke, Kristi L; Nelson, Keith N; Sargeant, Aaron M; Jacob, Binod; McKeag, Sean; Haruna, Julius; Vemireddi, Vimala; Greeley, Melanie; Brocksmith, Derek; Navratil, Nicole; Stricker-Krongrad, Alain; Hollinger, Charlotte

    2016-04-01

    Swine, especially the miniature swine or minipigs, are increasingly being used in preclinical safety assessment of small molecules, biopharmaceutical agents, and medical devices as an alternate nonrodent species. Although swine have been used extensively in biomedical research, there is a paucity of information in the current literature detailing the incidence of background lesions and differences in incidence between commonly used breeds. This article is a collaborative effort between multiple organizations to define and document lesions found in the common breeds of minipigs used for toxicological risk assessment in North America (NA) and the European Union (EU). We retrospectively assessed 10 years of historical control data from several institutions located in NA and EU, covering the period of 2004-2015. Here we report the background lesions with consideration of breed and geographical location. To our knowledge, this is the first report documenting spontaneous background lesions in commonly used breeds of swine in both NA and EU. This report serves as a resource to pathologists and will aid in interpretation of findings and differentiation of background from test article-related changes. PMID:26534940

  6. Middle Level Mathematics Teachers' Self-Efficacy Growth through Professional Development: Differences Based on Mathematical Background

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stevens, Tara; Aguirre-Munoz, Zenaida; Harris, Gary; Higgins, Raegan; Liu, Xun

    2013-01-01

    growth of teachers with more and less mathematics background as the teachers participated in professional development across two summers. Professional development activities were associated with increases in teachers' self-efficacy; however, without considering…

  7. Community-level net spillover of natural enemies from managed to natural forest.

    PubMed

    Frost, Carol M; Didham, Raphael K; Rand, Tatyana A; Peralta, Guadalupe; Tylianakis, Jason M

    2015-01-01

    Edge effects in fragmented natural habitats may De exaceroateci by intensive land use in the surrounding landscape. Given that most managed systems have higher primary productivity than adjacent natural systems, theory suggests that bottom-up subsidized consumers are likely to spill over from managed to natural habitats. Furthermore, the magnitude of spillover is likely to differ between generalist and specialist consumers, because of differences in their ability to use the full spectrum of resources. However, it is unknown whether there is indeed asymmetrical spillover of consumers between managed and natural habitats, and whether this is related to resource abundance or the trophic specialization of the consumer. We used flight intercept traps to measure spillover of generalist predators (Vespula wasps, Vespidae) and more specialist predators (106 species of parasitoids, Ichneumonidae and Braconidae) across habitat edges between native New Zealand forest and exotic plantation forest over a summer season. We found net spillover of both generalist and specialist predators from plantation to native forest, and that this was greater for generalists. To test whether natural enemy spillover from managed habitats was related to prey (caterpillar) abundance (i.e., whether it was bottom-up productivity driven, due to increased primary productivity), we conducted a large-scale herbivore reduction experiment at half of our plantation sites, by helicopter spraying caterpillar-specific insecticide over 2.5 ha per site. We monitored bidirectional natural enemy spillover and found that herbivore reduction reduced generalist but not specialist predator spillover. Trophic generalists may benefit disproportionately from high resource productivity in a habitat, and their cross-habitat spillover effects on natural food webs may be an important source of consumer pressure in mosaic landscapes. PMID:26236904

  8. Factors affecting levels of genetic diversity in natural populations.

    PubMed Central

    Amos, W; Harwood, J

    1998-01-01

    Genetic variability is the clay of evolution, providing the base material on which adaptation and speciation depend. It is often assumed that most interspecific differences in variability are due primarily to population size effects, with bottlenecked populations carrying less variability than those of stable size. However, we show that population bottlenecks are unlikely to be the only factor, even in classic case studies such as the northern elephant seal and the cheetah, where genetic polymorphism is virtually absent. Instead, we suggest that the low levels of variability observed in endangered populations are more likely to result from a combination of publication biases, which tend to inflate the level of variability which is considered 'normal', and inbreeding effects, which may hasten loss of variability due to drift. To account for species with large population sizes but low variability we advance three hypotheses. First, it is known that certain metapopulation structures can result in effective population sizes far below the census size. Second, there is increasing evidence that heterozygous sites mutate more frequently than equivalent homozygous sites, plausibly because mismatch repair between homologous chromosomes during meiosis provides extra opportunities to mutate. Such a mechanism would undermine the simple relationship between heterozygosity and effective population size. Third, the fact that related species that differ greatly in variability implies that large amounts of variability can be gained or lost rapidly. We argue that such cases are best explained by rapid loss through a genome-wide selective sweep, and suggest a mechanism by which this could come about, based on forced changes to a control gene inducing coevolution in the genes it controls. Our model, based on meiotic drive in mammals, but easily extended to other systems, would tend to facilitate population isolation by generating molecular incompatabilities. Circumstances can even be

  9. Seasonal trend of particulate PAHs at Gosan, a background site in Korea between 2001 and 2002 and major factors affecting their levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Ji Yi; Kim, Yong Pyo; Kang, Chang-Hee; Ghim, Young Sung

    2006-12-01

    The concentrations of particulate Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were measured at Gosan, a background site in Korea for 1 year between November 2001 and November 2002. The total concentrations of 14 PAH compounds at Gosan were between 0.52 and 14.76 ng m - 3 and about 3-15 times higher than those at other rural or remote sites in the world. Seasonal trend was observed for particulate PAHs concentrations at Gosan with higher levels during heating season due to increased fossil fuel usage and the movement of air parcels from Asian continent. Principal component factor analysis (PCF) for PAHs showed three factors; combination of coal combustion and vehicular emission, natural gas combustion, and unidentified one. However, PCF for the combined data of PAHs, inorganic ions, and elements revealed that the unidentified factor consists of crustal species, sea salts, and four PAH compounds. Thus, this factor is thought to be transport of crustal species with organics from combustion sources. The major variables which determine the sources of PAHs are the heating season and the movement of air parcels from Asian continent.

  10. Platinum levels in natural and urban soils from Rome and Latium (Italy): significance for pollution by automobile catalytic converter.

    PubMed

    Cinti, D; Angelone, M; Masi, U; Cremisini, C

    2002-07-01

    Platinum concentrations in topsoil samples collected in 1992 (48) and in 2001 (16) from the urban area of Rome have been determined by ICP-MS. Concentrations in 47 soil samples collected in 1992 from natural sites of Latium (an area around Rome) have been determined for a first assessment of natural background levels. The Pt concentrations in Rome urban soils collected in 1992 range from 0.8 to 6.3 ng/g (mean = 3.8 +/- 1.0) overlapping the concentration range of natural soils from Latium (mean = 3.1 +/- 2.1 ng/g). No significant correlation has generally been found between Pt contents in the 'natural' soils and related bedrock or major pedogenetic parameters. These results suggest that there is no evidence of Pt pollution in Rome urban soils at that time, because the massive use of the automobile catalytic converter has only just started. Higher (up to six times more) Pt concentrations, than those measured in the 1992 samples, have been measured, in some cases, in Rome urban soils collected in 2001, suggesting a possible start of Pt accumulation because of the large-scale use in the last decade of automobile catalytic converters. At the same time, a clear decrease of lead levels in Rome urban soils with respect to the levels measured in 1992 has been observed, paralleling the decreasing number of lead gasoline-fuelled cars. Here we present one of the first systematic studies for defining background levels of Pt in Italian natural soils, thus allowing for monitoring, in the future, should any possible Pt pollution caused by the use of automobile catalytic converter, especially in urban soils, occur. PMID:12109480

  11. Structure and Complexity of Oral Narratives in Advanced-Level Spanish: A Comparison of Three Learning Backgrounds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rubio, Fernando

    2003-01-01

    This study compared the narratives of three groups of advanced speakers of Spanish with different learning backgrounds. The first group was made up of heritage speakers; the second group was composed of missionaries that had recently returned from a two-year sojourn in a Spanish-speaking country; and the third group comprised students who had…

  12. Evaluating Music Teachers: A Comparison of Evaluations by Observers with Varied Levels of Musical and Observational Background

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hirokawa, Joy Ondra

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this research was to examine the differences in the evaluations of music teachers conducted by individuals with varying backgrounds in music and observation techniques. Part I compared evaluations completed by school administrators and music department leadership. Part II utilized the findings of Part I to create focused and…

  13. The Perception of Naturalness Correlates with Low-Level Visual Features of Environmental Scenes

    PubMed Central

    Berman, Marc G.; Hout, Michael C.; Kardan, Omid; Hunter, MaryCarol R.; Yourganov, Grigori; Henderson, John M.; Hanayik, Taylor; Karimi, Hossein; Jonides, John

    2014-01-01

    Previous research has shown that interacting with natural environments vs. more urban or built environments can have salubrious psychological effects, such as improvements in attention and memory. Even viewing pictures of nature vs. pictures of built environments can produce similar effects. A major question is: What is it about natural environments that produces these benefits? Problematically, there are many differing qualities between natural and urban environments, making it difficult to narrow down the dimensions of nature that may lead to these benefits. In this study, we set out to uncover visual features that related to individuals' perceptions of naturalness in images. We quantified naturalness in two ways: first, implicitly using a multidimensional scaling analysis and second, explicitly with direct naturalness ratings. Features that seemed most related to perceptions of naturalness were related to the density of contrast changes in the scene, the density of straight lines in the scene, the average color saturation in the scene and the average hue diversity in the scene. We then trained a machine-learning algorithm to predict whether a scene was perceived as being natural or not based on these low-level visual features and we could do so with 81% accuracy. As such we were able to reliably predict subjective perceptions of naturalness with objective low-level visual features. Our results can be used in future studies to determine if these features, which are related to naturalness, may also lead to the benefits attained from interacting with nature. PMID:25531411

  14. Exploratory and spatial data analysis (EDA-SDA) for determining regional background levels and anomalies of potentially toxic elements in soils from Catorce-Matehuala, Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chiprés, J.A.; Castro-Larragoitia, J.; Monroy, M.G.

    2009-01-01

    The threshold between geochemical background and anomalies can be influenced by the methodology selected for its estimation. Environmental evaluations, particularly those conducted in mineralized areas, must consider this when trying to determinate the natural geochemical status of a study area, quantifying human impacts, or establishing soil restoration values for contaminated sites. Some methods in environmental geochemistry incorporate the premise that anomalies (natural or anthropogenic) and background data are characterized by their own probabilistic distributions. One of these methods uses exploratory data analysis (EDA) on regional geochemical data sets coupled with a geographic information system (GIS) to spatially understand the processes that influence the geochemical landscape in a technique that can be called a spatial data analysis (SDA). This EDA-SDA methodology was used to establish the regional background range from the area of Catorce-Matehuala in north-central Mexico. Probability plots of the data, particularly for those areas affected by human activities, show that the regional geochemical background population is composed of smaller subpopulations associated with factors such as soil type and parent material. This paper demonstrates that the EDA-SDA method offers more certainty in defining thresholds between geochemical background and anomaly than a numeric technique, making it a useful tool for regional geochemical landscape analysis and environmental geochemistry studies.

  15. Reliable detection of predator cues in afferent spike trains of a katydid under high background noise levels

    PubMed Central

    Hartbauer, Manfred; Radspieler, Gerald; Römer, Heiner

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Katydid receivers face the problem of detecting behaviourally relevant predatory cues from echolocating bats in the same frequency domain as their own conspecific mating signals. We therefore tested the hypothesis that katydids are able to detect the presence of insectivorous bats in spike discharges at early stages of nervous processing in the auditory pathway by using the temporal details characteristic for responses to echolocation sequences. Spike activity was recorded from an identified nerve cell (omega neuron) under both laboratory and field conditions. In the laboratory, the preparation was stimulated with sequences of bat calls at different repetition rates typical for the guild of insectivorous bats, in the presence of background noise. The omega cell fired brief high-frequency bursts of action potentials in response to each bat sound pulse. Repetition rates of 18 and 24 Hz of these pulses resulted in a suppression of activity resulting from background noise, thus facilitating the detection of bat calls. The spike activity typical for responses to bat echolocation contrasts to responses to background noise, producing different distributions of inter-spike intervals. This allowed development of a ‘neuronal bat detector’ algorithm, optimized to detect responses to bats in afferent spike trains. The algorithm was applied to more than 24 hours of outdoor omega-recordings performed either at a rainforest clearing with high bat activity or in rainforest understory, where bat activity was low. In 95% of cases, the algorithm detected a bat reliably, even under high background noise, and correctly rejected responses when an electronic bat detector showed no response. PMID:20709932

  16. Reliable detection of predator cues in afferent spike trains of a katydid under high background noise levels.

    PubMed

    Hartbauer, Manfred; Radspieler, Gerald; Römer, Heiner

    2010-09-01

    Katydid receivers face the problem of detecting behaviourally relevant predatory cues from echolocating bats in the same frequency domain as their own conspecific mating signals. We therefore tested the hypothesis that katydids are able to detect the presence of insectivorous bats in spike discharges at early stages of nervous processing in the auditory pathway by using the temporal details characteristic for responses to echolocation sequences. Spike activity was recorded from an identified nerve cell (omega neuron) under both laboratory and field conditions. In the laboratory, the preparation was stimulated with sequences of bat calls at different repetition rates typical for the guild of insectivorous bats, in the presence of background noise. The omega cell fired brief high-frequency bursts of action potentials in response to each bat sound pulse. Repetition rates of 18 and 24 Hz of these pulses resulted in a suppression of activity resulting from background noise, thus facilitating the detection of bat calls. The spike activity typical for responses to bat echolocation contrasts to responses to background noise, producing different distributions of inter-spike intervals. This allowed development of a 'neuronal bat detector' algorithm, optimized to detect responses to bats in afferent spike trains. The algorithm was applied to more than 24 hours of outdoor omega-recordings performed either at a rainforest clearing with high bat activity or in rainforest understory, where bat activity was low. In 95% of cases, the algorithm detected a bat reliably, even under high background noise, and correctly rejected responses when an electronic bat detector showed no response. PMID:20709932

  17. Four basic levels of the interactions between humanity and the imbalanced Nature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kontar, V. A.

    2013-12-01

    There are the clearly distinguishable four basic levels of interaction the humanity with the imbalanced Nature: 1 Level - Naivety: Self-healing Nature in defiance of the humanity activities. 2 Level - Collaboration: Restoration of Nature in cooperation with humanity. 3 Level - Conflict: The resistance of Nature against the humanity's interference. 4 Level - Disappearance: Nature destroys humanity as the trouble maker. On the first level the people were afraid and respected Nature and are taking from Nature only what Nature gave willingly. Therefore Nature could easy regenerate itself. So it was thousands of years and people become under the false impression that it will be forever. The first signs the end of this period was visible in the era of industrialization. It turned out that resources are not infinite, and the waste of humanity grows much faster than Nature can utilize or dispose it. But in the world still had plenty of the untouched places and industrialization continued to develop rapidly. Thus problems with Nature were dislocated into the colonies rather far off from the prosperous metropolitan countries. The false impression about the man's victory over Nature has increased. Very soon the main untouched place was used, and the global circulations bring the pollutions from colonies to the metropolis. The second level was started as processes to creating the national parks, natural reservations, etc. It was some beginning of the cooperation humanity with Nature. The invasion into the Nature of the colonies was intensified. In addition start increasing the pollution in the metropolis from the waste of resources which have been imported from the colonies. The third level was started and Nature began to resist and revenge to the self-confident man. But man didn't stop and continued create more and more aggressive processes which provoked some avalanches-looks reactions of Nature. Now people can start these avalanches, but cannot stop it. One of these man

  18. Radon exhalation rate and natural radionuclide content in building materials of high background areas of Ramsar, Iran.

    PubMed

    Bavarnegin, E; Fathabadi, N; Vahabi Moghaddam, M; Vasheghani Farahani, M; Moradi, M; Babakhni, A

    2013-03-01

    Radon exhalation rates from building materials used in high background radiation areas (HBRA) of Ramsar were measured using an active radon gas analyzer with an emanation container. Radon exhalation rates from these samples varied from below the lower detection limit up to 384 Bq.m(-2) h(-1). The (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K contents were also measured using a high resolution HPGe gamma- ray spectrometer system. The activity concentration of (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K content varied from below the minimum detection limit up to 86,400 Bq kg(-1), 187 Bq kg(-1) and 1350 Bq kg(-1), respectively. The linear correlation coefficient between radon exhalation rate and radium concentration was 0.90. The result of this survey shows that radon exhalation rate and radium content in some local stones used as basements are extremely high and these samples are main sources of indoor radon emanation as well as external gamma radiation from uranium series. PMID:22280998

  19. Sparsely ionizing diagnostic and natural background radiations are likely preventing cancer and other genomic-instability-associated diseases.

    PubMed

    Scott, Bobby R; Di Palma, Jennifer

    2007-01-01

    Routine diagnostic X-rays (e.g., chest X-rays, mammograms, computed tomography scans) and routine diagnostic nuclear medicine procedures using sparsely ionizing radiation forms (e.g., beta and gamma radiations) stimulate the removal of precancerous neo-plastically transformed and other genomically unstable cells from the body (medical radiation hormesis). The indicated radiation hormesis arises because radiation doses above an individual-specific stochastic threshold activate a system of cooperative protective processes that include high-fidelity DNA repair/apoptosis (presumed p53 related), an auxiliary apoptosis process (PAM process) that is presumed p53-independent, and stimulated immunity. These forms of induced protection are called adapted protection because they are associated with the radiation adaptive response. Diagnostic X-ray sources, other sources of sparsely ionizing radiation used in nuclear medicine diagnostic procedures, as well as radioisotope-labeled immunoglobulins could be used in conjunction with apoptosis-sensitizing agents (e.g., the natural phenolic compound resveratrol) in curing existing cancer via low-dose fractionated or low-dose, low-dose-rate therapy (therapeutic radiation hormesis). Evidence is provided to support the existence of both therapeutic (curing existing cancer) and medical (cancer prevention) radiation hormesis. Evidence is also provided demonstrating that exposure to environmental sparsely ionizing radiations, such as gamma rays, protect from cancer occurrence and the occurrence of other diseases via inducing adapted protection (environmental radiation hormesis). PMID:18648608

  20. Sunlight-Exposed Biofilm Microbial Communities Are Naturally Resistant to Chernobyl Ionizing-Radiation Levels

    PubMed Central

    Ragon, Marie; Restoux, Gwendal; Moreira, David; Møller, Anders Pape; López-García, Purificación

    2011-01-01

    Background The Chernobyl accident represents a long-term experiment on the effects of exposure to ionizing radiation at the ecosystem level. Though studies of these effects on plants and animals are abundant, the study of how Chernobyl radiation levels affect prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbial communities is practically non-existent, except for a few reports on human pathogens or soil microorganisms. Environments enduring extreme desiccation and UV radiation, such as sunlight exposed biofilms could in principle select for organisms highly resistant to ionizing radiation as well. Methodology/Principal Findings To test this hypothesis, we explored the diversity of microorganisms belonging to the three domains of life by cultivation-independent approaches in biofilms developing on concrete walls or pillars in the Chernobyl area exposed to different levels of radiation, and we compared them with a similar biofilm from a non-irradiated site in Northern Ireland. Actinobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Acidobacteria and Deinococcales were the most consistently detected bacterial groups, whereas green algae (Chlorophyta) and ascomycete fungi (Ascomycota) dominated within the eukaryotes. Close relatives to the most radio-resistant organisms known, including Rubrobacter species, Deinococcales and melanized ascomycete fungi were always detected. The diversity of bacteria and eukaryotes found in the most highly irradiated samples was comparable to that of less irradiated Chernobyl sites and Northern Ireland. However, the study of mutation frequencies in non-coding ITS regions versus SSU rRNA genes in members of a same actinobacterial operational taxonomic unit (OTU) present in Chernobyl samples and Northern Ireland showed a positive correlation between increased radiation and mutation rates. Conclusions/Significance Our results show that biofilm microbial communities in the most irradiated samples are comparable to non-irradiated samples in terms of general

  1. Background Levels of Salivary-α-amylase Plus Foreign DNA in Cases of Oral Intercourse: a Female Perspective.

    PubMed

    Breathnach, Michelle; Moore, Elizabeth

    2015-11-01

    Saliva plus DNA from a suspect is commonly encountered in sexual assault cases on bodily swabs. However, without background knowledge, the weight of this evidence is unknown. It may indicate the presence of saliva resulting from cunnilingus, or it may represent indirect transfer. In this study, females who refrained from cunnilingus donated 43 items of underwear and 19 vaginal swabs. The samples were subjected to Phadebas(®) , RSID(™) -Saliva and mRNA profiling and were subsequently DNA-profiled to determine the prevalence of background saliva in the female population. The results report that 15.8% of females who refrained from cunnilingus were positive for saliva and a further 10.5% also had DNA from unknown source(s). These findings of the rate of indirect transfer were evaluated with the Bayesian approach, and it was found that the evidence of saliva plus a high foreign DNA source adds moderately strong support to the allegation of cunnilingus. PMID:26212904

  2. Comparison of different methods to assess natural backgrond levels in groundwater bodies in southern Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Preziosi, Elisabetta; Parrone, Daniele; Ghergo, Stefano; Ducci, Daniela; Sellerino, Mariangela; Condesso de Melo, Maria Teresa; Oliveira, Juana; Ribeiro, Luis

    2014-05-01

    The assessment of the natural background levels (NBLs) of a substance or element is important to distinguish anthropogenic pollution from contamination of natural origin in groundwater bodies. NBLs are the result of different atmospheric, geological, chemical and biological interaction processes during groundwater infiltration and circulation. Rainfall composition, water-rock interactions in both vadose and saturated zone, exchanges with other water bodies and residence time also contribute to determine the groundwater natural composition. Nowadays there are different methods to assess NBLs but the main concern is that they may provide different results. In the European legislative context, the Groundwater Directive (2006/118/EC) requests to EU Member States to derive appropriate threshold values (TV) for several potentially harmful substances, taking into account NBLs when necessary, in order to assess the chemical status of groundwater bodies. In the framework of a common project between Italy (CNR) and Portugal (FCT), several groundwater bodies were taken into account in different regions of Italy (Latium and Campania) and Portugal. The general objective is the definition of a sound comprehensive methodology for NBL assessment at groundwater body scale, suitable to different hydrogeological settings through comparing diverse case studies and different approaches. The Italian case studies are located in volcanic or volcano-sedimentary geological contexts, where high concentrations of substances such as As, F, Fe, Mn among others in groundwater are well known. The Portuguese case studies are located in carbonate and porous media aquifers. Several data sets were explored with the use of statistical as well as mathematical procedures in order to determine a threshold between natural and anthropogenic concentration. Today essentially two groups of methods are proposed, the first ascribed to the probability plots (PP method), the second based on the selection of the

  3. Background contamination by coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in trace level high resolution gas chromatography/high resolution mass spectrometry (HRGC/HRMS) analytical procedures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ferrario, J.; Byrne, C.; Dupuy, A. E. Jr

    1997-01-01

    The addition of the "dioxin-like" polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners to the assessment of risk associated with the 2,3,7,8-chlorine substituted dioxins and furans has dramatically increased the number of laboratories worldwide that are developing analytical procedures for their detection and quantitation. Most of these procedures are based on established sample preparation and analytical techniques employing high resolution gas chromatography/high resolution mass spectrometry (HRGC/HRMS), which are used for the analyses of dioxin/furans at low parts-per-trillion (ppt) levels. A significant and widespread problem that arises when using these sample preparation procedures for the analysis of coplanar PCBs is the presence of background levels of these congeners. Industrial processes, urban incineration, leaking electrical transformers, hazardous waste accidents, and improper waste disposal practices have released appreciable quantities of PCBs into the environment. This contamination has resulted in the global distribution of these compounds via the atmosphere and their ubiquitous presence in ambient air. The background presence of these compounds in method blanks must be addressed when determining the exact concentrations of these and other congeners in environmental samples. In this study reliable procedures were developed to accurately define these background levels and assess their variability over the course of the study. The background subtraction procedures developed and employed increase the probability that the values reported accurately represent the concentrations found in the samples and were not biased due to this background contamination.

  4. Determination of an Environmental Background Level of Sr-90 in Urine for the Hanford Bioassay Program Determination of an Environmental Background Level of Sr-90 in Urine for the Hanford Bioassay Program

    SciTech Connect

    Antonio, Cheryl L.; Rivard, James W.

    2009-11-01

    During the decommissioning and maintenance of some of the facilities at the U.S. Department of Energy Hanford Site in Washington State, workers have potential for a 90Sr intake. However, because of worldwide radioactive fallout, 90Sr is present in our environment, and can be detectable in routine urine bioassay samples. It is important for the Hanford Site bioassay program to discern an occupational intake from a non-occupational environmental one. A detailed study of the background 90Sr in the urine of unexposed Hanford workers was performed. A survey of the Hanford Site bioassay database found 128 Hanford workers who were hired between 1997 and 2002 and who had a very low potential for an occupational exposure prior to the baseline strontium urinalysis. Each urinalysis sample represented excretion during an approximate 24-hr period. The arithmetic mean value for the 128 pre-exposure baselines was 3.6 ± 5.1 mBq d-1. The 90Sr activities in urine varied from -12 to 20 mBq. The 99th percentile result was 16.4 mBqd-1, which was interpreted to mean that 1% of Hanford workers not occupationally exposed to strontium might exceed 16.4 mBq d-1.

  5. Neutron inelastic scattering and reactions in natural Pb as a background in neutrinoless double-{beta}-decay experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Guiseppe, V. E.; Devlin, M.; Elliott, S. R.; Fotiades, N.; Hime, A.; Nelson, R. O.; Perepelitsa, D. V.; Mei, D.-M.

    2009-05-15

    Inelastic neutron scattering and reactions on Pb isotopes can result in {gamma} rays near the signature end-point energy in a number of {beta}{beta} isotopes. In particular, there are {gamma}-ray transitions in {sup 206,207,208}Pb that might produce energy deposits at the {sup 76}GeQ{sub {beta}}{sub {beta}} in Ge detectors used for 0{nu}{beta}{beta} searches. The levels that produce these {gamma} rays can be excited by (n,n{sup '}{gamma}) or (n,xn{gamma}) reactions, but the cross sections are small and previously unmeasured. This work uses the pulsed neutron beam at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center to directly measure reactions of interest to {beta}{beta}-decay experiments. The cross section on {sup nat}Pb to produce the 2041-keV {gamma} ray from {sup 206}Pb is measured to be 3.6 {+-} 0.7 (stat.) {+-} 0.3 (syst.) mb at {approx_equal}9.6 MeV. The cross section on {sup nat}Pb to produce the 3061,3062-keV {gamma} rays from {sup 207}Pb and {sup 208}Pb is measured to be 3.9 {+-} 0.8 (stat.) {+-} 0.4 (syst.) mb at the same energy. We report cross sections or place upper limits on the cross sections for exciting some other levels in Pb that have transition energies corresponding to Q{sub {beta}}{sub {beta}} in other {beta}{beta} isotopes.

  6. Parent-of-origin genetic background affects the transcriptional levels of circadian and neuronal plasticity genes following sleep loss

    PubMed Central

    Tinarelli, Federico; Garcia-Garcia, Celina; Nicassio, Francesco; Tucci, Valter

    2014-01-01

    Sleep homoeostasis refers to a process in which the propensity to sleep increases as wakefulness progresses and decreases as sleep progresses. Sleep is tightly organized around the circadian clock and is regulated by genetic and epigenetic mechanisms. The homoeostatic response of sleep, which is classically triggered by sleep deprivation, is generally measured as a rebound effect of electrophysiological measures, for example delta sleep. However, more recently, gene expression changes following sleep loss have been investigated as biomarkers of sleep homoeostasis. The genetic background of an individual may affect this sleep-dependent gene expression phenotype. In this study, we investigated whether parental genetic background differentially modulates the expression of genes following sleep loss. We tested the progeny of reciprocal crosses of AKR/J and DBA/2J mouse strains and we show a parent-of-origin effect on the expression of circadian, sleep and neuronal plasticity genes following sleep deprivation. Thus, we further explored, by in silico, specific functions or upstream mechanisms of regulation and we observed that several upstream mechanisms involving signalling pathways (i.e. DICER1, PKA), growth factors (CSF3 and BDNF) and transcriptional regulators (EGR2 and ELK4) may be differentially modulated by parental effects. This is the first report showing that a behavioural manipulation (e.g. sleep deprivation) in adult animals triggers specific gene expression responses according to parent-of-origin genomic mechanisms. Our study suggests that the same mechanism may be extended to other behavioural domains and that the investigation of gene expression following experimental manipulations should take seriously into account parent-of-origin effects. PMID:24446504

  7. School Achievement and Personality. Description of School Achievement in Terms of Ability, Trait, Situational and Background Variables. III: Operations at the Factor Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niskanen, Erkki A.

    This monograph contains the third section, operations at the factor level, of a report of studies done in Helsinki, Finland, describing school achievement in terms of ability, trait, situational, and background variables. The report (1) investigates the structure of school achievement, (2) describes school achievement in terms of selected…

  8. School Achievement and Personality. Description of School Achievement in Terms of Ability, Trait, Situational and Background Variables. II: Operations at the Variable Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niskanen, Erkki A.

    This monograph contains the second section, operations at the variable level, of a report of studies done in Helsinki, Finland, describing school achievement in terms of ability, trait, situational, and background variables. The report (1) investigates the structure of school achievement, (2) describes school achievement in terms of selected…

  9. DETERMINATION OF BACKGROUND LEVELS OF LEAD AND CADMIUM IN RAW AGRICULTURAL CROPS BY USING DIFFERENTIAL PULSE ANODIC STRIPPING VOLTAMMETRY

    EPA Science Inventory

    A method is described for the simultaneous determination of ultratrace levels of lead and cadmium in selected agricultural crop samples by differential pulse anodic stripping voltametry. Samples are dry ashed at high temperature with H2SO4 as an ashing aid. Techniques are describ...

  10. Am I "That" Talented? The Experiences of Gifted Individuals from Diverse Educational Backgrounds at the Postsecondary Level

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gómez-Arízaga, María P.; Conejeros-Solar, M. Leonor

    2013-01-01

    The experiences of gifted students at the postsecondary level have not been studied widely. The goal of the present study was to explore and describe gifted students' perceptions of their first year after high school regarding experiences of success and failure. Two focus groups were conducted with 12 students (8 males, 4 females) from…

  11. Personal exposure to ultrafine particles: Two-level statistical modeling of background exposure and time-activity patterns during three seasons.

    PubMed

    Deffner, Veronika; Küchenhoff, Helmut; Maier, Verena; Pitz, Mike; Cyrys, Josef; Breitner, Susanne; Schneider, Alexandra; Gu, Jianwei; Geruschkat, Uta; Peters, Annette

    2016-01-01

    Personal exposure to air pollution is associated with time- and location-specific factors including indoor and outdoor air pollution, meteorology and time activities. Our investigation aims at the description and identification of factors determining personal exposure to particle number concentration (PNC) in everyday situations. Ten volunteers recorded their personal exposure to PNC and kept an activity diary in three different seasons besides stationary measurements of ambient air pollution and meteorology. Background exposure to PNC was modelled using the most predictive variables. In a second step, the effects of the activities were calculated adjusted for the background exposure. The average personal PNC level was highest in winter and was three times higher than the mean stationary PNC level while staying indoors and two times higher while staying outdoors. Personal indoor PNC levels were significantly increased during the use of candles, cooking and the occurrence of smell of food. High stationary outdoor PNC levels and low dew point temperatures were associated with increased personal outdoor PNC levels. Times spent in public transport were associated with lower personal PNC levels than other times spent in transportation. Personal PNC levels in everyday situations exhibited a large variability because of seasonal, microenvironment-specific and activity-specific influences. PMID:25407347

  12. Variability in background levels of surface soil radionuclides in the vicinity of the US DOE waste isolation pilot plant.

    PubMed

    Kirchner, T B; Webb, J L; Webb, S B; Arimoto, R; Schoep, D A; Stewart, B D

    2002-01-01

    Concentrations of radionuclides were measured in soils from a grid of locations surrounding the US Department of Energy Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in southeastern New Mexico and from a grid on a reference site approximately 20 km southeast of the WIPP site. Each of the two grids has 16 sampling locations (grid nodes) systematically distributed within an area of 16.580 ha. Sampling was conducted prior to the arrival of the first waste shipment at WIPP. Thus, the 137Cs and 23,240Pu in the soil are expected to have been deposited as global fallout, although the Gnome Site, 8.8 km southwest of the WIPP, is also a potential source of 239,240Pu and fission products. The reference grid has significantly higher concentrations of fallout and natural radionuclides than the WIPP grid. Up to 80% of the total variability in radionuclide concentrations across the two grids is attributable to differences between grid nodes. Differences between replicates within a location account for 44-50% of the variability in concentrations of the uranium isotopes, but only 11-17% of the variability in the concentrations of the other radionuclides. Samples having similar abundance of radionuclides were spatially aggregated across the terrain. The activity concentrations of the radionuclides were strongly correlated with the concentrations of Al and Pb, and with the percentages of sand, silt and clay in the soil. Normalizing radionuclide concentrations to the concentration of Al or percent fine particles can help adjust for differences in soil textures among samples and facilitate the detection of gradients or temporal changes in soil concentrations. PMID:12054041

  13. Landscape complexity differentially benefits generalist fourth, over specialized third, trophic level natural enemies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The differential loss of higher trophic levels in the face of natural habitat loss can result in the disruption of important ecosystem services such as pollination and biological control. Landscape- level conservation biological control aims to mitigate these negative impacts by conserving or resto...

  14. Human-Level Natural Language Understanding: False Progress and Real Challenges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bignoli, Perrin G.

    2013-01-01

    The field of Natural Language Processing (NLP) focuses on the study of how utterances composed of human-level languages can be understood and generated. Typically, there are considered to be three intertwined levels of structure that interact to create meaning in language: syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. Not only is a large amount of…

  15. Measurement of natural radiative lifetime of excited levels of Tm atom

    SciTech Connect

    Wang Chengfei; Jiang Zhankui; Zhou Dafan; Liang Xiuqing

    1988-10-01

    The natural radiative lifetime of some low-lying excited levels in Tm atoms have been determined from measurements of time-resolved laser-induced fluorescence in atomic beam. The levels were selectively populated by the light from a pulsed tunable dye laser pumped by an excimer laser or a Nd:YAG laser.

  16. Spatial distribution of ground-level urban background O3 concentrations in the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Pineda Rojas, Andrea L; Venegas, Laura E

    2013-12-01

    In this work, a recently developed urban-scale atmospheric dispersion model (DAUMOD-GRS) is applied to evaluate the ground-level ozone (O3) concentrations resulting from anthropogenic area sources of NOx and VOC in the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires (MABA). The statistical comparison of model results with observations (including new available data from seventeen sites) shows a good model performance. Estimated summer highest diurnal O3 1-h concentrations in the MABA vary between 15 ppb in the most urbanised area and 53 ppb in the suburbs. All values are below the air quality standard. Several runs are performed to evaluate the impact of possible future emission reductions on O3 concentrations. Under all hypothetical scenarios, the maximum diurnal O3 1-h concentration obtained for the area is slightly reduced (up to 4%). However, maximum diurnal O3 concentrations could increase at some less urbanised areas of MABA depending on the relative reductions of the emissions of NOx and VOC. PMID:23246369

  17. The thickness design of unintentionally doped GaN interlayer matched with background doping level for InGaN-based laser diodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, P.; Zhao, D. G.; Jiang, D. S.; Zhu, J. J.; Liu, Z. S.; Yang, J.; Li, X.; Le, L. C.; He, X. G.; Liu, W.; Li, X. J.; Liang, F.; Zhang, B. S.; Yang, H.; Zhang, Y. T.; Du, G. T.

    2016-03-01

    In order to reduce the internal optical loss of InGaN laser diodes, an unintentionally doped GaN (u-GaN) interlayer is inserted between InGaN/GaN multiple quantum well active region and Al0.2Ga0.8N electron blocking layer. The thickness design of u-GaN interlayer matching up with background doping level for improving laser performance is studied. It is found that a suitably chosen u-GaN interlayer can well modulate the optical absorption loss and optical confinement factor. However, if the value of background doping concentration of u-GaN interlayer is too large, the output light power may decrease. The analysis of energy band diagram of a LD structure with 100 nm u-GaN interlayer shows that the width of n-side depletion region decreases when the background concentration increases, and may become even too small to cover whole MQW, resulting in a serious decrease of the output light power. It means that a suitable interlayer thickness design matching with the background doping level of u-GaN interlayer is significant for InGaN-based laser diodes.

  18. [Monitoring Atmospheric CO2 and delta(13)C (CO2) Background Levels at Shangdianzi Station in Beijing, China].

    PubMed

    Xia, Ling-ju; Zhou, Ling-xi; Liu, Li-xin; Zhang, Gen

    2016-04-15

    The study presented time series of atmospheric CO2 concentrations from flask sampling at SDZ regional station in Beijing during 2007 and 2013, together with delta(13)CO2) values during 2009 and 2013. The "representative data" of CO2 and delta(13)C (CO2) were selected from the complete data for further analysis. Annual CO2 concentrations increased from 385.6 x 10(-6) in 2007 to 398.1 x 10(-6) in 2013, with an average growth rate of 2.0 x 10(-6) a(-1), while the delta(13)C values decreased from -8.38% per hundred in 2009 to -8.52% per hundred in 2013, with a mean growth rate of -0.03% per hundred x a(-1). The absolute increase of CO2 from 2007 to 2008 reached the lowest level during 2007 and 2013, possibly due to relatively less carbon emissions during the 2008 Olympic Games period. The peak-to-peak amplitudes of atmospheric CO2 and delta(13)C seasonal variations were 23. 9 x 10 -6 and 1. 03%o, respectively. The isotopic signatures of CO2 sources/sinks were also discussed in this study. The delta8 value for heating season I (Jan. 01-Mar. 14) was -21.30% per hundred, while -25.39% per hundred for heating season 11 (Nov. 15-Dec.31) , and for vegetative season (Mar. 15-Nov. 14) the delta(bio) value was estimated to be -21.28% per hundred, likely suggesting the significant impact of fossil fuel and corn straw combustions during winter heating season and biological activities during vegetative season. PMID:27548943

  19. Mesopredator Release by an Emergent Superpredator: A Natural Experiment of Predation in a Three Level Guild

    PubMed Central

    Chakarov, Nayden; Krüger, Oliver

    2010-01-01

    Background Intraguild predation (IGP) is widespread but it is often neglected that guilds commonly include many layers of dominance within. This could obscure the effects of IGP making unclear whether the intermediate or the bottom mesopredator will bear higher costs from the emergence of a new top predator. Methodology/Principal Findings In one of the most extensive datasets of avian IGP, we analyse the impact of recolonization of a superpredator, the eagle owl Bubo bubo on breeding success, territorial dynamics and population densities of two mesopredators, the northern goshawk Accipiter gentilis and its IG prey, the common buzzard Buteo buteo. The data covers more than two decades and encompass three adjacent plots. Eagle owls only recolonized the central plot during the second decade, thereby providing a natural experiment. Both species showed a decrease in standardized reproductive success and an increase in brood failure within 1.5 km of the superpredator. During the second decade, territory dynamics of goshawks was significantly higher in the central plot compared to both other plots. No such pattern existed in buzzards. Goshawk density in the second decade decreased in the central plot, while it increased in both other plots. Buzzard density in the second decade rapidly increased in the north, remained unchanged in the south and increased moderately in the center in a probable case of mesopredator release. Conclusions/Significance Our study finds support for top-down control on the intermediate mesopredator and both top-down and bottom-up control of the bottom mesopredator. In the face of considerable costs of IGP, both species probably compete to breed in predator-free refugia, which get mostly occupied by the dominant raptor. Therefore for mesopredators the outcome of IGP might depend directly on the number of dominance levels which supersede them. PMID:21151912

  20. Impact of natural gas extraction on Pah levels in ambient air

    PubMed Central

    Paulik, L. Blair; Donald, Carey E.; Smith, Brian W.; Tidwell, Lane G.; Hobbie, Kevin A.; Kincl, Laurel; Haynes, Erin N.; Anderson, Kim A.

    2015-01-01

    Natural gas extraction, often referred to as “fracking,” has increased rapidly in the U.S. in recent years. To address potential health impacts, passive air samplers were deployed in a rural community heavily affected by the natural gas boom. Samplers were analyzed for 62 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Results were grouped based on distance from each sampler to the nearest active well. PAH levels were highest when samplers were closest to active wells. Additionally, PAH levels closest to natural gas activity were an order of magnitude higher than levels previously reported in rural areas. Sourcing ratios indicate that PAHs were predominantly petrogenic, suggesting that elevated PAH levels were influenced by direct releases from the earth. Quantitative human health risk assessment estimated the excess lifetime cancer risks associated with exposure to the measured PAHs. Closest to active wells, the risk estimated for maximum residential exposure was 2.9 in 10,000, which is above the U.S. EPA's acceptable risk level. Overall, risk estimates decreased 30% when comparing results from samplers closest to active wells to those farthest. This work suggests that natural gas extraction may be contributing significantly to PAHs in air, at levels that are relevant to human health. PMID:25810398

  1. Impact of natural gas extraction on PAH levels in ambient air.

    PubMed

    Paulik, L Blair; Donald, Carey E; Smith, Brian W; Tidwell, Lane G; Hobbie, Kevin A; Kincl, Laurel; Haynes, Erin N; Anderson, Kim A

    2015-04-21

    Natural gas extraction, often referred to as "fracking," has increased rapidly in the U.S. in recent years. To address potential health impacts, passive air samplers were deployed in a rural community heavily affected by the natural gas boom. Samplers were analyzed for 62 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Results were grouped based on distance from each sampler to the nearest active well. PAH levels were highest when samplers were closest to active wells. Additionally, PAH levels closest to natural gas activity were an order of magnitude higher than levels previously reported in rural areas. Sourcing ratios indicate that PAHs were predominantly petrogenic, suggesting that elevated PAH levels were influenced by direct releases from the earth. Quantitative human health risk assessment estimated the excess lifetime cancer risks associated with exposure to the measured PAHs. Closest to active wells, the risk estimated for maximum residential exposure was 2.9 in 10 000, which is above the U.S. EPA's acceptable risk level. Overall, risk estimates decreased 30% when comparing results from samplers closest to active wells to those farthest. This work suggests that natural gas extraction may be contributing significantly to PAHs in air, at levels that are relevant to human health. PMID:25810398

  2. Delineating Reactive Natural Attenuation Zones: Multi-level Sampling in an Ammonium Plume

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hüttmann, A.; Wilson, R. D.; Thornton, S. F.; Lerner, D. N.

    2003-12-01

    Current natural attenuation monitoring involves observing concentrations along some transect parallel to flow, often in long--screened observation wells. Vertically integrated geochemical signals essentially compresses 3D-problems into 2D ones and the loss of process resolution does not allow for robust plume transport prediction. On the other hand, a monitoring approach that is based on process quantification will yield field data necessary for current natural attenuation assessment and allow more accurate prediction to plume behaviour. To quantify these spatially discrete processes, the resolution of sampling points must be higher to delineate reactive zones, that account for the bulk of natural attenuation. These reactive zones are dependent on aquifer properties, contaminant type, redox zonation and other factors. In many cases, the plume fringe will be the most active zone, because influx of certain nutrients necessary to support bacteria will be greatest in these zones. Most importantly, consortia of degrading bacteria are dependent on supply of electron--acceptors such as dissolved {O2} and nitrate from background ground water and recharge; electron--acceptors are rapidly consumed at the fringes and concentrations decrease significantly towards the centre of the plume. Thus, if a process--based approach is to be achieved, one has to focus not only on the overall extent and mass of a contaminant plume, but, more importantly, on a sound analysis of the most reactive zones. The site of a former coal processing plant in the UK was chosen as a field site where the afore--mentioned hypothesis is currently being investigated by means of two recently installed multi--level samplers. Previous investigations have located an ammonium plume at the site with outwash from the thick unsaturated zone as ongoing source since the demolition of the actual plant in 1970. The conceptual model drawn from the analysis of these data shows that certain zones exhibit higher rates of

  3. Workshop on the role of natural analogs in geologic disposal of high-level nuclear waste

    SciTech Connect

    Murphy, W.M.; Kovach, L.A.

    1995-09-01

    A workshop on the Role of Natural Analogs in Geologic Disposal of High-Level Nuclear Waste (HLW) was held in San Antonio, Texas, on July 22-25, 1991. It was sponsored by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses (CNWRA). Invitations to the workshop were extended to a large number of individuals with a variety of technical and professional interests related to geologic disposal of nuclear waste and natural analog studies. The objective of the workshop was to examine the role of natural analog studies in performance assessment, site characterization, and prioritization of research related to geologic disposal of HLW.

  4. Impacts of natural gas mining on regional methane levels in Pennsylvania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lembeck-Edens, A. M.; Fuentes, J. D.; Martins, D. K.; Grannas, A. M.

    2013-12-01

    Increased natural gas exploration has been hypothesized to be a strong source of atmospheric methane, leading to enhanced regional methane levels. Fugitive methane emissions can result from leaky natural gas wells and pipelines. Pennsylvania is experiencing rapid natural gas well development and operation. In the Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale region, the density of natural gas wells is increasing. Therefore, a field study took place during 8 June to 6 August 2013 to investigate the magnitude of fugitive methane emissions near well sites and along established pipelines, as well as the spatial distribution of methane throughout Pennsylvania. The necessary instruments were mounted on a mobile platform (six-passenger van) to make transects running from southwestern to northeastern Pennsylvania where the highest density of wells is already established. Methane and carbon dioxide mixing ratios and their respective 13C isotopes were detected using a cavity ring-down spectrometer while the van was moving along pipelines or near natural gas well sites. Air sampling was done in areas away from natural well sites to establish the baseline of methane levels in the rural atmosphere. Also, air sampling took place around barns to distinguish the contribution of cattle to the atmospheric loading of methane. In the rural atmosphere, away from natural gas wells, methane levels remained around (baseline) 1.75 parts per millions (ppm). Methane levels in areas impacted by natural gas wells were higher than the baseline. Along pipelines, methane levels ranged from baseline levels of 1.75 ppm to 5.00 ppm. Near wells, plumes of methane-enriched air reached as high as 15.30 ppm. Although leaks from wells have been noted in previous studies, this investigation suggested that wells intermittently leaked methane. The main conclusion from the present study is that fugitive emissions from natural gas wells and pipelines contribute to enhancing the regional methane levels during daytime

  5. Nature of Environmental Education in Bangladesh: A School Level Assessment with Reference to the National Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chowdhury, M. A. Taiyeb

    2014-01-01

    This paper attempts to identify the nature of formal environmental education in Bangladesh at school level with particular reference to the national curriculum. The main objective of the study is to assess the contents of the school textbooks for each standard, and to see whether the diversified themes covered are a good representation of…

  6. Two-Level Document Ranking Using Mutual Information in Natural Language Information Retrieval.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kang, Hyun-Kyu; Choi, Key-Sun

    1997-01-01

    Discussion of information retrieval and relevance focuses on mutual information, a measure which represents the relation between two words. A model of a natural-language information-retrieval system that is based on a two-level document-ranking method using mutual information is presented, and a Korean encyclopedia test collection is explained.…

  7. Coping with naturally high levels of soil salinity and boron in the westside of central California

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the Westside of central California, over 200,000 ha exhibit naturally high levels of salinity and boron (B). The Coast Ranges of the west central California evolved from complex folding and faulting of sedimentary and igneous rocks of Mesozoic and Tertiary age. Cretaceous and Tertiary marine sedi...

  8. A Cross-sectional Assessment of Biomarker Levels around Implants Versus Natural Teeth in Periodontal Maintenance Patients

    PubMed Central

    Recker, Erica N.; Avila-Ortiz, Gustavo; Fischer, Carol L.; Pagan-Rivera, Keyla; Brogden, Kim A.; Dawson, Deborah V.; Elangovan, Satheesh

    2015-01-01

    Background Recent studies point to the clinical utility of using peri-implant sulcular fluid (PISF) as a valuable diagnostic aid for monitoring peri-implant tissue health. The objectives of this study were to determine the levels of key biomarkers in PISF in periodontal maintenance participants and compare them to their corresponding levels in gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) obtained from the same participants. Methods PISF and GCF were collected from an implant and a contralateral natural tooth, after the clinical examination of 73 participants. The levels of interleukin (IL)-1α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12, IL-17A, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, C-reactive protein (CRP), osteoprotegerin (OPG), leptin, and adiponectin were determined using multiplex proteomic immunoassays. The correlation of biomarker concentrations between GCF versus PISF, within GCF or PISF, and with several covariates (age, brushing frequency, days since professional cleaning, probing depth and plaque index) were also determined. Results Significantly higher levels of IL-17A (p=0.02) and TNF-α (p=0.03) were noted in PISF, when compared to their levels in GCF. Significant positive correlations were noted between the concentrations of cytokines in PISF versus their levels in GCF. Among the covariates, significant positive correlation was noted between mean probing depths around implants and levels of IL-1β (p < 0.05) and IL-8 levels (p < 0.05) in PISF. Conclusions The results of this study point to the differential expression of specific biomarkers in GCF versus their levels in PISF in periodontal maintenance patients, which is critical information prior to establishing PISF as a diagnostic fluid to monitor peri-implant health. PMID:25269523

  9. A study of the effect of flight density and background noise on V/STOL acceptability. [effective perceived noise level as measure of annoyance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sternfeld, H., Jr.; Hinterkeuser, E. G.; Hackman, R. B.; Davis, J.

    1974-01-01

    A study was conducted in which test subjects evaluated the sounds of a helicopter, a turbofan STOL and a turbojet airplane while engaged in work and leisure activities. Exposure to a high repetitive density of the aircraft sounds did not make the individual sounds more annoying but did create an unacceptable environment. The application of a time duration term to db(A) resulted in a measure which compared favorably with EPNL as a predictor of annoyance. Temporal variations in background noise level had no significant effect on the rated annoyance.

  10. Local and Regional Partnerships in Natural Resource Management: The Challenge of Bridging Institutional Levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prager, Katrin

    2010-11-01

    Although collaboration and multi-stakeholder partnerships have become a common feature in natural resource management throughout the world, various problems are associated with attempts to up-scale community-based natural resource management from the local to the regional level. To analyze the reasons behind these problems, this article reports on two examples of collaboratives in Australia: local Landcare groups, and regional natural resource management (NRM) bodies. Recent government-induced changes have shifted the focus from local Landcare group action to strategic planning and implementation by regional NRM bodies. Two typologies of collaboratives are applied to analyze the characteristics of both these groups. The study uses data from 52 qualitative interviews with key informants at the local and regional level in Victoria and Tasmania, participant observation, as well as literature and document analysis. The article illustrates how the groups’ distinct characteristics can cause conflicts when the different types of collaboratives operate in parallel. In addition, the article reports how stakeholders perceive the level of community participation in decision-making processes. The key message is that the benefits of community participation and collaboration that arise at the local level can be lost when these approaches are up-scaled to the regional level unless there is an intermediary or ‘mediating structure’ to facilitate communication and create the link between different types of collaboratives.

  11. Establishing geochemical background levels of selected trace elements in areas having geochemical anomalies: The case study of the Orbetello lagoon (Tuscany, Italy).

    PubMed

    Romano, Elena; Bergamin, Luisa; Croudace, Ian W; Ausili, Antonella; Maggi, Chiara; Gabellini, Massimo

    2015-07-01

    The determination of background concentration values (BGVs) in areas, characterised by the presence of natural geochemical anomalies and anthropogenic impact, appears essential for a correct pollution assessment. For this purpose, it is necessary to establish a reliable method for determination of local BGVs. The case of the Orbetello lagoon, a geologically complex area characterized by Tertiary volcanism, is illustrated. The vertical concentration profiles of As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb and Zn were studied in four sediment cores. Local BGVs were determined considering exclusively samples not affected by anthropogenic influence, recognized by means of multivariate statistics and radiochronological dating ((137)Cs and (210)Pb). Results showed BGVs well-comparable with mean crustal or shale values for most of the considered elements except for Hg (0.87 mg/kg d.w.) and As (16.87 mg/kg d.w.), due to mineralization present in the catchment basin draining into the lagoon. PMID:25818088

  12. Dephasing-Induced Control of Interference Nature in Three-Level Electromagnetically Induced Tansparency Systems

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Yong; Yang, Yaping; Chen, Hong; Zhu, Shiyao

    2015-01-01

    The influence of the dephasing on interference is investigated theoretically and experimentally in three-level electromagnetically induced transparency systems. The nature of the interference, constructive, no interference or destructive, can be controlled by adjusting the dephasing rates. This new phenomenon is experimentally observed in meta-atoms. The physics behind the dephasing-induced control of interference nature is the competing between stimulated emission and spontaneous emission. The random phase fluctuation due to the dephasing will result in the correlation and anti-correlation between the two dressed states, which will enhance and reduce the stimulated emission, respectively. PMID:26567708

  13. Estimation of the radiological background and dose assessment in areas with naturally occurring uranium geochemical anomalies--a case study in the Iberian Massif (Central Portugal).

    PubMed

    Pereira, A J S C; Neves, L J P F

    2012-10-01

    Naturally occurring uranium geochemical anomalies, representative of the several thousand recognized in the Portuguese section of the Iberian Massif and outcropping in three target areas with a total of a few thousand square metres, were subjected to a detailed study (1:1000 scale) to evaluate the radiological health-risk on the basis of a dose assessment. To reach this goal some radioactive isotopes from the uranium, thorium and potassium radioactive series were measured in 52 samples taken from different environmental compartments: soils, stream sediments, water, foodstuff (vegetables) and air; external radiation was also measured through a square grid of 10×10 m, with a total of 336 measurements. The results show that some radioisotopes have high activities in all the environmental compartments as well as a large variability, namely for those of the uranium decay chain, which is a common situation in the regional geological setting. Isotopic disequilibrium is also common and led to an enrichment of several isotopes in the different pathways, as is the case of (226)Ra; maximum values of 1.76 Bq L(-1) (water), 986 Bq kg(-1) (soils) and 18.9 Bq kg(-1) (in a turnip sample) were measured. On the basis of a realistic scenario combined with the experimental data, the effective dose from exposure to ionizing radiation for two groups of the population (rural and urban) was calculated; the effective dose is variable between 8.0 and 9.5 mSv year(-1), which is 3-4 times higher than the world average. Thus, the radiological health-risk for these populations could be significant and the studied uranium anomalies must be taken into account in the assessment of the geochemical background. The estimated effective dose can also be used as typical of the background of the Beiras uranium metalogenetic province and therefore as a "benchmark" in the remediation of the old uranium mining sites. PMID:22694913

  14. Distribution of uranium, thorium and some stable trace and toxic elements in human hair and nails in Niška Banja Town, a high natural background radiation area of Serbia (Balkan Region, South-East Europe).

    PubMed

    Sahoo, S K; Žunić, Z S; Kritsananuwat, R; Zagrodzki, P; Bossew, P; Veselinovic, N; Mishra, S; Yonehara, H; Tokonami, S

    2015-07-01

    Human hair and nails can be considered as bio-indicators of the public exposure to certain natural radionuclides and other toxic metals over a long period of months or even years. The level of elements in hair and nails usually reflect their levels in other tissues of body. Niška Banja, a spa town located in southern Serbia, with locally high natural background radiation was selected for the study. To assess public exposure to the trace elements, hair and nail samples were collected and analyzed. The concentrations of uranium, thorium and some trace and toxic elements (Mn, Ni, Cu, Sr, Cd, and Cs) were determined using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). U and Th concentrations in hair varied from 0.0002 to 0.0771 μg/g and from 0.0002 to 0.0276 μg/g, respectively. The concentrations in nails varied from 0.0025 to 0.0447 μg/g and from 0.0023 to 0.0564 μg/g for U and Th, respectively. We found significant correlations between some elements in hair and nails. Also indications of spatial clustering of high values could be found. However, this phenomenon as well as the large variations in concentrations of heavy metals in hair and nail could not be explained. As hypotheses, we propose possible exposure pathways which may explain the findings, but the current data does not allow testing them. PMID:25875006

  15. Levels of naturally occurring gamma radiation measured in British homes and their prediction in particular residences.

    PubMed

    Kendall, G M; Wakeford, R; Athanson, M; Vincent, T J; Carter, E J; McColl, N P; Little, M P

    2016-03-01

    Gamma radiation from natural sources (including directly ionising cosmic rays) is an important component of background radiation. In the present paper, indoor measurements of naturally occurring gamma rays that were undertaken as part of the UK Childhood Cancer Study are summarised, and it is shown that these are broadly compatible with an earlier UK National Survey. The distribution of indoor gamma-ray dose rates in Great Britain is approximately normal with mean 96 nGy/h and standard deviation 23 nGy/h. Directly ionising cosmic rays contribute about one-third of the total. The expanded dataset allows a more detailed description than previously of indoor gamma-ray exposures and in particular their geographical variation. Various strategies for predicting indoor natural background gamma-ray dose rates were explored. In the first of these, a geostatistical model was fitted, which assumes an underlying geologically determined spatial variation, superimposed on which is a Gaussian stochastic process with Matérn correlation structure that models the observed tendency of dose rates in neighbouring houses to correlate. In the second approach, a number of dose-rate interpolation measures were first derived, based on averages over geologically or administratively defined areas or using distance-weighted averages of measurements at nearest-neighbour points. Linear regression was then used to derive an optimal linear combination of these interpolation measures. The predictive performances of the two models were compared via cross-validation, using a randomly selected 70 % of the data to fit the models and the remaining 30 % to test them. The mean square error (MSE) of the linear-regression model was lower than that of the Gaussian-Matérn model (MSE 378 and 411, respectively). The predictive performance of the two candidate models was also evaluated via simulation; the OLS model performs significantly better than the Gaussian-Matérn model. PMID:26880257

  16. Lessons from Natural Analog Studies for Geologic Disposal of High-Level Nuclear Waste (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, W. M.

    2009-12-01

    For over fifty years natural analog studies have provided lessons addressing scientific, technical, and social problems concerning geologic disposal of high-level nuclear waste. Idealized concepts for permanent disposal environments evolved from an understanding of the geological, geochemical and hydrological characteristics of analogous rocks including natural salt deposits (as advocated by the US National Academy of Sciences in 1957), ancient cratonic rocks (as investigated at Lac du Bonnet, Canada, Aspö, Sweden, and Vienne, France), and marine sedimentary rock formations (as studied at Mol, Belgium, and Bure, France). Additional multidisciplinary studies have been conducted at natural sites that bear characteristics analogous to potential repository systems, notably at natural uranium (and thorium) deposits including Poços de Caldas, Brazil, Alligator Rivers, Australia, Peña Blanca, Mexico, and Oklo, Gabon. Researchers of natural analogs for geologic disposal have addressed technical uncertainties regarding processes that have transpired over large time and space scales, which are generally inaccessible to laboratory studies. Principal questions for nuclear waste disposal include the geochemical stability and alteration rates of radionuclide bearing minerals and the mechanisms and rates of transport of radionuclides in groundwater. In their most direct applications, natural analogs studies have been devoted to testing specific models for repository performance and the experimental data that support those models. Parameters used in predictive performance assessment modeling have been compared to natural system data, including mineral solubilities, sorption coefficients, diffusion rates, and colloid transport properties. For example, the rate of uraninite oxidation and the natural paragenesis of uranium mineral alteration at Peña Blanca have been compared favorably to results of experimental studies of spent fuel alteration related to the proposed repository

  17. Air pollution critical levels in central México protected natural areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruiz Suarez, L.; Andraca Ayala, G.; Mar Morales, B.; Garcia-reynoso, J.; Torres-JArdon, R.

    2013-05-01

    All the Natural Protected Areas (NPA) within the Central Mexico City Belt comprising five metropolitan areas including MCMA are under strong impact from air pollution. Ozone, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide exceed critical levels for several types of vegetation. In this work we show the critical level maps for ozone, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide for Sierra of Chichinautzin, the mountain that acts as the physical barrier to air pollution dispersion south of Mexico City Metropolitan Area, what makes of it a receptor area to MCMA pollution. Maps were made combining model outputs from WRF-Chem and passive samplers. We also describe a proposal to extend the observation network to all natural protected areas within the Central Mexico City Belt.

  18. Environmental geochemistry of shale-hosted Ag-Pb-Zn massive sulfide deposits in northwest Alaska: Natural background concentrations of metals in water from mineralized areas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kelley, K.D.; Taylor, C.D.

    1997-01-01

    Red Dog, Lik and Drenchwater are shale-hosted stratiform Ag-Pb-Zn massive sulfide deposits in the northwestern Brooks Range. Natural background concentrations of metals in waters from the undisturbed (unmined) Drenchwater prospect and Lik deposit were compared to pre-mining baseline studies conducted at Red Dog. The primary factors affecting water chemistry are the extent of exposure of the deposits, the grade of mineralization, the presence of carbonate reeks in the section, and the proportion of Fe-sulfide in the ore. Surface water samples from the Drenchwater prospect, which has pyrite-dominant mineralization exposed in outcrop, have pH values as low as 2.8 and high dissolved concentrations of metals including as much as 95 mg 1-1 Al, 270 mg 1-1 Fe, 8 ??1-1 Cd, 10 ??1-1 Pb, and 2600 ??1-1 Zn, with As up to 26 ??g1-1. Surface waters from the Red Dog deposit prior to mining were also acidic and metal-rich, however, dissolved metal concentrations in Red Dog waters were many times greater. The higher metal concentrations in Red Dog waters reflect the high Zn grades and the abundant sphalerite, pyrite, and galena that were present in outcrop prior to mining. In contrast, despite significant mineralization at the Lik deposit, carbonate rocks in the section buffer the system, resulting in less acidic, mostly near-neutral pH values with low concentrations of most metals except Zn.

  19. Collective nature of the reentrant integer quantum Hall states in the second Landau level.

    PubMed

    Deng, N; Kumar, A; Manfra, M J; Pfeiffer, L N; West, K W; Csáthy, G A

    2012-02-24

    We report an unexpected sharp peak in the temperature dependence of the magnetoresistance of the reentrant integer quantum Hall states in the second Landau level. This peak defines the onset temperature of these states. We find that in different spin branches the onset temperatures of the reentrant states scale with the Coulomb energy. This scaling provides direct evidence that Coulomb interactions play an important role in the formation of these reentrant states evincing their collective nature. PMID:22463555

  20. Collective Nature of the Reentrant Integer Quantum Hall States in the Second Landau Level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deng, N.; Kumar, A.; Manfra, M. J.; Pfeiffer, L. N.; West, K. W.; Csáthy, G. A.

    2012-02-01

    We report an unexpected sharp peak in the temperature dependence of the magnetoresistance of the reentrant integer quantum Hall states in the second Landau level. This peak defines the onset temperature of these states. We find that in different spin branches the onset temperatures of the reentrant states scale with the Coulomb energy. This scaling provides direct evidence that Coulomb interactions play an important role in the formation of these reentrant states evincing their collective nature.

  1. Characterizing the natural radiation levels throughout the main geological units of Sabkhat al Jabboul area, northern Syria.

    PubMed

    Al-Hilal, Mohamed; Aissa, Mosa

    2015-02-01

    The concentrations of equivalent eU, eTh, and K% were determined together with soil gas radon values and carborne gamma-ray survey in order to define the natural radioactivity levels throughout main geological units of Sabkhat al Jabboul region. Forty five soil and rock samples were collected from various lithofacies in each geological unit, and analyzed by γ-ray spectrometric technique for determining the concentration values of major radioelements. Such radiometric data could be used to differentiate between various lithologies of the investigated rocks. Although no distinct radioactive anomalies were found in the area, the radiometric profiles showed some minor variations with slightly higher values than the normal level. Despite the low radioactivity and the lack of rocks diversity in the surveyed area, it was possible to classify some certain rock types based on their radiometric response. The relationships between eU, eTh and their ratios were discussed for the Quaternary, Neogene and Paleogene formations, in order to evaluate the degree of uranium distribution and remobilization. The overall results of this radiometric survey were generally low, and lying within the range of the normal background levels in Syrian. PMID:25461509

  2. The effects of air mass transport, seasonality, and meteorology on pollutant levels at the Iskrba regional background station (1996-2014)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poberžnik, Matevž; Štrumbelj, Erik

    2016-06-01

    Our main goal was to estimate the effects of long-range air transport on pollutant concentrations measured at the Iskrba regional background station (Slovenia). We cluster back-trajectories into categories and simultaneously model the effects of meteorology, seasonality, trends, and air mass trajectory clusters using a Bayesian statistical approach. This simplifies the interpretation of results and allows us to better identify the effects of individual variables, which is important, because pollutant concentrations, meteorology, and trajectories are seasonal and correlated. Similar to related work from other European sites, we find that slow and faster moving trajectories from eastern Europe and the northern part of the Balkan peninsula are associated with higher pollutant levels, while fast-moving trajectories from the Atlantic are associated with lower pollutant concentration. Overall, pollutant concentrations have decreased in the studied period.

  3. Natural category discrimination in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) at three levels of abstraction.

    PubMed

    Vonk, Jennifer; Jett, Stephanie E; Mosteller, Kelly W; Galvan, Moriah

    2013-09-01

    Two adult chimpanzees were presented with a series of natural category discrimination tasks on a touch screen computer, in which the discriminations varied in degree of abstraction. At the concrete level, discriminations could be made on the basis of single perceptual features, but at the more abstract level, categories were more inclusive, containing exemplars with variant perceptual features. For instance, at the most abstract level, the chimpanzees were required to select images of animals rather than nonanimals, and exemplars within both categories were perceptually diverse. One chimpanzee showed positive transfer at each level of abstraction but required more sessions to reach criterion as the discriminations became more abstract. The other chimpanzee failed to demonstrate consistent significant acquisition of a concept. The results indicate that unlike other apes and black bears, tested previously, chimpanzees found the most abstract discriminations the most difficult to acquire. Analyses of the features of pictures that yielded high or low accuracy revealed no significant differences on several key features, suggesting that the presence of facial features, eyes, or specific coloration did not control responding. In addition, the chimpanzees performed more accurately with photos judged as less typical exemplars of the category by human raters. However, responses to pictures of particular species suggest that chimpanzees may rely on perceptual similarity to familiar exemplars when acquiring experimenter-defined natural categories. PMID:23397185

  4. Evaluation of circulating levels and renal clearance of natural amino acids in patients with Cushing's disease.

    PubMed

    Faggiano, A; Pivonello, R; Melis, D; Alfieri, R; Filippella, M; Spagnuolo, G; Salvatore, F; Lombardi, G; Colao, A

    2002-02-01

    Although the hypercortisolism-induced impairment of protein homeostasis is object of several studies, a detailed evaluation of the complete amino acid profile of patients with Cushing's syndrome (CS) has never been performed. The aim of the current open transversal controlled study was to evaluate serum and urinary concentrations as well as renal clearance of the complete series of natural amino acids and their relationship with glucose tolerance in patients with Cushing's disease (CD). Twenty patients with CD (10 active and 10 cured) and 20 sex- and age-matched healthy controls entered the study. Measurement of serum and urinary levels of the complete series of natural amino acids was performed in all patients analyzed by cationic exchange high performance liquid cromatography (HPLC) after 2 weeks of a standardized protein intake regimen. The renal clearance (renal excretion rate) of each amino acid was calculated on the basis of the serum and urinary concentrations of creatinine and the specific amino acid. Fasting glucose and insulin levels, glucose and insulin response to standard glucose load, insulinogenic and homeostasis model insulin resistance (Homa-R) indexes were also evaluated and correlated to the circulating levels and renal clearances of each amino acid. Significantly higher serum (p<0.01) and urinary (p<0.05) levels of alanine and cystine, lower serum and higher urinary levels of leucine, isoleucine and valine (p<0.05) and higher renal excretion rates of leucine, isoleucine and valine (p<0.01) were found in patients with active CD than in patients cured from the disease and in controls. No difference was found between cured patients and controls. Creatinine clearance was similar in active and cured patients and in controls. In patients with active CD, urinary cortisol levels were significantly correlated to urinary cystine levels (r=0.85; p<0.01) and renal excretion rate of leucine (r=-0.76; p<0.05), isoleucine (r=-0.76; p<0.05) and valine (r=-0

  5. Changes in Metallothionein Level in Rat Hepatic Tissue after Administration of Natural Mouldy Wheat

    PubMed Central

    Vasatkova, Anna; Krizova, Sarka; Adam, Vojtech; Zeman, Ladislav; Kizek, Rene

    2009-01-01

    Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by microfungi that are capable of causing disease and death in humans and other animals. This work was aimed at investigation of influence of mouldy wheat contaminated by pathogenic fungi producing mycotoxins on metallothionein levels in hepatic tissue of rats. The rats were administrating feed mixtures with different contents of vitamins or naturally mouldy wheat for 28 days. It was found that the wheat contained deoxynivalenol (80 ± 5 μg per kg of mouldy wheat), zearalenone (56 ± 3 μg/kg), T2-toxin (20 ± 2 μg/kg) and aflatoxins as a sum of B1, B2, G1 and G2 (3.9 ± 0.2 μg/kg). Rats were fed diets containing 0, 33, 66 and 100% naturally moulded wheat. Control group 0, 33, 66 and 100% contained vitamins according to Nutrient Requirements of Rats (NRC). Other four groups (control group with vitamins, vit33, vit66 and vit100%) were fed on the same levels of mouldy wheat, also vitamins at levels 100% higher than the previous mixtures. We determined weight, feed conversion and performed dissection to observe pathological processes. Changes between control group and experimental groups exposed to influence of mouldy wheat and experimental groups supplemented by higher concentration of vitamins and mouldy wheat were not observed. Livers were sampled and did not demonstrate significant changes in morphology compared to control either. In the following experiments the levels of metallothionein as a marker of oxidative stress was determined. We observed a quite surprising trend in metallothionein levels in animals supplemented with increased concentration of vitamins. Its level enhanced with increasing content of mouldy wheat. It was possible to determine a statistically significant decline (p<0.05) between control group and groups of animals fed with 33, 66 and 100% mouldy wheat. It is likely that some mycotoxins presented in mouldy wheat are able to block the mechanism of metallothionein synthesis. PMID:19399242

  6. Natural radioactivity levels (K, Th and Ra) in some areas of Punjab, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sabharwal, Arvind D.; Bhupinder, Singh; Kumar, Sanjeev; Singh, Surinder

    2012-04-01

    Radioactivity, natural and man-made, is omnipresent in the earth's crust in different amounts. Natural radioactive materials under certain conditions can reach hazardous radiological levels. So, it becomes necessary to study the natural radioactivity levels in soil to assess the dose for the population in order to know the health risks and to have a baseline for future changes in the environmental radioactivity due to human activities. 226Ra, 232Th and 40K analysis has been carried out in soil samples collected from some areas of Punjab, India using gamma-ray spectrometry. Phe technique of gamma ray spectrometry was applied using high purity germanium gamma-ray detector and a PC based MCA. Radium equivalent activities are calculated for the analyzed samples to assess radiation hazards arising due to the use of these soil samples in construction of dwellings. Phe measured activity in the soil ranges from 23.17 to 57.87 Bq kg-1, 59.03 to 160.40 Bq kg-1 and 228.06 to 501.03 Bq kg-1 for 226Ra, 232Ph and 40K with mean values of 37.93, 84.47 and 351.17Bqkg-1 respectively. It has been observed that on the average the outdoor terrestrial gamma air absorbed dose rate is about 84.65nGyh-1.

  7. Low-level contrast statistics are diagnostic of invariance of natural textures.

    PubMed

    Groen, Iris I A; Ghebreab, Sennay; Lamme, Victor A F; Scholte, H Steven

    2012-01-01

    Texture may provide important clues for real world object and scene perception. To be reliable, these clues should ideally be invariant to common viewing variations such as changes in illumination and orientation. In a large image database of natural materials, we found textures with low-level contrast statistics that varied substantially under viewing variations, as well as textures that remained relatively constant. This led us to ask whether textures with constant contrast statistics give rise to more invariant representations compared to other textures. To test this, we selected natural texture images with either high (HV) or low (LV) variance in contrast statistics and presented these to human observers. In two distinct behavioral categorization paradigms, participants more often judged HV textures as "different" compared to LV textures, showing that textures with constant contrast statistics are perceived as being more invariant. In a separate electroencephalogram (EEG) experiment, evoked responses to single texture images (single-image ERPs) were collected. The results show that differences in contrast statistics correlated with both early and late differences in occipital ERP amplitude between individual images. Importantly, ERP differences between images of HV textures were mainly driven by illumination angle, which was not the case for LV images: there, differences were completely driven by texture membership. These converging neural and behavioral results imply that some natural textures are surprisingly invariant to illumination changes and that low-level contrast statistics are diagnostic of the extent of this invariance. PMID:22701419

  8. Getting ready for invasions: can background level of risk predict the ability of naïve prey to survive novel predators?

    PubMed Central

    Ferrari, Maud C. O.; Crane, Adam L.; Brown, Grant E.; Chivers, Douglas P.

    2015-01-01

    Factors predicting the outcome of predator invasions on native prey communities are critical to our understanding of invasion ecology. Here, we tested whether background level of risk affected the survival of prey to novel predators, both native and invasive, predicting that high-risk environments would better prepare prey for invasions. We used naïve woodfrog as our prey and exposed them to a high or low risk regime either as embryos (prenatal exposure) or as larvae (recent exposure). Tadpoles were then tested for their survival in the presence of 4 novel predators: two dytiscid beetles, crayfish and trout. Survival was affected by both risk level and predator type. High risk was beneficial to prey exposed to the dytiscids larvae (ambush predators), but detrimental to prey exposed to crayfish or trout (pursuit predators). No effect of ontogeny of risk was found. We further documented that high-risk tadpoles were overall more active than their low-risk counterparts, explaining the patterns found with survival. Our results provide insights into the relationship between risk and resilience to predator invasions. PMID:25655436

  9. Natural geochemical analogues of the near field of high-level nuclear waste repositories

    SciTech Connect

    Apps, J.A.

    1995-09-01

    United States practice has been to design high-level nuclear waste (HLW) geological repositories with waste densities sufficiently high that repository temperatures surrounding the waste will exceed 100{degrees}C and could reach 250{degrees}C. Basalt and devitrified vitroclastic tuff are among the host rocks considered for waste emplacement. Near-field repository thermal behavior and chemical alteration in such rocks is expected to be similar to that observed in many geothermal systems. Therefore, the predictive modeling required for performance assessment studies of the near field could be validated and calibrated using geothermal systems as natural analogues. Examples are given which demonstrate the need for refinement of the thermodynamic databases used in geochemical modeling of near-field natural analogues and the extent to which present models can predict conditions in geothermal fields.

  10. Ocean Turbulence V: Mesoscale Modeling in Level Coordinates. The Effect of Random Nature of Density

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Canuto, V. M.; Dubovikov, M. S.

    1998-01-01

    The main result of this paper is the derivation of a new expression for the tracer subgrid term in level coordinates S(l) to be employed in O-GCM. The novel feature is the proper account of the random nature of the density field which strongly affects the transformation from isopycnal to level coordinates of the variables of interest, velocity and tracer fields, their correlation functions and ultimately the subgrid terms. In deriving our result we made use of measured properties of vertical ocean turbulence. The major new results are: 1) the new subgrid expression is different from that of the heuristic GM model, 2) u++(tracer)=1/2u+(thickness), where u++ and u+ are the tracer and thickness bolus velocities. In previous models, u++ = u+, 2) the subgrid for a tracer tau is not the same as that for the density rho even when one accounts for the obvious absence of a diffusion term in the latter. The difference stems from a new treatment of the stochastic nature of the density, 3) the mesoscale diffusivity enters both locally and non-locally, as the integral over all z's from the bottom of the ocean to the level z.

  11. Impacts of natural emission sources on particle pollution levels in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liora, Natalia; Poupkou, Anastasia; Giannaros, Theodore M.; Kakosimos, Konstantinos E.; Stein, Olaf; Melas, Dimitrios

    2016-07-01

    The main objective of this work is the study of the impact of windblown dust, sea-salt aerosol and biogenic emissions on particle pollution levels in Europe. The Natural Emissions MOdel (NEMO) and the modelling system consisted of the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF) and the Comprehensive Air Quality model with extensions (CAMx) were applied in a 30 km horizontal resolution grid, which covered Europe and the adjacent areas for the year 2009. Air quality simulations were performed for different emission scenarios in order to study the contribution of each natural emission source individually and together to air quality levels in Europe. The simulations reveal that the exclusion of windblown dust emissions decreases the mean seasonal PM10 levels by more than 3.3 μg/m3 (∼20%) in the Eastern Mediterranean during winter while an impact of 3 μg/m3 was also found during summer. The results suggest that sea-salt aerosol has a significant effect on PM levels and composition. Eliminating sea-salt emissions reduces PM10 seasonal concentrations by around 10 μg/m3 in Mediterranean Sea during summer while a decrease of up to 6 μg/m3 is found in Atlantic Ocean during autumn. Sea-salt particles also interact with the anthropogenic component and therefore their absence in the atmosphere decreases significantly the nitrates in aerosols where shipping activities are present. The exclusion of biogenic emissions in the model runs leads to a significant reduction of secondary organic aerosols of more than 90% while an increase in PM2.5 levels in central Europe and Eastern Mediterranean is found due to their interaction with anthropogenic component.

  12. An investigation of the meteorological and photochemical factors influencing the background rural and marine surface ozone levels in the Central and Eastern Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalabokas, P. D.; Mihalopoulos, N.; Ellul, R.; Kleanthous, S.; Repapis, C. C.

    A study on the spatial distribution as well as an investigation of the possible factors influencing the observed variations of summer (JJA) rural and marine surface ozone background in the Central and Eastern Mediterranean is performed, following observations showing that the 60 ppb EU Air Quality Standard for Human Health Protection is frequently exceeded in the area. For this purpose the measurements of the following four Eastern Mediterranean stations are analyzed: Giordan Lighthouse-Gozo, Malta; Aliartos-Central Greece; Finokalia-Crete, Greece and Ag. Marina, Cyprus. The measured summer afternoon rural and marine ozone levels in Central Greece and on Crete Island are quite comparable, but are found to be significantly higher (by about 15-20%) than the corresponding levels in Malta and Cyprus. After investigating the characteristic meteorological conditions associated with high and low rural and marine surface ozone concentrations, it appears that an important factor leading to high tropospheric ozone values in the Eastern Mediterranean area is the anticyclonic influence of the high-pressure domination over the Central Mediterranean and the Balkans. The rural and marine surface ozone stations located across the Aegean Channel are also influenced by the long-range transport of polluted air masses from the European continent in the boundary layer during summer and the subsequent photochemical ozone production. This characteristic northern flow during summer is created by the combination of the Central Mediterranean anticyclone with the Middle-East low-pressure system. On the other hand, the lowest ozone levels, particularly in the Crete and Cyprus stations, are associated with an extension to the west of the Middle-East low and weak pressure gradients over the Eastern Mediterranean and an upper air trough in the North Eastern Europe.

  13. Bigger is better: Improved nature conservation and economic returns from landscape-level mitigation

    PubMed Central

    Kennedy, Christina M.; Miteva, Daniela A.; Baumgarten, Leandro; Hawthorne, Peter L.; Sochi, Kei; Polasky, Stephen; Oakleaf, James R.; Uhlhorn, Elizabeth M.; Kiesecker, Joseph

    2016-01-01

    Impact mitigation is a primary mechanism on which countries rely to reduce environmental externalities and balance development with conservation. Mitigation policies are transitioning from traditional project-by-project planning to landscape-level planning. Although this larger-scale approach is expected to provide greater conservation benefits at the lowest cost, empirical justification is still scarce. Using commercial sugarcane expansion in the Brazilian Cerrado as a case study, we apply economic and biophysical steady-state models to quantify the benefits of the Brazilian Forest Code (FC) under landscape- and property-level planning. We find that FC compliance imposes small costs to business but can generate significant long-term benefits to nature: supporting 32 (±37) additional species (largely habitat specialists), storing 593,000 to 2,280,000 additional tons of carbon worth $69 million to $265 million ($ pertains to U.S. dollars), and marginally improving surface water quality. Relative to property-level compliance, we find that landscape-level compliance reduces total business costs by $19 million to $35 million per 6-year sugarcane growing cycle while often supporting more species and storing more carbon. Our results demonstrate that landscape-level mitigation provides cost-effective conservation and can be used to promote sustainable development. PMID:27419225

  14. Bigger is better: Improved nature conservation and economic returns from landscape-level mitigation.

    PubMed

    Kennedy, Christina M; Miteva, Daniela A; Baumgarten, Leandro; Hawthorne, Peter L; Sochi, Kei; Polasky, Stephen; Oakleaf, James R; Uhlhorn, Elizabeth M; Kiesecker, Joseph

    2016-07-01

    Impact mitigation is a primary mechanism on which countries rely to reduce environmental externalities and balance development with conservation. Mitigation policies are transitioning from traditional project-by-project planning to landscape-level planning. Although this larger-scale approach is expected to provide greater conservation benefits at the lowest cost, empirical justification is still scarce. Using commercial sugarcane expansion in the Brazilian Cerrado as a case study, we apply economic and biophysical steady-state models to quantify the benefits of the Brazilian Forest Code (FC) under landscape- and property-level planning. We find that FC compliance imposes small costs to business but can generate significant long-term benefits to nature: supporting 32 (±37) additional species (largely habitat specialists), storing 593,000 to 2,280,000 additional tons of carbon worth $69 million to $265 million ($ pertains to U.S. dollars), and marginally improving surface water quality. Relative to property-level compliance, we find that landscape-level compliance reduces total business costs by $19 million to $35 million per 6-year sugarcane growing cycle while often supporting more species and storing more carbon. Our results demonstrate that landscape-level mitigation provides cost-effective conservation and can be used to promote sustainable development. PMID:27419225

  15. Analysis of natural ground-water level variations for hydrogeologic conceptualization, Hanford Site, Washington

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nevulis, Richard H.; Davis, Donald R.; Sorooshian, Soroosh

    1989-07-01

    This study involves the analysis of groundwater level time series for the purpose of obtaining details for a conceptual hydrogeologic model at a time when conventional hydraulic stress testing was not feasible due to regulatory considerations. The study area is located in south central Washington in the Pasco Basin which was a candidate site for underground disposal of high-level radioactive nuclear wastes. Advantages of such passive methods of analysis may include relative simplicity, low cost, and avoidance of disturbances typically associated with stress testing of aquifers. Through this approach, natural and incidental man-made groundwater level variations, most of which are quite small, are examined by statistical and analytical methods in conjunction with hydrogeologic models to draw inferences on the hydrogeology. Vertical connectivity of the hydrostratigraphic units is also examined by analyzing groundwater level time series of five units at three piezometer nests. It is concluded that a combination of statistical/analytical approaches used in a complementary fashion can provide useful information about the hydrogeology of a given area. A meaningful analysis requires that there is (1) a source of influence on the groundwater levels, (2) a response to that influence, (3) a sufficiently long data record, and (4) measurement and analytical techniques which allow the detection and identification of the influence and response.

  16. Naturally occurring levels of elements in fishes as determined by PIXE and XRF methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tallandini, L.; Giacobini, F.; Turchetto, M.; Galassini, S.; Liu, Q. X.; Shao, H. R.; Moschini, G.; Moro, R.; Gialanella, G.; Ghermandi, G.; Cecchi, R.; Injuk, J.; Valković, V.

    1989-04-01

    Naturally occurring levels of S, Cl, K, Ca, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Br, Sb, Sr and Pb were measured in the gills, liver and muscles of fishes ( Zosterisessor ophiocephalus Pall) in the northwestern region of the Adriatic Sea. The overall performance of PIXE and XRF methods was tested by the analysis of standard reference materials. The mean concentration values for elements were calculated from the distribution of experimentally determined concentration values. The obtained data are discussed in the framework of metal metabolism and toxicology.

  17. Decreased apolipoprotein A-I level indicates poor prognosis in extranodal natural killer/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type

    PubMed Central

    Quan, Qi; Chen, Qi; Chen, Ping; Jiang, Li; Li, Tingwei; Qiu, Huijuan; Zhang, Bei

    2016-01-01

    Background Extranodal natural killer (NK)/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type (ENKTL) is an invasive lymphoid malignancy with unfavorable survival, for which a prognostic model has not yet been validated. We hypothesized that serum apolipoprotein A-I (ApoA-I) may serve as a novel prognostic marker for ENKTL. Patients and methods A total of 236 newly diagnosed cases of ENKTL were analyzed retrospectively. Results The optimal cutoff value for the serum ApoA-I level was determined to be 0.95 g/L. A total of 154 and 82 cases were assigned to the high and low ApoA-I groups, respectively. Patients in the low ApoA-I group tended to present with poorer clinical features, a lower complete remission rate (P=0.001), and poor median progression-free survival (P<0.001) and overall survival (P<0.001). Multivariate analysis using Cox model showed that the serum ApoA-I level was an independent prognostic marker of overall survival (P<0.001) and progression-free survival (P<0.001) for ENKTL patients. For cases in the low-risk group, as assessed by International Prognostic Index, Prognosis Index for peripheral T-cell lymphoma, unspecified, and Korean Prognostic Index, the serum ApoA-I level was able to differentiate cases with poor outcomes from cases with good outcomes. Conclusion Our results showed that the baseline serum ApoA-I level was helpful for predicting ENKTL prognosis. PMID:27051293

  18. High levels of natural radioactivity in biota from deep-sea hydrothermal vents: a preliminary communication.

    PubMed

    Charmasson, Sabine; Sarradin, Pierre-Marie; Le Faouder, Antoine; Agarande, Michèle; Loyen, Jeanne; Desbruyères, Daniel

    2009-06-01

    Hydrothermal deep-sea vent fauna is naturally exposed to a peculiar environment enriched in potentially toxic species such as sulphides, heavy metals and natural radionuclides. It is now well established that some of the organisms present in such an environment accumulate metals during their lifespan. Though only few radionuclide measurements are available, it seems likely that hydrothermal vent communities are exposed to high natural radiation doses. Various archived biological samples collected on the East Pacific Rise and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in 1996, 2001 and 2002 were analysed by ICP-MS in order to determine their uranium contents ((238)U, (235)U and (234)U). In addition (210)Po-Pb were determined in 2 samples collected in 2002. Vent organisms are characterized by high U, and Po-Pb levels compared to what is generally encountered in organisms from outside hydrothermal vent ecosystems. Though the number of data is low, the results reveal various trends in relation to the site, the location within the mixing zone and/or the organisms' trophic regime. PMID:19362761

  19. Radiometric assessment of natural radioactivity levels of agricultural soil samples collected in Dakahlia, Egypt.

    PubMed

    Issa, Shams A M

    2013-01-01

    Determination of the natural radioactivity has been carried out, by using a gamma-ray spectrometry [NaI (Tl) 3″ × 3″] system, in surface soil samples collected from various locations in Dakahlia governorate, Egypt. These locations form the agriculturally important regions of Egypt. The study area has many industries such as chemical, paper, organic fertilisers and construction materials, and the soils of the study region are used as a construction material. Therefore, it becomes necessary to study the natural radioactivity levels in soil to assess the dose for the population in order to know the health risks. The activity concentrations of (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K in the soil ranged from 5.7 ± 0.3 to 140 ± 7, from 9.0 ± 0.4 to 139 ± 7 and from 22 ± 1 to 319 ± 16 Bq kg(-1), respectively. The absorbed dose rate, annual effective dose rate, radium equivalent (Req), excess lifetime cancer risk, hazard indices (Hex and Hin) and annual gonadal dose equivalent, which resulted from the natural radionuclides in the soil were calculated. PMID:23509393

  20. Using Natural Language And Voice To Control High Level Tasks In A Robotics Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hackenberg, Robert G.

    1987-03-01

    RCA's Advanced Technology Laboratories (ATL) has implemented an integrated system which permits control of high level tasks in a robotics environment through voice input in the form of natural language syntax. The paper to be presented will outline the architecture used to integrate voice recognition and synthesis hardware and natural language and intelligent reasoning software with a supervisory processor that controls robotic and vision operations in the robotic testbed. The application is intended to give the human operator of a Puma 782 industrial robot the ability to combine joystick teleoperation with voice input in order to provide a flexible man-machine interface in a hands-busy environment. The system is designed to give the operator a speech interface which is unobtrusive and undemanding in terms of predetermined syntax requirements. The voice recognizer accepts continuous speech and the natural language processor accepts full and partial sentence fragments and can perform a fair amount of disambiguation and context analysis. Output to the operator comes via the parallel channel of speech synthesis so that the operator does not have to consult the computer's CRT for messages. The messages are generated from the software and offer warnings about unacceptable situations, confirmations of actions completed, and feedback of system data.

  1. Function of minerals in the natural radioactivity level of Vaigai River sediments, Tamilnadu, India - Spectroscopical approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramasamy, V.; Paramasivam, K.; Suresh, G.; Jose, M. T.

    2014-01-01

    Using Gamma ray and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic techniques, level of natural radioactivity (238U, 232Th and 40K) and mineralogical characterization of Vaigai River sediments have been analyzed with the view of evaluating the radiation risk and its relation to available minerals. Different radiological parameters are calculated to know the entire radiological characterization. The average of activity concentrations and all radiological parameters are lower than the recommended safety limit. However, some sites are having higher radioactivity values than the safety limit. From the FTIR spectroscopic technique, the minerals such as quartz, microcline feldspar, orthoclase feldspar, kaolinite, gibbsite, calcite, montmorillonite and organic carbon are identified and they are characterized. The extinction co-efficient values are calculated to know the relative distribution of major minerals such as quartz, microcline feldspar, orthoclase feldspar and kaolinite. The calculated values indicate that the amount of quartz is higher than orthoclase feldspar, microcline feldspar and much higher than kaolinite. Crystallinity index is calculated to know the crystalline nature of quartz and the result indicates that the presence of ordered crystalline quartz in the present sediment. The role of minerals in the level of radioactivity is assessed by multivariate statistical analysis (Pearson's correlation and Cluster analysis). The statistical analysis confirms that the clay mineral kaolinite is the major factor than other major minerals to induce the important radioactivity variables such as absorbed dose rate and concentrations of 232Th and 238U.

  2. Importance of Long-Term Cycles for Predicting Water Level Dynamics in Natural Lakes

    PubMed Central

    García Molinos, Jorge; Viana, Mafalda; Brennan, Michael; Donohue, Ian

    2015-01-01

    Lakes are disproportionately important ecosystems for humanity, containing 77% of the liquid surface freshwater on Earth and comprising key contributors to global biodiversity. With an ever-growing human demand for water and increasing climate uncertainty, there is pressing need for improved understanding of the underlying patterns of natural variability of water resources and consideration of their implications for water resource management and conservation. Here we use Bayesian harmonic regression models to characterise water level dynamics and study the influence of cyclic components in confounding estimation of long-term directional trends in water levels in natural Irish lakes. We found that the lakes were characterised by a common and well-defined annual seasonality and several inter-annual and inter-decadal cycles with strong transient behaviour over time. Importantly, failing to account for the longer-term cyclic components produced a significant overall underestimation of the trend effect. Our findings demonstrate the importance of contextualising lake water resource management to the specific physical setting of lakes. PMID:25757071

  3. Semiparametric Modeling of Daily Ammonia Levels in Naturally Ventilated Caged-Egg Facilities

    PubMed Central

    Gutiérrez-Zapata, Diana María; Galeano-Vasco, Luis Fernando; Cerón-Muñoz, Mario Fernando

    2016-01-01

    Ammonia concentration (AMC) in poultry facilities varies depending on different environmental conditions and management; however, this is a relatively unexplored subject in Colombia (South America). The objective of this study was to model daily AMC variations in a naturally ventilated caged-egg facility using generalized additive models. Four sensor nodes were used to record AMC, temperature, relative humidity and wind speed on a daily basis, with 10 minute intervals for 12 weeks. The following variables were included in the model: Heat index, Wind, Hour, Location, Height of the sensor to the ground level, and Period of manure accumulation. All effects included in the model were highly significant (p<0.001). The AMC was higher during the night and early morning when the wind was not blowing (0.0 m/s) and the heat index was extreme. The average and maximum AMC were 5.94±3.83 and 31.70 ppm, respectively. Temperatures above 25°C and humidity greater than 80% increased AMC levels. In naturally ventilated caged-egg facilities the daily variations observed in AMC primarily depend on cyclic variations of the environmental conditions and are also affected by litter handling (i.e., removal of the bedding material). PMID:26812150

  4. Semiparametric Modeling of Daily Ammonia Levels in Naturally Ventilated Caged-Egg Facilities.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez-Zapata, Diana María; Galeano-Vasco, Luis Fernando; Cerón-Muñoz, Mario Fernando

    2016-01-01

    Ammonia concentration (AMC) in poultry facilities varies depending on different environmental conditions and management; however, this is a relatively unexplored subject in Colombia (South America). The objective of this study was to model daily AMC variations in a naturally ventilated caged-egg facility using generalized additive models. Four sensor nodes were used to record AMC, temperature, relative humidity and wind speed on a daily basis, with 10 minute intervals for 12 weeks. The following variables were included in the model: Heat index, Wind, Hour, Location, Height of the sensor to the ground level, and Period of manure accumulation. All effects included in the model were highly significant (p<0.001). The AMC was higher during the night and early morning when the wind was not blowing (0.0 m/s) and the heat index was extreme. The average and maximum AMC were 5.94±3.83 and 31.70 ppm, respectively. Temperatures above 25°C and humidity greater than 80% increased AMC levels. In naturally ventilated caged-egg facilities the daily variations observed in AMC primarily depend on cyclic variations of the environmental conditions and are also affected by litter handling (i.e., removal of the bedding material). PMID:26812150

  5. Hexabromocyclododecane Decreases the Lytic Function and ATP Levels of Human Natural Killer Cells

    PubMed Central

    Hinkson, Natasha C.; Whalen, Margaret M.

    2009-01-01

    This study investigates the effect of Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) on the lytic function of human natural killer (NK) cells and on ATP levels in NK cells. NK cells are capable of lysing tumor cells, virally infected cells, and antibody-coated cells. HBCD is a, brominated cyclic alkane used primarily as an additive flame retardant. If HBCD interferes with NK cell function, this could increase risk of tumor development and/or viral infection. NK cells were exposed to various concentrations of HBCD for 24 h, 48 h, and 6 days before determining lytic function and ATP levels. ATP levels and lytic function were also determined in NK cells that were exposed to HBCD for 1 h followed by 24 h, 48 h, and 6 days in HBCD-free media. The results indicated that exposure of NK cells to 10 μM HBCD for 24 h causes a very significant decrease in both NK cell lytic function and ATP levels (93.5% and 90.5%, respectively). Exposure of NK cells to 10 μM HBCD for 1 h followed by 24 h in HBCD-free media showed a progressive and persistent loss of lytic function (89.3%) as well as a decrease in ATP levels (46.1%). The results indicate that HBCD exposures decreased lytic function as well as ATP levels. However, a decrease in lytic function was not necessarily accompanied by a similar decrease in ATP. Importantly, these results also indicate that a brief (1 h) exposure to HBCD causes a progressive loss of lytic function over a 6 d period. PMID:19551757

  6. Role of sediment characteristics on natural radiation level of the Vaigai river sediment, Tamilnadu, India.

    PubMed

    Ramasamy, V; Paramasivam, K; Suresh, G; Jose, M T

    2014-01-01

    The sediment characteristics such as granulometric contents (sand, silt and clay), organic matter, magnetic susceptibility (low and high frequency) and weight percentage of magnetic minerals and the natural radionuclide ((238)U, (232)Th and (40)K) contents have been analyzed for the sediment samples of Vaigai river with an aim of evaluating the radiation hazard nature and assessing characterization of sediment. Granulometric analysis confirmed that the sand is major content. The organic matter content is ranged from 0.30 to 8.62% and comparison shows that the present river has high organic content. The magnetic measurement results indicated that the sites S16, S18 and S25 may be affected anthropogenically. Frequency dependence magnetic susceptibility is calculated to know the contribution of grains to magnetic susceptibility. Average of activity concentrations (except (40)K) and all calculated radiological parameters are within the recommended level. Multivariate statistical analyses (Pearson correlation, cluster and factor analysis) dictated that the role of sediment characteristics on the level of radioactivity in the river sediments. The content of organic matter and clay, and magnetic parameters are positively correlated with important radioactive variables. The measurement of organic matter and magnetic susceptibility in various granulometric contents show some higher values in silt and clay fractions. Radioactivity level was also measured for the samples (after removing silt and clay fractions from bulk samples) and the results show decrease in radioactive variables. The present study stated that the lower grain sized fractions have the ability to absorb the contents such as organic content and magnetic minerals as cations on their surface and raise the level of radioactivity. Percentage of decrease in the natural radionuclides of (238)U, (232)Th, (40)K and absorbed dose rate of the samples (after removing the silt and clay fractions from bulk samples) to the

  7. Scaling greenhouse gas fluxes in a natural and restored wetland from microsites to ecosystem level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schafer, Karina V. R.; Renninger, Heidi J.; Pal, David S.; Jaffe, Peter R.

    2015-04-01

    Current methane emission models are employing a top down approach in which methane emissions are estimated. However, meteorological, hydrological and ecological drivers of methane and carbon dioxide fluxes in wetlands operate on different spatial and temporal scales, thus necessitating bottom-up and top down assessments to refine model outcomes. Fast methane (CH4) gas analyzers such as the LI7700 are now enabling continuous ecosystem scale (eddy flux) measurements and assessment in conjunction with traditional chamber measurements and localized belowground measurements for microsite contribution (bottom-up) analysis. Here, we have set up two locations, one in a natural and one in a restored tidal salt marsh in the Meadowlands of New Jersey (MNJ) USA, in order to compare ecosystem level methane fluxes with scaled microscale measurements. Continuous methane fluxes were measured at the ecosystem level with the Licor7700 using eddy flux measurements over three growing seasons at the restored site and two growing seasons at the natural wetland site. Concurrently, measurements were collected from chambers and subsurface dialysis samplers, at several microsites in each site as well. Methane and carbon dioxide emissions, and their belowground pools, were highly variable in space and time over the two growing seasons. The temporal dynamics of methane and carbon dioxide fluxes in each of the locations suggest small-scale site-specific controls on methane emissions, but ubiquitous, non-specific controls on carbon dioxide uptake and release. Methane emissions as measured at the ecosystem scale, and confirmed by chamber measurements, increased at the restored site from 2012 to 2013, despite no corresponding increases in dissolved organic carbon or belowground pool measurements. Scaled belowground pool measurements from non-vegetated microsites can estimate the measured chamber methane fluxes, but this is not possible in vegetated microsites. Additionally, methane emissions from

  8. Assessment of natural radioactivity levels in soil samples from some areas in Assiut, Egypt.

    PubMed

    El-Gamal, Hany; Farid, M El-Azab; Abdel Mageed, A I; Hasabelnaby, M; Hassanien, Hassanien M

    2013-12-01

    The natural radioactivity of soil samples from Assiut city, Egypt, was studied. The activity concentrations of 28 samples were measured with a NaI(Tl) detector. The radioactivity concentrations of (226)Ra, (232)Th, and (40)K showed large variations, so the results were classified into two groups (A and B) to facilitate the interpretation of the results. Group A represents samples collected from different locations in Assiut and characterized by low activity concentrations with average values of 46.15 ± 9.69, 30.57 ± 4.90, and 553.14 ± 23.19 for (226)Ra, (232)Th, and (40)K, respectively. Group B represents samples mainly collected from the area around Assiut Thermal Power Plant and characterized by very high activity concentrations with average values of 3,803 ± 145, 1,782 ± 98, and 1,377 ± 78 for (226)Ra, (232)Th, and (40)K, respectively. In order to evaluate the radiological hazard of the natural radioactivity, the radium equivalent activity (Raeq), the absorbed dose rate (D), the annual effective dose rate (E), the external hazard index (H ex), and the annual gonadal dose equivalent (AGDE) have been calculated and compared with the internationally approved values. For group A, the calculated averages of these parameters are in good agreement with the international recommended values except for the absorbed dose rate and the AGDE values which are slightly higher than the international recommended values. However, for group B, all obtained averages of these parameters are much higher by several orders of magnitude than the international recommended values. The present work provides a background of radioactivity concentrations in the soil of Assiut. PMID:23716081

  9. A simple method based on ICP-MS for estimation of background levels of arsenic, cadmium, copper, manganese, nickel, lead, and selenium in blood of the Brazilian population.

    PubMed

    Nunes, Juliana A; Batista, Bruno L; Rodrigues, Jairo L; Caldas, Naise M; Neto, Jose A G; Barbosa, Fernando

    2010-01-01

    Throughout the world, biomonitoring has become the standard for assessing exposure of individuals to toxic elements as well as for responding to serious environmental public health problems. However, extensive biomonitoring surveys require rapid and simple analytical methods. Thus, a simple and high-throughput method is proposed for the determination of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), and selenium (Se) in blood samples by using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Prior to analysis, 200 microl of blood samples was mixed with 500 microl of 10% v/v tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH) solution, incubated for 10 min, and subsequently diluted to 10 ml with a solution containing 0.05% w/v ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) + 0.005% v/v Triton X-100. After that, samples were directly analyzed by ICP-MS (ELAN DRC II). Rhodium was selected as an internal standard with matrix-matching calibration. Method detection limits were 0.08, 0.04, 0.5, 0.09, 0.12, 0.04, and 0.1 microg//L for As, Cd, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Se, respectively. Validation data are provided based on the analysis of blood samples from the trace elements inter-\\comparison program operated by the Institut National de Sante Publique du Quebec, Canada. Additional validation was provided by the analysis of human blood samples by the proposed method and by using electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry (ETAAS). The method was subsequently applied for the estimation of background metal blood values in the Brazilian population. In general, the mean concentrations of As, Cd, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Se in blood were 1.1, 0.4, 890, 9.6, 2.1, 65.4, and 89.3 microg/L, respectively, and are in agreement with other global populations. Influences of age, gender, smoking habits, alcohol consumption, and geographical variation on the values were also considered. Smoking habits influenced the levels of Cd in blood. The levels of Cu, Mn, and Pb were

  10. A Specific Association between Facial Disgust Recognition and Estradiol Levels in Naturally Cycling Women

    PubMed Central

    Kamboj, Sunjeev K.; Krol, Kathleen M.; Curran, H. Valerie

    2015-01-01

    Subtle changes in social cognition are associated with naturalistic fluctuations in estrogens and progesterone over the course of the menstrual cycle. Using a dynamic emotion recognition task we aimed to provide a comprehensive description of the association between ovarian hormone levels and emotion recognition performance using a variety of performance metrics. Naturally cycling, psychiatrically healthy women attended a single experimental session during a follicular (days 7–13; n = 16), early luteal (days 15–19; n = 14) or late luteal phase (days 22–27; n = 14) of their menstrual cycle. Correct responses and reaction times to dynamic facial expressions were recorded and a two-high threshold analysis was used to assess discrimination and response bias. Salivary progesterone and estradiol were assayed and subjective measures of premenstrual symptoms, anxiety and positive and negative affect assessed. There was no interaction between cycle phase (follicular, early luteal, late luteal) and facial expression (sad, happy, fearful, angry, neutral and disgusted) on any of the recognition performance metrics. However, across the sample as a whole, progesterone levels were positively correlated with reaction times to a variety of facial expressions (anger, happiness, sadness and neutral expressions). In contrast, estradiol levels were specifically correlated with disgust processing on three performance indices (correct responses, response bias and discrimination). Premenstrual symptoms, anxiety and positive and negative affect were not associated with emotion recognition indices or hormone levels. The study highlights the role of naturalistic variations in ovarian hormone levels in modulating emotion recognition. In particular, progesterone seems to have a general slowing effect on facial expression processing. Our findings also provide the first behavioural evidence of a specific role for estrogens in the processing of disgust in humans. PMID:25874795

  11. Impact of Natural Gas Appliances on Pollutant Levels in California Homes

    SciTech Connect

    Mullen, Nasim A.; Li, Jina; Singer, Brett C.

    2012-12-01

    This report presents results from the first year of a 2-year study, investigating associations of five air pollutants (CO, NO2, NOX, formaldehyde and acetaldehyde) with the presence of natural gas appliances in California homes. From November 2011 to March 2012, pollutant concentration and occupant activity data were collected in 155 homes for 6-day periods. The sample population included both single-family (68%) and multi-family (32%) dwellings, with 87% having at least one gas appliance and 77% having an unvented gas cooking appliance. The geometric mean (GM) NO2 levels measured in the kitchen, bedroom and outside of homes were similar at values of 15, 12 and 11 ppb, respectively. In contrast, the GM NOx levels measured in the kitchen and bedroom of homes were much higher than levels measured outdoors, at levels of 42 and 41 ppb, compared to 19 ppb, respectively. Roughly 10% of sampled homes had 6-day average NO2 levels that exceeded the outdoor annual average limit set by the California Ambient Air Quality Standards (CAAQS) (30 ppb). The GMs of the highest 1-h and 8-h CO level measured in homes were 2.5 and 1.1 ppm, respectively. Four homes had a 1-h or 8-h concentration that exceeded the outdoor limits set by the CAAQS. The GM formaldehyde and acetaldehyde concentrations measured in homes were 15 and 7 ppb, respectively. Roughly 95% of homes had average formaldehyde levels indoors that exceeded the Chronic Reference Exposure Level set by the California EPA (7 ppb). Concentrations of NO2 and NOx, and to a lesser extent CO were associated with use of gas appliances, particularly unvented gas cooking appliances. Based on first principles, it is expected that effective venting of cooking pollutant emissions at the source will lead to a reduction of pollutant concentrations. However, no statistical association was detected between kitchen exhaust fan use and pollutant concentrations in homes in this study where gas cooking occurred frequently. The lack of

  12. Musical Instrument Choice and Playing History in Post-Secondary Level Music Students: Some Descriptive Data, Some Causes and Some Background Factors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Simy Meng-Yu; Howard, Robert W.

    2004-01-01

    Why do musicians specialize in the specific instruments that they do? Research has shown effects of such factors as the perceived masculinity/femininity of instruments and musician's personality but there are little background data on other factors. The present study had two major aims. The first aim was to gather some useful background data on…

  13. Natural Disaster Induced Losses at Household Level: A Study on the Disaster Affected Migrants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishtiaque, A.; Nazem, N. I.; Jerin, T.

    2015-12-01

    Given its geographical location Bangladesh frequently confronts natural disasters. Disaster induced losses often obligate socio-economic dislocation from rural areas to large urban centers. After incurring what type/amount of losses people migrate is still unknown. In this paper we focus on migrants who migrated due to natural disasters. Thus, the objectives of this paper are, first, ascertaining the proportion of disaster migrants in Dhaka city; second, determining types of natural disasters which compel rural out-migration; third, assessing the resource and economic losses stem from these disasters at household level. Using the slum database (N = 4966), we select eight slums randomly with a purpose to include migrants from maximum districts available. In order to identify the proportion of disaster affected migrants a census is conducted in 407 households of those 8 slums and the result demonstrates that 18.43% of the migrants are disaster affected, which was only 5% in 1993. Out of all hydro-meteorological disasters, river bank erosion (RBE), followed by flood, drives most people out of their abode. However, unlike RBE migrants, migrants affected by flood usually return to their origin after certain period. In-depth interviews on the disaster migrants reveal that RBE claims total loss of homestead land & agricultural land while flood causes 20% and 23% loss respectively. Agricultural income decreases 96% because of RBE whereas flood victims encounter 98% decrease. People also incur 79% & 69% loss in livestock owing to RBE and flood severally. These disasters cause more than eighty percent reduction in total monthly income. Albeit RBE appears more vigorous but total economic loss is greater in flood- on average each household experiences a loss of BDT 350,555 due to flood and BDT 300,000 on account of RBE. Receiving no substantial support from community or government the affected people are compelled to migrate.

  14. An evaluation of the level of naturally occurring radioactive material in soil samples along the Chao Phraya river basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santawamaitre, T.; Regan, P. H.; Bradley, D. A.; Matthews, M.; Malain, D.; Al-Sulaiti, H. A.

    2010-07-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the level of natural radioactivity in river sediments and riverbank surface soils collected along the Chao Phraya River and its tributaries in Thailand. The activity concentrations of radionuclides in 238U and 232Th decay chains as well as 40K in all samples have been determined by means of a gamma-ray spectrometry system using a hyper-pure germanium detector in a low background configuration. The ranges of specific activity for 226Ra, 232Th and 40K were found to be 15.2-67.0, 16.8-73.3 and 204.6-656.5 Bq kg -1, respectively. Additionally, evaluations have been made of the absorbed gamma dose rate in air and the annual effective dose equivalent from outdoor terrestrial gamma radiation in order to assess any excess radiological risk from agricultural usage of fertilizers. In this study, the absorbed dose rate was observed to vary from 30.5 to 102.6 nGy h -1 and the outdoor annual effective dose equivalent to range from 37.4 to 125.8 μSv yr -1.

  15. Natural Circulation Level Optimization and the Effect during ULOF Accident in the SPINNOR Reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Abdullah, Ade Gafar; Su'ud, Zaki; Kurniadi, Rizal; Kurniasih, Neny; Yulianti, Yanti

    2010-12-23

    Natural circulation level optimization and the effect during loss of flow accident in the 250 MWt MOX fuelled small Pb-Bi Cooled non-refueling nuclear reactors (SPINNOR) have been performed. The simulation was performed using FI-ITB safety code which has been developed in ITB. The simulation begins with steady state calculation of neutron flux, power distribution and temperature distribution across the core, hot pool and cool pool, and also steam generator. When the accident is started due to the loss of pumping power the power distribution and the temperature distribution of core, hot pool and cool pool, and steam generator change. Then the feedback reactivity calculation is conducted, followed by kinetic calculation. The process is repeated until the optimum power distribution is achieved. The results show that the SPINNOR reactor has inherent safety capability against this accident.

  16. Natural Circulation Level Optimization and the Effect during ULOF Accident in the SPINNOR Reactors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdullah, Ade Gafar; Su'ud, Zaki; Kurniadi, Rizal; Kurniasih, Neny; Yulianti, Yanti

    2010-12-01

    Natural circulation level optimization and the effect during loss of flow accident in the 250 MWt MOX fuelled small Pb-Bi Cooled non-refueling nuclear reactors (SPINNOR) have been performed. The simulation was performed using FI-ITB safety code which has been developed in ITB. The simulation begins with steady state calculation of neutron flux, power distribution and temperature distribution across the core, hot pool and cool pool, and also steam generator. When the accident is started due to the loss of pumping power the power distribution and the temperature distribution of core, hot pool and cool pool, and steam generator change. Then the feedback reactivity calculation is conducted, followed by kinetic calculation. The process is repeated until the optimum power distribution is achieved. The results show that the SPINNOR reactor has inherent safety capability against this accident.

  17. Enhancing the natural folate level in wine using bioengineering and stabilization strategies.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yazheng; Walkey, Christopher J; Green, Timothy J; van Vuuren, Hennie J J; Kitts, David D

    2016-03-01

    Folate deficiency is linked to many diseases, some of which may have higher probability in individuals with alcohol-induced alterations in one-carbon metabolism. Our study shows that folate content in commercial wine is not related to white or red varieties, but associated with the yeast that is used to produce the wine. The stability of folate in these wines, once opened for consumption, did not correlate with total phenolic or sulfite content. In addition, we employed yeast bioengineering to fortify wine with folate. We confirmed by overexpression that FOL2 was the key gene encoding the rate-limiting step of folate biosynthesis in wine yeast. In this study, we also show that overexpression of other folate biosynthesis genes, including ABZ1, ABZ2, DFR1, FOL1 and FOL3, had no effect on folate levels in wine. Ensuring stability of the increased natural folate in all wines was achieved by the addition of ascorbate. PMID:26471523

  18. Geometric phase of two-level atoms and thermal nature of de Sitter spacetime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, Zehua; Jing, Jiliang

    2013-04-01

    In the framework of open quantum systems, we study the geometric phase acquired by freely falling and static two-level atoms interacting with quantized conformally coupled massless scalar fields in de Sitter-invariant vacuum. We find that, for the freely falling atom, the geometric phase gets a correction resulting from a thermal bath with the Gibbons-Hawking temperature, thus it clearly reveals the intrinsic thermal nature of de Sitter spacetime from a different physical context. For the static atom, there is a correction to the geometric phase coming from both the intrinsic thermal nature of de Sitter spacetime and the Unruh effect associated with the proper acceleration of the atom. Furthermore, in a gedanken experiment, we estimate the magnitude of the correction to the geometric phase as opposed to that in a flat spacetime. We find that the correction for the freely falling atom is too tiny to be measured, and that for the static atom achieves an observable magnitude only when the atom almost locates at the horizon.

  19. Neotectonics, sea level change, and Quaternary natural gas occurrence in coastal Maine

    SciTech Connect

    Kelly, J.T.; Belknap, D.F.; Shipp, C.R.

    1985-02-01

    The glaciated, passive continental margin of northern New England is not a likely location for either tectonic activity or hydrocarbon accumulation, but neotectonic action has played a role in creating favorable stratigraphic traps for natural gas in the Quaternary inner-shelf and estuarine deposits of Maine. During late glacial time (13,000 year B.P.), a marine inundation accompanied ice retreat across the isostatically depressed lowlands of coastal Maine and blanketed the area with marine sediment (Presumpscot Formation) up to 50 m thick. Unloading of the ice led to rapid coastal rebound within a few thousand years, and the former sea floor became emergent to present depths of -65 m. A gullied and weathered lag surface on the muddy Presumpscot Formation marks the regression that followed deposition. Since about 8000 years B.P., sea level has risen in Maine, and within historic times it has been accompanied by seismicity and subsidence rates up to 9 mm/yr. Examinations of over 1500 km of seismic reflection profiles and limited coring reveal the presence of abundant natural gas in Holocene sediments filling ravines cut into the Presumpscot Formation during emergence. It appears that the gas is derived from and trapped by mud deposited in estuarine depocenters that migrated landward during the Holocene transgression.

  20. Quantifying Urban Natural Gas Leaks from Street-level Methane Mapping: Measurements and Uncertainty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von Fischer, J. C.; Ham, J. M.; Griebenow, C.; Schumacher, R. S.; Salo, J.

    2013-12-01

    Leaks from the natural gas pipeline system are a significant source of anthropogenic methane in urban settings. Detecting and repairing these leaks will reduce the energy and carbon footprints of our cities. Gas leaks can be detected from spikes in street-level methane concentrations measured by analyzers deployed on vehicles. While a spike in methane concentration indicates a leak, an algorithm (e.g., inverse model) must be used to estimate the size of the leak (i.e., flux) from concentration data and supporting meteorological information. Unfortunately, this drive-by approach to leak quantification is confounded by the complexity of urban roughness, changing weather conditions, and other incidental factors (e.g., traffic, vehicle speed, etc.). Furthermore, the vehicle might only pass through the plume one to three times during routine mapping. The objective of this study was to conduct controlled release experiments to better quantify the relationship between mobile methane concentration measurements and the size and location of the emission source (e.g., pipeline leakage) in an urban environment. A portable system was developed that could release methane at known rates between 10 and 40 LPM while maintaining concentrations below the lower explosive limit. A mapping vehicle was configured with fast response methane analyzers, GPS, and meteorological instruments. Portable air-sampling tripods were fabricated that could be deployed at defined distances downwind from the release point and automatically-triggered to collect grab samples. The experimental protocol was as follows: (1) identify an appropriate release point within a city, (2) release methane at a known rate, (3) measure downwind street-level concentrations with the vehicle by making multiple passes through the plume, and (4) collect supporting concentration and meteorological data with the static tripod samplers deployed in the plume. Controlled release studies were performed at multiple locations and

  1. Hanford Site background: Part 1, Soil background for nonradioactive analytes. Revision 1, Volume 1

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-04-01

    The determination of soil background is one of the most important activities supporting environmental restoration and waste management on the Hanford Site. Background compositions serve as the basis for identifying soil contamination, and also as a baseline in risk assessment processes used to determine soil cleanup and treatment levels. These uses of soil background require an understanding of the extent to which analytes of concern occur naturally in the soils. This report documents the results of sampling and analysis activities designed to characterize the composition of soil background at the Hanford Site, and to evaluate the feasibility for use as Sitewide background. The compositions of naturally occurring soils in the vadose Zone have been-determined for-nonradioactive inorganic and organic analytes and related physical properties. These results confirm that a Sitewide approach to the characterization of soil background is technically sound and is a viable alternative to the determination and use of numerous local or area backgrounds that yield inconsistent definitions of contamination. Sitewide soil background consists of several types of data and is appropriate for use in identifying contamination in all soils in the vadose zone on the Hanford Site. The natural concentrations of nearly every inorganic analyte extend to levels that exceed calculated health-based cleanup limits. The levels of most inorganic analytes, however, are well below these health-based limits. The highest measured background concentrations occur in three volumetrically minor soil types, the most important of which are topsoils adjacent to the Columbia River that are rich in organic carbon. No organic analyte levels above detection were found in any of the soil samples.

  2. Effect of different levels of alcohol consumption on natural killer and lymphokine activated killer cells

    SciTech Connect

    Klassen, L.W.; DeVasure, J.M.; Lemley-Gillespie, S.D.; Thiele, G.M. Omaha VA Hospital, NE )

    1991-03-11

    The effect of alcohol consumption on natural killer (NK) cell activity is controversial as both increased and decreased levels have been reported. It was the purpose of this study to determine the effects of feeding BDF1 mice different levels of alcohol on NK and lymphokine activated killer (LAK) cell activity. After four-six weeks of chronic alcohol feeding, mice were sacrificed, spleen cells obtained and assayed for NK and IL-2 boosted NK activity against YAC-1 cells in a traditional {sup 51}chromium release assay. Cells were also cultured in the presence of IL-2 for five days and tested for cytolytic activity using P815 cells as targets. Cells from each group were passed over a nylon wool column and the adherent (AD) and nonadherent (NAD) populations collected and tested as above. Increased NK, 24 hour IL-2 boosted NK and 5 day LAK activity were observed only in the spleen cells obtained from mice on 20% alcohol. Also, NAD populations had a 2-4 fold higher lytic unit values (LU{sub 20}) at all levels of alcohol consumption and in all assays, as compared with the unseparated spleen cells. Analysis of cell surface markers on these three populations of cells show that there were differences in MAC-2, Asialo GM-1, Thy 1.2, B220 and NK 1.1 that may correlate with the differences observed in the cytolytic assays. These data suggest that different levels of alcohol affect the cytolytic activity of NK and LAK cells and may result from alterations in the cell subset populations.

  3. Natural hazards in the Great Caucasus range on the background of climate change - risk maps for the Kazbegi and Mleta areas (Georgia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, Tatjana; Gaprindashvili, George; Gobejishvili, Ramin; Keggenhoff, Ina; Elizbarashvili, Mariam; Kalandadze, Besik; Lomidze, Nino; King, Lorenz

    2013-04-01

    features of the subsurface materials, and possibly by lowering the movement persistence up to a critical level in the aeration zone. Kazbegi and Mleta belong to an extremely complex mountainous area of Georgia according to its geology and the scale and frequency of natural disaster processes. Since the year 2000, the activation of these processes results in increased damage for population, farm lands and engineering facilities that can be observed almost every year. The occurrence intervals are becoming significantly shorter. As a result, more populated areas, engineering facilities and industrial objects have to be included in the risk zones.

  4. Task 23 - background report on subsurface environmental issues relating to natural gas sweetening and dehydration operations. Topical report, February 1, 1994--February 28, 1996

    SciTech Connect

    Sorensen, J.A.

    1998-12-31

    This report describes information pertaining to environmental issues, toxicity, environmental transport, and fate of alkanolamines and glycols associated with natural gas sweetening and dehydration operations. Waste management associated with the operations is also discussed.

  5. Background Underground at WIPP

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esch, Ernst-Ingo; Hime, A.; Bowles, T. J.

    2001-04-01

    Recent interest to establish a dedicated underground laboratory in the United States prompted an experimental program at to quantify the enviromental backgrounds underground at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad, New Mexico. An outline of this program is provided along with recent experimental data on the cosmic ray muon flux at the 650 meter level of WIPP. The implications of the cosmic ray muon and fast neutron background at WIPP will be discussed in the context of new generation, low background experiments envisioned in the future.

  6. Relationships of Preservice Early Childhood Teachers' Cultural Values, Ethical and Cognitive Developmental Levels, and Views of Nature of Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Akerson, Valarie L.; Buzzelli, Cary A.

    2007-01-01

    This study explored relationships between preservice early childhood teachers' views of nature of science (NOS), cognitive developmental levels, and their cultural values. Using the Views of Nature of Science Questionnaire (VNOS-B) and interviews, we assessed views of NOS. The Learning Context Questionnaire (LCQ) was used to determine the…

  7. Assessment of natural radioactivity levels in rocks and their relationships with the geological structure of Johor state, Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Alnour, I A; Wagiran, H; Ibrahim, N; Hamzah, S; Elias, M S; Laili, Z; Omar, M

    2014-01-01

    The distribution of natural radionuclides ((238)U, (232)Th and (40)K) and their radiological hazard effect in rocks collected from the state of Johor, Malaysia were determined by gamma spectroscopy using a high-purity germanium detector. The highest values of (238)U, (232)Th and (40)K activity concentrations (67±6, 85±7 and 722±18 Bg kg(-1), respectively) were observed in the granite rock. The lowest concentrations of (238)U and (232)Th (2±0.1 Bq kg(-1) for (238)U and 2±0.1 Bq kg(-1) for (232)Th) were observed in gabbro rock. The lowest concentration of (40)K (45±2 Bq kg(-1)) was detected in sandstone. The radium equivalent activity concentrations for all rock samples investigated were lower than the internationally accepted value of 370 Bq kg(-1). The highest value of radium equivalent in the present study (239±17 Bq kg(-1)) was recorded in the area of granite belonging to an acid intrusive rock geological structure. The absorbed dose rate was found to range from 4 to 112 nGy h(-1). The effective dose ranged from 5 to 138 μSv h(-1). The internal and external hazard index values were given in results lower than unity. The purpose of this study is to provide information related to radioactivity background levels and the effects of radiation on residents in the study area under investigation. Moreover, the relationships between the radioactivity levels in the rocks within the geological structure of the studied area are discussed. PMID:23965286

  8. Exploring How Second Grade Elementary Teachers Translate Their Nature of Science Views into Classroom Practice after a Graduate Level Nature of Science Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deniz, Hasan; Adibelli, Elif

    2015-01-01

    The main purpose of this study was to explore the factors mediating the translation of second grade teachers' nature of science (NOS) views into classroom practice after completing a graduate level NOS course. Four second grade in-service elementary teachers comprised the sample of this study. Data were collected from several sources during the…

  9. The Oral Microbiome of Denture Wearers Is Influenced by Levels of Natural Dentition

    PubMed Central

    O’Donnell, Lindsay E.; Robertson, Douglas; Nile, Christopher J.; Cross, Laura J.; Riggio, Marcello; Sherriff, Andrea; Bradshaw, David; Lambert, Margaret; Malcolm, Jennifer; Buijs, Mark J.; Zaura, Egija; Crielaard, Wim; Brandt, Bernd W.; Ramage, Gordon

    2015-01-01

    Objectives The composition of dental plaque has been well defined, whereas currently there is limited understanding of the composition of denture plaque and how it directly influences denture related stomatitis (DS). The aims of this study were to compare the microbiomes of denture wearers, and to understand the implications of these towards inter-kingdom and host-pathogen interactions within the oral cavity. Methods Swab samples were obtained from 123 participants wearing either a complete or partial denture; the bacterial composition of each sample was determined using bar-coded illumina MiSeq sequencing of the bacterial hypervariable V4 region of 16S rDNA. Sequencing data processing was undertaken using QIIME, clustered in Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) and assigned to taxonomy. The dentures were sonicated to remove the microbial flora residing on the prosthesis, sonicate was then cultured using diagnostic colorex Candida media. Samples of unstimulated saliva were obtained and antimicrobial peptides (AMP) levels were measured by ELISA. Results We have shown that dental and denture plaques are significantly distinct both in composition and diversity and that the oral microbiome composition of a denture wearer is variable and is influenced by the location within the mouth. Dentures and mucosa were predominantly made up of Bacilli and Actinobacteria. Moreover, the presence of natural teeth has a significant impact on the overall microbial composition, when compared to the fully edentulous. Furthermore, increasing levels of Candida spp. positively correlate with Lactobacillus spp. AMPs were quantified, though showed no specific correlations. Conclusions This is the first study to provide a detailed understanding of the oral microbiome of denture wearers and has provided evidence that DS development is more complex than simply a candidal infection. Both fungal and bacterial kingdoms clearly play a role in defining the progression of DS, though we were unable to

  10. Understanding the Nature of Small Business. PACE Revised. Level 3. Unit 1. Research & Development Series No. 240CB1.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ashmore, M. Catherine; Pritz, Sandra G.

    This individualized, competency-based unit on understanding the nature of small business, the first of 18 modules, is on the third level of the revised Program for Acquiring Competence in Entrepreneurship (PACE). Intended for the advanced secondary and postsecondary levels and for adults wanting training or retraining, this unit, together with the…