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Sample records for multiple ecological level

  1. Understanding Children and Adolescents' Victimizations at Multiple Levels: An Ecological Review of the Literature.

    PubMed

    Sabri, Bushra; Hong, Jun Sung; Campbell, Jacquelyn C; Cho, Hyunkag

    2013-05-01

    This article examines children and adolescent exposure to violence in various contexts. A systematic review of the literature was conducted to identify the definitions and types of violence reported in studies on victimization using the ecological systems framework. Sources included research studies and/or reports from scholarly journals (n = 140), books (n = 9), conference/workshops (n = 5), and web sources, such as Uniform Crime Reports (n = 23). The findings indicated that research differed in terminologies, conceptual and operational definitions, sample sizes and age group classification for children and adolescents. Further, studies lacked focus on the co-occurrence and inter-relatedness of victimization, and how these factors might affect the outcomes. Many studies employed a cross-sectional design, which limits strong conclusions about the temporal order of victimization experiences and outcomes. Future research efforts need more consistency among researchers in conceptual and operational definitions and the use of more rigorous designs. Increased holistic assessments are critical for effective prevention and intervention strategies for at-risk children and adolescents. PMID:24065867

  2. Understanding Children and Adolescents’ Victimizations at Multiple Levels: An Ecological Review of the Literature

    PubMed Central

    Sabri, Bushra; Hong, Jun Sung; Campbell, Jacquelyn C.; Cho, Hyunkag

    2013-01-01

    This article examines children and adolescent exposure to violence in various contexts. A systematic review of the literature was conducted to identify the definitions and types of violence reported in studies on victimization using the ecological systems framework. Sources included research studies and/or reports from scholarly journals (n = 140), books (n = 9), conference/workshops (n = 5), and web sources, such as Uniform Crime Reports (n = 23). The findings indicated that research differed in terminologies, conceptual and operational definitions, sample sizes and age group classification for children and adolescents. Further, studies lacked focus on the co-occurrence and inter-relatedness of victimization, and how these factors might affect the outcomes. Many studies employed a cross-sectional design, which limits strong conclusions about the temporal order of victimization experiences and outcomes. Future research efforts need more consistency among researchers in conceptual and operational definitions and the use of more rigorous designs. Increased holistic assessments are critical for effective prevention and intervention strategies for at-risk children and adolescents PMID:24065867

  3. Chemosensory reception, behavioral expression, and ecological interactions at multiple trophic levels.

    PubMed

    Ferrer, Ryan P; Zimmer, Richard K

    2007-05-01

    Chemoreception may function throughout an entire animal lifetime, with independent, stage-specific selection pressures leading to changes in physiological properties, behavioral expression, and hence, trophic interactions. When the California newt (Taricha torosa) metamorphoses from an entirely aquatic larva to a semi-terrestrial juvenile/adult form, its chemosensory organs undergo dramatic reorganization. The relationship between newt life-history stage and chemosensory-mediated behavior was established by comparing responses of adults (as determined here) to those of conspecific larvae (as studied previously). Bioassays were performed in mountain streams, testing responses of free-ranging adults to 13 individual l-amino acids. Relative to stream water (controls), adults turned immediately upcurrent and moved to the source of arginine, glycine or alanine release. These responses were indicative of predatory search. Arginine was the strongest attractant tested, with a response threshold (median effective dose) of 8.3x10(-7) mol l(-1) (uncorrected for dilution associated with chemical release and delivery). In contrast to adult behavior, arginine suppressed cannibal-avoidance and failed to evoke search reactions in larvae. For a common set of arginine analogs, the magnitudes of adult attraction and larval suppression were not positively correlated. Suppression of cannibal-avoidance behavior in larvae was unaffected by most structural modifications of the arginine molecule. Adult behavior, on the other hand, was strongly influenced by even subtle alterations in the parent compound. Reactions to arginine in both adults and larvae were eliminated by blocking the external openings of the nasal cavity. Stimulating adult predatory search in one case and inhibiting larval cannibal avoidance in the other, arginine is a chemical signal with opposing behavioral effects and varying ecological consequences. Significant differences between responses of adults and larvae to

  4. Decision-making in child protective services: Influences at multiple levels of the social ecology.

    PubMed

    Font, Sarah A; Maguire-Jack, Kathryn

    2015-09-01

    Decision-making in the child protection system is influenced by multiple factors; agency and geographic contexts, caseworker attributes, and families' unique circumstances all likely play a role. In this study, we use the second cohort of the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being to explore how these factors are associated with two key case decisions-substantiation and removal to out-of-home care. Analyses are conducted using weighted hierarchical linear models. We find that substantiation is strongly influenced by agency factors, particularly constraints on service accessibility. Substantiation is less likely when agencies can provide services to unsubstantiated cases and when collaboration with other social institutions is high. This supports the concept that substantiation may be a gateway to services in some communities. Agency factors contributed less to the probability of removal among substantiated cases, though time resources and constraints on decision-making had some influence. For both substantiation and removal risks, county, caseworker, and child characteristics were less influential than agency characteristics and family risk factors. PMID:25726323

  5. Decision-making in Child Protective Services: Influences at multiple levels of the social ecology

    PubMed Central

    Font, Sarah A.; Maguire-Jack, Kathryn

    2015-01-01

    Decision-making in the child protection system is influenced by multiple factors; agency and geographic contexts, caseworker attributes, and families' unique circumstances all likely play a role. In this study, we use the second cohort of the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being to explore how these factors are associated with two key case decisions—substantiation and removal to out-of-home care. Analyses are conducted using weighted hierarchical linear models. We find that substantiation is strongly influenced by agency factors, particularly constraints on service accessibility. Substantiation is less likely when agencies can provide services to unsubstantiated cases and when collaboration with other social institutions is high. This supports the concept that substantiation may be a gateway to services in some communities. Agency factors contributed less to the probability of removal among substantiated cases, though time resources and constraints on decision-making had some influence. For both substantiation and removal risks, county, caseworker, and child characteristics were less influential than agency characteristics and family risk factors. PMID:25726323

  6. Reprint of "Decision-making in child protective services: Influences at multiple levels of the social ecology".

    PubMed

    Font, Sarah A; Maguire-Jack, Kathryn

    2015-11-01

    Decision-making in the child protection system is influenced by multiple factors; agency and geographic contexts, caseworker attributes, and families' unique circumstances all likely play a role. In this study, we use the second cohort of the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being to explore how these factors are associated with two key case decisions-substantiation and removal to out-of-home care. Analyses are conducted using weighted hierarchical linear models. We find that substantiation is strongly influenced by agency factors, particularly constraints on service accessibility. Substantiation is less likely when agencies can provide services to unsubstantiated cases and when collaboration with other social institutions is high. This supports the concept that substantiation may be a gateway to services in some communities. Agency factors contributed less to the probability of removal among substantiated cases, though time resources and constraints on decision-making had some influence. For both substantiation and removal risks, county, caseworker, and child characteristics were less influential than agency characteristics and family risk factors. PMID:26499371

  7. Advancing Ecological Models to Compare Scale in Multi-Level Educational Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woo, David James

    2016-01-01

    Education systems as units of analysis have been metaphorically likened to ecologies to model change. However, ecological models to date have been ineffective in modelling educational change that is multi-scale and occurs across multiple levels of an education system. Thus, this paper advances two innovative, ecological frameworks that improve on…

  8. Ecological Validity of Walking Capacity Tests in Multiple Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Stellmann, J. P.; Neuhaus, A.; Götze, N.; Briken, S.; Lederer, C.; Schimpl, M.; Heesen, C.; Daumer, M.

    2015-01-01

    Background Ecological validity implicates in how far clinical assessments refer to real life. Short clinical gait tests up to ten meters and 2- or 6-Minutes Walking Tests (2MWT/6MWT) are used as performance-based outcomes in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) studies and considered as moderately associated with real life mobility. Objective To investigate the ecological validity of 10 Meter Walking Test (10mWT), 2MWT and 6MWT. Methods Persons with MS performed 10mWT, 6MWT including 2MWT and 7 recorded days by accelerometry. Ecological validity was assumed if walking tests represented a typical walking sequence in real-life and correlations with accelerometry parameters were strong. Results In this cohort (n=28, medians: age=45, EDSS=3.2, disease duration=9 years), uninterrupted walking of 2 or 6 minutes occurred not frequent in real life (2.61 and 0.35 sequences/day). 10mWT correlated only with slow walking speed quantiles in real life. 2MWT and 6MWT correlated moderately with most real life walking parameters. Conclusion Clinical gait tests over a few meters have a poor ecological validity while validity is moderate for 2MWT and 6MWT. Mobile accelerometry offers the opportunity to control and improve the ecological validity of MS mobility outcomes. PMID:25879750

  9. A multiple index integrating different levels of organization.

    PubMed

    Cortes, Rui; Hughes, Samantha; Coimbra, Ana; Monteiro, Sandra; Pereira, Vítor; Lopes, Marisa; Pereira, Sandra; Pinto, Ana; Sampaio, Ana; Santos, Cátia; Carrola, João; de Jesus, Joaquim; Varandas, Simone

    2016-10-01

    Many methods in freshwater biomonitoring tend to be restricted to a few levels of biological organization, limiting the potential spectrum of measurable of cause-effect responses to different anthropogenic impacts. We combined distinct organisational levels, covering biological biomarkers (histopathological and biochemical reactions in liver and fish gills), community based bioindicators (fish guilds, invertebrate metrics/traits and chironomid pupal exuviae) and ecosystem functional indicators (decomposition rates) to assess ecological status at designated Water Framework Directive monitoring sites, covering a gradient of human impact across several rivers in northern Portugal. We used Random Forest to rank the variables that contributed more significantly to successfully predict the different classes of ecological status and also to provide specific cut levels to discriminate each WFD class based on reference condition. A total of 59 Biological Quality Elements and functional indicators were determined using this procedure and subsequently applied to develop the integrated Multiple Ecological Level Index (MELI Index), a potentially powerful bioassessment tool. PMID:27344015

  10. Spatially Explicit Landscape-Level Ecological Risks Induced by Land Use and Land Cover Change in a National Ecologically Representative Region in China.

    PubMed

    Gong, Jian; Yang, Jianxin; Tang, Wenwu

    2015-11-01

    Land use and land cover change is driven by multiple influential factors from environmental and social dimensions in a land system. Land use practices of human decision-makers modify the landscape of the land system, possibly leading to landscape fragmentation, biodiversity loss, or environmental pollution-severe environmental or ecological impacts. While landscape-level ecological risk assessment supports the evaluation of these impacts, investigations on how these ecological risks induced by land use practices change over space and time in response to alternative policy intervention remain inadequate. In this article, we conducted spatially explicit landscape ecological risk analysis in Ezhou City, China. Our study area is a national ecologically representative region experiencing drastic land use and land cover change, and is regulated by multiple policies represented by farmland protection, ecological conservation, and urban development. We employed landscape metrics to consider the influence of potential landscape-level disturbance for the evaluation of landscape ecological risks. Using spatiotemporal simulation, we designed scenarios to examine spatiotemporal patterns in landscape ecological risks in response to policy intervention. Our study demonstrated that spatially explicit landscape ecological risk analysis combined with simulation-driven scenario analysis is of particular importance for guiding the sustainable development of ecologically vulnerable land systems. PMID:26569270

  11. Spatially Explicit Landscape-Level Ecological Risks Induced by Land Use and Land Cover Change in a National Ecologically Representative Region in China

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Jian; Yang, Jianxin; Tang, Wenwu

    2015-01-01

    Land use and land cover change is driven by multiple influential factors from environmental and social dimensions in a land system. Land use practices of human decision-makers modify the landscape of the land system, possibly leading to landscape fragmentation, biodiversity loss, or environmental pollution—severe environmental or ecological impacts. While landscape-level ecological risk assessment supports the evaluation of these impacts, investigations on how these ecological risks induced by land use practices change over space and time in response to alternative policy intervention remain inadequate. In this article, we conducted spatially explicit landscape ecological risk analysis in Ezhou City, China. Our study area is a national ecologically representative region experiencing drastic land use and land cover change, and is regulated by multiple policies represented by farmland protection, ecological conservation, and urban development. We employed landscape metrics to consider the influence of potential landscape-level disturbance for the evaluation of landscape ecological risks. Using spatiotemporal simulation, we designed scenarios to examine spatiotemporal patterns in landscape ecological risks in response to policy intervention. Our study demonstrated that spatially explicit landscape ecological risk analysis combined with simulation-driven scenario analysis is of particular importance for guiding the sustainable development of ecologically vulnerable land systems. PMID:26569270

  12. Current directions in screening-level ecological risk assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Carlsen, T M; Efroymson, R A

    2000-12-11

    Ecological risk assessment (ERA) is a tool used by many regulatory agencies to evaluate the impact to ecological receptors from changes in environmental conditions. Widespread use of ERAs began with the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund program to assess the ecological impact from hazardous chemicals released to the environment. Many state hazardous chemical regulatory agencies have adopted the use of ERAs, and several state regulatory agencies are evaluating the use of ERAs to assess ecological impacts from releases of petroleum and gas-related products. Typical ERAs are toxicologically-based, use conservative assumptions with respect to ecological receptor exposure duration and frequency, often require complex modeling of transport and exposure and are very labor intensive. In an effort to streamline the ERA process, efforts are currently underway to develop default soil screening levels, to identify ecological screening criteria for excluding sites from formal risk assessment, and to create risk-based corrective action worksheets. This should help reduce the time spent on ERAs, at least for some sites. Work is also underway to incorporate bioavailability and spatial considerations into ERAs. By evaluating the spatial nature of contaminant releases with respect to the spatial context of the ecosystem under consideration, more realistic ERAs with respect to the actual impact to ecological receptors at the population, community or ecosystem scale should be possible. In addition, by considering the spatial context, it should be possible to develop mitigation and monitoring efforts to more appropriately address such sites within the context of an ecological framework.

  13. Ecological concerns following Superstorm Sandy: stressor level and recreational activity levels affect perceptions of ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Coastal habitats are vulnerable to storms, and with increasing urbanization, sea level rise, and storm frequency, some urban populations are at risk. This study examined perceptions of respondents in coastal and central New Jersey to Superstorm Sandy, including: 1) concerns about ecological resources and effects (open-ended question), 2) information sources for ecology of the coast (open-ended), and 3) ratings of a list of ecological services as a function of demographics, location (coastal, central Jersey), stressor level (power outages, high winds, flooding) and recreational rates. “Wildlife” and “fish” were the ecological concerns mentioned most often, while beaches and dunes were most often mentioned for environmental concerns. Television, radio, and web/internet were sources trusted for ecological information. The data indicate 1) stressor level was a better predictor of ratings of ecological services than geographical location, but days engaged in recreation contributed the most to variations in ratings, 2) ecological services were rated the highest by respondents with the highest stressor levels, and by those from the coast, compared to others, 3) Caucasians rated ecological services higher than all others, and 4) recreational rates were highest for coastal respondents, and ratings for ecological services increased with recreational rates. Only 20 % of respondents listed specific ecological services as one of their three most important environmental concerns. These data will be useful for increasing preparedness, enhancing educational strategies for shore protection, and providing managers and public policy makers with data essential to developing resiliency strategies. PMID:27011729

  14. The impacts of multiple stressors to model ecological structures

    SciTech Connect

    Landis, W.G.; Kelly, S.A.; Markiewicz, A.J.; Matthews, R.A.; Matthews, G.B.

    1995-12-31

    The basis of the community conditioning hypothesis is that ecological structures are the result of their unique etiology. Systems that have been exposed to a variety of stressors should reflect this history. The authors how conducted a series of microcosm experiments that can compare the effects of multiple stressors upon community dynamics. The microcosm protocols are derived from the Standardized Aquatic Microcosm (SAM) and have Lemma and additional protozoan species. Two multiple stressor experiments have been conducted. In an extended length SAM (ELSAM), two of four treatments were dosed with the turbine fuel JP-8 one week into the experiment. Two treatments were later exposed to the heat stress, one that had received jet fuel and one that had not. Similarly, an ELSAM was conducted with the second stressor being the further addition of JP-8 replacing the heat shock. Biological, physical and chemical data were analyzed with multivariate techniques including nonmetric clustering and association analysis. Space-time worms and phase diagrams were also employed to ascertain the dynamic relationships of variables identified as important by the multivariate techniques. The experiments do not result in a simple additive linear response to the additional stressor. Examination of the relative population dynamics reveal alterations in trajectories that suggest treatment related effects. As in previous single stressor experiments, recovery does not occur even after extended experimental periods. The authors are now attempting to measure the resulting trajectories, changes in similarity vectors and overall dynamics. However, community conditioning does appear to be an important framework in understanding systems with a heterogeneous array of stressors.

  15. ECOLOGICAL SOIL SCREENING LEVELS FOR SOIL INVERTEBRATES AND PLANTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological Soil Screening Levels (Eco-SSLs) are being developed for 24 inorganic and inorganic chemicals for soil invertebrates and plants using procedures developed by a Task Group of the USEPA Eco-SSL Work Group. The Eco-SSL Work Group is a collaboration among USEPA, DoD, DOE, ...

  16. Multi-level human evolution: ecological patterns in hominin phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Parravicini, Andrea; Pievani, Telmo

    2016-06-20

    Evolution is a process that occurs at many different levels, from genes to ecosystems. Genetic variations and ecological pressures are hence two sides of the same coin; but due both to fragmentary evidence and to the influence of a gene-centered and gradualistic approach to evolutionary phenomena, the field of paleoanthropology has been slow to take the role of macro-evolutionary patterns (i.e. ecological and biogeographical at large scale) seriously. However, several very recent findings in paleoanthropology stress both climate instability and ecological disturbance as key factors affecting the highly branching hominin phylogeny, from the earliest hominins to the appearance of cognitively modern humans. Allopatric speciation due to geographic displacement, turnover-pulses of species, adaptive radiation, mosaic evolution of traits in several coeval species, bursts of behavioral innovation, serial dispersals out of Africa, are just some of the macro-evolutionary patterns emerging from the field. The multilevel approach to evolution proposed by paleontologist Niles Eldredge is adopted here as interpretative tool, and has yielded a larger picture of human evolution that integrates different levels of evolutionary change, from local adaptations in limited ecological niches to dispersal phenotypes able to colonize an unprecedented range of ecosystems. Changes in global climate and Earth's surface most greatly affected human evolution. Precisely because it is cognitively hard for us to appreciate the long-term common destiny we share with the whole biosphere, it is particularly valuable to highlight the accumulating evidence that human evolution has been deeply affected by global ecological changes that transformed our African continent of origin. PMID:26829575

  17. DISTURBANCE PATTERNS IN A SOCIO-ECOLOGICAL SYSTEM AT MULTIPLE SCALES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological systems with hierarchical organization and non-equilibrium dynamics require multiple-scale analyses to comprehend how a system is structured and to formulate hypotheses about regulatory mechanisms. Characteristic scales in real landscapes are determined by, or at least...

  18. Multiple Cancer Cell Population Dynamics in a Complex Ecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Ke-Chih; Targa, Gonzalo; Pienta, Kenneth; Sturm, James; Austin, Robert

    We have developed a technology for study of complex ecology cancer population dynamics. The technology includes complex drug gradients, full bright field/dark field/fluorescence imaging of areas of several square millimeters and thin gas-permable membranes which allow single cell extraction and analysis. We will present results of studies of prostate cancer cell dynamics.

  19. Understanding multiple ecological responses to anthropogenic disturbance: rivers and potential flow regime change.

    PubMed

    Leigh, Catherine; Stewart-Koster, Ben; Sheldon, Fran; Burford, Michele A

    2012-01-01

    Human-induced alteration of the natural flow regime is a major threat to freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity. The effects of hydrological alteration on the structural and functional attributes of riverine communities are expected to be multiple and complex, and they may not be described easily by a single model. Based on existing knowledge of key hydrological and ecological attributes, we explored potential effects of a flow-regulation scenario on macroinvertebrate assemblage composition and diversity in two river systems in Australia's relatively undeveloped wet-dry tropics. We used a single Bayesian belief network (BBN) to model potential changes in multiple assemblage attributes within each river type during dry and wet seasons given two flow scenarios: the current, near-natural flow condition, and flow regulation. We then used multidimensional scaling (MDS) ordination to visually summarize and compare the most probable attributes of assemblages and their environment under the different scenarios. The flow-regulation scenario provided less certainty in the ecological responses of one river type during the dry season, which reduced the ability to make predictions from the BBN outputs directly. However, visualizing the BBN results in an ordination highlighted similarities and differences between the scenarios that may have been otherwise difficult to ascertain. In particular, the MDS showed that flow regulation would reduce the seasonal differentiation in hydrology and assemblage characteristics that is expected under the current low level of development. Our approach may have wider application in understanding ecosystem responses to different river management practices and should be transferred easily to other ecosystems or biotic assemblages to provide researchers, managers, and decision makers an enhanced understanding of ecological responses to potential anthropogenic disturbance. PMID:22471088

  20. An ecological model of intimate partner violence perpetration at different levels of severity.

    PubMed

    Smith Slep, Amy M; Foran, Heather M; Heyman, Richard E

    2014-08-01

    Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant public health concern. This study proposed and tested an ecological model of both general and clinically significant (i.e., injurious or fear-evoking) IPV perpetration (IPVPerp). Risk and promotive factors from multiple ecological levels of influence (i.e., individual, family, workplace, community) were hypothesized to be important in the prediction of IPVPerp. Although clinically significant IPVPerp and general IPVPerp were hypothesized to relate, specific risks for clinically significant IPVPerp were hypothesized. U.S. Air Force active duty members and civilian spouses (N = 34,861 men; 24,331 women) from 82 sites worldwide completed the 2006 Community Assessment, an anonymous online survey assessing IPVPerp along with a variety of potential risk and promotive factors. Final structural equation models for men and women, cross-validated in holdout samples, clearly supported the relevance of an ecological approach to IPVPerp. Factors from all 4 levels were associated with both general IPVPerp and clinically significant IPVPerp, with relatively distal community and workplace factors operating via more proximal individual and family level variables (e.g., relationship satisfaction). The results suggest a variety of both established and novel potential targets for indirectly targeting general and clinically significant IPVPerp by improving risk profiles at the individual, family, workplace, and community levels. PMID:25000132

  1. Quantifying the metabolic activities of human-associated microbial communities across multiple ecological scales

    PubMed Central

    Maurice, Corinne Ferrier; Turnbaugh, Peter James

    2013-01-01

    Humans are home to complex microbial communities, whose aggregate genomes and their encoded metabolic activities are referred to as the human microbiome. Recently, researchers have begun to appreciate that different human body habitats and the activities of their resident microorganisms can be better understood in ecological terms, as a range of spatial scales encompassing single cells, guilds of microorganisms responsive to a similar substrate, microbial communities, body habitats, and host populations. However, the bulk of the work to date has focused on studies of culturable microorganisms in isolation or on DNA sequencing-based surveys of microbial diversity in small to moderately sized cohorts of individuals. Here, we discuss recent work that highlights the potential for assessing the human microbiome at a range of spatial scales, and for developing novel techniques that bridge multiple levels: for example, through the combination of single cell methods and metagenomic sequencing. These studies promise to not only provide a much-needed epidemiological and ecological context for mechanistic studies of culturable and genetically tractable microorganisms, but may also lead to the discovery of fundamental rules that govern the assembly and function of host-associated microbial communities. PMID:23550823

  2. Evaluation of ecological instream flow using multiple ecological indicators with consideration of hydrological alterations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Qiang; Gu, Xihui; Singh, Vijay P.; Chen, Xiaohong

    2015-10-01

    Dam-induced hydrological alterations and related ecological problems have been arousing considerable concern from hydrologists, ecologists, and policy-makers. The East River basin in China is the major provider of water resources for mega-cities within the Pearl River Delta and meets 80% of annual water demand of Hong Kong. In this study, ecodeficit and ecosurplus were analyzed to determine the ecological impact of water impoundments. Also, Do and DHRAM were employed to evaluate the degree of alteration of hydrological regimes, and ERHIs were analyzed to evaluate the influence of hydrological alterations on ecological diversity. Results indicate that: (1) the magnitude and frequency of high flows decrease and those of low flows increase due to the regulation of reservoirs; (2) variations of annual ecosurplus are mainly the result of precipitation changes and the annual ecodeficit is significantly influenced by reservoirs. However, ecodeficit and ecosurplus in other seasons, particularly autumn and winter, are more influenced by reservoir regulation; (3) impacts of reservoirs on hydrological regimes and eco-flow regimes are different from one station to another due to different degrees of influence of reservoirs on hydrological processes at different stations. The longer the distance between a reservoir and a hydrological station is, the weaker the influence the water reservoir has on the hydrological processes; (4) ecodeficit and ecosurplus can be accepted in the evaluation of alterations of hydrological processes at annual and seasonal time scales. Results of Shannon Index indicate decreasing biological diversity after the construction of water reservoirs, implying negative impacts of water reservoirs on biological diversity of a river basin and this should arouse considerable human concerns. This study provides a theoretical background for water resources management with consideration of eco-flow variations due to reservoir regulation in other highly

  3. Risk, Resilience, and Development: The Multiple Ecologies of Black Adolescents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nettles, Saundra Murray; Pleck, Joseph H.

    This report examines protective factors and the process of resilience as they apply to Black adolescents. The report reviews risk factors at the individual level and at the community level, and reviews the incidence of health- and life-compromising risk outcomes in Black adolescents. It then discusses protective factors and resilience and their…

  4. Gay-Straight Alliance Advisors: Negotiating Multiple Ecological Systems when Advocating for LGBTQ Youth

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Watson, Laurel B.; Varjas, Kris; Meyers, Joel; Graybill, Emily C.

    2010-01-01

    This qualitative study investigated the barriers and facilitators that advisors of gay-straight alliances encounter when advocating for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) youth within schools. Twenty-two advisors were interviewed, and data revealed that multiple ecological systems (e.g., sociocultural, school, and individual…

  5. Multiple Intelligence Levels of Physical Education and Sports School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ekici, Summani

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this research is to analyze the multiple intelligence levels of academies of physical education and sports students according to some demographic factors. To obtain data about multiple intelligence levels in the research, the multiple intelligence inventory, developed by Ozden (2003), was applied to a total of 1.199 students, of…

  6. Historical Ecology--An Alternative Approach to Ecological Studies at A-Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rogers, Stephen

    1985-01-01

    Compares and contrasts a historical approach to woodland studies with a conventional ecological approach. Suggests potential sources of information and areas for investigation for the historical ecologist. Also reviews a case study example that employed this strategy. (ML)

  7. Guidance Manual for Conducting Screening Level Ecological Risk Assessments at the INEL

    SciTech Connect

    R. L. VanHorn; N. L. Hampton; R. C. Morris

    1995-06-01

    This document presents reference material for conducting screening level ecological risk assessments (SLERAs)for the waste area groups (WAGs) at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. Included in this document are discussions of the objectives of and processes for conducting SLERAs. The Environmental Protection Agency ecological risk assessment framework is closely followed. Guidance for site characterization, stressor characterization, ecological effects, pathways of contaminant migration, the conceptual site model, assessment endpoints, measurement endpoints, analysis guidance, and risk characterization are included.

  8. Genetics of multiple myeloma: another heterogeneity level?

    PubMed Central

    Corre, Jill; Munshi, Nikhil

    2015-01-01

    Our knowledge of myeloma genetics remained limited and lagged behind many other hematologic malignancies because of the inherent difficulties in generating metaphases within the malignant plasma cell clone. With the development of molecular techniques (microarrays and next-generation sequencing), our understanding has been highly improved in the past 5 years. These studies have not only confirmed the prevalence of wide heterogeneity in myeloma at the molecular level, but has also provided a much clearer picture of the disease pathogenesis and progression. Whether these data will enable improvements in the therapeutic approach is still a matter of debate. The next improvement will come from detailed analyses of these molecular features to try to move from a treatment fitted to every patient to individualized therapies, taking into account the complexity of the chromosomal changes, the mutation spectrum, and subclonality evolution. PMID:25628468

  9. Multiple dimensions of transitions in complex socio-ecological systems - A case from China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Wei; Yang, Wu; Vina, Andres; Schröter, Dagmar; Liu, Jianguo

    2013-04-01

    Transitions in complex socio-ecological systems are intermediate phases between two successive and more stable periods or states and involve various societal, ecological, and biophysical changes that are often non-linear and inter-related. Understanding transitions is challenging but important for managing socio-ecological systems for achieving environmental sustainability and improving human well-being. Long-term and intensive research is warranted to disclose common patterns and mechanisms of socio-ecological transitions and to develop ideas and methods for studying and planning sustainable transitions. Based on a long-term research on human-nature relationships in Wolong Nature Reserve in China, we studied multiple concurrent social, economic, and ecological transitions during the last 15 years. As a UNESCO biosphere reserve, Wolong lies within a global biodiversity hotspot and a World Heritage site. It contains the largest populations of the world-famous endangered giant pandas and several thousand other animal and plant species. Like most nature reserves in China and many other developing countries, Wolong is also home to many local residents who undertake a variety of activities that involve interaction with ecosystem. For the majority of the 20th century, local people in Wolong lived under poverty line in a closed subsistence-based agricultural economy. Their demands on for wood (as fuel and raw materials) from the natural forests were high and resulted in severe deforestation, habitat degradation, and landslides. Since late 1990s, a series of major economic (e.g., tourism development) and environmental (e.g., payment for ecosystem services programs) policies have been implemented in the reserve as adaptive strategies to cope with poverty and ecological degradation. Within a decade, we have observed major transitions in land use (i.e., from extractive use to non-consumptive use), economic structure (i.e., from a subsistence-based agricultural economy to an

  10. Exploring Multiple Intelligences Theory at a Community College Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berkemeier, Ginny Y. Hew

    Discusses multiple intelligence (a pluralized approach to understanding the intellect) teaching and learning of science at the higher education level, specifically within community colleges. The purpose of this study was four-fold. The first purpose was to investigate adult learning through Multiple Intelligence Theory (MI) at the community…

  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. Using multiple ecosystem components, in assessing ecological status in Spanish (Basque Country) Atlantic marine waters.

    PubMed

    Borja, Angel; Bald, Juan; Franco, Javier; Larreta, Joana; Muxika, Iñigo; Revilla, Marta; Rodríguez, J Germán; Solaun, Oihana; Uriarte, Ainhize; Valencia, Victoriano

    2009-01-01

    The European Water Framework and Marine Strategy Directives relate to the assessment of ecological quality, within estuarine and coastal systems. This legislation requires quality to be defined in an integrative way, using several biological elements (phytoplankton, benthos, algae, phanerogams, and fishes), together with physico-chemical elements (including pollutants). This contribution describes a methodology that integrates all of this information into a unique quality assessment for 51 stations from 18 water bodies, within the Basque Country. These water bodies are distributed into four typologies, including soft-bottom coastal areas and three types of estuaries. For each station, decision trees were used to integrate (i) water, sediment and biomonitor chemical data to achieve an integrated physico-chemical assessment and (ii) multiple biological ecosystem elements into an integrated biological assessment. Depending on the availability of ecological quality ratios or global quality values, different integration schemes were used to combine station assessments into water body assessments on a single scale. Several examples from each element have been selected, to illustrate their responses to different pressures; likewise, to establish how the assessed integrated quality has changed, over time. The results made biological and ecological sense and physico-chemical improvements were often correlated with improvements in the quality of benthos and fishes. These tools permit policy makers and managers to take decisions, based upon scientific knowledge, in water management, regarding the mitigation of human pressures and associated recovery processes. PMID:19084879

  13. Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    This set of teaching aids consists of nine Audubon Nature Bulletins, providing teachers and students with informational reading on various ecological topics. The bulletins have these titles: Schoolyard Laboratories, Owls and Predators, The Forest Community, Life in Freshwater Marshes, Camouflage in the Animal World, Life in the Desert, The…

  14. Defining Acceptable Levels for Ecological Indicators: An Approach for Considering Social Values

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smyth, Robyn L.; Watzin, Mary C.; Manning, Robert E.

    2007-03-01

    Ecological indicators can facilitate an adaptive management approach, but only if acceptable levels for those indicators have been defined so that the data collected can be interpreted. Because acceptable levels are an expression of the desired state of the ecosystem, the process of establishing acceptable levels should incorporate not just ecological understanding but also societal values. The goal of this research was to explore an approach for defining acceptable levels of ecological indicators that explicitly considers social perspectives and values. We used a set of eight indicators that were related to issues of concern in the Lake Champlain Basin. Our approach was based on normative theory. Using a stakeholder survey, we measured respondent normative evaluations of varying levels of our indicators. Aggregated social norm curves were used to determine the level at which indicator values shifted from acceptable to unacceptable conditions. For seven of the eight indicators, clear preferences were interpretable from these norm curves. For example, closures of public beaches because of bacterial contamination and days of intense algae bloom went from acceptable to unacceptable at 7-10 days in a summer season. Survey respondents also indicated that the number of fish caught from Lake Champlain that could be safely consumed each month was unacceptably low and the number of streams draining into the lake that were impaired by storm water was unacceptably high. If indicators that translate ecological conditions into social consequences are carefully selected, we believe the normative approach has considerable merit for defining acceptable levels of valued ecological system components.

  15. Describing multiple levels of abstraction in the metabolism

    SciTech Connect

    Mavrovouniotis, M.L.

    1994-12-31

    We discuss some central issues that arise in the computer representation of the metabolism and its subsystems. We provide a framework for the representation of metabolites and bioreactions at multiple levels of detail. The framework is based on defining an explicit linear mapping of metabolites and reactions from one level of detail to another. A simple reaction mechanism serves as an illustration and shows the emergence of the concept of a catalyst from metabolic abstraction levels.

  16. Threatened and Endangered Subspecies with Vulnerable Ecological Traits Also Have High Susceptibility to Sea Level Rise and Habitat Fragmentation

    PubMed Central

    Benscoter, Allison M.; Reece, Joshua S.; Noss, Reed F.; Brandt, Laura A.; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Romañach, Stephanie S.; Watling, James I.

    2013-01-01

    The presence of multiple interacting threats to biodiversity and the increasing rate of species extinction make it critical to prioritize management efforts on species and communities that maximize conservation success. We implemented a multi-step approach that coupled vulnerability assessments evaluating threats to Florida taxa such as climate change, sea-level rise, and habitat fragmentation with in-depth literature surveys of taxon-specific ecological traits. The vulnerability, adaptive capacity, and ecological traits of 12 threatened and endangered subspecies were compared to non-listed subspecies of the same parent species. Overall, the threatened and endangered subspecies showed high vulnerability and low adaptive capacity, in particular to sea level rise and habitat fragmentation. They also exhibited larger home ranges and greater dispersal limitation compared to non-endangered subspecies, which may inhibit their ability to track changing climate in fragmented landscapes. There was evidence for lower reproductive capacity in some of the threatened or endangered taxa, but not for most. Taxa located in the Florida Keys or in other low coastal areas were most vulnerable to sea level rise, and also showed low levels of adaptive capacity, indicating they may have a lower probability of conservation success. Our analysis of at-risk subspecies and closely related non-endangered subspecies demonstrates that ecological traits help to explain observed differences in vulnerability and adaptive capacity. This study points to the importance of assessing the relative contributions of multiple threats and evaluating conservation value at the species (or subspecies) level when resources are limited and several factors affect conservation success. PMID:23940614

  17. Threatened and endangered subspecies with vulnerable ecological traits also have high susceptibility to sea level rise and habitat fragmentation.

    PubMed

    Benscoter, Allison M; Reece, Joshua S; Noss, Reed F; Brandt, Laura A; Mazzotti, Frank J; Romañach, Stephanie S; Watling, James I

    2013-01-01

    The presence of multiple interacting threats to biodiversity and the increasing rate of species extinction make it critical to prioritize management efforts on species and communities that maximize conservation success. We implemented a multi-step approach that coupled vulnerability assessments evaluating threats to Florida taxa such as climate change, sea-level rise, and habitat fragmentation with in-depth literature surveys of taxon-specific ecological traits. The vulnerability, adaptive capacity, and ecological traits of 12 threatened and endangered subspecies were compared to non-listed subspecies of the same parent species. Overall, the threatened and endangered subspecies showed high vulnerability and low adaptive capacity, in particular to sea level rise and habitat fragmentation. They also exhibited larger home ranges and greater dispersal limitation compared to non-endangered subspecies, which may inhibit their ability to track changing climate in fragmented landscapes. There was evidence for lower reproductive capacity in some of the threatened or endangered taxa, but not for most. Taxa located in the Florida Keys or in other low coastal areas were most vulnerable to sea level rise, and also showed low levels of adaptive capacity, indicating they may have a lower probability of conservation success. Our analysis of at-risk subspecies and closely related non-endangered subspecies demonstrates that ecological traits help to explain observed differences in vulnerability and adaptive capacity. This study points to the importance of assessing the relative contributions of multiple threats and evaluating conservation value at the species (or subspecies) level when resources are limited and several factors affect conservation success. PMID:23940614

  18. The behavior of multiple independent managers and ecological traits interact to determine prevalence of weeds.

    PubMed

    Coutts, Shaun R; Yokomizo, Hiroyuki; Buckley, Yvonne M

    2013-04-01

    Management of damaging invasive plants is often undertaken by multiple decision makers, each managing only a small part of the invader's population. As weeds can move between properties and re-infest eradicated sites from unmanaged sources, the dynamics of multiple decision makers plays a significant role in weed prevalence and invasion risk at the landscape scale. We used a spatially explicit agent-based simulation to determine how individual agent behavior, in concert with weed population ecology, determined weed prevalence. We compared two invasive grass species that differ in ecology, control methods, and costs: Nassella trichotoma (serrated tussock) and Eragrostis curvula (African love grass). The way decision makers reacted to the benefit of management had a large effect on the extent of a weed. If benefits of weed control outweighed the costs, and either net benefit was very large or all agents were very sensitive to net benefits, then agents tended to act synchronously, reducing the pool of infested agents available to spread the weed. As N. trichotoma was more damaging than E. curvula and had more effective control methods, agents chose to manage it more often, which resulted in lower prevalence of N. trichotoma. A relatively low number of agents who were intrinsically less motivated to control weeds led to increased prevalence of both species. This was particularly apparent when long-distance dispersal meant each infested agent increased the invasion risk for a large portion of the landscape. In this case, a small proportion of land mangers reluctant to control, regardless of costs and benefits, could lead to the whole landscape being infested, even when local control stopped new infestations. Social pressure was important, but only if it was independent of weed prevalence, suggesting that early access to information, and incentives to act on that information, may be crucial in stopping a weed from infesting large areas. The response of our model to both

  19. Integrating ecological risk assessments across levels of organization using the Franklin-Noss model of biodiversity

    SciTech Connect

    Brugger, K.E.; Tiebout, H.M. III |

    1994-12-31

    Wildlife toxicologists pioneered methodologies for assessing ecological risk to nontarget species. Historically, ecological risk assessments (ERAS) focused on a limited array of species and were based on a relatively few population-level endpoints (mortality, reproduction). Currently, risk assessment models are becoming increasingly complex that factor in multi-species interactions (across trophic levels) and utilize an increasingly diverse number of ecologically significant endpoints. This trend suggests the increasing importance of safeguarding not only populations of individual species, but also the overall integrity of the larger biotic systems that support them. In this sense, ERAs are in alignment with Conservation Biology, an applied science of ecological knowledge used to conserve biodiversity. A theoretical conservation biology model could be incorporated in ERAs to quantify impacts to biodiversity (structure, function or composition across levels of biological organization). The authors suggest that the Franklin-Noss model for evaluating biodiversity, with its nested, hierarchical approach, may provide a suitable paradigm for assessing and integrating the ecological risk that chemical contaminants pose to biological systems from the simplest levels (genotypes, individual organisms) to the most complex levels of organization (communities and ecosystems). The Franklin-Noss model can accommodate the existing ecotoxicological database and, perhaps more importantly, indicate new areas in which critical endpoints should be identified and investigated.

  20. Wait-Time and Multiple Representation Levels in Chemistry Lessons

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Li, Winnie Sim Siew; Arshad, Mohammad Yusof

    2014-01-01

    Wait-time is an important aspect in a teaching and learning process, especially after the teacher has posed questions to students, as it is one of the factors in determining quality of students' responses. This article describes the practices of wait-time one after teacher's questions at multiple representation levels among twenty three chemistry…

  1. Superradiance in spin-j particles: Effects of multiple levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, G.-D.; Yelin, S. F.

    2012-03-01

    We study the superradiance dynamics in a dense system of atoms each of which can be generally a spin-j particle, with j an arbitrary half-integer. We generalize Dicke's superradiance point of view to multiple-level systems and compare the results based on a novel approach we developed previously [Lin and Yelin, Adv. Atom. Mol. Opt. Phys. 61, in press (2012)]. Using this formalism we derive an effective two-body description that shows cooperative and collective effects for spin-j particles, taking into account the coherence of transitions between different atomic levels. We find that superradiance, which is well known as a many-body phenomenon, can also be modified by multiple-level effects. We also discuss the feasibility and propose that our approach can be applied to polar molecules, for their vibrational states have a multilevel structure which is partially harmonic.

  2. Ecological relevance of Sentinels' biomarker responses: a multi-level approach.

    PubMed

    Seabra Pereira, Camilo D; Abessa, Denis M S; Choueri, Rodrigo B; Almagro-Pastor, Victor; Cesar, Augusto; Maranho, Luciane A; Martín-Díaz, María Laura; Torres, Ronaldo J; Gusso-Choueri, Paloma K; Almeida, João E; Cortez, Fernando S; Mozeto, Antonio A; Silbiger, Helcy L N; Sousa, Eduinetty C P M; Del Valls, Tommas Angel; Bainy, Afonso C D

    2014-05-01

    In response to the need for more sensitive and rapid indicators of environmental quality, sublethal effects on the lowest levels of biological organization have been investigated. The ecological relevance of these responses assumes a prevailing role to assure effectiveness as indicator of ecological status. This study aimed to investigate the linkages between biomarker responses of caged bivalves and descriptive parameters of macrobenthic community structure. For this purpose a multi-level environmental assessment of marine and estuarine zones was performed in São Paulo coast, Brazil. Multivariate analysis was applied to identify linkages between biological responses and ecological indices, as well as to characterizing the studied stations. Individuals of the marine mussel Perna perna caged along Santos Bay showed signs of oxidative stress, lysosomal membrane destabilization, histological alterations and reduced embryonic development. The estuarine oyster Crassostrea rhizophorae caged along Santos Port Channel showed alterations on biotransformation enzymes and antioxidant system, DNA damage and lysosomal membrane destabilization. The benthic community analysis showed reduced richness and diversity in the same areas of the Santos bay and estuary where biomarker responses were altered. Our results revealed that xenobiotics are inducing physiological stress, which may lead to changes of the benthic community structure and deterioration of the ecological status over time. Integrating biomarker responses and ecological indexes improved certainty that alterations found at community level could be related to xenobiotic as stressors, which was very useful to improve the discriminatory power of the environmental assessment. PMID:24314371

  3. Efficient bit-level, word-level, and block-level systolic arrays for matrix-matrix multiplication

    SciTech Connect

    De Groot, A.J.; Parker, S.R.; Johansson, E.M.

    1988-02-01

    This paper investigates the mapping of matrix-matrix multiplication onto bit level, word level and block level systolic arrays. Highly efficient and regular bit level, word level and block level systolic arrays are described. Efficiencies of many block level and word level systolic arrays reported in this paper approach 100/percent/, three times the efficiencies of systolic arrays reported previously. Bit level systolic arrays reported in this paper require less computation time than do bit level systolic arrays reported previously and, for special matrices, require less cells. Execution times of block level systolic algorithms on sixty-four-element multiprocessor agree with theory.

  4. DEVELOPMENT OF TOXICITY REFERENCE VALUES FOR ECOLOGICAL SOIL SCREENING LEVELS (ECO-SSLS) FOR TERRESTRIAL WILDLIFE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological Soil Screening Levels (Eco-SSLs) protective of terrestrial wildlife were developed by the USEPA Superfund. The wildlife Eco-SSL is the soil contaminant concentration where the Effect Dose (TRV) and Exposure Dose are equal (amount of contaminant in the diet that is take...

  5. Umweltverschmutzung. German Ecology Packet: Resource Units and Materials for German Classes at All Levels.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Archer, Julie; And Others

    Supplementary resource materials for use in upper level secondary school German classes are presented in this text. Teachers who are seeking new content and are willing to adapt these instructional materials on ecology in Germany will find three self-contained units on: The Plight of the Polar Bear, Polluted Swimming Pools in Germany, and Dead…

  6. Collective cavity quantum electrodynamics with multiple atomic levels

    SciTech Connect

    Arnold, Kyle J.; Baden, Markus P.; Barrett, Murray D.

    2011-09-15

    We study the transmission spectra of ultracold rubidium atoms coupled to a high-finesse optical cavity. Under weak probing with {pi}-polarized light, the linear response of the system is that of a collective spin with multiple levels coupled to a single mode of the cavity. By varying the atom number, we change the collective coupling of the system. We observe the change in transmission spectra when going from a regime where the collective coupling is much smaller than the separation of the atomic levels to a regime where both are of comparable size. The observations are in good agreement with a reduced model we developed for our system.

  7. Climate change and freshwater ecosystems: impacts across multiple levels of organization

    PubMed Central

    Woodward, Guy; Perkins, Daniel M.; Brown, Lee E.

    2010-01-01

    Fresh waters are particularly vulnerable to climate change because (i) many species within these fragmented habitats have limited abilities to disperse as the environment changes; (ii) water temperature and availability are climate-dependent; and (iii) many systems are already exposed to numerous anthropogenic stressors. Most climate change studies to date have focused on individuals or species populations, rather than the higher levels of organization (i.e. communities, food webs, ecosystems). We propose that an understanding of the connections between these different levels, which are all ultimately based on individuals, can help to develop a more coherent theoretical framework based on metabolic scaling, foraging theory and ecological stoichiometry, to predict the ecological consequences of climate change. For instance, individual basal metabolic rate scales with body size (which also constrains food web structure and dynamics) and temperature (which determines many ecosystem processes and key aspects of foraging behaviour). In addition, increasing atmospheric CO2 is predicted to alter molar CNP ratios of detrital inputs, which could lead to profound shifts in the stoichiometry of elemental fluxes between consumers and resources at the base of the food web. The different components of climate change (e.g. temperature, hydrology and atmospheric composition) not only affect multiple levels of biological organization, but they may also interact with the many other stressors to which fresh waters are exposed, and future research needs to address these potentially important synergies. PMID:20513717

  8. Comparison of deterministic and probabilistic calculation of ecological soil screening levels.

    PubMed

    Regan, Helen M; Sample, Brad E; Ferson, Scott

    2002-04-01

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) is sponsoring development of ecological soil screening levels (Eco-SSLs) for terrestrial wildlife. These are intended to be used to identify chemicals of potential ecological concern at Superfund sites. Ecological soil screening levels represent concentrations of contaminants in soils that are believed to be protective of ecological receptors. An exposure model, based on soil- and food-ingestion rates and the relationship between the concentrations of contaminants in soil and food, has been developed for estimation of wildlife Eco-SSLs. It is important to understand how conservative and protective these values are, how parameterization of the model influences the resulting Eco-SSL, and how the treatment of uncertainty impacts results. The Eco-SSLs were calculated for meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) and northern short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) for lead and DDT using deterministic and probabilistic methods. Conclusions obtained include that use of central-tendency point estimates may result in hazard quotients much larger than one; that a Monte Carlo approach also leads to hazard quotients that can be substantially larger than one; that, if no hazard quotients larger than one are allowed, any probabilistic approach is identical to a worst-case approach; and that an improvement in the quality and amount of data is necessary to increase confidence that Eco-SSLs are protective at their intended levels of conservatism. PMID:11951965

  9. Ecological performance of red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) larvae exposed to environmental levels of the insecticide malathion.

    PubMed

    Del Carmen Alvarez, Maria; Fuiman, Lee A

    2006-05-01

    Malathion is a highly soluble organophosphate insecticide that is widely used in agriculture and mosquito eradication campaigns. Fish species, such as red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), that use seagrass beds as nursery areas could be affected by runoff waters contaminated with malathion. We exposed red drum larvae at the size they reach in estuarine nursery areas to environmentally realistic and sublethal levels of malathion (0, 1, and 10 microg/L). We evaluated the effects of such exposure on ecologically significant behaviors (routine swimming and predator evasion), growth, and resting metabolism. Malathion exposure to relatively low but ecologically realistic concentrations did not affect routine behavior, escape behavior, resting metabolic rate, or growth, indicating that reported environmental levels may be safe for young fishes. However, a recent substantial increase in the use of malathion may elevate surface-water concentrations to levels above those tested in the present study. PMID:16704078

  10. Multiple levels of control in the Stroop task.

    PubMed

    Bugg, Julie M; Jacoby, Larry L; Toth, Jeffrey P

    2008-12-01

    Multiple levels of control may be used in service of reducing Stroop interference. One is list-wide, whereby interference is reduced strategically in lists that include disproportionately more incongruent trials. A second, item-specific control is observed when proportion congruence is manipulated at the level of items. Item-specific control reduces interference for mostly incongruent relative to mostly congruent items. First, we show that item-specific control may drive both list-wide and item-specific proportion congruence effects (Experiment 1). We then show that item-specific control affects Stroop interference similarly when a single feature (a word) as opposed to a feature combination (a word+font type) signals proportion congruence (Experiment 2). Although this suggests that font type offers little advantage for controlling Stroop interference beyond the word, a novel, font-specific proportion congruence effect is observed in Experiment 3, indicating that font type can be used to control interference. These findings support the idea that multiple levels of control are used in reducing Stroop interference. PMID:19015507

  11. Physics of multiple level hairpin vortex structures in turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, YiQian; Al-Dujaly, Hassan; Yan, YongHua; Zhao, Ning; Liu, ChaoQun

    2016-02-01

    Previous experimental and numerical studies have revealed that the hairpin vortex is a basic flow element of transitional boundary layer. The hairpin vortex is believed to have legs, necks and a ring head. Based on our DNS study, the legs and the ring head are generated separately by different mechanisms. The legs function like an engine to generate low speed zones by rotation, create shear layers with surrounding high speed neighbor fluids, and further cause vortex ring formation through shear layer instability. In addition, the ring head is Ω-shaped and separated from quasi-streamwise legs from the beginning. Contrary to the classical concept of "vortex breakdown", we believe transition from laminar flow to turbulence is a "buildup" process of multiple level vortical structures. The vortex rings of first level hairpins are mostly responsible for positive spikes, which cause new vorticity rollup, second level vortex leg formation and finally smaller second level vortex ring generation. The third and lower level vortices are generated following the same mechanism. In this paper, the physical process from Λ-vortex to multi-level hairpin vortices is described in detail.

  12. Current challenges in contaminant effects monitoring: Multiple stressors and ecological significance

    SciTech Connect

    Adams, S.M.; Ham, K.D.

    1996-09-01

    Aquatic ecosystems are complex entities that are controlled and regulated by a multitude of physicochemical and biological processes. In addition, aquatic organisms experience a variety of natural and man-induced stressors, both of which vary spatially and temporally. The high variability in environmental factors combined with synergistic and cumulative interactions of these factors in aquatic ecosystems complicate the interpretation and evaluation of the effects of contaminant-related stressors on organisms. With this in mind, some main challenges facing those concerned with assessing the effects of environmental contaminants on organisms are (1) the influence of multiple stressors on stress responses in biological systems, (2) determining causal relationships between various levels of biological response to stressors, and (3) identifying early warning indicators or measures of organism impairment that have biological significance before irreversible or serious disability occurs. In all these areas, the health of biological systems (from the individual level to the population and community levels) has as its basis the physiological performance of the organism. Therefore, aspects of contaminant effects monitoring which include physiological measures of health should not only be utilized as measures of deviations from normal function, but should also be applied in the larger context of helping to understand multiple stressor effects, causal relationships between different levels of biological response, and early warning indicators of biologically significant effects.

  13. Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise: Advancing coastal management through integrated research and engagement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kidwell, D. M.

    2012-12-01

    Rising sea level represents a significant threat to coastal communities and ecosystems through land loss, altered habitats, and increased vulnerability to coastal storms and inundation. This threat is exemplified in the northern Gulf of Mexico where low topography, expansive marshes, and a prevalence of tropical storms have already resulted in extensive coastal impacts. The development of robust predictive capabilities that incorporate complex biological processes with physical dynamics are critical for informed planning and restoration efforts for coastal ecosystems. Looking to build upon existing predictive modeling capabilities and allow for use of multiple model (i.e., ensemble) approaches, NOAA initiated the Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise program in 2010 to advance physical/biological integrative modeling capabilities in the region with a goal to provide user friendly predictive tools for coastal ecosystem management. Focused on the northern Gulf of Mexico, this multi-disciplinary project led by the University of Central Florida will use in situ field studies to parameterize physical and biological models. These field studies will also result in a predictive capability for overland sediment delivery and transport that will further enhance marsh, oyster, and submerged aquatic vegetation models. Results from this integrated modeling effort are envisioned to inform management strategies for reducing risk, restoration and breakwater guidelines, and resource sustainability for project planning, among other uses. In addition to the science components, this project incorporates significant engagement of the management community through a management applications principle investigator and an advisory management committee. Routine engagement between the science team and the management committee, including annual workshops, are focused on ensuring the development of applicable, relevant, and useable products and tools at the conclusion of this project. Particular

  14. Using multiple ecological assessment techniques to screen for a wetlands reference site

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, B.M.; McNaughton, E.E.; Wagner, A.; Vig, A.; Zinky, L.; McCormick, S.

    1995-12-31

    Previous investigation of the landfill on the Concord Naval Weapons Station, located in a diked wetland, showed that the sediments exhibited elevated levels of inorganic analytes, as compared to national benchmarks, such as the NOAA ER-Ls. The need to identify a reference marsh was recognized because of the likelihood that these levels of inorganics were representative of ambient conditions, rather than associated with releases to the environment. A marsh location was selected that was upgradient of the landfill, and distant from sources of known contamination, such as roadways and railroad tracks. Sediment samples were analyzed for bulk sediment chemistry, toxicity, and benthic community structure. Bulk sediment chemistry results showed elevated concentrations of lead and petroleum-related organic compounds, perhaps associated with a historic pipeline break. Pore water was prepared from sediment collocated with the bulk chemistry samples and tested with the sea urchin development bioassay. Compared to the control, three of four sediment pore water samples were highly inhibitory of normal development. However, the benthic community survey from the same sampling stations showed a health assemblage of organisms, although one station that exhibited visible petroleum contamination also showed reduced abundance. The conflicting results demonstrate the necessity for taking more than one measure in developing the ecological assessment of a site.

  15. Emergy evaluation of contrasting dairy systems at multiple levels.

    PubMed

    Vigne, Mathieu; Peyraud, Jean-Louis; Lecomte, Philippe; Corson, Michael S; Wilfart, Aurélie

    2013-11-15

    Emergy accounting (EmA) was applied to a range of dairy systems, from low-input smallholder systems in South Mali (SM), to intermediate-input systems in two regions of France, Poitou-Charentes (PC) and Bretagne (BR), to high-input systems on Reunion Island (RI). These systems were studied at three different levels: whole-farm (dairy system and cropping system), dairy-system (dairy herd and forage land), and herd (animals only). Dairy farms in SM used the lowest total emergy at all levels and was the highest user of renewable resources. Despite the low quality of resources consumed (crop residues and natural pasture), efficiency of their use was similar to that of industrialised inputs by intensive systems in RI, PC and BR. In addition, among the systems studied, SM dairy farms lay closest to environmental sustainability, contradicting the usual image of high environmental impact of cattle production in developing countries. EmA also revealed characteristics of the three intensive systems. Systems from RI and PC had lower resource transformation efficiency and higher environmental impacts than those from BR, due mainly to feeding strategies that differed due to differing socio-climatic constraints. Application of EmA at multiple levels revealed the importance of a multi-level analysis. While the whole-farm level assesses the overall contribution of the system to its environment, the dairy-system level is suitable for comparison of multi-product systems. In contrast, the herd level focuses on herd management and bypasses debates about definition of system boundaries by excluding land management. Combining all levels highlights the contribution of livestock to the global agricultural system and identifies inefficiencies and influences of system components on the environment. PMID:23792889

  16. Decreased Coenzyme Q10 Levels in Multiple System Atrophy Cerebellum.

    PubMed

    Barca, Emanuele; Kleiner, Giulio; Tang, Guomei; Ziosi, Marcello; Tadesse, Saba; Masliah, Eliezer; Louis, Elan D; Faust, Phyllis; Kang, Un J; Torres, Jose; Cortes, Etty P; Vonsattel, Jean-Paul G; Kuo, Sheng-Han; Quinzii, Catarina M

    2016-07-01

    In familial and sporadic multiple system atrophy (MSA) patients, deficiency of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) has been associated with mutations in COQ2, which encodes the second enzyme in the CoQ10 biosynthetic pathway. Cerebellar ataxia is the most common presentation of CoQ10 deficiency, suggesting that the cerebellum might be selectively vulnerable to low levels of CoQ10 To investigate whether CoQ10 deficiency represents a common feature in the brains of MSA patients independent of the presence of COQ2 mutations, we studied CoQ10 levels in postmortem brains of 12 MSA, 9 Parkinson disease (PD), 9 essential tremor (ET) patients, and 12 controls. We also assessed mitochondrial respiratory chain enzyme activities, oxidative stress, mitochondrial mass, and levels of enzymes involved in CoQ biosynthesis. Our studies revealed CoQ10 deficiency in MSA cerebellum, which was associated with impaired CoQ biosynthesis and increased oxidative stress in the absence of COQ2 mutations. The levels of CoQ10 in the cerebella of ET and PD patients were comparable or higher than in controls. These findings suggest that CoQ10 deficiency may contribute to the pathogenesis of MSA. Because no disease modifying therapies are currently available, increasing CoQ10 levels by supplementation or upregulation of its biosynthesis may represent a novel treatment strategy for MSA patients. PMID:27235405

  17. Multiple metals predict prolactin and thyrotropin (TSH) levels in men

    SciTech Connect

    Meeker, John D.; Rossano, Mary G.; Protas, Bridget; Diamond, Michael P.; Puscheck, Elizabeth; Daly, Douglas; Paneth, Nigel; Wirth, Julia J.

    2009-10-15

    Exposure to a number of metals can affect neuroendocrine and thyroid signaling, which can result in adverse effects on development, behavior, metabolism, reproduction, and other functions. The present study assessed the relationship between metal concentrations in blood and serum prolactin (PRL) and thyrotropin (TSH) levels, markers of dopaminergic, and thyroid function, respectively, among men participating in a study of environmental influences on male reproductive health. Blood samples from 219 men were analyzed for concentrations of 11 metals and serum levels of PRL and TSH. In multiple linear regression models adjusted for age, BMI and smoking, PRL was inversely associated with arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, manganese, molybdenum, and zinc, but positively associated with chromium. Several of these associations (Cd, Pb, Mo) are consistent with limited studies in humans or animals, and a number of the relationships (Cr, Cu, Pb, Mo) remained when additionally considering multiple metals in the model. Lead and copper were associated with non-monotonic decrease in TSH, while arsenic was associated with a dose-dependent increase in TSH. For arsenic these findings were consistent with recent experimental studies where arsenic inhibited enzymes involved in thyroid hormone synthesis and signaling. More research is needed for a better understanding of the role of metals in neuroendocrine and thyroid function and related health implications.

  18. Impacts of nomad sedentarization on social and ecological systems at multiple scales in Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region, China.

    PubMed

    Fan, Mingming; Li, Wenjun; Zhang, Chengcheng; Li, Lanhai

    2014-09-01

    China's government is now promoting the Nomad Sedentarization Project (NSP) in large areas of grassland as a solution for ecological restoration and poverty alleviation. To examine the effects of this policy, we conducted in-depth interviews at two of the project's sites and examined the social and ecological systems at village, county, and catchment scales in Jinghe County of Xinjiang. We found that (1) the NSP in one village greatly improved the household standard of living and changed their resource utilization modes; (2) the success in this village can be attributed to resources imported from the social and ecological systems at larger scales, and could not be repeated in a second nearby village with different constraints; and (3) the NSP is poorly adapted to local ecosystem characteristics, and may therefore have negative impacts at larger scales. To avoid these problems, holistic assessments are necessary to judge the NSP's impacts on social and ecological systems at multiple scales, and the program must be implemented cautiously to account for the potential risks in ecologically vulnerable areas. PMID:24092595

  19. Individual characteristics and the multiple contexts of adolescent bullying: an ecological perspective.

    PubMed

    Barboza, Gia Elise; Schiamberg, Lawrence B; Oehmke, James; Korzeniewski, Steven J; Post, Lori A; Heraux, Cedrick G

    2009-01-01

    This paper uses an ecological perspective to explore the risk factors associated with bullying behaviors among a representative sample of adolescents aged 11-14 (n = 9816; X = 12.88; s = .9814). Data derived from the Health Behavior in School Children: WHO Cross-National Survey were used to model the relationship between bullying and media effects, peer and family support systems, self-efficacy, and school environment. Overall, the results of this study suggest that bullying increases among children who watch television frequently, lack teacher support, have themselves been bullied, attend schools with unfavorable environments, have emotional support from their peers, and have teachers and parents who do not place high expectations on their school performance. In addition, we found an inverse relationship between being Asian or African American, feeling left out of school activities and bullying. Our results lend support to the contention that bullying arises out of deficits in social climate, but that social support systems mediate bullying behavior irrespective of the student's racial/ethnic characteristics, parental income levels or media influences. Because the number of friends and the ability to talk to these friends increases the likelihood of bullying, we suggest that bullying is not simply an individual response to a particular environment but is a peer-group behavior. We conclude that limiting television viewing hours, improving student's abilities to access family support systems and improving school atmospheres are potentially useful interventions to limit bullying behavior. PMID:19636795

  20. Community ecology of invasions: direct and indirect effects of multiple invasive species on aquatic communities.

    PubMed

    Preston, Daniel L; Henderson, Jeremy S; Johnson, Pieter T J

    2012-06-01

    With many ecosystems now supporting multiple nonnative species from different trophic levels, it can be challenging to disentangle the net effects of invaders within a community context. Here, we combined wetland surveys with a mesocosm experiment to examine the individual and combined effects of nonnative fish predators and nonnative bullfrogs on aquatic communities. Among 139 wetlands, nonnative fish (bass, sunfish, and mosquitofish) negatively influenced the probability of occupancy of Pacific treefrogs (Pseudacris regilla), but neither invader correlated strongly with occupancy by California newts (Taricha torosa), western toads (Anaxyrus boreas), or California red-legged frogs (Rana draytonii). In mesocosms, mosquitofish dramatically reduced the abundance of zooplankton and palatable amphibian larvae (P. regilla and T. torosa), leading to increases in nutrient concentrations and phytoplankton (through loss of zooplankton), and rapid growth of unpalatable toad larvae (through competitive release). Bullfrog larvae reduced the growth of native anurans but had no effect on survival. Despite strong effects on natives, invaders did not negatively influence one another, and their combined effects were additive. Our results highlight how the net effects of multiple nonnative species depend on the trophic level of each invader, the form and magnitude of invader interactions, and the traits of native community members. PMID:22834365

  1. Conceptual framework for indexing visual information at multiple levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaimes, Alejandro; Chang, Shih-Fu

    1999-12-01

    In this paper, we present a conceptual framework for indexing different aspects of visual information. Our framework unifies concepts from this literature in diverse fields such as cognitive psychology, library sciences, art, and the more recent content-based retrieval. We present multiple level structures for visual and non-visual and non- visual information. The ten-level visual structure presented provides a systematic way of indexing images based on syntax and semantics, and includes distinctions between general concept and visual concept. We define different types of relations at different levels of the visual structure, and also use a semantic information table to summarize important aspects related to an image. While the focus is on the development of a conceptual indexing structure, our aim is also to bring together the knowledge from various fields, unifying the issues that should be considered when building a digital image library. Our analysis stresses the limitations of state of the art content-based retrieval systems and suggests areas in which improvements are necessary.

  2. Exceptionally high levels of multiple mating in an army ant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Denny, A. Jay; Franks, Nigel R.; Powell, Scott; Edwards, Keith J.

    Most species of social insects have singly mated queens, although there are notable exceptions. Competing hypotheses have been proposed to explain the evolution of high levels of multiple mating, but this issue is far from resolved. Here we use microsatellites to investigate mating frequency in the army ant Eciton burchellii and show that queens mate with an exceptionally large number of males, eclipsing all but one other social insect species for which data are available. In addition we present evidence that suggests that mating is serial, continuing throughout the lifetime of the queen. This is the first demonstration of serial mating among social hymenoptera. We propose that high paternity within colonies is most likely to have evolved to increase genetic diversity and to counter high pathogen and parasite loads.

  3. Personality, foraging behavior and specialization: integrating behavioral and food web ecology at the individual level.

    PubMed

    Toscano, Benjamin J; Gownaris, Natasha J; Heerhartz, Sarah M; Monaco, Cristián J

    2016-09-01

    Behavioral traits and diet were traditionally thought to be highly plastic within individuals. This view was espoused in the widespread use of optimality models, which broadly predict that individuals can modify behavioral traits and diet across ecological contexts to maximize fitness. Yet, research conducted over the past 15 years supports an alternative view; fundamental behavioral traits (e.g., activity level, exploration, sociability, boldness and aggressiveness) and diet often vary among individuals and this variation persists over time and across contexts. This phenomenon has been termed animal personality with regard to behavioral traits and individual specialization with regard to diet. While these aspects of individual-level phenotypic variation have been thus far studied in isolation, emerging evidence suggests that personality and individual specialization may covary, or even be causally related. Building on this work, we present the overarching hypothesis that animal personality can drive specialization through individual differences in various aspects of consumer foraging behavior. Specifically, we suggest pathways by which consumer personality traits influence foraging activity, risk-dependent foraging, roles in social foraging groups, spatial aspects of foraging and physiological drivers of foraging, which in turn can lead to consistent individual differences in food resource use. These pathways provide a basis for generating testable hypotheses directly linking animal personality to ecological dynamics, a major goal in contemporary behavioral ecology. PMID:27170290

  4. ECOLOGICAL AND EVOLUTIONARY CONSTRAINTS TO HERBIVORE RESISTANCE IN A NATIVE PLANT-MULTIPLE HERBIVORE COMMUNITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    This research project will reveal that novel constraints on resistance emerge with a consideration of more than one herbivore species. These constraints include genetic correlations in resistance to different herbivores, ecological interactions among the herbivores, non-addit...

  5. Multiple Level Crowding: Crowding at the Object Parts Level and at the Object Configural level.

    PubMed

    Kimchi, Ruth; Pirkner, Yossef

    2015-01-01

    In crowding, identification of a peripheral target in the presence of nearby flankers is worse than when the target appears alone. Prevailing theories hold that crowding occurs because of integration or "pooling" of low-level features at a single, relatively early stage of visual processing. Recent studies suggest that crowding can occur also between high-level object representations. The most relevant findings come from studies with faces and may be specific to faces. We examined whether crowding can occur at the object configural level in addition to part-level crowding, using nonface objects. Target (a disconnected square or diamond made of four elements) identification was measured at varying eccentricities. The flankers were similar either to the target parts or to the target configuration. The results showed crowding in both cases: Flankers interfered with target identification such that identification accuracy decreased with an increase in eccentricity, and no interference was observed at the fovea. Crowding by object parts, however, was weaker and had smaller spatial extent than crowding by object configurations; we related this finding to the relationship between crowding and perceptual organization. These results provide strong evidence that crowding occurs not only between object parts but also between configural representations of objects. PMID:26562896

  6. Exploring multiple intelligences theory at a community college level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berkemeier, Ginny Y. Hew

    The publication of "Frames of mind: The theory in practice", (Gardner, 1983) has been used by educators in a variety of ways to make teaching and learning more meaningful. However, little attention has been focused on the MI teaching and learning of science at the higher education level. Consequently, the purpose of this study was four fold. The first purpose was to investigate adult learning through Multiple Intelligence Theory (MI) at the community college level. The second purpose was to determine where there were any differences among students in their perceived MI with regard to age and gender. The third purpose was to investigate the relationship between perceived and tested MI strength with regard to science and non-science courses. The fourth purpose was to determine which MI teaching value relates best with science and non-science courses. Study participants were enrolled in science courses from a Midwestern community college, Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC). The research methodology of this research study consisted of a combination of quantitative analysis; using an inventory and qualitative analysis; through group interviews. Many positive outcomes resulted from the study in areas such as the relationships between tested MI and perceived MI, student learning in science and non-science courses, and their relationships to age and gender. This study suggested the need for a variety of education and curriculum reform that should start with students' attitudes instead of classroom instruction or methods of teaching.

  7. Robust set-point regulation for ecological models with multiple management goals.

    PubMed

    Guiver, Chris; Mueller, Markus; Hodgson, Dave; Townley, Stuart

    2016-05-01

    Population managers will often have to deal with problems of meeting multiple goals, for example, keeping at specific levels both the total population and population abundances in given stage-classes of a stratified population. In control engineering, such set-point regulation problems are commonly tackled using multi-input, multi-output proportional and integral (PI) feedback controllers. Building on our recent results for population management with single goals, we develop a PI control approach in a context of multi-objective population management. We show that robust set-point regulation is achieved by using a modified PI controller with saturation and anti-windup elements, both described in the paper, and illustrate the theory with examples. Our results apply more generally to linear control systems with positive state variables, including a class of infinite-dimensional systems, and thus have broader appeal. PMID:26242360

  8. Abundance Is Not Enough: The Need for Multiple Lines of Evidence in Testing for Ecological Stability in the Fossil Record

    PubMed Central

    Handley, John C.; Brett, Carlton E.

    2013-01-01

    The fossil record is the only source of information on the long-term dynamics of species assemblages. Here we assess the degree of ecological stability of the epifaunal pterioid bivalve assemblage (EPBA), which is part of the Middle Devonian Hamilton fauna of New York—the type example of the pattern of coordinated stasis, in which long intervals of faunal persistence are terminated by turnover events induced by environmental change. Previous studies have used changes in abundance structure within specific biofacies as evidence for a lack of ecological stability of the Hamilton fauna. By comparing data on relative abundance, body size, and predation, indexed as the frequency of unsuccessful shell-crushing attacks, of the EPBA, we show that abundance structure varied through time, but body-size structure and predation pressure remained relatively stable. We suggest that the energetic set-up of the Hamilton fauna's food web was able to accommodate changes in species attributes, such as fluctuating prey abundances. Ecological redundancy in prey resources, adaptive foraging of shell-crushing predators (arising from predator behavioral or adaptive switching in prey selection in response to changing prey abundances), and allometric scaling of predator-prey interactions are discussed as potential stabilizing factors contributing to the persistence of the Hamilton fauna's EPBA. Our study underscores the value and importance of multiple lines of evidence in tests of ecological stability in the fossil record. PMID:23690981

  9. Cascading ecological effects of low-level phosphorus enrichment in the Florida Everglades

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gaiser, E.E.; Trexler, J.C.; Richards, J.H.; Childers, D.L.; Lee, D.; Edwards, A.L.; Scinto, L.J.; Jayachandran, K.; Noe, G.B.; Jones, R.D.

    2005-01-01

    Few studies have examined long-term ecological effects of sustained low-level nutrient enhancement on wetland biota. To determine sustained effects of phosphorus (P) addition on Everglades marshes we added P at low levels (5, 15, and 30 ??g L-1 above ambient) for 5 yr to triplicate 100-m flow-through channels in pristine marsh. A cascade of ecological responses occurred in similar sequence among treatments. Although the rate of change increased with dosing level, treatments converged to similar enriched endpoints, characterized most notably by a doubling of plant biomass and elimination of native, calcareous periphyton mats. The full sequence of biological changes occurred without an increase in water total P concentration, which remained near ambient levels until Year 5. This study indicates that Everglades marshes have a near-zero assimilative capacity for P without a state change, that ecosystem responses to enrichment accumulate over time, and that downstream P transport mainly occurs through biota rather than the water column.

  10. Visualizing Tensor Normal Distributions at Multiple Levels of Detail.

    PubMed

    Abbasloo, Amin; Wiens, Vitalis; Hermann, Max; Schultz, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Despite the widely recognized importance of symmetric second order tensor fields in medicine and engineering, the visualization of data uncertainty in tensor fields is still in its infancy. A recently proposed tensorial normal distribution, involving a fourth order covariance tensor, provides a mathematical description of how different aspects of the tensor field, such as trace, anisotropy, or orientation, vary and covary at each point. However, this wealth of information is far too rich for a human analyst to take in at a single glance, and no suitable visualization tools are available. We propose a novel approach that facilitates visual analysis of tensor covariance at multiple levels of detail. We start with a visual abstraction that uses slice views and direct volume rendering to indicate large-scale changes in the covariance structure, and locations with high overall variance. We then provide tools for interactive exploration, making it possible to drill down into different types of variability, such as in shape or orientation. Finally, we allow the analyst to focus on specific locations of the field, and provide tensor glyph animations and overlays that intuitively depict confidence intervals at those points. Our system is demonstrated by investigating the effects of measurement noise on diffusion tensor MRI, and by analyzing two ensembles of stress tensor fields from solid mechanics. PMID:26529741

  11. Individual Characteristics and the Multiple Contexts of Adolescent Bullying: An Ecological Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barboza, Gia Elise; Schiamberg, Lawrence B.; Oehmke, James; Korzeniewski, Steven J.; Post, Lori A.; Heraux, Cedrick G.

    2009-01-01

    This paper uses an ecological perspective to explore the risk factors associated with bullying behaviors among a representative sample of adolescents aged 11-14 (n = 9816, mean = 12.88, s = 0.9814). Data derived from the "Health Behavior in School Children: WHO Cross-National Survey" were used to model the relationship between bullying and media…

  12. Integrating remote sensing data from multiple optical sensors for ecological and crop condition monitoring

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ecological and crop condition monitoring requires high temporal and spatial resolution remote sensing data. Due to technical limitations and budget constraints, remote sensing instruments trade spatial resolution for swath width. As a result, it is difficult to acquire remotely sensed data with both...

  13. Culture Specific Approaches to the Treatment of Latin Multiple Substance Abusers: Family and Ecological Intervention Models.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Szapocznik, Jose; And Others

    Four models developed for the treatment of Cuban American adult and adolescent drug and alcohol abusers are discussed in this paper. The study reviewed was aimed at (1) investigating the effectiveness of "Ecological Family Systems Therapy," an approach created by the Spanish Family Guidance Clinic in Miami, Florida, and (2) identifying the…

  14. Multi-scale ecosystem monitoring: an application of scaling data to answer multiple ecological questions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background/Question/Methods Standardized monitoring data collection efforts using a probabilistic sample design, such as in the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) Strategy, provide a core suite of ecological indicators, maximize data collection efficiency,...

  15. Multiscale ecosystem monitoring: an application of scaling data to answer multiple ecological questions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Standardized monitoring data collection efforts using a probabilistic sample design, such as in the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) Strategy, provide a core suite of ecological indicators, maximize data collection efficiency, and promote reuse of monitor...

  16. Managing multiple diffuse pressures on water quality and ecological habitat: Spatially targeting effective mitigation actions at the landscape scale.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joyce, Hannah; Reaney, Sim

    2015-04-01

    Catchment systems provide multiple benefits for society, including: land for agriculture, climate regulation and recreational space. Yet, these systems also have undesirable externalities, such as flooding, and the benefits they create can be compromised through societal use. For example, agriculture, forestry and urban land use practices can increase the export of fine sediment and faecal indicator organisms (FIO) delivered to river systems. These diffuse landscape pressures are coupled with pressures on the in stream temperature environment from projected climate change. Such pressures can have detrimental impacts on water quality and ecological habitat and consequently the benefits they provide for society. These diffuse and in-stream pressures can be reduced through actions at the landscape scale but are commonly tackled individually. Any intervention may have benefits for other pressures and hence the challenge is to consider all of the different pressures simultaneously to find solutions with high levels of cross-pressure benefits. This research presents (1) a simple but spatially distributed model to predict the pattern of multiple pressures at the landscape scale, and (2) a method for spatially targeting the optimum location for riparian woodland planting as mitigation action against these pressures. The model follows a minimal information requirement approach along the lines of SCIMAP (www.scimap.org.uk). This approach defines the critical source areas of fine sediment diffuse pollution, rapid overland flow and FIOs, based on the analysis of the pattern of the pressure in the landscape and the connectivity from source areas to rivers. River temperature was modeled using a simple energy balance equation; focusing on temperature of inflowing and outflowing water across a catchment. The model has been calibrated using a long term observed temperature record. The modelling outcomes enabled the identification of the severity of each pressure in relative rather

  17. Detection and spatial distribution of multiple-contaminants in agro-ecological Mediterranean wetlands (Marjal de Pego-Oliva, Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pascual-Aguilar, Juan Antonio; Andreu, Vicente; Gimeno-García, Eugenia; Picó, Yolanda; Masia, Ana

    2015-04-01

    Socio economic activities are more and more producing amounts (in quantity and quality) of non desirable chemical substances (contaminants) that can be found in open air environments. As many of these products persist and may also circulate among environmental compartments, the cumulative incidence of such multiple contaminants combination may be a cause of treat that should not exists taking only in consideration concentrations of each contaminant individually because the number and the type of compounds are not known, as well as their cumulative and interaction effects. Thus prior to any further work analyzing the environmental risk of multiple contaminants their identification and level of concentration is required. In this work the potential presence of multiple contaminants of anthropogenic origin in a protected agro-ecological Mediterranean wetland is studied: the Pego-Oliva Marsh Natural Park (Valencian Community, Spain), which is characterized by a long history of human pressures, such as marsh transformation for agricultural uses. Two major groups of relevant pollutants have been targeted according o two distinct environmental matrices: seven heavy metals in soils (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn) and fourteen emerging contaminants /drugs of abuse in surface waters of the natural lagoon, rivers and artificial irrigation networks (6-ACMOR, AMP, BECG, COC, ECGME, HER, KET, MAMP, MDA, MDMA, MET, MOR, THC, THC-COOH). The wetland was divided in nine representative zones with different types of land cover and land use. For soils, 24 samples were collected and for waters 33 taking in consideration the spatial representativeness of the above mention nine environments. Spatial analysis applying Geographical Information Systems to determine areas with greater incidence of both types of contaminants were also performed. With regard to heavy metals, Zn showed values under the detection limits in all samples, the remainder metals appeared in concentrations surpassing the

  18. Controlling periodontal bone levels with multiple LED irradiations.

    PubMed

    Chang, Po-Chun; Wang, Chen-Ying; Chong, Li Yen

    2015-02-01

    Because a single exposure to light-emitting diode (LED) irradiation at 660 nm only demonstrated a 3-day biostimulatory effect in recovering periodontal bone level (PBL), this study sought to evaluate whether the periodontal effect could be extended through the use of multiple LED irradiations. Experimental periodontitis was developed unilaterally in 48 Sprague-Dawley rats after the placement of a silk ligature plus Porphyromonas gingivalis lipopolysaccharide injections. The animals were divided into four groups (no irradiation, a single irradiation, or two or three irradiations per week) and exposed to LED light irradiation at a wavelength of 660 ± 25 nm and energy density of 10 J/cm(2) after debridement and detoxification. The animals were euthanized after 7 or 14 days, and the effect of irradiation was evaluated using micro-computed tomography and histology. By day 7, PBL was significantly reduced (p < 0.05), with significantly reduced inflammation (p < 0.05) and gingival hyperplasia (p < 0.001), in the animals receiving three irradiations per week. At day 14, the reduction in gingival hyperplasia was still significant (p < 0.05), and collagen matrix deposition and realignment appeared to be accelerated in the animals receiving three irradiations per week, despite a lack of significant difference in PBL. The treatment regimen receiving three LED light irradiations per week apparently extended the effects in reducing PBL and inflammation to 7 days. The inclusion of additional inflammation control measures or the addition of bioactive signals to mediate the repairing process is necessary to maintain long-term periodontal stability. PMID:23933707

  19. Ecological and physiological factors affecting brood patch area and prolactin levels in arctic-nesting geese

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jonsson, J.E.; Afton, A.D.; Alisauskas, R.T.; Bluhm, C.K.; El Halawani, M.E.

    2006-01-01

    We investigated effects of ecological and physiological factors on brood patch area and prolactin levels in free-ranging Lesser Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens caerulescens; hereafter "Snow Geese") and Ross's Geese (C. rossii). On the basis of the body-size hypothesis, we predicted that the relationships between prolactin levels, brood patch area, and body condition would be stronger in Ross's Geese than in the larger Snow Geese. We found that brood patch area was positively related to clutch volume and inversely related to prolactin levels in Ross's Geese, but not in Snow Geese. Nest size, nest habitat, and first egg date did not affect brood patch area in either species. Prolactin levels increased as incubation progressed in female Snow Geese, but this relationship was not significant in Ross's Geese. Prolactin levels and body condition (as indexed by size-adjusted body mass) were inversely related in Ross's Geese, but not in Snow Geese. Our findings are consistent with the prediction that relationships between prolactin levels, brood patch area, and body condition are relatively stronger in Ross's Geese, because they mobilize endogenous reserves at faster rates than Snow Geese. ?? The American Ornithologists' Union, 2006. Printed in USA.

  20. A social and ecological assessment of tropical land uses at multiple scales: the Sustainable Amazon Network.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Toby A; Ferreira, Joice; Barlow, Jos; Lees, Alexander C; Parry, Luke; Vieira, Ima Célia Guimarães; Berenguer, Erika; Abramovay, Ricardo; Aleixo, Alexandre; Andretti, Christian; Aragão, Luiz E O C; Araújo, Ivanei; de Ávila, Williams Souza; Bardgett, Richard D; Batistella, Mateus; Begotti, Rodrigo Anzolin; Beldini, Troy; de Blas, Driss Ezzine; Braga, Rodrigo Fagundes; Braga, Danielle de Lima; de Brito, Janaína Gomes; de Camargo, Plínio Barbosa; Campos dos Santos, Fabiane; de Oliveira, Vívian Campos; Cordeiro, Amanda Cardoso Nunes; Cardoso, Thiago Moreira; de Carvalho, Déborah Reis; Castelani, Sergio André; Chaul, Júlio Cézar Mário; Cerri, Carlos Eduardo; Costa, Francisco de Assis; da Costa, Carla Daniele Furtado; Coudel, Emilie; Coutinho, Alexandre Camargo; Cunha, Dênis; D'Antona, Álvaro; Dezincourt, Joelma; Dias-Silva, Karina; Durigan, Mariana; Esquerdo, Júlio César Dalla Mora; Feres, José; Ferraz, Silvio Frosini de Barros; Ferreira, Amanda Estefânia de Melo; Fiorini, Ana Carolina; da Silva, Lenise Vargas Flores; Frazão, Fábio Soares; Garrett, Rachel; Gomes, Alessandra dos Santos; Gonçalves, Karoline da Silva; Guerrero, José Benito; Hamada, Neusa; Hughes, Robert M; Igliori, Danilo Carmago; Jesus, Ederson da Conceição; Juen, Leandro; Junior, Miércio; de Oliveira Junior, José Max Barbosa; de Oliveira Junior, Raimundo Cosme; Souza Junior, Carlos; Kaufmann, Phil; Korasaki, Vanesca; Leal, Cecília Gontijo; Leitão, Rafael; Lima, Natália; Almeida, Maria de Fátima Lopes; Lourival, Reinaldo; Louzada, Júlio; Mac Nally, Ralph; Marchand, Sébastien; Maués, Márcia Motta; Moreira, Fátima M S; Morsello, Carla; Moura, Nárgila; Nessimian, Jorge; Nunes, Sâmia; Oliveira, Victor Hugo Fonseca; Pardini, Renata; Pereira, Heloisa Correia; Pompeu, Paulo Santos; Ribas, Carla Rodrigues; Rossetti, Felipe; Schmidt, Fernando Augusto; da Silva, Rodrigo; da Silva, Regina Célia Viana Martins; da Silva, Thiago Fonseca Morello Ramalho; Silveira, Juliana; Siqueira, João Victor; de Carvalho, Teotônio Soares; Solar, Ricardo R C; Tancredi, Nicola Savério Holanda; Thomson, James R; Torres, Patrícia Carignano; Vaz-de-Mello, Fernando Zagury; Veiga, Ruan Carlo Stulpen; Venturieri, Adriano; Viana, Cecília; Weinhold, Diana; Zanetti, Ronald; Zuanon, Jansen

    2013-06-01

    Science has a critical role to play in guiding more sustainable development trajectories. Here, we present the Sustainable Amazon Network (Rede Amazônia Sustentável, RAS): a multidisciplinary research initiative involving more than 30 partner organizations working to assess both social and ecological dimensions of land-use sustainability in eastern Brazilian Amazonia. The research approach adopted by RAS offers three advantages for addressing land-use sustainability problems: (i) the collection of synchronized and co-located ecological and socioeconomic data across broad gradients of past and present human use; (ii) a nested sampling design to aid comparison of ecological and socioeconomic conditions associated with different land uses across local, landscape and regional scales; and (iii) a strong engagement with a wide variety of actors and non-research institutions. Here, we elaborate on these key features, and identify the ways in which RAS can help in highlighting those problems in most urgent need of attention, and in guiding improvements in land-use sustainability in Amazonia and elsewhere in the tropics. We also discuss some of the practical lessons, limitations and realities faced during the development of the RAS initiative so far. PMID:23610172

  1. A social and ecological assessment of tropical land uses at multiple scales: the Sustainable Amazon Network

    PubMed Central

    Gardner, Toby A.; Ferreira, Joice; Barlow, Jos; Lees, Alexander C.; Parry, Luke; Vieira, Ima Célia Guimarães; Berenguer, Erika; Abramovay, Ricardo; Aleixo, Alexandre; Andretti, Christian; Aragão, Luiz E. O. C.; Araújo, Ivanei; de Ávila, Williams Souza; Bardgett, Richard D.; Batistella, Mateus; Begotti, Rodrigo Anzolin; Beldini, Troy; de Blas, Driss Ezzine; Braga, Rodrigo Fagundes; Braga, Danielle de Lima; de Brito, Janaína Gomes; de Camargo, Plínio Barbosa; Campos dos Santos, Fabiane; de Oliveira, Vívian Campos; Cordeiro, Amanda Cardoso Nunes; Cardoso, Thiago Moreira; de Carvalho, Déborah Reis; Castelani, Sergio André; Chaul, Júlio Cézar Mário; Cerri, Carlos Eduardo; Costa, Francisco de Assis; da Costa, Carla Daniele Furtado; Coudel, Emilie; Coutinho, Alexandre Camargo; Cunha, Dênis; D'Antona, Álvaro; Dezincourt, Joelma; Dias-Silva, Karina; Durigan, Mariana; Esquerdo, Júlio César Dalla Mora; Feres, José; Ferraz, Silvio Frosini de Barros; Ferreira, Amanda Estefânia de Melo; Fiorini, Ana Carolina; da Silva, Lenise Vargas Flores; Frazão, Fábio Soares; Garrett, Rachel; Gomes, Alessandra dos Santos; Gonçalves, Karoline da Silva; Guerrero, José Benito; Hamada, Neusa; Hughes, Robert M.; Igliori, Danilo Carmago; Jesus, Ederson da Conceição; Juen, Leandro; Junior, Miércio; Junior, José Max Barbosa de Oliveira; Junior, Raimundo Cosme de Oliveira; Junior, Carlos Souza; Kaufmann, Phil; Korasaki, Vanesca; Leal, Cecília Gontijo; Leitão, Rafael; Lima, Natália; Almeida, Maria de Fátima Lopes; Lourival, Reinaldo; Louzada, Júlio; Nally, Ralph Mac; Marchand, Sébastien; Maués, Márcia Motta; Moreira, Fátima M. S.; Morsello, Carla; Moura, Nárgila; Nessimian, Jorge; Nunes, Sâmia; Oliveira, Victor Hugo Fonseca; Pardini, Renata; Pereira, Heloisa Correia; Pompeu, Paulo Santos; Ribas, Carla Rodrigues; Rossetti, Felipe; Schmidt, Fernando Augusto; da Silva, Rodrigo; da Silva, Regina Célia Viana Martins; da Silva, Thiago Fonseca Morello Ramalho; Silveira, Juliana; Siqueira, João Victor; de Carvalho, Teotônio Soares; Solar, Ricardo R. C.; Tancredi, Nicola Savério Holanda; Thomson, James R.; Torres, Patrícia Carignano; Vaz-de-Mello, Fernando Zagury; Veiga, Ruan Carlo Stulpen; Venturieri, Adriano; Viana, Cecília; Weinhold, Diana; Zanetti, Ronald; Zuanon, Jansen

    2013-01-01

    Science has a critical role to play in guiding more sustainable development trajectories. Here, we present the Sustainable Amazon Network (Rede Amazônia Sustentável, RAS): a multidisciplinary research initiative involving more than 30 partner organizations working to assess both social and ecological dimensions of land-use sustainability in eastern Brazilian Amazonia. The research approach adopted by RAS offers three advantages for addressing land-use sustainability problems: (i) the collection of synchronized and co-located ecological and socioeconomic data across broad gradients of past and present human use; (ii) a nested sampling design to aid comparison of ecological and socioeconomic conditions associated with different land uses across local, landscape and regional scales; and (iii) a strong engagement with a wide variety of actors and non-research institutions. Here, we elaborate on these key features, and identify the ways in which RAS can help in highlighting those problems in most urgent need of attention, and in guiding improvements in land-use sustainability in Amazonia and elsewhere in the tropics. We also discuss some of the practical lessons, limitations and realities faced during the development of the RAS initiative so far. PMID:23610172

  2. Evaluation of community-level end points used in ecological risk assessments for Rocky Mountain streams impacted by mining

    SciTech Connect

    Clements, W.H.; Kiffney, P.M.; Medley, N.

    1994-12-31

    The objective of this research was to measure sensitivity and variability of community-level end points (e.g., species diversity, richness, abundance of dominant taxa) used in ecological risk assessments for Rocky Mountain streams impacted by mining. The authors used results from stream microcosm experiments and field biomonitoring studies to examine community responses of periphyton and benthic macroinvertebrates to heavy metals. In addition, they measured effects of potential confounding variables (e.g., stream size, elevation, discharge) on these responses. Field studies were conducted at six metal-impacted streams in central Colorado. Although all community end points were significantly affected at stations with the highest metal levels, results of multiple regression analysis showed that most variables were also affected by elevation. To validate benthic community end points and to measure sensitivity of these end points to metals, exposed periphyton and benthic macroinvertebrate communities to Cd, Cu, and Zn in stream microcosms. Results support findings of field studies and show that abundance of sensitive macroinvertebrates and tolerant diatoms were most useful for distinguishing among reference, impacted, and recovery sites. Because stream elevation confounds benthic community responses to metals, the authors suggest that experimental studies are necessary to validate the usefulness of community end points.

  3. Low levels of hybridization between sympatric Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) and Dolly Varden char (Salvelinus malma) highlights their genetic distinctiveness and ecological segregation

    PubMed Central

    May-McNally, Shannan L; Quinn, Thomas P; Taylor, Eric B

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the extent of interspecific hybridization and how ecological segregation may influence hybridization requires comprehensively sampling different habitats over a range of life history stages. Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) and Dolly Varden (S. malma) are recently diverged salmonid fishes that come into contact in several areas of the North Pacific where they occasionally hybridize. To better quantify the degree of hybridization and ecological segregation between these taxa, we sampled over 700 fish from multiple lake (littoral and profundal) and stream sites in two large, interconnected southwestern Alaskan lakes. Individuals were genotyped at 12 microsatellite markers, and genetic admixture (Q) values generated through Bayesian-based clustering revealed hybridization levels generally lower than reported in a previous study (<0.6% to 5% of samples classified as late-generation hybrids). Dolly Varden and Arctic char tended to make different use of stream habitats with the latter apparently abandoning streams for lake habitats after 2–3 years of age. Our results support the distinct biological species status of Dolly Varden and Arctic char and suggest that ecological segregation may be an important factor limiting opportunities for hybridization and/or the ecological performance of hybrid char. PMID:26356310

  4. Maternal Mortality in Colombia in 2011: A Two Level Ecological Study

    PubMed Central

    Cárdenas-Cárdenas, Luz Mery; Cotes-Cantillo, Karol; Chaparro-Narváez, Pablo Enrique; Fernández-Niño, Julián Alfredo; Paternina-Caicedo, Angel; Castañeda-Orjuela, Carlos; De la Hoz-Restrepo, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Objective Maternal mortality reduction is a Millennium Development Goal. In Colombia, there is a large disparity in the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) between and into departments (states) and also between municipalities. We examined socioeconomics variables at the municipal and departmental levels which could be associated to the municipal maternal mortality in Colombia. Methods A multilevel ecology study was carried out using different national data sources in Colombia. The outcome variable was the MMR at municipal level in 2011 with multidimensional poverty at municipal and department level as the principal independent variables and other measures of the social and economic characteristics at municipal and departmental level were also considered explicative variables (overall fertility municipal rate, percentage of local rural population, health insurance coverage, per capita territorial participation allocated to the health sector, transparency index and Gini coefficient). The association between MMR and socioeconomic contextual conditions at municipal and departmental level was assessed using a multilevel Poisson regression model. Results The MMR in the Colombian municipalities was associated significantly with the multidimensional poverty (relative ratio of MMR: 3.52; CI 95%: 1.09-11.38). This association was stronger in municipalities from departments with the highest poverty (relative ratio of MMR: 7.14; CI 95%: 2.01-25.35). Additionally, the MMR at municipal level was marginally associated with municipally health insurance coverage (relative ratio of MMR: 0.99; CI 95%: 0.98-1.00), and significantly with transparency index at departmental level (relative ratio of MMR: 0.98; CI 95%: 0.97-0.99). Conclusion Poverty and transparency in a contextual level were associated with the increase of the municipal MMR in Colombia. The results of this study are useful evidence for informing the public policies discussion and formulation processes with a differential

  5. Remote sensing of landscape-level ecological attributes at Ray Roberts Lake in north Texas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, David P.

    measures or between MSS data and any vegetation measures. Remote sensing provided information suitable for large scale projects concerning landscape-level ecological issues. Rectification and classification accuracies were the primary factors influencing meaningful interpretation. Project goals should determine the scale of remotely sensed data and acceptable level of accuracy.

  6. Interaction between a rough boundary layer and multiple cylinders wakes: application to ecological restoration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cotel, Aline; Eiff, Olivier; Moulin, Frederic

    2009-11-01

    Among many ecologically important aspects of fish locomotion, turbulence is thought to create large stability challenges for fishes. Turbulence is a ubiquitous, highly variable feature of aquatic habitats (Denny, 1988). Species that are more prevalent in ``energetic water'' have more effective control systems and greater ability to generate propulsive power to maneuver. Understanding fish responses and interactions with turbulence is an important biological issue pertinent to evolution of swimming mechanisms and capabilities, and ecological roles and distributions of fishes. There is a current lack of quantitative evaluation of such systems. In most natural systems, sediments and various factors in streambed topography create a rough turbulent boundary layer along the bottom. This work used complimentary laboratory experimental studies and previous field observations (Cotel et al. 2005) to determine how a rough turbulent boundary layer interacts with flow structures created by obstacles in a channel using PIV. Preliminary analysis shows a strong interaction between the turbulent boundary layer created by roughness elements and the wakes behind cylinder arrays.

  7. Ecological correlates of cortisol levels in two bat species with contrasting feeding habits.

    PubMed

    Lewanzik, Daniel; Kelm, Detlev H; Greiner, Sabine; Dehnhard, Martin; Voigt, Christian C

    2012-05-15

    The immediate release of adrenal glucocorticoids can be crucial for an animal's survival when facing a stressor, but constantly elevated or exceptionally high glucocorticoid levels are usually detrimental for health. Although baseline and maximal secretion of glucocorticoids are regulated within narrow ranges within species, plasma glucocorticoid levels vary largely across vertebrates. We asked what ecological factors affect baseline plasma cortisol levels (CortI) and maximum levels (CortMax) following a physiological challenge through administration of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). Specifically, we studied whether seasonal fluctuations in food abundance correlate with the capacity of cortisol increases in two phyllostomid bat species with contrasting feeding habits: the sanguinivorous vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus) and the frugivorous short-tailed fruit bat (Carollia perspicillata). Both species coexist in habitats with various levels of seasonality (dry and rainforest). On a seasonal basis, resource abundance is more stable for vampire than for fruit bats, but previous studies suggested that daily foraging success may vary more for vampire than for fruit bats. CortI and CortMax varied seasonally in C. perspicillata from dry and rainforests, with the exception of CortMax in rainforest bats. Although we expected food availability to be stable year-round for vampire bats, we found CortI and CortMax of vampires to be higher during the rainy season than during the dry season. Also, we found CortMax to be higher in vampires from the rainforest than in those from the dry forest. CortMax of vampires were among the highest measured for a free-ranging mammal; a pattern that could be related to the species' vulnerability to starvation. We conclude that food availability modulates cortisol levels in free-ranging species that face seasonally fluctuating resources; in species, however, that benefit from food which is constantly abundant, other factors than food may

  8. Toward Guidelines for Population-level Ecological Risk Assessment: Results of a U.S. EPA Risk Assessment Forum Workshop

    EPA Science Inventory

    The choice of levels of biological organization reflected in ecological risk assessment (ERA) is receiving increasing attention. Most ERAs conducted for chemicals by the U.S. EPA, and indeed by most organizations worldwide, focus on organism-level attributes (e.g., survival, gro...

  9. Biodiversity at multiple trophic levels is needed for ecosystem multifunctionality.

    PubMed

    Soliveres, Santiago; van der Plas, Fons; Manning, Peter; Prati, Daniel; Gossner, Martin M; Renner, Swen C; Alt, Fabian; Arndt, Hartmut; Baumgartner, Vanessa; Binkenstein, Julia; Birkhofer, Klaus; Blaser, Stefan; Blüthgen, Nico; Boch, Steffen; Böhm, Stefan; Börschig, Carmen; Buscot, Francois; Diekötter, Tim; Heinze, Johannes; Hölzel, Norbert; Jung, Kirsten; Klaus, Valentin H; Kleinebecker, Till; Klemmer, Sandra; Krauss, Jochen; Lange, Markus; Morris, E Kathryn; Müller, Jörg; Oelmann, Yvonne; Overmann, Jörg; Pašalić, Esther; Rillig, Matthias C; Schaefer, H Martin; Schloter, Michael; Schmitt, Barbara; Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Sikorski, Johannes; Socher, Stephanie A; Solly, Emily F; Sonnemann, Ilja; Sorkau, Elisabeth; Steckel, Juliane; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Stempfhuber, Barbara; Tschapka, Marco; Türke, Manfred; Venter, Paul C; Weiner, Christiane N; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Werner, Michael; Westphal, Catrin; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Wolters, Volkmar; Wubet, Tesfaye; Wurst, Susanne; Fischer, Markus; Allan, Eric

    2016-08-25

    Many experiments have shown that loss of biodiversity reduces the capacity of ecosystems to provide the multiple services on which humans depend. However, experiments necessarily simplify the complexity of natural ecosystems and will normally control for other important drivers of ecosystem functioning, such as the environment or land use. In addition, existing studies typically focus on the diversity of single trophic groups, neglecting the fact that biodiversity loss occurs across many taxa and that the functional effects of any trophic group may depend on the abundance and diversity of others. Here we report analysis of the relationships between the species richness and abundance of nine trophic groups, including 4,600 above- and below-ground taxa, and 14 ecosystem services and functions and with their simultaneous provision (or multifunctionality) in 150 grasslands. We show that high species richness in multiple trophic groups (multitrophic richness) had stronger positive effects on ecosystem services than richness in any individual trophic group; this includes plant species richness, the most widely used measure of biodiversity. On average, three trophic groups influenced each ecosystem service, with each trophic group influencing at least one service. Multitrophic richness was particularly beneficial for 'regulating' and 'cultural' services, and for multifunctionality, whereas a change in the total abundance of species or biomass in multiple trophic groups (the multitrophic abundance) positively affected supporting services. Multitrophic richness and abundance drove ecosystem functioning as strongly as abiotic conditions and land-use intensity, extending previous experimental results to real-world ecosystems. Primary producers, herbivorous insects and microbial decomposers seem to be particularly important drivers of ecosystem functioning, as shown by the strong and frequent positive associations of their richness or abundance with multiple ecosystem services

  10. Reproductive ecology of tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) with high levels of polychlorinated biphenyl contamination

    SciTech Connect

    McCarty, J.P.; Secord, A.L.

    1999-07-01

    Tree swallows(Tachycineta bicolor) breeding along the Hudson River forage extensively on PCB-contaminated insects that emerge from the river. The authors studied the reproductive ecology and behavior of tree swallows breeding at several sites along the Hudson River. Related work has shown that PCB levels in both eggs and chicks were among the highest ever reported in this species, with concentrations comparable to those found in aquatic organisms in the Hudson River. In 1994, reproductive success at PCB-contaminated sites was significantly impaired relative to other sites in New York. Reduced reproductive success was largely due to high levels of nest abandonment during incubation and reduced hatchability of eggs. In 1995, reproductive output was normal, but higher than expected rates of abandonment and supernormal clutches persisted. Growth and development of nestlings was not significantly impaired. Given the levels of contamination in this population, the success of most Hudson River tree swallows reinforces the importance of understanding interspecific differences in the effects of contaminants.

  11. Development of Vulnerability Indicators for Deltaic Social-Ecological Systems Facing Multiple Environmental and Anthropogenic Hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sebesvari, Z.; Hagenlocher, M.; Haas, S.; Renaud, F.

    2015-12-01

    Deltas are low-lying coastal areas that form where rivers flow into the ocean. Hosting dense populations, featuring rich biodiversity and being hot spots of both agricultural and industrial production, they are considered of great economic and ecological importance. Long-term sustainability of deltas is increasingly under threat due to the consequences of natural and man-made hazards, including large-scale human interventions such as dam construction and extraction of underground resources. Understanding prevailing vulnerabilities in these deltaic systems is becoming increasingly important for the development of spatially-targeted adaptation options at the sub-delta scale (coastal regions, floodplains etc.) which is imperative for the sustainability and in some cases even for the survival of deltaic social-ecological systems (SES). We developed an inclusive SES-centered framework for vulnerability assessments, allowing for different sets of vulnerability indicators to be identified which can then be combined for deltas globally in a modular way. The modular structure allows being responsive to the specific multi-hazard settings of a given delta SES while also considering the interactions between the hazards in one given location. It therefore represents a departure from the usual fixed set of indicators used in existing vulnerability assessments. We present (1) the methods applied for indicator development, including local stakeholder consultations and a systematic literature review, as well as (2) the resulting modular set of indicators to be used in future spatially explicit vulnerability assessments. The approach aims to provide a ʾblueprintʿ for delta vulnerability assessments worldwide. Due to its modular structure it fosters both transferability and reproducibility. This work is part of a global project on 'Catalyzing action towards sustainability of deltaic systems (DELTAS)' funded by the Belmont Forum and the 2015 Sustainable Deltas Initiative, endorsed

  12. Occam's shadow: levels of analysis in evolutionary ecology - where to next?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cooch, E.G.; Cam, E.; Link, W.A.

    2002-01-01

    Evolutionary ecology is the study of evolutionary processes, and the ecological conditions that influence them. A fundamental paradigm underlying the study of evolution is natural selection. Although there are a variety of operational definitions for natural selection in the literature, perhaps the most general one is that which characterizes selection as the process whereby heritable variation in fitness associated with variation in one or more phenotypic traits leads to intergenerational change in the frequency distribution of those traits. The past 20 years have witnessed a marked increase in the precision and reliability of our ability to estimate one or more components of fitness and characterize natural selection in wild populations, owing particularly to significant advances in methods for analysis of data from marked individuals. In this paper, we focus on several issues that we believe are important considerations for the application and development of these methods in the context of addressing questions in evolutionary ecology. First, our traditional approach to estimation often rests upon analysis of aggregates of individuals, which in the wild may reflect increasingly non-random (selected) samples with respect to the trait(s) of interest. In some cases, analysis at the aggregate level, rather than the individual level, may obscure important patterns. While there are a growing number of analytical tools available to estimate parameters at the individual level, and which can cope (to varying degrees) with progressive selection of the sample, the advent of new methods does not reduce the need to consider carefully the appropriate level of analysis in the first place. Estimation should be motivated a priori by strong theoretical analysis. Doing so provides clear guidance, in terms of both (i) assisting in the identification of realistic and meaningful models to include in the candidate model set, and (ii) providing the appropriate context under which the

  13. Multiple Memory Systems Are Unnecessary to Account for Infant Memory Development: An Ecological Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rovee-Collier, Carolyn; Cuevas, Kimberly

    2009-01-01

    How the memory of adults evolves from the memory abilities of infants is a central problem in cognitive development. The popular solution holds that the multiple memory systems of adults mature at different rates during infancy. The "early-maturing system" (implicit or nondeclarative memory) functions automatically from birth, whereas the…

  14. Stable isotopes as ecological tracers: an efficient method for assessing the contribution of multiple sources to mixtures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bugalho, M. N.; Barcia, P.; Caldeira, M. C.; Cerdeira, J. O.

    2008-09-01

    Stable isotopes are increasingly being used as tracers of ecological processes potentially providing relevant information to environmental management issues. An application of the methodology consists in relating the stable isotopic composition of a sample mixture to that of sources. The number of stable isotopes, however, is usually lower than that of potential sources existing in an ecosystem, which creates mathematical difficulties in correctly tracing sources. We discuss a linear programming model which efficiently derives information on the contribution of sources to mixtures for any number of stable isotopes and any number of sources by addressing multiple sources simultaneously. The model identifies which sources are present in all, present in a subset of the samples or absent from all samples simultaneously and calculates minimum and maximum values of each source in the mixtures. We illustrate the model using a data set consisting of the isotopic signatures of different plant sources ingested by primary consumers in tropical riverine habitat in Asia. The model discussed may contribute to extend the scope of stable isotopes methodology to a range of new problems dealing with multiple sources and multiple tracers. For instance, in food web studies, if particular organic matter sources disappear or decrease in availability (e.g. climate change scenarios) the model allows simulation of alternative diets of the consumers providing potentially relevant information for managers and decision makers.

  15. Stable isotopes as ecological tracers: an efficient method for assessing the contribution of multiple sources to mixtures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bugalho, M. N.; Barcia, P.; Caldeira, M. C.; Cerdeira, J. O.

    2008-06-01

    Stable isotopes are increasingly being used as tracers of ecological processes potentially providing relevant information to environmental management issues. An application of the methodology consists in relating the stable isotopic composition of a sample mixture to that of sources. The number of stable isotopes, however, is usually lower than that of potential sources existing in an ecosystem, which creates mathematical difficulties in correctly tracing sources. We discuss a linear programming model which efficiently derives information on the contribution of sources to mixtures for any number of stable isotopes and any number of sources by addressing multiple sources simultaneously. The model identifies which sources are present in all, present in a subset of the samples or absent from all samples simultaneously and calculates minimum and maximum values of each source in the mixtures. We illustrate the model using a data set consisting on the isotopic signatures of different plant sources ingested by primary consumers in tropical riverine habitat in Asia. The model discussed may contribute to extend the scope of stable isotopes methodology to a range of new problems dealing with multiple sources and multiple tracers. For instance, in food web studies, if particular organic matter sources disappear or decrease in availability (e.g. climate change scenarios) the model allows simulation of alternative diets of the consumers providing potentially relevant information for managers and decision makers.

  16. Ecological feedbacks can reduce population-level efficacy of wildlife fertility control

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ransom, Jason I.; Powers, Jenny G.; Hobbs, N. Thompson; Baker, Dan L.

    2014-01-01

    1. Anthropogenic stress on natural systems, particularly the fragmentation of landscapes and the extirpation of predators from food webs, has intensified the need to regulate abundance of wildlife populations with management. Controlling population growth using fertility control has been considered for almost four decades, but nearly all research has focused on understanding effects of fertility control agents on individual animals. Questions about the efficacy of fertility control as a way to control populations remain largely unanswered. 2. Collateral consequences of contraception can produce unexpected changes in birth rates, survival, immigration and emigration that may reduce the effectiveness of regulating animal abundance. The magnitude and frequency of such effects vary with species-specific social and reproductive systems, as well as connectivity of populations. Developing models that incorporate static demographic parameters from populations not controlled by contraception may bias predictions of fertility control efficacy. 3. Many population-level studies demonstrate that changes in survival and immigration induced by fertility control can compensate for the reduction in births caused by contraception. The most successful cases of regulating populations using fertility control come from applications of contraceptives to small, closed populations of gregarious and easily accessed species. 4. Fertility control can result in artificial selection pressures on the population and may lead to long-term unintentional genetic consequences. The magnitude of such selection is dependent on individual heritability and behavioural traits, as well as environmental variation. 5. Synthesis and applications. Understanding species' life-history strategies, biology, behavioural ecology and ecological context is critical to developing realistic expectations of regulating populations using fertility control. Before time, effort and funding are invested in wildlife

  17. Drawing ecological inferences from coincident patterns of population- and community-level biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Vellend, Mark; Lajoie, Geneviève; Bourret, Audrey; Múrria, Cesc; Kembel, Steven W; Garant, Dany

    2014-06-01

    Biodiversity is comprised of genetic and phenotypic variation among individual organisms, which might belong to the same species or to different species. Spatial patterns of biodiversity are of central interest in ecology and evolution for several reasons: to identify general patterns in nature (e.g. species-area relationships, latitudinal gradients), to inform conservation priorities (e.g. identifying hotspots, prioritizing management efforts) and to draw inferences about processes, historical or otherwise (e.g. adaptation, the centre of origin of particular clades). There are long traditions in ecology and evolutionary biology of examining spatial patterns of biodiversity among species (i.e. in multispecies communities) and within species, respectively, and there has been a recent surge of interest in studying these two types of pattern simultaneously. The idea is that examining both levels of diversity can materially advance the above-stated goals and perhaps lead to entirely novel lines of inquiry. Here, we review two broad categories of approach to merging studies of inter- and intraspecific variation: (i) the study of phenotypic trait variation along environmental gradients and (ii) the study of relationships between patterns of molecular genetic variation within species and patterns of distribution and diversity across species. For the latter, we report a new meta-analysis in which we find that correlations between species diversity and genetic diversity are generally positive and significantly stronger in studies with discrete sampling units (e.g. islands, lakes, forest fragments) than in studies with nondiscrete sampling units (e.g. equal-area study plots). For each topic, we summarize the current state of knowledge and key future directions. PMID:24750409

  18. Ecological feedbacks can reduce population-level efficacy of wildlife fertility control

    PubMed Central

    Ransom, Jason I; Powers, Jenny G; Thompson Hobbs, N; Baker, Dan L

    2014-01-01

    Anthropogenic stress on natural systems, particularly the fragmentation of landscapes and the extirpation of predators from food webs, has intensified the need to regulate abundance of wildlife populations with management. Controlling population growth using fertility control has been considered for almost four decades, but nearly all research has focused on understanding effects of fertility control agents on individual animals. Questions about the efficacy of fertility control as a way to control populations remain largely unanswered. Collateral consequences of contraception can produce unexpected changes in birth rates, survival, immigration and emigration that may reduce the effectiveness of regulating animal abundance. The magnitude and frequency of such effects vary with species-specific social and reproductive systems, as well as connectivity of populations. Developing models that incorporate static demographic parameters from populations not controlled by contraception may bias predictions of fertility control efficacy. Many population-level studies demonstrate that changes in survival and immigration induced by fertility control can compensate for the reduction in births caused by contraception. The most successful cases of regulating populations using fertility control come from applications of contraceptives to small, closed populations of gregarious and easily accessed species. Fertility control can result in artificial selection pressures on the population and may lead to long-term unintentional genetic consequences. The magnitude of such selection is dependent on individual heritability and behavioural traits, as well as environmental variation. Synthesis and applications. Understanding species' life-history strategies, biology, behavioural ecology and ecological context is critical to developing realistic expectations of regulating populations using fertility control. Before time, effort and funding are invested in wildlife contraception, managers

  19. Optimal serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels for multiple health outcomes.

    PubMed

    Bischoff-Ferrari, Heike A

    2014-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests that vitamin D deficiency has harmful effects on health and that recent vitamin D intake recommendations may be associated with better health outcomes. In this chapter, evidence is summarized from different studies that evaluate threshold levels for serum 25(OH)D levels in relation to bone mineral density (BMD), lower extremity function, dental health, risk of falls, fractures, cancer prevention, incident hypertension and mortality. For all endpoints, levels in the deficient range (< 50 nmol/l; < 20 ng/ml) are associated with no benefit or adverse effects, while the most advantageous serum levels for 25(OH)D appeared to be close to 75 nmol/l (30 ng/ml). An intake of 800 IU (20 microg) of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) per day for all adults may bring 97% of the population to level of at least 50 nmol/l and about 50% up to 75 nmol/l. Thus, higher doses of vitamin D than currently recommended are needed to bring most individuals to75 nmol/l. While estimates suggest that 1600 to 2000 IU vitamin D3 per day may successfully and safely achieve this goal, the implications of higher doses for the total adult population need to be addressed in future studies. PMID:25207384

  20. Effect of hypoxia and anoxia on invertebrate behaviour: ecological perspectives from species to community level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riedel, B.; Pados, T.; Pretterebner, K.; Schiemer, L.; Steckbauer, A.; Haselmair, A.; Zuschin, M.; Stachowitsch, M.

    2014-03-01

    Coastal hypoxia and anoxia have become a global key stressor to marine ecosystems, with almost 500 dead zones recorded worldwide. By triggering cascading effects from the individual organism to the community- and ecosystem level, oxygen depletions threaten marine biodiversity and can alter ecosystem structure and function. By integrating both physiological function and ecological processes, animal behaviour is ideal for assessing the stress state of benthic macrofauna to low dissolved oxygen. The initial response of organisms can serve as an early warning signal, while the successive behavioural reactions of key species indicate hypoxia levels and help assess community degradation. Here we document the behavioural responses of a representative spectrum of benthic macrofauna in the natural setting in the Northern Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean). We experimentally induced small-scale anoxia with a benthic chamber in 24 m depth to overcome the difficulties in predicting the onset of hypoxia, which often hinders full documentation in the field. The behavioural reactions were documented with a time-lapse camera. Oxygen depletion elicited significant and repeatable changes in general (visibility, locomotion, body movement and posture, location) and species-specific reactions in virtually all organisms (302 individuals from 32 species and 2 species groups). Most atypical (stress) behaviours were associated with specific oxygen thresholds: arm-tipping in the ophiuroid Ophiothrix quinquemaculata, for example, with the onset of mild hypoxia (< 2 mL O2 L-1), the emergence of polychaetes on the sediment surface with moderate hypoxia (< 1 mL O2 L-1), the emergence of the infaunal sea urchin Schizaster canaliferus on the sediment with severe hypoxia (< 0.5 mL O2 L-1) and heavy body rotations in sea anemones with anoxia. Other species changed their activity patterns, for example the circadian rhythm in the hermit crab Paguristes eremita or the bioherm-associated crab Pisidia

  1. Effect of hypoxia and anoxia on invertebrate behaviour: ecological perspectives from species to community level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riedel, B.; Pados, T.; Pretterebner, K.; Schiemer, L.; Steckbauer, A.; Haselmair, A.; Zuschin, M.; Stachowitsch, M.

    2013-08-01

    Coastal hypoxia and anoxia have become a global key stressor to marine ecosystems, with almost 500 dead zones recorded wordwide. By triggering cascading effects from the individual organism to the community and ecosystem-level, oxygen depletions threat marine biodiversity and can alter ecosystem structure and function. By integrating both physiological function and ecological processes, animal behaviour is ideal for assessing the stress state of benthic macrofauna to low dissolved oxygen. The initial response of organisms can serve as an early-warning signal, while the successive behavioural reactions of key species indicate hypoxia levels and help assess community degradation. Here we document the behavioural responses of a representative spectrum of benthic macrofauna in the natural setting in the Northern Adriatic Sea, Mediterranean. We experimentally induced small-scale anoxia with a benthic chamber in 24 m depth to overcome the difficulties in predicting the onset of hypoxia, which often hinders full documentation in the field. The behavioural reactions were documented with a time-lapse camera. Oxygen depletion elicited significant and repeatable changes in general (visibility, locomotion, body movement and posture, location) and species-specific reactions in virtually all organisms (302 individuals from 32 species and 2 species groups). Most atypical (stress) behaviours were associated with specific oxygen thresholds: arm-tipping in the ophiuroid Ophiothrix quinquemaculata, for example, with the onset of mild hypoxia (< 2 mL O2 L-1), the emergence of polychates on the sediment surface with moderate hypoxia (< 1 mL O2 L-1), the emergence of the infaunal sea urchin Schizaster canaliferus on the sediment with severe hypoxia (< 0.5 mL O2 L-1) and heavy body rotations in sea anemones with anoxia. Other species changed their activity patterns, i.e. circadian rhythm in the hermit crab Paguristes eremita or the bioherm-associated crab Pisidia longimana. Intra- and

  2. Ecologically relevant geomorphic attributes of streams are impaired by even low levels of watershed effective imperviousness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vietz, Geoff J.; Sammonds, Michael J.; Walsh, Christopher J.; Fletcher, Tim D.; Rutherfurd, Ian D.; Stewardson, Michael J.

    2014-02-01

    Urbanization almost inevitably results in changes to stream morphology. Understanding the mechanisms for such impacts is a prerequisite to minimizing stream degradation and achieving restoration goals. However, investigations of urban-induced changes to stream morphology typically use indicators of watershed urbanization that may not adequately represent degrading mechanisms and commonly focus on geomorphic attributes such as channel dimensions that may be of little significance to the ecological goals for restoration. We address these shortcomings by testing if a measure characterizing urban stormwater drainage system connections to streams (effective imperviousness, EI) is a better predictor of change to ecologically relevant geomorphic attributes than a more general measure of urban density (total imperviousness, TI). We test this for 17 sites in independent watersheds across a gradient of urbanization. We found that EI was a better predictor of all geomorphic variables tested than was TI. Bank instability was positively correlated with EI, while width/depth (a measure of channel incision), bedload sediment depth, and frequency of bars, benches, and large wood were negatively correlated. Large changes in all geomorphic variables were detected at very low levels of EI (< 2-3%). Excess urban stormwater runoff, as represented by EI, drives geomorphic change in urban streams, highlighting the dominant role of the stormwater drainage system in efficiently transferring stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces to the stream, as found for ecological indicators. It is likely that geomorphic condition of streams in urbanizing watersheds, particularly those attributes of ecological relevance, can only be maintained if excess urban stormwater flows are kept out of streams through retention and harvesting. The extent to which EI can be reduced within urban and urbanizing watersheds, through techniques such as distributed stormwater harvesting and infiltration, and the

  3. Measuring Science Teachers' Stress Level Triggered by Multiple Stressful Conditions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halim, Lilia; Samsudin, Mohd Ali; Meerah, T. Subahan M.; Osman, Kamisah

    2006-01-01

    The complexity of science teaching requires science teachers to encounter a range of tasks. Some tasks are perceived as stressful while others are not. This study aims to investigate the extent to which different teaching situations lead to different stress levels. It also aims to identify the easiest and most difficult conditions to be regarded…

  4. Panglobalism and pandemics: ecological and ethical concerns.

    PubMed Central

    Rolston, Holmes

    2005-01-01

    A pandemic is a human medical problem but must be understood at multiple levels. Analysis of social and commercial forces is vital, and, more comprehensively, an ecological framework is necessary for an inclusive picture. Ecological health webworked with political and social determinants surrounds issues of human health. In this constellation of both natural and social factors, ethical concerns will arise at these multiple levels, from human health to the conservation and health of wild nature. PMID:17132337

  5. Melatonin in Plants - Diversity of Levels and Multiplicity of Functions.

    PubMed

    Hardeland, Rüdiger

    2016-01-01

    Melatonin has been detected in numerous plant species. A particularly surprising finding concerns the highly divergent levels of melatonin that vary between species, organs and environmental conditions, from a few pg/g to over 20 μg/g, reportedly up to 200 μg/g. Highest values have been determined in oily seeds and in plant organs exposed to high UV radiation. The divergency of melatonin concentrations is discussed under various functional aspects and focused on several open questions. This comprises differences in precursor availability, catabolism, the relative contribution of isoenzymes of the melatonin biosynthetic pathway, and differences in rate limitation by either serotonin N-acetyltransferase or N-acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase. Other differences are related to the remarkable pleiotropy of melatonin, which exhibits properties as a growth regulator and morphogenetic factor, actually debated in terms of auxin-like effects, and as a signaling molecule that modulates pathways of ethylene, abscisic, jasmonic and salicylic acids and is involved in stress tolerance, pathogen defense and delay of senescence. In the context of high light/UV intensities, elevated melatonin levels exceed those required for signaling via stress-related phytohormones and may comprise direct antioxidant and photoprotectant properties, perhaps with a contribution of its oxidatively formed metabolites, such as N (1)-acetyl-N (2)-formyl-5-methoxykynuramine and its secondary products. High melatonin levels in seeds may also serve antioxidative protection and have been shown to promote seed viability and germination capacity. PMID:26925091

  6. Training Teachers to Use New Technologies Impacts Multiple Ecologies: Evidence from a National Initiative

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, Niki; Preston, Christina; Sahin, Ismail

    2009-01-01

    A pair of papers re-examined the evidence from a national initiative to train all teachers in England to bring them up to the level of newly qualified teachers, who are required to know when to use and when not to use information and communication technologies (ICT) in their professional practice. The first paper confirmed that multilevel…

  7. Brain: a complex adaptive structure at multiple levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klein, Bradley G.

    2001-10-01

    The human brain is comprised of over 100 billion neurons organized into tracts, nuclei, circuits and systems. This provides innumerable elegant abilities that rely on the nervous system to act as a complex adaptive structure (CAS). This property is apparent with respect to overall function, the function of individual neurons and the function of sensory and motor systems. At the overall functional level, the nervous system monitors the environments and can alter that environment. Alterations such as turning on a light switch or changing the diameter of neural vasculature, can improve the performance or chance for survival of the nervous system. Individual neurons can alter the activity of their electrogenic pumps, their rate of transmitter synthesis, their neurotransmitter release and their receptor density in order to maintain optimal functioning in a circuit following changes in their micro-environment. At the systems level, the visual system adjusts the orientation of the eyes or pupillary diameter to receive the highest quality visual information. In the motor system, the myotatic reflex maintains muscle position in the face of changing load, and the gain of the muscle organ responsible for the myotatic reflex can also be automatically adjusted. Internal homeostasis, essential for optimal performance of the nervous system, can be achieved through complex behavioral actions such as feeding. The hypothalamus plays an important role in such behaviors and in the type of sensorimotor integration responsible for the CAS nature of overall nervous system function. Thinking about the CAS characteristics of the nervous system may lead to development of non-biological CAS prostheses for the brain.

  8. LINKAGES BETWEEN AQUATIC ECOLOGICAL ASSESSMENTS CONDUCTED AT DIFFERENT LEVELS OF BIOLOGICAL ORGANIZATION: INDIVIDUAL, POPULATION, AND COMMUNITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Three methods are currently used for ecological assessment of contaminant exposure and effects in surface waters or sediments: (1) chemical criteria for the protection of aquatic life, (2) direct toxicity assessments of specific environmental media, and (3) bioassessments of sele...

  9. Congruent and Incongruent Corticospinal Activations at the Level of Multiple Effectors.

    PubMed

    Sartori, Luisa; Betti, Sonia; Perrone, Chiara; Castiello, Umberto

    2015-10-01

    Motor resonance is defined as the subliminal activation of the motor system while observing actions performed by others. However, resonating with another person's actions is not always an appropriate response: In real life, people do not just imitate but rather respond in a suitable fashion. A growing body of neurophysiologic studies has demonstrated that motor resonance can be overridden by complementary motor responses (such as preparing a precision grip on a small object when seeing an open hand in sign of request). In this study, we investigated the relationship between congruent and incongruent corticospinal activations at the level of multiple effectors. The modulation of motor evoked potentials evoked by single-pulse TMS over the motor cortex was assessed in upper and lower limb muscles of participants observing a soccer player performing a penalty kick straight in their direction. Study results revealed a double dissociation: Seeing the soccer player kicking the ball triggered a motor resonance in the observer's lower limb, whereas the upper limb response afforded by the object was overridden. On the other hand, seeing the ball approaching the observers elicited a complementary motor activation in upper limbs while motor resonance in lower limbs disappeared. Control conditions showing lateral kicks, mimicked kicks, and a ball in penalty area were also included to test the motor coding of object affordances. Results point to a modulation of motor responses in different limbs over the course of action and in function of their relevance in different contexts. We contend that ecologically valid paradigms are now needed to shed light on the motor system functioning in complex forms of interaction. PMID:26102231

  10. Earthworms, as ecosystem engineers, influence multiple aspects of a salamander's ecology.

    PubMed

    Ransom, Tami S

    2011-03-01

    Ecosystem engineers create habitat that can be used by other species in multiple ways, such as refugees from predators, places to breed, or areas with increased prey resources. I conducted a series of enclosure experiments to: (1) determine if salamanders use earthworm burrows, and (2) examine the potential influence of earthworm burrow use and indirect effects on salamander intra- and interspecific competition, predator avoidance, and seasonal performance. I found that one species of woodland salamander, Plethodon cinereus, used earthworm burrows 50% of the time when burrows were present. Neither adults nor juveniles of the congeneric P. glutinosus used earthworm burrows. Intraspecific, but not interspecific, competition by P. cinereus affected salamander behavior when earthworms were absent, with P. cinereus found under cover objects >70% of the time when alone or with a P. glutinosus, but only 40% of the time when with another P. cinereus. When earthworms were present, the behavior of P. cinereus was similar across salamander treatments. Earthworms decreased the amount of leaf litter and microinvertebrates, although this did not affect salamander mass. In subsequent experiments using only P. cinereus, the refuge provided by earthworm burrows increased the survival of P. cinereus over the winter and allowed P. cinereus to avoid being consumed by the common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis). Because earthworm burrows provide a refuge for P. cinereus during intraspecific encounters, in the presence of a predator and over the winter, they may serve as an important belowground-aboveground linkage in eastern forests where salamanders are common. PMID:20848134

  11. Levels and ecological risk assessment of metals in soils from a typical e-waste recycling region in southeast China.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Weituo; Ding, Lei; Gu, Xiaowen; Luo, Jie; Liu, Yunlang; Guo, Li; Shi, Yi; Huang, Ting; Cheng, Shenggao

    2015-11-01

    Due to the high threat to human health and the ecosystem from metals, the levels and distribution of As, Hg, Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb, Mn, V, Sn, Sb, Li and Be in various layers of soil from an e-waste recycling area in Guiyu, China were investigated. The extent of pollution from the metals in soil was assessed using enrichment factors (EFs) and the Nemerow pollution index (P N ). To determine the metals' integrated potential ecological risks, the potential ecological risk index (RI) was chosen. The concentrations of Hg, Ni, Cu, Cd, Pb, Sn and Sb were mainly enriched in the topsoil. EF values (2-5) of the elements Hg, Co, Ni, Zn, Sn, Li and Be revealed their moderate enrichment status in the topsoil, derived from e-waste recycling activities. P N presented a decreasing trend in different layers in the order topsoil (0-20 cm) > deep soil (100-150 cm) > middle soil (50-100 cm) > shallow soil (20-50 cm). With higher potential ecological risk factor (E(i)), Hg and Cd are the main contributors to the potential ecological risk. With respect to the RI, all the values in soil from the study area exceeded 300, especially for the soil at sites S2, S4, S5, S7 and S8, where RI was greater than 600. Therefore, immediate remediation of the contaminated soil is necessary to prevent the release of metals and potential ecological harm. PMID:26318052

  12. Stochastic modeling of Lake Van water level time series with jumps and multiple trends

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aksoy, H.; Unal, N. E.; Eris, E.; Yuce, M. I.

    2013-06-01

    In the 1990s, water level in the closed-basin Lake Van located in the Eastern Anatolia, Turkey, has risen up about 2 m. Analysis of the hydrometeorological data shows that change in the water level is related to the water budget of the lake. In this study, stochastic models are proposed for simulating monthly water level data. Two models considering mono- and multiple-trend time series are developed. The models are derived after removal of trend and periodicity in the dataset. Trend observed in the lake water level time series is fitted by mono- and multiple-trend lines. In the so-called mono-trend model, the time series is treated as a whole under the hypothesis that the lake water level has an increasing trend. In the second model (so-called multiple-trend), the time series is divided into a number of segments to each a linear trend can be fitted separately. Application on the lake water level data shows that four segments, each fitted with a trend line, are meaningful. Both the mono- and multiple-trend models are used for simulation of synthetic lake water level time series under the hypothesis that the observed mono- and multiple-trend structure of the lake water level persist during the simulation period. The multiple-trend model is found better for planning the future infrastructural projects in surrounding areas of the lake as it generates higher maxima for the simulated lake water level.

  13. Correlates between Feeding Ecology and Mercury Levels in Historical and Modern Arctic Foxes (Vulpes lagopus)

    PubMed Central

    Krone, Oliver; Stefanski, Volker; Wibbelt, Gudrun; Unnsteinsdóttir, Ester Rut; Hersteinsson, Páll; Schares, Gereon; Doronina, Lilia; Goltsman, Mikhail; Greenwood, Alex D.

    2013-01-01

    Changes in concentration of pollutants and pathogen distribution can vary among ecotypes (e.g. marine versus terrestrial food resources). This may have important implications for the animals that reside within them. We examined 1) canid pathogen presence in an endangered arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) population and 2) relative total mercury (THg) level as a function of ecotype (‘coastal’ or ‘inland’) for arctic foxes to test whether the presence of pathogens or heavy metal concentration correlate with population health. The Bering Sea populations on Bering and Mednyi Islands were compared to Icelandic arctic fox populations with respect to inland and coastal ecotypes. Serological and DNA based pathogen screening techniques were used to examine arctic foxes for pathogens. THg was measured by atomic absorption spectrometry from hair samples of historical and modern collected arctic foxes and samples from their prey species (hair and internal organs). Presence of pathogens did not correlate with population decline from Mednyi Island. However, THg concentration correlated strongly with ecotype and was reflected in the THg concentrations detected in available food sources in each ecotype. The highest concentration of THg was found in ecotypes where foxes depended on marine vertebrates for food. Exclusively inland ecotypes had low THg concentrations. The results suggest that absolute exposure to heavy metals may be less important than the feeding ecology and feeding opportunities of top predators such as arctic foxes which may in turn influence population health and stability. A higher risk to wildlife of heavy metal exposure correlates with feeding strategies that rely primarily on a marine based diet. PMID:23671561

  14. Metabolic ecology.

    PubMed

    Humphries, Murray M; McCann, Kevin S

    2014-01-01

    Ecological theory that is grounded in metabolic currencies and constraints offers the potential to link ecological outcomes to biophysical processes across multiple scales of organization. The metabolic theory of ecology (MTE) has emphasized the potential for metabolism to serve as a unified theory of ecology, while focusing primarily on the size and temperature dependence of whole-organism metabolic rates. Generalizing metabolic ecology requires extending beyond prediction and application of standardized metabolic rates to theory focused on how energy moves through ecological systems. A bibliometric and network analysis of recent metabolic ecology literature reveals a research network characterized by major clusters focused on MTE, foraging theory, bioenergetics, trophic status, and generalized patterns and predictions. This generalized research network, which we refer to as metabolic ecology, can be considered to include the scaling, temperature and stoichiometric models forming the core of MTE, as well as bioenergetic equations, foraging theory, life-history allocation models, consumer-resource equations, food web theory and energy-based macroecology models that are frequently employed in ecological literature. We conclude with six points we believe to be important to the advancement and integration of metabolic ecology, including nomination of a second fundamental equation, complementary to the first fundamental equation offered by the MTE. PMID:24028511

  15. The ecology of prescription opioid abuse in the USA: geographic variation in patients’ use of multiple prescribers (“doctor shopping”)

    PubMed Central

    McDonald, Douglas C.; Carlson, Kenneth E.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose This study estimates the prevalence in US counties of opioid patients who use large numbers of prescribers, the amounts of opioids they obtain, and the extent to which their prevalence is predicted by ecological attributes of counties, including general medical exposure to opioids. Methods Finite mixture models were used to estimate the size of an outlier subpopulation of patients with suspiciously large numbers of prescribers (probable doctor shoppers), using a sample of 146 million opioid prescriptions dispensed during 2008. Ordinary least squares regression models of county-level shopper rates included independent variables measuring ecological attributes of counties, including rates of patients prescribed opioids, socioeconomic characteristics of the resident population, supply of physicians, and measures of healthcare service utilization. Results The prevalence of shoppers varied widely by county, with rates ranging between 0.6 and 2.5 per 1000 residents. Shopper prevalence was strongly correlated with opioid prescribing for the general population, accounting for 30% of observed county variation in shopper prevalence, after adjusting for physician supply, emergency department visits, in-patient hospital days, poverty rates, percent of county residents living in urban areas, and racial/ethnic composition of resident populations. Approximately 30% of shoppers obtained prescriptions in multiple states. Conclusions The correlation between prevalence of doctor shoppers and opioid patients in a county could indicate either that easy access to legitimate medical treatment raises the risk of abuse or that drug abusers take advantage of greater opportunities in places where access is easy. Approaches to preventing excessive use of different prescribers are discussed. PMID:25111716

  16. Integrated Modeling for the Assessment of Ecological Impacts of Sea Level Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hagen, S. C.; Lewis, G.; Bartel, R.; Batten, B.; Huang, W.; Morris, J.; Slinn, D. N.; Sparks, J.; Walters, L.; Wang, D.; Weishampel, J.; Yeh, G.

    2010-12-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) has the potential to affect a variety of coastal habitats with a myriad of deleterious ecological effects and to overwhelm human settlements along the coast. SLR should be given serious consideration when more than half of the U.S. population lives within 50 miles of the coast. SLR effects will be felt along coastal beaches and in estuarine waters, with consequences to barrier islands, submerged aquatic vegetation beds, sand and mud flats, oyster reefs, and tidal and freshwater wetlands. Managers of these coastal resources must be aware of potential consequences of SLR and adjust their plans accordingly to protect and preserve the resources under their care. The Gulf Coast provides critical habitats for a majority of the commercially important species in the Gulf of Mexico, which depend on inshore waters for either permanent residence or nursery area. The ecosystem services provided by these coastal habitats are at risk from rising sea level. Our team will assess the risk to coasts and coastal habitats from SLR in a 5-year project. We will apply existing models of circulation and transport from the watershed to the sea. The ultimate prediction will be of sediment loadings to the estuary as a result of overland flow, shoreline and barrier island erosion, and salinity transport, all of which will be used to model the evolution of intertidal marshes (MEM II). Over the five-year course of our research we will be simulating hydrodynamics and transport for all three NERRS reserves, including: Apalachicola, Weeks Bay and Grand Bay. The project will result in products whereby managers will be able to assess marshes, oyster reefs, submerged aquatic vegetation, predict wetland stability and indentify restoration locations for marsh and oyster habitats. In addition, we will produce Decision Support tools that will enable managers to predict future coastal erosion rates for management-specified shorelines. Project outcomes will enable the management

  17. Will the Effects of Sea-Level Rise Create Ecological Traps for Pacific Island Seabirds?

    PubMed Central

    Reynolds, Michelle H.; Courtot, Karen N.; Berkowitz, Paul; Storlazzi, Curt D.; Moore, Janet; Flint, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    More than 18 million seabirds nest on 58 Pacific islands protected within vast U.S. Marine National Monuments (1.9 million km2). However, most of these seabird colonies are on low-elevation islands and sea-level rise (SLR) and accompanying high-water perturbations are predicted to escalate with climate change. To understand how SLR may impact protected islands and insular biodiversity, we modeled inundation and wave-driven flooding of a globally important seabird rookery in the subtropical Pacific. We acquired new high-resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) and used the Delft3D wave model and ArcGIS to model wave heights and inundation for a range of SLR scenarios (+0.5, +1.0, +1.5, and +2.0 m) at Midway Atoll. Next, we classified vegetation to delineate habitat exposure to inundation and identified how breeding phenology, colony synchrony, and life history traits affect species-specific sensitivity. We identified 3 of 13 species as highly vulnerable to SLR in the Hawaiian Islands and quantified their atoll-wide distribution (Laysan albatross, Phoebastria immutabilis; black-footed albatross, P. nigripes; and Bonin petrel, Pterodroma hypoleuca). Our models of wave-driven flooding forecast nest losses up to 10% greater than passive inundation models at +1.0 m SLR. At projections of + 2.0 m SLR, approximately 60% of albatross and 44% of Bonin petrel nests were overwashed displacing more than 616,400 breeding albatrosses and petrels. Habitat loss due to passive SLR may decrease the carrying capacity of some islands to support seabird colonies, while sudden high-water events directly reduce survival and reproduction. This is the first study to simulate wave-driven flooding and the combined impacts of SLR, groundwater rise, and storm waves on seabird colonies. Our results highlight the need for early climate change planning and restoration of higher elevation seabird refugia to prevent low-lying protected islands from becoming ecological traps in the face of rising

  18. Effects of Multiple Simulation Presentation among Students of Different Anxiety Levels in the Learning of Probability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fong, Soon Fook; Por, Fei Ping; Tang, Ai Ling

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of multiple simulation presentation in interactive multimedia are on the achievement of students with different levels of anxiety in the learning of Probability. The interactive multimedia courseware was developed in two different modes, which were Multiple Simulation Presentation (MSP) and…

  19. A Comparison of Item-Level and Scale-Level Multiple Imputation for Questionnaire Batteries

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gottschall, Amanda C.; West, Stephen G.; Enders, Craig K.

    2012-01-01

    Behavioral science researchers routinely use scale scores that sum or average a set of questionnaire items to address their substantive questions. A researcher applying multiple imputation to incomplete questionnaire data can either impute the incomplete items prior to computing scale scores or impute the scale scores directly from other scale…

  20. Stochastic modeling of Lake Van water level time series with jumps and multiple trends

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aksoy, H.; Unal, N. E.; Eris, E.; Yuce, M. I.

    2013-02-01

    In 1990s, water level in the closed-basin Lake Van located in the Eastern Anatolia, Turkey has risen up about 2 m. Analysis of the hydrometeorological shows that change in the water level is related to the water budget of the lake. In this study, a stochastic model is generated using the measured monthly water level data of the lake. The model is derived after removal of trend and periodicity in the data set. Trend observed in the lake water level time series is fitted by mono- and multiple-trend lines. For the multiple-trend, the time series is first divided into homogeneous segments by means of SEGMENTER, segmentation software. Four segments are found meaningful practically each fitted with a trend line. Two models considering mono- and multiple-trend time series are developed. The multiple-trend model is found better for planning future development in surrounding areas of the lake.

  1. Assessing Interchangeability at Cluster-Levels with Multiple-Informant Data

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Zhehui; Breslau, Joshua; Gardiner, Joseph C.; Chen, Qiaoling; Breslau, Naomi

    2013-01-01

    Studies examining the relationship between neighborhood social disorder and health often rely on multiple informants. Such studies assume interchangeability of the latent constructs derived from multiple-informant data. Existing methods examining this assumption do not clearly delineate the uncertainty at individual levels from that at neighborhood levels. We propose a multi-level variance component factor model that allows this delineation. Data come from a survey of a representative sample of children born between 1983 and 1985 in the inner city of Detroit and nearby middle-class suburbs. Results indicate that the informant-level models tend to exaggerate the effect of places due to differences between persons. Our evaluations of different methodologies lead to the recommendation of the multi-level variance component factor model whenever multiple-informant reports can be aggregated at a neighborhood level. PMID:24038232

  2. Acceptance and Accuracy of Multiple Choice, Confidence-Level, and Essay Question Formats for Graduate Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swartz, Stephen M.

    2006-01-01

    The confidence level (information-referenced testing; IRT) design is an attempt to improve upon the multiple choice format by allowing students to express a level of confidence in the answers they choose. In this study, the author evaluated student perceptions of the ease of use and accuracy of and general preference for traditional multiple…

  3. A FORTRAN IV Program for Multiple-choice Tests with Predetermined Minimal Acceptable Performance Levels

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Noe, Michael J.

    1976-01-01

    A Fortran IV multiple choice test scoring program for an IBM 370 computer is described that computes minimally acceptable performance levels and compares student scores to these levels. The program accomodates up to 500 items with no more than nine alternatives from a group of examinees numbering less than 10,000. (Author)

  4. Complex distribution patterns, ecology and coexistence of ploidy levels of Allium oleraceum (Alliaceae) in the Czech Republic

    PubMed Central

    Duchoslav, Martin; Šafářová, Lenka; Krahulec, František

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aims Despite extensive study of polyploidy, its origin, and ecogeographical differences between polyploids and their diploid progenitors, few studies have addressed ploidy-level structure and patterns of ecogeographical differentiation at various spatial scales using detailed sampling procedures. The pattern of coexistence of polyploids in the geophyte Allium oleraceum at the landscape and locality scale and their ecology were studied. Methods Flow cytometry and root-tip squashes were used to identify the ploidy level of 4347 plants from 325 populations sampled from the Czech Republic using a stratified random sampling procedure. Ecological differentiation among ploidy levels was tested by comparing sets of environmental variables recorded at each locality. Key Results Across the entire sampling area, pentaploids (2n = 5x = 40) predominated, while hexaploids (2n = 6x = 48) and tetraploids (2n = 4x = 32) were less frequent. The distribution of tetra- and hexaploids was partially sympatric (in the eastern part) to parapatric (in the western part of the Czech Republic) whereas pentaploids were sympatric with other cytotypes. Plants of different ploidy levels were found to be ecologically differentiated and the ruderal character of cytotypes increased in the direction 4x → 5x → 6x with the largest realized niche differences between tetra- and hexaploids. Most populations contained only one ploidy level (77 %), 22 % had two (all possible combinations) and 1 % were composed of three ploidy levels. The majority of 4x + 5x and 5x + 6x mixed populations occurred in sympatry with uniform populations of the participating cytotypes in sites with ecologically heterogeneous or marginal environment, suggesting secondary contact between cytotypes. Some mixed 4x + 6x populations dominated by tetraploids being sympatric and intermixed with uniform 4x populations might represent primary zones of cytotype contact. Almost no mixed accessions were observed on the fine

  5. White Paper: Summary of the NOAA Workshop - Ecological Effect of Sea Level Rise in the Florida Panhandle and Coastal Alabama: Research and Modeling Needs

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research (CSCOR) is addressing current and future impacts to ecological systems due to the long term effect of sea level rise due to climate change and subsidence on coastal ecosystems through the peer-reviewed research program, the Ecologic...

  6. A comparative analysis reveals weak relationships between ecological factors and beta diversity of stream insect metacommunities at two spatial levels.

    PubMed

    Heino, Jani; Melo, Adriano S; Bini, Luis Mauricio; Altermatt, Florian; Al-Shami, Salman A; Angeler, David G; Bonada, Núria; Brand, Cecilia; Callisto, Marcos; Cottenie, Karl; Dangles, Olivier; Dudgeon, David; Encalada, Andrea; Göthe, Emma; Grönroos, Mira; Hamada, Neusa; Jacobsen, Dean; Landeiro, Victor L; Ligeiro, Raphael; Martins, Renato T; Miserendino, María Laura; Md Rawi, Che Salmah; Rodrigues, Marciel E; Roque, Fabio de Oliveira; Sandin, Leonard; Schmera, Denes; Sgarbi, Luciano F; Simaika, John P; Siqueira, Tadeu; Thompson, Ross M; Townsend, Colin R

    2015-03-01

    The hypotheses that beta diversity should increase with decreasing latitude and increase with spatial extent of a region have rarely been tested based on a comparative analysis of multiple datasets, and no such study has focused on stream insects. We first assessed how well variability in beta diversity of stream insect metacommunities is predicted by insect group, latitude, spatial extent, altitudinal range, and dataset properties across multiple drainage basins throughout the world. Second, we assessed the relative roles of environmental and spatial factors in driving variation in assemblage composition within each drainage basin. Our analyses were based on a dataset of 95 stream insect metacommunities from 31 drainage basins distributed around the world. We used dissimilarity-based indices to quantify beta diversity for each metacommunity and, subsequently, regressed beta diversity on insect group, latitude, spatial extent, altitudinal range, and dataset properties (e.g., number of sites and percentage of presences). Within each metacommunity, we used a combination of spatial eigenfunction analyses and partial redundancy analysis to partition variation in assemblage structure into environmental, shared, spatial, and unexplained fractions. We found that dataset properties were more important predictors of beta diversity than ecological and geographical factors across multiple drainage basins. In the within-basin analyses, environmental and spatial variables were generally poor predictors of variation in assemblage composition. Our results revealed deviation from general biodiversity patterns because beta diversity did not show the expected decreasing trend with latitude. Our results also call for reconsideration of just how predictable stream assemblages are along ecological gradients, with implications for environmental assessment and conservation decisions. Our findings may also be applicable to other dynamic systems where predictability is low. PMID:25859329

  7. A comparative analysis reveals weak relationships between ecological factors and beta diversity of stream insect metacommunities at two spatial levels

    PubMed Central

    Heino, Jani; Melo, Adriano S; Bini, Luis Mauricio; Altermatt, Florian; Al-Shami, Salman A; Angeler, David G; Bonada, Núria; Brand, Cecilia; Callisto, Marcos; Cottenie, Karl; Dangles, Olivier; Dudgeon, David; Encalada, Andrea; Göthe, Emma; Grönroos, Mira; Hamada, Neusa; Jacobsen, Dean; Landeiro, Victor L; Ligeiro, Raphael; Martins, Renato T; Miserendino, María Laura; Md Rawi, Che Salmah; Rodrigues, Marciel E; Roque, Fabio de Oliveira; Sandin, Leonard; Schmera, Denes; Sgarbi, Luciano F; Simaika, John P; Siqueira, Tadeu; Thompson, Ross M; Townsend, Colin R

    2015-01-01

    The hypotheses that beta diversity should increase with decreasing latitude and increase with spatial extent of a region have rarely been tested based on a comparative analysis of multiple datasets, and no such study has focused on stream insects. We first assessed how well variability in beta diversity of stream insect metacommunities is predicted by insect group, latitude, spatial extent, altitudinal range, and dataset properties across multiple drainage basins throughout the world. Second, we assessed the relative roles of environmental and spatial factors in driving variation in assemblage composition within each drainage basin. Our analyses were based on a dataset of 95 stream insect metacommunities from 31 drainage basins distributed around the world. We used dissimilarity-based indices to quantify beta diversity for each metacommunity and, subsequently, regressed beta diversity on insect group, latitude, spatial extent, altitudinal range, and dataset properties (e.g., number of sites and percentage of presences). Within each metacommunity, we used a combination of spatial eigenfunction analyses and partial redundancy analysis to partition variation in assemblage structure into environmental, shared, spatial, and unexplained fractions. We found that dataset properties were more important predictors of beta diversity than ecological and geographical factors across multiple drainage basins. In the within-basin analyses, environmental and spatial variables were generally poor predictors of variation in assemblage composition. Our results revealed deviation from general biodiversity patterns because beta diversity did not show the expected decreasing trend with latitude. Our results also call for reconsideration of just how predictable stream assemblages are along ecological gradients, with implications for environmental assessment and conservation decisions. Our findings may also be applicable to other dynamic systems where predictability is low. PMID:25859329

  8. A Study On The Effect Of Multiple Intelligences Theory Upon The Success Level Of Genders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oral, Imran

    2007-04-01

    In this study, the effects of Multiple Intelligences theory upon the success level of genders were investigated at three high schools in Konya. In conclusion, a significant difference has not been found between groups for multiple intelligences and groups for pre-tests. In general, the female student groups were more successful than the male student groups regarding post-test. However, this result did not cause a significant difference between the groups.

  9. Polychlorinated biphenyls and Hudson River white perch: implications for population-level ecological risk assessment and risk management.

    PubMed

    Barnthouse, Lawrence W; Glaser, David; DeSantis, Liane

    2009-07-01

    Risk assessments and risk management decisions concerning risks to wild fish populations resulting from exposures to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and related chemicals have been based primarily on observations of effects of chemicals on individual organisms. Although the development and application of population-level ecological risk-assessment methods is proceeding at a rapid pace, the organism-level approach is still being justified by arguments that population-level ecological risk assessment is in an early stage of development and has not been shown to be reliable. This article highlights the importance of including population-level effects in risk-management decision-making, by examining the effects of exposures to PCBs on fish populations inhabiting the Hudson River, New York, USA, a system in which data have been collected for approximately 30 y concerning both concentrations of PCBs in sediment and fish tissue and the abundance and reproduction of exposed fish populations. We previously tested hypotheses concerning the effects of PCBs on the striped bass population of the Hudson River, and found that the available data conflicted with all of these hypotheses. Here, we report results of similar analyses of effects of historic PCB exposures on the Hudson River white perch population, using an extended data set that recently became available. As with striped bass, we found no correlation between maternal PCB tissue concentrations and any measure of reproductive success in Hudson River white perch during the 30-y period covered by the data set. Together with results of studies performed on fish populations exposed to PCBs at other sites, our results clearly demonstrate that physiological and genetic adaptation, biological compensation, and other ecological processes influence responses of fish populations to PCB exposures and should be considered in risk management decision-making. PMID:20050031

  10. Sensitivity of ecological soil-screening levels for metals to exposure model parameterization and toxicity reference values

    PubMed Central

    Sample, Bradley E; Fairbrother, Anne; Kaiser, Ashley; Law, Sheryl; Adams, Bill

    2014-01-01

    Ecological soil-screening levels (Eco-SSLs) were developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) for the purposes of setting conservative soil screening values that can be used to eliminate the need for further ecological assessment for specific analytes at a given site. Ecological soil-screening levels for wildlife represent a simplified dietary exposure model solved in terms of soil concentrations to produce exposure equal to a no-observed-adverse-effect toxicity reference value (TRV). Sensitivity analyses were performed for 6 avian and mammalian model species, and 16 metals/metalloids for which Eco-SSLs have been developed. The relative influence of model parameters was expressed as the absolute value of the range of variation observed in the resulting soil concentration when exposure is equal to the TRV. Rank analysis of variance was used to identify parameters with greatest influence on model output. For both birds and mammals, soil ingestion displayed the broadest overall range (variability), although TRVs consistently had the greatest influence on calculated soil concentrations; bioavailability in food was consistently the least influential parameter, although an important site-specific variable. Relative importance of parameters differed by trophic group. Soil ingestion ranked 2nd for carnivores and herbivores, but was 4th for invertivores. Different patterns were exhibited, depending on which parameter, trophic group, and analyte combination was considered. The approach for TRV selection was also examined in detail, with Cu as the representative analyte. The underlying assumption that generic body-weight–normalized TRVs can be used to derive protective levels for any species is not supported by the data. Whereas the use of site-, species-, and analyte-specific exposure parameters is recommended to reduce variation in exposure estimates (soil protection level), improvement of TRVs is more problematic. Environ Toxicol Chem 2014

  11. Nested Levels of Adaptive Divergence: The Genetic Basis of Craniofacial Divergence and Ecological Sexual Dimorphism

    PubMed Central

    Parsons, Kevin J.; Wang, Jason; Anderson, Graeme; Albertson, R. Craig

    2015-01-01

    Exemplary systems for adaptive divergence are often characterized by their large degrees of phenotypic variation. This variation represents the outcome of generations of diversifying selection. However, adaptive radiations can also contain a hierarchy of differentiation nested within them where species display only subtle phenotypic differences that still have substantial effects on ecology, function, and ultimately fitness. Sexual dimorphisms are also common in species displaying adaptive divergence and can be the result of differential selection between sexes that produce ecological differences between sexes. Understanding the genetic basis of subtle variation (between certain species or sexes) is therefore important for understanding the process of adaptive divergence. Using cichlids from the dramatic adaptive radiation of Lake Malawi, we focus on understanding the genetic basis of two aspects of relatively subtle phenotypic variation. This included a morphometric comparison of the patterns of craniofacial divergence between two ecologically similar species in relation to the larger adaptive radiation of Malawi, and male–female morphological divergence between their F2 hybrids. We then genetically map craniofacial traits within the context of sex and locate several regions of the genome that contribute to variation in craniofacial shape that is relevant to sexual dimorphism within species and subtle divergence between closely related species, and possibly to craniofacial divergence in the Malawi radiation as a whole. To enhance our search for candidate genes we take advantage of population genomic data and a genetic map that is anchored to the cichlid genome to determine which genes within our QTL regions are associated with SNPs that are alternatively fixed between species. This study provides a holistic understanding of the genetic underpinnings of adaptive divergence in craniofacial shape. PMID:26038365

  12. System-level responses of lake ecosystems to chemical stresses using exergy and structural exergy as ecological indicators.

    PubMed

    Xu, Fu-Liu; Dawson, R W; Tao, Shu; Li, Ben-Gang; Cao, Jun

    2002-01-01

    This paper presents the system-level responses of experimental lake ecosystems to three chemical stresses (acidification, copper and pesticide contamination) using exergy and structural exergy as ecological indicators. The results indicate that the doses or toxicity of the three chemical stressors contributed to changes in both exergy and structural exergy. Remarkable changes in exergy and structural exergy occurred under acidic conditions and in the presence of Dursban, 24D-DMA, permethrin, bifenthrin, Carbaryl, TCP, PCP, trichlorethylene, benzene, and high doses of Cu, oil, and hexazinone. This seemed to indicate that the subject ecosystems were seriously contaminated by these chemical stressors. For low doses of Cu, oil, atrazine, HCBP, and hexazinone, exergy and structural exergy were either unchanged or only slightly changed, suggesting that the lake ecosystems were not significantly impacted by these chemical stressors. Discussion of the relationships between ecosystem-level changes and structural and functional changes in stressed lake ecosystems indicates that the above-mentioned ecosystem-level changes were in accordance with the changes in structure and function. The observed changes in exergy and structural exergy were also consistent with Odum's predictions of shortened food chains, reduced resource use efficiency, poor stability, low information, and high entropy in stressed aquatic ecosystems. The findings lead the authors to conclude that it is feasible for exergy and structural exergy to serve as ecological indicators when characterizing the system-level responses of experimental lake ecosystems to chemical stress. These results for experimental lake ecosystems would be extrapolated to actual lakes. PMID:11827273

  13. Population-level ecological risk assessment of planar polychlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons in great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) around Tokyo Bay, Japan.

    PubMed

    Murata, Mariko; Masunaga, Shigeki; Nakanishi, Junko

    2003-10-01

    Assessment of population-level ecological risk posed by planar polychlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons (p-PCAHs; including polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans, and dioxintike polychlorinated biphenyls) in sediment of Tokyo Bay (Japan) and rivers via fish ingestion to the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) population was conducted by means of a probabilistic approach. Population decline risk was used as an indicator of population-level effects and compared with other indicators of effects. The increment of egg mortality risk posed by current p-PCAH levels was estimated to be 11.7%. This risk was interpreted in terms of both the increase of the risk of population decline in a 10-year period on a recently abundant cormorant population, and the reduction in population growth rate (r). Population decline risks of 20% and below were estimated to be 16% for the reference population and 32% for the exposed population, whereas the reduction in r was estimated to be 10%. The risk expressed in terms of population viability is a more susceptible measure and a more easily understandable indicator than both egg mortality risk as an individual-level risk and the reduction in r. Translating the effects due to pollutants into the risk on population viability will make ecological risk assessment more conductive to risk management. PMID:14552017

  14. Geomagnetic disturbances may be environmental risk factor for multiple sclerosis: an ecological study of 111 locations in 24 countries

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background We noticed that a hypothesis based on the effect of geomagnetic disturbances (GMD) has the ability to explain special features of multiple sclerosis (MS). Areas around geomagnetic 60 degree latitude (GM60L) experience the greatest amount of GMD. The easiest way to evaluate our hypothesis was to test the association of MS prevalence (MSP) with angular distance to geomagnetic 60 degree latitude (AMAG60) and compare it with the known association of MS with geographical latitude (GL). We did the same with angular distance to geographic 60 degree latitude (AGRAPH60) as a control. Methods English written papers with MSP keywords, done in Europe (EUR), North America (NA) or Australasia (AUS) were retrieved from the PubMed. Geomagnetic coordinates were determined for each location and AMAG60 was calculated as absolute value of numerical difference between its geomagnetic latitude from GM60L. By an ecological study with using meta-regression analyses, the relationship of MSP with GL, AMAG60 and AGRAPH60 were evaluated separately. MSP data were weighted by square root of number of prevalent cases. Models were compared by their adjusted R square (AR2) and standard error of estimate (SEE). Results 111 MSP data were entered in the study. In each continent, AMAG60 had the best correlation with MSP, the largest AR2 (0.47, 0.42 and 0.84 for EUR, NA and AUS, respectively) and the least SEE. Merging both hemispheres data, AMAG60 explained 56% of MSP variations with the least SEE (R = 0.75, AR2 = 0.56, SEE = 57), while GL explained 17% (R = 0.41, AR2 = 0.17, SEE = 78.5) and AGRAPH60 explained 12% of that variations with the highest SEE (R = 0.35, AR2 = 0.12, SEE = 80.5). Conclusions Our results confirmed that AMAG60 is the best describer of MSP variations and has the strongest association with MSP distribution. They clarified that the well-known latitudinal gradient of MSP may be actually a gradient related to GM60L. Moreover, the

  15. Multiple Stressors in a Top Predator Seabird: Potential Ecological Consequences of Environmental Contaminants, Population Health and Breeding Conditions.

    PubMed

    Bustnes, Jan O; Bourgeon, Sophie; Leat, Eliza H K; Magnusdóttir, Ellen; Strøm, Hallvard; Hanssen, Sveinn A; Petersen, Aevar; Olafsdóttir, Kristin; Borgå, Katrine; Gabrielsen, Geir W; Furness, Robert W

    2015-01-01

    Environmental contaminants may have impacts on reproduction and survival in wildlife populations suffering from multiple stressors. This study examined whether adverse effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) increased with poor population health and breeding conditions in three colonies (60-74°N) of great skua (Stercorarius skua) in the north-eastern Atlantic (Shetland, Iceland and Bjørnøya [Bear Island]). POPs (organochlorines [OCs] and polybrominated diphenyl ethers [BDEs]) were measured in plasma of incubating birds (n = 222), concentrations differing nearly tenfold among colonies: Bjørnøya (2009) > Bjørnøya (2010) > Iceland (2009) > Shetland (2009). Reproductive success (hatching success and chick survival) showed that breeding conditions were favourable in Shetland and at Bjørnøya (2010), but were very poor in Iceland and at Bjørnøya (2009). Biomarkers indicated that health was poor in the Shetland population compared to the other populations. Females whose chicks hatched late had high POP concentrations in all colonies except at Bjørnøya (2010), and females losing their eggs at Bjørnøya (2009) tended to have higher concentrations than those hatching. Moreover, there was a negative relationship between female POP concentrations and chick body condition at hatching in Iceland and at Bjørnøya (2010). Supplementary feeding experiments were conducted, and in Iceland where feeding conditions were poor, significant negative relationships were found between female POP concentrations and daily growth-rate in first-hatched chicks of control nests, but not in food supplemented nests. This suggests that negative impacts of POPs were mitigated by improved feeding conditions. For second-chicks, there was a strong negative relationship between the female POP concentrations and growth-rate, but no effects of supplementary feeding. Lowered adult return-rate between breeding seasons with increasing POP loads were found both at Bjørnøya (2009) and in

  16. Multiple Stressors in a Top Predator Seabird: Potential Ecological Consequences of Environmental Contaminants, Population Health and Breeding Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Bustnes, Jan O.; Bourgeon, Sophie; Leat, Eliza H. K.; Magnusdóttir, Ellen; Strøm, Hallvard; Hanssen, Sveinn A.; Petersen, Aevar; Olafsdóttir, Kristin; Borgå, Katrine; Gabrielsen, Geir W.; Furness, Robert W.

    2015-01-01

    Environmental contaminants may have impacts on reproduction and survival in wildlife populations suffering from multiple stressors. This study examined whether adverse effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) increased with poor population health and breeding conditions in three colonies (60–74°N) of great skua (Stercorarius skua) in the north-eastern Atlantic (Shetland, Iceland and Bjørnøya [Bear Island]). POPs (organochlorines [OCs] and polybrominated diphenyl ethers [BDEs]) were measured in plasma of incubating birds (n = 222), concentrations differing nearly tenfold among colonies: Bjørnøya (2009) > Bjørnøya (2010) > Iceland (2009) > Shetland (2009). Reproductive success (hatching success and chick survival) showed that breeding conditions were favourable in Shetland and at Bjørnøya (2010), but were very poor in Iceland and at Bjørnøya (2009). Biomarkers indicated that health was poor in the Shetland population compared to the other populations. Females whose chicks hatched late had high POP concentrations in all colonies except at Bjørnøya (2010), and females losing their eggs at Bjørnøya (2009) tended to have higher concentrations than those hatching. Moreover, there was a negative relationship between female POP concentrations and chick body condition at hatching in Iceland and at Bjørnøya (2010). Supplementary feeding experiments were conducted, and in Iceland where feeding conditions were poor, significant negative relationships were found between female POP concentrations and daily growth-rate in first-hatched chicks of control nests, but not in food supplemented nests. This suggests that negative impacts of POPs were mitigated by improved feeding conditions. For second-chicks, there was a strong negative relationship between the female POP concentrations and growth-rate, but no effects of supplementary feeding. Lowered adult return-rate between breeding seasons with increasing POP loads were found both at Bjørnøya (2009) and

  17. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) concentration in soil from San Luis Potosi, Mexico: levels and ecological and human health risk characterization.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Vázquez, Francisco J; Orta-García, Sandra T; Ochoa-Martínez, Ángeles C; Pruneda-Álvarez, Lucia G; Ruiz-Vera, Tania; Jiménez-Avalos, Jorge Armando; González-Palomo, Ana K; Pérez-Maldonado, Iván N

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in soils from the city of San Luis Potosi in Mexico and perform an ecological and human health risk characterization. In order to confirm the presence of PBDEs, outdoor surface soil samples were collected and the concentrations of PBDEs in urban, industrial, agricultural, and brick kiln industry areas were determined. The mean total PBDEs levels obtained in the study sites were 25.0 ± 39.5 μg/kg (geometric mean ± standard deviation) in the brick kiln industry zone; 34.5 ± 36.0 μg/kg in the urban zone; 8.00 ± 7.10 μg/kg in the industrial zone and 16.6 ± 15.3 μg/kg in the agricultural zone. The ecological and human health risk characterization showed relatively low-hazard quotient values. However, the moderately high PBDEs levels found in soils highlight the necessity to establish a systematic monitoring process for PBDEs in environmental and biological samples. PMID:26566197

  18. Emergence of elevated levels of multiple infections in spatial host-virus dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Bradford; Penington, Catherine; Weitz, Joshua

    Bacteria are subject to infection and potentially to multiple simultaneous infections by viruses. Multiply infected hosts have altered life-history traits (e.g., viral burst size) and evolutionary rates (e.g., viral recombination). Yet our understanding of multiple infections of microbes is limited to lab settings where the ratio of inoculant viruses to hosts is controlled. In contrast, rates of multiple infection in natural environments are unknown. Here, we develop an individual based model to quantify rates of multiple infections by a single viral type. We explore different dispersal regimes by varying the viral adsorption rate. High dispersal regimes lead to spatial dynamics and rates of multiple infection equivalent to predictions from mean field models. Local clustering of bacterial hosts occurs for low dispersal. Comparing to mean field, the clustering leads to increased rates of multiple infection and fatter tails in the distribution of the number of internal viruses. The emergence of increased colocalization of viruses with infected hosts leads to these deviations. We show these deviations result from the wave-like spread of viruses when invading clusters of bacteria. Our work represents a key step in understanding the population-level effects of multiple infections.

  19. AIR AND ENERGY ENGINEERING RESEARCH LABORATORY (AEERL) PROCEDURES MANUAL: LEVEL 1 ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT TERRESTRIAL ECOLOGICAL TESTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The manual provides detailed procedures for EPA/AEERL's Level 1 terrestrial bioassays. (Some test methods designated for AEERL's Level 1 environmental assessment biological testing program are sufficiently new that little or no published literature is available describing specifi...

  20. The human dimensions of climate change: A micro-level assessment of views from the ecological modernization, political economy and human ecology perspectives.

    PubMed

    Adua, Lazarus; York, Richard; Schuelke-Leech, Beth-Anne

    2016-03-01

    Understanding the manifold human and physical dimensions of climate change has become an area of great interest to researchers in recent decades. Using a U.S. nationally-representative data set and drawing on the ecological modernization, political economy, and human ecology perspectives, this study examines the impacts of energy efficiency technologies, affluence, household demographics, and biophysical characteristics on residential CO2 emissions. Overall, the study provides mixed support for the ecological modernization perspective. While several findings are consistent with the theory's expectation that modern societies can harness technology to mitigate human impacts on the environment, others directly contradict it. Also, the theory's prediction of an inverted U-shaped relationship between affluence and environmental impacts is contradicted. The evidence is somewhat more supportive of the political economy and human ecology perspectives, with affluence, some indicators of technology, household demographics, and biophysical characteristics emerging as important drivers of residential CO2 emissions. PMID:26857170

  1. Multiple-Choice Exams: An Obstacle for Higher-Level Thinking in Introductory Science Classes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stanger-Hall, Kathrin F.

    2012-01-01

    Learning science requires higher-level (critical) thinking skills that need to be practiced in science classes. This study tested the effect of exam format on critical-thinking skills. Multiple-choice (MC) testing is common in introductory science courses, and students in these classes tend to associate memorization with MC questions and may not…

  2. Coh-Metrix Measures Text Characteristics at Multiple Levels of Language and Discourse

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Graesser, Arthur C.; McNamara, Danielle S.; Cai, Zhiqang; Conley, Mark; Li, Haiying; Pennebaker, James

    2014-01-01

    Coh-Metrix analyzes texts on multiple measures of language and discourse that are aligned with multilevel theoretical frameworks of comprehension. Dozens of measures funnel into five major factors that systematically vary as a function of types of texts (e.g., narrative vs. informational) and grade level: narrativity, syntactic simplicity, word…

  3. The contribution of a niche-based approach to ecological risk assessment: using macroinvertebrate species under multiple stressors.

    PubMed

    Colas, Fanny; Vigneron, Amandine; Felten, Vincent; Devin, Simon

    2014-02-01

    We propose that a niche-based experimental approach at population level could be used to solve some uncertainties in traditional approaches in ecotoxicology. We tested this approach in the context of multiple stressors (i.e. chemical and physical) in a selection of six run-of-river reservoirs with different levels of sediment contamination and associated upstream and downstream river sites. A niche-based approach was tested using three functional traits (habitat, food preferences and body size) and discrepancy between the realized and theoretical niches. We first identified three groups of taxa and then recorded differences along the disturbance gradients, such as an increase in competition, a narrowing of spatial and trophic niche breadth (e.g. of Leuctra major and Gammarus pulex), a widening of spatial niche breadth (e.g. of Ephemerella ignita), a greater proportion of small individuals (e.g. of G. pulex) and a decreasing or an increasing (e.g. L. major) discrepancy between realized and theoretical niches. PMID:24212068

  4. Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera) have low infestation levels of the mite Varroa destructor in different ecological regions in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Medina-Flores, C A; Guzmán-Novoa, E; Hamiduzzaman, M M; Aréchiga-Flores, C F; López-Carlos, M A

    2014-01-01

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies of African and European descent were compared for levels of Varroa destructor infestation in 3 different ecological regions in Mexico. The 300 colonies that were studied were located in subtropical, temperate sub-humid, and temperate dry climates. The morphotype and mitotype of adult bees as well as their rates of infestation by varroa mites were determined. Additionally, the number of combs with brood and covered with bees was recorded for each colony. The highest frequency of colonies that were classified as African-derived was found in the subtropical environment, whereas the lowest occurred in the temperate dry region. Overall, the colonies of African genotype had significantly lower mite infestation rates (3.5±0.34%) than the colonies of European genotype (4.7±0.49%) regardless of the region sampled. Significant effects of genotype and region on Varroa infestation rates were evident, and there were no differences in bee population or capped brood between genotypes. Mite infestation levels were significantly lower in the colonies of the temperate dry region than in the colonies of the other 2 regions. These results are discussed within the context of results from studies that were previously conducted in Brazil. This is the first study that demonstrates the effects of Africanization and ecological environment on V. destructor infestation rates in honey bee colonies in North America. PMID:24634296

  5. Instantiating the multiple levels of analysis perspective in a program of study on externalizing behavior

    PubMed Central

    Beauchaine, Theodore P.; Gatzke-Kopp, Lisa M.

    2014-01-01

    During the last quarter century, developmental psychopathology has become increasingly inclusive and now spans disciplines ranging from psychiatric genetics to primary prevention. As a result, developmental psychopathologists have extended traditional diathesis–stress and transactional models to include causal processes at and across all relevant levels of analysis. Such research is embodied in what is known as the multiple levels of analysis perspective. We describe how multiple levels of analysis research has informed our current thinking about antisocial and borderline personality development among trait impulsive and therefore vulnerable individuals. Our approach extends the multiple levels of analysis perspective beyond simple Biology × Environment interactions by evaluating impulsivity across physiological systems (genetic, autonomic, hormonal, neural), psychological constructs (social, affective, motivational), developmental epochs (preschool, middle childhood, adolescence, adulthood), sexes (male, female), and methods of inquiry (self-report, informant report, treatment outcome, cardiovascular, electrophysiological, neuroimaging). By conducting our research using any and all available methods across these levels of analysis, we have arrived at a developmental model of trait impulsivity that we believe confers a greater understanding of this highly heritable trait and captures at least some heterogeneity in key behavioral outcomes, including delinquency and suicide. PMID:22781868

  6. Neuroactive steroid levels in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid of male multiple sclerosis patients.

    PubMed

    Caruso, Donatella; Melis, Marta; Fenu, Giuseppe; Giatti, Silvia; Romano, Simone; Grimoldi, Maria; Crippa, Donatella; Marrosu, Maria Giovanna; Cavaletti, Guido; Melcangi, Roberto Cosimo

    2014-08-01

    Neuroactive steroid family includes molecules synthesized in peripheral glands (i.e., hormonal steroids) and directly in the nervous system (i.e., neurosteroids) which are key regulators of the nervous function. As already reported in clinical and experimental studies, neurodegenerative diseases affect the levels of neuroactive steroids. However, a careful analysis comparing the levels of these molecules in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and in plasma of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients is still missing. To this aim, the levels of neuroactive steroids were evaluated by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry in CSF and plasma of male adults affected by Relapsing-Remitting MS and compared with those collected in control patients. An increase in pregnenolone and isopregnanolone levels associated with a decrease in progesterone metabolites, dihydroprogesterone, and tetrahydroprogesterone was observed in CSF of MS patients. Moreover, an increase of 5α-androstane-3α,17β-diol and of 17β-estradiol levels associated with a decrease of dihydrotestosterone also occurred. In plasma, an increase in pregnenolone, progesterone, and dihydrotestosterone and a decrease in dihydroprogesterone and tetrahydroprogesterone levels were reported. This study shows for the first time that the levels of several neuroactive steroids, and particularly those of progesterone and testosterone metabolites, are deeply affected in CSF of relapsing-remitting MS male patients. We here demonstrated that, the cerebrospinal fluid and plasma levels of several neuroactive steroids are modified in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis male patients. Interestingly, we reported for the first time that, the levels of progesterone and testosterone metabolites are deeply affected in cerebrospinal fluid. These findings may have an important relevance in therapeutic and/or diagnostic field of multiple sclerosis. PMID:24766130

  7. The initial rise method extended to multiple trapping levels in thermoluminescent materials.

    PubMed

    Furetta, C; Guzmán, S; Ruiz, B; Cruz-Zaragoza, E

    2011-02-01

    The well known Initial Rise Method (IR) is commonly used to determine the activation energy when only one glow peak is presented and analysed in the phosphor materials. However, when the glow peak is more complex, a wide peak and some holders appear in the structure. The application of the Initial Rise Method is not valid because multiple trapping levels are considered and then the thermoluminescent analysis becomes difficult to perform. This paper shows the case of a complex glow curve structure as an example and shows that the calculation is also possible using the IR method. The aim of the paper is to extend the well known Initial Rise Method (IR) to the case of multiple trapping levels. The IR method is applied to minerals extracted from Nopal cactus and Oregano spices because the thermoluminescent glow curve's shape suggests a trap distribution instead of a single trapping level. PMID:21051238

  8. Improving the Readability of ASR Results for Lectures Using Multiple Hypotheses and Sentence-Level Knowledge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujii, Yasuhisa; Yamamoto, Kazumasa; Nakagawa, Seiichi

    This paper presents a novel method for improving the readability of automatic speech recognition (ASR) results for classroom lectures. Because speech in a classroom is spontaneous and contains many ill-formed utterances with various disfluencies, the ASR result should be edited to improve the readability before presenting it to users, by applying some operations such as removing disfluencies, determining sentence boundaries, inserting punctuation marks and repairing dropped words. Owing to the presence of many kinds of domain-dependent words and casual styles, even state-of-the-art recognizers can only achieve a 30-50% word error rate for speech in classroom lectures. Therefore, a method for improving the readability of ASR results is needed to make it robust to recognition errors. We can use multiple hypotheses instead of the single-best hypothesis as a method to achieve a robust response to recognition errors. However, if the multiple hypotheses are represented by a lattice (or a confusion network), it is difficult to utilize sentence-level knowledge, such as chunking and dependency parsing, which are imperative for determining the discourse structure and therefore imperative for improving readability. In this paper, we propose a novel algorithm that infers clean, readable transcripts from spontaneous multiple hypotheses represented by a confusion network while integrating sentence-level knowledge. Automatic and manual evaluations showed that using multiple hypotheses and sentence-level knowledge is effective to improve the readability of ASR results, while preserving the understandability.

  9. Multiple constraints on ecological restoration: Re-establishment of black grama grass (Bouteloua eriopoda) after intensive grazing

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Climate change may alter potential ecological restoration of semi-arid rangeland. Bouteloua eriopoda (black grama, BOER) is a perennial C4 grass that usually fails to re-establish in degraded rangeland and may be constrained by increased atmospheric CO2 and reduced or seasonally redistributed rainfa...

  10. RESEARCH TO PREDICT CHANGES IN WATERSHED PHYSICAL, CHEMICAL, BIOLOGICAL AND ECOLOGICAL CONDITIONS RESULTING FROM MULTIPLE STRESSORS. AN INTEGRATED APPROACH.

    EPA Science Inventory

    The goal of environmental management must be to achieve acceptable sustainability of ecological resources. To achieve this goal there is a need to understand and predict the relationship of ecosystem response to the magnitude and timing of anthropogenic and natural stresses. The ...

  11. Topology-optimized multiple-disk resonators obtained using level set expression incorporating surface effects.

    PubMed

    Fujii, Garuda; Ueta, Tsuyoshi; Mizuno, Mamoru; Nakamura, Masayuki

    2015-05-01

    Topology-optimized designs of multiple-disk resonators are presented using level-set expression that incorporates surface effects. Effects from total internal reflection at the surfaces of the dielectric disks are precisely simulated by modeling clearly defined dielectric boundaries during topology optimization. The electric field intensity in optimal resonators increases to more than four and a half times the initial intensity in a resonant state, whereas in some cases the Q factor increases by three and a half times that for the initial state. Wavelength-scale link structures between neighboring disks improve the performance of the multiple-disk resonators. PMID:25969226

  12. Adverse Outcome Pathways and Ecological Risk Assessment: Bridging to Population-Level Effects

    SciTech Connect

    Kramer, Vincent J.; Etterson, Matthew A.; Hecker, Markus; Murphy, Cheryl A.; Roesijadi, Guritno; Spade, Daniel J.; Spromberg, Julann A.; Wang, Magnus; Ankley, Gerald T.

    2010-11-24

    The viability of populations of plants and animals is a key focus for environmental regulation. Population-level responses integrate the cumulative effects of chemical stressors on individuals as those individuals interact with and are affected by their con-specifics, competitors, predators, prey, habitat and other biotic and abiotic factors. Models of population-level effects of contaminants can integrate information from lower levels of biological organization and feed that information into higher-level community and ecosystem models. As individual-level endpoints are utilized to predict population responses, this requires that biological responses at lower levels of organization be translated into a form that is useable by the population modeler. In this paper we describe how mechanistic data, as captured in adverse outcome pathways, can be translated into modeling focused on population-level risk assessments. First, we present a succinct overview of different approaches to population modeling, and discuss the types of data needed for these models. Then we discuss how toxicity data are used currently for population modeling, and provide recommendations as to how testing might be modified to better generate information to support modeling. From this we describe how different key processes measured at the level of the individual serve as the bridge between mechanistic toxicology data and predictions of population status, and provide case examples of how this linkage has been/can be achieved.

  13. Comparison of Single-Level and Multiple-Level Outcomes of Total Disc Arthroplasty: 24-Month Results

    PubMed Central

    Ritter-Lang, Karsten; Gössel, Lutz; Dreßler, Nadine

    2015-01-01

    Background Low back pain is one of the most prevalent problems in industrialized countries, affecting as many as 80% of all adults at some time in their lives. Among the significant contributors to low back pain is degenerative disc disease (DDD). Although fusion has been well accepted for treatment of DDD, high rates of complications and stress to adjacent segments remain a concern. Lumbar total disc replacement (TDR) was developed with a goal of preserving motion and avoiding various fusion-related complications, but the relative merits of single vs. multiple level arthroplasty remain unclear. Methods This is a multi-center, single arm, prospective post-market registry of the M6-L, consisting of consecutive patients presenting with lumbar DDD who agreed to participate. This paper reports on those patients who have completed at least 24 months of followup to date. Clinical outcome measures include the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and back and leg Visual Analogue Scales (VAS). Radiographic analysis of disc angle and range of motion (ROM) was also performed. Results Results for 83 patients comprising 121 implants in two cohorts (49 single level (SL), 34 multiple levels (ML)) are reported. Both cohorts experienced significant improvement at 24 months including significant decreases in ODI and VAS. Relative to SL procedures, ML procedures demonstrated either comparable results, or results that trended favorably towards the ML procedures. Index and global ROM at 24 months were not significantly different between the two cohorts, while the disc angles were larger in the SL cohort regardless of index level. Conclusions This is the first study to report clinical and radiographic outcomes of TDR with the M6-L in SL vs ML procedures with two years of followup. The results suggest initial device safety and effectiveness when used for the treatment of lumbar degenerative disc disease at one or more levels. PMID:26056629

  14. Ecological, Pedagogical, Public Rhetoric

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rivers, Nathaniel A.; Weber, Ryan P.

    2011-01-01

    Public rhetoric pedagogy can benefit from an ecological perspective that sees change as advocated not through a single document but through multiple mundane and monumental texts. This article summarizes various approaches to rhetorical ecology, offers an ecological read of the Montgomery bus boycotts, and concludes with pedagogical insights on a…

  15. Levels of uninvolved immunoglobulins predict clinical status and progression-free survival for multiple myeloma patients.

    PubMed

    Harutyunyan, Nika M; Vardanyan, Suzie; Ghermezi, Michael; Gottlieb, Jillian; Berenson, Ariana; Andreu-Vieyra, Claudia; Berenson, James R

    2016-07-01

    Multiple myeloma (MM) is characterized by the enhanced production of the same monoclonal immunoglobulin (M-Ig or M protein). Techniques such as serum protein electrophoresis and nephelometry are routinely used to quantify levels of this protein in the serum of MM patients. However, these methods are not without their shortcomings and problems accurately quantifying M proteins remain. Precise quantification of the types and levels of M-Ig present is critical to monitoring patient response to therapy. In this study, we investigated the ability of the HevyLite (HLC) immunoassay to correlate with clinical status based on levels of involved and uninvolved antibodies. In our cohort of MM patients, we observed that significantly higher ratios and greater differences of involved HLC levels compared to uninvolved HLC levels correlated with a worse clinical status. Similarly, higher absolute levels of involved HLC antibodies and lower levels of uninvolved HLC antibodies also correlated with a worse clinical status and a shorter progression-free survival. These findings suggest that the HLC assay is a useful and a promising tool for determining the clinical status and survival time for patients with multiple myeloma. PMID:27017948

  16. A multiple lines of evidence approach for the ecological risk assessment of an accidental bitumen release from a steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) well in the Athabasca oil sands region.

    PubMed

    Berger, Robert G; Aslund, Melissa Whitfield; Sanders, Greg; Charlebois, Michael; Knopper, Loren D; Bresee, Karl E

    2016-01-15

    To assess the ecological impacts of two independent accidental bitumen releases from two steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) wells in the Athabasca oil sands region, a multiple lines of evidence (LOE) approach was developed. Following the release in 2010, action was taken to minimize environmental impact, including the selective removal of the most highly impacted vegetation and the use of oil socks to minimize possible runoff. An ecological risk assessment (ERA) was then conducted based on reported concentrations of bitumen related contaminants in soil, vegetation, and water. Results of biological assessments conducted at the site were also included in the risk characterization. Overall, the conclusion of the ERA was that the likelihood of long-term adverse health effects to ecological receptors in the area was negligible. To provide evidence for this conclusion, a small mammal sampling plan targeting Southern red-back voles (Myodes gapperi) was carried out at two sites and two relevant reference areas. Voles were readily collected at all locations and no statistically significant differences in morphometric measurements (i.e., body mass, length, foot length, and adjusted liver weight) were found between animals collected from impact zones of varying levels of coverage. Additionally, no trends corresponding with bitumen coverage were observed with respect to metal body burden in voles for metals that were previously identified in the source bitumen. Hepatic ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity was statistically significantly elevated in voles collected from the high impact zones of sites compared to those collected from the reference areas, a finding that is indicative of continued exposure to contaminants. However, this increase in EROD was not correlated with any observable adverse population-wide biological outcomes. Therefore the biological sampling program supported the conclusion of the initial ERA and supported the hypothesis of no significant

  17. ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT WORKSHOP

    EPA Science Inventory

    As ecological risk assessment evolves, it is moving beyond focus on single species toward addressing multiple species and their interactions, and from assessing effects of simple chemical toxicity to the cumulative impacts of multiple interacting chemical, physical, and biologica...

  18. Serum Vitamin B12 and thyroid hormone levels in Saudi patients with multiple sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Al-Khamis, Fahd A.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: To determine the relationship between Vitamin B12 levels and thyroid hormones in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Materials and Methods: One hundred and ten patients with MS were recruited for this study after Institutional Review Board approval. All patients signed a written informed consent form and donated a single blood sample. Plasma Vitamin B12 levels, triiodothyronine (T3), and thyroxine (T4) hormone levels were measured. Data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software. Results: Analysis of Vitamin B12 levels in 110 patients with MS revealed that 65% had normal levels of Vitamin B12 (200–900 pg/ml), 30% had low levels of Vitamin B12 (<200 pg/ml), and 5% high levels of Vitamin B12 (higher than 900 pg/ml). Further analysis of patients with low levels of Vitamin B12 revealed that this cohort exhibited a significantly high number of patients with low levels of the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) (P < 0.005). Conclusion: This study suggests a relationship between Vitamin B12 levels and thyroid hormones. This opens the possibility that the use of therapies that increase triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) levels might be beneficial to patients with MS. PMID:27625581

  19. Structural invariance of multiple intelligences, based on the level of execution.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Leandro S; Prieto, María Dolores; Ferreira, Arístides; Ferrando, Mercedes; Ferrandiz, Carmen; Bermejo, Rosario; Hernández, Daniel

    2011-11-01

    The independence of multiple intelligences (MI) of Gardner's theory has been debated since its conception. This article examines whether the one- factor structure of the MI theory tested in previous studies is invariant for low and high ability students. Two hundred ninety-four children (aged 5 to 7) participated in this study. A set of Gardner's Multiple Intelligence assessment tasks based on the Spectrum Project was used. To analyze the invariance of a general dimension of intelligence, the different models of behaviours were studied in samples of participants with different performance on the Spectrum Project tasks with Multi-Group Confirmatory Factor Analysis (MGCFA). Results suggest an absence of structural invariance in Gardner's tasks. Exploratory analyses suggest a three-factor structure for individuals with higher performance levels and a two-factor structure for individuals with lower performance levels. PMID:22047880

  20. Formation of multiple levels of porous silicon for buried insulators and conductors in silicon device technologies

    DOEpatents

    Blewer, Robert S.; Gullinger, Terry R.; Kelly, Michael J.; Tsao, Sylvia S.

    1991-01-01

    A method of forming a multiple level porous silicon substrate for semiconductor integrated circuits including anodizing non-porous silicon layers of a multi-layer silicon substrate to form multiple levels of porous silicon. At least one porous silicon layer is then oxidized to form an insulating layer and at least one other layer of porous silicon beneath the insulating layer is metallized to form a buried conductive layer. Preferably the insulating layer and conductive layer are separated by an anodization barrier formed of non-porous silicon. By etching through the anodization barrier and subsequently forming a metallized conductive layer, a fully or partially insulated buried conductor may be fabricated under single crystal silicon.

  1. Adverse Outcome Pathways and Ecological Risk Assessment: Bridging to Population Level Effects, Journal Article

    EPA Science Inventory

    The viability of populations of plants and animals is a key focus for environmental regulation. Population-level responses integrate the cumulative effects of chemical stressors on individuals as those individuals interact with and are affected by their con-specifics, competitor...

  2. Adverse Outcome Pathways and Ecological Risk Assessment: Bridging to Population Level Effects

    EPA Science Inventory

    The viability of populations of plants and animals is a key focus for environmental regulation. Population-level responses integrate the cumulative effects of chemical stressors on individuals as those individuals interact with and are affected by their con-specifics, competitor...

  3. Effect of Dietary Protein Levels on Composition of Odorous Compounds and Bacterial Ecology in Pig Manure.

    PubMed

    Cho, Sungback; Hwang, Okhwa; Park, Sungkwon

    2015-09-01

    This study was performed to investigate the effect of different levels of dietary crude protein (CP) on composition of odorous compounds and bacterial communities in pig manure. A total of 48 male pigs (average initial body weight 45 kg) fed diets containing three levels of dietary CP (20%, 17.5%, and 15%) and their slurry samples were collected from the pits under the floor every week for one month. Changes in composition of odorous compounds and bacterial communities were analyzed by gas chromatography and 454 FLX titanium pyrosequencing systems, respectively. Levels of phenols, indoles, short chain fatty acid and branched chain fatty acid were lowest (p<0.05) in CP 15% group among three CP levels. Relative abundance of Bacteroidetes phylum and bacterial genera including Leuconostoc, Bacillus, Atopostipes, Peptonphilus, Ruminococcaceae_uc, Bacteroides, and Pseudomonas was lower (p<0.05) in CP 15% than in CP 20% group. There was a positive correlation (p<0.05) between odorous compounds and bacterial genera: phenol, indole, iso-butyric acid, and iso-valeric acid with Atopostipes, p-cresol and skatole with Bacteroides, acetic acid and butyric acid with AM982595_g of Porphyromonadaceae family, and propionic acid with Tissierella. Taken together, administration of 15% CP showed less production of odorous compounds than 20% CP group and this result might be associated with the changes in bacterial communities especially whose roles in protein metabolism. PMID:26194219

  4. Effect of Dietary Protein Levels on Composition of Odorous Compounds and Bacterial Ecology in Pig Manure

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Sungback; Hwang, Okhwa; Park, Sungkwon

    2015-01-01

    This study was performed to investigate the effect of different levels of dietary crude protein (CP) on composition of odorous compounds and bacterial communities in pig manure. A total of 48 male pigs (average initial body weight 45 kg) fed diets containing three levels of dietary CP (20%, 17.5%, and 15%) and their slurry samples were collected from the pits under the floor every week for one month. Changes in composition of odorous compounds and bacterial communities were analyzed by gas chromatography and 454 FLX titanium pyrosequencing systems, respectively. Levels of phenols, indoles, short chain fatty acid and branched chain fatty acid were lowest (p<0.05) in CP 15% group among three CP levels. Relative abundance of Bacteroidetes phylum and bacterial genera including Leuconostoc, Bacillus, Atopostipes, Peptonphilus, Ruminococcaceae_uc, Bacteroides, and Pseudomonas was lower (p<0.05) in CP 15% than in CP 20% group. There was a positive correlation (p<0.05) between odorous compounds and bacterial genera: phenol, indole, iso-butyric acid, and iso-valeric acid with Atopostipes, p-cresol and skatole with Bacteroides, acetic acid and butyric acid with AM982595_g of Porphyromonadaceae family, and propionic acid with Tissierella. Taken together, administration of 15% CP showed less production of odorous compounds than 20% CP group and this result might be associated with the changes in bacterial communities especially whose roles in protein metabolism. PMID:26194219

  5. A Graphical Framework for Specification of Clinical Guidelines at Multiple Representation Levels

    PubMed Central

    Shalom, Erez; Shahar, Yuval

    2005-01-01

    Formalization of a clinical guideline for purposes of automated application and quality assessment mainly involves conversion of its free-text representation into a machine comprehensible representation, i.e., a formal language, thus enabling automated support. The main issues involved in this process are related to the collaboration between the expert physician and the knowledge engineer. We introduce GESHER - a graphical framework for specification of clinical guidelines at multiple representation levels. The GESHER architecture facilitates incremental specification through a set of views adapted to each representation level, enabling this process to proceed smoothly and in a transparent fashion, fostering extensive collaboration among the various types of users. The GESHER framework supports specification of guidelines at multiple representation levels, in more than one specification language, and uses the DeGeL digital guideline library architecture as its knowledge base. The GESHER architecture also uses a temporal abstraction knowledge base to store its declarative knowledge, and a standard medical-vocabularies server for generic specification of key terms, thus enabling reuse of the specification at multiple sites. PMID:16779126

  6. [Urban ecological risk assessment: a review].

    PubMed

    Wang, Mei-E; Chen, Wei-Ping; Peng, Chi

    2014-03-01

    With the development of urbanization and the degradation of urban living environment, urban ecological risks caused by urbanization have attracted more and more attentions. Based on urban ecology principles and ecological risk assessment frameworks, contents of urban ecological risk assessment were reviewed in terms of driven forces, risk resources, risk receptors, endpoints and integrated approaches for risk assessment. It was suggested that types and degrees of urban economical and social activities were the driven forces for urban ecological risks. Ecological functional components at different levels in urban ecosystems as well as the urban system as a whole were the risk receptors. Assessment endpoints involved in changes of urban ecological structures, processes, functional components and the integrity of characteristic and function. Social-ecological models should be the major approaches for urban ecological risk assessment. Trends for urban ecological risk assessment study should focus on setting a definite protection target and criteria corresponding to assessment endpoints, establishing a multiple-parameter assessment system and integrative assessment approaches. PMID:24984514

  7. PATTERNS OF EMOTIONAL AVAILABILITY IN MOTHER-INFANT DYADS: ASSOCIATIONS WITH MULTIPLE LEVELS OF CONTEXT.

    PubMed

    Mingo, M Verónica; Easterbrooks, M Ann

    2015-01-01

    This study explored emotional availability (EA)- an individual's emotional responsiveness and attunement to another's needs and goals (R.N. Emde, 1980)- among a high social risk group of 226 adolescent mothers and their infants (average = 12 months old). The aim was to identify dyadic patterns of EA and to examine their association with multiple indicators of the ecological context. Maternal sensitivity, maternal nonhostility, and child responsiveness were assessed with the Emotional Availability Scales, Third Edition (Z. Biringen, J. Robinson, & R.N. Emde, 1998) during free play and teaching observations at home. Four EA patterns were identified using k-means cluster analysis: (a) "low functioning," (b) "high functioning," (c) "low functioning dyads with nonhostile mothers," and (d) "inconsistently sensitive mother and responsive child." These patterns had distinct associations with (a) mothers' parenting attitudes regarding children's power and independence and parent-child role reversal, (b) mothers' strategies in conflict resolution with their partners and their children, and (c) the dyads' living arrangements. This study makes a contribution to the understanding of the mother-child relationship from a systemic and relational perspective and explores the association of EA patterns with the dyads' relational context. Implications for programs and treatment approaches aimed at supporting dyads at social risk are discussed. PMID:26331847

  8. Physically feasible three-level transitionless quantum driving with multiple Schrödinger dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Xue-Ke; Ai, Qing; Qiu, Jing; Deng, Fu-Guo

    2016-05-01

    Three-level quantum systems, which possess some unique characteristics beyond two-level ones, such as electromagnetically induced transparency, coherent trapping, and Raman scatting, play important roles in solid-state quantum information processing. Here, we introduce an approach to implement the physically feasible three-level transitionless quantum driving with multiple Schrödinger dynamics (MSDs). It can be used to control accurately population transfer and entanglement generation for three-level quantum systems in a nonadiabatic way. Moreover, we propose an experimentally realizable hybrid architecture, based on two nitrogen-vacancy-center ensembles coupled to a transmission line resonator, to realize our transitionless scheme which requires fewer physical resources and simple procedures, and it is more robust against environmental noises and control parameter variations than conventional adiabatic passage techniques. All these features inspire the further application of MSDs on robust quantum information processing in experiment.

  9. Electromagnetically induced transparency in an inhomogeneously broadened {Lambda} transition with multiple excited levels

    SciTech Connect

    Mishina, O. S.; Scherman, M.; Lombardi, P.; Ortalo, J.; Bramati, A.; Laurat, J.; Giacobino, E.; Felinto, D.; Sheremet, A. S.; Kupriyanov, D. V.

    2011-05-15

    Electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) has mainly been modeled for three-level systems. In particular, considerable interest has been dedicated to the {Lambda} configuration, with two ground states and one excited state. However, in the alkali-metal atoms, which are commonly used, the hyperfine interaction in the excited state introduces several levels which simultaneously participate in the scattering process. When the Doppler broadening is comparable with the hyperfine splitting in the upper state, the three-level {Lambda} model does not reproduce the experimental results. Here we theoretically investigate the EIT in a hot vapor of alkali-metal atoms and demonstrate that it can be strongly reduced by the presence of multiple excited levels. Given this model, we also show that well-designed optical pumping enables us to significantly recover the transparency.

  10. Ecological genomics meets community-level modelling of biodiversity: mapping the genomic landscape of current and future environmental adaptation.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, Matthew C; Keller, Stephen R

    2015-01-01

    Local adaptation is a central feature of most species occupying spatially heterogeneous environments, and may factor critically in responses to environmental change. However, most efforts to model the response of species to climate change ignore intraspecific variation due to local adaptation. Here, we present a new perspective on spatial modelling of organism-environment relationships that combines genomic data and community-level modelling to develop scenarios regarding the geographic distribution of genomic variation in response to environmental change. Rather than modelling species within communities, we use these techniques to model large numbers of loci across genomes. Using balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera) as a case study, we demonstrate how our framework can accommodate nonlinear responses of loci to environmental gradients. We identify a threshold response to temperature in the circadian clock gene GIGANTEA-5 (GI5), suggesting that this gene has experienced strong local adaptation to temperature. We also demonstrate how these methods can map ecological adaptation from genomic data, including the identification of predicted differences in the genetic composition of populations under current and future climates. Community-level modelling of genomic variation represents an important advance in landscape genomics and spatial modelling of biodiversity that moves beyond species-level assessments of climate change vulnerability. PMID:25270536

  11. Understanding epigenetic regulation: Tracking protein levels across multiple generations of cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rowat, A. C.; Weitz, D. A.

    2009-11-01

    Cells and organisms are remarkably robust: they alter the variety and levels of expressed genes and proteins in response to environmental stimuli, including temperature, chemicals, and the stiffness of their surroundings. Ultimately changes in gene and protein expression can result in a distinct phenotypic state, which in some cases is maintained over multiple generations; the ability to pass on a particular phenotypic state to progeny cells is critical for differentiation. Moreover, epigenetic regulation of phenotype is also thought to provide an evolutionary advantage for a population of cells adapting to a fluctuating environment on faster timescales than the occurrence of genetic mutations. However, simple methods to study patterns of gene and protein expression on multi-generational timescales are sparse. Here we describe a technique to study lineages of single cells over multiple generations using a microfluidic device; this reveals patterns of expression where protein levels are correlated across multiple generations. Such quantitative information of protein expression in the context of pedigree remains hidden when studying the population as an ensemble.

  12. Managing multiple non-point pressures on water quality and ecological habitat: Spatially targeting effective mitigation actions at the landscape scale.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reaney, S. M.

    2014-12-01

    Catchment systems deliver many benefits to society and ecology but also produce a range of undesirable externalities including flooding, diffuse pollution from agriculture, forestry and urban areas and the export of FIOs. These diffuse pressures are coupled with increasing stream temperature pressures on river from projected climate change. These pressures can be reduced through actions at the landscape scale but are often tackled individually. Any intervention may have benefits for other pressures and hence the challenge is to consider all of the different pressures simultaneously to find solutions with high levels of cross-pressure benefits. The general approach taken within this research has been to use simple but spatially distributed models to predict the pattern of each of the pressures at the landscape scale. These models follow a minimum information requirement approach along the lines of the SCIMAP modelling approach (www.scimap.org.uk). This approach aims to capture the key features of the processes in relative rather than an absolute sense and hence is good at determining key locations to act within a landscape for maximum benefit. The core of the approach is to define the critical sources areas for each pressure based on the analysis of the pattern of the pressure in the landscape and the connectivity from the sources areas to the rivers and lakes. To identify the optimal locations with the landscape for mitigation actions, the benefit of a mitigation action at each location in the landscape needs to be considered. However, as one action has been made, it may change the suitability of other locations in the landscape. For example, as tree cover reduces the temperature in one river reach, the impacts of this cooling are transported downstream with the flow. Therefore, actions need to be considered in sets across multiple sites and objectives to identify the optimal actions set. These modelling results are integrated into a decision support tool which

  13. The impact of multiple low-level BCR-ABL1 mutations on response to ponatinib

    PubMed Central

    Yeung, David T. O.; Yeoman, Alexandra L.; Altamura, Haley K.; Jamison, Bronte A.; Field, Chani R.; Hodgson, J. Graeme; Lustgarten, Stephanie; Rivera, Victor M.; Hughes, Timothy P.; Branford, Susan

    2016-01-01

    The third-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) ponatinib shows activity against all common BCR-ABL1 single mutants, including the highly resistant BCR-ABL1-T315I mutant, improving outcome for patients with refractory chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). However, responses are variable, and causal baseline factors have not been well-studied. The type and number of low-level BCR-ABL1 mutations present after imatinib resistance has prognostic significance for subsequent treatment with nilotinib or dasatinib as second-line therapy. We therefore investigated the impact of low-level mutations detected by sensitive mass-spectrometry before ponatinib initiation (baseline) on treatment response in 363 TKI-resistant patients enrolled in the PONATINIB for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Evaluation and Ph+ Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia trial, including 231 patients in chronic phase (CP-CML). Low-level mutations were detected in 53 patients (15%, including low-level T315I in 14 patients); most, however, did not undergo clonal expansion during ponatinib treatment and, moreover, no specific individual mutations were associated with inferior outcome. We demonstrate however, that the number of mutations detectable by mass spectrometry after TKI resistance is associated with response to ponatinib treatment and could be used to refine the therapeutic approach. Although CP-CML patients with T315I (63/231, 27%) had superior responses overall, those with multiple mutations detectable by mass spectrometry (20, 32%) had substantially inferior responses compared with those with T315I as the sole mutation detected (43, 68%). In contrast, for CP-CML patients without T315I, the inferior responses previously observed with nilotinib/dasatinib therapy for imatinib-resistant patients with multiple mutations were not seen with ponatinib treatment, suggesting that ponatinib may prove to be particularly advantageous for patients with multiple mutations detectable by mass spectrometry after TKI resistance

  14. The impact of multiple low-level BCR-ABL1 mutations on response to ponatinib.

    PubMed

    Parker, Wendy T; Yeung, David T O; Yeoman, Alexandra L; Altamura, Haley K; Jamison, Bronte A; Field, Chani R; Hodgson, J Graeme; Lustgarten, Stephanie; Rivera, Victor M; Hughes, Timothy P; Branford, Susan

    2016-04-14

    The third-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) ponatinib shows activity against all common BCR-ABL1 single mutants, including the highly resistant BCR-ABL1-T315I mutant, improving outcome for patients with refractory chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). However, responses are variable, and causal baseline factors have not been well-studied. The type and number of low-level BCR-ABL1 mutations present after imatinib resistance has prognostic significance for subsequent treatment with nilotinib or dasatinib as second-line therapy. We therefore investigated the impact of low-level mutations detected by sensitive mass-spectrometry before ponatinib initiation (baseline) on treatment response in 363 TKI-resistant patients enrolled in the PONATINIB for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Evaluation and Ph(+)Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia trial, including 231 patients in chronic phase (CP-CML). Low-level mutations were detected in 53 patients (15%, including low-level T315I in 14 patients); most, however, did not undergo clonal expansion during ponatinib treatment and, moreover, no specific individual mutations were associated with inferior outcome. We demonstrate however, that the number of mutations detectable by mass spectrometry after TKI resistance is associated with response to ponatinib treatment and could be used to refine the therapeutic approach. Although CP-CML patients with T315I (63/231, 27%) had superior responses overall, those with multiple mutations detectable by mass spectrometry (20, 32%) had substantially inferior responses compared with those with T315I as the sole mutation detected (43, 68%). In contrast, for CP-CML patients without T315I, the inferior responses previously observed with nilotinib/dasatinib therapy for imatinib-resistant patients with multiple mutations were not seen with ponatinib treatment, suggesting that ponatinib may prove to be particularly advantageous for patients with multiple mutations detectable by mass spectrometry after TKI resistance

  15. Biologically Motivated Novel Localization Paradigm by High-Level Multiple Object Recognition in Panoramic Images

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Sungho; Shim, Min-Sheob

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents the novel paradigm of a global localization method motivated by human visual systems (HVSs). HVSs actively use the information of the object recognition results for self-position localization and for viewing direction. The proposed localization paradigm consisted of three parts: panoramic image acquisition, multiple object recognition, and grid-based localization. Multiple object recognition information from panoramic images is utilized in the localization part. High-level object information was useful not only for global localization, but also for robot-object interactions. The metric global localization (position, viewing direction) was conducted based on the bearing information of recognized objects from just one panoramic image. The feasibility of the novel localization paradigm was validated experimentally. PMID:26457323

  16. Measuring the engagement level of children for multiple intelligence test using Kinect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Dongjin; Yun, Woo han; Park, Chan kyu; Yoon, H.; Kim, Jaehong; Park, C. H.

    2015-02-01

    In this paper, we present an affect recognition system for measuring the engagement level of children using the Kinect while performing a multiple intelligence test on a computer. First of all, we recorded 12 children while solving the test and manually created a ground truth data for the engagement levels of each child. For a feature extraction, Kinect for Windows SDK provides support for a user segmentation and skeleton tracking so that we can get 3D joint positions of an upper-body skeleton of a child. After analyzing movement of children, the engagement level of children's responses is classified into two classes: High or Low. We present the classification results using the proposed features and identify the significant features in measuring the engagement.

  17. Genetic variants are major determinants of CSF antibody levels in multiple sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Pauwels, Ine; Gustavsen, Marte W.; van Son, Brechtje; Hilven, Kelly; Bos, Steffan D.; Celius, Elisabeth Gulowsen; Berg-Hansen, Pål; Aarseth, Jan; Myhr, Kjell-Morten; D’Alfonso, Sandra; Barizzone, Nadia; Leone, Maurizio A.; Martinelli Boneschi, Filippo; Sorosina, Melissa; Liberatore, Giuseppe; Kockum, Ingrid; Olsson, Tomas; Hillert, Jan; Alfredsson, Lars; Bedri, Sahl Khalid; Hemmer, Bernhard; Buck, Dorothea; Berthele, Achim; Knier, Benjamin; Biberacher, Viola; van Pesch, Vincent; Sindic, Christian; Bang Oturai, Annette; Søndergaard, Helle Bach; Sellebjerg, Finn; Jensen, Poul Erik H.; Comabella, Manuel; Montalban, Xavier; Pérez-Boza, Jennifer; Malhotra, Sunny; Lechner-Scott, Jeannette; Broadley, Simon; Slee, Mark; Taylor, Bruce; Kermode, Allan G.; Gourraud, Pierre-Antoine; Sawcer, Stephen J.; Andreassen, Bettina Kullle; Dubois, Bénédicte; Harbo, Hanne F.

    2015-01-01

    Immunological hallmarks of multiple sclerosis include the production of antibodies in the central nervous system, expressed as presence of oligoclonal bands and/or an increased immunoglobulin G index—the level of immunoglobulin G in the cerebrospinal fluid compared to serum. However, the underlying differences between oligoclonal band-positive and -negative patients with multiple sclerosis and reasons for variability in immunoglobulin G index are not known. To identify genetic factors influencing the variation in the antibody levels in the cerebrospinal fluid in multiple sclerosis, we have performed a genome-wide association screen in patients collected from nine countries for two traits, presence or absence of oligoclonal bands (n = 3026) and immunoglobulin G index levels (n = 938), followed by a replication in 3891 additional patients. We replicate previously suggested association signals for oligoclonal band status in the major histocompatibility complex region for the rs9271640*A-rs6457617*G haplotype, correlated with HLA-DRB1*1501, and rs34083746*G, correlated with HLA-DQA1*0301 (P comparing two haplotypes = 8.88 × 10−16). Furthermore, we identify a novel association signal of rs9807334, near the ELAC1/SMAD4 genes, for oligoclonal band status (P = 8.45 × 10−7). The previously reported association of the immunoglobulin heavy chain locus with immunoglobulin G index reaches strong evidence for association in this data set (P = 3.79 × 10−37). We identify two novel associations in the major histocompatibility complex region with immunoglobulin G index: the rs9271640*A-rs6457617*G haplotype (P = 1.59 × 10−22), shared with oligoclonal band status, and an additional independent effect of rs6457617*G (P = 3.68 × 10−6). Variants identified in this study account for up to 2-fold differences in the odds of being oligoclonal band positive and 7.75% of the variation in immunoglobulin G index. Both traits are associated with clinical features of disease such

  18. Simultaneous Determination of Multiple microRNA Levels Utilizing Biotinylated Dideoxynucleotides and Mass Spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sobin; Park, Jungyun; Na, Jeongkyeong; Jung, Gyoo Yeol; Hwang, Jungwook

    2016-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators of gene translation and have been suggested as potent biomarkers in various disease states. In this study, we established an efficient method for simultaneous determination of multiple miRNA levels, employing the previously developed SPC-SBE (solid phase capture-single base extension) approach and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry (MS). In this approach, we first perform reverse transcription of miRNAs extracted using stem-loop primers. Then the cDNA is co-amplified with competitors, synthetic oligonucleotides whose sequences precisely match cDNA except for one base, and the amplicons serve as templates for a multiplexed SBE reaction. Extension products are isolated using SPC and quantitatively analyzed with MALDI-TOF MS to determine multiple miRNA levels. Here we demonstrated concurrent analysis of four miRNA levels utilizing the approach. Furthermore, we showed the presented method significantly facilitated MS analysis of peak area ratio owing to SPC. The SPC process allowed effective removal of irrelevant reaction components prior to MS and promoted MS sample purification. Data obtained in this study was verified with RT-qPCR and agreement was shown on one order of magnitude scale, suggesting the SPC-SBE and MS approach has strong potential as a viable tool for high throughput miRNA analysis. PMID:27380276

  19. Simultaneous Determination of Multiple microRNA Levels Utilizing Biotinylated Dideoxynucleotides and Mass Spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Sobin; Park, Jungyun; Na, Jeongkyeong; Jung, Gyoo Yeol; Hwang, Jungwook

    2016-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators of gene translation and have been suggested as potent biomarkers in various disease states. In this study, we established an efficient method for simultaneous determination of multiple miRNA levels, employing the previously developed SPC-SBE (solid phase capture-single base extension) approach and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry (MS). In this approach, we first perform reverse transcription of miRNAs extracted using stem-loop primers. Then the cDNA is co-amplified with competitors, synthetic oligonucleotides whose sequences precisely match cDNA except for one base, and the amplicons serve as templates for a multiplexed SBE reaction. Extension products are isolated using SPC and quantitatively analyzed with MALDI-TOF MS to determine multiple miRNA levels. Here we demonstrated concurrent analysis of four miRNA levels utilizing the approach. Furthermore, we showed the presented method significantly facilitated MS analysis of peak area ratio owing to SPC. The SPC process allowed effective removal of irrelevant reaction components prior to MS and promoted MS sample purification. Data obtained in this study was verified with RT-qPCR and agreement was shown on one order of magnitude scale, suggesting the SPC-SBE and MS approach has strong potential as a viable tool for high throughput miRNA analysis. PMID:27380276

  20. Comparison of Antioxidant Status and Vitamin D Levels between Multiple Sclerosis Patients and Healthy Matched Subjects

    PubMed Central

    Hejazi, Ehsan; Amani, Reza; SharafodinZadeh, Naser; Cheraghian, Bahman

    2014-01-01

    Objective. The aim of the present study was to compare the serum levels of total antioxidant status (TAS) and 25(OH) D3 and dietary intake of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with those of normal subjects. Method. Thirty-seven MS patients (31 women) and the same number of healthy matched controls were compared for their serum levels and dietary intake of 25(OH) D3 and TAS. Sun exposure and the intake of antioxidants and vitamin D rich foods were estimated through face-to-face interview and food frequency questionnaire. Results. Dietary intake of antioxidants and vitamin D rich foods, vitamin C, vitamin A, and folate was not significantly different between the two groups. There were also no significant differences in the mean levels of 25(OH) D3 and TAS between the study groups. Both groups had low serum levels of 25(OH) D3 and total antioxidants. Conclusion. No significant differences were detected in serum levels and dietary intake of vitamin D and antioxidants between MS patients and healthy controls. All subjects had low antioxidant status and vitamin D levels. PMID:24834356

  1. Low levels of cobalamin, epidermal growth factor, and normal prions in multiple sclerosis spinal cord.

    PubMed

    Scalabrino, G; Veber, D; De Giuseppe, R; Roncaroli, F

    2015-07-01

    We have previously demonstrated that multiple sclerosis (MS) patients have abnormal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of the key myelin-related molecules cobalamin (Cbl), epidermal growth factor (EGF), and normal cellular prions (PrP(C)s), thus confirming that some CSF abnormalities may be co-responsible for remyelination failure. We determined the levels of these three molecules in post-mortem spinal cord (SC) samples taken from MS patients and control patients. The control SC samples, almost all of which came from non-neurological patients, did not show any microscopic lesions of any type. All of the samples were supplied by the U.K. MS Tissue Bank. The Cbl, EGF, and PrP(C) levels were determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. The SC total homocysteine level was determined using a competitive immunoenzymatic assay. CSF samples, taken from a further group of MS patients, were used for the assay of holo-transcobalamin (holo-TC) levels. The Cbl, EGF, and PrP(C) levels were significantly decreased in MS SCs in comparison with controls and, paradoxically, the decreased Cbl levels were associated with decreased SC levels of homocysteine, a biochemical marker of Cbl deficiency. The trends of EGF and PrP(C) levels paralleled those previously found in CSF, whereas that of Cbl was the opposite. There was no significant difference in CSF holo-TC levels between the MS patients and the controls. Given that we have previously demonstrated that Cbl positively regulates central nervous system EGF levels, it is conceivable that the low EGF levels in the MS SC may be causally related to a local decrease in Cbl levels. Only PrP(C) levels were invariably decreased in both the SC and CSF regardless of the clinical course of the disease. These findings suggest that the simultaneous lack of Cbl, EGF, and PrP(C)s may greatly hamper the remyelination process in MS patients, because they are key molecules of the machinery for remyelination. PMID:25888933

  2. Ultra-multiple and reproducible resistance levels based on intrinsic crystallization properties of Ge1Sb4Te7 film

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, You; Iwashita, Shota; Hosaka, Sumio; Wang, Tao; Li, Jingze; Liu, Yang; Yu, Qi

    2016-04-01

    Ge1Sb4Te7 (GST147) was adopted as the storage media for multiple resistance levels. It was exhibited that the resistivity of GST147 gradually dropped by about 3-4 orders of magnitude due to crystallization with the annealing temperature, which is critical to realize multiple resistance levels. The ultra-multiple 27 resistance levels in TiSi3/GST147 lateral phase-change memory device were demonstrated simply by controlling the maximum sweeping currents for programming the device resistance. Furthermore, the reproducibility of the six resistance levels was demonstrated and these levels were distinguishable from each other. This study indicates that GST147 is a media suitable for stable ultra-multiple level storage, enabling low-cost ultrahigh-density nonvolatile memory.

  3. 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels are associated with multiple sclerosis in Iran: A cross-sectional study.

    PubMed

    Karampoor, Sajad; Zahednasab, Hamid; Ramagopalan, Sreeram; Mehrpour, Masoud; Safarnejad Tameshkel, Fahimeh; Keyvani, Hossein

    2016-01-15

    Vitamin D is being increasingly studied in multiple sclerosis (MS). A number of studies have shown that MS patients have lower levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D as compared to comparator populations, but previous studies in Iran have been conflicting, perhaps due to their small sample size. We performed the largest study to date investigating 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in Iranian MS patients (n=700) and controls (n=1000). 25-hydroxyvitamin D was measured using a quantitative chemiluminescent immunometric assay. 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were lower in patients with MS. Over 24% of controls were vitamin D sufficient as compared to 3.4% of patients. Logistic regression showed that for every 1 ng/mL increase in 25-hydroxyvitamin D, the odds for MS decreased (odds ratio=0.87; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.85-0.88; p<0.001), after adjusting for age and sex. There was no association between 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and disability scores in MS patients. Iranian Patients with MS have low levels of vitamin D and, where deemed necessary, appropriate supplementation should be given. PMID:26711568

  4. Serum matrix metalloproteinase‐3 levels correlate with disease activity in relapsing‐remitting multiple sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Kanesaka, T; Mori, M; Hattori, T; Oki, T; Kuwabara, S

    2006-01-01

    Background Adhesion molecules and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are known to be relevant to the ongoing development and disappearance of areas of demyelination in the white matter of the CNS of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. This study examined whether serum matrix metalloproteinase‐3 (MMP‐3) levels correlate with disease activity in MS. Methods Serum MMP‐3 levels in 47 consecutive patients with relapsing‐remitting MS were measured by immunoassay every 4 weeks over a 15 month period. Results During the study period, 48 clinical relapses occurred. Serum MMP‐3 levels within 1 month of relapse were significantly higher than during the remission phase. Sequential analysis showed that serum MMP‐3 levels had increased transiently at the time of clinical relapse but returned to the normal range within a month. Conclusions Circulatory MMP‐3 levels are correlated with disease activity in relapsing‐remitting MS. This may contribute to the breakdown of the blood‐brain barrier at the time of relapse. PMID:16421119

  5. Integrating gender on multiple levels: a conceptual model for teaching gender issues in family therapy.

    PubMed

    Williams, Lee; McBain, Heidi

    2006-07-01

    As the field of family therapy has evolved, there has been growing recognition as to the importance of gender in family therapy. To prepare the next generation of family therapists adequately, it is important that they recognize the many and complex ways in which gender permeates their work. In this article we present an integrative model to help educators teach family therapists about gender issues. The model examines how gender influences clinical work on multiple levels, including contextual levels such as society and the marriage and family therapy field. The model also acknowledges how gender can influence individuals, including clients, therapists, and supervisors. Finally, the model attempts to capture the complexity of how gender can impact the relational dynamics between two or more individuals. PMID:16933441

  6. Decision-level fusion approach to face recognition with multiple cameras

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yeom, Seokwon

    2014-05-01

    Face classification of multiple cameras has wide applications in surveillance. In this paper, the efficacy of a multi-frame decision-level fusion scheme for face classification based on the photon-counting linear discriminant analysis is investigated. The photon-counting linear discriminant analysis method is able to realize Fisher's criterion without preprocessing for dimensionality reduction. The decision-level fusion scheme is comprised of three stages: score normalization, score validation, and score combination. After normalization, the candidate scores are selected and combined by means of a score validation process and a fusion rule, respectively, in order to generate a final score. In the experiments, out-of-focus and motion blurs are rendered on test images simulating harsh conditions.

  7. Dynamics of quantum Fisher information in a two-level system coupled to multiple bosonic reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Guo-You; Guo, You-Neng; Zeng, Ke

    2015-11-01

    We consider the optimal parameter estimation for a two-level system coupled to multiple bosonic reservoirs. By using quantum Fisher information (QFI), we investigate the effect of the Markovian reservoirs’ number N on QFI in both weak and strong coupling regimes for a two-level system surrounded by N zero-temperature reservoirs of field modes initially in the vacua. The results show that the dynamics of QFI non-monotonically decays to zero with revival oscillations at some time in the weak coupling regime depending on the reservoirs’ parameters. Furthermore, we also present the relations between the QFI flow, the flows of energy and information, and the sign of the decay rate to gain insight into the physical processes characterizing the dynamics. Project supported by the Hunan Provincial Innovation Foundation for Postgraduate, China (Grant No. CX2014B194) and the Scientific Research Foundation of Hunan Provincial Education Department, China (Grant No. 13C039).

  8. Multiple cell and population-level interactions with mouse embryonic stem cell heterogeneity.

    PubMed

    Cannon, Danielle; Corrigan, Adam M; Miermont, Agnes; McDonel, Patrick; Chubb, Jonathan R

    2015-08-15

    Much of development and disease concerns the generation of gene expression differences between related cells sharing similar niches. However, most analyses of gene expression only assess population and time-averaged levels of steady-state transcription. The mechanisms driving differentiation are buried within snapshots of the average cell, lacking dynamic information and the diverse regulatory history experienced by individual cells. Here, we use a quantitative imaging platform with large time series data sets to determine the regulation of developmental gene expression by cell cycle, lineage, motility and environment. We apply this technology to the regulation of the pluripotency gene Nanog in mouse embryonic stem cells. Our data reveal the diversity of cell and population-level interactions with Nanog dynamics and heterogeneity, and how this regulation responds to triggers of pluripotency. Cell cycles are highly heterogeneous and cycle time increases with Nanog reporter expression, with longer, more variable cycle times as cells approach ground-state pluripotency. Nanog reporter expression is highly stable over multiple cell generations, with fluctuations within cycles confined by an attractor state. Modelling reveals an environmental component to expression stability, in addition to any cell-autonomous behaviour, and we identify interactions of cell density with both cycle behaviour and Nanog. Rex1 expression dynamics showed shared and distinct regulatory effects. Overall, our observations of multiple partially overlapping dynamic heterogeneities imply complex cell and environmental regulation of pluripotent cell behaviour, and suggest simple deterministic views of stem cell states are inappropriate. PMID:26209649

  9. Multiple cell and population-level interactions with mouse embryonic stem cell heterogeneity

    PubMed Central

    Cannon, Danielle; Corrigan, Adam M.; Miermont, Agnes; McDonel, Patrick; Chubb, Jonathan R.

    2015-01-01

    Much of development and disease concerns the generation of gene expression differences between related cells sharing similar niches. However, most analyses of gene expression only assess population and time-averaged levels of steady-state transcription. The mechanisms driving differentiation are buried within snapshots of the average cell, lacking dynamic information and the diverse regulatory history experienced by individual cells. Here, we use a quantitative imaging platform with large time series data sets to determine the regulation of developmental gene expression by cell cycle, lineage, motility and environment. We apply this technology to the regulation of the pluripotency gene Nanog in mouse embryonic stem cells. Our data reveal the diversity of cell and population-level interactions with Nanog dynamics and heterogeneity, and how this regulation responds to triggers of pluripotency. Cell cycles are highly heterogeneous and cycle time increases with Nanog reporter expression, with longer, more variable cycle times as cells approach ground-state pluripotency. Nanog reporter expression is highly stable over multiple cell generations, with fluctuations within cycles confined by an attractor state. Modelling reveals an environmental component to expression stability, in addition to any cell-autonomous behaviour, and we identify interactions of cell density with both cycle behaviour and Nanog. Rex1 expression dynamics showed shared and distinct regulatory effects. Overall, our observations of multiple partially overlapping dynamic heterogeneities imply complex cell and environmental regulation of pluripotent cell behaviour, and suggest simple deterministic views of stem cell states are inappropriate. PMID:26209649

  10. An image-set for identifying multiple regions/levels of interest in digital images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaber, Mustafa; Bailly, Mark; Wang, Yuqiong; Saber, Eli

    2011-09-01

    In the field of identifying regions-of-interest (ROI) in digital images, several image-sets are referenced in the literature; the open-source ones typically present a single main object (usually located at or near the image center as a pop-out). In this paper, we present a comprehensive image-set (with its ground-truth) which will be made publically available. The database consists of images that demonstrate multiple-regions-of-interest (MROI) or multiple-levels-of-interest (MLOI). The former terminology signifies that the scene has a group of subjects/objects (not necessarily spatially-connected regions) that share the same level of perceptual priority to the human observer while the latter indicates that the scene is complex enough to have primary, secondary, and background objects. The methodology for developing the proposed image-set is described. A psychophysical experiment to identify MROI and MLOI was conducted, the results of which are also presented. The image-set has been developed to be used in training and evaluation of ROI detection algorithms. Applications include image compression, thumbnailing, summarization, and mobile phone imagery. fluor

  11. CONTRIBUTIONS OF ESTUARINE HABITAT TYPES TO THE ECOLOGICAL INTEGRITY OF A SMALL COVE

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. EPA, NHEERL, Atlantic Ecology Division, is investigating ecosystem-level approaches to evaluate ecological integrity at multiple scales. The ultimate goal of our project is to develop an ecosystem-level tool to examine impacts of nitrogen pollution on biological integrit...

  12. Level and Contamination Assessment of Soil along an Expressway in an Ecologically Valuable Area in Central Poland

    PubMed Central

    Radziemska, Maja; Fronczyk, Joanna

    2015-01-01

    Express roads are a potential source of heavy metal contamination in the surrounding environment. The Warsaw Expressway (E30) is one of the busiest roads in the capital of Poland and cuts through the ecologically valuable area (Mazowiecki Natural Landscape Park). Soil samples were collected at distances of 0.5, 4.5 and 25 m from the expressway. The concentrations of cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) were determined in the soils by the flame atomic absorption spectrometry method (FAAS). Soils located in the direct proximity of the analyzed stretch of road were found to have the highest values of pH and electrical conductivity (EC), which decreased along with an increase in the distance from the expressway. The contents of Cd, Cu and Zn were found to be higher than Polish national averages, whereas the average values of Ni and Pb were not exceeded. The pollution level was estimated based on the geo-accumulation index (Igeo), and the pollution index (PI). The results of Igeo and PI indexes revealed the following orders: Cu < Zn < Ni < Cd < Pb and Cu < Ni < Cd < Zn < Pb, and comparison with geochemical background values showed higher concentration of zinc, lead and cadmium. PMID:26512684

  13. An Ecologic Analysis of County-Level PM2.5 Concentrations and Lung Cancer Incidence and Mortality

    PubMed Central

    Vinikoor-Imler, Lisa C.; Davis, J. Allen; Luben, Thomas J.

    2011-01-01

    Few studies have explored the relationship between PM2.5 and lung cancer incidence. Although results are mixed, some studies have demonstrated a positive relationship between PM2.5 and lung cancer mortality. Using an ecologic study design, we examined the county-level associations between PM2.5 concentrations (2002–2005) and lung cancer incidence and mortality in North Carolina (2002–2006). Positive trends were observed between PM2.5 concentrations and lung cancer incidence and mortality; however, the R2 for both were <0.10. The slopes for the relationship between PM2.5 and lung cancer incidence and mortality were 1.26 (95% CI 0.31, 2.21, p-value 0.01) and 0.73 (95% CI 0.09, 1.36, p-value 0.03) per 1 μg/m3 PM2.5, respectively. These associations were slightly strengthened with the inclusion of variables representing socioeconomic status and smoking. Although variability is high, thus reflecting the importance of tobacco smoking and other etiologic agents that influence lung cancer incidence and mortality besides PM2.5, a positive trend is observed between PM2.5 and lung cancer incidence and mortality. This suggests the possibility of an association between PM2.5 concentrations and lung cancer incidence and mortality. PMID:21776206

  14. Concentration Levels and Ecological Risks of Persistent Organic Pollutants in the Surface Sediments of Tianjin Coastal Area, China

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Xiaoxia; Chen, Chaoqi; Zhang, Shu; Hou, Zhen; Yang, Junjun

    2013-01-01

    Sediments were sampled from different surface water bodies in Tianjin coastal area, China, and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were measured using GC/MS or GC/ECD. The purposes were to investigate the concentration levels of the POPs and to assess their ecological risks. The results showed that all the 16 priority PAHs were detected from the 10 sediments sampled with the total concentrations of the 16 PAHs ranging from 274.06 μg/kg to 2656.65 μg/kg, while the concentrations of the halogenated POPs were generally low except in the Dagu waste discharging river where the total concentrations of 24 OCPs, 35 PCBs, and 14 PBDEs were 3103.36 μg/kg, 87.31 μg/kg, and 13.88 μg/kg, respectively. In the studied sediments, PAHs exhibited risks to benthonic organisms; particularly the concentrations of naphthalene and/or acenaphthene exceeded their probable effect concentrations in several locations. In comparison, only in the Dagu waste discharging river, OCPs exhibited risks with the concentrations of heptachlor epoxide and lindane exceeding their probable effect concentrations. PCBs and PBDEs posed rare risks in the studied area. PMID:23401668

  15. Occurrence, distribution and ecological risk assessment of multiple classes of UV filters in marine sediments in Hong Kong and Japan.

    PubMed

    Tsui, Mirabelle M P; Leung, H W; Kwan, Billy K Y; Ng, Ka-Yan; Yamashita, Nobuyoshi; Taniyasu, Sachi; Lam, Paul K S; Murphy, Margaret B

    2015-07-15

    Organic ultraviolet (UV) filters are used widely in various personal care products and their ubiquitous occurrence in the aquatic environment has been reported in recent years. However, data on their fate and potential impacts in marine sediments is limited. This study reports the occurrence and risk assessment of eleven widely used organic UV filters in marine sediment collected in Hong Kong and Tokyo Bay. Seven of the 11 target UV filters were detected in all sediment samples (median concentrations: ecological risk assessment showed that the likelihood of EHMC causing toxic effects on reproduction in snails was over 84% and 32% based on toxicity data for two species, respectively, suggesting potential risks of UV filters to benthic organisms and possible wider effects on the marine food web. However, more toxicity data for sediment organisms is necessary for better risk assessment of these compounds in benthic communities. PMID:25804793

  16. Possible Evidence of Multiple Sea Level Oscillations in the Seychelles During the Last Interglacial

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dutton, A. L.; Vyverberg, K.; Webster, J.; Dechnik, B.; Zwartz, D.; Lambeck, K.

    2013-12-01

    observations ostensibly support the notion that the last interglacial period was characterized by ice sheet instability, causing multiple sea level oscillations.

  17. Rapid multiple-level coevolution in experimental populations of yeast killer and nonkiller strains.

    PubMed

    Pieczynska, Magdalena D; Wloch-Salamon, Dominika; Korona, Ryszard; de Visser, J Arjan G M

    2016-06-01

    Coevolution between different biological entities is considered an important evolutionary mechanism at all levels of biological organization. Here, we provide evidence for coevolution of a yeast killer strain (K) carrying cytoplasmic dsRNA viruses coding for anti-competitor toxins and an isogenic toxin-sensitive strain (S) during 500 generations of laboratory propagation. Signatures of coevolution developed at two levels. One of them was coadaptation of K and S. Killing ability of K first increased quickly and was followed by the rapid invasion of toxin-resistant mutants derived from S, after which killing ability declined. High killing ability was shown to be advantageous when sensitive cells were present but costly when they were absent. Toxin resistance evolved via a two-step process, presumably involving the fitness-enhancing loss of one chromosome followed by selection of a recessive resistant mutation on the haploid chromosome. The other level of coevolution occurred between cell and killer virus. By swapping the killer viruses between ancestral and evolved strains, we could demonstrate that changes observed in both host and virus were beneficial only when combined, suggesting that they involved reciprocal changes. Together, our results show that the yeast killer system shows a remarkable potential for rapid multiple-level coevolution. PMID:27168531

  18. Serum Gelatinases Levels in Multiple Sclerosis Patients during 21 Months of Natalizumab Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Bellini, Tiziana; Trentini, Alessandro; Delbue, Serena; Elia, Francesca; Gastaldi, Matteo; Franciotta, Diego; Bergamaschi, Roberto; Manfrinato, Maria Cristina; Volta, Carlo Alberto; Granieri, Enrico; Fainardi, Enrico

    2016-01-01

    Background. Natalizumab is a highly effective treatment approved for multiple sclerosis (MS). The opening of the blood-brain barrier mediated by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) is considered a crucial step in MS pathogenesis. Our goal was to verify the utility of serum levels of active MMP-2 and MMP-9 as biomarkers in twenty MS patients treated with Natalizumab. Methods. Serum levels of active MMP-2 and MMP-9 and of specific tissue inhibitors TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 were determined before treatment and for 21 months of therapy. Results. Serum levels of active MMP-2 and MMP-9 and of TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 did not differ during the treatment. The ratio between MMP-9 and MMP-2 was increased at the 15th month compared with the 3rd, 6th, and 9th months, greater at the 18th month than at the 3rd and 6th months, and higher at the 21st than at the 3rd and 6th months. Discussion. Our data indicate that an imbalance between active MMP-9 and active MMP-2 can occur in MS patients after 15 months of Natalizumab therapy; however, they do not support the use of serum active MMP-2 and active MMP-9 and TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 levels as biomarkers for monitoring therapeutic response to Natalizumab. PMID:27340316

  19. Understanding multiple levels of norms about teen pregnancy and their relationships to teens’ sexual behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Mollborn, Stefanie; Domingue, Benjamin W.; Boardman, Jason D.

    2014-01-01

    Researchers seeking to understand teen sexual behaviors often turn to age norms, but they are difficult to measure quantitatively. Previous work has usually inferred norms from behavioral patterns or measured group-level norms at the individual level, ignoring multiple reference groups. Capitalizing on the multilevel design of the Add Health survey, we measure teen pregnancy norms perceived by teenagers, as well as average norms at the school and peer network levels. School norms predict boys’ perceived norms, while peer network norms predict girls’ perceived norms. Peer network and individually perceived norms against teen pregnancy independently and negatively predict teens’ likelihood of sexual intercourse. Perceived norms against pregnancy predict increased likelihood of contraception among sexually experienced girls, but sexually experienced boys’ contraceptive behavior is more complicated: When both the boy and his peers or school have stronger norms against teen pregnancy he is more likely to contracept, and in the absence of school or peer norms against pregnancy, boys who are embarrassed are less likely to contracept. We conclude that: (1) patterns of behavior cannot adequately operationalize teen pregnancy norms, (2) norms are not simply linked to behaviors through individual perceptions, and (3) norms at different levels can operate independently of each other, interactively, or in opposition. This evidence creates space for conceptualizations of agency, conflict, and change that can lead to progress in understanding age norms and sexual behaviors. PMID:25104920

  20. Understanding multiple levels of norms about teen pregnancy and their relationships to teens' sexual behaviors.

    PubMed

    Mollborn, Stefanie; Domingue, Benjamin W; Boardman, Jason D

    2014-06-01

    Researchers seeking to understand teen sexual behaviors often turn to age norms, but they are difficult to measure quantitatively. Previous work has usually inferred norms from behavioral patterns or measured group-level norms at the individual level, ignoring multiple reference groups. Capitalizing on the multilevel design of the Add Health survey, we measure teen pregnancy norms perceived by teenagers, as well as average norms at the school and peer network levels. School norms predict boys' perceived norms, while peer network norms predict girls' perceived norms. Peer network and individually perceived norms against teen pregnancy independently and negatively predict teens' likelihood of sexual intercourse. Perceived norms against pregnancy predict increased likelihood of contraception among sexually experienced girls, but sexually experienced boys' contraceptive behavior is more complicated: When both the boy and his peers or school have stronger norms against teen pregnancy he is more likely to contracept, and in the absence of school or peer norms against pregnancy, boys who are embarrassed are less likely to contracept. We conclude that: (1) patterns of behavior cannot adequately operationalize teen pregnancy norms, (2) norms are not simply linked to behaviors through individual perceptions, and (3) norms at different levels can operate independently of each other, interactively, or in opposition. This evidence creates space for conceptualizations of agency, conflict, and change that can lead to progress in understanding age norms and sexual behaviors. PMID:25104920

  1. Ecological effects of cell-level processes: genome size, functional traits and regional abundance of herbaceous plant species

    PubMed Central

    Herben, Tomáš; Suda, Jan; Klimešová, Jitka; Mihulka, Stanislav; Říha, Pavel; Šímová, Irena

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Genome size is known to be correlated with a number of phenotypic traits associated with cell sizes and cell-division rates. Genome size was therefore used as a proxy for them in order to assess how common plant traits such as height, specific leaf area and seed size/number predict species regional abundance. In this study it is hypothesized that if there is residual correlation between genome size and abundance after these traits are partialled out, there must be additional ecological effects of cell size and/or cell-division rate. Methods Variation in genome size, plant traits and regional abundance were examined in 436 herbaceous species of central European flora, and relationships were sought for among these variables by correlation and path analysis. Key Results Species regional abundance was weakly but significantly correlated with genome size; the relationship was stronger for annuals (R2 = 0·145) than for perennials (R2 = 0·027). In annuals, genome size was linked to abundance via its effect on seed size, which constrains seed number and hence population growth rate. In perennials, it weakly affected (via height and specific leaf area) competitive ability. These relationships did not change qualitatively after phylogenetic correction. In both annuals and perennials there was an unresolved effect of genome size on abundance. Conclusions The findings indicate that additional predictors of regional abundance should be sought among variables that are linked to cell size and cell-division rate. Signals of these cell-level processes remain identifiable even at the landscape scale, and show deep differences between perennials and annuals. Plant population biology could thus possibly benefit from more systematic use of indicators of cell-level processes. PMID:22628380

  2. Changes in Serum Ceruloplasmin Levels Based on Immunomodulatory Treatments and Melatonin Supplementation in Multiple Sclerosis Patients

    PubMed Central

    Adamczyk-Sowa, Monika; Sowa, Paweł; Mucha, Sebastian; Zostawa, Jacek; Mazur, Bogdan; Owczarek, Maciej; Pierzchała, Krystyna

    2016-01-01

    Background The cause of multiple sclerosis (MS) is currently unknown, but it is thought that oxidative damage and iron metabolism mechanisms are involved. The aim of this study was to examine ceruloplasmin concentration in MS patients based on various immunomodifying therapies and to test the effect of antioxidative melatonin on ceruloplasmin levels. Material/Methods This prospective study included 102 MS patients and 15 healthy controls. Patients were divided into groups according to different immunomodifying therapies: interferons beta 1a, interferons beta 1b, glatiramer acetate, mitoxantrone, and immunomodifying pre-treatment (A, B, G, Mx, and P groups, respectively), and the relapse R group. MS patients were supplemented with melatonin for 3 months. Serum ceruloplasmin concentrations, EDSS, brain MRI, serum C-reactive protein level, and white blood cell count were examined. Results The results indicated significantly increased levels of ceruloplasmin in MS patients. No differences in ceruloplasmin concentrations between the relapse group and controls were observed. In A and G groups, ceruloplasmin levels before and after melatonin were similar to levels in controls. In group B, ceruloplasmin concentration was significantly higher vs. control and relapse groups. After melatonin administration in group B, ceruloplasmin levels decreased. Ceruloplasmin concentrations in the Mx group were significantly higher compared to controls. Conclusions We found for the first time that ceruloplasmin concentration in MS patients varies depending on different immunomodulatory treatment and decrease after 3 months of melatonin administration. Ceruloplasmin could be a valuable serum marker for the chronic demyelinating process participating in oxidative stress mechanisms, as well as a neurodegenerative marker, but not a marker of acute-phase MS. PMID:27420299

  3. Changes in Serum Ceruloplasmin Levels Based on Immunomodulatory Treatments and Melatonin Supplementation in Multiple Sclerosis Patients.

    PubMed

    Adamczyk-Sowa, Monika; Sowa, Paweł; Mucha, Sebastian; Zostawa, Jacek; Mazur, Bogdan; Owczarek, Maciej; Pierzchała, Krystyna

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND The cause of multiple sclerosis (MS) is currently unknown, but it is thought that oxidative damage and iron metabolism mechanisms are involved. The aim of this study was to examine ceruloplasmin concentration in MS patients based on various immunomodifying therapies and to test the effect of antioxidative melatonin on ceruloplasmin levels. MATERIAL AND METHODS This prospective study included 102 MS patients and 15 healthy controls. Patients were divided into groups according to different immunomodifying therapies: interferons beta 1a, interferons beta 1b, glatiramer acetate, mitoxantrone, and immunomodifying pre-treatment (A, B, G, Mx, and P groups, respectively), and the relapse R group. MS patients were supplemented with melatonin for 3 months. Serum ceruloplasmin concentrations, EDSS, brain MRI, serum C-reactive protein level, and white blood cell count were examined. RESULTS The results indicated significantly increased levels of ceruloplasmin in MS patients. No differences in ceruloplasmin concentrations between the relapse group and controls were observed. In A and G groups, ceruloplasmin levels before and after melatonin were similar to levels in controls. In group B, ceruloplasmin concentration was significantly higher vs. control and relapse groups. After melatonin administration in group B, ceruloplasmin levels decreased. Ceruloplasmin concentrations in the Mx group were significantly higher compared to controls. CONCLUSIONS We found for the first time that ceruloplasmin concentration in MS patients varies depending on different immunomodulatory treatment and decrease after 3 months of melatonin administration. Ceruloplasmin could be a valuable serum marker for the chronic demyelinating process participating in oxidative stress mechanisms, as well as a neurodegenerative marker, but not a marker of acute-phase MS. PMID:27420299

  4. Nocturnal plasma melatonin and alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone levels during exacerbation of multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Sandyk, R; Awerbuch, G I

    1992-01-01

    The pineal gland has been implicated recently in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). To investigate this hypothesis further, we studied nocturnal plasma melatonin levels and the presence or absence of pineal calcification (PC) on CT scan in a cohort of 25 patients (5 men, 20 women; mean age: 41.1 years; SD = 11.1; range: 27-72) who were admitted to a hospital Neurology service for exacerbation of symptoms. Plasma alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) estimations were included in the study since there is evidence for a feedback inhibition between alpha-MSH and melatonin secretion. Abnormal melatonin levels were found in 13 patients (52.0%), 11 of whom had nocturnal levels which were below the daytime values (i.e., < 25 pg/ml). Although melatonin levels were unrelated to the patient's age and sex, there was a positive correlation with age of onset of symptoms (p < .0001) and an inverse correlation with the duration of illness (p < .05). PC was noted in 24 of 25 patients (96%) underscoring the pathogenetic relationship between MS and the pineal gland. Alpha-MSH levels were undetectable in 15 patients (60.0%), low in two patients (8.0%), normal in seven patients (28.0%), and elevated in one patient (4.0%). Collectively, abnormal alpha-MSH levels were found in over 70% of patients. These findings support the hypothesis that MS may be associated with pineal failure and suggest, furthermore, that alterations in the secretion of alpha-MSH also occur during exacerbation of symptoms. The relevance of these findings to the pathogenesis of MS are discussed. PMID:1305632

  5. Ecological Issues Related to Children's Health and Safety

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aldridge, Jerry; Kohler, Maxie

    2009-01-01

    Issues concerning the health and safety of children and youth occur at multiple levels. Bronfenbrenner (1995) proposed an ecological systems approach in which multiple systems interact to enhance or diminish children's development. The same systems are at work in health promotion. The authors present and review articles that reflect the multiple…

  6. Feasibility and utility of mapping disease risk at the neighbourhood level within a Canadian public health unit: an ecological study

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background We conducted spatial analyses to determine the geographic variation of cancer at the neighbourhood level (dissemination areas or DAs) within the area of a single Ontario public health unit, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, covering a population of 238,326 inhabitants. Cancer incidence data between 1999 and 2003 were obtained from the Ontario Cancer Registry and were geocoded down to the level of DA using the enhanced Postal Code Conversion File. The 2001 Census of Canada provided information on the size and age-sex structure of the population at the DA level, in addition to information about selected census covariates, such as average neighbourhood income. Results Age standardized incidence ratios for cancer and the prevalence of census covariates were calculated for each of 331 dissemination areas in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph. The standardized incidence ratios (SIR) for cancer varied dramatically across the dissemination areas. However, application of the Moran's I statistic, a popular index of spatial autocorrelation, suggested significant spatial patterns for only two cancers, lung and prostate, both in males (p < 0.001 and p = 0.002, respectively). Employing Bayesian hierarchical models, areas in the urban core of the City of Guelph had significantly higher SIRs for male lung cancer than the remainder of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph; and, neighbourhoods in the urban and surrounding rural areas of Orangeville exhibited significantly higher SIRs for prostate cancer. After adjustment for age and spatial dependence, average household income attenuated much of the spatial pattern of lung cancer, but not of prostate cancer. Conclusion This paper demonstrates the feasibility and utility of a systematic approach to identifying neighbourhoods, within the area served by a public health unit, that have significantly higher risks of cancer. This exploratory, ecologic study suggests several hypotheses for these spatial patterns that warrant further investigations. To

  7. Combinatorial effects of multiple enhancer variants in linkage disequilibrium dictate levels of gene expression to confer susceptibility to common traits.

    PubMed

    Corradin, Olivia; Saiakhova, Alina; Akhtar-Zaidi, Batool; Myeroff, Lois; Willis, Joseph; Cowper-Sal lari, Richard; Lupien, Mathieu; Markowitz, Sanford; Scacheri, Peter C

    2014-01-01

    DNA variants (SNPs) that predispose to common traits often localize within noncoding regulatory elements such as enhancers. Moreover, loci identified by genome-wide association studies (GWAS) often contain multiple SNPs in linkage disequilibrium (LD), any of which may be causal. Thus, determining the effect of these multiple variant SNPs on target transcript levels has been a major challenge. Here, we provide evidence that for six common autoimmune disorders (rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and ulcerative colitis), the GWAS association arises from multiple polymorphisms in LD that map to clusters of enhancer elements active in the same cell type. This finding suggests a "multiple enhancer variant" hypothesis for common traits, where several variants in LD impact multiple enhancers and cooperatively affect gene expression. Using a novel method to delineate enhancer-gene interactions, we show that multiple enhancer variants within a given locus typically target the same gene. Using available data from HapMap and B lymphoblasts as a model system, we provide evidence at numerous loci that multiple enhancer variants cooperatively contribute to altered expression of their gene targets. The effects on target transcript levels tend to be modest and can be either gain- or loss-of-function. Additionally, the genes associated with multiple enhancer variants encode proteins that are often functionally related and enriched in common pathways. Overall, the multiple enhancer variant hypothesis offers a new paradigm by which noncoding variants can confer susceptibility to common traits. PMID:24196873

  8. Altered α-synuclein, parkin, and synphilin isoform levels in multiple system atrophy brains.

    PubMed

    Brudek, Tomasz; Winge, Kristian; Rasmussen, Nadja Bredo; Bahl, Justyna Maria Czarna; Tanassi, Julia; Agander, Tina Klitmøller; Hyde, Thomas M; Pakkenberg, Bente

    2016-01-01

    Together with Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies, multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a member of a diverse group of neurodegenerative disorders termed α-synucleinopathies. Previously, it has been shown that α-synuclein, parkin, and synphilin-1 display disease-specific transcription patterns in frontal cortex in PD, dementia with Lewy bodies, and MSA, and thus may mediate the development of α-synucleinopathies. In this study, the differential expression of α-synuclein isoforms on transcriptional and translational levels was ascertained in MSA patients in comparison with PD cases and normal controls using isoform-specific primers and exon-specific antibodies in substantia nigra, striatum, cerebellar cortex, and nucleus dentatus. These regions are severely affected by α-synuclein pathology and neurodegeneration. Furthermore, we have also investigated transcript levels for parkin and synphilin-1 isoforms. In MSA brains, α-synuclein140 and α-synuclein 112 isoform levels were significantly increased, whereas levels of the α-synuclein 126 isoform were decreased in the substantia nigra, striatum, cerebellar cortex, and nucleus dentatus versus controls. Moreover, in MSA cases, we showed increased levels of parkin isoforms lacking the N-terminal ubiquitin-like domain and an aggregation-prone synphilin-1A isoform that causes neuronal toxicity in MSA. In PD brains, parkin transcript variant 3, 7, and 11 were significantly and specifically over-expressed in the striatum and cerebellar cortex, together with synphilin-1A and 1C. The changes of isoform expression profiles in neurodegenerative diseases suggest alterations in the regulation of transcription and/or splicing events, leading to regional/cellular events that may be important for the highly increased aggregation of α-synuclein in the brain. We report differential expression of α-synuclein, parkin, and synphilin-1 isoforms in multiple system atrophy (MSA) versus Parkinson's disease and normal

  9. Resonance fluorescence of strongly driven two-level system coupled to multiple dissipative reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Yiying; Lü, Zhiguo; Zheng, Hang

    2016-08-01

    We present a theoretical formalism for resonance fluorescence radiating from a two-level system (TLS) driven by any periodic driving and coupled to multiple reservoirs. The formalism is derived analytically based on the combination of Floquet theory and Born-Markov master equation. The formalism allows us to calculate the spectrum when the Floquet states and quasienergies are analytically or numerically solved for simple or complicated driving fields. We can systematically explore the spectral features by implementing the present formalism. To exemplify this theory, we apply the unified formalism to comprehensively study a generic model that a harmonically driven TLS is simultaneously coupled to a radiative reservoir and a dephasing reservoir. We demonstrate that the significant features of the fluorescence spectra, the driving-induced asymmetry and the dephasing-induced asymmetry, can be attributed to the violation of detailed balance condition, and explained in terms of the driving-related transition quantities between Floquet-states and their steady populations. In addition, we find the distinguished features of the fluorescence spectra under the biharmonic and multiharmonic driving fields in contrast with that of the harmonic driving case. In the case of the biharmonic driving, we find that the spectra are significantly different from the result of the RWA under the multiple resonance conditions. By the three concrete applications, we illustrate that the present formalism provides a routine tool for comprehensively exploring the fluorescence spectrum of periodically strongly driven TLSs.

  10. Asymmetric signal amplification for simultaneous SERS detection of multiple cancer markers with significantly different levels.

    PubMed

    Ye, Sujuan; Wu, Yanying; Zhai, Xiaomo; Tang, Bo

    2015-08-18

    Simultaneous detection of cancer biomarkers holds great promise for the early diagnosis of different cancers. However, in the presence of high-concentration biomarkers, the signals of lower-expression biomarkers are overlapped. Existing techniques are not suitable for simultaneously detecting multiple biomarkers at concentrations with significantly different orders of magnitude. Here, we propose an asymmetric signal amplification method for simultaneously detecting multiple biomarkers with significantly different levels. Using the bifunctional probe, a linear amplification mode responds to high-concentration markers, and quadratic amplification mode responds to low-concentration markers. With the combined biobarcode probe and hybridization chain reaction (HCR) amplification method, the detection limits of microRNA (miRNA) and ATP via surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) detection are 0.15 fM and 20 nM, respectively, with a breakthrough of detection concentration difference over 11 orders of magnitude. Furthermore, successful determination of miRNA and ATP in cancer cells supports the practicability of the assay. This methodology promises to open an exciting new avenue for the detection of various types of biomolecules. PMID:26218034

  11. Serum uric acid level in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Ashtari, Fereshteh; Bahar, Mohammadali; Aghaei, Maryam; Zahed, Arash

    2013-05-01

    Uric acid (UA) is a hydrophilic antioxidant product associated with multiple sclerosis (MS). We conducted a randomized case-control study to evaluate the serum level of UA in different phases of MS in comparison with levels in a healthy control population. Serum UA was checked in 130 patients with relapsing-remitting MS (85 patients in remitting and 45 patients in relapsing phase) and 50 age-matched controls using a quantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The mean concentrations of UA in serum was 6.41(±3.18)mg/dL in patients with remitting MS, 4.76(±1.66)mg/dL in patients with relapsing MS and 6.33(±2.94)mg/dL in controls. There was a significant difference between mean UA concentration in relapsing MS and remitting MS (p<0.001), and between patients with relapsing MS and controls (p=0.002); however, the difference between levels for patients in the remitting phase of MS and the control group was not significant (p=0.87). It seems probable that UA has a role in the prevention of disease activity in MS. PMID:23528410

  12. A Compendium of Caenorhabditis elegans RNA Binding Proteins Predicts Extensive Regulation at Multiple Levels

    PubMed Central

    Tamburino, Alex M.; Ryder, Sean P.; Walhout, Albertha J. M.

    2013-01-01

    Gene expression is regulated at multiple levels, including transcription and translation, as well as mRNA and protein stability. Although systems-level functions of transcription factors and microRNAs are rapidly being characterized, few studies have focused on the posttranscriptional gene regulation by RNA binding proteins (RBPs). RBPs are important to many aspects of gene regulation. Thus, it is essential to know which genes encode RBPs, which RBPs regulate which gene(s), and how RBP genes are themselves regulated. Here we provide a comprehensive compendium of RBPs from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (wRBP1.0). We predict that as many as 887 (4.4%) of C. elegans genes may encode RBPs ~250 of which likely function in a gene-specific manner. In addition, we find that RBPs, and most notably gene-specific RBPs, are themselves enriched for binding and modification by regulatory proteins, indicating the potential for extensive regulation of RBPs at many different levels. wRBP1.0 will provide a significant contribution toward the comprehensive delineation of posttranscriptional regulatory networks and will provide a resource for further studies regulation by RBPs. PMID:23390605

  13. Decreased Endothelin-1 Plasma Levels in Multiple Sclerosis Patients: A Possible Factor of Vascular Dysregulation?

    PubMed Central

    Jankowska-Lech, Irmina; Terelak-Borys, Barbara; Grabska-Liberek, Iwona; Palasik, Witold; Bik, Wojciech; Wolińska-Witort, Ewa

    2015-01-01

    Background Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating autoimmune disease of the central nervous system with possible involvement of vascular dysregulation secondary to endothelial dysfunction caused by destruction of the vessel wall. Vascular dysregulation leads to excessive vasoconstriction or insufficient vasodilatation, resulting in vasospasm mediated by endothelin-1 (ET-1), the most potent and long-lasting mediator. Vascular dysregulation can play an important role in the pathogenesis of some eye disorders and it has been hypothesized that it is a vascular risk factor for glaucomatous optic neuropathy. The aim of this study was to estimate endothelin-1 (ET-1) plasma levels in patients with MS. Material/Methods The MS group consisted of 39 patients (9 males, 30 females), mean age: 38.8±10.02 years, range: 22–62. The control group consisted of 27 healthy volunteers (3 males and 24 females), mean age: 37.4±10.88 years, range: 20–62; clinically, in a non-active stage of the disease. ET-1 plasma levels were measured using the Endothelin-1 ELISA Kit (Immuno-Biological Laboratories Co., Japan). Statistical analysis was performed with the nonparametric Mann-Whitney U test for independent groups. Results Endothelin-1 (ET-1) plasma levels were significantly lower in MS patients compared to healthy controls: mean value 0.55±0.44 pg/ml (146.05±118.27 fmol/ml) vs. 0.95±0.48 pg/ml (252.83±127.16 fmol/ml); P=0.012. Conclusions Significantly decreased ET-1 plasma levels in the MS patients could reflect the non-active disease at the time of ET-1 measurements or the effects of immunomodulatory treatment, but it cannot be excluded that decreased ET-1 plasma levels in these patients might result from vascular dysregulation. PMID:25864450

  14. Association of Children’s Urinary CC16 Levels with Arsenic Concentrations in Multiple Environmental Media

    PubMed Central

    Beamer, Paloma I.; Klimecki, Walter T.; Loh, Miranda; Van Horne, Yoshira Ornelas; Sugeng, Anastasia J.; Lothrop, Nathan; Billheimer, Dean; Guerra, Stefano; Lantz, Robert Clark; Canales, Robert A.; Martinez, Fernando D.

    2016-01-01

    Arsenic exposure has been associated with decreased club cell secretory protein (CC16) levels in adults. Further, both arsenic exposure and decreased levels of CC16 in childhood have been associated with decreased adult lung function. Our objective was to determine if urinary CC16 levels in children are associated with arsenic concentrations in environmental media collected from their homes. Yard soil, house dust, and tap water were taken from 34 homes. Urine and toenail samples were collected from 68 children. All concentrations were natural log-transformed prior to data analysis. There were associations between urinary CC16 and arsenic concentration in soil (b = −0.43, p = 0.001, R2 = 0.08), water (b = −0.22, p = 0.07, R2 = 0.03), house dust (b = −0.37, p = 0.07, R2 = 0.04), and dust loading (b = −0.21, p = 0.04, R2 = 0.04). In multiple analyses, only the concentration of arsenic in soil was associated with urinary CC16 levels (b = −0.42, p = 0.02, R2 = 0.14 (full model)) after accounting for other factors. The association between urinary CC16 and soil arsenic may suggest that localized arsenic exposure in the lungs could damage the airway epithelium and predispose children for diminished lung function. Future work to assess this possible mechanism should examine potential associations between airborne arsenic exposures, CC16 levels, lung function, and other possible confounders in children in arsenic-impacted communities. PMID:27223295

  15. Systemic Inflammatory Response and Serum Lipopolysaccharide Levels Predict Multiple Organ Failure and Death in Alcoholic Hepatitis

    PubMed Central

    Michelena, Javier; Altamirano, José; Abraldes, Juan G.; Affò, Silvia; Morales-Ibanez, Oriol; Sancho-Bru, Pau; Dominguez, Marlene; García-Pagán, Juan Carlos; Fernández, Javier; Arroyo, Vicente; Ginès, Pere; Louvet, Alexandre; Mathurin, Philippe; Mehal, Wajahat Z.; Caballería, Juan; Bataller, Ramón

    2015-01-01

    Alcoholic hepatitis (AH) frequently progresses to multiple organ failure (MOF) and death. However, the driving factors are largely unknown. At admission, patients with AH often show criteria of systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) even in the absence of an infection. We hypothesize that the presence of SIRS may predispose to MOF and death. To test this hypothesis, we studied a cohort including 162 patients with biopsy-proven AH. The presence of SIRS and infections was assessed in all patients, and multivariate analyses identified variables independently associated with MOF and 90-day mortality. At admission, 32 (19.8%) patients were diagnosed with a bacterial infection, while 75 (46.3%) fulfilled SIRS criteria; 58 patients (35.8%) developed MOF during hospitalization. Short-term mortality was significantly higher among patients who developed MOF (62.1% versus 3.8%, P <0.001). The presence of SIRS was a major predictor of MOF (odds ratio = 2.69, P=0.025) and strongly correlated with mortality. Importantly, the course of patients with SIRS with and without infection was similar in terms of MOF development and short-term mortality. Finally, we sought to identify serum markers that differentiate SIRS with and without infection. We studied serum levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, procalcitonin, and lipopolysaccharide at admission. All of them predicted mortality. Procalcitonin, but not high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, serum levels identified those patients with SIRS and infection. Lipopolysaccharide serum levels predicted MOF and the response to prednisolone. Conclusion In the presence or absence of infections, SIRS is a major determinant of MOF and mortality in AH, and the mechanisms involved in the development of SIRS should be investigated; procalcitonin serum levels can help to identify patients with infection, and lipopolysaccharide levels may help to predict mortality and the response to steroids. PMID:25761863

  16. Association of Children's Urinary CC16 Levels with Arsenic Concentrations in Multiple Environmental Media.

    PubMed

    Beamer, Paloma I; Klimecki, Walter T; Loh, Miranda; Van Horne, Yoshira Ornelas; Sugeng, Anastasia J; Lothrop, Nathan; Billheimer, Dean; Guerra, Stefano; Lantz, Robert Clark; Canales, Robert A; Martinez, Fernando D

    2016-01-01

    Arsenic exposure has been associated with decreased club cell secretory protein (CC16) levels in adults. Further, both arsenic exposure and decreased levels of CC16 in childhood have been associated with decreased adult lung function. Our objective was to determine if urinary CC16 levels in children are associated with arsenic concentrations in environmental media collected from their homes. Yard soil, house dust, and tap water were taken from 34 homes. Urine and toenail samples were collected from 68 children. All concentrations were natural log-transformed prior to data analysis. There were associations between urinary CC16 and arsenic concentration in soil (b = -0.43, p = 0.001, R² = 0.08), water (b = -0.22, p = 0.07, R² = 0.03), house dust (b = -0.37, p = 0.07, R² = 0.04), and dust loading (b = -0.21, p = 0.04, R² = 0.04). In multiple analyses, only the concentration of arsenic in soil was associated with urinary CC16 levels (b = -0.42, p = 0.02, R² = 0.14 (full model)) after accounting for other factors. The association between urinary CC16 and soil arsenic may suggest that localized arsenic exposure in the lungs could damage the airway epithelium and predispose children for diminished lung function. Future work to assess this possible mechanism should examine potential associations between airborne arsenic exposures, CC16 levels, lung function, and other possible confounders in children in arsenic-impacted communities. PMID:27223295

  17. ULTRASPEC: an electron multiplication CCD camera for very low light level high speed astronomical spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ives, Derek; Bezawada, Nagaraja; Dhillon, Vik; Marsh, Tom

    2008-07-01

    We present the design, characteristics and astronomical results for ULTRASPEC, a high speed Electron Multiplication CCD (EMCCD) camera using an E2VCCD201 (1K frame transfer device), developed to prove the performance of this new optical detector technology in astronomical spectrometry, particularly in the high speed, low light level regime. We present both modelled and real data for these detectors with particular regard to avalanche gain and clock induced charge (CIC). We present first light results from the camera as used on the EFOSC-2 instrument at the ESO 3.6 metre telescope in La Silla. We also present the design for a proposed new 4Kx2K frame transfer EMCCD.

  18. Modulation of C. elegans touch sensitivity is integrated at multiple levels.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiaoyin; Chalfie, Martin

    2014-05-01

    Sensory systems can adapt to different environmental signals. Here we identify four conditions that modulate anterior touch sensitivity in Caenorhabditis elegans after several hours and demonstrate that such sensory modulation is integrated at multiple levels to produce a single output. Prolonged vibration involving integrin signaling directly sensitizes the touch receptor neurons (TRNs). In contrast, hypoxia, the dauer state, and high salt reduce touch sensitivity by preventing the release of long-range neuroregulators, including two insulin-like proteins. Integration of these latter inputs occurs at upstream neurohormonal cells and at the insulin signaling cascade within the TRNs. These signals and those from integrin signaling converge to modulate touch sensitivity by regulating AKT kinases and DAF-16/FOXO. Thus, activation of either the integrin or insulin pathways can compensate for defects in the other pathway. This modulatory system integrates conflicting signals from different modalities, and adapts touch sensitivity to both mechanical and non-mechanical conditions. PMID:24806678

  19. Sensorimotor Encoding by Synchronous Neural Ensemble Activity at Multiple Levels of the Somatosensory System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nocolelis, Miguel A. L.; Baccala, Luiz A.; Lin, Rick C. S.; Chapin, John K.

    1995-06-01

    Neural ensemble processing of sensorimotor information during behavior was investigated by simultaneously recording up to 48 single neurons at multiple relays of the rat trigeminal somatosensory system. Cortical, thalamic, and brainstem neurons exhibited widespread 7- to 12-hertz synchronous oscillations, which began during attentive immobility and reliably predicted the imminent onset of rhythmic whisker twitching. Each oscillatory cycle began as a traveling wave of neural activity in the cortex that then spread to the thalamus. Just before the onset of rhythmic whisker twitching, the oscillations spread to the spinal trigeminal brainstem complex. Thereafter, the oscillations at all levels were synchronous with whisker protraction. Neural structures manifesting these rhythms also exhibited distributed spatiotemporal patterns of neuronal ensemble activity in response to tactile stimulation. Thus, multilevel synchronous activity in this system may encode not only sensory information but also the onset and temporal domain of tactile exploratory movements.

  20. A Framework for the Study of Multiple Realizations: The Importance of Levels of Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Overgaard, Morten; Mogensen, Jesper

    2010-01-01

    The brain may undergo functional reorganizations. Selective loss of sensory input or training within a restricted part of a modality cause “shifts” within for instance somatotopic or tonotopic maps. Cross-modal plasticity occurs when input within a modality is absent – e.g., in the congenitally blind. Reorganizations are also found in functional recovery after brain injury. Focusing on such reorganizations, it may be studied whether a cognitive or conscious process can exclusively be mediated by one neural substrate – or may be associated with multiple neural representations. This is typically known as the problem of multiple realization – an essentially empirical issue with wide theoretical implications. This issue may appear to have a simple solution. When, for instance, the symptoms associated with brain injury disappear and the recovery is associated with increased activities within spared regions of the brain, it is tempting to conclude that the processes originally associated with the injured part of the brain are now mediated by an alternative neural substrate. Such a conclusion is, however, not a simple matter. Without a more thorough analysis, it cannot be concluded that a functional recovery of for instance language or attention is necessarily associated with a novel representation of the processes lost to injury. Alternatively, for instance, the recovery may reflect that apparently similar surface phenomena are obtained via dissimilar cognitive mechanisms. In this paper we propose a theoretical framework, which we believe can guide the design and interpretations of studies of post-traumatic recovery. It is essential to distinguish between a number of levels of analysis – including a differentiation between the surface phenomena and the underlying information processing – when addressing, for instance, whether a pre-traumatic and post-traumatically recovered cognitive or conscious process are actually the same. We propose a (somewhat

  1. Multiple-level threshold switching behavior of In2Se3 confined in a nanostructured silicon substrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Jae Young; Sun, Ke; Li, Biyun; Xie, Ya-Hong; Wei, Xinyu; Russell, Thomas P.

    2010-08-01

    We report the experimental observation of an intriguing behavior of multiple-level threshold switching of Si-In2Se3 heterojunction devices consisting of high-density arrays of sharp points of nanometer radius of curvature. Comparison with devices of similar junction area but without the sharp points shows that the multiple-level switching behavior is unique to devices with junctions consisting of sharp points.

  2. Higher minor hemoglobin A2 levels in multiple sclerosis patients correlate with lesser disease severity

    PubMed Central

    Ozcan, Muhammed Emin; Ince, Bahri; Karadeli, Hasan Huseyin; Gedikbasi, Asuman; Asil, Talip; Altinoz, Meric A

    2016-01-01

    Objective To define whether minor adult hemoglobin A2 (HbA2, α2δ2) exerts any protective activity in multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods HbA2 levels were measured in 146 MS patients with high performance liquid chromatography and association with MS Severity Scores (MSSS) were determined. HbA2 associations with blood count parameters were also studied using blood counts evaluated on the same day of high performance liquid chromatography sampling. Routine biochemical parameters were also determined to rule out elusively influential factors, such as anemia and thyroid disorders. Results HbA2 levels negatively correlated with MSSS (Spearman correlation, R: −0.186, P=0.025). Exclusion of confounding factors with a generalized linear model revealed an even stronger negative correlation between HbA2 and MSSS (P<0.001). HbA2 positively correlated with red blood cells (RBCs) (R=0.350, P<0.001) and in turn, RBCs negatively correlated with MSSS (R=−0.180, P=0.031). Average HbA2 levels were highest among patients treated with interferon β1a. Conclusion RBC fragility is increased in MS, and recent data suggest that circulating free Hb contributes to neural injury in MS. HbA2 and its oxidative denaturation product hemichrome A2 enhance RBC membrane stability to a greater extent than do major HbA or hemichrome A. Reductions in ischemic cerebrovascular vascular events are reported in β-thalassemia carriers and HbA2 levels are considerably higher in this population. Episodic declines of cerebral blood flow were shown in bipolar disorder, and we have recently shown a protective role of HbA2 against postpartum episodes in females with bipolar disorder. HbA2’s erythroprotective functions may reduce free Hb and long-term neural injury in MS. PMID:27578976

  3. Multiple vectors and their differing ecologies: observations on two bluetongue and African horse sickness vector Culicoides species in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Meiswinkel, R; Labuschagne, K; Baylis, M; Mellor, P S

    2004-01-01

    Blacklight traps were used to collect Culicoides biting midges weekly between September 1996 and August 1998 at 40 sites distributed equidistantly across South Africa. The seasonal and geographic prevalences of 86 species of Culicoides were elucidated simultaneously, and included C. imicola Kieffer and C. bolitinos Meiswinkel the principal vectors of bluetongue (BT) and African horse sickness (AHS) in the region. These two species were amongst the most prevalent Culicoides to be found and, together, comprised >50% of the more than three million biting midges captured. The data are presented as coloured matrices, and are transformed also into inverse distance weighting (IDW) interpolative maps. The data reveal that the prevalence of each vector is somewhat fractured and it is posited that this is (in part) due to significant differences in their respective breeding habitats. The results illustrate also that the presence of multiple vectors (in any region of the world) will complicate both the epidemiology of the orbiviral diseases they transmit and the formulation of rational livestock movement and disease control strategies. This is especially true for southern Europe where the recent devastating cycle of BT has been shown to involve at least three vectors. Finally, the influence that man has on the development of large foci of vector Culicoides around livestock may be less important than previously suggested but must be investigated further. PMID:20419682

  4. Ecology and life history of an amoebomastigote, Paratetramitus jugosus, from a microbial mat: new evidence for multiple fission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Enzien, M.; McKhann, H. I.; Margulis, L.

    1989-01-01

    Five microbial habitats (gypsum crust, gypsum photosynthetic community, Microcoleus mat, Thiocapsa scum, and black mud) were sampled for the presence of the euryhaline, rapidly growing amoebomastigote, Paratetramitus jugosus. Field investigations of microbial mats from Baja California Norte, Mexico, and Salina Bido near Matanzas, Cuba, reveal that P. jugosus is most frequently found in the Thiocapsa layer of microbial mats. Various stages of the life history were studied using phase-contrast, differential-interference, and transmission electron microscopy. Mastigote stages were induced and studied by electron microscopy; mastigotes that actively feed on bacteria bear two or more undulipodia. A three-dimensional drawing of the kinetid ("basal apparatus") based on electron micrographs is presented. Although promitoses were occasionally observed, it is unlikely that they can account for the rapid growth of P. jugosus populations on culture media. Dense, refractile, spherical, and irregular-shaped bodies were seen at all times in all cultures along with small mononucleate (approximately 2-7 micrometers diameter) amoebae. Cytochemical studies employing two different fluorescent stains for DNA (DAPI, mithramycin) verified the presence of DNA in these small bodies. Chromatin-like material seen in electron micrographs within the cytoplasm and blebbing off nuclei were interpreted to the chromatin bodies. Our interpretation, consistent with the data but not proven, is that propagation by multiple fission of released chromatin bodies that become small amoebae may occur in Paratetramitus jugosus. These observations are consistent with descriptions of amoeba propagules in the early literature (Hogue, 1914).

  5. The nuclear receptor LXR modulates interleukin-18 levels in macrophages through multiple mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Pourcet, Benoit; Gage, Matthew C.; León, Theresa E.; Waddington, Kirsty E.; Pello, Oscar M.; Steffensen, Knut R.; Castrillo, Antonio; Valledor, Annabel F.; Pineda-Torra, Inés

    2016-01-01

    IL-18 is a member of the IL-1 family involved in innate immunity and inflammation. Deregulated levels of IL-18 are involved in the pathogenesis of multiple disorders including inflammatory and metabolic diseases, yet relatively little is known regarding its regulation. Liver X receptors or LXRs are key modulators of macrophage cholesterol homeostasis and immune responses. Here we show that LXR ligands negatively regulate LPS-induced mRNA and protein expression of IL-18 in bone marrow-derived macrophages. Consistent with this being an LXR-mediated process, inhibition is abolished in the presence of a specific LXR antagonist and in LXR-deficient macrophages. Additionally, IL-18 processing of its precursor inactive form to its bioactive state is inhibited by LXR through negative regulation of both pro-caspase 1 expression and activation. Finally, LXR ligands further modulate IL-18 levels by inducing the expression of IL-18BP, a potent endogenous inhibitor of IL-18. This regulation occurs via the transcription factor IRF8, thus identifying IL-18BP as a novel LXR and IRF8 target gene. In conclusion, LXR activation inhibits IL-18 production through regulation of its transcription and maturation into an active pro-inflammatory cytokine. This novel regulation of IL-18 by LXR could be applied to modulate the severity of IL-18 driven metabolic and inflammatory disorders. PMID:27149934

  6. Coenzyme Q10 Levels Are Decreased in the Cerebellum of Multiple-System Atrophy Patients

    PubMed Central

    Schottlaender, Lucia V.; Bettencourt, Conceição; Kiely, Aoife P.; Chalasani, Annapurna; Neergheen, Viruna; Holton, Janice L.; Hargreaves, Iain; Houlden, Henry

    2016-01-01

    Background The objective of this study was to evaluate whether the levels of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) in brain tissue of multiple system atrophy (MSA) patients differ from those in elderly controls and in patients with other neurodegenerative diseases. Methods Flash frozen brain tissue of a series of 20 pathologically confirmed MSA patients [9 olivopontocerebellar atrophy (OPCA) type, 6 striatonigral degeneration (SND) type, and 5 mixed type] was used for this study. Elderly controls (n = 37) as well as idiopathic Parkinson's disease (n = 7), dementia with Lewy bodies (n = 20), corticobasal degeneration (n = 15) and cerebellar ataxia (n = 18) patients were used as comparison groups. CoQ10 was measured in cerebellar and frontal cortex tissue by high performance liquid chromatography. Results We detected a statistically significant decrease (by 3–5%) in the level of CoQ10 in the cerebellum of MSA cases (P = 0.001), specifically in OPCA (P = 0.001) and mixed cases (P = 0.005), when compared to controls as well as to other neurodegenerative diseases [dementia with Lewy bodies (P<0.001), idiopathic Parkinson's disease (P<0.001), corticobasal degeneration (P<0.001), and cerebellar ataxia (P = 0.001)]. Conclusion Our results suggest that a perturbation in the CoQ10 biosynthetic pathway is associated with the pathogenesis of MSA but the mechanism behind this finding remains to be elucidated. PMID:26894433

  7. The nuclear receptor LXR modulates interleukin-18 levels in macrophages through multiple mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Pourcet, Benoit; Gage, Matthew C; León, Theresa E; Waddington, Kirsty E; Pello, Oscar M; Steffensen, Knut R; Castrillo, Antonio; Valledor, Annabel F; Pineda-Torra, Inés

    2016-01-01

    IL-18 is a member of the IL-1 family involved in innate immunity and inflammation. Deregulated levels of IL-18 are involved in the pathogenesis of multiple disorders including inflammatory and metabolic diseases, yet relatively little is known regarding its regulation. Liver X receptors or LXRs are key modulators of macrophage cholesterol homeostasis and immune responses. Here we show that LXR ligands negatively regulate LPS-induced mRNA and protein expression of IL-18 in bone marrow-derived macrophages. Consistent with this being an LXR-mediated process, inhibition is abolished in the presence of a specific LXR antagonist and in LXR-deficient macrophages. Additionally, IL-18 processing of its precursor inactive form to its bioactive state is inhibited by LXR through negative regulation of both pro-caspase 1 expression and activation. Finally, LXR ligands further modulate IL-18 levels by inducing the expression of IL-18BP, a potent endogenous inhibitor of IL-18. This regulation occurs via the transcription factor IRF8, thus identifying IL-18BP as a novel LXR and IRF8 target gene. In conclusion, LXR activation inhibits IL-18 production through regulation of its transcription and maturation into an active pro-inflammatory cytokine. This novel regulation of IL-18 by LXR could be applied to modulate the severity of IL-18 driven metabolic and inflammatory disorders. PMID:27149934

  8. Analytical characterization of high-level mixed wastes using multiple sample preparation treatments

    SciTech Connect

    King, A.G.; Baldwin, D.L.; Urie, M.W.; McKinley, S.G.

    1994-09-01

    The Analytical Chemistry Laboratory at the Pacific Northwest Laboratory in Richland, Washington, is actively involved in performing analytical characterization of high-level mixed waste from Hanford`s single shell and double shell tank characterization programs. A full suite of analyses is typically performed on homogenized tank core samples. These analytical techniques include inductively-coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy, total organic carbon methods and radiochemistry methods, as well as many others, all requiring some type of remote sample-preparation treatment to solubilize the tank sludge material for analysis. Most of these analytical methods typically use a single sample-preparation treatment, inherently providing elemental information only. To better understand and interpret tank chemistry and assist in identifying chemical compounds, selected analytical methods are performed using multiple sample-preparation treatments. The sample preparation treatments used at Pacific Northwest Laboratory for this work with high-level mixed waste include caustic fusion, acid digestion, and water leach. The type of information available by comparing results from different sample-prep treatments includes evidence for the presence of refractory compounds, acid-soluble compounds, or water-soluble compounds. Problems unique to the analysis of Hanford tank wastes are discussed. Selected results from the Hanford single shell ferrocyanide tank, 241-C-109, are presented, and the resulting conclusions are discussed.

  9. Outdoor air pollution, subtypes and severity of ischemic stroke – a small-area level ecological study

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Evidence linking outdoor air pollution and incidence of ischemic stroke subtypes and severity is limited. We examined associations between outdoor PM10 and NO2 concentrations modeled at a fine spatial resolution and etiological and clinical ischemic stroke subtypes and severity of ischemic stroke. Methods We used a small-area level ecological study design and a stroke register set up to capture all incident cases of first ever stroke (1995–2007) occurring in a defined geographical area in South London (948 census output areas; population of 267839). Modeled PM10 and NO2 concentrations were available at a very fine spatial scale (20 meter by 20 meter grid point resolution) and were aggregated to output area level using postcode population weighted averages. Ischemic stroke was classified using the Oxford clinical classification, the Trial of Org 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment (TOAST) etiological classification, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score and a pragmatic clinical severity classification based on Glasgow coma score, ability to swallow, urinary continence and death <2 days of stroke onset. Results Mean (SD) concentrations were 25.1 (1.2) ug/m3 (range 23.3-36.4) for PM10 and 41.4 (3.0) ug/m3 (range 35.4-68.0) for NO2. There were 2492 incident cases of ischemic stroke. We found no evidence of association between these pollutants and the incidence of ischemic stroke subtypes classified using the Oxford and TOAST classifications. We found no significant association with stroke severity using NIHSS severity categories. However, we found that outdoor concentrations of both PM10 and NO2 appeared to be associated with increased incidence of mild but not severe ischemic stroke, classified using the pragmatic clinical severity classification. For mild ischemic stroke, the rate ratio in the highest PM10 category by tertile was 1.20 (1.05-1.38) relative to the lowest category. The rate ratio in the highest NO2 category was 1.22 (1

  10. CO2 and nutrient-driven changes across multiple levels of organization in Zostera noltii ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez-Crego, B.; Olivé, I.; Santos, R.

    2014-04-01

    Increasing evidence emphasizes that the effects of human impacts on ecosystems must be investigated using designs that incorporate the responses across levels of biological organization as well as the effects of multiple stressors. Here we implemented a mesocosm experiment to investigate how the effects of CO2 enrichment and its interaction with eutrophication, scale-up from changes in primary producers at the individual- (biochemistry) or population-level (production, reproduction, and/or abundance) to higher levels of community (macroalgae abundance, herbivory, and global metabolism) and ecosystem organization (detritus release and carbon sink capacity). The responses of Zostera noltii seagrass meadows growing in low- and high- nutrient field conditions were compared. In both meadows, the effect of elevated CO2 levels was mediated by epiphyte proliferation (mostly the cyanobacterium Microcoleus spp.), but not through changes in plant biochemistry or population-level traits. In the low-nutrient meadow, epiphyte proliferation suppressed the CO2 benefits on Z. noltii leaf production and led to increased detritus and decreased organic matter in sediment. Faster and stronger responses to nutrients than to CO2 were observed. Nutrient addition enhanced the nutritional quality of Z. noltii (high N, low C : N and phenolics) and the loss of leaves and shoots, while promoted the proliferation of pennate diatoms and purple bacteria. These changes led to a reduced sediment organic matter, but had no significant effects on herbivory nor on community metabolism. Interestingly, the interaction with CO2 attenuated eutrophication effects. In the high-nutrient meadow, a striking shoot decline caused by amphipod overgrazing was observed, with no response to CO2 and nutrient additions. Our results reveal that under future scenarios of CO2, the responses of seagrass ecosystems will be complex, being mediated by epiphyte proliferation rather than by effects on plant biochemistry. The

  11. CO2 and nutrient-driven changes across multiple levels of organization in Zostera noltii ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez-Crego, B.; Olivé, I.; Santos, R.

    2014-12-01

    Increasing evidence emphasizes that the effects of human impacts on ecosystems must be investigated using designs that incorporate the responses across levels of biological organization as well as the effects of multiple stressors. Here we implemented a mesocosm experiment to investigate how the individual and interactive effects of CO2 enrichment and eutrophication scale-up from changes in primary producers at the individual (biochemistry) or population level (production, reproduction, and/or abundance) to higher levels of community (macroalgae abundance, herbivory, and global metabolism), and ecosystem organization (detritus release and carbon sink capacity). The responses of Zostera noltii seagrass meadows growing in low- and high-nutrient field conditions were compared. In both meadows, the expected CO2 benefits on Z. noltii leaf production were suppressed by epiphyte overgrowth, with no direct CO2 effect on plant biochemistry or population-level traits. Multi-level meadow response to nutrients was faster and stronger than to CO2. Nutrient enrichment promoted the nutritional quality of Z. noltii (high N, low C : N and phenolics), the growth of epiphytic pennate diatoms and purple bacteria, and shoot mortality. In the low-nutrient meadow, individual effects of CO2 and nutrients separately resulted in reduced carbon storage in the sediment, probably due to enhanced microbial degradation of more labile organic matter. These changes, however, had no effect on herbivory or on community metabolism. Interestingly, individual effects of CO2 or nutrient addition on epiphytes, shoot mortality, and carbon storage were attenuated when nutrients and CO2 acted simultaneously. This suggests CO2-induced benefits on eutrophic meadows. In the high-nutrient meadow, a striking shoot decline caused by amphipod overgrazing masked the response to CO2 and nutrient additions. Our results reveal that under future scenarios of CO2, the responses of seagrass ecosystems will be complex and

  12. Molecular Evolution of Multiple-Level Control of Heme Biosynthesis Pathway in Animal Kingdom

    PubMed Central

    Tzou, Wen-Shyong; Chu, Ying; Lin, Tzung-Yi; Hu, Chin-Hwa; Pai, Tun-Wen; Liu, Hsin-Fu; Lin, Han-Jia; Cases, Ildeofonso; Rojas, Ana; Sanchez, Mayka; You, Zong-Ye; Hsu, Ming-Wei

    2014-01-01

    Adaptation of enzymes in a metabolic pathway can occur not only through changes in amino acid sequences but also through variations in transcriptional activation, mRNA splicing and mRNA translation. The heme biosynthesis pathway, a linear pathway comprised of eight consecutive enzymes in animals, provides researchers with ample information for multiple types of evolutionary analyses performed with respect to the position of each enzyme in the pathway. Through bioinformatics analysis, we found that the protein-coding sequences of all enzymes in this pathway are under strong purifying selection, from cnidarians to mammals. However, loose evolutionary constraints are observed for enzymes in which self-catalysis occurs. Through comparative genomics, we found that in animals, the first intron of the enzyme-encoding genes has been co-opted for transcriptional activation of the genes in this pathway. Organisms sense the cellular content of iron, and through iron-responsive elements in the 5′ untranslated regions of mRNAs and the intron-exon boundary regions of pathway genes, translational inhibition and exon choice in enzymes may be enabled, respectively. Pathway product (heme)-mediated negative feedback control can affect the transport of pathway enzymes into the mitochondria as well as the ubiquitin-mediated stability of enzymes. Remarkably, the positions of these controls on pathway activity are not ubiquitous but are biased towards the enzymes in the upstream portion of the pathway. We revealed that multiple-level controls on the activity of the heme biosynthesis pathway depend on the linear depth of the enzymes in the pathway, indicating a new strategy for discovering the molecular constraints that shape the evolution of a metabolic pathway. PMID:24489775

  13. Vulnerability to coastal cholera ecology.

    PubMed

    Collins, Andrew E

    2003-10-01

    The battle to completely control cholera continues. Multiple strains, high levels of morbidity in some regions of the world, and a complex of influences on its distribution in people and the environment are accompanied by only rough resolution prediction of outbreaks. Uncertainty as to the most effective array of interventions for one of the most researched infectious diseases thwarts further progress in providing cost-effective solutions. Progress on the research front consistently points towards the importance of disease ecology, coastal environments, and the sea. However, evaluation of the link between cholera in people and environment can only be effective with analysis of human vulnerability to variable coastal cholera ecologies. As there are some clear links between the organism, cholera incidence and the sea, it is appropriate that cholera research should examine the nature of coastal population vulnerability to the disease. The paper reviews the cholera risks of human-environment interactions in coastal areas as one component of the evaluation of cholera management. This points to effective intervention through integrative knowledge of changing human and environmental ecologies, requiring improved detection, but also an acceptance of complex causality. The challenge is to identify indicators and interventions for case specific ecologies in variable locales of human vulnerability and disease hazard. Further work will therefore aim to explore improved surveillance and intervention across the socio-behavioural and ecological spectrum. Furthermore, the story of cholera continues to inform us about how we should more effectively view emergent and resurgent infectious disease hazards more generally. PMID:12927470

  14. Physical modelling of granular flows at multiple-scales and stress levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Take, Andy; Bowman, Elisabeth; Bryant, Sarah

    2015-04-01

    The rheology of dry granular flows is an area of significant focus within the granular physics, geoscience, and geotechnical engineering research communities. Studies performed to better understand granular flows in manufacturing, materials processing or bulk handling applications have typically focused on the behavior of steady, continuous flows. As a result, much of the research on relating the fundamental interaction of particles to the rheological or constitutive behaviour of granular flows has been performed under (usually) steady-state conditions and low stress levels. However, landslides, which are the primary focus of the geoscience and geotechnical engineering communities, are by nature unsteady flows defined by a finite source volume and at flow depths much larger than typically possible in laboratory experiments. The objective of this paper is to report initial findings of experimental studies currently being conducted using a new large-scale landslide flume (8 m long, 2 m wide slope inclined at 30° with a 35 m long horizontal base section) and at elevated particle self-weight in a 10 m diameter geotechnical centrifuge to investigate the granular flow behavior at multiple-scales and stress levels. The transparent sidewalls of the two flumes used in the experimental investigation permit the combination of observations of particle-scale interaction (using high-speed imaging through transparent vertical sidewalls at over 1000 frames per second) with observations of the distal reach of the landslide debris. These observations are used to investigate the applicability of rheological models developed for steady state flows (e.g. the dimensionless inertial number) in landslide applications and the robustness of depth-averaged approaches to modelling dry granular flow at multiple scales. These observations indicate that the dimensionless inertial number calculated for the flow may be of limited utility except perhaps to define a general state (e.g. liquid

  15. The Periaqueductal Gray Orchestrates Sensory and Motor Circuits at Multiple Levels of the Neuraxis

    PubMed Central

    Koutsikou, Stella; Watson, Thomas C.; Crook, Jonathan J.; Leith, J. Lianne; Lawrenson, Charlotte L.; Lumb, Bridget M.

    2015-01-01

    The periaqueductal gray (PAG) coordinates behaviors essential to survival, including striking changes in movement and posture (e.g., escape behaviors in response to noxious stimuli vs freezing in response to fear-evoking stimuli). However, the neural circuits underlying the expression of these behaviors remain poorly understood. We demonstrate in vivo in rats that activation of the ventrolateral PAG (vlPAG) affects motor systems at multiple levels of the neuraxis through the following: (1) differential control of spinal neurons that forward sensory information to the cerebellum via spino-olivo-cerebellar pathways (nociceptive signals are reduced while proprioceptive signals are enhanced); (2) alterations in cerebellar nuclear output as revealed by changes in expression of Fos-like immunoreactivity; and (3) regulation of spinal reflex circuits, as shown by an increase in α-motoneuron excitability. The capacity to coordinate sensory and motor functions is demonstrated in awake, behaving rats, in which natural activation of the vlPAG in fear-conditioned animals reduced transmission in spino-olivo-cerebellar pathways during periods of freezing that were associated with increased muscle tone and thus motor outflow. The increase in spinal motor reflex excitability and reduction in transmission of ascending sensory signals via spino-olivo-cerebellar pathways occurred simultaneously. We suggest that the interactions revealed in the present study between the vlPAG and sensorimotor circuits could form the neural substrate for survival behaviors associated with vlPAG activation. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Neural circuits that coordinate survival behaviors remain poorly understood. We demonstrate in rats that the periaqueductal gray (PAG) affects motor systems at the following multiple levels of the neuraxis: (1) through altering transmission in spino-olivary pathways that forward sensory signals to the cerebellum, reducing and enhancing transmission of nociceptive and

  16. Latent Variable Regression 4-Level Hierarchical Model Using Multisite Multiple-Cohorts Longitudinal Data. CRESST Report 801

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Choi, Kilchan

    2011-01-01

    This report explores a new latent variable regression 4-level hierarchical model for monitoring school performance over time using multisite multiple-cohorts longitudinal data. This kind of data set has a 4-level hierarchical structure: time-series observation nested within students who are nested within different cohorts of students. These…

  17. ATRAZINE ECOLOGICAL EFFECTS ASSESSMENT FOR OPP LEVEL OF CONCERN AND OW WATER QUALITY CRITERION FOR AQUATIC LIFE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Atrazine is a relatively water-soluble and persistent herbicide that can reach concentrations of possible ecological concern for aquatic plants in vulnerable watersheds in regions with high agricultural usage of atrazine. As a consequence, the U.S. EPA Office of Water is current...

  18. Animal behaviour shapes the ecological effects of ocean acidification and warming: moving from individual to community-level responses.

    PubMed

    Nagelkerken, Ivan; Munday, Philip L

    2016-03-01

    Biological communities are shaped by complex interactions between organisms and their environment as well as interactions with other species. Humans are rapidly changing the marine environment through increasing greenhouse gas emissions, resulting in ocean warming and acidification. The first response by animals to environmental change is predominantly through modification of their behaviour, which in turn affects species interactions and ecological processes. Yet, many climate change studies ignore animal behaviour. Furthermore, our current knowledge of how global change alters animal behaviour is mostly restricted to single species, life phases and stressors, leading to an incomplete view of how coinciding climate stressors can affect the ecological interactions that structure biological communities. Here, we first review studies on the effects of warming and acidification on the behaviour of marine animals. We demonstrate how pervasive the effects of global change are on a wide range of critical behaviours that determine the persistence of species and their success in ecological communities. We then evaluate several approaches to studying the ecological effects of warming and acidification, and identify knowledge gaps that need to be filled, to better understand how global change will affect marine populations and communities through altered animal behaviours. Our review provides a synthesis of the far-reaching consequences that behavioural changes could have for marine ecosystems in a rapidly changing environment. Without considering the pervasive effects of climate change on animal behaviour we will limit our ability to forecast the impacts of ocean change and provide insights that can aid management strategies. PMID:26700211

  19. Low-level laser therapy ameliorates disease progression in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Gonçalves, Elaine D; Souza, Priscila S; Lieberknecht, Vicente; Fidelis, Giulia S P; Barbosa, Rafael I; Silveira, Paulo C L; de Pinho, Ricardo A; Dutra, Rafael C

    2016-03-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune demyelinating inflammatory disease characterized by recurrent episodes of T cell-mediated immune attack on central nervous system (CNS) myelin, leading to axon damage and progressive disability. The existing therapies for MS are only partially effective and are associated with undesirable side effects. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) has been clinically used to treat inflammation, and to induce tissue healing and repair processes. However, there are no reports about the effects and mechanisms of LLLT in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an established model of MS. Here, we report the effects and underlying mechanisms of action of LLLT (AlGaInP, 660 nm and GaAs, 904 nm) irradiated on the spinal cord during EAE development. EAE was induced in female C57BL/6 mice by immunization with MOG35-55 peptide emulsified in complete Freund's adjuvant. Our results showed that LLLT consistently reduced the clinical score of EAE and delayed the disease onset, and also prevented weight loss induced by immunization. Furthermore, these beneficial effects of LLLT seem to be associated with the down-regulation of NO levels in the CNS, although the treatment with LLLT failed to inhibit lipid peroxidation and restore antioxidant defense during EAE. Finally, histological analysis showed that LLLT blocked neuroinflammation through a reduction of inflammatory cells in the CNS, especially lymphocytes, as well as preventing demyelination in the spinal cord after EAE induction. Together, our results suggest the use of LLLT as a therapeutic application during autoimmune neuroinflammatory responses, such as MS. PMID:26703077

  20. Do Pediatric Patients Who Receive Care Across Multiple Health Systems Have Higher Levels of Repeat Testing?

    PubMed

    Knighton, Andrew J; Payne, Nathaniel R; Speedie, Stuart

    2016-04-01

    Repetition by clinicians of the same tests for a given patient is common. However, not all repeat tests are necessary for optimal care and can result in unnecessary hardship. Limited evidence suggests that an electronic health record may reduce redundant laboratory testing and imaging by making previous results accessible to physicians. The purpose of this study is to establish a baseline by characterizing repeat testing in a pediatric population and to identify significant risk factors associated with repeated tests, including the impact of using multiple health systems. A population-based retrospective cross-sectional design was used to examine initial and repeat test instances, defined as a second test following an initial test of the same type for the same patient. The study population consisted of 8760 children with 1-25 test claims over a 1-year period. The study setting included all health care service organizations in Minnesota that generated these claims. In all, 17.2% of tests met the definition of repeat test instances, with several risk factors associated with per patient repeat test levels. The incidence of repeat test instances per patient was significantly higher when patients received care from more than 1 health system (adjusted incidence rate ratio 1.4; 95% confidence interval: 1.3-1.5). Repeat test levels are significant in pediatric populations and potentially actionable. Interoperable health information technology may reduce the incidence of repeat test instances in pediatric populations by making prior test results readily accessible. (Population Health Management 2016;19:102-108). PMID:26086359

  1. Levels and Rates of Physical Activity in Older Adults with Multiple Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Klaren, Rachel E.; Sebastiao, Emerson; Chiu, Chung-Yi; Kinnett-Hopkins, Dominique; McAuley, Edward; Motl, Robert W.

    2016-01-01

    There is much evidence supporting the safety and benefits of physical activity in adults with multiple sclerosis (MS) and recent evidence of beneficial effects on physical function in older adults with MS. However, there is very little known about physical activity participation in older adults with conditions such as MS. This study compared levels of physical activity (i.e., sedentary behavior, light physical activity (LPA), and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA)) and rates of meeting public health guidelines for MVPA (i.e., ≥30 min/day) among young (i.e., ages 20-39 years), middle-aged (i.e., ages 40-59 years) and older adults (i.e., ages ≥60 years) with MS. The sample included 963 persons with MS who provided demographic and clinical information and wore an accelerometer for a 7-day period. The primary analysis involved a between-subjects ANOVA on accelerometer variables (i.e., accelerometer wear time; number of valid days; sedentary behavior in min/day; LPA in min/day; and MVPA in min/day). Collectively, our data indicated that older adults with MS engaged in less MVPA and more sedentary behavior than middle-aged and young adults with MS. Such results highlight the importance of developing physical activity interventions as an effective means for managing the progression and consequences of MS in older adults. PMID:27330842

  2. Multiple-Choice Exams: An Obstacle for Higher-Level Thinking in Introductory Science Classes

    PubMed Central

    Stanger-Hall, Kathrin F.

    2012-01-01

    Learning science requires higher-level (critical) thinking skills that need to be practiced in science classes. This study tested the effect of exam format on critical-thinking skills. Multiple-choice (MC) testing is common in introductory science courses, and students in these classes tend to associate memorization with MC questions and may not see the need to modify their study strategies for critical thinking, because the MC exam format has not changed. To test the effect of exam format, I used two sections of an introductory biology class. One section was assessed with exams in the traditional MC format, the other section was assessed with both MC and constructed-response (CR) questions. The mixed exam format was correlated with significantly more cognitively active study behaviors and a significantly better performance on the cumulative final exam (after accounting for grade point average and gender). There was also less gender-bias in the CR answers. This suggests that the MC-only exam format indeed hinders critical thinking in introductory science classes. Introducing CR questions encouraged students to learn more and to be better critical thinkers and reduced gender bias. However, student resistance increased as students adjusted their perceptions of their own critical-thinking abilities. PMID:22949426

  3. Paradoxical resistance of multiple myeloma to proteasome inhibitors by decreased levels of 19S proteasomal subunits

    PubMed Central

    Acosta-Alvear, Diego; Cho, Min Y; Wild, Thomas; Buchholz, Tonia J; Lerner, Alana G; Simakova, Olga; Hahn, Jamie; Korde, Neha; Landgren, Ola; Maric, Irina; Choudhary, Chunaram; Walter, Peter; Weissman, Jonathan S; Kampmann, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Hallmarks of cancer, including rapid growth and aneuploidy, can result in non-oncogene addiction to the proteostasis network that can be exploited clinically. The defining example is the exquisite sensitivity of multiple myeloma (MM) to 20S proteasome inhibitors, such as carfilzomib. However, MM patients invariably acquire resistance to these drugs. Using a next-generation shRNA platform, we found that proteostasis factors, including chaperones and stress-response regulators, controlled the response to carfilzomib. Paradoxically, 19S proteasome regulator knockdown induced resistance to carfilzomib in MM and non-MM cells. 19S subunit knockdown did not affect the activity of the 20S subunits targeted by carfilzomib nor their inhibition by the drug, suggesting an alternative mechanism, such as the selective accumulation of protective factors. In MM patients, lower 19S levels predicted a diminished response to carfilzomib-based therapies. Together, our findings suggest that an understanding of network rewiring can inform development of new combination therapies to overcome drug resistance. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.08153.001 PMID:26327694

  4. Body Mass Index in Multiple Sclerosis: Associations with CSF Neurotransmitter Metabolite Levels

    PubMed Central

    Evangelopoulos, Maria-Eleftheria; Davaki, Panagiota; Sfagos, Constantinos

    2013-01-01

    Body weight and height of patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) or clinically isolated syndrome suggesting MS (CIS) in the age range 18 to 60 years (154 males and 315 females) were compared with those of subjects (146 males and 212 females) free of any major neurological disease. In drug-free patients, CSF levels of the metabolites of noradrenaline (MHPG), serotonin (5-HIAA), and dopamine (HVA), neurotransmitters involved in eating behavior, were estimated in searching for associations with body mass index (BMI). Statistical evaluations were done separately for males and females. Lower BMI was found in female MS patients compared to female controls, more pronounced in RRMS. BMI was not associated with duration of illness, smoking, present or previous drug treatment, or disability score. Body height showed a shift towards greater values in MS patients compared to controls. Patients in the lower BMI quartile (limits defined from control subjects) had lower 5-HIAA and HVA compared to patients in the upper quartile. The results provide evidence for weight reduction during disease process in MS, possibly related to deficits in serotoninergic and dopaminergic activities that develop during disease course, resulting in impairments in food reward capacity and in motivation to eat. PMID:24205443

  5. Variants in ELL2 influencing immunoglobulin levels associate with multiple myeloma

    PubMed Central

    Swaminathan, Bhairavi; Thorleifsson, Guðmar; Jöud, Magnus; Ali, Mina; Johnsson, Ellinor; Ajore, Ram; Sulem, Patrick; Halvarsson, Britt-Marie; Eyjolfsson, Guðmundur; Haraldsdottir, Vilhelmina; Hultman, Christina; Ingelsson, Erik; Kristinsson, Sigurður Y.; Kähler, Anna K.; Lenhoff, Stig; Masson, Gisli; Mellqvist, Ulf-Henrik; Månsson, Robert; Nelander, Sven; Olafsson, Isleifur; Sigurðardottir, Olof; Steingrimsdóttir, Hlif; Vangsted, Annette; Vogel, Ulla; Waage, Anders; Nahi, Hareth; Gudbjartsson, Daniel F.; Rafnar, Thorunn; Turesson, Ingemar; Gullberg, Urban; Stefánsson, Kári; Hansson, Markus; Thorsteinsdóttir, Unnur; Nilsson, Björn

    2015-01-01

    Multiple myeloma (MM) is characterized by an uninhibited, clonal growth of plasma cells. While first-degree relatives of patients with MM show an increased risk of MM, the genetic basis of inherited MM susceptibility is incompletely understood. Here we report a genome-wide association study in the Nordic region identifying a novel MM risk locus at ELL2 (rs56219066T; odds ratio (OR)=1.25; P=9.6 × 10−10). This gene encodes a stoichiometrically limiting component of the super-elongation complex that drives secretory-specific immunoglobulin mRNA production and transcriptional regulation in plasma cells. We find that the MM risk allele harbours a Thr298Ala missense variant in an ELL2 domain required for transcription elongation. Consistent with a hypomorphic effect, we find that the MM risk allele also associates with reduced levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA) and G (IgG) in healthy subjects (P=8.6 × 10−9 and P=6.4 × 10−3, respectively) and, potentially, with an increased risk of bacterial meningitis (OR=1.30; P=0.0024). PMID:26007630

  6. Insulin regulates milk protein synthesis at multiple levels in the bovine mammary gland.

    PubMed

    Menzies, Karensa K; Lefèvre, Christophe; Macmillan, Keith L; Nicholas, Kevin R

    2009-05-01

    The role of insulin in milk protein synthesis is unresolved in the bovine mammary gland. This study examined the potential role of insulin in the presence of two lactogenic hormones, hydrocortisone and prolactin, in milk protein synthesis. Insulin was shown to stimulate milk protein gene expression, casein synthesis and (14)C-lysine uptake in mammary explants from late pregnant cows. A global assessment of changes in gene expression in mammary explants in response to insulin was undertaken using Affymetrix microarray. The resulting data provided insight into the molecular mechanisms stimulated by insulin and showed that the hormone stimulated the expression of 28 genes directly involved in protein synthesis. These genes included the milk protein transcription factor, ELF5, translation factors, the folate metabolism genes, FOLR1 and MTHFR, as well as several genes encoding enzymes involved in catabolism of essential amino acids and biosynthesis of non-essential amino acids. These data show that insulin is not only essential for milk protein gene expression, but stimulates milk protein synthesis at multiple levels within bovine mammary epithelial cells. PMID:19107532

  7. Multiple Levels of Bilingual Language Control: Evidence from Language Intrusions in Reading Aloud

    PubMed Central

    Gollan, Tamar H.; Schotter, Elizabeth R.; Gomez, Joanne; Murillo, Mayra; Rayner, Keith

    2013-01-01

    Bilinguals rarely produce words in an unintended language. However, we induced such intrusion errors (e.g., saying el instead of he) in 32 Spanish-English bilinguals who read aloud language-selective and language-mixed paragraphs with English or Spanish word order. Bilinguals produced language intrusions almost exclusively in language-mixed paragraphs, and most often when attempting to produce dominant-language targets (accent-only errors also exhibited reversed language dominance effects). Most intrusion errors occurred for function word targets, especially when they did not match paragraph language word order. Eye movements showed that fixating a word in the non-target language increased intrusion errors only for function word targets. Together, these results imply multiple mechanisms of language control, including (a) inhibition of the dominant language at both lexical (Green, 1998) and sublexical processing levels, (b) special retrieval mechanisms for function words in mixed-language utterances (Myers-Scotton, 1993), and (c) attention’s role in monitoring target language for match with intended language. PMID:24367061

  8. Modeling Stochastic Kinetics of Molecular Machines at Multiple Levels: From Molecules to Modules

    PubMed Central

    Chowdhury, Debashish

    2013-01-01

    A molecular machine is either a single macromolecule or a macromolecular complex. In spite of the striking superficial similarities between these natural nanomachines and their man-made macroscopic counterparts, there are crucial differences. Molecular machines in a living cell operate stochastically in an isothermal environment far from thermodynamic equilibrium. In this mini-review we present a catalog of the molecular machines and an inventory of the essential toolbox for theoretically modeling these machines. The tool kits include 1), nonequilibrium statistical-physics techniques for modeling machines and machine-driven processes; and 2), statistical-inference methods for reverse engineering a functional machine from the empirical data. The cell is often likened to a microfactory in which the machineries are organized in modular fashion; each module consists of strongly coupled multiple machines, but different modules interact weakly with each other. This microfactory has its own automated supply chain and delivery system. Buoyed by the success achieved in modeling individual molecular machines, we advocate integration of these models in the near future to develop models of functional modules. A system-level description of the cell from the perspective of molecular machinery (the mechanome) is likely to emerge from further integrations that we envisage here. PMID:23746505

  9. Levels and Rates of Physical Activity in Older Adults with Multiple Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Klaren, Rachel E; Sebastiao, Emerson; Chiu, Chung-Yi; Kinnett-Hopkins, Dominique; McAuley, Edward; Motl, Robert W

    2016-05-01

    There is much evidence supporting the safety and benefits of physical activity in adults with multiple sclerosis (MS) and recent evidence of beneficial effects on physical function in older adults with MS. However, there is very little known about physical activity participation in older adults with conditions such as MS. This study compared levels of physical activity (i.e., sedentary behavior, light physical activity (LPA), and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA)) and rates of meeting public health guidelines for MVPA (i.e., ≥30 min/day) among young (i.e., ages 20-39 years), middle-aged (i.e., ages 40-59 years) and older adults (i.e., ages ≥60 years) with MS. The sample included 963 persons with MS who provided demographic and clinical information and wore an accelerometer for a 7-day period. The primary analysis involved a between-subjects ANOVA on accelerometer variables (i.e., accelerometer wear time; number of valid days; sedentary behavior in min/day; LPA in min/day; and MVPA in min/day). Collectively, our data indicated that older adults with MS engaged in less MVPA and more sedentary behavior than middle-aged and young adults with MS. Such results highlight the importance of developing physical activity interventions as an effective means for managing the progression and consequences of MS in older adults. PMID:27330842

  10. Occurrence, distribution and ecological risk assessment of multiple classes of UV filters in surface waters from different countries.

    PubMed

    Tsui, Mirabelle M P; Leung, H W; Wai, Tak-Cheung; Yamashita, Nobuyoshi; Taniyasu, Sachi; Liu, Wenhua; Lam, Paul K S; Murphy, Margaret B

    2014-12-15

    Organic UV filters are common ingredients of personal care products (PCPs), but little is known about their distribution in and potential impacts to the marine environment. This study reports the occurrence and risk assessment of twelve widely used organic UV filters in surface water collected in eight cities in four countries (China, the United States, Japan, and Thailand) and the North American Arctic. The number of compounds detected, Hong Kong (12), Tokyo (9), Bangkok (9), New York (8), Los Angeles (8), Arctic (6), Shantou (5) and Chaozhou (5), generally increased with population density. Median concentrations of all detectable UV filters were <250 ng/L. The presence of these compounds in the Arctic is likely due to a combination of inadequate wastewater treatment and long-range oceanic transport. Principal component analysis (PCA) and two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) were conducted to explore spatiotemporal patterns and difference in organic UV filter levels in Hong Kong. In general, spatial patterns varied with sampling month and all compounds showed higher concentrations in the wet season except benzophenone-4 (BP-4). Probabilistic risk assessment showed that 4-methylbenzylidene camphor (4-MBC) posed greater risk to algae, while benzophenone-3 (BP-3) and ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate (EHMC) were more likely to pose a risk to fishes and also posed high risk of bleaching in hard corals in aquatic recreational areas in Hong Kong. This study is the first to report the occurrence of organic UV filters in the Arctic and provides a wider assessment of their potential negative impacts in the marine environment. PMID:25261628