Science.gov

Sample records for bivalvia mollusca explained

  1. Fauna Europaea: Mollusca - Bivalvia.

    PubMed

    Araujo, Rafael; de Jong, Yde

    2015-01-01

    Fauna Europaea provides a public web-service with an index of scientific names (including important synonyms) of all living European land and freshwater animals, their geographical distribution at country level (up to the Urals, excluding the Caucasus region), and some additional information. The Fauna Europaea project covers about 230,000 taxonomic names, including 130,000 accepted species and 14,000 accepted subspecies, which is much more than the originally projected number of 100,000 species. This represents a huge effort by more than 400 contributing specialists throughout Europe and is a unique (standard) reference suitable for many users in science, government, industry, nature conservation and education. For the Mollusca-Bivalvia, data from 5 families (Margaritiferidae, Unionidae, Sphaeriidae, Cyrenidae, Dreissenidae) containing 55 species are included in this paper. European freshwater bivalves belong to the Orders Unionoida and Cardiida. All the European unionoids are included in the superfamily Unionoidea, the freshwater mussels or naiads. The European cardiids belong to the following three superfamilies: Cardioidea, Cyrenoidea and Dreissenoidea. Among the Unionoidea there are the most imperilled animal groups on the planet while the Cardioidea includes the cosmopolitan genus Pisidium, the Cyrenoidea the Asiatic clam (Corbiculafluminea) and the Dreissenoidea the famous invasive zebra mussel (Dreissenapolymorpha). Basic information is summarized on their taxonomy and biology. Tabulations include a complete list of the current estimated families, genera and species.

  2. Fauna Europaea: MolluscaBivalvia

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Fauna Europaea provides a public web-service with an index of scientific names (including important synonyms) of all living European land and freshwater animals, their geographical distribution at country level (up to the Urals, excluding the Caucasus region), and some additional information. The Fauna Europaea project covers about 230,000 taxonomic names, including 130,000 accepted species and 14,000 accepted subspecies, which is much more than the originally projected number of 100,000 species. This represents a huge effort by more than 400 contributing specialists throughout Europe and is a unique (standard) reference suitable for many users in science, government, industry, nature conservation and education. For the Mollusca-Bivalvia, data from 5 families (Margaritiferidae, Unionidae, Sphaeriidae, Cyrenidae, Dreissenidae) containing 55 species are included in this paper. European freshwater bivalves belong to the Orders Unionoida and Cardiida. All the European unionoids are included in the superfamily Unionoidea, the freshwater mussels or naiads. The European cardiids belong to the following three superfamilies: Cardioidea, Cyrenoidea and Dreissenoidea. Among the Unionoidea there are the most imperilled animal groups on the planet while the Cardioidea includes the cosmopolitan genus Pisidium, the Cyrenoidea the Asiatic clam (Corbicula fluminea) and the Dreissenoidea the famous invasive zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha). Basic information is summarized on their taxonomy and biology. Tabulations include a complete list of the current estimated families, genera and species. PMID:26311403

  3. Mitogenomics reveals two subspecies in Coelomactra antiquata (Mollusca: Bivalvia).

    PubMed

    Meng, Xueping; Shen, Xin; Zhao, Nana; Tian, Mei; Liang, Meng; Hao, Jue; Cheng, Hanliang; Yan, Binlun; Dong, Zhiguo; Zhu, Xiaoling

    2013-04-01

    The mitochondrial genome sequence of Coelomactra antiquata (Mollusca: Bivalvia) in Zhangzhou (zz-mtDNA) was fully sequenced and compared with that in Rizhao (rz-mtDNA) in this study. A tRNA (tRNA (Met) ) located between tRNA (Ala) and cox1 genes was identified in zz-mtDNA but not in rz-mtDNA. The largest non-coding region (NCR; MNR) contained 11 copies 99nt tandem repeat sequences exclusively in rz-mtDNA, while the second largest NCR with 400 bp between tRNA (Ala) and tRNA (Met) in zz-mtDNA was absent in rz-mtDNA. Secondary structures of ZZ and RZ C. antiquata rRNAs are significantly different. The mitochondrial genomic characteristics clearly indicate that there are at least two subspecies in C. antiquata.

  4. Unionid bivalves (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionidae) of Presque Isle Bay, Erie, Pennsylvania

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Masteller, E.C.; Maleski, K.R.; Schloesser, D.W.

    1993-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine species composition and relative abundance of unionid bivalves (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionidae) in Presque Isle Bay, Erie, Pennsylvania 1990-1992. This information was compared with data from the only other extensive survey of unionids in the bay conducted in 1909-1911 (Ortmann 1919) to assess changes over the 80 years preceding the present study. A total of 1,540 individuals representing 18 species were collected in 1990-1992. Five relatively common species (between 7 and 42% of total individuals), six uncommon species (2 and 6%), and seven rare species (<1%) were found. The rare species were Anodontoides ferussacianus, Lasmigona costata, Ligumia recta, Ptychobranchus fasciolaris, Quadrula pustulosa pustulosa, Strophitus undaulatus, and Truncilla donaciformis. Five of the species found in Presque Isle Bay (Leptodea fragilis, Ligumia nasuta, Potamilus alatus, Quadrula quadrula, and Truncilla donaciformis) are listed as critically imperiled and one species (Truncilla truncata) as extirpated in the State of Pennsylvania by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Comparisons between unionid populations in 1909-1911 and 1990-1992 indicate few substantial changes occurred during the past 80 years. A total of 22 species were found; 21 in 1909-1911 and 18 in 1990-1992. Seventeen species were found in both studies, an additional four in 1909-1911 and one in 1990-1992. The relative abundance of 11 of the 17 species found in both studies remained stable (i.e., common or uncommon) over the past 80 years. Only four species listed as uncommon in 1909-1911 were listed as rare in 1990-1992. However, the invasion of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) is considered a threat to the continued existence of the entire Unionidae fauna in Presque Isle Bay, a unique habitat of the Great Lakes.

  5. Comparative mitogenomic analysis reveals cryptic species: A case study in Mactridae (Mollusca: Bivalvia).

    PubMed

    Shen, Xin; Meng, Xue Ping; Chu, Ka Hou; Zhao, Na Na; Tian, Mei; Liang, Meng; Hao, Jue

    2014-12-01

    The Chinese surf clam Mactra chinensis Philippi, 1846 is a commercially important marine bivalve belonging to the family Mactridae (Mollusca: Bivalvia). In this study, the M. chinensis mitochondrial genomic features are analyzed. The genome has 34 genes on the same strand, lacking atp8 and both trnS (trnS1 and trnS2) as compared with the typical gene content of metazoan mitochondrial genomes. The A+T content of M. chinensis mitochondrial genome is 63.72%, which is slightly lower than that of M. veneriformis (67.59%) and Coelomactra antiquata (64.33% and 64.14% for the samples from Ri Zhao, Shandong Province, and Zhang Zhou, Fujian Province, China, respectively) in the same family. There are 22 NCRs in the M. chinensis mitochondrial genome, accounting for 12.91% of the genome length. The longest NCR (1,075bp in length) is located between trnT and trnQ. A TRS (127bp×8.15) accounts for 96.3% (1,035/1,075) of this NCR. The occurrence of TRS in NCR is shared by the two Mactra mitochondrial genomes, but is not found in the two Coelomactra mitochondrial genomes. A phylogenetic tree constructed based on 12 PCGs of 25 bivalve mitochondrial genomes shows that all seven genera (Mactra, Coelomactra, Paphia, Meretrix, Solen, Mytilus, and Crassostrea) constitute monophyletic groups with very high support values. Pairwise genetic distance analyses indicate that the genetic distance of C. antiquata from the two localities is 0.084, which is greater than values between congeneric species, such as those in Mactra, Mytilus, Meretrix, and Crassostrea. The results show that the C. antiquata from the two localities represent cryptic species.

  6. Molecular phylogenetic analysis supports a Gondwanan origin of the Hyriidae (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionida) and the paraphyly of Australasian taxa.

    PubMed

    Graf, Daniel L; Jones, Hugh; Geneva, Anthony J; Pfeiffer, John M; Klunzinger, Michael W

    2015-04-01

    The freshwater mussel family Hyriidae (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionida) has a disjunct trans-Pacific distribution in Australasia and South America. Previous phylogenetic analyses have estimated the evolutionary relationships of the family and the major infra-familial taxa (Velesunioninae and Hyriinae: Hyridellini in Australia; Hyriinae: Hyriini, Castaliini, and Rhipidodontini in South America), but taxon and character sampling have been too incomplete to support a predictive classification or allow testing of biogeographical hypotheses. We sampled 30 freshwater mussel individuals representing the aforementioned hyriid taxa, as well as outgroup species representing the five other freshwater mussel families and their marine sister group (order Trigoniida). Our ingroup included representatives of all Australian genera. Phylogenetic relationships were estimated from three gene fragments (nuclear 28S, COI and 16S mtDNA) using maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian inference, and we applied a Bayesian relaxed clock model calibrated with fossil dates to estimate node ages. Our analyses found good support for monophyly of the Hyriidae and the subfamilies and tribes, as well as the paraphyly of the Australasian taxa (Velesunioninae, (Hyridellini, (Rhipidodontini, (Castaliini, Hyriini)))). The Hyriidae was recovered as sister to a clade comprised of all other Recent freshwater mussel families. Our molecular date estimation supported Cretaceous origins of the major hyriid clades, pre-dating the Tertiary isolation of South America from Antarctica/Australia. We hypothesize that early diversification of the Hyriidae was driven by terrestrial barriers on Gondwana rather than marine barriers following disintegration of the super-continent.

  7. Thermal dependency of shell growth, microstructure, and stable isotopes in laboratory-reared Scapharca broughtonii (Mollusca: Bivalvia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishida, Kozue; Suzuki, Atsushi; Isono, Ryosuke; Hayashi, Masahiro; Watanabe, Yusuke; Yamamoto, Yuzo; Irie, Takahiro; Nojiri, Yukihiro; Mori, Chiharu; Sato, Mizuho; Sato, Kei; Sasaki, Takenori

    2015-07-01

    We experimentally examined the growth, microstructure, and chemistry of shells of the bloody clam, Scapharca broughtonii (Mollusca: Bivalvia), reared at five temperatures (13, 17, 21, 25, and 29°C) with a constant pCO2 condition (˜450 μatm). In this species, the exterior side of the shell is characterized by a composite prismatic structure; on the interior side, it has a crossed lamellar structure on the interior surface. We previously found a negative correlation between temperature and the relative thickness of the composite prismatic structure in field-collected specimens. In the reared specimens, the relationship curve between temperature and the growth increment of the composite prismatic structure was humped shaped, with a maximum at 17°C, which was compatible with the results obtained in the field-collected specimens. In contrast, the thickness of the crossed lamellar structure was constant over the temperature range tested. These results suggest that the composite prismatic structure principally accounts for the thermal dependency of shell growth, and this inference was supported by the finding that shell growth rates were significantly correlated with the thickness of the composite prismatic structure. We also found a negative relationship between the rearing temperature and δ18O of the shell margin, in close quantitative agreement with previous reports. The findings presented here will contribute to the improved age determination of fossil and recent clams based on seasonal microstructural records.

  8. The influence of fish cage culture on δ13C and δ15N of filter-feeding Bivalvia (Mollusca).

    PubMed

    Benedito, E; Figueroa, L; Takeda, A M; Manetta, G I

    2013-11-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of Oreochromis niloticus cage culture promoted variations in the δ13C and δ15N in Corbicula fluminea (Mollusca; Bivalvia) and in the sediment of an aquatic food web. Samples were taken before and after net cage installation in the Rosana Reservoir (Paranapanema River, PR-SP). Samples of specimens of the bivalve filterer C. fluminea and samples of sediment were collected using a modified Petersen grab. All samples were dried in an oven (60 °C) for 72 hours, macerated to obtain homogenous fine powders and sent for carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotopic value analysis in a mass spectrometer. There were significant differences in the δ13C and δ15N values of the invertebrate C. fluminea between the beginning and the end of the experiment. There were no differences between the δ13C and δ15N values of sediment. These results indicate that the installation of fish cage culture promoted impacts in the isotopic composition of the aquatic food web organisms, which could exert influence over the native species and the ecosystem.

  9. Spermatozoa and spermatogenesis in the northern quahaug Mercenaria mercenaria (Mollusca, Bivalvia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ying, Xue-Ping; Yang, Wan-Xi; Dahms, Hans-U.; Lin, Zhihua; Chai, Xueliang

    2008-12-01

    We studied the ultrastructure of spermatogenesis and spermatozoa in the northern quahaug, the clam Mercenaria mercenaria. Spermatogenetic cells gradually elongate. Mitochondria gradually fuse and increase in size and electron density. During spermatid differentiation, proacrosomal vesicles migrate towards the presumptive anterior pole of the nucleus and eventually form the acrosome. The spermatozoon of M. mercenaria is of a primitive type. It is composed of head, mid-piece, and tail. The acrosome shows a subacrosomal space with a short conical contour. The slightly curved nucleus of the spermatozoon contains fine-grained dense chromatin. The middle piece consists of a centriolar complex which is surrounded by four mitochondria. The flagellum has a standard “9 + 2” microtubular structure. The ultrastructure of spermatozoa and spermatogenesis of M. mercenaria shares a number of features with other species of the family Veneridae. M. mercenaria may be a suitable model species for further investigations into the mechanisms of spermatogenesis in the Bivalvia.

  10. Phylogenetic relationships of chemoautotrophic bacterial symbionts of Solemya velum say (Mollusca: Bivalvia) determined by 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis.

    PubMed Central

    Eisen, J A; Smith, S W; Cavanaugh, C M

    1992-01-01

    The protobranch bivalve Solemya velum Say (Mollusca: Bivalvia) houses chemoautotrophic symbionts intracellularly within its gills. These symbionts were characterized through sequencing of polymerase chain reaction-amplified 16S rRNA coding regions and hybridization of an Escherichia coli gene probe to S. velum genomic DNA restriction fragments. The symbionts appeared to have only one copy of the 16S rRNA gene. The lack of variability in the 16S sequence and hybridization patterns within and between individual S. velum organisms suggested that one species of symbiont is dominant within and specific for this host species. Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S sequences of the symbionts indicates that they lie within the chemoautotrophic cluster of the gamma subdivision of the eubacterial group Proteobacteria. Images PMID:1577710

  11. Phylogenetic relationships of chemoautotrophic bacterial symbionts of Solemya velum say (Mollusca: Bivalvia) determined by 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis.

    PubMed

    Eisen, J A; Smith, S W; Cavanaugh, C M

    1992-05-01

    The protobranch bivalve Solemya velum Say (Mollusca: Bivalvia) houses chemoautotrophic symbionts intracellularly within its gills. These symbionts were characterized through sequencing of polymerase chain reaction-amplified 16S rRNA coding regions and hybridization of an Escherichia coli gene probe to S. velum genomic DNA restriction fragments. The symbionts appeared to have only one copy of the 16S rRNA gene. The lack of variability in the 16S sequence and hybridization patterns within and between individual S. velum organisms suggested that one species of symbiont is dominant within and specific for this host species. Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S sequences of the symbionts indicates that they lie within the chemoautotrophic cluster of the gamma subdivision of the eubacterial group Proteobacteria.

  12. Phylogeny and evolution of ontogeny of the family Oxytomidae Ichikawa, 1958 (Mollusca: Bivalvia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lutikov, O. A.; Temkin, I. E.; Shurygin, B. N.

    2010-08-01

    We described ontogenies and reconstructed morphogeneses of hinges in some supraspecific taxa of the bivalve family Oxytomidae Ichikawa, 1958 from the Mesozoic of Russia. The phylogeny of the family is reconstructed using evolutionary and cladistic methods. The appearance of the endemic genus Arctotis Bodylevsky, 1960 in the epicontinental seas of Siberia can be explained in terms of gradual transformations of the ligament and byssal apparatus in the Northern Siberian members of Praemeleagrinella Lutikov et Shurygin, 2009 and Praearctotis Lutikov et Shurygin, 2009.

  13. Organization pattern of nacre in Pteriidae (Bivalvia: Mollusca) explained by crystal competition

    PubMed Central

    Checa, Antonio G; Okamoto, Takashi; Ramírez, Joaquín

    2006-01-01

    Bivalve nacre is a brick-wall-patterned biocomposite of aragonite platelets surrounded by organic matter. SEM–electron back scatter diffraction analysis of nacre of the bivalve family Pteriidae reveals that early aragonite crystals grow with their c-axes oriented perpendicular to the growth surface but have their a- and b-axes disoriented. With the accumulation of successive lamellae, crystals progressively orient themselves with their b-axes mutually parallel and towards the growth direction. We propose that progressive orientation is a result of competition between nacre crystals at the growth front of lamellae, which favours selection of crystals whose fastest growth axis (b-axis) is oriented parallel to the direction of propagation of the lamella. A theoretical model has been developed, which simulates competition of rhombic plates at the lamellar growth front as well as epitaxial growth of crystals onto those of the preceding lamella. The model predicts that disordered nacre progressively produces bivalve-like oriented nacre. As growth fronts become diffuse (as is the common case in bivalves) it takes longer for nacre to become organized. Formation of microdomains of nacre platelets with different orientations is also reproduced. In conclusion, not only the organic matrix component, but also the mineral phase plays an active role in organizing the final microstructure. PMID:16777720

  14. The linked units of 5S rDNA and U1 snDNA of razor shells (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Pharidae).

    PubMed

    Vierna, J; Jensen, K T; Martínez-Lage, A; González-Tizón, A M

    2011-08-01

    The linkage between 5S ribosomal DNA and other multigene families has been detected in many eukaryote lineages, but whether it provides any selective advantage remains unclear. In this work, we report the occurrence of linked units of 5S ribosomal DNA (5S rDNA) and U1 small nuclear DNA (U1 snDNA) in 10 razor shell species (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Pharidae) from four different genera. We obtained several clones containing partial or complete repeats of both multigene families in which both types of genes displayed the same orientation. We provide a comprehensive collection of razor shell 5S rDNA clones, both with linked and nonlinked organisation, and the first bivalve U1 snDNA sequences. We predicted the secondary structures and characterised the upstream and downstream conserved elements, including a region at -25 nucleotides from both 5S rDNA and U1 snDNA transcription start sites. The analysis of 5S rDNA showed that some nontranscribed spacers (NTSs) are more closely related to NTSs from other species (and genera) than to NTSs from the species they were retrieved from, suggesting birth-and-death evolution and ancestral polymorphism. Nucleotide conservation within the functional regions suggests the involvement of purifying selection, unequal crossing-overs and gene conversions. Taking into account this and other studies, we discuss the possible mechanisms by which both multigene families could have become linked in the Pharidae lineage. The reason why 5S rDNA is often found linked to other multigene families seems to be the result of stochastic processes within genomes in which its high copy number is determinant.

  15. A new species of pea crab of the genus Serenotheres Ahyong & Ng, 2005 (Crustacea, Brachyura, Pinnotheridae) from the date mussel Leiosolenus Carpenter, 1857 (Mollusca, Bivalvia, Mytilidae, Lithophaginae) from the Solomon Islands.

    PubMed

    Ng, Peter K L; Meyer, Chistopher

    2016-01-01

    The pea crab genus Serenotheres Ahyong & Ng, 2005 (Pinnotheridae) is currently only represented by one species, Serenotheres besutensis (Serène, 1967). A new species is now assigned to this genus, described from a date mussel Leiosolenus obesus Carpenter, 1857 (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Mytilidae: Lithophaginae) collected in the Solomon Islands. Serenotheres janussp. n. differs from Serenotheres besutensis in possessing a conspicuously broader carapace, with the lateral margins of the dorsal lamellum distinctly produced and the posterolateral part deeply concave, the dorsal lamellum being highest at the median cleft, the rostrum is relatively more prominent, the surfaces of the anterolateral margin and hepatic region are less prominently pitted and eroded, the ischiomerus of the third maxilliped is relatively more rectangular, and the P2 merus is proportionately longer.

  16. A new species of pea crab of the genus Serenotheres Ahyong & Ng, 2005 (Crustacea, Brachyura, Pinnotheridae) from the date mussel Leiosolenus Carpenter, 1857 (Mollusca, Bivalvia, Mytilidae, Lithophaginae) from the Solomon Islands

    PubMed Central

    Ng, Peter K. L.; Meyer, Chistopher

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The pea crab genus Serenotheres Ahyong & Ng, 2005 (Pinnotheridae) is currently only represented by one species, Serenotheres besutensis (Serène, 1967). A new species is now assigned to this genus, described from a date mussel Leiosolenus obesus Carpenter, 1857 (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Mytilidae: Lithophaginae) collected in the Solomon Islands. Serenotheres janus sp. n. differs from Serenotheres besutensis in possessing a conspicuously broader carapace, with the lateral margins of the dorsal lamellum distinctly produced and the posterolateral part deeply concave, the dorsal lamellum being highest at the median cleft, the rostrum is relatively more prominent, the surfaces of the anterolateral margin and hepatic region are less prominently pitted and eroded, the ischiomerus of the third maxilliped is relatively more rectangular, and the P2 merus is proportionately longer. PMID:27843386

  17. Distribution, biomass, recruitment and productivity of Anadara senilis (L.) (Mollusca: Bivalvia) on the banc d'Arguin, Mauritania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolff, W. J.; Gueye, Abou; Meijboom, A.; Piersma, Th.; Alassane Sall, Mamadou

    Data on distribution, ecology, biomass, recruitment, growth, mortality and productivity of the West African bloody cockle Anadara senilis were collected at the Banc d'Aguuin, Mauritania, in early 1985 and 1986. Ash-free dry weight appeared to be correlated best with shell height. A. senilis was abundant on the tidal flats of landlocked coastal bays, but nearly absent on the tidal flats bordering the open sea. The average biomass for the entire area of tidal flats was estimated at 5.5 g·m -2 ash-free dry weight. The A. senilis population appeared to consist mainly of 10 to 20-year-old individuals, showing a very slow growth and a production: biomass ratio of about 0.02 y -1. Recruitment appeared negligible and mortality was estimated to be about 10% per year. Oystercatchers ( Haematopus ostralegus), the gastropod Cymbium cymbium and unknown fish species were responsible for a large share of this. The distinction of annual growth marks permitted the assessment of year-class strength, which appeared to be correlated with the average discharge of the river Senegal. This may be explained by assuming that year-class strength and river discharge both are correlated with rainfall at the Banc d'Arguin.

  18. Megafauna recovered from a cold hydrocarbon seep in the deep Alaskan Beaufort Sea, including a new species of Axinus (Thracidae: Bivalvia: Mollusca)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Powell, C. L.; Valentich-Scott, P.; Lorenson, T. D.; Edwards, B. D.

    2011-12-01

    Several specimens of a new species of Axinus and a single well-worn gastropod columella provisionally assigned to the genus Neptunea (Buccinidae: Gastropoda: Mollusca) were recently recovered from at least two cores, the longest of which is 5.72 m long, from a large seafloor mound, informally named the Canning Seafloor Mound (CSM). The CSM is located at 2,530 m water depth on the Alaskan Beaufort Sea slope north of Camden Bay and is a fluid explosion feature containing methane hydrate and methane-saturated sediments overlying a folded and faulted deep basin. Only two modern species of Axinus are currently known. Axinus grandis (Verrill & Smith, 1885) is a northern Atlantic species and the recently described species, A. cascadiensis Oliver and Holmes (2007), is only known from Baby Bare Seamount, Cascadia Basin, northeastern Pacific Ocean. Common fragments, single valves, and a single articulated specimen represent this new Axinus species. These shells were distributed over nearly the entire length of the primary core. All specimens show wear and (or) dissolution. The age of these specimens is unknown and no living representatives were encountered. The genus Axinus has a fossil record back to the early Eocene in England and the Paleocene and Eocene in Egypt. Biogeographically the genus appears to have originated in the Tethys Sea and became established in the Atlantic Ocean during the Eocene, spreading across the Arctic Ocean in the late Tertiary. With the opening of the Bering Strait in the latest Miocene or early Pliocene the genus Axinus migrated southwest into the northeast Pacific. Interestingly, hydrocarbon seep deposits are also present on the adjacent North Slope of Alaska in the Marsh Anticline at Carter Creek, Camden Bay. These rocks, the Nuwok beds, contain abundant Thracidae bivalve of the genus Thracia, but not Axinus, however the rocks also represent cold seep deposits. These rocks have been variously dated from Oligocene to Pliocene and the exact age

  19. Genetic Population Structure of Macridiscus multifarius (Mollusca: Bivalvia) on the Basis of Mitochondrial Markers: Strong Population Structure in a Species with a Short Planktonic Larval Stage.

    PubMed

    Ye, Ying Ying; Wu, Chang Wen; Li, Ji Ji

    2015-01-01

    The clam Macridiscus multifarius with a planktonic larval stage of about 10 days is an ecologically and economically important species in the coastal regions of China. In this study, 3 mt-DNA markers (COI, 12S rRNA, and ND1) were used to investigate the population structure and demography of wild M. multifarius populations in 3 coastal localities of the East China Sea (ZS and ZP populations) and Beibu Gulf in the South China Sea (BH population). Sequences of 685 bp in COI, 350 bp in 12S rRNA, and 496 bp in ND1 were determined. High level and significant FST values were obtained among the different localities on the basis of either COI (FST = 0.100-0.444, p < 0.05) or 12S rRNA (FST = 0.199-0.742, p < 0.05) gene, indicating a high degree of genetic differentiation among the populations. FST values were significant but weak for the ND1 gene because it is highly conservative. The median-joining network suggested an obvious genetic differentiation between ZS and BH populations, and the finding is consistent with the results of our demographic analyses using the unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean. Our study unraveled the extant population genetic structure of M. multifarius and explained the strong population structure of a species with a short planktonic larval stage species; this information could be useful for fishery management measures, including artificial breeding and conservation.

  20. Cytogenetics of the razor clam Solen marginatus (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Solenidae).

    PubMed

    Fernández-Tajes, J; González-Tizón, A; Martínez-Lage, A; Méndez, J

    2003-01-01

    The razor clam Solen marginatus has a diploid chromosome number of 38. The karyotype consists of one metacentric/submetacentric, three submetacentric/metacentric, five submetacentric, one submetacentric/subtelocentric, one subtelocentric/submetacentric, six subtelocentric and two telocentric chromosome pairs. Staining with chromomycin A3 revealed bright positive bands subcentromerically in the long arms of one medium-sized subtelocentric pair, while DAPI staining showed uniform fluorescence in all chromosomes of the complement. Fluorescence in situ hybridization using an 18S-5.8S-28S rDNA probe locates these loci at the subcentromeric region of one subtelocentric pair and at the subtelomeric region of another subtelocentric pair.

  1. Sublethal foot-predation on Donacidae (Mollusca: Bivalvia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salas, Carmen; Tirado, Cristina; Manjón-Cabeza, Maria Eugenia

    2001-08-01

    The incidence of foot nipping was studied on the Donax spp. of the littoral of Málaga (Southern Spain, 2875 specimens collected from February 1990 to January 1991) and of Ré island (French Atlantic coast, 262 specimens of Donax vittatus (Da Costa, 1778) collected in May 1996). In Málaga, Donax trunculus L., 1758 was the species most regularly nipped (18% of individuals), with peaks in summer (25% in August and 48% in September) and winter (34% in December). In Ré island, 27% of the specimens showed a nipped foot. Logistic regression shows that in D. trunculus length is the variable that most influences the probability of foot nipping, followed by weight and chlorophyll a. However, the difference in length between damaged and undamaged individuals was not significant (U-Mann-Whitney test). The size class frequency and the values of Ivlev's index show that the small size classes were avoided, while for the other size classes predation remained balanced throughout the year. Therefore, the avoidance of the small size classes makes length the most influential variable. The logistic regression indicated a coefficient B=-0.03 for weight. This implies a slightly negative influence on the probability of foot nipping. However, without the data of September, there is a positive correlation ( r=0.76, p<0.01) between the monthly percentages of predation and the flesh dry weight of a standard individual (25 mm long). The peak in September could be due to the recruitment peak of bivalves, which may have attracted more predators to the area, and/or to the recruitment of predators such as crabs to the swash zone. Logistic regression and test of comparison of percentages indicate that there was not any influence of the sex of an animal on the probability of foot nipping. Only in February was a significantly higher percentage ( p<0.05) of females nipped (44.44%) than the total of females in the sample (20.20%). The biomass (as flesh dry weight) of D. trunculus lost by foot nipping amounts to more than 20% in most of the size classes. There was an increase from the small sizes to the largest ones, in which it reaches 37%, with a positive correlation ( r=0.84; p<0.005) between size class and loss of biomass. Possible predators responsible for the foot nipping are crabs. Crab species usually found together with the donacids were Portumnus latipes (Pennant, 1777) Liocarcinus vernalis (Risso, 1816) and Atelecyclus undecimdentatus (Herbst, 1783). In aquarium experiments, they demonstrated an ability to nip the foot of clams. Portumnus latipes was the most active foot nipper, but left alive all the damaged clams. Therefore, we conclude that crabs are the most likely foot-nipping predators in the field.

  2. [Energy metabolism and body mass ratio in bivalves mollusca (Mollusca: Bivalvia)].

    PubMed

    Vladimirova, I G; Kleĭmenov, S Iu; Radzinskaia, L I

    2003-01-01

    On the basis of experimental and published data, the interspecific and intraspecific (ontogenetic) dependence of energy metabolism on body weight in bivalves was calculated. Changes in the parameters of intraspecific allometric dependence under the effect of environmental factors were analyzed. The rate of comparable standard metabolism (coefficient a at k = 0.76) was shown to vary in different taxonomic and zoogeographic groups of bivalves.

  3. Muscle and neuronal differentiation in primary cell culture of larval Mytilus trossulus (Mollusca: Bivalvia).

    PubMed

    Odintsova, Nelly A; Dyachuk, Vyacheslav A; Nezlin, Leonid P

    2010-03-01

    Molluscan in vitro technology allows the study of the differentiation of isolated cells undergoing experimental manipulations. We have used the immunofluorescence technique and laser scanning microscopy to investigate the organization of muscle proteins (actin, myosin, paramyosin, and twitchin) and the localization of neurotransmitters (serotonin and FMRFamide) in cultured mussel larval cells. Differentiation into muscle and neuron-like cells occurs during the cultivation of mussel cells from premyogenic and prenervous larval stages. Muscle proteins are colocalized in contractile cells through all stages of cultivation. The cultivation of mussel cells on various substrates and the application of integrin receptor blockers suggest that an integrin-dependent mechanism is involved in cell adhesion and differentiation. Dissociated mussel cells aggregate and become self-organized in culture. After 20 days of cultivation, they form colonies in which serotonin- and FMRFamide-immunoreactive cells are located centrally, whereas muscle cells form a contractile network at the periphery. The pattern of thick and thin filaments in cultivated mussel cells changes according to the scenario of muscle arrangement in vivo: initially, a striated pattern of muscle filaments forms but is then replaced by a smooth muscle pattern with a diffuse distribution of muscle proteins, typical of muscles of adult molluscs. Myogenesis in molluscs thus seems to be a highly dynamic and potentially variable process. Such a "flexible" developmental program can be regarded as a prerequisite for the evolution of the wide variety of striated and smooth muscles in larval and adult molluscs.

  4. A biomechanical model of rock drilling in the piddock Barnea candida (Bivalvia; Mollusca).

    PubMed

    Nederlof, Ralf; Muller, Mees

    2012-11-07

    The bivalve Barnea candida (Pholadacea) makes its burrow in clay, soft rock and peat. Barnea has developed a number of adaptations to accommodate this lifestyle. Four muscles enable burrowing. These are situated around a dorsal pivot in such a way that the piddock is able to rotate the shells around two approximate orthogonal axes. The anterior adductor muscle anterior (AAM-A) and the posterior adductor muscle rotate the shells around a dorso-ventral axis; the anterior adductor muscle posterior (AAM-P) and the ventral adductor muscle rotate the shells around an antero-posterior axis. The AAM-A and the AAM-P have evolved from a single anterior adductor muscle and are attached to a piece of the shell that is folded inside out, the umbonal reflection. At the dorsal side of the piddock, the shell margins are reduced. This prevents collision of these margins during movement. Electrical stimulation experiments revealed that the opening of the antero-ventral side of the piddock is faster than its closure. These results were incorporated into a computer model that could simulate shell movements. The computer model allowed predictions about the shapes of burrows and scrape marks. As in Nature, simulated burrows had a long droplet shape with straight scrape marks.

  5. [Mollusc diversity in an Arca zebra (Mollusca: Bivalvia) community, Chacopata, Sucre, Venezuela].

    PubMed

    Prieto, A S; Ruiz, L J; García, N; Alvarez, M

    2001-06-01

    The diversity of a subtidal epifaunal mollusk community was studied from September, 1990 to September, 1991 in Chacopata, Sucre State, Venezuela. There were 40 species (24 bivalves and 16 gastropods). The diversity indexes (H' = 2.087, J' = 0.392, 1/D = 0.528) were low when compared with other tropical zones. Monthly diversity reached its maximum in September, 1990 (1.63 bits/ind.) and July, 1991 (1.60 bits/ind.); minimum diversity occurred in June, 1991 (0.52 bits/ind.). A Log series model applied to species abundance data showed a straight line with a diversity index alpha of 5.56. Of 40 species identified, the turkeywing Arca zebra was dominant (69% in number of individuals and 72% of biomass) followed by Pinctada imbricata, Modiolus squamosus, Chama macerophyla and Anadara notabilis. The predatory snails Phyllonotus pomum, Chicoreus brevifrons and Murex recurvirostris seemed to have trophic relationships with A. zebra. The total mean biomass in wet weight (469.20 +/- 263 g m-2, shell included) was high which indicates that A. zebra, a species with a rapid growth rate, occupies a central role in the assemblage as an efficient filter feeder that converts planktonic food into available biomass, supporting one of the most important fisheries in Venezuela.

  6. The complete mitochondrial genome of Solemya velum (Mollusca: Bivalvia) and its relationships with Conchifera

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Bivalve mitochondrial genomes exhibit a wide array of uncommon features, like extensive gene rearrangements, large sizes, and unusual ways of inheritance. Species pertaining to the order Solemyida (subclass Opponobranchia) show many peculiar evolutionary adaptations, f.i. extensive symbiosis with chemoautotrophic bacteria. Despite Opponobranchia are central in bivalve phylogeny, being considered the sister group of all Autobranchia, a complete mitochondrial genome has not been sequenced yet. Results In this paper, we characterized the complete mitochondrial genome of the Atlantic awning clam Solemya velum: A-T content, gene arrangement and other features are more similar to putative ancestral mollusks than to other bivalves. Two supranumerary open reading frames are present in a large, otherwise unassigned, region, while the origin of replication could be located in a region upstream to the cox3 gene. Conclusions We show that S. velum mitogenome retains most of the ancestral conchiferan features, which is unusual among bivalve mollusks, and we discuss main peculiarities of this first example of an organellar genome coming from the subclass Opponobranchia. Mitochondrial genomes of Solemya (for bivalves) and Haliotis (for gastropods) seem to retain the original condition of mollusks, as most probably exemplified by Katharina. PMID:23777315

  7. Size-differential feeding in Pinna nobilis L. (Mollusca: Bivalvia): Exploitation of detritus, phytoplankton and zooplankton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davenport, John; Ezgeta-Balić, Daria; Peharda, Melita; Skejić, Sanda; Ninčević-Gladan, Živana; Matijević, Slavica

    2011-04-01

    The endangered fan shell Pinna nobilis is a large bivalve mollusc (<120 cm shell length) endemic to the Mediterranean that lives one-third buried in soft substrata, generally in shallow coastal waters. We hypothesised that P. nobilis of different sizes would ingest different food sources, because small fan shells will inhale material from closer to the substratum than do large fan shells. We studied stomach contents and faeces of 18 fan shells, 6 small (mean 23.0 cm length), 6 medium-sized (mean 41.5 cm length) and 6 large (mean 62.7 cm length) living in a small area of a low-energy coastal detritic bottom characterised by mud, sand and macroalgae at Mali Ston Bay, Croatia. We found that all P. nobilis ingested copious quantities of undetermined detritus (probably at least 95% of ingested material), phytoplankton, micro and mesozooplankton and pollen grains. Large P. nobilis stomach contents showed a preponderance of water column calanoid copepods, while small fan shells had higher numbers of bivalve larvae. All fan shells took in high numbers of harpacticoid copepods that are benthonic, feeding on microbial communities of detritus and benthic vegetation. There was also a significant selection of phytoplankton species, some apparently occurring between inhalation and ingestion. The stomach contents of small P. nobilis had a higher organic matter content than either medium-sized or large fan shells; this indicated that small fan shells ingested detritus of higher organic content than did larger P. nobilis. As the faeces of all P. nobilis had similar organic matter content, this also indicates higher assimilation efficiencies in small fan shells. The demonstration of differential dietary selectivity by different sized animals has implications for future trophic studies of this endangered species. This study also provides the first demonstration of predation on zooplankton by P. nobilis.

  8. Multi-species generalist predation on the stochastic harvested clam Tivela mactroides (Mollusca, Bivalvia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turra, Alexander; Fernandez, Wellington S.; Bessa, Eduardo; Santos, Flavia B.; Denadai, Márcia R.

    2015-12-01

    Top-down control is an important force modulating the abundance of prey and structuring marine communities. The harvested trigonal clam Tivela mactroides is hypothesized to be part of the diet of a variety of marine organisms, with its stock influencing predator abundance and being influenced by them. Here we analyzed the diet of potential predators of T. mactroides in Caraguatatuba Bay, northern coast of São Paulo State, Brazil, to identify the main consumers of this marine resource, and also to address the importance of this clam in the diet of each predator. Samples were taken year-round by trawls; all specimens collected were identified and measured and the food items identified and quantified. Twenty-one species consumed T. mactroides, whose importance in the diet varied greatly in both the volume ingested and the frequency of occurrence (pompano Trachinotus carolinus > blue crab Callinectes danae > starfish Astropecten marginatus). Top-down influence on T. mactroides was also dependent on the abundance of consumers (yellow catfish Cathorops spixii > rake stardrum Stellifer rastrifer > barred grunt Conodon nobilis > A. marginatus). Considering the mean volume ingested, the frequency of occurrence of T. mactroides in the diet, and the relative abundance of consumers, the predators that most influenced T. mactroides were T. carolinus, A. marginatus, and C. danae, in decreasing order. Large numbers of small-sized individuals of T. mactroides (<10 mm) were generally preyed upon by A. marginatus, which may have a stronger effect on clam abundance in comparison to C. danae and T. carolinus, which preyed upon larger clams. In conclusion, the results of this study indicate that predators' consumption of T. mactroides in Caraguatatuba Bay can influence its stocks, mainly due to the type and/or abundance of predator species, the volume and number of individuals of T. mactroides preyed upon, and the temporal variations in the abundance of predators.

  9. External morphology of spermatozoa and spermatozeugmata of the freshwater mussel Truncilla truncata (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Waller, D.L.; Lasee, B.A.

    1997-01-01

    Truncilla truncata males release spherical aggregates of spermatozoa, called spermatozeugmata, at spawning. Sperm aggregates from other bivalve species have been described, but few detailed studies exist of the morphology of unionid spermatozeugmata and spermatozoa. We provide the first description of the external morphology of spermatozeugmata and spermatozoa of T. Truncata. The spermatozeugmata had an inside diameter of 76 mu m and contained 8000-9000 spermatozoa. Heads of spermatozoa were directed toward the center of the sphere into a translucent shell; tails were arranged radially and caused the spermatozeugmata to rotate. Spermatozoa of T. Truncata measured 3.3 mu m in length (excluding tail) and each had a head, a midpiece and a flagellum. We also documented the release of spermatozeugmata in two additional unionid species, Lampsilis cardium and Amblema plicata plicata.

  10. Spawning, fertilization, and larval development of Potamocorbula amurensis (Mollusca: Bivalvia) from San Francisco Bay, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nicolini, M.H.; Penry, D.L.

    2000-01-01

    In Potamocorbula amurensis time for development to the straight-hinge larval stage is 48 hr at 15??C. Potamocorbula amurensis settles at a shell length of approximately 135 ??m 17 to 19 days after fertilization. Our observations of timing of larval devdlopment in P. amurensis support the hypothesis of earlier workers that its route of initial introduction to San Francisco Bay was as veliger larvae transported in ballast water by trans-Pacific cargo ships. The length of the larval period of P. amurensis relative to water mass residence times in San Francisco Bay suggests that it is sufficient to allow substantial dispersal from North Bay to South Bay populations in concordance with previous observations that genetic differentiation among populations of P. amurensis in San Francisco Bay is low. Potamocorbula amurensis is markedly euryhaline at all stages of development. Spawning and fertilization can occur at salinities from 5 to 25 psu, and eggs and sperms can each tolerance at least a 10-psu step increase or decrease in salinity. Embryos that are 2 hr old can tolerate the same range of salinities from (10 to 30 psu), and by the time they are 24 hr old they can tolerate the same range of salinities (2 to 30 psu) that adult clams can. The ability of P. amurensis larvae to tolerate substantial step changes in salinity suggests a strong potential to survive incomplete oceanic exchanges of ballast water and subsequent discharge into receiving waters across a broad range of salinities.

  11. Submarine canyons as the preferred habitat for wood-boring species of Xylophaga (Mollusca, Bivalvia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romano, C.; Voight, J. R.; Company, J. B.; Plyuscheva, M.; Martin, D.

    2013-11-01

    Submarine canyons are often viewed as natural “debris concentrators” on the seafloor. Organic substrates may be more abundant inside than outside canyon walls. To determine the effects of the presence these substrates in the Blanes submarine canyon (NW Mediterranean) and its adjacent western open slope, we deployed wood to study colonizing organisms. Three replicate pine and oak cubes (i.e. most common trees inland) were moored at 900, 1200, 1500 and 1800 m depth and collected after 3, 9 and 12 months. Wood from inside the canyon was significantly more heavily colonized by the five morphotypes of wood-boring bivalves than was wood on the adjacent open slope. Xylophaga sp. A dominated all wood types and locations, with peak abundance at 900 and 1200 m depth. Its growth rate was highest (0.070 mm d-1) during the first three months and was faster (or it recruits earlier) in pine than in oak. Size distribution showed that several recruitment events may have occurred from summer to winter. Xylophaga sp. B, appeared first after 9 months and clearly preferred pine over oak. As the immersion time was the same, this strongly supported a specific association between recruiters and type of substrate. Three morphotypes, pooled as Xylophaga spp. C, were rare and seemed to colonize preferentially oak inside the canyon and pine in the adjacent open slope. Individuals of Xylophaga were more abundant inside the canyon than in nearby off-canyon locations. Blanes Canyon may serve as a long-term concentrator of land-derived vegetal fragments and as a consequence sustain more animals. Are the species richness and abundance of wood-boring bivalves higher inside the canyon than on the adjacent open slope? Do the composition and density of the wood-boring bivalves change with deployment time and depth, as well as on the type of the sunken wood? What is the growth rate of the dominant wood-boring species?

  12. Temporal dynamics of amino and fatty acid composition in the razor clam Ensis siliqua (Mollusca: Bivalvia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baptista, Miguel; Repolho, Tiago; Maulvault, Ana Luísa; Lopes, Vanessa M.; Narciso, Luis; Marques, António; Bandarra, Narcisa; Rosa, Rui

    2014-12-01

    Few studies have been conducted on the temporal dynamics of both amino acid (AA) and fatty acid (FA) profiles in marine bivalves. We investigated the seasonal variation of these compounds in the pod razor clam Ensis siliqua in relation to food availability, salinity, water temperature and reproductive cycle. AA content varied between 46.94 and 54.67 % dry weight (DW), and the AAs found in greater quantity were glutamic acid, glycine and aspartic acid. FA content varied between 34.02 and 87.94 mg g-1 DW and the FAs found in greater quantity were 16:0 and 22:6 n-3. Seasonal trends were observed for AAs and FAs. FAs increased with gametogenesis and decreased with spawning while AA content increased throughout spawning. The effect of increasing temperature and high food availability during the spawning season masked the loss of AAs resulting from gamete release. Still, a comparatively greater increase in the contents of glutamic acid and leucine with spawning indicate their possible involvement in a post-spawning gonad recovery mechanism. A post-spawning decrease in 14:0, 16:0, 16:1 n-7, 18:1 n-7 and 18:1 n-9 is indicative of the importance of these FAs in bivalve eggs. An increase in 18:3 n-3, 18:4 n-3, 20:1 n-9 and 20:2 n-6 during gametogenesis suggests their involvement in oocyte maturation. The FA 22:4 n-6, while increasing with spawning, appears to play a role in post-spawning gonad recovery. Salinity did not have an effect on the AA composition. None of the environmental parameters measured had an effect on FA composition.

  13. Cytogenetics of Anodonta cygnea (Mollusca: Bivalvia) as possible indicator of environmental adversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrilho, J.; Leitão, A.; Vicente, C.; Malheiro, I.

    2008-11-01

    Anodonta cygnea is a freshwater clam, belonging to the Unionidae family, which can be found in rivers and lagoons all over Europe and Northern America. As they appear as important case studies for ecological damage assessments, the various species of the Unionidae family have been submitted to a sort of recent studies on their chromosomal or cytogenetic status. In this study we confirmed the diploid chromosome number of 2 n = 38 for this species, and established for the first time the karyotype, which comprised six metacentric, 12 submetacentric and one subtelocentric chromosome pairs. We also found a high percentage of cells with an abnormal number of chromosomes. Considering that karyotype disturbances in Unionids have been previously related with exposure to chemicals, either natural or produced by human activity, we determined the aneuploidy index for our population. The aneuploidy index is an excellent marker for pollutant presence/effect. The animals acclimatized in tap water and in natural water from the lake where the individuals were collected showed different levels of aneuploidy. The higher values were found in tap water. Chromosome analysis techniques seem a suitable tool to study the impact of contaminants referred above, and making A. cygnea a suitable organism for assessment of an eugenic damage in aquatic systems. On the other hand, our results also point out to the importance of doing the acclimatizing process of the collected animals in their own natural water.

  14. Clarifying phylogenetic relationships and the evolutionary history of the bivalve order Arcida (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Pteriomorphia).

    PubMed

    Combosch, David J; Giribet, Gonzalo

    2016-01-01

    The systematics of the bivalve order Arcida constitutes an unresolved conundrum in bivalve systematics. The current definition of Arcida encompasses two superfamilies: Limopsoidea, which includes the recent families Philobryidae and Limopsidae, and Arcoidea, which encompasses the families Arcidae, Cucullaeidae, Noetiidae, Glycymerididae and Parallelodontidae. This classification, however, is controversial particularly with respect to the position and taxonomic status of Glycymerididae. Previous molecular phylogenies were limited either by the use of only a single molecular marker or by including only a few limopsoid and glycymeridid taxa. The challenging nature of Arcida taxonomy and the controversial results of some of the previous studies, prompted us to use a broad range of taxa (55 species), three nuclear markers (18S rRNA, 28S rRNA and histone H3) and a wide range of algorithmic approaches. This broad but stringent approach led to a number of results that differ significantly from previous studies. We provide the first molecular evidence that supports the separation of Arcoidea from Limopsoidea, although the exact position of Glycymerididae remains unresolved, and the monophyly of Limopsoidea is algorithm-dependent. In addition, we present the first time-calibrated evolutionary tree of Arcida relationships, indicating a significant increase in the diversification of arcidan lineages at the beginning of the Cretaceous, around 140Ma. The monophyly of Arcida, which has been supported previously, was confirmed in all our analyses. Although relationships among families remain somehow unresolved we found support for the monophyly of most arcidan families, at least under some analytical conditions (i.e., Glycymerididae, Noetiidae, Philobryidae, and Limopsidae). However, Arcidae, and particularly Arcinae, remain a major source of inconsistency in the current system of Arcida classification and are in dire need of taxonomic revision.

  15. Epibiotic relationships on Zygochlamys patagonica (Mollusca, Bivalvia, Pectinidae) increase biodiversity in a submarine canyon in Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schejter, Laura; López Gappa, Juan; Bremec, Claudia Silvia

    2014-06-01

    The continental slope of the southern SW Atlantic Ocean has many distinguishable deep submarine canyons, varying in depth and extension. The benthic fauna within one of them, detected in April 2005 by means of a multibeam SIMRAD EM1002 sonar, and located at 43°35‧S to 59°33‧W, 325 m depth, was studied to discuss faunal affinities with the neighbouring Patagonian scallop fishing grounds located at upper slope depths. In order to add faunal information to the previous general study, we studied the epibiotic species settled on Patagonian scallops (the dominant species in the area) collected in the reference sampling site using a 2.5-m mouth-opening dredge, 10 mm mesh size. We sampled 103 scallops with shell heights between 22 and 69 mm; epibionts were recorded on both valves. We found 53 epibiotic taxa, which were most conspicuous on the upper valve. Bryozoa was the most diverse group (34 species) while Polychaeta was the most abundant group, recorded on 94% of the scallops. Stylasteridae (2 species) and Clavulariidae (Cnidaria) conform newly recorded epibionts on Z. patagonica and the sponge Tedania (Tedaniopsis) infundibuliformis also represents a new record for the SW Atlantic Ocean.

  16. Body condition and gametogenic cycle of Galatea paradoxa (Mollusca: Bivalvia) in the Volta River estuary, Ghana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adjei-Boateng, D.; Wilson, J. G.

    2013-11-01

    The reproductive cycle of Galatea paradoxa which is the basis for an artisanal fishery in the Volta River estuary, Ghana, was studied using condition indices and histological methods from March 2008 to July 2009. The cycle is annual with a single spawning event between June and October. Gametogenesis starts in November progressing steadily to a peak in June-July when spawning begins until October when the animal is spent. The condition indices (shell-free wet weight/total wet weight, ash-free dry weight/shell weight and gonad wet weight/shell weight) showed a clear relationship with the gametogenic stage rising from a minimum at stage (I) start of gametogenesis, to their highest values at stages (IIIA) ripe and (IIIB) start of spawning before declining significantly to stage (IV) spent.It is suggested that condition index may prove a valuable technique in fishery management to recognise the reproductive stages of G. paradoxa as it is less expensive and time consuming than histological techniques in addition to being easier to teach to non-specialists. The data presented in this study provide information on the timing of spawning events for G. paradoxa, which is necessary for developing sustainable management strategies and selection of broodstock for aquaculture.

  17. Mechanisms and functional morphology associated with metal transport in Mercenaria mercenaria (Bivalvia:Mollusca)

    SciTech Connect

    Robinson, W.E.; Morse, M.P.

    1984-02-20

    Studies on the morphological and physiological effects of environmental pollutants on both adult and larval marine bivalve molluscs are described. We have established a substantial data base on metals accumulation within individual organs of the quahog, Mercenaria mercenaria. In addition, studies on the transport, detoxification and elimination of cadmium and silver in this important species are reported. We have shown that various components of marine oilwell drilling muds can have deleterious effects on both adult sea scallops, Placopecten magellanicus, and surf clams, Spisula solidissima. For example, both Q-broxin and attapulgite clay, at concentrations as low as 100 mg 1/sup -1/, effected both the integrity of the sea scallop pseudolamellibranch gill and the rate of gill frontal ciliary activity.

  18. Transcriptomics provides insight into Mytilus galloprovincialis (Mollusca: Bivalvia) mantle function and its role in biomineralisation.

    PubMed

    Bjärnmark, Nadège A; Yarra, T; Churcher, A M; Felix, R C; Clark, M S; Power, D M

    2016-06-01

    The mantle is an organ common to all molluscs and is at the forefront of the biomineralisation process. The present study used the Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) as a model species to investigate the structural and functional role of the mantle in shell formation. The transcriptomes of three regions of the mantle edge (umbo to posterior edge) were sequenced using Illumina technology which yielded a total of 61,674,325 reads after adapter trimming and filtering. The raw reads assembled into 179,879 transcripts with an N50 value of 1086bp. A total of 1363 transcripts (321, 223 and 816 in regions 1, 2 and 3, respectively) that differed in abundance in the three mantle regions were identified and putative function was assigned to 54% using BLAST sequence similarity searches (cut-off less than 1e(-10)). Morphological differences detected by histology of the three mantle regions was linked to functional heterogeneity by selecting the top five most abundant Pfam domains in the annotated 1363 differentially abundant transcripts across the three mantle regions. Calcium binding domains dominated region two (middle segment of the mantle edge). Candidate biomineralisation genes were mined and tested by qPCR. This revealed that Flp-like, a penicillin binding protein potentially involved in shell matrix maintenance of the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas), had significantly higher expression in the posterior end of the mantle edge (region one). Our findings are intriguing as they indicate that the mantle edge appears to be a heterogeneous tissue, displaying structural and functional bias.

  19. Gas Hydrate Exploration, Mid Chilean Coast; Geochemical-Geophysical Survey

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-12-27

    Scleractinia - - - - - - - - Nemertinea - - Mollusca Bivalvia + - + - - ++ + - + - + - Aplacophora...Caelorinchus fasciatus and three unknow species) were observed. In addition, fauna inside stones was found ( Mollusca : Leptochiton americanus

  20. Ciliary ultrastructure of polyplacophorans (Mollusca, Amphineura, Polyplacophora).

    PubMed

    Lundin, K; Schander, C

    2001-01-01

    This study is part of a series of papers aiming to investigate the phylogenetic significance of ciliary ultrastructure among molluscs and to test the hypothesis of a relationship between Xenoturbella and the molluscs. The ultrastructure of the ciliary apparatus on the gills of the polyplacophorans Leptochiton asellus and Tonicella rubra was studied. The gill cilia of the two species are similar in shape. The free part of the cilium is long with a slender distal part. There are two ciliary rootlets. One of them is short, broad and placed on the anterior face of the basal body. The other rootlet is conical and has a vertical orientation. Among the mollusca, two ciliary rootlets in the ciliary apparatus of multiciliate ectodermal cells have only been reported from the Chaetodermomorpha and Neomeniomorpha. This character state is likely plesiomorphic for the Mollusca and indicates a basal (nonderived) position of these taxa among the molluscs. No possible synapomorphic character with Xenoturbella bocki was found.

  1. A new genus and species of Thyasiridae (Mollusca, Bivalvia) from deep-water, Beaufort Sea, northern Alaska

    PubMed Central

    Valentich-Scott, Paul; Powell, Charles L.; II; Lorenson, Thomas D.; Edwards, Brian E.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Bivalve mollusk shells were collected in 2350 m depth in the Beaufort Sea, Arctic Ocean off northern Alaska. Initial identification suggested the specimens were a member of the bivalve family Thyasiridae, but no known eastern Pacific or Arctic living or fossil thyasirid resembled these deep-water specimens. Comparisons were made with the type of the genera Maorithyas Fleming, 1950, Spinaxinus Oliver & Holmes, 2006, Axinus Sowerby, 1821, and Parathyasira Iredale, 1930. We determined the Beaufort Sea species represents a new genus, herein described as Wallerconcha. These specimens also represent a new species, herein named Wallerconcha sarae. These new taxa are compared with known modern and fossil genera and species of thyasirds. PMID:25589851

  2. First molecular phylogeny of the circumtropical bivalve family Pinnidae (Mollusca, Bivalvia): evidence for high levels of cryptic species diversity.

    PubMed

    Lemer, Sarah; Buge, Barbara; Bemis, Amanda; Giribet, Gonzalo

    2014-06-01

    The family Pinnidae Leach, 1819, includes approximately 50 species of large subtidal and coastal marine bivalves. These commercially important species occur in tropical and temperate waters around the world and are most frequently found in seagrass meadows. The taxonomy of the family has been revised a number of times since the early 20th Century, the most recent revision recognizing 55 species distributed in three genera: Pinna, Atrina and Streptopinna, the latter being monotypic. However, to date no phylogenetic analysis of the family has been conducted using morphological or molecular data. The present study analyzed 306 pinnid specimens from around the world, comprising the three described genera and ca. 25 morphospecies. We sequenced the mitochondrial genes 16S rRNA and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I, and the nuclear ribosomal genes 18S rRNA and 28S rRNA. Phylogenetic analysis of the data revealed monophyly of the genus Atrina but also that the genus Streptopinna is nested within Pinna. Based on the strong support for this relationship we propose a new status for Streptopinna Martens, 1880 and treat it as a subgenus (status nov.) of Pinna Linnaeus, 1758. The phylogeny and the species delimitation analyses suggest the presence of cryptic species in many morphospecies displaying a wide Indo-Pacific distribution, including Pinna muricata, Atrina assimilis, A. exusta and P. (Streptopinna) saccata but also in the Atlantic species A. rigida. Altogether our results highlight the challenges associated with morphological identifications in Pinnidae due to the presence of both phenotypic plasticity and morphological stasis and reveal that many pinnid species are not as widely distributed as previously thought.

  3. Lucinid bivalves of Guadeloupe: diversity and systematics in the context of the tropical Western Atlantic (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Lucinidae).

    PubMed

    Taylor, Ohn D; Glover, Emily A

    2016-11-23

    Intensive sampling of molluscs from the intertidal to depths of 800 m around the islands of Guadeloupe in the Lesser Antilles (KARUBENTHOS 2012, 2015) recovered 25 species of Lucinidae. All the Guadeloupe species are described and illustrated including details of larval shells and the taxonomy revised within the context of the wider western Atlantic fauna and recent classifications. Concurrent molecular analysis has helped separate frequently confounded species. 'Myrtea' pristiphora is placed in the Leucosphaerine genus Myrtina previously known from the Indo-West Pacific. A second western Atlantic species of Callucina, C. pauperatus previously known from the Pliocene of Jamaica is recognised from the southern Caribbean and off Brazil. The deeper water species 'Myrteopis' lens is placed in Afrolucina previously known from the eastern Atlantic. Lucinids commonly identified as Ctena orbiculata are shown to belong to two distinct species, C. orbiculata in the Gulf of Mexico and Florida and C. imbricatula in the Caribbean. Epicodakia is recognised for the first time in the western Atlantic with E. pectinata widely distributed across the region and E. filiata recorded from deeper water. Three species of Lucina are recognised, Lucina pensylvanica in the Gulf of Mexico and Florida and the similar Lucina roquesana from the Caribbean and Bahamas while the smaller L. aurantia has a wide distribution from central America to the Bahamas. A new species of Parvilucina, P. latens is described; this is similar to P. pectinella but has an internal ligament. The long problematic species 'Codakia' cubana is assigned to Ferrocina. A new genus, Guyanella is introduced for Parvilucina clenchi the smallest known lucinid. A critical reassessment of the lucinid fauna of the western Atlantic Ocean identifies 46 species for the region with 33 of these living at depths less than 200 m. Deeper-water habitats have been much less investigated except at sites of hydrocarbon seeps. Some species are widespread throught the whole region but others have more restricted ranges. Notable are species pairs, for example of Ctena, Lucina, Lucinisca and Parvilucina that are either largely Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico/Floridian in distribution. Although extralimital, two problematic species from the mid-south Atlantic island of St Helena are refigured and placed in Cavilinga.

  4. New lucinid bivalves from shallow and deeper water of the Indian and West Pacific Oceans (Mollusca, Bivalvia, Lucinidae).

    PubMed

    Taylor, John D; Glover, Emily A

    2013-01-01

    Four new species and a new genus of lucinid bivalves are described from shallow and deeper waters in the Indian and West Pacific Oceans. The new genus Scabrilucina (subfamily Lucininae) includes the little-known Scabrilucina victorialis (Melvill, 1899) from the Arabian Sea and Scabrilucina vitrea (Deshayes, 1844) from the Andaman Sea as well as a new species Scabrilucina melvilli from the Torres Strait off northeastern Australia. Ferrocina brunei new species (Lucininae) was recovered from 60 m near oil drilling activities off Borneo; its anatomy confirmed the presence of symbiotic bacteria. Two unusual deeper water species of Leucosphaerinae are described, both species included in on-going molecular analyses; Gonimyrtea ferruginea from 400-650 m in the southwest Pacific and Myrtina reflexa from 200-825 m off Zanzibar and Madagascar.

  5. Evidence for accumulation of Synechococcus elongatus (Cyanobacteria: Cyanophyceae) in the tissues of the oyster Crassostrea gigas (Mollusca: Bivalvia).

    PubMed

    Avila-Poveda, Omar Hernando; Torres-Ariño, Alejandra; Girón-Cruz, Diego Ademir; Cuevas-Aguirre, Angel

    2014-10-01

    Cyanobacteria appear to have direct relations with mollusks in several aspects. This is the first time, distinguishing Gram-negative cyanoprokaryotic Synechococcus elongatus as bright yellow-gold autofluorescence by Lillie's and Hiss' staining methods on paraffin-embedded tissues of Crassostrea gigas. Three diets: cyanoprokaryotes, cyanoprokaryotes with microalgae, and only microalgae were evaluated. Cyanoprokaryotes were intact, densely bundled, and immersed in the cytosol of the digestive gland, connective tissue, mantle, and gonad of C. gigas, revealing an accumulation systemic without tissue damage observed by histology. Unexpectedly, cyanoprokaryotes were slightly most accumulated with microalgae diet by each of the tissues of the C. gigas than with any other diets. Cyanoprokaryotes tend to be in mean slightly higher in the digestive gland than in any other tissues respectively for each diet, although these values are closely similar to connective tissue. A possible order of exposure of the oyster tissues to accumulation of cyanoprokaryotes was digestive gland, connective tissue, mantle, and gonad. Thereby, the digestive gland could be the major target tissue for the accumulation. Our observations provide a valuable insight regarding the ability of cyanoprokaryotes to penetrate, spread, and remain inside the oyster tissues, suggesting for S. elongatus: (1) a pre-accumulation in oyster tissues from the natural environment, (2) a phagocytosis and/or endocytosis process rather than ingestion and extracellular digestion, (3) an apparent cellular division in the cytosol of oyster tissues, (4) an apparent inter-tissue movement, and (5) a possible endosymbiosis between C. gigas and S. elongatus. Hereby, it is possible that S. elongatus have a well-developed host-endobiont relationship with oysters, and thereby support future work toward a description of the escape and spreading mechanisms of S. elongatus inside the tissues of mollusks, and put forward questions as why it is there? and are the cells active or inactive?

  6. New molecular phylogeny of Lucinidae: increased taxon base with focus on tropical Western Atlantic species (Mollusca: Bivalvia).

    PubMed

    Taylor, John D; Glover, Emily A; Smith, Lisa; Ikebe, Chiho; Williams, Suzanne T

    2016-11-23

    A new molecular phylogeny of the Lucinidae using 18S and 28S rRNA and cytochrome b genes includes many species from the tropical Western Atlantic as well as additional taxa from the Indo-West Pacific. This study provides a phylogenetic framework for a new taxonomy of tropical Western Atlantic lucinids. The analysis confirmed five major clades-Pegophyseminae, Leucosphaerinae, Myrteinae, Codakiinae and Lucininae, with Monitilorinae and Fimbriinae represented by single species. The Leucosphaerinae are expanded and include Callucina winckworthi and the W. Atlantic Myrtina pristiphora that groups with several Indo-West Pacific Myrtina species. Within the Codakiinae two abundant species of Ctena from the Western Atlantic with similar shells are discriminated as C. orbiculata and C. imbricatula, while in the Indo-West Pacific Ctena bella is a probable species complex. The Lucininae is the most species rich and disparate subfamily with several subclades apparent. Three species of Lucina are recognized in the W. Atlantic L. aurantia, L. pensylvanica and L. roquesana. Pleurolucina groups near to Cavilinga and Lucina, while Lucinisca muricata is more closely related to the E. Pacific L. fenestrata than to the Atlantic L. nassula. A new species of Parvilucina is identified from molecular analyses having been confounded with Parvilucina pectinata but differs in ligament structure. Also, the former Parvilucina clenchi is more distant and assigned to Guyanella.

  7. Biomonitoring study of an estuarine coastal ecosystem, the Sacca di Goro lagoon, using Ruditapes philippinarum (Mollusca: Bivalvia).

    PubMed

    Sacchi, Angela; Mouneyrac, Catherine; Bolognesi, Claudia; Sciutto, Andrea; Roggieri, Paola; Fusi, Marco; Beone, Gian Maria; Capri, Ettore

    2013-06-01

    Coastal lagoons are constantly subjected to releases of chemical pollutants, and so organisms may be exposed to such toxicants. This study investigated through a multivariate approach the physiological status of bivalve Ruditapes philippinarum, farmed in Sacca di Goro lagoon. Biomarkers at different levels of biological organization (catalase, superoxide dismutase, genotoxicity, reburrowing behavior) were evaluated at three sites exposed to different environmental conditions. A seasonal trend was observed, and micronucleus frequency was significantly lowest at the relatively pristine reference site. Enzymatic activity toward oxyradicals be quite efficient since variations in responsiveness were not consistent. However, behavioral impairment was observed in reburrowing rates. Sediment concentrations showed low PAH levels and high natural levels of trace metals Cr and Ni. DistLM statistical analysis revealed a non-significant relationship between selected biomarkers and xenobiotics. Therefore other potentially toxic compounds in admixture at low doses may be involved in driving differing spatial distribution of physiological impairment.

  8. Reproductive cycle of Tagelus plebeius (Mollusca: Bivalvia) in the estuary of the Cachoeira River, Ilhéus, Bahia, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Ceuta, L O; Boehs, G

    2012-08-01

    This study characterized the reproductive cycle of the stout razor clam Tagelus plebeius in the estuary of the Cachoeira River, Ilhéus, Bahia, northeastern Brazil. Samples of 20 animals per collection were taken biweekly from August 2005 to August 2006. The 480 specimens were measured on the antero-posterior axis (length) and then removed from the shell. After macroscopic analysis, the gonads were fixed in Davidson's solution, processed by routine histology and stained by Harris hematoxylin and eosin. The gonads of both males and females appeared milky white, without sexual dimorphism. Microscopic analyses indicated a M: F ratio of 1.06: 1 and continuous reproduction of T. plebeius in the region. The period from August to October showed the most intense spawning. This study provides another example of continuous reproduction of bivalves in tropical waters, and because this species is a heavily exploited fishery resource in the region, it draws attention to the need for a management plan aimed at reducing harvests.

  9. Evolutionary Dynamics of rDNA Clusters in Chromosomes of Five Clam Species Belonging to the Family Veneridae (Mollusca, Bivalvia)

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-García, Concepción; Hurtado, Ninoska S.; Morán, Paloma; Pasantes, Juan J.

    2014-01-01

    The chromosomal changes accompanying bivalve evolution are an area about which few reports have been published. To improve our understanding on chromosome evolution in Veneridae, ribosomal RNA gene clusters were mapped by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) to chromosomes of five species of venerid clams (Venerupis corrugata, Ruditapes philippinarum, Ruditapes decussatus, Dosinia exoleta, and Venus verrucosa). The results were anchored to the most comprehensive molecular phylogenetic tree currently available for Veneridae. While a single major rDNA cluster was found in each of the five species, the number of 5S rDNA clusters showed high interspecies variation. Major rDNA was either subterminal to the short arms or intercalary to the long arms of metacentric or submetacentric chromosomes, whereas minor rDNA signals showed higher variability. Major and minor rDNAs map to different chromosome pairs in all species, but in R. decussatus one of the minor rDNA gene clusters and the major rDNA cluster were located in the same position on a single chromosome pair. This interspersion of both sequences was confirmed by fiber FISH. Telomeric signals appeared at both ends of every chromosome in all species. FISH mapping data are discussed in relation to the molecular phylogenetic trees currently available for Veneridae. PMID:24967400

  10. Cytogenetic characterisation of the razor shells Ensis directus (Conrad, 1843) and E. minor (Chenu, 1843) (Mollusca: Bivalvia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González-Tizón, Ana M.; Rojo, Verónica; Vierna, Joaquín; Jensen, K. Thomas; Egea, Emilie; Martínez-Lage, Andrés

    2013-03-01

    The European razor shell Ensis minor (Chenu 1843) and the American E. directus (Conrad 1843) have a diploid chromosome number of 38 and remarkable differences in their karyotypes: E. minor has four metacentric, one metacentric-submetacentric, five submetacentric, one subtelocentric and eight telocentric chromosome pairs, whereas E. directus has three metacentric, two metacentric-submetacentric, six submetacentric, six subtelocentric and two telocentric pairs. Fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH) using a major ribosomal DNA probe located the major ribosomal genes on one submetacentric chromosome pair in both species; FISH with a 5S ribosomal DNA (5S rDNA) probe rendered one chromosomal (weak) signal for E. minor and no signal for E. directus, supporting a more dispersed organisation of 5S rDNA compared to the major ribosomal genes. The vertebrate telomeric sequence (TTAGGG) n was located on both ends of each chromosome, and no interstitial signals were detected. In this work, a comparative karyological analysis was also performed between the four Ensis species analysed revealing that the three European species studied so far, namely E. minor, E. siliqua (Linné 1758) and E. magnus Schumacher 1817 show more similarities among them than compared to the American species E. directus. In addition, clear karyotype differences were found between the morphologically similar species E. minor and E. siliqua.

  11. Life cycle, population dynamics, growth and production of Abra segmentum (Mollusca, Bivalvia) at low salinities in a Mediterranean lagoon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kevrekidis, Theodoros; Kasapis, K.; Kalpia, V.

    2009-12-01

    Aspects of the biology of Abra segmentum were investigated at low salinities in a Mediterranean coastal lagoon (Monolimni Lagoon, Northern Aegean Sea). Monthly samples were collected during the period from February 1998 to January 1999. Recruitment occurred from mid-spring to early autumn (0.3-5.7 psu) and recruits grew during summer and autumn (1.2-5.7 psu), while a major part vanished during next autumn, displaying a maximum life span of about 20 months. A positive correlation was found between the percentage of individuals having a shell length of ≤3.5 mm and temperature; age group 0 showed a growth rate of 0.97 mm per month, and the largest individual collected had a 19.76 mm shell length. The population density sharply increased during late spring (0.3-1.2 psu); this increase was followed by a decline during summer and, afterwards, a gradual increase up to late autumn. Secondary production calculated by the size-frequency method gave a mean annual density ( n) of 3,357 individuals m-2, a mean annual biomass ( B) of 21.98 g DW m-2, an annual production ( P) of 73.72 g DW m-2 and a P: B ratio of 3.35. A comparison of the present data with available data of A. segmentum populations from higher salinity habitats revealed that this bivalve in the study area showed a life history pattern similar to that of other populations of the species and a comparatively high growth rate, maximum body size, n, B, P and P: B ratio. Our findings suggest that the studied aspects of A. segmentum biology could not be markedly affected by low salinities.

  12. Integrative study of a new cold-seep mussel (Mollusca: Bivalvia) associated with chemosynthetic symbionts in the Marmara Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ritt, Bénédicte; Duperron, Sébastien; Lorion, Julien; Sara Lazar, Cassandre; Sarrazin, Jozée

    2012-09-01

    Recently, small Idas-like mussels have been discovered living on carbonate crusts associated with cold-seeps in the Marmara Sea. These mussels, here referred to as Idas-like nov. sp., differ morphologically and genetically from another species identified as Idas aff. modiolaeformis, living in the same type of ecosystem in the Nile Deep-Sea Fan (eastern Mediterranean Sea). A phylogenetic analysis confirms the distinction between the two species, which belong to highly divergent lineages. Carbon stable isotope values, as well as the detection of thiotroph-related bacteria in the gill tissue, support the presence of a symbiotic, thiotroph-derived nutrition. In contrast, Idas aff. modiolaeformis displays six different types of symbionts. Finally our size-frequency data suggest that the recruitment is continuous in the examined area. The present study extends the documented distribution of symbiont-bearing mussels to the Marmara Sea, and contributes to the characterisation of biological communities in this recently explored area.

  13. A new species of Pulvinites (Mollusca: Bivalvia) from the upper Paleocene Paspotansa Member of the Aquia Formation in Virginia ( USA).

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ward, L.W.; Waller, T.R.

    1988-01-01

    Pulvinites lawrencei n.sp. is described from the upper Paleocene (Landenian Stage) Paspotansa Member of the Aquia Formation in Stafford County, Virginia. This is the first report of a member of the pteriacean family Pulvinitidae in the Tertiary on either side of the Atlantic, the only other post-Mesozoic records of Pulvinites being in the Paleocene of California and the present-day Pacific off southeast Australia. The stratigraphic setting and co-occurring molluscan assemblage of the new species indicate shallow-shelf, open-marine conditions with near normal salinities. -Authors

  14. Differences in absolute and relative growth between two shell forms of Pinna nobilis (Mollusca: Bivalvia) along the Tunisian coastline

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rabaoui, Lotfi; Tlig-Zouari, Sabiha; Katsanevakis, Stelios; Belgacem, Walid; Hassine, Oum Kalthoum Ben

    2011-08-01

    This study investigated the absolute and relative growth patterns of the fan mussel Pinna nobilis along the Tunisian coastline, taking into consideration both the variability among different areas and between the two shell forms "combed" and "straight and wide". Five subpopulations of the species were sampled, one from northern, two from eastern and two from southern Tunisia. Various assumptions on the growth patterns were tested based on an information theory approach and multi-model inference. For absolute growth, the assumption of different growth patterns between the two shell forms of P. nobilis and no difference among subpopulations was the most supported by the data. For the same age, "straight and wide" individuals gained on average greater lengths than the "combed" individuals. The absolute growth of the species was found to be asymptotic and the logistic model was the one most supported by the data. As for the relative growth, apart from the classical allometric model Y = aXb, more complicated models of the form ln Y = f(ln X) that either assumed non-linearities or breakpoints were tested in combination with assumptions for possible differences between the two forms and among subpopulations. Among the eight studied relationships between morphometric characters, the classical allometric model was supported in only two cases, while in all other cases more complicated models were supported. Moreover, the assumption of different growth patterns between the two forms was supported in three cases and the assumption of different growth patterns among subpopulations in four cases. Although precise relationships between the morphometric plasticity of the fan mussel and environmental factors have not been proven in this paper, local small scale constraints might be responsible of the different growth patterns observed in the same locality. A possible co-action of genetic factors should be evaluated in the future.

  15. Deep-water Thyasiridae (Mollusca: Bivalvia) from the Oman Margin, Arabian Sea, new species and examples of endemism and cosmopolitanism.

    PubMed

    Oliver, P Graham

    2015-08-05

    Seven species of Thyasiridae are reported from the Oman Margin of the Arabian Sea at depths between 688 m and 3356 m. Hypoxic conditions exist at depths between 400 and 1200 m and three species are restricted to this zone and to the Arabian Sea. Leptaxinus indusarium has also been recorded from the Indus Fan and Channelaxinus investigatoris from off Sri Lanka. A new species Thyasira anassa sp. nov. is described from the hypoxic zone. Another four species are recorded from the abyssal zone where oxygen levels are typical for the deep ocean. Here another new species is described, Parathyasira bamberi sp. nov. but the other species could not be conclusively identified because of close affinity with populations from other oceans.  Deep water Atlantic species Axinulus croulinensis and Mendicula ferruginosa are apparently present in the abyssal Indian Ocean while another thyasirid shell is very close to Channelaxinus excavatus from the Eastern Pacific and C. perplicata from the Atlantic. Accompanying these abyssal thyasirids were other bivalve species, Deminucula atacellana, Limopsis pelagica and Bentharca asperula that cannot be distinguished by morphology from their Atlantic populations. It is concluded that using morphology alone that the abyssal species may well be cosmopolitan in distribution.

  16. New records and a new species of bivalve (Mollusca: Bivalvia) from Miocene hydrocarbon seep deposits, North Island, New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Saether, Kristian P; Jingeng, Sha; Little, Crispin T S; Campbell, Kathleen A

    2016-08-18

    Fourteen bivalve taxa belonging to 11 families are present in at least 13 early to middle Miocene hydrocarbon seep deposits in the East Coast Basin, North Island, New Zealand. Among these are at least three new species, one of which, Semeloidea (s. l.) bexhavenensis sp. nov. (Lasaeidae), is described here. New distribution data are recorded for bivalve species in the families Limidae, Propeamussiidae, Malleidae and Solemyidae. Additional morphological details of Gigantidas coseli (Mytilidae) and Pratulum quinarium (Cardiidae) are provided based upon previously unrecorded internal shell features. Palaeoecological analysis indicates that bivalves utilized a broad range of modes of life and niches within the New Zealand Miocene seep environment, and no more than ca. 30% of these bivalve species were likely to have been obligate to seeps.

  17. Effects of anthracene on filtration rates, antioxidant defense system, and redox proteomics in the Mediterranean clam Ruditapes decussatus (Mollusca: Bivalvia).

    PubMed

    Sellami, Badreddine; Khazri, Abdelhafidh; Louati, Héla; Dellali, Mohamed; Driss, Mouhamed Ridha; Aïssa, Patricia; Mahmoudi, Ezzeddine; Hamouda, Beyrem; Coelho, Ana Varela; Sheehan, David

    2015-07-01

    This study aimed at analyzing the impact of a toxic polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), anthracene (ANT), on Ruditapes decussatus collected from a Tunisian coastal lagoon (Bizerte Lagoon). Filtration rates, several antioxidant enzymes--superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione reductase (GR), and glutathione transferase (GST)--as well as indices of protein oxidation status were determined in various tissues of this bivalve. Specimens were exposed to 100 μg/L of ANT for 2 days. ANT levels were evaluated using HPLC and were detected in the gill and digestive gland at different amounts. ANT exposure altered the behavior of bivalves by changing the siphon movement and decreasing filtration rate significantly. The enzymatic results indicated that ANT exposure affected the oxidative stress status of the gills of R. decussatus. In addition, modification of proteins was detected in the gills using redox proteomics after ANT treatment. Three protein spots were successfully identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization tandem time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS). These proteins can be roughly related to muscle contraction function. In contrast, no significant modification of enzymatic and protein responses was detected in the digestive gland after ANT treatment. These data demonstrate that combined behavioral and biochemical analyses are a powerful tool to provide valuable insights into possible mechanisms of toxicity of anthracene in R. decussatus. Additionally, the results highlight the potential of the gill as a valuable candidate for investigating PAH toxicity.

  18. Growth estimation of mangrove cockle Anadara tuberculosa (Mollusca: Bivalvia): application and evaluation of length-based methods.

    PubMed

    Flores, Luis A

    2011-03-01

    Growth is one of the key processes in the dynamic of exploited resources, since it provides part of the information required for structured population models. Growth of mangrove cockle, Anadara tuberculosa was estimated through length-based methods (ELEFAN I y NSLCA) and using diverse shell length intervals (SLI). The variability of L(infinity), k and phi prime (phi') estimates and the effect of each sample were quantified by jackknife techniques. Results showed the same L(infinity) estimates from ELEFAN I and NSLCA across each SLI used, and all L(infinity) were within the expected range. On the contrary, k estimates differed between methods. Jackknife estimations uncovered the tendency of ELEFAN I to overestimate k with increases in SLI, and allowed the identification of differences in uncertainty (PE and CV) between both methods. The average values of phi' derived from NSCLA1.5 and length-age sources were similar and corresponded to ranges reported by other authors. Estimates of L(infinity), k and (phi' from NSCLA1.5 were 85.97 mm, 0.124/year and 2.953 with jackknife and 86.36mm de L(infinity), 0.110/year de k and 2.914 de phi' without jackknife, respectively. Based on the observed evidence and according to the biology of the species, NSCLA is suggested to be used with jackknife and a SLI of 1.5 mm as an ad hoc approach to estimate the growth parameters of mangrove cockle.

  19. Analysis of EST and lectin expressions in hemocytes of Manila clams (Ruditapes philippinarum) (Bivalvia: Mollusca) infected with Perkinsus olseni.

    PubMed

    Kang, Yoon-Suk; Kim, Young-Mee; Park, Kyung-Il; Kim Cho, Somi; Choi, Kwang-Sik; Cho, Moonjae

    2006-01-01

    The hemocytes of invertebrates play key roles in both cellular and humoral immune reactions by phagocytosis or delivering immune factors such as lectin and anti-microbial peptides. Bacterial infection causes changes in components such as lectins, anti-bacterial peptides, and lysosomal enzymes of plasma or hemolymph in molluscs. Previously, we found that infection with the protozoan parasite, Perkinsus, increases lectin synthesis in hemocytes. In order to investigate the patterns of genes expressed in Manila clams (Ruditapes philippinarum) infected with the protozoan parasite Perkinsus olseni, we constructed a cDNA library and sequenced 1850 clones (expressed sequence tags). A total of 79 ESTs, were related to 29 functional immune genes such as C-type lectin, lysozyme, and cystatin B, in Manila clams. Lectins were the largest group of immune-function ESTs found in our Manila clams library. Among 7 lectin clones, two full length cDNAs of lectins were cloned. MCL-3, which is a simple C-type lectin composed of 151 amino acids, has a relatively short signal sequence of 17aa and single carbohydrate-recognition domain (CRD) of approximately 130 residues. It is highly homologous to eel C-type lectin. The sequence of mc-sialic acid-binding lectin consists of 168 amino acid residues with molecular weight of 19.2 and shows high homology to sialic acid-binding lectin from the snail, Cepaea hortensis. The expression of 7 different lectins in hemocytes was analyzed by RT-PCR using gene-specific primers. Hemocytes from Perkinsus-infected clam expressed different sets of lectins than with Vibrio infection. These results demonstrate that several lectins are involved in Manila clam innate immunity and different challenges induce expression of different lectins.

  20. Numerical Quantification of Perkinsus Marinus in the American Oyster Crassostrea virginicata (Gmelin 1791) (Mollusca: Bivalvia) by Modern Stereology

    EPA Science Inventory

    Species of Perkinsus are responsible for high mortalities of bivalve molluscs world-wide. Techniques to accurately estimate parasites in tissues are required to improve understanding of perkinsosis. This study quantifies the number and tissue distribution of Perkinsus marinus in ...

  1. Isolation and characterization of the first microsatellite markers for the endangered relict mussel Hypanis colorata (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Cardiidae).

    PubMed

    Popa, Oana Paula; Iorgu, Elena Iulia; Krapal, Ana Maria; Kelemen, Beatrice Simona; Murariu, Dumitru; Popa, Luis Ovidiu

    2011-01-17

    Hypanis colorata (Eichwald, 1829) (Cardiidae: Lymnocardiinae) is a bivalve relict species with a Ponto-Caspian distribution and is under strict protection in Romania, according to national regulations. While the species is depressed in the western Black Sea lagoons from Romania and Ukraine, it is also a successful invader in the middle Dniepr and Volga regions. Establishing a conservation strategy for this species or studying its invasion process requires knowledge about the genetic structure of the species populations. We have isolated and characterized nine polymorphic microsatellite markers in H. colorata. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 4 to 28 and the observed heterozygosity ranged from 0.613 to 1.000. The microsatellites developed in the present study are highly polymorphic and they should be useful for the assessment of genetic variation within this species.

  2. Metal sources to the Baltic clam Macoma balthica (Mollusca: Bivalvia) in the southern Baltic Sea (the Gulf of Gdansk).

    PubMed

    Sokolowski, Adam; Wolowicz, Maciej; Hummel, Herman

    2007-04-01

    Metal concentrations of Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn in an infaunal facultative deposit-feeding bivalve, the Baltic clam Macoma balthica, in the Gulf of Gdansk (southern Baltic Sea) were assessed and compared to selected concentrations of metals in the environment. Between October 1996 and September 1997, dissolved and easy extractable (by 1M HCl) metal fractions of total suspended particulate matter (TPM) in the overlying water and of surficial sediments (<63 microm) were measured monthly at five sublittoral sites in the Gulf of Gdansk, and accumulated tissue metal concentrations in M. balthica were determined simultaneously. The study highlights the importance of sediment geochemistry as a factor modifying ambient trace metal bioavailabilities. Surficial sediments appeared to contribute most to the accumulation of Cu and Pb in M. balthica, reflecting the high metal availability in the Gulf. Assimilation of Cu from sediments is controlled by Mn components possibly through an inhibitory effect of Mn oxyhydroxides, while Pb accumulation from sediments depends on the organic content of the sediment. A dual metal uptake pathway, with a suspended particulate-bound fraction and surficial sediments, was apparent for Mn and Zn. Partitioning of Mn in sediments was related to the concentration of labile Fe, with increased levels of Fe tending to inhibit the accumulation of Mn by the clam. Tissue accumulated Zn might have been altered by the clam's internal regulation, making Zn tissue concentrations, to some degree, independent of its environmental level. The principal source of Ni accumulated by the clams exists in the soluble phase.

  3. New lucinid bivalves from shallow and deeper water of the Indian and West Pacific Oceans (Mollusca, Bivalvia, Lucinidae)

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, John D.; Glover, Emily A.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Four new species and a new genus of lucinid bivalves are described from shallow and deeper waters in the Indian and West Pacific Oceans. The new genus Scabrilucina (subfamily Lucininae) includes the little-known Scabrilucina victorialis (Melvill, 1899) from the Arabian Sea and Scabrilucina vitrea (Deshayes, 1844) from the Andaman Sea as well as a new species Scabrilucina melvilli from the Torres Strait off northeastern Australia. Ferrocina brunei new species (Lucininae) was recovered from 60 m near oil drilling activities off Borneo; its anatomy confirmed the presence of symbiotic bacteria. Two unusual deeper water species of Leucosphaerinae are described, both species included in on-going molecular analyses; Gonimyrtea ferruginea from 400–650 m in the southwest Pacific and Myrtina reflexa from 200–825 m off Zanzibar and Madagascar. PMID:24039537

  4. FMRFamide and related peptides in the phylum mollusca.

    PubMed

    López-Vera, Estuardo; Aguilar, Manuel B; Heimer de la Cotera, Edgar P

    2008-02-01

    FMRFamide is one of the well-known peptides studied within the phylum Mollusca. It was first isolated from the clam Macrocallista nimbosa during the end of the 1960s. Since then, a number of reports related to FMRFamide have been published from different experimental approaches, revealing that it and its related peptides (FaRPs) are implicated in a variety of physiological processes. As this year is the 30th anniversary since its discovery, this review focuses on diverse findings related to both FMRFamide and FaRPs in the phylum Mollusca.

  5. Astronomy Explained

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    North, Gerald

    Every year large numbers of people take up the study of astronomy, mostly at amateur level. There are plenty of elementary books on the market, full of colourful photographs, but lacking in proper explanations of how and why things are as they are. Many people eventually wish to go beyond the 'coffee-table book' stage and study this fascinating subject in greater depth. This book is written for them. In addition, many people sit for public examinations in this subject each year and this book is also intended to be of use to them. All the topics from the GCSE syllabus are covered here, with sample questions at the end of each chapter. Astronomy Explained provides a comprehensive treatment of the subject in more depth than is usually found in elementary works, and will be of interest to both amateur astronomers and students of astronomy.

  6. [Taxonomic diversity of parasites in agnathans and fishes from the Volga River basin. VI. Acanthocephala, Hirudinea and Bivalvia].

    PubMed

    Molodozhnikova, N M; Zhokhov, A E

    2008-01-01

    The checklist of Acanthocephala, Hirudinea, and Bivalvia parasitizing agnathans and fishes in the Volga River basin is presented. Hosts and areas of distribution are indicated for each parasites species. The checklist includes 10 species of acanthocephalans, 7 species of leeches, and 9 species of Bivalvia (at the glochidium stage) from 45 fish species. None of the given parasite species is alien for the Volga River basin.

  7. A phylogenetic backbone for Bivalvia: an RNA-seq approach.

    PubMed

    González, Vanessa L; Andrade, Sónia C S; Bieler, Rüdiger; Collins, Timothy M; Dunn, Casey W; Mikkelsen, Paula M; Taylor, John D; Giribet, Gonzalo

    2015-02-22

    Bivalves are an ancient and ubiquitous group of aquatic invertebrates with an estimated 10 000-20 000 living species. They are economically significant as a human food source, and ecologically important given their biomass and effects on communities. Their phylogenetic relationships have been studied for decades, and their unparalleled fossil record extends from the Cambrian to the Recent. Nevertheless, a robustly supported phylogeny of the deepest nodes, needed to fully exploit the bivalves as a model for testing macroevolutionary theories, is lacking. Here, we present the first phylogenomic approach for this important group of molluscs, including novel transcriptomic data for 31 bivalves obtained through an RNA-seq approach, and analyse these data with published genomes and transcriptomes of other bivalves plus outgroups. Our results provide a well-resolved, robust phylogenetic backbone for Bivalvia with all major lineages delineated, addressing long-standing questions about the monophyly of Protobranchia and Heterodonta, and resolving the position of particular groups such as Palaeoheterodonta, Archiheterodonta and Anomalodesmata. This now fully resolved backbone demonstrates that genomic approaches using hundreds of genes are feasible for resolving phylogenetic questions in bivalves and other animals.

  8. Prevalence of a protozoan parasite Cristigera sp. (Ciliophora:Ciliatea) from edible oysters (Mollusca:Bivalvia) of Sundarbans, West Bengal, India.

    PubMed

    Biswas, Tanima; Bandyopadhyay, Probir Kumar

    2014-09-01

    The coastal region of West Bengal is bestowed with a wide range of natural forest and aquatic resources. The estuarine complex is a culmination of the interaction of land, sea and freshwater. It offers diverse specialised habitats such as mangroves, non vegetated mudflats, inter tidal zones and reclaimed areas. Such areas are home to a number of terrestrial, freshwater and marine communities. Edible oyster resources in these regions are Crassostrea gryphoides and Saccostrea cucullata, which are the keystone species found in the intertidal zone and can tolerate huge variation of salinity. These are used as food by local people and marketed to earn cash. The population of this species has been declined due to parasitic infection and pollution. There are many protozoan parasites which infect these oysters causing diseases. During survey period, a protozoan parasite of the genus Cristigera have been observed only from the edible oyster Crassostrea gryphoides collected from Kaikhali and Frasergunj among three selected sites namely Kaikhali, Frasergunj and Digha of West Bengal mainly during monsoon and post-monsoon season. Considering such rare and specific prevalence of Cristigera sp, it may be considered as potential bio-indicator.

  9. Morphological and Genetic Diversity of the Wood-Boring Xylophaga (Mollusca, Bivalvia): New Species and Records from Deep-Sea Iberian Canyons

    PubMed Central

    Romano, Chiara; Voight, Janet Ruth; Pérez-Portela, Rocío; Martin, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Deep-sea bivalves of the Xylophagaidae, a poorly known group, are obligate wood-borers. Deployment of wood in three submarine canyons off the Iberian coast, the Blanes and La Fonera Canyons (Mediterranean Sea) and the Avilés Canyon (Cantabric Sea, Bay of Biscay), lead to the discovery of four xylophagaid species in our samples. Xylophaga dorsalis (the dominant species), X. atlantica, X. cf. anselli and the new species X. brava, were identified on the basis of morphological data, and supported by a phylogenetic reconstruction based on the nuclear genes 18S rDNA and 28S rDNA and including several genus of Xylophagaidae. Genetic divergence between species of Xylophaga varied between genes, ranging from 0.5 to 4.0% for the 18SrDNA and from 4.1 to 16.6% for the 28SrDNA. Xylophaga brava sp. nov. appeared to be restricted to the Mediterranean and morphologically resembled the closely related X. cf. anselli from the Cantabrian Sea. However, they clearly diverged in two well-supported clades. Low levels of intraspecific variability and higher interspecific divergence between species also supported the existence of these two different species. Morphologically they differ in the number of cirri at the siphon openings, in the shape of the posterior shell and in the size of prodissoconch II. The new species is characterized by having weak, poorly mineralized mesoplax and siphons united throughout, covered by a periostracal, non-calcified tube; distinct proximal and distal siphons, the former translucent and soft, the latter muscular, with concentric rings. Xylophaga atlantica, previously known only from the western Atlantic, is reported for the first time in the Mediterranean Sea. Whether its presence in the Mediterranean indicates its natural distribution or reflects its recent introduction is unknown. Although xylophagaids have been previously reported to recruit heavily to wood deposited on the seabed, these four species colonized wood suspended 30 m above the seafloor. PMID:25061913

  10. Intra-specific variability in life-history traits of Anadara tuberculosa (Mollusca: Bivalvia) in the mangrove ecosystem of the Southern coast of Ecuador.

    PubMed

    Flores, Luis; Licandeo, Roberto; Cubillos, Luis A; Mora, Elba

    2014-06-01

    Anadara tuberculosa is one of the most important bivalves along the Western Pacific coast because of its commercial value. Nevertheless, the variability in growth, long-life span, natural mortality and reproductive parameters of this mangrove cockle has not yet been described. The aim of this study was to analyze these life-history traits in three areas of the Southern coast of Ecuador. Empirical and length-based methods were used to estimate these biological parameters. Body size data were collected from the commercial fishery between 2004 and 2011 in landing ports near to the Archipelago of Jambeli [Puerto Bolivar (PB), Puerto Jeli (PJ) and Puerto Hualtaco (PH)]. The von Bertalanffy growth parameters for combined sex were estimated between 70.87 to 93.45mm for L(infinity) and 0.22 to 0.80/year for k. The growth indices (PHI') ranged from 3.17 to 3.85, while the overall growth performance (OGP) ranged from 5.03 to 5.82. The mean of long-life span (t(max)), size and age at maturity (L50% and t50%) were estimated in 7.71 +/- 2.53 years, 39.13 +/- 2.24mm and 1.46 +/- 0.56 years for PB; 9.51 +/- 2.85 years, 37.78 +/- 1.95mm and 1.37 +/- 0.41 years for PJ and 5.81 +/- 2.11 years, 39.73 +/- 3.31mm and 0.94 +/- 0.41 years for PH. Natural mortality (M) ranged from 0.46 to 1.28/year. We concluded that significant intra-specific variation was observed in a temporal scale in PHI' and OGP indices as well as L50% and M. Therefore, temporal changes in these life-history traits should be taken into account when assessing the status of the mangrove cockle fishery.

  11. [Effect of excretion-secretion products of some fouling species on the biochemical parameters of blue mussel Mytilus edulis L. (Mollusca: Bivalvia) in the White Sea].

    PubMed

    Skidchenko, V S; Vysotskaia, R U; Krupnova, M Iu; Khalaman, V V

    2011-01-01

    The effect of excretion-secretion products (ESP) of five abundant fouling invertebrate species (bivalve mollusks Hiatella arctica and Mytilus edulis, solitary ascidia Styela rustica, sponge Halichondria panicea, and sea starAsterias rubens, inhabiting the White Sea) on the biochemical status of blue mussel M. edulis was assessed by the dynamics of lysosomal enzymes activity (nucleases, glycoside hydrolases, and cathepsins). ESP of conspecific species had no effect on the metabolism of the mollusks of this species. ESP of A. rubens, S. rustica, and H. panicea activated the same enzymes. First, acid RNase and glycoside hydrolases activity increased, but in different ways. The metabolites of H. arctica affected the activity of proteometabolism enzymes.

  12. Genetic relationships among freshwater mussel species from fifteen Amazonian rivers and inferences on the evolution of the Hyriidae (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionida).

    PubMed

    Santos-Neto, Guilherme da Cruz; Beasley, Colin Robert; Schneider, Horacio; Pimpão, Daniel Mansur; Hoeh, Walter Randolph; Simone, Luiz Ricardo Lopes de; Tagliaro, Claudia Helena

    2016-07-01

    The current phylogenetic framework for the South American Hyriidae is solely based on morphological data. However, freshwater bivalve morphology is highly variable due to both genetic and environmental factors. The present study used both mitochondrial (COI and 16S) and nuclear (18S-ITS1) sequences in molecular phylogenetic analyses of nine Neotropical species of Hyriidae, collected from 15 South American rivers, and sequences of hyriids from Australia and New Zealand obtained from GenBank. The present molecular findings support traditional taxonomic proposals, based on morphology, for the South American subfamily Hyriinae, currently divided in three tribes: Hyriini, Castaliini and Rhipidodontini. Phylogenetic trees based on COI nucleotide sequences revealed at least four geographical groups of Castalia ambigua: northeast Amazon (Piriá, Tocantins and Caeté rivers), central Amazon, including C. quadrata (Amazon and Aripuanã rivers), north (Trombetas river), and C. ambigua from Peru. Genetic distances suggest that some specimens may be cryptic species. Among the Hyriini, a total evidence data set generated phylogenetic trees indicating that Paxyodon syrmatophorus and Prisodon obliquus are more closely related, followed by Triplodon corrugatus. The molecular clock, based on COI, agreed with the fossil record of Neotropical hyriids. The ancestor of both Australasian and Neotropical Hyriidae is estimated to have lived around 225million years ago.

  13. [Effect of copper ions on spatial density of NO-synthase-positive cells in the intestine of the mussel Crenomytilus grayanus (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Mytilidae) a histochemical study].

    PubMed

    Pimenova, E A

    2010-01-01

    By the histochemical method of detection of NADPH-diaphorase (NADPH-d) (EC 1.6.99.1) the state of nitroxidergic enteric nervous system of the mussel Crenomytilus grayanus was studied under conditions of an increased copper concentration in water. Under the action of copper ions the density of distribution of NADPH-d-positive cells has been established to be changed as compared with control throughout 28 days. A sharp rise of proportion of the labeled cells and their enzyme activity was noted after one day of the experiment. The labeled bipolar cells were of dark blue color and were located within the epithelium. There were revealed numerous nerve fibers penetrating the intestinal epithelium throughout its entire length as well as bipolar nerve cells in epithelium of the minor typhlosole and of crystalline style sac; in control molluscs the NADPH-d-positive cells in these parts were absent. After 7 days the difference between control and experimental decreased and remained at this level after 14 days, while after 21 days of exposition the proportion of labeled cells in the experimental mussels was lower than in control, but increased again after 28 days. It is suggested that nitric oxide is an important protective factor of the intestinal epithelium of the mussel C. grayanus and participates in adaptation of this mollusc to action of the elevated concentration of copper ions in water.

  14. Molecular resolution of the family Dreissenidae (Mollusca: Bivalvia) with emphasis on Ponto-Caspian species, including first report of Mytilopsis leucophaeata in the Black Sea basin.

    PubMed

    Therriault, Thomas W; Docker, Margaret F; Orlova, Marina I; Heath, Daniel D; MacIsaac, Hugh J

    2004-03-01

    Considerable uncertainty exists in determination of the phylogeny among extant members of the Dreissenidae, especially those inhabiting the Ponto-Caspian basin, as multiple systematic revisions based on morphological characteristics have failed to resolve relationships within this group of bivalves. In this study we use DNA sequence analyses of two mitochondrial gene fragments, 16S rRNA and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI), to determine phylogenetic relationships among Dreissena rostriformis, D. bugensis, D. polymorpha, D. stankovici, Congeria kusceri, and Mytilopsis leucophaeata. Dreissena stankovici was determined to represent a sister taxa to D. polymorpha and both are more closely related to other extant Dreissena species than Congeria or Mytilopsis. Sequence divergence between D. rostriformis and D. bugensis was relatively low (0.3-0.4%), suggesting that these two taxa constitute a single species. However, environmental differences suggest two races of D. rostriformis, a brackish water race (rostriformis) and a freshwater race (bugensis). Spread of bugensis-type individuals into habitats in the Caspian Sea that are occupied by rostriformis-type individuals may create novel hybridization opportunities. Species-specific molecular markers also were developed in this study since significant intraspecific variation in morphological features complicates dreissenid identification. Using two gene fragments (nuclear 28S and 16S), we identified restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) that distinguish among D. rostriformis/bugensis, D. polymorpha, and D. stankovici and revealed the presence of a cryptic invader to the Black Sea basin, Mytilopsis leucophaeata. This is the first report of this North American native in southern Europe.

  15. Long-term evolution of 5S ribosomal DNA seems to be driven by birth-and-death processes and selection in Ensis razor shells (Mollusca: Bivalvia).

    PubMed

    Vierna, Joaquín; González-Tizón, Ana M; Martínez-Lage, Andrés

    2009-10-01

    A study of nucleotide sequence variation of 5S ribosomal DNA from six Ensis species revealed that several 5S ribosomal DNA variants, based on differences in their nontranscribed spacers (NTS), occur in Ensis genomes. The 5S rRNA gene was not very polymorphic, compared with the NTS region. The phylogenetic analyses performed showed a between-species clustering of 5S ribosomal DNA variants. Sequence divergence levels between variants were very large, revealing a lack of sequence homogenization. These results strongly suggest that the long-term evolution of Ensis 5S ribosomal DNA is driven by birth-and-death processes and selection.

  16. Sediment analysis does not provide a good measure of heavy metal bioavailability to Cerastoderma glaucum (Mollusca: Bivalvia) in confined coastal ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Arjonilla, M.; Gomez-Parra, A. ); Forja, J.M. )

    1994-06-01

    Sediments are considered a sink for metals entering the marine environment, especially in coastal areas. Once in the sediment layer, metals are distributed amongst all different phases of the sediment, governed by physicochemical conditions. One fraction is immobilized due to its incorporation into weakly reactive phases of the sediment; Another fraction may remain weakly bound to organic or mineral phases as sorbed, precipitated, or coprecipitated and complexed forms and can be assimilated by detritivorous and suspension-feeding benthic organisms. Many selective procedures have been suggested for metal extraction from sediments in order to estimate concentrations of fractions which are directly or indirectly available to the biota. The absence of a chemical treatment adequate for accurate quantification of metal bioavailability is well-known. Nevertheless, a good correlation between metal content in some organisms and in the sediment after a specific extraction treatment has sometimes been found so sediments are frequently used as indicators in pollution studies. In this paper, concentrations of heavy metals (Fe, Mn, Cu, Ph and Cd) in the cockle Cerastoderma glaucum, and in sediments at the same sampling locations are compared. C. glaucum is a suspension and deposit feeder, inhabiting a wide range of salinities. The study sampled 8 saltponds in the south of Cadiz Bay, located along a gradient of contamination produced by urban and industrial sewage effluents. The study sought to identify areas with different relative risk from metal pollution, in terms of biological effects and effects on water quality due to natural resuspension of sediments or to human relocation of sediments. C. glaucum was selected because of its wide distribution in the Bay, and also because it has no commercial value. This second fact means that its distribution and growth is not directly affected by man. 19 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  17. Mechanisms and functional morphology associated with metal transport in Mercenaria mercenaria (bivalvia: mollusca): Progress report No. 7 for the contract period 1 September 1985 to 31 December 1986

    SciTech Connect

    Robinson, W.E.; Morse, M.P.

    1987-02-04

    Studies on metal transport in the quahog, Mercenaria mercenaria, are reported. Podocytes, a specialized type of cell that functions in ultrafiltration, have been identified in the pericardial glands of the quahog using transmission and scanning electron microscopy raising the question of whether metals may reach the kidney via the primary urine, or whether most metals arrive in the kidney via the blood. The accumulation of /sup 109/Cd in quahog extracellular kidney granules suggests the involvement the kidney cell's lysosomal system in the overall process of metal sequestration. The different patterns of metal interactions observed in the quahog kidney, digestive gland and gill demonstrate that each of these three organs utilizes different mechanisms of metal detoxification and accumulation.

  18. Large Vesicomyidae (Mollusca: Bivalvia) from cold seeps in the Gulf of Guinea off the coasts of Gabon, Congo and northern Angola

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von Cosel, Rudo; Olu, Karine

    2009-12-01

    Two new genera and three new species of large Vesicomyidae are described from cold-seep sites on pockmarks and other sulfide-rich environments in the Gulf of Guinea (tropical east Atlantic) off Gabon, Congo (Brazzaville) and northern Angola, from 500 to 4000 m depth: " Calyptogena" (s.l.) regab n. sp., Wareniconcha (n.g.) guineensis (Thiele and Jaeckel 1931), Elenaconcha guiness n.g. n. sp., and Isorropodon atalantae n. sp. For two other species already taken by the R/V Valdivia in 1898, Calyptogena valdiviae (Thiele and Jaeckel 1931) and Isorropodon striatum (Thiele and Jaeckel 1931) new localities were discovered, and the species are rediscussed. E. guiness n.g. n.sp. is also recorded from off Banc d'Arguin, Mauritania, collected by commercial fishing vessels. The vesicomyid species here treated were encountered in different depth ranges along the Gabon-Congo-Angola margin, between 500 and 4000 m depth, and it was found that, in comparison with the dredge samples taken by the Valdivia expedition off southern Cameroon and off Rio de Oro (both at 2500 m), the same species occur in other depth ranges, in some cases with a vertical difference of more than 1000 m. .That means that the species are not confined to a given depth thought being typical for them and that the characteristics of the biotope are likely to play a major role in the distribution of the vesicomyids associated to cold seeps or other reduced environments along the West African margin.

  19. Occurrence of the cis-4,7,10, trans-13-22:4 fatty acid in the family Pectinidae (Mollusca: Bivalvia).

    PubMed

    Kraffe, Edouard; Grall, Jacques; Palacios, Elena; Guerra, Citlali; Soudant, Philippe; Marty, Yanic

    2010-05-01

    The present study aimed to elucidate the effective phylogenetic specificity of distribution of a cis-4,7,10, trans-13-22:4 (22:4(n-9)Delta13trans) among pectinids. For this purpose, we extended the analysis of membrane glycerophospholipids FA composition to 13 species of scallops, covering 11 genera and 7 tribes representatives of the three subfamilies Chlamydinae, Palliolinae and Pectininae and the subgroup Aequipecten. In species belonging to the subfamily Pectininae and the Aequipecten subgroup, 22:4(n-9)Delta13trans was found in substantial amounts, but it was absent in other species belonging to the subfamilies Chlamydinae and Palliolinae. Homologous non-methylene-interrupted (NMI) FA, also hypothesized to differ along phylogenetic lines in bivalves, were totally absent or present only in trace amounts in representatives of the Aequipecten subgroup but ranged from 0.3 to 4.5% of the total FA in Pectinidae, Chlamydinae, and Palliolinae subfamilies. The species-specific occurrence of NMI and 22:4(n-9)Delta13trans FA in membrane lipids of pectinids agrees with the most recent phylogenies based on shell morphology and molecular characteristics. We examined the potential timing of the appearance of 22:4(n-9)Delta13trans in pectinids on a geologic time scale.

  20. First record and description of metacercariae of Curtuteria arguinae n. sp. (Digenea: Echinostomatidae), parasite of cockles Cerastoderma edule (Mollusca: Bivalvia) in Arcachon Bay, France.

    PubMed

    Desclaux, Céline; Russell-Pinto, Fernanda; de Montaudouin, Xavier; Bachelet, Guy

    2006-06-01

    A new Himasthlinae species, Curtuteria arguinae, is described as metacercariae from the cockle Cerastoderma edule (L.), collected at Banc d'Arguin (southwestern France). These metacercariae encysted preferentially in the mantle and also in the foot of cockles. Encysted and chemically excysted metacercariae were studied by light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy, respectively. Excysted metacercariae were elongated and curved ventrally. They bore a 33-spine circumoral collar. Sensory papillae were arranged around the oral sucker and also symmetrically along the ventral surface body, from the collar to the acetabulum. The dorsal and ventral tegument surfaces were densely packed with similar pointed spines. The posterior end of the body was without any spines. Among the Curtuteria species described previously, only Curtuteria haematopodis Smogorjewskaja and Iskova, 1966 had the same number of circumoral collar spines. A 6-yr field survey showed that the cockle population at Banc d'Arguin was subjected to a summer infection of C. arguinae. Curtuteria arguinae phenology of infection is characterized by interannual variability and seasonality (beginning in July-August and maximum in autumn). The first intermediate and final hosts remain unknown.

  1. Long-term feeding with Euglena gracilis cells modulates immune responses, oxidative balance and metabolic condition in Diplodon chilensis (Mollusca, Bivalvia, Hyriidae) exposed to living Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Bianchi, Virginia A; Castro, Juan M; Rocchetta, Iara; Nahabedian, Daniel E; Conforti, Visitación; Luquet, Carlos M

    2015-02-01

    We evaluated the modulating effect of long-term feeding with lyophilized Euglena gracilis cells on immune response, oxidative balance and metabolic condition of the freshwater mussel Diplodon chilensis. Mussels, previously fed with Scenedesmus vacuolatus (SV) or E. gracilis (EG) for 90 days, were challenged with an environmentally relevant concentration of Escherichia coli in water for 5 days, under feeding or starvation conditions. EG diet increased overall phagocytic activity and tissue hemocyte accumulation (gill and mantle), and favored hemocyte viability upon E. coli challenge. Tissular hemocyte accumulation, and humoral bacteriolytic activity and protein content were similarly stimulated by EG and E. coli, with no further effect when both stimuli were combined. Both, E. coli challenge and EG diet reduced gill bacteriolytic activity with respect to nonchallenged SV mussels, while no effect was observed in challenged EG mussels. Gill and digestive gland protein contents, along with digestive gland bacteriolytic activity were higher in EG than in SV mussels. Both SV and EG mussels showed increased gill mass upon E. coli challenge, while digestive gland mass was increased by bacterial challenge only in SV mussels. Bacterial challenge produced no effect on humoral reactive oxygen species levels of both groups. Total oxyradical scavenging capacity levels was reduced in challenged SV mussels but remained unaffected in EG ones. In general, EG diet decreased glutathione S-transferase and catalase activities in gill and digestive gland, compared with SV diet; but increased enzyme activity was evident in challenged mussels of both groups. Gill and digestive gland lipid peroxidation levels were higher in EG than in SV mussels but E. coli challenge had stronger effect on SV mussels. Adductor muscle RNA:DNA ratio was higher in EG mussels than in SV ones, and increased upon E. coli challenge in mussels of both groups. E. gracilis can be suggested as a nutritional and protective diet complement suitable for filtering bivalves. However, our results obtained from starved mussels show that starvation periods after supplying this diet should be avoided, since these could revert part of the acquired benefits and/or exacerbate detrimental effects.

  2. Where’s Waldo? A new commensal species, Waldo arthuri (Mollusca, Bivalvia, Galeommatidae), from the Northeastern Pacific Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Valentich-Scott, Paul; Ó Foighil, Diarmaid; Li, Jingchun

    2013-01-01

    Abstract A galeommatid bivalve mollusk, representing a new species, is described from off the coasts of California and Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The new bivalve has a commensal relationship with the heart urchin, Brisaster latifrons. It has been observed crawling between the oral spines of this urchin, frequently near the peristome. The bivalve has been recorded from 80 (Vancouver Island) to 444 (southern California) meters depth, in muddy sediments. In common with other galeommatoideans, the new species broods its young; however it differs from the large majority of commensal members in lacking planktotrophic larval development. Waldo arthuri, new species, has multiple morphological, ecological and developmental similarities to other members of the genus Waldo Nicol, 1966, from the southern Atlantic and Antarctic Oceans. This is most pronounced for the Argentine species, Waldo paucitentaculatus Zelaya & Ituarte, 2013, Waldo arthuri’s sister speciesin nuclear and mitochondrial gene trees. Despite this close relationship, Waldo arthuri is phylogentically distinct and possesses several hinge, shell sculpture, foot, and mantle tentacle characteristics that merit its description as new. PMID:23878515

  3. Pleurolucina from the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific Oceans: a new intertidal species from Curaçao with unusual shell microstructure (Mollusca, Bivalvia, Lucinidae)

    PubMed Central

    Glover, Emily A.; Taylor, John D.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract A new shallow water species of the lucinid bivalve Pleurolucina is described from Curaçao in the southern Caribbean Sea and compared with known species of the genus from the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific Oceans. Although confused with the Floridian species Pleurolucina leucocyma, it is most similar to the eastern Pacific Pleurolucina undata. As in all studied lucinids, the new species possesses symbiotic bacteria housed in the ctenidia. The shell microstructure is unusual with repeated and intercalated conchiolin layers that have sublayers of ‘tulip-shaped’ calcareous spherules. Predatory drillings by naticid gastropods frequently terminate at the conchiolin layers. PMID:27853404

  4. [Lipid and fatty acid profile of Perna viridis, green mussel (Mollusca: Bivalvia) in different areas of the Eastern Venezuela and the West Coast of Trinidad].

    PubMed

    Koftayan, Tamar; Milano, Jahiro; D'Armas, Haydelba; Salazar, Gabriel

    2011-03-01

    The species Perna viridis is a highly consumed species, which fast growth makes it an interesting aquaculture alternative for Venezuelan and Trinidad coasts. With the aim to contribute with its nutritional value information, this study analyzed lipid and fatty acid contents from samples taken in five locations from Eastern Venezuela and three from Trinidad West Coast. Total lipids were extracted and quantified, from a pooled sample of 100 organisms per location, by standard gravimetric methods, and their identification and quantification was done by TLC/FID (Iatroscan system). Furthermore, the esterified fatty acids of total lipid, phospholipids and triacylglycerols were identified and quantified by gas chromatography. Eastern Venezuela samples from Los Cedros, La Brea and Chaguaramas showed the highest total lipid values of 7.92, 7.74 and 7.53, respectively, and the minimum values were obtained for La Restinga (6.08%). Among lipid composition, Chacopata samples showed the lowest phospholipid concentration (48.86%) and the maximum values for cholesterol (38.87%) and triacylglycerols (12.26%); besides, La Esmeralda and Rio Caribe samples exhibited maximum phospholipids (88.71 and 84.93 respectively) and minimum cholesterol (6.50 and 4.42%) concentrations. Saturated fatty acids represented between 15.04% and 65.55% within total lipid extracts, with maximum and minimum values for La Esmeralda and Chacopata, respectively. Polyunsaturated results resulted between 7.80 and 37.18%, with higher values in La Brea and lower values in La Esmeralda. For phospholipids, saturated fatty acids concentrations varied between 38.81 and 48.68% for Chaguaramas and Chacopata samples, respectively. In the case of polyunsaturated fatty acids, these varied between non detected and 34.51%, with high concentrations in Los Cedros (27.97%) and Chaguaramas (34.51%) samples. For the triacylglycerols, the saturated fatty acids composition oscillated between 14.27 and 53.80% with low concentrations for Chacopata and high concentration for La Restinga; the polyunsaturated fatty acids were between 4.66 and 35.55% with lower values for Chacopata and higher values for Chaguaramas samples. P. viridis is recommended for human being consumption, according to the high content of unsaturated fatty acids found for this species.

  5. Surface morphology of Diplodon expansus (Küster, 1856; Mollusca, Bivalvia, Hyriidae) gill filaments after exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of atrazine herbicide.

    PubMed

    Nogarol, Larissa Rosa; Brossi-Garcia, Ana Luiza; Fontanetti, Carmem Silvia

    2012-06-01

    Brazilian endemic species Diplodon expansus (Küster, 1856) is found in freshwater bodies in the country's southeast, in large anthropogenic influence regions especially with an extensive agriculture emphasis. One of the main pesticides used in the species occurrence region is the atrazine herbicide, which has a great contamination potential in the aquatic environment. Therefore, several studies into its toxicity in aquatic systems have been developed. However, the tested concentrations are usually very high and rarely found in the environment and the short-term exposure responses in other aquatic organisms such as native bivalves are still scarce. Thus, this study sought to consider the potential effects of environmentally realistic concentrations of atrazine herbicide on the surface morphology of gill filaments of the bivalve D. expansus under laboratory-controlled conditions after short-term exposure. None of the animals died before the end of the experiment. The main alterations were observed on the frontal surface of filaments, which include mucus accumulation, cilia loss, and disruption. Mucus increased secretion and accumulation in the frontal filaments region preceded as a protective mechanism. Cilia loss and disruption on the frontal surface of the gill filament indicated that ciliated frontal cells were more sensitive to atrazine exposure and these alterations may cause gills functional damages, compromising the uptake of food particles and respiration. Therefore, higher sublethal concentrations of atrazine may compromise the survival and consequently the population of D. expansus in agriculture areas after a longer period of continuous exposure.

  6. Morphological and genetic diversity of the wood-boring Xylophaga (Mollusca, Bivalvia): new species and records from deep-sea Iberian canyons.

    PubMed

    Romano, Chiara; Voight, Janet Ruth; Pérez-Portela, Rocío; Martin, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Deep-sea bivalves of the Xylophagaidae, a poorly known group, are obligate wood-borers. Deployment of wood in three submarine canyons off the Iberian coast, the Blanes and La Fonera Canyons (Mediterranean Sea) and the Avilés Canyon (Cantabric Sea, Bay of Biscay), lead to the discovery of four xylophagaid species in our samples. Xylophaga dorsalis (the dominant species), X. atlantica, X. cf. anselli and the new species X. brava, were identified on the basis of morphological data, and supported by a phylogenetic reconstruction based on the nuclear genes 18S rDNA and 28S rDNA and including several genus of Xylophagaidae. Genetic divergence between species of Xylophaga varied between genes, ranging from 0.5 to 4.0% for the 18SrDNA and from 4.1 to 16.6% for the 28SrDNA. Xylophaga brava sp. nov. appeared to be restricted to the Mediterranean and morphologically resembled the closely related X. cf. anselli from the Cantabrian Sea. However, they clearly diverged in two well-supported clades. Low levels of intraspecific variability and higher interspecific divergence between species also supported the existence of these two different species. Morphologically they differ in the number of cirri at the siphon openings, in the shape of the posterior shell and in the size of prodissoconch II. The new species is characterized by having weak, poorly mineralized mesoplax and siphons united throughout, covered by a periostracal, non-calcified tube; distinct proximal and distal siphons, the former translucent and soft, the latter muscular, with concentric rings. Xylophaga atlantica, previously known only from the western Atlantic, is reported for the first time in the Mediterranean Sea. Whether its presence in the Mediterranean indicates its natural distribution or reflects its recent introduction is unknown. Although xylophagaids have been previously reported to recruit heavily to wood deposited on the seabed, these four species colonized wood suspended 30 m above the seafloor.

  7. Amundsen Sea Mollusca from the BIOPEARL II expedition.

    PubMed

    Moreau, Camille; Linse, Katrin; Griffiths, Huw; Barnes, David; Kaiser, Stefanie; Glover, Adrian; Sands, Chester; Strugnell, Jan; Enderlein, Peter; Geissler, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Information regarding the molluscs in this dataset is based on the epibenthic sledge (EBS) samples collected during the cruise BIOPEARL II / JR179 RRS James Clark Ross in the austral summer 2008. A total of 35 epibenthic sledge deployments have been performed at five locations in the Amundsen Sea at Pine Island Bay (PIB) and the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) at depths ranging from 476 to 3501m. This presents a unique and important collection for the Antarctic benthic biodiversity assessment as the Amundsen Sea remains one of the least known regions in Antarctica. Indeed the work presented in this dataset is based on the first benthic samples collected with an EBS in the Amundsen Sea. However we assume that the data represented are an underestimation of the real fauna present in the Amundsen Sea. In total 9261 specimens belonging to 6 classes 55 families and 97 morphospecies were collected. The species richness per station varied between 6 and 43. Gastropoda were most species rich 50 species followed by Bivalvia (37), Aplacophora (5), Scaphopoda (3) and one from each of Polyplacophora and Monoplacophora.

  8. Amundsen Sea Mollusca from the BIOPEARL II expedition

    PubMed Central

    Moreau, Camille; Linse, Katrin; Griffiths, Huw; Barnes, David; Kaiser, Stefanie; Glover, Adrian; Sands, Chester; Strugnell, Jan; Enderlein, Peter; Geissler, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Information regarding the molluscs in this dataset is based on the epibenthic sledge (EBS) samples collected during the cruise BIOPEARL II / JR179 RRS James Clark Ross in the austral summer 2008. A total of 35 epibenthic sledge deployments have been performed at five locations in the Amundsen Sea at Pine Island Bay (PIB) and the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) at depths ranging from 476 to 3501m. This presents a unique and important collection for the Antarctic benthic biodiversity assessment as the Amundsen Sea remains one of the least known regions in Antarctica. Indeed the work presented in this dataset is based on the first benthic samples collected with an EBS in the Amundsen Sea. However we assume that the data represented are an underestimation of the real fauna present in the Amundsen Sea. In total 9261 specimens belonging to 6 classes 55 families and 97 morphospecies were collected. The species richness per station varied between 6 and 43. Gastropoda were most species rich 50 species followed by Bivalvia (37), Aplacophora (5), Scaphopoda (3) and one from each of Polyplacophora and Monoplacophora. PMID:23794869

  9. All the three ParaHox genes are present in Nuttallochiton mirandus (Mollusca: polyplacophora): evolutionary considerations.

    PubMed

    Barucca, Marco; Biscotti, Maria A; Olmo, Ettore; Canapa, Adriana

    2006-03-15

    The ParaHox gene cluster contains three homeobox genes, Gsx, Xlox and Cdx and has been demonstrated to be an evolutionary sister of the Hox gene cluster. Among deuterostomes the three genes are found in the majority of taxa, whereas among protostomes they have so far been isolated only in the phylum Sipuncula. We report the partial sequences of all three ParaHox genes in the polyplacophoran Nuttallochiton mirandus, the first species of the phylum Mollusca where all ParaHox genes have been isolated. This finding has phylogenetic implications for the phylum Mollusca and for its relationships with the other lophotrochozoan taxa.

  10. A honeycomb composite of mollusca shell matrix and calcium alginate.

    PubMed

    You, Hua-jian; Li, Jin; Zhou, Chan; Liu, Bin; Zhang, Yao-guang

    2016-03-01

    A honeycomb composite is useful to carry cells for application in bone, cartilage, skin, and soft tissue regenerative therapies. To fabricate a composite, and expand the application of mollusca shells as well as improve preparing methods of calcium alginate in tissue engineering research, Anodonta woodiana shell powder was mixed with sodium alginate at varying mass ratios to obtain a gel mixture. The mixture was frozen and treated with dilute hydrochloric acid to generate a shell matrix/calcium alginate composite. Calcium carbonate served as the control. The composite was transplanted subcutaneously into rats. At 7, 14, 42, and 70 days after transplantation, frozen sections were stained with hematoxylin and eosin, followed by DAPI, β-actin, and collagen type-I immunofluorescence staining, and observed using laser confocal microscopy. The composite featured a honeycomb structure. The control and composite samples displayed significantly different mechanical properties. The water absorption rate of the composite and control group were respectively 205-496% and 417-586%. The composite (mass ratio of 5:5) showed good biological safety over a 70-day period; the subcutaneous structure of the samples was maintained and the degradation rate was lower than that of the control samples. Freezing the gel mixture afforded control over chemical reaction rates. Given these results, the composite is a promising honeycomb scaffold for tissue engineering.

  11. First report of Perkinsus beihaiensis in wild clams Anomalocardia brasiliana (Bivalvia: Veneridae) in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Pinho Ferreira, Liana; Sabry, Rachel Costa; da Silva, Patrícia Mirella; Gesteira, Tereza Cristina Vasconcelos; de Souza Romão, Lidiane; Paz, Marcela Pinheiro; Feijó, Rubens Galdino; Neto, Maximiano Pinheiro Dantas; Maggioni, Rodrigo

    2015-03-01

    This is the first report of Perkinsus sp. (Bivalvia: Veneridae) infecting wild clams of the species Anomalocardia brasiliana in Brazil. The gill lamellae and rectum of 150 specimens of A. brasiliana collected in the Timonha river estuary (Ceará, Northeastern Brazil) in March 2012 were incubated in Ray's fluid thioglycollate medium (RFTM) for detection of Perkinsus sp. In RFTM, the prevalence of Perkinsus sp. was 14.7% (22/150) and the intensity of infection ranged from very light (1-10 cells across the slide) to light (12-100 cells). The presence of Perkinsus sp. was confirmed by PCR in seven (31.8%) out of 22 RFTM-positive specimens. DNA sequencing confirmed the presence of the genus Perkinsus and the phylogenetic analysis strongly indicated Perkinsus beihaiensis as the species responsible for the infection.

  12. Bioactive substances with anti-neoplastic efficacy from marine invertebrates: Bryozoa, Mollusca, Echinodermata and Urochordata.

    PubMed

    Sima, Peter; Vetvicka, Vaclav

    2011-11-10

    The marine environment provides a rich source of natural products with potential therapeutic application. This has resulted in an increased rate of pharmaceutical agents being discovered in marine animals, particularly invertebrates. Our objective is to summarize the most promising compounds which have the best potential and may lead to use in clinical practice, show their biological activities and highlight the compounds currently being tested in clinical trials. In this paper, we focused on Bryozoa, Mollusca, Echinodermata and Urochordata.

  13. Explaining the Oxbridge Figures.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davies, Bronwyn; Harre, Rom

    1989-01-01

    Rejects sociobiological theories on female academic achievement and bases findings on social structure to explain why undergraduate women at Oxford University (England) achieve fewer first places and more second places in class honors. Bases theory on bipolarity of gender as an organizing principle of society. Claims that the double bind of social…

  14. Dendrite Model Explained

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    Angie Jackman, a NASA project manager in microgravity research, explains a model of a dendrite to a visitor to the NASA exhibit at AirVenture 2000 sponsored by the Experimental Aircraft Association in Oshkosh, WI. The model depicts microscopic dendrites that grow as molten metals solidify. NASA sponsored three experiments aboard the Space Shuttle that used the microgravity environment to study the formation of large (1 to 4 mm) dendrites without Earth's gravity disrupting their growth. Three advanced follow-on experiments, managed by Jackman, are being developed for the International Space Station (ISS).

  15. Explaining embodied cognition results.

    PubMed

    Lakoff, George

    2012-10-01

    From the late 1950s until 1975, cognition was understood mainly as disembodied symbol manipulation in cognitive psychology, linguistics, artificial intelligence, and the nascent field of Cognitive Science. The idea of embodied cognition entered the field of Cognitive Linguistics at its beginning in 1975. Since then, cognitive linguists, working with neuroscientists, computer scientists, and experimental psychologists, have been developing a neural theory of thought and language (NTTL). Central to NTTL are the following ideas: (a) we think with our brains, that is, thought is physical and is carried out by functional neural circuitry; (b) what makes thought meaningful are the ways those neural circuits are connected to the body and characterize embodied experience; (c) so-called abstract ideas are embodied in this way as well, as is language. Experimental results in embodied cognition are seen not only as confirming NTTL but also explained via NTTL, mostly via the neural theory of conceptual metaphor. Left behind more than three decades ago is the old idea that cognition uses the abstract manipulation of disembodied symbols that are meaningless in themselves but that somehow constitute internal "representations of external reality" without serious mediation by the body and brain. This article uniquely explains the connections between embodied cognition results since that time and results from cognitive linguistics, experimental psychology, computational modeling, and neuroscience.

  16. The mitochondrial genome of the sipunculid Phascolopsis gouldii supports its association with Annelida rather than Mollusca

    SciTech Connect

    Boore, Jeffrey L.; Staton, Joseph

    2001-09-01

    We have determined the sequence of about half (7470 nts) of the mitochondrial genome of the sipunculid Phascolopsis gouldii, the first representative of this phylum to be so studied. All of the 19 identified genes are transcribed from the same DNA strand. The arrangement of these genes is remarkably similar to that of the oligochaete annelid Lumbricus terrestris. Comparison of both the inferred amino acid sequences and the gene arrangements of a variety of diverse metazoan taxa reveals that the phylum Sipuncula is more closely related to Annelida than to Mollusca. This requires reinterpretation of the homology of several embryological features and of patterns of animal body plan evolution.

  17. Structure and meiotic behaviour of B chromosomes in Sphaerium corneum/S. nucleus complex (Bivalvia: Sphaeriidae).

    PubMed

    Kořínková, Tereza; Král, Jiří

    2011-02-01

    Karyotypes of eight populations of Sphaerium corneum and two populations of S. nucleus (Bivalvia: Sphaeriidae) from central Europe were compared. The basic set of these hermaphroditic molluscs is formed by 30 biarmed autosomes and exhibits only slight interpopulational variation in morphology. These differences are not species-specific. One pair of nucleolar organiser regions was detected by silver staining. The prophase and metaphase of the first meiotic division is highly modified in both species. Pachytene is followed by a diffuse stage, characterized by decondensation of chromosomes and by enhanced metabolic activity. The diffuse stage has not been reported in bivalves so far. Bivalents of the following stages are achiasmatic both in the testicular and ovarian part of the gonad. The two species are further peculiar for occurrence of B chromosomes, which is a rare phenomenon in organisms with achiasmatic meiotic systems. The small metacentric B chromosomes exhibit intra- and interindividual variability in number, they show irregular meiotic pairing and segregation (formation of bivalents or univalents), and possess larger proportional amount of constitutive heterochromatin than the A chromosomes. Interestingly, the B chromosomes also undergo decondensation during the diffuse stage like A chromosomes which may indicate their transcriptional activity.

  18. Explaining wartime rape.

    PubMed

    Gottschall, Jonathan

    2004-05-01

    In the years since the first reports of mass rapes in the Yugoslavian wars of secession and the genocidal massacres in Rwanda, feminist activists and scholars, human rights organizations, journalists, and social scientists have dedicated unprecedented efforts to document, explain, and seek solutions for the phenomenon of wartime rape. While contributors to this literature agree on much, there is no consensus on causal factors. This paper provides a brief overview of the literature on wartime rape in historical and ethnographical societies and a critical analysis of the four leading explanations for its root causes: the feminist theory, the cultural pathology theory, the strategic rape theory, and the biosocial theory. The paper concludes that the biosocial theory is the only one capable of bringing all the phenomena associated with wartime rape into a single explanatory context.

  19. Explaining moral religions.

    PubMed

    Baumard, Nicolas; Boyer, Pascal

    2013-06-01

    Moralizing religions, unlike religions with morally indifferent gods or spirits, appeared only recently in some (but not all) large-scale human societies. A crucial feature of these new religions is their emphasis on proportionality (between deeds and supernatural rewards, between sins and penance, and in the formulation of the Golden Rule, according to which one should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself). Cognitive science models that account for many properties of religion can be extended to these religions. Recent models of evolved dispositions for fairness in cooperation suggest that proportionality-based morality is highly intuitive to human beings. The cultural success of moralizing movements, secular or religious, could be explained based on proportionality.

  20. Molecular phylogenetics in 2D: ITS2 rRNA evolution and sequence-structure barcode from Veneridae to Bivalvia.

    PubMed

    Salvi, Daniele; Mariottini, Paolo

    2012-11-01

    In this study, we analyzed the nuclear ITS2 rRNA primary sequence and secondary structure in Veneridae and comparatively with 20 Bivalvia taxa to test the phylogenetic resolution of this marker and its suitability for molecular diagnosis at different taxonomic levels. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian trees based on primary sequences were congruent with (profile-) neighbor-joining trees based on a combined model of sequence-structure evolution. ITS2 showed higher resolution below the subfamily level, providing a phylogenetic signal comparable to (mitochondrial/nuclear) gene fragments 2-5 times longer. Structural elements of the ITS2 folding, such as specific mismatch pairing and compensatory base changes, provided further support for the monophyly of some groups and for their phylogenetic relationships. Veneridae ITS2 folding is structured in six domains (DI-VI) and shows five striking sequence-structure features. Two of them, the Basal and Apical STEMs, are common to Bivalvia, while the presence of both the Branched STEM and the Y/R stretches occurs in five superfamilies of the two Heterodonta orders Myoida and Veneroida, thus questioning their reciprocal monophyly. Our results validated the ITS2 as a suitable marker for venerids phylogenetics and taxonomy, and underlined the significance of including secondary structure information for both applications at several systematic levels within bivalves.

  1. Explaining Warm Coronal Loops

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klimchuk, James A.; Karpen, Judy T.; Patsourakos, Spiros

    2008-01-01

    One of the great mysteries of coronal physics that has come to light in the last few years is the discovery that warn (- 1 INK) coronal loops are much denser than expected for quasi-static equilibrium. Both the excess densities and relatively long lifetimes of the loops can be explained with bundles of unresolved strands that are heated impulsively to very high temperatures. Since neighboring strands are at different stages of cooling, the composite loop bundle is multi-thermal, with the distribution of temperatures depending on the details of the "nanoflare storm." Emission hotter than 2 MK is predicted, but it is not clear that such emission is always observed. We consider two possible explanations for the existence of over-dense warm loops without corresponding hot emission: (1) loops are bundles of nanoflare heated strands, but a significant fraction of the nanoflare energy takes the form of a nonthermal electron beam rather then direct plasma heating; (2) loops are bundles of strands that undergo thermal nonequilibrium that results when steady heating is sufficiently concentrated near the footpoints. We present numerical hydro simulations of both of these possibilities and explore the observational consequences, including the production of hard X-ray emission and absorption by cool material in the corona.

  2. Explaining gender segregation.

    PubMed

    Blackburn, Robert M; Browne, Jude; Brooks, Bradley; Jarman, Jennifer

    2002-12-01

    Occupational gender segregation--the tendency for women and men to work in different occupations--is an important feature of all societies, and particularly the wealthy industrialized ones. To understand this segregation, and to explain its significance, we need to distinguish between vertical segregation entailing inequality and horizontal segregation representing difference without inequality, with overall segregation being the resultant of these components. Three major theoretical approaches to understanding occupational gender segregation are examined: human capital/rational choice, patriarchy, and preference theories. All are found to be inadequate; they tend to confuse overall segregation with its vertical component, and each entails a number of other faults. It is generally assumed or implied that greater empowerment of women would reduce gender segregation. This is the reverse of what actually happens; in countries where the degree of women's empowerment is greater, the level of gender segregation is also greater. An alternative theoretical approach based on processes of social reproduction is shown to be more useful.

  3. Explaining Synthesized Software

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    VanBaalen, Jeffrey; Robinson, Peter; Lowry, Michael; Pressburger, Thomas; Lau, Sonie (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    Motivated by NASA's need for high-assurance software, NASA Ames' Amphion project has developed a generic program generation system based on deductive synthesis. Amphion has a number of advantages, such as the ability to develop a new synthesis system simply by writing a declarative domain theory. However, as a practical matter, the validation of the domain theory for such a system is problematic because the link between generated programs and the domain theory is complex. As a result, when generated programs do not behave as expected, it is difficult to isolate the cause, whether it be an incorrect problem specification or an error in the domain theory. This paper describes a tool we are developing that provides formal traceability between specifications and generated code for deductive synthesis systems. It is based on extensive instrumentation of the refutation-based theorem prover used to synthesize programs. It takes augmented proof structures and abstracts them to provide explanations of the relation between a specification, a domain theory, and synthesized code. In generating these explanations, the tool exploits the structure of Amphion domain theories, so the end user is not confronted with the intricacies of raw proof traces. This tool is crucial for the validation of domain theories as well as being important in everyday use of the code synthesis system. It plays an important role in validation because when generated programs exhibit incorrect behavior, it provides the links that can be traced to identify errors in specifications or domain theory. It plays an important role in the everyday use of the synthesis system by explaining to users what parts of a specification or of the domain theory contribute to what pieces of a generated program. Comments are inserted into the synthesized code that document these explanations.

  4. Jupiter's Gossamer Rings Explained.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamilton, D. P.

    2003-05-01

    Over the past several years, Galileo measurements and groundbased imaging have drastically improved our knowledge of Jupiter's faint ring system. We now recognize that the ring consists of four components: a main ring 7000km wide, whose inner edge blossoms into a vertically-extended halo, and a pair of more tenuous Gossamer rings, one associated with each of the small moons Thebe and Amalthea. When viewed edge on, the Gossamer rings appear as diaphanous disks whose thicknesses agree with the vertical excursions of the inclined satellites from the equatorial plane. In addition, the brightness of each Gossamer ring drops off sharply outside the satellite orbits. These correlations allowed Burns etal (1999, Science, 284, 1146) to argue convincingly that the satellites act as sources of the dusty ring material. In addition, since most material is seen inside the orbits of the source satellites, an inwardly-acting dissipative force such as Poynting-Robertson drag is implicated. The most serious problem with this simple and elegant picture is that it is unable to explain the existence of a faint swath of material that extends half a jovian radius outward from Thebe. A key constraint is that this material has the same thickness as the rest of the Thebe ring. In this work, we identify the mechanism responsible for the outward extension: it is a shadow resonance, first investigated by Horanyi and Burns (1991, JGR, 96, 19283). When a dust grain enters Jupiter's shadow, photoelectric processes shut down and the grain's electric charge becomes more negative. The electromagnetic forces associated with the varying charge cause periodic oscillations in the orbital eccentricity and semimajor axis as the orbital pericenter precesses. This results in a ring which spreads both inward and outward of its source satellite while preserving its vertical thickness - just as is observed for the Thebe ring. Predictions of the model are: i) gaps of micron-sized material interior to Thebe and

  5. Vesicomyinae (Bivalvia: Vesicomyidae) of the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench and adjacent abyssal regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krylova, Elena M.; Kamenev, Gennady M.; Vladychenskaya, Irina P.; Petrov, Nikolai B.

    2015-01-01

    Representatives of the subfamily Vesicomyinae (Bivalvia, Vesicomyidae) are tiny deep-sea molluscs distributed worldwide and reaching huge abundances of hundreds and thousands of specimens in trawl catches. During the German-Russian deep-sea expedition KuramBio (R/V Sonne, 2012) for the first time two vesicomyin species were collected from the abyssal plain adjacent to the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench from the depths of 4861-5787 m, Vesicomya pacifica (Smith, 1885) and "Vesicomya" filatovae sp.n. Two species of vesicomyins, V. sergeeviFilatova, 1971 and V. profundiFilatova, 1971, which were previously reported from the hadal of the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench, were not collected at the abyssal depth despite of the close geographical proximity of the sampling area to their distribution ranges. Altogether nine species of vesicomyins are recorded now from the West and Indo-West Pacific; data on distribution and morpho-anatomical characters of these species are provided. Taxonomic description of V. pacifica is revised including information on its soft part anatomy, new localities and COI sequences. For the first time for a vesicomyin bivalve molecular data is given for a species with an explicit morphological description and unambiguous taxonomic affiliation. Molecular analysis of 160 published COI sequences of vesicomyids and newly obtained molecular data on V. pacifica showed that V. pacifica and two undescribed vesicomyin species forming a monophyletic clade which exhibits sister relationships with the Pliocardiinae, the group of chemosymbiotic vesicomyids. "Vesicomya" filatovae sp.n. is provisionally assigned to the genus Vesicomya (s.l.) until additional morphological and molecular data are obtained. It differs from Vesicomya s.s. by a broader hinge margin with more radiating teeth and the presence of only one pair of demibranchs.

  6. Factors driving changes in freshwater mussel (Bivalvia, Unionida) diversity and distribution in Peninsular Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Zieritz, Alexandra; Lopes-Lima, Manuel; Bogan, Arthur E; Sousa, Ronaldo; Walton, Samuel; Rahim, Khairul Adha A; Wilson, John-James; Ng, Pei-Yin; Froufe, Elsa; McGowan, Suzanne

    2016-11-15

    Freshwater mussels (Bivalvia, Unionida) fulfil important ecosystem functions and are one of the most threatened freshwater taxa globally. Knowledge of freshwater mussel diversity, distribution and ecology in Peninsular Malaysia is extremely poor, and the conservation status of half of the species presumed to occur in the region has yet to be assessed. We conducted the first comprehensive assessment of Peninsular Malaysia's freshwater mussels based on species presence/absence and environmental data collected from 155 sites spanning all major river catchments and diverse habitat types. Through an integrative morphological-molecular approach we recognised nine native and one widespread non-native species, i.e. Sinanodonta woodiana. Two species, i.e. Pilsbryoconcha compressa and Pseudodon cambodjensis, had not been previously recorded from Malaysia, which is likely a result of morphological misidentifications of historical records. Due to their restriction to single river catchments and declining distributions, Hyriopsis bialata, possibly endemic to Peninsular Malaysia, Ensidens ingallsianus, possibly already extinct in the peninsula, and Rectidens sumatrensis, particularly require conservation attention. Equally, the Pahang, the Perak and the north-western river catchments are of particular conservation value due to the presence of a globally unique freshwater mussel fauna. Statistical relationships of 15 water quality parameters and mussel presence/absence identified acidification and nutrient pollution (eutrophication) as the most important anthropogenic factors threatening freshwater mussel diversity in Peninsular Malaysia. These factors can be linked to atmospheric pollution, deforestation, oil-palm plantations and a lack of functioning waste water treatment, and could be mitigated by establishing riparian buffers and improving waste water treatment for rivers running through agricultural and residential land.

  7. [Diversity and microstructure of quitons (Mollusca: Polyplacophora) from the Caribbean of Costa Rica].

    PubMed

    García-Ríos, Cedar I; Alvarez-Ruiz, Migdalia

    2011-03-01

    Diversity and microstructure of quitons (Mollusca: Polyplacophora) from the Caribbean of Costa Rica. The polyplacophorans of the coral reef on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica have been insufficiently studied. The examination of coral rubble accumulated in the shallow sublitoral waters on four collection stations in Provincia Limón revealed a higher diversity of chitons than was documented. From the country eight species were previously known: Ischnochiton erythronotus (C.B. Adams 1845); Ischnoplax pectinata (Sowerby 1840); Stenoplax boogii (Haddon 1886); S. purpurascens (C.B. Adams 1845); Acanthopleura granulata (Gmelin 1791); Chiton marmoratus Gmelin 1791; C. tuberculatus Linnaeus 1758 and Acanthochitona rhodea (Pilsbry 1893). This study added five more species that are reported here for the first time: Callistochiton portobelensis Ferreira 1976; Ischnochiton kaasi Ferreira 1987; I. pseudovirgatus Kaas 1972; Acanthochitona balesae Abbott 1954 and Cryptoconchus floridanus (Dall 1889).

  8. Structure and composition of the septal nacreous layer of Nautilus macromphalus L. (Mollusca, Cephalopoda).

    PubMed

    Dauphin, Yannicke

    2006-01-01

    The nacreous layer of Mollusca is the best-known aragonitic structure and is the usual model for biomineralization. However, data are based on less than 10 species. In situ observations of the septal nacreous layer of the cephalopod Nautilus shell has revealed that the tablets are composed of acicular laths. These laths are composed of round nanograins surrounded by an organic sheet. No hole has been observed in the decalcified interlamellar membranes. A set of combined analytical data shows that the organic matrices extracted from the nacreous layer are glycoproteins. In both soluble and insoluble matrices, S amino acids are rare and the soluble organic matrices have a higher sulfated sugar content than the insoluble matrices. It is possible that the observed differences in the structure and composition of the nacreous layers of the outer wall and septa of the Nautilus shell have a dual origin: evolution and functional adaptation. However, we have no appropriate data as yet to answer this question.

  9. Environmental Habitat Conditions Associated with Freshwater Dreissenids

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-12-01

    of Dreissenid mussel in the Great Lakes. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 49:1501-1506. McMahon, R. F. 1991. Mollusca : Bivalvia...In The Mollusca . Vol. 6, Ecology, ed. W. D. Russell- Hunter, 463-503. Orlando, FL: Academic Press, Inc. Schneider, D. W., S. P. Madon, J. A. Stoeckel

  10. From Polyplacophora to Cephalopoda: comparative analysis of nitric oxide signalling in mollusca.

    PubMed

    Moroz, L L; Gillette, R

    1995-01-01

    The distribution of putative nitric oxide synthase (NOS)-containing cells has been analysed using NADPH-d histochemistry in the CNS and peripheral tissues in more than 2D ecologically and systematically different molluscan genera representing 3 main classes of the phylum MOLLUSCA: Polyplacophora (Lepidopleurus, Lepidozona, Katharina), Gastropoda (Littorina, Lymnaea, Aplexa, Physa, Planorbarius, Planorbis, Helisoma, Biomphalaria, Helix, Limax, Cepaea, Bulla, Aplysia, Phyllaplysia, Philine, Pleurobranchea, Tritonia, Armina, Flabellina, Cadlina) and Cephalopoda (Octopus, Sepia, Rossia, Loligo). Several species were used for more detailed immunohistochemical, biochemical, biophysical and physiological studies to further assay of NOS activity and to analyse functional roles of nitric oxide (NO) in these animals. The main conclusions of our comparative analysis and literature survey can be summarised as following: (i) There is strong evidence for the presence of NO-dependent signalling pathways in different molluscan species. (ii) We hypothesise that a general tendency in the evolution of NADPH-d-reactive cells in Mollusca is a migration of nitrergic function from periphery to the CNS. Also, different isoforms of NOS appear to be present in any one species. (iii) One of the main functional targets of NO signalling is the feeding system. However, there are obvious differences between predators (many labelled central motoneurons) and herbivorous species (many labelled peripheral putative sensory cells) as well as between land/freshwater and marine animals. Nevertheless, in all species tested NO-activated feeding-like motor patterns in the buccal ganglia. Additional functional and cellular targets for NO in molluscs are also considered. We briefly review neuromodulatory mechanisms of NO action and we consider molluscs as useful model systems for investigations of the roles of NO.

  11. Molecular phylogeny of Pholadoidea Lamarck, 1809 supports a single origin for xylotrophy (wood feeding) and xylotrophic bacterial endosymbiosis in Bivalvia.

    PubMed

    Distel, Daniel L; Amin, Mehwish; Burgoyne, Adam; Linton, Eric; Mamangkey, Gustaf; Morrill, Wendy; Nove, John; Wood, Nicole; Yang, Joyce

    2011-11-01

    The ability to consume wood as food (xylotrophy) is unusual among animals. In terrestrial environments, termites and other xylotrophic insects are the principle wood consumers while in marine environments wood-boring bivalves fulfill this role. However, the evolutionary origin of wood feeding in bivalves has remained largely unexplored. Here we provide data indicating that xylotrophy has arisen just once in Bivalvia in a single wood-feeding bivalve lineage that subsequently diversified into distinct shallow- and deep-water branches, both of which have been broadly successful in colonizing the world's oceans. These data also suggest that the appearance of this remarkable life habit was approximately coincident with the acquisition of bacterial endosymbionts. Here we generate a robust phylogeny for xylotrophic bivalves and related species based on sequences of small and large subunit nuclear rRNA genes. We then trace the distribution among the modern taxa of morphological characters and character states associated with xylotrophy and xylotrepesis (wood-boring) and use a parsimony-based method to infer their ancestral states. Based on these ancestral state reconstructions we propose a set of plausible hypotheses describing the evolution of symbiotic xylotrophy in Bivalvia. Within this context, we reinterpret one of the most remarkable progressions in bivalve evolution, the transformation of the "typical" myoid body plan to create a unique lineage of worm-like, tube-forming, wood-feeding clams. The well-supported phylogeny presented here is inconsistent with most taxonomic treatments for xylotrophic bivalves, indicating that the bivalve family Pholadidae and the subfamilies Teredininae and Bankiinae of the family Teredinidae are non-monophyletic, and that the principle traits used for their taxonomic diagnosis are phylogenetically misleading.

  12. Genetic Diversity of the Biofilm Covering Montacuta ferruginosa (Mollusca, Bivalvia) as Evaluated by Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis Analysis and Cloning of PCR-Amplified Gene Fragments Coding for 16S rRNA†

    PubMed Central

    Gillan, David C.; Speksnijder, Arjen G. C. L.; Zwart, Gabriel; De Ridder, Chantal

    1998-01-01

    The shell of the bivalve Montacuta ferruginosa, a symbiont living in the burrow of an echinoid, is covered with a rust-colored biofilm. This biofilm includes different morphotypes of bacteria that are encrusted with a mineral rich in ferric ion and phosphate. The aim of this research was to determine the genetic diversity and phylogenetic affiliation of the biofilm bacteria. Also, the possible roles of the microorganisms in the processes of mineral deposition within the biofilm, as well as their impact on the biology of the bivalve, were assessed by phenotypic inference. The genetic diversity was determined by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis of short (193-bp) 16S ribosomal DNA PCR products obtained with primers specific for the domain Bacteria. This analysis revealed a diverse consortium; 11 to 25 sequence types were detected depending on the method of DNA extraction used. Individual biofilms analyzed by using the same DNA extraction protocol did not produce identical DGGE profiles. However, different biofilms shared common bands, suggesting that similar bacteria can be found in different biofilms. The phylogenetic affiliations of the sequence types were determined by cloning and sequencing the 16S rRNA genes. Close relatives of the genera Pseudoalteromonas, Colwellia, and Oceanospirillum (members of the γ-Proteobacteria lineage), as well as Flexibacter maritimus (a member of the Cytophaga-Flavobacter-Bacteroides lineage), were found in the biofilms. We inferred from the results that some of the biofilm bacteria could play a role in the mineral formation processes. PMID:9726898

  13. Freshwater Mussels (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionidae) of the Upper Mississippi River: Observations at Selected Sites Within the 9-Foot Navigation Channel Project for the St. Paul District, United States Army Corps of Engineers, 1977 - 1979. Volume I. Text.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-09-10

    Platyhelminthes : Trematoda). This point somewhat coun- ters the idea of this population’s viability. Partially reviewed by Fuller (1974), Nearctic...infestation with flukes, a group of parasitic flatworms ( Platyhelminthes : Trematoda). UM -- Upper Mississippi. Unionicolidae, unionicolid -- the

  14. Freshwater Mussels (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionidae) of the Upper Mississippi River: Observations at Selected Sites Within the 9-Foot Navigation Channel Project for the St. Paul District, United States Army Corps of Engineers, 1977 - 1979. Volume II. Appendices.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-09-10

    111 16. Vermillion River 15 >2 1)9, _: L Hastings Small Boat Harbor 16 13 -,2 IS. Prescott 17 !14 199, 19. Pine Coulee 13 15 0. Truedaie Slough 19 116...Iowa Darter E. nigrum Rafinesque, Johnny Darter Perca flavescens (Mitchill), Yellow Perch Stizostedion e-avadense (Smith), Sauger Family Sciaenidae...brailing Brail runs: positive, 0 ; negative, 14 ;total, 14 Number of square ifeet brailed: 70,000 Exhibit 15 16. Vermillion River \\Tusc’ Tha, xni

  15. Fresh-Water Mussels (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionidae) of the Upper Mississippi River: Observations at Selected Sites within the 9-Foot Channel Navigation Project on Behalf of the U.S. Army.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1978-06-16

    8217. Rational candidates for glochidial host( s ) of the Spectacle Case are, for example, 6 . 61 -_ _ ’ , , . - - - - one or more developmental stages of a...U) JUN 78 S L FULLER UNCLASSIFIED 78-33 NL 1.25 III 111112.5 N~ 2 PHOTOGRAPH THIS SHEET LEVEL of Nfafura.( Sc.enes 0*ORY :A; 41421467.:iw. ofL iw.(y...GOVTnr ACESONNS. RCNTT ORAGRANT NUMERe . PEFRMIN ORAIAINNMEASADES1. TP ORMELEMET& PEROOECTOVTASK at. COeRlLce ie ihnte9- tcanl S EFRING OFFCNAMGN DDESI

  16. Ross Sea Mollusca from the Latitudinal Gradient Program: R/V Italica 2004 Rauschert dredge samples.

    PubMed

    Ghiglione, Claudio; Alvaro, Maria Chiara; Griffiths, Huw J; Linse, Katrin; Schiaparelli, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    Information regarding the molluscs in this dataset is based on the Rauschert dredge samples collected during the Latitudinal Gradient Program (LGP) on board the R/V "Italica" in the Ross Sea (Antarctica) in the austral summer 2004. A total of 18 epibenthic dredge deployments/samplings have been performed at four different locations at depths ranging from 84 to 515m by using a Rauschert dredge with a mesh size of 500μm. In total 8,359 specimens have been collected belonging to a total of 161 species. Considering this dataset in terms of occurrences, it corresponds to 505 discrete distributional records (incidence data). Of these, in order of abundance, 5,965 specimens were Gastropoda (accounting for 113 species), 1,323 were Bivalvia (accounting for 36 species), 949 were Aplacophora (accounting for 7 species), 74 specimens were Scaphopoda (3 species), 38 were Monoplacophora (1 species) and, finally, 10 specimens were Polyplacophora (1 species). This data set represents the first large-scale survey of benthic micro-molluscs for the area and provides important information about the distribution of several species, which have been seldom or never recorded before in the Ross Sea. All vouchers are permanently stored at the Italian National Antarctic Museum (MNA), Section of Genoa, enabling future comparison and crosschecking. This material is also currently under study, from a molecular point of view, by the barcoding project "BAMBi" (PNRA 2010/A1.10).

  17. Ross Sea Mollusca from the Latitudinal Gradient Program: R/V Italica 2004 Rauschert dredge samples

    PubMed Central

    Ghiglione, Claudio; Alvaro, Maria Chiara; Griffiths, Huw J.; Linse, Katrin; Schiaparelli, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Information regarding the molluscs in this dataset is based on the Rauschert dredge samples collected during the Latitudinal Gradient Program (LGP) on board the R/V “Italica” in the Ross Sea (Antarctica) in the austral summer 2004. A total of 18 epibenthic dredge deployments/samplings have been performed at four different locations at depths ranging from 84 to 515m by using a Rauschert dredge with a mesh size of 500μm. In total 8,359 specimens have been collected belonging to a total of 161 species. Considering this dataset in terms of occurrences, it corresponds to 505 discrete distributional records (incidence data). Of these, in order of abundance, 5,965 specimens were Gastropoda (accounting for 113 species), 1,323 were Bivalvia (accounting for 36 species), 949 were Aplacophora (accounting for 7 species), 74 specimens were Scaphopoda (3 species), 38 were Monoplacophora (1 species) and, finally, 10 specimens were Polyplacophora (1 species). This data set represents the first large-scale survey of benthic micro-molluscs for the area and provides important information about the distribution of several species, which have been seldom or never recorded before in the Ross Sea. All vouchers are permanently stored at the Italian National Antarctic Museum (MNA), Section of Genoa, enabling future comparison and crosschecking. This material is also currently under study, from a molecular point of view, by the barcoding project “BAMBi” (PNRA 2010/A1.10). PMID:24146597

  18. Assessment of Zebra Mussel (Dreissena Polymorpha) Infestation Risk Using GIS for Water Basins in the North-West Bulgaria

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-01-22

    August 9-13, 2004, San Diego, California, 12 pp. Angelov, A., 2000. Catalogus faunae bulgaricae. 4. Mollusca : Gastropoda et Bivalvia aquae dulcis...distribution of freshwater Mollusca in Bulgaria. Annuaire de l’Universite de Sofia. Faculte Physico-Mathematique 43 (3): 33- 54. (In Bulgarian, English summary...Dreissena polymorpha Pallas ( Mollusca ) in the energy budget of Lake Esrom, Denmark. Verh. Int. Ver. Limnol., 24: 621-625. Hayward, D., & E. Estevez

  19. Your Radiologist Explains Nuclear Medicine

    MedlinePlus

    ... Sponsored by Image/Video Gallery Your Radiologist Explains Nuclear Medicine Transcript Welcome to Radiology Info dot org ... I’d like to talk to you about nuclear medicine. Nuclear medicine offers the potential to identify ...

  20. Your Radiologist Explains Nuclear Medicine

    MedlinePlus Videos and Cool Tools

    ... by Image/Video Gallery Your Radiologist Explains Nuclear Medicine Transcript Welcome to Radiology Info dot org Hello! ... d like to talk to you about nuclear medicine. Nuclear medicine offers the potential to identify disease ...

  1. Gastropoda-Bivalvia Fauna And Neogene-Quaternary Stratigraphy of the Southwest of Dardanelles (Çanakkale-NWAnatolia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kapan, Sevinç; Kabasakal, Sinem

    2016-04-01

    Gastropoda-Bivalvia Fauna And Neogene-Quaternary Stratigraphy of the Southwest of Dardanelles (Çanakkale-NWAnatolia) Sevinç KAPAN, Sinem KABASAKAL, Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Engineering Faculty, Geological Engineering Department sevinckapan_yesilyurt@hotmail.com In this study, paleontology and stratigraphy of Neogene and Quaternary units around south of the Dardanelles have been examined using Gastropoda and Bivalvia fauna. In the investigation area, the base of the sediments that belongs to Neogene, consist of the volcanics which are formed with basalts, andesites and tuff. Neogene begins unconformity with basal conglomerate which are formed with basalt and tuff gravels. The measurable thickness of the Neogene sediments is approximately 200meters in total. First fossiliferius level which consist of Lymnocardium (Euxinicardium) nobile Sabba has showed similarities with the Pontian (Late Miocene) fauna of the Eastern Paratethys. The existence of Melanopsis and Psidium species indicate that the basin has been brackish water feeding by fresh water in the Early Pliocene. Theodoxus fluviatilis (Linne), Theodoxus (Calvertia) aff. imbricata Brusina, Theodoxus (Calvertia) licherdopoli scriptus (Stefanescu), Viviparus mammatus (Stefanescu), Valvata (Valavata) sulekiana Brusina, Valvata (Cincinna) crusitensis Fontannes, Hydrobia cf grandis Cobalcescu, Hydrobia ventrosa Monfort, Melanopsis (Melanopsis) cf. bergeroni Stefanescu, , Melanopsis (Melanopsis) sandbergeri rumana Tournouer, Melanopsis (Canthidomus) hybostoma anili Taner, Melanopsis (Canthidomus) hybostoma amaradica Fontannes, Melanopsis (Canthidomus) lanceolata Neumayr, Amphimelania fossariformis (Tournouer), Melanoides tuberculata monolithica (Bukowski), Radix (Radix) peregra (Müller), Planorbarius thiollierei (Michaud), Potamida (Potamida) craiovensis craiovensis (Tournouer), Potamida (Potamida) berbestiensis (Fontannes), Unio pristinus davilai Porumbaru, Unio subexquisitus Jatzko, Anadonta zmaji

  2. Contrasting sensitivities to fluoride toxicity between juveniles and adults of the aquatic snail Potamopyrgus antipodarum (Hydrobiidae, Mollusca).

    PubMed

    Aguirre-Sierra, Aránzazu; Alonso, Alvaro; Camargo, Julio A

    2011-05-01

    In contrast to aquatic vertebrates, there is scarce available information on the contrasting tolerance to fluoride of different life stages and/or sizes of aquatic invertebrates. The purpose of this study was to assess the likely differences in sensitivity between juveniles and adults of the aquatic snail Potamopyrgus antipodarum (Hydrobiidae, Mollusca) to short-term (4 days) toxicity of fluoride ion (F(-)). LC50 and EC50 values for juveniles were significantly lower than those for adults at 24, 48, 72 and 96 h. Based on our results, the use of fluoride data of bioassays with juveniles should provide more protective water quality criteria than data from adult stage.

  3. Catalogue of the type specimens deposited in the Mollusca Collection of the Museu Nacional / UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Pimenta, Alexandre Dias; Monteiro, Júlio César; Barbosa, André Favaretto; Salgado, Norma Campos; Coelho, Arnaldo Campos Dos Santos

    2014-03-20

    A curatorial revision of the type specimens deposited in the Mollusca Collection of the Museu Nacional / UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (MNRJ) revealed the existence of 518 lots of type specimens (holotypes, neotypes, syntypes and paratypes) for 285 names of molluscan taxa from 88 families, including 247 gastropods, 30 bivalves, three cephalopods and five scaphopods. A total of 106 holotypes and one neotype are deposited in the MNRJ. Type material for ten nominal taxa described as being deposited in the MNRJ was not located; the probable reasons are discussed. Some previously published erroneous information about types in the MNRJ is rectified. A total of 37 type specimens are illustrated.

  4. Homology and homoplasy of swimming behaviors and neural circuits in the Nudipleura (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Opisthobranchia).

    PubMed

    Newcomb, James M; Sakurai, Akira; Lillvis, Joshua L; Gunaratne, Charuni A; Katz, Paul S

    2012-06-26

    How neural circuit evolution relates to behavioral evolution is not well understood. Here the relationship between neural circuits and behavior is explored with respect to the swimming behaviors of the Nudipleura (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Opithobranchia). Nudipleura is a diverse monophyletic clade of sea slugs among which only a small percentage of species can swim. Swimming falls into a limited number of categories, the most prevalent of which are rhythmic left-right body flexions (LR) and rhythmic dorsal-ventral body flexions (DV). The phylogenetic distribution of these behaviors suggests a high degree of homoplasy. The central pattern generator (CPG) underlying DV swimming has been well characterized in Tritonia diomedea and in Pleurobranchaea californica. The CPG for LR swimming has been elucidated in Melibe leonina and Dendronotus iris, which are more closely related. The CPGs for the categorically distinct DV and LR swimming behaviors consist of nonoverlapping sets of homologous identified neurons, whereas the categorically similar behaviors share some homologous identified neurons, although the exact composition of neurons and synapses in the neural circuits differ. The roles played by homologous identified neurons in categorically distinct behaviors differ. However, homologous identified neurons also play different roles even in the swim CPGs of the two LR swimming species. Individual neurons can be multifunctional within a species. Some of those functions are shared across species, whereas others are not. The pattern of use and reuse of homologous neurons in various forms of swimming and other behaviors further demonstrates that the composition of neural circuits influences the evolution of behaviors.

  5. Phylogenetic relationships among cirrate octopods (Mollusca: Cephalopoda) resolved using mitochondrial 16S ribosomal DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Piertney, Stuart B; Hudelot, Cendrine; Hochberg, F G; Collins, Martin A

    2003-05-01

    PHYLOGENETIC RELATIONSHIPS AMONG THE CIRRATE OCTOPODS (MOLLUSCA: Cephalopoda) were investigated using partial sequences of the 16S rRNA mitochondrial gene. The derived phylogeny supports the traditional separation of cirrate families based on web form. Genera with a single web (Opisthoteuthis, Grimpoteuthis, Luteuthis, and Cirroctopus) are clearly distinct from those with an intermediate or secondary web (Cirroteuthis, Cirrothauma, and Stauroteuthis). The cirrates with a single web are separated into three groups. The first group is represented by Opisthoteuthis species, the second by Grimpoteuthis and Luteuthis, and the third by members of the genus Cirroctopus. There is no support for the isolation of Luteuthis in a separate family (Luteuthidae). There is, however, evidence of two groupings within the genus Opisthoteuthis. The data suggest the following revisions in the systematic classification of the cirrates: (1) Cirrothauma, Cirroteuthis, and Stauroteuthis be united in the Cirroteuthidae; (2) Grimpoteuthis and Luteuthis be placed in the Grimpoteuthidae; (3) Opisthoteuthis in the Opisthoteuthidae, and; (4) Cirroctopus be considered sufficiently distinct from both Opisthoteuthidae and Grimpoteuthidae to warrant placement in a new family.

  6. A review of the non-bulimulid terrestrial Mollusca from the Region of Atacama, northern Chile

    PubMed Central

    Araya, Juan Francisco; Catalán, Ricardo

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Terrestrial mollusca are sparsely studied in Chile and, for the first time, a formal record of the diversity of land snails in northern Chile is reported. Coastal and desertic areas in the Region of Atacama, in the border of the Atacama desert and the Pacific Ocean, were surveyed with the aim to describe the presence and distribution of this poorly known fauna. Of the fourteen species recorded, the geographic distribution records for nine species are extended, and some taxa are recorded for the first time since their original descriptions. All, except one, of the fourteen terrestrial molluscan species occurring in the area are endemic to Chile; they are all terrestrial species, most of them have a restricted geographic distribution, and none of them is currently protected by law. The results reveal that the region of Atacama has one of the most diverse terrestrial snail biodiversity in Chile, ranking only after the Juan Fernandez Archipelago. Distribution records of all the studied species and a taxonomic key are also provided. PMID:24715800

  7. A review of the non-bulimulid terrestrial Mollusca from the Region of Atacama, northern Chile.

    PubMed

    Araya, Juan Francisco; Catalán, Ricardo

    2014-01-01

    Terrestrial mollusca are sparsely studied in Chile and, for the first time, a formal record of the diversity of land snails in northern Chile is reported. Coastal and desertic areas in the Region of Atacama, in the border of the Atacama desert and the Pacific Ocean, were surveyed with the aim to describe the presence and distribution of this poorly known fauna. Of the fourteen species recorded, the geographic distribution records for nine species are extended, and some taxa are recorded for the first time since their original descriptions. All, except one, of the fourteen terrestrial molluscan species occurring in the area are endemic to Chile; they are all terrestrial species, most of them have a restricted geographic distribution, and none of them is currently protected by law. The results reveal that the region of Atacama has one of the most diverse terrestrial snail biodiversity in Chile, ranking only after the Juan Fernandez Archipelago. Distribution records of all the studied species and a taxonomic key are also provided.

  8. Pomacea canaliculata (Mollusca, Gastropoda) in Patagonia: potential role of climatic change in its dispersion and settlement.

    PubMed

    Darrigran, G; Damborenea, C; Tambussi, A

    2011-02-01

    Pomacea canaliculata (Lamarck, 1822) (Mollusca Gastropoda) shows a large native distribution range in South America, reaching as far south as 37º S (Buenos Aires, Argentina). This species was deliberately introduced into Southeast Asia around 1980 and subsequently underwent a rapid intentional or accidental dispersal into many countries in the region. It was also introduced into North and Central America and Hawaii. In this contribution we record the presence of P. canaliculata in Patagonia, assessing the possible influence of climatic change in the new establishment of this species there. Three samplings (between September 2004 and April 2005) were carried out at 38º 58' 20.2" S-68º 11' 27.3" W. In the sampling we found two adult specimens of P. canaliculata and numerous egg clutches. Pomacea canaliculata is naturally distributed in the Plata and Amazon Basins. The southern boundary of this species has been established as the isotherms of 14 ºC and 16 ºC in Buenos Aires province, and precipitations of 900 to 600 mm/year. This study also analysed variations in annual temperature and precipitation in Patagonia. Average temperatures show an increase over the years, although not constantly. Important modifications in precipitation regime in northern Patagonia, triggered by global climatic changes, could be beneficial for the settlement of populations of P. canaliculata in this new area, where precipitation increased enough to reach values similar to those in the southernmost area of distribution of this species.

  9. Hard and soft anatomy in two genera of Dondersiidae (Mollusca, Aplacophora, Solenogastres).

    PubMed

    Scheltema, Amélie H; Schander, Christoffer; Kocot, Kevin M

    2012-06-01

    Phylogenetic relationships and identifications in the aplacophoran taxon Solenogastres (Neomeniomorpha) are in flux largely because descriptions of hard parts--sclerites, radulae, copulatory spicules--and body shape have often not been adequately illustrated or utilized. With easily recognizable and accessible hard parts, descriptions of Solenogastres are of greater use, not just to solenogaster taxonomists, but also to ecologists, paleontologists, and evolutionary biologists. Phylogenetic studies of Aplacophora, Mollusca, and the Lophotrochozoa as a whole, whether morphological or molecular, would be enhanced. As an example, morphologic characters, both isolated hard parts and internal anatomy, are provided for two genera in the Dondersiidae. Five species are described or redescribed and earlier descriptions corrected and enhanced. Three belong to Dondersia: D. festiva Hubrecht, D. incali (Scheltema), and D. namibiensis n. sp., the latter differentiated unambiguously from D. incali only by sclerites and copulatory spicules. Two species belong to Lyratoherpia: L. carinata Salvini-Plawen and L. californica (Heath). Notes are given for other species in Dondersiidae: L. bracteata Salvini-Plawen, Ichthyomenia ichthyodes (Pruvot), and Heathia porosa (Heath). D. indica Stork is synonymized with D. annulata. A cladistic morphological analysis was conducted to examine the utility of hard parts for reconstructing solenogaster phylogeny. Results indicate monophyly of Dondersia and Lyratoherpia as described here.

  10. Evolutionary relationships among squids of the family Gonatidae (Mollusca: Cephalopoda) inferred from three mitochondrial loci.

    PubMed

    Lindgren, A R; Katugin, O N; Amezquita, E; Nishiguchi, M K

    2005-07-01

    The oceanic squid family Gonatidae (Mollusca: Cephalopoda) is widely distributed in subpolar and temperate waters, exhibiting behavioral and physiological specializations associated with reproduction. Females of several species undergo muscular degeneration upon maturation; origins of this complex morphogenic change are unknown, hindering our understanding of ecological and morpho-physiological adaptations within the family. To provide further information regarding the evolutionary relationships within Gonatidae, three mitochondrial loci (12S rRNA, 16S rRNA, and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I) were analyzed for 39 individuals representing fourteen gonatid and six outgroup cephalopod species. In addition to elucidating relationships among gonatids, molecular data provided more information than morphological data for problematic specimens. Although some data sets are incongruent or have low nodal support values, combined molecular analysis confirms the presence of gonatid groups previously established by morphological characteristics (i.e., possessing radular teeth in seven longitudinal rows and muscular mantle tissue). These characteristics are basal to taxa possessing radular teeth in five longitudinal rows and less muscular mantle tissue, indicating that the derived forms are those species exhibiting physiological adaptation such as tissue degeneration upon maturation and egg brooding.

  11. Explaining Errors in Children's Questions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rowland, Caroline F.

    2007-01-01

    The ability to explain the occurrence of errors in children's speech is an essential component of successful theories of language acquisition. The present study tested some generativist and constructivist predictions about error on the questions produced by ten English-learning children between 2 and 5 years of age. The analyses demonstrated that,…

  12. Does market competition explain fairness?

    PubMed

    Descioli, Peter

    2013-02-01

    The target article by Baumard et al. uses their previous model of bargaining with outside options to explain fairness and other features of human sociality. This theory implies that fairness judgments are determined by supply and demand but humans often perceive prices (divisions of surplus) in competitive markets to be unfair.

  13. Sequence motifs associated with paternal transmission of mitochondrial DNA in the horse mussel, Modiolus modiolus (Bivalvia: Mytilidae).

    PubMed

    Robicheau, Brent M; Breton, Sophie; Stewart, Donald T

    2017-03-20

    In the majority of metazoans paternal mitochondria represent evolutionary dead-ends. In many bivalves, however, this paradigm does not hold true; both maternal and paternal mitochondria are inherited. Herein, we characterize maternal and paternal mitochondrial control regions of the horse mussel, Modiolus modiolus (Bivalvia: Mytilidae). The maternal control region is 808bp long, while the paternal control region is longer at 2.3kb. We hypothesize that the size difference is due to a combination of repeated duplications within the control region of the paternal mtDNA genome, as well as an evolutionarily ancient recombination event between two sex-associated mtDNA genomes that led to the insertion of a second control region sequence in the genome that is now transmitted via males. In a comparison to other mytilid male control regions, we identified two evolutionarily Conserved Motifs, CMA and CMB, associated with paternal transmission of mitochondrial DNA. CMA is characterized by a conserved purine/pyrimidine pattern, while CMB exhibits a specific 13bp nucleotide string within a stem and loop structure. The identification of motifs CMA and CMB in M. modiolus extends our understanding of Sperm Transmission Elements (STEs) that have recently been identified as being associated with the paternal transmission of mitochondria in marine bivalves.

  14. Presence and histopathological effects of the Parvatrema sp. (Digenea, Gymnophallidae) in the stout razor clam Tagelus plebeius (Bivalvia, Psammobiidae).

    PubMed

    da Silva, Patricia Mirella; Cremonte, Florencia; Sabry, Rachel Costa; Rosa, Rafael Diego; Cantelli, Liege; Barracco, Margherita Anna

    2009-09-01

    The stout razor clam Tagelus plebeius (Bivalvia, Psammobiidae) has a wide geographic distribution range, including the Brazilian coasts from the northeast (Alagoas) to the south (Santa Catarina). In March 2008, an episode of mass T. plebeius mortality (70%) occurred in an intertidal bed at The Pontal da Daniela, State of Santa Catarina, Brazil. We report here high prevalences (to 100%) of the trematode parasite Parvatrema sp. Cable, 1953 (Digenea, Gymnophallidae) infecting T. plebeius at high intensities. We describe the gymnophalid, echinostomatid and unidentified metacercariae parasites infecting the clam and the host reactions elicited by them. The use of special diagnostic techniques such as Ray's fluid thioglycollate medium (RFTM) and PCR assays to detect Perkinsus sp. pathogens, hemolymph cytology, and histopathological examinations did not show Perkinsus sp. infections, microcell infections, or neoplastic conditions. However, neither infections or pathology caused by trematode parasites; nor any other pathological condition could be uniquely correlated with the mortality event. A coincident flash flood might have contributed to cause the mortality episode. This is the first report of the Parvatrema sp. metacercariae larvae infecting the stout razor clam T. plebeius from Brazil.

  15. Explaining mirror-touch synesthesia.

    PubMed

    Ward, Jamie; Banissy, Michael J

    2015-01-01

    Mirror-touch synesthesia (MTS) is the conscious experience of tactile sensations induced by seeing someone else touched. This paper considers two different, although not mutually exclusive, theoretical explanations and, in the final section, considers the relation between MTS and other forms of synesthesia and also other kinds of vicarious perception (e.g., contagious yawning). The Threshold Theory explains MTS in terms of hyper-activity within a mirror system for touch and/or pain. This offers a good account for some of the evidence (e.g., from fMRI) but fails to explain the whole pattern (e.g., structural brain differences outside of this system; performance on some tests of social cognition). The Self-Other Theory explains MTS in terms of disturbances in the ability to distinguish the self from others. This can be construed in terms of over-extension of the bodily self in to others, or as difficulties in the control of body-based self-other representations. In this account, MTS is a symptom of a broader cognitive profile. We suggest this meets the criteria for synesthesia, despite the proximal causal mechanisms remaining largely unknown, and that the tendency to localize vicarious sensory experiences distinguishes it from other kinds of seemingly related phenomena (e.g., non-localized affective responses to observing pain).

  16. Explaining the Gender Wealth Gap

    PubMed Central

    Ruel, Erin; Hauser, Robert M.

    2013-01-01

    To assess and explain the United States’ gender wealth gap, we use the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study to examine wealth accumulated by a single cohort over 50 years by gender, by marital status, and limited to the respondents who are their family’s best financial reporters. We find large gender wealth gaps between currently married men and women, and never-married men and women. The never-married accumulate less wealth than the currently married, and there is a marital disruption cost to wealth accumulation. The status-attainment model shows the most power in explaining gender wealth gaps between these groups explaining about one-third to one-half of the gap, followed by the human-capital explanation. In other words, a lifetime of lower earnings for women translates into greatly reduced wealth accumulation. A gender wealth gap remains between married men and women after controlling for the full model that we speculate may be related to gender differences in investment strategies and selection effects. PMID:23264038

  17. The complete sequence and gene organization of the mitochondrial genome of the gadilid scaphopod Siphonondentalium lobatum (Mollusca).

    PubMed

    Dreyer, Hermann; Steiner, Gerhard

    2004-05-01

    Comparisons of mitochondrial gene sequences and gene arrangements can be informative for reconstructing high-level phylogenetic relationships. We determined the complete sequence of the mitochondrial genome of Siphonodentalium lobatum, (Mollusca, Scaphopoda). With only 13,932 bases, it is the shortest molluscan mitochondrial genome reported so far. The genome contains the usual 13 protein-coding genes, two rRNA and 22 tRNA genes. The ATPase subunit 8 gene is exceptionally short. Several transfer RNAs show truncated TpsiC arms or DHU arms. The gene arrangement of S. lobatum is markedly different from all other known molluscan mitochondrial genomes and shows low similarity even to an unpublished gene order of a dentaliid scaphopod. Phylogenetic analyses of all available complete molluscan mitochondrial genomes based on amino acid sequences of 11 protein-coding genes yield trees with low support for the basal branches. None of the traditionally accepted molluscan taxa and phylogenies are recovered in all analyses, except for the euthyneuran Gastropoda. S. lobatum appears as the sister taxon to two of the three bivalve species. We conclude that the deep molluscan phylogeny is probably beyond the resolution of mitochondrial protein sequences. Moreover, assessing the phylogenetic signal in gene order data requires a much larger taxon sample than is currently available, given the exceptional diversity of this character set in the Mollusca.

  18. Purification and partial characterization of human neutrophil elastase inhibitors from the marine snail Cenchritis muricatus (Mollusca).

    PubMed

    González, Yamile; Tanaka, Aparecida S; Hirata, Izaura Y; del Rivero, Maday Alonso; Oliva, Maria L V; Araujo, Mariana S; Chávez, Maria A

    2007-04-01

    Human neutrophil elastase inhibition was detected in a crude extract of the marine snail Cenchritis muricatus (Gastropoda, Mollusca). This inhibitory activity remained after heating this extract at 60 degrees C for 30 min. From this extract, three human neutrophil elastase inhibitors (designated CmPI-I, CmPI-II and CmPI-III) were purified by affinity and reversed-phase chromatographies. Homogeneity of CmPI-I and CmPI-II was confirmed, while CmPI-III showed a single peak in reversed-phase chromatography, but heterogeneity in SDS-PAGE with preliminary molecular masses in the range of 18.4 to 22.0 kDa. In contrast, MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry of CmPI-I and CmPI-II showed that these inhibitors are molecules of low molecular mass, 5576 and 5469 Da, respectively. N-terminal amino acid sequences of CmPI-I (6 amino acids) and CmPI-II (20 amino acids) were determined. Homology to Kazal-type protease inhibitors was preliminarily detected for CmPI-II. Both inhibitors, CmPI-I and CmPI-II are able to inhibit human neutrophil elastase strongly, with equilibrium dissociation constant (Ki) values of 54.2 and 1.6 nM, respectively. In addition, trypsin and pancreatic elastase were also inhibited, but not plasma kallikrein or thrombin. CmPI-I and CmPI-II are the first human neutrophil elastase inhibitors described in a mollusk.

  19. An SCD gene from the Mollusca and its upregulation in carotenoid-enriched scallops.

    PubMed

    Li, Xue; Ning, Xianhui; Dou, Jinzhuang; Yu, Qian; Wang, Shuyue; Zhang, Lingling; Wang, Shi; Hu, Xiaoli; Bao, Zhenmin

    2015-06-10

    Carotenoids are a diverse group of red, orange, and yellow pigments that act as vitamin A precursors and antioxidants. Animals can only obtain carotenoids through their diets. Amongst the carotenoids identified in nature, over one third are of marine origin, but current research on carotenoid absorption in marine species is limited. Bivalves possess an adductor muscle, which is normally white in scallops. However, a new variety of Yesso scallop (Patinopecten yessoensis), the 'Haida golden scallop', can be distinguished by its adductor muscle's orange colour, which is caused by carotenoid accumulation. Studying the genes related to carotenoid accumulation in this scallop could benefit our understanding of the mechanisms underlying carotenoid absorption in marine organisms, and it could further improve scallop breeding for carotenoid content. Stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD) is the rate-limiting enzyme in the production of monounsaturated fatty acids, which enhance carotenoid absorption. Here, the full-length cDNA and genomic DNA sequences of the SCD gene from the Yesso scallop (PySCD) were obtained. The PySCD gene consisted of four exons and three introns, and it contained a 990-bp open reading frame encoding 329 amino acids. It was ubiquitously expressed in adult tissues, embryos and larvae of both white Yesso scallops and 'Haida golden' scallops. Although the expression pattern of PySCD in both types of scallops was similar, significantly more PySCD transcripts were detected in the 'Haida golden' scallops than in the white scallops. Elevated PySCD expression was found in tissues including the adductor muscle, digestive gland, and gonad, as well as in veliger larvae. This study represents the first characterisation of an SCD gene from the Mollusca. Our data imply that PySCD functions in multiple biological processes, and it might be involved in carotenoid accumulation.

  20. Purification and characterization of two endo-beta-1,4-glucanases from mollusca, Ampullaria crossean.

    PubMed

    Li, Yan-Hong; Guo, Rui; Yin, Qiu-Yu; Ding, Ming; Zhang, Si-Liang; Xu, Gen-Jun; Zhao, Fu-Kun

    2005-10-01

    Two novel endo-beta-1,4-glucanases, EG45 and EG27, were isolated from the gastric juice of mollusca, Ampullaria crossean, by anion exchange, hydrophobic interaction, gel filtration and a second round of anion exchange chromatography. The purified proteins EG45 and EG27 appeared as a single band on sodium dodecylsulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis with a molecular mass of 45 kDa and 27 kDa, respectively. The optimum pH for CMC activity was 5.5 for EG45 and 4.4-4.8 for EG27. The optimum temperature range for EG27 was broad, between 50 degrees and 60 degrees; for EG45 it was 50 degrees. The analysis on the stability of these two endo-beta-1,4-glucanases showed that EG27 was acceptably stable at pH 3.0-11.0 even when the incubation time was prolonged to 24 h at 30 degrees, whereas EG45 remained relatively stable at pH 5.0-8.0. About 85% of the activity of EG27 could be retained upon incubation at 60 degrees for 24 h. However, less than 10% residual activity of EG45 was detected at 50 degrees. Among different kinds of substrates, both enzymes showed a high preference for carboxymethyl cellulose. EG45, in particular, showed a carboxymethyl cellulose hydrolytic activity of 146.5 IU/mg protein. Both enzymes showed low activities to xylan (from oat spelt) and Sigmacell 101, and they were inactive to p-nitrophenyl-beta-D-cellobioside, salicin and starch.

  1. Volutidae (Mollusca: Gastropoda) of the Lakhra Formation (Earliest Eocene, Sindh, Pakistan): systematics, biostratigraphy and paleobiogeography.

    PubMed

    Merle, Didier; Pacaud, Jean-Michel; Métais, Grégoire; Bartolini, Annachiara; Lashari, Rafiq A; Brohi, Imdad A; Solangi, Sarfraz H; Marivaux, Laurent; Welcomme, Jean-Loup

    2014-06-27

    The paleobiodiversity of the Volutidae (Mollusca: Gastropoda) of the Ranikot Group (Sindh, Pakistan) and particularly of the Lakhra Formation (SBZ 5 biozone, Earliest Eocene), is reconsidered on the basis of new material collected during recent field trips. Ten new species are described (Mitreola brohii sp. nov., Lyrischapa vredenburgi sp. nov., L. brevispira sp. nov., Athleta (Volutopupa) citharopsis sp. nov., A. (Volutocorbis) lasharii sp. nov., Volutilithes welcommei sp. nov., V. sindhiensis sp. nov., Pseudaulicina coxi sp. nov., Sindhiluta lakhraensis sp. nov. and Pakiluta solangii sp. nov.) and one species is in open nomenclature (Lyria sp.). Three new genera are described: Lyriopsis gen. nov. [Volutinae, ?Lyriini, type species: Lyriopsis cossmanni (Vredenburg, 1923)], Sindhiluta gen. nov. [Volutilithinae, type species: Sindhiluta lakhraensis n. sp.] and Pakiluta gen. nov. [?Volutodermatinae, type species: Pakiluta solangii n. sp.]. Two new combinations are proposed: Lyriopsis cossmanni (Vredenburg, 1923) comb. nov. and Athleta (Volutopupa) intercrenatus (Cossmann & Pissarro, 1909) comb. nov. Lectotypes are designated for Lyria cossmanni Vredenburg, 1923, L. feddeni Vredenburg, 1923, Volutospina noetlingi Cossmann & Pissarro, 1909, V. intercrenata Cossmann & Pissarro, 1909 and Athleta (Volutocorbis) victoriae Vredenburg, 1923. With 21 species, this volutid fauna is the most diverse recorded from the Tethys Ocean during Earliest Eocene time. The assemblage is characterized by a strong turnover marked by regional speciation and the appearance of many western Tethyan invaders. Although at the species level, the assemblage documents a strong provincialism, at the genus level, the high number of shared genera between Eastern Tethyan and Old World Tethyan realms begins a phase of long-term homogeneity of volutid assemblages from the Tethyan paleobiogeographic province.

  2. Nacre and false nacre (foliated aragonite) in extant monoplacophorans (=Tryblidiida: Mollusca).

    PubMed

    Checa, Antonio G; Ramírez-Rico, Joaquín; González-Segura, Alicia; Sánchez-Navas, Antonio

    2009-01-01

    Extant monoplacophorans (Tryblidiida, Mollusca) have traditionally been reported as having an internal nacreous layer, thus representing the ancestral molluscan condition. The examination of this layer in three species of Neopilinidae (Rokopella euglypta, Veleropilina zografi, and Micropilina arntzi) reveals that only V. zografi secretes an internal layer of true nacre, which occupies only part of the internal shell surface. The rest of the internal surface of V. zografi and the whole internal surfaces of the other two species examined are covered by a material consisting of lath-like, instead of brick-like, crystals, which are arranged into lamellae. In all cases examined, the crystallographic c-axis in this lamellar material is perpendicular to the surface of laths and the a-axis is parallel to their long dimension. The differences between taxa relate to the frequency of twins, which is much higher in Micropilina. In general, the material is well ordered, particularly towards the margin, where lamellae pile up at a small step size, which is most likely due to processes of crystal competition. Given its morphological resemblance to the foliated calcite of bivalves, we propose the name foliated aragonite for this previously undescribed biomaterial secreted by monoplacophorans. We conclude that the foliated aragonite probably lacks preformed interlamellar membranes and is therefore not a variant of nacre. A review of the existing literature reveals that previous reports of nacre in the group were instead of the aragonitic foliated layer and that our report of nacre in V. zografi is the first undisputed evidence of nacre in monoplacophorans. From the evolutionary viewpoint, the foliated aragonite could easily have been derived from nacre. Assuming that nacre represents the ancestral condition, as in other molluscan classes, it has been replaced by foliated aragonite along the tryblidiidan lineage, although the fossil record does not presently provide evidence as to

  3. Nacre and false nacre (foliated aragonite) in extant monoplacophorans (=Tryblidiida: Mollusca)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Checa, Antonio G.; Ramírez-Rico, Joaquín; González-Segura, Alicia; Sánchez-Navas, Antonio

    2009-01-01

    Extant monoplacophorans (Tryblidiida, Mollusca) have traditionally been reported as having an internal nacreous layer, thus representing the ancestral molluscan condition. The examination of this layer in three species of Neopilinidae ( Rokopella euglypta, Veleropilina zografi, and Micropilina arntzi) reveals that only V. zografi secretes an internal layer of true nacre, which occupies only part of the internal shell surface. The rest of the internal surface of V. zografi and the whole internal surfaces of the other two species examined are covered by a material consisting of lath-like, instead of brick-like, crystals, which are arranged into lamellae. In all cases examined, the crystallographic c-axis in this lamellar material is perpendicular to the surface of laths and the a-axis is parallel to their long dimension. The differences between taxa relate to the frequency of twins, which is much higher in Micropilina. In general, the material is well ordered, particularly towards the margin, where lamellae pile up at a small step size, which is most likely due to processes of crystal competition. Given its morphological resemblance to the foliated calcite of bivalves, we propose the name foliated aragonite for this previously undescribed biomaterial secreted by monoplacophorans. We conclude that the foliated aragonite probably lacks preformed interlamellar membranes and is therefore not a variant of nacre. A review of the existing literature reveals that previous reports of nacre in the group were instead of the aragonitic foliated layer and that our report of nacre in V. zografi is the first undisputed evidence of nacre in monoplacophorans. From the evolutionary viewpoint, the foliated aragonite could easily have been derived from nacre. Assuming that nacre represents the ancestral condition, as in other molluscan classes, it has been replaced by foliated aragonite along the tryblidiidan lineage, although the fossil record does not presently provide evidence as to

  4. The Complete Sequence of the Mitochondrial Genome of the Chamberednautilus (Mollusca: Cephalopoda)

    SciTech Connect

    Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2005-12-01

    Background: Mitochondria contain small genomes that arephysically separate from those of nuclei. Their comparison serves as amodel system for understanding the processes of genome evolution.Although complete mitochondrial genome sequences have been reported formore than 600 animals, the taxonomic sampling is highly biased towardvertebrates and arthropods, leaving much of the diversity yetuncharacterized. Results: The mitochondrial genome of a cephalopodmollusk, the Chambered Nautilus, is 16,258 nts in length and 59.5 percentA+T, both values that are typical of animal mitochondrial genomes. Itcontains the 37 genes that are typical for animal mtDNAs, with 15 on oneDNA strand and 22 on the other. The arrangement of these genes can bederived from that of the distantly related Katharina tunicata (Mollusca:Polyplacophora) by a switch in position of two large blocks of genes andtranspositions of four tRNA genes. There is strong skew in thedistribution of nucleotides between the two strands. There are an unusualnumber of non-coding regions and their function, if any, is not known;however, several of these demark abrupt shifts in nucleotide skew,suggesting that they may play roles in transcription and/or replication.One of the non-coding regions contains multiple repeats of a tRNA-likesequence. Some of the tRNA genes appear to overlap on the same strand,but this could be resolved if the polycistron were cleaved at thebeginning of the downstream gene, followed by polyadenylation of theproduct of the upstream gene to form a fully paired structure.Conclusions: Nautilus sp. mtDNA contains an expected gene content thathas experienced few rearrangements since the evolutionary split betweencephalopods and polyplacophorans. It contains an unusual number ofnon-coding regions, especially considering that these otherwise often aregenerated by the same processes that produce gene rearrangements. Thisappears to be yet another case where polyadenylation of mitochondrialtRNAs restores

  5. The Complete Mitochondrial Genome of Galba pervia (Gastropoda: Mollusca), an Intermediate Host Snail of Fasciola spp

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Wei-Yi; Zhao, Guang-Hui; Wei, Shu-Jun; Song, Hui-Qun; Xu, Min-Jun; Lin, Rui-Qing; Zhou, Dong-Hui; Zhu, Xing-Quan

    2012-01-01

    Complete mitochondrial (mt) genomes and the gene rearrangements are increasingly used as molecular markers for investigating phylogenetic relationships. Contributing to the complete mt genomes of Gastropoda, especially Pulmonata, we determined the mt genome of the freshwater snail Galba pervia, which is an important intermediate host for Fasciola spp. in China. The complete mt genome of G. pervia is 13,768 bp in length. Its genome is circular, and consists of 37 genes, including 13 genes for proteins, 2 genes for rRNA, 22 genes for tRNA. The mt gene order of G. pervia showed novel arrangement (tRNA-His, tRNA-Gly and tRNA-Tyr change positions and directions) when compared with mt genomes of Pulmonata species sequenced to date, indicating divergence among different species within the Pulmonata. A total of 3655 amino acids were deduced to encode 13 protein genes. The most frequently used amino acid is Leu (15.05%), followed by Phe (11.24%), Ser (10.76%) and IIe (8.346%). Phylogenetic analyses using the concatenated amino acid sequences of the 13 protein-coding genes, with three different computational algorithms (maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian analysis), all revealed that the families Lymnaeidae and Planorbidae are closely related two snail families, consistent with previous classifications based on morphological and molecular studies. The complete mt genome sequence of G. pervia showed a novel gene arrangement and it represents the first sequenced high quality mt genome of the family Lymnaeidae. These novel mtDNA data provide additional genetic markers for studying the epidemiology, population genetics and phylogeographics of freshwater snails, as well as for understanding interplay between the intermediate snail hosts and the intra-mollusca stages of Fasciola spp.. PMID:22844544

  6. Cell Proliferation Pattern and Twist Expression in an Aplacophoran Mollusk Argue Against Segmented Ancestry of Mollusca

    PubMed Central

    Redl, Emanuel; Scherholz, Maik; Wollesen, Tim; Todt, Christiane

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The study of aplacophoran mollusks (i.e., Solenogastres or Neomeniomorpha and Caudofoveata or Chaetodermomorpha) has traditionally been regarded as crucial for reconstructing the morphology of the last common ancestor of the Mollusca. Since their proposed close relatives, the Polyplacophora, show a distinct seriality in certain organ systems, the aplacophorans are also in the focus of attention with regard to the question of a potential segmented ancestry of mollusks. To contribute to this question, we investigated cell proliferation patterns and the expression of the twist ortholog during larval development in solenogasters. In advanced to late larvae, during the outgrowth of the trunk, a pair of longitudinal bands of proliferating cells is found subepithelially in a lateral to ventrolateral position. These bands elongate during subsequent development as the trunk grows longer. Likewise, expression of twist occurs in two laterally positioned, subepithelial longitudinal stripes in advanced larvae. Both, the pattern of proliferating cells and the expression domain of twist demonstrate the existence of extensive and long‐lived mesodermal bands in a worm‐shaped aculiferan, a situation which is similar to annelids but in stark contrast to conchiferans, where the mesodermal bands are usually rudimentary and ephemeral. Yet, in contrast to annelids, neither the bands of proliferating cells nor the twist expression domain show a separation into distinct serial subunits, which clearly argues against a segmented ancestry of mollusks. Furthermore, the lack of twist expression during the development of the ventromedian muscle argues against homology of a ventromedian longitudinal muscle in protostomes with the notochord of chordates. PMID:27966274

  7. Explaining the harmonic sequence paradox.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Ulrich; Zimper, Alexander

    2012-05-01

    According to the harmonic sequence paradox, an expected utility decision maker's willingness to pay for a gamble whose expected payoffs evolve according to the harmonic series is finite if and only if his marginal utility of additional income becomes zero for rather low payoff levels. Since the assumption of zero marginal utility is implausible for finite payoff levels, expected utility theory - as well as its standard generalizations such as cumulative prospect theory - are apparently unable to explain a finite willingness to pay. This paper presents first an experimental study of the harmonic sequence paradox. Additionally, it demonstrates that the theoretical argument of the harmonic sequence paradox only applies to time-patient decision makers, whereas the paradox is easily avoided if time-impatience is introduced.

  8. Reproductive biology of blood cockle Anadara granosa (Bivalvia: Arcidae) in the northern region of the Strait of Malacca

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khalil, Munawar; Yasin, Zulfigar; Hwai, Tan Shau

    2017-03-01

    A study on the reproductive cycle of the blood cockle Anadara granosa (Bivalvia: Arcidae) was conducted at three different areas in the northern region of the Strait of Malacca. A total of 1,920 samples of adult A. granosa (38-71 mm length) were collected from June 2009 until September 2010. Qualitative techniques (gonadal microscopic fresh smear test and histology analysis) as well as quantitative techniques (analysis of condition index and gonadal index) were used to predict monthly gonadal development stages of A. granosa. The gonadal index of A. granosa from Banda Aceh (Indonesia) ( r = 0.469, P > 0.05) and Pulau Pinang (Malaysia) ( r = 0.123, P > 0.05) did not show any correlation to their condition index, whereas the gonadal index of A. granosa from Lhokseumawe (Indonesia) ( r = 0.609, P < 0.05) showed moderate positive correlation to the condition index. During the 16 month sampling period, four reproductive cycles were observed: each from three to six months. The process of releasing gametes is termed dribble spawning, and is the same in all populations. The principle component analysis (PCA) indicated that A. granosa reproduction was affected by interaction between internal physiological factors and indigenous environmental factors. In all sampling areas, phytoplankton density played a key role in the reproductive cycle in A. granosa. Information on the reproductive biology of this species is essential for species management and to improve the sustainability practices of the fisheries industry. These findings will provide basic information on the biology of the blood cockle A. granosa for stock management in the region.

  9. Mitochondrial genomes and Doubly Uniparental Inheritance: new insights from Musculista senhousia sex-linked mitochondrial DNAs (Bivalvia Mytilidae)

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Doubly Uniparental Inheritance (DUI) is a fascinating exception to matrilinear inheritance of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Species with DUI are characterized by two distinct mtDNAs that are inherited either through females (F-mtDNA) or through males (M-mtDNA). DUI sex-linked mitochondrial genomes share several unusual features, such as additional protein coding genes and unusual gene duplications/structures, which have been related to the functionality of DUI. Recently, new evidence for DUI was found in the mytilid bivalve Musculista senhousia. This paper describes the complete sex-linked mitochondrial genomes of this species. Results Our analysis highlights that both M and F mtDNAs share roughly the same gene content and order, but with some remarkable differences. The Musculista sex-linked mtDNAs have differently organized putative control regions (CR), which include repeats and palindromic motifs, thought to provide sites for DNA-binding proteins involved in the transcriptional machinery. Moreover, in male mtDNA, two cox2 genes were found, one (M-cox2b) 123bp longer. Conclusions The complete mtDNA genome characterization of DUI bivalves is the first step to unravel the complex genetic signals allowing Doubly Uniparental Inheritance, and the evolutionary implications of such an unusual transmission route in mitochondrial genome evolution in Bivalvia. The observed redundancy of the palindromic motifs in Musculista M-mtDNA may have a role on the process by which sperm mtDNA becomes dominant or exclusive of the male germline of DUI species. Moreover, the duplicated M-COX2b gene may have a different, still unknown, function related to DUI, in accordance to what has been already proposed for other DUI species in which a similar cox2 extension has been hypothesized to be a tag for male mitochondria. PMID:21896183

  10. A new species of freshwater mussel (Bivalvia: Unionidae), Pleurobema athearni, from the Coosa River Drainage of Alabama, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gangloff, M.M.; Williams, J.D.; Feminella, J.W.

    2006-01-01

    The Mobile Basin historically supported one of the most diverse freshwater mussel (Bivalvia: Unionidae) assemblages in North America. More than 65 species of mussels are known from the Basin, but it is difficult to determine how many species were present historically. The drainage's unique physical habitat was largely destroyed between the late 1800s and mid-1900s by impoundment and channel modifications of most of the larger rivers. Many species that were once common are now restricted to small headwater rivers and mid-sized tributaries. Recent Coosa River tributary surveys revealed a new, undescribed species of Pleurobema. This new species, Pleurobema athearni, is distinctive in outward appearance, shell morphometry and reproductive morphology, and can be distinguished from other Coosa River drainage unionids. Our analysis indicates that P. athearni is morphologically different from other similar taxa. It differs both in shell width/length and width/height ratios and thus provides a simple, quantitative means to differentiate this species from P. georgianum (Lea, 1841) Fusconaia barnesiana (Lea, 1838), and F. cerina (Conrad, 1838), which it superficially resembles and that also occur in the area. Our morphological diagnosis of this species is supported by recent molecular analyses that suggest this species is a Pleurobema and one closely related to other endemic Coosa River drainage unionids. The discovery of a new species of large, long-lived macroinvertebrate from a relatively well-sampled drainage in a populated region of the southeast United States underscores the need for more detailed surveys in isolated stretches of tributary streams. It should also serve as a reminder that almost 40 species of aquatic mollusks have been extirpated from the Mobile Basin before anything could be learned about their habitat or life history requirements. Copyright ?? 2006 Magnolia Press.

  11. Reproductive biology of blood cockle Anadara granosa (Bivalvia: Arcidae) in the northern region of the Strait of Malacca

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khalil, Munawar; Yasin, Zulfigar; Hwai, Tan Shau

    2017-02-01

    A study on the reproductive cycle of the blood cockle Anadara granosa (Bivalvia: Arcidae) was conducted at three different areas in the northern region of the Strait of Malacca. A total of 1,920 samples of adult A. granosa (38-71 mm length) were collected from June 2009 until September 2010. Qualitative techniques (gonadal microscopic fresh smear test and histology analysis) as well as quantitative techniques (analysis of condition index and gonadal index) were used to predict monthly gonadal development stages of A. granosa. The gonadal index of A. granosa from Banda Aceh (Indonesia) (r = 0.469, P > 0.05) and Pulau Pinang (Malaysia) (r = 0.123, P > 0.05) did not show any correlation to their condition index, whereas the gonadal index of A. granosa from Lhokseumawe (Indonesia) (r = 0.609, P < 0.05) showed moderate positive correlation to the condition index. During the 16 month sampling period, four reproductive cycles were observed: each from three to six months. The process of releasing gametes is termed dribble spawning, and is the same in all populations. The principle component analysis (PCA) indicated that A. granosa reproduction was affected by interaction between internal physiological factors and indigenous environmental factors. In all sampling areas, phytoplankton density played a key role in the reproductive cycle in A. granosa. Information on the reproductive biology of this species is essential for species management and to improve the sustainability practices of the fisheries industry. These findings will provide basic information on the biology of the blood cockle A. granosa for stock management in the region.

  12. [Alopecia areata universalis and disseminated mollusca contagiosa in atopic dermatitis. Hair re-growth during treatment with interferon gamma--therapeutic effect or coincidence?].

    PubMed

    Hein, Ulrike; Anegg, Barbara; Volc-Platzer, Beatrix

    2005-06-01

    A 35-year-old woman presented with severe recalcitrant atopic dermatitis, in association with disseminated mollusca contagiosa and alopecia areata universalis. After several weeks of systemic interferon gamma, which was administered subcutaneously,the viral infection cleared and, surprisingly, four weeks after starting treatment hair re-growth was observed. Complete remission of alopecia areata was documented few weeks later and persists. After four cycles of high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin, a sustained remission of the atopic dermatitis was achieved.

  13. Microanatomy and ultrastructure of the protonephridial system in the larva of the limpet, Patella vulgata L. (Mollusca, Patellogastropoda).

    PubMed

    Haszprunar, G; Ruthensteiner, B

    2000-01-01

    The microanatomy and ultrastructure of the larval excretory system of Patella vulgata L., 1758 has been examined by means of semithin and ultrathin serial sections, reconstructions, and transmission electron microscopy. The protonephridial system appears after torsion and consists of two terminal flame bulbs with narrow, ciliated ducts. Whereas the polyciliary terminal cells (cyrtocytes) are only slightly asymmetrically placed below the mantle cavity, the distal excretory ducts and their openings show remarkable asymmetry due to torsion. Further larval ultrafiltration sites with identical fine-structure (meandering slits with diaphragms covered by extracellular matrix) are present in the solitary rhogocytes (pore cells). The presence of larval protonephridia is regarded as plesiomorphic for Mollusca and the Trochozoa (Spiralia) as a whole and the specific conditions (asymmetry, simplicity) in Patella are probably plesiomorphic for the Gastropoda.

  14. Neuromuscular development of Aeolidiella stephanieae Valdéz, 2005 (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Nudibranchia)

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Studies on the development of the nervous system and the musculature of invertebrates have become more sophisticated and numerous within the last decade and have proven to provide new insights into the evolutionary history of organisms. In order to provide new morphogenetic data on opisthobranch gastropods we investigated the neuromuscular development in the nudibranch Aeolidiella stephanieae Valdéz, 2005 using immunocytochemistry as well as F-actin labelling in conjunction with confocal laser scanning microscopy (cLSM). Results The ontogenetic development of Aeolidiella stephanieae can be subdivided into 8 stages, each recognisable by characteristic morphological and behavioural features as well as specific characters of the nervous system and the muscular system, respectively. The larval nervous system of A. stephanieae includes an apical organ, developing central ganglia, and peripheral neurons associated with the velum, foot and posterior, visceral part of the larva. The first serotonergic and FMRFamidergic neural structures appear in the apical organ that exhibits an array of three sensory, flask-shaped and two non-sensory, round neurons, which altogether disappear prior to metamorphosis. The postmetamorphic central nervous system (CNS) becomes concentrated, and the rhinophoral ganglia develop together with the anlage of the future rhinophores whereas oral tentacle ganglia are not found. The myogenesis in A. stephanieae begins with the larval retractor muscle followed by the accessory larval retractor muscle, the velar or prototroch muscles and the pedal retractors that all together degenerate during metamorphosis, and the adult muscle complex forms de novo. Conclusions Aeolidiella stephanieae comprises features of the larval and postmetamorphic nervous as well as muscular system that represent the ground plan of the Mollusca or even the Trochozoa (e. g. presence of the prototrochal or velar muscle ring). On the one hand, A. stephanieae shows some

  15. Explaining Mercury's peculiar magnetic field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wicht, Johannes; Cao, Hao; Heyner, Daniel; Dietrich, Wieland; Christensen, Ulrich R.

    2014-05-01

    MESSENGER magnetometer data revealed that Mercury's magnetic field is not only particularly weak but also has a peculiar geometry. The MESSENGER team finds that the location of the magnetic equator always lies significantly north of the geographic equator, is largely independent of the distance to the planet, and also varies only weakly with longitude. The field is best described by an axial dipole that is offset to the north by about 20% of the planetary radius. In terms of classical Gauss coefficients, this translates into a low axial dipole component of g10= -190 nT but a relatively large axial quadrupole contribution that amounts to roughly 40% of this value. The axial octupole is also sizable while higher harmonic contributions are much weaker. Very remarkable is also the fact that the equatorial dipole contribution is very small, consistent with a dipole tilt below 0.8 degree, and this is also true for the other non-axisymmetic field contributions. We analyze several numerical dynamos concerning their capability of explaining Mercury's magnetic field. Classical schemes geared to model the geomagnetic field typically show a much weaker quadrupole component and thus a smaller offset. The onset only becomes larger when the dynamo operates in the multipolar regime at higher Rayleigh numbers. However, since the more complex dynamics generally promotes all higher multipole contributions the location of the magnetic equator varies strongly with longitude and distance to the planet. The situation improves when introducing a stably stratified outer layer in the dynamo region, representing either a rigid FeS layer or a sub-adiabatic core-mantle boundary heat flux. This layer filters out the higher harmonic contributions and the field not only becomes sufficiently weak but also assumes a Mercury like offset geometry during a few percent of the simulation time. To increase the likelihood for the offset configuration, the north-south symmetry must be permanently broken

  16. Phylogenetic and morphometric analyses reveal ecophenotypic plasticity in freshwater mussels Obovaria jacksoniana and Villosa arkansasensis (Bivalvia: Unionidae)

    PubMed Central

    Inoue, Kentaro; Hayes, David M; Harris, John L; Christian, Alan D

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Freshwater mollusk shell morphology exhibits clinal variation along a stream continuum that has been termed the Law of Stream Distribution. We analyzed phylogenetic relationships and morphological similarity of two freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionidae), Obovaria jacksoniana and Villosa arkansasensis, throughout their ranges. The objectives were to investigate phylogenetic structure and evolutionary divergence of O. jacksoniana and V. arkansasensis and morphological similarity between the two species. Our analyses were the first explicit tests of phenotypic plasticity in shell morphologies using a combination of genetics and morphometrics. We conducted phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial DNA (1416 bp; two genes) and morphometric analyses for 135 individuals of O. jacksoniana and V. arkansasensis from 12 streams. We examined correlations among genetic, morphological, and spatial distances using Mantel tests. Molecular phylogenetic analyses revealed a monophyletic relationship between O. jacksoniana and V. arkansasensis. Within this O. jacksoniana/V. arkansasensis complex, five distinct clades corresponding to drainage patterns showed high genetic divergence. Morphometric analysis revealed relative differences in shell morphologies between the two currently recognized species. We conclude that morphological differences between the two species are caused by ecophenotypic plasticity. A series of Mantel tests showed regional and local genetic isolation by distance. We observed clear positive correlations between morphological and geographic distances within a single drainage. We did not observe correlations between genetic and morphological distances. Phylogenetic analyses suggest O. jacksoniana and V. arkansasensis are synonomous and most closely related to a clade composed of O. retusa, O. subrotunda, and O. unicolor. Therefore, the synonomous O. jacksoniana and V. arkansasensis should be recognized as Obovaria arkansasensis (Lea 1862) n

  17. Identification of several cytoplasmic HSP70 genes from the Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) and their long-term evolution in Mollusca and Metazoa.

    PubMed

    Kourtidis, Antonis; Drosopoulou, Elena; Nikolaidis, Nikolas; Hatzi, Vasiliki I; Chintiroglou, Chariton C; Scouras, Zacharias G

    2006-04-01

    The HSP70 protein family consists one of the most conserved and important systems for cellular homeostasis under both stress and physiological conditions. The genes of this family are poorly studied in Mollusca, which is the second largest metazoan phylum. To study these genes in Mollusca, we have isolated and identified five HSP70 genes from Mytilus galloprovincialis (Mediterranean mussel) and investigated their short-term evolution within Mollusca and their long-term evolution within Metazoa. Both sequence and phylogenetic analyses suggested that the isolated genes belong to the cytoplasmic (CYT) group of the HSP70 genes. Two of these genes probably represent cognates, whereas the remaining probably represent heat-inducible genes. Phylogenetic analysis including several molluscan CYT HSP70s reveals that the cognate genes in two species have very similar sequences and form intraspecies phylogenetic clades, differently from most metazoan cognate genes studied thus far, implying either recent gene duplications or concerted evolution. The M. galloprovincialis heat-inducible genes show intraspecies phylogenetic clustering, which in combination with the higher amino acid than nucleotide identity suggests that both gene conversion and purifying selection should be responsible for their sequence homogenization. Phylogenetic analysis including several metazoan HSP70s suggests that at least two types of CYT genes were present in the common ancestor of vertebrates and invertebrates, the first giving birth to the heat-inducible genes of invertebrates, whereas the other to both the heat-inducible genes of vertebrates and the cognate genes of all metazoans. These analyses also suggest that inducible and cognate genes seem to undergo divergent evolution.

  18. Inheritance of the general shell color in the scallop Argopecten purpuratus (Bivalvia: Pectinidae).

    PubMed

    Winkler, F M; Estévez, B F; Jollán, L B; Garrido, J P

    2001-01-01

    Although some external coloration and pigmentation patterns in molluscan shells may be attributable to environmental factors, most variation in these phenotypic characters depends on uncomplicated genetic mechanisms. Genetic research on inheritance of color variations in the north-Chilean scallop (Argopecten purpuratus) has now been expanded to analyze color segregation in juvenile scallops produced under controlled conditions employing self- and cross-fertilization. Calculations from the results were used for comparison with different numerical models based on Mendelian inheritance, and results were also obtained on the inheritance of a dorsoventral white line often observed on the left (upper) valve in this species. The results confirmed the hereditary basis for color variation in the shell of this scallop, suggesting a simple, dominant model of epistasis to explain the distribution of the different color variants observed (purple, brown, orange, yellow, and white). The presence of the white line may be controlled by a recessive allele with simple Mendelian traits on a locus distinct from those that control color variation.

  19. Physiological responses of the European cockle Cerastoderma edule (Bivalvia: Cardidae) as indicators of coastal lagoon pollution.

    PubMed

    Nilin, Jeamylle; Pestana, João Luís Teixeira; Ferreira, Nuno Gonçalo; Loureiro, Susana; Costa-Lotufo, Letícia Veras; Soares, Amadeu M V M

    2012-10-01

    Physiological responses can be used as effective parameters to identify environmentally stressful conditions. In this study, physiology changes such as oxygen consumption, clearance rate, survival in air, condition index and energy reserves were measured on natural populations of cockles collected from different sites at Ria de Aveiro, Portugal. At those sites, sediment samples were collected for Hg concentration analysis. Cockles were used for the evaluation of both the Hg concentration and physiological response. Mercury was detected in the cockle tissue and in the sediment collected from the sampling points both nearby and distant from the main mercury contamination source. The energy content was negatively correlated with both Hg concentration in cockle tissues and survival in air. Nonetheless, the energy content was positively correlated with the condition index, and there was a positive correlation between the survival in air test and the tissue mercury concentration. A PCA-factor analysis explained 86.8% of the total variance. The principal factor (62.7%) consisted of the air survival, the Hg in soft tissues (positive) and the condition index (negative). The second factor (24.1%) consisted of a negative correlation between the oxygen consumption and the clearance rate. Due to their sensitivity to environmental conditions, the physiological responses of cockles can be used to assess the ecological status of aquatic environments. More effort should be invested in investigating the effects of environmental perturbations on cockle health once they are a good reporter organism.

  20. Lifespan, growth rate, and body size across latitude in marine Bivalvia, with implications for Phanerozoic evolution.

    PubMed

    Moss, David K; Ivany, Linda C; Judd, Emily J; Cummings, Patrick W; Bearden, Claire E; Kim, Woo-Jun; Artruc, Emily G; Driscoll, Jeremy R

    2016-08-17

    Mean body size in marine animals has increased more than 100-fold since the Cambrian, a discovery that brings to attention the key life-history parameters of lifespan and growth rate that ultimately determine size. Variation in these parameters is not well understood on the planet today, much less in deep time. Here, we present a new global database of maximum reported lifespan and shell growth coupled with body size data for 1 148 populations of marine bivalves and show that (i) lifespan increases, and growth rate decreases, with latitude, both across the group as a whole and within well-sampled species, (ii) growth rate, and hence metabolic rate, correlates inversely with lifespan, and (iii) opposing trends in lifespan and growth combined with high variance obviate any demonstrable pattern in body size with latitude. Our observations suggest that the proposed increase in metabolic activity and demonstrated increase in body size of organisms over the Phanerozoic should be accompanied by a concomitant shift towards faster growth and/or shorter lifespan in marine bivalves. This prediction, testable from the fossil record, may help to explain one of the more fundamental patterns in the evolutionary and ecological history of animal life on this planet.

  1. Molecular inference of phylogenetic relationships among Decapodiformes (Mollusca: Cephalopoda) with special focus on the squid order Oegopsida.

    PubMed

    Lindgren, Annie R

    2010-07-01

    Squids, cuttlefish and bobtail squids comprise the molluscan superorder Decapodiformes (Mollusca: Cephalopoda). Although these animals exemplify the morphological and ecological diversity seen in Cephalopoda, no previous study has focused resolving decapodiform relationships, particularly within Oegopsida, a large order comprised of pelagic squid. To further clarify the phylogenetic history of Decapodiformes, and Oegopsida in particular, molecular data for five genes (18S rRNA, 28S rRNA, Histone H3, 16S rRNA, COI) was collected for 90 taxa representing all major lineages and families and evaluated using parsimony, likelihood, and Bayesian analysis. Although ordinal relationships were sensitive to analytical method, several conclusions can be inferred: the pelagic order Myopsida is closely related to the benthic sepioids, whose relationships were ambiguous, and Bathyteuthoidea is distinct from Oegopsida. Within Oegopsida several clades are consistently recovered, some with previous morphological support (e.g. chiroteuthid, lepidoteuthid, histioteuthid families) while others suggest novel relationships (e.g. Architeuthidae+Neoteuthidae). This study, with its broad coverage of taxa, provides the first in-depth analysis of Decapodiformes with special focus on the morphologically and biogeographically diverse Oegopsida, confirms several sister-taxon relationships, and provides new hypotheses of cephalopod evolution in the open ocean.

  2. Assessing metal contamination from construction and demolition (C&D) waste used to infill wetlands: using Deroceras reticulatum (Mollusca: Gastropoda).

    PubMed

    Staunton, John A; Mc Donnell, Rory J; Gormally, Michael J; Williams, Chris D; Henry, Tiernan; Morrison, Liam

    2014-11-01

    Large quantities of construction and demolition waste (C&D) are produced globally every year, with little known about potential environmental impacts. In the present study, the slug, Deroceras reticulatum (Mollusca: Gastropoda) was used as the first biomonitor of metals (Ag, As, Ba, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sb, Se, Ti, Tl, V and Zn) on wetlands post infilling with construction and demolition (C&D) waste. The bioaccumulation of As, Ba, Cd, Co, Sb, Se and Tl were found to be significantly elevated in slugs collected on C&D waste when compared to unimproved pastures (control sites), while Mo, Se and Sr had significantly higher concentrations in slugs collected on C&D waste when compared to known contaminated sites (mining locations), indicating the potential hazardous nature of C&D waste to biota. Identifying exact sources for these metals within the waste can be problematic, due to its heterogenic nature. Biomonitors are a useful tool for future monitoring and impact studies, facilitating policy makers and regulations in other countries regarding C&D waste infill. In addition, improving separation of C&D waste to allow increased reuse and recycling is likely to be effective in reducing the volume of waste being used as infill, subsequently decreasing potential metal contamination.

  3. Phylogenetic relationships among Opisthobranchia (Mollusca: Gastropoda) based on mitochondrial cox 1, trnV, and rrnL genes.

    PubMed

    Grande, Cristina; Templado, Josè; Cervera, J Lucas; Zardoya, Rafael

    2004-11-01

    We reconstructed the phylogenetic relationships among 37 species representing seven main lineages within Opisthobranchia (Mollusca: Gastropoda) based on a mitochondrial fragment that included partial cox 1, complete trnV, and partial rrnL genes (about 2500 bp). Phylogenetic analyses confirmed tentatively that all studied main opisthobranch lineages conformed monophyletic groups except Nudibranchia. The sacoglossan Ascobulla was placed as the most basal lineage of opisthobranchs. The basommatophoran pulmonate Siphonaria was recovered within Opisthobranchia between Ascobulla and the remaining opisthobranchs. The latter were divided into two different lineages that await formal description: on one side, Cephalaspidea, Tylodinoidea, and Anaspidea (sharing features in the reproductive, digestive, and circulatory systems) were grouped together and, on the other Architectibranchia and Nudipleura (sharing similarities in the circulatory system) were recovered as sister group taxa. Two well-supported clades were recovered within Nudipleura: Pleuroanthobranchia (new taxon) and Cladobranchia. Pleuroanthobranchia (Pleurobranchoidea plus Anthobranchia) was defined by the presence of blood gland, the presence of calcareous spicules in the integument and the presence of a caecum with an opening directly into the stomach. The new molecular phylogeny provided a robust framework for comparative studies, and prompted a revision of the morphological synapomorphies diagnosing the main clades within opisthobranchs.

  4. Biochemical profile of Achatina fulica (Mollusca: Gastropoda) after infection by different parasitic loads of Angiostrongylus cantonensis (Nematoda, Metastrongylidae).

    PubMed

    Tunholi-Alves, Vinícius Menezes; Tunholi, Victor Menezes; Amaral, Ludimila Santos; Mota, Esther Maria; Maldonado Júnior, Arnaldo; Pinheiro, Jairo; Garcia, Juberlan

    2015-01-01

    The effect of experimental infection by different parasitic loads of Angiostrongylus cantonensis (Nematode, Metastrongylidae) on the activities of the aminotransferases and concentration of total proteins, uric acid and urea in the hemolymph of Achatina fulica (Mollusca, Gastropoda) were investigated. There was a significant decrease in the concentration of total proteins in the exposed snails to 5000 or more larvae. This change was accompanied by an increase in the concentrations of urea and uric acid in the hemolymph, suggesting a higher rate of deamination of the amino acids. Besides this, variations in the activities of the aminotransferases were also observed, with the highest values recorded in the groups exposed to greater parasite load. These results suggest an increase in the use of total proteins, since there was increased formation of nitrogenous catabolites, in conformity with an increase in the aminotransferase activities. Infection was verified by the fact that L3 larvae recovered from the snails was proportion to the exposure dose of L1 larvae. Histopathological results also indicated presence of an inflammatory cell infiltrate, favoring an increase of both transaminases.

  5. Annotated type catalogue of the Orthalicoidea (Mollusca, Gastropoda) in the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin

    PubMed Central

    Breure, Abraham S.H.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The type status is described of 96 taxa classified within the superfamily Orthalicoidea and present in the Mollusca collection of the Museum für Naturkunde der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Lectotypes are designated for the following taxa: Orthalicus elegans Rolle, 1895; Bulimus maranhonensis Albers, 1854; Orthalicus nobilis Rolle, 1895; Orthalichus tricinctus Martens, 1893. Orthalicus sphinx tresmariae is introduced as new name for Zebra sphinx turrita Strebel, 1909, not Zebra quagga turrita Strebel, 1909. The following synonyms are established: Zebra crosseifischeri Strebel, 1909 = Orthalicus princeps fischeri Martens, 1893; Orthalicus isabellinus Martens, 1873 = Orthalicus bensoni (Reeve, 1849); Zebra zoniferus naesiotes Strebel, 1909 = Orthalicus undatus (Bruguière, 1789); Porphyrobaphe (Myiorthalicus) dennisoni pallida Strebel, 1909 = Hemibulimus dennisoni (Reeve, 1848); Zebra delphinus pumilio Strebel, 1909 = Orthalicus delphinus (Strebel, 1909); Orthalicus (Laeorthalicus) reginaeformis Strebel, 1909 = Corona perversa (Swainson, 1821); Bulimus (Eurytus) corticosus Sowerby III, 1895 = Plekocheilus (Eurytus) stuebeli Martens, 1885. The taxon Bulimus (Eudioptus) psidii Martens, 1877 is now placed within the family Sagdidae, tentatively in the genus Platysuccinea. Appendices are included with an index to all the types of Orthalicoidea extant (including those listed by Köhler 2007) and a partial list of letters present in the correspondence archives. PMID:23794831

  6. Explaining Constrains Causal Learning in Childhood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walker, Caren M.; Lombrozo, Tania; Williams, Joseph J.; Rafferty, Anna N.; Gopnik, Alison

    2017-01-01

    Three experiments investigate how self-generated explanation influences children's causal learning. Five-year-olds (N = 114) observed data consistent with two hypotheses and were prompted to explain or to report each observation. In Study 1, when making novel generalizations, explainers were more likely to favor the hypothesis that accounted for…

  7. Oceanographic conditions govern shell growth of Arctica islandica (Bivalvia) in surface waters off Northeast Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marali, Soraya; Schöne, Bernd R.

    2015-04-01

    Shells of the long-lived bivalve Arctica islandica provide absolutely dated, highly resolved archives of environmental variability in the extratropical realm. Shell growth rates of contemporaneous A. islandica specimens are synchronized by one or several environmental factor(s), such as seawater temperature, food supply etc. Based on the growth synchrony, increment width records can be combined to composite chronologies. However, according to existing studies, A. islandica specimens from shallow waters do not show synchronous changes in shell growth and may thus not provide information about environmental conditions such as sea surface temperature. Here, we present the first statistically robust composite chronology of A. islandica from unpolluted surface waters (8-23 m) off Northeast Iceland. The complete record spans the time interval of 1835 to 2012. Times of enhanced shell growth coincide with periods of higher temperature and elevated food supply. Instrumental sea surface temperature (SST) during the growing season explains up to 43% of the variation in relative shell growth. However, the correlation strength varies over time. When the environmental conditions at the sampling site were stable over many consecutive years, i.e. one of the two major surface currents (the warm, nutrient-rich Irminger Current or the cold, nutrient-deficient East Icelandic Current) predominated the area over longer time intervals, the growth synchrony among coeval A. islandica weakened and the correlation between shell growth and SSTs was markedly reduced. Conversely, if the habitat was under the alternating influence of both ocean currents, shell growth was stronger correlated to each other and to SST. Thus, environmental variability is required to synchronize shell growth rates within an A. islandica population. This study further enlightens the relationship between bivalve shell growth and environmental variables.

  8. Topology Explains Why Automobile Sunshades Fold Oddly

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feist, Curtis; Naimi, Ramin

    2009-01-01

    Automobile sunshades always fold into an "odd" number of loops. The explanation why involves elementary topology (braid theory and linking number, both explained in detail here with definitions and examples), and an elementary fact from algebra about symmetric group.

  9. Your Radiologist Explains Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Sponsored by Image/Video Gallery Your Radiologist Explains Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) Transcript Welcome to Radiology Info ... I’d like to talk with you about magnetic resonance angiography, or as it’s commonly known, MRA. ...

  10. Determination of shell deposition rates of Arctica islandica from the New York Bight using natural /sup 228/Ra and /sup 228/Th and bomb-produced /sup 14/C

    SciTech Connect

    Turekian, K.K.; Cochran, J.K.; Nozaki, Y.; Thompson, I.; Jones, D.S.

    1982-01-01

    Shell deposition rates of specimens of Arctica islandica (Mollusca: Bivalvia) from the New York Bight were determined using natural /sup 228/Ra and /sup 228/Th and bomb /sup 14/C. The specimens from deep (>55 m) offshore waters show annual growth banding. A shell obtained from the inner bight at <30-m depth seems to be younger than indicated by band counting.

  11. Subchronic toxic effects of fluoride ion on the survival and behaviour of the aquatic snail Potamopyrgus antipodarum (Hydrobiidae, Mollusca).

    PubMed

    Alonso, Álvaro; Camargo, Julio A

    2011-04-01

    Short-term bioassays usually assess lethal effects of pollutants in animals, whereas subchronic bioassays are more suited for assessing effects on animal behaviour. Among them, videotaped bioassays are an improvement in the behavioural monitoring because they are easily and cheaply implemented. The present study focuses on the assessment of subchronic (14-day) effects of fluoride ion on the survival, proportion of dead plus immobile animals, and velocity (monitored by a videotaping and image analysis system) of the aquatic snail Potamopyrgus antipodarum (Hydrobiidae, Mollusca). One control and three nominal fluoride concentrations (5, 20, and 40 mg F(-)/l [actual mean concentrations of 5.2, 17.5, and 37.0 mg F(-)/l, respectively]) were used. Each treatment (including the control) was replicated 12 times. Mortality, number of dead plus immobile animals, and velocity were monitored after 0, 7, and 14 days of exposure. After 14 days, animals exposed to 40 mg F(-)/l showed higher mortality, number of dead, and immobile individuals than control animals. Snails exposed to 5 and 20 mg F(-)/l were not affected by fluoride ion regarding these endpoints. In contrast, snails exposed to 20 mg F(-)/l for 7 and 14 days showed lower velocity than control animals. Therefore, velocity was sensitive to environmental fluoride concentrations and as such is a useful parameter for ecologic risk assessment. In addition, videotaping allowed us to detect behavioural patrons in velocity at very short exposures (seconds) during the monitoring process by showing that the velocity of snails must be monitored at least during the course of several minutes. We conclude that in P. antipodarum, velocity is a more sensitive endpoint than the classic mortality and immobility endpoints.

  12. Screening of antiangiogenic potential of twenty two marine invertebrate extracts of phylum Mollusca from South East Coast of India

    PubMed Central

    Gupta, Pankaj; Arumugam, Muthuvel; Azad, Raj Vardhan; Saxena, Rohit; Ghose, Supriyo; Biswas, Nihar Ranjan; Velpandian, Thirumurthy

    2014-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the antiangiogenic potential of twenty two marine invertebrate species of Phylum Mollusca from south east coast of India. Methods Live specimens of molluscan species were collected and their methanolic extracts were evaluated for preliminary antiangiogenic activity using the in ovo chick chorio-allantoic membrane assay. The extracts were further evaluated for in vivo antiangiogenic activity using chemical cautery induced corneal neovascularization assay in rats and oxygen induced retinopathy assay in rat pups. Results In the chick chorio-allantoic membrane assay, four methanolic extracts of marine molluscan species viz. Meretrix meretrix, Meretrix casta, Telescopium telescopium and Bursa crumena methanolic extracts exhibited noticeable antiangiogenic activity at the tested concentration of 200 µg whereby they significantly inhibited the VEGF induced proliferation of new blood vessels. Among these four extracts, the methanolic extract of Meretrix casta exhibited relatively higher degree of antiangiogenic activity with an inhibitiory percentage (64.63%) of the VEGF induced neovascularization followed by the methanolic extracts of Telescopium telescopium (62.02%), Bursa crumena (60.48%) and Meretrix meretrix (47.01%). These four methanolic extracts were further evaluated for in vivo antiangiogenic activity whereby the methanolic extract of Telescopium telescopium exhibited most noticeable inhibition (42.58%) of the corneal neovascularization in rats in comparison to the sham treated group, and also exhibited most noticeable inhibition (31.31%) of the oxygen induced retinal neovascularization in rat pups in comparison to the hyperoxia group that was observed for considerable retinal neovascularization. Conclusions The significant antiangiogenic activity evinced by the extract of Telescopium telescopium merits further investigation for ocular neovascular diseases. PMID:25183067

  13. Differentiated Success: Combining Theories to Explain Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jorgensen, Robyn; Larkin, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    This paper explores the value of different paradigms to explain dispositions towards mathematics among primary school students from different social backgrounds. As part of a larger project designed to elicit students' thinking and attitudes towards mathematics, we seek to develop an explanatory model for the socially-differentiated outcomes in…

  14. How Employees Remain Happy: Explaining a Paradox

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hutton, Dorothy M.; Atkinson, Barbara; Judd, Priya; Darling, Julie; Tran, Linh; Cummins, Robert A.

    2004-01-01

    This paper draws on subjective quality of life theory to explain findings from three studies of quality of work life. The studies were conducted with 346 regional process workers, metropolitan employment officers and nurses. The results support the adoption of the theory of homeostasis as an explanation for findings on subjective wellbeing at work…

  15. NEW APPROACHES: The twins paradox explained

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linton, J. O.

    1997-09-01

    The well-known paradox of the space-travelling twins is easily stated, but it is not at all easy to explain, especially to a perspicacious audience. This essay attempts to set out an explanation (largely inspired by Paul Davies' book About Time [1]) which should be within the grasp of an intelligent sixth-former.

  16. Explaining Pregnancy Loss: Parents' and Physicians' Attributions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dunn, Dana S.; And Others

    1991-01-01

    Asked 138 females and 56 of their male partners to explain why they believed their spontaneous abortion, fetal or neonatal death, or ectopic pregnancy occurred. Explanations for loss included blaming mother, physical problems with mother or fetus, fate, or no explanation. Physicians' explanations related to gestational age of fetus, although…

  17. Factors Explaining Faculty Technology Use and Productivity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Xu, Yonghong; Meyer, Katrina A.

    2007-01-01

    This study examines factors related to technology use in teaching by university faculty. An EFA analysis of multiple questions of technology use in the classroom found two factors: one loaded with Web use and the second with email use. Therefore, three research questions were asked: What factors explain faculty use of the Web or email? Are these…

  18. Do changes in connectivity explain desertification?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Desertification, broad-scale land degradation in drylands, is a major environmental hazard facing inhabitants of the world’s deserts as well as an important component of global change. There is no unifying framework that simply and effectively explains different forms of desertification. Here we arg...

  19. Explaining the Intergenerational Transmission of Divorce.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Amato, Paul R.

    1996-01-01

    Uses national longitudinal data to explain the intergenerational transmission of divorce. Findings suggest that parental divorce elevates the risk of offspring divorce by increasing the likelihood that offspring exhibit behaviors that interfere with the maintenance of mutually rewarding intimate relationships. Offers four hypotheses for future…

  20. Explaining Autism: Its Discursive and Neuroanatomical Characteristics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oller, John W., Jr.; Rascon, Dana

    This paper reviews the existing empirical research on autism in the context of the semiotic theories of Charles S. Peirce. His ideas of the generalized logic of relations are seen as explaining the unusual associations (or lack thereof) in autism. Concepts of "indices" or signs singling out distinct objects, and "adinity" or…

  1. Designing Agents to Support Learning by Explaining

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holmes, Jeffrey

    2007-01-01

    Although prior research has shown that generating explanations encourages students to learn new content with deeper understanding and to monitor their own comprehension more effectively, helping students learn how to explain properly remains a significant challenge. This study investigated the use of software agents as learning partners in an…

  2. Heavy fermion behavior explained by bosons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kallio, A.; Poykko, S.; Apaja, V.

    1995-01-01

    Conventional heavy fermion (HF) theories require existence of massive fermions. We show that heavy fermion phenomena can also be simply explained by existence of bosons with moderate mass but temperature dependent concentration below the formation temperature T(sub B), which in turn is close to room temperature. The bosons B(++) are proposed to be in chemical equilibrium with a system of holes h(+): B(++) = h(+) + h(+). This equilibrium is governed by a boson breaking function f(T), which determines the decreasing boson density and the increasing fermion density with increasing temperature. Since HF-compounds are hybridized from minimum two elements, we assume in addition existence of another fermion component h(sub s)(+) with temperature independent density. This spectator component is thought to be the main agent in binding the bosons in analogy with electronic or muonic molecules. Using a linear boson breaking function we can explain temperature dependence of the giant linear specific heat coefficient gamma(T) coming essentially from bosons. The maxima in resistivity, Hall coefficient, and susceptibility are explained by boson localization effects due to the Wigner crystallization. The antiferromagnetic transitions in turn are explained by similar localization of the pairing fermion system when their density n(sub h)(T(sub FL)) becomes lower than n(sub WC), the critical density of Wigner crystallization. The model applies irrespective whether a compound is superconducting or not. The same model explains the occurrence of low temperature antiferromagnetism also in high-T(sub c) superconductors. The double transition in UPt3 is proposed to be due to the transition of the pairing fermion liquid from spin polarized to unpolarized state.

  3. Children's Theories and the Drive to Explain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwitzgebel, Eric

    Debate has been growing in developmental psychology over how much the cognitive development of children is like theory change in science. Useful debate on this topic requires a clear understanding of what it would be for a child to have a theory. I argue that existing accounts of theories within philosophy of science and developmental psychology either are less precise than is ideal for the task or cannot capture everyday theorizing of the sort that children, if they theorize, must do. I then propose an account of theories that ties theories and explanation very closely together, treating theories primarily as products of a drive to explain. I clarify some of the positions people have taken regarding the theory theory of development, and I conclude by proposing that psychologists interested in the ''theory theory'' look for patterns of affect and arousal in development that would accompany the existence of a drive to explain.

  4. Explaining Underrepresentation: A Theory of Precluded Interest.

    PubMed

    Cheryan, Sapna; Plaut, Victoria C

    2010-10-01

    What processes best explain women's underrepresentation in science, math, and engineering fields in the U.S.? Do they also explain men's underrepresentation in the humanities? Two survey studies across two U.S. West Coast universities (N = 62; N = 614) addressed these questions in the context of two fields: one male-dominated (computer science) and the other female-dominated (English). Among a set of social predictors-including perceived similarity to the people in the field, social identity threats, and expectations of success-the best mediator of women's lower interest in computer science and men's lower interest in English was perceived similarity. Thus, changing students' social perceptions of how they relate to those in the field may help to diversify academic fields.

  5. Norman Thagard Explains the Microgravity Vestibular Investigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    In this video, astronaut Norman Thagard explains how he and his fellow STS-42 crew mates interacted with the rotator chair for the Microgravity Vestibular Investigations (MVI) onboard the International Microgravity Laboratory in July 1992. In the MVI, researchers from Canada, the United States, and other countries examined the effects of orbital flight on the human orientation system to obtain a better understanding of the mechanisms of adaptation to orbit.

  6. Fletcher Explains Methods to Repair Skylab I

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    On May 23, 1973, Dr. James Fletcher Administrator for NASA, appeared before the United States Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences. Dr. Fletcher explained to the committee what methods would be attempted to repair the damaged Skylab I. He stated that if the planned repairs were successful, that it would be possible to accomplish most of the activities scheduled for the two subsequent Skylab missions, each lasting 56 days.

  7. Predicting the effects of climate change on population connectivity and genetic diversity of an imperiled freshwater mussel, Cumberlandia monodonta (Bivalvia: Margaritiferidae), in riverine systems.

    PubMed

    Inoue, Kentaro; Berg, David J

    2017-01-01

    In the face of global climate change, organisms may respond to temperature increases by shifting their ranges poleward or to higher altitudes. However, the direction of range shifts in riverine systems is less clear. Because rivers are dendritic networks, there is only one dispersal route from any given location to another. Thus, range shifts are only possible if branches are connected by suitable habitat, and stream-dwelling organisms can disperse through these branches. We used Cumberlandia monodonta (Bivalvia: Unionoida: Margaritiferidae) as a model species to investigate the effects of climate change on population connectivity because a majority of contemporary populations are panmictic. We combined ecological niche models (ENMs) with population genetic simulations to investigate the effects of climate change on population connectivity and genetic diversity of C. monodonta. The ENMs were constructed using bioclimatic and landscape data to project shifts in suitable habitat under future climate scenarios. We then used forward-time simulations to project potential changes in genetic diversity and population connectivity based on these range shifts. ENM results under current conditions indicated long stretches of highly suitable habitat in rivers where C. monodonta persists; populations in the upper Mississippi River remain connected by suitable habitat that does not impede gene flow. Future climate scenarios projected northward and headwater-ward range contraction and drastic declines in habitat suitability for most extant populations throughout the Mississippi River Basin. Simulations indicated that climate change would greatly reduce genetic diversity and connectivity across populations. Results suggest that a single, large population of C. monodonta will become further fragmented into smaller populations, each of which will be isolated and begin to differentiate genetically. Because C. monodonta is a widely distributed species and purely aquatic, our

  8. Deglaciation explains bat extinction in the Caribbean.

    PubMed

    Dávalos, Liliana M; Russell, Amy L

    2012-12-01

    Ecological factors such as changing climate on land and interspecific competition have been debated as possible causes of postglacial Caribbean extinction. These hypotheses, however, have not been tested against a null model of climate-driven postglacial area loss. Here, we use a new Quaternary mammal database and deep-sea bathymetry to estimate species-area relationships (SARs) at present and during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) for bats of the Caribbean, and to model species loss as a function of area loss from rising sea level. Island area was a significant predictor of species richness in the Bahamas, Greater Antilles, and Lesser Antilles at all time periods, except for the Lesser Antilles during the LGM. Parameters of LGM and current SARs were similar in the Bahamas and Greater Antilles, but not the Lesser Antilles, which had fewer estimated species during the LGM than expected given their size. Estimated postglacial species losses in the Bahamas and Greater Antilles were largely explained by inferred area loss from rising sea level in the Holocene. However, there were more species in the Bahamas at present, and fewer species in the smaller Greater Antilles, than expected given island size and the end-Pleistocene/early Holocene SARs. Poor fossil sampling and ecological factors may explain these departures from the null. Our analyses illustrate the importance of changes in area in explaining patterns of species richness through time and emphasize the role of the SAR as a null hypothesis in explorations of the impact of novel ecological interactions on extinction.

  9. A preliminary study of iron isotope fractionation in marine invertebrates (chitons, Mollusca) in near-shore environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emmanuel, S.; Schuessler, J. A.; Vinther, J.; Matthews, A.; von Blanckenburg, F.

    2014-10-01

    Chitons (Mollusca) are marine invertebrates that produce radulae (teeth or rasping tongues) containing high concentrations of biomineralized magnetite and other iron-bearing minerals. As Fe isotope signatures are influenced by redox processes and biological fractionation, Fe isotopes in chiton radulae might be expected to provide an effective tracer of ambient oceanic conditions and biogeochemical cycling. Here, in a pilot study to measure Fe isotopes in marine invertebrates, we examine Fe isotopes in modern marine chiton radulae collected from different locations in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to assess the range of isotopic values, and to test whether or not the isotopic signatures reflect seawater values. Values of δ56Fe (relative to IRMM-014) in chiton teeth range from -1.90 to 0.00 ‰ (±0.05‰ (2σ) uncertainty in δ56Fe), probably reflecting a combination of geographical control and biological fractionation processes. Comparison with published local surface seawater Fe isotope data shows a consistent negative offset of chiton teeth Fe isotope compositions relative to seawater. Strikingly, two different species from the same locality in the North Pacific (Puget Sound, Washington, USA) have distinct isotopic signatures. Tonicella lineata, which feeds on red algae in the sublittoral zone, has a mean δ56Fe of -0.65 ± 0.26‰ (2σ, 3 specimens), while Mopalia muscosa, which feeds on both green and red algae in the eulittoral zone, shows lighter isotopic values with a mean δ56Fe of -1.47 ± 0.98‰ (2σ, 5 specimens). Three possible pathways are proposed to account for the different isotopic signatures: (i) physiologically controlled processes within the chitons that lead to species-dependent fractionation; (ii) diet-controlled variability due to different Fe isotope fractionation in the red and green algal food sources; and (iii) environmentally controlled fractionation that causes variation in the isotopic signatures of bioavailable Fe in the different

  10. Fast evolving 18S rRNA sequences from Solenogastres (Mollusca) resist standard PCR amplification and give new insights into mollusk substitution rate heterogeneity

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The 18S rRNA gene is one of the most important molecular markers, used in diverse applications such as molecular phylogenetic analyses and biodiversity screening. The Mollusca is the second largest phylum within the animal kingdom and mollusks show an outstanding high diversity in body plans and ecological adaptations. Although an enormous amount of 18S data is available for higher mollusks, data on some early branching lineages are still limited. Despite of some partial success in obtaining these data from Solenogastres, by some regarded to be the most "basal" mollusks, this taxon still remained problematic due to contamination with food organisms and general amplification difficulties. Results We report here the first authentic 18S genes of three Solenogastres species (Mollusca), each possessing a unique sequence composition with regions conspicuously rich in guanine and cytosine. For these GC-rich regions we calculated strong secondary structures. The observed high intra-molecular forces hamper standard amplification and appear to increase formation of chimerical sequences caused by contaminating foreign DNAs from potential prey organisms. In our analyses, contamination was avoided by using RNA as a template. Indication for contamination of previously published Solenogastres sequences is presented. Detailed phylogenetic analyses were conducted using RNA specific models that account for compensatory substitutions in stem regions. Conclusions The extreme morphological diversity of mollusks is mirrored in the molecular 18S data and shows elevated substitution rates mainly in three higher taxa: true limpets (Patellogastropoda), Cephalopoda and Solenogastres. Our phylogenetic tree based on 123 species, including representatives of all mollusk classes, shows limited resolution at the class level but illustrates the pitfalls of artificial groupings formed due to shared biased sequence composition. PMID:20214780

  11. Deglaciation explains bat extinction in the Caribbean

    PubMed Central

    Dávalos, Liliana M; Russell, Amy L

    2012-01-01

    Ecological factors such as changing climate on land and interspecific competition have been debated as possible causes of postglacial Caribbean extinction. These hypotheses, however, have not been tested against a null model of climate-driven postglacial area loss. Here, we use a new Quaternary mammal database and deep-sea bathymetry to estimate species–area relationships (SARs) at present and during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) for bats of the Caribbean, and to model species loss as a function of area loss from rising sea level. Island area was a significant predictor of species richness in the Bahamas, Greater Antilles, and Lesser Antilles at all time periods, except for the Lesser Antilles during the LGM. Parameters of LGM and current SARs were similar in the Bahamas and Greater Antilles, but not the Lesser Antilles, which had fewer estimated species during the LGM than expected given their size. Estimated postglacial species losses in the Bahamas and Greater Antilles were largely explained by inferred area loss from rising sea level in the Holocene. However, there were more species in the Bahamas at present, and fewer species in the smaller Greater Antilles, than expected given island size and the end-Pleistocene/early Holocene SARs. Poor fossil sampling and ecological factors may explain these departures from the null. Our analyses illustrate the importance of changes in area in explaining patterns of species richness through time and emphasize the role of the SAR as a null hypothesis in explorations of the impact of novel ecological interactions on extinction. PMID:23301171

  12. Dissipative dark matter explains rotation curves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foot, R.

    2015-06-01

    Dissipative dark matter, where dark matter particles interact with a massless (or very light) boson, is studied. Such dark matter can arise in simple hidden sector gauge models, including those featuring an unbroken U (1 )' gauge symmetry, leading to a dark photon. Previous work has shown that such models can not only explain the large scale structure and cosmic microwave background, but potentially also dark matter phenomena on small scales, such as the inferred cored structure of dark matter halos. In this picture, dark matter halos of disk galaxies not only cool via dissipative interactions but are also heated via ordinary supernovae (facilitated by an assumed photon-dark photon kinetic mixing interaction). This interaction between the dark matter halo and ordinary baryons, a very special feature of these types of models, plays a critical role in governing the physical properties of the dark matter halo. Here, we further study the implications of this type of dissipative dark matter for disk galaxies. Building on earlier work, we develop a simple formalism which aims to describe the effects of dissipative dark matter in a fairly model independent way. This formalism is then applied to generic disk galaxies. We also consider specific examples, including NGC 1560 and a sample of dwarf galaxies from the LITTLE THINGS survey. We find that dissipative dark matter, as developed here, does a fairly good job accounting for the rotation curves of the galaxies considered. Not only does dissipative dark matter explain the linear rise of the rotational velocity of dwarf galaxies at small radii, but it can also explain the observed wiggles in rotation curves which are known to be correlated with corresponding features in the disk gas distribution.

  13. Weaker dental enamel explains dental decay.

    PubMed

    Vieira, Alexandre R; Gibson, Carolyn W; Deeley, Kathleen; Xue, Hui; Li, Yong

    2015-01-01

    Dental caries continues to be the most prevalent bacteria-mediated non-contagious disease of humankind. Dental professionals assert the disease can be explained by poor oral hygiene and a diet rich in sugars but this does not account for caries free individuals exposed to the same risk factors. In order to test the hypothesis that amount of amelogenin during enamel development can influence caries susceptibility, we generated multiple strains of mice with varying levels of available amelogenin during dental development. Mechanical tests showed that dental enamel developed with less amelogenin is "weaker" while the dental enamel of animals over-expressing amelogenin appears to be more resistant to acid dissolution.

  14. Does information theory explain biological evolution?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Battail, G.

    1997-11-01

    It is suggested that Dawkins' model of evolution needs error-correction coding in the genome replication process. Nested coding is moreover assumed. Consequences of these hypotheses are drawn using fundamental results of information theory. Genome replication is dealt with independently of phenotype encoding, which pertains to semantics. The proposed hypotheses enable explaining facts of genetics and evolution, including the existence of redundant DNA (the introns), the observed correlation between the rate of mutations on the one hand, the genome length and the redundancy rate on the other hand, the discreteness of species and the trend of eukaryotes evolution towards complexity.

  15. Life-Saving Space Technology Explained

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    Dr. Harry Whelan, a pediatric Neurologist at the Medical Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and professor of Neurology at the Medical College of Wisconsin, explains the operation of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) developed for use in space plant growth experiments and now adapted for use in photodynamic therapy, a technique in which light from the LEDs activates light-sensitive, tumor-treating drugs. The technique has been used in at least two surgeries on brain tumors. The LED project was one of several NASA exhibits at AirVenture 2000 sponsored by the Experimental Aircraft Association in Oshkosh, WI.

  16. Developmental systems theory: what does it explain, and how does it explain it?

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Paul E; Tabery, James

    2013-01-01

    We examine developmental systems theory (DST) with two questions in mind: What does DST explain? How does DST explain it? To answer these questions, we start by reviewing major contributions to the origins of DST: the introduction of the idea of a "developmental system", the idea of probabilistic epigenesis, the attention to the role of information in the developmental system, and finally the explicit identification of a DST. We then consider what DST is not, contrasting it with two approaches that have been foils for DST: behavioral genetics and nativist cognitive psychology. Third, we distill out two core concepts that have defined DSTthroughout its history: epigenesis and developmental dynamics. Finally, we turn to how DST explains, arguing that it explains by elucidating mechanisms.

  17. EXPLAINING THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN INCARCERATION AND DIVORCE*

    PubMed Central

    Siennick, Sonja E.; Stewart, Eric A.; Staff, Jeremy

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies have suggested that incarceration dramatically increases the odds of divorce, but we know little about the mechanisms that explain the association. This study uses prospective longitudinal data from a subset of married young adults in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N = 1,919) to examine whether incarceration is associated with divorce indirectly via low marital love, economic strain, relationship violence, and extramarital sex. The findings confirmed that incarcerations occurring during, but not before, a marriage were associated with an increased hazard of divorce. Incarcerations occurring during marriage also were associated with less marital love, more relationship violence, more economic strain, and greater odds of extramarital sex. Above-average levels of economic strain were visible among respondents observed preincarceration, but only respondents observed postincarceration showed less marital love, more relationship violence, and higher odds of extramarital sex than did respondents who were not incarcerated during marriage. These relationship problems explained approximately 40 percent of the association between incarceration and marital dissolution. These findings are consistent with theoretical predictions that a spouse’s incarceration alters the rewards and costs of the marriage and the relative attractiveness of alternative partners. PMID:25598544

  18. Boosted Regression Tree Models to Explain Watershed ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Boosted regression tree (BRT) models were developed to quantify the nonlinear relationships between landscape variables and nutrient concentrations in a mesoscale mixed land cover watershed during base-flow conditions. Factors that affect instream biological components, based on the Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI), were also analyzed. Seasonal BRT models at two spatial scales (watershed and riparian buffered area [RBA]) for nitrite-nitrate (NO2-NO3), total Kjeldahl nitrogen, and total phosphorus (TP) and annual models for the IBI score were developed. Two primary factors — location within the watershed (i.e., geographic position, stream order, and distance to a downstream confluence) and percentage of urban land cover (both scales) — emerged as important predictor variables. Latitude and longitude interacted with other factors to explain the variability in summer NO2-NO3 concentrations and IBI scores. BRT results also suggested that location might be associated with indicators of sources (e.g., land cover), runoff potential (e.g., soil and topographic factors), and processes not easily represented by spatial data indicators. Runoff indicators (e.g., Hydrological Soil Group D and Topographic Wetness Indices) explained a substantial portion of the variability in nutrient concentrations as did point sources for TP in the summer months. The results from our BRT approach can help prioritize areas for nutrient management in mixed-use and heavily impacted watershed

  19. Mach bands explained by response normalization

    PubMed Central

    Kingdom, Frederick A. A.

    2014-01-01

    Mach bands are the illusory dark and bright bars seen at the foot and knee of a luminance trapezoid. First demonstrated by Ernst Mach in the latter part of the 19th century, Mach bands are a test bed not only for models of brightness illusions but of spatial vision in general. Up until 50 years ago the dominant explanation of Mach Bands was that they were caused by lateral inhibition among retinal neurons. More recently, the dominant idea has been that Mach bands are a consequence of a visual process that generates a sparse, binary description of the image in terms of “edges” and “bars”. Another recent explanation is that Mach bands result from learned expectations about the pattern of light typically found on sharply curved surfaces. In keeping with recent multi-scale filtering accounts of brightness illusions as well as current physiology, I show however that Mach bands are most simply explained by response normalization, whereby the gains of early visual channels are adjusted on a local basis to make their responses more equal. I show that a simple one-dimensional model of response normalization explains the range of conditions under which Mach bands occur, and as importantly, the conditions under which they do not occur. PMID:25408643

  20. Stunting of the penis in Heleobia parchappii (Mollusca: Cochliopidae) and its relationship with parasitism.

    PubMed

    Merlo, Matías J; Parietti, Manuela; Etchegoin, Jorge A

    2017-02-08

    Penis anatomy is used to discriminate species of gastropods belonging to the family Cochliopidae; however, this characteristic may be affected by the presence of parasites. To evaluate the possible effect of parasites on penis length and number of papillae in Heleobia parchappii, 195 males were collected from the Nahuel Rucá Lagoon, Argentina. Male snails were only infected by trematode digeneans (total prevalence 45.13%). Three out of 9 species of digeneans registered showed prevalence values higher than 10%: Microphallus szidati, M. simillimus, and Notocotylidae sp. 1. The penis length of non-parasitized males and those parasitized by M. szidati and M. similimus increased with increased snail length; however, this increase was lower in infected snails. In the case of snails infected with Notocotylidae sp. 1, no relationship between shell length and penis length was apparent. Differences in the life cycles of these 3 digeneans could explain the null or lower penis growth rate in relation to host body growth. In contrast, no change was observed in the number of penial papillae of H. parchappii when these snails were infected by larval digeneans compared to those that were not infected. This indicates that penial papillae may be a more stable characteristic than penis length to discriminate between species within the Cochliopidae. The study of penial papillae should be central in the taxonomy and identification of new species within the Cochliopidae, as well as in previously described species.

  1. Explaining Today's Physics Through History and Biography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindley, David

    2014-03-01

    Quantum computers, string theory, holographic universes - to the general audience, today's physics can be as mystifying as it is fascinating. But modern ideas evolved from an earlier phase of physics - Newtonian mechanics, simple cause and effect - that is in principle easier for the non-expert to grasp. I have found that writing about physics from a historical and biographical perspective is an effective way to convey modern thinking by explaining where it comes from - it is a way of carrying the reader from concepts that make intuitive sense to ideas that seem, on first encounter, utterly bizarre. Smuggling explanations into stories satisfies the reader's desire for narrative - bearing in mind that narrative can include the evolution of ideas as well as tales about intriguing and original people.

  2. Bell Test experiments explained without entanglement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boyd, Jeffrey

    2011-04-01

    by Jeffrey H. Boyd. Jeffreyhboyd@gmail.com. John Bell proposed a test of what was called "local realism." However that is a different view of reality than we hold. Bell incorrectly assumed the validity of wave particle dualism. According to our model waves are independent of particles; wave interference precedes the emission of a particle. This results in two conclusions. First the proposed inequalities that apply to "local realism" in Bell's theorem do not apply to this model. The alleged mathematics of "local realism" is therefore wrong. Second, we can explain the Bell Test experimental results (such as the experiments done at Innsbruck) without any need for entanglement, non-locality, or particle superposition.

  3. Macromolecular crowding explains overflow metabolism in cells

    PubMed Central

    Vazquez, Alexei; Oltvai, Zoltán N.

    2016-01-01

    Overflow metabolism is a metabolic phenotype of cells characterized by mixed oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) and fermentative glycolysis in the presence of oxygen. Recently, it was proposed that a combination of a protein allocation constraint and a higher proteome fraction cost of energy generation by OxPhos relative to fermentation form the basis of overflow metabolism in the bacterium, Escherichia coli. However, we argue that the existence of a maximum or optimal macromolecular density is another essential requirement. Here we re-evaluate our previous theory of overflow metabolism based on molecular crowding following the proteomic fractions formulation. We show that molecular crowding is a key factor in explaining the switch from OxPhos to overflow metabolism. PMID:27484619

  4. Mating ecology explains patterns of genome elimination.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Andy; Ross, Laura

    2014-12-01

    Genome elimination - whereby an individual discards chromosomes inherited from one parent, and transmits only those inherited from the other parent - is found across thousands of animal species. It is more common in association with inbreeding, under male heterogamety, in males, and in the form of paternal genome elimination. However, the reasons for this broad pattern remain unclear. We develop a mathematical model to determine how degree of inbreeding, sex determination, genomic location, pattern of gene expression and parental origin of the eliminated genome interact to determine the fate of genome-elimination alleles. We find that: inbreeding promotes paternal genome elimination in the heterogametic sex; this may incur population extinction under female heterogamety, owing to eradication of males; and extinction is averted under male heterogamety, owing to countervailing sex-ratio selection. Thus, we explain the observed pattern of genome elimination. Our results highlight the interaction between mating system, sex-ratio selection and intragenomic conflict.

  5. Weaker Dental Enamel Explains Dental Decay

    PubMed Central

    Vieira, Alexandre R.; Gibson, Carolyn W.; Deeley, Kathleen; Xue, Hui; Li, Yong

    2015-01-01

    Dental caries continues to be the most prevalent bacteria-mediated non-contagious disease of humankind. Dental professionals assert the disease can be explained by poor oral hygiene and a diet rich in sugars but this does not account for caries free individuals exposed to the same risk factors. In order to test the hypothesis that amount of amelogenin during enamel development can influence caries susceptibility, we generated multiple strains of mice with varying levels of available amelogenin during dental development. Mechanical tests showed that dental enamel developed with less amelogenin is “weaker” while the dental enamel of animals over-expressing amelogenin appears to be more resistant to acid dissolution. PMID:25885796

  6. What optimization principle explains the zebrafish vasculature?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Shyr-Shea; Baek, Kyung In; Hsiai, Tzung; Roper, Marcus

    2016-11-01

    Many multicellular organisms depend on biological transport networks; from the veins of leaves to the animal circulatory system, to redistribute nutrients internally. Since natural selection rewards efficiency, those networks are thought to minimize the cost of maintaining the flow inside. But optimizing these costs creates tradeoffs with other functions, e.g. mixing or uniform distribution of nutrients. We develop an extended Lagrange multiplier approach that allows the optimization of general network functionals. We also follow the real zebrafish vasculature and blood flows during organism development. Taken together, our work shows that the challenge of uniform oxygen perfusion, and not transport efficiency, explain zebrafish vascular organization. Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (T32-GM008185).

  7. Explaining the gender difference in nightmare frequency.

    PubMed

    Schredl, Michael

    2014-01-01

    A recent meta-analysis showed a robust gender difference in nightmare frequency of medium effect size in adolescents and young adults: Women tend to report nightmares more frequently than men. The present study, carried out in an unselected student sample, indicates that 2 factors mediate the gender difference in nightmare frequency: neuroticism and overall dream recall frequency. The effect of neuroticism on the gender difference and the finding that the gender difference in nightmare frequency emerges at an age of about 10 years suggest that gender-specific socialization processes may play an important role in explaining the gender differences in nightmare frequency in adolescents and young to middle-aged adults. This idea is supported by the previous finding that nightmare frequency is related to sex role orientation. However, longitudinal studies are necessary to validate these hypotheses.

  8. Mating ecology explains patterns of genome elimination

    PubMed Central

    Gardner, Andy; Ross, Laura

    2014-01-01

    Genome elimination – whereby an individual discards chromosomes inherited from one parent, and transmits only those inherited from the other parent – is found across thousands of animal species. It is more common in association with inbreeding, under male heterogamety, in males, and in the form of paternal genome elimination. However, the reasons for this broad pattern remain unclear. We develop a mathematical model to determine how degree of inbreeding, sex determination, genomic location, pattern of gene expression and parental origin of the eliminated genome interact to determine the fate of genome-elimination alleles. We find that: inbreeding promotes paternal genome elimination in the heterogametic sex; this may incur population extinction under female heterogamety, owing to eradication of males; and extinction is averted under male heterogamety, owing to countervailing sex-ratio selection. Thus, we explain the observed pattern of genome elimination. Our results highlight the interaction between mating system, sex-ratio selection and intragenomic conflict. PMID:25328085

  9. Age and disability: explaining the wage differential.

    PubMed

    Gannon, Brenda; Munley, Margaret

    2009-07-01

    This paper estimates the level of explained and unexplained factors that contribute to the wage gap between workers with and without disabilities, providing benchmark estimates for Ireland. It separates out the confounding impact of productivity differences between disabled and non-disabled, by comparing wage differentials across three groups, disabled with limitations, disabled without limitations and non-disabled. Furthermore, data are analysed for the years 1995-2001 and two sub-samples pre and post 1998 allow us to decompose wage differentials before and after the Employment Equality Act 1998. Results are comparable to those of the UK and the unexplained component (upper bound of discrimination) is lower once we control for productivity differences. The lower bound level depends on the contribution of unobserved effects and the validity of the selection component in the decomposition model.

  10. Explaining Polarization Reversals in STEREO Wave Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Breneman, A.; Cattell, C.; Wygant, J.; Kersten, K.; Wilson, L, B., III; Dai, L.; Colpitts, C.; Kellogg, P. J.; Goetz, K.; Paradise, A.

    2012-01-01

    Recently Breneman et al. reported observations of large amplitude lightning and transmitter whistler mode waves from two STEREO passes through the inner radiation belt (L<2). Hodograms of the electric field in the plane transverse to the magnetic field showed that the transmitter waves underwent periodic polarization reversals. Specifically, their polarization would cycle through a pattern of right-hand to linear to left-hand polarization at a rate of roughly 200 Hz. The lightning whistlers were observed to be left-hand polarized at frequencies greater than the lower hybrid frequency and less than the transmitter frequency (21.4 kHz) and right-hand polarized otherwise. Only righthand polarized waves in the inner radiation belt should exist in the frequency range of the whistler mode and these reversals were not explained in the previous paper. We show, with a combination of observations and simulated wave superposition, that these polarization reversals are due to the beating of an incident electromagnetic whistler mode wave at 21.4 kHz and linearly polarized, symmetric lower hybrid sidebands Doppler-shifted from the incident wave by +/-200 Hz. The existence of the lower hybrid waves is consistent with the parametric decay mechanism of Lee and Kuo whereby an incident whistler mode wave decays into symmetric, short wavelength lower hybrid waves and a purely growing (zero-frequency) mode. Like the lower hybrid waves, the purely growing mode is Doppler-shifted by 200 Hz as observed on STEREO. This decay mechanism in the upper ionosphere has been previously reported at equatorial latitudes and is thought to have a direct connection with explosive spread F enhancements. As such it may represent another dissipation mechanism of VLF wave energy in the ionosphere and may help to explain a deficit of observed lightning and transmitter energy in the inner radiation belts as reported by Starks et al.

  11. Mitochondrial DNA hyperdiversity and its potential causes in the marine periwinkle Melarhaphe neritoides (Mollusca: Gastropoda).

    PubMed

    Fourdrilis, Séverine; Mardulyn, Patrick; Hardy, Olivier J; Jordaens, Kurt; de Frias Martins, António Manuel; Backeljau, Thierry

    2016-01-01

    We report the presence of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) hyperdiversity in the marine periwinkle Melarhaphe neritoides (Linnaeus, 1758), the first such case among marine gastropods. Our dataset consisted of concatenated 16S-COI-Cytb gene fragments. We used Bayesian analyses to investigate three putative causes underlying genetic variation, and estimated the mtDNA mutation rate, possible signatures of selection and the effective population size of the species in the Azores archipelago. The mtDNA hyperdiversity in M. neritoides is characterized by extremely high haplotype diversity (Hd = 0.999 ± 0.001), high nucleotide diversity (π = 0.013 ± 0.001), and neutral nucleotide diversity above the threshold of 5% (πsyn = 0.0677). Haplotype richness is very high even at spatial scales as small as 100m(2). Yet, mtDNA hyperdiversity does not affect the ability of DNA barcoding to identify M. neritoides. The mtDNA hyperdiversity in M. neritoides is best explained by the remarkably high mutation rate at the COI locus (μ = 5.82 × 10(-5) per site per year or μ = 1.99 × 10(-4) mutations per nucleotide site per generation), whereas the effective population size of this planktonic-dispersing species is surprisingly small (Ne = 5, 256; CI = 1,312-3,7495) probably due to the putative influence of selection. Comparison with COI nucleotide diversity values in other organisms suggests that mtDNA hyperdiversity may be more frequently linked to high μ values and that mtDNA hyperdiversity may be more common across other phyla than currently appreciated.

  12. Mitochondrial DNA hyperdiversity and its potential causes in the marine periwinkle Melarhaphe neritoides (Mollusca: Gastropoda)

    PubMed Central

    Mardulyn, Patrick; Hardy, Olivier J.; Jordaens, Kurt; de Frias Martins, António Manuel; Backeljau, Thierry

    2016-01-01

    We report the presence of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) hyperdiversity in the marine periwinkle Melarhaphe neritoides (Linnaeus, 1758), the first such case among marine gastropods. Our dataset consisted of concatenated 16S-COI-Cytb gene fragments. We used Bayesian analyses to investigate three putative causes underlying genetic variation, and estimated the mtDNA mutation rate, possible signatures of selection and the effective population size of the species in the Azores archipelago. The mtDNA hyperdiversity in M. neritoides is characterized by extremely high haplotype diversity (Hd = 0.999 ± 0.001), high nucleotide diversity (π = 0.013 ± 0.001), and neutral nucleotide diversity above the threshold of 5% (πsyn = 0.0677). Haplotype richness is very high even at spatial scales as small as 100m2. Yet, mtDNA hyperdiversity does not affect the ability of DNA barcoding to identify M. neritoides. The mtDNA hyperdiversity in M. neritoides is best explained by the remarkably high mutation rate at the COI locus (μ = 5.82 × 10−5 per site per year or μ = 1.99 × 10−4 mutations per nucleotide site per generation), whereas the effective population size of this planktonic-dispersing species is surprisingly small (Ne = 5, 256; CI = 1,312–3,7495) probably due to the putative influence of selection. Comparison with COI nucleotide diversity values in other organisms suggests that mtDNA hyperdiversity may be more frequently linked to high μ values and that mtDNA hyperdiversity may be more common across other phyla than currently appreciated. PMID:27761337

  13. Can Thermal Nonequilibrium Explain Coronal Loops?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klimchuk, James A.; Karpen, Judy T.; Antiochos, Spiro K.

    2010-01-01

    Any successful model of coronal loops must explain a number of observed properties. For warm (approx. 1 MK) loops, these include: 1. excess density, 2. flat temperature profile, 3. super-hydrostatic scale height, 4. unstructured intensity profile, and 5. 1000-5000 s lifetime. We examine whether thermal nonequilibrium can reproduce the observations by performing hydrodynamic simulations based on steady coronal heating that decreases exponentially with height. We consider both monolithic and multi-stranded loops. The simulations successfully reproduce certain aspects of the observations, including the excess density, but each of them fails in at least one critical way. -Xonolithic models have far too much intensity structure, while multi-strand models are either too structured or too long-lived. Storms of nanoflares remain the only viable explanation for warm loops that has been proposed so far. Our results appear to rule out the widespread existence of heating that is both highly concentrated low in the corona and steady or quasi-steady (slowly varying or impulsive with a rapid cadence). Active regions would have a very different appearance if the dominant heating mechanism had these properties. Thermal nonequilibrium may nonetheless play an important role in prominences and catastrophic cooling e(veen.gts..,coronal rain) that occupy a small fraction of the coronal volume. However, apparent inconsistencies between the models and observations of cooling events have yet to be understood.

  14. Proposed Pathophysiologic Framework to Explain Some ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The paper proposes a pathophysiologic framework to explain the well-established epidemiological association between exposure to ambient air particle pollution and premature cardiovascular mortality, and offers insights into public health solutions that extend beyond regularory environmental protections to actions that can be taken by individuals, public health officials, healthcare professionals, city and regional planners, local and state governmental officials and all those who possess the capacity to improve cardiovascular health within the popula­tion.The foundation of the framework rests on the contribution of traditional cardiovascular risk factors acting alone and in concert with long-term exposures to air pollutants to create a conditional susceptibility for clinical vascular events, such as myocardial ischemia and infarction; stroke and lethal ventricular arrhythmias. The conceprual framework focuses on the fact that short-term exposures to ambient air particulate matter (PM) are associated with vascular thrombosis (acute coronary syndrome. stroke, deep venous thrombosis. and pulmonary embolism ) and electrical dysfunction (ventricular arrhythmia); and that individuals having prevalent heart disease are at greatest risk. Moreover, exposure is concomitant with changes in autonomic nervous system balance, systemic in­flammation, and prothrombotic/anti-thrombotic and profibrinolytic-antifibrinolytic balance.Thus, a comprehensive solution to the problem o

  15. Ocean currents help explain population genetic structure

    PubMed Central

    White, Crow; Selkoe, Kimberly A.; Watson, James; Siegel, David A.; Zacherl, Danielle C.; Toonen, Robert J.

    2010-01-01

    Management and conservation can be greatly informed by considering explicitly how environmental factors influence population genetic structure. Using simulated larval dispersal estimates based on ocean current observations, we demonstrate how explicit consideration of frequency of exchange of larvae among sites via ocean advection can fundamentally change the interpretation of empirical population genetic structuring as compared with conventional spatial genetic analyses. Both frequency of larval exchange and empirical genetic difference were uncorrelated with Euclidean distance between sites. When transformed into relative oceanographic distances and integrated into a genetic isolation-by-distance framework, however, the frequency of larval exchange explained nearly 50 per cent of the variance in empirical genetic differences among sites over scales of tens of kilometres. Explanatory power was strongest when we considered effects of multiple generations of larval dispersal via intermediary locations on the long-term probability of exchange between sites. Our results uncover meaningful spatial patterning to population genetic structuring that corresponds with ocean circulation. This study advances our ability to interpret population structure from complex genetic data characteristic of high gene flow species, validates recent advances in oceanographic approaches for assessing larval dispersal and represents a novel approach to characterize population connectivity at small spatial scales germane to conservation and fisheries management. PMID:20133354

  16. Ocean currents help explain population genetic structure.

    PubMed

    White, Crow; Selkoe, Kimberly A; Watson, James; Siegel, David A; Zacherl, Danielle C; Toonen, Robert J

    2010-06-07

    Management and conservation can be greatly informed by considering explicitly how environmental factors influence population genetic structure. Using simulated larval dispersal estimates based on ocean current observations, we demonstrate how explicit consideration of frequency of exchange of larvae among sites via ocean advection can fundamentally change the interpretation of empirical population genetic structuring as compared with conventional spatial genetic analyses. Both frequency of larval exchange and empirical genetic difference were uncorrelated with Euclidean distance between sites. When transformed into relative oceanographic distances and integrated into a genetic isolation-by-distance framework, however, the frequency of larval exchange explained nearly 50 per cent of the variance in empirical genetic differences among sites over scales of tens of kilometres. Explanatory power was strongest when we considered effects of multiple generations of larval dispersal via intermediary locations on the long-term probability of exchange between sites. Our results uncover meaningful spatial patterning to population genetic structuring that corresponds with ocean circulation. This study advances our ability to interpret population structure from complex genetic data characteristic of high gene flow species, validates recent advances in oceanographic approaches for assessing larval dispersal and represents a novel approach to characterize population connectivity at small spatial scales germane to conservation and fisheries management.

  17. Birdsong dialect patterns explained using magnetic domains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burridge, James; Kenney, Steven

    2016-06-01

    The songs and calls of many bird species, like human speech, form distinct regional dialects. We suggest that the process of dialect formation is analogous to the physical process of magnetic domain formation. We take the coastal breeding grounds of the Puget Sound white crowned sparrow as an example. Previous field studies suggest that birds of this species learn multiple songs early in life, and when establishing a territory for the first time, retain one of these dialects in order to match the majority of their neighbors. We introduce a simple lattice model of the process, showing that this matching behavior can produce single dialect domains provided the death rate of adult birds is sufficiently low. We relate death rate to thermodynamic temperature in magnetic materials, and calculate the critical death rate by analogy with the Ising model. Using parameters consistent with the known behavior of these birds we show that coastal dialect domain shapes may be explained by viewing them as low-temperature "stripe states."

  18. Using and Explaining Individual Dosimetry Data.

    PubMed

    Miyazaki, Makoto

    2017-03-01

    Measurement of individual radiation dose is crucial for planning protective measures after nuclear accidents. The purpose of this article is to explain the various initiatives taken after the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, including the D-shuttle project wherein residents from affected areas wore a personal dosimeter to measure their own external exposure. The experience in Fukushima revealed several issues such as gaining residents' trust and ensuring appropriate communication of the measured data. The D-shuttle project also revealed that obtaining individual dose measurement data had 2 purposes, as the information obtained was to be utilized by the residents for self-protection and by the authorities for deriving the dose distribution of the population to aid in designing large-scale protection measures. The lessons learned are that both the residents and the authorities need to understand and share the meaning of individual dose measurements and the measurement results must be used with due respect for the residents' privacy and other concerns.

  19. Explaining the Cambrian "Explosion" of Animals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshall, Charles R.

    2006-05-01

    The Cambrian "explosion" is a unique episode in Earth history, when essentially all the animal phyla first appear in the fossil record. A variety of environmental, developmental (genetic), and ecological explanations for this complex and somewhat protracted event are reviewed, with a focus on how well each explains the observed increases in disparity and diversity, the time of onset of the radiation, its duration, and its uniqueness. The increase in disparity (the origin of the phyla) and diversity are best understood as being the result of the interplay of the combinatorial bilaterian developmental system and the increase in the number of needs the first bilaterians had to meet as complex ecological interactions developed. The time of onset is constrained by the evolution of the environment, whereas its duration appears to be controlled primarily by rates of developmental innovation. The uniqueness of the event is either due to ensuing developmental limitation, to ecological saturation, or simply to the exhaustion of ecologically viable morphologies that could be produced by the nascent bilaterian developmental system.

  20. Punishments and Prizes for Explaining Global Warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Somerville, R. C.

    2006-12-01

    Some few gifted scientists, the late Carl Sagan being an iconic example, are superbly skilled at communicating science clearly and compellingly to non-scientists. Most scientists, however, have serious shortcomings as communicators. The common failings include being verbose, addicted to jargon, caveat- obsessed and focused on details. In addition, it is far easier for a scientist to scoff at the scientific illiteracy of modern society than to work at understanding the viewpoints and concerns of journalists, policymakers and the public. Obstacles await even those scientists with the desire and the talent to communicate science well. Peer pressure and career disincentives can act as powerful deterrents, discouraging especially younger scientists from spending time on non-traditional activities. Scientists often lack mentors and role models to help them develop skills in science communication. Journalists also face real difficulties in getting science stories approved by editors and other gatekeepers. Climate change science brings its own problems in communication. The science itself is unusually wide- ranging and complex. The contentious policies and politics of dealing with global warming are difficult to disentangle from the science. Misinformation and disinformation about climate change are widespread. Intimidation and censorship of scientists by some employers is a serious problem. Polls show that global warming ranks low on the public's list of important issues. Despite all the obstacles, communicating climate change science well is critically important today. It is an art that can be learned and that brings its own rewards and satisfactions. Academic institutions and research funding agencies increasingly value outreach by scientists, and they provide resources to facilitate it. Society needs scientists who can clearly and authoritatively explain the science of global warming and its implications, while remaining objective and policy-neutral. This need will

  1. CAN PLANETARY INSTABILITY EXPLAIN THE KEPLER DICHOTOMY?

    SciTech Connect

    Johansen, Anders; Davies, Melvyn B.; Church, Ross P.; Holmelin, Viktor

    2012-10-10

    The planet candidates discovered by the Kepler mission provide a rich sample to constrain the architectures and relative inclinations of planetary systems within approximately 0.5 AU of their host stars. We use the triple-transit systems from the Kepler 16 months data as templates for physical triple-planet systems and perform synthetic transit observations, varying the internal inclination variation of the orbits. We find that all the Kepler triple-transit and double-transit systems can be produced from the triple-planet templates, given a low mutual inclination of around 5 Degree-Sign . Our analysis shows that the Kepler data contain a population of planets larger than four Earth radii in single-transit systems that cannot arise from the triple-planet templates. We explore the hypothesis that high-mass counterparts of the triple-transit systems underwent dynamical instability to produce a population of massive double-planet systems of moderately high mutual inclination. We perform N-body simulations of mass-boosted triple-planet systems and observe how the systems heat up and lose planets by planet-planet collisions, and less frequently by ejections or collisions with the star, yielding transits in agreement with the large planets in the Kepler single-transit systems. The resulting population of massive double-planet systems nevertheless cannot explain the additional excess of low-mass planets among the observed single-transit systems and the lack of gas-giant planets in double-transit and triple-transit systems. Planetary instability of systems of triple gas-giant planets can be behind part of the dichotomy between systems hosting one or more small planets and those hosting a single giant planet. The main part of the dichotomy, however, is more likely to have arisen already during planet formation when the formation, migration, or scattering of a massive planet, triggered above a threshold metallicity, suppressed the formation of other planets in sub-AU orbits.

  2. Modeling factors explaining physicians’ satisfaction with competence

    PubMed Central

    Lepnurm, Rein; Dobson, Roy Thomas; Peña-Sánchez, Juan-Nicolás; Nesdole, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Recognition explained 60.2% of the variation in Satisfaction with Competence, controlling for years in practice, self-reported health and duties of physicians. Conclusion: Satisfaction with Competence could be affected by excessive accumulation of duties, concerns about quality, efficiency, access, excessive distress, inadequate coping abilities, personal satisfaction with life as a physician, challenges in managing practices and persistent inequities among physicians. PMID:27092256

  3. Explaining the Birth of the Martian Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-09-01

    led to the formation of large clumps, which eventually agglomerated to form Phobos and Deimos.The authors find that Phobos and Deimos most likely formed in the outer regions of the accretion disk that was created by a large impact with Mars. [Adapted from Ronnet et al. 2016]In the study conducted by Ronnet, Vernazza, and collaborators, the authors investigated the composition and texture of the dust that would have crystallized in an impact-generated accretion disk making up Marss moons. They find that Phobos and Deimos could not have formed out of the extremely hot, magma-filled inner regions of such a disk, because this would have resulted in different compositions than we observe.Phobos and Deimos could have formed, however, in the very outer part of an impact-generated accretion disk, where the hot gas condensed directly into small solid grains instead of passing through the magma phase. Accretion of such tiny grains would naturally explain the similarity in physical properties we observe between Marss moons and some main-belt asteroids and yet this picture is also consistent with the moons current orbital parameters.The authors argue that the formation of the Martian moons from the outer regions of an impact-generated accretion disk is therefore a plausible scenario, neatly reconciling the observed physical properties of Phobos and Diemos with their orbital properties.CitationT. Ronnet et al 2016 ApJ 828 109. doi:10.3847/0004-637X/828/2/109

  4. Long-term monitoring of growth in the Eastern Elliptio, Elliptio complanata (Bivalvia: Unionidae), in Rhode Island: A transplant experiment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kesler, D.H.; Newton, T.J.; Green, L.

    2007-01-01

    The lengths of marked specimens of the freshwater mussel, Eastern Elliptio (Elliptio complanata [Lightfoot 1786]), were monitored annually in 3 lakes in Rhode Island, USA, from 1991 to 2005. Mussels growing in Worden Pond showed a change in mean shell length of only 4.3 mm over 14 y, whereas mussel growth in 2 nearby lakes was 3 to 8x greater than growth in Worden Pond over the same time period. L???, the length at which shell growth stops, was significantly different (p < 0.001) among lakes and ranged from 60.5 to 87.4 mm. Transplant experiments revealed that mussels moved to Worden Pond stopped growing, whereas mussels moved from Worden Pond to the 2 other lakes grew at rates similar to the rates observed for resident mussels in the 2 lakes. Standard water-quality measures did not explain the observed growth cessation and lower condition indices of mussels in Worden Pond. Our growth data are consistent with food limitation. The consistent slow growth of E. complanata in Worden Pond, without high mortality, and its ability to increase growth when placed in environments more favorable than Worden Pond, suggests both growth plasticity and longevity in these animals. ?? 2007 by The North American Benthological Society.

  5. Combined effects of temperature acclimation and cadmium exposure on mitochondrial function in eastern oysters Crassostrea virginica gmelin (Bivalvia: Ostreidae).

    PubMed

    Cherkasov, Anton S; Ringwood, Amy H; Sokolova, Inna M

    2006-09-01

    Cadmium and temperature have strong impacts on the metabolic physiology of aquatic organisms. To analyze the combined impact of these two stressors on aerobic capacity, effects of Cd exposure (50 microg/L) on mitochondrial function were studied in oysters (Crassostrea virginica) acclimated to 12 and 20 degrees C in winter and to 20 and 28 degrees C in fall. Cadmium exposure had different effects on mitochondrial bioenergetics of oysters depending on the acclimation temperature. In oysters acclimated to 12 degrees C, Cd exposure resulted in elevated intrinsic rates of mitochondrial oxidation, whereas at 28 degrees C, a rapid and pronounced decrease of mitochondrial oxidative capacity was found in Cd-exposed oysters. At the intermediate acclimation temperature (20 degrees C), effects of Cd exposure on intrinsic rates of mitochondrial oxidation were negligible. Degree of coupling significantly decreased in mitochondria from 28 degrees C-acclimated oysters but not in that from 12 degrees C- or 20 degrees C-acclimated oysters. Acclimation at elevated temperatures also increased sensitivity of oyster mitochondria to extramitochondrial Cd. Variation in mitochondrial membrane potential explained 41% of the observed variation in mitochondrial adenosine triphosphate synthesis and proton leak between different acclimation groups of oysters. Temperature-dependent sensitivity of metabolic physiology to Cd has significant implications for toxicity testing and for extrapolation of laboratory studies to field populations of aquatic poikilotherms, indicating the importance of taking into account the thermal regime of the environment.

  6. Acute toxicity and accumulation of the piscicide 3-trifluoromethyl-4- nitrophenol (TFM) in freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Waller, D.L.; Rach, J.J.; Luoma, J.A.

    1998-01-01

    We compared the acute toxicity and initial accumulation of the piscicide TFM (3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol) in the freshwater unionacean mussels, Obliquaria reflexa and Fusconaia flava. Acute 48 h toxicity tests were conducted to determine the LC50 values for each species. The initial uptake clearances of TFM were measured by exposing the mussels to [14C]-TFM and counting the radioactivity in four organ tissues (foot, gill, mantle and viscera) over 48 h. TFM was about 2-fold more toxic to O. reflexa (LC50 1.80 mg I-1) than to F. flava (LC50 3.81 mg L-1) and the difference was not explained by accumulation patterns. The initial uptake clearance rates (0-6 h) for the whole body were similar between the species (11.2 ml g-1 h-2 in O. reflexa and 9.5 ml g-1 h-1 in F. flava). The accumulation of TFM residues among the organ tissues was also similar between species. The uptake clearance rates (ml g-1 h-1) of TFM equivalents were generally highest in the gill, but not significantly different than other organ tissues. The normalized concentration of TFM residues (??g per g whole body) was highest in the viscera. The toxicity data suggest that the mortality of both species would be minimal from sea lamprey control treatments with TFM. However, the behavioural effects and accumulation rates also indicate that mussels do not effectively avoid TFM exposure by valve closure.

  7. Acute toxicity and accumulation of the piscicide 3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol (TFM) in freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Waller, Diane L.; Rach, Jeffrey J.; Luoma, James A.

    1998-01-01

    We compared the acute toxicity and initial accumulation of the piscicide TFM (3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol) in the freshwater unionacean mussels, Obliquaria reflexa and Fusconaia flava. Acute 48 h toxicity tests were conducted to determine the LC50 values for each species. The initial uptake clearances of TFM were measured by exposing the mussels to [14C]-TFM and counting the radioactivity in four organ tissues (foot, gill, mantle and viscera) over 48 h. TFM was about 2-fold more toxic to O. reflexa (LC50 1.80 mg l-1) than to F. flava (LC50 3.81 mg L-1) and the difference was not explained by accumulation patterns. The initial uptake clearance rates (0–6 h) for the whole body were similar between the species (11.2 ml g-1 h-2 in O. reflexa and 9.5 ml g-1 h-1 in F. flava). The accumulation of TFM residues among the organ tissues was also similar between species. The uptake clearance rates (ml g-1 h-1) of TFM equivalents were generally highest in the gill, but not significantly different than other organ tissues. The normalized concentration of TFM residues (μg per g whole body) was highest in the viscera. The toxicity data suggest that the mortality of both species would be minimal from sea lamprey control treatments with TFM. However, the behavioural effects and accumulation rates also indicate that mussels do not effectively avoid TFM exposure by valve closure.

  8. Learning from Explaining: Does It Matter if Mom Is Listening?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rittle-Johnson, B.; Saylor, M.; Swygert, K.E.

    2008-01-01

    The goal of the current study was to examine whether explaining to another person improves learning and transfer. In the study, 4- and 5-year-olds (N=54) solved multiple classification problems, received accuracy feedback, and were prompted to explain the correct solutions to their moms, to explain the correct solutions to themselves, or to repeat…

  9. Evidence for chemoautotrophic symbiosis in a Mediterranean cold seep clam (Bivalvia: Lucinidae): comparative sequence analysis of bacterial 16S rRNA, APS reductase and RubisCO genes.

    PubMed

    Duperron, Sébastien; Fiala-Médioni, Aline; Caprais, Jean-Claude; Olu, Karine; Sibuet, Myriam

    2007-01-01

    Symbioses between lucinid clams (Bivalvia: Lucinidae) and autotrophic sulphide-oxidizing bacteria have mainly been studied in shallow coastal species, and information regarding deep-sea species is scarce. Here we study the symbiosis of a clam, resembling Lucinoma kazani, which was recently collected in sediment cores from new cold-seep sites in the vicinity of the Nile deep-sea fan, eastern Mediterranean, at depths ranging from 507 to 1691 m. A dominant bacterial phylotype, related to the sulphide-oxidizing symbiont of Lucinoma aequizonata, was identified in gill tissue by comparative 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. A second phylotype, related to spirochete sequences, was identified twice in a library of 94 clones. Comparative analyses of gene sequences encoding the APS reductase alpha subunit and ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase oxygenase support the hypothesis that the dominant symbiont can perform sulphide oxidation and autotrophy. Transmission electron micrographs of gills confirmed the dominance of sulphide-oxidizing bacteria, which display typical vacuoles, and delta(13)C values measured in gill and foot tissue further support the hypothesis for a chemoautotrophic-sourced host carbon nutrition.

  10. A video-based tracking analysis to assess the chronic toxic effects of fluoride ion on the aquatic snail Potamopyrgus antipodarum (Hydrobiidae, Mollusca).

    PubMed

    Alonso, Álvaro; Camargo, Julio A

    2012-07-01

    Short-term lethal bioassays are not suited for assessing the real effects of pollutants in natural ecosystems, as their concentrations are usually unrealistic under an ecological point of view. By contrast, chronic bioassays are more realistic for assessing effects on aquatic animals, especially when behavioural endpoints are used. These endpoints are a good link between physiological and ecological effects. Among behavioural bioassays, those based on automated image analysis following video-recording have the advantage of being quantitative and non-subjective tests. The present study focuses on the assessment of chronic (63 days) effects of fluoride ion (F⁻) on the survival, proportion of affected animals (dead plus immobile animals) and several behavioural endpoints (monitored by video-recording and image analysis system) of the aquatic snail Potamopyrgus antipodarum (Hydrobiidae, Mollusca). The bioassay consisted of one control and three actual fluoride concentrations (4.68, 18.6, and 37.1 mg F⁻/L) with 12 replicates in each treatment. The endpoints were monitored every 7 day of continuous exposure to fluoride ion. The highest fluoride concentrations killed all animals at the end of the bioassay. By contrast no animals died in the lowest fluoride treatment, but snails showed several alterations of behaviour: increase heterogeneity of velocity among successive recording periods, increase of the time to escape from a marked circle, and reduction of the heterogeneity in the utilization of space. Therefore, most of the behavioural endpoints were sensitive to environmentally realistic non-lethal fluoride concentrations, being useful parameters for ecological risk assessment. The ecological relevance of these findings is discussed.

  11. Community benthic paleoecology from high-resolution climate records: Mollusca and foraminifera in post-glacial environments of the California margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Myhre, Sarah E.; Kroeker, Kristy J.; Hill, Tessa M.; Roopnarine, Peter; Kennett, James P.

    2017-01-01

    Paleoecological reconstructions of past climate are often based on a single taxonomic group with a consistent presence. Less is known about the relationship between multi-taxon community-wide change and climate variability. Here we reconstruct paleoecological change in a Late Quaternary (16.1-3.4 ka) sediment core from the California margin (418 m below sea level) of Santa Barbara Basin (SBB), USA, using Mollusca (Animalia) and Foraminifera (Rhizaria) microfossils. Building upon previous investigations, we use multivariate ordination and cluster analyses to interpret community-scale changes in these distinctly different taxonomic groups across discrete climate episodes. The strongest differences between seafloor biological communities occurred between glacial (prior to Termination IA, 14.7 ka) and interglacial climate episodes. Holocene communities were well partitioned, indicating that sub-millennial oceanographic variability was recorded by these microfossils. We document strong evidence of chemosynthetic trophic webs and sulfidic environments (from gastropod Alia permodesta and bivalve Lucinoma aequizonata), which characterized restricted intervals previously interpreted as well oxygenated (such as the Pre-Bølling Warming). Mollusc records indicate first-order trophic energetic shifts between detrital and chemosynthetically-fixed carbon. Molluscs associated with widely different physiological preferences occur here within single, decadal intervals of sediment, and as such mollusc assemblages may reflect significant inter-decadal oceanographic variability. Foraminifera assemblages provide exceptional records of the sequential, chronological progression of the deglacial climatic and oceanographic events, whereas mollusc assemblages reflect non-chronological similarities in reoccurring communities. Foraminifera taxa that drive community similarity here are also independently recognized as marker species for seafloor hypoxia regimes, which provides support for the

  12. Occurrence and role of a Quaternary base, trimethylamine oxide, in two cockle species, Cerastoderma edule and Cerastoderma lamarcki

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Vooys, C. G. N.

    2002-02-01

    Trimethylamine oxide was demonstrated in the tissues of two European cockle species: Cerastoderma edule and Cerastoderma lamarcki (Mollusca: Bivalvia). No role in osmoregulation could be demonstrated, but a passive accumulation of the compound was found. Trimethylamine was demonstrated to be present in phytoplankton. Passive changes of the concentration of trimethylamine oxide are likely to occur in cockle tissues depending on the concentration of trimethylamine in the food.

  13. Explaining Infinite Series--An Exploration of Students' Images

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Champney, Danielle Dawn

    2013-01-01

    This study uses self-generated representations (SGR)--images produced in the act of explaining--as a means of uncovering what university calculus students understand about infinite series convergence. It makes use of student teaching episodes, in which students were asked to explain to a peer what that student might have missed had they been…

  14. Explaining and Communicating Science Using Student-Created Blended Media

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoban, Garry; Nielsen, Wendy; Shepherd, Alyce

    2013-01-01

    Students engage with science content when they are asked to explain and communicate their knowledge to others. In particular, encouraging students to create various digital media forms such as videos, podcasts, vodcasts, screencasts, digital stories and animations to explain science is usually engaging, especially if they have ownership of the…

  15. Exploring the explaining quality of physics online explanatory videos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulgemeyer, Christoph; Peters, Cord H.

    2016-11-01

    Explaining skills are among the most important skills educators possess. Those skills have also been researched in recent years. During the same period, another medium has additionally emerged and become a popular source of information for learners: online explanatory videos, chiefly from the online video sharing website YouTube. Their content and explaining quality remain to this day mostly unmonitored, as well is their educational impact in formal contexts such as schools or universities. In this study, a framework for explaining quality, which has emerged from surveying explaining skills in expert-novice face-to-face dialogues, was used to explore the explaining quality of such videos (36 YouTube explanatory videos on Kepler’s laws and 15 videos on Newton’s third law). The framework consists of 45 categories derived from physics education research that deal with explanation techniques. YouTube provides its own ‘quality measures’ based on surface features including ‘likes’, views, and comments for each video. The question is whether or not these measures provide valid information for educators and students if they have to decide which video to use. We compared the explaining quality with those measures. Our results suggest that there is a correlation between explaining quality and only one of these measures: the number of content-related comments.

  16. Explainable expert systems: A research program in information processing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paris, Cecile L.

    1993-01-01

    Our work in Explainable Expert Systems (EES) had two goals: to extend and enhance the range of explanations that expert systems can offer, and to ease their maintenance and evolution. As suggested in our proposal, these goals are complementary because they place similar demands on the underlying architecture of the expert system: they both require the knowledge contained in a system to be explicitly represented, in a high-level declarative language and in a modular fashion. With these two goals in mind, the Explainable Expert Systems (EES) framework was designed to remedy limitations to explainability and evolvability that stem from related fundamental flaws in the underlying architecture of current expert systems.

  17. Stress May Explain Digestive Issues in Kids with Autism

    MedlinePlus

    ... Stress May Explain Digestive Issues in Kids With Autism Elevated stress hormone levels linked to stomach problems ... Jan. 20, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Many children with autism suffer from gastrointestinal problems, such as belly pain ...

  18. Explaining ethnic disparities in preterm birth in Argentina and Ecuador.

    PubMed

    Wehby, George L; Pawluk, Mariela; Nyarko, Kwame A; López-Camelo, Jorge S

    2016-11-22

    Little is understood about racial/ethnic disparities in infant health in South America. We quantified the extent to which the disparity in preterm birth (PTB; <37 gestational weeks) rate between infants of Native only ancestry and those of European only ancestry in Argentina and Ecuador are explained by household socio-economic, demographic, healthcare use, and geographic location indicators. The samples included 5199 infants born between 2000 and 2011 from Argentina and 1579 infants born between 2001 and 2011 from Ecuador. An Oaxaca-Blinder type decomposition model adapted to binary outcomes was estimated to explain the disparity in PTB risk across groups of variables and specific variables. Maternal use of prenatal care services significantly explained the PTB disparity, by nearly 57% and 30% in Argentina and Ecuador, respectively. Household socio-economic status explained an additional 26% of the PTB disparity in Argentina. Differences in maternal use of prenatal care may partly explain ethnic disparities in PTB in Argentina and Ecuador. Improving access to prenatal care may reduce ethnic disparities in PTB risk in these countries.

  19. Explaining patterns in the ratification of global environmental treaties

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cook, David W.

    1991-01-01

    A study was made of the ratification behavior of 160 countries with respect to 38 global environmental treaties. The study identifies and explains patterns in the ratification of treaties, providing two means of assessing the likelihood that any given country will support global environmental treaties. National ratification totals reveal a pattern of high ratification by countries in Western Europe, North America, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. A country's standing within the range of high to low ratification rates can be explained by the statistical model developed in the study. This research allows one to identify countries likely to support global environmental treaties.

  20. Explaining the motherhood wage penalty during the early occupational career.

    PubMed

    Staff, Jeremy; Mortimer, Jeylan T

    2012-02-01

    Prior research shows that mothers earn lower hourly wages than women without children, and that this maternal wage penalty cannot be fully explained by differences between mothers and other women in work experience and job characteristics. This research examines whether the residual motherhood wage penalty results from differences between mothers and other women in the accumulation of work interruptions and breaks in schooling. Using longitudinal data for 486 women followed from ages 19 to 31 in the Minnesota Youth Development Study, we find that accumulated months not in the labor force and not enrolled in school explain the residual pay gap between mothers and other women.

  1. Understanding Electrochemistry Concepts Using the Predict-Observe-Explain Strategy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karamustafaoglu, Sevilay; Mamlok-Naaman, Rachel

    2015-01-01

    The current study deals with freshman students who study at the Department of Science at the Faculty of Education. The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of teaching electrochemistry concepts using Predict-Observe-Explain (POE) strategy. The study was quasi-experimental design using 20 students each in the experimental group (EG) and…

  2. Learning to apply models of materials while explaining their properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karpin, Tiia; Juuti, Kalle; Lavonen, Jari

    2014-09-01

    Background:Applying structural models is important to chemistry education at the upper secondary level, but it is considered one of the most difficult topics to learn. Purpose:This study analyses to what extent in designed lessons students learned to apply structural models in explaining the properties and behaviours of various materials. Sample:An experimental group is 27 Finnish upper secondary school students and control group included 18 students from the same school. Design and methods:In quasi-experimental setting, students were guided through predict, observe, explain activities in four practical work situations. It was intended that the structural models would encourage students to learn how to identify and apply appropriate models when predicting and explaining situations. The lessons, organised over a one-week period, began with a teacher's demonstration and continued with student experiments in which they described the properties and behaviours of six household products representing three different materials. Results:Most students in the experimental group learned to apply the models correctly, as demonstrated by post-test scores that were significantly higher than pre-test scores. The control group showed no significant difference between pre- and post-test scores. Conclusions:The findings indicate that the intervention where students engage in predict, observe, explain activities while several materials and models are confronted at the same time, had a positive effect on learning outcomes.

  3. Children's Understanding of Substances, Part 2: Explaining Chemical Change.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Philip

    2002-01-01

    Focuses on the idea of chemical change and reports data from a study exploring the development of the concept of substance in children aged 11-14. Examines the use of the idea of elements, compounds, and bonding between atoms to explain chemical change and the intersection of these ideas with "basic" particle ideas. (Contains 21 references.)…

  4. Explaining the Socio-Economic Status School Completion Gap

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Polidano, Cain; Hanel, Barbara; Buddelmeyer, Hielke

    2013-01-01

    Relatively low rates of school completion among students from low socio-economic backgrounds is a key driver of intergenerational inequality. Linking data from the Programme for International Student Assessment with data from the Longitudinal Survey of Australian Youth, we use a decomposition framework to explain the gap in school completion rates…

  5. A Quest to Explain the Extreme Realism in Newbery Books

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miguez, Betsy Bryan; Goetting, Denise

    2006-01-01

    The quest to explain the extreme realism found in some Newbery Award books led the authors to discover that there is no unified view of childhood affecting children's literature today. While some adults feel that children must be protected against the evil surrounding them, others feel that they must be prepared to face the world in which they…

  6. Explaining Test Results to Parents. ERIC Digest Number 102.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eissenberg, Thomas E.; Rudner, Lawrence M.

    Guidelines for explaining standardized test results to parents of students are provided. More specifically, the guidelines cover rationales for testing, the various types of scores and their meanings, and means of interpreting scores. Scores covered include stanine scores, percentile scores, and grade-level equivalent scores. The importance to…

  7. Explaining Learning: From Analysis to Paralysis to Hippocampus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, John

    2005-01-01

    This paper seeks to explain learning by examining five theories of learning--conceptual analysis, behavioural, constructivist, computational and connectionist. The first two are found wanting and rejected. Piaget's constructivist theory offers a general explanatory framework (assimilation and accommodation) but fails to provide an adequate account…

  8. Explaining Success and Failure: Counterinsurgency in Malaya and India

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-12-01

    literature relevant for this project includes scholarly work on the Maoist insurgency in India, theories of counterinsurgency, Indian strategic...2009, the Indian central government is providing additional reserve police forces and funds to tackle the insurgency. The analysis of literature ...juxtaposed against the largely failed attempts by the Indian central authorities to control Naxalism. The thesis finds that success is explained by a

  9. Learning to Apply Models of Materials While Explaining Their Properties

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karpin, Tiia; Juuti, Kalle; Lavonen, Jari

    2014-01-01

    Background: Applying structural models is important to chemistry education at the upper secondary level, but it is considered one of the most difficult topics to learn. Purpose: This study analyses to what extent in designed lessons students learned to apply structural models in explaining the properties and behaviours of various materials.…

  10. Violence and Institutionalization in Islamic Activism: Explaining Moderation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-12-01

    purportedly free from corruption and Western influence.4 2 Abdo Baaklini, Guilain Denoeux, and... CT : Yale University Press, 1998, 85-86. 35 Pew Research, 2. 12 2. Major Argument What explains the willingness of Islamist groups, like the...Lebanon into 14 constituencies and crossed sectarian boundaries. As a result, the groups 82 Abdo

  11. Generalizing MOND to explain the missing mass in galaxy clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodson, Alistair O.; Zhao, Hongsheng

    2017-02-01

    Context. MOdified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND) is a gravitational framework designed to explain the astronomical observations in the Universe without the inclusion of particle dark matter. MOND, in its current form, cannot explain the missing mass in galaxy clusters without the inclusion of some extra mass, be it in the form of neutrinos or non-luminous baryonic matter. We investigate whether the MOND framework can be generalized to account for the missing mass in galaxy clusters by boosting gravity in high gravitational potential regions. We examine and review Extended MOND (EMOND), which was designed to increase the MOND scale acceleration in high potential regions, thereby boosting the gravity in clusters. Aims: We seek to investigate galaxy cluster mass profiles in the context of MOND with the primary aim at explaining the missing mass problem fully without the need for dark matter. Methods: Using the assumption that the clusters are in hydrostatic equilibrium, we can compute the dynamical mass of each cluster and compare the result to the predicted mass of the EMOND formalism. Results: We find that EMOND has some success in fitting some clusters, but overall has issues when trying to explain the mass deficit fully. We also investigate an empirical relation to solve the cluster problem, which is found by analysing the cluster data and is based on the MOND paradigm. We discuss the limitations in the text.

  12. Explaining the Effects of Communities of Pastoral Care for Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphy, Joseph; Holste, Linda

    2016-01-01

    This article explains how communities of pastoral care work. It presents an empirically forged theory in action. We examined theoretical and empirical work across the targeted area of personalization for students. We also completed what Hallinger (2012) refers to as "exhaustive review" of the field of school improvement writ large. We…

  13. Explaining Common Variance Shared by Early Numeracy and Literacy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davidse, N. J.; De Jong, M. T.; Bus, A. G.

    2014-01-01

    How can it be explained that early literacy and numeracy share variance? We specifically tested whether the correlation between four early literacy skills (rhyming, letter knowledge, emergent writing, and orthographic knowledge) and simple sums (non-symbolic and story condition) reduced after taking into account preschool attention control,…

  14. "Let Me Explain": Students as Colonial History Docents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gesek, Linda L.

    2000-01-01

    Explains that there are four levels of involvement for introducing students to the skills of docents. Describes a docent program, an extracurricular activity provided at Montgomery High School in Skillman, New Jersey, in which students are docents at the Rockingham Historic Site. Discusses the benefits of such a program. (CMK)

  15. Using Physical Models to Explain a Division Algorithm.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vest, Floyd

    1985-01-01

    Develops a division algorithm in terms of familiar manipulations of concrete objects and presents it with a series of questions for diagnosis of students' understanding of the algorithm in terms of the concrete model utilized. Also offers general guidelines for using concrete illustrations to explain algorithms and other mathematical principles.…

  16. The Role of an Educational Learning Theory: Explaining Difficult Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bereiter, Carl

    The possibility of developing a learning theory that is designed to insure its relevance to educational problems is discussed. It is suggested that the constitutive problem for an educational psychology of learning is how one learns things that are difficult to learn. Behaviorist learning theories fail almost entirely to explain why anything is…

  17. What Educators Need to Explain to the Public

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rich, Dorothy

    2005-01-01

    Education is complex, slow, and demands teamwork. This is what educators need to be able to explain and what the public needs to understand. This is not getting across in the headlines. It is the author's experience that we have at least three categories of wrong ideas and half truths circulating around education: assumptions that mislead,…

  18. Do Sheepskin Effects Help Explain Racial Earnings Differences?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bitzan, John D.

    2009-01-01

    This study examines the role of sheepskin effects in explaining white-black earnings differences. The study finds significant differences in sheepskin effects between white men and black men, with white men receiving higher rewards for lower level signals (degrees of a college education or less) and black men receiving higher rewards for higher…

  19. Students Explaining Science—Assessment of Science Communication Competence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulgemeyer, Christoph; Schecker, Horst

    2013-12-01

    Science communication competence (SCC) is an important educational goal in the school science curricula of several countries. However, there is a lack of research about the structure and the assessment of SCC. This paper specifies the theoretical framework of SCC by a competence model. We developed a qualitative assessment method for SCC that is based on an expert-novice dialog: an older student (explainer, expert) explains a physics phenomenon to a younger peer (addressee, novice) in a controlled test setting. The explanations are video-recorded and analysed by qualitative content analysis. The method was applied in a study with 46 secondary school students as explainers. Our aims were (a) to evaluate whether our model covers the relevant features of SCC, (b) to validate the assessment method and (c) to find characteristics of addressee-adequate explanations. A performance index was calculated to quantify the explainers' levels of competence on an ordinal scale. We present qualitative and quantitative evidence that the index is adequate for assessment purposes. It correlates with results from a written SCC test and a perspective taking test (convergent validity). Addressee-adequate explanations can be characterized by use of graphical representations and deliberate switches between scientific and everyday language.

  20. The Role of Secondary Education in Explaining Competitiveness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baumann, Chris; Winzar, Hume

    2016-01-01

    The literature establishes that education drives economic performance, but the extent that education is associated with a country's competitiveness is empirically untested. Our study analyses Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) data from 63 countries to ascertain education's role in explaining the competitiveness of a country.…

  1. Explaining Differences in Mental Health between Married and Cohabiting Individuals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marcussen, Kristen

    2005-01-01

    Research on the relationship between cohabitation and mental health tends to ignore social psychological factors that help explain mental health differences between the married and the unmarried, including coping resources and perceived relationship quality. In this paper I draw on social psychological theory and research to clarify differences in…

  2. The Effect of Self-Explaining on Robust Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hausmann, Robert G. M.; VanLehn, Kurt

    2010-01-01

    Self-explaining is a domain-independent learning strategy that generally leads to a robust understanding of the domain material. However, there are two potential explanations for its effectiveness. First, self-explanation generates additional "content" that does not exist in the instructional materials. Second, when compared to…

  3. Visualisation and Reasoning in Explaining the Phases of the Moon

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Subramaniam, K.; Padalkar, Shamin

    2009-01-01

    In this study, we examine how subjects set up, transform, and reason with models that they establish on the basis of known facts as they seek to explain a familiar everyday phenomenon--the phases of the moon. An interview schedule was designed to elicit subjects' reasoning, and in the case where explanations were mistaken, to induce a change in…

  4. Analysis and Assessment of Students' Competency to Explain Geographical Processes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dulama, Maria-Eliza; Alexandru, Diana-Elena

    2010-01-01

    In this study we seek to analyse the ability of students to explain, exemplify and outline geographical processes, as well as to assess their competencies by using an evaluation grid. Therefore, we tested two types of hypotheses. The first one regards the fact that it becomes more difficult for students to represent a previously learned…

  5. Absence of formation of benzo[a]pyrene/DNA adducts in the cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis, Mollusca: Cephalopoda)

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, P.G.; Lu, L.J.W.; Salazar, J.J.; Holoubek, V. )

    1994-01-01

    Benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) injected intramuscularly into the base of the arms of cuttlefish was released continuously from the injection site and removed from the organism. Only a portion of the compound accumulated in the body. Twenty-four hr after its injection, 75% of B[a]P applied in olive oil was removed from the cuttlefish, and 1.2% was found in the body outside the head, in site of injection. If the carcinogen was dissolved in dimethylformamide, the removal of B[a]P was slower, so that only 18% of the injected B[a]P was removed from the organism and 0.36% accumulated in the body outside the head 24 hr after injection. The high level of B[a]P in gills and hemolymph 4 hr after injection and the kinetics of the decrease of its concentration with time indicate that these two organs could be involved in the excretion of B[a]P from the body. The B[a]P/DNA adducts characteristic for vertebrates could not be demonstrated in gills, skin, brain, hepatopancreas, and lymphocytes of the cuttlefish 24 hr after injection. The dose of the carcinogene injected into the cuttlefish was 2-4 times higher than the dose resulting in the formation of a high level of B[a]P/DNA adducts in vertebrates. A different metabolism of B[a]P in the tissue of cephalopods, compared to vertebrates, could be less favorable to the process leading to malignant transformation and could explain the absence from the literature of reports of tumors in cephalopods. 15 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs.

  6. Population genetic structure of Bellamya aeruginosa (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Viviparidae) in China: weak divergence across large geographic distances.

    PubMed

    Gu, Qian H; Husemann, Martin; Ding, Baoqing; Luo, Zhi; Xiong, Bang X

    2015-11-01

    Bellamya aeruginosa is a widely distributed Chinese freshwater snail that is heavily harvested, and its natural habitats are under severe threat due to fragmentation and loss. We were interested whether the large geographic distances between populations and habitat fragmentation have led to population differentiation and reduced genetic diversity in the species. To estimate the genetic diversity and population structure of B. aeruginosa, 277 individuals from 12 populations throughout its distribution range across China were sampled: two populations were sampled from the Yellow River system, eight populations from the Yangtze River system, and two populations from isolated plateau lakes. We used seven microsatellite loci and mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I sequences to estimate population genetic parameters and test for demographic fluctuations. Our results showed that (1) the genetic diversity of B. aeruginosa was high for both markers in most of the studied populations and effective population sizes appear to be large, (2) only very low and mostly nonsignificant levels of genetic differentiation existed among the 12 populations, gene flow was generally high, and (3) relatively weak geographic structure was detected despite large geographic distances between populations. Further, no isolation by linear or stream distance was found among populations within the Yangtze River system and no signs of population bottlenecks were detected. Gene flow occurred even between far distant populations, possibly as a result of passive dispersal during flooding events, zoochoric dispersal, and/or anthropogenic translocations explaining the lack of stronger differentiation across large geographic distances. The high genetic diversity of B. aeruginosa and the weak population differentiation are likely the results of strong gene flow facilitated by passive dispersal and large population sizes suggesting that the species currently is not of conservation concern.

  7. Explaining Support Vector Machines: A Color Based Nomogram

    PubMed Central

    Van Belle, Vanya; Van Calster, Ben; Van Huffel, Sabine; Suykens, Johan A. K.; Lisboa, Paulo

    2016-01-01

    Problem setting Support vector machines (SVMs) are very popular tools for classification, regression and other problems. Due to the large choice of kernels they can be applied with, a large variety of data can be analysed using these tools. Machine learning thanks its popularity to the good performance of the resulting models. However, interpreting the models is far from obvious, especially when non-linear kernels are used. Hence, the methods are used as black boxes. As a consequence, the use of SVMs is less supported in areas where interpretability is important and where people are held responsible for the decisions made by models. Objective In this work, we investigate whether SVMs using linear, polynomial and RBF kernels can be explained such that interpretations for model-based decisions can be provided. We further indicate when SVMs can be explained and in which situations interpretation of SVMs is (hitherto) not possible. Here, explainability is defined as the ability to produce the final decision based on a sum of contributions which depend on one single or at most two input variables. Results Our experiments on simulated and real-life data show that explainability of an SVM depends on the chosen parameter values (degree of polynomial kernel, width of RBF kernel and regularization constant). When several combinations of parameter values yield the same cross-validation performance, combinations with a lower polynomial degree or a larger kernel width have a higher chance of being explainable. Conclusions This work summarizes SVM classifiers obtained with linear, polynomial and RBF kernels in a single plot. Linear and polynomial kernels up to the second degree are represented exactly. For other kernels an indication of the reliability of the approximation is presented. The complete methodology is available as an R package and two apps and a movie are provided to illustrate the possibilities offered by the method. PMID:27723811

  8. How Do Consumers Evaluate Explainer Videos? An Empirical Study on the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Different Explainer Video Formats

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krämer, Andreas; Böhrs, Sandra

    2017-01-01

    There is a significant rise in the use of videos. More and more people use videos not only as a source of information but also as learning tool. This article explores the future potential of explainer videos, a format that conveys complex facts to a target group within a very short time. The findings are based on an empirical study representative…

  9. Climate variation explains a third of global crop yield variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ray, Deepak K.; Gerber, James S.; MacDonald, Graham K.; West, Paul C.

    2015-01-01

    Many studies have examined the role of mean climate change in agriculture, but an understanding of the influence of inter-annual climate variations on crop yields in different regions remains elusive. We use detailed crop statistics time series for ~13,500 political units to examine how recent climate variability led to variations in maize, rice, wheat and soybean crop yields worldwide. While some areas show no significant influence of climate variability, in substantial areas of the global breadbaskets, >60% of the yield variability can be explained by climate variability. Globally, climate variability accounts for roughly a third (~32-39%) of the observed yield variability. Our study uniquely illustrates spatial patterns in the relationship between climate variability and crop yield variability, highlighting where variations in temperature, precipitation or their interaction explain yield variability. We discuss key drivers for the observed variations to target further research and policy interventions geared towards buffering future crop production from climate variability.

  10. A developmental hypothesis to explain the multicentricity of breast cancer

    PubMed Central

    Sharpe, C R

    1998-01-01

    In this article the author proposes that the multicentricity of breast cancer might be explained by a developmental hypothesis. Genetic alterations ("hits") occurring in epithelial stem cells during the development of the breast may be transmitted to populations of daughter cells during growth. As a result, areas of the breast may be predisposed to malignant transformation with the occurrence of further genetic hits. Areas with the same predisposition should be anatomically connected, and earlier hits during breast development should result in larger areas of predisposition. The multicentricity of breast cancer would be explained if multiple lesions--monoclonal for the predisposing genetic hit and polyclonal for subsequent hits--developed within a predisposed area. Multiple lesions arising from the spread of disease by extension would be expected to share many genetic hits. The author discusses the implications that further evidence supporting the developmental hypothesis would have for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer. PMID:9679488

  11. Climate variation explains a third of global crop yield variability.

    PubMed

    Ray, Deepak K; Gerber, James S; MacDonald, Graham K; West, Paul C

    2015-01-22

    Many studies have examined the role of mean climate change in agriculture, but an understanding of the influence of inter-annual climate variations on crop yields in different regions remains elusive. We use detailed crop statistics time series for ~13,500 political units to examine how recent climate variability led to variations in maize, rice, wheat and soybean crop yields worldwide. While some areas show no significant influence of climate variability, in substantial areas of the global breadbaskets, >60% of the yield variability can be explained by climate variability. Globally, climate variability accounts for roughly a third (~32-39%) of the observed yield variability. Our study uniquely illustrates spatial patterns in the relationship between climate variability and crop yield variability, highlighting where variations in temperature, precipitation or their interaction explain yield variability. We discuss key drivers for the observed variations to target further research and policy interventions geared towards buffering future crop production from climate variability.

  12. Can transition radiation explain the ANITA event 3985267?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Motloch, Pavel; Alvarez-Muñiz, Jaime; Privitera, Paolo; Zas, Enrique

    2017-02-01

    We investigate whether transition radiation from a particle shower crossing the interface between Earth and air and induced by an Earth-skimming neutrino can explain the upward event announced recently by the ANITA Collaboration. While the properties of the observed signal can in principle be explained with transition radiation, a conservative upper limit on the experiment's aperture for this kind of signal shows that the flux necessary for a successful explanation is in tension with the current best limits from the Pierre Auger Observatory, the IceCube neutrino detector, and the ANITA balloon. We also show that in this scenario, the direction of the incoming neutrino is determined precisely to within a few degrees, combining the polarization properties of the observed events with the Earth opacity to ultrahigh energy neutrinos.

  13. Explaining dehumanization among children: the interspecies model of prejudice.

    PubMed

    Costello, Kimberly; Hodson, Gordon

    2014-03-01

    Although many theoretical approaches have emerged to explain prejudices expressed by children, none incorporate outgroup dehumanization, a key predictor of prejudice among adults. According to the Interspecies Model of Prejudice, beliefs in the human-animal divide facilitate outgroup prejudice through fostering animalistic dehumanization (Costello & Hodson, 2010). In the present investigation, White children attributed Black children fewer 'uniquely human' characteristics, representing the first systematic evidence of racial dehumanization among children (Studies 1 and 2). In Study 2, path analyses supported the Interspecies Model of Prejudice: children's human-animal divide beliefs predicted greater racial prejudice, an effect explained by heightened racial dehumanization. Similar patterns emerged among parents. Furthermore, parent Social Dominance Orientation predicted child prejudice indirectly through children's endorsement of a hierarchical human-animal divide and subsequent dehumanizing tendencies. Encouragingly, children's human-animal divide perceptions were malleable to an experimental prime highlighting animal-human similarity. Implications for prejudice interventions are considered.

  14. Climate variation explains a third of global crop yield variability

    PubMed Central

    Ray, Deepak K.; Gerber, James S.; MacDonald, Graham K.; West, Paul C.

    2015-01-01

    Many studies have examined the role of mean climate change in agriculture, but an understanding of the influence of inter-annual climate variations on crop yields in different regions remains elusive. We use detailed crop statistics time series for ~13,500 political units to examine how recent climate variability led to variations in maize, rice, wheat and soybean crop yields worldwide. While some areas show no significant influence of climate variability, in substantial areas of the global breadbaskets, >60% of the yield variability can be explained by climate variability. Globally, climate variability accounts for roughly a third (~32–39%) of the observed yield variability. Our study uniquely illustrates spatial patterns in the relationship between climate variability and crop yield variability, highlighting where variations in temperature, precipitation or their interaction explain yield variability. We discuss key drivers for the observed variations to target further research and policy interventions geared towards buffering future crop production from climate variability. PMID:25609225

  15. How Can Evolutionary Psychology Successfully Explain Personality and Individual Differences?

    PubMed

    Buss, David M

    2009-07-01

    Although evolutionary psychology has been successful in explaining some species-typical and sex-differentiated adaptations, a large question that has largely eluded the field is this: How can the field successfully explain personality and individual differences? This article highlights some promising theoretical directions for tackling this question. These include life-history theory, costly signaling theory, environmental variability in fitness optima, frequency-dependent selection, mutation load, and flexibly contingent shifts in strategy according to environmental conditions. Tackling the explanatory question also requires progress on three fronts: (a) reframing some personality traits as forms of strategic individual differences; (b) providing a nonarbitrary, evolutionary-based formulation of environments as distributions and salience profiles of adaptive problems; and (c) identifying which strategies thrive and which falter in these differing problem-defined environments.

  16. Imitation explains the propagation, not the stability of animal culture

    PubMed Central

    Claidière, Nicolas; Sperber, Dan

    2010-01-01

    For acquired behaviour to count as cultural, two conditions must be met: it must propagate in a social group, and it must remain stable across generations in the process of propagation. It is commonly assumed that imitation is the mechanism that explains both the spread of animal culture and its stability. We review the literature on transmission chain studies in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and other animals, and we use a formal model to argue that imitation, which may well play a major role in the propagation of animal culture, cannot be considered faithful enough to explain its stability. We consider the contribution that other psychological and ecological factors might make to the stability of animal culture observed in the wild. PMID:19889707

  17. Microbes can help explain the evolution of host altruism

    PubMed Central

    Lewin-Epstein, Ohad; Aharonov, Ranit; Hadany, Lilach

    2017-01-01

    The evolution of altruistic behaviour, which is costly to the donor but beneficial for the recipient, is among the most intriguing questions in evolutionary biology. Several theories have been proposed to explain it, including kin selection, group selection and reciprocity. Here we propose that microbes that manipulate their hosts to act altruistically could be favoured by selection, and may play a role in the widespread occurrence of altruism. Using computational models, we find that microbe-induced altruism can explain the evolution of host altruistic behaviour under wider conditions than host-centred theories, including in a fully mixed host population, without repeating interactions or individual recognition. Our results suggest that factors such as antibiotics that kill microbes might negatively affect cooperation in a wide range of organisms. PMID:28079112

  18. Imitation explains the propagation, not the stability of animal culture.

    PubMed

    Claidière, Nicolas; Sperber, Dan

    2010-02-22

    For acquired behaviour to count as cultural, two conditions must be met: it must propagate in a social group, and it must remain stable across generations in the process of propagation. It is commonly assumed that imitation is the mechanism that explains both the spread of animal culture and its stability. We review the literature on transmission chain studies in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and other animals, and we use a formal model to argue that imitation, which may well play a major role in the propagation of animal culture, cannot be considered faithful enough to explain its stability. We consider the contribution that other psychological and ecological factors might make to the stability of animal culture observed in the wild.

  19. Mechanical vulnerability explains size-dependent mortality of reef corals

    PubMed Central

    Madin, Joshua S; Baird, Andrew H; Dornelas, Maria; Connolly, Sean R

    2014-01-01

    Understanding life history and demographic variation among species within communities is a central ecological goal. Mortality schedules are especially important in ecosystems where disturbance plays a major role in structuring communities, such as coral reefs. Here, we test whether a trait-based, mechanistic model of mechanical vulnerability in corals can explain mortality schedules. Specifically, we ask whether species that become increasingly vulnerable to hydrodynamic dislodgment as they grow have bathtub-shaped mortality curves, whereas species that remain mechanically stable have decreasing mortality rates with size, as predicted by classical life history theory for reef corals. We find that size-dependent mortality is highly consistent between species with the same growth form and that the shape of size-dependent mortality for each growth form can be explained by mechanical vulnerability. Our findings highlight the feasibility of predicting assemblage-scale mortality patterns on coral reefs with trait-based approaches. PMID:24894390

  20. Does sexual selection explain human sex differences in aggression?

    PubMed

    Archer, John

    2009-08-01

    I argue that the magnitude and nature of sex differences in aggression, their development, causation, and variability, can be better explained by sexual selection than by the alternative biosocial version of social role theory. Thus, sex differences in physical aggression increase with the degree of risk, occur early in life, peak in young adulthood, and are likely to be mediated by greater male impulsiveness, and greater female fear of physical danger. Male variability in physical aggression is consistent with an alternative life history perspective, and context-dependent variability with responses to reproductive competition, although some variability follows the internal and external influences of social roles. Other sex differences, in variance in reproductive output, threat displays, size and strength, maturation rates, and mortality and conception rates, all indicate that male aggression is part of a sexually selected adaptive complex. Physical aggression between partners can be explained using different evolutionary principles, arising from the conflicts of interest between males and females entering a reproductive alliance, combined with variability following differences in societal gender roles. In this case, social roles are particularly important since they enable both the relatively equality in physical aggression between partners from Western nations, and the considerable cross-national variability, to be explained.

  1. Weather explains high annual variation in butterfly dispersal.

    PubMed

    Kuussaari, Mikko; Rytteri, Susu; Heikkinen, Risto K; Heliölä, Janne; von Bagh, Peter

    2016-07-27

    Weather conditions fundamentally affect the activity of short-lived insects. Annual variation in weather is therefore likely to be an important determinant of their between-year variation in dispersal, but conclusive empirical studies are lacking. We studied whether the annual variation of dispersal can be explained by the flight season's weather conditions in a Clouded Apollo (Parnassius mnemosyne) metapopulation. This metapopulation was monitored using the mark-release-recapture method for 12 years. Dispersal was quantified for each monitoring year using three complementary measures: emigration rate (fraction of individuals moving between habitat patches), average residence time in the natal patch, and average distance moved. There was much variation both in dispersal and average weather conditions among the years. Weather variables significantly affected the three measures of dispersal and together with adjusting variables explained 79-91% of the variation observed in dispersal. Different weather variables became selected in the models explaining variation in three dispersal measures apparently because of the notable intercorrelations. In general, dispersal rate increased with increasing temperature, solar radiation, proportion of especially warm days, and butterfly density, and decreased with increasing cloudiness, rainfall, and wind speed. These results help to understand and model annually varying dispersal dynamics of species affected by global warming.

  2. Genetic pleiotropy explains associations between musical auditory discrimination and intelligence.

    PubMed

    Mosing, Miriam A; Pedersen, Nancy L; Madison, Guy; Ullén, Fredrik

    2014-01-01

    Musical aptitude is commonly measured using tasks that involve discrimination of different types of musical auditory stimuli. Performance on such different discrimination tasks correlates positively with each other and with intelligence. However, no study to date has explored these associations using a genetically informative sample to estimate underlying genetic and environmental influences. In the present study, a large sample of Swedish twins (N = 10,500) was used to investigate the genetic architecture of the associations between intelligence and performance on three musical auditory discrimination tasks (rhythm, melody and pitch). Phenotypic correlations between the tasks ranged between 0.23 and 0.42 (Pearson r values). Genetic modelling showed that the covariation between the variables could be explained by shared genetic influences. Neither shared, nor non-shared environment had a significant effect on the associations. Good fit was obtained with a two-factor model where one underlying shared genetic factor explained all the covariation between the musical discrimination tasks and IQ, and a second genetic factor explained variance exclusively shared among the discrimination tasks. The results suggest that positive correlations among musical aptitudes result from both genes with broad effects on cognition, and genes with potentially more specific influences on auditory functions.

  3. Predator mimicry, not conspicuousness, explains the efficacy of butterfly eyespots.

    PubMed

    De Bona, Sebastiano; Valkonen, Janne K; López-Sepulcre, Andrés; Mappes, Johanna

    2015-05-07

    Large conspicuous eyespots on butterfly wings have been shown to deter predators. This has been traditionally explained by mimicry of vertebrate eyes, but recently the classic eye-mimicry hypothesis has been challenged. It is proposed that the conspicuousness of the eyespot, not mimicry, is what causes aversion due to sensory biases, neophobia or sensory overloads. We conducted an experiment to directly test whether the eye-mimicry or the conspicuousness hypothesis better explain eyespot efficacy. We used great tits (Parus major) as model predator, and tested their reaction towards animated images on a computer display. Birds were tested against images of butterflies without eyespots, with natural-looking eyespots, and manipulated spots with the same contrast but reduced resemblance to an eye, as well as images of predators (owls) with and without eyes. We found that mimetic eyespots were as effective as true eyes of owls and more efficient in eliciting an aversive response than modified, less mimetic but equally contrasting eyespots. We conclude that the eye-mimicry hypothesis explains our results better than the conspicuousness hypothesis and is thus likely to be an important mechanism behind the evolution of butterfly eyespots.

  4. Earthquake lubrication and healing explained by amorphous nanosilica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rowe, C. D.; Lamothe, K. G.; Rempe, M.; Andrews, M.; Mitchell, T. M.; Di Toro, G.; White, J. C.

    2015-12-01

    Earthquake slip and rupture propagation require fault strength to decrease during slip. Extreme shear weakening observed in laboratory friction experiments on silica-rich rocks has been explained by the formation of a hydrated amorphous 'silica gel' on the slip surface, but the mode of formation and deformation behavior of this material are not known. In addition, the wear material displays time-dependent strengthening on timescales of hours to days. We performed shearing experiments on chert rocks and analyzed the wear material formed at a range of slip rates from 10-4 - 10-1 m/s. We show by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray diffraction that silica lubrication is the result of the formation of amorphous nanopowder rather than a gel. The nanopowder has distinct structure and properties when compared to commercially available amorphous silica nanoparticles, which result from the degree and distribution of hydration and the style of bond strain within particles (observed by Raman spectroscopy and FTIR). The lubrication effect is due to intra-particle plasticity, even at low temperature and interparticle lubrication caused by trapping of water layers between hydrated surfaces. The hours to days timescale of healing may be explained by the natural time-dependent sintering between the hydrated surfaces of the nanopowder. Formation of amorphous silica nanopowders during slip can explain the general characteristics of earthquake ruptures, including the timescales of coseismic weakening and post-seismic healing.

  5. Face context advantage explained by vernier and separation discrimination acuity.

    PubMed

    Vesker, Michael; Wilson, Hugh R

    2012-01-01

    Seeing facial features in the context of a full face is known to provide an advantage for perception. Using an interocular separation perception task we confirmed that seeing eyes within the context of a face improves discrimination in synthetic faces. We also show that this improvement of the face context can be explained using the presence of individual components of the face such as the nose mouth, or head-outline. We demonstrate that improvements due to the presence of the nose, and head-outline can be explained in terms of two-point separation measurements, obeying Weber's law as established in the literature. We also demonstrate that performance improvements due to the presence of the mouth can be explained in terms of Vernier acuity judgments between eye positions and the corners of the mouth. Overall, our study shows that the improvements in perception of facial features due to the face context effect can be traced to well understood basic visual measurements that may play a very general role in perceptual measurements of distance. Deficiencies in these measurements may also play a role in prosopagnosia. Additionally, we show interference of the eyebrows with the face-inversion effect for interocular discrimination.

  6. Explaining ecological clusters of maternal depression in South Western Sydney

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The aim of the qualitative study reported here was to: 1) explain the observed clustering of postnatal depressive symptoms in South Western Sydney; and 2) identify group-level mechanisms that would add to our understanding of the social determinants of maternal depression. Methods Critical realism provided the methodological underpinning for the study. The setting was four local government areas in South Western Sydney, Australia. Child and Family practitioners and mothers in naturally occurring mothers groups were interviewed. Results Using an open coding approach to maximise emergence of patterns and relationships we have identified seven theoretical concepts that might explain the observed spatial clustering of maternal depression. The theoretical concepts identified were: Community-level social networks; Social Capital and Social Cohesion; "Depressed community"; Access to services at the group level; Ethnic segregation and diversity; Supportive social policy; and Big business. Conclusions We postulate that these regional structural, economic, social and cultural mechanisms partially explain the pattern of maternal depression observed in families and communities within South Western Sydney. We further observe that powerful global economic and political forces are having an impact on the local situation. The challenge for policy and practice is to support mothers and their families within this adverse regional and global-economic context. PMID:24460690

  7. Explaining formation of Astronomical Jets using Dynamic Universe Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naga Parameswara Gupta, Satyavarapu

    2016-07-01

    Astronomical jets are observed from the centres of many Galaxies including our own Milkyway. The formation of such jet is explained using SITA simulations of Dynamic Universe Model. For this purpose the path traced by a test neutron is calculated and depicted using a set up of one densemass of the mass equivalent to mass of Galaxy center, 90 stars with similar masses of stars near Galaxy center, mass equivalents of 23 Globular Cluster groups, 16 Milkyway parts, Andromeda and Triangulum Galaxies at appropriate distances. Five different kinds of theoretical simulations gave positive results The path travelled by this test neutron was found to be an astronomical jet emerging from Galaxy center. This is another result from Dynamic Universe Model. It solves new problems like a. Variable Mass Rocket Trajectory Problem b. Explaining Very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) observations c. Astronomical jets observed from Milkyway Center d. Prediction of Blue shifted Galaxies e. Explaining Pioneer Anomaly f. Prediction of New Horizons satellite trajectory etc. Dynamic Universe Model never reduces to General relativity on any condition. It uses a different type of mathematics based on Newtonian physics. This mathematics used here is simple and straightforward. As there are no differential equations present in Dynamic Universe Model, the set of equations give single solution in x y z Cartesian coordinates for every point mass for every time step

  8. Predator mimicry, not conspicuousness, explains the efficacy of butterfly eyespots

    PubMed Central

    De Bona, Sebastiano; Valkonen, Janne K.; López-Sepulcre, Andrés; Mappes, Johanna

    2015-01-01

    Large conspicuous eyespots on butterfly wings have been shown to deter predators. This has been traditionally explained by mimicry of vertebrate eyes, but recently the classic eye-mimicry hypothesis has been challenged. It is proposed that the conspicuousness of the eyespot, not mimicry, is what causes aversion due to sensory biases, neophobia or sensory overloads. We conducted an experiment to directly test whether the eye-mimicry or the conspicuousness hypothesis better explain eyespot efficacy. We used great tits (Parus major) as model predator, and tested their reaction towards animated images on a computer display. Birds were tested against images of butterflies without eyespots, with natural-looking eyespots, and manipulated spots with the same contrast but reduced resemblance to an eye, as well as images of predators (owls) with and without eyes. We found that mimetic eyespots were as effective as true eyes of owls and more efficient in eliciting an aversive response than modified, less mimetic but equally contrasting eyespots. We conclude that the eye-mimicry hypothesis explains our results better than the conspicuousness hypothesis and is thus likely to be an important mechanism behind the evolution of butterfly eyespots. PMID:25854889

  9. Conceptual Foundations of Systems Biology Explaining Complex Cardiac Diseases.

    PubMed

    Louridas, George E; Lourida, Katerina G

    2017-02-21

    Systems biology is an important concept that connects molecular biology and genomics with computing science, mathematics and engineering. An endeavor is made in this paper to associate basic conceptual ideas of systems biology with clinical medicine. Complex cardiac diseases are clinical phenotypes generated by integration of genetic, molecular and environmental factors. Basic concepts of systems biology like network construction, modular thinking, biological constraints (downward biological direction) and emergence (upward biological direction) could be applied to clinical medicine. Especially, in the field of cardiology, these concepts can be used to explain complex clinical cardiac phenotypes like chronic heart failure and coronary artery disease. Cardiac diseases are biological complex entities which like other biological phenomena can be explained by a systems biology approach. The above powerful biological tools of systems biology can explain robustness growth and stability during disease process from modulation to phenotype. The purpose of the present review paper is to implement systems biology strategy and incorporate some conceptual issues raised by this approach into the clinical field of complex cardiac diseases. Cardiac disease process and progression can be addressed by the holistic realistic approach of systems biology in order to define in better terms earlier diagnosis and more effective therapy.

  10. What explains childhood violence? Micro correlates from VACS surveys.

    PubMed

    Ravi, Shamika; Ahluwalia, Rahul

    2017-03-01

    Violence in childhood is a serious health, social and human rights concern globally, there is, however, little understanding about the factors that explain the various forms of violence in childhood. This paper uses data on childhood violence for 10,042 individuals from four countries. We report Odds Ratios from pooled logit regression analysis with country fixed effects model. There is no gender difference in the overall incidence of childhood violence. The data shows that 78% of girls and 79% of boys have suffered some form of violence before the age of 18 years. Odds of violence are higher among richer households, among individuals who have attended school and among individuals who have been married or in marriage-like arrangements. Individuals who justify wife beating have significantly higher likelihood of having faced violence themselves. Most perpetrators of violence against children - physical, emotional and sexual - are people known to them in their homes and community, and not strangers. There is limited understanding of the factors that explain violence in childhood. This study highlights some key factors that can explain this phenomenon.

  11. Explaining Racial Disparities in Infant Health in Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Nyarko, Kwame A.; Lopez-Camelo, Jorge; Castilla, Eduardo E.

    2015-01-01

    Objectives. We sought to quantify how socioeconomic, health care, demographic, and geographic effects explain racial disparities in low birth weight (LBW) and preterm birth (PTB) rates in Brazil. Methods. We employed a sample of 8949 infants born between 1995 and 2009 in 15 cities and 7 provinces in Brazil. We focused on disparities in LBW (< 2500 g) and PTB (< 37 gestational weeks) prevalence between infants of African ancestry alone or African mixed with other ancestries, and European ancestry alone. We used a decomposition model to quantify the contributions of conceptually relevant factors to these disparities. Results. The model explained 45% to 94% of LBW and 64% to 94% of PTB disparities between the African ancestry groups and European ancestry. Differences in prenatal care use and geographic location were the most important contributors, followed by socioeconomic differences. The model explained the majority of the disparities for mixed African ancestry and part of the disparity for African ancestry alone. Conclusions. Public policies to improve children’s health should target prenatal care and geographic location differences to reduce health disparities between infants of African and European ancestries in Brazil. PMID:26313046

  12. Strong resonance explains cycles in sockeye salmon populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guill, Christian; Drossel, Barbara

    2010-03-01

    The number of spawning sockeye salmon that return to their native streams in the Fraser river basin exhibit striking four-year oscillations, the dimension of which being no less notable than the widely known cycles of lynx and snowshoe hare in Canada. The period of the oscillation corresponds to the dominant generation time of these fish, and the phase differs between different stocks. Various not fully convincing explanations have been attempted, ascribing this phenomenon to transient effects, to stochastic influences, to depensatory predation, or to genetic effects. We show that these oscillations can be explained as a stable dynamical attractor of the population dynamics, resulting from a strong resonance near a Neimark Sacker bifurcation. This explains not only the long-term persistence of these oscillations, but also reproduces correctly the sequence of two strong years followed by two weak years. Furthermore, it explains the observations that the oscillations occur only in oligotrophic lakes, and that they do not occur in salmon species that have a longer generation time.

  13. Conceptual Foundations of Systems Biology Explaining Complex Cardiac Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Louridas, George E.; Lourida, Katerina G.

    2017-01-01

    Systems biology is an important concept that connects molecular biology and genomics with computing science, mathematics and engineering. An endeavor is made in this paper to associate basic conceptual ideas of systems biology with clinical medicine. Complex cardiac diseases are clinical phenotypes generated by integration of genetic, molecular and environmental factors. Basic concepts of systems biology like network construction, modular thinking, biological constraints (downward biological direction) and emergence (upward biological direction) could be applied to clinical medicine. Especially, in the field of cardiology, these concepts can be used to explain complex clinical cardiac phenotypes like chronic heart failure and coronary artery disease. Cardiac diseases are biological complex entities which like other biological phenomena can be explained by a systems biology approach. The above powerful biological tools of systems biology can explain robustness growth and stability during disease process from modulation to phenotype. The purpose of the present review paper is to implement systems biology strategy and incorporate some conceptual issues raised by this approach into the clinical field of complex cardiac diseases. Cardiac disease process and progression can be addressed by the holistic realistic approach of systems biology in order to define in better terms earlier diagnosis and more effective therapy. PMID:28230815

  14. Traits underpinning desiccation resistance explain distribution patterns of terrestrial isopods.

    PubMed

    Dias, André T C; Krab, Eveline J; Mariën, Janine; Zimmer, Martin; Cornelissen, Johannes H C; Ellers, Jacintha; Wardle, David A; Berg, Matty P

    2013-07-01

    Predicted changes in soil water availability regimes with climate and land-use change will impact the community of functionally important soil organisms, such as macro-detritivores. Identifying and quantifying the functional traits that underlie interspecific differences in desiccation resistance will enhance our ability to predict both macro-detritivore community responses to changing water regimes and the consequences of the associated species shifts for organic matter turnover. Using path analysis, we tested (1) how interspecific differences in desiccation resistance among 22 northwestern European terrestrial isopod species could be explained by three underlying traits measured under standard laboratory conditions, namely, body ventral surface area, water loss rate and fatal water loss; (2) whether these relationships were robust to contrasting experimental conditions and to the phylogenetic relatedness effects being excluded; (3) whether desiccation resistance and hypothesized underlying traits could explain species distribution patterns in relation to site water availability. Water loss rate and (secondarily) fatal water loss together explained 90% of the interspecific variation in desiccation resistance. Our path model indicated that body surface area affects desiccation resistance only indirectly via changes in water loss rate. Our results also show that soil moisture determines isopod species distributions by filtering them according to traits underpinning desiccation resistance. These findings reveal that it is possible to use functional traits measured under standard conditions to predict soil biota responses to water availability in the field over broad spatial scales. Taken together, our results demonstrate an increasing need to generate mechanistic models to predict the effect of global changes on functionally important organisms.

  15. Explaining human uniqueness: genome interactions with environment, behaviour and culture.

    PubMed

    Varki, Ajit; Geschwind, Daniel H; Eichler, Evan E

    2008-10-01

    What makes us human? Specialists in each discipline respond through the lens of their own expertise. In fact, 'anthropogeny' (explaining the origin of humans) requires a transdisciplinary approach that eschews such barriers. Here we take a genomic and genetic perspective towards molecular variation, explore systems analysis of gene expression and discuss an organ-systems approach. Rejecting any 'genes versus environment' dichotomy, we then consider genome interactions with environment, behaviour and culture, finally speculating that aspects of human uniqueness arose because of a primate evolutionary trend towards increasing and irreversible dependence on learned behaviours and culture - perhaps relaxing allowable thresholds for large-scale genomic diversity.

  16. Johnson or Goldwater-- Two Scientists Explain Their Choice.

    PubMed

    1964-10-16

    Since scientists seem to be showing an unusually active interest in the current presidential election campaign, Science has asked two politically active leaders of the scientific community to state the reasons for their political choice. Specifically, they were asked to explain their political preference, "with particular emphasis on matters of direct professional interest to the scientific community, such as federal support for education and basic research . . . (and) . . . how the outcome of the election might affect the present relationship between science and government, including the effects it might have on the development and quality of American science."

  17. Explaining and overcoming barriers to climate change adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eisenack, Klaus; Moser, Susanne C.; Hoffmann, Esther; Klein, Richard J. T.; Oberlack, Christoph; Pechan, Anna; Rotter, Maja; Termeer, Catrien J. A. M.

    2014-10-01

    The concept of barriers is increasingly used to describe the obstacles that hinder the planning and implementation of climate change adaptation. The growing literature on barriers to adaptation reveals not only commonly reported barriers, but also conflicting evidence, and few explanations of why barriers exist and change. There is thus a need for research that focuses on the interdependencies between barriers and considers the dynamic ways in which barriers develop and persist. Such research, which would be actor-centred and comparative, would help to explain barriers to adaptation and provide insights into how to overcome them.

  18. The Poggendorff illusion explained by natural scene geometry.

    PubMed

    Howe, Catherine Q; Yang, Zhiyong; Purves, Dale

    2005-05-24

    One of the most intriguing of the many discrepancies between perceived spatial relationships and the physical structure of visual stimuli is the Poggendorff illusion, when an obliquely oriented line that is interrupted no longer appears collinear. Although many different theories have been proposed to explain this effect, there has been no consensus about its cause. Here, we use a database of range images (i.e., images that include the distance from the image plane of every pixel in the scene) to show that the probability distribution of the possible locations of line segments across an interval in natural environments can fully account for all of the behavior of this otherwise puzzling phenomenon.

  19. Explaining human uniqueness: genome interactions with environment, behaviour and culture

    PubMed Central

    Varki, Ajit; Geschwind, Daniel H.; Eichler, Evan E.

    2009-01-01

    What makes us human? Specialists in each discipline respond through the lens of their own expertise. In fact, ‘anthropogeny’ (explaining the origin of humans) requires a transdisciplinary approach that eschews such barriers. Here we take a genomic and genetic perspective towards molecular variation, explore systems analysis of gene expression and discuss an organ-systems approach. Rejecting any ‘genes versus environment’ dichotomy, we then consider genome interactions with environment, behaviour and culture, finally speculating that aspects of human uniqueness arose because of a primate evolutionary trend towards increasing and irreversible dependence on learned behaviours and culture — perhaps relaxing allowable thresholds for large-scale genomic diversity. PMID:18802414

  20. Recent advances in explaining fertility declines in the third world.

    PubMed

    Sharma, R K

    1984-01-01

    The purpose of this discussion is to provide a theoretical-methodological review of some recent socioeconomic theories that have been advanced to explain fertility decline in the 3rd world. Each theory is analyzed in terms of its theoretical claims and the methodology used in testing it. The intent is not so much with whether a particular theory has succeeded in explaining fertility decline but rather with the theoretical-methodological problems inherent in any attempt to explain fertility decline. The theories chosen are those theories that are explicity sociological in orientation or those that contain a significant sociological component. These theories are classified into 4 groups: proximate determinants of fertility; the "Synthesis Framework" of Easterlin; styles of development and fertility decline; and the "Wealth Flow" theory of fertility decline. Bongaarts (1978) developed an analytically simple yet comprehensive quantitative model of the relationship between the so-called intermediate variables and fertility. It can be either biological (such as sterility) or behavioral (such as contraceptive use)in nature. The most important finding from the application of Bongaart¿s framework (1982) is that fertility differences among populations are primarily due to variations in only 4 intermediate variables, namely proportion married, contraception, induced abortion, and postpartum infecundability. A knowledge of which proximate variable is responsible for fertility decline can narrow the search for social causes. The task of social research isultimately to understand such social causes that work through proximate variables to determine fertility. The "Synthesis Framework" of Easterlin attempts to accomplish precisely this by incorporating proximate variables within a broader socioeconomic framework. Those attempting to study the relationship between styles of development and fertility decline share this objective. The task of fertility research needs to be expanded

  1. Can evolutionary principles explain patterns of family violence?

    PubMed

    Archer, John

    2013-03-01

    The article's aim is to evaluate the application of the evolutionary principles of kin selection, reproductive value, and resource holding power to the understanding of family violence. The principles are described in relation to specific predictions and the mechanisms underlying these. Predictions are evaluated for physical violence perpetrated by (a) parents to unrelated children, (b) parents to genetic offspring, and (c) offspring to parents and between (d) siblings and (e) sexual partners. Precise figures for risks have been calculated where possible. The major conclusions are that most of the evidence is consistent with evolutionary predictions derived from kin selection and reproductive value: There were (a) higher rates of violence to stepchildren, (b) a decline in violence with the age of offspring, and (c) an increase in violence with parental age, while (d) violence between siblings was generally at a low level and concerned resource disputes. The issue of distinguishing evolutionary from alternative explanations is addressed throughout and is problematic for predictions derived from reproductive value. The main evolutionary explanation for male partner violence, mate guarding as a result of paternity uncertainty, cannot explain Western studies where sex differences in control and violence between partners were absent, although other aspects of male partner violence are consistent with it, and it may explain sex differences in traditional cultures. Recurrent problems in evaluating the evidence were to control for possible confounds and thus to distinguish evolutionary from alternative explanations. Suggestions are outlined to address this and other issues arising from the review.

  2. A unified physical model to explain Supercavity closure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arndt, Roger; Karn, Ashish; Hong, Jiarong

    2014-11-01

    An insight into underlying physics behind supercavity closure is an important issue for the operation of underwater vehicles for a number of reasons viz. associated gas flow requirement with each closure regime, effect of cavity closure on the overall cavity behavior and collapse, differences between natural and ventilated supercavity closure etc. There have been several reports on supercavity closure since the 1950s and many empirical relationships governing different closure modes have been proposed by different authors. Yet, there is no universal agreement between results obtained at different experimental facilities. In some cases, contradictory observations have been made. In this talk, systematic investigations conducted into supercavity closure across a wide range of experimental conditions at the Saint Anthony Falls Laboratory (SAFL) are presented. A variety of closure mechanisms were observed including the ones widely reported in the literature, viz. twin vortex, re-entrant jet; new stable closure modes viz. quad vortex and interacting vortex and a host of transition closure modes. A hypothesis on the physical mechanism based on the pressure gradient across the cavity that determines the closure modes is proposed. Using this hypothesis and the control volume analysis at supercavity closure, we explain the observations from SAFL experiments as well as reconcile the observations reported by different researchers. The hypothesis explains the supercavity closure across different experimental facilities, at different blockage ratios and at different flow conditions. Thus, a unified understanding into supercavity closure from the viewpoint of fundamental physics is attempted. Supported by the Office Of Naval Research.

  3. Leveraging population admixture to explain missing heritability of complex traits

    PubMed Central

    Zaitlen, Noah; Pasaniuc, Bogdan; Sankararaman, Sriram; Bhatia, Gaurav; Zhang, Jianqi; Gusev, Alexander; Young, Taylor; Tandon, Arti; Pollack, Samuela; Vilhjálmsson, Bjarni J.; Assimes, Themistocles L.; Berndt, Sonja I.; Blot, William J.; Chanock, Stephen; Franceschini, Nora; Goodman, Phyllis G.; He, Jing; Hennis, Anselm JM; Hsing, Ann; Ingles, Sue A.; Isaacs, William; Kittles, Rick A.; Klein, Eric A.; Lange, Leslie A.; Nemesure, Barbara; Patterson, Nick; Reich, David; Rybicki, Benjamin A.; Stanford, Janet L.; Stevens, Victoria L; Strom, Sara S.; Whitsel, Eric A; Witte, John S.; Xu, Jianfeng; Haiman, Christopher; Wilson, James G.; Kooperberg, Charles; Stram, Daniel; Reiner, Alex P.; Tang, Hua; Price, Alkes L.

    2014-01-01

    Despite recent progress on estimating the heritability explained by genotyped SNPs (hg2), a large gap between hg2 and estimates of total narrow-sense heritability (h2) remains. Explanations for this gap include rare variants, or upward bias in family-based estimates of h2 due to shared environment or epistasis. We estimate h2 from unrelated individuals in admixed populations by first estimating the heritability explained by local ancestry (hγ2). We show that hγ2 = 2FSTCθ(1−θ)h2, where FSTC measures frequency differences between populations at causal loci and θ is the genome-wide ancestry proportion. Our approach is not susceptible to biases caused by epistasis or shared environment. We examined 21,497 African Americans from three cohorts, analyzing 13 phenotypes. For height and BMI, we obtained h2 estimates of 0.55 ± 0.09 and 0.23 ± 0.06, respectively, which are larger than estimates of hg2 in these and other data, but smaller than family-based estimates of h2. PMID:25383972

  4. Carcinogenesis explained within the context of a theory of organisms.

    PubMed

    Sonnenschein, Carlos; Soto, Ana M

    2016-10-01

    For a century, the somatic mutation theory (SMT) has been the prevalent theory to explain carcinogenesis. According to the SMT, cancer is a cellular problem, and thus, the level of organization where it should be studied is the cellular level. Additionally, the SMT proposes that cancer is a problem of the control of cell proliferation and assumes that proliferative quiescence is the default state of cells in metazoa. In 1999, a competing theory, the tissue organization field theory (TOFT), was proposed. In contraposition to the SMT, the TOFT posits that cancer is a tissue-based disease whereby carcinogens (directly) and mutations in the germ-line (indirectly) alter the normal interactions between the diverse components of an organ, such as the stroma and its adjacent epithelium. The TOFT explicitly acknowledges that the default state of all cells is proliferation with variation and motility. When taking into consideration the principle of organization, we posit that carcinogenesis can be explained as a relational problem whereby release of the constraints created by cell interactions and the physical forces generated by cellular agency lead cells within a tissue to regain their default state of proliferation with variation and motility. Within this perspective, what matters both in morphogenesis and carcinogenesis is not only molecules, but also biophysical forces generated by cells and tissues. Herein, we describe how the principles for a theory of organisms apply to the TOFT and thus to the study of carcinogenesis.

  5. Somatic Uniparental Isodisomy Explains Multifocality of Glomuvenous Malformations

    PubMed Central

    Amyere, Mustapha; Aerts, Virginie; Brouillard, Pascal; McIntyre, Brendan A.S.; Duhoux, François P.; Wassef, Michel; Enjolras, Odile; Mulliken, John B.; Devuyst, Olivier; Antoine-Poirel, Hélène; Boon, Laurence M.; Vikkula, Miikka

    2013-01-01

    Inherited vascular malformations are commonly autosomal dominantly inherited with high, but incomplete, penetrance; they often present as multiple lesions. We hypothesized that Knudson’s two-hit model could explain this multifocality and partial penetrance. We performed a systematic analysis of inherited glomuvenous malformations (GVMs) by using multiple approaches, including a sensitive allele-specific pairwise SNP-chip method. Overall, we identified 16 somatic mutations, most of which were not intragenic but were cases of acquired uniparental isodisomy (aUPID) involving chromosome 1p. The breakpoint of each aUPID is located in an A- and T-rich, high-DNA-flexibility region (1p13.1–1p12). This region corresponds to a possible new fragile site. Occurrences of these mutations render the inherited glomulin variant in 1p22.1 homozygous in the affected tissues without loss of genetic material. This finding demonstrates that a double hit is needed to trigger formation of a GVM. It also suggests that somatic UPID, only detectable by sensitive pairwise analysis in heterogeneous tissues, might be a common phenomenon in human cells. Thus, aUPID might play a role in the pathogenesis of various nonmalignant disorders and might explain local impaired function and/or clinical variability. Furthermore, these data suggest that pairwise analysis of blood and tissue, even on heterogeneous tissue, can be used for localizing double-hit mutations in disease-causing genes. PMID:23375657

  6. Mycorrhizal status helps explain invasion success of alien plant species.

    PubMed

    Menzel, Andreas; Hempel, Stefan; Klotz, Stefan; Moora, Mari; Pyšek, Petr; Rillig, Matthias C; Zobel, Martin; Kühn, Ingolf

    2017-01-01

    It is still debated whether alien plants benefit from being mycorrhizal, or if engaging in the symbiosis constrains their establishment and spread in new regions. We analyzed the association between mycorrhizal status of alien plant species in Germany and their invasion success. We compared whether the representation of species with different mycorrhizal status (obligate, facultative, or non-mycorrhizal) differed at several stages of the invasion process. We used generalized linear models to explain the occupied geographical range of alien plants, incorporating interactions of mycorrhizal status with plant traits related to morphology, reproduction, and life-history. Non-naturalized aliens did not differ from naturalized aliens in the relative frequency of different mycorrhizal status categories. Mycorrhizal status significantly explained the occupied range of alien plants; with facultative mycorrhizal species inhabiting a larger range than non-mycorrhizal aliens and obligate mycorrhizal plant species taking an intermediate position. Aliens with storage organs, shoot metamorphoses, or specialized structures promoting vegetative dispersal occupied a larger range when being facultative mycorrhizal. We conclude that being mycorrhizal is important for the persistence of aliens in Germany and constitutes an advantage compared to being non-mycorrhizal. Being facultative mycorrhizal seems to be especially advantageous for successful spread, as the flexibility of this mycorrhizal status may enable plants to use a broader set of ecological strategies.

  7. Reinforcement Learning Explains Conditional Cooperation and Its Moody Cousin.

    PubMed

    Ezaki, Takahiro; Horita, Yutaka; Takezawa, Masanori; Masuda, Naoki

    2016-07-01

    Direct reciprocity, or repeated interaction, is a main mechanism to sustain cooperation under social dilemmas involving two individuals. For larger groups and networks, which are probably more relevant to understanding and engineering our society, experiments employing repeated multiplayer social dilemma games have suggested that humans often show conditional cooperation behavior and its moody variant. Mechanisms underlying these behaviors largely remain unclear. Here we provide a proximate account for this behavior by showing that individuals adopting a type of reinforcement learning, called aspiration learning, phenomenologically behave as conditional cooperator. By definition, individuals are satisfied if and only if the obtained payoff is larger than a fixed aspiration level. They reinforce actions that have resulted in satisfactory outcomes and anti-reinforce those yielding unsatisfactory outcomes. The results obtained in the present study are general in that they explain extant experimental results obtained for both so-called moody and non-moody conditional cooperation, prisoner's dilemma and public goods games, and well-mixed groups and networks. Different from the previous theory, individuals are assumed to have no access to information about what other individuals are doing such that they cannot explicitly use conditional cooperation rules. In this sense, myopic aspiration learning in which the unconditional propensity of cooperation is modulated in every discrete time step explains conditional behavior of humans. Aspiration learners showing (moody) conditional cooperation obeyed a noisy GRIM-like strategy. This is different from the Pavlov, a reinforcement learning strategy promoting mutual cooperation in two-player situations.

  8. Can Chunk Size Differences Explain Developmental Changes in Lexical Learning?

    PubMed

    Smalle, Eleonore H M; Bogaerts, Louisa; Simonis, Morgane; Duyck, Wouter; Page, Michael P A; Edwards, Martin G; Szmalec, Arnaud

    2015-01-01

    In three experiments, we investigated Hebb repetition learning (HRL) differences between children and adults, as a function of the type of item (lexical vs. sub-lexical) and the level of item-overlap between sequences. In a first experiment, it was shown that when non-repeating and repeating (Hebb) sequences of words were all permutations of the same words, HRL was slower than when the sequences shared no words. This item-overlap effect was observed in both children and adults. In a second experiment, we used syllable sequences and we observed reduced HRL due to item-overlap only in children. The findings are explained within a chunking account of the HRL effect on the basis of which we hypothesize that children, compared with adults, chunk syllable sequences in smaller units. By hypothesis, small chunks are more prone to interference from anagram representations included in the filler sequences, potentially explaining the item-overlap effect in children. This hypothesis was tested in a third experiment with adults where we experimentally manipulated the chunk size by embedding pauses in the syllable sequences. Interestingly, we showed that imposing a small chunk size caused adults to show the same behavioral effects as those observed in children. Departing from the analogy between verbal HRL and lexical development, the results are discussed in light of the less-is-more hypothesis of age-related differences in language acquisition.

  9. Explaining fruit and vegetable intake using a consumer marketing tool.

    PubMed

    Della, Lindsay J; Dejoy, David M; Lance, Charles E

    2009-10-01

    In response to calls to reinvent the 5 A Day fruit and vegetable campaign, this study assesses the utility of VALS, a consumer-based audience segmentation tool that divides the U.S. population into groups leading similar lifestyles. The study examines whether the impact of theory of planned behavior (TPB) constructs varies across VALS groups in a cross-sectional sample of 1,588 U.S. adults. In a multigroup structural equation model, the VALS audience group variable moderated latent TPB relationships. Attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control explained 57% to 70% of the variation in intention to eat fruit and vegetables across 5 different VALS groups. Perceived behavioral control and intention also predicted self-reported consumption behavior (R2 = 20% to 71% across VALS groups). Bivariate z tests were calculated to determine statistical differences in parameter estimates across groups. Nine of the bivariate z tests were statistically significant (p < or = .04), with standardized coefficients ranging from .05 to .70. These findings confirm the efficacy of using the TPB to explain variation in fruit and vegetable consumption as well as the validity of using a consumer-based algorithm to segment audiences for fruit and vegetable consumption messaging.

  10. Can model-free reinforcement learning explain deontological moral judgments?

    PubMed

    Ayars, Alisabeth

    2016-05-01

    Dual-systems frameworks propose that moral judgments are derived from both an immediate emotional response, and controlled/rational cognition. Recently Cushman (2013) proposed a new dual-system theory based on model-free and model-based reinforcement learning. Model-free learning attaches values to actions based on their history of reward and punishment, and explains some deontological, non-utilitarian judgments. Model-based learning involves the construction of a causal model of the world and allows for far-sighted planning; this form of learning fits well with utilitarian considerations that seek to maximize certain kinds of outcomes. I present three concerns regarding the use of model-free reinforcement learning to explain deontological moral judgment. First, many actions that humans find aversive from model-free learning are not judged to be morally wrong. Moral judgment must require something in addition to model-free learning. Second, there is a dearth of evidence for central predictions of the reinforcement account-e.g., that people with different reinforcement histories will, all else equal, make different moral judgments. Finally, to account for the effect of intention within the framework requires certain assumptions which lack support. These challenges are reasonable foci for future empirical/theoretical work on the model-free/model-based framework.

  11. Reinforcement Learning Explains Conditional Cooperation and Its Moody Cousin

    PubMed Central

    Ezaki, Takahiro; Horita, Yutaka; Masuda, Naoki

    2016-01-01

    Direct reciprocity, or repeated interaction, is a main mechanism to sustain cooperation under social dilemmas involving two individuals. For larger groups and networks, which are probably more relevant to understanding and engineering our society, experiments employing repeated multiplayer social dilemma games have suggested that humans often show conditional cooperation behavior and its moody variant. Mechanisms underlying these behaviors largely remain unclear. Here we provide a proximate account for this behavior by showing that individuals adopting a type of reinforcement learning, called aspiration learning, phenomenologically behave as conditional cooperator. By definition, individuals are satisfied if and only if the obtained payoff is larger than a fixed aspiration level. They reinforce actions that have resulted in satisfactory outcomes and anti-reinforce those yielding unsatisfactory outcomes. The results obtained in the present study are general in that they explain extant experimental results obtained for both so-called moody and non-moody conditional cooperation, prisoner’s dilemma and public goods games, and well-mixed groups and networks. Different from the previous theory, individuals are assumed to have no access to information about what other individuals are doing such that they cannot explicitly use conditional cooperation rules. In this sense, myopic aspiration learning in which the unconditional propensity of cooperation is modulated in every discrete time step explains conditional behavior of humans. Aspiration learners showing (moody) conditional cooperation obeyed a noisy GRIM-like strategy. This is different from the Pavlov, a reinforcement learning strategy promoting mutual cooperation in two-player situations. PMID:27438888

  12. Target Fishing by Cross-Docking to Explain Polypharmacological Effects.

    PubMed

    Patel, Hitesh; Lucas, Xavier; Bendik, Igor; Günther, Stefan; Merfort, Irmgard

    2015-07-01

    Drugs may have polypharmacological phenomena, that is, in addition to the desired target, they may also bind to many undesired or unknown physiological targets. As a result, they often exert side effects. In some cases, off-target interactions may lead to drug repositioning or to explaining a drug's mode of action. Herein we present an in silico approach for target fishing by cross-docking as a method to identify new drug-protein interactions. As an example and proof of concept, this method predicted the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-γ as a target of ethacrynic acid, which may explain the hyperglycemic effect brought on by this molecule. The antagonistic effect of ethacrynic acid on PPAR-γ was validated in a transient transactivation assay using human HEK293 cells. The cross-docking approach also predicted the potential mechanisms of many other drug side effects and discloses new drug repositioning opportunities. These putative interactions are described herein, and can be readily used to discover therapeutically relevant drug effects.

  13. Muon-Induced Neutrons Do Not Explain the DAMA Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klinger, J.; Kudryavtsev, V. A.

    2015-04-01

    We present an accurate model of the muon-induced background in the DAMA/LIBRA experiment. Our work challenges proposed mechanisms which seek to explain the observed DAMA signal modulation with muon-induced backgrounds. Muon generation and transport are performed using the MUSIC /MUSUN code, and subsequent interactions in the vicinity of the DAMA detector cavern are simulated with Geant4. We estimate the total muon-induced neutron flux in the detector cavern to be Φnν=1.0 ×10-9 cm-2 s-1 . We predict 3.49 ×10-5 counts /day /kg /keV , which accounts for less than 0.3% of the DAMA signal modulation amplitude.

  14. Explaining social discrimination: racism in Brazil and xenophobia in Spain.

    PubMed

    Camino, Leoncio; Álvaro, José Luis; Torres, Ana Raquel R; Garrido, Alicia; Morais, Thiago; Barbosa, Juliana

    2013-01-01

    The present study investigates the arguments used by university students in order to explain social differences between social minorities and majorities. In Brazil, the issues investigated refer to White and Black people. In Spain, the reference is to native Spaniards and Moroccan immigrants. The participants were 144 Brazilians and 93 Spaniards, who answered a questionnaire composed of socio-demographic variables and one open question about the causes of social inequalities between Black and White people in Brazil and between autochthonous Spaniards and Moroccan Immigrants. A model is proposed to integrate the four discursive classes found using ALCESTE software. In Brazil, the strongest argument is based on the historical roots of the exploitation of Black people. In Spain, cultural differences are the main explanation for social inequalities.

  15. Explaining How to Play Real-Time Strategy Games

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Metoyer, Ronald; Stumpf, Simone; Neumann, Christoph; Dodge, Jonathan; Cao, Jill; Schnabel, Aaron

    Real-time strategy games share many aspects with real situations in domains such as battle planning, air traffic control, and emergency response team management which makes them appealing test-beds for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning. End user annotations could help to provide supplemental information for learning algorithms, especially when training data is sparse. This paper presents a formative study to uncover how experienced users explain game play in real-time strategy games. We report the results of our analysis of explanations and discuss their characteristics that could support the design of systems for use by experienced real-time strategy game users in specifying or annotating strategy-oriented behavior.

  16. Explaining and forecasting attrition in the Army pharmacy technician course.

    PubMed

    Fulton, Larry; Starnes, L William; Caouette, Marc; Whittaker, Donna; Ivanitskaya, Lana

    2008-12-01

    The Army pharmacy technician (68Q) course trains--260 students per year, with a mean graduation rate of 71.3%. In support of this course, a research team conducted a study using multiple analytical methods to evaluate, to explain, and potentially to forecast failures, because the 28.7% of students who do not graduate are associated with both opportunity and real costs. Results of this study indicated that largely uncontrollable population demographic characteristics, such as rank and enrollment status, along with controllable Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery skilled technical test scores, were related to graduation rates. The results of this study may be used to assist individuals at risk of failure or to establish additional admission criteria to increase the likelihood of success.

  17. "Developmental capture" of the state: explaining Thailand's universal coverage policy.

    PubMed

    Harris, Joseph

    2015-02-01

    The notion of "regulatory capture" is typically used to describe the takeover of state agencies by outside interest groups that seek to weaken regulation and advance the agendas of interest groups through control over state policy levers. This concept can be contrasted with that of "developmental capture" of state agencies by networks of reformist bureaucrats within the state who seek to promote inclusive state social and developmental policies of benefit to the broader populace. Building on work that has pointed to instances in which state bureaucrats act autonomously from societal and political pressures, this article argues that existing explanations are insufficient for explaining Thailand's universal health care policy. It points to the critical role played by a network of bureaucrats within the state who strategically mobilized resources in the bureaucracy, political parties, civil society, and international organizations to institutionalize universal health care in the face of broader professional dissent, political uncertainty, and international pressure.

  18. Explaining prompts children to privilege inductively rich properties.

    PubMed

    Walker, Caren M; Lombrozo, Tania; Legare, Cristine H; Gopnik, Alison

    2014-11-01

    Four experiments with preschool-aged children test the hypothesis that engaging in explanation promotes inductive reasoning on the basis of shared causal properties as opposed to salient (but superficial) perceptual properties. In Experiments 1a and 1b, 3- to 5-year-old children prompted to explain during a causal learning task were more likely to override a tendency to generalize according to perceptual similarity and instead extend an internal feature to an object that shared a causal property. Experiment 2 replicated this effect of explanation in a case of label extension (i.e., categorization). Experiment 3 demonstrated that explanation improves memory for clusters of causally relevant (non-perceptual) features, but impairs memory for superficial (perceptual) features, providing evidence that effects of explanation are selective in scope and apply to memory as well as inference. In sum, our data support the proposal that engaging in explanation influences children's reasoning by privileging inductively rich, causal properties.

  19. Muon-Induced Neutrons Do Not Explain the DAMA Data.

    PubMed

    Klinger, J; Kudryavtsev, V A

    2015-04-17

    We present an accurate model of the muon-induced background in the DAMA/LIBRA experiment. Our work challenges proposed mechanisms which seek to explain the observed DAMA signal modulation with muon-induced backgrounds. Muon generation and transport are performed using the MUSIC/MUSUN code, and subsequent interactions in the vicinity of the DAMA detector cavern are simulated with Geant4. We estimate the total muon-induced neutron flux in the detector cavern to be Φ(n)(ν)=1.0 × 10(-9)  cm(-2) s(-1). We predict 3.49 × 10(-5)  counts/day/kg/keV, which accounts for less than 0.3% of the DAMA signal modulation amplitude.

  20. Trophic network models explain instability of Early Triassic terrestrial communities.

    PubMed

    Roopnarine, Peter D; Angielczyk, Kenneth D; Wang, Steve C; Hertog, Rachel

    2007-09-07

    Studies of the end-Permian mass extinction have emphasized potential abiotic causes and their direct biotic effects. Less attention has been devoted to secondary extinctions resulting from ecological crises and the effect of community structure on such extinctions. Here we use a trophic network model that combines topological and dynamic approaches to simulate disruptions of primary productivity in palaeocommunities. We apply the model to Permian and Triassic communities of the Karoo Basin, South Africa, and show that while Permian communities bear no evidence of being especially susceptible to extinction, Early Triassic communities appear to have been inherently less stable. Much of the instability results from the faster post-extinction diversification of amphibian guilds relative to amniotes. The resulting communities differed fundamentally in structure from their Permian predecessors. Additionally, our results imply that changing community structures over time may explain long-term trends like declining rates of Phanerozoic background extinction.

  1. Explaining the RK and RD(*) anomalies with vector leptoquarks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahoo, Suchismita; Mohanta, Rukmani; Giri, Anjan K.

    2017-02-01

    Recently, the B factories BABAR and Belle as well as the LHCb experiment have reported several anomalies in the semileptonic B meson decays, such as the RK and RD(*) etc. We investigate these deviations by considering the vector leptoquarks relevant for both b →s l+l- and b →c l ν¯ l transitions. The leptoquark parameter space is constrained by using the experimentally measured branching ratios of Bs→l+l- , B ¯ →Xsl+l-(ν ν ¯ ) , and Bu+→l+νl processes. Using the constrained leptoquark couplings, we compute the branching ratios, forward-backward asymmetries, τ , and D* polarization parameters in the B ¯ →D(*)l ν¯ l processes. We find that the vector leptoquarks can explain both the RD(*) and RK anomalies, simultaneously. Furthermore, we study the rare leptonic Bu,c *→l ν ¯ decay processes in this model.

  2. Hypothesis to explain childhood cancer near nuclear power plants.

    PubMed

    Fairlie, Ian

    2010-01-01

    As reported in this journal in 2009, the 2008 KiKK study in Germany found a 60% increase in all cancers and a 120% increase in leukemias among children living within 5 km of all German nuclear power stations. The KiKK study has triggered debates as to the cause(s) of these increased cancers. This article discusses the available evidence of leukemias near nuclear installations around the world. Over 60 epidemiological studies exist, the large majority of which indicate increases in leukemia incidence. The article also outlines a possible biological mechanism to explain the increased cancers, suggesting that doses from environmental nuclear power plant emissions to embryos/ fetuses in pregnant women near the plants may be larger than suspected, and that hemopoietic tissues may be considerably more radiosensitive in embryos/ fetuses than in newborn babies. The article concludes with recommendations for further research.

  3. Jumping Jupiter Can Explain Mercury’s Orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roig, Fernando; Nesvorný, David; DeSouza, Sandro Ricardo

    2016-04-01

    The orbit of Mercury has large values of eccentricity and inclination that cannot be easily explained if this planet formed on a circular and coplanar orbit. Here, we study the evolution of Mercury’s orbit during the instability related to the migration of the giant planets in the framework of the jumping-Jupiter model. We found that some instability models are able to produce the correct values of Mercury’s eccentricity and inclination, provided that relativistic effects are included in the precession of Mercury’s perihelion. The orbital excitation is driven by the fast change of the normal oscillation modes of the system corresponding to the perihelion precession of Jupiter (for the eccentricity) and the nodal regression of Uranus (for the inclination).

  4. [To explain is to narrate. How to visualize scientific data].

    PubMed

    Hawtin, Nigel

    2014-01-01

    When you try to appeal a vast ranging audience, as it occurs at the New Scientist that addresses scientists as well as the general public, your scientific visual explainer must be succinct, clear, accurate and easily understandable. In order to reach this goal, your message should provide only the main data, the ones that allow you to balance information and clarity: information should be put into context and all the extra details should be cut down. It is very important, then, to know well both your audience and the subject you are going to describe, as graphic masters of the past, like William Playfair and Charles Minard, have taught us. Moreover, you should try to engage your reader connecting the storytelling power of words and the driving force of the graphics: colours, visual elements, typography. To be effective, in fact, an infographic should not only be truthful and functional, but also elegant, having style and legibility.

  5. Environmental factors explaining the vegetation patterns in a temperate peatland.

    PubMed

    Pellerin, Stéphanie; Lagneau, Louis-Adrien; Lavoie, Martin; Larocque, Marie

    2009-08-01

    Although ombrotrophic temperate peatlands are important ecosystems for maintaining biodiversity in eastern North America, the environmental factors influencing their flora are only partly understood. The relationships between plant species distribution and environmental factors were thus studied within the oldest temperate peatland of Québec. Plant assemblages were identified by cluster analysis while CCA was used to related vegetation gradients to environmental factors. Five assemblages were identified; three typical of open bog and two characterized by more minerotrophic vegetation. Thicker peat deposit was encounter underlying the bog assemblages while higher water table level and percentage of free surface water distinguished the minerotrophic assemblages. Overall, the floristic patterns observed were spatially structured along the margins and the expanse. The most important environmental factors explaining this spatial gradient were the percentage of free surface water and the highest water-table level.

  6. Explaining drug policy: Towards an historical sociology of policy change.

    PubMed

    Seddon, Toby

    2011-11-01

    The goal of seeking to understand the development over time of drug policies is a specific version of the more general intellectual project of finding ways of explaining social change. The latter has been a preoccupation of some of the greatest thinkers within the social sciences of the last 200 years, from Foucault all the way back to the three nineteenth-century pioneers, Marx, Durkheim and Weber. I describe this body of work as 'historical sociology'. In this paper, I outline how a particular approach to historical sociology can be fruitfully drawn upon to understand the development of drug policy, using by way of illustration the example of the analysis of a recent transformation in British drug policy: the rise of the criminal justice agenda. I conclude by arguing that by looking at developments in drug policy in this way, some new insights are opened up.

  7. [Francisco Varela's neurophenomenology of time: temporality of consciousness explained?].

    PubMed

    Vargas, Esteban; Canales-Johnson, Andrés; Claudio Fuentes, B

    2013-01-01

    This article attempts to clarify Francisco Varela's proposal of a neurophenomenology of time consciousness in the light of distinctions based on the philosophical literature of phenomenology and recent advances of neurobiology. The analysis is carried out considering three aspects. In the first of them, we discuss the phenomenological aspect of consciousness, accessible in first-person, which describes time as a structure with three inseparable moments (past-present-future) and three levels of temporality, and not merely as the chronometric time or clock time. In the second one, we analyze the neurobiological aspect of consciousness that tends to "explain" the phenomenological time in terms of three possible levels of neuronal integration. Thus, we propose a correspondence between the levels of phenomenological time and neural integration processes. Finally, we try to analyze this "correspondence" and the issues that follow from this by considering that the notion of time in this correspondence is, in essence, the clock time and not the phenomenological time consciousness.

  8. Carbonatite ring-complexes explained by caldera-style volcanism

    PubMed Central

    Andersson, Magnus; Malehmir, Alireza; Troll, Valentin R.; Dehghannejad, Mahdieh; Juhlin, Christopher; Ask, Maria

    2013-01-01

    Carbonatites are rare, carbonate-rich magmatic rocks that make up a minute portion of the crust only, yet they are of great relevance for our understanding of crustal and mantle processes. Although they occur in all continents and from Archaean to present, the deeper plumbing system of carbonatite ring-complexes is usually poorly constrained. Here, we show that carbonatite ring-complexes can be explained by caldera-style volcanism. Our geophysical investigation of the Alnö carbonatite ring-complex in central Sweden identifies a solidified saucer-shaped magma chamber at ~3 km depth that links to surface exposures through a ring fault system. Caldera subsidence during final stages of activity caused carbonatite eruptions north of the main complex, providing the crucial element to connect plutonic and eruptive features of carbonatite magmatism. The way carbonatite magmas are stored, transported and erupt at the surface is thus comparable to known emplacement styles from silicic calderas. PMID:23591904

  9. EARTHSHINE ON A YOUNG MOON: EXPLAINING THE LUNAR FARSIDE HIGHLANDS

    SciTech Connect

    Roy, Arpita; Wright, Jason T.; Sigurðsson, Steinn

    2014-06-20

    The lunar farside highlands problem refers to the curious and unexplained fact that the farside lunar crust is thicker, on average, than the nearside crust. Here we recognize the crucial influence of Earthshine, and propose that it naturally explains this hemispheric dichotomy. Since the accreting Moon rapidly achieved synchronous rotation, a surface and atmospheric thermal gradient was imposed by the proximity of the hot, post-giant impact Earth. This gradient guided condensation of atmospheric and accreting material, preferentially depositing crust-forming refractories on the cooler farside, resulting in a primordial bulk chemical inhomogeneity that seeded the crustal asymmetry. Our model provides a causal solution to the lunar highlands problem: the thermal gradient created by Earthshine produced the chemical gradient responsible for the crust thickness dichotomy that defines the lunar highlands.

  10. Heterogeneity explains features of “anomalous” thermodynamics and statistics

    PubMed Central

    Gheorghiu, Stefan; Coppens, Marc-Olivier

    2004-01-01

    Phenomena characterized by power-law probability distributions abound in nature and the applied sciences. We show that many of these power laws are well described by the Student, or t, distribution, and we discuss the origin of this universality based on three examples (Brownian motion, Knudsen diffusion in rough pores, and bubbly multiphase flow). These case studies are representative for a large class of systems with heterogeneous features, examples of which can be found from Earth sciences to astrophysics, and even in the social sciences. We show that common forms of polydispersity, such as polydispersity arising naturally as a result of aggregation–fragmentation phenomena, typically lie at the basis of the observed scaling. We conclude that complicated arguments based on long-range correlations or nonergodicity are often incorrect or misleading in explaining many naturally observed power laws and, in particular, those described by the Student distribution. PMID:15514018

  11. Real world ocean rogue waves explained without the modulational instability

    PubMed Central

    Fedele, Francesco; Brennan, Joseph; Ponce de León, Sonia; Dudley, John; Dias, Frédéric

    2016-01-01

    Since the 1990s, the modulational instability has commonly been used to explain the occurrence of rogue waves that appear from nowhere in the open ocean. However, the importance of this instability in the context of ocean waves is not well established. This mechanism has been successfully studied in laboratory experiments and in mathematical studies, but there is no consensus on what actually takes place in the ocean. In this work, we question the oceanic relevance of this paradigm. In particular, we analyze several sets of field data in various European locations with various tools, and find that the main generation mechanism for rogue waves is the constructive interference of elementary waves enhanced by second-order bound nonlinearities and not the modulational instability. This implies that rogue waves are likely to be rare occurrences of weakly nonlinear random seas. PMID:27323897

  12. Using Literature-Based Discovery to Explain Adverse Drug Effects.

    PubMed

    Hristovski, Dimitar; Kastrin, Andrej; Dinevski, Dejan; Burgun, Anita; Žiberna, Lovro; Rindflesch, Thomas C

    2016-08-01

    We report on our research in using literature-based discovery (LBD) to provide pharmacological and/or pharmacogenomic explanations for reported adverse drug effects. The goal of LBD is to generate novel and potentially useful hypotheses by analyzing the scientific literature and optionally some additional resources. Our assumption is that drugs have effects on some genes or proteins and that these genes or proteins are associated with the observed adverse effects. Therefore, by using LBD we try to find genes or proteins that link the drugs with the reported adverse effects. These genes or proteins can be used to provide insight into the processes causing the adverse effects. Initial results show that our method has the potential to assist in explaining reported adverse drug effects.

  13. Quantum metabolism explains the allometric scaling of metabolic rates

    PubMed Central

    Demetrius, Lloyd; Tuszynski, J. A.

    2010-01-01

    A general model explaining the origin of allometric laws of physiology is proposed based on coupled energy-transducing oscillator networks embedded in a physical d-dimensional space (d = 1, 2, 3). This approach integrates Mitchell's theory of chemi-osmosis with the Debye model of the thermal properties of solids. We derive a scaling rule that relates the energy generated by redox reactions in cells, the dimensionality of the physical space and the mean cycle time. Two major regimes are found corresponding to classical and quantum behaviour. The classical behaviour leads to allometric isometry while the quantum regime leads to scaling laws relating metabolic rate and body size that cover a broad range of exponents that depend on dimensionality and specific parameter values. The regimes are consistent with a range of behaviours encountered in micelles, plants and animals and provide a conceptual framework for a theory of the metabolic function of living systems. PMID:19734187

  14. Quantum metabolism explains the allometric scaling of metabolic rates.

    PubMed

    Demetrius, Lloyd; Tuszynski, J A

    2010-03-06

    A general model explaining the origin of allometric laws of physiology is proposed based on coupled energy-transducing oscillator networks embedded in a physical d-dimensional space (d = 1, 2, 3). This approach integrates Mitchell's theory of chemi-osmosis with the Debye model of the thermal properties of solids. We derive a scaling rule that relates the energy generated by redox reactions in cells, the dimensionality of the physical space and the mean cycle time. Two major regimes are found corresponding to classical and quantum behaviour. The classical behaviour leads to allometric isometry while the quantum regime leads to scaling laws relating metabolic rate and body size that cover a broad range of exponents that depend on dimensionality and specific parameter values. The regimes are consistent with a range of behaviours encountered in micelles, plants and animals and provide a conceptual framework for a theory of the metabolic function of living systems.

  15. Real world ocean rogue waves explained without the modulational instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fedele, Francesco; Brennan, Joseph; Ponce de León, Sonia; Dudley, John; Dias, Frédéric

    2016-06-01

    Since the 1990s, the modulational instability has commonly been used to explain the occurrence of rogue waves that appear from nowhere in the open ocean. However, the importance of this instability in the context of ocean waves is not well established. This mechanism has been successfully studied in laboratory experiments and in mathematical studies, but there is no consensus on what actually takes place in the ocean. In this work, we question the oceanic relevance of this paradigm. In particular, we analyze several sets of field data in various European locations with various tools, and find that the main generation mechanism for rogue waves is the constructive interference of elementary waves enhanced by second-order bound nonlinearities and not the modulational instability. This implies that rogue waves are likely to be rare occurrences of weakly nonlinear random seas.

  16. Explaining PAH desorption from sediments using Rock Eval analysis.

    PubMed

    Poot, Anton; Jonker, M T O; Gillissen, Frits; Koelmans, Albert A

    2014-10-01

    Here, we provide Rock Eval and black carbon (BC) characteristics and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) distribution coefficients (KD) for sediments from the Danube, Elbe, Ebro, and Meuse river basins. PAH desorption kinetic parameters were determined using sequential Tenax extractions. We show that residual carbon (RC) from Rock Eval analysis is an adequate predictor of fast, slow, and very slow desorbing fractions of 4-ring PAHs. RC correlated better than BC, the latter constituting only 7% of RC. A dual domain sorption model was statistically superior to a single domain model in explaining KD for low molecular weight PAHs, whereas the opposite was observed for high molecular weight PAHs. Because particularly the 4-ring PAHs are bioavailable and relevant from a risk assessment perspective and because their fast desorbing fractions correlate best with RC, we recommend RC as a relevant characteristic for river sediments.

  17. Can Nomenclature for the Body be Explained by Embodiment Theories?

    PubMed

    Majid, Asifa; van Staden, Miriam

    2015-10-01

    According to widespread opinion, the meaning of body part terms is determined by salient discontinuities in the visual image; such that hands, feet, arms, and legs, are natural parts. If so, one would expect these parts to have distinct names which correspond in meaning across languages. To test this proposal, we compared three unrelated languages-Dutch, Japanese, and Indonesian-and found both naming systems and boundaries of even basic body part terms display variation across languages. Bottom-up cues alone cannot explain natural language semantic systems; there simply is not a one-to-one mapping of the body semantic system to the body structural description. Although body parts are flexibly construed across languages, body parts semantics are, nevertheless, constrained by non-linguistic representations in the body structural description, suggesting these are necessary, although not sufficient, in accounting for aspects of the body lexicon.

  18. Trophic network models explain instability of Early Triassic terrestrial communities

    PubMed Central

    Roopnarine, Peter D; Angielczyk, Kenneth D; Wang, Steve C; Hertog, Rachel

    2007-01-01

    Studies of the end-Permian mass extinction have emphasized potential abiotic causes and their direct biotic effects. Less attention has been devoted to secondary extinctions resulting from ecological crises and the effect of community structure on such extinctions. Here we use a trophic network model that combines topological and dynamic approaches to simulate disruptions of primary productivity in palaeocommunities. We apply the model to Permian and Triassic communities of the Karoo Basin, South Africa, and show that while Permian communities bear no evidence of being especially susceptible to extinction, Early Triassic communities appear to have been inherently less stable. Much of the instability results from the faster post-extinction diversification of amphibian guilds relative to amniotes. The resulting communities differed fundamentally in structure from their Permian predecessors. Additionally, our results imply that changing community structures over time may explain long-term trends like declining rates of Phanerozoic background extinction PMID:17609191

  19. Social inheritance can explain the structure of animal social networks.

    PubMed

    Ilany, Amiyaal; Akçay, Erol

    2016-06-28

    The social network structure of animal populations has major implications for survival, reproductive success, sexual selection and pathogen transmission of individuals. But as of yet, no general theory of social network structure exists that can explain the diversity of social networks observed in nature, and serve as a null model for detecting species and population-specific factors. Here we propose a simple and generally applicable model of social network structure. We consider the emergence of network structure as a result of social inheritance, in which newborns are likely to bond with maternal contacts, and via forming bonds randomly. We compare model output with data from several species, showing that it can generate networks with properties such as those observed in real social systems. Our model demonstrates that important observed properties of social networks, including heritability of network position or assortative associations, can be understood as consequences of social inheritance.

  20. Carbonatite ring-complexes explained by caldera-style volcanism.

    PubMed

    Andersson, Magnus; Malehmir, Alireza; Troll, Valentin R; Dehghannejad, Mahdieh; Juhlin, Christopher; Ask, Maria

    2013-01-01

    Carbonatites are rare, carbonate-rich magmatic rocks that make up a minute portion of the crust only, yet they are of great relevance for our understanding of crustal and mantle processes. Although they occur in all continents and from Archaean to present, the deeper plumbing system of carbonatite ring-complexes is usually poorly constrained. Here, we show that carbonatite ring-complexes can be explained by caldera-style volcanism. Our geophysical investigation of the Alnö carbonatite ring-complex in central Sweden identifies a solidified saucer-shaped magma chamber at ~3 km depth that links to surface exposures through a ring fault system. Caldera subsidence during final stages of activity caused carbonatite eruptions north of the main complex, providing the crucial element to connect plutonic and eruptive features of carbonatite magmatism. The way carbonatite magmas are stored, transported and erupt at the surface is thus comparable to known emplacement styles from silicic calderas.

  1. Social inheritance can explain the structure of animal social networks

    PubMed Central

    Ilany, Amiyaal; Akçay, Erol

    2016-01-01

    The social network structure of animal populations has major implications for survival, reproductive success, sexual selection and pathogen transmission of individuals. But as of yet, no general theory of social network structure exists that can explain the diversity of social networks observed in nature, and serve as a null model for detecting species and population-specific factors. Here we propose a simple and generally applicable model of social network structure. We consider the emergence of network structure as a result of social inheritance, in which newborns are likely to bond with maternal contacts, and via forming bonds randomly. We compare model output with data from several species, showing that it can generate networks with properties such as those observed in real social systems. Our model demonstrates that important observed properties of social networks, including heritability of network position or assortative associations, can be understood as consequences of social inheritance. PMID:27352101

  2. How to mechanistically explain the CONDOR study data.

    PubMed

    Spies, C M; Stemmler, E; Buttgereit, F

    2015-01-01

    Results of the CONDOR study suggest that in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis patients at elevated risk of gastrointestinal (GI) events, treatment with celecoxib, a cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), demonstrated significantly lower toxicity in the upper and lower (GI) tract when compared to the non-selective NSAID diclofenac plus a proton-pump-inhibitor (PPI), omeprazole. According to current knowledge, traditional NSAIDs (tNSAIDs) as non-selective COX-inhibitors exert their damaging effects on the upper GI tract, largely by reduction of the COX-1 related synthesis of gastro-protective prostaglandins. Thus, the question arises, how NSAIDs do exert their damaging effects especially in the lower GI tract and how to explain the reduced risk of a COX-2 selective inhibitor, celecoxib. Here we hypothesize, that the toxicity of celecoxib on enteral mucosa cells is lower than observed with other NSAIDs, and can be explained COX-independently by typical physicochemical properties of the NSAID substances (e.g., acidic, lipophilic, amphiphilic, surfactant properties). As a consequence these features account for differences in (1) uncoupling effects on mitochondria, (2) effects on cell membrane integrity, and/or (3) formation of "toxic micelles" with bile salts. The evidence for these differences is mainly based on experimental findings. However, several phenomena show differences in extent (e.g., uncoupling effects). The reduced toxicity appears to be rather a substance-specific characteristic. This is an unconditional reason to carry on investigating these phenomena in experimental and large-scale clinical trials.

  3. Strange history: the fall of Rome explained in Hereditas.

    PubMed

    Bengtsson, Bengt O

    2014-12-01

    In 1921 Hereditas published an article on the fall of Rome written by the famous classical scholar Martin P:son Nilsson. Why was a paper on this unexpected topic printed in the newly founded journal? To Nilsson, the demise of the Roman Empire was explained by the "bastardization" occurring between "races" from different parts of the realm. Offspring from mixed couples were of a less stable "type" than their parents, due to the breaking up by recombination of the original hereditary dispositions, which led to a general loss of competence to rule and govern. Thus, the "hardness" of human genes, together with their recombination, was - according to Nilsson - the main cause of the fall of Rome. Nilsson's argument is not particularly convincingly presented. Human "races" are taken to have the same genetic structure as inbred crop strains, and Nilsson believes in a metaphysical unity between the individual and the race to which it belongs. However, in my view, Martin P:son Nilsson and his friend Herman Nilsson-Ehle had wider aims with the article than to explain a historical event. The article can be read as indicating strong support from the classical human sciences to the ambitious new science of genetics. Support is also transferred from genetics to the conservative worldview, where the immutability and inflexibility of the Mendelian genes are used to strengthen the wish for greater stability in politics and life. The strange article in Hereditas can, thus, be read as an early instance in the - still ongoing - tug-of-war between the conservative and the liberal ideological poles over how genetic results best are socially interpreted.

  4. Color constancy in natural scenes explained by global image statistics.

    PubMed

    Foster, David H; Amano, Kinjiro; Nascimento, Sérgio M C

    2006-01-01

    To what extent do observers' judgments of surface color with natural scenes depend on global image statistics? To address this question, a psychophysical experiment was performed in which images of natural scenes under two successive daylights were presented on a computer-controlled high-resolution color monitor. Observers reported whether there was a change in reflectance of a test surface in the scene. The scenes were obtained with a hyperspectral imaging system and included variously trees, shrubs, grasses, ferns, flowers, rocks, and buildings. Discrimination performance, quantified on a scale of 0 to 1 with a color-constancy index, varied from 0.69 to 0.97 over 21 scenes and two illuminant changes, from a correlated color temperature of 25,000 K to 6700 K and from 4000 K to 6700 K. The best account of these effects was provided by receptor-based rather than colorimetric properties of the images. Thus, in a linear regression, 43% of the variance in constancy index was explained by the log of the mean relative deviation in spatial cone-excitation ratios evaluated globally across the two images of a scene. A further 20% was explained by including the mean chroma of the first image and its difference from that of the second image and a further 7% by the mean difference in hue. Together, all four global color properties accounted for 70% of the variance and provided a good fit to the effects of scene and of illuminant change on color constancy, and, additionally, of changing test-surface position. By contrast, a spatial-frequency analysis of the images showed that the gradient of the luminance amplitude spectrum accounted for only 5% of the variance.

  5. Social processes explaining the benefits of Al-Anon participation.

    PubMed

    Timko, Christine; Halvorson, Max; Kong, Calvin; Moos, Rudolf H

    2015-12-01

    This study examined social processes of support, goal direction, provision of role models, and involvement in rewarding activities to explain benefits of participating in Al-Anon, a 12-step mutual-help program for people concerned about another person's substance use. Newcomers to Al-Anon were studied at baseline and 6 months later, at which time they were identified as having either sustained attendance or dropped out. Among both newcomers and established Al-Anon members ("old-timers"), we also used number of Al-Anon meetings attended during follow-up to indicate extent of participation. Social processes significantly mediated newcomers' sustained attendance status versus dropped out and outcomes of Al-Anon in the areas of life context (e.g., better quality of life, better able to handle problems due to the drinker), improved positive symptoms (e.g., higher self-esteem, more hopeful), and decreased negative symptoms (e.g., less abuse, less depressed). Social processes also significantly mediated newcomers' number of meetings attended and outcomes. However, among old-timers, Al-Anon attendance was not associated with outcomes, so the potential mediating role of social processes could not be examined, but social processes were associated with outcomes. Findings add to the growing body of work identifying mechanisms by which 12-step groups are effective, by showing that bonding, goal direction, and access to peers in recovery and rewarding pursuits help to explain associations between sustained Al-Anon participation among newcomers and improvements on key concerns of Al-Anon attendees. Al-Anon is free of charge and widely available, making it a potentially cost-effective public health resource for help alleviating negative consequences of concern about another's addiction.

  6. Social Processes Explaining the Benefits of Al-Anon Participation

    PubMed Central

    Timko, Christine; Halvorson, Max; Kong, Calvin; Moos, Rudolf H

    2015-01-01

    This study examined social processes of support, goal direction, provision of role models, and involvement in rewarding activities to explain benefits of participating in Al-Anon, a 12-step mutual-help program for people concerned about another person’s substance use. Newcomers to Al-Anon were studied at baseline and 6 months later, when they were identified as having sustained attendance or dropped out. Among newcomers, and among established Al-Anon members (“oldtimers”), we also used number of Al-Anon meetings attended during follow-up to indicate extent of participation. Social processes significantly mediated between newcomers’ attendance status as sustained (versus dropped out) and outcomes of Al-Anon in the domains of life context (e.g., better quality of life, better able to handle problems due to the drinker), improved positive symptoms (more self-esteem, more hopeful), and decreased negative symptoms (e.g., less abuse, less depressed). Social processes also significantly mediated between newcomers’ number of meetings and outcomes. However, among oldtimers, Al-Anon attendance was not associated with outcomes, so the potential mediating role of social processes could not be examined, but social processes were associated with outcomes. Findings add to the growing body of work identifying mechanisms by which 12-step groups are effective, by showing that bonding, goal direction, and access to peers in recovery and rewarding pursuits help to explain associations between sustained Al-Anon participation among newcomers and improvements on key concerns of Al-Anon attendees. Al-Anon is free of charge and widely available, making it a potentially cost-effective public health resource in helping to alleviate negative consequences of concern about another’s addiction. PMID:26727006

  7. Explaining sexual harassment judgments: looking beyond gender of the rater.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Maureen; Gutek, Barbara A; Stockdale, Margaret; Geer, Tracey M; Melançon, Renée

    2004-02-01

    In two decades of research on sexual harassment, one finding that appears repeatedly is that gender of the rater influences judgments about sexual harassment such that women are more likely than men to label behavior as sexual harassment. Yet, sexual harassment judgments are complex, particularly in situations that culminate in legal proceedings. And, this one variable, gender, may have been overemphasized to the exclusion of other situational and rater characteristic variables. Moreover, why do gender differences appear? As work by Wiener and his colleagues have done (R. L. Wiener et al., 2002; R. L. Wiener & L. Hurt, 2000; R. L. Wiener, L. Hurt, B. Russell, K. Mannen, & C. Gasper, 1997), this study attempts to look beyond gender to answer this question. In the studies reported here, raters (undergraduates and community adults), either read a written scenario or viewed a videotaped reenactment of a sexual harassment trial. The nature of the work environment was manipulated to see what, if any, effect the context would have on gender effects. Additionally, a number of rater characteristics beyond gender were measured, including ambivalent sexism attitudes of the raters, their judgments of complainant credibility, and self-referencing that might help explain rater judgments. Respondent gender, work environment, and community vs. student sample differences produced reliable differences in sexual harassment ratings in both the written and video trial versions of the study. The gender and sample differences in the sexual harassment ratings, however, are explained by a model which incorporates hostile sexism, perceptions of the complainants credibility, and raters' own ability to put themselves in the complainant's position (self-referencing).

  8. Why Cosmic Fine-Tuning Needs to BE Explained

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manson, Neil Alan

    Discoveries in modern physics and Big Bang cosmology indicate that if either the initial conditions of the universe or the physical laws governing its development had differed even slightly, life could never have developed. It is for this reason that the universe is said to be ``fine-tuned'' for life. I argue that cosmic fine-tuning, which some want to dismiss as the way things just happen to be, in fact needs to be explained. In Chapter One I provide an overview of the evidence that the universe is fine-tuned for life. In Chapter Two I present a set of sufficient conditions for a fact's needing to be explained. The conditions are that the fact is improbable and that a ``tidy'' explanation of it is available. A tidy explanation of a fact is considerably less improbable than that fact and makes the obtaining of that fact considerably less improbable. Chapters Three, Four, and Five are devoted to showing that cosmic Chapter Three I argue that the universe's being finely tuned for life can meaningfully be considered improbable. In Chapter Four I claim that there is at least one tidy explanation of cosmic fine-tuning: that the universe was created by some sort of extramundane designer. In Chapters Four and Five I respond to three objections. The first is that the design hypothesis is ad hoc. The second is that we have no reason to believe a supernatural designer would prefer life-permitting cosmoi to other possible cosmoi and that our tendency to believe otherwise is the result of anthropocentrism. The third is that the design hypothesis never buys us an explanatory advantage.

  9. INVERTEBRATE FERRITIN: OCCURRENCE IN MOLLUSCA.

    PubMed

    TOWE, K M; LOWENSTAM, H A; NESSON, M H

    1963-10-04

    Ferritin, in both crystalline and paracrystalline forms, occurs in the columnar epithelial cells of the dorsal wall of the radula of the marine chiton Cryptochiton stelleri, order, Polyplacophora. The ferritin occurs in association with the magnetite of the radular teeth. It has been isolated and crystallized in the presence of cadmium sulfate.

  10. Failed supernovae explain the compact remnant mass function

    SciTech Connect

    Kochanek, C. S.

    2014-04-10

    One explanation for the absence of higher mass red supergiants (16.5 M {sub ☉} ≲ M ≲ 25 M {sub ☉}) as the progenitors of Type IIP supernovae (SNe) is that they die in failed SNe creating black holes. Simulations show that such failed SNe still eject their hydrogen envelopes in a weak transient, leaving a black hole with the mass of the star's helium core (5-8 M {sub ☉}). Here we show that this naturally explains the typical masses of observed black holes and the gap between neutron star and black hole masses without any fine-tuning of stellar mass loss, binary mass transfer, or the SN mechanism, beyond having it fail in a mass range where many progenitor models have density structures that make the explosions more likely to fail. There is no difficulty including this ∼20% population of failed SNe in any accounting of SN types over the progenitor mass function. And, other than patience, there is no observational barrier to either detecting these black hole formation events or limiting their rates to be well below this prediction.

  11. Gelatinization temperature of rice explained by polymorphisms in starch synthase.

    PubMed

    Waters, Daniel L E; Henry, Robert J; Reinke, Russell F; Fitzgerald, Melissa A

    2006-01-01

    The cooking quality of rice is associated with the starch gelatinization temperature (GT). Rice genotypes with low GT have probably been selected for their cooking quality by humans during domestication. We now report polymorphisms in starch synthase IIa (SSIIa) that explain the variation in rice starch GT. Sequence analysis of the eight exons of SSIIa identified significant polymorphism in only exon 8. These single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were determined in 70 diverse genotypes of rice. Two SNPs could classify all 70 genotypes into either high GT or low GT types which differed in GT by 8 degrees C. 'A' rather than 'G' at base 2412 determined whether a methionine or valine was present at the corresponding amino acid residue in SSIIa, whilst two adjacent SNPs at bases 2543 and 2544 coded for either leucine (GC) or phenylalanine (TT). Rice varieties with high GT starch had a combination of valine and leucine at these residues. In contrast, rice varieties with low GT starch had a combination of either methionine and leucine or valine and phenylalanine at these same residues. At least two distinct polymorphisms have apparently been selected for their desirable cooking qualities in the domestication of rice.

  12. Binding Pose Flip Explained via Enthalpic and Entropic Contributions

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    The anomalous binding modes of five highly similar fragments of TIE2 inhibitors, showing three distinct binding poses, are investigated. We report a quantitative rationalization for the changes in binding pose based on molecular dynamics simulations. We investigated five fragments in complex with the transforming growth factor β receptor type 1 kinase domain. Analyses of these simulations using Grid Inhomogeneous Solvation Theory (GIST), pKA calculations, and a tool to investigate enthalpic differences upon binding unraveled the various thermodynamic contributions to the different binding modes. While one binding mode flip can be rationalized by steric repulsion, the second binding pose flip revealed a different protonation state for one of the ligands, leading to different enthalpic and entropic contributions to the binding free energy. One binding pose is stabilized by the displacement of entropically unfavored water molecules (binding pose determined by solvation entropy), ligands in the other binding pose are stabilized by strong enthalpic interactions, overcompensating the unfavorable water entropy in this pose (binding pose determined by enthalpic interactions). This analysis elucidates unprecedented details determining the flipping of the binding modes, which can elegantly explain the experimental findings for this system. PMID:28079371

  13. Global patterns in endemism explained by past climatic change.

    PubMed

    Jansson, Roland

    2003-03-22

    I propose that global patterns in numbers of range-restricted endemic species are caused by variation in the amplitude of climatic change occurring on time-scales of 10-100 thousand years (Milankovitch oscillations). The smaller the climatic shifts, the more probable it is that palaeoendemics survive and that diverging gene pools persist without going extinct or merging, favouring the evolution of neoendemics. Using the change in mean annual temperature since the last glacial maximum, estimated from global circulation models, I show that the higher the temperature change in an area, the fewer endemic species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and vascular plants it harbours. This relationship was robust to variation in area (for areas greater than 10(4) km2), latitudinal position, extent of former glaciation and whether or not areas are oceanic islands. Past climatic change was a better predictor of endemism than annual temperature range in all phylads except amphibians, suggesting that Rapoport's rule (i.e. species range sizes increase with latitude) is best explained by the increase in the amplitude of climatic oscillations towards the poles. Globally, endemic-rich areas are predicted to warm less in response to greenhouse-gas emissions, but the predicted warming would cause many habitats to disappear regionally, leading to species extinctions.

  14. Static stress triggering explains the empirical aftershock distance decay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hainzl, Sebastian; Moradpour, Javad; Davidsen, Jörn

    2014-12-01

    The shape of the spatial aftershock decay is sensitive to the triggering mechanism and thus particularly useful for discriminating between static and dynamic stress triggering. For California seismicity, it has been recently recognized that its form is more complicated than typically assumed consisting of three different regimes with transitions at the scale of the rupture length and the thickness of the crust. The intermediate distance range is characterized by a relative small decay exponent of 1.35 previously declared to relate to dynamic stress triggering. We perform comprehensive simulations of a simple clock-advance model, in which the number of aftershocks is just proportional to the Coulomb-stress change, to test whether the empirical result can be explained by static stress triggering. Similarly to the observations, the results show three scaling regimes. For simulations adapted to the depths and focal mechanisms observed in California, we find a remarkable agreement with the observation over the whole distance range for a fault distribution with fractal dimension of 1.8, which is shown to be in good agreement with an independent analysis of California seismicity.

  15. Causal Inference and Explaining Away in a Spiking Network

    PubMed Central

    Moreno-Bote, Rubén; Drugowitsch, Jan

    2015-01-01

    While the brain uses spiking neurons for communication, theoretical research on brain computations has mostly focused on non-spiking networks. The nature of spike-based algorithms that achieve complex computations, such as object probabilistic inference, is largely unknown. Here we demonstrate that a family of high-dimensional quadratic optimization problems with non-negativity constraints can be solved exactly and efficiently by a network of spiking neurons. The network naturally imposes the non-negativity of causal contributions that is fundamental to causal inference, and uses simple operations, such as linear synapses with realistic time constants, and neural spike generation and reset non-linearities. The network infers the set of most likely causes from an observation using explaining away, which is dynamically implemented by spike-based, tuned inhibition. The algorithm performs remarkably well even when the network intrinsically generates variable spike trains, the timing of spikes is scrambled by external sources of noise, or the network is mistuned. This type of network might underlie tasks such as odor identification and classification. PMID:26621426

  16. Phylogeny Explains Variation in The Root Chemistry of Eucalyptus Species.

    PubMed

    Senior, John K; Potts, Brad M; Davies, Noel W; Wooliver, Rachel C; Schweitzer, Jennifer A; Bailey, Joseph K; O'Reilly-Wapstra, Julianne M

    2016-10-01

    Plants are dependent on their root systems for survival, and thus are defended from belowground enemies by a range of strategies, including plant secondary metabolites (PSMs). These compounds vary among species, and an understanding of this variation may provide generality in predicting the susceptibility of forest trees to belowground enemies and the quality of their organic matter input to soil. Here, we investigated phylogenetic patterns in the root chemistry of species within the genus Eucalyptus. Given the known diversity of PSMs in eucalypt foliage, we hypothesized that (i) the range and concentrations of PSMs and carbohydrates in roots vary among Eucalyptus species, and (ii) that phylogenetic relationships explain a significant component of this variation. To test for interspecific variation in root chemistry and the influence of tree phylogeny, we grew 24 Eucalyptus species representing two subgenera (Eucalyptus and Symphyomyrtus) in a common garden for two years. Fine root samples were collected from each species and analyzed for total phenolics, condensed tannins, carbohydrates, terpenes, and formylated phloroglucinol compounds. Compounds displaying significant interspecific variation were mapped onto a molecular phylogeny and tested for phylogenetic signal. Although all targeted groups of compounds were present, we found that phenolics dominated root defenses and that all phenolic traits displayed significant interspecific variation. Further, these compounds displayed a significant phylogenetic signal. Overall, our results suggest that within these representatives of genus Eucalyptus, more closely related species have more similar root chemistry, which may influence their susceptibility to belowground enemies and soil organic matter accrual.

  17. Explaining homosexuality: philosophical issues, and who cares anyhow?

    PubMed

    Suppe, F

    1994-01-01

    Standard behavioral and biological attempts to explain the etiology of homosexuality are surveyed. These include genetic, physiological (e.g., hormonal), constitutional (e.g., wrong pubic hair configurations), childhood experience, parenting, and psychoanalytic accounts. These are criticized from a number of perspectives, including inadequate conceptualization of homosexuality and heterosexuality. The use of path analysis to assess etiological accounts is examined, with particular attention being paid to the Kinsey Institute's Sexual Preference efforts. Drawing from the sociology of science, recent philosophical work on the growth of scientific knowledge, and historical considerations, the legitimacy of homosexual etiology as a scientific research question is examined. It is argued that homosexual etiology is a degenerative research program. The research program's conceptual crudity with respect to sexual identity and sexual orientation precludes it from making any scientific contribution. Thus the claim that homosexual etiology is a legitimate scientific issue is plausible only against the background of a set of late Victorian normative assumptions about "normal love," some surrogate thereof, or a political agenda. Implications of the homosexuality etiology case study for more general philosophical treatments of explanation are considered briefly.

  18. Failed Collapsar Jets to Explain Low Luminosity GRB Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamidani, Hamid; Umeda, Hideyuki; Takahashi, Koh

    Using the collapsar scenario for long GRBs [1], we present series of numerical simulations to investigate properties of expanding jets, driven by engines deploying the same total energy (1052 erg), differently. We include a wide range of engine durations (Tinj), from 0.1 to 100 s, as well as different initial opening angles (θ0) for the deployed energy. We employ an AMR 2D special relativistic hydrodynamical code, using a 25 solar mass Wolf-Rayet star as the progenitor [2]. We analyze the effect of the engine duration on the jet's hydrodynamic properties, and discuss the implications on GRB and SN emissions. Our results show that the expanding jet's hydrodynamical properties significantly differ, in particular outflow collimation and relativistic acceleration. The implication of this is that brief engines (with Tinj < Tbreakout, either due to a short Tinj or to a large θ0) represent excellent systems to explain the debated low-luminosity GRBs (llGRBs), displaying two of llGRBs peculiar features: i) the estimated llGRBs rate at least about 100 times higher than that of GRBs [3,4,5], and ii) potentially energetic SN emission [6]. We find that these two features only arise from brief engines. The conclusion is that brief engines dominate collapsars, at least at low redshift.

  19. Explaining coherence in coherence masking protection for adults and children

    PubMed Central

    Tarr, Eric; Nittrouer, Susan

    2013-01-01

    Coherence masking protection (CMP) is the phenomenon in which a low-frequency target (typically a first formant) is labeled accurately in poorer signal-to-noise levels when combined with a high-frequency cosignal, rather than presented alone. An earlier study by the authors revealed greater CMP for children than adults, with more resistance to disruptions in harmonicity across spectral components [Nittrouer and Tarr (2011). Atten. Percept. Psychophys. 73, 2606–2623]. That finding was interpreted as demonstrating that children are obliged to process speech signals as broad spectral patterns, regardless of the harmonic structure of the spectral components. The current study tested three alternative, auditory explanations for the observed coherence of target + cosignal: (1) unique spectral shapes of target + cosignal support labeling, (2) periodicity of target + cosignal promotes coherence, and (3) temporal synchrony across target + cosignal reinforces temporal expectancies. Adults, eight-year-olds, and five-year-olds labeled stimuli in five conditions: F1 only and F1 + a constant cosignal (both used previously) were benchmarks for comparing thresholds for F1 + 3 new cosignals. Children again showed greater CMP than adults, but none of the three hypotheses could explain their CMP. It was again concluded that children are obliged to recognize speech signals as broad spectral patterns. PMID:23742373

  20. Glacial ocean circulation and stratification explained by reduced atmospheric temperature.

    PubMed

    Jansen, Malte F

    2017-01-03

    Earth's climate has undergone dramatic shifts between glacial and interglacial time periods, with high-latitude temperature changes on the order of 5-10 °C. These climatic shifts have been associated with major rearrangements in the deep ocean circulation and stratification, which have likely played an important role in the observed atmospheric carbon dioxide swings by affecting the partitioning of carbon between the atmosphere and the ocean. The mechanisms by which the deep ocean circulation changed, however, are still unclear and represent a major challenge to our understanding of glacial climates. This study shows that various inferred changes in the deep ocean circulation and stratification between glacial and interglacial climates can be interpreted as a direct consequence of atmospheric temperature differences. Colder atmospheric temperatures lead to increased sea ice cover and formation rate around Antarctica. The associated enhanced brine rejection leads to a strongly increased deep ocean stratification, consistent with high abyssal salinities inferred for the last glacial maximum. The increased stratification goes together with a weakening and shoaling of the interhemispheric overturning circulation, again consistent with proxy evidence for the last glacial. The shallower interhemispheric overturning circulation makes room for slowly moving water of Antarctic origin, which explains the observed middepth radiocarbon age maximum and may play an important role in ocean carbon storage.

  1. Glacial ocean circulation and stratification explained by reduced atmospheric temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jansen, Malte F.

    2017-01-01

    Earth’s climate has undergone dramatic shifts between glacial and interglacial time periods, with high-latitude temperature changes on the order of 5–10 °C. These climatic shifts have been associated with major rearrangements in the deep ocean circulation and stratification, which have likely played an important role in the observed atmospheric carbon dioxide swings by affecting the partitioning of carbon between the atmosphere and the ocean. The mechanisms by which the deep ocean circulation changed, however, are still unclear and represent a major challenge to our understanding of glacial climates. This study shows that various inferred changes in the deep ocean circulation and stratification between glacial and interglacial climates can be interpreted as a direct consequence of atmospheric temperature differences. Colder atmospheric temperatures lead to increased sea ice cover and formation rate around Antarctica. The associated enhanced brine rejection leads to a strongly increased deep ocean stratification, consistent with high abyssal salinities inferred for the last glacial maximum. The increased stratification goes together with a weakening and shoaling of the interhemispheric overturning circulation, again consistent with proxy evidence for the last glacial. The shallower interhemispheric overturning circulation makes room for slowly moving water of Antarctic origin, which explains the observed middepth radiocarbon age maximum and may play an important role in ocean carbon storage.

  2. Two phenomenological constants explain similarity laws in stably stratified turbulence.

    PubMed

    Katul, Gabriel G; Porporato, Amilcare; Shah, Stimit; Bou-Zeid, Elie

    2014-02-01

    In stably stratified turbulent flows, the mixing efficiency associated with eddy diffusivity for heat, or equivalently the turbulent Prandtl number (Pr(t)), is fraught with complex dynamics originating from the scalewise interplay between shear generation of turbulence and its dissipation by density gradients. A large corpus of data and numerical simulations agree on a near-universal relation between Pr(t) and the Richardson number (R(i)), which encodes the relative importance of buoyancy dissipation to mechanical production of turbulent kinetic energy. The Pr(t)-R(i) relation is shown to be derivable solely from the cospectral budgets for momentum and heat fluxes if a Rotta-like return to isotropy closure for the pressure-strain effects and Kolmogorov's theory for turbulent cascade are invoked. The ratio of the Kolmogorov to the Kolmogorov-Obukhov-Corrsin phenomenological constants, and a constant associated with isotropization of the production whose value (= 3/5) has been predicted from Rapid Distortion Theory, explain all the macroscopic nonlinearities.

  3. Selection bias explains apparent differential mortality between dialysis modalities.

    PubMed

    Quinn, Robert R; Hux, Janet E; Oliver, Matthew J; Austin, Peter C; Tonelli, Marcello; Laupacis, Andreas

    2011-08-01

    The relative risk of death for patients treated with peritoneal dialysis compared with those treated with hemodialysis appears to change with duration of dialysis therapy. Patients who start dialysis urgently are at high risk for mortality and are treated almost exclusively with hemodialysis, introducing bias to such mortality comparisons. To better isolate the association between dialysis treatment modality and patient mortality, we examined the relative risk for mortality for peritoneal dialysis compared with hemodialysis among individuals who received ≥4 months of predialysis care and who started dialysis electively as outpatients. From a total of 32,285 individuals who received dialysis in Ontario, Canada during a nearly 8-year period, 6,573 patients met criteria for elective, outpatient initiation. We detected no difference in survival between peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis after adjusting for relevant baseline characteristics. The relative risk of death did not change with duration of dialysis therapy in our primary analysis, but it did change with time when we defined our patient population using the more inclusive criteria typical of previous studies. These results suggest that peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis associate with similar survival among incident dialysis patients who initiate dialysis electively, as outpatients, after at least 4 months of predialysis care. Selection bias, rather than an effect of the treatment itself, likely explains the previously described change in the relative risk of death over time between hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.

  4. Heterogeneity of cells may explain allometric scaling of metabolic rate.

    PubMed

    Takemoto, Kazuhiro

    2015-04-01

    The origin of allometric scaling of metabolic rate is a long-standing question in biology. Several models have been proposed for explaining the origin; however, they have advantages and disadvantages. In particular, previous models only demonstrate either two important observations for the allometric scaling: the variability of scaling exponents and predominance of 3/4-power law. Thus, these models have a dispute over their validity. In this study, we propose a simple geometry model, and show that a hypothesis that total surface area of cells determines metabolic rate can reproduce these two observations by combining two concepts: the impact of cell sizes on metabolic rate and fractal-like (hierarchical) organization. The proposed model both theoretically and numerically demonstrates the approximately 3/4-power law although several different biological strategies are considered. The model validity is confirmed using empirical data. Furthermore, the model suggests the importance of heterogeneity of cell size for the emergence of the allometric scaling. The proposed model provides intuitive and unique insights into the origin of allometric scaling laws in biology, despite several limitations of the model.

  5. Crash risk: How cycling flow can help explain crash data.

    PubMed

    Dozza, Marco

    2016-05-12

    Crash databases are commonly queried to infer crash causation, prioritize countermeasures to prevent crashes, and evaluate safety systems. However, crash databases, which may be compiled from police and hospital records, alone cannot provide estimates of crash risk. Moreover, they fail to capture road user behavior before the crash. In Sweden, as in many other countries, crash databases are particularly sterile when it comes to bicycle crashes. In fact, not only are bicycle crashes underreported in police reports, they are also poorly documented in hospital reports. Nevertheless, these reports are irreplaceable sources of information, clearly highlighting the surprising prevalence of single-bicycle crashes and hinting at some cyclist behaviors, such as alcohol consumption, that may increase crash risk. In this study, we used exposure data from 11 roadside stations measuring cyclist flow in Gothenburg to help explain crash data and estimate risk. For instance, our results show that crash risk is greatest at night on weekends, and that this risk is larger for single-bicycle crashes than for crashes between a cyclist and another motorist. This result suggests that the population of night-cyclists on weekend nights is particularly prone to specific crash types, which may be influenced by specific contributing factors (such as alcohol), and may require specific countermeasures. Most importantly, our results demonstrate that detailed exposure data can help select, filter, aggregate, highlight, and normalize crash data to obtain a sharper view of the cycling safety problem, to achieve a more fine-tuned intervention.

  6. Surprisingly rational: probability theory plus noise explains biases in judgment.

    PubMed

    Costello, Fintan; Watts, Paul

    2014-07-01

    The systematic biases seen in people's probability judgments are typically taken as evidence that people do not use the rules of probability theory when reasoning about probability but instead use heuristics, which sometimes yield reasonable judgments and sometimes yield systematic biases. This view has had a major impact in economics, law, medicine, and other fields; indeed, the idea that people cannot reason with probabilities has become a truism. We present a simple alternative to this view, where people reason about probability according to probability theory but are subject to random variation or noise in the reasoning process. In this account the effect of noise is canceled for some probabilistic expressions. Analyzing data from 2 experiments, we find that, for these expressions, people's probability judgments are strikingly close to those required by probability theory. For other expressions, this account produces systematic deviations in probability estimates. These deviations explain 4 reliable biases in human probabilistic reasoning (conservatism, subadditivity, conjunction, and disjunction fallacies). These results suggest that people's probability judgments embody the rules of probability theory and that biases in those judgments are due to the effects of random noise.

  7. Buzz Factor or Innovation Potential: What Explains Cryptocurrencies’ Returns?

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Sha

    2017-01-01

    Cryptocurrencies have become increasingly popular since the introduction of bitcoin in 2009. In this paper, we identify factors associated with variations in cryptocurrencies’ market values. In the past, researchers argued that the “buzz” surrounding cryptocurrencies in online media explained their price variations. But this observation obfuscates the notion that cryptocurrencies, unlike fiat currencies, are technologies entailing a true innovation potential. By using, for the first time, a unique measure of innovation potential, we find that the latter is in fact the most important factor associated with increases in cryptocurrency returns. By contrast, we find that the buzz surrounding cryptocurrencies is negatively associated with returns after controlling for a variety of factors, such as supply growth and liquidity. Also interesting is our finding that a cryptocurrency’s association with fraudulent activity is not negatively associated with weekly returns—a result that further qualifies the media’s influence on cryptocurrencies. Finally, we find that an increase in supply is positively associated with weekly returns. Taken together, our findings show that cryptocurrencies do not behave like traditional currencies or commodities—unlike what most prior research has assumed—and depict an industry that is much more mature, and much less speculative, than has been implied by previous accounts. PMID:28085906

  8. Explaining Multi-wavelength Photometric Variability in Young Stellar Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kesseli, Aurora; Whitney, B.; Wood, K.; Plavchan, P.; Terebey, S.; Stauffer, J. R.; Morales-Calderon, M.; YSOVAR

    2013-01-01

    We explore a variety of radiation transfer models to explain multi-wavelength photometric variability of young stellar objects in the Orion Nebula Cluster (Morales-Calderon et al. (2011). Our models include hotspots, warps in the accretion disk, and spiral arms. Variability comes in different types, which have been categorized as periodic or quasi-periodic, narrow or broad dips in the light curves, and rapid flux variations or “wild type” stars. Our models can successfully reproduce these. The optical and near-infrared light curves are sensitive to the stellar variations and obscurations from the circumstellar material. The mid-infrared provides an additional diagnostic because it is sensitive to emission from the inner disk and the inner wall height. Our models make specific predictions as to the shapes and phasing of optical through mid-infrared photometry that can be tested with multi-wavelength time-series data. This work is based in part on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with NASA. Support for this work was provided by NASA through an award issued by JPL/Caltech and was partially supported by the National Science Foundation's REU program through NSF Award AST-1004881.

  9. Metacommunity theory explains the emergence of food web complexity.

    PubMed

    Pillai, Pradeep; Gonzalez, Andrew; Loreau, Michel

    2011-11-29

    Food webs are highly complex ecological networks, dynamic in both space and time. Metacommunity models are now at the core of unified theories of biodiversity, but to date they have not addressed food web complexity. Here we show that metacommunity theory can explain the emergence of species-rich food webs with complex network topologies. Our analysis shows that network branching in the food web is maximized at intermediate colonization rates and limited dispersal scales, which also leads to concomitant peaks in species diversity. Increased food web complexity and species diversity are made possible by the structural role played by network branches that are supported by omnivore and generalist feeding links. Thus, in contrast to traditional food web theory, which emphasizes the destabilizing effect of omnivory feeding in closed systems, metacommunity theory predicts that these feeding links, which are commonly observed in empirical food webs, play a critical structural role as food webs assemble in space. As this mechanism functions at the metacommunity level, evidence for its operation in nature will be obtained through multiscale surveys of food web structure. Finally, we apply our theory to reveal the effects of habitat destruction on network complexity and metacommunity diversity.

  10. Explaining Self and Vicarious Reactance: A Process Model Approach.

    PubMed

    Sittenthaler, Sandra; Jonas, Eva; Traut-Mattausch, Eva

    2016-04-01

    Research shows that people experience a motivational state of agitation known as reactance when they perceive restrictions to their freedoms. However, research has yet to show whether people experience reactance if they merely observe the restriction of another person's freedom. In Study 1, we activated realistic vicarious reactance in the laboratory. In Study 2, we compared people's responses with their own and others' restrictions and found the same levels of experienced reactance and behavioral intentions as well as aggressive tendencies. We did, however, find differences in physiological arousal: Physiological arousal increased quickly after participants imagined their own freedom being restricted, but arousal in response to imagining a friend's freedom being threatened was weaker and delayed. In line with the physiological data, Study 3's results showed that self-restrictions aroused more emotional thoughts than vicarious restrictions, which induced more cognitive responses. Furthermore, in Study 4a, a cognitive task affected only the cognitive process behind vicarious reactance. In contrast, in Study 4b, an emotional task affected self-reactance but not vicarious reactance. We propose a process model explaining the emotional and cognitive processes of self- and vicarious reactance.

  11. Nonlinear Bayesian cue integration explains the dynamics of vocal learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Baohua; Sober, Samuel; Nemenman, Ilya

    The acoustics of vocal production in songbirds is tightly regulated during both development and adulthood as birds progressively refine their song using sensory feedback to match an acoustic target. Here, we perturb this sensory feedback using headphones to shift the pitch (fundamental frequency) of song. When the pitch is shifted upwards (downwards), birds eventually learn to compensate and sing lower (higher), bringing the experienced pitch closer to the target. Paradoxically, the speed and amplitude of this motor learning decrease with increases in the introduced error size, so that birds respond rapidly to a small sensory perturbation, while seemingly never correcting a much bigger one. Similar results are observed broadly across the animal kingdom, and they do not derive from a limited plasticity of the adult brain since birds can compensate for a large error as long as the error is imposed gradually. We develop a mathematical model based on nonlinear Bayesian integration of two sensory modalities (one perturbed and the other not) that quantitatively explains all of these observations. The model makes predictions about the structure of the probability distribution of the pitches sung by birds during the pitch shift experiments, which we confirm using experimental data. This work was supported in part by James S. McDonnell Foundation Grant # 220020321, NSF Grant # IOS/1208126, NSF Grant # IOS/1456912 and NIH Grants # R01NS084844.

  12. Can mathematics explain the evolution of human language?

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Investigation into the sequence structure of the genetic code by means of an informatic approach is a real success story. The features of human language are also the object of investigation within the realm of formal language theories. They focus on the common rules of a universal grammar that lies behind all languages and determine generation of syntactic structures. This universal grammar is a depiction of material reality, i.e., the hidden logical order of things and its relations determined by natural laws. Therefore mathematics is viewed not only as an appropriate tool to investigate human language and genetic code structures through computer science-based formal language theory but is itself a depiction of material reality. This confusion between language as a scientific tool to describe observations/experiences within cognitive constructed models and formal language as a direct depiction of material reality occurs not only in current approaches but was the central focus of the philosophy of science debate in the twentieth century, with rather unexpected results. This article recalls these results and their implications for more recent mathematical approaches that also attempt to explain the evolution of human language. PMID:22046452

  13. Explaining imaginal inference by operations in a propositional format.

    PubMed

    Wilton, R N

    1978-01-01

    Solving problems by imaginal inference often seems inefficient for an organism that is manipulating propositions. One explanation for the apparent inefficiency is that the problems are being solved not in propositional format by operations in an analogue format. Imaginal inference might then be the most efficient method compatible with the limitations inherent in the analogue format. In the present paper an alternative rationale is given for the use of imaginal inference by explaining how the processes involved in mental problem solving are related to those in perception: it is suggested that the mechanisms used in problem solving have evolved from a perceptual system in which hypotheses about events in the sensory field are generated from an internal representation of the world. This thesis denies that perception is passive and suggests that originally for perception. Acceptance of the thesis implies that the capabilities of a propositional format in problem solving would be limited. This limitation could account for the apparently inefficient use of that format in imaginal inference.

  14. Explaining the electroweak scale and stabilizing moduli in M theory

    SciTech Connect

    Acharya, Bobby S.; Bobkov, Konstantin; Kane, Gordon L.; Kumar, Piyush; Shao Jing

    2007-12-15

    In a recent paper [B. Acharya, K. Bobkov, G. Kane, P. Kumar, and D. Vaman, Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 191601 (2006).] it was shown that in fluxless M theory vacua with at least two hidden sectors undergoing strong gauge dynamics and a particular form of the Kaehler potential, all moduli are stabilized by the effective potential and a stable hierarchy is generated, consistent with standard gauge unification. This paper explains the results of [B. Acharya, K. Bobkov, G. Kane, P. Kumar, and D. Vaman, Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 191601 (2006).] in more detail and generalizes them, finding an essentially unique de Sitter vacuum under reasonable conditions. One of the main phenomenological consequences is a prediction which emerges from this entire class of vacua: namely, gaugino masses are significantly suppressed relative to the gravitino mass. We also present evidence that, for those vacua in which the vacuum energy is small, the gravitino mass, which sets all the superpartner masses, is automatically in the TeV-100 TeV range.

  15. Learning dynamics explains human behaviour in prisoner's dilemma on networks.

    PubMed

    Cimini, Giulio; Sánchez, Angel

    2014-05-06

    Cooperative behaviour lies at the very basis of human societies, yet its evolutionary origin remains a key unsolved puzzle. Whereas reciprocity or conditional cooperation is one of the most prominent mechanisms proposed to explain the emergence of cooperation in social dilemmas, recent experimental findings on networked Prisoner's Dilemma games suggest that conditional cooperation also depends on the previous action of the player-namely on the 'mood' in which the player is currently in. Roughly, a majority of people behave as conditional cooperators if they cooperated in the past, whereas they ignore the context and free ride with high probability if they did not. However, the ultimate origin of this behaviour represents a conundrum itself. Here, we aim specifically to provide an evolutionary explanation of moody conditional cooperation (MCC). To this end, we perform an extensive analysis of different evolutionary dynamics for players' behavioural traits-ranging from standard processes used in game theory based on pay-off comparison to others that include non-economic or social factors. Our results show that only a dynamic built upon reinforcement learning is able to give rise to evolutionarily stable MCC, and at the end to reproduce the human behaviours observed in the experiments.

  16. Relative resource abundance explains butterfly biodiversity in island communities.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Naoaki; Yokoyama, Jun; Kawata, Masakado

    2007-06-19

    Ecologists have long been intrigued by the factors that control the pattern of biodiversity, i.e., the distribution and abundance of species. Previous studies have demonstrated that coexisting species partition their resources and/or that the compositional similarity between communities is determined by environmental factors, lending support to the niche-assembly model. However, no attempt has been made to test whether the relative amount of resources that reflects relative niche space controls relative species abundance in communities. Here, we demonstrate that the relative abundance of butterfly species in island communities is significantly related to the relative biomasses of their host plants but not to the geographic distance between communities. In the studied communities, the biomass of particular host plant species positively affected the abundance of the butterfly species that used them, and consequently, influenced the relative abundance of the butterfly communities. This indicated that the niche space of butterflies (i.e., the amount of resources) strongly influences butterfly biodiversity patterns. We present this field evidence of the niche-apportionment model that propose that the relative amount of niche space explains the pattern of the relative abundance of the species in communities.

  17. Explaining trends and variability in coastal relative sea level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frederikse, Thomas; Riva, Riccardo

    2016-04-01

    Comprehensive understanding of trends and variability in coastal mean sea level is vital for protecting shores under a changing climate. To understand the behavior of coastal relative sea level (RSL), it is crucial to identify all relevant processes. We combine data from various geophysical models and observations to determine whether the trends and decadal variability observed in relative sea level at tide gauges can be explained by the sum of all known contributors. A key contributor to RSL is vertical land motion, which is caused by glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA), solid earth response to surface loading, tectonics, and local effects. We explicitly model low-frequency loading effects to correct GPS records, which leads to a more consistent trend than only using GIA models. Secondly, we create sea level fingerprints based on estimates of ice melt and changes in land hydrology, which provide the RSL contribution due to large-scale mass transport. Since coastal areas are often located on shallow continental shelves, steric effects will generally be small, and a large fraction of the decadal sea level variability will have a remote steric origin. Therefore, we determine a relation between coastal sea level and deep sea steric variability. For the period 1950-2012, we find that for many locations, including the European coast, the observed and modeled RSL time series agree well on decadal and secular scales.

  18. Cortical thinning explains changes in sleep slow waves during adulthood.

    PubMed

    Dubé, Jonathan; Lafortune, Marjolaine; Bedetti, Christophe; Bouchard, Maude; Gagnon, Jean François; Doyon, Julien; Evans, Alan C; Lina, Jean-Marc; Carrier, Julie

    2015-05-20

    Sleep slow waves (SWs) change considerably throughout normal aging. In humans, SWs are generated and propagate on a structural backbone of highly interconnected cortical regions that form most of the default mode network, such as the insula, cingulate cortices, temporal lobe, parietal lobe, and medial frontal lobe. Regions in this network undergo cortical thinning and breakdown in structural and functional connectivity over the course of normal aging. In this study, we investigated how changes in cortical thickness (CT), a measure of gray matter integrity, are involved in modifications of sleep SWs during adulthood in humans. Thirty young (mean age = 23.49 years; SD = 2.79) and 33 older (mean age = 60.35 years; SD = 5.71) healthy subjects underwent a nocturnal polysomnography and T1 MRI. We show that, when controlling for age, higher SW density (nb/min of nonrapid eye movement sleep) was associated with higher CT in cortical regions involved in SW generation surrounding the lateral fissure (insula, superior temporal, parietal, middle frontal), whereas higher SW amplitude was associated with higher CT in middle frontal, medial prefrontal, and medial posterior regions. Mediation analyses demonstrated that thinning in a network of cortical regions involved in SW generation and propagation, but also in cognitive functions, explained the age-related decrease in SW density and amplitude. Altogether, our results suggest that microstructural degradation of specific cortical regions compromise SW generation and propagation in older subjects, critically contributing to age-related changes in SW oscillations.

  19. Optimization of biomass composition explains microbial growth-stoichiometry relationships

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Franklin, O.; Hall, E.K.; Kaiser, C.; Battin, T.J.; Richter, A.

    2011-01-01

    Integrating microbial physiology and biomass stoichiometry opens far-reaching possibilities for linking microbial dynamics to ecosystem processes. For example, the growth-rate hypothesis (GRH) predicts positive correlations among growth rate, RNA content, and biomass phosphorus (P) content. Such relationships have been used to infer patterns of microbial activity, resource availability, and nutrient recycling in ecosystems. However, for microorganisms it is unclear under which resource conditions the GRH applies. We developed a model to test whether the response of microbial biomass stoichiometry to variable resource stoichiometry can be explained by a trade-off among cellular components that maximizes growth. The results show mechanistically why the GRH is valid under P limitation but not under N limitation. We also show why variability of growth rate-biomass stoichiometry relationships is lower under P limitation than under N or C limitation. These theoretical results are supported by experimental data on macromolecular composition (RNA, DNA, and protein) and biomass stoichiometry from two different bacteria. In addition, compared to a model with strictly homeostatic biomass, the optimization mechanism we suggest results in increased microbial N and P mineralization during organic-matter decomposition. Therefore, this mechanism may also have important implications for our understanding of nutrient cycling in ecosystems.

  20. CRISPR adaptation biases explain preference for acquisition of foreign DNA.

    PubMed

    Levy, Asaf; Goren, Moran G; Yosef, Ido; Auster, Oren; Manor, Miriam; Amitai, Gil; Edgar, Rotem; Qimron, Udi; Sorek, Rotem

    2015-04-23

    CRISPR-Cas (clustered, regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats coupled with CRISPR-associated proteins) is a bacterial immunity system that protects against invading phages or plasmids. In the process of CRISPR adaptation, short pieces of DNA ('spacers') are acquired from foreign elements and integrated into the CRISPR array. So far, it has remained a mystery how spacers are preferentially acquired from the foreign DNA while the self chromosome is avoided. Here we show that spacer acquisition is replication-dependent, and that DNA breaks formed at stalled replication forks promote spacer acquisition. Chromosomal hotspots of spacer acquisition were confined by Chi sites, which are sequence octamers highly enriched on the bacterial chromosome, suggesting that these sites limit spacer acquisition from self DNA. We further show that the avoidance of self is mediated by the RecBCD double-stranded DNA break repair complex. Our results suggest that, in Escherichia coli, acquisition of new spacers largely depends on RecBCD-mediated processing of double-stranded DNA breaks occurring primarily at replication forks, and that the preference for foreign DNA is achieved through the higher density of Chi sites on the self chromosome, in combination with the higher number of forks on the foreign DNA. This model explains the strong preference to acquire spacers both from high copy plasmids and from phages.

  1. Sexual selection explains Rensch's rule of size dimorphism in shorebirds.

    PubMed

    Székely, Tamás; Freckleton, Robert P; Reynolds, John D

    2004-08-17

    Sexual size dimorphism shows a remarkably widespread relationship to body size in the animal kingdom: within lineages, it decreases with size when females are the larger sex, but it increases with size when males are the larger sex. Here we demonstrate that this pattern, termed Rensch's rule, exists in shorebirds and allies (Charadriides), and it is determined by two components of sexual selection: the intensity of sexual selection acting on males and the agility of the males' display. These effects are interactive so that the effect of sexual selection on size dimorphism depends on male agility. As a control, we also examine dimorphism in bill length, which is a functionally selected trait. As such, dimorphism in bill length neither exhibits Rensch's rule nor is associated with sexual selection and display. Our results show that variation among taxa in the direction and magnitude of sexual size dimorphism, as manifested as Rensch's rule, can be explained by the interaction between the form and strength of sexual selection acting on each sex in relation to body size.

  2. Fatal attraction: Explaining Russia's sensitive nuclear transfers to Iran

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuchinsky, Leah R.

    This paper explores Russia's sensitive nuclear assistance to Iran in an effort to determine why a supplier state might proliferate against its own apparent security interests. The goal is to help readers understand the supply-side dynamics of nuclear proliferation. Through careful reconstruction of the historical narrative, using open source data, this study tests the plausibility of a "fatalistic calculus" explanation, identified by Stephen Sestanovich as a possible driver for Russia's behavior. According to the hypothesis, Russia has cooperated with Iran as a way both to stay in the good graces of a neighbor that is suspected of developing nuclear weapons and to win short-term influence and profits. The paper also examines the role of other factors advanced in the existing supply-side literature, such as economic motives identified by physicist and nonproliferation scholar David Albright. The findings show that bureaucratic, economic and fatalistic factors have each played a role in motivating Russia's cooperation with Iran, with their relative importance shifting over time. Fatalism begets a strategy of Russian "minimaxing," in the lexicon of Russia scholar Robert Freedman, wherein Russia attempts to minimize damage to its relationship with the U.S. while maximizing influence in Iran via nuclear cooperation. Fatalism, as actualized by minimaxing, best explains Russia's behavior after former Russian president Vladmir Putin came to power, when the bureaucratic and economic arguments become less cogent.

  3. Explaining the distribution of breeding and dispersal syndromes in conifers.

    PubMed

    Leslie, Andrew B; Beaulieu, Jeremy M; Crane, Peter R; Donoghue, Michael J

    2013-11-07

    The evolution of plants exhibiting different sexes, or dioecy, is correlated with a number of ecological and life-history traits such as woody growth form and animal-dispersed seeds, but the underlying causes of these associations are unclear. Previous work in seed plants has suggested that the evolution of fleshy cones or seeds may favour dioecy. In this study, we use a well-sampled molecular phylogeny of conifers to show that although dioecy and fleshiness strongly co-occur at the species level, this relationship has not resulted from numerous separate origins of this trait combination or from differential rates of diversification. Instead, we suggest that two character combinations-the ancestral dry-monoecious condition and the derived fleshy-dioecious condition-have persisted in conifers longer than other combinations over evolutionary time. The persistence of these trait combinations appears to reflect differences in the rate of successful transition into and out of these character states over time, as well as the geographical restriction of species with rare combinations and their consequent vulnerability to extinction. In general, we argue that such persistence explanations should be considered alongside 'key innovation' hypotheses in explaining the phylogenetic distribution of traits.

  4. Explaining the distribution of breeding and dispersal syndromes in conifers

    PubMed Central

    Leslie, Andrew B.; Beaulieu, Jeremy M.; Crane, Peter R.; Donoghue, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    The evolution of plants exhibiting different sexes, or dioecy, is correlated with a number of ecological and life-history traits such as woody growth form and animal-dispersed seeds, but the underlying causes of these associations are unclear. Previous work in seed plants has suggested that the evolution of fleshy cones or seeds may favour dioecy. In this study, we use a well-sampled molecular phylogeny of conifers to show that although dioecy and fleshiness strongly co-occur at the species level, this relationship has not resulted from numerous separate origins of this trait combination or from differential rates of diversification. Instead, we suggest that two character combinations—the ancestral dry-monoecious condition and the derived fleshy-dioecious condition—have persisted in conifers longer than other combinations over evolutionary time. The persistence of these trait combinations appears to reflect differences in the rate of successful transition into and out of these character states over time, as well as the geographical restriction of species with rare combinations and their consequent vulnerability to extinction. In general, we argue that such persistence explanations should be considered alongside ‘key innovation’ hypotheses in explaining the phylogenetic distribution of traits. PMID:24026822

  5. Type-IV Pilus Deformation Can Explain Retraction Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Ghosh, Ranajay; Kumar, Aloke; Vaziri, Ashkan

    2014-01-01

    Polymeric filament like type IV Pilus (TFP) can transfer forces in excess of 100 pN during their retraction before stalling, powering surface translocation(twitching). Single TFP level experiments have shown remarkable nonlinearity in the retraction behavior influenced by the external load as well as levels of PilT molecular motor protein. This includes reversal of motion near stall forces when the concentration of the PilT protein is loweblack significantly. In order to explain this behavior, we analyze the coupling of TFP elasticity and interfacial behavior with PilT kinetics. We model retraction as reaction controlled and elongation as transport controlled process. The reaction rates vary with TFP deformation which is modeled as a compound elastic body consisting of multiple helical strands under axial load. Elongation is controlled by monomer transport which suffer entrapment due to excess PilT in the cell periplasm. Our analysis shows excellent agreement with a host of experimental observations and we present a possible biophysical relevance of model parameters through a mechano-chemical stall force map. PMID:25502696

  6. Can mathematics explain the evolution of human language?

    PubMed

    Witzany, Guenther

    2011-09-01

    Investigation into the sequence structure of the genetic code by means of an informatic approach is a real success story. The features of human language are also the object of investigation within the realm of formal language theories. They focus on the common rules of a universal grammar that lies behind all languages and determine generation of syntactic structures. This universal grammar is a depiction of material reality, i.e., the hidden logical order of things and its relations determined by natural laws. Therefore mathematics is viewed not only as an appropriate tool to investigate human language and genetic code structures through computer science-based formal language theory but is itself a depiction of material reality. This confusion between language as a scientific tool to describe observations/experiences within cognitive constructed models and formal language as a direct depiction of material reality occurs not only in current approaches but was the central focus of the philosophy of science debate in the twentieth century, with rather unexpected results. This article recalls these results and their implications for more recent mathematical approaches that also attempt to explain the evolution of human language.

  7. Explaining History. Hippolyte Taine's Philosophy of Historical Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, Philipp

    Historians of European historiography have often characterized Hippolyte Taine (1828-1893) as an adherent of the positivist school of thought, typical for the development of a scientific culture in Western Europe that differed from its German counterpart.1 In accordance with that view, Wilhelm Dilthey grouped him together with other scholars like John Stuart Mill and Herbert Spencer against who Dilthey tried to develop his conception of the human sciences based on the notion of "verstehen" (see Dilthey [1924] 1957, 139ff.). Dilthey understood Taine as proposing to analyze the human mind by identifying its individual components and then explaining their meaning by laws of their relation. He argued that such an approach might be adequate for the natural sciences, but neglected the fact that an analysis of the mind had to start from a given psychological connection that was prior to any definition of particular phenomena. From Dilthey's point of view, applying Taine's theory to historical studies only made them look more objective while actually Taine was unaware of just following the prevailing convictions of his time (idem, 191f.).

  8. Optimization of biomass composition explains microbial growth-stoichiometry relationships.

    PubMed

    Franklin, Oskar; Hall, Edward K; Kaiser, Christina; Battin, Tom J; Richter, Andreas

    2011-02-01

    Integrating microbial physiology and biomass stoichiometry opens far-reaching possibilities for linking microbial dynamics to ecosystem processes. For example, the growth-rate hypothesis (GRH) predicts positive correlations among growth rate, RNA content, and biomass phosphorus (P) content. Such relationships have been used to infer patterns of microbial activity, resource availability, and nutrient recycling in ecosystems. However, for microorganisms it is unclear under which resource conditions the GRH applies. We developed a model to test whether the response of microbial biomass stoichiometry to variable resource stoichiometry can be explained by a trade-off among cellular components that maximizes growth. The results show mechanistically why the GRH is valid under P limitation but not under N limitation. We also show why variability of growth rate-biomass stoichiometry relationships is lower under P limitation than under N or C limitation. These theoretical results are supported by experimental data on macromolecular composition (RNA, DNA, and protein) and biomass stoichiometry from two different bacteria. In addition, compared to a model with strictly homeostatic biomass, the optimization mechanism we suggest results in increased microbial N and P mineralization during organic-matter decomposition. Therefore, this mechanism may also have important implications for our understanding of nutrient cycling in ecosystems.

  9. Regional myocardial flow heterogeneity explained with fractal networks

    PubMed Central

    VAN BEEK, JOHANNES H. G. M.; ROGER, STEPHEN A.; BASSINGTHWAIGHTE, JAMES B.

    2010-01-01

    There is explain how the distribution of flow broadens with an increase in the spatial resolution of the measurement, we developed fractal models for vascular networks. A dichotomous branching network of vessels represents the arterial tree and connects to a similar venous network. A small difference in vessel lengths and radii between the two daughter vessels, with the same degree of asymmetry at each branch generation, predicts the dependence of the relative dispersion (mean ± SD) on spatial resolution of the perfusion measurement reasonably well. When the degree of asymmetry increases with successive branching, a better fit to data on sheep and baboons results. When the asymmetry is random, a satisfactory fit is found. These models show that a difference in flow of 20% between the daughter vessels at a branch point gives a relative dispersion of flow of ~30% when the heart is divided into 100–200 pieces. Although these simple models do not represent anatomic features accurately, they provide valuable insight on the heterogeneity of flow within the heart. PMID:2589520

  10. Incorporating coping into an expectancy framework for explaining drinking behaviour.

    PubMed

    Hasking, Penelope A; Oei, Tian P S

    2008-01-01

    Expectancy Theory has offered much in the way of understanding alcohol use and abuse, and has contributed greatly to prevention and treatment initiatives. However although many cognitive-behavioural treatment approaches are based on expectancy constructs, such as outcome expectancies and self-efficacy, high relapse rates imply that expectancy theory may be too narrow in scope, and that additional variables need to be examined if a comprehensive understanding of drinking behaviour, and better treatment outcomes, are to be achieved. We suggest that the coping strategies an individual employs present one such set of variables that have largely been neglected from an expectancy framework. Although coping skills training is routinely used in prevention and treatment of alcohol problems, coping research has suffered from a poor theoretical framework. In this paper we review the existing research relating expectancies, self-efficacy and coping to drinking behaviour and propose a model which explains both social and dependent drinking, by incorporating coping into an expectancy theory framework. We also outline research and clinical implications of the proposed model.

  11. Learning dynamics explains human behaviour in Prisoner's Dilemma on networks

    PubMed Central

    Cimini, Giulio; Sánchez, Angel

    2014-01-01

    Cooperative behaviour lies at the very basis of human societies, yet its evolutionary origin remains a key unsolved puzzle. Whereas reciprocity or conditional cooperation is one of the most prominent mechanisms proposed to explain the emergence of cooperation in social dilemmas, recent experimental findings on networked Prisoner's Dilemma games suggest that conditional cooperation also depends on the previous action of the player—namely on the ‘mood’ in which the player is currently in. Roughly, a majority of people behave as conditional cooperators if they cooperated in the past, whereas they ignore the context and free ride with high probability if they did not. However, the ultimate origin of this behaviour represents a conundrum itself. Here, we aim specifically to provide an evolutionary explanation of moody conditional cooperation (MCC). To this end, we perform an extensive analysis of different evolutionary dynamics for players' behavioural traits—ranging from standard processes used in game theory based on pay-off comparison to others that include non-economic or social factors. Our results show that only a dynamic built upon reinforcement learning is able to give rise to evolutionarily stable MCC, and at the end to reproduce the human behaviours observed in the experiments. PMID:24554577

  12. Buzz Factor or Innovation Potential: What Explains Cryptocurrencies' Returns?

    PubMed

    Wang, Sha; Vergne, Jean-Philippe

    2017-01-01

    Cryptocurrencies have become increasingly popular since the introduction of bitcoin in 2009. In this paper, we identify factors associated with variations in cryptocurrencies' market values. In the past, researchers argued that the "buzz" surrounding cryptocurrencies in online media explained their price variations. But this observation obfuscates the notion that cryptocurrencies, unlike fiat currencies, are technologies entailing a true innovation potential. By using, for the first time, a unique measure of innovation potential, we find that the latter is in fact the most important factor associated with increases in cryptocurrency returns. By contrast, we find that the buzz surrounding cryptocurrencies is negatively associated with returns after controlling for a variety of factors, such as supply growth and liquidity. Also interesting is our finding that a cryptocurrency's association with fraudulent activity is not negatively associated with weekly returns-a result that further qualifies the media's influence on cryptocurrencies. Finally, we find that an increase in supply is positively associated with weekly returns. Taken together, our findings show that cryptocurrencies do not behave like traditional currencies or commodities-unlike what most prior research has assumed-and depict an industry that is much more mature, and much less speculative, than has been implied by previous accounts.

  13. Hypotheses to explain the origin of species in Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Haffer, J

    2008-11-01

    The main hypotheses proposed to explain barrier formation separating populations and causing the differentiation of species in Amazonia during the course of geological history are based on different factors, as follow: (1) Changes in the distribution of land and sea or in the landscape due to tectonic movements or sea level fluctuations (Paleogeography hypothesis), (2) the barrier effect of Amazonian rivers (River hypothesis), (3) a combination of the barrier effect of broad rivers and vegetational changes in northern and southern Amazonia (River-refuge hypothesis), (4) the isolation of humid rainforest blocks near areas of surface relief in the periphery of Amazonia separated by dry forests, savannas and other intermediate vegetation types during dry climatic periods of the Tertiary and Quaternary (Refuge hypothesis), (5) changes in canopy-density due to climatic reversals (Canopy-density hypothesis) (6) the isolation and speciation of animal populations in small montane habitat pockets around Amazonia due to climatic fluctuations without major vegetational changes (Museum hypothesis), (7) competitive species interactions and local species isolations in peripheral regions of Amazonia due to invasion and counterinvasion during cold/warm periods of the Pleistocene (Disturbance-vicariance hypothesis) and (8) parapatric speciation across steep environmental gradients without separation of the respective populations (Gradient hypothesis). Several of these hypotheses probably are relevant to a different degree for the speciation processes in different faunal groups or during different geological periods. The basic paleogeography model refers mainly to faunal differentiation during the Tertiary and in combination with the Refuge hypothesis. Milankovitch cycles leading to global main hypotheses proposed to explain barrier formation separating populations and causing the differentiation of species in Amazonia during the course of geological history are based on different

  14. Vocal traits and diet explain avian sensitivities to anthropogenic noise.

    PubMed

    Francis, Clinton D

    2015-05-01

    Global population growth has caused extensive human-induced environmental change, including a near-ubiquitous transformation of the acoustical environment due to the propagation of anthropogenic noise. Because the acoustical environment is a critical ecological dimension for countless species to obtain, interpret and respond to environmental cues, highly novel environmental acoustics have the potential to negatively impact organisms that use acoustics for a variety of functions, such as communication and predator/prey detection. Using a comparative approach with 308 populations of 183 bird species from 14 locations in Europe, North American and the Caribbean, I sought to reveal the intrinsic and extrinsic factors responsible for avian sensitivities to anthropogenic noise as measured by their habitat use in noisy versus adjacent quiet locations. Birds across all locations tended to avoid noisy areas, but trait-specific differences emerged. Vocal frequency, diet and foraging location predicted patterns of habitat use in response to anthropogenic noise, but body size, nest placement and type, other vocal features and the type of anthropogenic noise (chronic industrial vs. intermittent urban/traffic noise) failed to explain variation in habitat use. Strongly supported models also indicated the relationship between sensitivity to noise and predictive traits had little to no phylogenetic structure. In general, traits associated with hearing were strong predictors - species with low-frequency vocalizations, which experience greater spectral overlap with low-frequency anthropogenic noise tend to avoid noisy areas, whereas species with higher frequency vocalizations respond less severely. Additionally, omnivorous species and those with animal-based diets were more sensitive to noise than birds with plant-based diets, likely because noise may interfere with the use of audition in multimodal prey detection. Collectively, these results suggest that anthropogenic noise is a

  15. Cardiovascular factors explain genetic background differences in VO2max.

    PubMed

    Roy, Jane L P; Hunter, Gary R; Fernandez, Jose R; McCarthy, John P; Larson-Meyer, D Enette; Blaudeau, Tamilane E; Newcomer, Bradley R

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to further explore factors that may be related to ethnic differences in the maximum rate at which an individual can consume oxygen (VO2max) between 20 African American (AA) and 30 European American (EA) sedentary women who were matched for body weight (kg) and fat-free mass (FFM). VO2max (l/min) was determined during a graded treadmill exercise test. Submaximal steady-state heart rate and submaximal VO2 were determined at a treadmill speed of 1.3 m/sec and a 2.5% grade. Hemoglobin (Hb) was determined by the cyanide method, muscle oxidative capacity by 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy (ADP time constant), and FFM (kg) by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Genetic classification was self-reported, and in a subset of the sample (N = 32), the determinants of ethnicity were measured by African genetic admixture. AA women had significantly reduced VO2max, Hb levels, and muscle oxidative capacity (longer ADP time constants, P < or = 0.05) than EA women. Submaximal oxygen pulse (O2Psubmax), ADP time constant, Hb, and ethnic background were all significantly related to VO2max (ml/kg/min and ml/kg FFM/min, all P < or = 0.01). By multiple regression modeling, Hb, O2Psubmax, muscle oxidative capacity, and ethnicity were found to explain 61% and 57% of the variance of VO2max in ml/kg/min and ml/kg FFM/min, respectively. Muscle oxidative capacity and O2Psubmax were both significantly and independently related to VO2max in all three models (P < or = 0.05), whereas Hb and ethnicity were not. These results suggest that mitochondrial muscle oxidative capacity and oxygen delivery capabilities, as determined by O2Psubmax, account for most if not all of the ethnic differences in VO2max.

  16. A hypothesis to explain accuracy of wasp resemblances.

    PubMed

    Boppré, Michael; Vane-Wright, Richard I; Wickler, Wolfgang

    2017-01-01

    Mimicry is one of the oldest concepts in biology, but it still presents many puzzles and continues to be widely debated. Simulation of wasps with a yellow-black abdominal pattern by other insects (commonly called "wasp mimicry") is traditionally considered a case of resemblance of unprofitable by profitable prey causing educated predators to avoid models and mimics to the advantage of both (Figure 1a). However, as wasps themselves are predators of insects, wasp mimicry can also be seen as a case of resemblance to one's own potential antagonist. We here propose an additional hypothesis to Batesian and Müllerian mimicry (both typically involving selection by learning vertebrate predators; cf. Table 1) that reflects another possible scenario for the evolution of multifold and in particular very accurate resemblances to wasps: an innate, visual inhibition of aggression among look-alike wasps, based on their social organization and high abundance. We argue that wasp species resembling each other need not only be Müllerian mutualists and that other insects resembling wasps need not only be Batesian mimics, but an innate ability of wasps to recognize each other during hunting is the driver in the evolution of a distinct kind of masquerade, in which model, mimic, and selecting agent belong to one or several species (Figure  1b). Wasp mimics resemble wasps not (only) to be mistaken by educated predators but rather, or in addition, to escape attack from their wasp models. Within a given ecosystem, there will be selection pressures leading to masquerade driven by wasps and/or to mimicry driven by other predators that have to learn to avoid them. Different pressures by guilds of these two types of selective agents could explain the widely differing fidelity with respect to the models in assemblages of yellow jackets and yellow jacket look-alikes.

  17. Agricultural management explains historic changes in regional soil carbon stocks

    PubMed Central

    van Wesemael, Bas; Paustian, Keith; Meersmans, Jeroen; Goidts, Esther; Barancikova, Gabriela; Easter, Mark

    2010-01-01

    Agriculture is considered to be among the economic sectors having the greatest greenhouse gas mitigation potential, largely via soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration. However, it remains a challenge to accurately quantify SOC stock changes at regional to national scales. SOC stock changes resulting from SOC inventory systems are only available for a few countries and the trends vary widely between studies. Process-based models can provide insight in the drivers of SOC changes, but accurate input data are currently not available at these spatial scales. Here we use measurements from a soil inventory dating from the 1960s and resampled in 2006 covering the major soil types and agricultural regions in Belgium together with region-specific land use and management data and a process-based model. The largest decreases in SOC stocks occurred in poorly drained grassland soils (clays and floodplain soils), consistent with drainage improvements since 1960. Large increases in SOC in well drained grassland soils appear to be a legacy effect of widespread conversion of cropland to grassland before 1960. SOC in cropland increased only in sandy lowland soils, driven by increasing manure additions. Modeled land use and management impacts accounted for more than 70% of the variation in observed SOC changes, and no bias could be demonstrated. There was no significant effect of climate trends since 1960 on observed SOC changes. SOC monitoring networks are being established in many countries. Our results demonstrate that detailed and long-term land management data are crucial to explain the observed SOC changes for such networks. PMID:20679194

  18. Negative plant soil feedback explaining ring formation in clonal plants.

    PubMed

    Cartenì, Fabrizio; Marasco, Addolorata; Bonanomi, Giuliano; Mazzoleni, Stefano; Rietkerk, Max; Giannino, Francesco

    2012-11-21

    Ring shaped patches of clonal plants have been reported in different environments, but the mechanisms underlying such pattern formation are still poorly explained. Water depletion in the inner tussocks zone has been proposed as a possible cause, although ring patterns have been also observed in ecosystems without limiting water conditions. In this work, a spatially explicit model is presented in order to investigate the role of negative plant-soil feedback as an additional explanation for ring formation. The model describes the dynamics of the plant biomass in the presence of toxicity produced by the decomposition of accumulated litter in the soil. Our model qualitatively reproduces the emergence of ring patterns of a single clonal plant species during colonisation of a bare substrate. The model admits two homogeneous stationary solutions representing bare soil and uniform vegetation cover which depend only on the ratio between the biomass death and growth rates. Moreover, differently from other plant spatial patterns models, but in agreement with real field observations of vegetation dynamics, we demonstrated that the pattern dynamics always lead to spatially homogeneous vegetation covers without creation of stable Turing patterns. Analytical results show that ring formation is a function of two main components, the plant specific susceptibility to toxic compounds released in the soil by the accumulated litter and the decay rate of these same compounds, depending on environmental conditions. These components act at the same time and their respective intensities can give rise to the different ring structures observed in nature, ranging from slight reductions of biomass in patch centres, to the appearance of marked rings with bare inner zones, as well as the occurrence of ephemeral waves of plant cover. Our results highlight the potential role of plant-soil negative feedback depending on decomposition processes for the development of transient vegetation patterns.

  19. The Amazon River reversal explained by tectonic and surface processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sacek, V.

    2014-12-01

    The drainage pattern in Amazonia was expressively modified during the mountain building of central and northern Andes. In Early Miocene, the fluvial systems in western Amazonia flowed to the foreland basins and northward to the Caribbean. By Late Miocene the drainage reversal occurred and formed the transcontinental Amazon River, connecting the Andes and the equatorial Atlantic margin. This event is recorded in the stratigraphic evolution of the Foz do Amazonas Basin by the onset of Andean-derived sedimentation. Additionally, an abrupt increase in sedimentation rate after the reversal occurred in the Foz do Amazonas Basin. Based on three-dimensional numerical models that couple surface processes, flexural isostasy and crustal thickening due to orogeny, I concluded that the Miocene drainage reversal can be explained by the flexural and surface processes response to the Andes formation with no need to invoke dynamic topography induced by mantle convection, as previously proposed. I observed that the instant of drainage reversal is directly linked to the rate of crustal thickening in the orogeny, the rate of erosion and, mainly, the efficiency of sediment transport. Moreover, the numerical experiments were able to predict the increase in sedimentation rate in the Amazon fan after the drainage reversal of the Amazon River as observed in the Late Miocene-Pliocene sedimentary record. However, the present numerical model fails to fully reproduce the evolution of the Pebas system, a megawetland in western Amazonia that preceded the drainage reversal. Therefore, further investigation is necessary to evaluate the mechanisms that generated and sustained the Pebas system.

  20. Agricultural management explains historic changes in regional soil carbon stocks.

    PubMed

    van Wesemael, Bas; Paustian, Keith; Meersmans, Jeroen; Goidts, Esther; Barancikova, Gabriela; Easter, Mark

    2010-08-17

    Agriculture is considered to be among the economic sectors having the greatest greenhouse gas mitigation potential, largely via soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration. However, it remains a challenge to accurately quantify SOC stock changes at regional to national scales. SOC stock changes resulting from SOC inventory systems are only available for a few countries and the trends vary widely between studies. Process-based models can provide insight in the drivers of SOC changes, but accurate input data are currently not available at these spatial scales. Here we use measurements from a soil inventory dating from the 1960s and resampled in 2006 covering the major soil types and agricultural regions in Belgium together with region-specific land use and management data and a process-based model. The largest decreases in SOC stocks occurred in poorly drained grassland soils (clays and floodplain soils), consistent with drainage improvements since 1960. Large increases in SOC in well drained grassland soils appear to be a legacy effect of widespread conversion of cropland to grassland before 1960. SOC in cropland increased only in sandy lowland soils, driven by increasing manure additions. Modeled land use and management impacts accounted for more than 70% of the variation in observed SOC changes, and no bias could be demonstrated. There was no significant effect of climate trends since 1960 on observed SOC changes. SOC monitoring networks are being established in many countries. Our results demonstrate that detailed and long-term land management data are crucial to explain the observed SOC changes for such networks.

  1. Dissecting risk: what explains patterns in global flood losses?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jongman, Brenden; Winsemius, Hessel; Aerts, Jeroen; Kron, Wolfgang; Ward, Philip

    2013-04-01

    Reported economic losses from river flooding have been shown to increase globally as a result of changes in hazard (i.e. the chance and characteristics of the flood event), exposure (i.e. the population and assets subject to flooding) and vulnerability (i.e. the capacity of the society to deal with the event). However, the contribution of the individual parts of the risk chain to trends in global losses is still largely unknown due to the traditionally limited data availability on a global scale. Recent work on the spatial modelling of global flood hazard and exposure offers new opportunities for the understanding of global risk. In this paper we present an analysis of reported flood losses in 15 world regions from Munich Re's NatCatSERVICE database for the period 1980 - 2010. We combine the loss statistics with spatial 1km2 resolution flood hazard data from the GLOFRIS global inundation model and data on global population exposure, to identify trends and drivers of risk. Our results show that long term trends in risk are mainly explained by an increase in exposed population and assets, while inter-annual variations are driven by variability in hazard intensity. The analysis indicates that regional differences in vulnerability can be identified as the degree to which trends in flood losses respond to increases in hazard and exposure. These results can be valuable in the understanding of past trends in flood risk and the development of future projections for different regions. The findings are important for scholars, policy makers, re-insurance agencies and international development organisations working on issues related to risk, natural hazards and climate change.

  2. To Explain Copernicus: The Islamic Scientific and Religious Contexts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ragep, F. Jamil

    No one seriously disputes the novelty of Copernicus's monumental decision to put the Earth in motion or its importance for the development of modern science. But that decision can appear quite different when viewed from the perspective of a modern scientist versus that of a contextualist historian. In his recent book To Explain the World, Prof. Weinberg places great store on what he calls aesthetic criteria for understanding Copernicus's choice. The historical record, however, is rather ambiguous on the matter, and if anything supports the view that Copernicus came to his aesthetic justifications (such as the beautiful ordering of the planets) after first reaching his heliocentric theory. So if not aesthetics, what did lead him to go against a two-millenium tradition that placed the Earth firmly in the center of the Cosmos? There are no doubt many factors; one of the most intriguing suggestions, well-argued by Noel Swerdlow, is that Copernicus was led to heliocentrism by his rather conservative desire to restore uniform, circular motion to the heavens and remove the irregularities of Ptolemaic astronomy. Swerdlow has also asserted that this has much to do with Islamic predecessors who were attempting to do the same thing, only within a geocentric framework. In this presentation, I will briefly summarize this Islamic scientific context and then explore the religious beliefs that led not only to the questioning of Ptolemaic scientific authority, including his alleged lack of observational diligence, but also ancient philosophical authority, the latter opening up possibilities for alternative cosmologies, at least one of which included the Earth's motion. Finally, evidence will be presented that connects these Islamic contexts with Copernicus's theories and justifications.

  3. Explained and Unexplained Momentum Impulse Transfer Events (MITEs)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bantel, M.; Cunio, P.; Hendrix, D.; Therien, W.

    2016-09-01

    Precision orbit determination (OD) and characterization of resident space objects (RSOs) are fundamental components of Space Situational Awareness (SSA). Over 600 days beginning January 1, 2015, ExoAnalytic Solutions collected more than 60 million correlated astrometric measurements of active and inactive resident RSOs in geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO) and in the near-GEO region using a global network of ground-based telescopes. Orbit Determination (OD) on several inactive RSOs in sub-synchronous (e.g., spent upper stages) and super-synchronous (e.g., retired satellites) orbits revealed occasional momentum impulse transfer events (MITEs) with detectable In-track velocity changes of 0.2 to 10 mm/s. These MITEs could not be explained using the accepted gravitational model and an isotropic spherical solar radiation acceleration. Two additional radiation pressure models were considered: a Yarkovsky effect and an asymmetric radiation pressure (diffuse ellipsoid), adding one and two additional free parameters to the model, respectively. Both models include a radiation pressure component perpendicular to the solar direction and in the RSO's orbital plane. The Yarkovsky and Ellipsoid radiation pressure, in combination with the RSO traversing the Earth's Umbra, can produce a measureable change in the RSO's mean motion; a delta-v of 0.5 mm/s per season is not uncommon. OD was performed using the three radiation pressure models (Sphere, Yarkovsky, and Ellipsoid) on six inactive RSOs having 9,000 to 35,000 observations over 600 days. The Ellipsoid model was in good agreement with 95% of the observations falling within a window of ± 20 microradians, or approximately ±0.8 km, over the entire 600 day duration, which included three equinox seasons. Data collection and analysis of inactive RSOs aids the SSA mission of precision tracking and characterization of debris in the space environment.

  4. Do factors related to combustion-based sources explain ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Introduction: Spatial heterogeneity of effect estimates in associations between PM2.5 and total non-accidental mortality (TNA) in the United States (US), is an issue in epidemiology. This study uses rate ratios generated from the Multi-City/Multi-Pollutant study (1999-2005) for 313 core-based statistical areas (CBSA) and their metropolitan divisions (MD) to examine combustion-based sources of heterogeneity.Methods: For CBSA/MDs, area-specific log rate ratios (betas) were derived from a model adjusting for time, an interaction with age-group, day of week, and natural splines of current temperature, current dew point, and unconstrained temperature at lags 1, 2, and 3. We assessed the heterogeneity in the betas by linear regression with inverse variance weights, using average NO2, SO2, and CO, which may act as a combustion source proxy, and these pollutants’ correlations with PM2.5. Results: We found that weighted mean PM2.5 association (0.96 percent increase in total non-accidental mortality for a 10 µg/m3 increment in PM2.5) increased by 0.26 (95% confidence interval 0.08 , 0.44) for an interquartile change (0.2) in the correlation of SO2 and PM2.5., but betas showed less dependence on the annual averages of SO2 or NO2. Spline analyses suggest departures from linearity, particularly in a model that examined correlations between PM2.5 and CO.Conclusions: We conclude that correlations between SO2 and PM2.5 as an indicator of combustion sources explains some hete

  5. Traits, not origin, explain impacts of plants on larval amphibians.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Jillian S; Maerz, John C; Blossey, Bernd

    2012-01-01

    Managing habitats for the benefit of native fauna is a priority for many government and private agencies. Often, these agencies view nonnative plants as a threat to wildlife habitat, and they seek to control or eradicate nonnative plant populations. However, little is known about how nonnative plant invasions impact native fauna, and it is unclear whether managing these plants actually improves habitat quality for resident animals. Here, we compared the impacts of native and nonnative wetland plants on three species of native larval amphibians; we also examined whether plant traits explain the observed impacts. Specifically, we measured plant litter quality (carbon : nitrogen : phosphorus ratios, and percentages of lignin and soluble phenolics) and biomass, along with a suite of environmental conditions known to affect larval amphibians (hydroperiod, temperature, dissolved oxygen, and pH). Hydroperiod and plant traits, notably soluble phenolics, litter C:N ratio, and litter N:P ratio, impacted the likelihood that animals metamorphosed, the number of animals that metamorphosed, and the length of larval period. As hydroperiod decreased, the likelihood that amphibians achieved metamorphosis and the percentage of tadpoles that successfully metamorphosed also decreased. Increases in soluble phenolics, litter N:P ratio, and litter C:N ratio decreased the likelihood that tadpoles achieved metamorphosis, decreased the percentage of tadpoles metamorphosing, decreased metamorph production (total metamorph biomass), and increased the length of larval period. Interestingly, we found no difference in metamorphosis rates and length of larval period between habitats dominated by native and nonnative plants. Our findings have important implications for habitat management. We suggest that to improve habitats for native fauna, managers should focus on assembling a plant community with desirable traits rather than focusing only on plant origin.

  6. Explaining the imperfection of the molecular clock of hominid mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Loogväli, Eva-Liis; Kivisild, Toomas; Margus, Tõnu; Villems, Richard

    2009-12-29

    The molecular clock of mitochondrial DNA has been extensively used to date various genetic events. However, its substitution rate among humans appears to be higher than rates inferred from human-chimpanzee comparisons, limiting the potential of interspecies clock calibrations for intraspecific dating. It is not well understood how and why the substitution rate accelerates. We have analyzed a phylogenetic tree of 3057 publicly available human mitochondrial DNA coding region sequences for changes in the ratios of mutations belonging to different functional classes. The proportion of non-synonymous and RNA genes substitutions has reduced over hundreds of thousands of years. The highest mutation ratios corresponding to fast acceleration in the apparent substitution rate of the coding sequence have occurred after the end of the Last Ice Age. We recalibrate the molecular clock of human mtDNA as 7990 years per synonymous mutation over the mitochondrial genome. However, the distribution of substitutions at synonymous sites in human data significantly departs from a model assuming a single rate parameter and implies at least 3 different subclasses of sites. Neutral model with 3 synonymous substitution rates can explain most, if not all, of the apparent molecular clock difference between the intra- and interspecies levels. Our findings imply the sluggishness of purifying selection in removing the slightly deleterious mutations from the human as well as the Neandertal and chimpanzee populations. However, for humans, the weakness of purifying selection has been further exacerbated by the population expansions associated with the out-of Africa migration and the end of the Last Ice Age.

  7. Can physics help to explain embryonic development? An overview.

    PubMed

    Fleury, V

    2013-10-01

    Recent technical advances including digital imaging and particle image velocimetry can be used to extract the full range of embryonic movements that constitute the instantaneous 'morphogenetic fields' of a developing animal. The final shape of the animal results from the sum over time (integral) of the movements that make up the velocity fields of all the tissue constituents. In vivo microscopy can be used to capture the details of vertebrate development at the earliest embryonic stages. The movements thus observed can be quantitatively compared to physical models that provide velocity fields based on simple hypotheses about the nature of living matter (a visco-elastic gel). This approach has cast new light on the interpretation of embryonic movement, folding, and organisation. It has established that several major discontinuities in development are simple physical changes in boundary conditions. In other words, with no change in biology, the physical consequences of collisions between folds largely explain the morphogenesis of the major structures (such as the head). Other discontinuities result from changes in physical conditions, such as bifurcations (changes in physical behaviour beyond specific yield points). For instance, beyond a certain level of stress, a tissue folds, without any new gene being involved. An understanding of the physical features of movement provides insights into the levers that drive evolution; the origin of animals is seen more clearly when viewed under the light of the fundamental physical laws (Newton's principle, action-reaction law, changes in symmetry breaking scale). This article describes the genesis of a vertebrate embryo from the shapeless stage (round mass of tissue) to the development of a small, elongated, bilaterally symmetric structure containing vertebral precursors, hip and shoulder enlarges, and a head.

  8. The genome of the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas brings new insights on the massive expansion of the C1q gene family in Bivalvia.

    PubMed

    Gerdol, Marco; Venier, Paola; Pallavicini, Alberto

    2015-03-01

    C1q domain-containing (C1qDC) proteins are regarded as important players in the innate immunity of bivalve mollusks and other invertebrates and their highly adaptive binding properties indicate them as efficient pathogen recognition molecules. Although experimental studies support this view, the molecular data available at the present time are not sufficient to fully explain the great molecular diversification of this family, present in bivalves with hundreds of C1q coding genes. Taking advantage of the fully sequenced genome of the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas and more than 100 transcriptomic datasets, we: (i) re-annotated the oyster C1qDC loci, thus identifying the correct genomic organization of 337 C1qDC genes, (ii) explored the expression pattern of oyster C1qDC genes in diverse developmental stages and adult tissues of unchallenged and experimentally treated animals; (iii) investigated the expansion of the C1qDC gene family in all major bivalve subclasses. Overall, we provide a broad description of the functionally relevant features of oyster C1qDC genes, their comparative expression levels and new evidence confirming that a gene family expansion event has occurred during the course of Bivalve evolution, leading to the diversification of hundreds of different C1qDC genes in both the Pteriomorphia and Heterodonta subclasses.

  9. Growth, Survival and Reproduction of the Giant Clam Tridacna maxima (Röding 1798, Bivalvia) in Two Contrasting Lagoons in French Polynesia.

    PubMed

    Van Wynsberge, Simon; Andréfouët, Serge; Gaertner-Mazouni, Nabila; Wabnitz, Colette C C; Menoud, Mathilde; Le Moullac, Gilles; Levy, Peva; Gilbert, Antoine; Remoissenet, Georges

    2017-01-01

    Shell growth, reproduction, and natural mortality of the giant clam Tridacna maxima were characterized over a two-year-period in the lagoon of the high island of Tubuai (Austral Archipelago) and in the semi-closed lagoon of Tatakoto (Tuamotu Archipelago) in French Polynesia. We also recorded temperature, water level, tidal slope, tidal range, and mean wave height in both lagoons. Lower lagoon aperture and exposure to oceanic swells at Tatakoto than at Tubuai was responsible for lower lagoon water renewal, as well as higher variability in temperature and water level at Tatakoto across the studied period. These different environmental conditions had an impact on giant clams. Firstly, spawning events in the lagoon of Tatakoto, detected by gonad maturity indices in June and July 2014, were timed with high oceanic water inflow and a decrease in lagoon water temperature. Secondly, temperature explained differences in shell growth rates between seasons and lagoons, generating different growth curves for the two sites. Thirdly, local mortality rates were also found to likely be related to water renewal patterns. In conclusion, our study suggests that reef aperture and lagoon water renewal rates play an integral role in giant clam life history, with significant differences in rates of shell growth, mortality and fertility found between open versus semi-closed atoll lagoons in coral reef ecosystems.

  10. Growth, Survival and Reproduction of the Giant Clam Tridacna maxima (Röding 1798, Bivalvia) in Two Contrasting Lagoons in French Polynesia

    PubMed Central

    Van Wynsberge, Simon; Andréfouët, Serge; Gaertner-Mazouni, Nabila; Wabnitz, Colette C. C.; Menoud, Mathilde; Le Moullac, Gilles; Levy, Peva; Gilbert, Antoine; Remoissenet, Georges

    2017-01-01

    Shell growth, reproduction, and natural mortality of the giant clam Tridacna maxima were characterized over a two-year-period in the lagoon of the high island of Tubuai (Austral Archipelago) and in the semi-closed lagoon of Tatakoto (Tuamotu Archipelago) in French Polynesia. We also recorded temperature, water level, tidal slope, tidal range, and mean wave height in both lagoons. Lower lagoon aperture and exposure to oceanic swells at Tatakoto than at Tubuai was responsible for lower lagoon water renewal, as well as higher variability in temperature and water level at Tatakoto across the studied period. These different environmental conditions had an impact on giant clams. Firstly, spawning events in the lagoon of Tatakoto, detected by gonad maturity indices in June and July 2014, were timed with high oceanic water inflow and a decrease in lagoon water temperature. Secondly, temperature explained differences in shell growth rates between seasons and lagoons, generating different growth curves for the two sites. Thirdly, local mortality rates were also found to likely be related to water renewal patterns. In conclusion, our study suggests that reef aperture and lagoon water renewal rates play an integral role in giant clam life history, with significant differences in rates of shell growth, mortality and fertility found between open versus semi-closed atoll lagoons in coral reef ecosystems. PMID:28118406

  11. Morphological and genetic variation in North Atlantic giant file clams, Acesta spp. (Bivalvia: Limidae), with description of a new cryptic species in the northwest Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Gagnon, Jean-Marc; Kenchington, Ellen; Port, Antony; Anstey, Lynne J; Murillo, Francisco Javier

    2015-08-27

    We analyze the morphological and genetic variability within and between seven species of Acesta and specimens recently collected in the northwest Atlantic using traditional morphological measurements, landmark-based geometric morphometrics, and the cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene sequences, with particular emphasis on North Atlantic species. Shell morphology and external shell appearance do not allow reliable distinction between the widely recognized northeastern Atlantic A. excavata and other northwest Atlantic species or populations of Acesta, with the exception of A. oophaga. Similarly, shape analysis reveals a wide variability within northeastern Atlantic A. excavata, and significant morphological overlap with A. bullisi from the Gulf of Mexico and A. rathbuni from the southwestern Pacific and South China Sea. Specimens from the northwestern and Mid-Atlantic display shell shapes marginally similar to that of A. excavata. These differences are at least partly related to anterior or posterior shifting of the shell body and to the opposite shifting of the hinge line/dorsal region and upper lunule. These morphological variations, along with the midline-width-ratio, explain much of the variability extracted by principal component analysis. Results from a mitochondrial DNA barcode approach (COI), however, suggest that the northwest Atlantic specimens belong to a new species for which we propose the name Acesta cryptadelphe sp. nov. Differences in larval shell sizes between northeastern and northwestern Atlantic specimens are consistent with this result.

  12. Large-scale mitochondrial COI gene sequence variability reflects the complex colonization history of the invasive soft-shell clam, Mya arenaria (L.) (Bivalvia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lasota, Rafal; Pierscieniak, Karolina; Garcia, Pascale; Simon-Bouhet, Benoit; Wolowicz, Maciej

    2016-11-01

    The aim of the study was to determine genetic diversity in the soft-shell clam Mya arenaria on a wide geographical scale using mtDNA COI gene sequences. Low levels of genetic diversity was found, which can most likely be explained by a bottleneck effect during Pleistocene glaciations and/or selection. The geographical genetic structuring of the studied populations was also very low. The star-like phylogeny of the haplotypes indicates a relatively recent, rapid population expansion following the glaciation period and repeated expansion following the founder effect(s) after the initial introduction of the soft-shell clam to Europe. North American populations are characterized by the largest number of haplotypes, including rare ones, as expected for native populations. Because of the founder effect connected with initial and repeated expansion events, European populations have significantly lower numbers of haplotypes in comparison with those of North America. We also observed subtle differentiations among populations from the North and Baltic seas. The recently founded soft-shell clam population in the Black Sea exhibited the highest genetic similarity to Baltic populations, which confirmed the hypothesis that M. arenaria was introduced to the Gulf of Odessa from the Baltic Sea. The most enigmatic results were obtained for populations from the White Sea, which were characterized by high genetic affinity with American populations.

  13. Is Titan's shape explained by its meteorology and carbon cycle?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choukroun, M.; Sotin, C.

    2012-04-01

    Titan, Saturn's largest satellite, is unique in the Solar System: it is the only satellite bearing a dense atmosphere and it is the only place besides Earth with stable liquid bodies at its surface. In addition complex organics are produced in its atmosphere by the photolysis of methane, the second most abundant atmospheric molecule that irreversibly produces ethane and other more complex carbon bearing molecules. The Cassini/Huygens mission has revealed that the difference between its equatorial and polar radii is several hundred meters larger than that expected from its spin rate, and that it is in hydrostatic equilibrium. Global circulation models predict a large meridional circulation with upwelling at the summer hemisphere and downwelling at the winter pole where ethane can condense and fall at the surface. Lakes and Mare have been observed at the poles only (Stofan et al., Nature, 2007). Ethane has been spectroscopically identified in one of the lakes (Brown et al., Nature, 2008). The present study investigates the subsidence associated with ethane rain at the poles. As suggested by laboratory experiments, ethane flows very easily in a porous crust made of either pure water ice or methane clathrates. Loading of the lithosphere by liquid hydrocarbons induces a tendency of the polar terrains to subside relative to the lower latitudes terrains. In addition, laboratory experiments suggest that ethane substitutes to methane in a methane clathrate crust. The present study estimates the kinetics of this transformation. It suggests that such a transformation would occur on timescales much smaller than geological timescales. To explain a value of 270 m of the subsidence as determined by the radar instrument onboard the Cassini spacecraft (Zebker et al., Science, 2009), our study predicts that the percolation of ethane liquid in the polar crust should have operated during the last 300 - 1,200 Myr. This number is in agreement with the isotopic age of the atmospheric

  14. Intragenomic sequence variation at the ITS1 - ITS2 region and at the 18S and 28S nuclear ribosomal DNA genes of the New Zealand mud snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum (Hydrobiidae: mollusca)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hoy, Marshal S.; Rodriguez, Rusty J.

    2013-01-01

    Molecular genetic analysis was conducted on two populations of the invasive non-native New Zealand mud snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum), one from a freshwater ecosystem in Devil's Lake (Oregon, USA) and the other from an ecosystem of higher salinity in the Columbia River estuary (Hammond Harbor, Oregon, USA). To elucidate potential genetic differences between the two populations, three segments of nuclear ribosomal DNA (rDNA), the ITS1-ITS2 regions and the 18S and 28S rDNA genes were cloned and sequenced. Variant sequences within each individual were found in all three rDNA segments. Folding models were utilized for secondary structure analysis and results indicated that there were many sequences which contained structure-altering polymorphisms, which suggests they could be nonfunctional pseudogenes. In addition, analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) was used for hierarchical analysis of genetic variance to estimate variation within and among populations and within individuals. AMOVA revealed significant variation in the ITS region between the populations and among clones within individuals, while in the 5.8S rDNA significant variation was revealed among individuals within the two populations. High levels of intragenomic variation were found in the ITS regions, which are known to be highly variable in many organisms. More interestingly, intragenomic variation was also found in the 18S and 28S rDNA, which has rarely been observed in animals and is so far unreported in Mollusca. We postulate that in these P. antipodarum populations the effects of concerted evolution are diminished due to the fact that not all of the rDNA genes in their polyploid genome should be essential for sustaining cellular function. This could lead to a lessening of selection pressures, allowing mutations to accumulate in some copies, changing them into variant sequences.                   

  15. Thai visitors’ expectations and experiences of explainer interaction within a science museum context

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Ganigar; Sonchaeng, Pichai; Wilkinson, Clare; Willey, Neil; Bultitude, Karen

    2015-01-01

    In Western literature, there is evidence that museum explainers offer significant potential for enhancing visitors’ learning through influencing their knowledge, content, action, behaviour and attitudes. However, little research has focused on the role of explainers in other cultural contexts. This study explored interactions between visitors and museum explainers within the setting of Thailand. Two questionnaires were distributed to 600 visitors and 41 museum explainers. The results demonstrated both potential similarities and differences with Western contexts. Explainers appeared to prefer didactic approaches, focussing on factual knowledge rather than encouraging deep learning. Two-way communication, however, appeared to be enhanced by the use of a ‘pseudo-sibling relationship’ by explainers. Traditional Thai social reserve was reduced through such approaches, with visitors taking on active learning roles. These findings have implications for training museum explainers in non-Western cultures, as well as museum communication practice more generally. PMID:24751689

  16. Investigation of molluscan phylogeny on the basis of 18S rRNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Winnepenninckx, B; Backeljau, T; De Wachter, R

    1996-12-01

    The 18S rRNA sequences of 12 molluscs, representing the extant classes Gastropoda, Bivalvia, Polyplacophora, Scaphopoda, and Caudofoveata, were determined and compared with selected known 18S rRNA sequences of Metazoa, including other Mollusca. These data do not provide support for a close relationship between Platyhelminthes (Turbellaria) and Mollusca, but rather suggest that the latter group belongs to a clade of eutrochozoan coelomates. The 18S rRNA data fail to recover molluscan, bivalve, or gastropod monophyly. However, the branching pattern of the eutrochozoan phyla and classes is unstable, probably due to the explosive Cambrian radiation during which these groups arose. Similarly, the 18S rRNA data do not provide a reliable signal for the molluscan interclass relationships. Nevertheless, we obtained strong preliminary support for phylogenetic inferences at more restricted taxonomic levels, such as the monophyly of Polyplacophora, Caenogastropoda, Euthyneura, Heterodonta, and Arcoida.

  17. LCOM Explained

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-07-01

    they will be underutilized; in effect, wasted . The statistics gathered by the LCOM simulation provide clues about how the resource levels should be...Monica, CA: The Rand Corporation. Maher, F., & York, M. (1974, December). Simulating mnencemanning for new weWpo systems: maintenance manpower managmen

  18. Explaining happiness.

    PubMed

    Easterlin, Richard A

    2003-09-16

    What do social survey data tell us about the determinants of happiness? First, that the psychologists' setpoint model is questionable. Life events in the nonpecuniary domain, such as marriage, divorce, and serious disability, have a lasting effect on happiness, and do not simply deflect the average person temporarily above or below a setpoint given by genetics and personality. Second, mainstream economists' inference that in the pecuniary domain "more is better," based on revealed preference theory, is problematic. An increase in income, and thus in the goods at one's disposal, does not bring with it a lasting increase in happiness because of the negative effect on utility of hedonic adaptation and social comparison. A better theory of happiness builds on the evidence that adaptation and social comparison affect utility less in the nonpecuniary than pecuniary domains. Because individuals fail to anticipate the extent to which adaptation and social comparison undermine expected utility in the pecuniary domain, they allocate an excessive amount of time to pecuniary goals, and shortchange nonpecuniary ends such as family life and health, reducing their happiness. There is need to devise policies that will yield better-informed individual preferences, and thereby increase individual and societal well-being.

  19. Extensive mitochondrial genome rearrangements between Cerithioidea and Hypsogastropoda (Mollusca; Caenogastropoda) as determined from the partial nucleotide sequences of the mitochondrial DNA of Cerithidea djadjariensis and Batillaria cumingi.

    PubMed

    Kojima, Shigeaki

    2010-06-01

    Partial nucleotide sequences ( approximately 8000 bp) of the mitochondrial DNA of two cerithioidean gastropod species-Cerithidea djadjariensis and Batillaria cumingi-were determined. The order of mitochondrial genes (eight protein genes, two ribosomal RNA genes, and nine transfer RNA genes) was identical between these two species. and remarkably different from the previously reported order in other gastropods. The results indicate that the genome structure of the common ancestor of Cerithioidea and its sister group, Hypsogastropoda, is almost identical to that of the common ancestor of Gastropoda; moreover, independent mitochondrial genome rearrangements were identified between the lineages of Cerithioidea and Hypsogastropoda. The rearrangements within Cerithioidea can be explained by the inversion of a single tRNA gene, two translocations of a single tRNA gene, and three translocations of a genome fragment containing a tRNA gene and protein-coding gene(s).

  20. Vesicomyidae (bivalvia): current taxonomy and distribution.

    PubMed

    Krylova, Elena M; Sahling, Heiko

    2010-04-01

    Vesicomyid bivalves are a consistent component of communities of sulphide-rich reducing environments distributed worldwide from 77 degrees N to 70 degrees S at depths from 100 to 9050 m. Up-to-now the taxonomy of the family has been uncertain. In this paper, the current state of vesicomyid taxonomy and distribution at the generic rank are considered. This survey is founded on a database including information both from literature sources and also unpublished data of the authors on all recent species of vesicomyids. We suggest that the Vesicomyidae is not a synonym of Kelliellidae, and is therefore a valid family name. We propose to divide the family Vesicomyidae into two subfamilies: Vesicomyinae and Pliocardiinae. The Vesicomyinae includes one genus, Vesicomya, which comprises small-sized bivalves characterized by non-reduced gut and the absence of subfilamental tissue in gills. Symbiosis with chemoautotrophic bacteria has, so far, not been proved for Vesicomya and the genus is not restricted to sulphide-rich reducing habitats. The subfamily Pliocardiinae currently contains about 15 genera with mostly medium or large body size, characterized by the presence of subfilamental tissue in the gills. The Pliocardiinae are highly specialized for sulphide-rich reducing environments, harbouring chemoautrophic bacteria in their gills. This is the first summary of the generic structure of the family Vesicomyidae that allow us to analyze the distribution of vesicomyids at the generic level. We recognize here five different distribution patterns that are related to the specific environmental demands. The general trends in the distribution patterns of the vesicomyids are an occurrence of the majority of genera in broad geographical ranges and the prevalence of near continental type of distribution.

  1. Vesicomyidae (Bivalvia): Current Taxonomy and Distribution

    PubMed Central

    Krylova, Elena M.; Sahling, Heiko

    2010-01-01

    Vesicomyid bivalves are a consistent component of communities of sulphide-rich reducing environments distributed worldwide from 77° N to 70°S at depths from 100 to 9050 m. Up-to-now the taxonomy of the family has been uncertain. In this paper, the current state of vesicomyid taxonomy and distribution at the generic rank are considered. This survey is founded on a database including information both from literature sources and also unpublished data of the authors on all recent species of vesicomyids. We suggest that the Vesicomyidae is not a synonym of Kelliellidae, and is therefore a valid family name. We propose to divide the family Vesicomyidae into two subfamilies: Vesicomyinae and Pliocardiinae. The Vesicomyinae includes one genus, Vesicomya, which comprises small-sized bivalves characterized by non-reduced gut and the absence of subfilamental tissue in gills. Symbiosis with chemoautotrophic bacteria has, so far, not been proved for Vesicomya and the genus is not restricted to sulphide-rich reducing habitats. The subfamily Pliocardiinae currently contains about 15 genera with mostly medium or large body size, characterized by the presence of subfilamental tissue in the gills. The Pliocardiinae are highly specialized for sulphide-rich reducing environments, harbouring chemoautrophic bacteria in their gills. This is the first summary of the generic structure of the family Vesicomyidae that allow us to analyze the distribution of vesicomyids at the generic level. We recognize here five different distribution patterns that are related to the specific environmental demands. The general trends in the distribution patterns of the vesicomyids are an occurrence of the majority of genera in broad geographical ranges and the prevalence of near continental type of distribution. PMID:20376362

  2. Development and Assessment of Self-explaining Skills in College Chemistry Instruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villalta-Cerdas, Adrian

    The prevalent trend in chemistry instruction relies on what has been described as the classroom game. In this model, students take a passive role and the instructor does all the explaining (thinking), and learning is trivialized to knowing the correct answers (memorizing) and being able to produce them when prompted (regurgitating). The generation of explanations is central to scientific and technological development. In the process of figuring out explanations, the generation of inferences relies on the application of skills associated with scientific behaviors (e.g., analytical reasoning and critical thinking). The process of explanation generation causes a deeper analysis and revision of the scientific models, thus impacting the conceptual understanding of such models. Although the process of generating authentic explanations is closer to the experience of doing science, this process is seldom replicated in science instruction. Self-explaining refers to the generation of inferences about causal connections between objects and events. In science, this may be summarized as making sense of how and why actual or hypothetical phenomena take place. Research findings in educational psychology show that implementing activities that elicit self-explaining improves learning in general and specifically enhances authentic learning in the sciences. Research also suggests that self-explaining influences many aspects of cognition, including acquisition of problem-solving skills and conceptual understanding. Although the evidence that links self-explaining and learning is substantial, most of the research has been conducted in experimental settings. The purpose of this work was to advance knowledge in this area by investigating the effect of different self-explaining tasks on self-explaining behavior and the effect of engaging in different levels of self-explaining on learning chemistry concepts. Unlike most of the research in the field, this work did not focus on advancing

  3. Evaluation of the mitochondrial system in the gonad-digestive gland complex of Biomphalaria glabrata (Mollusca, Gastropoda) after infection by Echinostoma paraensei (Trematoda, Echinostomatidae).

    PubMed

    Tunholi, Victor Menezes; Tunholi-Alves, Vinícius Menezes; Santos, Anderson Teixeira; Garcia, Juberlan da Silva; Maldonado, Arnaldo; da-Silva, Wagner Seixas; Rodrigues, Maria de Lurdes de Azevedo; Pinheiro, Jairo

    2016-05-01

    The effect of infection by Echinostoma paraensei on the mitochondrial physiology of Biomphalaria glabrata was investigated after exposure to 50 miracidia. The snails were dissected one, two, three and four weeks after infection for collection and mechanical permeabilization of the gonad-digestive gland (DGG) complex. The results obtained indicate that prepatent infection by this echinostomatid fluke significantly suppresses the phosphorylation state (respiratory state 3) and basal oxygen consumption of B. glabrata, demonstrating that the infection reduces the ability of the intermediate host to carry out aerobic oxidative reactions. Additionally, relevant variations related to the uncoupled mitochondrial (state 3u) of B. glabrata infected by E. paraensei were observed. Four weeks after exposure, a significant reduction in mitochondrial oxygen consumption after addition of ADP (3.68±0.26pmol O2/mg proteins) was observed in the infected snails in comparison with the respective control group (5.14±0.25). In the uncoupled state, the infected snails consumed about 62% less oxygen than the infected snails (7.87±0.84pmol O2/mg proteins) in the same period. These results demonstrate a reduction in oxidative decarboxylation rate of the tricarboxylic acid cycle and faster anaerobic degradation of carbohydrates in the infected snails. The possible mechanisms that explain this new metabolic condition in the infected organisms are discussed.

  4. Natural Prey Preferences and Spatial Variability of Predation Pressure by Cyphoma gibbosum (Mollusca: Gastropoda) on Octocoral Communities off La Parguera, Puerto Rico

    PubMed Central

    Lucas, Matthew Q.; Rodríguez, Luis R.; Sanabria, Duane J.

    2014-01-01

    This study evaluated the natural prey preferences and spatial variability of predation pressure (PP = proportion of colonies with snails and/or clear predation signs) by the gastropod Cyphoma gibbosum on octocoral communities off the La Parguera Natural Reserve, Puerto Rico. All octocoral colonies were checked for presence of C. gibbosum and/or clear predation signs in four permanent band-transects (2 × 10 m), along three depth intervals (0–5, 7–12, >15 m deep) in each of six reefs along an inshore offshore gradient. Results indicate that C. gibbosum preys on at least 16 species, six of which (Briareum asbestinum, Gorgonia ventalina, Pseudoterogorgia americana, P. acerosa, Plexaura flexuosa, and Pseudoplexaura porosa) consistently showed significantly higher (K-W, P < 0.05) (17–37%) PP compared to all other species. Plexaura flexuosa, P. americana, and P. porosa had significantly higher PP (11–38%) among inner and mid-shelf reefs, and G. ventalina had higher PP in shelf-edge reefs (16–20%). A combination of differential spatial distributions and octocoral species abundances seems to explain the observed patterns of predation by C. gibbosum. Prey preference and higher abundances of 3-dimensional octocorals providing increased refuge or microhabitats utilized for mating or egg-deposition could be driving the spatial distribution of C. gibbosum and the observed differential predation pressure. PMID:27433523

  5. Content-Free Computer Supports for Self-Explaining: Modifiable Typing Interface and Prompting

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chou, Chih-Yueh; Liang, Hung-Ta

    2009-01-01

    Self-explaining, which asks students to generate explanations while reading a text, is a self-constructive activity and is helpful for students' learning. Studies have revealed that prompts by a human tutor promote students' self-explanations. However, most studies on self-explaining focus on spoken self-explanations. This study investigates the…

  6. Explaining Differences between Retrospective and Traditional Pretest Self-Assessments: Competing Theories and Empirical Evidence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nimon, Kim

    2014-01-01

    Summarizing theory and results of empirical research, this article serves to illustrate why effects measured with retrospective pretests may be subject to bias and may not always be explained by response shift theory. It presents three contending theories to explain the difference between retrospective and traditional pretest results and considers…

  7. Interactions between Defining, Explaining and Classifying: The Case of Increasing and Decreasing Sequences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alcock, Lara; Simpson, Adrian

    2017-01-01

    This paper describes a study in which we investigated relationships between defining mathematical concepts--increasing and decreasing infinite sequences--explaining their meanings and classifying consistently with formal definitions. We explored the effect of defining, explaining or studying a definition on subsequent classification, and the…

  8. The Role of Perspective Taking in How Children Connect Reference Frames When Explaining Astronomical Phenomena

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Plummer, Julia D.; Bower, Corinne A.; Liben, Lynn S.

    2016-01-01

    This study investigates the role of perspective-taking skills in how children explain spatially complex astronomical phenomena. Explaining many astronomical phenomena, especially those studied in elementary and middle school, requires shifting between an Earth-based description of the phenomena and a space-based reference frame. We studied 7- to…

  9. Investigation of Li/Ca variations in aragonitic shells of the ocean quahog Arctica islandica, northeast Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    ThéBault, Julien; SchöNe, Bernd R.; Hallmann, Nadine; Barth, Matthias; Nunn, Elizabeth V.

    2009-12-01

    Interannual and intra-annual variations in lithium-to-calcium ratio were investigated with high temporal resolution in the aragonitic outer shell layer of juvenile Arctica islandica (Mollusca; Bivalvia) collected alive in 2006 off northeast Iceland. Li/Cashell ranged between 7.00 and 11.12 μmol mol-1 and presented well-marked seasonal cycles with minimum values recorded at the annual growth lines; a general pattern was a progressive increase in Li/Cashell from March to May, followed by a plateau in June and a decrease down to minimum values in July-August. Li/Cashell was correlated with δ18Oshell-derived temperature, but the strength of this relationship was weak (r2 < 0.25 and p < 0.05). It covaried significantly with microgrowth increment width and with the discharge from one of the closest rivers. Seasonal variations of Li/Cashell in A. islandica may most likely be explained (1) by calcification rate and/or (2) by significant river inputs of Li-rich silicate particles flowing to the sea as soon as snow melts. In the first case, Li/Cashell may be a useful proxy for addressing seasonal variations of growth rate in bivalves that lack discernable microgrowth patterns. Abrupt decreases of Li/Cashell may, in turn, help identify growth retardations due to harsh environmental conditions. Alternatively, if Li/Cashell variations are linked to particulate Li inputs by rivers, this could be a new proxy for the intensity of mechanical weathering of Icelandic basalts, with interesting perspectives for the reconstruction of frequency and intensity of past jökulhlaups (subglacial outburst floods). Further works, including experimental studies, are needed to test these hypotheses.

  10. Explaining Local Authority Choices on Public Hospital Provision in the 1930s: A Public Policy Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Neville, Julia

    2012-01-01

    This article summarises the findings of recent work on local authority public hospital services in England and Wales in the inter-war years and identifies the lack of a robust hypothesis to explain the variations found, particularly one that would explain the actions of county councils as well as county boroughs. Using public policy techniques on a group of local authorities in the far South West it proposes that variations can be explained by an understanding of the deep core beliefs of councillors, their previous experience of ‘commissioner’ and ‘provider’ roles, and the availability or otherwise of a dedicated policy entrepreneur to promote change. PMID:23752983

  11. Sub-Surface Excavation of Transient Craters in Porous Targets: Explaining the Impact Delay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowling, T. J.; Melosh, H. J.

    2012-03-01

    We numerically investigate the subsurface excavation of the transient crater in the earliest moments after the Deep Impact event. At high target porosities the crater remains hidden from observation long enough to explain the "impact delay."

  12. Can ionospheric refraction and oblique reflection explain the Canadian 50 MHz IGY radio aurora observations?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McDiarmid, D. R.; Watermann, J.; McNamara, A. G.

    1990-10-01

    This paper examines the hypothesis of Uspensky and Williams (1988) that the Canadian International Geophysical Year (IGY) radio aurora measurements of low (1-2 dB/deg) magnetic aspect sensitivity of 48 MHz scatter seen during the IGY in the Canadian sector can be explained by inadequate correction. The ionospheric conditions necessary to enable refraction/reflection to explain the Canadian IGY observations were investigated and were compared with those expected in the E-region ionosphere. It is shown that the refraction/oblique reflection is insufficient to explain the low value of aspect sensitivity deduced from the Canadian IGY auroral radar observations assuming ionospheric parameters typical of extended ionospheric layers; neither can these observations be explained by plasma density structures typical of some visual auroral forms. An alternative explanation is discussed.

  13. A neutral theory with environmental stochasticity explains static and dynamic properties of ecological communities.

    PubMed

    Kalyuzhny, Michael; Kadmon, Ronen; Shnerb, Nadav M

    2015-06-01

    Understanding the forces shaping ecological communities is crucial to basic science and conservation. Neutral theory has made considerable progress in explaining static properties of communities, like species abundance distributions (SADs), with a simple and generic model, but was criticised for making unrealistic predictions of fundamental dynamic patterns and for being sensitive to interspecific differences in fitness. Here, we show that a generalised neutral theory incorporating environmental stochasticity may resolve these limitations. We apply the theory to real data (the tropical forest of Barro Colorado Island) and demonstrate that it much better explains the properties of short-term population fluctuations and the decay of compositional similarity with time, while retaining the ability to explain SADs. Furthermore, the predictions are considerably more robust to interspecific fitness differences. Our results suggest that this integration of niches and stochasticity may serve as a minimalistic framework explaining fundamental static and dynamic characteristics of ecological communities.

  14. Artist: Ken Hodges Composite image explaining Objective and Motivation for Galileo Probe Heat Loads:

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    Artist: Ken Hodges Composite image explaining Objective and Motivation for Galileo Probe Heat Loads: Galileo Probe descending into Jupiters Atmosphere shows heat shield separation with parachute deployed. (Ref. JPL P-19180)

  15. Airway Differences May Explain Why Asthma Can Be More Serious for Blacks

    MedlinePlus

    ... fullstory_163045.html Airway Differences May Explain Why Asthma Can Be More Serious for Blacks Condition is ... may be one reason why black people with asthma are less responsive to treatment and more likely ...

  16. A Simulation Study to Explain the Variability of Ultrasonic Attenuation Measurement in RTM Composites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lonné, Sébastien; Lhémery, Alain; Thévenot, Françoise

    2004-02-01

    Ultrasonic attenuation is strongly variable and possibly high in parts made of RTM (resin transfer molding) composite that often possess an irregular inner structure. To explain this, models of attenuation phenomena at different scales are used in an overall model of wave propagation: multiple scattering by fibers coupled with viscoelastic losses, viscoelastic losses in pure matrix layers, scattering by porosities and by irregular interface geometry. A statistical study with variable structural parameters successfully explains amplitude variability experimentally observed.

  17. Explainers' development of science-learner identities through participation in a community of practice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richardson, Anne E.

    The urgent environmental issues of today require science-literate adults to engage in business and political decisions to create solutions. Despite the need, few adults have the knowledge and skills of science literacy. This doctoral dissertation is an analytical case study examining the science-learner identity development of Exploratorium Field Trip Explainers. Located in San Francisco, CA, the Exploratorium is a museum of science, art, and human perception dedicated to nurturing curiosity and exploration. Data collected included semi-structured interviews with sixteen former Field Trip Explainers, participant observation of the current Field Trip Explainer Program, and review of relevant documentation. Data analysis employed constant comparative analysis, guided by the communities of practice theoretical framework (Wenger, 1998) and the National Research Council's (2009) Six Strands of Science Learning. Findings of this research indicate that Exploratorium Field Trip Explainers participate in a community of practice made up of a diverse group of people that values curiosity and openness to multiple ways of learning. Many participants entered the Field Trip Explainer Program with an understanding of science learning as a rigid process reserved for a select group of people; through participation in the Field Trip Explainer community of practice, participants developed an understanding of science learning as accessible and a part of everyday life. The findings of this case study have implications for research, theory, and practice in informal adult science learning, access of non-dominant groups to science learning, and adult workplace learning in communities of practice.

  18. Explaining lifetime criminal arrests among clients of a psychiatric probation and parole service.

    PubMed

    Solomon, P; Draine, J

    1999-01-01

    This study examines the extent to which sociodemographic characteristics, clinical characteristics, substance abuse problems, and the array of lifetime criminal behavior may explain lifetime arrests among offenders supervised by the psychiatric probation and parole service. Three hundred twenty-five clients with new cases at a psychiatric probation and parole service in a large urban center were screened for major psychiatric disorders. They were also interviewed for socio-demographic characteristics, mental health treatment history, criminal behavior, and arrest history. Hierarchical block multiple regression analysis tested a model explaining lifetime arrests. After controlling for age and other demographic variables, the number of lifetime psychiatric hospitalizations and lifetime occurrences of mania diagnosis significantly explained lifetime arrests. The total model explained about 10 percent of the variance in lifetime arrests after controlling for opportunity variables, which explained 45 percent. The explanatory power of lifetime hospitalizations and mania support the contention that symptoms, rather than diagnosis, may be the most important clinical factor in explaining criminal arrest among persons with mental illness. Implications for psychiatric services include the development of effective jail diversion programs.

  19. A new explained-variance based genetic risk score for predictive modeling of disease risk.

    PubMed

    Che, Ronglin; Motsinger-Reif, Alison A

    2012-09-25

    The goal of association mapping is to identify genetic variants that predict disease, and as the field of human genetics matures, the number of successful association studies is increasing. Many such studies have shown that for many diseases, risk is explained by a reasonably large number of variants that each explains a very small amount of disease risk. This is prompting the use of genetic risk scores in building predictive models, where information across several variants is combined for predictive modeling. In the current study, we compare the performance of four previously proposed genetic risk score methods and present a new method for constructing genetic risk score that incorporates explained variance information. The methods compared include: a simple count Genetic Risk Score, an odds ratio weighted Genetic Risk Score, a direct logistic regression Genetic Risk Score, a polygenic Genetic Risk Score, and the new explained variance weighted Genetic Risk Score. We compare the methods using a wide range of simulations in two steps, with a range of the number of deleterious single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) explaining disease risk, genetic modes, baseline penetrances, sample sizes, relative risks (RR) and minor allele frequencies (MAF). Several measures of model performance were compared including overall power, C-statistic and Akaike's Information Criterion. Our results show the relative performance of methods differs significantly, with the new explained variance weighted GRS (EV-GRS) generally performing favorably to the other methods.

  20. Explaining mastitis incidence in Dutch dairy farming: the influence of farmers' attitudes and behaviour.

    PubMed

    Jansen, J; van den Borne, B H P; Renes, R J; van Schaik, G; Lam, T J G M; Leeuwis, C

    2009-11-15

    When mastitis incidence increases, either infection pressure has increased or cows' resistance has decreased. This usually indicates that farm management is not optimal. Numerous quantitative studies have demonstrated the effect of management practices on mastitis. In most of these studies, the identified risk factors could explain only part of the variance in mastitis incidence on farms. Several studies suggest that the unexplained variance is caused by farmers' attitudes towards different aspects of mastitis treatment and preventive behaviour. This study aims to determine, to quantify and to specify the extent to which farmers' attitudes, over and above farmers' behaviour, are factors that explain the variation in mastitis incidence, measured in terms of the quantifiable effect of management factors. An extensive survey on self-reported attitudes, behaviour and mastitis incidence was conducted on 336 Dutch dairy farms. Results of multiple linear regression analyses show that farmers' self-reported behaviour and attitudes together explain 48%, 31% and 23% of the variation within, respectively, the average farm bulk milk somatic cell count (BMSCC), the clinical mastitis incidence and the combined clinical and subclinical mastitis incidence. Both behaviour and attitudes explain part of the variance. However, most of the variance in all three dependant measures is explained solely by the attitude variables. The variation in BMSCC value is best explained by (1) farmers' normative frame of reference about mastitis, (2) farmers' perceptions about the control of mastitis and (3) the perceived effect of a BMSCC penalty level. The variation in clinical mastitis is best explained by farmers' perceptions about mastitis control. The variation in the combined clinical and subclinical mastitis incidence rate is best explained by the perceived effect of a BMSCC penalty level and the frequency of contact with others. The results of this study show that farmers' attitudes are a

  1. A balanced motor primitive framework can simultaneously explain motor learning in unimanual and bimanual movements.

    PubMed

    Takiyama, Ken; Sakai, Yutaka

    2017-02-01

    Certain theoretical frameworks have successfully explained motor learning in either unimanual or bimanual movements. However, no single theoretical framework can comprehensively explain motor learning in both types of movement because the relationship between these two types of movement remains unclear. Although our recent model of a balanced motor primitive framework attempted to simultaneously explain motor learning in unimanual and bimanual movements, this model focused only on a limited subset of bimanual movements and therefore did not elucidate the relationships between unimanual movements and various bimanual movements. Here, we extend the balanced motor primitive framework to simultaneously explain motor learning in unimanual and various bimanual movements as well as the transfer of learning effects between unimanual and various bimanual movements; these phenomena can be simultaneously explained if the mean activity of each primitive for various unimanual movements is balanced with the corresponding mean activity for various bimanual movements. Using this balanced condition, we can reproduce the results of prior behavioral and neurophysiological experiments. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the balanced condition can be implemented in a simple neural network model.

  2. Witchcraft-explained childhood tragedies in Tlaxcala, and their medical sequelae.

    PubMed

    Fabrega, H; Nutini, H

    1993-03-01

    This paper describes results of a study in Tlaxcala, Mexico, involving the sudden death of infants and children that culturally are explained as resulting from the attack of blood-sucking witches. The attacks of the supernaturals are relatively common occurrences and an elaborate ideology has evolved to explain them. Such an ideology serves to explain what constitutes a major trauma of loss and supernatural assault. Data on a total of 47 cases were collected prospectively. The illness experiences of the parents following these traumas were recorded and their nature and consequences analyzed. The results of the study provide a 'folk medical' epidemiology of sudden infant death, a well identified cultural-ecological stressor. Ideas from cultural, psychological and medical anthropology as well as general medicine and psychiatry are used in the interpretation of the results.

  3. A proposed theoretical model to explain relative age effects in sport.

    PubMed

    Hancock, David J; Adler, Ashley L; Côté, Jean

    2013-01-01

    Exemplary scientific methods describe concepts and provide theories for further testing. For the field of relative age effects (RAEs) in sport, the scientific method appears to be limited to description. The purpose of this paper is to provide a theoretical model to explain RAEs in sport, which researchers can use to test the effects, as well as to generate new hypotheses and recommendations. Herein, we argue that social agents have the largest influence on RAEs. Specifically, we propose that parents influence RAEs through Matthew effects, coaches influence RAEs through Pygmalion effects and athletes influence RAEs through Galatea effects. Integrating these three theories, we propose a model that explains RAEs through these various social agents. This paper provides a theoretical foundation from which researchers can further understand, explain and eventually use to create policies aimed at limiting the negative effect of relative age in sport.

  4. Does widowhood explain gender differences in out-of-pocket medical spending among the elderly?

    PubMed

    Goda, Gopi Shah; Shoven, John B; Slavov, Sita Nataraj

    2013-05-01

    Despite the presence of Medicare, out-of-pocket medical spending is a large expenditure risk facing the elderly. While women live longer than men, elderly women incur higher out-of-pocket medical spending than men at each age. In this paper, we examine whether differences in marital status and living arrangements can explain this difference. We find that out-of-pocket medical spending is approximately 24 percent higher when an individual becomes widowed, a large portion of which is spending on nursing homes. Our results suggest a substantial role of living arrangements in out-of-pocket medical spending. Our estimates combined with differences in rates of widowhood across gender suggest that marital status can explain about one third of the gender difference in total out-of-pocket medical spending, leaving a large portion unexplained. On the other hand, gender differences in widowhood more than explain the observed gender difference in out-of-pocket spending on nursing homes.

  5. LIFE HISTORY. Age-related mortality explains life history strategies of tropical and temperate songbirds.

    PubMed

    Martin, Thomas E

    2015-08-28

    Life history theory attempts to explain why species differ in offspring number and quality, growth rate, and parental effort. I show that unappreciated interactions of these traits in response to age-related mortality risk challenge traditional perspectives and explain life history evolution in songbirds. Counter to a long-standing paradigm, tropical songbirds grow at similar overall rates to temperate species but grow wings relatively faster. These growth tactics are favored by predation risk, both in and after leaving the nest, and are facilitated by greater provisioning of individual offspring by parents. Increased provisioning of individual offspring depends on partitioning effort among fewer young because of constraints on effort from adult and nest mortality. These growth and provisioning responses to mortality risk finally explain the conundrum of small clutch sizes of tropical birds.

  6. How ocean waves rock the Earth: Two mechanisms explain microseisms with periods 3 to 300 s

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ardhuin, Fabrice; Gualtieri, Lucia; Stutzmann, Eléonore

    2015-02-01

    Microseismic activity, recorded everywhere on Earth, is largely due to ocean waves. Recent progress has clearly identified sources of microseisms in the most energetic band, with periods from 3 to 10 s. In contrast, the generation of longer-period microseisms has been strongly debated. Two mechanisms have been proposed to explain seismic wave generation: a primary mechanism, by which ocean waves propagating over bottom slopes generate seismic waves, and a secondary mechanism which relies on the nonlinear interaction of ocean waves. Here we show that the primary mechanism explains the average power, frequency distribution, and most of the variability in signals recorded by vertical seismometers, for seismic periods ranging from 13 to 300 s. The secondary mechanism only explains seismic motions with periods shorter than 13 s. Our results build on a quantitative numerical model that gives access to time-varying maps of seismic noise sources.

  7. Do Lower-Body Dimensions and Body Composition Explain Vertical Jump Ability?

    PubMed

    Caia, Johnpaul; Weiss, Lawrence W; Chiu, Loren Z F; Schilling, Brian K; Paquette, Max R; Relyea, George E

    2016-11-01

    Caia, J, Weiss, LW, Chiu, LZF, Schilling, BK, Paquette, MR, and Relyea, GE. Do lower-body dimensions and body composition explain vertical jump ability? J Strength Cond Res 30(11): 3073-3083, 2016-Vertical jump (VJ) capability is integral to the level of success attained by individuals participating in numerous sport and physical activities. Knowledge of factors related to jump performance may help with talent identification and/or optimizing training prescription. Although myriad variables are likely related to VJ, this study focused on determining if various lower-body dimensions and/or body composition would explain some of the variability in performance. Selected anthropometric dimensions were obtained from 50 university students (25 men and 25 women) on 2 occasions separated by 48 or 72 hours. Estimated body fat percentage (BF%), height, body weight, hip width, pelvic width, bilateral quadriceps angle (Q-angle), and bilateral longitudinal dimensions of the feet, leg, thigh, and lower limb were obtained. Additionally, participants completed countermovement VJs. Analysis showed BF% to have the highest correlation with countermovement VJ displacement (r = -0.76, p < 0.001). When examining lower-body dimensions, right-side Q-angle displayed the strongest association with countermovement VJ displacement (r = -0.58, p < 0.001). Regression analysis revealed that 2 different pairs of variables accounted for the greatest variation (66%) in VJ: (a) BF% and sex and (b) BF% and body weight. Regression models involving BF% and lower-body dimensions explained up to 61% of the variance observed in VJ. Although the variance explained by BF% may be increased by using several lower-body dimensions, either sex identification or body weight explains comparatively more. Therefore, these data suggest that the lower-body dimensions measured herein have limited utility in explaining VJ performance.

  8. Time delay and noise explaining the behaviour of the cell growth in fermentation process

    SciTech Connect

    Ayuobi, Tawfiqullah; Rosli, Norhayati; Bahar, Arifah; Salleh, Madihah Md

    2015-02-03

    This paper proposes to investigate the interplay between time delay and external noise in explaining the behaviour of the microbial growth in batch fermentation process. Time delay and noise are modelled jointly via stochastic delay differential equations (SDDEs). The typical behaviour of cell concentration in batch fermentation process under this model is investigated. Milstein scheme is applied for solving this model numerically. Simulation results illustrate the effects of time delay and external noise in explaining the lag and stationary phases, respectively for the cell growth of fermentation process.

  9. Explaining information technology use with the usefulness scale: a comparison with user age.

    PubMed Central

    Kattan, M. W.; Adams, D. A.

    1994-01-01

    Understanding and predicting the use of information technology is an important problem in healthcare management. The relationships among user characteristics and information technology have generally been weak. This paper describes a recently developed scale that measures perceived usefulness of information technology. Following this description, the scale is compared with user age in ability to explain information technology use. The results suggest perceived usefulness explains a significant proportion of the variance in use (r2 = .13, p < or = 0.0001), while age was not a significant predictor. Implications and suggestions for use of the usefulness scale are discussed. PMID:7950037

  10. STS-45 MS and PLC Sullivan explains camera usage on OV-104's aft flight deck

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    STS-45 Mission Specialist (MS) and Payload Commander (PLC) Kathryn D. Sullivan, holding communications kit assembly unit and 70mm HASSELBLAD camera, explains camera usage and Earth observation procedures during a television downlink to the ground. Sullivan is on the aft flight deck of Atlantis, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 104. Behind Sullivan are the onorbit station control panels with the payload station control panels at her left. The STS-45 crew put together a brief video 'tour' program to explain some of their inflight operations.

  11. Morphologies in Solvent-Annealed Clotrimazole Thin Films Explained by Hansen-Solubility Parameters.

    PubMed

    Ehmann, Heike M A; Zimmer, Andreas; Roblegg, Eva; Werzer, Oliver

    2014-03-05

    The induction of different crystal morphologies is of crucial importance for many applications. In this work, the preparation of various crystal morphologies within clotrimazole films on glass substrates is demonstrated. Amorphous clotrimazole thin films were transformed via vapor annealing into crystalline structures; highly monodisperse/multidisperse crystallites, spherulite, or dendritic structures were obtained as the solvent was exchanged. X-ray diffraction experiments reveal that the same polymorph is present for all samples but with varying texture. The achieved morphologies are explained in terms of Hansen-solubility parameters and vapor pressures; thus, the different morphologies and crystal orientations can be explained by solvent-solid interaction strengths within the thin film samples.

  12. The Role of Attitudes about Vaccine Safety, Efficacy, and Value in Explaining Parents' Reported Vaccination Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    LaVail, Katherine Hart; Kennedy, Allison Michelle

    2013-01-01

    Objectives: To explain vaccine confidence as it related to parents' decisions to vaccinate their children with recommended vaccines, and to develop a confidence measure to efficiently and effectively predict parents' self-reported vaccine behaviors. Method: A sample of parents with at least one child younger than 6 years ("n" = 376) was…

  13. Explaining Variability in Retrieval Times for Addition Produced by Students with Mathematical Learning Difficulties

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hopkins, Sarah L.; Lawson, Michael J.

    2004-01-01

    Predictors of retrieval times produced by students having difficulty developing a reliance on retrieval for simple addition were discovered. The findings support the notion that separate limitations operate in working memory when retrieval occurs and call into question the use of the term "retrieval deficit" to explain difficulties…

  14. Disentangling vegetation diversity from climate-energy and habitat heterogeneity for explaining animal geographic patterns.

    PubMed

    Jiménez-Alfaro, Borja; Chytrý, Milan; Mucina, Ladislav; Grace, James B; Rejmánek, Marcel

    2016-03-01

    Broad-scale animal diversity patterns have been traditionally explained by hypotheses focused on climate-energy and habitat heterogeneity, without considering the direct influence of vegetation structure and composition. However, integrating these factors when considering plant-animal correlates still poses a major challenge because plant communities are controlled by abiotic factors that may, at the same time, influence animal distributions. By testing whether the number and variation of plant community types in Europe explain country-level diversity in six animal groups, we propose a conceptual framework in which vegetation diversity represents a bridge between abiotic factors and animal diversity. We show that vegetation diversity explains variation in animal richness not accounted for by altitudinal range or potential evapotranspiration, being the best predictor for butterflies, beetles, and amphibians. Moreover, the dissimilarity of plant community types explains the highest proportion of variation in animal assemblages across the studied regions, an effect that outperforms the effect of climate and their shared contribution with pure spatial variation. Our results at the country level suggest that vegetation diversity, as estimated from broad-scale classifications of plant communities, may contribute to our understanding of animal richness and may be disentangled, at least to a degree, from climate-energy and abiotic habitat heterogeneity.

  15. Common SNPs explain some of the variation in the personality dimensions of neuroticism and extraversion.

    PubMed

    Vinkhuyzen, A A E; Pedersen, N L; Yang, J; Lee, S H; Magnusson, P K E; Iacono, W G; McGue, M; Madden, P A F; Heath, A C; Luciano, M; Payton, A; Horan, M; Ollier, W; Pendleton, N; Deary, I J; Montgomery, G W; Martin, N G; Visscher, P M; Wray, N R

    2012-04-17

    The personality traits of neuroticism and extraversion are predictive of a number of social and behavioural outcomes and psychiatric disorders. Twin and family studies have reported moderate heritability estimates for both traits. Few associations have been reported between genetic variants and neuroticism/extraversion, but hardly any have been replicated. Moreover, the ones that have been replicated explain only a small proportion of the heritability (<~2%). Using genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data from ~12,000 unrelated individuals we estimated the proportion of phenotypic variance explained by variants in linkage disequilibrium with common SNPs as 0.06 (s.e. = 0.03) for neuroticism and 0.12 (s.e. = 0.03) for extraversion. In an additional series of analyses in a family-based sample, we show that while for both traits ~45% of the phenotypic variance can be explained by pedigree data (that is, expected genetic similarity) one third of this can be explained by SNP data (that is, realized genetic similarity). A part of the so-called 'missing heritability' has now been accounted for, but some of the reported heritability is still unexplained. Possible explanations for the remaining missing heritability are that: (i) rare variants that are not captured by common SNPs on current genotype platforms make a major contribution; and/ or (ii) the estimates of narrow sense heritability from twin and family studies are biased upwards, for example, by not properly accounting for nonadditive genetic factors and/or (common) environmental factors.

  16. Changes in variance explained by top SNP windows over generations for three traits in broiler chicken

    PubMed Central

    Fragomeni, Breno de Oliveira; Misztal, Ignacy; Lourenco, Daniela Lino; Aguilar, Ignacio; Okimoto, Ronald; Muir, William M.

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine if the set of genomic regions inferred as accounting for the majority of genetic variation in quantitative traits remain stable over multiple generations of selection. The data set contained phenotypes for five generations of broiler chicken for body weight, breast meat, and leg score. The population consisted of 294,632 animals over five generations and also included genotypes of 41,036 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) for 4,866 animals, after quality control. The SNP effects were calculated by a GWAS type analysis using single step genomic BLUP approach for generations 1–3, 2–4, 3–5, and 1–5. Variances were calculated for windows of 20 SNP. The top ten windows for each trait that explained the largest fraction of the genetic variance across generations were examined. Across generations, the top 10 windows explained more than 0.5% but less than 1% of the total variance. Also, the pattern of the windows was not consistent across generations. The windows that explained the greatest variance changed greatly among the combinations of generations, with a few exceptions. In many cases, a window identified as top for one combination, explained less than 0.1% for the other combinations. We conclude that identification of top SNP windows for a population may have little predictive power for genetic selection in the following generations for the traits here evaluated. PMID:25324857

  17. Facilitating High School Students' Use of Multiple Representations to Describe and Explain Simple Chemical Reactions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chandrasegaran, A. L.; Treagust, David F.; Mocerino, Mauro

    2011-01-01

    This study involved the evaluation of the efficacy of a planned instructional program to facilitate understanding of the macroscopic, submicroscopic and symbolic representational systems when describing and explaining chemical reactions by sixty-five Grade 9 students in a Singapore secondary school. A two-tier multiple-choice diagnostic instrument…

  18. MA-9 ASTRONAUT GORDON COOPER EXPLAINS CAMERA TO BACKUP PILOT ALAN SHEPARD

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1963-01-01

    Astronaut L. Gordon Cooper explains the 16MM handheld spacecraft camera to his back-up pilot Astronaut Alan Shepard. The camera designed by J. R. Hereford, McDonnell Aircraft Corp., will be used by Cooper during the MA-9 mission.

  19. Explaining Career Decision-Making Self-Efficacy: Personality, Cognitions, and Cultural Mistrust

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bullock-Yowell, Emily; Andrews, Lindsay; Buzzetta, Mary E.

    2011-01-01

    The authors explore the hypothesis that career decision-making self-efficacy could be affected by negative career thoughts, Big Five personality factors, and cultural mistrust in a sample of African American and Caucasian college students. Findings demonstrated that negative career thinking, openness, and conscientiousness explained a significant…

  20. Explaining Cross-Country Differences in Attitudes towards Immigration in the EU-15

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Malchow-Moller, Nikolaj; Munch, Jakob Roland; Schroll, Sanne; Skaksen, Jan Rose

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, we use data from the first two rounds of the European Social Survey to analyze the extent to which differences in average attitudes towards immigration across the EU-15 countries may be explained by differences in socioeconomic characteristics and individually perceived consequences of immigration, using an extension of a…

  1. Explaining the Rise in Educational Gradients in Mortality. NBER Working Paper No. 15678

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cutler, David M.; Lange, Fabian; Meara, Ellen; Richards, Seth; Ruhm, Christopher J.

    2010-01-01

    The long-standing inverse relationship between education and mortality strengthened substantially later in the 20th century. This paper examines the reasons for this increase. We show that behavioral risk factors are not of primary importance. Smoking has declined more for the better educated, but not enough to explain the trend. Obesity has risen…

  2. The Efficacy of the Theory of Reasoned Action to Explain Gambling Behavior in College Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thrasher, Robert G.; Andrew, Damon P. S.; Mahony, Daniel F.

    2007-01-01

    Shaffer and Hall (1997) have estimated college student gambling to be three times as high as their adult counterparts. Despite a considerable amount of research on gambling, researchers have struggled to develop a universal theory that explains gambling behavior. This study explored the potential of Ajzen and Fishbein's (1980) Theory of Reasoned…

  3. Children Learning to Explain Daily Celestial Motion: Understanding Astronomy across Moving Frames of Reference

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Plummer, Julia D.; Wasko, Kyle D.; Slagle, Cynthia

    2011-01-01

    This study investigated elementary students' explanations for the daily patterns of apparent motion of the Sun, Moon, and stars. Third-grade students were chosen for this study because this age level is at the lower end of when many US standards documents suggest students should learn to use the Earth's rotation to explain daily celestial motion.…

  4. Funeral Benefits in Public Higher Education Institutions: How Do They Explain Employees' Perception of Equity?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Komba, Aneth Anselmo

    2016-01-01

    The study examined the government and three campuses of a higher public education institution's funeral policies with a view to determining how these policies explain employees' equity perception. Three research questions guided the study: (1) what does the government's funeral policy say about the burial of government employees and their…

  5. Semantic language as a mechanism explaining the association between ADHD symptoms and reading and mathematics underachievement.

    PubMed

    Gremillion, Monica L; Martel, Michelle M

    2012-11-01

    ADHD is associated with academic underachievement, but it remains unclear what mechanism accounts for this association. Semantic language is an underexplored mechanism that provides a developmental explanation for this association. The present study will examine whether semantic language deficits explain the association between ADHD and reading and mathematics underachievement, taking into account alternative explanations for associations, including verbal working memory (WM) impairments, as well as specificity of effects to inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive ADHD symptom domains. Participants in this cross-sectional study were 546 children (54 % male) ages six to twelve (M = 9.77, SD = 1.49). ADHD symptoms were measured via maternal and teacher report during structured interviews and on standardized rating forms. Children completed standardized semantic language, verbal WM, and academic testing. Semantic language fully mediated the ADHD-reading achievement association and partially mediated the ADHD-mathematics achievement association. Verbal WM also partially mediated the ADHD-mathematics association but did not mediate the ADHD-reading achievement association. Results generalized across inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive ADHD symptom domains. Semantic language explained the association between ADHD and reading underachievement and partially explained the association between ADHD and mathematics underachievement. Together, language impairment and WM fully explained the association between ADHD and reading underachievement, in line with developmental models suggesting that language and WM conjointly influence the development of attention and subsequent academic achievement. This work has implication for the development of tailored interventions for academic underachievement in children with ADHD.

  6. Explaining the Gap in Charter and Traditional Public School Teacher Turnover Rates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stuit, David A.; Smith, Thomas M.

    2012-01-01

    This study uses national survey data to examine why charter school teachers are more likely to turnover than their traditional public school counterparts. We test whether the turnover gap is explained by different distributions of factors that are empirically and theoretically linked to turnover risk. We find that the turnover rate of charter…

  7. Can self-representationalism explain away the apparent irreducibility of consciousness?

    PubMed

    McClelland, Tom

    Kriegel's self-representationalist (SR) theory of phenomenal consciousness pursues two projects. The first is to offer a positive account of how conscious experience arises from physical brain processes. The second is to explain why consciousness misleadingly appears to be irreducible to the physical i.e. to 'demystify' consciousness. This paper seeks to determine whether SR succeeds on the second project. Kriegel trades on a distinction between the subjective character and qualitative character of conscious states. Subjective character is the property of being a conscious state at all, while qualitative character determines what it is like to be in that state. Kriegel claims that SR explains why subjective character misleadingly appears irreducible, thereby neutralising the apparent irreducibility of consciousness. I argue that although SR credibly demystifies subjective character, it cannot explain why qualitative character also appears irreducible. I conclude that we should pursue the possibility of a hybrid position that combines SR with an account that does explain the apparent irreducibility of qualitative character.

  8. Explaining rigid dieting in normal-weight women: the key role of body image inflexibility.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Cláudia; Trindade, Inês A; Martinho, Ana

    2016-03-01

    Restrictive dieting is an increasing behavior presented by women in modern societies, independently of their weight. There are several known factors that motivate diet, namely a sense of dissatisfaction with one's body and unfavorable social comparisons based on physical appearance. However, dieting seems to have a paradoxical effect and has been considered a risk factor for weight gain and obesity in women and for maladaptive eating. Nevertheless, the study of the emotional regulation processes that explain the adoption of inflexible and rigid eating behaviors still remains little explored. In this line, the present study aims to explore why normal-weight women engage in highly rigid and inflexible diets. We hypothesize that body and weight dissatisfaction and unfavorable social comparisons based on physical appearance explain the adoption of inflexible eating rules, through the mechanisms of body image inflexibility. The current study comprised 508 normal-weight female college students. Path analyses were conducted to explore the study's hypotheses. Results revealed that the model explained 43 % of inflexible eating and revealed excellent fit indices. Furthermore, the unwillingness to experience unwanted events related to body image (body image inflexibility) mediated the impact of body dissatisfaction and unfavorable social comparisons on the adoption of inflexible eating rules. This study highlights the relevance of body image inflexibility to explain rigid eating attitudes, and it seems to be an important avenue for the development of interventions focusing on the promotion of adaptive attitudes towards body image and eating in young women.

  9. Does Mother's IQ Explain the Association between Birth Weight and Cognitive Ability in Childhood?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deary, Ian J.; Der, Geoff; Shenkin, Susan D.

    2005-01-01

    There is a significant association between birth weight and cognitive test scores in childhood, even among individuals born at term and with normal birth weight. The association is not explained by the child's social background. Here we examine whether mother's cognitive ability accounts for the birth weight-cognitive ability association. We…

  10. The Utility of the UTAUT Model in Explaining Mobile Learning Adoption in Higher Education in Guyana

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomas, Troy Devon; Singh, Lenandlar; Gaffar, Kemuel

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we compare the utility of modified versions of the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) model in explaining mobile learning adoption in higher education in a developing country and evaluate the size and direction of the impacts of the UTAUT factors on behavioural intention to adopt mobile learning in higher…

  11. Microwave-Mediated Synthesis of Lophine: Developing a Mechanism to Explain a Product

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crouch, R. David; Howard, Jessica L.; Zile, Jennifer L.; Barker, Kathryn H.

    2006-01-01

    The microwave-mediated preparation of lophine (2,4,5-triphenylimidazole) is described. This experiment allows for an introduction to the emerging technology of microwave-assisted organic synthesis while providing an opportunity for students to employ the principles of carbonyl chemistry in devising a mechanism to explain the formation of the…

  12. The Positive Illusory Bias: Does It Explain Self-Evaluations in College Students with ADHD?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prevatt, Frances; Proctor, Briley; Best, Lori; Baker, Leigh; Van Walker, Jerry; Taylor, Nicki Wright

    2012-01-01

    Objective: To evaluate whether the positive illusory bias explains the self-evaluations of driving and work behaviors in college students with ADHD. Method: A total of 103 students with ADHD were compared to a sample of 94 students without ADHD. Both groups completed self-reports of their specific driving and work behaviors and then rated their…

  13. How Do Preservice Biology Teachers Explain the Origin of Biological Traits?: A Philosophical Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kampourakis, Kostas; Silveira, Patricia; Strasser, Bruno J.

    2016-01-01

    Research suggests that students tend to explain the origin of biological traits in terms of needs or purposes and/or as the direct product of genes, rather than as the outcome of evolutionary and developmental processes. We suggest that in order for students to be able to construct scientific explanations, it is important to clearly and explicitly…

  14. Explaining and forecasting interannual variability in the flow of the Nile River

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siam, M. S.; Eltahir, E. A. B.

    2015-03-01

    This study analyzes extensive data sets collected during the twentieth century and defines four modes of natural variability in the flow of the Nile River, identifying a new significant potential for improving predictability of floods and droughts. Previous studies have identified a significant teleconnection between the Nile flow and the eastern Pacific Ocean. El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) explains about 25% of the interannual variability in the Nile flow. Here, this study identifies a region in the southern Indian Ocean, with a similarly strong teleconnection to the Nile flow. Sea surface temperature (SST) in the region (50-80° E and 25-35° S) explains 28% of the interannual variability in the flow of the Nile River and, when combined with the ENSO index, the explained variability of the flow of the Nile River increases to 44%. In addition, during those years with anomalous SST conditions in both oceans, this study estimates that indices of the SSTs in the Pacific and Indian oceans can collectively explain up to 84% of the interannual variability in the flow of the Nile. Building on these findings, this study uses the classical Bayesian theorem to develop a new hybrid forecasting algorithm that predicts the Nile flow based on global model predictions of indices of the SST in the eastern Pacific and southern Indian oceans.

  15. A Model of How Different Biology Experts Explain Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trujillo, Caleb M.; Anderson, Trevor R.; Pelaez, Nancy J.

    2015-01-01

    Constructing explanations is an essential skill for all science learners. The goal of this project was to model the key components of expert explanation of molecular and cellular mechanisms. As such, we asked: What is an appropriate model of the components of explanation used by biology experts to explain molecular and cellular mechanisms? Do…

  16. Run-D.M.C.: A Mnemonic Aid for Explaining Mass Transfer in Electrochemical Systems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miles, Deon T.

    2013-01-01

    Electrochemistry is a significant area of analytical chemistry encompassing electrical measurements of chemical systems. The applications associated with electrochemistry appear in many aspects of everyday life: explaining how batteries work, how the human nervous system functions, and how metal corrosion occurs. The most common electrochemical…

  17. Explaining maximum variation in productivity requires phylogenetic diversity and single functional traits.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jiajia; Zhang, Xinxin; Song, Feifan; Zhou, Shurong; Cadotte, Marc W; Bradshaw, Corey J A

    2015-01-01

    Many community experiments have shown a positive relationship between plant biodiversity and community productivity, with biodiversity measured in multiple ways based on taxonomy, function, and phylogeny. Whether these different measures of biodiversity and their interactions explain variation in productivity in natural assemblages has rarely been tested. In a removal experiment using natural alpine assemblages in the Tibetan Plateau, we manipulated species richness and functional diversity to examine how different measures of biodiversity predict aboveground biomass production. We combined different biodiversity measures (functional, phylogenetic, richness, evenness) in generalized linear models to determine which combinations provided the most parsimonious explanations of variation in biomass production. Although multivariate functional diversity indices alone consistently explained more variation in productivity than other single measures, phylogenetic diversity and plant height represented the most parsimonious combination. In natural assemblages, single metrics alone cannot fully explain ecosystem function. Instead, a combination of phylogenetic diversity and traits with weak or no phylogenetic signal is required to explain the effects of biodiversity loss on ecosystem function.

  18. The Role of Goal Orientations and Goal Structures in Explaining Classroom Social and Affective Characteristics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Polychroni, Fotini; Hatzichristou, Chryse; Sideridis, Georgios

    2012-01-01

    Examining motivational variables may prove to be particularly fruitful towards our understanding of classroom processes, student behaviors and school outcomes. The present study examined the role of personal and contextual goals (goals and goal structures) towards explaining social relationships (peer, teacher-student and home-school). 1493 fifth…

  19. PISA and High-Performing Education Systems: Explaining Singapore's Education Success

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deng, Zongyi; Gopinathan, S.

    2016-01-01

    Singapore's remarkable performance in Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) has placed it among the world's high-performing education systems (HPES). In the literature on HPES, its "secret formula" for education success is explained in terms of teacher quality, school leadership, system characteristics and educational…

  20. What explains the rural-urban gap in infant mortality: household or community characteristics?

    PubMed

    Van de Poel, Ellen; O'Donnell, Owen; Van Doorslaer, Eddy

    2009-11-01

    The rural-urban gap in infant mortality rates is explained by using a new decomposition method that permits identification of the contribution of unobserved heterogeneity at the household and the community level. Using Demographic and Health Survey data for six Francophone countries in Central and West sub-Saharan Africa, we find that differences in the distributions of factors that determine mortality--not differences in their effects--explain almost the entire gap. Higher infant mortality rates in rural areas mainly derive from the rural disadvantage in household characteristics, both observed and unobserved, which explain two-thirds of the gap. Among the observed characteristics, environmental factors--a safe source of drinking water, electricity, and quality of housing materials--are the most important contributors. Community characteristics explain less than one-quarter of the gap, with about two-thirds of this coming from community unobserved heterogeneity and one-third from the existence of a health facility within the community. The effect of disadvantageous environmental conditions--such as limited electricity and water supply--derives both from a lack of community-level infrastructure and from the inability of some households to exploit it when available. Policy needs to operate at both the community and household levels to correct such deficiencies.

  1. Applying a predict-observe-explain sequence in teaching of buoyant force

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radovanović, Jelena; Sliško, Josip

    2013-01-01

    An active learning sequence based on the predict-observe-explain teaching strategy is applied to a lesson on buoyant force. The results obtained clearly justify the use of this teaching method and suggest devising a series of activities to enable more effective removal of students’ commonly held alternative conceptions regarding floating and sinking.

  2. Explaining Parents' School Involvement: The Role of Ethnicity and Gender in the Netherlands

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fleischmann, Fenella; de Haas, Annabel

    2016-01-01

    Ethnic minority parents are often less involved with their children's schooling, and this may hamper their children's academic success, thus contributing to ethnic educational inequality. The authors aim to explain differences in parental involvement, using nationally representative survey data from the Netherlands of parents of primary…

  3. How do Turkish High School Graduates Use the Wave Theory of Light to Explain Optics Phenomena?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sengoren, S. K.

    2010-01-01

    This research was intended to investigate whether Turkish students who had graduated from high school used the wave theory of light properly in explaining optical phenomena. The survey method was used in this research. The data, which were collected from 175 first year university students in Turkey, were analysed quantitatively and qualitatively.…

  4. Toward Explaining the Transformative Power of Talk about, around, and for Writing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Godbee, Beth

    2012-01-01

    This article provides an initial approach for capturing moments of talk about, around, and for writing to explain why writing groups and writing conferences are so often considered "transformative" for the people involved. After describing the widespread and yet disparate transformations so often attributed to collaborative writing talk, I…

  5. Relevance of Student and Contextual School Variables in Explaining a Student's Severity of Violence Experienced

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mooij, Ton

    2015-01-01

    Teachers conceptualise and interpret violent behaviour of secondary students in different ways. They also differ in their estimates of the relevance of student and contextual school variables when explaining the severity of violence experienced by students. Research can assist here by explicating the role of different types of contextual school…

  6. Explaining pathological changes in axonal excitability through dynamical analysis of conductance-based models

    PubMed Central

    Coggan, Jay S; Ocker, Gabriel K; Sejnowski, Terrence J; Prescott, Steven A

    2011-01-01

    Neurons rely on action potentials, or spikes, to relay information. Pathological changes in spike generation likely contribute to certain enigmatic features of neurological disease, like paroxysmal attacks of pain and muscle spasm. Paroxysmal symptoms are characterized by abrupt onset and short duration, and are associated with abnormal spiking although the exact pathophysiology remains unclear. To help decipher the biophysical basis for ‘paroxysmal’ spiking, we replicated afterdischarge (i.e. continued spiking after a brief stimulus) in a minimal conductance-based axon model. We then applied nonlinear dynamical analysis to explain the dynamical basis for initiation and termination of afterdischarge. A perturbation could abruptly switch the system between two (quasi-)stable attractor states: rest and repetitive spiking. This bistability was a consequence of slow positive feedback mediated by persistent inward current. Initiation of afterdischarge was explained by activation of the persistent inward current forcing the system to cross a saddle point that separates the basins of attraction associated with each attractor. Termination of afterdischarge was explained by the attractor associated with repetitive spiking being destroyed. This occurred when ultra-slow negative feedback, such as intracellular sodium accumulation, caused the saddle point and stable limit cycle to collide; in that regard, the active attractor is not truly stable when the slowest dynamics are taken into account. The model also explains other features of paroxysmal symptoms, including temporal summation and refractoriness. PMID:22058273

  7. Disentangling vegetation diversity from climate–energy and habitat heterogeneity for explaining animal geographic patterns

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jimenez-Alfaro, Borja; Chytry, Milan; Mucina, Ladislav; Grace, James B.; Rejmanek, Marcel

    2016-01-01

    Broad-scale animal diversity patterns have been traditionally explained by hypotheses focused on climate–energy and habitat heterogeneity, without considering the direct influence of vegetation structure and composition. However, integrating these factors when considering plant–animal correlates still poses a major challenge because plant communities are controlled by abiotic factors that may, at the same time, influence animal distributions. By testing whether the number and variation of plant community types in Europe explain country-level diversity in six animal groups, we propose a conceptual framework in which vegetation diversity represents a bridge between abiotic factors and animal diversity. We show that vegetation diversity explains variation in animal richness not accounted for by altitudinal range or potential evapotranspiration, being the best predictor for butterflies, beetles, and amphibians. Moreover, the dissimilarity of plant community types explains the highest proportion of variation in animal assemblages across the studied regions, an effect that outperforms the effect of climate and their shared contribution with pure spatial variation. Our results at the country level suggest that vegetation diversity, as estimated from broad-scale classifications of plant communities, may contribute to our understanding of animal richness and may be disentangled, at least to a degree, from climate–energy and abiotic habitat heterogeneity.

  8. Explaining Self-Harm: Youth Cybertalk and Marginalized Sexualities and Genders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McDermott, Elizabeth; Roen, Katrina; Piela, Anna

    2015-01-01

    This study investigates self-harm among young lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans (LGBT) people. Using qualitative virtual methods, we examined online forums to explore young LGBT people's cybertalk about emotional distress and self-harming. We investigated how youth explained the relationship between self-harm and sexuality and gender. We found…

  9. Social Community: A Mechanism to Explain the Success of STEM Minority Mentoring Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mondisa, Joi-Lynn; McComb, Sara A.

    2015-01-01

    Social community may be a mechanism that explains the success of minority mentoring programs. We define a social community as an environment where like-minded individuals engage in dynamic, multidirectional interactions that facilitate social support. In this conceptual article, we propose a social community model for science, technology,…

  10. No Place to Escape: Explaining the Cultural Revolution to American Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jiang, Ji-li

    2012-01-01

    In this article the author reflects on her visits to American schools to talk about the experiences she describes in "Red Scarf Girl." In her book, she explains picture by picture, story after story how she and her family lived in darkness, how they were brainwashed, and about the concentration of power in China. She stresses that …

  11. Why Teach Abroad: Two American Teachers Explain Their Motivations and Experiences Teaching in Bulgaria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Potash, Betsy; Potash, Brett

    2011-01-01

    A Fulbright poster on the bulletin board, a Search Associates flier in the mailbox, a rumor of something different--everyone has heard about teaching abroad. But is it worth filling out all that paperwork, installing Skype on the family's computers, and learning a new language? In this article, two American teachers explain their motivations and…

  12. Explaining Inference on a Population of Independent Agents Using Bayesian Networks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sutovsky, Peter

    2013-01-01

    The main goal of this research is to design, implement, and evaluate a novel explanation method, the hierarchical explanation method (HEM), for explaining Bayesian network (BN) inference when the network is modeling a population of conditionally independent agents, each of which is modeled as a subnetwork. For example, consider disease-outbreak…

  13. Cognitive Abilities Explaining Age-Related Changes in Time Perception of Short and Long Durations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zelanti, Pierre S.; Droit-Volet, Sylvie

    2011-01-01

    The current study investigated how the development of cognitive abilities explains the age-related changes in temporal judgment over short and long duration ranges from 0.5 to 30 s. Children (5- and 9-year-olds) as well as adults were given a temporal bisection task with four different duration ranges: a duration range shorter than 1 s, two…

  14. Explaining pathological changes in axonal excitability through dynamical analysis of conductance-based models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coggan, Jay S.; Ocker, Gabriel K.; Sejnowski, Terrence J.; Prescott, Steven A.

    2011-10-01

    Neurons rely on action potentials, or spikes, to relay information. Pathological changes in spike generation likely contribute to certain enigmatic features of neurological disease, like paroxysmal attacks of pain and muscle spasm. Paroxysmal symptoms are characterized by abrupt onset and short duration, and are associated with abnormal spiking although the exact pathophysiology remains unclear. To help decipher the biophysical basis for 'paroxysmal' spiking, we replicated afterdischarge (i.e. continued spiking after a brief stimulus) in a minimal conductance-based axon model. We then applied nonlinear dynamical analysis to explain the dynamical basis for initiation and termination of afterdischarge. A perturbation could abruptly switch the system between two (quasi-)stable attractor states: rest and repetitive spiking. This bistability was a consequence of slow positive feedback mediated by persistent inward current. Initiation of afterdischarge was explained by activation of the persistent inward current forcing the system to cross a saddle point that separates the basins of attraction associated with each attractor. Termination of afterdischarge was explained by the attractor associated with repetitive spiking being destroyed. This occurred when ultra-slow negative feedback, such as intracellular sodium accumulation, caused the saddle point and stable limit cycle to collide; in that regard, the active attractor is not truly stable when the slowest dynamics are taken into account. The model also explains other features of paroxysmal symptoms, including temporal summation and refractoriness.

  15. Explaining How Political Actors Gain Strategic Positions: Predictors of Centrality in State Reading Policy Issue Networks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Young, Tamara V.; Wang, Yuling; Lewis, Wayne D.

    2016-01-01

    Using data from interviews with 111 reading policy actors from California, Connecticut, Michigan, and Utah, this study explains how individuals acquire central positions in issue networks. Regression analyses showed that the greater a policy actor's reputed influence was and the more similar their preferences were to other members in the network,…

  16. Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) versus Explaining for the Best Inference (EBI)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilkenfeld, Daniel A.; Lombrozo, Tania

    2015-01-01

    In pedagogical contexts and in everyday life, we often come to believe something because it would best explain the data. What is it about the explanatory endeavor that makes it essential to everyday learning and to scientific progress? There are at least two plausible answers. On one view, there is something special about having true…

  17. Understanding Middle School Students' Difficulties in Explaining Density Differences from a Language Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seah, Lay Hoon; Clarke, David; Hart, Christina

    2015-01-01

    This study examines how a class of Grade 7 students employed linguistic resources to explain density differences. Drawing from the same data-set as a previous study by, we take a language perspective to investigate the challenges students face in learning the concept of density. Our study thus complements previous research on learning about…

  18. Explaining the Gender Gap in Help to Parents: The Importance of Employment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sarkisian, Natalia; Gerstel, Naomi

    2004-01-01

    Although it is well established that adult daughters spend more time giving assistance to their parents than do sons, the sources of this gender gap are not well understood. This paper asks: To what extent can this gap be explained by structural variation, especially the different rates of employment and kinds of jobs that women and men tend to…

  19. Applying a Predict-Observe-Explain Sequence in Teaching of Buoyant Force

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Radovanovic, Jelena; Slisko, Josip

    2013-01-01

    An active learning sequence based on the predict-observe-explain teaching strategy is applied to a lesson on buoyant force. The results obtained clearly justify the use of this teaching method and suggest devising a series of activities to enable more effective removal of students' commonly held alternative conceptions regarding floating and…

  20. Explaining the Ordinary Magic of Stable African Multilingualism in the Vaal Triangle Region in South Africa

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coetzee-Van Rooy, Susan

    2014-01-01

    The academic and public debates about language maintenance and language shift in the post-1994 South Africa distract attention from the more productive and important endeavour of explaining the nature of the multilingualism observed among users of African languages in urban contexts. An explanation for this phenomenon is offered here, based on…