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Sample records for australian lungfish revealed

  1. Spatial and temporal pattern for the dentition in the Australian lungfish revealed with sonic hedgehog expression profile.

    PubMed

    Smith, Moya M; Okabe, Masataka; Joss, Jean

    2009-02-22

    We report a temporal order of tooth addition in the Australian lungfish where timing of tooth induction is sequential in the same pattern as osteichthyans along the lower jaw. The order of tooth initiation in Neoceratodus starts from the midline tooth, together with left and right ones at jaw position 2, followed by 3 and then 1. This is the pattern order for dentary teeth of several teleosts and what we propose represents a stereotypic initiation pattern shared with all osteichthyans, including the living sister group to all tetrapods, the Australian lungfish. This is contrary to previous opinions that the lungfish dentition is otherwise derived and uniquely different. Sonic hedgehog (shh) expression is intensely focused on tooth positions at different times corresponding with their initiation order. This deployment of shh is required for lungfish tooth induction, as cyclopamine treatment results in complete loss of these teeth when applied before they develop. The temporal sequence of tooth initiation is possibly regulated by shh and is know to be required for dentition pattern in other osteichthyans, including cichlid fish and snakes. This reflects a shared developmental process with jawed vertebrates at the level of the tooth module but differs with the lack of replacement teeth.

  2. The Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri: a personal story.

    PubMed

    Joss, Jean M P

    2011-08-01

    The following is a brief description of how lungfish research at Macquarie University began, of the period in which it flourished, and, most recently, of the winding down of the University's involvement with this research. During this latter period, the Australian lungfish in the wild were threatened by the construction of a megadam in their very limited habitat. Fortunately, this was averted in December 2009, after 3 years of lobbying the Federal Government. They now await another "Aussie" to make them accessible for further research by Australian and international researchers.

  3. Visual ecology of the Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri)

    PubMed Central

    Hart, Nathan S; Bailes, Helena J; Vorobyev, Misha; Marshall, N Justin; Collin, Shaun P

    2008-01-01

    Background The transition from water to land was a key event in the evolution of vertebrates that occurred over a period of 15–20 million years towards the end of the Devonian. Tetrapods, including all land-living vertebrates, are thought to have evolved from lobe-finned (sarcopterygian) fish that developed adaptations for an amphibious existence. However, while many of the biomechanical and physiological modifications necessary to achieve this feat have been studied in detail, little is known about the sensory adaptations accompanying this transition. In this study, we investigated the visual system and visual ecology of the Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri, which is the most primitive of all the lungfish and possibly the closest living relative to the ancestors of tetrapods. Results Juvenile Neoceratodus have five spectrally distinct retinal visual pigments. A single type of rod photoreceptor contains a visual pigment with a wavelength of maximum absorbance (λmax) at 540 nm. Four spectrally distinct single cone photoreceptors contain visual pigments with λmax at 366 (UVS), 479 (SWS), 558 (MWS) and 623 nm (LWS). No double cones were found. Adult lungfish do not possess UVS cones and, unlike juveniles, have ocular media that prevent ultraviolet light from reaching the retina. Yellow ellipsoidal/paraboloidal pigments in the MWS cones and red oil droplets in the LWS cones narrow the spectral sensitivity functions of these photoreceptors and shift their peak sensitivity to 584 nm and 656 nm, respectively. Modelling of the effects of these intracellular spectral filters on the photoreceptor colour space of Neoceratodus suggests that they enhance their ability to discriminate objects, such as plants and other lungfishes, on the basis of colour. Conclusion The presence of a complex colour vision system based on multiple cone types and intracellular spectral filters in lungfishes suggests that many of the ocular characteristics seen in terrestrial or

  4. The Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri) - fish or amphibian pattern of muscle development?

    PubMed

    Kacperczyk, Agata; Daczewska, Malgorzata

    2008-01-01

    The Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri (Dipnoi-Sarcoterygians) is a likely candidate for the extant sister group of Tetrapoda. Transmission electron and light microscopy analysis revealed that the arrangement of somite cells of the lungfish resembles the structure of the urodelan somite. On the other hand, the pattern of early muscle formation in N. forsteri is similar to that found in the Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baeri). During the early stages of myogenesis of N. forsteri, somite-derived cells fuse to form multinucleated muscle lamellae. During later stages, mononucleated undifferentiated cells are first observed in the intermyotomal fissures and subsequently in the myotomes, among white muscle lamellae. The cells from the intermyotomal fissure differentiate into fibroblasts. The cells which have migrated into the myotomes, differentiate into mesenchyme-derived myoblasts. After hatching, white muscle lamellae are successively converted into polygonal muscle fibres. Conversion of lamellae into fibres may occur through splitting of muscle lamellae, or cylindrical muscle fibres may arise de novo as a result of fusion of mesenchyme-derived myoblasts. No increase in the number of muscle fibre nuclei is observed either in embryonic or juvenile musculature of N. forsteri. We suggest that until the 53 stage of embryonic development, the increase in muscle mass is accomplished mainly through hyperplasy. Thus, lungfish muscle represents the organizational intermediate between fishes and amphibians. This makes it a useful model to study the evolutionary implications of the mechanisms of muscle development.

  5. Scale structure in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri (Osteichthyes: Dipnoi).

    PubMed

    Kemp, Anne; Heaslop, Meg; Carr, Andrew

    2015-10-01

    Scales of the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, are secreted within the dermis by a capsule of scleroblasts, and enclosed in a pouch made of collagen fibers, in contact with the epidermis over the posterior third of the scale. Each scale grows from a focus, which represents the first formed part of the scale. On the internal surface of the scale is elasmodin, made of collagen fiber bundles arranged in layers. Elasmodin, unmineralized in N. forsteri, contains cells in the living animal, and the number of layers increases as the scales grow. Squamulin, on the thin external part of the scale, is also laid down in layers, and based on a matrix of fine collagen fibrils, mineralized with a poorly crystalline biogenic calcium hydroxylapatite. Squamulin is divided into separate sections called squamulae, and contains long tubules with cells applied to the wall of the tubule. The anterior and lateral surfaces of the squamulin are ornamented with pediculae, and the posterior surface has longitudinal ridges, from which collagen fibers extend to anchor the scale within the pouch. Elasmodin and squamulin are linked by unmineralized collagen fibrils. The layers, formed at irregular intervals, are connected around the margin of the scale, effectively converting the whole scale into a flat structure resembling a pearl, with the first formed tissues deeply embedded inside the scale, and the youngest on the outer surface. Incremental lines in the hard tissue, and the number of layers in the elasmodin, do not reflect the chronological age of the fish.

  6. Cartilage, bone, and intermandibular connective tissue in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri (Osteichthyes: Dipnoi).

    PubMed

    Kemp, Anne

    2013-10-01

    The connective tissue that links the bones of the mandible in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, has been described as an intermandibular cartilage, and as such has been considered important for phylogenetic analyses among lower vertebrates. However, light and electron microscopy of developing lungfish jaws demonstrates that the intermandibular tissue, like the connective tissue that links the bones of the upper jaw, contains fibroblasts and numerous bundles of collagen fibrils, extending from the trabeculae of the bones supporting the tooth plates. It differs significantly in structure and in staining reactions from the cartilage and the bone found in this species. In common with the cladistian Polypterus and with actinopterygians and some amphibians, lungfish have no intermandibular cartilage. The connective tissue linking the mandibular bones has no phylogenetic significance for systematic grouping of lungfish, as it is present in a range of different groups among lower vertebrates.

  7. Brain - Endocast Relationship in the Australian Lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, Elucidated from Tomographic Data (Sarcopterygii: Dipnoi).

    PubMed

    Clement, Alice M; Nysjö, Johan; Strand, Robin; Ahlberg, Per E

    2015-01-01

    Although the brains of the three extant lungfish genera have been previously described, the spatial relationship between the brain and the neurocranium has never before been fully described nor quantified. Through the application of virtual microtomography (μCT) and 3D rendering software, we describe aspects of the gross anatomy of the brain and labyrinth region in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri and compare this to previous accounts. Unexpected characters in this specimen include short olfactory peduncles connecting the olfactory bulbs to the telencephalon, and an oblong telencephalon. Furthermore, we illustrate the endocast (the mould of the internal space of the neurocranial cavity) of Neoceratodus, also describing and quantifying the brain-endocast relationship in a lungfish for the first time. Overall, the brain of the Australian lungfish closely matches the size and shape of the endocast cavity housing it, filling more than four fifths of the total volume. The forebrain and labyrinth regions of the brain correspond very well to the endocast morphology, while the midbrain and hindbrain do not fit so closely. Our results cast light on the gross neural and endocast anatomy in lungfishes, and are likely to have particular significance for palaeoneurologists studying fossil taxa.

  8. Brain – Endocast Relationship in the Australian Lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, Elucidated from Tomographic Data (Sarcopterygii: Dipnoi)

    PubMed Central

    Clement, Alice M.; Nysjö, Johan; Strand, Robin; Ahlberg, Per E.

    2015-01-01

    Although the brains of the three extant lungfish genera have been previously described, the spatial relationship between the brain and the neurocranium has never before been fully described nor quantified. Through the application of virtual microtomography (μCT) and 3D rendering software, we describe aspects of the gross anatomy of the brain and labyrinth region in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri and compare this to previous accounts. Unexpected characters in this specimen include short olfactory peduncles connecting the olfactory bulbs to the telencephalon, and an oblong telencephalon. Furthermore, we illustrate the endocast (the mould of the internal space of the neurocranial cavity) of Neoceratodus, also describing and quantifying the brain-endocast relationship in a lungfish for the first time. Overall, the brain of the Australian lungfish closely matches the size and shape of the endocast cavity housing it, filling more than four fifths of the total volume. The forebrain and labyrinth regions of the brain correspond very well to the endocast morphology, while the midbrain and hindbrain do not fit so closely. Our results cast light on the gross neural and endocast anatomy in lungfishes, and are likely to have particular significance for palaeoneurologists studying fossil taxa. PMID:26492190

  9. Lungfish albumin is more similar to tetrapod than to teleost albumins: purification and characterisation of albumin from the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri.

    PubMed

    Metcalf, Victoria J; George, Peter M; Brennan, Stephen O

    2007-07-01

    Lobe-finned fish, particularly lungfish, are thought of as the closest extant relatives to tetrapods. Albumin, the major vertebrate plasma protein, has been well studied in tetrapods, but there exists no comparative study of the presence and characteristics of albumin in lobe-finned fish versus other vertebrates. There is a controversy over the presence of albumin in fish, although it is present in salmonids and lamprey. The presence of albumin in lungfish has also recently been documented. We identified albumin in plasma of the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, using a combination of agarose gel electrophoresis, [(14)C]palmitic acid binding and SDS-PAGE. Lungfish albumin was purified using DEAE-ion exchange chromatography, and has a mass of 67 kDa, is present at approximately 8 g/L in plasma and like other fish albumins, does not bind nickel. However, like tetrapod albumins, it is not glycosylated. N-terminal and internal peptide sequencing generated 101 amino acids of sequence, which showed a high degree of identity with tetrapod albumins. Despite the similarity in sequence but congruent with the evolutionary distances separating them, lungfish albumin did not cross-react with anti-chicken or anti-tuatara A albumin antisera. Lungfish albumin has characteristics more akin with tetrapod albumin and less like those of other fish.

  10. The fate of cranial neural crest cells in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri.

    PubMed

    Ericsson, Rolf; Joss, Jean; Olsson, Lennart

    2008-06-15

    The cranial neural crest has been shown to give rise to a diversity of cells and tissues, including cartilage, bone and connective tissue, in a variety of tetrapods and in the zebrafish. It has been claimed, however, that in the Australian lungfish these tissues are not derived from the cranial neural crest, and even that no migrating cranial neural crest cells exist in this species. We have earlier documented that cranial neural crest cells do migrate, although they emerge late, in the Australian lungfish. Here, we have used the lipophilic fluorescent dye, DiI, to label premigratory cranial neural crest cells and follow their fate until stage 43, when several cranial skeletal elements have started to differentiate. The timing and extent of their migration was investigated, and formation of mandibular, hyoid and branchial streams documented. Cranial neural crest was shown to contribute cells to several parts of the head skeleton, including the trabecula cranii and derivatives of the mandibular arch (e.g., Meckel's cartilage, quadrate), the hyoid arch (e.g., the ceratohyal) and the branchial arches (ceratobranchials I-IV), as well as to the connective tissue surrounding the myofibers in cranial muscles. We conclude that cranial neural crest migration and fate in the Australian lungfish follow the stereotyped pattern documented in other vertebrates.

  11. Cranial nerves in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, and in fossil relatives (Osteichthyes: Dipnoi).

    PubMed

    Kemp, A

    2017-02-01

    Three systems, two sensory and one protective, are present in the skin of the living Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, and in fossil lungfish, and the arrangement and innervation of the sense organs is peculiar to lungfish. Peripheral branches of nerves that innervate the sense organs are slender and unprotected, and form before any skeletal structures appear. When the olfactory capsule develops, it traps some of the anterior branches of cranial nerve V, which emerged from the chondrocranium from the lateral sphenotic foramen. Cranial nerve I innervates the olfactory organ enclosed within the olfactory capsule and cranial nerve II innervates the eye. Cranial nerve V innervates the sense organs of the snout and upper lip, and, in conjunction with nerve IX and X, the sense organs of the posterior and lateral head. Cranial nerve VII is primarily a motor nerve, and a single branch innervates sense organs in the mandible. There are no connections between nerves V and VII, although both emerge from the brain close to each other. The third associated system consists of lymphatic vessels covered by an extracellular matrix of collagen, mineralised as tubules in fossils. Innervation of the sensory organs is separate from the lymphatic system and from the tubule system of fossil lungfish.

  12. Prosencephalic neural folds give rise to neural crest cells in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri.

    PubMed

    Kundrát, Martin; Joss, Jean M P; Olsson, Lennart

    2009-03-15

    Here we present a fate map of the prosencephalic neural fold (PNF) for the Australian lungfish. The experimental procedures were carried out on lungfish embryos at Kemp's stage 24 using three different approaches. First, either medial PNF (MPNF) or lateral PNF (LPNF) were ablated and the embryos cultured until they reached Kemp's stage 42 and 44. Ablation of the LPNF provided phenotypes with arrested development of the eye, reduction of periocular pigmentation, frontonasal deformity, and a slightly reduced olfactory organ, whereas the MPNF-ablated phenotypes resulted in arrested development of the cornea and frontonasal deformity. Second, we labeled the mid-axial level of the PNF with vital DiI and traced the migration of labeled cells following culture to Kemp's stage 33. Labeled PNF-derived cells populated a basal layer of the olfactory placode, migrated into the frontonasal region, the antero-dorsal periocular quadrant, and also terminated at positions where the forebrain meninges form at later stages. Third, we examined HNK-1 immunoreactivity in the forebrain-related region. We conclude that in the Australian lungfish: (1) LPNF-derived neuroepithelium gives rise to the basal layer and contributes to the apical layer of the olfactory placode; (2) PNF-derived NC cells appear to give rise to meningeal, periocular, and frontonasal ectomesenchyme and likely infiltrate the olfactory placode as developmental precusors of the terminal nerve; (3) HNK-1 epitope is temporarily expressed in cells of the neural tube, NC cells, and neurogenic placodal cells. Our experiments have provided the first evidence for a premandibular NC stream (sensu Kundrát, 2008) in a fish.

  13. Evolution of the Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri) genome: a major role for CR1 and L2 LINE elements.

    PubMed

    Metcalfe, Cushla J; Filée, Jonathan; Germon, Isabelle; Joss, Jean; Casane, Didier

    2012-11-01

    Haploid genomes greater than 25,000 Mb are rare, within the animals only the lungfish and some of the salamanders and crustaceans are known to have genomes this large. There is very little data on the structure of genomes this size. It is known, however, that for animal genomes up to 3,000 Mb, there is in general a good correlation between genome size and the percent of the genome composed of repetitive sequence and that this repetitive component is highly dynamic. In this study, we sampled the Australian lungfish genome using three mini-genomic libraries and found that with very little sequence, the results converged on an estimate of 40% of the genome being composed of recognizable transposable elements (TEs), chiefly from the CR1 and L2 long interspersed nuclear element clades. We further characterized the CR1 and L2 elements in the lungfish genome and show that although most CR1 elements probably represent recent amplifications, the L2 elements are more diverse and are more likely the result of a series of amplifications. We suggest that our sampling method has probably underestimated the recognizable TE content. However, on the basis of the most likely sources of error, we suggest that this very large genome is not largely composed of recently amplified, undetected TEs but may instead include a large component of older degenerate TEs. Based on these estimates, and on Thomson's (Thomson K. 1972. An attempt to reconstruct evolutionary changes in the cellular DNA content of lungfish. J Exp Zool. 180:363-372) inference that in the lineage leading to the extant Australian lungfish, there was massive increase in genome size between 350 and 200 mya, after which the size of the genome changed little, we speculate that the very large Australian lungfish genome may be the result of a massive amplification of TEs followed by a long period with a very low rate of sequence removal and some ongoing TE activity.

  14. High resolution transmission electron microscopy of developing enamel in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri (Osteichthyes: Dipnoi).

    PubMed

    Barry, John C; Kemp, Anne

    2007-12-01

    The permanent tooth plates of the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, are covered by enamel that develops initially in a similar manner to that of other vertebrates. As the enamel layer matures, it acquires several unusual characteristics. It has radially oriented protoprismatic structures with the long axes of the protoprisms perpendicular to the enamel surface. Protoprisms can be defined as aggregations of hydroxyapatite crystals that lack the highly ordered arrangement of the rods of mammalian enamel but are not without a specific structure of their own. The protoprisms are arranged in layers of variable thickness that are deposited sequentially as the tooth plate grows. They may be confined to the separate layers, or may cross the boundary between each layer. Crystals within the protoprisms are long and thin with hydroxyapatite c-axis dimensions of between 30 and 350 nm, and with typical a-b axis dimensions of 5-10 nm. The hydroxyapatite crystals of lungfish enamel have no centre dark lines of octacalcium phosphate, an unusual character among vertebrates. As each crystal develops, arrays of atoms may change direction, and regions exist where dislocations and extra lattice planes are inserted into the long crystal. The resulting hydroxyapatite crystal is not straight, and has a rough surface. The crystals are arranged in tangled structures with their crystallographic c-axes closely aligned with the long axis of the protoprism. Lungfish enamel differs from the enamel of higher vertebrates in that the hydroxyapatite crystals are of different shape, and, in mature enamel, the protoprisms remain as protoprisms and do not develop into the conventional prismatic structures characteristic of mammalian enamel.

  15. Skin structure in the snout of the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri (Osteichthyes: Dipnoi).

    PubMed

    Kemp, A

    2014-10-01

    Many fossil lungfish have a system of mineralised tubules in the dermis of the snout, branching extensively and radiating towards the epidermis. The tubules anastomose in the superficial layer of the dermis, forming a plexus consisting of two layers of vessels, with branches that expand into pore canals and flask organs, flanked by cosmine nodules where these are present. Traces of this system are found in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, consisting of branching tubules in the dermis, a double plexus below the epidermis and dermal papillae entering the epidermis without reaching the surface. In N. forsteri, the tubules, the plexus and the dermal papillae consist of thick, unmineralised connective tissue, enclosing fine blood vessels packed with lymphocytes. Tissues in the epidermis and the dermis of N. forsteri are not associated with deposits of calcium, which is below detectable limits in the skin of the snout at all stages of the life cycle. Canals of the sensory line system, with mechanoreceptors, are separate from the tubules, the plexus and the dermal papillae, as are the electroreceptors in the epidermis. The system of tubules, plexus, dermal papillae and lymphatic capillaries may function to protect the tissues of the snout from infection.

  16. Formation and structure of scales in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri (Osteichthyes: Dipnoi).

    PubMed

    Kemp, Anne

    2012-05-01

    The large elasmoid scales of the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, are formed within the dermis by unpigmented scleroblasts, growing within a collagenous dermal pocket below a thick glandular epidermis. The first row of scales, on the trunk of the juvenile lungfish, appears below the lateral line of the trunk, single in this species, at around stage 53. The scales, initially circular in outline, develop anteriorly and posteriorly from the point of initiation in the mid-trunk region, and rows are added alternately below the line, and above the line, until they reach the dorsal or ventral midline, or the margins of the fins. Scales develop later on the ventral surface of the head, from a separate centre of initiation. Scales consist of three layers, all produced by scleroblasts of dermal origin. The outermost layer of interlocking plates, or squamulae, consists of a mineralised matrix of fine collagen fibrils, covered by unmineralised collagen and a single layer of cells. Squamulae of the anterior and lateral surfaces are ornamented with short spines, and the mineralised tissue of the posterior surface is linked to the pouch by collagen fibrils. The innermost layer, known as elasmodin, consists of bundles of thick collagen fibrils and cells arranged in layers. An intermediate layer, made up of collagen fibrils, links the outer and inner layers. The elasmoid scales of N. forsteri can be compared with scale types among other osteichthyan groups, although the cellsand canaliculi in the mineralised squamulae bear little resemblance to typical bone.

  17. The epithelial sodium channel in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri (Osteichthyes: Dipnoi)

    PubMed Central

    Uchiyama, Minoru; Maejima, Sho; Yoshie, Sumio; Kubo, Yoshihiro; Konno, Norifumi; Joss, Jean M. P.

    2012-01-01

    Epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) is a Na+-selective, aldosterone-stimulated ion channel involved in sodium transport homeostasis. ENaC is rate-limiting for Na+ absorption in the epithelia of osmoregulatory organs of tetrapods. Although the ENaC/degenerin gene family is proposed to be present in metazoans, no orthologues or paralogues for ENaC have been found in the genome databases of teleosts. We studied full-length cDNA cloning and tissue distributions of ENaCα, β and γ subunits in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, which is the closest living relative of tetrapods. Neoceratodus ENaC (nENaC) comprised three subunits: nENaCα, β and γ proteins. The nENaCα, β and γ subunits are closely related to amphibian ENaCα, β and γ subunits, respectively. Three ENaC subunit mRNAs were highly expressed in the gills, kidney and rectum. Amiloride-sensitive sodium current was recorded from Xenopus oocytes injected with the nENaCαβγ subunit complementary RNAs under a two-electrode voltage clamp. nENaCα immunoreactivity was observed in the apical cell membrane of the gills, kidney and rectum. Thus, nENaC may play a role in regulating sodium transport of the lungfish, which has a renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system. This is interesting because there may have been an ENaC sodium absorption system controlled by aldosterone before the conquest of land by vertebrates. PMID:23055064

  18. The epithelial sodium channel in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri (Osteichthyes: Dipnoi).

    PubMed

    Uchiyama, Minoru; Maejima, Sho; Yoshie, Sumio; Kubo, Yoshihiro; Konno, Norifumi; Joss, Jean M P

    2012-12-07

    Epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) is a Na(+)-selective, aldosterone-stimulated ion channel involved in sodium transport homeostasis. ENaC is rate-limiting for Na(+) absorption in the epithelia of osmoregulatory organs of tetrapods. Although the ENaC/degenerin gene family is proposed to be present in metazoans, no orthologues or paralogues for ENaC have been found in the genome databases of teleosts. We studied full-length cDNA cloning and tissue distributions of ENaCα, β and γ subunits in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, which is the closest living relative of tetrapods. Neoceratodus ENaC (nENaC) comprised three subunits: nENaCα, β and γ proteins. The nENaCα, β and γ subunits are closely related to amphibian ENaCα, β and γ subunits, respectively. Three ENaC subunit mRNAs were highly expressed in the gills, kidney and rectum. Amiloride-sensitive sodium current was recorded from Xenopus oocytes injected with the nENaCαβγ subunit complementary RNAs under a two-electrode voltage clamp. nENaCα immunoreactivity was observed in the apical cell membrane of the gills, kidney and rectum. Thus, nENaC may play a role in regulating sodium transport of the lungfish, which has a renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. This is interesting because there may have been an ENaC sodium absorption system controlled by aldosterone before the conquest of land by vertebrates.

  19. Purification, characterization, and biological activity of a substance P-related peptide from the gut of the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri.

    PubMed

    Liu, Lu; Conlon, J Michael; Joss, Jean M P; Burcher, Elizabeth

    2002-01-01

    A peptide with mammalian substance P (SP)-like immunoreactivity was isolated from an extract of the spiral intestine of the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri. The primary structure of this peptide was established as Lys-Pro-Arg-Pro-Asp-Glu-Phe-Tyr-Gly-Leu-Met . NH2, showing 64% identity with mammalian SP. In isolated preparations of lungfish foregut circular muscle, lungfish SP produced a slow, long-lasting tonic contraction, with a pD2 value of 8.19. Lungfish midgut circular muscle preparations responded to lungfish SP rapidly and in a more complex manner. There was an increase in the frequency of spontaneous activity (pD2 = 8.76), associated with diminished amplitude of the spontaneous contractions (pD2 = 9.24), also coupled in some preparations with a tonic contraction (pD2 = 8.43). The response patterns of foregut and midgut circular muscle to acetylcholine (ACh) were very similar to those seen to lungfish SP. Lungfish SP and ACh, however, had very weak effects on both foregut and midgut longitudinal muscle. These data demonstrate that lungfish SP may be a physiologically important regulator of gastrointestinal motility in Neoceratodus. This study further confirmed that the structures of SP-related peptides have been strongly conserved under the pressure of vertebrate evolution, particularly in preserving the functionally important sequence, Phe-Xaa-Gly-Leu-Met . amide, at the C-terminus. The sequence of lungfish SP is identical to that of bufokinin, a SP-related peptide previously isolated from the intestine of the cane toad, Bufo marinus, supporting the hypothesis that lungfishes and amphibians share a common ancestor.

  20. African Lungfish Reveal the Evolutionary Origins of Organized Mucosal Lymphoid Tissue in Vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Tacchi, Luca; Larragoite, Erin T; Muñoz, Pilar; Amemiya, Chris T; Salinas, Irene

    2015-09-21

    One of the most remarkable innovations of the vertebrate adaptive immune system is the progressive organization of the lymphoid tissues that leads to increased efficiency of immune surveillance and cell interactions. The mucosal immune system of endotherms has evolved organized secondary mucosal lymphoid tissues (O-MALT) such as Peyer's patches, tonsils, and adenoids. Primitive semi-organized lymphoid nodules or aggregates (LAs) were found in the mucosa of anuran amphibians, suggesting that O-MALT evolved from amphibian LAs ∼250 million years ago. This study shows for the first time the presence of O-MALT in the mucosa of the African lungfish, an extant representative of the closest ancestral lineage to all tetrapods. Lungfish LAs are lymphocyte-rich structures associated with a modified covering epithelium and express all IGH genes except for IGHW2L. In response to infection, nasal LAs doubled their size and increased the expression of CD3 and IGH transcripts. Additionally, de novo organogenesis of inducible LAs resembling mammalian tertiary lymphoid structures was observed. Using deep-sequencing transcriptomes, we identified several members of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily, and subsequent phylogenetic analyses revealed its extraordinary diversification within sarcopterygian fish. Attempts to find AICDA in lungfish transcriptomes or by RT-PCR failed, indicating the possible absence of somatic hypermutation in lungfish LAs. These findings collectively suggest that the origin of O-MALT predates the emergence of tetrapods and that TNF family members play a conserved role in the organization of vertebrate mucosal lymphoid organs.

  1. Spawning activity of the Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri in an impoundment.

    PubMed

    Roberts, D T; Mallett, S; Krück, N C; Loh, W; Tibbetts, I

    2014-01-01

    This study assessed the spawning activity of the threatened Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri by measuring egg densities within the artificial habitat of a large impoundment (Lake Wivenhoe, Australia). Eggs were sampled (August to November 2009) from multiple locations across the impoundment, but occurred at highest densities in water shallower than 40 cm along shorelines with a dense cover of submerged terrestrial vegetation. The numbers of eggs declined over the study period and all samples were dominated by early developmental stages and high proportions of unviable eggs. The quality of the littoral spawning habitats declined over the study as flooded terrestrial grasses decomposed and filamentous algae coverage increased. Water temperatures at the spawning site exhibited extreme variations, ranging over 20·4° C in water shallower than 5 cm. Dissolved oxygen concentrations regularly declined to <1 mg l⁻¹ at 40 and 80 cm water depth. Spawning habitats utilised by N. forsteri within impoundments expose embryos to increased risk of desiccation or excessive submergence through water-level variations, and extremes in temperature and dissolved oxygen concentration that present numerous challenges for successful spawning and recruitment of N. forsteri in large impoundment environments.

  2. Effects of environmental oxygen on development and respiration of Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri) embryos.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Casey A; Joss, Jean M P; Seymour, Roger S

    2011-10-01

    The effects of oxygen partial pressure ([Formula: see text]) on development and respiration were investigated in the eggs of the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri. At 20°C, embryonic survival and development was optimal at 15 and 20.9 kPa. Development was slowed at 5 and 10 kPa and embryos did not survive 2 kPa. At lower [Formula: see text], the rate of oxygen consumption also decreased. Embryos responded to hypoxia by hatching at an earlier age and stage of development, and hatching wet and dry gut-free masses were reduced. The role of oxygen conductance ([Formula: see text]) in gas exchange was also examined under selected environmental [Formula: see text] and temperatures. The breakdown of the vitelline membrane changed capsule geometry, allowed water to be absorbed into the perivitelline space and increased capsule [Formula: see text]. This occurred at embryonic stage 32 under all treatments and was largely independent of both [Formula: see text] and temperature (15, 20 and 25°C), demonstrating that capsule [Formula: see text] cannot adaptively respond to altered environmental conditions. The membrane breakdown increased capsule diffusive [Formula: see text] and stabilised perivitelline [Formula: see text], but reduced the convective [Formula: see text] of the perivitelline fluid, as the large perivitelline volume and inadequate convective current resulted in a [Formula: see text] gradient within the egg prior to hatch.

  3. Complete mitochondrial genome sequences of the South american and the Australian lungfish: testing of the phylogenetic performance of mitochondrial data sets for phylogenetic problems in tetrapod relationships.

    PubMed

    Brinkmann, Henner; Denk, Angelika; Zitzler, Jürgen; Joss, Jean J; Meyer, Axel

    2004-12-01

    We determined the complete nucleotide sequences (16403 and 16572 base pairs, respectively) of the mitochondrial genomes of the South American lungfish, Lepidosiren paradoxa, and the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri (Sarcopterygii, Dipnoi). The mitochondrial DNA sequences were established in an effort to resolve the debated evolutionary positions of the lungfish and the coelacanth relative to land vertebrates. Previous molecular phylogenetic studies based on complete mtDNA sequences, including only the African lungfish, Protopterus dolloi, sequence were able to strongly reject the traditional textbook hypothesis that coelacanths are the closest relatives of land vertebrates. However, these studies were unable to statistically significantly distinguish between the two remaining scenarios: lungfish as the closest relatives to land vertebrates and lungfish and coelacanths jointly as their sister group (Cao et al. 1998; Zardoya et al. 1998; Zardoya and Meyer 1997a). Lungfish, coelacanths, and the fish ancestors of the tetrapod lineage all originated within a short time window of about 20 million years, back in the early Devonian (about 380 to 400 million years ago). This short divergence time makes the determination of the phylogenetic relationships among these three lineages difficult. In this study, we attempted to break the long evolutionary branch of lungfish, in an effort to better resolve the phylogenetic relationships among the three extant sarcopterygian lineages. The gene order of the mitochondrial genomes of the South American and Australian lungfish conforms to the consensus gene order among gnathostome vertebrates. The phylogenetic analyses of the complete set of mitochondrial proteins (without ND6) suggest that the lungfish are the closest relatives of the tetrapods, although the support in favor of this scenario is not statistically significant. The two other smaller data sets (tRNA and rRNA genes) give inconsistent results depending on the

  4. African Lungfish Reveal the Evolutionary Origins of Organized Mucosal Lymphoid Tissue in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Tacchi, Luca; Larragoite, Erin T.; Muñoz, Pilar; Amemiya, Chris T.

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY One of the most remarkable innovations of the vertebrate adaptive immune system is the progressive organization of the lymphoid tissues that leads to increased efficiency of immune surveillance and cell interactions. The mucosal immune system of endotherms has evolved organized secondary mucosal lymphoid tissues (O-MALT) such as Peyer’s patches, tonsils, and adenoids. Primitive semi-organized lymphoid nodules or aggregates (LAs) were found in the mucosa of anuran amphibians [1], suggesting that O-MALT evolved from amphibian LAs_250 million years ago [1–4]. This study shows for the first time the presence of O-MALT in the mucosa of the African lungfish, an extant representative of the closest ancestral lineage to all tetrapods. Lungfish LAs are lymphocyte-rich structures associated with a modified covering epithelium and express all IGH genes except for IGHW2L. In response to infection, nasal LAs doubled their size and increased the expression of CD3 and IGH transcripts. Additionally, de novo organogenesis of inducible LAs resembling mammalian tertiary lymphoid structures was observed. Using deep-sequencing transcriptomes, we identified several members of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily, and subsequent phylogenetic analyses revealed its extraordinary diversification within sarcopterygian fish. Attempts to find AICDA in lungfish transcriptomes or by RT-PCR failed, indicating the possible absence of somatic hypermutation in lungfish LAs. These findings collectively suggest that the origin of O-MALT predates the emergence of tetrapods and that TNF family members play a conserved role in the organization of vertebrate mucosal lymphoid organs. PMID:26344090

  5. Functional analyses of lymphocytes and granulocytes isolated from the thymus, spiral valve intestine, spleen, and kidney of juvenile Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri.

    PubMed

    Hassanpour, Masoud; Joss, Jean; Mohammad, Mohammad G

    2013-07-01

    Our current understanding of the lungfish immune system is limited. This study is characterizing the immune cells separated from primary and secondary immune organs of the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri. Our functional studies utilized flow cytometry to study the immune cells extracted from the thymus, spiral valve intestine, spleen, and kidney. The different characteristics of lymphocytes and granulocytes were analyzed by utilization of viability, phagocytosis, oxidative burst, and apoptosis assays. Most of the nonviable intestinal cells were lymphocytes. Depending on the organ, 6-25% of the total population, predominantly granulocytes, underwent phagocytosis where the splenic cells were the most and intestinal cells the least phagocytic cells. Cells responded positively but differently to stimulation with phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) to produce radical oxygen species, an indication of their oxidative burst activity, which was mainly associated with granulocytes. Although cells were induced by dexamethasone to undergo apoptosis, such an induction did not follow a consistent pattern of dose of dexamethasone or incubation time between the different organs. In the absence of monoclonal antibodies against lungfish immune cells, these functional flow cytometric analyses aid our understanding on the functionality of immune cells.

  6. Comparative pelvic development of the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) and the Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri): conservation and innovation across the fish-tetrapod transition

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The fish-tetrapod transition was one of the major events in vertebrate evolution and was enabled by many morphological changes. Although the transformation of paired fish fins into tetrapod limbs has been a major topic of study in recent years, both from paleontological and comparative developmental perspectives, the interest has focused almost exclusively on the distal part of the appendage and in particular the origin of digits. Relatively little attention has been paid to the transformation of the pelvic girdle from a small unipartite structure to a large tripartite weight-bearing structure, allowing tetrapods to rely mostly on their hindlimbs for locomotion. In order to understand how the ischium and the ilium evolved and how the acetabulum was reoriented during this transition, growth series of the Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri and the Mexican axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum were cleared and stained for cartilage and bone and immunostained for skeletal muscles. In order to understand the myological developmental data, hypotheses about the homologies of pelvic muscles in adults of Latimeria, Neoceratodus and Necturus were formulated based on descriptions from the literature of the coelacanth (Latimeria), the Australian Lungfish (Neoceratodus) and a salamander (Necturus). Results In the axolotl and the lungfish, the chondrification of the pelvic girdle starts at the acetabula and progresses anteriorly in the lungfish and anteriorly and posteriorly in the salamander. The ilium develops by extending dorsally to meet and connect to the sacral rib in the axolotl. Homologous muscles develop in the same order with the hypaxial musculature developing first, followed by the deep, then the superficial pelvic musculature. Conclusions Development of the pelvic endoskeleton and musculature is very similar in Neoceratodus and Ambystoma. If the acetabulum is seen as being a fixed landmark, the evolution of the ischium only required pubic pre

  7. Investigation and management of an outbreak of multispecies mycobacteriosis in Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus fosteri) including the use of triple antibiotic treatment.

    PubMed

    Strike, T B; Feltrer, Y; Flach, E; Macgregor, S K; Guillaume, S

    2017-04-01

    Disease due to non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) is common in fish. Current recommendations focus on outbreak management by depopulating entire fish stocks and disinfecting tanks. Treatment is not advocated. Treatment may be appropriate, however, where individual, valuable fish are concerned. ZSL London Zoo managed an outbreak of mycobacteriosis in a valuable group of imported F1 captive-bred Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus fosteri) by depopulation, isolation, extensive testing and daily oral antibiotic treatment. Four species of Mycobacterium (M. marinum, M. fortuitum, M. chelonae and M. peregrinum) were involved in this outbreak, each with unique antibiotic sensitivities. Triple therapy with rifampicin, doxycycline and enrofloxacin for 8 months was the most effective antibiotic combination, resulting in full disease resolution. No side effects were noted and, more than 18 months post-treatment, no recurrence had occurred. This is the first report of mycobacterial disease in lungfish and the first report of a polymycobacterial outbreak in fish involving these four species of Mycobacterium. This report demonstrates the value of extensive isolation and identification. Also, as therapies currently advised in standard texts did not reflect the antibiotic sensitivity of the NTM found in the fish reported here, we recommend that antibiotic treatment should always be based on sensitivity testing.

  8. The phylogenetic relationship of tetrapod, coelacanth, and lungfish revealed by the sequences of forty-four nuclear genes.

    PubMed

    Takezaki, Naoko; Figueroa, Felipe; Zaleska-Rutczynska, Zofia; Takahata, Naoyuki; Klein, Jan

    2004-08-01

    The origin of tetrapods is a major outstanding issue in vertebrate phylogeny. Each of the three possible principal hypotheses (coelacanth, lungfish, or neither being the sister group of tetrapods) has found support in different sets of data. In an attempt to resolve the controversy, sequences of 44 nuclear genes encoding amino acid residues at 10,404 positions were obtained and analyzed. However, this large set of sequences did not support conclusively one of the three hypotheses. Apparently, the coelacanth, lungfish, and tetrapod lineages diverged within such a short time interval that at this level of analysis, their relationships appear to be an irresolvable trichotomy.

  9. Extremely low microsatellite diversity but distinct population structure in a long-lived threatened species, the Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri (Dipnoi).

    PubMed

    Hughes, Jane M; Schmidt, Daniel J; Huey, Joel A; Real, Kathryn M; Espinoza, Thomas; McDougall, Andrew; Kind, Peter K; Brooks, Steven; Roberts, David T

    2015-01-01

    The Australian lungfish is a unique living representative of an ancient dipnoan lineage, listed as 'vulnerable' to extinction under Australia's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Historical accounts indicate this species occurred naturally in two adjacent river systems in Australia, the Burnett and Mary. Current day populations in other rivers are thought to have arisen by translocation from these source populations. Early genetic work detected very little variation and so had limited power to answer questions relevant for management including how genetic variation is partitioned within and among sub-populations. In this study, we use newly developed microsatellite markers to examine samples from the Burnett and Mary Rivers, as well as from two populations thought to be of translocated origin, Brisbane and North Pine. We test whether there is significant genetic structure among and within river drainages; assign putatively translocated populations to potential source populations; and estimate effective population sizes. Eleven polymorphic microsatellite loci genotyped in 218 individuals gave an average within-population heterozygosity of 0.39 which is low relative to other threatened taxa and for freshwater fishes in general. Based on FST values (average over loci = 0.11) and STRUCTURE analyses, we identify three distinct populations in the natural range, one in the Burnett and two distinct populations in the Mary. These analyses also support the hypothesis that the Mary River is the likely source of translocated populations in the Brisbane and North Pine rivers, which agrees with historical published records of a translocation event giving rise to these populations. We were unable to obtain bounded estimates of effective population size, as we have too few genotype combinations, although point estimates were low, ranging from 29 - 129. We recommend that, in order to preserve any local adaptation in the three distinct populations that

  10. The energy cost of embryonic development in fishes and amphibians, with emphasis on new data from the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Casey A; Joss, Jean M P; Seymour, Roger S

    2011-01-01

    The rate of oxygen consumption throughout embryonic development is used to indirectly determine the 'cost' of development, which includes both differentiation and growth. This cost is affected by temperature and the duration of incubation in anamniote fish and amphibian embryos. The influences of temperature on embryonic development rate, respiration rate and energetics were investigated in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, and compared with published data. Developmental stage and oxygen consumption rate were measured until hatching, upon which wet and dry gut-free masses were determined. A measure of the cost of development, the total oxygen required to produce 1 mg of embryonic dry tissue, increased as temperature decreased. The relationship between the oxygen cost of development (C, ml mg(-1)) and dry hatchling mass (M, mg) in fishes and amphibians is described by C = 0.30 M(0.22 0.13 (95% CI)), r (2) = 0.52. The scaling exponent indicates that the cost of embryonic development increases disproportionally with increasing hatchling mass. At 15 and 20°C, N. forsteri cost of development is significantly lower than the regression mean for all species, and at 25°C is lower than the allometrically scaled data set. Unexpectedly, incubation of N. forsteri is long, despite natural development under relatively warm conditions, and may be related to a large genome size. The low cost of development may be associated with construction of a rather sluggish fish with a low capacity for aerobic metabolism. The metabolic rate is lower in N. forsteri hatchlings than in any other fishes or amphibians at the same temperature, which matches the extremely low aerobic metabolic scope of the juveniles.

  11. Extremely Low Microsatellite Diversity but Distinct Population Structure in a Long-Lived Threatened Species, the Australian Lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri (Dipnoi)

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, Jane M.; Schmidt, Daniel J.; Huey, Joel A.; Real, Kathryn M.; Espinoza, Thomas; McDougall, Andrew; Kind, Peter K.; Brooks, Steven; Roberts, David T.

    2015-01-01

    The Australian lungfish is a unique living representative of an ancient dipnoan lineage, listed as ‘vulnerable’ to extinction under Australia’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Historical accounts indicate this species occurred naturally in two adjacent river systems in Australia, the Burnett and Mary. Current day populations in other rivers are thought to have arisen by translocation from these source populations. Early genetic work detected very little variation and so had limited power to answer questions relevant for management including how genetic variation is partitioned within and among sub-populations. In this study, we use newly developed microsatellite markers to examine samples from the Burnett and Mary Rivers, as well as from two populations thought to be of translocated origin, Brisbane and North Pine. We test whether there is significant genetic structure among and within river drainages; assign putatively translocated populations to potential source populations; and estimate effective population sizes. Eleven polymorphic microsatellite loci genotyped in 218 individuals gave an average within-population heterozygosity of 0.39 which is low relative to other threatened taxa and for freshwater fishes in general. Based on FST values (average over loci = 0.11) and STRUCTURE analyses, we identify three distinct populations in the natural range, one in the Burnett and two distinct populations in the Mary. These analyses also support the hypothesis that the Mary River is the likely source of translocated populations in the Brisbane and North Pine rivers, which agrees with historical published records of a translocation event giving rise to these populations. We were unable to obtain bounded estimates of effective population size, as we have too few genotype combinations, although point estimates were low, ranging from 29 - 129. We recommend that, in order to preserve any local adaptation in the three distinct populations

  12. Lungfish evolution and development.

    PubMed

    Joss, Jean M P

    2006-09-15

    The first vertebrates recognizable as tetrapods appeared in the mid-Devonian. It is generally agreed that their ancestors were lobe-finned fish. What is not agreed is how close either of the extant groups of lobe-finned fish, lungfish or coelacanths, is to the actual ancestor of the tetrapods. The soft anatomy of living lungfish shares many similarities with that of living amphibians. Many of these similarities are not present in either coelacanths or any members of the other extant bony fish group, the ray-finned fishes. Many very well preserved lungfish from the Devonian possess specialized features that would appear to exclude them from being ancestral to tetrapods. I am hypothesizing that lungfish in the Devonian may have included metamorphosis in their life cycle and that neoteny in some species may have been an early corollary. These reproductively mature neotenous lungfish would not have had the specialised features of metamorphosed adults. Fossils of these neotenous forms may have more closely resembled the tetrapod ancestral lobe-finned fish, currently believed to be a panderichthiad fish. Living lungfish have a number of larval features, which suggest paedomorphosis. Also of significance is the very large genome of living lungfish, which, in urodele amphibians, is a feature correlated with neoteny. Our current knowledge of the thyroid axis in the lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, is consistent with neoteny in amphibians, but the only Devonian fossil considered to be a larval lungfish bears no resemblance to living lungfish or to panderichthiads. The enigmatic phylogenetic relationship of lungfish with the first tetrapods remains, but the hunt for other forms of larval Devonian lungfish is on!

  13. The optics of the growing lungfish eye: lens shape, focal ratio and pupillary movements in Neoceratodus forsteri (Krefft, 1870).

    PubMed

    Bailes, Helena J; Trezise, Ann E O; Collin, Shaun P

    2007-01-01

    Lungfish (order Dipnoi) evolved during the Devonian period and are believed to be the closest living relatives to the land vertebrates. Here we describe the previously unknown morphology of the lungfish eye in order to examine ocular adaptations present in early sarcopterygian fish. Unlike many teleosts, the Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri possesses a mobile pupil with a slow pupillary response similar to amphibians. The structure of the eye changes from juvenile to adult, with both eye and lens becoming more elliptical in shape with growth. This change in structure results in a decrease in focal ratio (the distance from lens center to the retina divided by the lens radius) and increased retinal illumination in adult fish. Despite a degree of lenticular correction for spherical aberration, there is considerable variation across the lens. A re-calculation of spatial resolving power using measured focal ratios from cryosectioning reveals a low ability to discriminate fine detail. The dipnoan eye shares more features with amphibian eyes than with most teleost eyes, which may echo the visual needs of this living fossil.

  14. Nuclear protein-coding genes support lungfish and not the coelacanth as the closest living relatives of land vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Brinkmann, Henner; Venkatesh, Byrappa; Brenner, Sydney; Meyer, Axel

    2004-04-06

    The colonization of land by tetrapod ancestors is one of the major questions in the evolution of vertebrates. Despite intense molecular phylogenetic research on this problem during the last 15 years, there is, until now, no statistically supported answer to the question of whether coelacanths or lungfish are the closest living relatives of tetrapods. We determined DNA sequences of the nuclear-encoded recombination activating genes (Rag1 and Rag2) from all three major lungfish groups, the Australian Neoceratodis forsteri, the South American Lepidosiren paradoxa and the African lungfish Protopterus dolloi, and the Indonesian coelacanth Latimeria menadoensis. Phylogenetic analyses of both the single gene and the concatenated data sets of RAG1 and RAG2 found that the lungfishes are the closest living relatives of the land vertebrates. These results are supported by high bootstrap values, Bayesian posterior probabilities, and likelihood ratio tests.

  15. An Aboriginal Australian genome reveals separate human dispersals into Asia.

    PubMed

    Rasmussen, Morten; Guo, Xiaosen; Wang, Yong; Lohmueller, Kirk E; Rasmussen, Simon; Albrechtsen, Anders; Skotte, Line; Lindgreen, Stinus; Metspalu, Mait; Jombart, Thibaut; Kivisild, Toomas; Zhai, Weiwei; Eriksson, Anders; Manica, Andrea; Orlando, Ludovic; De La Vega, Francisco M; Tridico, Silvana; Metspalu, Ene; Nielsen, Kasper; Ávila-Arcos, María C; Moreno-Mayar, J Víctor; Muller, Craig; Dortch, Joe; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Lund, Ole; Wesolowska, Agata; Karmin, Monika; Weinert, Lucy A; Wang, Bo; Li, Jun; Tai, Shuaishuai; Xiao, Fei; Hanihara, Tsunehiko; van Driem, George; Jha, Aashish R; Ricaut, François-Xavier; de Knijff, Peter; Migliano, Andrea B; Gallego Romero, Irene; Kristiansen, Karsten; Lambert, David M; Brunak, Søren; Forster, Peter; Brinkmann, Bernd; Nehlich, Olaf; Bunce, Michael; Richards, Michael; Gupta, Ramneek; Bustamante, Carlos D; Krogh, Anders; Foley, Robert A; Lahr, Marta M; Balloux, Francois; Sicheritz-Pontén, Thomas; Villems, Richard; Nielsen, Rasmus; Wang, Jun; Willerslev, Eske

    2011-10-07

    We present an Aboriginal Australian genomic sequence obtained from a 100-year-old lock of hair donated by an Aboriginal man from southern Western Australia in the early 20th century. We detect no evidence of European admixture and estimate contamination levels to be below 0.5%. We show that Aboriginal Australians are descendants of an early human dispersal into eastern Asia, possibly 62,000 to 75,000 years ago. This dispersal is separate from the one that gave rise to modern Asians 25,000 to 38,000 years ago. We also find evidence of gene flow between populations of the two dispersal waves prior to the divergence of Native Americans from modern Asian ancestors. Our findings support the hypothesis that present-day Aboriginal Australians descend from the earliest humans to occupy Australia, likely representing one of the oldest continuous populations outside Africa.

  16. An exceptionally preserved transitional lungfish from the lower permian of Nebraska, USA, and the origin of modern lungfishes.

    PubMed

    Pardo, Jason D; Huttenlocker, Adam K; Small, Bryan J

    2014-01-01

    Complete, exceptionally-preserved skulls of the Permian lungfish Persephonichthys chthonica gen. et sp. nov. are described. Persephonichthys chthonica is unique among post-Devonian lungfishes in preserving portions of the neurocranium, permitting description of the braincase of a stem-ceratodontiform for the first time. The completeness of P. chthonica permits robust phylogenetic analysis of the relationships of the extant lungfish lineage within the Devonian lungfish diversification for the first time. New analyses of the relationships of this new species within two published matrices using both maximum parsimony and Bayesian inference robustly place P. chthonica and modern lungfishes within dipterid-grade dipnoans rather than within a clade containing Late Devonian 'phaneropleurids' and common Late Paleozoic lungfishes such as Sagenodus. Monophyly of post-Devonian lungfishes is not supported and the Carboniferous-Permian taxon Sagenodus is found to be incidental to the origins of modern lungfishes, suggesting widespread convergence in Late Paleozoic lungfishes. Morphology of the skull, hyoid arch, and pectoral girdle suggests a deviation in feeding mechanics from that of Devonian lungfishes towards the more dynamic gape cycle and more effective buccal pumping seen in modern lungfishes. Similar anatomy observed previously in 'Rhinodipterus' kimberyensis likely represents an intermediate state between the strict durophagy observed in most Devonian lungfishes and the more dynamic buccal pump seen in Persephonichthys and modern lungfishes, rather than adaptation to air-breathing exclusively.

  17. An Exceptionally Preserved Transitional Lungfish from the Lower Permian of Nebraska, USA, and the Origin of Modern Lungfishes

    PubMed Central

    Pardo, Jason D.; Huttenlocker, Adam K.; Small, Bryan J.

    2014-01-01

    Complete, exceptionally-preserved skulls of the Permian lungfish Persephonichthys chthonica gen. et sp. nov. are described. Persephonichthys chthonica is unique among post-Devonian lungfishes in preserving portions of the neurocranium, permitting description of the braincase of a stem-ceratodontiform for the first time. The completeness of P. chthonica permits robust phylogenetic analysis of the relationships of the extant lungfish lineage within the Devonian lungfish diversification for the first time. New analyses of the relationships of this new species within two published matrices using both maximum parsimony and Bayesian inference robustly place P. chthonica and modern lungfishes within dipterid-grade dipnoans rather than within a clade containing Late Devonian ‘phaneropleurids’ and common Late Paleozoic lungfishes such as Sagenodus. Monophyly of post-Devonian lungfishes is not supported and the Carboniferous-Permian taxon Sagenodus is found to be incidental to the origins of modern lungfishes, suggesting widespread convergence in Late Paleozoic lungfishes. Morphology of the skull, hyoid arch, and pectoral girdle suggests a deviation in feeding mechanics from that of Devonian lungfishes towards the more dynamic gape cycle and more effective buccal pumping seen in modern lungfishes. Similar anatomy observed previously in ‘Rhinodipterus’ kimberyensis likely represents an intermediate state between the strict durophagy observed in most Devonian lungfishes and the more dynamic buccal pump seen in Persephonichthys and modern lungfishes, rather than adaptation to air-breathing exclusively. PMID:25265394

  18. Application of morphologic burrow architects: lungfish or crayfish?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hasiotis, Stephen T.; Mitchell, Charles E.; Dubiel, Russell R.

    1993-01-01

    A methodology for trace fossil identification using burrowing signatures is tested by evaluating ancient and modern lungfish and crayfish burrows and comparing them to previously undescribed burrows in a stratigraphic interval thought to contain both lungfish and crayfish burrows. Permian burrows that bear skeletal remains of the lungfish Gnathorhiza, from museum collections, were evaluated to identify unique burrow morphologies that could be used to distinguish lungfish from crayfish burrows when fossil remains are absent. The lungfish burrows were evaluated for details of the burrowing mechanism preserved in the burrow morphologies together forming burrowing signatures and were compared to new burrows in the Chinle Formation of western Colorado to test the methodology of using burrow signatures to identify unknown burrows. Permian lungfish aestivation burrows show simple, nearly vertical, unbranched architectures and relatively smooth surficial morphologies with characteristic quasi‐horizontal striae on the burrow walls and vertical striae on the bulbous terminus. Burrow lengths do not exceed 0.5 m. In contrast, modern and ancient crayfish burrows exhibit simple to highly complex architectures with highly textured surficial morphologies. Burrow lengths may reach 4 to 5 m. Burrow morphologies unlike those identified in Gnathorhiza aestivation burrows were found in four burrow groups from museum collections. Two of these groups exhibit simple architectures and horizontal striae that were greater in sinuosity and magnitude, respectively. One of these burrows contains the remains of Lysorophus, but the burrow surface reveals no reliable surficial characteristics. It is not clear whether Lysorophus truly burrowed or merely occupied a pre‐existing structure. The other two groups exhibit surficial morphologies similar to those found on modern and ancient crayfish burrows and may provide evidence of freshwater crayfish in the Permian. Burrows from the Upper Triassic

  19. Cardiovascular actions of lungfish bradykinin in the unanaesthetised African lungfish, Protopterus annectens.

    PubMed

    Balment, Richard J; Masini, Maria A; Vallarino, Mauro; Conlon, J Michael

    2002-02-01

    Bradykinin (BK) isolated from plasma of the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, contains four amino acid substitutions compared with BK from mammals (Arg(1)-->Tyr, Pro(2)-->Gly, Pro(7)-->Ala, Phe(8)-->Pro). Bolus intra-arterial injections of synthetic lungfish BK (1-1000 pmol/kg body wt.) into unanaesthetised, juvenile lungfish (n=5) produced a dose-dependent increase in arterial blood pressure and pulse pressure. The maximum pressor response occurred 2-3 min after injection and persisted for up to 15 min. The threshold dose producing a significant (P<0.01) rise in pressure was 50 pmol/kg and the maximum increase, following injection of 300 pmol/kg, was 9.3 +/- 2.3 mmHg. Injection of the higher doses of lungfish BK produced a significant (P<0.05) increase in heart rate (2.8 +/- 0.8 beats/min at 100 pmol/kg). In contrast, bolus intra-arterial injections of mammalian BK, in doses up to 1000 pmol/kg, produced no significant cardiovascular effects in the lungfish. The data support the existence of a functioning kallikrein-kinin system in the lungfish and demonstrate that the ligand-binding properties of the receptor(s) mediating the cardiovascular actions of lungfish BK are appreciably different from mammalian B1 and B2 receptors.

  20. Blood and inflammatory cells of the lungfish Lepidosiren paradoxa.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Maria Lucia da S; DaMatta, Renato A; Diniz, José A P; de Souza, Wanderley; do Nascimento, Jose Luiz M; de Carvalho, Tecia Maria U

    2007-07-01

    A special interest exists concerning lungfish because they may possess characteristics of the common ancestor of land vertebrates. However, little is known about their blood and inflammatory cells; thus the fine structure, cytochemistry and differential cell counts of coelomic exudate and blood leucocytes were studied in Lepidosiren paradoxa. Blood smear analyses revealed erythrocytes, lymphocytes, monocytes, polymorphonuclear agranulocytes, thrombocytes and three different granulocytes. Blood monocytes and lymphocytes had typical vertebrate morphology. Thrombocytes had large vacuoles filled with a myelin rich structure. The polymorphonuclear agranulocyte had a nucleus morphologically similar to the human neutrophil with no apparent granules. Types I and II granulocytes had eosinophilic granules. Type I granulocytes had round or elongated granules heterogeneous in size, while type II had granules with an electron dense core. Type III granulocyte had many basophilic granules. The order of frequency was: type I granulocyte, followed by lymphocyte, type II granulocyte, monocyte, polymorphonuclear agranulocyte and type III granulocyte. Peroxidase localized mainly at the periphery of the granules from type II granulocytes, while no peroxidase expression was detected in type I granulocytes. Alkaline phosphatase was localized in the granules of type II granulocyte and acid phosphatase cytochemistry also labelled a few vacuoles of polymorphonuclear agranulocyte. About 85% of the coelomic inflammatory exudate cell population was type II granulocyte, 10% polymorphonuclear agranulocyte and 5% macrophages as judged by the nucleus and granule morphology. These results indicate that this lungfish utilises type II granulocytes as its main inflammatory granulocytes and that the polymorphonuclear agranulocyte may also be involved in the inflammatory response. The other two granulocytes appear similar to the mammalian eosinophil and basophil. In summary, this lungfish appears to

  1. Gnathostome phylogenomics utilizing lungfish EST sequences.

    PubMed

    Hallström, Björn M; Janke, Axel

    2009-02-01

    The relationship between the Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fishes), the Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes), and the piscine Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fishes) and how the Tetrapoda (four-limbed terrestrial vertebrates) are related to these has been a contentious issue for more than a century. A general consensus about the relationship of these vertebrate clades has gradually emerged among morphologists, but no molecular study has yet provided conclusive evidence for any specific hypothesis. In order to examine these relationships on the basis of more extensive sequence data, we have produced almost 1,000,000 bp of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from the African marbled lungfish, Protopterus aethiopicus. This new data set yielded 771 transcribed nuclear sequences that had not been previously described. The lungfish EST sequences were combined with EST data from two cartilaginous fishes and whole genome data from an agnathan, four ray-finned fishes, and four tetrapods. Phylogenomic analysis of these data yielded, for the first time, significant maximum likelihood support for a traditional gnathostome tree with a split between the Chondrichthyes and remaining (bone) gnathostomes. Also, the sister group relationship between Dipnoi (lungfishes) and Tetrapoda received conclusive support. Previously proposed hypotheses, such as the monophyly of fishes, could be rejected significantly. The divergence time between lungfishes and tetrapods was estimated to 382-388 Ma by the current data set and six calibration points.

  2. A new method for reconstructing brain morphology: applying the brain-neurocranial spatial relationship in an extant lungfish to a fossil endocast

    PubMed Central

    Strand, Robin; Nysjö, Johan; Long, John A.; Ahlberg, Per E.

    2016-01-01

    Lungfish first appeared in the geological record over 410 million years ago and are the closest living group of fish to the tetrapods. Palaeoneurological investigations into the group show that unlike numerous other fishes—but more similar to those in tetrapods—lungfish appear to have had a close fit between the brain and the cranial cavity that housed it. As such, researchers can use the endocast of fossil taxa (an internal cast of the cranial cavity) both as a source of morphological data but also to aid in developing functional and phylogenetic implications about the group. Using fossil endocast data from a three-dimensional-preserved Late Devonian lungfish from the Gogo Formation, Rhinodipterus, and the brain-neurocranial relationship in the extant Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus, we herein present the first virtually reconstructed brain of a fossil lungfish. Computed tomographic data and a newly developed ‘brain-warping’ method are used in conjunction with our own distance map software tool to both analyse and present the data. The brain reconstruction is adequate, but we envisage that its accuracy and wider application in other taxonomic groups will grow with increasing availability of tomographic datasets. PMID:27493784

  3. A new method for reconstructing brain morphology: applying the brain-neurocranial spatial relationship in an extant lungfish to a fossil endocast.

    PubMed

    Clement, Alice M; Strand, Robin; Nysjö, Johan; Long, John A; Ahlberg, Per E

    2016-07-01

    Lungfish first appeared in the geological record over 410 million years ago and are the closest living group of fish to the tetrapods. Palaeoneurological investigations into the group show that unlike numerous other fishes-but more similar to those in tetrapods-lungfish appear to have had a close fit between the brain and the cranial cavity that housed it. As such, researchers can use the endocast of fossil taxa (an internal cast of the cranial cavity) both as a source of morphological data but also to aid in developing functional and phylogenetic implications about the group. Using fossil endocast data from a three-dimensional-preserved Late Devonian lungfish from the Gogo Formation, Rhinodipterus, and the brain-neurocranial relationship in the extant Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus, we herein present the first virtually reconstructed brain of a fossil lungfish. Computed tomographic data and a newly developed 'brain-warping' method are used in conjunction with our own distance map software tool to both analyse and present the data. The brain reconstruction is adequate, but we envisage that its accuracy and wider application in other taxonomic groups will grow with increasing availability of tomographic datasets.

  4. Air-breathing adaptation in a marine Devonian lungfish

    PubMed Central

    Clement, Alice M.; Long, John A.

    2010-01-01

    Recent discoveries of tetrapod trackways in 395 Myr old tidal zone deposits of Poland (Niedźwiedzki et al. 2010 Nature 463, 43–48 (doi:10.1038/nature.08623)) indicate that vertebrates had already ventured out of the water and might already have developed some air-breathing capacity by the Middle Devonian. Air-breathing in lungfishes is not considered to be a shared specialization with tetrapods, but evolved independently. Air-breathing in lungfishes has been postulated as starting in Middle Devonian times (ca 385 Ma) in freshwater habitats, based on a set of skeletal characters involved in air-breathing in extant lungfishes. New discoveries described herein of the lungfish Rhinodipterus from marine limestones of Australia identifies the node in dipnoan phylogeny where air-breathing begins, and confirms that lungfishes living in marine habitats had also developed specializations to breathe air by the start of the Late Devonian (ca 375 Ma). While invasion of freshwater habitats from the marine realm was previously suggested to be the prime cause of aerial respiration developing in lungfishes, we believe that global decline in oxygen levels during the Middle Devonian combined with higher metabolic costs is a more likely driver of air-breathing ability, which developed in both marine and freshwater lungfishes and tetrapodomorph fishes such as Gogonasus. PMID:20147310

  5. Cloning and expression of the epithelial sodium channel and its role in osmoregulation of aquatic and estivating African lungfish Protopterus annectens.

    PubMed

    Uchiyama, Minoru; Konno, Norifumi; Shibuya, Sachika; Nogami, Satoshi

    2015-05-01

    The epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) is a sodium (Na(+))-selective aldosterone-stimulated ion channel involved in Na(+) transport homeostasis of tetrapods. We examined full-length cDNA sequences and tissue distributions of ENaCα, ENaCβ, and ENaCγ subunits in the African lungfish Protopterus annectens. Protopterus ENaC (pENaC) comprises 3 subunits: pENaCα, pENaCβ, and pENaCγ. pENaCα, pENaCβ, and pENaCγ subunits are closely related to α, β, and γ subunits of the Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri ENaC (nENaC), respectively. Three ENaC subunit mRNAs were highly expressed in the gills and moderately expressed in the kidney and rectum of P. annectens. During estivation for 2-4weeks and 2-3months, plasma Na(+) concentration was relatively stable, but plasma urea concentration significantly increased in comparison with the control fish kept in a freshwater environment. Plasma aldosterone concentration and mRNA expression of the ENaCα subunit gradually and significantly decreased in the gills and kidney after 2months of estivation. Thus, aldosterone-dependent Na(+) absorption via ENaC probably exists in the epithelial cells of osmoregulatory organs of lungfish kept in fresh water, whereas plasma Na(+) concentration may be maintained by a mechanism independent of aldosterone-ENaC axis during estivation in lungfish.

  6. Trackways Produced by Lungfish During Terrestrial Locomotion

    PubMed Central

    Falkingham, Peter L.; Horner, Angela M.

    2016-01-01

    Some primarily aquatic vertebrates make brief forays onto land, creating traces as they do. A lack of studies on aquatic trackmakers raises the possibility that such traces may be ignored or misidentified in the fossil record. Several terrestrial Actinopterygian and Sarcopterygian species have previously been proposed as possible models for ancestral tetrapod locomotion, despite extant fishes being quite distinct from Devonian fishes, both morphologically and phylogenetically. Although locomotion has been well-studied in some of these taxa, trackway production has not. We recorded terrestrial locomotion of a 35 cm African lungfish (Protopterus annectens; Dipnoi: Sarcopterygii) on compliant sediment. Terrestrial movement in the lungfish is accomplished by planting the head and then pivoting the trunk. Impressions are formed where the head impacts the substrate, while the body and fins produce few traces. The head leaves a series of alternating left-right impressions, where each impact can appear as two separate semi-circular impressions created by the upper and lower jaws, bearing some similarity to fossil traces interpreted as footprints. Further studies of trackways of extant terrestrial fishes are necessary to understand the behavioural repertoire that may be represented in the fossil track record. PMID:27670758

  7. Trackways Produced by Lungfish During Terrestrial Locomotion.

    PubMed

    Falkingham, Peter L; Horner, Angela M

    2016-09-27

    Some primarily aquatic vertebrates make brief forays onto land, creating traces as they do. A lack of studies on aquatic trackmakers raises the possibility that such traces may be ignored or misidentified in the fossil record. Several terrestrial Actinopterygian and Sarcopterygian species have previously been proposed as possible models for ancestral tetrapod locomotion, despite extant fishes being quite distinct from Devonian fishes, both morphologically and phylogenetically. Although locomotion has been well-studied in some of these taxa, trackway production has not. We recorded terrestrial locomotion of a 35 cm African lungfish (Protopterus annectens; Dipnoi: Sarcopterygii) on compliant sediment. Terrestrial movement in the lungfish is accomplished by planting the head and then pivoting the trunk. Impressions are formed where the head impacts the substrate, while the body and fins produce few traces. The head leaves a series of alternating left-right impressions, where each impact can appear as two separate semi-circular impressions created by the upper and lower jaws, bearing some similarity to fossil traces interpreted as footprints. Further studies of trackways of extant terrestrial fishes are necessary to understand the behavioural repertoire that may be represented in the fossil track record.

  8. The first virtual cranial endocast of a lungfish (sarcopterygii: dipnoi).

    PubMed

    Clement, Alice M; Ahlberg, Per E

    2014-01-01

    Lungfish, or dipnoans, have a history spanning over 400 million years and are the closest living sister taxon to the tetrapods. Most Devonian lungfish had heavily ossified endoskeletons, whereas most Mesozoic and Cenozoic lungfish had largely cartilaginous endoskeletons and are usually known only from isolated tooth plates or disarticulated bone fragments. There is thus a substantial temporal and evolutionary gap in our understanding of lungfish endoskeletal morphology, between the diverse and highly variable Devonian forms on the one hand and the three extant genera on the other. Here we present a virtual cranial endocast of Rhinodipterus kimberleyensis, from the Late Devonian Gogo Formation of Australia, one of the most derived fossil dipnoans with a well-ossified braincase. This endocast, generated from a Computed Microtomography (µCT) scan of the skull, is the first virtual endocast of any lungfish published, and only the third fossil dipnoan endocast to be illustrated in its entirety. Key features include long olfactory canals, a telencephalic cavity with a moderate degree of ventral expansion, large suparaotic cavities, and moderately enlarged utricular recesses. It has numerous similarities to the endocasts of Chirodipterus wildungensis and Griphognathus whitei, and to a lesser degree to 'Chirodipterus' australis and Dipnorhynchus sussmilchi. Among extant lungfish, it consistently resembles Neoceratodus more closely than Lepidosiren and Protopterus. Several trends in the evolution of the brains and labyrinth regions in dipnoans, such as the expansions of the utricular recess and telencephalic regions over time, are identified and discussed.

  9. The First Virtual Cranial Endocast of a Lungfish (Sarcopterygii: Dipnoi)

    PubMed Central

    Clement, Alice M.; Ahlberg, Per E.

    2014-01-01

    Lungfish, or dipnoans, have a history spanning over 400 million years and are the closest living sister taxon to the tetrapods. Most Devonian lungfish had heavily ossified endoskeletons, whereas most Mesozoic and Cenozoic lungfish had largely cartilaginous endoskeletons and are usually known only from isolated tooth plates or disarticulated bone fragments. There is thus a substantial temporal and evolutionary gap in our understanding of lungfish endoskeletal morphology, between the diverse and highly variable Devonian forms on the one hand and the three extant genera on the other. Here we present a virtual cranial endocast of Rhinodipterus kimberleyensis, from the Late Devonian Gogo Formation of Australia, one of the most derived fossil dipnoans with a well-ossified braincase. This endocast, generated from a Computed Microtomography (µCT) scan of the skull, is the first virtual endocast of any lungfish published, and only the third fossil dipnoan endocast to be illustrated in its entirety. Key features include long olfactory canals, a telencephalic cavity with a moderate degree of ventral expansion, large suparaotic cavities, and moderately enlarged utricular recesses. It has numerous similarities to the endocasts of Chirodipterus wildungensis and Griphognathus whitei, and to a lesser degree to 'Chirodipterus' australis and Dipnorhynchus sussmilchi. Among extant lungfish, it consistently resembles Neoceratodus more closely than Lepidosiren and Protopterus. Several trends in the evolution of the brains and labyrinth regions in dipnoans, such as the expansions of the utricular recess and telencephalic regions over time, are identified and discussed. PMID:25427173

  10. Is Palaeospondylus gunni a fossil larval lungfish? Insights from Neoceratodus forsteri development.

    PubMed

    Joss, Jean; Johanson, Zerina

    2007-03-15

    The enigmatic Devonian fossil Palaeospondylus gunni was identified as a larval form, metamorphosing into the lungfish Dipterus valenciennesi. Morphological features used to identify P. gunni as a larval lungfish include enlarged cranial ribs, rudimentary limb girdles, and absence of teeth. However, this combination of features does not characterize the extant lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri, even at very young stages, nor early stages of Devonian and younger fossil lungfish. Absence of teeth is problematic because early ontogenetic stages of fossil and living lungfish possess full dentitions including marginal teeth. Also problematic are cranial ribs as a defining character of lungfish, as these also occur in certain actinopterygians. It is argued that Neoceratodus is an obligate neotene (reproductively mature larva), with the implication that metamorphosis was a feature of the ontogeny of early lungfish. Pedomorphic characters have been recognized in Neoceratodus and other post-Devonian lungfish, including large cells and correspondingly large genome size; these latter characters correlate with neoteny in salamanders. Small cells preserved in fossil bone suggest that Devonian lungfish had a smaller genome than post-Devonian lungfish, implying that they were not neotenic. As fossil lungfish cell sizes (and genomes) increased in the late Paleozoic, the diversity of lungfish morphologies decreased, so that taxa like Sagenodus and Conchopoma show morphological similarity to Neoceratodus, marking a point in phylogeny at which metamorphosis was potentially lost. Since ancestral larval characters are retained in neotenic adults, we predict that Devonian larvae should resemble these post-Devonian taxa, a prediction which Palaeospondylus does not fulfill.

  11. Are lungfish living fossils? Observation on the evolution of the opioid/orphanin gene family.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jenny; Alrubaian, Jasem; Dores, Robert M

    2006-09-15

    This minireview considers the possibility that there is a correlation between the slow rate of morphological change and speciation events that has been occurred within the lungfish lineage since the Permian period, and the apparent slow rate of divergence in the amino acid sequences of lungfish opioid precursor sequences. The status of lungfish as "living fossils" is considered.

  12. Unusual Diversity of Myoglobin Genes in the Lungfish.

    PubMed

    Koch, Jonas; Lüdemann, Julia; Spies, Rieke; Last, Marco; Amemiya, Chris T; Burmester, Thorsten

    2016-12-01

    Myoglobin is a respiratory protein that serves as a model system in a variety of biological fields. Its main function is to deliver and store O2 in the heart and skeletal muscles, but myoglobin is also instrumental in homeostasis of nitric oxide (NO) and detoxification of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Almost every vertebrate harbors a single myoglobin gene; only some cyprinid fishes have two recently duplicated myoglobin genes. Here we show that the West African lungfish Protopterus annectens has at least seven distinct myoglobin genes (PanMb1-7), which diverged early in the evolution of lungfish and showed an enhanced evolutionary rate. These myoglobins are lungfish specific, and no other globin gene was found amplified. The myoglobins are differentially expressed in various lungfish tissues, and the brain is the main site of myoglobin expression. The typical myoglobin-containing tissues, the skeletal muscle and the heart, have much lower myoglobin mRNA levels. Muscle and heart express distinct myoglobins (PanMb1 and PanMb3, respectively). In cell culture, lungfish myoglobins improved cellular survival under hypoxia albeit with different efficiencies and reduced the production of reactive oxygen species. Only Mb2 and Mb6 enhanced the energy status of the cells. The unexpected diversity of myoglobin hints to a functional diversification of this gene: some myoglobins may have adapted to the O2 requirements of the specific tissue and help the lungfish to survive hypoxic periods; other myoglobins may have taken over the roles of neuroglobin and cytoglobin, which appear to be missing in the West African lungfish.

  13. Nitric oxide synthase-dependent "on/off" switch and apoptosis in freshwater and aestivating lungfish, Protopterus annectens: skeletal muscle versus cardiac muscle.

    PubMed

    Amelio, D; Garofalo, F; Wong, W P; Chew, S F; Ip, Y K; Cerra, M C; Tota, B

    2013-08-01

    African lungfishes (Protopterus spp.) are obligate air breathers which enter in a prolonged torpor (aestivation) in association with metabolic depression, and biochemical and morpho-functional readjustments during the dry season. During aestivation, the lungfish heart continues to pump, while the skeletal muscle stops to function but can immediately contract during arousal. Currently, nothing is known regarding the orchestration of the multilevel rearrangements occurring in myotomal and myocardial muscles during aestivation and arousal. Because of its universal role in cardio-circulatory and muscle homeostasis, nitric oxide (NO) could be involved in coordinating these stress-induced adaptations. Western blotting and immunofluorescence microscopy on cardiac and skeletal muscles of Protopterus annectens (freshwater, 6months of aestivation and 6days after arousal) showed that expression, localization and activity of the endothelial-like nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) isoform and its partners Akt and Hsp-90 are tissue-specifically modulated. During aestivation, phospho-eNOS/eNOS and phospho-Akt/Akt ratios increased in the heart but decreased in the skeletal muscle. By contrast, Hsp-90 increased in both muscle types during aestivation. TUNEL assay revealed that increased apoptosis occurred in the skeletal muscle of aestivating lungfish, but the myocardial apoptotic rate of the aestivating lungfish remained unchanged as compared with the freshwater control. Consistent with the preserved cardiac activity during aestivation, the expression of apoptosis repressor (ARC) also remained unchanged in the heart of aestivating and aroused fish as compared with the freshwater control. Contrarily, ARC expression was strongly reduced in the skeletal muscle of aestivating lungfish. On the whole, our data indicate that changes in the eNOS/NO system and cell turnover are implicated in the morpho-functional readjustments occurring in lungfish cardiac and skeletal muscle during the switch

  14. Developmental plasticity and disparity in early dipnoan (lungfish) dentitions.

    PubMed

    Ahlberg, Per Erik; Smith, Moya M; Johanson, Zerina

    2006-01-01

    Although the lungfish (Dipnoi) belong within the Osteichthyes, their dentitions are radically different from other osteichthyans. Lungfish dentitions also show a uniquely high structural disparity during the early evolution of the group, partly owing to the independent variation of odontogenic and odontoclastic processes that are tightly and stereotypically coordinated in other osteichthyans. We present a phylogenetic analysis of early lungfishes incorporating a novel approach to coding these process characters in preference to the resultant adult dental morphology. The results only partially resolve the interrelationships of Devonian dipnoans, but show that the widely discussed hypothesis of separate tooth-plated, dentine-plated, and denticulated lineages is unlikely to be true. The dipnoan status of Diabolepis is corroborated. Lungfish dentitions seem to have undergone extensive and nonparsimonious evolution during the early history of the group, but much of the resulting disparity can be explained by a modest number of evolutionary steps in the underlying developmental processes, those for dental formation (odontogenic) and those for the remodeling of dentine tissue (odontoclastic). Later in lungfish evolution, this disparity was lost as the group settled to a pattern of dental development that is just as stereotypic as, but completely different from, that of other osteichthyans.

  15. Nitrergic cardiovascular regulation in the African lungfish, Protopterus aethiopicus.

    PubMed

    Filogonio, Renato; Joyce, William; Wang, Tobias

    2017-05-01

    As a ubiquitous signaling molecule, nitric oxide (NO) exerts various important effects on the cardiovascular system and is involved in the regulation of vascular tone and myocardial metabolism in vertebrates. Lungfishes are closely related to tetrapods and provide an interesting possibility to understand the transition from water to land. Lungfishes are endowed with both systemic and pulmonary circulations, and their incompletely divided ventricle allows for blood to bypass either circuit. Lungfishes inhabit ephemeral waterbodies that may enforce prolonged aestivation during drought, throughout which nitric oxide synthase (NOS) expression is upregulated. To better understand the physiological relevance of NO on cardiovascular regulation in this transitory group, we measured vascular reactivity to muscarinic agonist acetylcholine, α- and β-adrenergic agonists (phenylephrine and isoproterenol, respectively), or the NO donor, sodium nitroprusside (SNP) on four vessel segments-efferent branchial arteries, gill artery, ductus arteriosus and pulmonary artery-from the African lungfish, Protopterus aethiopicus. In a simultaneous study, we measured oxygen consumption and twitch force in myocardial preparations in the presence and absence of an NOS inhibitor (asymmetric dimethylarginine; ADMA). Only the ductus arteriosus vasodilated in response to SNP. Isoproterenol caused vasodilation, whereas acetylcholine and phenylephrine vasoconstricted all vessel segments. NOS inhibition decreased myocardial force relative to oxygen consumption, indicating a lowered efficiency. We provide novel evidence that NO affects the vasculature of lungfish that may be derived from perivascular nitrergic nerves limited to the ductus arteriosus. Our data also suggests that NO exerts a tonic dampening of myocardial oxygen consumption which may be particularly important during aestivation.

  16. Sequencing of Australian wild rice genomes reveals ancestral relationships with domesticated rice.

    PubMed

    Brozynska, Marta; Copetti, Dario; Furtado, Agnelo; Wing, Rod A; Crayn, Darren; Fox, Glen; Ishikawa, Ryuji; Henry, Robert J

    2016-11-27

    The related A genome species of the Oryza genus are the effective gene pool for rice. Here, we report draft genomes for two Australian wild A genome taxa: O. rufipogon-like population, referred to as Taxon A, and O. meridionalis-like population, referred to as Taxon B. These two taxa were sequenced and assembled by integration of short- and long-read next-generation sequencing (NGS) data to create a genomic platform for a wider rice gene pool. Here, we report that, despite the distinct chloroplast genome, the nuclear genome of the Australian Taxon A has a sequence that is much closer to that of domesticated rice (O. sativa) than to the other Australian wild populations. Analysis of 4643 genes in the A genome clade showed that the Australian annual, O. meridionalis, and related perennial taxa have the most divergent (around 3 million years) genome sequences relative to domesticated rice. A test for admixture showed possible introgression into the Australian Taxon A (diverged around 1.6 million years ago) especially from the wild indica/O. nivara clade in Asia. These results demonstrate that northern Australia may be the centre of diversity of the A genome Oryza and suggest the possibility that this might also be the centre of origin of this group and represent an important resource for rice improvement.

  17. Molecular characterization of MHC class II in the Australian invasive cane toad reveals multiple splice variants.

    PubMed

    Lillie, Mette; Cui, Jian; Shine, Richard; Belov, Katherine

    2016-07-01

    The cane toad has gained notoriety for its invasion across the Australian landscape, with significant impacts on the native Australian fauna. The invasion has accelerated over time, with invading cane toads adapted for highly dispersive traits. This, however, has come at the cost of the immune system, with lower investment in some immune functions. To investigate the cane toad's immunogenetics, we characterized four major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class IIA and three MHC class IIB loci. Preliminary observations suggest very low allelic diversity at all loci. We also observed various splice isoforms. One isoform seen at one class IIA and two class IIB loci was missing exon 2, which is essential to peptide binding and presentation. The other isoform, observed at a class IIA locus, is likely to be a soluble MHC product. These results may suggest a significant role of alternative splicing of MHC loci in the Australian cane toad.

  18. The African lungfish (Protopterus dolloi): ionoregulation and osmoregulation in a fish out of water.

    PubMed

    Wilkie, Michael P; Morgan, Tammie P; Galvez, Fernando; Smith, Richard W; Kajimura, Makiko; Ip, Yuen K; Wood, Chris M

    2007-01-01

    Although urea production and metabolism in lungfish have been thoroughly studied, we have little knowledge of how internal osmotic and electrolyte balance are controlled during estivation or in water. We tested the hypothesis that, compared with the body surface of teleosts, the slender African lungfish (Protopterus dolloi) body surface was relatively impermeable to water, Na(+), and Cl(-) due to its greatly reduced gills. Accordingly, we measured the tritiated water ((3)H-H(2)O) flux in P. dolloi in water and during air exposure. In water, (3)H-H(2)O efflux was comparable with the lowest measurements reported in freshwater teleosts, with a rate constant (K) of 17.6% body water h(-1). Unidirectional ion fluxes, measured using (22)Na(+) and (36)Cl(-), indicated that Na(+) and Cl(-) influx was more than 90% lower than values reported in most freshwater teleosts. During air exposure, a cocoon formed within 1 wk that completely covered the dorsolateral body surface. However, there were no disturbances to blood osmotic or ion (Na(+), Cl(-)) balance, despite seven- to eightfold increases in plasma urea after 20 wk. Up to 13-fold increases in muscle urea (on a dry-weight basis) were the likely explanation for the 56% increase in muscle water content observed after 20 wk of air exposure. The possibility that muscle acted as a "water reservoir" during air exposure was supported by the 20% decline in body mass observed during subsequent reimmersion in water. This decline in body mass was equivalent to 28 mL water in a 100-g animal and was very close to the calculated net water gain (approximately 32 mL) observed during the 20-wk period of air exposure. Tritiated water and unidirectional ion fluxes on air-exposed lungfish revealed that the majority of water and ion exchange was via the ventral body surface at rates that were initially similar to aquatic rates. The (3)H-H(2)O flux declined over time but increased upon reimmersion. We conclude that the slender lungfish body

  19. Aestivation and brain of the African lungfish Protopterus annectens.

    PubMed

    Chew, Shit F; Hiong, Kum

    2014-01-01

    Scientists have long been fascinated by animals undergoing aestivation, a state of torpor at high temperature, due to its great potential in fields ranging from medicine to space travel. The brain of the African lungfish is able to coordinate a whole-body response to induce aestivation and to arouse from aestivation.

  20. The Lungfish Transcriptome: A Glimpse into Molecular Evolution Events at the Transition from Water to Land.

    PubMed

    Biscotti, Maria Assunta; Gerdol, Marco; Canapa, Adriana; Forconi, Mariko; Olmo, Ettore; Pallavicini, Alberto; Barucca, Marco; Schartl, Manfred

    2016-02-24

    Lungfish and coelacanths are the only living sarcopterygian fish. The phylogenetic relationship of lungfish to the last common ancestor of tetrapods and their close morphological similarity to their fossil ancestors make this species uniquely interesting. However their genome size, the largest among vertebrates, is hampering the generation of a whole genome sequence. To provide a partial solution to the problem, a high-coverage lungfish reference transcriptome was generated and assembled. The present findings indicate that lungfish, not coelacanths, are the closest relatives to land-adapted vertebrates. Whereas protein-coding genes evolve at a very slow rate, possibly reflecting a "living fossil" status, transposable elements appear to be active and show high diversity, suggesting a role for them in the remarkable expansion of the lungfish genome. Analyses of single genes and gene families documented changes connected to the water to land transition and demonstrated the value of the lungfish reference transcriptome for comparative studies of vertebrate evolution.

  1. The Lungfish Transcriptome: A Glimpse into Molecular Evolution Events at the Transition from Water to Land

    PubMed Central

    Biscotti, Maria Assunta; Gerdol, Marco; Canapa, Adriana; Forconi, Mariko; Olmo, Ettore; Pallavicini, Alberto; Barucca, Marco; Schartl, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    Lungfish and coelacanths are the only living sarcopterygian fish. The phylogenetic relationship of lungfish to the last common ancestor of tetrapods and their close morphological similarity to their fossil ancestors make this species uniquely interesting. However their genome size, the largest among vertebrates, is hampering the generation of a whole genome sequence. To provide a partial solution to the problem, a high-coverage lungfish reference transcriptome was generated and assembled. The present findings indicate that lungfish, not coelacanths, are the closest relatives to land-adapted vertebrates. Whereas protein-coding genes evolve at a very slow rate, possibly reflecting a “living fossil” status, transposable elements appear to be active and show high diversity, suggesting a role for them in the remarkable expansion of the lungfish genome. Analyses of single genes and gene families documented changes connected to the water to land transition and demonstrated the value of the lungfish reference transcriptome for comparative studies of vertebrate evolution. PMID:26908371

  2. Specialized metabolism and biochemical suppression during aestivation of the extant South American lungfish--Lepidosiren paradoxa.

    PubMed

    Mesquita-Saad, L S B; Leitão, M A B; Paula-Silva, M N; Chippari-Gomes, A R; Almeida-Val, V M F

    2002-08-01

    Lepidosiren paradoxa (pirambóia) is the single representative of Dipnoan (lungfish) in South America. This species is considered a living fossil, in spite of some reports describing this fish as having a very specialized life style. It aestivates during the dry season, and has developed metabolic adaptations to cope with both flooding and drought. The literature describing its tissue ultra-structure shows high glycogen stored in the muscle, suggesting a strong dependence on anaerobic glycolysis. The present paper reports tissue enzyme levels of LDH, MDH, and CS, and isozymic tissue distribution of LDH, MDH, ADH, PGI, SOD, and PGM of 7 aestivating specimens from Lago do Canteiro in the Amazonas River. Animals were caught while burrowed in mud during the aestivation period. Our findings reveal high anaerobic capacity of both skeletal and heart muscles, even during the aestivation period, when enzymes showed suppressed levels compared to those of non-aestivating animals (data from the literature). Isozymic patterns suggest loss of duplicate condition in most analyzed loci, a characteristic that occurs mainly in higher vertebrate categories. These data indicate that, compared to the fish group, lungfish may be considered advanced, despite retaining primitive morphological characters.

  3. Age-related differences revealed in Australian fur seal Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus gut microbiota.

    PubMed

    Smith, Stuart C; Chalker, Andrea; Dewar, Meagan L; Arnould, John P Y

    2013-11-01

    The gut microbiota of Australian fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus) was examined at different age classes using fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH) and 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing. The FISH results indicated that in the fur seal groups, the predominant phyla are Firmicutes (22.14-67.33%) followed by Bacteroidetes (3.11-15.45%) and then Actinobacteria (1.4-5.9%) consistent with other mammals. Phylum Proteobacteria had an initial abundance of 1.8% in the 2-month-old pups, but < 1% of bacterial numbers for the other fur seal age groups. Significant differences did occur in the abundance of Clostridia, Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria between 2 months pups and 9 months pups and adult fur seals. Results from the 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing supported the FISH data and identified significant differences in the composition of Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, Verrucomicrobia and Fusobacteria at all ages. Class Clostridia in phylum Firmicutes dominates the microbiota of the 2 months and 9 months seal pups, whilst class Bacilli dominates the 6 months pups. In addition, a high level of dissimilarity was observed between all age classes. This study provides novel insight into the gut microbiota of Australian fur seals at different age classes.

  4. Molecules and Morphology Reveal Overlooked Populations of Two Presumed Extinct Australian Sea Snakes (Aipysurus: Hydrophiinae)

    PubMed Central

    Sanders, Kate L.; Schroeder, Tina; Guinea, Michael L.; Rasmussen, Arne R.

    2015-01-01

    The critically endangered leaf-scaled (Aipysurus foliosquamaI) and short-nosed (A. apraefrontalis) sea snakes are currently recognised only from Ashmore and Hibernia reefs ~600km off the northwest Australian coast. Steep population declines in both species were documented over 15 years and neither has been sighted on dedicated surveys of Ashmore and Hibernia since 2001. We examine specimens of these species that were collected from coastal northwest Australian habitats up until 2010 (A.foliosquama) and 2012 (A. apraefrontalis) and were either overlooked or treated as vagrants in conservation assessments. Morphological variation and mitochondrial sequence data confirm the assignment of these coastal specimens to A. foliosquama (Barrow Island, and offshore from Port Hedland) and A.apraefrontalis (Exmouth Gulf, and offshore from Roebourne and Broome). Collection dates, and molecular and morphological variation between coastal and offshore specimens, suggest that the coastal specimens are not vagrants as previously suspected, but instead represent separate breeding populations. The newly recognised populations present another chance for leaf-scaled and short-nosed sea snakes, but coastal habitats in northwest Australia are widely threatened by infrastructure developments and sea snakes are presently omitted from environmental impact assessments for industry. Further studies are urgently needed to assess these species’ remaining distributions, population structure, and extent of occurrence in protected areas. PMID:25671608

  5. Molecules and morphology reveal overlooked populations of two presumed extinct Australian sea snakes (Aipysurus: Hydrophiinae).

    PubMed

    Sanders, Kate L; Schroeder, Tina; Guinea, Michael L; Rasmussen, Arne R

    2015-01-01

    The critically endangered leaf-scaled (Aipysurus foliosquamaI) and short-nosed (A. apraefrontalis) sea snakes are currently recognised only from Ashmore and Hibernia reefs ~600km off the northwest Australian coast. Steep population declines in both species were documented over 15 years and neither has been sighted on dedicated surveys of Ashmore and Hibernia since 2001. We examine specimens of these species that were collected from coastal northwest Australian habitats up until 2010 (A.foliosquama) and 2012 (A. apraefrontalis) and were either overlooked or treated as vagrants in conservation assessments. Morphological variation and mitochondrial sequence data confirm the assignment of these coastal specimens to A. foliosquama (Barrow Island, and offshore from Port Hedland) and A.apraefrontalis (Exmouth Gulf, and offshore from Roebourne and Broome). Collection dates, and molecular and morphological variation between coastal and offshore specimens, suggest that the coastal specimens are not vagrants as previously suspected, but instead represent separate breeding populations. The newly recognised populations present another chance for leaf-scaled and short-nosed sea snakes, but coastal habitats in northwest Australia are widely threatened by infrastructure developments and sea snakes are presently omitted from environmental impact assessments for industry. Further studies are urgently needed to assess these species' remaining distributions, population structure, and extent of occurrence in protected areas.

  6. Phylogenetic analysis of the Australian rosella parrots (Platycercus) reveals discordance among molecules and plumage.

    PubMed

    Shipham, Ashlee; Schmidt, Daniel J; Joseph, Leo; Hughes, Jane M

    2015-10-01

    Relationships and species limits among the colourful Australian parrots known as rosellas (Platycercus) are contentious because of poorly understood patterns of parapatry, sympatry and hybridization as well as complex patterns of geographical replacement of phenotypic forms. Two subgenera are, however, conventionally recognised: Platycercus comprises the blue-cheeked crimson rosella complex (Crimson Rosella P. elegans and Green Rosella P. caledonicus), and Violania contains the remaining four currently recognised species (Pale-headed Rosella P. adscitus, Eastern Rosella P. eximius, Northern Rosella P. venustus, and Western Rosella P. icterotis). We used phylogenetic analysis of ten loci (one mitochondrial, eight autosomal and one z-linked) and several individuals per nominal species primarily to examine relationships within the subgenera, especially the relationships and species limits within Violania. Of these, P. adscitus and P. eximius have long been considered sister species or conspecific due to a morphology-based hybrid zone and an early phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA restriction fragment length polymorphisms. The multilocus phylogenetic analysis presented here supports an alternative hypothesis aligning P. adscitus and P. venustus as sister species. Using divergence rates published in other avian studies, we estimated the divergence between P. venustus and P. adscitus at 0.0148-0.6124MYA and that between the P. adscitus/P. venustus ancestor and P. eximius earlier at 0.1617-1.0816MYA, both within the Pleistocene. Discordant topologies among gene and species trees are discussed and proposed to be the result of historical gene flow and/or incomplete lineage sorting (ILS). In particular, we suggest that discordance between mitochondrial and nuclear data may be the result of asymmetrical mitochondrial introgression from P. adscitus into P. eximius. The biogeographical implications of our findings are discussed relative to similarly distributed groups

  7. Lungfish Axial Muscle Function and the Vertebrate Water to Land Transition

    PubMed Central

    Horner, Angela M.; Jayne, Bruce C.

    2014-01-01

    The role of axial form and function during the vertebrate water to land transition is poorly understood, in part because patterns of axial movement lack morphological correlates. The few studies available from elongate, semi-aquatic vertebrates suggest that moving on land may be powered simply from modifications of generalized swimming axial motor patterns and kinematics. Lungfish are an ideal group to study the role of axial function in terrestrial locomotion as they are the sister taxon to tetrapods and regularly move on land. Here we use electromyography and high-speed video to test whether lungfish moving on land use axial muscles similar to undulatory swimming or demonstrate novelty. We compared terrestrial lungfish data to data from lungfish swimming in different viscosities as well as to salamander locomotion. The terrestrial locomotion of lungfish involved substantial activity in the trunk muscles but almost no tail activity. Unlike other elongate vertebrates, lungfish moved on land with a standing wave pattern of axial muscle activity that closely resembled the pattern observed in terrestrially locomoting salamanders. The similarity in axial motor pattern in salamanders and lungfish suggests that some aspects of neuromuscular control for the axial movements involved in terrestrial locomotion were present before derived appendicular structures. PMID:24788982

  8. Lungfish axial muscle function and the vertebrate water to land transition.

    PubMed

    Horner, Angela M; Jayne, Bruce C

    2014-01-01

    The role of axial form and function during the vertebrate water to land transition is poorly understood, in part because patterns of axial movement lack morphological correlates. The few studies available from elongate, semi-aquatic vertebrates suggest that moving on land may be powered simply from modifications of generalized swimming axial motor patterns and kinematics. Lungfish are an ideal group to study the role of axial function in terrestrial locomotion as they are the sister taxon to tetrapods and regularly move on land. Here we use electromyography and high-speed video to test whether lungfish moving on land use axial muscles similar to undulatory swimming or demonstrate novelty. We compared terrestrial lungfish data to data from lungfish swimming in different viscosities as well as to salamander locomotion. The terrestrial locomotion of lungfish involved substantial activity in the trunk muscles but almost no tail activity. Unlike other elongate vertebrates, lungfish moved on land with a standing wave pattern of axial muscle activity that closely resembled the pattern observed in terrestrially locomoting salamanders. The similarity in axial motor pattern in salamanders and lungfish suggests that some aspects of neuromuscular control for the axial movements involved in terrestrial locomotion were present before derived appendicular structures.

  9. Lungfish burrows in the Upper Triassic Chinle and Dolores Formations, Colorado Plateau ( USA).

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dubiel, R.F.; Blodgett, R.H.; Bown, T.M.

    1987-01-01

    Vertical-to-inclined, cylindrical trace fossils that occur in the Upper Triassic Chinle and Dolores Formations on the Colorado Plateau are interpreted to be the casts of lungfish burrows based on their morphologic similarity to previously identified lungfish burrows. The casts were formed by passive siliciclastic and carbonate sedimentation into apparently abandoned lungfish burrows. Locally, the burrow fillings are overwhelmingly abundant, and many intersect and have destroyed former burrow fillings. Bioturbation has contributed to the mottled coloration and the knobby-weathering texture of the rocks. The burrow-fillings occur ubiquitously in three lithofacies, deposited in a continental environment that included fluvial channels and floodplains, sand sheets and playa mudflats, and lacustrine basins, marshes, and deltas. The widespread occurrence of the lungfish burrows in the Chinle and Dolores Formations attests to the extensive habitat that supported lungfish in the Late Triassic. Analogy with the environments that support modern lungfish populations suggests that the Late Triassic climate in the study area provided sufficient moisture to support large populations of lungfish and that this climate was probably punctuated by seasonally dry periods. -from Authors

  10. Hearing in the African lungfish (Protopterus annectens): pre-adaptation to pressure hearing in tetrapods?

    PubMed

    Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Brandt, Christian; Wilson, Maria; Wahlberg, Magnus; Madsen, Peter T

    2011-02-23

    Lungfishes are the closest living relatives of the tetrapods, and the ear of recent lungfishes resembles the tetrapod ear more than the ear of ray-finned fishes and is therefore of interest for understanding the evolution of hearing in the early tetrapods. The water-to-land transition resulted in major changes in the tetrapod ear associated with the detection of air-borne sound pressure, as evidenced by the late and independent origins of tympanic ears in all of the major tetrapod groups. To investigate lungfish pressure and vibration detection, we measured the sensitivity and frequency responses of five West African lungfish (Protopterus annectens) using brainstem potentials evoked by calibrated sound and vibration stimuli in air and water. We find that the lungfish ear has good low-frequency vibration sensitivity, like recent amphibians, but poor sensitivity to air-borne sound. The skull shows measurable vibrations above 100 Hz when stimulated by air-borne sound, but the ear is apparently insensitive at these frequencies, suggesting that the lungfish ear is neither adapted nor pre-adapted for aerial hearing. Thus, if the lungfish ear is a model of the ear of early tetrapods, their auditory sensitivity was limited to very low frequencies on land, mostly mediated by substrate-borne vibrations.

  11. Myelin structure and composition of myelinated tissue in the African lungfish.

    PubMed

    Kirschner, Daniel A; Karthigesan, Jothie; Bizzozero, Oscar A; Kosaras, Bela; Inouye, Hideyo

    2008-05-01

    To analyze myelin structure and the composition of myelinated tissue in the African lungfish (Protopterus dolloi), we used a combination of ultrastructural and biochemical techniques. Electron microscopy showed typical multilamellar myelin: CNS sheaths abutted one another, and PNS sheaths were separated by endoneurial collagen. The radial component, prominent in CNS myelin of higher vertebrates, was suggested by the pattern of staining but was poorly organized. The lipid and myelin protein compositions of lungfish tissues more closely resembled those of teleost than those of higher vertebrates (frog, mouse). Of particular note, for example, lungfish glycolipids lacked hydroxy fatty acids. Native myelin periodicities from unfixed nerves were in the range of those for higher vertebrates rather than for teleost fish. Lungfish PNS myelin had wider inter-membrane spaces compared with other vertebrates, and lungfish CNS myelin had spaces that were closer in value to those in mammalian than to amphibian or teleost myelins. The membrane lipid bilayer was narrower in lungfish PNS myelin compared to other vertebrates, whereas in the CNS myelin the bilayer was in the typical range. Lungfish PNS myelin showed typical compaction and swelling responses to incubation in acidic or alkaline hypotonic saline. The CNS myelin, by contrast, did not compact in acidic saline but did swell in the alkaline solution. This lability was more similar to that for the higher vertebrates than for teleost.

  12. Hearing in the African lungfish (Protopterus annectens): pre-adaptation to pressure hearing in tetrapods?

    PubMed Central

    Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Brandt, Christian; Wilson, Maria; Wahlberg, Magnus; Madsen, Peter T.

    2011-01-01

    Lungfishes are the closest living relatives of the tetrapods, and the ear of recent lungfishes resembles the tetrapod ear more than the ear of ray-finned fishes and is therefore of interest for understanding the evolution of hearing in the early tetrapods. The water-to-land transition resulted in major changes in the tetrapod ear associated with the detection of air-borne sound pressure, as evidenced by the late and independent origins of tympanic ears in all of the major tetrapod groups. To investigate lungfish pressure and vibration detection, we measured the sensitivity and frequency responses of five West African lungfish (Protopterus annectens) using brainstem potentials evoked by calibrated sound and vibration stimuli in air and water. We find that the lungfish ear has good low-frequency vibration sensitivity, like recent amphibians, but poor sensitivity to air-borne sound. The skull shows measurable vibrations above 100 Hz when stimulated by air-borne sound, but the ear is apparently insensitive at these frequencies, suggesting that the lungfish ear is neither adapted nor pre-adapted for aerial hearing. Thus, if the lungfish ear is a model of the ear of early tetrapods, their auditory sensitivity was limited to very low frequencies on land, mostly mediated by substrate-borne vibrations. PMID:20826468

  13. Structural and biochemical characterization of the lungfish (Lepidosiren paradoxa) liver basic fatty acid binding protein.

    PubMed

    Di Pietro, S M; Santomé, J A

    2001-04-01

    Only one fatty acid-binding protein (FABP) from the liver of the lungfish (Lepidosiren paradoxa) was isolated and characterized. The sequence comparison of lungfish FABP with that of the known members of the liver FABP (L-FABP) and liver basic FABP (Lb-FABP) subfamilies indicates that it is more closely related to chicken, iguana, frog, axolotl, catfish, and shark Lb-FABPs than to mammalian and axolotl L-FABPs. Lungfish liver expression of this single Lb-FABP contrasts with the other fish studied so far which coexpress an Lb-FABP with heart-adipocyte and/or intestinal FABP types. The lungfish liver FABP expression pattern resembles that of tetrapods, which only expresses liver type FABPs. Lungfish Lb-FABP is one of the two FABPs reported to have a disulfide bridge. The molecular modeling of lungfish Lb-FABP predicts that nine of the conserved residues of Lb-FABPs are oriented toward the binding cavity, thus suggesting they are related to the protein binding characteristics.

  14. Intraclass diversification of immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in the African lungfish.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Tianyi; Tacchi, Luca; Wei, Zhiguo; Zhao, Yaofeng; Salinas, Irene

    2014-05-01

    Lungfish (Dipnoi) are the closest living relatives to tetrapods, and they represent the transition from water to land during vertebrate evolution. Lungfish are armed with immunoglobulins (Igs), one of the hallmarks of the adaptive immune system of jawed vertebrates, but only three Ig forms have been characterized in Dipnoi to date. We report here a new diversity of Ig molecules in two African lungfish species (Protopterus dolloi and Protopterus annectens). The African lungfish Igs consist of three IgMs, two IgWs, three IgNs, and an IgQ, where both IgN and IgQ originated evidently from the IgW lineage. Our data also suggest that the IgH genes in the lungfish are organized in a transiting form from clusters (IgH loci in cartilaginous fish) to a translocon configuration (IgH locus in tetrapods). We propose that the intraclass diversification of the two primordial gnathostome Ig classes (IgM and IgW) as well as acquisition of new isotypes (IgN and IgQ) has allowed lungfish to acquire a complex and functionally diverse Ig repertoire to fight a variety of microorganisms. Furthermore, our results support the idea that "tetrapod-specific" Ig classes did not evolve until the vertebrate adaptation to land was completed ~360 million years ago.

  15. Intraclass diversification of immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in the African lungfish

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Tianyi; Tacchi, Luca; Wei, Zhiguo

    2015-01-01

    Lungfish (Dipnoi) are the closest living relatives to tetrapods, and they represent the transition from water to land during vertebrate evolution. Lungfish are armed with immunoglobulins (Igs), one of the hallmarks of the adaptive immune system of jawed vertebrates, but only three Ig forms have been characterized in Dipnoi to date. We report here a new diversity of Ig molecules in two African lungfish species (Protopterus dolloi and Protopterus annectens). The African lungfish Igs consist of three IgMs, two IgWs, three IgNs, and an IgQ, where both IgN and IgQ originated evidently from the IgW lineage. Our data also suggest that the IgH genes in the lungfish are organized in a transiting form from clusters (IgH loci in cartilaginous fish) to a translocon configuration (IgH locus in tetrapods). We propose that the intraclass diversification of the two primordial gnathostome Ig classes (IgM and IgW) as well as acquisition of new isotypes (IgN and IgQ) has allowed lungfish to acquire a complex and functionally diverse Ig repertoire to fight a variety of microorganisms. Furthermore, our results support the idea that “tetrapod-specific” Ig classes did not evolve until the vertebrate adaptation to land was completed ∼360 million years ago. PMID:24676685

  16. Hearing of the African lungfish (Protopterus annectens) suggests underwater pressure detection and rudimentary aerial hearing in early tetrapods.

    PubMed

    Christensen, Christian Bech; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Madsen, Peter Teglberg

    2015-02-01

    In the transition from an aquatic to a terrestrial lifestyle, vertebrate auditory systems have undergone major changes while adapting to aerial hearing. Lungfish are the closest living relatives of tetrapods and their auditory system may therefore be a suitable model of the auditory systems of early tetrapods such as Acanthostega. Therefore, experimental studies on the hearing capabilities of lungfish may shed light on the possible hearing capabilities of early tetrapods and broaden our understanding of hearing across the water-to-land transition. Here, we tested the hypotheses that (i) lungfish are sensitive to underwater pressure using their lungs as pressure-to-particle motion transducers and (ii) lungfish can detect airborne sound. To do so, we used neurophysiological recordings to estimate the vibration and pressure sensitivity of African lungfish (Protopterus annectens) in both water and air. We show that lungfish detect underwater sound pressure via pressure-to-particle motion transduction by air volumes in their lungs. The morphology of lungfish shows no specialized connection between these air volumes and the inner ears, and so our results imply that air breathing may have enabled rudimentary pressure detection as early as the Devonian era. Additionally, we demonstrate that lungfish in spite of their atympanic middle ear can detect airborne sound through detection of sound-induced head vibrations. This strongly suggests that even vertebrates with no middle ear adaptations for aerial hearing, such as the first tetrapods, had rudimentary aerial hearing that may have led to the evolution of tympanic middle ears in recent tetrapods.

  17. Nuclear and plastid DNA sequences reveal complex evolutionary patterns in Australian water-lilies (Nymphaea subgenus Anecphya, Nymphaeaceae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study represents the first comprehensive analysis of phylogenetic relationships within the Australian water-lilies, Nymphaea subg. Anecphya. Our 52-taxa dataset covers all species of the subgenus except the newly described N. alexii and includes information from the nuclear ITS as well as from ...

  18. Concordance of seven gene genealogies compared to phenotypic data reveals multiple cryptic species in Australian dermocyboid Cortinarius (Agaricales).

    PubMed

    Stefani, Franck O P; Jones, Rodney H; May, Tom W

    2014-02-01

    This study aims to delimit species of Australian dermocyboid fungi (Cortinarius, Agaricales) using genealogical concordance on well-characterised phenotypic species and to assess the utility of seven loci for DNA barcoding Australian Cortinarius taxa. Eighty-six collections of dermocyboid Cortinarius were sampled from across southern Australia. Phenotypic species were first recognised by performing clustering analyses on a comprehensive phenotypic dataset including morphological, colour and pigment data. Then phylogenetic species were delimited from the concordance of seven locus genealogies (ITS, nLSU, gpd, mcm7, rpb1, rpb2 and tef1). Seventeen phenotypic species were recognised while the concordance of gene genealogies recovered 35 phylogenetic species. All loci except for LSU recovered most phylogenetic species, although only rpb1 correctly identified all phylogenetic species. The ITS region is confirmed as an effective barcode for Cortinarius and a standard pairwise distance threshold of 2.0% is proposed to DNA barcode Australian Cortinarius taxa. Australian dermocyboid fungi belong in separate clades to the boreal clade Dermocybe, mostly in the clade Splendidi. This study provides a solid foundation for future ecological, taxonomic and systematic research on one of the most diverse genera of mushrooms worldwide.

  19. The cranial endocast of Dipnorhynchus sussmilchi (Sarcopterygii: Dipnoi) and the interrelationships of stem-group lungfishes

    PubMed Central

    Challands, Tom J.; Long, John A.; Ahlberg, Per E.

    2016-01-01

    The first virtual cranial endocast of a lungfish from the Early Devonian, Dipnorhynchus sussmilchi, is described. Dipnorhynchus, only the fourth Devonian lungfish for which a near complete cranial endocast is known, is a key taxon for clarifying primitive character states within the group. A ventrally-expanded telencephalic cavity is present in the endocast of Dipnorhynchus demonstrating that this is the primitive state for “true” Dipnoi. Dipnorhynchus also possesses a utricular recess differentiated from the sacculolagenar pouch like that seen in stratigraphically younger lungfish (Dipterus, Chirodipterus, Rhinodipterus), but absent from the dipnomorph Youngolepis. We do not find separate pineal and para-pineal canals in contrast to a reconstruction from previous authors. We conduct the first phylogenetic analysis of Dipnoi based purely on endocast characters, which supports a basal placement of Dipnorhynchus within the dipnoan stem group, in agreement with recent analyses. Our analysis demonstrates the value of endocast characters for inferring phylogenetic relationships. PMID:27781157

  20. Early evolution of the lungfish pectoral fin endoskeleton: evidence from the Middle Devonian (Givetian) Pentlandia macroptera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jude, Emma; Johanson, Zerina; Kearsley, Anton; Friedman, Matt

    2014-08-01

    As the closest living relatives of tetrapods, lungfishes are frequently used as extant models for exploring the fin-to-limb transition. These studies have generally given little consideration to fossil taxa. This is because although lungfish fins are relatively common in the fossil record, the internal structure of these fins is virtually unknown. Information on pectoral-fin endoskeletons in fossil representatives of Dipnomorpha (the lungfish total group) is limited to poorly preserved remains in the lungfish Dipterus and Conchopoma and more complete material in the porolepiform Glyptolepis. Here we describe a well-preserved pectoral-fin endoskeleton in the Middle Devonian (Givetian) lungfish Pentlandia macroptera from the John O’Groats fish bed, Caithness, northeastern Scotland. The skeleton is in association with a cleithrum and clavicle, and consists of a series of at least eight mesomeres. Extensive series of preaxial and postaxial radials are present. Some of the radials are jointed, but none branch. No mesomere articulates with multiple radials on either its pre- or post-axial face. The first two mesomeres, corresponding to the humerus and ulna, bear well-developed axial processes. Uniquely among dipnomorphs, a distinct ossification centre corresponding to the radius is present in Pentlandia. A review of anatomy and development of the pectoral-fin endoskeleton in the living Neoceratodus is presented based on cleared and stained material representing different size stages. These developmental data, in conjunction with new details of primitive lungfish conditions based on Pentlandia, highlight many of the derived features of the pectoral-fin skeleton of Neoceratodus, and clarify patterns of appendage evolution within the dipnomorphs more generally.

  1. Phylogenetic aspects of carbamoyl phosphate synthetase in lungfish: a transitional enzyme in transitional fishes.

    PubMed

    Laberge, Tammy; Walsh, Patrick J

    2011-06-01

    Carbamoyl phosphate synthetase (CPS) catalyses the formation of carbamoyl phosphate from glutamine or ammonia, bicarbonate and ATP. There are three different isoforms of CPS that play vital roles in two metabolic pathways, pyrimidine biosynthesis (CPS II) and arginine/urea biosynthesis (CPS I and CPS III). Gene duplication has been proposed as the evolutionary mechanism creating this gene family with CPS II likely giving rise to the CPS I/III clade. In the evolutionary history of this gene family it is still undetermined when CPS I diverged from CPS III on the path to terrestriality in the vertebrates. Transitional organisms such as lungfishes are of particular interest because they are capable of respiring via gills and with lungs and therefore can be found in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. Notably, enzymatic characterization of the mitochondrial CPS isoforms in this transitional group has not led to clear conclusions. In order to determine which CPS isoform is present in transitional animals, we examined partial sequences for liver CPS amplified from five species of lungfish, and a larger fragment of CPS from one lungfish species (Protopterus annectens) and compared them to CPS isoforms from other fish and mammals. Enzyme activities for P. annectens liver were also examined. While enzyme activities did not yield a clear distinction between isoforms (virtually equal activities were obtained for either CPS I or III), CPS sequences from the lungfishes formed a monophyletic clade within the CPS I clade and separate from the CPS III clade of other vertebrates. This finding implies that the mitochondrial isoform of CPS in lungfish is derived from CPS I and is likely to have a physiological function similar to CPS I. This finding is important because it supports the hypothesis that lungfish employ a urea cycle similar to terrestrial air-breathing vertebrates.

  2. Connections of the medial telencephalic wall in the spotted African Lungfish.

    PubMed

    Northcutt, R Glenn; Westhoff, Guido

    2011-01-01

    The extent and boundaries of the roof, or pallium, of the telencephalon in lungfishes have been debated for over 30 years, and two hypotheses exist. Proponents of a restricted pallium claim that the medial border of the pallium occurs in a dorsal position and that the entire medial hemispheric wall is formed by the septal nuclei. Proponents of an extended pallium claim that the medial border of the pallium occurs in a more ventral position and that the medial hemispheric wall is divided into a dorsal medial pallium and ventral septal nuclei, as in amphibians. Immunohistochemical data have generally been interpreted to support the hypothesis of an extended pallium, but disagreement still exists. To clarify the extent of the pallium in lungfishes, the connections of the dorsal and ventral divisions of the medial hemispheric wall in the Spotted African Lungfish were examined using a number of neuronal tracers. In amphibians and other tetrapods, the afferent projections to the medial pallium and the septal nuclei differ extensively, as do the commissural routes taken by decussating interhemispheric connections. Although the descending projections of the medial pallium and septal nuclei are very similar to one another in amphibians and other tetrapods, they do differ in that the septal nuclei and the ventral thalamus are extensively interlinked, whereas the medial pallium lacks such connections. These differences also characterize the connections of the dorsal and ventral divisions of the medial hemispheric wall in the Spotted African Lungfish, which supports the hypothesis of an extended pallium. The telencephalic organization in lungfishes thus appears remarkably similar to that in amphibians and reflects a pattern that almost certainly existed in the last common ancestor of lungfishes and tetrapods.

  3. Binding studies of novel, non-mammalian enkephalins, structures predicted from frog and lungfish brain cDNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Bojnik, E; Magyar, A; Tóth, G; Bajusz, S; Borsodi, A; Benyhe, S

    2009-01-23

    Leu- and Met-enkephalin were the first endogenous opioid peptides identified in different mammalian species including the human. Comparative biochemical and bioinformatic evidence indicates that enkephalins are not limited to mammals. Various prodynorphin (PDYN) sequences in lower vertebrates revealed the presence of other enkephalin fingerprints in these precursor polypeptides. Among the novel enkephalins Ile-enkephalin (Tyr-Gly-Gly-Phe-Ile) was primarily observed in the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) PDYNs, while the structure of Phe-enkephalin (Tyr-Gly-Gly-Phe-Phe) was predicted by analyzing brain cDNA sequences encoding a PDYN of the African lungfish (Protopterus annectens). Ile-enkephalin can also be found in the PDYNs of four other fish species including the eel, bichir, zebrafish and tilapia, but no further occurrence for the Phe-enkephalin motif is available as yet. Based on sequencing data, the biological relevance of Phe- and Ile-enkephalin is suggested, because both of them can arise by regular posttranslational enzymatic processing of the respective neuropeptide precursors. In various receptor binding assays performed on rat brain membrane preparations both of the new peptides turned out to be moderate affinity opioids with a weak preference for the delta-opioid receptor (DOP) sites. Phe-enkephalin of the lungfish displayed rather unexpectedly low affinities toward the mu-opioid receptor (MOP) and DOP, while exhibiting moderate affinity toward the kappa-opioid receptor (KOP). In receptor-mediated G-protein activation assays measured by the stimulation of [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding, Met-enkephalin produced the highest stimulation followed by Leu-enkephalin, Ile-enkephalin and Phe-enkephalin, whereas the least efficacious among these endogenous peptides was still more effective than the prototype opiate agonist morphine in these functional tests.

  4. African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, possess an arginine vasotocin receptor homologous to the tetrapod V2-type receptor.

    PubMed

    Konno, Norifumi; Hyodo, Susumu; Yamaguchi, Yoko; Kaiya, Hiroyuki; Miyazato, Mikiya; Matsuda, Kouhei; Uchiyama, Minoru

    2009-07-01

    In tetrapods, arginine vasopressin and its counterpart, arginine vasotocin (AVT), are involved in renal water conservation through vascular V1a-type and tubular V2-type receptors, and only the former has thus far been cloned in fish. We successfully cloned the V1a-type and V2-type AVT receptor from the kidney of the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, and the deduced amino acid sequences exhibited high homology with amphibian V1a- and V2-type receptors, respectively. Functional analysis showed that AVT addition to CHO cells transfected with lungfish V1a-type receptor increased [Ca2+]i in a concentration-dependent manner, whereas CHO cells transfected with lungfish V2-type receptor responded with cAMP accumulation after AVT stimulation. Lungfish V2-type receptor mRNA was strongly expressed in the heart and kidney, while V1a-type receptor mRNA was ubiquitously expressed in all the tissues examined. In the kidney, immunohistochemistry using a specific antibody to lungfish V2-type receptor showed localization in the basolateral area of the cells in the late part of the distal tubules. Artificial estivation (EST) for 90 days significantly increased plasma osmolality and sodium and urea concentrations. There was no significant difference in the V2-type receptor mRNA and protein expression levels in the kidney between the freshwater and EST lungfish, while the AVT precursor mRNA level in the hypothalamus was remarkably higher in the EST lungfish. Our results indicate that African lungfish possess a functional V2-type receptor similar to that in tetrapods, suggesting that elevated plasma AVT during estivation exerts a renal tubular antidiuretic effect through the V2-type receptor expressed in the distal segments of lungfish kidney.

  5. Differential NOS expression in freshwater and aestivating Protopterus dolloi (lungfish): heart vs kidney readjustments.

    PubMed

    Amelio, Daniela; Garofalo, Filippo; Brunelli, Elvira; Loong, Ai May; Wong, Wai Peng; Ip, Yuen Kwong; Tota, Bruno; Cerra, Maria Carmela

    2008-02-01

    African lungfish Protopterus dolloi is an obligatory air-breather, which aestivates in a cocoon during the dry season. Aestivation associates with functional modifications in many tissues and organs, including heart and kidney. Due to its pleiotropic modulatory effects, nitric oxide (NO), generated by nitric oxide synthases (NOSs), may coordinate organ rearrangement, allowing adaptive adjustments under stressful environmental conditions. By immunofluorescence, Western blotting and NADPH-diaphorase, we examined cardiac and renal localization and activity of NOSs isoforms in both freshwater (FW) and aestivating [6 days (6DA) and 40 days (40DA) of estivation] P. dolloi. In heart and kidney endothelial NOS (eNOS) is the major isoform with respect to inducible and neuronal NOS (iNOS and nNOS, respectively). Cardiac eNOS locates in the epicardium, the trabecular endothelial endocardium, and myocardiocytes of both FW and aestivating fish. Western blotting revealed that cardiac eNOS expression increases in 6DA, but decreases in 40DA fish. In FW fish kidney eNOS is present in vascular endothelial cells and in podocytes of renal corpuscles. In tubular epithelial cells it is restricted to the apical pole. With aestivation, both renal localization and expression of eNOS increase. NADPH-diaphorase revealed an enhancement of cardiac and renal NOS activities during aestivation. Results suggest that in P. dolloi NO contributes, in an autocrine-paracrine fashion, to cardiac and renal readjustments during aestivation. Our findings are of evolutionary interest, since they document for the first time the presence of a NOS system in a ancestral fish, indicative of deep phylogenetic roots of NO bio-synthesis.

  6. High nutrient transport and cycling potential revealed in the microbial metagenome of Australian sea lion (Neophoca cinerea) faeces.

    PubMed

    Lavery, Trish J; Roudnew, Ben; Seymour, Justin; Mitchell, James G; Jeffries, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Metagenomic analysis was used to examine the taxonomic diversity and metabolic potential of an Australian sea lion (Neophoca cinerea) gut microbiome. Bacteria comprised 98% of classifiable sequences and of these matches to Firmicutes (80%) were dominant, with Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria representing 8% and 2% of matches respectively. The relative proportion of Firmicutes (80%) to Bacteriodetes (2%) is similar to that in previous studies of obese humans and obese mice, suggesting the gut microbiome may confer a predisposition towards the excess body fat that is needed for thermoregulation within the cold oceanic habitats foraged by Australian sea lions. Core metabolic functions, including carbohydrate utilisation (14%), protein metabolism (9%) and DNA metabolism (7%) dominated the metagenome, but in comparison to human and fish gut microbiomes there was a significantly higher proportion of genes involved in phosphorus metabolism (2.4%) and iron scavenging mechanisms (1%). When sea lions defecate at sea, the relatively high nutrient metabolism potential of bacteria in their faeces may accelerate the dissolution of nutrients from faecal particles, enhancing their persistence in the euphotic zone where they are available to stimulate marine production.

  7. Independent Transitions between Monsoonal and Arid Biomes Revealed by Systematic Revison of a Complex of Australian Geckos (Diplodactylus; Diplodactylidae)

    PubMed Central

    Oliver, Paul M.; Couper, Patrick J.; Pepper, Mitzy

    2014-01-01

    How the widespread expansion and intensification of aridity through the Neogene has shaped the Austral biota is a major question in Antipodean biogeography. Lineages distributed across wide aridity gradients provide opportunities to examine the timing, frequency, and direction of transitions between arid and mesic regions. Here, we use molecular genetics and morphological data to investigate the systematics and biogeography of a nominal Australian gecko species (Diplodactylus conspicillatus sensu lato) with a wide distribution spanning most of the Australian Arid Zone (AAZ) and Monsoonal Tropics (AMT). Our data support a minimum of seven genetically distinct and morphologically diagnosable taxa; we thus redefine the type species, ressurrect three names from synonymy, and describe three new species. Our inferred phylogeny suggests the history and diversification of lineages in the AAZ and AMT are intimately linked, with evidence of multiple independent interchanges since the late Miocene. However, despite this shared history, related lineages in these two regions also show evidence of broadly contrasting intra-regional responses to aridification; vicarance and speciation in older and increasingly attenuated mesic regions, versus a more dynamic history including independent colonisations and recent range expansions in the younger AAZ. PMID:25493936

  8. Death by sex in an Australian icon: a continent-wide survey reveals extensive hybridization between dingoes and domestic dogs.

    PubMed

    Stephens, Danielle; Wilton, Alan N; Fleming, Peter J S; Berry, Oliver

    2015-11-01

    Hybridization between domesticated animals and their wild counterparts can disrupt adaptive gene combinations, reduce genetic diversity, extinguish wild populations and change ecosystem function. The dingo is a free-ranging dog that is an iconic apex predator and distributed throughout most of mainland Australia. Dingoes readily hybridize with domestic dogs, and in many Australian jurisdictions, distinct management strategies are dictated by hybrid status. Yet, the magnitude and spatial extent of domestic dog-dingo hybridization is poorly characterized. To address this, we performed a continent-wide analysis of hybridization throughout Australia based on 24 locus microsatellite DNA genotypes from 3637 free-ranging dogs. Although 46% of all free-ranging dogs were classified as pure dingoes, all regions exhibited some hybridization, and the magnitude varied substantially. The southeast of Australia was highly admixed, with 99% of animals being hybrids or feral domestic dogs, whereas only 13% of the animals from remote central Australia were hybrids. Almost all free-ranging dogs had some dingo ancestry, indicating that domestic dogs could have poor survivorship in nonurban Australian environments. Overall, wild pure dingoes remain the dominant predator over most of Australia, but the speed and extent to which hybridization has occurred in the approximately 220 years since the first introduction of domestic dogs indicate that the process may soon threaten the persistence of pure dingoes.

  9. Morphometric comparison of the respiratory organs in the South American lungfish Lepidosiren paradoxa (Dipnoi).

    PubMed

    de Moraes, Marcos F P G; Holler, Sabine; da Costa, Oscar T F; Glass, Mogens L; Fernandes, Marisa N; Perry, Steven F

    2005-01-01

    In light of the relationship of lungfish to the origin of tetrapods, information on the respiratory biology of lungfish can give insight into the functional morphological and physiological prerequisites for the conquest of land by the first tetrapods. Stereological methods were employed in order to determine the respiratory surface area and thickness of the water-blood barrier or air-blood of the gills, lungs, and skin, respectively, of the South American lungfish Lepidosiren paradoxa. The morphometric diffusing capacity was then determined by multiplying by the appropriate Krogh diffusion constants (K). Our results indicate a total diffusing capacity of all respiratory organs of 0.11 mL min(-1) mmHg(-1) kg(-1), which is more than twice the value of the physiological diffusion capacity (approximately 0.04 mL min(-1) mmHg(-1) kg(-1)). Of this, 99.15% lies in the lungs, 0.85% in the skin, and only 0.0013% in the gills. Since K for CO(2) is 20-25 times greater than for O(2), diffusing capacity of CO(2) through the skin is potentially important. That of the gills, however, is negligible, raising the question as to their function. Our results indicate that the morphological prerequisites for terrestrial survival with regard to supporting aerobic metabolism already existed in the lungfish.

  10. Reduction of thyrotropin-releasing hormone concentrations in central nervous system of African lungfish during estivation.

    PubMed

    Kreider, M S; Winokur, A; Pack, A I; Fishman, A P

    1990-03-01

    Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) has been implicated as an important modulator of arousal state in mammals. Changes in the content of TRH in several brain regions accompany hibernation in the ground squirrel. In the present study, the involvement of TRH in the regulation of arousal was further investigated in the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, which contain high concentrations of TRH throughout its central nervous system and enter a hibernation-like state, estivation. Lungfish were divided into three groups. Group 1 was fed normally, group 2 was starved while aquatic, and group 3 was allowed to enter into a state of estivation. After 3 months, the lungfish were sacrificed and the concentrations of TRH, norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin were determined in the telencephalon, diencephalon, medulla, and spinal cord. In estivation, there was a significant decline in the concentration of TRH in the diencephalon, with no alteration in other regions. Starvation had no effect on regional TRH concentrations. The concentration of norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin did not change in estivation; however, a significant elevation of norepinephrine in the diencephalon and dopamine in the telencephalon was observed in starvation. Starvation and estivation were associated with significant declines in the protein content of the diencephalon and medulla. The estivation-linked decline in TRH in the diencephalon of the lungfish is similar to the decrease in TRH content in the hypothalamus in hibernating ground squirrels. These findings lend further support to the importance of TRH in the regulation of arousal state.

  11. Hydrographic Service Royal Australian Navy

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-01-01

    Planning Brief HS817 Squadron Mar 93 Exercise Lungfish MHQ Dec 92 Low Frequency DSTO Mar 93 Sonar Trial Environmental LADS Flinders Passage Mar 93...Starfish MHO S.E. Asia Sep 93 Exercise New Horizon 7 MHO Aug 93 Exercise Lungfish MHO Oct 93 Environmental LADS Flinders Passage Dec 93 Summary

  12. Trade-off between camouflage and sexual dimorphism revealed by UV digital imaging: the case of Australian Mallee dragons (Ctenophorus fordi).

    PubMed

    Garcia, Jair E; Rohr, Detlef; Dyer, Adrian G

    2013-11-15

    Colour patterns displayed by animals may result from the balance of the opposing requirements of sexual selection through display and natural selection through camouflage. Currently, little is known about the possibility of the dual purpose of an animal colour pattern in the UV region of the spectrum, which is potentially perceivable by both predators and conspecifics for detection or communication purposes. Here, we implemented linearised digital UV photography to characterise and quantify the colour pattern of an endemic Australian Agamid lizard classically regarded as monomorphic when considering data from the visible region of the spectrum. Our results indicate a widespread presence of UV elements across the entire body of the lizards and these patterns vary significantly in intensity, size and frequency between sexes. These results were modelled considering either lizard or avian visual characteristics, revealing that UV reflectance represents a trade-off between the requirements of sexual displaying to conspecifics and concealment from avian predators.

  13. Next-generation transcriptome profiling reveals insights into genetic factors contributing to growth differences and temperature adaptation in Australian populations of barramundi (Lates calcarifer).

    PubMed

    Newton, James R; Zenger, Kyall R; Jerry, Dean R

    2013-09-01

    Identification of genetically-regulated adaptation in fish is a precursor to understanding how populations will respond to future climate induced stressors like temperature. Australian populations of barramundi (Lates calcarifer) show strong evidence of local adaptation to temperature. However, the phenotypic consequences of this adaptation are unknown and the genetic mechanisms underlying this response are poorly understood. In the current study, two populations of barramundi from temperature extremes of the species Australian distribution were communally reared at cool (22°C), control (28°C) and hot (36°C) water temperatures for 3.5months. Southern populations of barramundi originating from a cooler environment grew significantly faster at 22°C than northern populations of warm adapted barramundi. However, no difference in population growth was present at either 28°C or 36°C. The underlying transcriptome profile of barramundi was examined via Illumina mRNA deep sequencing to determine the major contributing gene categories giving rise to phenotypic differences in barramundi population growth. Gene ontology (GO) analysis revealed enrichment in categories relating to the regulation of peptidase activity as well as microtubule, cytoplasmic and cellular metabolic based processes. Further analysis of the GO category "microtubule based process" with associated genes from the "response to stress" category revealed an apparent re-organization of cytoskeletal elements in response to an induced cold stress in northern barramundi reared at 22°C, when compared with northern barramundi reared at 36°C. Between southern barramundi and northern barramundi reared at 36°C, an analysis of the "endopeptidase inhibitor activity" GO category in conjunction with stress genes indicated a suppression of the complement system in southern barramundi along with an increase in the cellular stress response. The results of the present study show that southern populations of barramundi

  14. Water balance and renal function in two species of African lungfish Protopterus dolloi and Protopterus annectens.

    PubMed

    Patel, Monika; Iftikar, Fathima I; Smith, Richard W; Ip, Yuen K; Wood, Chris M

    2009-02-01

    The basic physiology of water balance and kidney function was characterized in two species of African lungfish, Protopterus dolloi and Protopterus annectens. Diffusive water efflux rate constants were low (0.13 h(-1)-0.38 h(-1) in various series) relative to values in freshwater teleost fish. Efflux rate constants increased approximately 3-fold after feeding in both species, and were greatly decreased after 8 months terrestrialization (P. dolloi only tested). Urine flow rates (UFR, 3.9-5.2 mL kg(-1) h(-1)) and glomerular filtration rates (GFR, 6.6-9.3 mL kg(-1) h(-1)) were quite high relative to values in most freshwater teleosts. However urinary ion excretion rates were low, with net re-absorption of >99% Na(+), >98% Cl(-), and >78% Ca(2+) from the primary filtrate, comparable to teleosts. Net water re-absorption was significantly greater in P. dolloi (56%) than in P. annectens (23%). We conclude that renal function in lungfish is similar to that in other primitive freshwater fish, but there is an interesting dichotomy between diffusive and osmotic permeabilities. Aquatic lungfish have low diffusive water permeability, an important pre-adaptation to life on land, and in accord with greatly reduced gill areas and low metabolic rates. However osmotic permeability is high, 4-12 times greater than diffusive permeability. A role for aquaporins in this dichotomy is speculated.

  15. Analysis of glycoproteins produced by the associated gland in the olfactory organ of lungfish.

    PubMed

    Nakamuta, Nobuaki; Nakamuta, Shoko; Taniguchi, Kazumi; Taniguchi, Kazuyuki

    2013-07-31

    The olfactory organ of African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, contains two distinct sensory epithelia: the lamellar olfactory epithelium and the recess epithelium. These epithelia correspond to the olfactory epithelium and the vomeronasal organ of tetrapods, respectively. In contrast to the lamellar olfactory epithelium, which has no associated gland, the recess epithelium is equipped with associated glands. Although the glandular cells and/or the supporting cells are generally presumed to secrete proteins involved in the function of olfactory sensory epithelia, the properties of these proteins in lungfish have not been evaluated to date. In this study, we investigated the associated glands in the olfactory organ of lungfish by transmission electron microscopy and found that the glandular cells contain numerous secretory granules and secrete them from the apical membrane. In addition, we analyzed the olfactory organ by lectin histochemistry using 16 biotinylated lectins. All lectins labeled the secretory granules in the glandular cells with different staining patterns from those of the supporting cells in the lamellar olfactory epithelium or in the recess epithelium. Furthermore, lectin blotting analysis showed that multiple bands were detected by the lectins which specifically labeled the glandular epithelium of the olfactory organ. These results indicate that the secretory products of the associated glands in the recess epithelium have different properties from those of the supporting cells in the olfactory sensory epithelia and contain multiple glycoproteins with different carbohydrate moieties.

  16. The anatomy of the gastrointestinal tract of the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens.

    PubMed

    Icardo, José M; Wong, Wai P; Colvee, Elvira; Loong, Ai M; Ip, Yuen K

    2010-07-01

    The gastrointestinal tract of the African lungfish Protopterus annectens is a composite, which includes the gut, the spleen, and the pancreas. The gut is formed by a short oesophagus, a longitudinal stomach, a pyloric valve, a spiraling intestine, and a cloaca. Coiling of the intestine begins dorsally below the pylorus, winding down to form six complete turns before ending into the cloaca. A reticular tissue of undisclosed nature accompanies the winding of the intestinal mucosa. The spleen is located along the right side of the stomach, overlapping the cranial end of the pancreas. The pancreas occupies the shallow area, which indicates on the gut dorsal side the beginning of the intestine coiling. In addition, up to 25 lymphatic-like nodes accompany the inner border of the spiral valve. The mesenteric artery forms a long axis for the intestine. All the components of the gastrointestinal tract are attached to each other by connective sheaths, and are wrapped by connective tissue, and by the serosa externally. We believe that several previous observations have been misinterpreted and that the anatomy of the lungfish gut is more similar among all the three lungfish genera than previously thought. Curiously, the gross anatomical organization is not modified during aestivation. We hypothesize that the absence of function is accompanied by structural modifications of the epithelium, and are currently investigating this possibility.

  17. Epithelial crypts: A complex and enigmatic olfactory organ in African and South American lungfish (Lepidosireniformes, Dipnoi).

    PubMed

    Wittmer, Carolin; Nowack, Christine

    2017-03-23

    African lungfish (Protopterus) seem unique among osteognathostomes in possessing a potential vomeronasal organ homolog in form of accessory epithelial crypts within their nasal cavity. Many details regarding structural and functional properties of these crypts are still unexplored. In this study, we reinvestigate the issue and also present the first data on epithelial crypts in the South American lungfish Lepidosiren paradoxa. The nasal cavities of L. paradoxa and Protopterus annectens were studied using histology, scanning electron microscopy, and alcian blue and PAS staining. In both species, the epithelial crypts consist of a pseudostratified sensory epithelium and a monolayer of elongated glandular cells, in accordance with previously published data on Protopterus. In addition, we found a new second and anatomically distinct type of mucous cell within the duct leading into the crypt. These glandular duct cells are PAS positive, whereas the elongated glandular cells are stainable with alcian blue, suggesting distinct functions of their respective secretions. Furthermore, the two lungfish species show differently structured crypt sensory epithelia and external crypt morphology, with conspicuous bilaterally symmetrical stripes of ciliated cells in L. paradoxa. Taken together, our data suggest that stimulus transport into the crypts involves both ciliary movement and odorant binding mucus.

  18. Carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism in fasting and aestivating African lungfish (Protopterus dolloi).

    PubMed

    Frick, Natasha Therese; Bystriansky, Jason Scott; Ip, Yuen Kwong; Chew, Shit Fun; Ballantyne, James Stuart

    2008-09-01

    The potential importance of carbohydrates and amino acids as fuels during periods of fasting and aestivation in the African lungfish, Protopterus dolloi, were examined. No significant decreases in tissue glycogen levels were observed following 60 days of fasting or aestivation, suggesting lungfish may undergo 'glycogen sparing'. Yet glycogenolysis may be important during aestivation based on the differing responses of two flux-generating enzymes of the glycolytic pathway, hexokinase (HK) and pyruvate kinase (PK). PK is required for glycogen breakdown whereas HK is not. HK activity is significantly down-regulated in the heart and gill tissues during aestivation, while PK activity is sustained. The significant negative correlation between the activity of HK and glucose levels in the heart of aestivating lungfish suggests HK may be regulated by glucose concentrations. There was no indication of anaerobic glycolytic flux during aestivation as lactate did not accumulate in any of the tissues examined, and no significant induction of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)activity was observed. The increase in glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) and aspartate aminotransferase (Asp-AT) activities in the liver of aestivating P. dolloi suggests some energy may be obtained via increased aminoacid catabolism, leading to the generation of tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle intermediates. These findings indicate the importance of both carbohydrate and amino acid fuel stores during aestivation in aphylogenetically ancient, air-breathing fish.

  19. Histological and ultrastructural characteristics of the primordial vomeronasal organ in lungfish.

    PubMed

    Nakamuta, Shoko; Nakamuta, Nobuaki; Taniguchi, Kazumi; Taniguchi, Kazuyuki

    2012-03-01

    Many vertebrates have two anatomically distinct olfactory organs--the olfactory epithelium and the vomeronasal organ--to detect chemicals such as general odorants and pheromones in their environment. The vomeronasal organ is not present in fish but is present in vertebrates of a higher order than amphibians. Among all extant fishes, the lungfish is considered to be genetically and phylogenetically closest to tetrapods. In this study, we examined the olfactory organs of African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, by lectin histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, and transmission electron microscopy. Two types of sensory epithelia were identified in the olfactory organ--the olfactory epithelium covering the surface of lamellae and the sensory epithelium lining the recesses both at the base of lamellae and in the wall of the nasal sac--and designated here as the lamellar olfactory epithelium and the recess epithelium, respectively. Based on analysis of G-protein expression and ultrastructure, the lamellar olfactory epithelium resembled the olfactory epithelium of ordinary teleosts and the recess epithelium resembled the vomeronasal organ of tetrapods. Furthermore, lectin histochemistry demonstrated that the axons from the recess epithelium converge and project to the ventrolateral part of the olfactory bulb, suggesting that lungfish possess a region homologous to the accessory olfactory bulb of tetrapods. Based on these results, it seems appropriate to refer to the recess epithelium as "a primordium of the vomeronasal organ." This study may provide important clues to elucidate how the vomeronasal organ emerged during the evolution of vertebrates.

  20. Evolutionary relationships of the coelacanth, lungfishes, and tetrapods based on the 28S ribosomal RNA gene.

    PubMed

    Zardoya, R; Meyer, A

    1996-05-28

    The origin of land vertebrates was one of the major transitions in the history of vertebrates. Yet, despite many studies that are based on either morphology or molecules, the phylogenetic relationships among tetrapods and the other two living groups of lobe-finned fishes, the coelacanth and the lungfishes, are still unresolved and debated. Knowledge of the relationships among these lineages, which originated back in the Devonian, has profound implications for the reconstruction of the evolutionary scenario of the conquest of land. We collected the largest molecular data set on this issue so far, about 3,500 base pairs from seven species of the large 28S nuclear ribosomal gene. All phylogenetic analyses (maximum parsimony, neighbor-joining, and maximum likelihood) point toward the hypothesis that lungfishes and coelacanths form a monophyletic group and are equally closely related to land vertebrates. This evolutionary hypothesis complicates the identification of morphological or physiological preadaptations that might have permitted the common ancestor of tetrapods to colonize land. This is because the reconstruction of its ancestral conditions would be hindered by the difficulty to separate uniquely derived characters from shared derived characters in the coelacanth/lungfish and tetrapod lineages. This molecular phylogeny aids in the reconstruction of morphological evolutionary steps by providing a framework; however, only paleontological evidence can determine the sequence of morphological acquisitions that allowed lobe-finned fishes to colonize land.

  1. Identification, tissue distribution and functional characterization of the ghrelin receptor in West African lungfish, Protopterus annectens.

    PubMed

    Kaiya, Hiroyuki; Konno, Norifumi; Kangawa, Kenji; Uchiyama, Minoru; Miyazato, Mikiya

    2014-12-01

    We identified two ghrelin receptor isoforms, the ghrelin receptor type-1a (GHS-R1a) and its alternative splice form (GHS-R1b) for West African lungfish, Protopterus annectens. Lungfish GHS-R1a and 1b comprised 361 and 281 amino acids, respectively. Lungfish GHS-R1a showed the highest identity to coelacanth GHS-R1a (80.4%). The highest expression of GHS-R1a mRNAs was seen in the brain, liver, ovary, heart, intestine, and gills. GHS-R1b mRNAs were also detected in the same tissues with GHS-R1a, but their expression level was 1/20 that of GHS-R1a. In human embryonic kidney 293 cells transiently expressing lungfish GHS-R1a, rat and bullfrog ghrelin, and two GHS-R1a agonists, GHRP-6 and hexarelin, increased intracellular Ca(2+) concentrations. The intensity of the Ca(2+) increases induced by GHS-R1a agonists was twice when compared to that induced by ghrelin, although the median effective doses (ED50) were similar, suggesting a long-lasting effect of GHS-R1a agonists with similar affinity. We also examined changes in the GHS-R gene expression during an eight-week estivation. Body weight was slightly lowered, but plasma sodium and glucose concentrations decreased; plasma urea concentration increased significantly 4weeks after the start of estivation. Overall, expression of GHS-R1a mRNA decreased, but changes in GHS-R1b mRNA expression were inconsistent with those of GHS-R1a during estivation, suggesting an involvement of GHS-R in energy homeostasis, as seen in mammals. Our results suggest that the ghrelin-GHS-R1a system is present in this lungfish although ghrelin has not yet been found. The structure of GHS-R1a is closer to that of tetrapods than Actinopterygian fish, indicating a process of evolution that follows the Crossopterygii such as coelacanth.

  2. Morphological And Molecular Analyses of an Anatomical Novelty: The Pelvic Fin Filaments of the South American Lungfish.

    PubMed

    Lima, Sergio Q; Costa, Carinne M; Amemiya, Chris T; Schneider, Igor

    2017-01-01

    The pelvic fins of male South American lungfish, Lepidosiren paradoxa, are adorned with a distinctive array of filaments, which grow and become highly vascularized during the breeding season. The resemblance between these pelvic fin filaments (PFFs) and external gills of other vertebrates suggested that this gill-like structure was used for physiological gas exchange. It has been proposed that the unique pelvic fin of male L. paradoxa is used for release of oxygen from its blood into the environment in order to aerate its nesting brood, or, conversely, as an auxiliary respiratory organ by absorbing oxygen from the environment into its bloodstream. Here, we employed histology, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and quantitative PCR (qPCR) to assess whether the morphology and molecular profile of PFFs are compatible with a role in gas exchange. First, we closely examined its external morphology and showed that PFFs develop from short papillae during the rainy season, but remain covered by a thick nonvascularized epithelium. Histological examination confirmed that capillaries within the filaments are separated from the exterior by a basement membrane and a stratified epithelium composed of four to five cell layers. In addition, SEM analysis revealed significant differences between the fin filament epithelium and typical gill epithelium. Finally, our qPCR results showed that five genes commonly expressed in gills were downregulated in PFFs relative to their expression in regular pectoral fin epidermis. Collectively, our results do not directly support a role for PFFs, commonly referred to as "limb gills", in oxygen release or uptake.

  3. Increased gene expression of a facilitated diffusion urea transporter in the skin of the African lungfish (Protopterus annectens) during massively elevated post-terrestrialization urea excretion.

    PubMed

    Hung, Carrie Y C; Galvez, Fernando; Ip, Yuen K; Wood, Chris M

    2009-04-01

    The full-length cDNA sequence of a putative urea transporter (lfUT) of the facilitated diffusion UT-A type has been cloned from the African lungfish Protopterus annectens. The lfUT cDNA is 1990 bp in length and its open reading frame encodes a 409 amino acid long protein, with a calculated molecular mass of 44,723 Da. The sequence is closest to those of amphibians ( approximately 65% amino acid homology), followed by mammals and elasmobranchs ( approximately 60%), and then teleosts ( approximately 50%). lfUT was clearly expressed in gill, kidney, liver, skeletal muscle and skin. Upon re-immersion in water after 33 days of air exposure ('terrestrialization'), lungfish exhibited a massive rise in urea-N excretion which peaked at 12-30 h with rates of 2000-5000 micromol-N kg(-1) h(-1) (versus normal aquatic rates of <130 micromol-N kg(-1) h(-1)) and persisted until 70 h. This appears to occur mainly through the skin. Total 'excess' urea-N excretion amounted to approximately 81,000-91,000 micromol-N kg(-1) over 3 days. By real-time PCR, there was no difference in lfUT expression in the ventral abdominal skin between aquatic ammoniotelic controls and terrestrialized lungfish immediately after return to water (0 h), and no elevation of urea-N excretion at this time. However, skin biopsies revealed a significant 2.55-fold elevation of lfUT expression at 14 h, coincident with peak urea-N excretion. At 48 h, there was no longer any significant difference in lfUT mRNA levels from those at 0 and 14 h, or from aquatic fed controls. In accordance with earlier studies, which identified elevated urea-N excretion via the skin of P. dolloi with pharmacology typical of UT-A carriers, these results argue that transcriptional activation of a facilitated diffusion type urea transporter (lfUT) occurs in the skin during re-immersion. This serves to clear the body burden of urea-N accumulated during terrestrialization.

  4. Diagnostic investigation of new disease syndromes in farmed Australian saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) reveals associations with herpesviral infection.

    PubMed

    Shilton, Catherine M; Jerrett, Ian V; Davis, Steven; Walsh, Susan; Benedict, Suresh; Isberg, Sally R; Webb, Grahame J W; Manolis, Charlie; Hyndman, Timothy H; Phalen, David; Brown, Gregory P; Melville, Lorna

    2016-05-01

    Since 2006, 3 new disease syndromes have emerged in farmed saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) in the Northern Territory of Australia. We describe the syndromes through a retrospective study of laboratory findings from 187 diagnostic cases submitted to Berrimah Veterinary Laboratories between 2005 and 2014. The first syndrome was characterized by conjunctivitis and/or pharyngitis (CP), primarily in hatchlings. Herpesviruses were isolated in primary crocodile cell culture, or were detected by PCR directly from conjunctiva or pharyngeal tissue, in 21 of 39 cases of CP (54%), compared with 9 of 64 crocodiles without the syndrome (14%, p < 0.0001). Chlamydiaceae were detected by PCR in conjunctiva or pharyngeal tissue of 55% of 29 CP cases tested, and of these, 81% also contained herpesvirus. The second syndrome occurred in juveniles and growers exhibiting poor growth, and was characterized histologically by systemic lymphoid proliferation and nonsuppurative encephalitis (SLPE). Herpesviruses were isolated or detected by PCR from at least 1 internal organ in 31 of 33 SLPE cases (94%) compared with 5 of 95 crocodiles without the syndrome (5%, p < 0.0001). The third syndrome, characterized by multifocal lymphohistiocytic infiltration of the dermis (LNS), occurred in 6 harvest-sized crocodiles. Herpesviruses were isolated from at least 1 skin lesion in 4 of these 6 cases. Although our study revealed strong associations between herpesvirus and the CP and SLPE syndromes, the precise nature of the role of herpesvirus, along with the pathogenesis and epidemiology of the syndromes, requires further investigation.

  5. Australian Defense.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1979-12-01

    Australia in World Affairs 1966-1970, (Melbourne: Cheshire Publishing Pty Ltd , 1974), p. 258. 6Department of Defence, Australian Defence Review...Pvt, Ltd .: 1977), p. 69. 74 17Desmond Ball, "American Bases: Implications for Australian Securi- ty" The Strategic and Defence Studies Centre...million with aircraft, or 3) a " Woolworth " carrier costing $300-400 million with aircraft.33 Defence planners are now faced with determin- ing which

  6. Structural and functional divergence of growth hormone-releasing hormone receptors in early sarcopterygians: lungfish and Xenopus.

    PubMed

    Tam, Janice K V; Chow, Billy K C; Lee, Leo T O

    2013-01-01

    The evolutionary trajectories of growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) receptor remain enigmatic since the discovery of physiologically functional GHRH-GHRH receptor (GHRHR) in non-mammalian vertebrates in 2007. Interestingly, subsequent studies have described the identification of a GHRHR(2) in chicken in addition to the GHRHR and the closely related paralogous receptor, PACAP-related peptide (PRP) receptor (PRPR). In this article, we provide information, for the first time, on the GHRHR in sarcopterygian fish and amphibians by the cloning and characterization of GHRHRs from lungfish (P. dolloi) and X. laevis. Sequence alignment and phylogenetic analyses demonstrated structural resemblance of lungfish GHRHR to their mammalian orthologs, while the X. laevis GHRHR showed the highest homology to GHRHR(2) in zebrafish and chicken. Functionally, lungfish GHRHR displayed high affinity towards GHRH in triggering intracellular cAMP and calcium accumulation, while X. laevis GHRHR(2) was able to react with both endogenous GHRH and PRP. Tissue distribution analyses showed that both lungfish GHRHR and X. laevis GHRHR(2) had the highest expression in brain, and interestingly, X. laevis(GHRHR2) also had high abundance in the reproductive organs. These findings, together with previous reports, suggest that early in the Sarcopterygii lineage, GHRHR and PRPR have already established diverged and specific affinities towards their cognate ligands. GHRHR(2), which has only been found in xenopus, zebrafish and chicken hitherto, accommodates both GHRH and PRP.

  7. Support for Lungfish as the Closest Relative of Tetrapods by Using Slowly Evolving Ray-Finned Fish as the Outgroup.

    PubMed

    Takezaki, Naoko; Nishihara, Hidenori

    2017-01-01

    In a previous analysis of the phylogenetic relationships of coelacanths, lungfishes and tetrapods, using cartilaginous fish (CF) as the outgroup, the sister relationship of lungfishes and tetrapods was constructed with high statistical support. However, using as the outgroup ray-finned fish (RF), which are more taxonomically closely related to the three lineages than CF, the sister relationship of coelacanths and tetrapods was most often constructed depending on the methods and the data sets, but the statistical support was generally low except in the cases in which the data set including a small number of species was analyzed. In this study, instead of the fast evolving ray-finned fish, teleost fish (TF), in the previous data sets, by using two slowly evolving RF, gar and bowfin, as the outgroup, we showed that the sister relationship of lungfishes and tetrapods was reconstructed with high statistical support. In our analysis the evolutionary rates of gar and bowfin were similar to each other and one third to one half of TF. The difference of the amino acid frequencies of the two species with other lineages was larger than those of TF. This study provides a strong support for lungfishes as the closest relative of tetrapods and indicates the importance of using an appropriate outgroup with small divergence in phylogenetic construction.

  8. Support for Lungfish as the Closest Relative of Tetrapods by Using Slowly Evolving Ray-Finned Fish as the Outgroup

    PubMed Central

    Nishihara, Hidenori

    2017-01-01

    In a previous analysis of the phylogenetic relationships of coelacanths, lungfishes and tetrapods, using cartilaginous fish (CF) as the outgroup, the sister relationship of lungfishes and tetrapods was constructed with high statistical support. However, using as the outgroup ray-finned fish (RF), which are more taxonomically closely related to the three lineages than CF, the sister relationship of coelacanths and tetrapods was most often constructed depending on the methods and the data sets, but the statistical support was generally low except in the cases in which the data set including a small number of species was analyzed. In this study, instead of the fast evolving ray-finned fish, teleost fish (TF), in the previous data sets, by using two slowly evolving RF, gar and bowfin, as the outgroup, we showed that the sister relationship of lungfishes and tetrapods was reconstructed with high statistical support. In our analysis the evolutionary rates of gar and bowfin were similar to each other and one third to one half of TF. The difference of the amino acid frequencies of the two species with other lineages was larger than those of TF. This study provides a strong support for lungfishes as the closest relative of tetrapods and indicates the importance of using an appropriate outgroup with small divergence in phylogenetic construction. PMID:28082606

  9. The spleen of the African lungfish Protopterus annectens: freshwater and aestivation.

    PubMed

    Icardo, José M; Wong, Wai P; Colvee, Elvira; Loong, Ai M; Ip, Yuen K

    2012-10-01

    We describe the structure of the spleen of the African lungfish Protopterus annectens in freshwater conditions, and after 6 months of aestivation. The spleen is formed by cortical tissue that surrounds the splenic parenchyma. The cortex is a reticulum that contains two types of granulocytes, developing and mature plasma cells, and melanomacrophage centres (MMCs). The parenchyma is divided into lobules that show a subcapsular sinus and areas of red pulp and white pulp. Red pulp contains vascular sinuses and atypical cords formed by delicate trabeculae. White pulp also contains vascular sinuses and cords. Structural data indicate that red pulp is involved in erythropoiesis, destruction of effete erythrocytes, and plasma cell differentiation. White pulp appears to be involved in the production of immune responses. Macrophages and sinus endothelial cells constitute the reticulo-endothelial system of the spleen. After aestivation, the number of MMCs increases, and spleen tissue is infiltrated by lymphocytes, granulocytes, and monocytes. Also, white pulp is reduced, and sinus endothelial cells undergo vacuolar degeneration. Lungfish spleen shares structural characteristics with secondary lymphoid organs of both ectothermic and endothermic vertebrates, but appears to have evolved in unique ways.

  10. Localization of the primordial vomeronasal organ and its relationship to the associated gland in lungfish.

    PubMed

    Nakamuta, Shoko; Nakamuta, Nobuaki; Taniguchi, Kazumi; Taniguchi, Kazuyuki

    2013-04-01

    The lungfish, the closest fish to tetrapods, has two types of sensory epithelia in the olfactory organ: the lamellar olfactory epithelium and the recess epithelium. The former resembles the olfactory epithelium of ordinary teleosts and the latter resembles the vomeronasal organ of tetrapods with respect to the G-protein expressions and the morphological properties of olfactory receptor cells. In contrast to the lamellar olfactory epithelium covering the surface of olfactory lamella, the recess epithelium, together with the glandular epithelium, lines the recesses at the base of olfactory lamellae and is separated from the surrounding tissues by nonsensory epithelium. In the present study, we examined the distribution of these recesses and the relationship between the recess epithelium and the associated gland in the nasal sac of lungfish. We found that the posterior part of the nasal sac contained more recesses than the anterior one, and the medial one contained more recesses than the lateral one. In addition, virtually all recesses consisted of both the recess epithelium and the glandular epithelium. Furthermore, the glandular epithelium was invariably situated proximal to the midline raphe of the nasal sac, and the recess epithelium distal to it. Possible roles of the recess epithelium and the glandular epithelium are discussed.

  11. Brain Na+/K+-ATPase α-subunit isoforms and aestivation in the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens.

    PubMed

    Hiong, Kum C; Ip, Yuen K; Wong, Wai P; Chew, Shit F

    2014-07-01

    This study aimed to clone and sequence Na (+) / K (+)-ATPase (nka) α-subunit isoforms from, and to determine their mRNA expression levels and protein abundance in the brain of the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens during the induction, maintenance and arousal phases of aestivation in air. We obtained the full cDNA sequences of nkaα1, nkaα2 and nkaα3 from the brain of P. annectens. Phylogenetic analysis of their deduced amino acid sequences revealed that they are closer to the corresponding NKA α-subunits of tetrapods than to those of fishes. The mRNA expression of these three nkaα isoforms showed differential changes in the brain of P. annectens during the three phases of aestivation. After 12 days of aestivation, there was a significant increase in the protein abundance of Nkaα1 in the brain of P. annectens. This could be an important response to maintain cellular Na(+) and K(+) concentrations and regulate cell volume during the early maintenance phase of aestivation. On the other hand, the mRNA expression of nkaα2 decreased significantly in the brain of P. annectens after 6 months of aestivation, which could be a result of a suppression of transcriptional activities to reduce energy expenditure. The down-regulation of mRNA expression of nkaα1, nkaα2 and nkaα3 and the overall protein abundance of Nka α-subunit isoforms in the brain of P. annectens after 1 day of arousal from 6 months of aestivation were novel observations, and it could be an adaptive response to restore blood pressure and/or to prevent brain oedema.

  12. Australian Extinctions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Science Teacher, 2005

    2005-01-01

    Massive extinctions of animals and the arrival of the first humans in ancient Australia--which occurred 45,000 to 55,000 years ago--may be linked. Researchers at the Carnegie Institution, University of Colorado, Australian National University, and Bates College believe that massive fires set by the first humans may have altered the ecosystem of…

  13. Musculoskeletal morphology of the pelvis and pelvic fins in the lungfish Protopterus annectens.

    PubMed

    King, Heather M; Hale, Melina E

    2014-04-01

    The West African lungfish (Protopterus annectens) performs benthic, pelvic fin-driven locomotion with gaits common to tetrapods, the sister group of the lungfishes. Features of P. annectens movement are similar to those of modern tetrapods and include use of the distal region of the pelvic fin as a “foot,” use of the fin to lift the body above the substrate and rotation of the fin around the joint with the pelvis. In contrast to these similarities in movement, the pelvic fins of P. annectens are long, slender structures that are superficially very different from tetrapod limbs. Here, we describe the musculoskeletal anatomy of the pelvis and pelvic fins of P. annectens with dissection, magnetic resonance imaging, histology and 3D-reconstruction methods. We found that the pelvis is embedded in the hypaxial muscle by a median rostral and two dorsolateral skeletal projections. The protractor and retractor muscles at the base of the pelvic fin are fan-shaped muscles that cup the femur. The skeletal elements of the fin are serially repeating cartilage cylinders. Along the length of the fin, repeating truncated cones of muscles, the musculus circumradialis pelvici, are separated by connective tissue sheets that connect the skeletal elements to the skin. The simplicity of the protractor and retractor muscles at the base of the fin is surprising, given the complex rotational movement those muscles generate. In contrast, the series of many repeating segmental muscles along the length of the fin is consistent with the dexterity of bending of the distal limb. P. annectens can provide a window into softtissue anatomy and sarcopterygian fish fin function that complements the fossil data from related taxa. This work, combined with previous behavioral examination of P. annectens, illustrates that fin morphologies that do not appear to be capable of walking can accomplish that function, and may inform the interpretation of fossil anatomical evidence.

  14. Lipid, ketone body and oxidative metabolism in the African lungfish, Protopterus dolloi following 60 days of fasting and aestivation.

    PubMed

    Frick, Natasha Therese; Bystriansky, Jason Scott; Ip, Yuen Kwong; Chew, Shit Fun; Ballantyne, James Stuart

    2008-09-01

    The potential importance of lipids and ketone bodies as fuels in the African lungfish, Protopterus dolloi, and the role of oxidative metabolism, were examined under control, fasted and aestivated conditions. In aestivating but not fasting lungfish, the activities of citrate synthase (CS) and cytochrome c oxidase (CCO) (enzymes of oxidative metabolism) showed tissue-specific changes. Significant reductions in CS activity occurred in the kidney, heart, gill and muscle, and in CCO in the liver and kidney tissues. Aestivation, but not fasting, also had a tissue-specific effect on mitochondrial state 3 respiration rates (using succinate as a substrate), with a >50% reduction in the liver, yet no change within muscle mitochondria. There is no indication that enzymes involved in lipid catabolism are up-regulated during periods of fasting or aestivation; however, both 3-hydroxyacyl CoA dehydrogenase (HOAD) and carnitine palmitoyl CoA transferase (CPT) activities were sustained in the liver despite the approximately 42% reduction in CCO activity, potentially indicating lipid metabolism is of importance during aestivation. Lungfish are able to utilize both the d- and l-stereoisomers of the ketone body beta-hydroxybutyrate (beta-HB); however, beta-HB does not appear to be an important fuel source during aestivation or fasting as no changes were observed in beta-HB tissue levels. This study demonstrates that an important aspect of metabolic depression during aestivation in lungfish is the tissue-specific down regulation of enzymes of aerobic metabolism while maintaining the activities of enzymes in pathways that supply substrates for aerobic metabolism.

  15. Central ventilatory control in the South American lungfish, Lepidosiren paradoxa: contributions of pH and CO(2).

    PubMed

    Amin-Naves, J; Giusti, H; Hoffmann, A; Glass, M L

    2007-07-01

    Lungfish represent a probable sister group to the land vertebrates. Lungfish and tetrapods share features of respiratory control, including central, peripheral and intrapulmonary CO(2) receptors. We investigated whether or not central chemoreceptors in the lungfish, L. paradoxa, are stimulated by CO(2) and/or pH. Ventilation was measured by pneumotachography for diving animals. The fourth cerebral ventricle was equipped with two catheters for superfusion. Initially, two control groups were compared: (1) catheterized animals with no superfusion and (2) animals superfused with mock CSF solutions at pH = 7.45; PCO(2) = 21 mmHg. The two groups had virtually the same ventilation of about 40 ml BTPS kg(-1) h(-1) (P > 0.05). Next, PCO(2) was increased from 21 to 42 mmHg, while pH(CSF) was kept at 7.45, which increased ventilation from 40 to 75 ml BTPS kg(-1) h(-1). Conversely, a decrease of pH(CSF) from 7.45 to 7.20 (PCO(2) = 21 mmHg) increased ventilation to 111 ml BTPS kg(-1) h(-1). Further decreases of pH(CSF) had little effect on ventilation, and the combination of pH(CSF) = 7.10 and PCO(2) = 42 mmHg reduced ventilation to 63 ml BTPS kg(-1) h(-1).

  16. Lungfish aestivating activities are locked in distinct encephalic γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor α subunits.

    PubMed

    Giusi, Giuseppina; Crudo, Michele; Di Vito, Anna; Facciolo, Rosa Maria; Garofalo, Filippo; Chew, Shit Fun; Ip, Yuen Kwong; Canonaco, Marcello

    2011-03-01

    Ammonia in dipnoans plays a crucial role on neuronal homeostasis, especially for those brain areas that maintain torpor and awakening states in equilibrium. In the present study, specific α subunits of the major neuroreceptor inhibitory complex (GABA(A) R), which predominated during some phases of aestivation of the lungfish Protopterus annectens, turned out to be key adaptive factors of this species. From the isolation, for the first time, of the encoding sequence for GABA(A) R α₁, α₄ , and α₅ subunits in Protopterus annectens, qPCR and in situ hybridization levels of α₄ transcript in thalamic (P < 0.001) and mesencephalic (P < 0.01) areas proved to be significantly higher during long aestivating maintenance states. Very evident α₅ mRNA levels were detected in diencephalon during short inductive aestivating states, whereas an α₄ /α₁ turnover characterized the arousal state. Contextually, the recovery of physiological activities appeared to be tightly related to an evident up-regulation of α₁ transcripts in telencephalic and cerebellar sites. Surprisingly, TUNEL and amino cupric silver methods corroborated apoptotic and neurodegenerative cellular events, respectively, above all in telencephalon and cerebellum of lungfish exposed to long maintenance aestivating conditions. Overall, these results tend to underlie a novel GABAergic-related ON/OFF molecular switch operating during aestivation of the lungfish, which might have a bearing on sleeping disorders.

  17. Upregulation of intracellular antioxidant enzymes in brain and heart during estivation in the African lungfish Protopterus dolloi.

    PubMed

    Page, Melissa M; Salway, Kurtis D; Ip, Yuen Kwong; Chew, Shit F; Warren, Sarah A; Ballantyne, James S; Stuart, Jeffrey A

    2010-03-01

    The African slender lungfish, Protopterus dolloi, is highly adapted to withstand periods of drought by secreting a mucous cocoon and estivating for periods of months to years. Estivation is similar to the diapause and hibernation of other animal species in that it is characterized by negligible activity and a profoundly depressed metabolic rate. As is typically observed in quiescent states, estivating P. dolloi are resistant to environmental stresses. We tested the hypothesis that P. dolloi enhances stress resistance during estivation by upregulating intracellular antioxidant defences in brain and heart tissues. We found that most of the major intracellular antioxidant enzymes, including the mitochondrial superoxide dismutase, cytosolic superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase, were upregulated in brain tissue of lungfish that had estivated for 60 days. Several of these enzymes were also elevated in heart tissue of estivators. These changes were not due to food deprivation, as they did not occur in a group of fish that were deprived of food but maintained in water for the same period of time. We found little evidence of tissue oxidative damage in estivators. Products of lipid peroxidation (4-hydroxynonenal adducts) and oxidative protein damage (carbonylation) were similar in estivating and control lungfish. However, protein nitrotyrosine levels were elevated in brain tissue of estivators. Taken together, these data indicate that estivating P. dolloi have enhanced oxidative stress resistance in brain and heart due to a significant upregulation of intracellular antioxidant capacity.

  18. Australian Brain Alliance.

    PubMed

    2016-11-02

    A proposal for an Australian Brain Initiative (ABI) is under development by members of the Australian Brain Alliance. Here we discuss the goals of the ABI, its areas of research focus, its context in the Australian research setting, and its necessity for ensuring continued success for Australian brain research.

  19. Molecular cloning and mRNA distribution of pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP)/PACAP-related peptide in the lungfish.

    PubMed

    Lee, L T O; Tam, J K V; Chan, D W; Chow, B K C

    2009-04-01

    In this article, we report the isolation of a full-length cDNA clone encoding pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP)/PACAP-related peptide (PRP) from lungfish Protopterus dolloi. When comparing the deduced amino acid sequences, the lungfish PACAP was found to be highly conserved with other vertebrates; however, the PRP shares only lower levels of sequence identity with known PRP sequences. Consistently in phylogenetic analysis, the lungfish PRP, similar to sturgeon PRP, fails to cluster with other PRPs. In addition to the full-length clone, another cDNA encoding a short precursor that lacks the first 32 amino acids of the PRP was also isolated. Interestingly, similar isoforms were also identified in several nonmammalian vertebrates, and it was suggested that exon skipping of PRP/PACAP transcripts was a mechanism that regulated the expression ratio of PACAP to PRP in nonmammalian vertebrates. By real-time PCR, both long and short PRP/PACAP transcripts were found almost exclusively in the brain, and the short isoform is the more abundant transcript (3.7 times more), indicating that PACAP is the major product produced in lungfish brain. The expression patterns of lungfish and previously studied frog PRP/PACAP suggest that the PRP/PACAP gene in the tetrapod lineage may first express in the central nervous system; in the process of evolution, the functions of these peptides diversified and were later found in other tissues.

  20. The Spirituality of Young Australians

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mason, Michael; Singleton, Andrew; Webber, Ruth

    2007-01-01

    A research project conducted in 2003-2006, the Spirit of Generation Y, using both extended interviews and a nationwide survey, revealed three main strands in the spirituality of young Australians: traditional, alternative and humanist. Their involvement in traditional religions was declining, like that of their parents, and although some adopted…

  1. Molecular Characterization of Aquaporin 1 and Aquaporin 3 from the Gills of the African Lungfish, Protopterus annectens, and Changes in Their Branchial mRNA Expression Levels and Protein Abundance during Three Phases of Aestivation

    PubMed Central

    Chng, You R.; Ong, Jasmine L. Y.; Ching, Biyun; Chen, Xiu L.; Hiong, Kum C.; Wong, Wai P.; Chew, Shit F.; Lam, Siew H.; Ip, Yuen K.

    2016-01-01

    African lungfishes can undergo long periods of aestivation on land during drought. During aestivation, lungfishes are confronted with desiccation and dehydration, and their gills become non-functional and covered with a thick layer of dried mucus. Aquaporins (Aqps) are a superfamily of integral membrane proteins which generally facilitate the permeation of water through plasma membranes. This study aimed to obtain the complete cDNA coding sequences of aqp1 and aqp3 from the gills of Protopterus annectens, and to determine their branchial mRNA and protein expression levels during the induction, maintenance and arousal phases of aestivation. Dendrogramic analyses of the deduced Aqp1 and Aqp3 amino acid sequences of P. annectens revealed their close relationships with those of Latimeria chalumnae and tetrapods. During the induction phase, there were significant decreases in the transcript levels of aqp1 and aqp3 in the gills of P. annectens, but the branchial Aqp1 and Aqp3 protein abundance remained unchanged. As changes in transcription might precede changes in translation, this could be regarded as an adaptive response to decrease the protein abundance of Aqp1 and Aqp3 in the subsequent maintenance phase of aestivation. As expected, the branchial transcript levels and protein abundance of aqp1/Aqp1 and aqp3/Aqp3 were significantly down-regulated during the maintenance phase, probably attributable to the shutdown of branchial functions and the cessation of volume regulation of branchial epithelial cells. Additionally, these changes could reduce the loss of water through branchial epithelial surfaces, supplementing the anti-desiccating property of the dried mucus. Upon arousal, it was essential for the lungfish to restore branchial functions. Indeed, the protein abundance of Aqp1 recovered partially, with complete recovery of mRNA expression level and protein abundance of Aqp3, in the gills of P. annectens after 3 days of arousal. These results provide insights into

  2. Molecular Characterization of Aquaporin 1 and Aquaporin 3 from the Gills of the African Lungfish, Protopterus annectens, and Changes in Their Branchial mRNA Expression Levels and Protein Abundance during Three Phases of Aestivation.

    PubMed

    Chng, You R; Ong, Jasmine L Y; Ching, Biyun; Chen, Xiu L; Hiong, Kum C; Wong, Wai P; Chew, Shit F; Lam, Siew H; Ip, Yuen K

    2016-01-01

    African lungfishes can undergo long periods of aestivation on land during drought. During aestivation, lungfishes are confronted with desiccation and dehydration, and their gills become non-functional and covered with a thick layer of dried mucus. Aquaporins (Aqps) are a superfamily of integral membrane proteins which generally facilitate the permeation of water through plasma membranes. This study aimed to obtain the complete cDNA coding sequences of aqp1 and aqp3 from the gills of Protopterus annectens, and to determine their branchial mRNA and protein expression levels during the induction, maintenance and arousal phases of aestivation. Dendrogramic analyses of the deduced Aqp1 and Aqp3 amino acid sequences of P. annectens revealed their close relationships with those of Latimeria chalumnae and tetrapods. During the induction phase, there were significant decreases in the transcript levels of aqp1 and aqp3 in the gills of P. annectens, but the branchial Aqp1 and Aqp3 protein abundance remained unchanged. As changes in transcription might precede changes in translation, this could be regarded as an adaptive response to decrease the protein abundance of Aqp1 and Aqp3 in the subsequent maintenance phase of aestivation. As expected, the branchial transcript levels and protein abundance of aqp1/Aqp1 and aqp3/Aqp3 were significantly down-regulated during the maintenance phase, probably attributable to the shutdown of branchial functions and the cessation of volume regulation of branchial epithelial cells. Additionally, these changes could reduce the loss of water through branchial epithelial surfaces, supplementing the anti-desiccating property of the dried mucus. Upon arousal, it was essential for the lungfish to restore branchial functions. Indeed, the protein abundance of Aqp1 recovered partially, with complete recovery of mRNA expression level and protein abundance of Aqp3, in the gills of P. annectens after 3 days of arousal. These results provide insights into

  3. The alimentary canal of the African lungfish Protopterus annectens during aestivation and after arousal.

    PubMed

    Icardo, José M; Loong, Ai M; Colvee, Elvira; Wong, Wai P; Ip, Yuen K

    2012-01-01

    We describe the structural modifications that occur in the alimentary canal of the African lungfish Protopterus annectens during aestivation and after arousal. With fasting, all gut segments undergo structural modifications. The epithelium covering the intestinal vestibule undergoes bursts of activation at 4 months of aestivation, adopting a more quiescent appearance at 6 months. The ridge area of the spiral intestine shows, at 4 months of aestivation, epithelial disintegration, cell desquamation, cell death, and loss of the freshwater phenotype. Surprisingly, the epithelium adopts a stratified appearance at 6 months of aestivation. Except for epithelial disintegration, the smooth portion of the spiral intestine follows a similar pattern of modifications than the ridge area. The entire epithelium of spiral intestine appears to be renewed during aestivation. The presence of intraepithelial mast cells suggests that inflammation is part of the cellular response to aestivation. After arousal, cell phenotypes are restored in about 6 days, but full structural recovery is not attained during the experimental period (15 days post-aestivation). Several aspects of the cellular response to fasting are shared by a wide range of animal groups. This commonality agrees with the presence of a character that allows to adjust the structural and functional properties of the gut to food availability and food quality, and to the characteristics of the fasting episodes.

  4. The gut of the juvenile African lungfish Protopterus annectens: a light and scanning electron microscope study.

    PubMed

    Icardo, José M; Wong, Wai P; Colvee, Elvira; Garofalo, Filippo; Loong, Ai M; Ip, Yuen K

    2011-07-01

    We describe the microstructure of the alimentary canal of the juvenile lungfish Protopterus annectens. Following the oesophagus, the gut is formed by a long segment that extends down to the pyloric valve. This segment, classically named stomach, is lined by a transitional epithelium but lacks all characteristics of the vertebrate stomach. It has been defined here as the intestinal vestibule. The spiral valve is divided into a first large chamber, which contains mucosal ridges, and a second smooth portion. The entire spiral valve is lined with a pseudostratified columnar epithelium that contains approximately six cell types: enterocytes, goblet cells, ciliated cells, leukocytes, dark pigment cells, and vascular cells. Enterocytes and goblet cells show a high number of cytoplasmic vacuoles. The number and size of the vacuoles, and the number of ciliated cells, decreases from the anterior toward the posterior end, suggesting that most of the digestive processes take place in the anterior part of the spiral valve. The epithelium overlies a lamina propria in the first large chamber and a vascular plexus in the smooth portion. The cloaca has a thick muscular wall covered by a transitional epithelium. An extensive lymphatic system formed by capillaries and lymphatic micropumps is present along the entire wall of the alimentary canal.

  5. Communication: Are Australians Different?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hansford, B. C.

    1992-01-01

    Examines the question of the distinctive nature of communication in Australia. Discusses nonverbal messages, gender concerns, historical influences on communication, the Australian accent, communication with indigenous persons, communication apprehension, and classroom communication. Argues that Australians' communication is relatively similar to…

  6. Anti-viral immune responses in a primitive lung: characterization and expression analysis of interferon-inducible immunoproteasome subunits LMP2, LMP7 and MECL-1 in a sarcopterygian fish, the Nigerian spotted lungfish (Protopterus dolloi).

    PubMed

    Tacchi, Luca; Misra, Milind; Salinas, Irene

    2013-12-01

    Lungfishes (Dipnoi) represent the closest ancestor of tetrapods. Dipnoi have dual breathing modes extracting oxygen from water and air. The primitive lungs of lungfishes are exposed to external antigens including viruses. To date, the immune response of lungfishes against viruses has not been investigated. During viral immune responses, cell exposure to type I interferon induces the replacement of the constitutive proteasome with LMP2, LMP7 and MECL-1 beta subunits forming the immunoproteasome and enhancing antigen presentation to MHC class I molecules. In order to study the immune defense system of the lungfish lung, we have characterized for the first time the three immunoproteasome subunits in the sarcopterygian fish, the Nigerian spotted lungfish (Protopterus dolloi). LMP2, LMP7 and MECL-1 were identified in P. dolloi and their sequences encoded predicted proteins of 216, 275 and 278 amino acids, respectively. The mRNA of these three genes was expressed in multiple tissues, including the lung, with the highest abundance observed in kidney and post-pyloric spleen. In vitro stimulation of lungfish lung and kidney primary cell cultures with PolyI:C for 4 and 12 h resulted in increased LMP2, LMP7 and MECL-1 expression in both tissues. These results suggest a central role of these genes in the activation of an antiviral immune response in lungfish. Importantly, they indicate that the primitive lung of the common ancestor of all tetrapods is capable of inducing the expression of these genes in response to viral stimulation.

  7. Anti-viral immune responses in a primitive lung: characterization and expression analysis of interferon-inducible immunoproteasome subunits LMP2, LMP7 and MECL-1 in a sarcopterygian fish, the Nigerian spotted lungfish (Protopterus dolloi)

    PubMed Central

    Tacchi, Luca; Misra, Milind; Salinas, Irene

    2013-01-01

    Lungfishes (Dipnoi) represent the closest ancestor of tetrapods. Dipnoi have dual breathing modes extracting oxygen from water and air. The primitive lungs of lungfishes are exposed to external antigens including viruses. To date, the immune response of lungfishes against viruses has not been investigated. During viral immune responses, cell exposure to type I interferon induces the replacement of the constitutive proteasome with LMP2, LMP7 and MECL-1 beta subunits forming the immunoproteasome and enhancing antigen presentation to MHC class I molecules. In order to study the immune defense system of the lungfish lung, we have characterized for the first time the three immunoproteasome subunits in the sarcopterygian fish, the Nigerian spotted lungfish (Protopterus dolloi). LMP2, LMP7 and MECL-1 were identified in P. dolloi and their sequences encoded predicted proteins of 216, 275 and 278 amino acids, respectively. The mRNA of these three genes was expressed in multiple tissues, including the lung, with the highest abundance observed in kidney and post-pyloric spleen. In vitro stimulation of lungfish lung and kidney primary cell cultures with PolyI:C for 4 and 12 h resulted in increased LMP2, LMP7 and MECL-1 expression in both tissues. These results suggest a central role of these genes in the activation of an antiviral immune response in lungfish. Importantly, they indicate that the primitive lung of the common ancestor of all tetrapods is capable of inducing the expression of these genes in response to viral stimulation. PMID:23932981

  8. Evolution of receptors for growth hormone and somatolactin in fish and land vertebrates: lessons from the lungfish and sturgeon orthologues.

    PubMed

    Fukamachi, Shoji; Meyer, Axel

    2007-10-01

    Two cognate hormones, growth hormone (GH) and somatolactin (SL), control several important physiological processes in vertebrates. Knowledge about GH and its receptor (GHR) has accumulated over the last decades. However, much less is known about SL and its receptor (SLR). SL is found only in fish (including lungfish), suggesting that it was present in the common ancestor of vertebrates, but was lost secondarily in the lineage leading to land vertebrates after the lungfish branched off. SLR was suggested to be a duplicated copy of GHR acquired only in teleosts via the fish-specific genome duplication (FSGD). This scenario (i.e., the existence of SL but not SLR in the vertebrate ancestors) is intriguing but contested. In this study, we first evaluated the plausibility of this scenario through synteny analyses and found that the loci for GHR and SLR are located in syntenic genomic positions, whereas the loci for GH and SL are not. Next, we cloned GHRs of lungfish and sturgeon, which possess SL but did not undergo the FSGD (i.e., they should not possess SLR). Their phylogenetic positions in the GHR/SLR gene tree further support the fish-specific scenario for the GHR-SLR duplication. Interestingly, their sequences share greater similarity with teleost SLRs and reptilian/amphibian GHRs than with the GHRs of mammals, birds, and teleosts. On the basis of these results, we discuss the validity of the nomenclature of the teleost-specific copy of GHR as SLR and an ancestral receptor(s) for SL before the evolution of SLR during the FSGD.

  9. A genomics-informed, SNP association study reveals FBLN1 and FABP4 as contributing to resistance to fleece rot in Australian Merino sheep

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Fleece rot (FR) and body-strike of Merino sheep by the sheep blowfly Lucilia cuprina are major problems for the Australian wool industry, causing significant losses as a result of increased management costs coupled with reduced wool productivity and quality. In addition to direct effects on fleece quality, fleece rot is a major predisposing factor to blowfly strike on the body of sheep. In order to investigate the genetic drivers of resistance to fleece rot, we constructed a combined ovine-bovine cDNA microarray of almost 12,000 probes including 6,125 skin expressed sequence tags and 5,760 anonymous clones obtained from skin subtracted libraries derived from fleece rot resistant and susceptible animals. This microarray platform was used to profile the gene expression changes between skin samples of six resistant and six susceptible animals taken immediately before, during and after FR induction. Mixed-model equations were employed to normalize the data and 155 genes were found to be differentially expressed (DE). Ten DE genes were selected for validation using real-time PCR on independent skin samples. The genomic regions of a further 5 DE genes were surveyed to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) that were genotyped across three populations for their associations with fleece rot resistance. Results The majority of the DE genes originated from the fleece rot subtracted libraries and over-representing gene ontology terms included defense response to bacterium and epidermis development, indicating a role of these processes in modulating the sheep's response to fleece rot. We focused on genes that contribute to the physical barrier function of skin, including keratins, collagens, fibulin and lipid proteins, to identify SNPs that were associated to fleece rot scores. Conclusions We identified FBLN1 (fibulin) and FABP4 (fatty acid binding protein 4) as key factors in sheep's resistance to fleece rot. Validation of these markers in other populations

  10. Genome Analysis of Clostridium difficile PCR Ribotype 014 Lineage in Australian Pigs and Humans Reveals a Diverse Genetic Repertoire and Signatures of Long-Range Interspecies Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Knight, Daniel R.; Squire, Michele M.; Collins, Deirdre A.; Riley, Thomas V.

    2017-01-01

    Clostridium difficile PCR ribotype (RT) 014 is well-established in both human and porcine populations in Australia, raising the possibility that C. difficile infection (CDI) may have a zoonotic or foodborne etiology. Here, whole genome sequencing and high-resolution core genome phylogenetics were performed on a contemporaneous collection of 40 Australian RT014 isolates of human and porcine origin. Phylogenies based on MLST (7 loci, STs 2, 13, and 49) and core orthologous genes (1260 loci) showed clustering of human and porcine strains indicative of very recent shared ancestry. Core genome single nucleotide variant (SNV) analysis found 42% of human strains showed a clonal relationship (separated by ≤2 SNVs in their core genome) with one or more porcine strains, consistent with recent inter-host transmission. Clones were spread over a vast geographic area with 50% of the human cases occurring without recent healthcare exposure. These findings suggest a persistent community reservoir with long-range dissemination, potentially due to agricultural recycling of piggery effluent. We also provide the first pan-genome analysis for this lineage, characterizing its resistome, prophage content, and in silico virulence potential. The RT014 is defined by a large “open” pan-genome (7587 genes) comprising a core genome of 2296 genes (30.3% of the total gene repertoire) and an accessory genome of 5291 genes. Antimicrobial resistance genotypes and phenotypes varied across host populations and ST lineages and were characterized by resistance to tetracycline [tetM, tetA(P), tetB(P) and tetW], clindamycin/erythromycin (ermB), and aminoglycosides (aph3-III-Sat4A-ant6-Ia). Resistance was mediated by clinically important mobile genetic elements, most notably Tn6194 (harboring ermB) and a novel variant of Tn5397 (harboring tetM). Numerous clinically important prophages (Siphoviridae and Myoviridae) were identified as well as an uncommon accessory gene regulator locus (agr3

  11. The effects of viscosity on the axial motor pattern and kinematics of the African lungfish (Protopterus annectens) during lateral undulatory swimming.

    PubMed

    Horner, Angela M; Jayne, Bruce C

    2008-05-01

    Separate studies of terrestrial and aquatic locomotion are abundant, but research addressing locomotion in transitional environments (e.g. mud) is scant. The African lungfish (Protopterus annectens) moves in a gradation of water to mud conditions during seasonal droughts, and breathes air. Thus, the lungfish was an ideal organism for our study to determine the effects of a wide range of viscosities on lateral undulatory swimming and to simulate some of the muddy conditions early tetrapods may have encountered. Regardless of viscosity, several aspects of lungfish swimming were similar to those of other swimming vertebrates including: posteriorly propagated muscle activity that was unilateral and alternated between the left and right sides at each longitudinal location, and posterior increases in the amount of bending, the amplitude of muscle activity and the timing differences between muscle activity and bending. With increased viscosity (1-1000 cSt), significant increases occurred in the amount of lateral bending of the vertebral column and the amplitude of muscle activity, particularly in the most anterior sites, but the distance the fish traveled per tail beat decreased. The magnitude of the phase shift between EMG onset relative to bending increased by as much as 13% of a cycle with increased viscosity, so that the muscles were increasingly active during lengthening rather than shortening. Therefore, with increased viscosity the relationship between axial muscle activity and bending in the lungfish became more dissimilar rather than converging on the motor pattern used by other ectothermic vertebrates when undulating in fully terrestrial environments.

  12. The structural characteristics of the heart ventricle of the African lungfish Protopterus dolloi: freshwater and aestivation.

    PubMed

    Icardo, José M; Amelio, Daniela; Garofalo, Filippo; Colvee, Elvira; Cerra, Maria C; Wong, Wai P; Tota, Bruno; Ip, Yuen K

    2008-08-01

    This paper reports on the structure and ultrastructure of the ventricular myocardium of the African lungfish Protopterus dolloi in freshwater (FW), in aestivation (AE), and after the AE period. The myocardium shows a conventional myofibrillar structure. All the myocytes contain large intracytoplasmic spaces occupied by a pale material that could contain glycosaminoglycans and/or glycogen, which may be used as food and water reservoirs. In FW, the myocytes in the trabeculae associated with the free ventricular wall show structural signs of low transcriptional and metabolic activity (heterochromatin, mitochondria of the dense type). These signs are partially reversed during the AE period (euchromatin, mitochondria with a light matrix), with a return to the FW appearance after arousal. The myocytes in the septum show, in FW conditions, nuclear polymorphism (heterochromatin, euchromatin), and two types (colliquative and coagulative) of necrosis. In AE, all the septal myocytes show euchromatin, and the number of necrotic cells increases greatly. Cell necrosis appears to be related to the septal architecture. After arousal, the septal myocytes exhibit a heterochromatin pattern, the number of necrotic cells decreases, cell debris accumulates under the endocardium, and phagocytosis takes place. Despite being a morphologic continuum, the trabeculae associated with the free ventricular wall appear to constitute a different compartment from that formed by the trabeculae in the ventricular septum. Paradoxically, AE appears to trigger an increase in transcriptional and synthetic myocardial activities, especially at the level of the ventricular septum. This activity may be involved in mechanisms of autocrine/paracrine regulation. Aestivation cannot be regarded as the result of a general depression of all cellular and organic activities. Rather, it is a much more complex state in which the interplay between upregulation and downregulation of diverse cell activities appears to

  13. Renal corpuscle of the african lungfish Protopterus dolloi: structural and histochemical modifications during aestivation.

    PubMed

    Ojeda, José L; Wong, Wai P; Ip, Yuen K; Icardo, José M

    2008-09-01

    This work studies the structural and lectin-binding modifications experienced by the renal corpuscle of the African lungfish Protopterus dolloi during aestivation. The kidney of the aestivating animals was studied by light- and electron-microscopy, and by immunofluorescence methods. Upon aestivation, the renal corpuscles (RCs) undergo a marked size reduction, and all the structural RC components are affected. The parietal cells of Bowman's capsule lose their flattened appearance and adopt the organization of a stratified epithelium. The glomerular capillaries collapse. The podocytes approach each other. Concomitantly, the major processes between contiguous cells are lost, the rest of the major processes adopting a lamina-like configuration. The foot processes lose their regular arrangement, the filtration slits are difficult to observe, and the subpodocyte space disappears. The glomerular basement membrane (GBM) thickens enormously, increases the amount of amorphous material and of collagen, and round inclusions formed by amorphous material and coiled fibrils appear. The mesangial cells compact and form a dense network embedded in the subendothelial lamina of the GBM. The endothelial cells show numerous irregularities, establishing abnormal interrelationships with the mesangial cells. These modifications are accompanied by changes in the expression of the carbohydrate moieties, as indicated by the modifications in lectin-binding patterns. On the whole, these modifications thicken and compact the filtration barrier, thus reducing the filtration coefficient and allowing the organism to cope with dehydration. All these modifications are partially reversed during the first days of returning the animals to freshwater. The renal corpuscle appears to be a highly dynamic structure capable of modifying its architecture in response to environmental changes.

  14. Meteors in Australian Aboriginal Dreamings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamacher, Duane W.; Norris, Ray P.

    2010-06-01

    We present a comprehensive analysis of Australian Aboriginal accounts of meteors. The data used were taken from anthropological and ethnographic literature describing oral traditions, ceremonies, and Dreamings of 97 Aboriginal groups representing all states of modern Australia. This revealed common themes in the way meteors were viewed between Aboriginal groups, focusing on supernatural events, death, omens, and war. The presence of such themes around Australia was probably due to the unpredictable nature of meteors in an otherwise well-ordered cosmos.

  15. Identifying heterogeneity in rates of morphological evolution: discrete character change in the evolution of lungfish (Sarcopterygii; Dipnoi).

    PubMed

    Lloyd, Graeme T; Wang, Steve C; Brusatte, Stephen L

    2012-02-01

    Quantifying rates of morphological evolution is important in many macroevolutionary studies, and critical when assessing possible adaptive radiations and episodes of punctuated equilibrium in the fossil record. However, studies of morphological rates of change have lagged behind those on taxonomic diversification, and most authors have focused on continuous characters and quantifying patterns of morphological rates over time. Here, we provide a phylogenetic approach, using discrete characters and three statistical tests to determine points on a cladogram (branches or entire clades) that are characterized by significantly high or low rates of change. These methods include a randomization approach that identifies branches with significantly high rates and likelihood ratio tests that pinpoint either branches or clades that have significantly higher or lower rates than the pooled rate of the remainder of the tree. As a test case for these methods, we analyze a discrete character dataset of lungfish, which have long been regarded as "living fossils" due to an apparent slowdown in rates since the Devonian. We find that morphological rates are highly heterogeneous across the phylogeny and recover a general pattern of decreasing rates along the phylogenetic backbone toward living taxa, from the Devonian until the present. Compared with previous work, we are able to report a more nuanced picture of lungfish evolution using these new methods.

  16. Lympho-granulocytic tissue associated with the wall of the spiral valve in the African lungfish Protopterus annectens.

    PubMed

    Icardo, José M; Wong, Wai P; Colvee, Elvira; Loong, Ai M; Zapata, Agustín G; Ip, Yuen K

    2014-02-01

    We describe the structure of the lympho-granulocytic tissue associated with the wall of the spiral valve of the African lungfish Protopterus annectens. The study was performed under freshwater conditions and after 6 months of aestivation. The lympho-granulocytic tissue consists of nodes surrounded by reticular tissue. The nodes are formed by an outer and an inner component separated by a thin collagenous layer. The outer component is a reticular-like tissue that contains two types of granulocytes, developing and mature plasma cells and melanomacrophage centres (MMCs). The inner component, the parenchyma, contains a meshwork of trabeculae and vascular sinusoids and shows dark and pale areas. The dark areas contain diffuse lymphoid tissue, with a large number of mitoses and plasma cell clusters. The pale areas contain a small number of macrophages and lymphocytes. Macrophages and sinus endothelial cells are filled with haemosiderin granules and appear to form part of the reticuloendothelial system of the lungfish. The reticular tissue houses granulocytes, plasma cells and MMCs and might serve for the housing and maturation of cells of the white series. After aestivation, the nodes undergo lymphocyte depletion, the suppression of mitosis, granulocyte invasion and the occurrence of cell death. By contrast, few histological changes occur in the reticular tissue. Whereas the nodes appear to be involved in lymphocyte proliferation and plasma cell maturation, the function of the reticular tissue remains obscure.

  17. Functional subdivision of fin protractor and retractor muscles underlies pelvic fin walking in the African lungfish Protopterus annectens.

    PubMed

    Aiello, Brett R; King, Heather M; Hale, Melina E

    2014-10-01

    African lungfish Protopterus annectens can produce rotational movements around the joint between the pelvis and the pelvic fin, allowing these animals to walk across benthic substrates. In tetrapods, limb rotation at the hip joint is a common feature of substrate-based locomotion. For sprawling tetrapods, rotation can involve nine or more muscles, which are often robust and span multiple joints. In contrast, P. annectens uses a modest morphology of two fan-shaped muscles, the pelvic fin protractor and retractor, to accomplish this movement. We hypothesized that functional subdivision, coupled with their broad insertions on the femur, allows each of these muscles to pull on the limb from multiple directions and provides a mechanism for fin rotation. To test this hypothesis, we examined the muscle activity at three locations in both the protractor and the retractor muscles during walking. Electromyograms show differences in the timing of muscle activation between dorsal and ventral regions of each muscle, suggesting that each muscle is functionally subdivided once. The subdivisions demonstrate sequential onsets of muscle activity and overlap of activity between regions, which are also features of limb control in tetrapods. These data indicate that subdivisions of protractor and retractor muscles impart functional complexity to a morphologically simple system, and suggest a mechanism that allows lungfish to produce a tetrapod-like walking gait with only two muscles. As one of few extant sarcopterygian fishes, P. annectens may provide important functional data to inform interpretation of limb movement of fossil relatives.

  18. Discovery of J chain in African lungfish (Protopterus dolloi, Sarcopterygii) using high throughput transcriptome sequencing: implications in mucosal immunity.

    PubMed

    Tacchi, Luca; Larragoite, Erin; Salinas, Irene

    2013-01-01

    J chain is a small polypeptide responsible for immunoglobulin (Ig) polymerization and transport of Igs across mucosal surfaces in higher vertebrates. We identified a J chain in dipnoid fish, the African lungfish (Protopterus dolloi) by high throughput sequencing of the transcriptome. P. dolloi J chain is 161 aa long and contains six of the eight Cys residues present in mammalian J chain. Phylogenetic studies place the lungfish J chain closer to tetrapod J chain than to the coelacanth or nurse shark sequences. J chain expression occurs in all P. dolloi immune tissues examined and it increases in the gut and kidney in response to an experimental bacterial infection. Double fluorescent in-situ hybridization shows that 88.5% of IgM⁺ cells in the gut co-express J chain, a significantly higher percentage than in the pre-pyloric spleen. Importantly, J chain expression is not restricted to the B-cell compartment since gut epithelial cells also express J chain. These results improve our current view of J chain from a phylogenetic perspective.

  19. Cytochrome c oxidase is regulated by modulations in protein expression and mitochondrial membrane phospholipid composition in estivating African lungfish.

    PubMed

    Frick, N T; Bystriansky, J S; Ip, Y K; Chew, S F; Ballantyne, J S

    2010-03-01

    We examined some of the potential mechanisms lungfish (Protopterus dolloi) use to regulate cytochrome c oxidase (CCO), during metabolic depression. CCO activity was reduced by 67% in isolated liver mitochondria of estivating fish. This was likely accomplished, in part, by the 46% reduction in CCO subunit I protein expression in the liver. No change in the mRNA expression levels of CCO subunits I, II, III, and IV were found in the liver, suggesting CCO is under translational regulation; however, in the kidney, messenger limitation may be a factor as the expression of subunits I and II were depressed ( approximately 10-fold) during estivation, suggesting tissue-specific mechanisms of regulation. CCO is influenced by mitochondrial membrane phospholipids, particularly cardiolipin (CL). In P. dolloi, the phospholipid composition of the liver mitochondrial membrane changed during estivation, with a approximately 2.3-fold reduction in the amount of CL. Significant positive correlations were found between CCO activity and the amount of CL and phosphatidylethanolamine within the mitochondrial membrane. It appears CCO activity is regulated through multiple mechanisms in P. dolloi, and individual subunits of CCO are regulated independently, and in a tissue-specific manner. It is proposed that altering the amount of CL within the mitochondrial membrane may be a means of regulating CCO activity during metabolical depression in the African lungfish, P. dolloi.

  20. Revealing Future Research Capacity from an Analysis of a National Database of Discipline-Coded Australian PhD Thesis Records

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pittayachawan, Siddhi; Macauley, Peter; Evans, Terry

    2016-01-01

    This article reports how statistical analyses of PhD thesis records can reveal future research capacities for disciplines beyond their primary fields. The previous research showed that most theses contributed to and/or used methodologies from more than one discipline. In Australia, there was a concern for declining mathematical teaching and…

  1. Vasotocin/V2-type receptor/aquaporin axis exists in African lungfish kidney but is functional only in terrestrial condition.

    PubMed

    Konno, Norifumi; Hyodo, Susumu; Yamaguchi, Yoko; Matsuda, Kouhei; Uchiyama, Minoru

    2010-03-01

    The vasopressin/vasotocin (VT)-V2-type receptor (V2R)-aquaporin (AQP)-2 axis plays a pivotal role in renal water reabsorption in tetrapods. It is widely thought that this axis evolved with the emergence of the tetrapods, reflecting a requirement of water retention in terrestrial environment. Here we report that lungfish, the closest living relatives of tetrapods, already possess a system similar to the VT-V2R-AQP2 axis in the kidney, but the system is functional only in the terrestrial estivating condition. We cloned a novel AQP paralogous to AQP0. The water permeability of Xenopus oocytes was increased by injection with the AQP cRNA and was further facilitated by preincubation with cAMP. In the kidney of estivating lungfish, the AQP protein was localized on the apical plasma membrane of the late distal tubule and was colocalized with basolateral V2R. By contrast, we found only little expression of the AQP mRNA and protein in the kidney of lungfish in aquatic condition. The expression levels of mRNA and protein were dramatically increased during estivation and decreased again by reacclimation of estivating lungfish to water. The AQP mRNA levels positively correlated with the VT mRNA levels in the hypothalamus, suggesting that the AQP exerts tubular antidiuretic action under control of VT. Because the tetrapod AQP2/AQP5 lineage is considered to be evolved from duplication of an AQP0 gene, the paralogous AQP0 in the lungfish probably represents ancestral molecule for tetrapod AQP2.

  2. Ornithine-urea cycle and urea synthesis in African lungfishes, Protopterus aethiopicus and Protopterus annectens, exposed to terrestrial conditions for six days.

    PubMed

    Loong, Ai May; Hiong, Kum Chew; Lee, Serene Min Lin; Wong, Wai Peng; Chew, Shit Fun; Ip, Yuen Kwong

    2005-05-01

    The objectives of this study were (1) to determine the type of carbamoyl phosphate synthetase (CPS) present, and the compartmentalization of arginase, in the livers of the African lungfishes, Protopterus aethiopicus and Protopterus annectens, and (2) to elucidate if these two lungfishes were capable of increasing the rates of urea synthesis and capacities of the ornithine-urea cycle (OUC) during 6 days of aerial exposure without undergoing aestivation. Like another African lungfish, Protopterus dolloi, reported elsewhere, the CPS activities from the livers of P. aethiopicus and P. annectens had properties similar to that of the marine ray (Taeniura lymma), but dissimilar to that of the mouse (Mus musculus). Hence, they possessed CPS III, and not CPS I as reported previously. CPS III was present exclusively in the liver mitochondria of both lungfishes, but the majority of the arginase activities were present in the cytosolic fractions of their livers. Glutamine synthetase (GS) activity was also detected in the hepatic mitochondria of both specimens. Therefore, our results suggest that the evolution of CPS III to CPS I might not have occurred before the evolution of extant lungfishes as suggested previously, prompting an examination of the current view on the evolution of CPS and OUC in vertebrates. Aerial exposure led to significant decreases in rates of ammonia excretion in P. aethiopicus and P. annectens, but there were no accumulations of ammonia in their tissues. However, urea contents in their tissues increased significantly after 6 days of aerial exposure. The estimated rates of urea synthesis in P. aethiopicus and P. annectens increased 1.2- and 1.47-fold, respectively, which were smaller than that in P. dolloi (8.6-fold) reported elsewhere. In addition, unlike P. dolloi, 6 days of aerial exposure had no significant effects on the hepatic CPS III activities of P. aethiopicus and P. annectens. In contrast, aerial exposure induced relatively greater degrees of

  3. Effects of aerial hypoxia and temperature on pulmonary breathing pattern and gas exchange in the South American lungfish, Lepidosiren paradoxa.

    PubMed

    da Silva, Glauber S F; Ventura, Daniela A D N; Zena, Lucas A; Giusti, Humberto; Glass, Mogens L; Klein, Wilfried

    2017-05-01

    The South American lungfish Lepidosiren paradoxa is an obligatory air-breathing fish possessing well-developed bilateral lungs, and undergoing seasonal changes in its habitat, including temperature changes. In the present study we aimed to evaluate gas exchange and pulmonary breathing pattern in L. paradoxa at different temperatures (25 and 30°C) and different inspired O2 levels (21, 12, 10, and 7%). Normoxic breathing pattern consisted of isolated ventilatory cycles composed of an expiration followed by 2.4±0.2 buccal inspirations. Both expiratory and inspiratory tidal volumes reached a maximum of about 35mlkg(-1), indicating that L. paradoxa is able to exchange nearly all of its lung air in a single ventilatory cycle. At both temperatures, hypoxia caused a significant increase in pulmonary ventilation (V̇E), mainly due to an increase in respiratory frequency. Durations of the ventilatory cycle and expiratory and inspiratory tidal volumes were not significantly affected by hypoxia. Expiratory time (but not inspiratory) was significantly shorter at 30°C and at all O2 levels. While a small change in oxygen consumption (V̇O2) could be noticed, the carbon dioxide release (V̇CO2, P=0.0003) and air convection requirement (V̇E/V̇O2, P=0.0001) were significantly affected by hypoxia (7% O2) at both temperatures, when compared to normoxia, and pulmonary diffusion capacity increased about four-fold due to hypoxic exposure. These data highlight important features of the respiratory system of L. paradoxa, capable of matching O2 demand and supply under different environmental change, as well as help to understand the evolution of air breathing in lungfish.

  4. The Small Noncoding RNA Processing Machinery of Two Living Fossil Species, Lungfish and Coelacanth, Gives New Insights into the Evolution of the Argonaute Protein Family

    PubMed Central

    Biscotti, Maria Assunta; Forconi, Mariko; Gerdol, Marco; Pallavicini, Alberto; Schartl, Manfred; Barucca, Marco

    2017-01-01

    Argonaute (AGO) family proteins play many roles in epigenetic programming, genome rearrangement, mRNA breakdown, inhibition of translation, and transposon silencing. Despite being a hotspot in current scientific research, their evolutionary history is still poorly understood and consequently the identification of evolutionary conserved structural features should also generate useful information for better understanding their functions. We report here for the first time the transcript sets of the two subfamilies, Ago and Piwi, in the West African lungfish Protopterus annectens and in the Indonesian coelacanth Latimeria menadoensis, two key species in the evolutionary lineage leading to tetrapods. The phylogenetic analysis of 142 inferred protein sequences in 22 fully sequenced species and the analysis of microsynteny performed in the major vertebrate lineages indicate an intricate pattern for the evolution of both subfamilies that has been shaped by whole genome duplications and lineage specific gains and losses. The argonaute subfamily was additionally expanded by local gene duplications at the base of the jawed vertebrate lineage. The subfamily of Piwi proteins is involved in several processes such as spermatogenesis, piRNA biogenesis, and transposon repression. Expression assessment of AGO genes and genes coding for proteins involved in small RNA biogenesis suggests a limited activity of the Piwi pathway in lungfish in agreement with the lungfish genome containing mainly old and inactive transposons. PMID:28206606

  5. Aurorae in Australian Aboriginal Traditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamacher, Duane W.

    2013-07-01

    Transient celestial phenomena feature prominently in the astronomical knowledge and traditions of Aboriginal Australians. In this paper, I collect accounts of the Aurora Australis from the literature regarding Aboriginal culture. Using previous studies of meteors, eclipses, and comets in Aboriginal traditions, I anticipate that the physical properties of aurora, such as their generally red colour as seen from southern Australia, will be associated with fire, death, blood, and evil spirits. The survey reveals this to be the case and also explores historical auroral events in Aboriginal cultures, aurorae in rock art, and briefly compares Aboriginal auroral traditions with other global indigenous groups, including the Maori of New Zealand.

  6. Australian Mineral Foundation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crowe, D. S.

    1980-01-01

    Provides details on the philosophy and operation of the Australian Mineral Foundation, established in 1970 to update professionals in the mining and petroleum industries. Services in continuing education courses and to secondary school teachers and students are described. (CS)

  7. Research Readings. Australian Apprenticeships.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smart, Nigel, Ed.

    This volume on apprenticeships in Australia summarizes 11 research studies. After an "Introduction" (Nigel Smart), the reports are: "Apprenticeship in Australia: A Concise History" (John Ray); "Issues and Directions from the Australian Apprenticeship and Traineeship Literature" (Stephen Saunders); "Determinants…

  8. Encephalization of Australian and New Guinean marsupials.

    PubMed

    Ashwell, K W S

    2008-01-01

    Encephalization of Australian marsupials was analyzed using the endocranial volume (ECV) of 52 species of Dasyuromorphia and Notoryctemorphia, 14 species of Peramelemorphia and 116 species of Diprotodontia from Australia and New Guinea and compared with 16 species of Ameridelphian marsupials and 3 species of native and recently introduced Australian eutherian carnivores (dingo, feral cat and feral fox). Linear regression analysis of the relationship between ECV and body weight for marsupials revealed that allometric parameters for these groups are different from those previously derived for samples of (mainly eutherian) mammals, with higher slopes for Dasyuromorphia and Diprotodontia and lower slopes for Ameridelphians and Peramelemorphia. Absolute ECV for small Australian and New Guinea marsupial carnivores (Antechinus and Sminthopsis) were found to be comparable to eutherians of similar body weight, but large marsupial carnivores such as the Tasmanian devil and thylacine had substantially smaller ECVs than eutherian carnivores of similar body weight. Similarly, members of some superfamilies within Diprotodontia (Burramyoidea, Petauroidea, Tarsipedoidea) had ECVs comparable to prosimians, whereas bandicoots, bilbies and many macropods were found to be poorly encephalized. When both encephalization quotient (EQ) and residuals from regression analysis were used to compare relative ECV of extinct/threatened species with common species there were no significant differences for any of the orders of Australian marsupials, suggesting that encephalization is not a major factor in the current extinction crisis for Australian marsupials. Similarly there were no consistent differences in relative ECV between marsupials from New Guinea and associated islands compared to Australia or between arid and non-arid Australian regions for any of the marsupial orders. The results indicate that marsupials are not uniformly poorly encephalized and that small marsupial carnivores and

  9. Osmoregulation during Long-Term Fasting in Lungfish and Elephant Seal: Old and New Lessons for the Nephrologist.

    PubMed

    Rossier, Bernard C

    2016-01-01

    Vertebrates control the osmolality of their extra- and intra-cellular compartments despite large variations in salt and water intake. Aldosterone-dependent sodium reabsorption and vasopressin-dependent water transport in the distal nephron and collecting duct play a critical role in the final control of sodium and water balance. Long-term fasting (no eating, no drinking) represents an osmotic challenge for survival. Evolution has found very different solutions to meet this challenge. To illustrate this point, I will discuss osmoregulation of a mammal (elephant seal pup) and of a fish (lungfish) that are able to survive long-term fasting for months or even years. Homer W. Smith taught us how informative comparative anatomy and physiology of the kidney could help physiologists and nephrologists to better understand how the kidney works. In recent years, comparative genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics across the tree of life have led to the emergence of a new discipline, evolutionary medicine. In the near future, physiologists and nephrologists will benefit from this new field of investigation, thanks to its potential for the identification of novel drug targets and therapies.

  10. Differential gene expression in the liver of the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, after 6 days of estivation in air.

    PubMed

    Loong, A M; Hiong, K C; Wong, W P; Chew, S F; Ip, Y K

    2012-02-01

    This study aimed to identify estivation-specific gene clusters through the determination of differential gene expressions in the liver of Protopterus annectens after 6 days of estivation in a mucus cocoon in air (normoxia) using suppression subtractive hybridization polymerase chain reaction. Our results demonstrated that 6 days of estivation in normoxia led to up-regulation of mRNA expressions of several genes related to urea synthesis, including carbamoyl phosphate synthetase (Cps), argininosuccinate synthetase and glutamine synthetase. They indicate that increased urea synthesis, despite being energy-intensive, is an important adaptive response of estivation. They also offer indirect support to the proposition that urea synthesis in this lungfish involved a Cps that uses glutamine as a substrate. In addition, up- or down-regulation of several gene clusters occurred in the liver of P. annectens after 6 days of estivation in normoxia. These estivation-specific genes were involved in the prevention of clot formation, activation of the lectin pathway for complement activation, conservation of minerals (e.g. iron and copper) and increased production of hemoglobin beta. Since there were up- and down-regulation of mRNA expressions of genes related to ribosomal proteins and translational elongation factors, there could be simultaneous increases in protein degradation and protein synthesis during the first 6 days (the induction phase) of estivation, confirming the importance of reconstruction of protein structures in preparation for the maintenance phase of estivation.

  11. The morphology of the lung of the African lungfish, Protopterus aethiopicus : A scanning electron-microscopic study.

    PubMed

    Maina, J N

    1987-10-01

    The lung of the African lungfish (Protopterus aethiopicus) is paired, long and cylindrical. It is situated on the dorsal aspect of the coelomic cavity ventral to the ribs. Much of the gas exchange tissue is found in the proximal aspect of the lung with the caudal part largely taken up by a centrally situated air-duct with a few large peripherally located alveoli. Interalveolar septa, arranged at differing hierarchical levels from the air-duct, subdivide the lung into alveoli, the gas exchange compartments. The alveolar surface is covered by some cells characterized by microvilli on their free surface, while others are devoid of such structures. The general organization of the lung of Protopterus aethiopicus is similar to that of the other genera of Dipnoi, Neoceratodus and Lepidosiren, with the interalveolar septa increasing the surface area for gas exchange through pulmonary compartmentation. The abundant septal smooth muscle fibres and elastic tissue may contribute to the physiomechanical compliance of the lung. The undifferentiated alveolar pneumocytes and the double capillary system, observed in Protopterus, in general appear to characterize the very primitive lungs of the lower air-breathing vertebrates.

  12. Signal molecule changes in the gills and lungs of the African lungfish Protopterus annectens, during the maintenance and arousal phases of aestivation.

    PubMed

    Garofalo, F; Amelio, D; Icardo, J M; Chew, S F; Tota, B; Cerra, M C; Ip, Y K

    2015-01-30

    African lungfishes are obligate air breathers, with reduced gills and pulmonary breathing throughout their life. During the dry season they aestivate on land, with the collapse of secondary lamellae of their gills and the establishment of an exclusive aerial ventilation through the vascularization and expansion of their lungs. To date, the mechanisms underlining the respiratory organ remodeling in aestivating lungfishes are unknown. This study aimed to identify key switch components of the stress-induced signal transduction networks implicated in both rapid and medium-long term remodeling of the gills and lungs of the African lungfish Protopterus annectens during aestivation. Through immunofluorescence microscopy and Western blotting, the localization and the expression of nitric oxide synthase (NOS), Akt, Hsp-90 and HIF-1α were evaluated in both gills and lungs exposed to three experimental conditions: freshwater (FW), 6 months of experimentally induced aestivation (6mAe), and 6 days after arousal from 6 months of aestivation (6mAe6d). After 6mAe, the expression of NOS (p-eNOS antibody), Akt (p-Akt antibody), and Hsp-90 decreased in the gills, while NOS and Hsp-90 expression increased with Akt remained unchanged in the lungs. Upon 6mAe6d, NOS, Akt and Hsp-90 expression in the gills returned to the respective FW values. In the lungs of the aroused fish, NOS and Akt decreased to their respective FW levels, while Hsp-90 expression was enhanced with respect to aestivation. In both respiratory organs, the qualitative and quantitative patterns of HIF-1α expression correlated inversely to those of NOS. Overall, our findings suggest that the molecular components of the NOS/NO system changed in a tissue-specific manner in parallel with organ readjustment in the gills and lungs of P. annectens during aestivation and arousal.

  13. Hydrographic Service Royal Australian Navy for the Year Ended 30 June 1992

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-06-30

    Period Fincastle 92WG 39o-410 N, October 1991 1540-156 0E Lungfish Maritime 26o-27oS, November- Command 1530-155 0 E December 1991 Kangaroo 󈨠 Maritime...environmental support was provided to 92 Wing RAAF and TAMEX exercises, and the units of various allied navies for TASMANEX, LUNGFISH and CORAL SEA

  14. Australian Film Studies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Breen, Myles P.

    Although Australia had a vigorous film industry in the silent film era, it was stifled in the 1930s when United States and British interests bought up the Australian distribution channels and closed down the indigenous industry. However, the industry and film study have undergone a renaissance since the advent of the Labor government in 1972,…

  15. Trialling the Australian Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ashman, Di

    2010-01-01

    In 2010, St. Leonards Primary School in Tasmania, along with other selected schools throughout Australia, trialled the draft Australian Curriculum: Mathematics. Mathematics had been a whole school focus at St. Leonards Primary School for several years, and the school found that the opportunity to be part of the trial strongly connected with their…

  16. Researching Australian Children's Literature

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saxby, Maurice

    2004-01-01

    When in 1962 the author began to research the history of Australian children's literature, access to the primary sources was limited and difficult. From a catalogue drawer in the Mitchell Library of hand-written cards marked "Children's books" he could call up from the stacks, in alphabetical order, piles of early publications. His notes…

  17. Numeracy and Australian Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Forgasz, Helen; Leder, Gilah

    2016-01-01

    Australian teachers, recruited via Facebook, completed an online survey about aspects of numeracy. The survey was designed to explore views on numeracy and capacity to respond to numeracy tasks. In this paper, we focus primarily on responses to two numeracy tasks--one numerical, the other requiring critical evaluation. On the first item, 40%…

  18. Music in Australian Schools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartle, Graham

    This document is an English-language abstract (approximately 1,500 words) of a survey of music in Australian schools. The survey included all types of schools, and includes facilities and equipment for musical education, and the use made of them. The courses of study, organization of musical activities, finance, supervision, teacher training, and…

  19. Australian Curriculum Linked Lessons

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hurrell, Derek

    2013-01-01

    In providing a continued focus on tasks and activities that help to illustrate key ideas embedded in the new Australian Curriculum, the focus in this issue is on Measurement in the Measurement and Geometry strand. The small unit of work on measurement presented in this article has activities that can be modified to meet the requirements of…

  20. Aestivation in the South American lungfish, Lepidosiren paradoxa: effects on cardiovascular function, blood gases, osmolality and leptin levels.

    PubMed

    da Silva, Glauber dos Santos Ferreira; Giusti, Humberto; Sanchez, Adriana Paula; do Carmo, Jussara Márcia; Glass, Mogens Lesner

    2008-12-31

    The African (Protopterus sp.) and South American lungfish (Lepidosiren paradoxa) inhabit shallow waters, that seasonally dry out, which induces aestivation and cocoon formation in Protopterus. Differently, L. paradoxa has no cocoon, and it aestivates in a simple burrow. In water PaCO(2) is 21.8+/-0.4mmHg (mean values+/-S.E.M.; n=5), whereas aestivation for 20 days increased PaCO(2) to as much as 37.6+/-2.1mmHg, which remained the same after 40 days (35.8+/-3.3mmHg). Concomitantly, the plasma [HCO(3)(-)]-values for animals in water were 22.5+/-0.5mM, which after 20 days increased to 40.2+/-2.3mM and after 40 days to 35.8+/-3.3mM. Initially in water, PaO(2) was 87.7+/-2.0mmHg, but 20 days in aestivation reduced the value to 80.5+/-2.2 and later (40 days) to 77.1+/-3.0mmHg. Meanwhile, aestivation had no effect on pHa and hematocrit. The blood pressures were equal for animals in the water or in the burrow (P(mean) approximately 30mmHg), and cardiac frequency (f(H)) fell from 31beats min(-1) to 22beats min(-1) during 40 days of aestivation. The osmolality (mOsmkgH(2)O(-1)) was elevated after 20 and 40 days of aestivation but declined upon return to water. The transition from activity to aestivation involves new set-points for the variables that determine the acid-base status and PaO(2) of the animals, along with a reduction of cardiac frequency.

  1. Hardening: Australian for Transformation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-01-01

    ADF towards homeland defense. For further details, see Jeffrey Grey. A Military History of Australia. Melbourne, Australia, Cambridge University...is a simplified explanation of the hardene d force structure proposed by FLW. The hardened concept encompasses other aspects that enhance Army...standardized with three rifle companies. A 196 Leahy “ A Land Force for the Future: The Australian Army in the Early 21st Century.” 2003: 19. 197 See Monk, Paul

  2. Ecological Model of Australian Indigenous Men's Health.

    PubMed

    McCabe, Marita P; Mellor, David; Ricciardelli, Lina A; Mussap, Alexander J; Hallford, David J

    2016-11-01

    This study was designed to examine the health behaviors as well as the enablers and barriers to health behaviors among Indigenous Australian men. One hundred and fifty Indigenous Australian men in rural, regional, and urban locations were interviewed about their health behaviors. The results revealed several themes of importance: (a) role of community activities, (b) the Indigenous man as a leader and role model, (c) negative impact of discrimination/racism, (d) importance of partner and family, (e) positive and negative role of peer relationships, (f) central role of culturally appropriate health care facilities, and (g) association between employment and health care problems. These findings highlight the importance of broad community-based (rather than individualistic) approaches to promoting health behavior in Indigenous men.

  3. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Quality of Life in Sexually Abused Australian Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gospodarevskaya, Elena

    2013-01-01

    The study used publicly available data on post-traumatic stress disorder in a sample of the Australian population with a history of sexual abuse to demonstrate how this evidence can inform economic analyses. The 2007 Australian Mental Health Survey revealed that 8.3% of 993 adolescents experienced childhood sexual abuse, of which 40.2% were…

  4. Review of Australian Higher Education: An Australian Policy Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Montague, Alan

    2013-01-01

    Higher education is one of the key foundations that economic prosperity is founded upon. Government policies, funding and strategic planning require a fine balance to stimulate growth, prosperity health and well-being. The key Australian government policies influenced by a Review of Australian Higher Education report include attracting many more…

  5. Towards Inclusion: An Australian Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Forbes, Fiona

    2007-01-01

    This article outlines the views of the Australian Special Education Principals' Association (ASEPA) on inclusion and the impact this is having on Australian Government Schools from a school based perspective. ASEPA is a relatively young association and was formed in 1997 out of the need to put forward the case to support students with special…

  6. Australian University International Student Finances

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Forbes-Mewett, Helen; Marginson, Simon; Nyland, Chris; Ramia, Gaby; Sawir, Erlenawati

    2009-01-01

    The omission of international students from the Australian Vice-Chancellor's Committee (AVCC) 2007 national study on student finances is indicative of a pattern of exclusion. The exclusion is unacceptable from a humane perspective and feeds the belief that Australians perceive international students primarily as "cash cows". This study…

  7. Acute effects of temperature and hypercarbia on cutaneous and branchial gas exchange in the South American lungfish, Lepidosiren paradoxa.

    PubMed

    Zena, Lucas A; Bícego, Kênia C; da Silva, Glauber S F; Giusti, Humberto; Glass, Mogens L; Sanchez, Adriana P

    2017-01-01

    The South American lungfish, Lepidosiren paradoxa inhabits seasonal environments in the Central Amazon and Paraná-Paraguay basins that undergo significant oscillations in temperature throughout the year. They rely on different gas exchange organs, such as gills and skin for aquatic gas exchange while their truly bilateral lungs are responsible for aerial gas exchange; however, there are no data available on the individual contributions of the skin and the gills to total aquatic gas exchange in L. paradoxa. Thus, in the present study we quantify the relative contributions of skin and gills on total aquatic gas exchange during warm (35°C) and cold exposure (20°C) in addition to the effects of aerial and aquatic hypercarbia on aquatic gas exchange and gill ventilation rate (fG; 25°C), respectively. Elevated temperature (35°C) caused a significant increase in the contribution of cutaneous (from 0.61±0.13 to 1.34±0.26ml. STPD.h(-1)kg(-1)) and branchial (from 0.54±0.17 to 1.73±0.53ml. STPD.h(-1)kg(-1)) gas exchange for V̇CO2 relative to the lower temperature (20°C), while V̇O2 remained relatively unchanged. L. paradoxa exhibited a greater branchial contribution in relation to total aquatic gas exchange at lower temperatures (20 and 25°C) for oxygen uptake. Aerial hypercarbia decreased branchial V̇O2 whereas branchial V̇CO2 was significantly increased. Progressive increases in aquatic hypercarbia did not affect fG. This response is in contrast to increases in pulmonary ventilation that may offset any increase in arterial partial pressure of CO2 owing to CO2 loading through the animals' branchial surface. Thus, despite their reduced contribution to total gas exchange, cutaneous and branchial gas exchange in L. paradoxa can be significantly affected by temperature and aerial hypercarbia.

  8. Effects of hypoxia on the energy status and nitrogen metabolism of African lungfish during aestivation in a mucus cocoon.

    PubMed

    Loong, A M; Ang, S F; Wong, W P; Pörtner, H O; Bock, C; Wittig, R; Bridges, C R; Chew, S F; Ip, Y K

    2008-09-01

    We examined the energy status, nitrogen metabolism and hepatic glutamate dehydrogenase activity in the African lungfish Protopterus annectens during aestivation in normoxia (air) or hypoxia (2% O(2) in N(2)), with tissues sampled on day 3 (aerial exposure with preparation for aestivation), day 6 (entering into aestivation) or day 12 (undergoing aestivation). There was no accumulation of ammonia in tissues of fish exposed to normoxia or hypoxia throughout the 12-day period. Ammonia toxicity was avoided by increased urea synthesis and/or decreased endogenous N production (as ammonia), but the dependency on these two mechanisms differed between the normoxic and the hypoxic fish. The rate of urea synthesis increased 2.4-fold, with only a 12% decrease in the rate of N production in the normoxic fish. By contrast, the rate of N production in the hypoxic fish decreased by 58%, with no increase in the rate of urea synthesis. Using in vivo (31)P NMR spectroscopy, it was demonstrated that hypoxia led to significantly lower ATP concentration on day 12 and significantly lower creatine phosphate concentration on days 1, 6, 9 and 12 in the anterior region of the fish as compared with normoxia. Additionally, the hypoxic fish had lower creatine phosphate concentration in the middle region than the normoxic fish on day 9. Hence, lowering the dependency on increased urea synthesis to detoxify ammonia, which is energy intensive by reducing N production, would conserve cellular energy during aestivation in hypoxia. Indeed, there were significant increases in glutamate concentrations in tissues of fish aestivating in hypoxia, which indicates decreases in its degradation and/or transamination. Furthermore, there were significant increases in the hepatic glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) amination activity, the amination/deamination ratio and the dependency of the amination activity on ADP activation in fish on days 6 and 12 in hypoxia, but similar changes occurred only in the normoxic fish

  9. Farming fit? Dispelling the Australian agrarian myth

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Rural Australians face a higher mental health and lifestyle disease burden (obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease) than their urban counterparts. Our ongoing research reveals that the Australian farming community has even poorer physical and mental health outcomes than rural averages. In particular, farm men and women have high rates of overweightness, obesity, abdominal adiposity, high blood pressure and psychological distress when compared against Australian averages. Within our farming cohort we observed a significant association between psychological distress and obesity, abdominal adiposity and body fat percentage in the farming population. Presentation of hypothesis This paper presents a hypothesis based on preliminary data obtained from an ongoing study that could potentially explain the complex correlation between obesity, psychological distress and physical activity among a farming population. We posit that spasmodic physical activity, changing farm practices and climate variability induce prolonged stress in farmers. This increases systemic cortisol that, in turn, promotes abdominal adiposity and weight gain. Testing the hypothesis The hypothesis will be tested by anthropometric, biochemical and psychological analysis matched against systemic cortisol levels and the physical activity of the subjects. Implications of the hypothesis tested Previous studies indicate that farming populations have elevated rates of psychological distress and high rates of suicide. Australian farmers have recently experienced challenging climatic conditions including prolonged drought, floods and cyclones. Through our interactions and through the media it is not uncommon for farmers to describe the effect of this long-term stress with feelings of 'defeat'. By gaining a greater understanding of the role cortisol and physical activity have on mental and physical health we may positively impact the current rates of psychological distress in farmers. Trial

  10. Utilization of lipids during aestivation of the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens.

    PubMed

    Okafor, A I; Nwani, C D; Okereke, F O

    2011-01-01

    Sequential alterations of body weights as well as total lipids, triglycerides, cholesterol and ketone body levels in the blood of Protopterus annectens during twelve month duration of aestivation were investigated. The results revealed that after the first trimester of dormancy, there was significant body weight reduction (p < 0.05) coupled with significant hypolipodaemia, hypotriacylgly-cerolaemia and hypocholesterolaemia respectively (p < 0.05) but without significant ketonaemia (p < 0.05). The total lipid, triglyceride, cholesterol and body weight reductions continued through the second, third and fourth trimesters of aestivation respectively (p < 0.05) but with serum ketone body levels remaining unaltered (p < 0.05). Thus, the utilization of lipids as a source of energy during aestivation of P. annectens does not lead to ketone body accumulation.

  11. Substructure within Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica Isolates from Australian Wildlife▿

    PubMed Central

    Parsons, Sandra K.; Bull, C. Michael; Gordon, David M.

    2011-01-01

    Multilocus sequence typing of 56 Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica strains isolated from Australian wildlife hosts was performed. The results of population assignment algorithms revealed that the 56 strains could be subdivided into two distinct clades. Strains belonging to the two clades were further distinguished phenotypically, genotypically, and with respect to host distribution. PMID:21378038

  12. The last dicynodont: an Australian Cretaceous relict.

    PubMed Central

    Thulborn, Tony; Turner, Susan

    2003-01-01

    Some long-forgotten fossil evidence reveals that a dicynodont (mammal-like reptile of the infraorder Dicynodontia) inhabited Australia as recently as the Early Cretaceous, ca. 110 Myr after the supposed extinction of dicynodonts in the Late Triassic. This remarkably late occurrence more than doubles the known duration of dicynodont history (from ca. 63 Myr to ca. 170 Myr) and betrays the profound impact of geographical isolation on Australian terrestrial faunas through the Mesozoic. Australia's late-surviving dicynodont may be envisaged as a counterpart of the ceratopians (horned dinosaurs) in Cretaceous tetrapod faunas of Asia and North America. PMID:12803915

  13. Australian helminths in Australian rodents: an issue of biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Warner, L R

    1998-06-01

    The Australian public as well as Australian funding bodies are generally unsympathetic to native murids, rats and mice, in spite of the fact that 36% have either become extinct or critically endangered since European settlement. The endemic Australian parasites of these rats and mice have been even less sympathetically regarded. Prior to 1958 very little work was carried out on the helminths of Australian rodents and little more is known today. Records are known from only 28% of the extant host species, comprising some 109 species of helminth identified at least to generic level. The rodents invaded Australia from the north, perhaps through New Guinea in at least two separate waves, 5-8 then about 1 million years ago. The parasites they brought with them have adapted and speciated and there has been some host switching between rodent groups and between rodents and the Australian marsupials. This is illustrated particularly in the Trichostrongyloidea. The origins of the rodents from Southeast Asia down the Indonesian island chain are reflected in the presence of the nematode genus Tikusnema in both Australia and Indonesia, and Cyclodontostomum purvisi across Southeast Asia and into New Guinea. Hydromys chrysogaster, the Australian water-rat, illustrates how the biogeographical influences of the host's distribution and lifestyle can affect its parasite fauna. Most of the research to date is merely indicative of where more data are needed. The links between Australian and New Guinean helminth fauna, as well as the links between rodent and marsupial hosts and their fauna, cannot be determined without further research.

  14. Lungfish and Life.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flannery, Maura C.

    1997-01-01

    Discusses the writings of Homer W. Smith, a physiologist who wrote novels, histories of religion, textbooks, and a book on the kidney for the general reader. Smith's writing skills remind students that biologists are as multidimensional as the rest of the population. Smith shows that all parts of life are interrelated as they enrich and shed light…

  15. The Civic Mission of Australian Universities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Lawrence; Muirhead, Bruce

    2003-01-01

    Discusses the origins and meaning of civic responsibility in the Australian model of the university, beginning with medieval European universities and progressing through Australian reforms of the 20th century. Warns against the university without a civic mission. (SLD)

  16. The interplay of increased urea synthesis and reduced ammonia production in the African lungfish Protopterus aethiopicus during 46 days of aestivation in a mucus cocoon.

    PubMed

    Ip, Yuen Kwong; Yeo, Pei Jia; Loong, Ai May; Hiong, Kum Chew; Wong, Wai Peng; Chew, Shit Fun

    2005-12-01

    This study was undertaken to test the hypothesis that the rate of urea synthesis in Protopterus aethiopicus was up-regulated to detoxify ammonia during the initial phase of aestivation in air (day 1-day 12), and that a profound suppression of ammonia production occurred at a later phase of aestivation (day 35-day 46) which eliminated the need to sustain the increased rate of urea synthesis. Fasting apparently led to a greater rate of nitrogenous waste excretion in P. aethiopicus in water, which is an indication of increases in production of endogenous ammonia and urea probably as a result of increased proteolysis and amino acid catabolism for energy production. However, 46 days of fasting had no significant effects on the ammonia or urea contents in the muscle, liver, plasma and brain. In contrast, there were significant decreases in the muscle ammonia content in fish after 12, 34 or 46 days of aestivation in air when compared with fish fasting in water. Ammonia was apparently detoxified to urea because urea contents in the muscle, liver, plasma and brain of P. aethiopicus aestivated for 12, 34 or 46 days were significantly greater than the corresponding fasting control; the greatest increases in urea contents occurred during the initial 12 days. There were also significant increases in activities of some of the hepatic ornithine-urea cycle enzymes from fish aestivated for 12 or 46 days. Therefore, contrary to a previous report on P. aethiopicus, our results demonstrated an increase in the estimated rate of urea synthesis (2.8-fold greater than the day 0 fish) in this lungfish during the initial 12 days of aestivation. However, the estimated rate of urea synthesis decreased significantly during the next 34 days. Between day 35 and day 46 (12 days), urea synthesis apparently decreased to 42% of the day 0 control value, and this is the first report of such a phenomenon in African lungfish undergoing aestivation. On the other hand, the estimated rate of ammonia

  17. "English" in the "Australian Curriculum: English"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dixon, Robert

    2012-01-01

    This is the text of a paper given at the 2011 Symposium of the Australian Academy of the Humanities on the theme, "Educating the Nation: The Humanities in the New Australian Curriculum", the 42nd Annual Symposium of the Australian Academy of the Humanities at the University of Melbourne, 17 November 2011. It was presented in a session on…

  18. Embracing Babel: The "Framework for Australian Languages"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Troy, Jaky; Walsh, Michael

    2013-01-01

    The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has been developing language-specific curricula for a range of languages in the "Australian Curriculum: Language"s and has also undertaken development of a "Framework for Australian Languages", to provide guidance for the development of curricula for specific…

  19. Changing Patterns of Governance for Australian Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harman, Kay; Treadgold, Elaine

    2007-01-01

    Dissatisfaction with the "corporate" model for university governance, a model advocated by both sides of the Australian parliament and adopted by Australian universities over the past two decades, prompted the Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee (AVCC) in 2003 to suggest an alternative "trusteeship" model. The paper…

  20. Second Languages and Australian Schooling. Australian Education Review No. 54

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lo Bianco, Joseph

    2009-01-01

    It is an underlying principle of Australian Education Review (AER) 54 that active efforts should be made to cultivate the latent bilingual potential within Australia's wider population and that this should be linked to major improvements in the quality of language teaching in schools. A combined approach of this kind will require investment in…

  1. Promoting Leadership in Australian Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bradley, Andrew P.; Grice, Tim; Paulsen, Neil

    2017-01-01

    In this paper we review current practices for developing and promoting academic leadership in universities. We consider the forms of leadership that are appropriate for academic organisations, while exploring the types of leadership favoured by recruitment and promotion committees. Using the Australian higher education context as a case study, we…

  2. Australian Circuses as Cooperative Communities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moriarty, Beverley J.

    2000-01-01

    Studied how circus personnel of all ages interact in Australian circuses to preserve traditional circus lifestyles and entertainment. Interviews with 30 personnel from 4 circuses show the importance of learning to be a member of a cooperative society through immersion. Results provide information about the education of a community of occupational…

  3. Arabic in Australian Islamic Schools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hall, Michael

    1996-01-01

    Presents census data on the Muslim population in Australia and overviews full-time independent Islamic schools offering a comprehensive education across the curriculum. Argues that these schools offer great potential for the successful development of Arabic language and cultural literacy skills required by Australian exporters and diplomats in the…

  4. The 2005 Australian Informatics Competition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, David

    2006-01-01

    This article describes the Australian Informatics Competition (AIC), a non-programming competition aimed at identifying students with potential in programming and algorithmic design. It is the first step in identifying students to represent Australia at the International Olympiad in Informatics. The main aim of the AIC is to increase awareness of…

  5. Catalogue of Australian Cynipoidea (Hymenoptera)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A catalogue of all families, subfamilies, genera, and species of Cynipoidea present in Australia is presented here. The Australian cynipoid fauna is very poorly known, with 37 genera cited: one each for Austrocynipidae, Ibaliidae, Liopteridae, two for Cynipidae, and 32 for Figitidae. The first Austr...

  6. Stress Literacy in Australian Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Varlow, Megan; Wuthrich, Viviana; Murrihy, Rachael; Remond, Louise; Tuqiri, Rebekka; van Kessel, Jacobine; Wheatley, Anna; Dedousis-Wallace, Anna; Kidman, Antony

    2009-01-01

    Stress literacy is a term that refers to knowledge about stress and stress management techniques. Levels of stress literacy were examined in more than nine hundred Australian adolescents by providing a short stress-management education session and assessing stress literacy using a pre-post survey design. It was found that while adolescents had a…

  7. Staff Bullying in Australian Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riley, Dan; Duncan, Deirdre J.; Edwards, John

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to estimate the prevalence of staff bullying in Australian schools, to identify bullies and targets and to examine some implications for school leaders in dealing with staff bullying. Design/methodology/approach: The quantitative research design survey instrument contained 11 demographic items, 44 questions of…

  8. Skills Gaps in Australian Firms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lindorff, Margaret

    2011-01-01

    This paper reports the results of a survey of more than 2000 managers examining perceptions of skills gaps in a range of Australian firms. It finds that three quarters report a skills gap, and almost one third report skills gaps across the whole organisation. Firm size and industry differences exist in perceptions of the effect of the skills gap…

  9. Big Ideas for Australian Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schwartz, Steven

    2009-01-01

    Within weeks of taking office, Australia's new Labor government commissioned two major reviews--one of Australia's innovation system and one of Australian higher education. Taken together, these reviews will have major implications for the future of research and teaching in Australia for decades to come. This paper discusses the main…

  10. Funding emergency care: Australian style.

    PubMed

    Bell, Anthony; Crilly, Julia; Williams, Ged; Wylie, Kate; Toloo, Ghasem Sam; Burke, John; FitzGerald, Gerry

    2014-08-01

    The ongoing challenge for ED leaders is to remain abreast of system-wide changes that impact on the day-to-day management of their departments. Changes to the funding model creates another layer of complexity and this introductory paper serves as the beginning of a discussion about the way in which EDs are funded and how this can and will impact on business decisions, models of care and resource allocation within Australian EDs. Furthermore it is evident that any funding model today will mature and change with time, and moves are afoot to refine and contextualise ED funding over the medium term. This perspective seeks to provide a basis of understanding for our current and future funding arrangements in Australian EDs.

  11. [Australian short-beaked echidna].

    PubMed

    Rismiller, P

    1995-12-01

    The Australian short-beaked echidna, a monotreme, is one of the oldest living mammals on earth. It is recorded to be the most widely distributed native mammal on the island continent and classed as 'common'. Yet, little is known about its natural history and biology in the wild. What science has learned about the echidna in the past 200 years and why there are still large gaps is reported here.

  12. Policy: Australian astronomy looks forward

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhathal, Ragbir

    2005-12-01

    Over the next decade, a new generation of instruments will come into being for the benefit of astronomers across the world. Australian astronomers hope to build on their strong astronomical heritage and continue to take part in astronomy at the highest international level. To this end, they have prepared a Decadal Plan that envisages building, with international partners, a world-class radio telescope, greater invovlement with 8 metre telescopes, as well as making the most of the Antarctic opportunities that Australia offers.

  13. Australian Defence Force Demographic Data and Challenges

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2001-10-01

    AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE DEMOGRAPHIC DATA AND CHALLENGES Directorate of Strategic Personnel Planning and Research DSPPR Technical Note 10/2001...DATE 00 OCT 2001 2. REPORT TYPE N/A 3. DATES COVERED - 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Australian Defence Force Demographic Data and Challenges 5a...Prescribed by ANSI Std Z39-18 AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE DEMOGRAPHIC DATA AND CHALLENGES The findings and views expressed in this report are the results

  14. The Politics Are Personal: "The Australian" vs the Australian Curriculum in History

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, Tony; Collins, Sue

    2012-01-01

    This article reviews the relationship between the conservative newspaper "The Australian" and the development of a national history curriculum in Australia. The lead author surveyed the major Australian press in the five-year period between 2007 and 2012 and found clear patterns of difference between "The Australian" and other…

  15. The Australian Science Facilities Program: A Study of Its Influence on Science Education in Australian Schools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ainley, John G.

    This report is a study conducted by the Australian Council for Educational Research to evaluate the influence of science material resources, provided under the Australian Science Facilities Program, on science education in Australia. Under the Australian Science Facilities Program some $123 million was spent, between July 1964 and June 1975, on…

  16. Aestivation induces changes in transcription and translation of coagulation factor II and fibrinogen gamma chain in the liver of the African lungfish Protopterus annectens.

    PubMed

    Hiong, Kum C; Tan, Xiang R; Boo, Mel V; Wong, Wai P; Chew, Shit F; Ip, Yuen K

    2015-12-01

    This study aimed to sequence and characterize two pro-coagulant genes, coagulation factor II (f2) and fibrinogen gamma chain (fgg), from the liver of the African lungfish Protopterus annectens, and to determine their hepatic mRNA expression levels during three phases of aestivation. The protein abundance of F2 and Fgg in the liver and plasma was determined by immunoblotting. The results indicated that F2 and Fgg of P. annectens were phylogenetically closer to those of amphibians than those of teleosts. Three days of aestivation resulted in an up-regulation in the hepatic fgg mRNA expression level, while 6 days of aestivation led to a significant increase (3-fold) in the protein abundance of Fgg in the plasma. Hence, there could be an increase in the blood-clotting ability in P. annectens during the induction phase of aestivation. By contrast, the blood-clotting ability in P. annectens might be reduced in response to decreased blood flow and increased possibility of thrombosis during the maintenance phase of aestivation, as 6 months of aestivation led to significant decreases in mRNA expression levels of f2 and fgg in the liver. There could also be a decrease in the export of F2 and Fgg from the liver to the plasma so as to avert thrombosis. Three to 6 days after arousal from 6 months of aestivation, the protein abundance of F2 and Fgg recovered partially in the plasma of P. annectens; a complete recovery of the transcription and translation of f2/F2 in the liver might occur only after refeeding.

  17. Differential gene expression in the brain of the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, after six days or six months of aestivation in air.

    PubMed

    Hiong, Kum C; Ip, Yuen K; Wong, Wai P; Chew, Shit F

    2013-01-01

    The African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, can undergo aestivation during drought. Aestivation has three phases: induction, maintenance and arousal. The objective of this study was to examine the differential gene expression in the brain of P. annectens during the induction (6 days) and maintenance (6 months) phases of aestivation as compared with the freshwater control using suppression subtractive hybridization. During the induction phase of aestivation, the mRNA expression of prolactin (prl) and growth hormone were up-regulated in the brain of P. annectens, which indicate for the first time the possible induction role of these two hormones in aestivation. Also, the up-regulation of mRNA expression of tyrosine 3-monooxygenase/tryptophan 5-monooxygenase activation protein γ polypeptide and the down-regulation of phosphatidylethanolamine binding protein, suggest that there could be a reduction in biological and neuronal activities in the brain. The mRNA expression of cold inducible RNA-binding protein and glucose regulated protein 58 were also up-regulated in the brain, probably to enhance their cytoprotective effects. Furthermore, the down-regulation of prothymosin α expression suggests that there could be a suppression of transcription and cell proliferation in preparation for the maintenance phase. In general, the induction phase appeared to be characterized by reduction in glycolytic capacity and metabolic activity, suppression of protein synthesis and degradation, and an increase in defense against ammonia toxicity. In contrast, there was a down-regulation in the mRNA expression of prl in the brain of P. annectens during the maintenance phase of aestivation. In addition, there could be an increase in oxidative defense capacity, and up-regulation of transcription, translation, and glycolytic capacities in preparation for arousal. Overall, our results signify the importance of reconstruction of protein structures and regulation of energy expenditure during

  18. Increased urea synthesis and/or suppressed ammonia production in the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, during aestivation in air or mud.

    PubMed

    Loong, Ai M; Pang, Cheryl Y M; Hiong, Kum C; Wong, Wai P; Chew, Shit F; Ip, Yuen K

    2008-03-01

    The objective of this study was to elucidate how the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, ameliorated ammonia toxicity during 12 or 46 days of aestivation in air or in mud. Twelve days of aestivation in air led to significant increases in contents of urea, but not ammonia, in tissues of P. annectens. The estimated rate of urea synthesis increased 2.7-fold despite the lack of changes in the activities of hepatic ornithine-urea cycle enzymes, but there was only a minor change in the estimated rate of ammonia production. After 46 days of aestivation in air, the ammonia content in the liver decreased significantly and contents of urea in all tissues studied increased significantly, indicating that the fish shifted to a combination of increased urea synthesis (1.4-fold of the day 0 value) and decreased ammonia production (56% of the day 0 value) to defend against ammonia toxicity. By contrast, 12 days of aestivation in mud produced only minor increases in tissue urea contents, with ammonia contents remained unchanged. This was apparently achieved through decreases in urea synthesis and ammonia production (40 and 15%, respectively, of the corresponding day 0 value). Surprisingly, 46 days of aestivation in mud resulted in no changes in tissue urea contents, indicating that profound suppressions of urea synthesis and ammonia production (2.6 and 1.2%, respectively, of the corresponding day 0 value) had occurred. This is the first report on such a phenomenon, and the reduction in ammonia production was so profound that it could be the greatest reduction known among animals. Since fish aestivated in mud had relatively low blood pO(2) and muscle ATP content, they could have been exposed to hypoxia, which induced reductions in metabolic rate and ammonia production. Consequently, fish aestivating in mud had a lower dependency on increased urea synthesis to detoxify ammonia, which is energy intensive, than fish aestivating in air.

  19. Differential Gene Expression in the Brain of the African Lungfish, Protopterus annectens, after Six Days or Six Months of Aestivation in Air

    PubMed Central

    Hiong, Kum C.; Ip, Yuen K.; Wong, Wai P.; Chew, Shit F.

    2013-01-01

    The African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, can undergo aestivation during drought. Aestivation has three phases: induction, maintenance and arousal. The objective of this study was to examine the differential gene expression in the brain of P. annectens during the induction (6 days) and maintenance (6 months) phases of aestivation as compared with the freshwater control using suppression subtractive hybridization. During the induction phase of aestivation, the mRNA expression of prolactin (prl) and growth hormone were up-regulated in the brain of P. annectens, which indicate for the first time the possible induction role of these two hormones in aestivation. Also, the up-regulation of mRNA expression of tyrosine 3-monooxygenase/tryptophan 5-monooxygenase activation protein γ polypeptide and the down-regulation of phosphatidylethanolamine binding protein, suggest that there could be a reduction in biological and neuronal activities in the brain. The mRNA expression of cold inducible RNA-binding protein and glucose regulated protein 58 were also up-regulated in the brain, probably to enhance their cytoprotective effects. Furthermore, the down-regulation of prothymosin α expression suggests that there could be a suppression of transcription and cell proliferation in preparation for the maintenance phase. In general, the induction phase appeared to be characterized by reduction in glycolytic capacity and metabolic activity, suppression of protein synthesis and degradation, and an increase in defense against ammonia toxicity. In contrast, there was a down-regulation in the mRNA expression of prl in the brain of P. annectens during the maintenance phase of aestivation. In addition, there could be an increase in oxidative defense capacity, and up-regulation of transcription, translation, and glycolytic capacities in preparation for arousal. Overall, our results signify the importance of reconstruction of protein structures and regulation of energy expenditure during

  20. Australian Rotavirus Surveillance Program annual report, 2014.

    PubMed

    Kirkwood, Carl D; Roczo-Farkas, Suzie

    2015-09-30

    The Australian Rotavirus Surveillance Program, together with collaborating laboratories Australia-wide, reports the rotavirus genotypes responsible for the hospitalisation of children with acute gastroenteritis. During the survey period of 1 January to 31 December 2014, 1,022 faecal samples were referred for rotavirus G and P genotype analysis, and of these 733 were confirmed as rotavirus positive. A total of 480 specimens were collected from children under 5 years of age, while 253 were from older children and adults. Genotype analysis of the 733 rotavirus samples collected from both children and adults revealed that G12P[8] was the dominant genotype in this reporting period, identified in 29.6% of strains nationally. Genotype G1P[8] was the 2nd most common strain nationally, representing 22.9% of samples, followed by genotype G3P[8] (14.9%). This report highlights the continued significance of G12P[8] strains as the major cause of disease in this population. The genotype distribution was slightly altered when the analysis was restricted to samples collected from children under 5 years of age, with G1P[8] being the dominant genotype (29%) followed by G12P[8] as the 2nd most common genotype (26%). Fluctuations in genotype distribution were also observed based on the vaccine type in use. Genotype G12P[8] was more common in states and territories using RotaTeq, while G1P[8] was more common in the locations using Rotarix. This survey highlights the yearly fluctuations in rotavirus genotypes observed since vaccine introduction. The continuation of G12P[8] as the dominant genotype further illustrates the dynamic and diversity present in the wild-type rotavirus population evident in the Australian population since vaccine introduction.

  1. Australian Rotavirus Surveillance Program annual report, 2013.

    PubMed

    Kirkwood, Carl D; Roczo-Farkas, Susie

    2014-12-31

    This report from the Australian Rotavirus Surveillance Program, together with collaborating laboratories Australia-wide, describes the rotavirus genotypes responsible for the hospitalisation of children with acute gastroenteritis during the period 1 January to 31 December 2013. During the survey period, 1,035 faecal samples were referred for rotavirus G and P genotype analysis. Of these 828 were confirmed as rotavirus positive. A total of 503 specimens were collected from children under 5 years of age, while 325 were from older children and adults. Genotype analysis of the 828 rotavirus samples collected from both children and adults revealed that G12P[8] was the dominant genotype in this reporting period, identified in 33% of strains nationally. Genotype G3P[8] was the second most common strain nationally, representing 31% of samples, followed by genotype G2P[4] (14%). This represents the first report where G12P[8] strains are the major cause of disease in this population. The genotype distribution was slightly altered when the analysis was restricted to samples collected from children under 5 years of age, with G3P[8] being the dominant genotype (39.2%) followed by G12P[8] as the second most common genotype (31%). Fluctuations in genotype distribution were also observed based on the vaccine type in use. Genotype G12P[8] was more common in states and territories using RotaTeq, while G3P[8] was more common in the locations using Rotarix. This survey highlights the yearly fluctuations in rotavirus genotypes observed since vaccine introduction, with changes in dominant genotypes an annual event. The emergence of G12P[8] as the dominant genotype further illustrates the ongoing changes in the wild type rotavirus population evident in the Australian population since vaccine introduction.

  2. Australian Rotavirus Surveillance Program annual report, 2015.

    PubMed

    Roczo-Farkas, Susie; Kirkwood, Carl D; Bines, Julie E

    2016-12-24

    The Australian Rotavirus Surveillance Program, together with collaborating laboratories Australia-wide, reports the rotavirus genotypes responsible for the hospitalisation of children with acute gastroenteritis during the period 1 January to 31 December 2015. During the survey period, 1,383 faecal samples were referred for rotavirus G and P genotype analysis, and of these, 1,031 were confirmed as rotavirus positive. A total of 634 specimens had been collected from children under 5 years of age, while 397 were from older children and adults. Genotype analysis of samples from both children and adults revealed that G12P[8] was the dominant genotype in this reporting period, identified in 48.2% of strains nationally. Genotype G3P[8] was the second most common strain nationally, representing 22.8% of samples, followed by G2P[4] and G1P[8] (9% and 8% respectively). G3P[8] was further divided as equine-like G3P[8] (13.2% of all strains) and other wild-type G3P[8] (9.6%). This report highlights the continued predominance of G12P[8] strains as the major cause of disease in this population. Genotype distribution was distinct between jurisdictions using RotaTeq and Rotarix vaccines. Genotype G12P[8] was more common in states using RotaTeq, while equine-like G3P[8] and G2P[4] were more common in the states and territories using Rotarix. This survey highlights the dynamic change in rotavirus genotypes observed since vaccine introduction, including the emergence of a novel equine-like G3P[8] as a major strain. The prolonged dominance of G12P[8] for a 4th consecutive year further illustrates the unexpected trends in the wild type rotaviruses circulating in the Australian population since vaccine introduction.

  3. A Stalagmite record of Holocene Indonesian-Australian summer monsoon variability from the Australian tropics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Denniston, Rhawn F.; Wyrwoll, Karl-Heinz; Polyak, Victor J.; Brown, Josephine R.; Asmerom, Yemane; Wanamaker, Alan D.; LaPointe, Zachary; Ellerbroek, Rebecca; Barthelmes, Michael; Cleary, Daniel; Cugley, John; Woods, David; Humphreys, William F.

    2013-10-01

    Oxygen isotopic data from a suite of calcite and aragonite stalagmites from cave KNI-51, located in the eastern Kimberley region of tropical Western Australia, represent the first absolute-dated, high-resolution speleothem record of the Holocene Indonesian-Australian summer monsoon (IASM) from the Australian tropics. Stalagmite oxygen isotopic values track monsoon intensity via amount effects in precipitation and reveal a dynamic Holocene IASM which strengthened in the early Holocene, decreased in strength by 4 ka, with a further decrease from ˜2 to 1 ka, before strengthening again at 1 ka to years to levels similar to those between 4 and 2 ka. The relationships between the KNI-51 IASM reconstruction and those from published speleothem time series from Flores and Borneo, in combination with other data sets, appear largely inconsistent with changes in the position and/or organization of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). Instead, we argue that the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) may have played a dominant role in driving IASM variability since at least the middle Holocene. Given the muted modern monsoon rainfall responses to most El Niño events in the Kimberley, an impact of ENSO on regional monsoon precipitation over northwestern Australia would suggest non-stationarity in the long-term relationship between ENSO forcing and IASM rainfall, possibly due to changes in the mean state of the tropical Pacific over the Holocene.

  4. "Don't forget your cotton underwear girls": femininity and Australian Army nurses in the Vietnam War (1967-1971).

    PubMed

    Biedermann, Narelle

    2004-01-01

    War and nursing are unequivocally linked and the impact that this type of nursing has had upon the nursing profession in indisputable. However, a review of the Australian scholarly nursing literature revealed that the contribution and experiences of Australian nurses in the Vietnam War has not been widely published. The direct involvement of Australian women in the Vietnam War was limited and, as female nurses, they were unquestionably a minority. This paper describes the gender issues that confronted the nurses who worked within the confines of war.

  5. Australian Literature in the Primary Classroom.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Sullivan, Colleen, Ed.

    This book was designed to supply information on available resources in Australian children's literature and a tradition of teaching which incorporates the Australian experience in an inclusive manner. Essays and their authors consist of the following: (1) "Children's Books in Australia: Two Hundred Years of Social Life" (Maurice Saxby);…

  6. Successful Principal Leadership: Australian Case Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gurr, David; Drysdale, Lawrie; Mulford, Bill

    2005-01-01

    Purpose: This paper aims to provide an Australian perspective on successful school leadership. Design/methodology/approach: The paper focuses on case studies in two Australian states (Tasmania and Victoria). Case studies for each state were developed independently and are reported separately. Findings: The findings show a remarkable degree of…

  7. Understanding Culture and Diversity: Australian Aboriginal Art

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vize, Anne

    2009-01-01

    Australian Aboriginal culture is rich, complex and fascinating. The art of Aboriginal Australians shows a great understanding of the earth and its creatures. This article presents an activity which has been designed as a multi-age project. The learning outcomes have been written to suit both younger and older students. Aspects of the project could…

  8. A National Australian Curriculum: In Whose Interests?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ditchburn, Geraldine

    2012-01-01

    The introduction of an Australian curriculum is likely to have a widespread and long-term impact on schools, teachers and students, and yet there has been a swift and an almost unquestioning acceptance of its introduction by the Australian public and by educators. This paper will use theoretical frameworks informed by Gramsci's cultural hegemony…

  9. Career Intentions of Australian Physical Education Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mäkelä, Kasper; Whipp, Peter R.

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate Australian physical education (PE) teachers' career intentions and factors influencing their intentions. A sample (N = 234) of Western Australian PE teachers responded to a questionnaire determining PE teachers' work and the primary motivators for intention to leave the profession. Half (51.3%) of the…

  10. Australian Aboriginal Language Early Childhood Education Programmes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holmes, Tony

    This report discusses the provision of culturally appropriate early childhood programs in Australian Aboriginal language in Australia, and the education of teachers for these programs. The first section of the report examines the education of indigenous peoples in the context of the current Australian education system. Evidence in support of the…

  11. The Australian Curriculum: Finding the Hidden Narrative?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ditchburn, Geraldine M.

    2012-01-01

    The Australian curriculum to be introduced in all Australian schools over the next few years provides two competing narratives about curriculum. An overt narrative provides an unproblematic view of curriculum where the rhetoric and discourse that promotes a "world-class curriculum" effectively obscures a second narrative. This second…

  12. Four Management Agendas for Australian Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sharrock, Geoff

    2012-01-01

    In a new mixed economy of higher learning, Australian universities require more strategic management to compete and collaborate sustainably. However, many scholars argue that new modes of university management are at odds with scholarly aims and values. This article examines how Australian universities frame their missions and communicate their…

  13. Australian developments in marine science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coffin, Millard F.

    2012-07-01

    Australia is an island nation with about two thirds of its jurisdiction underwater. On 25 May 2012, Australia instituted the Seas and Submerged Lands (Limits of Continental Shelf) Proclamation 2012, confirming areas of seabed where Australia has exclusive rights to explore and exploit marine resources. This proclamation follows recommendations by the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, a body established under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, confirming Australia's entitlement to extended continental shelf, i.e., that beyond 200 nautical miles from the coastline, of some 2.56 million square kilometers, excluding Australian Antarctic Territory [Symonds et al., 2009] (Figure 1a).

  14. Australian Aboriginal Astronomy and Cosmology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clarke, Philip A.

    Australian Aboriginal ethnoastronomical traditions were recorded from a wide variety of sources in different periods. While the corpus of mythology concerning the heavens is diverse, it is unified by beliefs of a Skyworld as land with its own topography, containing plants and animals familiar to those living below. Spirits of the dead reside alongside the Creation Ancestors as celestial bodies in the Skyworld. Aboriginal hunter-gatherers used the regular movement of constellations and planets to measure time and to indicate the season, while unexpected change in the sky was seen as an omen.

  15. Comets in Australian Aboriginal Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamacher, Duane W.; Norris, Ray P.

    2011-03-01

    We present 25 accounts of comets from 40 Australian Aboriginal communities, citing both supernatural perceptions of comets and historical accounts of historically bright comets. Historical and ethnographic descriptions include the Great Comets of 1843, 1861, 1901, 1910, and 1927. We describe the perceptions of comets in Aboriginal societies and show that they are typically associated with fear, death, omens, malevolent spirits, and evil magic, consistent with many cultures around the world. We also provide a list of words for comets in 16 different Aboriginal languages.

  16. Ancient mtDNA sequences from the First Australians revisited

    PubMed Central

    Subramanian, Sankar; Wright, Joanne L.; Endicott, Phillip; Westaway, Michael Carrington; Huynen, Leon; Parson, Walther; Millar, Craig D.; Willerslev, Eske; Lambert, David M.

    2016-01-01

    The publication in 2001 by Adcock et al. [Adcock GJ, et al. (2001) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 98(2):537–542] in PNAS reported the recovery of short mtDNA sequences from ancient Australians, including the 42,000-y-old Mungo Man [Willandra Lakes Hominid (WLH3)]. This landmark study in human ancient DNA suggested that an early modern human mitochondrial lineage emerged in Asia and that the theory of modern human origins could no longer be considered solely through the lens of the “Out of Africa” model. To evaluate these claims, we used second generation DNA sequencing and capture methods as well as PCR-based and single-primer extension (SPEX) approaches to reexamine the same four Willandra Lakes and Kow Swamp 8 (KS8) remains studied in the work by Adcock et al. Two of the remains sampled contained no identifiable human DNA (WLH15 and WLH55), whereas the Mungo Man (WLH3) sample contained no Aboriginal Australian DNA. KS8 reveals human mitochondrial sequences that differ from the previously inferred sequence. Instead, we recover a total of five modern European contaminants from Mungo Man (WLH3). We show that the remaining sample (WLH4) contains ∼1.4% human DNA, from which we assembled two complete mitochondrial genomes. One of these was a previously unidentified Aboriginal Australian haplotype belonging to haplogroup S2 that we sequenced to a high coverage. The other was a contaminating modern European mitochondrial haplotype. Although none of the sequences that we recovered matched those reported by Adcock et al., except a contaminant, these findings show the feasibility of obtaining important information from ancient Aboriginal Australian remains. PMID:27274055

  17. Ancient mtDNA sequences from the First Australians revisited.

    PubMed

    Heupink, Tim H; Subramanian, Sankar; Wright, Joanne L; Endicott, Phillip; Westaway, Michael Carrington; Huynen, Leon; Parson, Walther; Millar, Craig D; Willerslev, Eske; Lambert, David M

    2016-06-21

    The publication in 2001 by Adcock et al. [Adcock GJ, et al. (2001) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 98(2):537-542] in PNAS reported the recovery of short mtDNA sequences from ancient Australians, including the 42,000-y-old Mungo Man [Willandra Lakes Hominid (WLH3)]. This landmark study in human ancient DNA suggested that an early modern human mitochondrial lineage emerged in Asia and that the theory of modern human origins could no longer be considered solely through the lens of the "Out of Africa" model. To evaluate these claims, we used second generation DNA sequencing and capture methods as well as PCR-based and single-primer extension (SPEX) approaches to reexamine the same four Willandra Lakes and Kow Swamp 8 (KS8) remains studied in the work by Adcock et al. Two of the remains sampled contained no identifiable human DNA (WLH15 and WLH55), whereas the Mungo Man (WLH3) sample contained no Aboriginal Australian DNA. KS8 reveals human mitochondrial sequences that differ from the previously inferred sequence. Instead, we recover a total of five modern European contaminants from Mungo Man (WLH3). We show that the remaining sample (WLH4) contains ∼1.4% human DNA, from which we assembled two complete mitochondrial genomes. One of these was a previously unidentified Aboriginal Australian haplotype belonging to haplogroup S2 that we sequenced to a high coverage. The other was a contaminating modern European mitochondrial haplotype. Although none of the sequences that we recovered matched those reported by Adcock et al., except a contaminant, these findings show the feasibility of obtaining important information from ancient Aboriginal Australian remains.

  18. Australian diagnostic reference levels for multi detector computed tomography.

    PubMed

    Hayton, Anna; Wallace, Anthony; Marks, Paul; Edmonds, Keith; Tingey, David; Johnston, Peter

    2013-03-01

    The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) is undertaking web based surveys to obtain data to establish national diagnostic reference levels (DRLs) for diagnostic imaging. The first set of DRLs to be established are for multi detector computed tomography (MDCT). The survey samples MDCT dosimetry metrics: dose length product (DLP, mGy.cm) and volume computed tomography dose index (CTDIvol, mGy), for six common protocols/habitus: Head, Neck, Chest, AbdoPelvis, ChestAbdoPelvis and Lumbar Spine from individual radiology clinics and platforms. A practice reference level (PRL) for a given platform and protocol is calculated from a compliant survey containing data collected from at least ten patients. The PRL is defined as the median of the DLP/CTDIvol values for a single compliant survey. Australian National DRLs are defined as the 75th percentile of the distribution of the PRLs for each protocol and age group. Australian National DRLs for adult MDCT have been determined in terms of DLP and CTDIvol. In terms of DLP the national DRLs are 1,000 mGy cm, 600 mGy cm, 450 mGy cm, 700 mGy cm, 1,200 mGy cm, and 900 mGy cm for the protocols Head, Neck, Chest, AbdoPelvis, ChestAbdoPelvis and Lumbar Spine respectively. Average dose values obtained from the European survey Dose Datamed I reveal Australian doses to be higher by comparison for four out of the six protocols. The survey is ongoing, allowing practices to optimise dose delivery as well as allowing the periodic update of DRLs to reflect changes in technology and technique.

  19. Aestivation Induces Changes in the mRNA Expression Levels and Protein Abundance of Two Isoforms of Urea Transporters in the Gills of the African Lungfish, Protopterus annectens.

    PubMed

    Chng, You R; Ong, Jasmine L Y; Ching, Biyun; Chen, Xiu L; Hiong, Kum C; Wong, Wai P; Chew, Shit F; Lam, Siew H; Ip, Yuen K

    2017-01-01

    The African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, is ammonotelic in water despite being ureogenic. When it aestivates in mucus cocoon on land, ammonia is detoxified to urea. During the maintenance phase of aestivation, urea accumulates in the body, which is subsequently excreted upon arousal. Urea excretion involves urea transporters (UT/Ut). This study aimed to clone and sequence the ut isoforms from the gills of P. annectens, and to test the hypothesis that the mRNA and/or protein expression levels of ut/Ut isoforms could vary in the gills of P. annectens during the induction, maintenance, and arousal phases of aestivation. Two isoforms of ut, ut-a2a and ut-a2b, were obtained from the gills of P. annectens. ut-a2a consisted of 1227 bp and coded for 408 amino acids with an estimated molecular mass of 44.7 kDa, while ut-a2b consisted of 1392 bp and coded for 464 amino acids with an estimated molecular mass of 51.2 kDa. Ut-a2a and Ut-a2b of P. annectens had a closer phylogenetic relationship with Ut/UT of tetrapods than Ut of fishes. While the mRNA expression pattern of ut-a2a and ut-a2b across various tissues of P. annectens differed, the transcript levels of ut-a2a and ut-a2b in the gills were comparable, indicating that they might be equally important for branchial urea excretion during the initial arousal phase of aestivation. During the maintenance phase of aestivation, the transcript level of ut-a2a increased significantly, but the protein abundance of Ut-a2a remained unchanged in the gills of P. annectens. This could be an adaptive feature to prepare for an increase in the production of Ut-a2a upon arousal. Indeed, arousal led to a significant increase in the branchial Ut-a2a protein abundance. Although the transcript level of ut-a2b remained unchanged, there were significant increases in the protein abundance of Ut-a2b in the gills of P. annectens throughout the three phases of aestivation. The increase in the protein abundance of Ut-a2b during the maintenance

  20. Aestivation Induces Changes in the mRNA Expression Levels and Protein Abundance of Two Isoforms of Urea Transporters in the Gills of the African Lungfish, Protopterus annectens

    PubMed Central

    Chng, You R.; Ong, Jasmine L. Y.; Ching, Biyun; Chen, Xiu L.; Hiong, Kum C.; Wong, Wai P.; Chew, Shit F.; Lam, Siew H.; Ip, Yuen K.

    2017-01-01

    The African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, is ammonotelic in water despite being ureogenic. When it aestivates in mucus cocoon on land, ammonia is detoxified to urea. During the maintenance phase of aestivation, urea accumulates in the body, which is subsequently excreted upon arousal. Urea excretion involves urea transporters (UT/Ut). This study aimed to clone and sequence the ut isoforms from the gills of P. annectens, and to test the hypothesis that the mRNA and/or protein expression levels of ut/Ut isoforms could vary in the gills of P. annectens during the induction, maintenance, and arousal phases of aestivation. Two isoforms of ut, ut-a2a and ut-a2b, were obtained from the gills of P. annectens. ut-a2a consisted of 1227 bp and coded for 408 amino acids with an estimated molecular mass of 44.7 kDa, while ut-a2b consisted of 1392 bp and coded for 464 amino acids with an estimated molecular mass of 51.2 kDa. Ut-a2a and Ut-a2b of P. annectens had a closer phylogenetic relationship with Ut/UT of tetrapods than Ut of fishes. While the mRNA expression pattern of ut-a2a and ut-a2b across various tissues of P. annectens differed, the transcript levels of ut-a2a and ut-a2b in the gills were comparable, indicating that they might be equally important for branchial urea excretion during the initial arousal phase of aestivation. During the maintenance phase of aestivation, the transcript level of ut-a2a increased significantly, but the protein abundance of Ut-a2a remained unchanged in the gills of P. annectens. This could be an adaptive feature to prepare for an increase in the production of Ut-a2a upon arousal. Indeed, arousal led to a significant increase in the branchial Ut-a2a protein abundance. Although the transcript level of ut-a2b remained unchanged, there were significant increases in the protein abundance of Ut-a2b in the gills of P. annectens throughout the three phases of aestivation. The increase in the protein abundance of Ut-a2b during the maintenance

  1. Factors Affecting the Academic and Cultural Adjustment of Saudi International Students in Australian Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alsahafi, Nisreen; Shin, Seong-Chul

    2017-01-01

    The authors investigate factors affecting Saudi students' educational experiences in Australian universities and their adjustment issues. The data comes from the survey of 100 Saudi international students in Sydney and subsequent interviews. The analysis revealed that language proficiency is the main barrier to Saudi students' academic and social…

  2. Closing the Gap: The Maturing of Quality Assurance in Australian University Libraries

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tang, Karen

    2012-01-01

    A benchmarking review of the quality assurance practices of the libraries of the Australian Technology Network conducted in 2006 revealed exemplars of best practice, but also sector-wide gaps. A follow-up review in 2010 indicated the best practices that remain relevant. While some gaps persist, there has been improvement across the libraries and…

  3. Cyberbullying: Experiences, Impacts and Coping Strategies as Described by Australian Young People

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Price, Megan; Dalgleish, John

    2010-01-01

    Cyberbullying impacts on the wellbeing, schooling, family and peer relationships of many young people. The current study of 548 young Australians revealed that cyberbullying is a group phenomenon most prevalent during the transitional ages between primary and secondary school. It takes on many forms and shows an overlap in roles between…

  4. Hey Big Spender! An Analysis of Australian Universities and How Much They Pay Their General Staff

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dobson, Ian R.

    2009-01-01

    Analysis of aggregated data files on staff sent by all Australian universities to DEST in 2007 and of salary schedules posted on university websites reveals a considerable variation between salaries paid to general staff at each salary level and the relative seniority of those staff. This paper outlines the differences in staffing structures and…

  5. The Market in Australian Higher Education and the Concept of Student as Informed Consumer.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baldwin, Gabrielle; James, Richard

    2000-01-01

    Attempts to enhance higher education through encouragement of market forces assume that students are informed consumers. This article examines problems with this approach, particularly limitations on applicants' knowledge of the higher education system as revealed in a survey of Australian students. It explores meaningful differentiation of…

  6. Australian Public Universities: Are They Practising a Corporate Approach to Governance?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Christopher, Joseph

    2014-01-01

    This article draws on the multi-theoretical approach to governance and a qualitative research method to examine the extent to which the corporate approach is practised in Australian public universities. The findings reveal that in meeting the needs of multiple stakeholders, universities are faced with a number of structural, legalistic, and…

  7. Australian Rotavirus Surveillance Program annual report, 2012.

    PubMed

    Kirkwood, Carl D; Roczo-Farkas, Susie; Bishop, Ruth F; Barnes, Graeme L

    2014-03-31

    This report from the Australian Rotavirus Surveillance Program, together with collaborating laboratories Australia-wide, describes the rotavirus genotypes responsible for the hospitalisation of children with acute gastroenteritis during the period 1 January to 31 December 2012. During the survey period, 1,300 faecal samples were referred to the centre for rotavirus G and P genotype analysis, and of these 748 were confirmed as rotavirus positive. A total of 491 specimens were collected from children under 5 years of age, while 257 were from older children and adults. Genotype analysis revealed that G1P[8] was the dominant type in this reporting period, identified in 35% of strains nationally. Genotype G2P[4] was the second most common strain nationally, representing 28% of samples, followed by genotype G12P[8] (23%). This represents the first report where G12P[8] strains are a major cause of disease in this community. Fluctuations in genotype distribution were also observed based on the vaccine type in use. Genotype G2P[4] was more common in states and territories using Rotarix while G1P[8] was more common in states using RotaTeq. This survey of rotavirus strains circulating in 2012 highlights the continued fluctuations in rotavirus genotypes, with an annual change in dominant genotypes as well as emergence of a previously rare genotype, suggesting a dynamic wild-type population.

  8. Derivation of Australian diagnostic reference levels for paediatric multi detector computed tomography.

    PubMed

    Hayton, Anna; Wallace, Anthony

    2016-09-01

    Australian National Diagnostic Reference Levels for paediatric multi detector computed tomography were established for three protocols, Head, Chest and AbdoPelvis, across two age groups, Baby/Infant 0-4 years and Child 5-14 years by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency in 2012. The establishment of Australian paediatric DRLs is an important step towards lowering patient CT doses on a national scale. While Adult DRLs were calculated with data collected from the web based Australian National Diagnostic Reference Level Service, no paediatric data was submitted in the first year of service operation. Data from an independent Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists Quality Use of Diagnostic Imaging paediatric optimisation survey was used. The paediatric DRLs were defined for CTDIvol (mGy) and DLP (mGy·cm) values that referenced the 16 cm PMMA phantom for the Head protocol and the 32 cm PMMA phantom for body protocols for both paediatric age groups. The Australian paediatric DRLs for multi detector computed tomography are for the Head, Chest and AbdoPelvis protocols respectively, 470, 60 and 170 mGy·cm for the Baby/Infant age group, and 600, 110 and 390 mGy·cm for the Child age group. A comparison with published international paediatric DRLs for computed tomography reveal the Australian paediatric DRLs to be lower on average. However, the comparison is complicated by misalignment of defined age ranges. It is the intention of ARPANSA to review the paediatric DRLs in conjunction with a review of the adult DRLs, which should occur within 5 years of their publication.

  9. Eclipses in Australian Aboriginal Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamacher, Duane W.; Norris, Ray P.

    2011-07-01

    We explore about fifty different Australian Aboriginal accounts of lunar and solar eclipses to determine how Aboriginal groups understood this phenomenon. We summarize the literature on Aboriginal references to eclipses. We show that many Aboriginal groups viewed eclipses negatively, frequently associating them with bad omens, evil magic, disease, blood and death. In many communities, elders or medicine men claimed to be able to control or avert eclipses by magical means, solidifying their roles as providers and protectors within their communities. We also show that some Aboriginal groups seem to have understood the motions of the Sun-Earth-Moon system, the connection between the lunar phases and tides, and acknowledged that solar eclipses were caused by the Moon blocking the Sun.

  10. Pyrogenic carbon in Australian soils.

    PubMed

    Qi, Fangjie; Naidu, Ravi; Bolan, Nanthi S; Dong, Zhaomin; Yan, Yubo; Lamb, Dane; Bucheli, Thomas D; Choppala, Girish; Duan, Luchun; Semple, Kirk T

    2017-02-16

    Pyrogenic carbon (PyC), the combustion residues of fossil fuel and biomass, is a versatile soil fraction active in biogeochemical processes. In this study, the chemo-thermal oxidation method (CTO-375) was applied to investigate the content and distribution of PyC in 30 Australian agricultural, pastoral, bushland and parkland soil with various soil types. Soils were sampled incrementally to 50cm in 6 locations and at another 7 locations at 0-10cm. Results showed that PyC in Australian soils typically ranged from 0.27-5.62mg/g, with three Dermosol soils ranging within 2.58-5.62mg/g. Soil PyC contributed 2.0-11% (N=29) to the total organic carbon (TOC), with one Ferrosol as high as 26%. PyC was concentrated either in the top (0-10cm) or bottom (30-50cm) soil layers, with the highest PyC:TOC ratio in the bottom (30-50cm) soil horizon in all soils. Principal component analysis - multiple linear regression (PCA-MLR) suggested the silt-associated organic C factor accounted for 38.5% of the variation in PyC. Our findings suggest that PyC is an important fraction of the TOC (2.0-11%, N=18) and chemically recalcitrant organic C (ROC) obtained by chemical C fractionation method accounts for a significant proportion of soil TOC (47.3-84.9%, N=18). This is the first study comparing these two methods, and it indicates both CTO-375 and C speciation methods can determine a fraction of recalcitrant organic C. However, estimated chemically recalcitrant organic carbon pool (ROC) was approximately an order of magnitude greater than that of thermally stable organic carbon (PyC).

  11. Population and Australian development assistance.

    PubMed

    Jones, R

    1992-07-01

    Australia's position on international population issues is consistent with the major international statements on population: the World Population Plan of Action (1974), the Mexico City Declaration (1984), and the Amsterdam Declaration (1989). Australia's policy emphasizes the importance of population policies as an integral part of social, economic, and cultural development aimed at improving the quality of life of the people. Factors that would promote smaller families include improving economic opportunities, old-age security, education and health (particularly for women), as well as improving the accessibility and quality of family planning services. The quality of care approach is directly complementary to the Australian International Development Assistance Bureau (AIDAB)'s Women-In-Development Policy and its Health Policy, which stresses the theme of Women And Their Children's Health (WATCH). Australia's support for population programs and activities has increased considerably over the last few years. Total assistance for the year 1990/91 was around $7 million out of a total aid program of $1216 million. In recent years AIDAB has funded family planning activities or health projects with family planning components in a number of countries in the Asia-Pacific region. In the South Pacific region AIDAB has funded a reproductive health video project taking into consideration the cultural sensitivities and customs of the peoples of the region. AIDAB has supported a UN Population Fund project in Thailand that aims to strengthen the capacity of the National Statistical Office to collect population data. The US currently accounts for around 40% of all population-related development assistance to improve the health of women and children through family planning. The other major donors are Japan, the Scandinavian countries, and the Netherlands. Funding for population has been a relatively low percentage of overall development assistance budgets in OECD countries. In the

  12. Molecular characterization of myostatin from the skeletal muscle of the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, and changes in its mRNA and protein expression levels during three phases of aestivation.

    PubMed

    Ong, Jasmine L Y; Chng, You R; Ching, Biyun; Chen, Xiu L; Hiong, Kum C; Wong, Wai P; Chew, Shit F; Ip, Yuen K

    2017-05-01

    African lungfishes can aestivate and remain torpid without food and water for years, but disuse muscle atrophy is not prominent during aestivation. This study aimed to clone myostatin (mstn/Mstn), a factor associated with disuse muscle atrophy in mammals, from the skeletal muscle of the African lungfish Protopterus annectens, and to determine its mRNA expression level and protein abundance therein during the induction, maintenance, and arousal phases of aestivation. The complete coding cDNA sequence of mstn comprised 1128 bp, encoding for 376 amino acids with an estimated molecular mass of 42.9 kDa. It was grouped together with Mstn/MSTN of coelacanth and tetrapods in a clade separated from teleost Mstn. After 6 days (the induction phase) of aestivation, the mstn transcript level in the muscle increased significantly, while the protein abundance of Mstn remained comparable to the control. Following that, a significant increase in the expression levels of mstn/Mstn occurred on day 12 (the early maintenance phase) of aestivation. After 6 months of aestivation (the prolonged maintenance phase), the expression levels of mstn/Mstn returned to control levels, indicating the possible impediment of a drastic increase in muscle degradation to prevent muscle atrophy. During 1-3 days of arousal from aestivation, the expression levels of mstn/Mstn in the muscle remained comparable to the control. Hence, tissue reconstruction/regeneration of certain organs might not involve the mobilization of amino acids from the muscle during the early arousal. These results provide insights into how aestivating P. annectens regulates the expression of mstn/Mstn possibly to ameliorate disuse muscle atrophy.

  13. Australian Management Education for International Business Activity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gniewosz, Gerhard

    2000-01-01

    As Australian corporations have increased overseas activity, there has been a significant increase in international business degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The curriculum is balanced between business-technical knowledge courses and cultural knowledge courses. (SK)

  14. Disentangling the relationship of the Australian marsupial orders using retrotransposon and evolutionary network analyses.

    PubMed

    Gallus, Susanne; Janke, Axel; Kumar, Vikas; Nilsson, Maria A

    2015-03-18

    The ancestors to the Australian marsupials entered Australia around 60 (54-72) Ma from Antarctica, and radiated into the four living orders Peramelemorphia, Dasyuromorphia, Diprotodontia, and Notoryctemorphia. The relationship between the four Australian marsupial orders has been a long-standing question, because different phylogenetic studies have not been able to consistently reconstruct the same topology. Initial in silico analysis of the Tasmanian devil genome and experimental screening in the seven marsupial orders revealed 20 informative transposable element insertions for resolving the inter- and intraordinal relationships of Australian and South American orders. However, the retrotransposon insertions support three conflicting topologies regarding Peramelemorphia, Dasyuromorphia, and Notoryctemorphia, indicating that the split between the three orders may be best understood as a network. This finding is supported by a phylogenetic reanalysis of nuclear gene sequences, using a consensus network approach that allows depicting hidden phylogenetic conflict, otherwise lost when forcing the data into a bifurcating tree. The consensus network analysis agrees with the transposable element analysis in that all possible topologies regarding Peramelemorphia, Dasyuromorphia, and Notoryctemorphia in a rooted four-taxon topology are equally well supported. In addition, retrotransposon insertion data support the South American order Didelphimorphia being the sistergroup to all other living marsupial orders. The four Australian orders originated within 3 Myr at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. The rapid divergences left conflicting phylogenetic information in the genome possibly generated by incomplete lineage sorting or introgressive hybridization, leaving the relationship among Australian marsupial orders unresolvable as a bifurcating process millions of years later.

  15. Health-Related Quality of Life of Australians with Parkinson Disease: A Comparison with International Studies

    PubMed Central

    McGinley, Jennifer L.; Watts, Jennifer J.; Iansek, Robert; Morris, Meg E.

    2012-01-01

    ABSTRACT Purpose: This study describes the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of Australians living with Parkinson disease (PD) and compares the findings to international reports. Methods: The Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire-39 (PDQ-39) was used to measure HRQOL in 210 individuals with PD living in Australia. In parallel, a tailored literature search identified previous studies on HROQL in people with PD. A quantitative meta-analysis with a random-effects model was used to compare the HRQOL of individuals with PD living in Australia and other countries. Results: The mean PDQ-39 summary index (SI) score for this sample of Australians with PD was 20.9 (SD 12.7). Ratings for the dimension of social support and stigma were significantly lower than ratings for bodily discomfort, mobility, activities of daily living, cognition, and emotional well-being. Comparing the Australian and international PD samples revealed a significant heterogeneity in overall HRQOL (I2=97%). The mean PDQ-39 SI scores for Australians were lower, indicating better HRQOL relative to samples from other countries. Conclusions: This Australian sample with PD perceived their HRQOL as poor, although it was less severely compromised than that of international samples. While further research is required, these findings can inform the clinical decision-making processes of physiotherapists. PMID:23997388

  16. ANSTO: Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization conducts or is engaged in collaborative research and development in the application of nuclear science and associated technology. Through its Australian radio-isotopes unit, it markets radioisotopes, their products and other services for the nuclear medicine industry and research. It also operates national nuclear facilities (HIFAR and Moata research reactors), promotes training, provides advice and disseminates information on nuclear science and technology. The booklet briefly outlines these activities.

  17. Why Do Chinese-Australian Students Outperform Their Australian Peers in Mathematics: A Comparative Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhao, Dacheng; Singh, Michael

    2011-01-01

    International comparative studies and cross-cultural studies of mathematics achievement indicate that Chinese students (whether living in or outside China) consistently outperform their Western counterparts. This study shows that the gap between Chinese-Australian and other Australian students is best explained by differences in motivation to…

  18. Australian Thesaurus of Education Descriptors. A Word-Stock for Indexing and Retrieving Australian Educational Literature.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lavender, G. B.; Findlay, Margaret A.

    This core thesaurus of terms suitable for indexing Australian educational literature was developed by the Australian Council for Educational Research by means of a systematic and thorough revision of the "Thesaurus of ERIC Descriptors." Based on the actual terminology of education in Australia, this thesaurus includes: key words and…

  19. Issues and Directions from a Review of the Australian Apprenticeship and Traineeship Literature. Australian Apprenticeships.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saunders, S.

    This paper synthesizes issues and directions that a review of Australian apprenticeship and traineeship literature suggested. An overview discusses the paper's basis, which was a survey of 125 Australian references from 1985-99. Chapter 2 categorizes issues into seven groups, discusses them, and draws out salient themes. (The groups concerned…

  20. Marine Biodiversity in the Australian Region

    PubMed Central

    Butler, Alan J.; Rees, Tony; Beesley, Pam; Bax, Nicholas J.

    2010-01-01

    The entire Australian marine jurisdictional area, including offshore and sub-Antarctic islands, is considered in this paper. Most records, however, come from the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) around the continent of Australia itself. The counts of species have been obtained from four primary databases (the Australian Faunal Directory, Codes for Australian Aquatic Biota, Online Zoological Collections of Australian Museums, and the Australian node of the Ocean Biogeographic Information System), but even these are an underestimate of described species. In addition, some partially completed databases for particular taxonomic groups, and specialized databases (for introduced and threatened species) have been used. Experts also provided estimates of the number of known species not yet in the major databases. For only some groups could we obtain an (expert opinion) estimate of undiscovered species. The databases provide patchy information about endemism, levels of threat, and introductions. We conclude that there are about 33,000 marine species (mainly animals) in the major databases, of which 130 are introduced, 58 listed as threatened and an unknown percentage endemic. An estimated 17,000 more named species are either known from the Australian EEZ but not in the present databases, or potentially occur there. It is crudely estimated that there may be as many as 250,000 species (known and yet to be discovered) in the Australian EEZ. For 17 higher taxa, there is sufficient detail for subdivision by Large Marine Domains, for comparison with other National and Regional Implementation Committees of the Census of Marine Life. Taxonomic expertise in Australia is unevenly distributed across taxa, and declining. Comments are given briefly on biodiversity management measures in Australia, including but not limited to marine protected areas. PMID:20689847

  1. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers and polybrominated biphenyls in Australian sewage sludge.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Bradley; Porter, Nichola; Symons, Robert; Marriott, Philip; Ades, Peter; Stevenson, Gavin; Blackbeard, Judy

    2008-10-01

    This paper presents a brief review of the international scientific literature of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) in sewage sludge and a survey of these compounds in sewage sludge from 16 Australian wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). The SigmaPBDE mean concentration in the Australian study was 1137microgkg(-1) dry weight (d.w.) (s.d. 1116) and ranged between 5 and 4 230microgkg(-1)d.w. The urban mean of 1308microgkg(-1) (s.d. 1320) and the rural mean of 911microgkg(-1) (s.d. 831) are not statistically different and are similar to levels in European sludges. Principal components analysis was performed on the data set and revealed that 76% of the data variation could be explained by two components that corresponded to overall concentration of the pentaBDE and the decaBDE commercial formulations. An analysis of variance was performed comparing PBDEs levels at three WWTPs over the years 2005 and 2006, finding differences between treatment plants (BDE-47) but no significant difference in PBDE levels in the years 2005 and 2006. Low levels of BB-153 were detected in all samples of this survey (n=16); mean 0.6microgkg(-1)d.w. (s.d. 0.5). This compound has rarely been reported in any other study of sewage sludges undertaken outside Australia. This work highlights the need for a risk assessment of PBDEs in sewage sludge when used for land application, taking into account typical levels found in Australian sludges and soils.

  2. Movement Profiles, Match Events, and Performance in Australian Football.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Richard J; Watsford, Mark L; Austin, Damien J; Pine, Matthew J; Spurrs, Robert W

    2016-08-01

    Johnston, RJ, Watsford, ML, Austin, D, Pine, MJ, and Spurrs, RW. Movement profiles, match events, and performance in Australian football. J Strength Cond Res 30(8): 2129-2137, 2016-This study examined the relationship between movement demands, match events, and match performance in professional Australian football. Data were collected from 19 players using global positioning system units during 2 Australian Football League seasons. A range of movement demands and instantaneous power measures were collected. The players were divided into high-caliber (HC, ≥17/20) and low-caliber (LC, ≤8/20) groups based on the rating score by their coaches. A Mann-Whitney U-test, independent samples t-test, and effect sizes were used to determine whether any differences existed between the 2 groups. The HC group had a significantly higher match duration (7.2%), higher total distance (9.6%), and covered more distance and spent more time high-speed running per minute (12.7 and 11.9%). Although not significant, the effect sizes revealed that the HC group tended to have a higher mean metabolic power output (2.6%) and spent more time at the high power zone (7.9%). For the match event data, the HC group had significantly more involvements with the football. The results demonstrated the higher physical demands placed on the HC group. The findings suggest that analyzing instantaneous power measures can provide valuable information about the physical demands placed on team sport athletes to coaches and conditioning staff.

  3. Modelling Choice: Factors Influencing Modes of Delivery in Australian Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Andrew; Ling, Peter; Hill, Doug

    2008-01-01

    This paper reports the findings of a study of Multiple Modes of Delivery in Australian universities that was commissioned by Australian Universities Teaching Committee over the period 2001-2004. The project examined and described the various means of educational delivery deployed by Australian universities. It identified the pedagogical,…

  4. Australian Indigenous Perspectives on Quality Assurance in Children's Services

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hutchins, Teresa; Frances, Katie; Saggers, Sherry

    2009-01-01

    The Australian Government has recently committed to the development of an integrated system of assuring national quality standards for Australian childcare and preschool services (Australian Government, 2008). This article addresses two fundamental issues relating to the development of an integrated system as it applies to Indigenous children's…

  5. Drama in the Australian National Curriculum: Decisions, Tensions and Uncertainties

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stinson, Madonna; Saunders, John Nicholas

    2016-01-01

    In September 2015, the Australian Federal Government endorsed the final version of the Australian Curriculum arts framework a document resulting from nearly seven years of consultation and development. "The Australian Curriculum: The Arts Version 8.0" comprises five subjects: dance, drama, media arts, music and visual arts. This article…

  6. Building Innovation: Learning with Technologies. Australian Education Review Number 56

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moyle, Kathryn

    2010-01-01

    Australian Education Review (AER) 56 explores national and international policy priorities for building students' innovation capabilities through information and communication technologies (ICT) in Australian schools. Section 1 sets out the Australian policy context for digital education and highlights some of the emerging challenges. It provides…

  7. Data Convergence - An Australian Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, S. S.; Howell, B.

    2012-12-01

    Coupled numerical physical, biogeochemical and sediment models are increasingly being used as integrators to help understand the cumulative or far field effects of change in the coastal environment. This reliance on modeling has forced observations to be delivered as data streams ingestible by modeling frameworks. This has made it easier to create near real-time or forecasting models than to try to recreate the past, and has lead in turn to the conversion of historical data into data streams to allow them to be ingested by the same frameworks. The model and observation frameworks under development within Australia's Commonwealth and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) are now feeding into the Australian Ocean Data Network's (AODN's) MARine Virtual Laboratory (MARVL) . The sensor, or data stream, brokering solution is centred around the "message" and all data flowing through the gateway is wrapped as a message. Messages consist of a topic and a data object and their routing through the gateway to pre-processors and listeners is determined by the topic. The Sensor Message Gateway (SMG) method is allowing data from different sensors measuring the same thing but with different temporal resolutions, units or spatial coverage to be ingested or visualized seamlessly. At the same time the model output as a virtual sensor is being explored, this again being enabled by the SMG. It is only for two way communications with sensor that rigorous adherence to standards is needed, by accepting existing data in less than ideal formats, but exposing them though the SMG we can move a step closer to the Internet Of Things by creating an Internet of Industries where each vested interest can continue with business as usual, contribute to data convergence and adopt more open standards when investment seems appropriate to that sector or business.Architecture Overview

  8. Microbial Communities of Three Sympatric Australian Stingless Bee Species

    PubMed Central

    Leonhardt, Sara D.; Kaltenpoth, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Bacterial symbionts of insects have received increasing attention due to their prominent role in nutrient acquisition and defense. In social bees, symbiotic bacteria can maintain colony homeostasis and fitness, and the loss or alteration of the bacterial community may be associated with the ongoing bee decline observed worldwide. However, analyses of microbiota associated with bees have been largely confined to the social honeybees (Apis mellifera) and bumblebees (Bombus spec.), revealing – among other taxa – host-specific lactic acid bacteria (LAB, genus Lactobacillus) that are not found in solitary bees. Here, we characterized the microbiota of three Australian stingless bee species (Apidae: Meliponini) of two phylogenetically distant genera (Tetragonula and Austroplebeia). Besides common plant bacteria, we find LAB in all three species, showing that LAB are shared by honeybees, bumblebees and stingless bees across geographical regions. However, while LAB of the honeybee-associated Firm4–5 clusters were present in Tetragonula, they were lacking in Austroplebeia. Instead, we found a novel clade of likely host-specific LAB in all three Australian stingless bee species which forms a sister clade to a large cluster of Halictidae-associated lactobacilli. Our findings indicate both a phylogenetic and geographical signal of host-specific LAB in stingless bees and highlight stingless bees as an interesting group to investigate the evolutionary history of the bee-LAB association. PMID:25148082

  9. Locus equations and coarticulation in three Australian languages.

    PubMed

    Graetzer, Simone; Fletcher, Janet; Hajek, John

    2015-02-01

    Locus equations were applied to F2 data for bilabial, alveolar, retroflex, palatal, and velar plosives in three Australian languages. In addition, F2 variance at the vowel-consonant boundary, and, by extension, consonantal coarticulatory sensitivity, was measured. The locus equation slopes revealed that there were place-dependent differences in the magnitude of vowel-to-consonant coarticulation. As in previous studies, the non-coronal (bilabial and velar) consonants tended to be associated with the highest slopes, palatal consonants tended to be associated with the lowest slopes, and alveolar and retroflex slopes tended to be low to intermediate. Similarly, F2 variance measurements indicated that non-coronals displayed greater coarticulatory sensitivity to adjacent vowels than did coronals. Thus, both the magnitude of vowel-to-consonant coarticulation and the magnitude of consonantal coarticulatory sensitivity were seen to vary inversely with the magnitude of consonantal articulatory constraint. The findings indicated that, unlike results reported previously for European languages such as English, anticipatory vowel-to-consonant coarticulation tends to exceed carryover coarticulation in these Australian languages. Accordingly, on the F2 variance measure, consonants tended to be more sensitive to the coarticulatory effects of the following vowel. Prosodic prominence of vowels was a less significant factor in general, although certain language-specific patterns were observed.

  10. Selection of the Australian indicator region

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reed, C. R. (Principal Investigator)

    1981-01-01

    Each Australian state was examined for the availability of LANDSAT data, area, yield, and production characteristics, statistics, crop calendars, and other ancillary data. Agrophysical conditions that could influence labeling and classification accuracies were identified in connection with the highest producing states as determined from available Australian crop statistics. Based primarily on these production statistics, Western Australia and New South Wales were selected as the wheat indicator region for Australia. The general characteristics of wheat in the indicator region, with potential problems anticipated for proportion estimation are considered. The varieties of wheat, the diseases and pests common to New South Wales, and the wheat growing regions of both states are examined.

  11. Successes, challenges and developments in Australian rheumatology.

    PubMed

    Morand, Eric F; Leech, Michelle T

    2015-07-01

    Australia is a geographically vast but sparsely populated country with many unique factors affecting the practice of rheumatology. With a population comprising minority Indigenous peoples, a historically European-origin majority population, and recent large-scale migration from Asia, the effect of ethnic diversity on the phenotype of rheumatic diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a constant of Australian rheumatology practice. Australia has a strong system of universal healthcare and subsidized access to medications, and clinical and research rheumatology are well developed, but inequitable access to specialist care in urban and regional centres, and the complex disconnected structure of the Australian healthcare system, can hinder the management of chronic diseases.

  12. Phenylphenalenones from the Australian plant Haemodorum simplex.

    PubMed

    Dias, Daniel Anthony; Goble, David James; Silva, Claudio Andres; Urban, Sylvia

    2009-06-01

    Chemical investigation of the Australian plant Haemodorum simplex resulted in the isolation of three new phenylphenalenones, haemodorone (10), haemodorol (11), and haemodorose (12), together with the previously reported compounds 5, dilatrin (6), and xiphidone (8). The first complete 2D NMR characterization for all of the compounds isolated, including several chemical shift reassignments for dilatrin (6), is reported. In addition this is one of the few reports to discuss the isolation of new phenylphenalenones from an Australian medicinal plant. The crude extract of both the bulbaceous and aerial components of the plant exhibited varying degrees of antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral activity, and only the bulbs displayed potent cytotoxic activity.

  13. Mercury concentrations in the Australian fur seal Arctocephalus pusillus from SE Australian waters

    SciTech Connect

    Bacher, G.J.

    1985-10-01

    Marine carnivores such as seals and sea lions occupy an important position in the upper trophic level of the marine food web and this, together with their longevity, makes these marine mammals useful indicators of mercury accumulation in the marine environment. Little information exists on mercury concentrations in marine mammals from the southern hemisphere. This paper reports total mercury concentrations in the tissues of the Australian Fur Seal Arctocephalus pusillus from southeastern Australian waters.

  14. The Asian currency crisis and the Australian health industry.

    PubMed

    Barraclough, S

    1998-01-01

    This article identifies linkages between the Australian health industry and the global economy. It discusses some of the consequences of the Asian currency crisis of 1997-98 for the Australian economy and health industry, with special emphasis upon exports. Devaluation of the Australian dollar will increase the cost of most pharmaceutical and medical imports, but may offer competitive advantages to some Australian exporters. The nascent engagement with Asia of many health industry enterprises is likely to be stifled. It is therefore important for Australian governments, as well as the Australian health industry, to provide intelligence and encouragement to those enterprises that wish to continue their engagement with Asia or resume it when economic equilibrium returns. Markets throughout the world must also be further developed. The crisis may therefore provide the stimulus for re-thinking and re-stating Australian health export policy.

  15. Is There Cultural Safety in Australian Universities?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rochecouste, Judith; Oliver, Rhonda; Bennell, Debra

    2014-01-01

    This paper examines the cultural safety offered to Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students within their university environments. In the context of this paper, cultural safety includes cultural competency, as recently subscribed by Universities Australia, and "extends beyond (to) cultural awareness and cultural…

  16. Understanding Australian Aboriginal Tertiary Student Needs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oliver, Rhonda; Rochecouste, Judith; Bennell, Debra; Anderson, Roz; Cooper, Inala; Forrest, Simon; Exell, Mike

    2013-01-01

    Drawing from a study of the experiences of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander university students, this paper presents an overview of the specific needs of these students as they enter and progress through their tertiary education. Extracts from a set of case studies developed from both staff and student interviews and an online…

  17. Western Australian School Students' Understanding of Biotechnology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dawson, Vaille; Schibeci, Renato

    2003-01-01

    Surveys (n=1116) 15-year-old students from 11 Western Australian schools to determine their understanding of and attitude towards recent advances in modern biotechnology. Discusses reasons for students' over-estimation of the use of biotechnology in society. Provides a rationale for the inclusion of biotechnology, a cutting edge science, in the…

  18. Revitalising Languages in Australian Universities: What Chance?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lo Bianco, Joseph

    2009-01-01

    Institutions of higher education teach fewer languages, in less secure ways, for less time per week, for shorter periods, by an increasingly casually employed staff, in often underfunded, underappreciated and under stress modes, but participants in the Australian Academy of the Humanities' "Beyond the Crisis: Revitalising Languages in…

  19. Australian National University Science Extension Day

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fletcher, Sarah

    2016-01-01

    The first Australian National University (ANU) Science Extension Day was held on September 8, 2015. The ANU Science Extension Day is a project that was initiated by Theodore Primary School (ACT) and developed by Theodore Primary, Calwell High School, Science Educators Association of the ACT (SEA*ACT), and the ANU. The project was developed with a…

  20. Does Academic Work Make Australian Academics Happy?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duncan, Roderick; Tilbrook, Kerry; Krivokapic-Skoko, Branka

    2015-01-01

    Happiness research is a rapidly-growing area in social psychology and has emphasised the link between happiness and workplace productivity and creativity for knowledge workers. Recent articles in this journal have raised concerns about the level of happiness and engagement of Australian academics with their work, however there is little research…

  1. Intergenerational Challenges in Australian Jewish School Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gross, Zehavit; Rutland, Suzanne D.

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this research is to investigate the intergenerational changes that have occurred in Australian Jewish day schools and the challenges these pose for religious and Jewish education. Using a grounded theory approach according to the constant comparative method (Strauss 1987), data from three sources (interviews [296], observations [27],…

  2. Brain drain threat to Australian science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banks, Michael

    2011-11-01

    Around half of all academics in Australia intend to retire, move to an overseas university or leave Australian higher education within the next 10 years, according to a survey of more than 5500 researchers based at 20 universities in the country.

  3. Linguistic Aspects of Australian Aboriginal English

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Butcher, Andrew

    2008-01-01

    It is probable that the majority of the 455 000 strong Aboriginal population of Australia speak some form of Australian Aboriginal English (AAE) at least some of the time and that it is the first (and only) language of many Aboriginal children. This means their language is somewhere on a continuum ranging from something very close to Standard…

  4. Professional Standards for Australian Special Education Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dempsey, Ian; Dally, Kerry

    2014-01-01

    Although professional standards for Australian teachers were developed several years ago, this country is yet to develop such standards for special education teachers. The lack of standards for the special education profession is associated with the absence of a consistent process of accreditation in Australia and a lack of clarity in the pathways…

  5. Australian University Libraries: Collections Overlap Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Missingham, Roxanne; Walls, Robert

    2003-01-01

    In 2002, the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST), Higher Education Information Infrastructure Advisory Committee commissioned the National Library of Australia to analyse the uniqueness and overlap of Australian university library collections, comparing library collections in each state, using the National Bibliographic Database…

  6. Conversion Disorder in Australian Pediatric Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kozlowska, Kasia; Nunn, Kenneth P.; Rose, Donna; Morris, Anne; Ouvrier, Robert A.; Varghese, John

    2007-01-01

    Objectives: To describe the incidence and clinical features of children presenting to Australian child health specialists with conversion disorder. Method: Active, national surveillance of conversion disorder in children younger than 16 years of age during 2002 and 2003. Results: A total of 194 children were reported on. The average age was 11.8…

  7. Australian Education Journals: Quantitative and Qualitative Indicators

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haddow, Gaby; Genoni, Paul

    2009-01-01

    This paper reports on a study that applied citation-based measurements to Australian education journals. Citations data were drawn from two sources, Web of Science and Scopus, and these data were used to calculate each journal's impact factor, "h"-index, and diffusion factor. The rankings resulting from these analyses were compared with…

  8. Education for Sustainability and the Australian Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kennelly, Julie; Taylor, Neil; Serow, Pep

    2011-01-01

    A national curriculum is presently being developed in Australia with implementation due during 2014. Associated standards for the accreditation of teachers and for teacher education providers have been prepared with the standards describing skills and attributes that teachers are expected to attain. The developing Australian Curriculum, along with…

  9. Markets, Distance Education, and Australian Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nunan, Ted

    2005-01-01

    The paper argues that the Australian university system is unstable. There will be significant change as government implements its reform agenda and even more radical change if it moves to new deregulation. The role of distance education in university education needs to be analyzed against this "market" agenda of government in terms of…

  10. Open Learning: The Unique Australian Option.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Latchem, Colin; Pritchard, Tony

    1994-01-01

    Describes Open Learning Australia (OLA), a national program that was developed to widen and facilitate access to undergraduate education by providing open admission. Highlights include other Australian distance education programs; services provided by OLA and those provided by participating universities; electronic support services; fees; and…

  11. Homelessness: An Annotated Bibliography of Australian Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Loft, Jenny, Comp.; Davis, Mari, Comp.

    This bibliography, compiled for the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless, lists Australian works published since 1974 about homelessness. It includes definitions of homelessness from the literature and an introductory article looking at different perspectives on homelessness. The entries, mainly taken from FAMILY database, are each…

  12. A survey of Australian haematology reference intervals.

    PubMed

    Sinclair, Leanne; Hall, Sara; Badrick, Tony

    2014-10-01

    This study was designed to create a snapshot of Australian haematology reference intervals (RIs) in use, in particular red cell parameters. We present an analysis of survey results conducted across Australian laboratories between November 2012 and January 2013.All Australian laboratories enrolled in the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia Quality Assurance Program (RCPA QAP) were invited to participate in the December 2012 Survey Monkey survey, with a response from 85 laboratories (17%) received. The scope included laboratory demographics (location, size/throughput, and network), RIs in use for the full blood count and selected derived parameters, their frequency of revision, source and statistical approach for derivation. Further questions related to uncertainty of measurement, pregnancy values, paediatric/adult cut-off, haematology profiles reported and the use of extended parameters.There is more consistency with some upper and lower limits than others, and wide ranges for reported uncertainty of measurement (UM). There is no apparent consistency with RIs used for particular instruments and technologies. When laboratories change their RIs, most obtain them from a text book, paper or another laboratory and have difficulty in determining the source. If they do determine their own, most don't have a standard operating procedure and calculations are not consistent in terms of sample size and statistical methods used.We have presented evidence of the wide variations in RIs used in Australian laboratories and that arguably these do not differ significantly from each other. The paediatric age cut-off requires standardisation.

  13. Marketing in the Australian Higher Education Sector

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Favaloro, Chrissa

    2015-01-01

    This article examines domestic marketing in the Australian higher education sector, specifically, the marketing investment patterns of universities and their levels of student growth as a return on marketing investment. Marketing expenditure by universities has risen 23 per cent in the five years to 2013, with several institutions allocating in…

  14. Australian Study Cites Low English Standards

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cohen, David

    2007-01-01

    This article reports the findings of a study showing that one-third of all foreign students who studied at Australian universities speak English so poorly that they should never have been granted visas to study in the country in the first place. The study, by Robert Birrell, director of the Centre for Population and Urban Research at Australia's…

  15. OZI: Australian English Communicative Development Inventory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kalashnikova, Marina; Schwarz, Iris-Corinna; Burnham, Denis

    2016-01-01

    For more than 20 years, the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory (CDI) and its adaptations for languages other than English have been used as reliable measures of infants' and toddlers' early receptive and productive vocabulary size. This article introduces the OZI, the Australian English adaptation of the MacArthur-Bates CDI, now…

  16. Citizen Child: Australian Law and Children's Rights.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Funder, Kathleen, Ed.

    Ratification by Australia of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990 acted as a potent stimulus for a series of debates and controversies concerning the place of children in Australian society. The debate has largely taken place in relatively specialized forums involving lawyers, members of the judiciary, social…

  17. Reshaping Australian Education, 1960-1985.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Connell, W. F.

    This book provides an overview of the educational events and ideas that emerged in Australia during the years 1960 to 1985. It offers a comprehensive view of Australian education, covering all levels from kindergarten to university. Focusing on the remodelling of curricula and the teaching process, the book describes and assesses the…

  18. Australian Teachers' Careers. Teachers in Society.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maclean, Rupert, Ed.; McKenzie, Phillip, Ed.

    This book focuses on career patterns and promotion of Australian school teachers. Following an introduction by the editors, the book is divided into 4 parts: Part 1, entitled "Understanding Teachers' Careers" includes 2 chapters: (l) "Teachers' Careers: A Conceptual Framework" (Rupert Maclean); and (2) "Teachers' Work: A…

  19. Native Americans and Aboriginal Australian Stereotypes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muir, Sharon Pray

    Aboriginal Australians represent 1.5% of Australia's population, nearly double the percentage of native people in the U.S. population. While indigenous peoples throughout the world share common similarities, particularly contemporary issues and their spiritual regard for nature, many aspects of their lifestyles are different, such as governance,…

  20. The Dawkins Reconstruction of Australian Higher Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harman, Grant

    Aspects of recent changes in Australian higher education are explored, with focus on the Dawkins Agenda, which is related to the current political and economic situation. Questions about the success of John Dawkins, Federal Minister for Employment, Education and Training, in regard to higher education are raised (why he has been successful and…

  1. Should there be an Australian Army Association?

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-12-15

    plans. Warnings. Bad news on the economic horizon? The regulatory front? In the courts? Associations serve as "early warning systems" for their...prohibited from having economic activities as their primary purpose. Under Australian state and federal legislation, bodies that seek to be political

  2. Making Space for Multilingualism in Australian Schooling

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turner, Marianne; Cross, Russell

    2016-01-01

    In this article we introduce the special issue: Language(s) across the curriculum in Australian schools. The special issue includes a focus on English as an additional language in mainstream classes, Indigenous education, heritage languages and foreign languages, and we give background to these different--though frequently overlapping--contexts.…

  3. Voluntary Group Participation by Third Age Australians.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mayhew, Claire; Swindell, Rick

    A study investigated characteristics of retirees and types of voluntary groups they joined after retirement. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews and completed questionnaires of 206 Australians over age 50. Five categories of voluntary organizations were studied: intellectually challenging, sporting/exercise, social, helping others,…

  4. Learning Choices, Older Australians and Active Ageing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boulton-Lewis, Gillian M.; Buys, Laurie

    2015-01-01

    This paper reports on the findings of qualitative, semistructured interviews conducted with 40 older Australian participants who either did or did not engage in organized learning. Phenomenology was used to guide the interviews and analysis to explore the lived learning experiences and perspectives of these older people. Their experiences of…

  5. Synergy, 2003. Australian Transcultural Mental Health Network.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Australian Transcultural Mental Health Network, Parramatta.

    Each issue in the 2002 edition of the Australian Transcultural Mental Health Network (ATMHN) newsletter represents a theme critical to mental health practitioners. The Winter 2002 issue features articles on the psychological consequences of interpreters in relation to working with torture and trauma clients, addressing language issues on mental…

  6. Publications of Australian LIS Academics in Databases

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Concepcion S.; Boell, Sebastian K.; Kennan, Mary Anne; Willard, Patricia

    2011-01-01

    This paper examines aspects of journal articles published from 1967 to 2008, located in eight databases, and authored or co-authored by academics serving for at least two years in Australian LIS programs from 1959 to 2008. These aspects are: inclusion of publications in databases, publications in journals, authorship characteristics of…

  7. Young Australians: Their Health and Wellbeing 2011

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Milnes, Annette; Pegrum, Karen; Nebe, Brett; Topfer, Alex; Gaal, Lisa; Zhang, Jessica; Hunter, Nicole

    2011-01-01

    This paper is the fourth in a series of national statistical reports on young people aged 12-24 years produced by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). This report provides the latest available information on how Australia's young people are faring according to national indicators of health and wellbeing. Many young Australians…

  8. Locational Issues in New Apprenticeships. Australian Apprenticeships.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dumbrell, T.; Finnegan, W.; de Montfort, R.

    A study examined geographical distribution of Australian apprenticeship commencements (ACs) in the context of various labor force and population statistics by industry, location of jobs by industry, and youth population. Apprenticeship and traineeship statistics between 1995-98 were examined to demonstrate differences in development of the system…

  9. Australian Allograpta Osten Sacken (Diptera, Syrphidae)

    PubMed Central

    Mengual, Ximo; Thompson, F. Christian

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Allograpta terraenovae sp. n. and Allograpta notiale sp. n. are described from Australia. Notes on the Australian species of Allograpta and an identification key to them are also given. The lectotype of Allograpta javana Wiedemann is designated, and the species Syrphus pallidus Bigot is synonymized under Allograpta australensis (Schiner). PMID:26257569

  10. Commercial Activities and Copyright in Australian Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shelly, Marita

    2008-01-01

    With government funding for most Australian universities below 60% and falling a major strategic emphasis for universities has been on securing other sources of operating revenue, including commercial opportunities and partnerships. The implication of increasing commercial activities such as non-award and tailored professional programmes, contract…

  11. Financial Management and Young Australian Workers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dowling, Nicki; Hoiles, Lauren; Corney, Tim; Clark, David

    2008-01-01

    In two studies of young Australian workers, participants generally displayed positive attitudes towards financial management practices; however, a substantial proportion failed to display positive financial management practices, experienced financial problems and dissatisfaction, and reported low rates of seeking financial assistance, particularly…

  12. Box Plots in the Australian Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Watson, Jane M.

    2012-01-01

    This article compares the definition of "box plot" as used in the "Australian Curriculum: Mathematics" with other definitions used in the education community; describes the difficulties students experience when dealing with box plots; and discusses the elaboration that is necessary to enable teachers to develop the knowledge…

  13. Ethnicity and Gender in Australian Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harvey, Jim

    The Australian education system is denying equity and social justice to ethnic minorities and women. This paper examines the development of Australia's educational policy for those two groups. It argues that the educational disadvantages they have experienced have been enhanced by the marginalization of the issues. Policies such as multicultural…

  14. Inclusion and Equity in Australian Secondary Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Paterson, David; Graham, Lorraine; Stevens, Robert

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents findings from a large-scale, in-depth study of secondary schools in one Australian state that were achieving exceptional outcomes. The element of that study on which this paper focuses is equity and inclusion. We examine the Equity programs operating in seven sites where schools were including students experiencing some form of…

  15. The Australians--A "Fair Go" People.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hurst, Herschel

    1984-01-01

    Australians are known for their egalitarian spirit, manifested by a dislike of social pretension and affectation. A brief history of the country from the time of its establishment in 1788 as a dumping ground for Britain's unwanted criminals to the present is presented. (RM)

  16. Sustainability in the Australian Curriculum: Geography

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maude, Alaric

    2014-01-01

    "Sustainability" is one of the seven major concepts in the geography curriculum. It is also one of the three cross-curriculum priorities in the Australian curriculum, together with Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures. This paper describes how the concept is explained…

  17. Australian Children's Understanding of Display Rules

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Choy, Grace

    2009-01-01

    Cultural display rules govern the manifestation of emotional expressions. In compliance with display rules, the facial expressions displayed (i.e. apparent emotion) may be incongruent with the emotion experienced (i.e. real emotion). This study investigates Australian Caucasian children's understanding of display rules. A sample of 80 four year…

  18. After Bureaucracy, What?: An Australian Case Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rice, Alan

    1983-01-01

    In the Australian state of Victoria, control of academic curriculum has shifted from the bureaucrats to locally based teacher networks and statewide associations which limit subject scope and teaching styles. However, curriculum has not changed significantly, indicating that institutional reforms do not necessarily result in radical alterations of…

  19. Mature Age Students in Australian Higher Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hore, Terry; West, Leo H. T.

    A study was undertaken, in 1976 and for the three following years, of adult students in Australian higher education. The study examined: (1) the phenomenon of adult students and the extent of their involvement in higher education; (2) the politics and practices of institutions towards these students; (3) staff attitudes in the courses; (4) adult…

  20. Developments in Australian Agricultural and Related Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McSweeney, Peter; Rayner, John

    2011-01-01

    While the calm waters metaphor might explain the changes navigated by Australian agricultural education through most of its history, the last 20 or so years have been very turbulent. Now, the new millennium sees agricultural education in both Australia and the Western world facing a different and less certain future. This paper analyses some of…

  1. Australian orchids and the doctors they commemorate.

    PubMed

    Pearn, John H

    2013-01-21

    Botanical taxonomy is a repository of medical biographical information. Such botanical memorials include the names of some indigenous orchids of Australia. By searching reference texts and journals relating to Australian botany and Australian orchidology, as well as Australian and international medical and botanical biographical texts, I identified 30 orchids indigenous to Australia whose names commemorate doctors and other medical professionals. Of these, 24 have names that commemorate a total of 16 doctors who worked in Australia. The doctors and orchids I identified include: doctor-soldiers Richard Sanders Rogers (1862-1942), after whom the Rogers' Greenhood (Pterostylis rogersii) is named, and Robert Brown (1773-1858), after whom the Purple Enamel Orchid (Elythranthera brunonis) is named; navy surgeon Archibald Menzies (1754-1842), after whom the Hare Orchid (Leptoceras menziesii) is named; radiologist Hugo Flecker (1884-1957) after whom the Slender Sphinx Orchid (Cestichis fleckeri) is named; and general medical practitioner Hereward Leighton Kesteven (1881-1964), after whom the Kesteven's Orchid (Dendrobium kestevenii) is named. Biographic references in scientific names of plants comprise a select but important library of Australian medical history. Such botanical taxonomy commemorates, in an enduring manner, clinicians who have contributed to biology outside clinical practice.

  2. Identification and partial characterisation of a new Lagovirus in Australian wild rabbits.

    PubMed

    Strive, T; Wright, J D; Robinson, A J

    2009-02-05

    Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV) is widely used in Australia to control feral rabbit populations. Before RHDV was released on the Australian continent in 1996, antibodies cross-reacting in RHDV specific ELISAs were found in Australian wild rabbits, leading to the hypothesis that a non-pathogenic calicivirus had been circulating in rabbit populations in Australia, potentially providing some level of cross-immunoprotection to RHDV infection. For the detection of this putative virus, a universal lagovirus PCR test was developed to screen a variety of different tissues of wild caught rabbits. We identified a new lagovirus in the intestinal tissues of three apparently healthy young wild rabbits. Quantitative Real Time PCR analysis revealed high concentrations of viral RNA in intestinal tissues and suggests a faecal-oral mode of transmission. Genome organisation and phylogenetic analysis following the sequencing of the entire viral genome revealed a new member of the genus Lagovirus within the family Caliciviridae.

  3. Write On or Write Off? An Exploration of Asian International Students' Approaches to Essay Writing at an Australian University

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Green, Wendy

    2007-01-01

    This paper investigates the approaches taken to essay writing by five Asian international students at an Australian university. Analysis of their in-depth interviews reveals links between their perceptions of learning, their perceptions of essay writing, their motivation for completing the task, and their awareness of the structural conventions of…

  4. Social Gradients in the Health of Indigenous Australians

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jianghong; Zubrick, Stephen R.

    2012-01-01

    The pattern of association between socioeconomic factors and health outcomes has primarily depicted better health for those who are higher in the social hierarchy. Although this is a ubiquitous finding in the health literature, little is known about the interplay between these factors among indigenous populations. We begin to bridge this knowledge gap by assessing evidence on social gradients in indigenous health in Australia. We reveal a less universal and less consistent socioeconomic status patterning in health among Indigenous Australians, and discuss the plausibility of unique historical circumstances and social and cultural characteristics in explaining these patterns. A more robust evidence base in this field is fundamental to processes that aim to reduce the pervasive disparities between indigenous and nonindigenous population health. PMID:22095336

  5. Factors influencing food choice in an Australian Aboriginal community.

    PubMed

    Brimblecombe, Julie; Maypilama, Elaine; Colles, Susan; Scarlett, Maria; Dhurrkay, Joanne Garnggulkpuy; Ritchie, Jan; O'Dea, Kerin

    2014-03-01

    We explored with Aboriginal adults living in a remote Australian community the social context of food choice and factors perceived to shape food choice. An ethnographic approach of prolonged community engagement over 3 years was augmented by interviews. Our findings revealed that knowledge, health, and resources supporting food choice were considered "out of balance," and this imbalance was seen to manifest in a Western-imposed diet lacking variety and overrelying on familiar staples. Participants felt ill-equipped to emulate the traditional pattern of knowledge transfer through passing food-related wisdom to younger generations. The traditional food system was considered key to providing the framework for learning about the contemporary food environment. Practitioners seeking to improve diet and health outcomes for this population should attend to past and present contexts of food in nutrition education, support the educative role of caregivers, address the high cost of food, and support access to traditional foods.

  6. Game story space of professional sports: Australian rules football

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiley, Dilan Patrick; Reagan, Andrew J.; Mitchell, Lewis; Danforth, Christopher M.; Dodds, Peter Sheridan

    2016-05-01

    Sports are spontaneous generators of stories. Through skill and chance, the script of each game is dynamically written in real time by players acting out possible trajectories allowed by a sport's rules. By properly characterizing a given sport's ecology of "game stories," we are able to capture the sport's capacity for unfolding interesting narratives, in part by contrasting them with random walks. Here we explore the game story space afforded by a data set of 1310 Australian Football League (AFL) score lines. We find that AFL games exhibit a continuous spectrum of stories rather than distinct clusters. We show how coarse graining reveals identifiable motifs ranging from last-minute comeback wins to one-sided blowouts. Through an extensive comparison with biased random walks, we show that real AFL games deliver a broader array of motifs than null models, and we provide consequent insights into the narrative appeal of real games.

  7. Phylogeographic patterns in New Zealand and temperate Australian cantharidines (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Trochidae: Cantharidinae): Trans-Tasman divergences are ancient.

    PubMed

    Donald, Kirsten M; Spencer, Hamish G

    2016-07-01

    Current taxonomic treatments of New Zealand and temperate Australian members of the gastropod subfamily Cantharidinae imply that species on either side of the Tasman Sea are closely related and, in some cases, congeneric. Such a close relationship, however, entails a relatively recent divergence of Australian and New Zealand lineages, which seems inconsistent with what is known about cantharidine larval development in general. In order to address these issues, mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences were used to ascertain how cantharidine genera became established over the wide geographical range of temperate Australia and New Zealand, including their subantarctic islands. Our robust and dated phylogenies (based on 16S, COI, 12S and 28S sequences) revealed that Australian and New Zealand species fall into endemic clades that have been separated for, at most, 35million years. This divergence date postdates a vicariant split by around 50million years and we suggest that, once again, long-distance trans-Tasman dispersal has played a pivotal role in molluscan evolution in this part of the world. Our results also show that the current classification requires revision. We recognize three genera (Cantharidus [comprising 2 subgenera: Cantharidus s.str. and Pseudomargarella n. subgen.], Micrelenchus [comprising 2 subgenera: Micrelenchus s.str. and Mawhero] and Roseaplagis n. gen.) for New Zealand cantharidine species. In our dated BEAST tree, these genera form a clade with the endemic Australian Prothalotia and South African Oxystele. Other temperate Australian cantharidines in our study fall into previously recognized genera (Phasianotrochus, Thalotia, Calthalotia), which are all quite distinct from Cantharidus in spite of some authors considering various of them to be possible synonyms. Finally, we remove the Australian genus Cantharidella from the Cantharidinae to the subfamily Trochinae and erect a new genus, Cratidentium n. gen., also in the Trochinae, to accommodate

  8. Climate impacts of Australian land cover change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawrence, P. J.

    2004-05-01

    Australian land cover has been dramatically altered since European settlement primarily for agricultural utilization, with native vegetation widely replaced or modified for cropping and intensive animal production. While there have been numerous investigations into the regional and near surface climate impacts of Australian land cover change, these investigation have not included the climate impacts of larger-scale changes in atmospheric circulation and their associated feedbacks, or the impacts of longer-term soil moisture feedbacks. In this research the CSIRO General Circulation Model (GCM) was used to investigate the climate impacts of Australian land cover change, with larger-scale and longer-term feedbacks. To avoid the common problem of overstating the magnitude and spatial extent of changes in land surface conditions prescribed in land cover change experiments, the current Australian land surface properties were described from finer-scale, satellite derived land cover datasets, with land surface conditions extrapolating from remnant native vegetation to pre-clearing extents to recreate the pre-clearing land surface properties. Aggregation rules were applied to the fine-scale data to generate the land surface parameters of the GCM, ensuring the equivalent sub-grid heterogeneity and land surface biogeophysics were captured in both the current and pre-clearing land surface parameters. The differences in climate simulated in the pre-clearing and current experiments were analyzed for changes in Australian continental and regional climate to assess the modeled climate impacts of Australian land cover change. The changes in modeled climate were compared to observed changes in Australian precipitation over the last 50 and 100 years to assess whether modeled results could be detected in the historical record. The differences in climate simulation also were analyzed at the global scale to assess the impacts of local changes on larger scale circulation and climate at

  9. Reviews and syntheses: Australian vegetation phenology: new insights from satellite remote sensing and digital repeat photography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Caitlin E.; Brown, Tim; Keenan, Trevor F.; Duursma, Remko A.; van Dijk, Albert I. J. M.; Beringer, Jason; Culvenor, Darius; Evans, Bradley; Huete, Alfredo; Hutley, Lindsay B.; Maier, Stefan; Restrepo-Coupe, Natalia; Sonnentag, Oliver; Specht, Alison; Taylor, Jeffrey R.; van Gorsel, Eva; Liddell, Michael J.

    2016-09-01

    Phenology is the study of periodic biological occurrences and can provide important insights into the influence of climatic variability and change on ecosystems. Understanding Australia's vegetation phenology is a challenge due to its diverse range of ecosystems, from savannas and tropical rainforests to temperate eucalypt woodlands, semi-arid scrublands, and alpine grasslands. These ecosystems exhibit marked differences in seasonal patterns of canopy development and plant life-cycle events, much of which deviates from the predictable seasonal phenological pulse of temperate deciduous and boreal biomes. Many Australian ecosystems are subject to irregular events (i.e. drought, flooding, cyclones, and fire) that can alter ecosystem composition, structure, and functioning just as much as seasonal change. We show how satellite remote sensing and ground-based digital repeat photography (i.e. phenocams) can be used to improve understanding of phenology in Australian ecosystems. First, we examine temporal variation in phenology on the continental scale using the enhanced vegetation index (EVI), calculated from MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data. Spatial gradients are revealed, ranging from regions with pronounced seasonality in canopy development (i.e. tropical savannas) to regions where seasonal variation is minimal (i.e. tropical rainforests) or high but irregular (i.e. arid ecosystems). Next, we use time series colour information extracted from phenocam imagery to illustrate a range of phenological signals in four contrasting Australian ecosystems. These include greening and senescing events in tropical savannas and temperate eucalypt understorey, as well as strong seasonal dynamics of individual trees in a seemingly static evergreen rainforest. We also demonstrate how phenology links with ecosystem gross primary productivity (from eddy covariance) and discuss why these processes are linked in some ecosystems but not others. We conclude that

  10. Isolation breeds naivety: island living robs Australian varanid lizards of toad-toxin immunity via four-base-pair mutation.

    PubMed

    Ujvari, Beata; Mun, Hee-chang; Conigrave, Arthur D; Bray, Alessandra; Osterkamp, Jens; Halling, Petter; Madsen, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Since their introduction to the toad-free Australian continent cane toads (Bufo marinus) have caused a dramatic increase in naïve varanid mortality when these large lizards attempt to feed on this toxic amphibian. In contrast Asian-African varanids, which have coevolved with toads, are resistant to toad toxin. Toad toxins, such as Bufalin target the H1-H2 domain of the α(1) subunit of the sodium-potassium-ATPase enzyme. Sequencing of this domain revealed identical nucleotide sequences in four Asian as well as in three African varanids, and identical sequences in all 11 Australian varanids. However, compared to the Asian-African varanids, the Australian varanids showed four-base-pair substitutions, resulting in the alteration in three of the 12 amino acids representing the H1-H2 domain. The phenotypic effect of the substitutions was investigated in human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells stably transfected with the Australian and the Asian-African H1-H2 domains. The transfections resulted in an approximate 3000-fold reduction in resistance to Bufalin in the Australian HEK293 cells compared to the Asian-African HEK293 cells, demonstrating the critical role of this minor mutation in providing Bufalin resistance. Our study hence presents a clear link between genotype and phenotype, a critical step in understanding the evolution of phenotypic diversity.

  11. USGS analysis of the Australian UNCLOS submission

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hutchinson, Deborah R.; Rowland, Robert W.

    2006-01-01

    In November 2004, the Government of Australia made a submission to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) for 10 extended continental shelf (ECS) regions, utilizing Article-76 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). With information provided in the Australian Executive Summary, the USGS examined the 10 regions of the submission from geological, morphological, and resource perspectives. By their own request, the Australians asked that CLCS take no action on the Australian-Antarctic Territory. The major limitation in this analysis is that no bathymetric soundings or detailed hydrographic profiles were provided in the Australian Executive Summary that might show why the Foot of the Slope (FOS) was chosen or where the 2,500-m contour is located. This represents a major limitation because more than half of the 4,205 boundary points utilize the bathymetric formula line and more than one-third of them utilize the bathymetric constraint line. CLCS decisions on the components of this submission may set a precedent for how ECSs are treated in future submissions. Some of the key decisions will cover (a) how a 'natural prolongation' of a continental margin is determined, particularly if a bathymetric saddle that appears to determine the prolongation is in deep water and is well outside of the 200-nm limit (Exmouth Plateau), (b) defining to what extent that plateaus, rises, caps, banks and spurs that are formed of oceanic crust and from oceanic processes can be considered to be 'natural prolongations' (Kerguelen Plateau), (c) to what degree UNCLOS recognizes reefs and uninhabited micro-islands (specifically, rocks and/or sand shoals) as islands that can have an EEZ (Middleton and Elizabeth Reefs north of Lord Howe Island), and (d) how the Foot of the Slope (FOS) is chosen (Great Australian Bight). The submission contains situations that are relevant to potential future U.S. submissions and are potentially analogous to certain

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Jennifer

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Venom Down Under: Dynamic Evolution of Australian Elapid Snake Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Timothy N. W.; Sunagar, Kartik; Undheim, Eivind A. B.; Koludarov, Ivan; Chan, Angelo H. C.; Sanders, Kate; Ali, Syed A.; Hendrikx, Iwan; Dunstan, Nathan; Fry, Bryan G.

    2013-01-01

    and waprin peptides were recovered, including dual domain kunitz-kunitz precursors and the first kunitz-waprin hybrid precursors from elapid snakes. The novel sequences recovered in this study reveal that the huge diversity of unstudied venomous Australian snakes are of considerable interest not only for the investigation of venom and whole organism evolution but also represent an untapped bioresource in the search for novel compounds for use in drug design and development. PMID:24351719

  14. Venom down under: dynamic evolution of Australian elapid snake toxins.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Timothy N W; Sunagar, Kartik; Undheim, Eivind A B; Koludarov, Ivan; Chan, Angelo H C; Sanders, Kate; Ali, Syed A; Hendrikx, Iwan; Dunstan, Nathan; Fry, Bryan G

    2013-12-18

    waprin peptides were recovered, including dual domain kunitz-kunitz precursors and the first kunitz-waprin hybrid precursors from elapid snakes. The novel sequences recovered in this study reveal that the huge diversity of unstudied venomous Australian snakes are of considerable interest not only for the investigation of venom and whole organism evolution but also represent an untapped bioresource in the search for novel compounds for use in drug design and development.

  15. Combustion of Australian spent shales compared

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-12-01

    The combustion kinetics of spent oil shales from seven major Australian deposits have been examined using a fluidized bed batch technique. Chemical rate constants were shown to vary between the shales and to be less than extrapolations of data from American spent oil shales. The effective diffusivity also varies widely among the shales. The seven oil shales were from the Condor, Duaringa, Lowmead, Nagoorin, Nagoorin South, Rundle and Stuart deposits in Queensland. Results are briefly described. 1 figure, 1 table.

  16. Laboratory Evaluation of Australian Ration Packs

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-10-01

    described in Official Methods of Analysis of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists ( AOAC , 1980). Fat was determined in sweetened condensed milk...reviewed. 10 7. REFERENCES Anon (1982) "Dietary guidelines for Australians" J. Fd Nutr., 38, 111-119. AOAC , (1980) Official Methods of Analysis of the...Research Council (NH & MRC, 1984). The Reference Man is 70 kg and has the requirements for various grades of activity listed in Table 2. 2. METHODS OF

  17. Australian Gonococcal Surveillance Programme annual report, 2013.

    PubMed

    Lahra, Monica M

    2015-03-31

    The Australian Gonococcal Surveillance Programme has continuously monitored antimicrobial resistance in clinical isolates of Neisseria gonorrhoeae from all states and territories since 1981. In 2013, 4,897 clinical isolates of gonococci from public and private sector sources were tested for in vitro antimicrobial susceptibility by standardised methods. Decreased susceptibility to ceftriaxone (MIC value 0.06-0.125 mg/L) was found nationally in 8.8% of isolates, double that reported in 2012 (4.4%). The highest proportions were reported from New South Wales and Victoria (both states reporting 11.8%), with a high proportion of strains also reported from Tasmania but a low number of isolates were tested. In addition, there was a multi-drug-resistant strain of N. gonorrhoeae isolated from a traveller to Australia, with a ceftraixone MIC value of 0.5 mgL-the highest ever reported in Australia. These antimicrobial resistance data from Australia in 2013 are cause for considerable concern. With the exception of remote Northern Territory where penicillin resistance rates remain low (1.3%) the proportion of strains resistant to penicillin remained high in all jurisdictions ranging from 15.6% in the Australian Capital Territory to 44.1% in Victoria. Quinolone resistance ranged from 16% in the Australian Capital Territory to 46% in Victoria. Azithromycin susceptibility testing was performed in all jurisdictions and resistance ranged from 0.3% in the Northern Territory to 5.7% in Queensland. High level resistance to azithromycin (MIC value was > 256 mg/L) was reported for the first time in Australia, in 4 strains: 2 each from Queensland and Victoria. Azithromycin resistant gonococci were not detected in the Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania or from the remote Northern Territory. Nationally, all isolates remained susceptible to spectinomycin.

  18. Australian Oceanographic Data Centre. Bulletin 15.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-07-01

    bathythermal data for Coral Sea , Tasman Sea plus other Australian areas 4. Department of Science and the Environment, (Antarctic Division...RAN meteorological/oceanographic officers, of an ocean analysis and forecasting scheme for the Tasman /Coral Sea area. This scheme uses sea -surface...layers are heated up and mixed layer depth is fairly uniform except near fronts. The Tasman Front is the boundary between Coral Sea and Tasman Sea

  19. Would the Formation of a Combat Maneuver Corps Support the Transformation of the Australian Army as Envisaged in the Hardened and Networked Army Concept?

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-06-16

    1978. Australian Armour. Canberra, Australian Capital Territory: The Australian War Memorial and the Australian Government Publishing Service. Jones ... Ian . 1987. The Australian Light Horse. Sydney, New South Wales: Time Life Books. Krause, Michael, Lieutenant Colonel. 2004. Lest We Forget

  20. Deep Roots for Aboriginal Australian Y Chromosomes.

    PubMed

    Bergström, Anders; Nagle, Nano; Chen, Yuan; McCarthy, Shane; Pollard, Martin O; Ayub, Qasim; Wilcox, Stephen; Wilcox, Leah; van Oorschot, Roland A H; McAllister, Peter; Williams, Lesley; Xue, Yali; Mitchell, R John; Tyler-Smith, Chris

    2016-03-21

    Australia was one of the earliest regions outside Africa to be colonized by fully modern humans, with archaeological evidence for human presence by 47,000 years ago (47 kya) widely accepted [1, 2]. However, the extent of subsequent human entry before the European colonial age is less clear. The dingo reached Australia about 4 kya, indirectly implying human contact, which some have linked to changes in language and stone tool technology to suggest substantial cultural changes at the same time [3]. Genetic data of two kinds have been proposed to support gene flow from the Indian subcontinent to Australia at this time, as well: first, signs of South Asian admixture in Aboriginal Australian genomes have been reported on the basis of genome-wide SNP data [4]; and second, a Y chromosome lineage designated haplogroup C(∗), present in both India and Australia, was estimated to have a most recent common ancestor around 5 kya and to have entered Australia from India [5]. Here, we sequence 13 Aboriginal Australian Y chromosomes to re-investigate their divergence times from Y chromosomes in other continents, including a comparison of Aboriginal Australian and South Asian haplogroup C chromosomes. We find divergence times dating back to ∼50 kya, thus excluding the Y chromosome as providing evidence for recent gene flow from India into Australia.

  1. Origins of the southeastern Australian vegetation.

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Robert S

    2004-01-01

    Australia is an ancient continent with an interesting geological history that includes a recent major shift in its position, both globally and compared with neighbouring land masses. This has led to a great deal of confusion over many years about the origins of the Australian biomes. The plant fossil record is now clarifying this, and it is clear that the ancient Gondwanan rainforests that covered Australia while it was still part of that supercontinent contained many of the elements of the modern vegetation. However, major climatic sifting, along with responses to other factors, including soil nutrient levels, disturbance regimes, atmospheric CO2 levels, fire frequency and intensity, glaciations and the arrival of humans, have had profound impacts on the Australian vegetation, which today reflects the sum of all these factors and more. The origins of Australian vegetation and its present-day management cannot be properly understood without an appreciation of this vast history, and the fossil record has a vital role to play in maintaining the health of this continent's vegetation into the future. PMID:15519971

  2. Validation of Autism Spectrum Quotient Adult Version in an Australian Sample

    PubMed Central

    Broadbent, J.; Galic, I.; Stokes, M. A.

    2013-01-01

    The Autism Spectrum Quotient is used to assess autistic spectrum traits in intellectually competent adults in both the general population and the autism spectrum community. While the autism spectrum Quotient has been validated in several different cultures, to date no study has assessed the psychometrics of the Autism Spectrum Quotient on an Australian population. The purpose of this study was to assess the psychometrics of the autism spectrum Quotient in an Australian sample of both typically developing individuals (n = 128) and individuals with autism spectrum disorder (n = 104). The results revealed that the internal consistency and the test-retest reliability were satisfactory; individuals with autism spectrum disorder scored higher on total Autism Spectrum Quotient score and its subscales than typically developing individuals; however, gender differences were not apparent on total score. Possible cultural differences may explain some of the psychometric variations found. The results of this analysis revealed that the Autism Spectrum Quotient was a reliable instrument for investigating variation in autistic symptomology in both typically developing and Autism Spectrum Disorders populations within an Australian population. PMID:23762552

  3. Explaining match outcome in elite Australian Rules football using team performance indicators.

    PubMed

    Robertson, Sam; Back, Nicole; Bartlett, Jonathan D

    2016-01-01

    The relationships between team performance indicators and match outcome have been examined in many team sports, however are limited in Australian Rules football. Using data from the 2013 and 2014 Australian Football League (AFL) regular seasons, this study assessed the ability of commonly reported discrete team performance indicators presented in their relative form (standardised against their opposition for a given match) to explain match outcome (Win/Loss). Logistic regression and decision tree (chi-squared automatic interaction detection (CHAID)) analyses both revealed relative differences between opposing teams for "kicks" and "goal conversion" as the most influential in explaining match outcome, with two models achieving 88.3% and 89.8% classification accuracies, respectively. Models incorporating a smaller performance indicator set displayed a slightly reduced ability to explain match outcome (81.0% and 81.5% for logistic regression and CHAID, respectively). However, both were fit to 2014 data with reduced error in comparison to the full models. Despite performance similarities across the two analysis approaches, the CHAID model revealed multiple winning performance indicator profiles, thereby increasing its comparative feasibility for use in the field. Coaches and analysts may find these results useful in informing strategy and game plan development in Australian Rules football, with the development of team-specific models recommended in future.

  4. Geophysical Characteristics of the Australian-Antarctic Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, S. S.; Lin, J.; Park, S. H.; Choi, H.; Lee, S. M.

    2014-12-01

    Between 2011 and 2013, the Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI) conducted three consecutive geologic surveys at the little explored eastern ends of the Australian-Antarctic Ridge (AAR) to characterize the tectonics, geochemistry, and hydrothermal activity of this intermediate spreading system. Using the Korean icebreaker R/V Araon, the multi-disciplinary research team collected bathymetry, gravity, magnetics, and rock and water column samples. In addition, Miniature Autonomous Plume Recorders (MAPRs) were deployed at wax-core rock sampling sites to detect the presence of active hydrothermal vents. Here we present a detailed analysis of a 300-km-long supersegment of the AAR to quantify the spatial variations in ridge morphology and robust axial and off-axis volcanisms. The ridge axis morphology alternates between rift valleys and axial highs within relatively short ridge segments. To obtain a geological proxy for regional variations in magma supply, we calculated residual mantle Bouguer gravity anomalies (RMBA), gravity-derived crustal thickness, and residual topography for seven sub-segments. The results of the analyses revealed that the southern flank of the AAR is associated with shallower seafloor, more negative RMBA, thicker crust, and/or less dense mantle than the conjugate northern flank. Furthermore, this north-south asymmetry becomes more prominent toward the KR1 supersegment of the AAR. The axial topography of the KR1 supersegment exhibits a sharp transition from axial highs at the western end to rift valleys at the eastern end, with regions of axial highs being associated with more magma supply as indicated by more negative RMBA. We also compare and contrast the characteristics of the AAR supersegment with that of other ridges of intermediate spreading rates, including the Juan de Fuca Ridge, Galápagos Spreading Center, and Southeast Indian Ridge west of the Australian-Antarctic Discordance, to investigate the influence of ridge-hotspot interaction on

  5. Australian Rotavirus Surveillance Program annual report, 2010/11.

    PubMed

    Kirkwood, Carl D; Roczo, Susie; Boniface, Karen; Bishop, Ruth F; Barnes, Graeme L

    2011-12-01

    The Australian Rotavirus Surveillance Program together with collaborating laboratories Australia-wide conducts a laboratory based rotavirus surveillance program. This report describes the genotypes of rotavirus strains responsible for the hospitalisation of children with acute gastroenteritis during 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011. This report represents the fourth year of surveillance following introduction of rotavirus vaccines into the National Immunisation Program. One thousand one hundred and twenty-seven faecal samples were referred to the centre for G and P genotype analysis using hemi-nested multiplex reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Eight hundred and sixteen samples were confirmed as rotavirus positive. Of these, 551 were collected from children under 5 years of age, while 265 were from older children and adults. Genotype analysis revealed that a change in the dominant type occurred in this reporting period, such that genotype G2P[4] was the dominant type nationally, representing 51% of samples, followed by genotype G1P[8] (26.1%). Genotypes G3P[8] represented 11% of samples while G4P[8] re-emerged as an important genotype, and was identified in 6% of samples. Uncommon rotavirus G and P combinations continue to be identified, with G2P[8] and G9P[4] identified during this survey. Differences in genotype distribution based on vaccine usage continue to be evident in Australian states. This survey continues to highlight the fluctuations in rotavirus genotypes, with an annual change in dominant genotypes suggesting a more dynamic wild-type population.

  6. Development of the Australian-Antarctic depth anomaly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whittaker, Joanne M.; Müller, R. Dietmar; Gurnis, Michael

    2010-11-01

    The oceanic Australian-Antarctic Discordance (AAD) contains two unusual features: (1) N-S trending anomalously deep bathymetries and (2) rough basement morphologies in young (<˜20 Ma) crust between 120°E and 128°E. Models generally attribute AAD formation to underlying cold and/or depleted upper mantle, but no model adequately accounts for all the anomalous attributes. We quantify anomalous basement roughness and basement depths utilizing new seismic reflection data, in combination with all available geophysical and geological observations. We find that the interaction of negative dynamic topography and crustal thickness variations results in the observed complex patterns of residual basement depths. Downwelling, caused by a sinking Mesozoic slab, is the most likely cause of the broad N-S trending residual depth anomalies, while overprinting by westward flowing, buoyant Pacific mantle resulted in the distinctive V-shaped eastern boundary of the AAD. The particularly large residual depths proximal to the Australian and Antarctic margins may be due to negative dynamic topography combined with thinned oceanic crust caused by ultraslow (<10 mm/yr) half-spreading rates and sampling of depleted subduction wedge contaminated mantle. Only oceanic basement aged <20 Ma is anomalously rough, a result of sampling of cool/depleted upper mantle material. Although oceanic crust older than 43 Ma may have sampled depleted mantle, the resulting oceanic basement is not anomalously rough likely because a melt volume controlled threshold of accretion-related roughness had already been reached due to ultraslow spreading rates. Our analysis reveals that the enigmatic roughness of the Diamantina Zone is mainly related to >45° spreading obliquities.

  7. Post-traumatic stress disorder and quality of life in sexually abused Australian children.

    PubMed

    Gospodarevskaya, Elena

    2013-01-01

    The study used publicly available data on post-traumatic stress disorder in a sample of the Australian population with a history of sexual abuse to demonstrate how this evidence can inform economic analyses. The 2007 Australian Mental Health Survey revealed that 8.3% of 993 adolescents experienced childhood sexual abuse, of which 40.2% were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosis corresponded to a significant loss of quality of life. Survival analysis was used to estimate the lifetime persistence of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. The average time between post-traumatic stress disorder onset and remission was 11.4 years. Results suggest that successful treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder will save 2.05 quality adjusted life years per child or adolescent with post-traumatic stress disorder.

  8. Exploring Australian Aboriginal Women’s experiences of menopause: a descriptive study

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Despite extensive literature demonstrating differing experiences in menopause around the world, documentation of the experience of menopause in Australian Aboriginal women is scarce, and thus their menopausal experience is relatively unknown. This study aimed to understand Australian Aboriginal women’s understanding and experience of menopause and its impact on their lives. Methods The study was an exploratory qualitative study. Twenty-five Aboriginal women were recruited from a regional centre in the Mid-West region of Western Australia using opportunistic and snowballing sampling. Interviews and focus group discussions were undertaken from February 2011 to February 2012 using open-ended questioning with a yarning technique. Thematic analysis was undertaken of the transcribed interviews. Results A number of themes were revealed. These related to the language used, meanings and attitudes to menopause, symptoms experienced, the role of men, a lack of understanding, coping mechanisms and the attribution of menopausal changes to something else. The term “change of life” was more widely recognised and signified the process of ageing, and an associated gain of respect in the local community. A fear of menopausal symptoms or uncertainty about their origin was also common. Overall, many women reported insufficient understanding and a lack of available information to assist them and their family to understand the transition. Conclusion There are similarities between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal experiences of menopause, including similar symptom profiles. The current language used within mainstream health settings may not be appropriate to this population if it fails to recognise the importance of language and reflect the attributed meaning of menopause. The fear of symptoms and uncertainty of their relationship to menopause demonstrated a need for more information which has not adequately been supplied to Australian Aboriginal women through current

  9. Molecular virology of hepatitis B virus, sub-genotype C4 in northern Australian Indigenous populations.

    PubMed

    Littlejohn, M; Davies, J; Yuen, L; Edwards, R; Sozzi, T; Jackson, K; Cowie, B; Tong, S; Davis, J; Locarnini, S

    2014-04-01

    Indigenous Australians experience a significant health burden from chronic hepatitis B infection; however, the strain of hepatitis B virus (HBV) found among Indigenous Australians has not been well characterized. Blood samples were collected from 65 Indigenous Australians with chronic HBV infection from across the Top End of Australia's Northern Territory. Phylogenetic analysis of HBV from these samples revealed that 100% of the isolates were genotype C, sub-genotype C4, expressing the serotype ayw3. This strain is a divergent group within the HBV/C genotype, and has only been described in Indigenous Australians. Evidence of recombination was suggested by discordant phylogenetic clustering of the C4 sequences when comparing the full genome to the surface region and confirmed by recombination analysis which showed the surface gene region to be most closely related to genotype J, while the remaining regions of the genome were most similar to genotype C sequences. Mutational analysis revealed the presence of multiple mutations that have been linked with more rapid liver disease progression and an increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. These mutations were detected in the majority of sequences examined. Variants associated with vaccine failure were detected as the predominant viral quasi-species in 3/35 samples. In summary, the HBV C4 variant found in this population has a high potential to cause advanced liver disease and to escape vaccination programs. Further in vitro functional and natural history studies are warranted in order to determine the clinical and public health consequences of infection with the HBV C4 variant in these communities.

  10. Bed Bugs: The Australian Response

    PubMed Central

    Doggett, Stephen L.; Orton, Christopher J.; Lilly, David G.; Russell, Richard C.

    2011-01-01

    Australia has experienced a sudden and unexpected resurgence in bed bug infestations from both Cimex lectularius L. and Cimex hemipterus F. A survey in 2006 revealed that infestations had increased across the nation by an average of 4,500% since the start of the decade. In response, a multi-disciplinary approach to combat the rise of this public health pest was implemented and involved the coordinated efforts of several organizations. The key components of the strategy included the introduction of a pest management standard ‘A Code of Practice for the Control of Bed Bug Infestations in Australia’ that defines and promotes ‘best practice’ in bed bug eradication, the development of a policy and procedural guide for accommodation providers, education of stakeholders in best management practices, and research. These strategies continue to evolve with developments that lead to improvements in ‘best practice’ while bed bugs remain problematic in Australia. PMID:26467616

  11. Bed Bugs: The Australian Response.

    PubMed

    Doggett, Stephen L; Orton, Christopher J; Lilly, David G; Russell, Richard C

    2011-04-15

    Australia has experienced a sudden and unexpected resurgence in bed bug infestations from both Cimex lectularius L. and Cimex hemipterus F. A survey in 2006 revealed that infestations had increased across the nation by an average of 4,500% since the start of the decade. In response, a multi-disciplinary approach to combat the rise of this public health pest was implemented and involved the coordinated efforts of several organizations. The key components of the strategy included the introduction of a pest management standard 'A Code of Practice for the Control of Bed Bug Infestations in Australia' that defines and promotes 'best practice' in bed bug eradication, the development of a policy and procedural guide for accommodation providers, education of stakeholders in best management practices, and research. These strategies continue to evolve with developments that lead to improvements in 'best practice' while bed bugs remain problematic in Australia.

  12. Molecular characterization of betaine-homocysteine methyltransferase 1 from the liver, and effects of aestivation on its expressions and homocysteine concentrations in the liver, kidney and muscle, of the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens.

    PubMed

    Ong, Jasmine L Y; Woo, Jia M; Hiong, Kum C; Ching, Biyun; Wong, Wai P; Chew, Shit F; Ip, Yuen K

    2015-05-01

    Homocysteine accumulation has numerous deleterious effects, and betaine-homocysteine S-methyltransferase (BHMT) catalyses the synthesis of methionine from homocysteine and betaine. This study aimed to determine homocysteine concentrations, and mRNA expression levels and protein abundances of bhmt1/Bhmt1 in the liver, kidney and muscle of the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, during the induction (6 days), maintenance (6 months) or arousal (3 days after arousal) phase of aestivation. The homocysteine concentration decreased significantly in the liver of P. annectens after 6 days or 6 months of aestivation, but it returned to the control level upon arousal. By contrast, homocysteine concentrations in the kidney and muscle remained unchanged during the three phases of aestivation. The complete coding cDNA sequence of bhmt1 from P. annectens consisted of 1236 bp, coding for 412 amino acids. The Bhmt1 from P. annectens had a close phylogenetic relationship with those from tetrapods and Callorhinchus milii. The expression of bhmt1 was detected in multiple organs/tissues of P. annectens, and this is the first report on the expression of bhmt1/Bhmt1 in animal skeletal muscle. The mRNA and protein expression levels of bhmt1/Bhmt1 were up-regulated in the liver of P. annectens during the induction and maintenance phases of aestivation, possibly to regulate the hepatic homocysteine concentration. The significant increase in hepatic Bhmt1 protein abundance during the arousal phase could be a response to increased cellular methylation for the purpose of tissue reconstruction. Unlike the liver, Bhmt1 expression in the kidney and muscle of P. annectens was regulated translationally, and its up-regulation could be crucial to prevent homocysteine accumulation.

  13. Differential gene expression in the liver of the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, after 6 months of aestivation in air or 1 day of arousal from 6 months of aestivation.

    PubMed

    Hiong, Kum C; Ip, Yuen K; Wong, Wai P; Chew, Shit F

    2015-01-01

    The African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, can undergo aestivation during drought. Aestivation has three phases: induction, maintenance and arousal. The objective of this study was to examine the differential gene expression in the liver of P. annectens after 6 months (the maintenance phase) of aestivation as compared with the freshwater control, or after 1 day of arousal from 6 months aestivation as compared with 6 months of aestivation using suppression subtractive hybridization. During the maintenance phase of aestivation, the mRNA expression of argininosuccinate synthetase 1 and carbamoyl phosphate synthetase III were up-regulated, indicating an increase in the ornithine-urea cycle capacity to detoxify ammonia to urea. There was also an increase in the expression of betaine homocysteine-S-transferase 1 which could reduce and prevent the accumulation of hepatic homocysteine. On the other hand, the down-regulation of superoxide dismutase 1 expression could signify a decrease in ROS production during the maintenance phase of aestivation. In addition, the maintenance phase was marked by decreases in expressions of genes related to blood coagulation, complement fixation and iron and copper metabolism, which could be strategies used to prevent thrombosis and to conserve energy. Unlike the maintenance phase of aestivation, there were increases in expressions of genes related to nitrogen, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism and fatty acid transport after 1 day of arousal from 6 months aestivation. There were also up-regulation in expressions of genes that were involved in the electron transport system and ATP synthesis, indicating a greater demand for metabolic energy during arousal. Overall, our results signify the importance of sustaining a low rate of waste production and conservation of energy store during the maintenance phase, and the dependence on internal energy store for repair and structural modification during the arousal phase, of aestivation in the liver

  14. Differential Gene Expression in the Liver of the African Lungfish, Protopterus annectens, after 6 Months of Aestivation in Air or 1 Day of Arousal from 6 Months of Aestivation

    PubMed Central

    Hiong, Kum C.; Ip, Yuen K.; Wong, Wai P.; Chew, Shit F.

    2015-01-01

    The African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, can undergo aestivation during drought. Aestivation has three phases: induction, maintenance and arousal. The objective of this study was to examine the differential gene expression in the liver of P. annectens after 6 months (the maintenance phase) of aestivation as compared with the freshwater control, or after 1 day of arousal from 6 months aestivation as compared with 6 months of aestivation using suppression subtractive hybridization. During the maintenance phase of aestivation, the mRNA expression of argininosuccinate synthetase 1 and carbamoyl phosphate synthetase III were up-regulated, indicating an increase in the ornithine-urea cycle capacity to detoxify ammonia to urea. There was also an increase in the expression of betaine homocysteine-S-transferase 1 which could reduce and prevent the accumulation of hepatic homocysteine. On the other hand, the down-regulation of superoxide dismutase 1 expression could signify a decrease in ROS production during the maintenance phase of aestivation. In addition, the maintenance phase was marked by decreases in expressions of genes related to blood coagulation, complement fixation and iron and copper metabolism, which could be strategies used to prevent thrombosis and to conserve energy. Unlike the maintenance phase of aestivation, there were increases in expressions of genes related to nitrogen, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism and fatty acid transport after 1 day of arousal from 6 months aestivation. There were also up-regulation in expressions of genes that were involved in the electron transport system and ATP synthesis, indicating a greater demand for metabolic energy during arousal. Overall, our results signify the importance of sustaining a low rate of waste production and conservation of energy store during the maintenance phase, and the dependence on internal energy store for repair and structural modification during the arousal phase, of aestivation in the liver

  15. Australian Apprentice & Trainee Statistics: Electrical and Electronics Trades, 1995 to 1999. Australian Vocational Education & Training.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Centre for Vocational Education Research, Leabrook (Australia).

    Statistics regarding Australians participating in apprenticeships and traineeships in the electrical and electronics trades in 1995-1999 were reviewed to provide an indication of where skill shortages may be occurring or will likely occur in relation to the following occupations: electrical engineering associate professional; electronics…

  16. National Statement for Engaging Young Australians with Asia in Australian Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (NJ1), 2006

    2006-01-01

    "Engaging Young Australians with Asia" is a national policy statement which supports "The Adelaide Declaration on National Goals for Schooling in the Twenty-First Century." These goals promote understanding of the value of cultural and linguistic diversity, and possessing the knowledge, skills and understanding to contribute…

  17. The Arts and Australian Education: Realising Potential. Australian Education Review No. 58

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ewing, Robyn

    2011-01-01

    Australian Education Review (AER) 58 surveys the international and national research on the role and effect of arts-rich programming in schools and in the broader community, and examines the policies and practices that inhibit or support these initiatives. It puts the case that embedding the Arts in learning would be a powerful catalyst for…

  18. The Australian-Ness of Curriculum Jigsaws: Where Does Environmental Education Fit?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gough, Annette

    2011-01-01

    This paper reviews Australian Government actions related to environmental education, particularly in the past decade, and examines the actions forthcoming from two national action plans (Environment Australia, 2000 and DEWHA, 2009), the implementation strategy for the Decade of ESD (DEWHA, 2006) and developments related to the Australian…

  19. Immigrant Australians and Education. A Review of Research. Australian Education Review Number 22.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sturman, Andrew

    This review examines whether immigrant Australians are disadvantaged educationally or vocationally by the education they receive, and whether their educational experiences are of a high quality and relevant to their needs. First, data is provided on the patterns of post-war immigration, along with information about the changing attitudes of…

  20. New Visions: Exploring Australian Identity through Films Highlighting Experiences of Indigenous Australians: Year 8 Film Unit

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wagner, Monika; Wenlock, Jennifer

    2012-01-01

    Prior to 2011, Year 8 students studied a single film as text, "Yolngu Boy." This had been on the syllabus for several years, and the consensus was that it was time to review the unit, refresh the text and introduce multiple film texts that would present varying visions and perspectives of notions of what it is to be "Australian". The authors aimed…

  1. Australian Item Bank Program: Science Item Bank. Book 3: Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Australian Council for Educational Research, Hawthorn.

    The Australian Science Item Bank consists of three volumes of multiple-choice questions. Book 3 contains questions on the biological sciences. The questions are designed to be suitable for high school students (year 8 to year 12 in Australian schools). The questions are classified by the subject content of the question, the cognitive skills…

  2. Casual Academic Staff in an Australian University: Marginalised and Excluded

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ryan, Suzanne; Burgess, John; Connell, Julia; Groen, Egbert

    2013-01-01

    Over the past 25 years, the Australian workforce has become more casualised, with approximately one-quarter of the workforce in casual employment today. One of the highest users of casual employees is the higher education sector, where casual academics (referred to as sessionals in the Australian context) are estimated to account for 50% of the…

  3. Commonwealth Infrastructure Funding for Australian Universities: 2004 to 2011

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koshy, Paul; Phillimore, John

    2013-01-01

    This paper provides an overview of recent trends in the provision of general infrastructure funding by the Commonwealth for Australian universities (Table A providers) over the period 2004 to 2011. It specifically examines general infrastructure development and excludes funding for research infrastructure through the Australian Research Council or…

  4. Cultural Patterns of Metacognitive Guidance in Australian Homes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sanagavarapu, Prathyusha

    2008-01-01

    This article provides insight into the cultural patterns of metacognitive guidance that occurs among children and mothers in selected Australian homes. Fourteen Anglo Australian and eight immigrant Indian (Telugu) mothers' interactions with their 4-year-old male and female children on a puzzle-solving task were videotaped. Mother-child dyads'…

  5. Australian Higher Education and the Relevance of Newman.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coady, Tony; Miller, Seumas

    1993-01-01

    John Henry Newman's conception of the university as a teaching institution in which the guiding concept is transmission of liberal knowledge is examined as it applies to the Australian context. The theory is seen as a useful starting point for developing a theory of the modern Australian university. (MSE)

  6. Learning for the Future: Developing Information Services in Australian Schools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Australian School Library Association, Goulburn.

    This guide is intended to set a context for the development of library and information services in Australian schools. The focus reflects recent changes in Australian education, in particular the development of national curriculum statements. These changes emphasize the processes of learning and the consequent need for information and information…

  7. Educational and Institutional Flexibility of Australian Educational Software

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shurville, Simon; O'Grady, Thomas; Mayall, Peter

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: This paper aims to provide context for papers in this special issue on Australasian e-learning. The paper aims to examine the background to Australian flexible and transnational education and to evaluate the educational and intuitional flexibility of three typical products of the Australian educational software industry.…

  8. Teaching Australian Football in Physical Education: Constraints Theory in Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pill, Shane

    2013-01-01

    This article outlines a constraints-led process of exploring, modifying, experimenting, adapting, and developing game appreciation known as Game Sense (Australian Sports Commission, 1997; den Duyn, 1996, 1997) for the teaching of Australian football. The game acts as teacher in this constraints-led process. Rather than a linear system that…

  9. The Shades of Grey of Cyberbullying in Australian Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goff, Wendy

    2011-01-01

    This article explores the effects of cyberbullying in relation to a school's duty of care. By examining the impact of cyberbullying through an increasingly common scenario, it becomes apparent that the strategies for Australian schools in maintaining their duty of care may be unclear and uncommunicated. Findings suggest that Australian law in its…

  10. Living Smart Homes: A Pilot Australian Sustainability Education Programme

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Evonne; Buys, Laurie; Bell, Lorraine

    2009-01-01

    This article documents the rationale and experience of a pilot Australian sustainability education programme, "Living Smart Homes" (LSH) based on a community-based social marketing model. Inspired by the Australian "Land for Wildlife" scheme, LSH is designed to engage homeowners with sustainable practices through face-to-face…

  11. Australian Catholic Schools Today: School Identity and Leadership Formation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neidhart, Helga; Lamb, Janeen T.

    2016-01-01

    This article focuses on the challenge of faith leadership in Catholic schools. In particular, it reviews Australian research that has aimed to understand how principals conceptualize and enact their role as faith leaders. Consistent with American research, Australian research found that principals saw themselves as playing a leadership role in the…

  12. Some Religious Beliefs and Behaviours of Australian Catholic School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rymarz, Richard; Cleary, Anthony

    2016-01-01

    Students in Catholic schools make up a significant sub group of the Australian population. As such, studies of this group provide valuable information about the religious beliefs and practices of some Australian youth. Many students in Catholic schools express traditional religious views and have relatively high levels of religious behaviours.…

  13. Australian Higher Education Reforms--Unification or Diversification?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coombe, Leanne

    2015-01-01

    The higher education policy of the previous Australian government aimed to achieve an internationally competitive higher education sector while expanding access opportunities to all Australians. This policy agenda closely reflects global trends that focus on achieving both quality and equity objectives. In this paper, the formulation and…

  14. The Future of Religious Freedom in Australian Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Babie, Paul; Mylius, Ben

    2012-01-01

    This article explores the place of religion within Australian primary and secondary education. It is divided into three parts. The first examines religion within the Australian legal and constitutional structure. The second considers the accommodation of religion in government (public or state) and nongovernment (private) schools, using the State…

  15. Teacher Transculturalism and Cultural Difference: Addressing Racism in Australian Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Casinader, Niranjan R.; Walsh, Lucas

    2015-01-01

    The increasing cultural diversity of students in Australia's schools is one of the salient changes in education over the last 30 years. In 2011, nearly half of all Australians had one or more parents born overseas, with migration from China, the Indian subcontinent and Africa increasing during the early 2000s (Australian Bureau of Statistics,…

  16. Australian Early Childhood Educators: From Government Policy to University Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davies, Sharon; Trinidad, Sue

    2013-01-01

    This article provides an overview of the Australian Federal Government initiatives in the area of early childhood with regard to the provision of early childhood education and care. These changes have influenced a Western Australian university to develop an innovative birth to 8 years preservice educator education curriculum. Using an ecological…

  17. Educational Malpractice: American Trends and Implications for Australian Schools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whalley, P. W. F.

    1986-01-01

    Educational malpractice developments in America may affect legal accountability of Australian teachers and educational institutions. This paper discusses significant American cases and commentators' observations in the context of the Australian legal system. Teachers should embrace their widening legal responsibility in order to advance…

  18. Australian English-Language Textbooks: The Gender Issues

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Jackie F. K.; Collins, Peter

    2009-01-01

    This paper examines the nature and extent of gender stereotyping, both linguistic and pictorial, in a set of 10 Australian English-language textbooks for intermediate learners. In order to determine how accurately the books reflect the status of women in contemporary Australian society a content and linguistic analysis was conducted, focusing on,…

  19. Unit: The Australian Scene, Inspection Pack, National Trial Print.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Australian Science Education Project, Toorak, Victoria.

    As a part of the interim unit materials in the series produced by the Australian Science Education Project, this teachers' guide is composed of five sections: an introduction to nature in the balance, tests, excursion activities, options, and research activities. Options are under the headings: The Changing Face, Australian Soils, Distribution of…

  20. The Sleep Patterns and Well-Being of Australian Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Short, Michelle A.; Gradisar, Michael; Lack, Leon C.; Wright, Helen R.; Dohnt, Hayley

    2013-01-01

    Aim: Adolescent sleep patterns vary between countries, and these differences influence adolescent functioning and well-being. The present study provides data on the sleep and well-being of Australian adolescents. Methods: 385 adolescents aged 13-18 years were recruited from 8 South Australian schools spanning the socio-economic spectrum.…

  1. An Australian Story: School Sustainability Education in the Lucky Country

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salter, Zarin; Venville, Grady; Longnecker, Nancy

    2011-01-01

    This paper documents a case study involving a Perth primary school accompanied on its sustainability journey by Millennium Kids Inc, a local not-for-profit community organisation. Tension between the school's sustainability focus, its prestige as an elite private school and a "lucky country" mentality frames the Australian-ness of this…

  2. Investigating the Validity of the Australian Early Development Index

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brinkman, Sally A.; Silburn, Sven; Lawrence, David; Goldfeld, Sharon; Sayers, Mary; Oberklaid, Frank

    2007-01-01

    This article aims to contribute to the ongoing evaluation of the Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) by investigating its construct and concurrent validity with a subsample of 642 children aged 4 to 5 years drawn from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC). Construct validity was examined by considering the theoretical…

  3. An annotated checklist of Acanthocephala from Australian fish.

    PubMed

    Smales, Lesley R; Weaver, Haylee J

    2015-07-13

    Thirty one genera, comprising 58 named species, 15 undetermined species and nine species known only as cystacanths from paratenic fish hosts were found infesting 144 marine, esturine and freshwater species of fish from Australian and Australian Antarctic waters. Host habitats are given and the distribution and records of the acanthocephalans are given. A key to these parasites at the generic level is provided.

  4. Teachers' Planning Processes: Seeking Insights from Australian Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sullivan, Peter; Clarke, Doug M.; Albright, James; Clarke, David J.; Farrell, Lesley; Freebody, Peter; Gerrard, Jessica; Michels, Deborah

    2012-01-01

    The Australian Curriculum: Mathematics (AC:M) prompts consideration of planning processes teachers typically use (as a whole school, in grade levels, and at the classroom level). In order to gain insights into the nature of the planning decisions teachers make, Australian teachers drawn from every state and territory were invited to respond to a…

  5. Determinants of Successful Training Practices in Large Australian Firms.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dawe, Susan

    The determinants of successful training practices in large Australian firms were examined. The study's three phases were as follows: (1) a review of existing literature; (2) a meta-analysis of previously conducted case studies of 49 large Australian firms in 14 industrial sectors; and (3) a comparative analysis of the findings of the past studies…

  6. Defining and Assessing Generic Competencies in Australian Universities: Ongoing Challenges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chapman, Elaine; O'Neill, Marnie

    2010-01-01

    In this paper, we discuss ongoing challenges in defining and assessing generic competencies in Australian universities. The paper begins with a discussion of factors that led to, and later fuelled, the focus on generic competencies in Australian higher education. Broad constructs that have underpinned research and practice in the field are then…

  7. The Role of Further Government Intervention in Australian International Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carrington, Roger; Meek, V. Lynn; Wood, Fiona Q.

    2007-01-01

    Trade in Australian education services has expanded rapidly over recent years. The sector is the third largest exporter of Australian services. In 2001-2002, exports of education were about $A 4.2 billion. Government assistance to the sector includes export market development, regulation of education standards, and funding education activities;…

  8. Civic Engagement and the Arts and Humanities: An Australian Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Adrian

    2015-01-01

    An Australian scholar in the Arts and Humanities responds to recent US models emphasizing civic-engaged learning as a way to renew the humanities in undergraduate education. Policy contexts and curriculum initiatives of kindred trends in recent Australian undergraduate education in the humanities are contrasted in this essay. The Australian…

  9. Competing Issues in Australian Primary Curriculum: Learning from International Experiences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ewing, Robyn

    2012-01-01

    There is no doubt that the increasing politicisation of education in an economically rationalist climate is contributing to less equity, access, participation and, therefore, social justice for many Australian primary children. This article initially explores how the development of the impending national Australian curriculum replete with a high…

  10. Training at the Australian school of nuclear technology

    SciTech Connect

    Culley, D.; Fredsall, J.R.; Toner, B.

    1988-01-01

    The Australian School of Nuclear Technology was founded in 1964 as a joint enterprise of the Australian Atomic Energy Commission and the University of New South Wales to support nuclear developments primarily in Australia. However, ASNT has developed into an important century for nuclear science and technology training within the South East Asian Region with participants also attending from countries outside this Region.

  11. Australian Curriculum Linked Lessons: The Language of Chance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hurrell, Derek

    2015-01-01

    In providing a continued focus on tasks and activities that help to illustrate key ideas embedded in the "Australian Curriculum," this issue focuses on the Statistics and probability strand and the sub-strand of Chance. In the Australian Curriculum (ACARA, 2015), students are not asked to list outcomes of chance experiments and represent…

  12. A Reconceptualisation of "Knowing Asia" in Australian Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salter, Peta

    2015-01-01

    Since 1969, over 60 Australian government and non-government policies, documents, committees, working parties and organisations have explored the need to "know Asia". In schools, this engagement is conceptualised as "Asia literacy" and disseminated in the emerging Australian Curriculum through the cross-curriculum priority…

  13. Ethics Education in Australian Preservice Teacher Programs: A Hidden Imperative?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boon, Helen J.; Maxwell, Bruce

    2016-01-01

    This paper provides a snapshot of the current approach to ethics education in accredited Australian pre-service teacher programs. Methods included a manual calendar search of ethics related subjects required in teacher programs using a sample of 24 Australian universities and a survey of 26 university representatives. Findings show a paucity of…

  14. Internet Services and Academic Work: An Australian Perspective.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bruce, Harry

    1994-01-01

    Describes a pilot study examining how Australian academics are using the Australian Academic and Research Network. Ten tables provide details on network services used in relation to academic role, importance of services used and relationship to academic work, and specific applications for e-mail, remote login, news groups and FTP (file transfer…

  15. Philosophy and Ethics in Western Australian Secondary Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Millett, Stephan; Tapper, Alan

    2014-01-01

    The introduction of Philosophy and Ethics to the Western Australian Certificate of Education courses in 2008 brought philosophy into the Western Australian secondary school curriculum for the first time. How philosophy came to be included is part of a larger story about the commitment and perseverance of a relatively small number of Australian…

  16. The "Paradox of Interdisciplinarity" in Australian Research Governance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woelert, Peter; Millar, Victoria

    2013-01-01

    This paper identifies what can be called the "paradox of interdisciplinarity" (Weingart 2000) in Australian higher education research governance and explores some of its constitutive dimensions. In the Australian context, the paradox of interdisciplinarity primarily concerns the proliferation of a programmatic discourse of…

  17. Redefining & Leading the Academic Discipline in Australian Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harkin, Damien G.; Healy, Annah H.

    2013-01-01

    Disciplines have emerged as an alternative administrative structure to departments or schools in Australian universities. We presently investigate the pattern of discipline use and by way of case study examine a role for distributed leadership in discipline management. Over forty per cent of Australian universities currently employ disciplines,…

  18. Molecular relationships between Australian annual wild rice, Oryza meridionalis, and two related perennial forms

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The perennial, Oryza rufipogon distributed from Asia to Australia and the annual O. meridionalis indigenous to Australia are AA genome species in the Oryza. However, recent research has demonstrated that the Australian AA genome perennial populations have maternal genomes more closely related to those of O. meridionalis than to those found in Asian populations of O. rufipogon suggesting that the Australian perennials may represent a new distinct gene pool for rice. Results Analysis of an Oryza core collection covering AA genome species from Asia to Oceania revealed that some Oceania perennials had organellar genomes closely related to that of O meridionalis (meridionalis-type). O. rufipogon accessions from New Guinea carried either the meridionalis-type or rufirpogon-type (like O. rufipogon) organellar genomes. Australian perennials carried only the meridionalis-type organellar genomes when accompanied by the rufipogon-type nuclear genome. New accessions were collected to better characterize the Australian perennials, and their life histories (annual or perennial) were confirmed by field observations. All of the material collected carried only meridionalis-type organellar genomes. However, there were two distinct perennial groups. One of them carried an rufipogon-type nuclear genome similar to the Australian O. rufipogon in the core collection and the other carried an meridionalis-type nuclear genome not represented in the existing collection. Morphologically the rufipogon-type shared similarity with Asian O. rufipogon. The meridionalis-type showed some similarities to O. meridionalis such as the short anthers usually characteristic of annual populations. However, the meridionalis-type perennial was readily distinguished from O. meridionalis by the presence of a larger lemma and higher number of spikelets. Conclusion Analysis of current accessions clearly indicated that there are two distinct types of Australian perennials. Both of them differed

  19. Seasonal variation of leg stiffness in professional Australian rules footballers.

    PubMed

    Pruyn, Elizabeth C; Watsford, Mark L; Murphy, Aron J; Pine, Matthew J; Spurrs, Robert W; Cameron, Matkthew L; Johnston, Richard J

    2013-07-01

    Leg stiffness (Kleg) is an important component to consider in both performance and injury in the Australian Football League (AFL). Kleg has not yet been examined longitudinally throughout an entire AFL season. A unilateral hop test was used to measure Kleg in the left and right legs of 25 professional AFL players (24.9 ± 4.3 years, 86.8 ± 8.1 kg, 187.0 ± 7.3 cm). Kleg was assessed at least once per month for each participant. Furthermore, the session rate of perceived exertion method was used to quantify the average weekly training loads experienced by the participants. One-way analysis of variance revealed no significant difference between the average monthly bilateral Kleg scores; however, average weekly training loads varied between 1,400 and 2,000 AU, depending on the training period. Thirteen participants were randomly selected to perform hop tests on 2 consecutive weeks. Reliability tests revealed these measurements to have a typical error of the measurement of 4.15% and an intraclass correlation of 0.8, proving the methods to be reliable. Although training intensity appears to vary, Kleg does not fluctuate significantly across an entire AFL season, suggesting that weekly training loads between 1,400 and 2,000 AU may be prescribed without the risk of fluctuating stiffness levels.

  20. Australian Gonococcal Surveillance Programme annual report, 2014.

    PubMed

    Lahra, Monica M

    2015-09-30

    The Australian Gonococcal Surveillance Programme (AGSP) has continuously monitored antimicrobial resistance in clinical isolates of Neisseria gonorrhoeae from all states and territories since 1981. In 2014, 4,804 clinical isolates of gonococci from public and private sector sources were tested for in vitro antimicrobial susceptibility by standardised methods. Decreased susceptibility to ceftriaxone (MIC value 0.06-0.125 mg/L) was found nationally in 5.4% of isolates, a lower proportion than that reported in the AGSP 2013 annual report (8.8%). The highest proportions were reported from New South Wales and Victoria (7.1% and 6.6% respectively). The proportion of strains resistant to penicillin in urban and rural Australia ranged from 11% in South Australia to 43% in New South Wales. In rural and remote Northern Territory penicillin resistance rates remained low (1.5%). In remote Western Australia relatively low numbers of strains are available for testing, however there is now widespread molecular testing for penicillin resistance in Western Australia to monitor resistance and inform guidelines and, for first time, these data are included in the AGSP annual report. Quinolone resistance ranged from 27% in the urban and rural areas of the Northern Territory, to 44% in the Australian Capital Territory, and quinolone resistance rates remain comparatively low in remote areas of the Northern Territory (3.1%) and remote areas of Western Australia (5.6%). Azithromycin resistance ranged from 0.5% in South Australia to 5.3% in rural and urban Western Australia. High rates were also reported from the Australian Capital Territory but relatively low numbers were tested. High level resistance to azithromycin (MIC value ≥256 mg/L) was again reported in 2014, in 2 strains from New South Wales. No resistance was reported from the Northern Territory, or remote Western Australia.

  1. The Australian Natural Disaster Resilience Index

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thoms, Martin

    2016-04-01

    The Australian Natural Disaster Resilience Index Martin Thoms, Melissa Parsons, Phil Morley Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre, Geography and Planning, University of New England, Armidale NSW 2351, Australia. Natural hazard management policy directions in Australia - and indeed internationally - are increasingly being aligned to ideas of resilience. Resilience to natural hazards is the ability of individuals and communities to cope with disturbance and adversity and to maintain adaptive behaviour. Operationalizing the measurement and assessment of disaster resilience is often undertaken using a composite index, but this exercise is yet to be undertaken in Australia. The Australian Natural Disaster Resilience Index is a top-down, national scale assessment of the resilience of communities to natural hazards. Resilience is assessed based on two sets of capacities: coping and adaptive capacities. Coping capacity relates to the factors influencing the ability of a community to prepare for, absorb and recover from a natural hazard event. Adaptive capacity relates to the arrangements and processes that enable adjustment through learning, adaptation and transformation. Indicators are derived under themes of social character, economic capital, infrastructure and planning, emergency services, community capital, information and engagement and governance/leadership/policy, using existing data sets (e.g. census data) or evaluation of policy and procedure (e.g. disaster management planning). A composite index of disaster resilience is then computed for each spatial division, giving national scale coverage. The results of the Australian Natural Disaster Resilience Index will be reported in a State of Disaster Resilience report, due in 2018. The index is co-designed with emergency service agencies, and will support policy development, planning, community engagement and emergency management.

  2. Occupational safety risk management in Australian mining.

    PubMed

    Joy, J

    2004-08-01

    In the past 15 years, there has been a major safety improvement in the Australian mining industry. Part of this change can be attributed to the development and application of risk assessment methods. These systematic, team-based techniques identify, assess and control unacceptable risks to people, assets, the environment and production. The outcomes have improved mine management systems. This paper discusses the risk assessment approach applied to equipment design and mining operations, as well as the specific risk assessment methodology. The paper also discusses the reactive side of risk management, incident and accident investigation. Systematic analytical methods have also been adopted by regulatory authorities and mining companies to investigate major losses.

  3. Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit annual report, 2013.

    PubMed

    Deverell, Marie; Zurynski, Yvonne A; Elliott, Elizabeth J

    2014-12-31

    This report provides an update on the surveillance conducted by the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit (APSU) during the period January to December 2013. The APSU facilitates national active surveillance of uncommon diseases of childhood including selected communicable diseases. This report includes data on the following conditions: acute flaccid paralysis (AFP), congenital cytomegalovirus (cCMV), congenital rubella, perinatal exposure to HIV and paediatric HIV infection, neonatal herpes simplex virus (HSV), congenital varicella, neonatal varicella, severe complications of varicella and juvenile onset recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (JoRRP). Surveillance of severe complications of influenza was undertaken during the influenza season (July to September 2013).

  4. Tectonic evolution of the Western Australian Shield

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Myers, John S.

    1988-01-01

    Geological and geochronological studies in the Western Australian Shield were updated. This terrane bears many similarities to the Indian Shield since they were neighboring parts of Gondwanaland. Western Australia consists of two cratons (Pilbara and Yilgarn) and four orogenic belts (Capricorn, Pingarra, Albany-Fraser, and Patterson), as well as some relatively young (1.6 to 0.75 Ga) sedimentary rocks. The two cratonic blocks are both older than about 2.5 Ga, and the orogenic belts range in age from 2.0 to 0.65 Ga.

  5. Ciguatera: Australian perspectives on a global problem.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Richard J

    2006-12-01

    Ciguatera is a global disease caused by the consumption of certain warm-water fish that have accumulated orally effective levels of sodium channel activator toxins (ciguatoxins) through the marine food chain. Symptoms of ciguatera arising from the consumption of ciguateric fish include a range of gastrointestinal, neurological and cardiovascular disturbances. This review examines progress in our understanding of ciguatera from an Australian perspective, especially the laboratory-based research into the problem that was initiated by the late "Bob" Endean at the University of Queensland.

  6. Debrisoquine oxidation in an Australian population.

    PubMed Central

    Peart, G F; Boutagy, J; Shenfield, G M

    1986-01-01

    The standard laboratory method for determination of debrisoquine phenotype has been modified and shortened with no loss of sensitivity. Debrisoquine metabolic ratios (MR) at 4 and 8 h showed excellent correlation indicating that collection time can also be shortened. Same day phenotyping is therefore possible. One hundred normal, Caucasian Australian subjects were phenotyped (46 males, 54 females) and 6% were poor metabolisers (PM) of debrisoquine. Fifty of the original subjects were also acetylation phenotyped and 34% were fast and 66% slow acetylators. One PM of debrisoquine was a fast acetylator of sulphadimidine and four PM were slow acetylators. This was a non-significant association. PMID:3718805

  7. A new era in Australian migration policy.

    PubMed

    Birrell, R

    1984-01-01

    The discussion traces the evolution of Australian migration policy since 1975, arguing that the primary factor shaping policy has been interparty competition for influence within Australia's ethnic communities. Since late 1975 when the Liberal/National Country Party (LibNCP) Conservative Government returned to power, Australian immigration policy has moved in different directions from the previous post World War II experience. The demographic implications have been profound. In 1975 the LibNCP government returned to office committed to restoring an active migration program. By 1980-81 it had largely succeeded in this numerical goal. Australia's migration growth rate at .82% of the total population exceeded almost all other Western society. What was new, in comparison to previous policy, was the migrant selection system and source countries. By the time the government lost office in March 1983, family reunion had become the major migration program souce and Asia was rapidly becoming the dominant place of migrant origin. This emphasis on family reunion was not intended by government immigration planners but was a product of domestic political change and resultant new influences over migration policy. As to the increasing Asian component, it has mainly been an unintended consequence of the expansion in the family reunion program. Although the liberalization of family reunion eligibility has largely been designed to appease the major Southern European ethnic communities, few applications have been forthcoming from these countries. Asian applicants have been numerous. Labor government policy since March 1983 has shown remarkable continuity with that of the LibNCP both in its selection system and in the size of the migrant intake. The motivation for the commitment to immigration derived first from longstanding traditions within the Australian business community that Australia's economic growth and dynamism depended on rapid population growth. More specifically there

  8. Military Retirement Reform: An Australian Perspective

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-03-01

    by Disney and Johnson (2001) and the World Bank (Pordes, 1994). There have also been various papers and reviews about Australian and U.S. military...once they reach a certain age prescribed by the state. As described by Disney and Johnson (2001) there are three main types of publicly supported plans...income and assets. The maximum amount is AU$21,505 per annum for an individual or AU$32,471 for a couple. According to Disney and Johnson (2001) this

  9. The Relationship between Self-Esteem and Parenting Style: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Australian and Vietnamese Australian Adolescents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Herz, Lara; Gullone, Eleonora

    1999-01-01

    Studied the relationship between self-esteem and parenting style with 118 Vietnamese Australian and 120 Anglo-Australian adolescents. As expected, parenting characterized by high levels of overprotection and low levels of acceptance related negatively with self-esteem for both samples of adolescents. (SLD)

  10. Revisiting the Occupational Aspirations and Destinations of Anglo-Australian and Chinese-Australian High School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Malik, Ranbir Singh

    2015-01-01

    Evidence from Australia lends support to the "Asian high achieving syndrome" in Chinese-Australian students and "self-deprivation syndrome" in Anglo-Australian students. Applying ethnographic case studies approach for doctoral thesis the author collected data on a longitudinal basis from homes and school of these students. All…

  11. Reframing the Australian nurse teacher competencies: do they reflect the 'REAL' world of nurse teacher practice?

    PubMed

    Guy, Jacqui; Taylor, Christine; Roden, Janet; Blundell, Jennifer; Tolhurst, Gerda

    2011-04-01

    The Australian nurse teacher competencies were introduced in 1996; however, the researchers perceived that changes to the health care system and a nursing workforce shortage may have affected nurse teacher roles over the past decade. This study aimed to explore perceptions of nurse teachers on the applicability of the current Australian nurse teacher competencies to practice, and modify the nurse teacher competencies to better reflect current practice. Methodology utilized mixed methods, and data collection was via focus groups, telephone interviews, and survey data. Results revealed that participants were mostly positive about the original competency statements, although there were some variations between items. Themes that emerged from the qualitative data were: changing trends in health care; preparation for teaching; understanding of the competencies, contextual influences on education role; nurse teachers as change agents, and resource management. Conclusions were that the Australian nurse teacher competencies (1996) were reflective of the current generic roles of nurse teachers however some of the competencies needed reframing to meet the current needs of nurse teachers. However, changes needed to be made in areas such as reducing complex language, inclusion of technology, and cultural competencies. Nurse teachers were supportive of the research because they valued the teacher competencies for reflection on their practice and the development of portfolios, job descriptions and performance appraisals.

  12. Nursing churn and turnover in Australian hospitals: nurses perceptions and suggestions for supportive strategies

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background This study aimed to reveal nurses’ experiences and perceptions of turnover in Australian hospitals and identify strategies to improve retention, performance and job satisfaction. Nursing turnover is a serious issue that can compromise patient safety, increase health care costs and impact on staff morale. A qualitative design was used to analyze responses from 362 nurses collected from a national survey of nurses from medical and surgical nursing units across 3 Australian States/Territories. Method A qualitative design was used to analyze responses from 362 nurses collected from a national survey of nurses from medical and surgical nursing units across 3 Australian States/Territories. Results Key factors affecting nursing turnover were limited career opportunities; poor support; a lack of recognition; and negative staff attitudes. The nursing working environment is characterised by inappropriate skill-mix and inadequate patient-staff ratios; a lack of overseas qualified nurses with appropriate skills; low involvement in decision-making processes; and increased patient demands. These issues impacted upon heavy workloads and stress levels with nurses feeling undervalued and disempowered. Nurses described supportive strategies: improving performance appraisals, responsive preceptorship and flexible employment options. Conclusion Nursing turnover is influenced by the experiences of nurses. Positive steps can be made towards improving workplace conditions and ensuring nurse retention. Improving performance management and work design are strategies that nurse managers could harness to reduce turnover. PMID:24708565

  13. Australian region tropical cyclones: Influence of environment at different scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramsay, Hamish Andrew

    This dissertation explores the influence of environmental factors on a variety of spatial and temporal scales on tropical cyclones (TCs) in the Australian region. Chapter 1 provides the motivation for the work presented, and leads into a discussion on the current state of knowledge of large-scale factors affecting the interannual variability of TCs in each of the seven global TC basins (Chapter 2). Chapter 3 is an investigation of the role of large-scale environmental factors, notably sea surface temperature (SST), low-level relative vorticity, and deep tropospheric vertical wind shear, for the interannual variability of November-April tropical TC activity in the Australian region. Extensive correlation analyses were carried out between TC frequency and intensity and the above-mentioned large-scale parameters, using TC data for 1970-2006 from the official Australian TC data set. Large correlations were found between the seasonal number of TCs and SST in the Nino 3.4 and Nino 4 regions. These correlations were greatest (-0.73) during the August-October period, immediately preceding the Australian TC season. The correlations remain almost unchanged for the July-September period and therefore can be viewed as potential seasonal predictors of the forthcoming TC season. In contrast, only weak correlations (<+0.37) were found with the local SST in the region north of Australia where many TCs originate; these were reduced almost to zero when the ENSO component of the SST was removed by partial correlation analysis. The annual frequency of TCs was strongly correlated with 850-hPa relative vorticity and vertical shear of the zonal wind over the main TC genesis areas of the Australian region. A Principal Component Analysis of the SST data set revealed two main modes of Pacific Ocean SST variability that match very closely with the basin-wide patterns of correlations between SST and TC frequencies. It was also found that the above-mentioned large correlations could be

  14. A genomewide association study of nicotine and alcohol dependence in Australian and Dutch populations

    PubMed Central

    Lind, Penelope A; Macgregor, Stuart; Vink, Jacqueline M; Pergadia, Michele L; Hansell, Narelle K; de Moor, Marleen HM; Smit, August B; Hottenga, Jouke-Jan; Richter, Melinda M; Heath, Andrew C; Martin, Nicholas G; Willemsen, Gonneke; de Geus, Eco JC; Vogelzangs, Nicole; Penninx, Brenda W; Whitfield, John B; Montgomery, Grant W; Boomsma, Dorret I; Madden, Pamela AF

    2011-01-01

    Persistent tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption are major public health concerns worldwide. Both alcohol and nicotine dependence (AD, ND) are genetically-influenced complex disorders that exhibit a high degree of comorbidity. To identify gene variants contributing to one or both of these addictions, we first conducted a pooling-based genome wide association study (GWAS) in an Australian population, using Illumina Infinium 1M arrays. Allele frequency differences were compared between pooled DNA from case and control groups for: (i) AD, 1224 cases and 1162 controls; (ii) ND, 1273 cases and 1113 controls; and (iii) comorbid AD and ND, 599 cases and 488 controls. Secondly, we carried out a GWAS in independent samples from the Netherlands for AD and for ND. Thirdly, we performed a meta-analysis of the 10,000 most significant AD- and ND-related SNPs from the Australian and Dutch samples. In the Australian GWAS, one SNP achieved genomewide significance (p < 5×10−8) for ND (rs964170 in ARHGAP10 on chromosome 4, p=4.43×10−8) and three others for comorbid AD/ND (rs7530302 near MARK1 on chromosome 1 (p=1.90×10−9), rs1784300 near DDX6 on chromosome 11 (p=2.60×10−9) and rs12882384 in KIAA1409 on chromosome 14 (p=4.86×10−8)). None of the SNPs achieved genomewide significance in the Australian/Dutch meta-analysis, but a gene network diagram based on the top-results revealed overrepresentation of genes coding for ion-channels and cell adhesion molecules. Further studies will be required before the detailed causes of comorbidity between AD and ND are understood. PMID:20158304

  15. Stratospheric Smoke Down Under: Injection From Australian Fires/Convection in January 2003

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fromm, M.; Tupper, A.; Poole, L.; Servranckx, R.; Bevilacqua, R.; Rosenfeld, D.

    2003-12-01

    In January 2003, the Australian Capital Territory suffered prolonged, extreme, and devastating bush and forest fires. On at least three distinct occasions, some of these fires erupted into convectively driven/aided firestorms producing plumes that traveled several thousand km. One in particular, a January 18 blowup, resulted in an aerosol plume tracked by TOMS aerosol index across South America, into the South Atlantic (fully one half way around the Earth) in one week. Soon after these blowups, SAGE III aerosol extinction profiles (at approximately 35 deg. S) recorded layers of enhanced aerosol at potential temperatures as high as 400 K, well into the lower stratosphere. POAM III also recorded stratospheric aerosol layers in mid-February at its measurement latitude near 70 deg. S. We explore the Australian blowups with meteorological data and an assemblage of satellite views, including the above mentioned, MODIS, SeaWiFS, MISR, and AVHRR, and GMS. We find that the setup conditions, forcing, and extreme pyro-cumulonimbus (pyro-Cb) eruption leading to stratospheric intrusion are quite similar to boreal forest fire blowups described by Fromm et al. [ GRL, 2000] and Fromm and Servranckx [GRL, 2003]. Our report will include a cloud analysis, comparing an Australian pyro-Cb to a volcanic convective plume. Our monitoring of the summer 2003 Australian fires and smoke also revealed a high-altitude plume of aerosol (highlighted by TOMS aerosol index) ejected/detrained from a convective tower in northern Queensland (18 deg. S) on February 4, perhaps a direct observation of UTLS-level aerosol transport through a specific convective cell at low latitude.

  16. Rapid change in drift of the Australian plate records collision with Ontong Java plateau.

    PubMed

    Knesel, Kurt M; Cohen, Benjamin E; Vasconcelos, Paulo M; Thiede, David S

    2008-08-07

    The subduction of oceanic plateaux, which contain extraordinarily thick basaltic crust and are the marine counterparts of continental flood-basalt provinces, is an important factor in many current models of plate motion and provides a potential mechanism for triggering plate reorganization. To evaluate such models, it is essential to decipher the history of the collision between the largest and thickest of the world's oceanic plateaux, the Ontong Java plateau, and the Australian plate, but this has been hindered by poor constraints for the arrival of the plateau at the Melanesian trench. Here we present (40)Ar-(39)Ar geochronological data on hotspot volcanoes in eastern Australian that reveal a strong link between collision of the Greenland-sized Ontong Java plateau with the Melanesian arc and motion of the Australian plate. The new ages define a short-lived period of reduced northward plate motion between 26 and 23 Myr ago, coincident with an eastward offset in the contemporaneous tracks of seamount chains in the Tasman Sea east of Australia. These features record a brief westward deflection of the Australian plate as the plateau entered and choked the Melanesian trench 26 Myr ago. From 23 Myr ago, Australia returned to a rapid northerly trajectory at roughly the same time that southwest-directed subduction began along the Trobriand trough. The timing and brevity of this collisional event correlate well with offsets in hotspot seamount tracks on the Pacific plate, including the archetypal Hawaiian chain, and thus provide strong evidence that immense oceanic plateaux, like the Ontong Java, can contribute to initiating rapid change in plate boundaries and motions on a global scale.

  17. Australian Sphingidae – DNA Barcodes Challenge Current Species Boundaries and Distributions

    PubMed Central

    Rougerie, Rodolphe; Kitching, Ian J.; Haxaire, Jean; Miller, Scott E.; Hausmann, Axel; Hebert, Paul D. N.

    2014-01-01

    Main Objective We examine the extent of taxonomic and biogeographical uncertainty in a well-studied group of Australian Lepidoptera, the hawkmoths (Sphingidae). Methods We analysed the diversity of Australian sphingids through the comparative analysis of their DNA barcodes, supplemented by morphological re-examinations and sequence information from a nuclear marker in selected cases. The results from the analysis of Australian sphingids were placed in a broader context by including conspecifics and closely related taxa from outside Australia to test taxonomic boundaries. Results Our results led to the discovery of six new species in Australia, one case of erroneously synonymized species, and three cases of synonymy. As a result, we establish the occurrence of 75 species of hawkmoths on the continent. The analysis of records from outside Australia also challenges the validity of current taxonomic boundaries in as many as 18 species, including Agrius convolvuli (Linnaeus, 1758), a common species that has gained adoption as a model system. Our work has revealed a higher level of endemism than previously recognized. Most (90%) Australian sphingids are endemic to the continent (45%) or to Australia, the Pacific Islands and the Papuan and Wallacean regions (45%). Only seven species (10%) have ranges that extend beyond this major biogeographical boundary toward SE Asia and other regions of the Old World. Main Conclusions This study has established that overlooked cryptic diversity and inaccurate species delineation produced significant misconceptions concerning diversity and distribution patterns in a group of insects that is considered well known taxonomically. Because DNA barcoding represents a straightforward way to test taxonomic boundaries, its implementation can improve the accuracy of primary diversity data in biogeography and conservation studies. PMID:24987846

  18. Healthcare and complicity in Australian immigration detention.

    PubMed

    Essex, Ryan

    2016-06-01

    Australian immigration detention has received persistent criticism since its introduction almost 25 years ago. With the recent introduction of offshore processing, these criticisms have intensified. Riots, violence, self-harm, abuse and devastating mental health outcomes are all now well documented, along with a number of deaths. Clinicians have played a central role working in these environments, faced with the overarching issue of delivering healthcare while facilitating an abusive and harmful system. Since the re-introduction of offshore processing a number of authors have begun to discuss the possibility of a boycott. While taking such action may lead to change, further discussion is needed, not only in relation to the impact of a boycott, but whether it is possible for clinicians to engage with this system in more productive, ethical ways. This article utilises a framework proposed by Lepora and Goodin (On complicity and compromise, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2013) that provides a structured approach to examine complicity and seeks to explore how clinicians have engaged with Australian immigration detention and ultimately whether they should continue to do so.

  19. Patterns of multimorbidity in working Australians

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Multimorbidity is becoming more prevalent. Previously-used methods of assessing multimorbidity relied on counting the number of health conditions, often in relation to an index condition (comorbidity), or grouping conditions based on body or organ systems. Recent refinements in statistical approaches have resulted in improved methods to capture patterns of multimorbidity, allowing for the identification of nonrandomly occurring clusters of multimorbid health conditions. This paper aims to identify nonrandom clusters of multimorbidity. Methods The Australian Work Outcomes Research Cost-benefit (WORC) study cross-sectional screening dataset (approximately 78,000 working Australians) was used to explore patterns of multimorbidity. Exploratory factor analysis was used to identify nonrandomly occurring clusters of multimorbid health conditions. Results Six clinically-meaningful groups of multimorbid health conditions were identified. These were: factor 1: arthritis, osteoporosis, other chronic pain, bladder problems, and irritable bowel; factor 2: asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and allergies; factor 3: back/neck pain, migraine, other chronic pain, and arthritis; factor 4: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, and fatigue; factor 5: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, fatigue, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and arthritis; and factor 6: irritable bowel, ulcer, heartburn, and other chronic pain. These clusters do not fall neatly into organ or body systems, and some conditions appear in more than one cluster. Conclusions Considerably more research is needed with large population-based datasets and a comprehensive set of reliable health diagnoses to better understand the complex nature and composition of multimorbid health conditions. PMID:21635787

  20. Biobank classification in an Australian setting.

    PubMed

    Rush, Amanda; Christiansen, Jeffrey H; Farrell, Jake P; Goode, Susan M; Scott, Rodney J; Spring, Kevin J; Byrne, Jennifer A

    2015-06-01

    In 2011, Watson and Barnes proposed a schema for classifying biobanks into 3 groups (mono-, oligo-, and poly-user), primarily based upon biospecimen access policies. We used results from a recent comprehensive survey of cancer biobanks in New South Wales, Australia to assess the applicability of this biobank classification schema in an Australian setting. Cancer biobanks were identified using publically available data, and by consulting with research managers. A comprehensive survey was developed and administered through a face-to-face setting. Data were analyzed using Microsoft Excel™ 2010 and IBM SPSS Statistics™ version 21.0. The cancer biobank cohort (n=23) represented 5 mono-user biobanks, 7 oligo-user biobanks, and 11 poly-user biobanks, and was analyzed as two groups (mono-/oligo- versus poly-user biobanks). Poly-user biobanks employed significantly more full-time equivalent staff, and were significantly more likely to have a website, share staff between biobanks, access governance support, utilize quality control measures, be aware of biobanking best practice documents, and offer staff training. Mono-/oligo-user biobanks were significantly more likely to seek advice from other biobanks. Our results further delineate a biobank classification system that is primarily based on access policy, and demonstrate its relevance in an Australian setting.

  1. Understanding Australian families' organ donation decisions.

    PubMed

    Neate, S L; Marck, C H; Skinner, M; Dwyer, B; McGain, F; Weiland, T J; Hickey, B B; Jelinek, G A

    2015-01-01

    Numbers of deceased organ donors in Australia have increased, but rates of consent to donation remain at around 60%. Increasing family consent is a key target for the Australian Organ and Tissue Authority. Reasons for donation decisions have been reported in the international literature, but little is known of reasons for Australian families' decisions. Potential organ donors in four Melbourne hospitals were identified and 49 participants from 40 families (23 consenting and 17 non-consenting) were interviewed to understand reasons for consent decisions. Themes for consent to organ donation included that: donation was consistent with the deceased's explicit wishes or known values, the desire to help others or self-including themes of altruism, pragmatism, preventing others from being in the same position, consolation received from donation and aspects of the donation conversation and care that led families to believe donation was right for them. Themes for non-consent included: lack of knowledge of wishes; social, cultural and religious beliefs; factors related to the donation process and family exhaustion; and conversation factors where negative events influenced decisions. While reasons for consent were similar to those described in international literature, reasons for non-consent differed in that there was little emphasis on lack of trust of the medical profession, concerns regarding level of care provided to the potential donor, preserving the deceased's body, fears of body invasion or organ allocation fairness.

  2. Rescues conducted by surfers on Australian beaches.

    PubMed

    Attard, Anna; Brander, Robert W; Shaw, Wendy S

    2015-09-01

    This study describes the demographics, occurrence, location, primary hazards and outcomes involved in rescues performed by surfers on Australian beaches. Conservative estimates suggest that the number of rescues conducted by Australian surfers each year is on par with the number conducted by volunteer surf lifesavers. Surfers perform a considerable number of serious rescues in both lifesaver/lifeguard patrolled (45%) and unpatrolled (53%) beach locations. Rip currents represent the major physical hazard leading to rescue (75%) and the dominant emotional response of people rescued is one of panic (85%). Most surfer rescue events occur during conditions of moderate waves and sunny, fine weather with the highest proportion of rescues occurring on quiet beaches with few people around (26%). Swimming is the activity associated with most rescue events (63%), followed by board riding (25%). Males aged 18-29 represent the largest demographic of people rescued. Surfers with prior water-safety training are more likely to perform a higher number of rescues, however ability to perform rescues is not associated with formal training, but rather number of years' experience surfing. Seventy-eight percent of surfers were happy to help, while 28% expressed feelings of annoyance or inconvenience, generally towards unwary swimmers. Results of this research suggest that 63% of surfers feel they have saved a life. This value may be enhanced through improved training of surfers in basic water safety rescue techniques.

  3. The "lessons" of the Australian "heroin shortage".

    PubMed

    Degenhardt, Louisa; Day, Carolyn; Gilmour, Stuart; Hall, Wayne

    2006-05-02

    Heroin use causes considerable harm to individual users including dependence, fatal and nonfatal overdose, mental health problems, and blood borne virus transmission. It also adversely affects the community through drug dealing, property crime and reduced public amenity. During the mid to late 1990s in Australia the prevalence of heroin use increased as reflected in steeply rising overdose deaths. In January 2001, there were reports of an unpredicted and unprecedented reduction in heroin supply with an abrupt onset in all Australian jurisdictions. The shortage was most marked in New South Wales, the State with the largest heroin market, which saw increases in price, dramatic decreases in purity at the street level, and reductions in the ease with which injecting drug users reported being able to obtain the drug. The abrupt onset of the shortage and a subsequent dramatic reduction in overdose deaths prompted national debate about the causes of the shortage and later international debate about the policy significance of what has come to be called the "Australian heroin shortage". In this paper we summarise insights from four years' research into the causes, consequences and policy implications of the "heroin shortage".

  4. The h-index in Australian Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pimbblet, Kevin A.

    2011-06-01

    The Hirsch h-index is now widely used as a metric to compare individual researchers. To evaluate it in the context of Australian astronomy, the h-index for every member of the Astronomical Society of Australia (ASA) is found using NASA's Astrophysics Data System Bibliographic Services. Percentiles of the h-index distribution are detailed for a variety of categories of ASA members, including students. This enables a list of the top ten Australian researchers by h-index to be produced. These top researchers have h-index values in the range 53

  5. Supplement Use of Elite Australian Swimmers.

    PubMed

    Shaw, Gregory; Slater, Gary; Burke, Louise M

    2016-06-01

    This study examined the influence the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Sport Supplement Program had on supplement practices of elite Australian swimmers, comparing those guided by the Program with others in the same national team. Thirty-nine elite swimmers (13 AIS, 26 Other; 20 female, 19 male; age 21.8 ± 3.3 y) completed a questionnaire investigating supplement use. Ninety-seven percent of swimmers reported taking supplements or sports foods over the preceding 12 months. AIS swimmers reported using more total brands (p = .02) and supplements considered Ergogenic (p = .001) than Other swimmers who used more supplements considered to be lacking scientific support (p = .028). Swimmers rated the risk of a negative outcome from the use of supplements available in Australia (Mdn = 3.0) as less than the risk of supplements from international sources (Mdn = 4.0; p < .001). AIS swimmers were more likely to report dietitians (p < .001) and sports physicians (p = .017) as advisors of their supplement use. Other swimmers more frequently reported fellow athletes as a source of supplement advice (p = .03). AIS swimmers sourced a greater percentage of their supplements from an organized program (94 ± 16%) compared with Other (40 ± 32%; p < .001) who sourced a greater percentage (30 ± 30%) of their dietary supplements from supermarkets. These findings suggest that swimmers influenced by this sport supplement program more frequently use supplements that are recommended by allied health trained individuals, classified as evidence based and provided by the program.

  6. Acceleration profiles in elite Australian soccer.

    PubMed

    Varley, M C; Aughey, R J

    2013-01-01

    We quantified the acceleration and high-velocity running of elite Australian soccer players. We hypothesised that high-intensity activity would be underestimated when excluding acceleration during match analysis given its high metabolic demand and occurrence at low velocities. Player movements were observed from 29 players (forwards and central and wide defenders and midfielders) during domestic Australian competition using 5-Hz global positioning system. Effort occurrence were determined for high-velocity running, sprinting and maximal accelerations. The commencement and final velocity of maximal accelerations were also identified. Players undertook an 8~fold greater number of maximal accelerations than sprints per game (65±21 vs. 8±5). Of maximal accelerations ~98% commenced from a starting velocity lower than what would be considered high-velocity running while ~85% did not cross the high-velocity running threshold. The number of efforts performed in all categories were position dependent (P<0.001). Wide defenders performed more maximal accelerations (P<0.006) and central defenders and midfielders performed less sprints compared to all other positions (P<0.02). Maximal accelerations are frequently undertaken during a match often occurring at low velocities. Excluding maximal accelerations in match analysis research may underestimate the amount of high-intensity movements undertaken. Additionally positional differences in high-intensity movements should be accounted for when developing specific conditioning drills.

  7. Earliest known Australian Tertiary mammal fauna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Godthelp, Henk; Archer, Michael; Cifelli, Richard; Hand, Suzanne J.; Gilkeson, Coral F.

    1992-04-01

    REMAINS of Early Eocene vertebrates from freshwater clays near Murgon, southeastern Queensland, represent Australia's oldest marsupials, bats, non-volant placentals, frogs, madtsoiid snakes, trionychid turtles1and birds. Radiometric dating of illites forming part of the matrix of the mammal-bearing zone has given a minimum age estimate of 54.6 +/- 0.05 x 106 years, which is roughly twice as old as any marsupials previously known from Australia2 and well before the 38 million year (Myr) separation of Australia from Antarctica/South America3. All marsupials so far known from the Tingamarra Local Fauna are more derived (being dilambdodont) than peradectids. None of them is clearly a member of a previously known Australian family, but some could be uniquely plesiomorphic dasyuroids or perameloids. Another is autapomorphically specialized and indicative of at least partial isolation of the Australian portion of Gondwana. Here we report on the discovery of a tooth of the earliest non-volant placental known from Australia, Tingamarra porterorum gen.et sp. nov., which seems to be a condylarth-like placental mammal. The presence of non-volant placentals in the Early Tertiary of Australia challenges a common presumption that marsupials dominated Australia's therian assemblages because of failure of such placentals to reach Australia before the Late Tertiary.

  8. The napping behaviour of Australian university students.

    PubMed

    Lovato, Nicole; Lack, Leon; Wright, Helen

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the self-reported sleep and napping behaviour of Australian university students and the relationship between napping and daytime functioning. A sample of 280 university first-year psychology students (median age  = 19.00 years) completed a 6-item napping behaviour questionnaire, a 12-item Daytime Feelings and Functioning Scale, the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Results indicated that 53.6% of students reported napping with 34% napping at least 1-2 times per week, and 17% napping three or more occasions per week. Long naps, those over 30 minutes, were taken by 77% of the napping students. Sixty-one percent of students reported they took long naps during the post-lunch dip period, from 2-4 pm. Students who nap at least once per week reported significantly more problems organizing their thoughts, gaining motivation, concentrating, and finishing tasks than students who did not nap. Students who napped also felt significantly more sleepy and depressed when compared to students who did not nap. The results also indicated that nap frequency increased with daytime sleepiness. The majority of students (51%) reported sleeping 6-7 hours per night or less. Overall, the results from this study suggest that among this population of Australian first-year university students habitual napping is common and may be used in an attempt to compensate for the detrimental effects of excessive sleepiness.

  9. Monitoring Diffuse Impacts: Australian Tourism Developments.

    PubMed

    Warnken; Buckley

    2000-04-01

    / The scientific quality of monitoring for diffuse environmental impacts has rarely been quantified. This paper presents an analysis of all formal environmental monitoring programs for Australian tourism developments over a 15-year period from 1980 to 1995. The tourism sector provides a good test bed for this study because tourism developments are (1) often adjacent to or even within conservation reserves and other relatively undisturbed natural environments, and (2) often clustered, with resulting cumulative impacts that require detection at an early stage. Here we analyze the precision and reliability with which monitoring programs as actually implemented can detect diffuse environmental impacts against natural variation. Of 175 Australian tourism developments subject to EIA from 1980 to 1993 inclusive, only 13 were subject to formal monitoring. Only 44 individual parameters, in total, were monitored for all these developments together. No baseline monitoring was conducted for nine of the 44 parameters. For the remaining 35, only one was monitored for a full year. Before, after, control, impact, paired sampling (BACIP) monitoring designs were used for 24 of the 44 parameters, and power analysis in 10. The scientific quality of monitoring was significantly better for developments subject to control by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA). The key factor appears to be the way in which GBRMPA uses external referees and manages external consultants. The GBRMPA model merits wider adoption.

  10. Shaping public opinion on the issue of childbirth; a critical analysis of articles published in an Australian newspaper

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The Australian government has announced a major program of reform with the move to primary maternity care, a program of change that appears to be at odds with current general public perceptions regarding how maternity care is delivered. Methods A critical discourse analysis of articles published in 'The Age', a newspaper with national distribution, subsequent to the release of the discussion paper by the Australian Government in 2008 was undertaken. The purpose was to identify how Australian maternity services are portrayed and what purpose is served by this representation to the general public. Results Findings from this critical discourse analysis revealed that Australian maternity services are being portrayed to the general public as an inflexible outdated service struggling to meets the needs of pregnant women and in desperate need of reform. The style of reporting employed in this newspaper involved presenting to the reader the range of expert opinion relevant to each topic, frequently involving polarised positions of the experts on the issue. Conclusions The general public are presented with a conflict, caught between the need for changes that come with the primary maternity model of care and fear that these change will undermine safe standards. The discourse; 'Australia is one of the safest countries in which to give birth or be born, what is must be best', represents the situation where despite major deficiencies in the system the general public may be too fearful of the consequences to consider a move away from reliance on traditional medical-led maternity care. PMID:21708041

  11. Heart failure among Indigenous Australians: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Cardiovascular diseases contribute substantially to the poor health and reduced life expectancy of Indigenous Australians. Heart failure is a common, disabling, progressive and costly complication of these disorders. The epidemiology of heart failure and the adequacy of relevant health service provision in Indigenous Australians are not well delineated. Methods A systematic search of the electronic databases PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Cinahl Plus, Informit and Google Scholar was undertaken in April 2012 for peer-reviewed journal articles relevant to the topic of heart failure in Indigenous Australians. Additionally, a website search was done to identify other pertinent publications, particularly government reports. Results There was a paucity of relevant peer-reviewed research, and government reports dominated the results. Ten journal articles, 1 published conference abstract and 10 reports were eligible for inclusion. Indigenous Australians reportedly have higher morbidity and mortality from heart failure than their non-Indigenous counterparts (age-standardised prevalence ratio 1.7; age-standardised hospital separation ratio ≥3; crude per capita hospital expenditure ratio 1.58; age-adjusted mortality ratio >2). Despite the evident disproportionate burden of heart failure in Indigenous Australians, the accuracy of estimation from administrative data is limited by poor indigenous identification, inadequate case ascertainment and exclusion of younger subjects from mortality statistics. A recent journal article specifically documented a high prevalence of heart failure in Central Australian Aboriginal adults (5.3%), noting frequent undiagnosed disease. One study examined barriers to health service provision for Indigenous Australians in the context of heart failure. Conclusions Despite the shortcomings of available published data, it is clear that Indigenous Australians have an excess burden of heart failure. Emerging data suggest that undiagnosed

  12. The Production of Australian Professional Development Policy Texts as a Site of Contest: The Case of the Federal Quality Teacher Programme

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hardy, Ian

    2009-01-01

    This paper reveals how the provision of teacher professional development is conceptualised within the Australian Government Quality Teacher Programme (AGQTP) policy text and its predecessors, and uses these texts to infer the nature of the production practices associated with the development of these policies. The paper argues that multiple…

  13. The Australian Treatment Outcome Study (ATOS): what have we learnt about treatment for heroin dependence?

    PubMed

    Darke, Shane; Ross, Joanne; Teesson, Maree

    2007-01-01

    Opioids make the single largest contribution to illicit drug-related mortality and morbidity worldwide In this paper we reflect upon what has been learnt regarding treatment outcome and the natural history of heroin use from the Australian Treatment Outcome Study (ATOS). We focus on what we knew prior to ATOS, what ATOS revealed that is novel, and the implications for research, practice and policy. ATOS provided strong evidence for sustained improvement attributable to treatment across the three years of the study. It is argued that treatment for heroin dependence is money well spent, and leads to clear and sustained benefits to both heroin users and society.

  14. Attempting to Unravel the Australian Megatsunami Hypothesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goff, J. R.

    2008-12-01

    Nearly two decades of information report apparent megatsunamis along the SE coast of Australia and yet these interpretations are still highly controversial. This work has proven to be particularly influential in guiding more recent megatsunami researchers, and yet it has never been critically evaluated in the light of recent advances in tsunami research. Much of the controversy hinges upon the nature of the original observations, event chronologies, and source identification. The most recent incarnation of the megatsunami hypothesis is indicative of the controversy. A supposed impact crater to the SW of New Zealand is linked with abandoned Maori settlements, Maori legends, and high elevation beach sand deposits in New Zealand, and apparent megatsunami evidence in eastern Australia and on Lord Howe Island. A date of around AD1500 is proposed. There are two key issues here. First, is there currently any evidence for contemporaneous trans Tasman palaeotsunamis (or megatsunamis) in the Holocene? Second, how reliable is the evidence? The first issue was addressed by comparing Holocene events from the Australian and New Zealand palaeotsunami databases. Up to five possible contemporaneous events were identified, but at the same time flaws in the underpinning data were highlighted. To start with, there is no consistent approach to the interpretation of chronological information comprising the databases. A consistent recalibration of all available radiocarbon data was carried out for both databases. This was based upon information contained in the relevant original papers. No clusters of radiocarbon ages were found for apparent megatsunami deposits along the SE coast of Australia. Clusters were found however, in New Zealand for inferred local and regional events. Next, the nature and extent of physical evidence used to determine tsunami emplacement were found to be highly variable. A preliminary reassessment of the physical evidence casts doubt upon the interpretation of

  15. Beverage intake and obesity in Australian children

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background There have been increases in the obesity and overweight rates in Australian children over the past 25 years and it has been suggested that sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) have played a role in this increase. Objective The objectives of this study were to: (1) examine SSB intakes in the 2007 Australian Children's Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (2) relate SSB intake to rates of overweight and obesity, socio-economic status (SES), TV viewing time, and activity levels and (3) compare 2007 SSB intakes with data from the 1995 National Nutrition Survey. Design A computer assisted 24 h dietary recall in 4,400 children aged 2-16 years was performed. Results In the 2007 survey 47% of all children reported drinking SSBs with 25% consuming sugar sweetened soft drinks on the day of the survey. The mean consumption of soft drink was 436 g/d/consumer. Activity levels were unrelated to SSB consumption. Television viewing was positively related to soft drink consumption with a difference of 55 g/day from bottom to top tertile of time spent TV viewing (p = 0.015) in children aged 9-16 years. 55% of SSB consumption occurred at home and 10% occurred at school. Lower SES status was associated with a greater prevalence of SSB consumption- 30% for the lowest SES quartile vs 19% in the highest quartile. The proportion of overweight who consumed SSBs (which excludes 100% fruit) was not different from the non-overweight children although the proportion of SSB consumers in the 6% of children who were obese was significant compared with the non-overweight children (59% vs 47%, p < 0.05). In the 2007 survey 23% of children were overweight (17%) or obese (6%) while in the 1995 survey this figure was 21%. The proportion of children consuming SSBs in 1995 and 2007 for selected age groups were: 2-3 years - 25.8% and 12.8% respectively and 4-7 years - 33.6% and 20.5% respectively (p < 0.001 for both). Conclusions This cross-sectional data set provides evidence that SSB

  16. Drinking-water quality management: the Australian framework.

    PubMed

    Sinclair, Martha; Rizak, Samantha

    The most effective means of assuring drinking-water quality and the protection of public health is through adoption of a preventive management approach that encompasses all steps in water production from catchment to consumer. However, the reliance of current regulatory structures on compliance monitoring of treated water tends to promote a reactive management style where corrective actions are initiated after monitoring reveals that prescribed levels have been exceeded, and generally after consumers have received the noncomplying water. Unfortunately, the important limitations of treated water monitoring are often not appreciated, and there is a widespread tendency to assume that intensification of compliance monitoring or lowering of compliance limits is an effective strategy to improving the protection of public health. To address these issues and emphasize the role of preventive system management, the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council in collaboration with the Co-operative Research Centre for Water Quality and Treatment has developed a comprehensive quality management approach for drinking water. This Framework for Management of Drinking Water Quality will assist water suppliers in providing a higher level of assurance for drinking water quality and safety. The framework integrates quality and risk management principles, and provides a comprehensive, flexible, and proactive means of optimizing, drinking-water quality and protecting public health. It does not eliminate the requirement for compliance monitoring but allows it to be viewed in the proper perspective as providing verification that preventive measures are effective, rather than as the primary means of protecting public health.

  17. The invisibilization of health promotion in Australian public health initiatives.

    PubMed

    O'Hara, Lily; Taylor, Jane; Barnes, Margaret

    2016-07-19

    The field of health promotion has arguably shifted over the past thirty years from being socially proactive to biomedically defensive. In many countries this has been accompanied by a gradual decline, or in some cases the almost complete removal of health promotion designated positions within Government health departments. The language or discourse used to describe the practice and discipline of health promotion is reflective of such changes. In this study, critical discourse analysis was used to determine the representation of health promotion as a practice and a discipline within 10 Australian Government weight-related public health initiatives. The analysis revealed the invisibilization of critical health promotion in favour of an agenda described as 'preventive health'. This was achieved primarily through the textual practices of overlexicalization and lexical suppression. Excluding document titles, there were 437 uses of the terms health promotion, illness prevention, disease prevention, preventive health, preventative health in the documents analysed. The term 'health promotion' was used sparingly (16% of total terms), and in many instances was coupled with the term 'illness prevention'. Conversely, the terms 'preventive health' and 'preventative health' were used extensively, and primarily used alone. The progressive invisibilization of critical health promotion has implications for the perceptions and practice of those identifying as health promotion professionals and for people with whom we work to address the social and structural determinants of health and wellbeing. Language matters, and the language and intent of critical health promotion will struggle to survive if its speakers are professionally unidentifiable or invisible.

  18. Expressions of shame in investigative interviews with Australian Aboriginal children.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, Gemma; Brubacher, Sonja P; Powell, Martine B

    2016-01-01

    This study inspected a sample of 70 interview transcripts with Australian Aboriginal children to gain a sense of how frequently verbal shame responses were occurring in investigative interviews regarding alleged sexual abuse. Transcripts were examined to determine how children articulated shame, how interviewers reacted to these responses, and how shame related to children's accounts. Examination of frequencies revealed that verbal shame responses occurred in just over one-quarter of the interviews. One-way analyses of variance indicated that children who expressed shame within the interview spoke the same amount as children who did not express shame, however, they required more interviewer prompts before a disclosure was made. Interviews where children expressed shame also included a greater number of interviewer reminders compared to interviews without shame responses. Results emphasize the importance of interviewer awareness of shame, and also point to the value of reassurance, patience, and persistence with non-leading narrative prompting when interviewing children who express shame during discussions of sexual abuse.

  19. Three spectrally distinct photoreceptors in diurnal and nocturnal Australian ants

    PubMed Central

    Ogawa, Yuri; Falkowski, Marcin; Narendra, Ajay; Zeil, Jochen; Hemmi, Jan M.

    2015-01-01

    Ants are thought to be special among Hymenopterans in having only dichromatic colour vision based on two spectrally distinct photoreceptors. Many ants are highly visual animals, however, and use vision extensively for navigation. We show here that two congeneric day- and night-active Australian ants have three spectrally distinct photoreceptor types, potentially supporting trichromatic colour vision. Electroretinogram recordings show the presence of three spectral sensitivities with peaks (λmax) at 370, 450 and 550 nm in the night-active Myrmecia vindex and peaks at 370, 470 and 510 nm in the day-active Myrmecia croslandi. Intracellular electrophysiology on individual photoreceptors confirmed that the night-active M. vindex has three spectral sensitivities with peaks (λmax) at 370, 430 and 550 nm. A large number of the intracellular recordings in the night-active M. vindex show unusually broad-band spectral sensitivities, suggesting that photoreceptors may be coupled. Spectral measurements at different temporal frequencies revealed that the ultraviolet receptors are comparatively slow. We discuss the adaptive significance and the probability of trichromacy in Myrmecia ants in the context of dim light vision and visual navigation. PMID:25994678

  20. Australian children's views about food advertising on television.

    PubMed

    Mehta, Kaye; Coveney, John; Ward, Paul; Magarey, Anthea; Spurrier, Nicola; Udell, Tuesday

    2010-08-01

    This study explored children's views about food advertising on television in the light of recent public interest in childhood obesity and obesogenic environments. Thirty-seven children aged between 8 and 11 years, discussed their perceptions of food advertising, in focus groups. The children engaged as consumers of advertising, noticing technical aspects, and expressing their likes and dislikes of particular techniques. While they understood the persuasive intent of advertising, they nevertheless desired products and made purchase requests. They particularly desired energy-dense nutrient-poor foods. The children demonstrated sophisticated levels of advertising literacy through their articulation of problems such as deception, impacts on children's health and wellbeing, and family conflict. They revealed themselves as sentient beings, with the capacity to react, respond and reflect on their experience of advertising. This study makes a contribution to research on consumer socialisation by introducing the perspective of Australian children. As stakeholders in the childhood obesity problem, the views of children should also be of interest to health policymakers.

  1. Three spectrally distinct photoreceptors in diurnal and nocturnal Australian ants.

    PubMed

    Ogawa, Yuri; Falkowski, Marcin; Narendra, Ajay; Zeil, Jochen; Hemmi, Jan M

    2015-06-07

    Ants are thought to be special among Hymenopterans in having only dichromatic colour vision based on two spectrally distinct photoreceptors. Many ants are highly visual animals, however, and use vision extensively for navigation. We show here that two congeneric day- and night-active Australian ants have three spectrally distinct photoreceptor types, potentially supporting trichromatic colour vision. Electroretinogram recordings show the presence of three spectral sensitivities with peaks (λmax) at 370, 450 and 550 nm in the night-active Myrmecia vindex and peaks at 370, 470 and 510 nm in the day-active Myrmecia croslandi. Intracellular electrophysiology on individual photoreceptors confirmed that the night-active M. vindex has three spectral sensitivities with peaks (λmax) at 370, 430 and 550 nm. A large number of the intracellular recordings in the night-active M. vindex show unusually broad-band spectral sensitivities, suggesting that photoreceptors may be coupled. Spectral measurements at different temporal frequencies revealed that the ultraviolet receptors are comparatively slow. We discuss the adaptive significance and the probability of trichromacy in Myrmecia ants in the context of dim light vision and visual navigation.

  2. Revealing Rembrandt

    PubMed Central

    Parker, Andrew J.

    2014-01-01

    The power and significance of artwork in shaping human cognition is self-evident. The starting point for our empirical investigations is the view that the task of neuroscience is to integrate itself with other forms of knowledge, rather than to seek to supplant them. In our recent work, we examined a particular aspect of the appreciation of artwork using present-day functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Our results emphasized the continuity between viewing artwork and other human cognitive activities. We also showed that appreciation of a particular aspect of artwork, namely authenticity, depends upon the co-ordinated activity between the brain regions involved in multiple decision making and those responsible for processing visual information. The findings about brain function probably have no specific consequences for understanding how people respond to the art of Rembrandt in comparison with their response to other artworks. However, the use of images of Rembrandt's portraits, his most intimate and personal works, clearly had a significant impact upon our viewers, even though they have been spatially confined to the interior of an MRI scanner at the time of viewing. Neuroscientific studies of humans viewing artwork have the capacity to reveal the diversity of human cognitive responses that may be induced by external advice or context as people view artwork in a variety of frameworks and settings. PMID:24795552

  3. The Australian experiment with ETS-V

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vogel, Wolfhard J.; Goldhirsh, Julius; Hase, Yoshihiro

    1989-01-01

    Land-mobile satellite propagation measurements were implemented at L Band (1.5 GHz) in South-Eastern Australia during an 11 day period in October 1988. Transmissions (CW) from both the Japanese ETS-5 and INMARSAT Pacific geostationary satellites were accessed. Previous measurements in this series were performed at both L Band (1.5 GHz) and UHF (870 MHz) in Central Maryland, North-Central Colorado, and the southern United States. The objectives of the Australian campaign were to expand the data base acquired in the U.S. to another continent, to validate a U.S. derived empirical model for estimating the fade distribution, to establish the effects of directive antennas, to assess the isolation between co- and cross-polarized transmissions, to derive estimates of fade as well as non-fade durations, and to evaluate diversity reception. All these objectives were met.

  4. The Anglo-Australian Planet Search Legacy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Tinney, Christopher G.; Butler, Paul; Horner, Jonathan; Carter, Brad; Wright, Duncan; Jones, H. R. A.

    2017-01-01

    Radial velocity searches for exoplanets have undergone a revolution in recent years: now precisions of 1 m/s or better are being demonstrated by many instruments, and new purpose-built spectrographs hold the promise of bringing Earth-mass planets into the realm of secure detectability. In the "race to the bottom," it is critical not to overlook the impact of long-running planet search programs that continue to hold the advantage of time. We highlight the continuing impact of the 18-year Anglo-Australian Planet Search: the characterisation of long-period giant planets, and the insights into the occurrence rate of Jupiter and Saturn analogs. To fully understand the origins of planetary systems and the fundamental question of how common (or rare) the architecture of the Solar system is in the Galaxy, we must continue these "legacy" surveys to probe ever-larger orbital separations.

  5. Tackling inequalities in health: the Australian experience.

    PubMed Central

    Whitehead, M; Judge, K; Hunter, D J; Maxwell, R; Scheuer, M A

    1993-01-01

    Federal and state governments in Australia have embarked on a series of national initiatives which show a firm commitment to tackling social inequalities in health. The development of national goals and targets for health, for example, covers social and environmental conditions and sets differential targets for specific social groups with very poor health status. In a complementary initiative, a wide ranging analysis of the health care system--the National Health Strategy--has as one of its main objectives to improve the equitable impact of the health system. Where problems of access to and quality of services have been exposed, policies have been devised to deal with them. The exceptionally poor health of the Aboriginal community has elicited cross party support for action. Resources have been allocated to implement the National Aboriginal Health Strategy: to improve living and working conditions, education, and employment opportunities. Britain can glean much from the Australian experience. Images p783-a p787-a PMID:8490345

  6. The Australian Measles Control Campaign, 1998.

    PubMed Central

    Turnbull, F. M.; Burgess, M. A.; McIntyre, P. B.; Lambert, S. B.; Gilbert, G. L.; Gidding, H. F.; Escott, R. G.; Achat, H. M.; Hull, B. P.; Wang, H.; Sam, G. A.; Mead, C. L.

    2001-01-01

    The 1998 Australian Measles Control Campaign had as its aim improved immunization coverage among children aged 1-12 years and, in the longer term, prevention of measles epidemics. The campaign included mass school-based measles-mumps-rubella vaccination of children aged 5-12 years and a catch-up programme for preschool children. More than 1.33 million children aged 5-12 years were vaccinated at school: serological monitoring showed that 94% of such children were protected after the campaign, whereas only 84% had been protected previously. Among preschool children aged 1-3.5 years the corresponding levels of protection were 89% and 82%. During the six months following the campaign there was a marked reduction in the number of measles cases among children in targeted age groups. PMID:11584738

  7. Western Australian school students' understanding of biotechnology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dawson, Vaille; Schibeci, Renato

    2003-01-01

    Are science educators providing secondary school students with the background to understand the science behind recent controversies such as the recently introduced compulsory labelling of genetically modified foods? Research from the UK suggests that many secondary school students do not understand the processes or implications of modern biotechnology. The situation in Australia is unclear. In this study, 1116 15-year-old students from eleven Western Australian schools were surveyed to determine their understanding of, and attitude towards, recent advances in modern biotechnology. The results indicate that approximately one third of students have little or no understanding of biotechnology. Many students over-estimate the use of biotechnology in our society by confusing current uses with possible future applications. The results provide a rationale for the inclusion of biotechnology, a cutting edge science, in the school science curriculum

  8. The Australian experience in organ donation--2003.

    PubMed

    Mathew, Timothy

    2004-01-01

    The Australian performance in deceased donor organ donation continues to languish near the bottom of the International ladder. This is despite a national expenditure on health 10% more than the average OECD country (dollars per capita) and the presence of active transplantation programs (heart, kidney, liver, lung and pancreas) with excellent success rates. The deceased donor rate has fallen from 14 donors pmp in 1989 to 9 at the present time and appears to be still falling. Living donors now outnumber deceased donors as a source of kidney transplants. Causes of the low deceased donor rate appear to include variable management of severe brain injury, shortage of ICU beds, lack of ICU priority to potential donors when beds are restricted, and a low family consent rate (50%) despite 83% of the public being willing to donate. Programs aimed at addressing these issues are planned and include additional funding for beds, improved identification of donors and a standard pathway for managing severe brain injury.

  9. Driving violations observed: an Australian study.

    PubMed

    Glendon, A Ian

    2007-08-01

    This study analyses 2,765 cases of driving behaviours in three Australian states - New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. Data were gathered from in-car coordinated video and audio recording sequences in free-flowing traffic along two-, three- and four-lane highways with varying speed limits on all days of the week in daylight and fine weather conditions. Explanatory variables included driver age group and gender, passenger characteristics and vehicle age and type. Response variables included driving violations and other driving behaviours, including lane use, speeding, close following (tailgating), driver's hands position and mobile phone use. Data were analysed qualitatively and quantitatively. By focusing upon vehicle and driver characteristics, and their impact on driving behaviours, including identified violations, this study explores some implications both for future research and for traffic policy makers.

  10. "Bridging the Gap" through Australian Cultural Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamacher, Duane W.; Norris, Ray P.

    2011-01-01

    For more than 50,000 years, Indigenous Australians have incorporated celestial events into their oral traditions and used the motions of celestial bodies for navigation, time-keeping, food economics, and social structure. In this paper, we explore the ways in which Aboriginal people made careful observations of the sky, measurements of celestial bodies, and incorporated astronomical events into complex oral traditions by searching for written records of time-keeping using celestial bodies, the use of rising and setting stars as indicators of special events, recorded observations of variable stars, the solar cycle, and lunar phases (including ocean tides and eclipses) in oral tradition, as well as astronomical measurements of the equinox, solstice, and cardinal points.

  11. Forensic archaeology and anthropology : An Australian perspective.

    PubMed

    Oakley, Kate

    2005-09-01

    Forensic archaeology is an extremely powerful investigative discipline and, in combination with forensic anthropology, can provide a wealth of evidentiary information to police investigators and the forensic community. The re-emergence of forensic archaeology and anthropology within Australia relies on its diversification and cooperation with established forensic medical organizations, law enforcement forensic service divisions, and national forensic boards. This presents a unique opportunity to develop a new multidisciplinary approach to forensic archaeology/anthropology within Australia as we hold a unique set of environmental, social, and cultural conditions that diverge from overseas models and require different methodological approaches. In the current world political climate, more forensic techniques are being applied at scenes of mass disasters, genocide, and terrorism. This provides Australian forensic archaeology/anthropology with a unique opportunity to develop multidisciplinary models with contributions from psychological profiling, ballistics, sociopolitics, cultural anthropology, mortuary technicians, post-blast analysis, fire analysis, and other disciplines from the world of forensic science.

  12. Australian university proposes academic program changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zielinski, Sarah

    The University of Melbourne in Australia has adopted a 10-year plan to create a U.S.-style of education where undergraduate university students would first have to complete a three-year general degree in science or the arts before being allowed to continue onto graduate or professional studies. Unlike in the United States, most Australian students are able to move from secondary school directly into professional studies.A major change for Earth science students would be the replacement of the one-year Bachelor of Science Honours with a two-year Masters program. According to Janet Hergt, head of the university's School of Earth Sciences, the longer program could allow students more time to develop and complete research projects, and would provide them with a better understanding of Ph.D.studies.

  13. Trypanosomes of Australian mammals: A review.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Craig K; Godfrey, Stephanie S; Thompson, R C Andrew

    2014-08-01

    Approximately 306 species of terrestrial and arboreal mammals are known to have inhabited the mainland and coastal islands of Australia at the time of European settlement in 1788. The exotic Trypanosoma lewisi was the first mammalian trypanosome identified in Australia in 1888, while the first native species, Trypanosoma pteropi, was taxonomically described in 1913. Since these discoveries, about 22% of the indigenous mammalian fauna have been examined during the surveillance of trypanosome biodiversity in Australia, including 46 species of marsupials, 9 rodents, 9 bats and both monotremes. Of those mammals examined, trypanosomes have been identified from 28 host species, with eight native species of Trypanosoma taxonomically described. These native trypanosomes include T. pteropi, Trypanosoma thylacis, Trypanosoma hipposideri, Trypanosoma binneyi, Trypanosoma irwini, Trypanosoma copemani, Trypanosoma gilletti and Trypanosoma vegrandis. Exotic trypanosomes have also been identified from the introduced mammalian fauna of Australia, and include T. lewisi, Trypanosoma melophagium, Trypanosoma theileri, Trypanosoma nabiasi and Trypanosoma evansi. Fortunately, T. evansi was eradicated soon after its introduction and did not establish in Australia. Of these exotic trypanosomes, T. lewisi is the sole representative that has been reported from indigenous Australian mammals; morphological forms were recorded from two indigenous species of rodents (Hydromys chrysogaster and Rattus fuscipes). Numerous Australian marsupial species are potentially at risk from the native T. copemani, which may be chronically pathogenic, while marsupials, rodents and monotremes appear at risk from exotic species, including T. lewisi, Trypanosoma cruzi and T. evansi. This comprehensive review of trypanosome biodiversity in Australia highlights the negative impact of these parasites upon their mammalian hosts, as well as the threatening biosecurity concerns.

  14. Occupational heat stress in Australian workplaces

    PubMed Central

    Jay, Ollie; Brotherhood, John R.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The aim of this review was to summarize the current state of knowledge on heat stress risk within typical Australian occupational settings. We assessed identified occupations (mining, agriculture, construction, emergency services) for heat production and heat loss potential, and resultant levels of physiological heat strain. A total of 29 reports were identified that assessed in-situ work settings in Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, that measured physiological responses and characterized the thermal environment. Despite workers across all industries being regularly exposed to high ambient temperatures (32–42°C) often coupled with high absolute humidity (max: 33 hPa), physiological strain is generally low in terms of core temperature (<38°C) and dehydration (<1 % reduction in mass) by virtue of the low energy demands of many tasks, and self-regulated pacing of work possible in most jobs. Heat stress risk is higher in specific jobs in agriculture (e.g. sheep shearing), deep underground mining, and emergency services (e.g., search/rescue and bushfire fighting). Heat strain was greatest in military-related activities, particularly externally-paced marching with carried loads which resulted in core temperatures often exceeding 39.5°C despite being carried out in cooler environments. The principal driver of core temperature elevations in most jobs is the rate of metabolic heat production. A standardized approach to evaluating the risk of occupational heat strain in Australian workplaces is recommended defining the individual parameters that alter human heat balance. Future research should also more closely examine female workers and occupational activities within the forestry and agriculture/horticulture sector. PMID:28349081

  15. Achieving professional status: Australian podiatrists' perceptions

    PubMed Central

    Borthwick, Alan M; Nancarrow, Susan A; Vernon, Wesley; Walker, Jeremy

    2009-01-01

    Background This paper explores the notion of professional status from the perspective of a sample of Australian podiatrists; how it is experienced, what factors are felt to affect it, and how these are considered to influence professional standing within an evolving healthcare system. Underpinning sociological theory is deployed in order to inform and contextualise the study. Methods Data were drawn from a series of in-depth semi-structured interviews (n = 21) and focus groups (n = 9) with podiatrists from across four of Australia's eastern states (Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Australian Capital Territory), resulting in a total of 76 participants. Semi-structured interview schedules sought to explore podiatrist perspectives on a range of features related to professional status within podiatry in Australia. Results Central to the retention and enhancement of status was felt to be the development of specialist roles and the maintenance of control over key task domains. Key distinctions in private and public sector environments, and in rural and urban settings, were noted and found to reflect differing contexts for status development. Marketing was considered important to image enhancement, as was the cache attached to the status of the universities providing graduate education. Conclusion Perceived determinants of professional status broadly matched those identified in the wider sociological literature, most notably credentialism, client status, content and context of work (such as specialisation) and an ideological basis for persuading audiences to acknowledge professional status. In an environment of demographic and workforce change, and the resultant policy demands for healthcare service re-design, enhanced opportunities for specialisation appear evident. Under the current model of professionalism, both role flexibility and uniqueness may prove important. PMID:19216783

  16. Australian Meningococcal Surveillance Programme annual report, 2013.

    PubMed

    Lahra, Monica M; Enriquez, Rodney P

    2014-12-31

    In 2013, there were 143 laboratory-confirmed cases of invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) analysed by the Australian National Neisseria Network (NNN). This was the lowest number of laboratory confirmed IMD cases referred to the NNN since the inception of the Australian Meningococcal Surveillance Programme in 1994. Probable and laboratory confirmed IMD is notifiable in Australia. There were 149 IMD cases notified to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System in 2013. Meningococcal serogrouping was determined for 139/143 laboratory confirmed IMD cases; 74.8% (104 cases) were serogroup B infections; 5.8% (8 cases) were serogroup C infections; 8.6% (12 cases) were serogroup W135; and 10.8% (15 cases) were serogroup Y. Primary and secondary disease peaks were observed, respectively, in those aged 4 years or less, and in adolescents (15-19 years). Serogroup B cases predominated in all jurisdictions and age groups, except for those aged 65 years or over where serogroup Y predominated. The overall proportion and number of IMD caused by serogroup B decreased from previous years. The number of cases of IMD caused by serogroup C was low, and has been proportionally stable over recent years. The number of IMD cases caused by W135 and Y serogroups was similar to previous years but the proportion has increased with the overall reduction in numbers of IMD cases. Molecular typing was performed on 92 of the 93 IMD isolates, and 23 of the 50 cases confirmed by nucleic acid amplification testing. In 2013, the most common porA genotype circulating in Australia was P1.7-2,4. All IMD isolates tested were susceptible to ceftriaxone; ciprofloxacin and rifampicin. Decreased susceptibility to penicillin was observed in 78.5% of isolates.

  17. Trypanosomes of Australian mammals: A review

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Craig K.; Godfrey, Stephanie S.; Thompson, R.C. Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Approximately 306 species of terrestrial and arboreal mammals are known to have inhabited the mainland and coastal islands of Australia at the time of European settlement in 1788. The exotic Trypanosoma lewisi was the first mammalian trypanosome identified in Australia in 1888, while the first native species, Trypanosoma pteropi, was taxonomically described in 1913. Since these discoveries, about 22% of the indigenous mammalian fauna have been examined during the surveillance of trypanosome biodiversity in Australia, including 46 species of marsupials, 9 rodents, 9 bats and both monotremes. Of those mammals examined, trypanosomes have been identified from 28 host species, with eight native species of Trypanosoma taxonomically described. These native trypanosomes include T. pteropi, Trypanosoma thylacis, Trypanosoma hipposideri, Trypanosoma binneyi, Trypanosoma irwini, Trypanosoma copemani, Trypanosoma gilletti and Trypanosoma vegrandis. Exotic trypanosomes have also been identified from the introduced mammalian fauna of Australia, and include T. lewisi, Trypanosoma melophagium, Trypanosoma theileri, Trypanosoma nabiasi and Trypanosoma evansi. Fortunately, T. evansi was eradicated soon after its introduction and did not establish in Australia. Of these exotic trypanosomes, T. lewisi is the sole representative that has been reported from indigenous Australian mammals; morphological forms were recorded from two indigenous species of rodents (Hydromys chrysogaster and Rattus fuscipes). Numerous Australian marsupial species are potentially at risk from the native T. copemani, which may be chronically pathogenic, while marsupials, rodents and monotremes appear at risk from exotic species, including T. lewisi, Trypanosoma cruzi and T. evansi. This comprehensive review of trypanosome biodiversity in Australia highlights the negative impact of these parasites upon their mammalian hosts, as well as the threatening biosecurity concerns. PMID:25161902

  18. Commercialization of Australian advanced infrared technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Redpath, John; Brown, Allen; Woods, William F.

    1995-09-01

    For several decades, the main thrust in infrared technology developments in Australia has been in two main sensor technologies: uncooled silicon chip printed bolometric sensors pioneered by DSTO's Kevin Liddiard, and precision engineered high quality Cadmium Mercury Telluride developed at DSTO under the guidance of Dr. Richard Hartley. In late 1993 a low cost infrared imaging device was developed at DSTO as a sensor for guided missiles. The combination of these three innovations made up a unique package that enabled Australian industry to break through the barriers of commercializing infrared technology. The privately owned company, R.J. Optronics Pty Ltd undertook the process of re-engineering a selection of these DSTO developments to be applicable to a wide range of infrared products. The first project was a novel infrared imager based on a Palmer scan (translated circle) mechanism. This device applies a spinning wedge and a single detector, it uses a video processor to convert the image into a standard rectangular format. Originally developed as an imaging seeker for a stand-off weapon, it is producing such high quality images at such a low cost that it is now also being adapted for a wide variety of other military and commercial applications. A technique for electronically stabilizing it has been developed which uses the inertial signals from co-mounted sensors to compensate for platform motions. This enables it to meet the requirements of aircraft, marine vessels and masthead sight applications without the use of gimbals. After tests on a three-axis motion table, several system configurations have now been successfully operated on a number of lightweight platforms, including a Cessna 172 and the Australian made Seabird Seeker aircraft.

  19. Australia's National Bowel Cancer Screening Program: does it work for Indigenous Australians?

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Despite a lower incidence of bowel cancer overall, Indigenous Australians are more likely to be diagnosed at an advanced stage when prognosis is poor. Bowel cancer screening is an effective means of reducing incidence and mortality from bowel cancer through early identification and prompt treatment. In 2006, Australia began rolling out a population-based National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) using the Faecal Occult Blood Test. Initial evaluation of the program revealed substantial disparities in bowel cancer screening uptake with Indigenous Australians significantly less likely to participate in screening than the non-Indigenous population. This paper critically reviews characteristics of the program which may contribute to the discrepancy in screening uptake, and includes an analysis of organisational, structural, and socio-cultural barriers that play a part in the poorer participation of Indigenous and other disadvantaged and minority groups. Methods A search was undertaken of peer-reviewed journal articles, government reports, and other grey literature using electronic databases and citation snowballing. Articles were critically evaluated for relevance to themes that addressed the research questions. Results The NBCSP is not reaching many Indigenous Australians in the target group, with factors contributing to sub-optimal participation including how participants are selected, the way the screening kit is distributed, the nature of the test and comprehensiveness of its contents, cultural perceptions of cancer and prevailing low levels of knowledge and awareness of bowel cancer and the importance of screening. Conclusions Our findings suggest that the population-based approach to implementing bowel cancer screening to the Australian population unintentionally excludes vulnerable minorities, particularly Indigenous and other culturally and linguistically diverse groups. This potentially contributes to exacerbating the already widening

  20. Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders: An Australian Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conway, Robert

    2006-01-01

    This article provides an Australian perspective on students with emotional and behavioral disorders (E/BD). Consideration is given to the cultural issues, structure of special services, identification procedures, delivery system, and types of services provided.

  1. Assessing Impediments to Leadership Succession in Australian Catholic Schools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dorman, Jeffrey P.; D'Arbon, Tony

    2003-01-01

    Describes the design and validation of the Impediments to Leadership Succession Inventory, a 32-item survey instrument to determent why good candidates are not applying for principal positions in Australian Catholic schools. (Contains 40 references.) (PKP)

  2. VIEW NORTH OF AUSTRALIAN PINES THAT LINE SUNNY JIM LANE ...

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

    VIEW NORTH OF AUSTRALIAN PINES THAT LINE SUNNY JIM LANE FROM SOUTHERN MOST BARN TO THE STABLE GATE. BARNS LINE LEFT SIDE OF LANE: CD-N. - Hialeah Park Race Track, East Fourth Avenue, Hialeah, Miami-Dade County, FL

  3. What's in the Biota Bag? Examining Australian Fossil Biota.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Rooy, Wilhelmina

    2002-01-01

    Describes a classroom activity in which candy is used to represent some Australian fossils with students asked to examine specimens and locate on a map of Australia where it might have been discovered. (Author/MM)

  4. Technology Transfer: Technocultures, Power and Communication--The Australian Experience.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    More, Elizabeth; Irwin, Harry

    1995-01-01

    Discusses issues of communication and power in the organizational dimensions of international technology transfer, including technoculture differences and strategic political alliances. Theoretical discussion is supplemented by analysis of international technology transfer activities involving Australian participation in the aerospace and…

  5. Selection Methods for Undergraduate Admissions in Australia. Does the Australian Predominate Entry Scheme the Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) Have a Future?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blyth, Kathryn

    2014-01-01

    This article considers the Australian entry score system, the Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR), and its usage as a selection mechanism for undergraduate places in Australian higher education institutions and asks whether its role as the main selection criterion will continue with the introduction of demand driven funding in 2012.…

  6. Australian DefenceScience. Volume 15, Number 2, Winter

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-01-01

    sources, including the original builders, Vickers Shipyards, the Royal Australian Navy Archives, the Australian National Archives, the British...South Australia. The trial team also included personnel from the Army 3rd/9th Light Horse as well the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and Vision...the Austeyr and AK47 weapons. The two torsos presented for testing were made of a 20% strength solution of gelatine jelly , which, at a temperature of

  7. Australian DefenceScience. Volume 14, Number 2, Summer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-01-01

    Australian DEFENCESCIENCE BRIEFS DSTO and ANSTO to collaborate on national security research Extended range for Joint Direct Attack Munition Missile Approach...for ADF frontline aircraft DSTO and the Australian Nuclear Science & Technology Organisation ( ANSTO ) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding...and ANSTO Executive Director Mr Ian Smith signed the agreement in Sydney on 29 August. DSTO and ANSTO to collaborate on national security research

  8. Global warming and Australian public health: reasons to be concerned.

    PubMed

    Saniotis, Arthur; Bi, Peng

    2009-11-01

    Studies in global warming and climate change indicate that human populations will be deleteriously affected in the future. Studies forecast that Australia will experience increasing heat waves and droughts. Heat stress caused by frequent heat waves will have a marked effect on older Australians due to physiological and pharmacological factors. In this paper we present an overview of some of the foreseeable issues which older Australians will face from a public health perspective.

  9. On the origin of the first Australian Medical Journal.

    PubMed

    Bailey, R J

    2013-07-01

    The Australian Medical Journal is important to Australian anaesthesia in that, as well as associated editorials, it recorded the first use of ether for surgical operations. Though it survived from 1 August 1846 until 1 October 1847, its first issue was surrounded with mystery, referring to an earlier publication. Proof of this earlier issue of April 1846 has been discovered though no copy remains extant.

  10. Exploring Australian women’s level of nutrition knowledge during pregnancy: a cross-sectional study

    PubMed Central

    Bookari, Khlood; Yeatman, Heather; Williamson, Moira

    2016-01-01

    Background The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating (AGHE) for pregnancy provides a number of food- and nutrition-related recommendations to assist pregnant women in optimizing their dietary behavior. However, there are limited data demonstrating pregnant women’s knowledge of the AGHE recommendations. This study investigated Australian pregnant women’s knowledge of the AGHE and related dietary recommendations for maintaining a healthy pregnancy. The variations in nutrition knowledge were compared with demographic characteristics. Methods A cross-sectional study assessed eight different nutrition knowledge domains and the demographic characteristics of pregnant women. Four hundred women across Australia completed a multidimensional online survey based on validated and existing measures. Results More than half of the pregnant women surveyed (65%) were not familiar with the AGHE recommendations. The basic recommendations to eat more fruit, vegetables, bread, and cereals but less meat were poorly understood. An in-depth investigation of knowledge of nutrition information revealed misconceptions in a range of areas, including standard serving size, nutrients content of certain foods, energy density of fat, and the importance of key nutrients in pregnancy. Univariate analysis revealed significant demographic variation in nutrition knowledge scores. Multiple regression analysis confirmed the significant independent effects on respondents’ nutrition knowledge score (P<0.000) of the education level, income, age, stage of pregnancy, language, and having a health/nutrition qualification. The model indicated that independent variables explained 33% (adjusted R2) of the variance found between respondents’ knowledge scores. Conclusion Australian pregnant women’s knowledge regarding AGHE for pregnancy and other key dietary recommendations is poor and varies significantly with their demographic profile. The setting of dietary guidelines is not sufficient to ensure

  11. The emergence of sarcoptic mange in Australian wildlife: an unresolved debate.

    PubMed

    Fraser, Tamieka A; Charleston, Michael; Martin, Alynn; Polkinghorne, Adam; Carver, Scott

    2016-06-02

    Due to its suspected increase in host range and subsequent global diversification, Sarcoptes scabiei has important implications at a global scale for wildlife conservation and animal and human health. The introduction of this pathogen into new locations and hosts has been shown to produce high morbidity and mortality, a situation observed recently in Australian and North American wildlife.Of the seven native animal species in Australia known to be infested by S. scabiei, the bare-nosed wombat (Vombatus ursinus) suffers the greatest with significant population declines having been observed in New South Wales and Tasmania. The origins of sarcoptic mange in Australian native animals are poorly understood, with the most consistent conclusion being that mange was introduced by settlers and their dogs and subsequently becoming a major burden to native wildlife. Four studies exist addressing the origins of mange in Australia, but all Australian S. scabiei samples derive from only two of these studies. This review highlights this paucity of phylogenetic knowledge of S. scabiei within Australia, and suggests further research is needed to confidently determine the origin, or multiple origins, of this parasite.At the global scale, numerous genetic studies have attempted to reveal how the host species and host geographic location influence S. scabiei phylogenetics. This review includes an analysis of the global literature, revealing that inconsistent use of gene loci across studies significantly influences phylogenetic inference. Furthermore, by performing a contemporary analytical approach on existing data, it is apparent that (i) new S. scabiei samples, (ii) appropriate gene loci targets, and (iii) advanced phylogenetic approaches are necessary to more confidently comprehend the origins of mange in Australia. Advancing this field of research will aid in understanding the mechanisms of spillover for mange and other parasites globally.

  12. Temporal segregation of the Australian and Antarctic blue whale call types (Balaenoptera musculus spp.).

    PubMed

    Tripovich, Joy S; Klinck, Holger; Nieukirk, Sharon L; Adams, Tempe; Mellinger, David K; Balcazar, Naysa E; Klinck, Karolin; Hall, Evelyn J S; Rogers, Tracey L

    2015-05-22

    We examined recordings from a 15-month (May 2009-July 2010) continuous acoustic data set collected from a bottom-mounted passive acoustic recorder at a sample frequency of 6kHz off Portland, Victoria, Australia (38°33'01″S, 141°15'13″E) off southern Australia. Analysis revealed that calls from both subspecies were recorded at this site, and general additive modeling revealed that the number of calls varied significantly across seasons. Antarctic blue whales were detected more frequently from July to October 2009 and June to July 2010, corresponding to the suspected breeding season, while Australian blue whales were recorded more frequently from March to June 2010, coinciding with the feeding season. In both subspecies, the number of calls varied with time of day; Antarctic blue whale calls were more prevalent in the night to early morning, while Australian blue whale calls were detected more often from midday to early evening. Using passive acoustic monitoring, we show that each subspecies adopts different seasonal and daily call patterns which may be related to the ecological strategies of these subspecies. This study demonstrates the importance of passive acoustics in enabling us to understand and monitor subtle differences in the behavior and ecology of cryptic sympatric marine mammals.

  13. Temporal segregation of the Australian and Antarctic blue whale call types (Balaenoptera musculus spp.)

    PubMed Central

    Tripovich, Joy S.; Klinck, Holger; Nieukirk, Sharon L.; Adams, Tempe; Mellinger, David K.; Balcazar, Naysa E.; Klinck, Karolin; Hall, Evelyn J. S.; Rogers, Tracey L.

    2015-01-01

    We examined recordings from a 15-month (May 2009–July 2010) continuous acoustic data set collected from a bottom-mounted passive acoustic recorder at a sample frequency of 6kHz off Portland, Victoria, Australia (38°33′01″S, 141°15′13″E) off southern Australia. Analysis revealed that calls from both subspecies were recorded at this site, and general additive modeling revealed that the number of calls varied significantly across seasons. Antarctic blue whales were detected more frequently from July to October 2009 and June to July 2010, corresponding to the suspected breeding season, while Australian blue whales were recorded more frequently from March to June 2010, coinciding with the feeding season. In both subspecies, the number of calls varied with time of day; Antarctic blue whale calls were more prevalent in the night to early morning, while Australian blue whale calls were detected more often from midday to early evening. Using passive acoustic monitoring, we show that each subspecies adopts different seasonal and daily call patterns which may be related to the ecological strategies of these subspecies. This study demonstrates the importance of passive acoustics in enabling us to understand and monitor subtle differences in the behavior and ecology of cryptic sympatric marine mammals. PMID:26937046

  14. Variable phenotype of Marfan syndrome in two large Australian pedigrees, one of Australian aboriginal origin

    SciTech Connect

    Wong, K.K.; Summers, K.M.; West, M.J.

    1994-09-01

    Marfan syndrome may affect the cardiovascular, ocular and skeletal systems. The gene for this autosomal dominant disease maps to chromosome 15 and codes for the extracellular matrix protein fibrillin. Phenotypic expression is very variable both within and between families, possibly due to the influence of other, unlinked, genetic factors interacting with the fibrillin gene. We report two Australian families which demonstrate the extent of inter- and intra-family phenotypic variability. Eye, cardiac and skeletal assessments were made independently. In the first family, 8 of 12 siblings and 11 of 19 of their children had ectopia lentis with or without other ocular findings. There were few cardiac signs. One child had mitral valve prolapse. He and three other children had mild dilatation of the aorta. Skeletal abnormalities were also found (3 adults and 7 children). Chest wall asymmetry was the most common skeletal finding. This family has less cardiac and skeletal involvement than is usual in Marfan syndrome, although the disease maps to chromosome 15 in the region of the fibrillin gene (LOD=4.8 at {theta}=0 with respect to CYP19). The second family is partly of Australian aboriginal origin. The disease has been traced through 5 generations. To date we have examined 37 of 84 living members. Twenty-three in 3 generations are affected. Five adults and 4 children have moderate to severe aortic dilatation and there has been at least one death due to aortic dissection. However, two adolescents with subluxed lenses and marked skeletal abnormalities have normal aortic diameters, two children have aortic dilatation without other signs and two children have only subluxed lenses. This family shows the range of phenotypic variation which can arise from mutation in the fibrillin gene, which may be influenced by the admixture of Australian aboriginal genes. These two families provide an invaluable resource for studying genetic interactions in this disease.

  15. The Australian Integrated Marine Observing System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Proctor, R.; Meyers, G.; Roughan, M.; Operators, I.

    2008-12-01

    The Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) is a 92M project established with 50M from the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) and co-investments from 10 operators including Universities and government agencies (see below). It is a nationally distributed set of equipment established and maintained at sea, oceanographic data and information services that collectively will contribute to meeting the needs of marine research in both open oceans and over the continental shelf around Australia. In particular, if sustained in the long term, it will permit identification and management of climate change in the marine environment, an area of research that is as yet almost a blank page, studies relevant to conservation of marine biodiversity and research on the role of the oceans in the climate system. While as an NCRIS project IMOS is intended to support research, the data streams are also useful for many societal, environmental and economic applications, such as management of offshore industries, safety at sea, management of marine ecosystems and fisheries and tourism. The infrastructure also contributes to Australia's commitments to international programs of ocean observing and international conventions, such as the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention that established the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Global Ocean Observing System and the intergovernmental coordinating activity Global Earth Observation System of Systems. IMOS is made up of nine national facilities that collect data, using different components of infrastructure and instruments, and two facilities that manage and provide access to data and enhanced data products, one for in situ data and a second for remotely sensed satellite data. The observing facilities include three for the open (bluewater) ocean (Argo Australia, Enhanced Ships of Opportunity and Southern Ocean Time Series), three facilities for coastal

  16. Molecular characterization and mRNA expression of carbamoyl phosphate synthetase III in the liver of the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, during aestivation or exposure to ammonia.

    PubMed

    Loong, A M; Chng, Y R; Chew, S F; Wong, W P; Ip, Y K

    2012-04-01

    This study aimed to obtain the full sequence of carbamoyl phosphate synthetase III (cps III) from, and to determine the mRNA expression of cps III in, the liver of P. annectens during aestivation in air, hypoxia or mud, or exposure to environmental ammonia (100 mmol l(-1) NH(4)Cl). The complete coding cDNA sequence of cps III from the liver of P. annectens consisted of 4530 bp, which coded for 1,510 amino acids with an estimated molecular mass of 166.1 kDa. The Cps III of P. annectens consisted of a mitochondrial targeting sequence of 44 amino acid residues, a GAT domain spanning from tyrosine 45 to isoleucine 414, and a methylglyoxal synthase-like domain spanning from valine 433 to arginine 1513. Two cysteine residues (cysteine 1337 and cysteine 1347) that are characteristic of N-acetylglutamate dependency were also present. The critical Cys-His-Glu catalytic triad (cysteine 301, histidine 385 and glutamate 387) together with methionine 302 and glutamine 305 affirmed that P. annectens expressed Cps III and not Cps I. A comparison of the translated amino acid sequence of Cps III from P. annectens with CPS sequences from other animals revealed that it shared the highest similarity with elasmobranch Cps III. A phylogenetic analysis indicates that P. annectens CPS III could have evolved from Cps III of elasmobranchs. Indeed, Cps III from P. annectens used mainly glutamine as the substrate, and its activity decreased significantly when glutamine and ammonia were included together in the assay system. There were significant increases (9- to 12-fold) in the mRNA expression of cps III in the liver of fish during the induction phase (days 3 and 6) of aestivation in air. Aestivation in hypoxia or in mud had a delayed effect on the increase in the mRNA expression of cps III, which extended beyond the induction phase of aestivation, reiterating the importance of differentiating effects that are intrinsic to aestivation from those intrinsic to hypoxia. Furthermore, results

  17. Lesions of toxoplasmosis in Australian marsupials.

    PubMed

    Canfield, P J; Hartley, W J; Dubey, J P

    1990-08-01

    This report describes toxoplasmosis lesions in Australian marsupials. Clinical signs, necropsy findings and histopathological changes are summarized for 43 macropods, two common wombats, two koalas, six possums, 15 dasyurids, two numbats, eight bandicoots and one bilby. Animals either died suddenly without clinical signs or exhibited signs associated with respiratory, neurological or enteric disease. At necropsy, many marsupials had no visible lesions. Where present, common necropsy findings included pulmonary congestion, oedema and consolidation, adrenal enlargement and reddening, haemorrhage and ulceration of stomach and small intestine, and lymphadenomegaly and splenomegaly. Microscopically, affected lungs showed interstitial pneumonia and macrophage accumulation. Myocardial, skeletal and smooth muscle necrosis and neutrophilic inflammation were common. Organs had focal necrosis and/or fibrosis and lymphoid infiltrates. Toxoplasma gondii tissue cysts were common in muscle and nervous tissue. Free tachyzoites were commonly present in areas of necrosis. Selected sections from four macropods, two koalas, two dasyurids, one wombat and one possum stained specifically with avidin-biotin complex and anti-Toxoplasma gondii serum.

  18. Petroleum potential of northern Australian Continental Shelf

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, M.R.; Ross, J.G.

    1986-11-01

    A study of the publicly available data from the offshore northern Australian continental shelf has shown that three prospective sedimentary sequences are present. A Cenozoic basin possibly containing Miocene reefal carbonates exists in the west part of the region, a structurally distinct Mesozoic basin containing thick sandstone intervals underlies the Cenozoic, and a thick paleozoic basin, possibly containing Devonian reefs and younger Paleozoic sandstone intervals, lies southeast of the Aru Archipelago and east of a north-northeast-trending ridge located along the eastern edges of the Aru and Timor Troughs. Paleozoic sediments also underlie the Mesozoic west of this ridge. The cenozoic and Mesozoic basins and the western Paleozoic subbasin are separated by major sequence boundaries. All the basins present hydrocarbon potential to a greater or lesser extent. The Mesozoic basin will probably be the prime target for exploration over the next few years, but secondary objectives in Cenozoic and Paleozoic sediments should not be ignored. The numerous different play types identified in this study, the positive signs from exploration in the early 1970s, the recent neighboring discoveries, and improvements in seismic data quality provide an incentive for oil companies to conduct detailed exploration of the area. 7 figures.

  19. Instrumentation at the Anglo-Australian Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barden, Samuel C.

    2004-09-01

    The Anglo-Australian Observatory (AAO) has an instrumentation group for engineering, design, and fabrication that integrates tightly with an energetic group of instrument scientists1 to develop complex astronomical instruments. This instrumentation group puts ideas for innovative technical solutions generated by the instrument scientist group into reality. One demonstration of past achievement is the highly ambitious and successful 2dF instrument that yielded invaluable scientific insight into the cosmological structure of the universe. The more recent successes of the instrumentation group include the OzPoz fiber positioner for the FLAMES facility on the VLT and the award-winning, imaging and multi-object IRIS-2 infrared spectrograph for the AAT. VPH gratings were first put into action in LDSS++ on the AAT and numerous VPH gratings are now in routine use on the 6dF spectrograph for the UKST. Under development are a completely new and unique fiber positioning scheme (Echidna) for use in the FMOS instrument for Subaru; a double-beamed, VPH-based, bench-mounted spectrograph for 2dF; new IR and optical detector controllers; a renovation of the telescope and instrument control systems for the AAT; and a feasibility study for an Echidna-style positioner for the Gemini telescopes. Several other design studies are underway for new instrument technologies using leading edge and innovative concepts in robotics and fibers. The synergy between our scientists and engineers establishes a sound basis for solving the instrumentation challenges facing us.

  20. Microsatellite variation in the Australian dingo.

    PubMed

    Wilton, A N; Steward, D J; Zafiris, K

    1999-01-01

    The dingo is thought to have arrived in Australia from Asia about 5,000 years ago. It is currently in danger because of interbreeding with domestic dogs. Several morphological, behavioral, and reproductive characteristics distinguish dingoes from domestic dog. Skull morphometrics are currently used to try to classify wild canids as pure dingo, dog, or hybrid. Molecular techniques based on diagnostic DNA differences between dogs and dingoes would make a much more reliable and practical test. A small number of markers (about 10) would allow detection of animals with domestic dog in their ancestry several generations back. We have typed 16 dingoes and 16 dogs of mixed breed for 14 microsatellites. The amount of variation in the Australian dingo is much less than in domestic dogs. The size distributions of microsatellites in the two groups usually overlap. The number of alleles in the dingo is much smaller in all cases. One dinucleotide repeat locus shows a size difference of 1 bp in allele classes between dog and dingo. This locus may be diagnostic for dog or dingo ancestry. The differences in distributions of alleles at other loci can also be used to classify animals using a likelihood method.

  1. The Australian SKA Pathfinder: First Science Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harvey-Smith, Lisa

    2015-08-01

    The Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) is a precursor and technology demonstrator for the Square Kilometre Array.A specialist wide-field survey instrument, ASKAP compises 36 x 12m dish antennas with a maximum separation of 6km. The array operates in the frequency range 700 - 1800 MHz and has an instantaneous bandwidth of 300 MHz. Each dish is mounted with a 'phased array feed', a radio receiver that dramatically enhances the telescope's field-of-view from 1 to 30 square degrees. ASKAP is located at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, Australia's core site for the SKA.Ten Science Survey Projects have been established by teams of more than 600 astronomers from around the world. Astronomical research topics tackled by these teams include galaxy evolution, cosmic magnetism, the history of gas in galaxies and cosmology. A program of ASKAP Early Science will commence in late 2015. The 6-antenna Boolardy Engineering Test Array (BETA) is currently being used by the commissioning team and at the time of writing has produced its first scientific discovery paper.In this talk, hear the ASKAP Project Scientist report some of the exciting new capabilities demonstrated by ASKAP and learn about the first scientific discoveries made by the commissioning and early science team.

  2. Australian Gonococcal Surveillance Programme annual report, 2010.

    PubMed

    2011-09-01

    The Australian Gonococcal Surveillance Programme monitors antibiotic susceptibility testing of Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolated in all states and territories. In 2010 the in vitro susceptibility of 3,997 isolates of gonococci from public and private sector sources was determined by standardised methods. Varying antibiotic susceptibility patterns were again reported across jurisdictions and regions. Resistance to the penicillins nationally was 29% and, with the exception of the Northern Territory, ranged from 22% in Queensland to 42% in Victoria. Quinolone resistance, most at high minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) levels, was 35% nationally (excepting the Northern Territory), ranging from 28% in Queensland to 44% in Victoria. Decreased susceptibility to ceftriaxone (MIC 0.06 mg/L or more), was found nationally in 4.8% of isolates. There has not been an isolate of N. gonorrhoeae with an MIC value greater than 0.125 mg/L reported in Australia. Nationally, all isolates remained sensitive to spectinomycin. Azithromycin surveillance was performed in New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and South Australia, and resistance was found in low numbers of gonococci with MIC values up to 16 mg/L. In larger urban centres the ratio of male to female cases was high, and rectal and pharyngeal isolates were common in men. In other centres, and in rural Australia, the male to female ratio of cases was lower, and most isolates were from the genital tract.

  3. Surgery for otitis media among Indigenous Australians.

    PubMed

    O'Leary, Stephen J; Triolo, Ross D

    2009-11-02

    Otitis media with effusion and recurrent acute otitis media are ubiquitous among Indigenous children. Otitis media causes conductive hearing loss that may persist throughout early childhood and adversely affect social interactions, language acquisition and learning. Control of otitis media usually restores hearing to adequate levels. Surgery is to be considered when otitis media has not responded to medical treatment. In non-Indigenous populations, tympanostomy tubes ("grommets"), with or without adenoidectomy, can control otitis media; how these findings relate to Indigenous Australians is not known. Tympanic membrane perforation is a frequent sequela of early childhood otitis media among Indigenous children. It occurs as early as 12 months of age and causes conductive hearing loss. Perforation is associated with recurrent aural discharge, particularly in the tropics and in desert regions. Medical and public health management is required until a child is old enough to undergo surgical closure of the perforation, usually by an age of 7-10 years. Surgical closure of the tympanic membrane stops the aural discharge and improves the hearing sufficiently to avoid the need for hearing aids in most cases. The success rate of surgery conducted in rural and remote Australia is below urban benchmarks; improving this will probably require funding for community-based follow-up.

  4. Control of Legionnaires' disease -- An Australian perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Broadbent, C.R.

    1999-07-01

    Major outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease (causative agent, ionella spp.) occurred in Australia during the 1980s and early 1990s. The putative sources were primarily heat rejection systems of the recirculating cooling water type (cooling towers). These outbreaks prompted engineers to carry out field studies on which to base improved design and maintenance practices for such heat rejection systems. Health authorities introduced regulations and guidelines to encourage owners to establish and maintain hygienic conditions in these and other systems. Central to this progress is the recognition that Legionella is essentially a biofilm organism and that it prefers the surfaces of warmer parts of systems for growth. This is particularly so if there are deadlegs in the system or accumulations of sediment. Biocidal water treatment approaches must therefore take biofilm control into account. A recent Australian innovation is the preparation of a national performance-based regulatory standard to complement earlier standards that are of a prescriptive nature. The aim of this new standard is to allow alternative strategies that may not necessitate system shutdown for regular cleaning yet provide for an equivalent level of system hygiene. The standard requires that a risk assessment strategy be implemented involving identification of performance indicators and control and monitoring of parameters likely to move beyond stipulated limits.

  5. Antibacterial activity of traditional Australian medicinal plants.

    PubMed

    Palombo, E A; Semple, S J

    2001-10-01

    Fifty-six ethanolic extracts of various parts of 39 plants used in traditional Australian Aboriginal medicine were investigated for their antibacterial activities against four Gram-positive (Bacillus cereus, Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes) and four Gram-negative (Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Salmonella typhimurium) bacterial species. In a plate-hole diffusion assay, 12 extracts inhibited the growth of one or more of the bacteria, with five extracts showing broad spectrum antibacterial activity against Gram-positive bacteria. B. cereus was the most susceptible bacterium, with all 12 extracts displaying activity against this organism. Extracts from the leaves of Eremophila species (Myoporaceae) were the most active, with Eremophila duttonii exhibiting the greatest activity (against Gram-positive bacteria). The antibacterial effects of E. duttonii were further investigated by time-course growth assays which showed that significant growth inhibition was observed in cultures incubated in the presence of the extract within 1 h for B. cereus, E. faecalis and S. aureus and 2 h for S. pyogenes.

  6. Dietary flavonoid sources in Australian adults.

    PubMed

    Somerset, Shawn M; Johannot, Lidwine

    2008-01-01

    Evidence from laboratory-based in vitro studies provides compelling evidence supporting the involvement of dietary flavonoid intake in human cancer risk. Associations between intakes of individual flavonoids and disease outcomes at the population level are emerging from recent epidemiological studies. As an important step in the development of methods to assess flavonoid intakes across populations, the major sources of dietary flavonoids in the adult Australian population were identified. Data from a 24-h diet recall questionnaire used in a national nutrition survey (NNS95-comprising a sample of 10,851 subjects aged 19 yr and over) were combined with U.S. Department of Agriculture data on flavonoid content of foods to identify key sources. Black and green teas clearly were the dominant sources of the flavonols kaempferol, myricetin, and quercetin. Other significant flavonol sources included onion (isorhamnetin and quercetin), broccoli (kaempferol and quercetin), apple (quercetin), grape (quercetin), coffee (myrcetin), and beans (quercetin). Black and green teas also were dominant sources of flavon-3-ols, with wine, apples, and pears contributing somewhat. In terms of flavanone consumption, oranges (hesperetin and naringenin), lemon (eriodictyol), mandarin (hesperetin), and grapefruit (naringenin) were the major sources. Parsley (apigenin), celery (apigenin and luteolin), and English spinach (luteolin) were the major flavone sources. Wine was the major anthocyanadin source (delphinidin, malvidin, peonidin and petunidin), with smaller amounts from cherry (peonidin) and blueberry (delphinidin, malvidin, peonidin and petunidin). It is suggested that the relatively small number of aforementioned key foods form the basis of food frequency questionnaires to assess flavonoid intake.

  7. Stable isotopic compositions in Australian precipitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Jianrong; Fu, Guobin; Song, Xianfang; Charles, Stephen P.; Zhang, Yinghua; Han, Dongmei; Wang, Shiqin

    2010-12-01

    Stable deuterium (δD) and oxygen-18 (δ18O) isotopes in 1962 to 2002 precipitation from the seven Australian stations of the Global Network of Isotopes in Precipitation (GNIP) were used to investigate isotope characteristics including temporal and spatial distributions across different regions of Australia. On the basis of 1534 samples, the local meteoric water line (LMWL) was established as δD = 7.10δ18O + 8.21. δ18O showed a depletion trend from north and south to central Australia (a continental effect) and from west to east. Precipitation amount effects were generally greater than temperature effects, with quadratic or logarithmic correlations describing δ/T and δ/P better than linear relationships. Nonlinear stepwise regression was used to determine the significant meteorological control factors for each station, explaining about 50% or more of the δ18O variations. Geographical control factors for δ18O were given by the relationship δ18O (‰) = -0.005 longitude (°) - 0.034 latitude (°)-0.003 altitude (m) - 4.753. Four different types of d-excess patterns demonstrated particular precipitation formation conditions for four major seasonal rainfall zones. Finally, wavelet coherence (WTC) between δ18O and SOI confirmed that the influence of ENSO decreased from east and north to west Australia.

  8. The Australian health system: continuity and change.

    PubMed

    Harris, M G; Harris, R D

    1998-01-01

    The health of Australians, with the exception of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders, compares favourably with other industrialised nations. Since 1984, universal access for citizens to medical and public hospital services has been achieved under a national Health Insurance Scheme called Medicare, partially funded by a 1.4 percent levy on all taxpayers. Medicare found early widespread support from the electorate but continues to be buffeted by a minority coalition of some medical associations, private health insurers, and conservative "libertarian" politicians. Over the decade since its inception, Medicare has provided stability in maintaining total health costs around 8 percent of GDP. This has been largely due to capping hospital costs via Commonwealth-State agreements. Medicare has failed in the past five years to contain medical costs which have increased proportionally with increases in the medical workforce. This article examines the structure and performance of Medicare and its role within Australia's overall health system. Benefits of a universal access insurance program are outlined together with challenges associated with inequities in health status, geography, aging of the population, burgeoning technology, ideological diversity, and an economic climate requiring cost containment and favouring privatisation and the role of the market. It can be concluded that, despite these challenges, universal access to health care is here to stay. Australia's Medicare program has become popular with the electorate.

  9. Bt resistance in Australian insect pest species.

    PubMed

    Downes, Sharon; Walsh, Tom; Tay, Wee Tek

    2016-06-01

    Bt cotton was initially deployed in Australia in the mid-1990s to control the polyphagous pest Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) which was intractably resistant to synthetic chemistries. A conservative strategy was enforced and resistance to first generation single toxin technology was managed. A decade later, shortly after the release of dual toxin cotton, high baseline frequencies of alleles conferring resistance to one of its components prompted a reassessment of the thinking behind the potential risks to this technology. Several reviews detail the characteristics of this resistance and the nuances of deploying first and second generation Bt cotton in Australia. Here we explore recent advances and future possibilities to estimate Bt resistance in Australian pest species and define what we see as the critical data for enabling effective pre-emptive strategies. We also foreshadow the imminent deployment of three toxin (Cry1Ac, Cry2Ab, Vip3A) Bollgard 3 cotton, and examine aspects of resistance to its novel component, Vip3A, that we believe may impact on its stewardship.

  10. Ocean circulation on the North Australian Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schiller, Andreas

    2011-07-01

    The ocean circulation on Australia's Northern Shelf is dominated by the Monsoon and influenced by large-scale interannual variability. These driving forces exert an ocean circulation that influences the deep Timor Sea Passage of the Indonesian Throughflow, the circulation on the Timor and Arafura Shelves and, further downstream, the Leeuwin Current. Seasonal maxima of northeastward (southwestward) volume transports on the shelf are almost symmetric and exceed 10 6 m 3/s in February (June). The associated seasonal cycle of vertical upwelling from June to August south of 8.5°S and between 124°E and 137.5°E exceeds 1.5×10 6 m 3/s across 40 m depth. During El Niño events, combined anomalies from the seasonal means of high regional wind stresses and low inter-ocean pressure gradients double the northeastward volume transport on the North Australian Shelf to 1.5×10 6 m 3/s which accounts for 20% of the total depth-integrated transport across 124°E and reduce the total transport of the Indonesian Throughflow. Variability of heat content on the shelf is largely determined by Pacific and Indian Ocean equatorial wind stress anomalies with some contribution from local wind stress forcing.

  11. Stochastically-forced Decadal Variability in Australian Rainfall

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taschetto, A.

    2015-12-01

    Iconic Australian dry and wet periods were driven by anomalous conditions in the tropical oceans, such as the worst short-term drought in the southeast in 1982 associated with the strong El Niño and the widespread "Big Wet" in 1974 linked with a La Niña event. The association with oceanic conditions makes droughts predictable to some extent. However, prediction can be difficult when there is no clear external forcing such as El Niños. Can dry spells be triggered and maintained with no ocean memory? In this study, we investigate the potential role of internal multi-century atmospheric variability in controlling the frequency, duration and intensity of long-term dry and wet spells over Australia. Two multi-century-scale simulations were performed with the NCAR CESM: (1) a fully-coupled simulation (CPLD) and (2) an atmospheric simulation forced by a seasonal SST climatology derived from the coupled experiment (ACGM). Results reveal that droughts and wet spells can indeed be generated by internal variability of the atmosphere. Those internally generated events are less severe than those forced by oceanic variability, however the duration of dry and wet spells longer than 3 years is comparable with and without the ocean memory. Large-scale ocean modes of variability seem to play an important role in producing continental-scale rainfall impacts over Australia. While the Pacific Decadal Oscillation plays an important role in generating droughts in the fully coupled model, perturbations of monsoonal winds seem to be the main trigger of dry spells in the AGCM case. Droughts in the mid-latitude regions such as Tasmania can be driven by perturbations in the Southern Annular Mode, not necessarily linked to oceanic conditions even in the fully-coupled model. The mechanisms behind internally-driven mega-droughts and mega-wets will be discussed.

  12. Glacial oceanographic contrasts explain phylogeography of Australian bull kelp.

    PubMed

    Fraser, Ceridwen I; Spencer, Hamish G; Waters, Jonathan M

    2009-05-01

    The evolutionary effects of Southern Hemisphere Pleistocene oceanographic conditions - marked by fluctuations in sea levels and water temperatures, and redirected currents - are poorly understood. The southeastern tip of Australia presents an intriguing model system for studying the biological impacts of palaeoceanography. In particular, contrasting oceanographic conditions that existed on eastern vs. western sides of the Bassian Isthmus during Pleistocene glacial periods allow for natural comparisons between putative refugial vs. re-invading populations. Whereas many western Tasmanian marine taxa were likely eliminated by cold subantarctic water during the last glacial period, eastern Tasmanian populations would have persisted in relatively warm temperatures mediated by the ongoing influence of the East Australian Current (EAC). Here we test for the effects of contrasting palaeoceanographic conditions on endemic bull kelp, Durvillaea potatorum, using DNA sequence analysis (COI; rbcL) of more than 100 individuals from 14 localities in southeastern Australia. Phylogenetic reconstructions reveal a deep (maximum divergence 4.7%) genetic split within D. potatorum, corresponding to the 'eastern' and 'western' geographical regions delimited by the Bassian Isthmus, a vicariant barrier during low Pleistocene sea levels. Concordant with the western region's cold glacial conditions, samples from western Tasmania and western Victoria are genetically monomorphic, suggesting postglacial expansion from a mainland refugium. Eastern samples, in contrast, comprise distinct regional haplogroups, suggesting the species persisted in eastern Tasmania throughout recent glacial periods. The deep east-west divergence seems consistent with earlier reports of morphological differences between 'western' and 'eastern' D. potatorum, and it seems likely that these forms represent reproductively isolated species.

  13. Vegetation responses to the first 20 years of cattle grazing in an Australian desert.

    PubMed

    Fensham, R J; Fairfax, R J; Dwyer, J M

    2010-03-01

    Existing theoretical frameworks suggest three predictions relevant to grazing effects in Australian aridlands: grazing has a negative but moderate effect on plant species richness; a separate "state" resulting from degradation caused by extreme grazing will be evident; some plant species will have a strong association with grazing relief refuges that have only ever been subject to light grazing. These predictions were examined in the dune swales of an Australian desert, with data on herbaceous species collected along transects up to 14 km from artificial water points between four and 33 years old. A cumulative grazing index was constructed utilizing both the spatial occupation patterns of cattle and the length of exposure. Despite restricting sampling to a narrow habitat, silt/clay content and soil pH influence floristic patterns independent of grazing. The analysis of quadrat data in relation to grazing revealed almost no patterns in plant cover, species richness (at two different scales), or abundance across plant life-form groups. Five species had an increasing response, and seven a decreasing response, while the only species restricted to areas of extremely low grazing pressure was sufficiently rare that it could have occurred there by chance. The dominant annual grass, the most common shrub, and a perennial tussock-forming sedge all decrease with high levels of grazing. Most species exhibit an ephemeral life strategy in response to unreliable rainfall, and this boom and bust strategy effectively doubles as an adaptation to grazing. After 20 years of exposure to managed grazing with domestic stock in Australian dune swales, patterns in species richness have not emerged in response to grazing pressure, the ecosystem has not been transformed to another degradation "state," and there is no evidence that grazing relief refuges provide havens for species highly sensitive to grazing.

  14. Mechanics, Problems and Contributions of Tertiary Strategic Alliance: The Case of 22 Australian Universities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saffu, Kojo; Mamman, Aminu

    1999-01-01

    A study of international strategic alliances involving 22 Australian universities indicates that a majority of universities have frameworks for internationalization initiatives, with top institutional management instrumental in initiating joint ventures with overseas institutions despite limited resources. Australian universities believe they…

  15. Marine wildlife entanglement: Assessing knowledge, attitudes, and relevant behaviour in the Australian community.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Elissa; Mellish, Sarah; Sanders, Ben; Litchfield, Carla

    2014-12-15

    Marine debris remains a global challenge, with significant impacts on wildlife. Despite this, there is a paucity of research examining public understanding about marine wildlife entanglement [MWE], particularly within an Australian context. The present study surveyed two hundred and thirteen participants across three coastal sites to assess familiarity with MWE and the effectiveness of a new community education initiative 'Seal the Loop' [STL]. Results revealed attitudes toward marine wildlife were very positive (M 40.5, SD 4.12); however 32% of participants were unable to correctly explain what MWE is and risks to wildlife were under-estimated. STL may be one method to enhance public understanding and engagement-if community familiarity with the program can be increased. For those aware of STL (<13% of the sample at the time of the study), findings revealed this was having a positive impact (e.g. learning something new, changed waste disposal behaviours).

  16. Operation of the Australian Store.Synchrotron for macromolecular crystallography

    SciTech Connect

    Meyer, Grischa R.; Aragão, David; Mudie, Nathan J.; Caradoc-Davies, Tom T.; McGowan, Sheena; Bertling, Philip J.; Groenewegen, David; Quenette, Stevan M.; Bond, Charles S.; Buckle, Ashley M.; Androulakis, Steve

    2014-10-01

    The Store.Synchrotron service, a fully functional, cloud computing-based solution to raw X-ray data archiving and dissemination at the Australian Synchrotron, is described. The Store.Synchrotron service, a fully functional, cloud computing-based solution to raw X-ray data archiving and dissemination at the Australian Synchrotron, is described. The service automatically receives and archives raw diffraction data, related metadata and preliminary results of automated data-processing workflows. Data are able to be shared with collaborators and opened to the public. In the nine months since its deployment in August 2013, the service has handled over 22.4 TB of raw data (∼1.7 million diffraction images). Several real examples from the Australian crystallographic community are described that illustrate the advantages of the approach, which include real-time online data access and fully redundant, secure storage. Discoveries in biological sciences increasingly require multidisciplinary approaches. With this in mind, Store.Synchrotron has been developed as a component within a greater service that can combine data from other instruments at the Australian Synchrotron, as well as instruments at the Australian neutron source ANSTO. It is therefore envisaged that this will serve as a model implementation of raw data archiving and dissemination within the structural biology research community.

  17. Is resilience relevant to smoking abstinence for Indigenous Australians?

    PubMed

    Tsourtos, George; Ward, Paul R; Lawn, Sharon; Winefield, Anthony H; Hersh, Deborah; Coveney, John

    2015-03-01

    The prevalence rate of tobacco smoking remains high for Australian Indigenous people despite declining rates in other Australian populations. Given many Indigenous Australians continue to experience a range of social and economic structural problems, stress could be a significant contributing factor to preventing smoking abstinence. The reasons why some Indigenous people have remained resilient to stressful adverse conditions, and not rely on smoking to cope as a consequence, may provide important insights and lessons for health promotion policy and practice. In-depth interviews were employed to collect oral histories from 31 Indigenous adults who live in metropolitan Adelaide. Participants were recruited according to smoking status (non-smokers were compared with current smokers to gain a greater depth of understanding of how some participants have abstained from smoking). Perceived levels of stress were associated with encouraging smoking behaviour. Many participants reported having different stresses compared with non-Indigenous Australians, with some participants reporting having additional stressors such as constantly experiencing racism. Resilience often occurred when participants reported drawing upon internal psychological assets such as being motivated to quit and where external social support was available. These findings are discussed in relation to a recently developed psycho-social interactive model of resilience, and how this resilience model can be improved regarding the historical and cultural context of Indigenous Australians' experience of smoking.

  18. The Australian cigarette brand as product, person, and symbol

    PubMed Central

    Carter, S

    2003-01-01

    Objective: To examine, for dominant Australian cigarette brands, brand identity (overriding brand vision), brand positioning (brand identity elements communicated to the consumer), brand image (consumers' brand perceptions) and brand equity (financial value). Design: Tobacco industry documents, articles from retail trade publications since 1990, and current brand advertising from retail trade publications were searched for information about Australian brands. Results: Cigarette manufacturers benefit from their competitors' brand equity as well as their own. The industry sees Australian smokers as far less brand loyal and strongly oriented to "low tar". A few predominantly local brands dominate the market, with variation by state. Successful Australian brands exist in one of three categories: premium, mainstream, and supervalue. Their brand identity essence is as follows. Premium: quality. Mainstream: a good humoured "fair go" for ordinary Australians. Supervalue: value for money. All supervalue brand identities also include freedom, escape, mildness, an aspirational attitude, blue tones, and waterside scenes. Brand image and brand identity is frequently congruent, even when marketing is restricted, and brand image is generally more positive for a smoker's own brand. Conclusions: Tobacco control activities have undermined cigarette brand equity. Further research is needed regarding brand loyalty, low tar, and brand categories. Smokers may respond more positively to tobacco control messages consistent with the identities of their chosen brand, and brand-as-organisation elements may assist. Further marketing restrictions should consider all elements of brand identity, and aim to undermine brand categories. PMID:14645952

  19. Hundreds of automatic drip counters reveal infiltration water discharge characteristics in Australian caves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, A.; Treble, P. C.; Coleborn, K.; Mahmud, K.; Markowska, M.; Flemons, I.

    2015-12-01

    Quantifying the timing and character of cave drip water discharge is crucial for our understanding of speleothem climate proxies. Since 2010, we have established a long-term, national monitoring program of drip water infiltration onto cave stalagmites using automated Stalagmate© loggers. Five karst regions, from semi-arid to sub-tropical climates, have been instrumented. Over 200 loggers (between 10 and 40 per cave) have collected data on the timing and amount of drip water infiltration, from sites of contrasting limestone geology. Here, we present results demonstrating the timing and characteristics of drip water discharge from 2010 to present. At the semi-arid Cathedral Cave, with a range of depths from 0-40 m, there is a decreasing frequency of recharge events with depth below ground surface. High-intensity, long-duration rainfall events are confirmed to be the primary driver of infiltration events at semi-arid sites, whereas annual rainfall amount is the primary driver at a Mediterranean climate site with high primary porosity. Inter-annual variability in the frequency and relative amount of drip water infiltration is compared to climate forcing variables such as the ENSO and surface temperature. Our cave observatory system helps improve our understanding of the drip water recharge process, drip-water related speleothem proxy records, and provides a baseline monitoring network for diffuse groundwater recharge during a period of climate change.

  20. Bacterial Profiling Reveals Novel "Ca. Neoehrlichia", Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma Species in Australian Human-Biting Ticks.

    PubMed

    Gofton, Alexander W; Doggett, Stephen; Ratchford, Andrew; Oskam, Charlotte L; Paparini, Andrea; Ryan, Una; Irwin, Peter

    2015-01-01

    In Australia, a conclusive aetiology of Lyme disease-like illness in human patients remains elusive, despite growing numbers of people presenting with symptoms attributed to tick bites. In the present study, we surveyed the microbial communities harboured by human-biting ticks from across Australia to identify bacteria that may contribute to this syndrome. Universal PCR primers were used to amplify the V1-2 hyper-variable region of bacterial 16S rRNA genes in DNA samples from individual Ixodes holocyclus (n = 279), Amblyomma triguttatum (n = 167), Haemaphysalis bancrofti (n = 7), and H. longicornis (n = 7) ticks. The 16S amplicons were sequenced on the Illumina MiSeq platform and analysed in USEARCH, QIIME, and BLAST to assign genus and species-level taxonomies. Nested PCR and Sanger sequencing were used to confirm the NGS data and further analyse novel findings. All 460 ticks were negative for Borrelia spp. by both NGS and nested PCR analysis. Two novel "Candidatus Neoehrlichia" spp. were identified in 12.9% of I. holocyclus ticks. A novel Anaplasma sp. was identified in 1.8% of A. triguttatum ticks, and a novel Ehrlichia sp. was identified in both A. triguttatum (1.2%) ticks and a single I. holocyclus (0.6%) tick. Further phylogenetic analysis of novel "Ca. Neoehrlichia", Anaplasma and Ehrlichia based on 1,265 bp 16S rRNA gene sequences suggests that these are new species. Determining whether these newly discovered organisms cause disease in humans and animals, like closely related bacteria do abroad, is of public health importance and requires further investigation.

  1. Integrated Taxonomy Reveals Hidden Diversity in Northern Australian Fishes: A New Species of Seamoth (Genus Pegasus)

    PubMed Central

    Osterhage, Deborah; Pogonoski, John J.; Appleyard, Sharon A.; White, William T.

    2016-01-01

    Fishes are one of the most intensively studied marine taxonomic groups yet cryptic species are still being discovered. An integrated taxonomic approach is used herein to delineate and describe a new cryptic seamoth (genus Pegasus) from what was previously a wide-ranging species. Preliminary mitochondrial DNA barcoding indicated possible speciation in Pegasus volitans specimens collected in surveys of the Torres Strait and Great Barrier Reef off Queensland in Australia. Morphological and meristic investigations found key differences in a number of characters between P. volitans and the new species, P. tetrabelos. Further mt DNA barcoding of both the COI and the slower mutating 16S genes of additional specimens provided strong support for two separate species. Pegasus tetrabelos and P. volitans are sympatric in northern Australia and were frequently caught together in trawls at the same depths. PMID:26934529

  2. Integrated Taxonomy Reveals Hidden Diversity in Northern Australian Fishes: A New Species of Seamoth (Genus Pegasus).

    PubMed

    Osterhage, Deborah; Pogonoski, John J; Appleyard, Sharon A; White, William T

    2016-01-01

    Fishes are one of the most intensively studied marine taxonomic groups yet cryptic species are still being discovered. An integrated taxonomic approach is used herein to delineate and describe a new cryptic seamoth (genus Pegasus) from what was previously a wide-ranging species. Preliminary mitochondrial DNA barcoding indicated possible speciation in Pegasus volitans specimens collected in surveys of the Torres Strait and Great Barrier Reef off Queensland in Australia. Morphological and meristic investigations found key differences in a number of characters between P. volitans and the new species, P. tetrabelos. Further mt DNA barcoding of both the COI and the slower mutating 16S genes of additional specimens provided strong support for two separate species. Pegasus tetrabelos and P. volitans are sympatric in northern Australia and were frequently caught together in trawls at the same depths.

  3. Population genetic analysis reveals a long-term decline of a threatened endemic Australian marsupial.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Birgita D; Harley, Daniel K P; Lindenmayer, David B; Taylor, Andrea C

    2009-08-01

    Since European colonization, Leadbeater's possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri) has declined across its range to the point where it is now only patchily distributed within the montane ash forests of the Central Highlands of Victoria. The loss of large hollow-bearing trees coupled with inadequate recruitment of mature ash forest has been predicted to result in a reduction in population size of up to 90% by 2020. Furthermore, bioclimatic analyses have suggested additional reductions in the species' distribution under a variety of climate change scenarios. Using a panel of 15 highly resolving microsatellite markers and mitochondrial control region sequence data, we infer past and present gene flow. Populations in the northern part of the core range were highly admixed, and showed no signs of either current or historical barriers to gene flow. A marginal, isolated and inbred population at Yellingbo was highly genetically differentiated, both in terms of current and historic genetic structure. Sequence data confirmed the conclusions from earlier genetic simulation studies that the Yellingbo population has been isolated from the rest of the species range since before European-induced changes to the montane landscape, and formed part of a larger genetic unit that is now otherwise extinct. Historic loss of maternal lineages in the Central Highlands of Victoria was detected despite signals of immigration, indicating population declines that most probably coincided with changes in climate at the end of the Pleistocene. Given ongoing habitat loss and the recent (February 2009) wildfire in the Central Highlands, we forecast (potentially extensive) demographic declines, in line with predicted range reductions under climate change scenarios.

  4. Australian Education: An Overview of a System Adapting to a Post-Industrial Economy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reynolds, Richard J.

    This paper offers a brief overview of the Australian education system and compares it with the United States system of education. The Australian economy presents no threat to U.S. hegemony, but its education system presents an interesting contrast. The paper describes the following features of the Australian education system: governance; school…

  5. An Australian Approach to Schooling: The Record, the Rewards, and the Risks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Collins, Cherry

    This paper discusses the inclusion of Australian rather than English cultural components into an Australian-focused curriculum. Prior to World War II, English culture was accentuated in Australian education because of the country's English heritage. The conclusion that Australia has developed its own unique culture separate from that of Great…

  6. The Australian Geography Competition: An Overview of Participation and Results 2004-2013

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Childs, Iraphne R. W.; Berg, Kathryn

    2015-01-01

    The Australian Geography Competition (AGC) was established in 1995 by the Royal Geographical Society of Queensland (RGSQ) and the Australian Geography Teachers' Association to promote the study of geography in Australian secondary schools and to reward student excellence in geographical studies. Initially focusing on students at the lower…

  7. Positioning the School in the Landscape: Exploring Black History with a Regional Australian Primary School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zeegers, Margaret

    2011-01-01

    This paper deals with a project establishing an Indigenous Australian artists-in-residence program at a regional Australian primary school to foreground its Black History. Primary school students worked with Indigenous Australian story tellers, artists, dancers and musicians to explore ways in which they could examine print and non-print texts for…

  8. Australian Information Education in the 21st Century--The Synergy among Research, Teaching and Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nastasie, Daniela L.

    2012-01-01

    In 2011 a group of Australian Library and Information Science academics led by Prof. Helen Partridge conducted an investigation into the Australian Library and Information Science education in the 21st century. The project was funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) and the final report, titled "Re-conceptualising and…

  9. Strategic Capacity Building for Australian Educational Research: Creating Spaces for Action

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goodyear, Peter

    2013-01-01

    This paper provides some background information about the Strategic Capacity Building for Australian Educational Research initiative: a joint program of work sponsored by the Australian Association for Research in Education and the Australian Council of Deans of Education. In addition, it offers some broader analysis of the contexts within which…

  10. Content Validation of Statements Describing the Essential Work of Australian Special Education Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dally, Kerry A.; Dempsey, Ian

    2015-01-01

    This article describes the procedures used in developing and validating a set of statements for Australian special education teachers. Using the existing AITSL Australian Professional Standards for Teachers at the proficient level as a basis, a set of statements describing the specific skills and knowledge required by Australian educators working…

  11. Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY): 2006 Cohort Wave 4 (2009)--Questionnaire. Technical Report 56A

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), 2010

    2010-01-01

    The Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY) program studies the progress of several groups of young Australians as they move from school into post-secondary education and work. This technical paper contains the questionnaire for the LSAY 2006 cohort Wave 4 (2009) data set. [For the "Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY):…

  12. Enhancing Educational Performance for Remote Aboriginal Australians: What Is the Impact of Attendance on Performance?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jorgensen, Robyn

    2012-01-01

    The educational performance of Aboriginal Australians lags behind non-Indigenous Australians with the gap increasing the longer students remain at school. The Australian government has released its Closing the Gap policy with the specific intent to redress gaps in health, education and housing, as these are seen as key indicators to life success.…

  13. The Invisible Hand of Pedagogy in Australian Indigenous Studies and Indigenous Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rhea, Zane Ma; Russell, Lynette

    2012-01-01

    The Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC)-funded project "Exploring Problem-Based Learning Pedagogy as Transformative Education in Indigenous Australian Studies" raised a number of issues that resonated with concerns we have had as professionals engaged in teaching and researching Australian Indigenous studies and Indigenous…

  14. Potential Effectiveness of Specific Anti-Smoking Mass Media Advertisements among Australian Indigenous Smokers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Harold S.; Bowden, Jacqueline A.; Bayly, Megan C.; Sharplin, Greg R.; Durkin, Sarah J.; Miller, Caroline L.; Givans, Sharon E.; Warne, Charles D.; Wakefield, Melanie A.

    2011-01-01

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians (Indigenous Australians) have more than twice the smoking prevalence of non-Indigenous Australians. Anti-smoking campaigns have demonstrated success in the general population but little is known about their impact among Indigenous people. A total of 143 Indigenous and a comparison group of 156…

  15. Values-Based Education in Schools in the 2000s: The Australian Experience

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leichsenring, Andrew

    2010-01-01

    This thesis explores the teaching of values in Australian schools through a framework established by the Australian Federal government during the 2000s. This paper focuses on: the approaches employed by the Australian Federal government in the implementation of Values Education; and the application of cases of values-based education utilized by…

  16. Eating Disorders and Dieting Behavior among Australian and Swazi University Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stephens, Nicole M.; Schumaker, John F.; Sibiya, Thokozile E.

    1999-01-01

    Examines the eating behaviors of 192 Australian and 129 Swaziland university students using the Eating Attitudes Test. Reports no significant differences between the Australian and Swazi samples in terms of eating disorder symptoms, but indicates that more Australians saw themselves as overweight and were on a weight loss diet. (CMK)

  17. Elder participation and senior power in Australian electoral politics.

    PubMed

    Borowski, Allan; Hudson, Robert B; McCormack, John

    2008-01-01

    This article seeks to assess the "goodness of fit" between the social science literature on the impact of older voters on electoral outcomes and the Australian experience of the politics of aging. While the literature suggests that the notion of senior power is a flawed one, Australia's 2004 federal election campaign indicated that this is not quite so. This article offers a possible explanation for the difference between the literature and the Australian experience in terms of the calculus that underpinned the election campaign, namely, capturing the votes of swing voters in marginal seats including "silver" swing voters in seats with a disproportionate number of older voters. The preliminary findings of a small exploratory study of campaign strategists suggest that there may be a real basis to this explanation. Thus, there does appear to be some basis for asserting that "gray power"does play a role in Australian national electoral politics.

  18. Myxosporean parasites in Australian frogs: Importance, implications and future directions

    PubMed Central

    Hartigan, Ashlie; Phalen, David N.; Šlapeta, Jan

    2013-01-01

    Myxosporean parasites have been identified in amphibians around the world yet very little is known about their diversity, biology and host impact. Several species of Australian frogs have recently been shown to be affected by myxosporidiosis caused by two new Cystodiscus species. In this manuscript, we review what is known about the myxosporean parasites Cystodiscus australis and Cystodiscus axonis that produce myxospores in gallbladders of Australian frogs and Myxobolus fallax and Myxobolus hylae that produce spores in gonads and the potential impact of these parasites on the conservation of Australian frogs. By doing so, we aim to highlight the importance of amphibian myxosporean parasites, suggest directions for future research and argue that the lessons learned about these parasites in Australia are directly transferable to amphibians around the world. PMID:24533318

  19. Population and environment: an Australian challenge.

    PubMed

    Short, R V

    1992-07-01

    The latest UN population projections are cause both for hope and for despair. If effective family planning programs could be implemented without delay in those areas of the world where contraceptives are used by only a minority of the population, then the global population might increase by a mere 2.4 billion people by 2050, and thereafter would decline to 6.4 billion by the end of the next century. A more realistic projection is that numbers will increase to 11.2 billion by the year 2100. But if the issue is ignored, then there will be a global population of 17.6 billion by the century's end. The recent immigration debate and the Government Report on Population Issues and Australia's Future published in early 1992 could be taken as a starting point, even though there is no suggestion in the report that Australia should ever aim to stabilize its own population. The committee was strongly of the view that immigration was an ineffective and inappropriate tool to reduce mass population pressures in other parts of the world. Clearly Australia cannot act as a safety valve for the population excesses in the rest of the world. Even without immigration the present population of 17 million will grow by about another 2 million over the next 40 years as a result of natural increase. If the current level of about 111,000 migrants a year is maintained, Australia's population will grow to 25 million by 2031. The solution is to transfer some of the defense budget to the Australian International Development Assistance Bureau and provide Asian neighbors, whose family planning programs are starved of support, with the weapons they need to fight the population battle. The Population Issues Committee itself recognized that there was a clear need for Australia to develop an enhanced foreign aid program to support family planning services. By doing so Australia would earn the lasting gratitude of Asian neighbors.

  20. Australian trachoma surveillance annual report, 2013.

    PubMed

    Cowling, Carleigh S; Liu, Bette C; Snelling, Thomas L; Ward, James S; Kaldor, John M; Wilson, David P

    2016-06-30

    Australia remains the only developed country to have endemic levels of trachoma (a prevalence of 5% or greater among children) in some regions. Endemic trachoma in Australia is found predominantly in remote and very remote Aboriginal communities. The Australian Government funds the National Trachoma Surveillance and Reporting Unit to collate, analyse and report trachoma prevalence data and document trachoma control strategies in Australia through an annual surveillance report. This report presents data collected in 2013. Data are collected from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities designated at-risk for endemic trachoma within New South Wales, the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia. The World Health Organization grading criteria were used to diagnose cases of trachoma in Aboriginal children, with jurisdictions focusing screening activities on the 5-9 years age group; but some children in the 1-4 and 10-14 years age groups were also screened. The prevalence of trachoma within a community was used to guide treatment strategies as a public health response. Aboriginal adults aged 40 years or over were screened for trichiasis. Screening coverage for the estimated population of children aged 5-9 years and adults aged 40 years or over in at-risk communities required to be screened in 2013 was 84% and 30%, respectively. There was a 4% prevalence of trachoma among children aged 5-9 years who were screened. Of communities screened, 50% were found to have no cases of active trachoma and 33% were found to have endemic levels of trachoma. Treatment was required in 75 at-risk communities screened. Treatment coverage for active cases and their contacts varied between jurisdictions from 79% to 100%. Trichiasis prevalence was 1% within the screened communities.