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Sample records for earliest life natural

  1. Tracing Life in the Earliest Terrestrial Rock Record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lepland, A.; van Zuilen, M.; Arrhenius, G.

    2001-12-01

    The principal method for studying the earliest traces of life in the metamorphosed, oldest (> 3.5 Ga) terrestrial rocks involves determination of isotopic composition of carbon, mainly prevailing as graphite. It is generally believed that this measure can distinguish biogenic graphite from abiogenic varieties. However, the interpretation of life from carbon isotope ratios has to be assessed within the context of specific geologic circumstances requiring (i) reliable protolith interpretation (ii) control of secondary, metasomatic processes, and (iii) understanding of different graphite producing mechanisms and related carbon isotopic systematics. We have carried out a systematic study of abundance, isotopic composition and petrographic associations of graphite in rocks from the ca. 3.8 Ga Isua Supracrustal Belt (ISB) in southern West Greenland. Our study indicates that most of the graphite in ISB occurs in carbonate-rich metasomatic rocks (metacarbonates) while sedimentary units, including banded iron formations (BIFs) and metacherts, have exceedingly low graphite concentrations. Regardless of isotopic composition of graphite in metacarbonate rocks, their secondary origin disqualifies them from providing evidence for traces of life stemming from 3.8 Ga. Recognition of the secondary origin of Isua metacarbonates thus calls for reevaluation of biologic interpretations by Schidlowski et al. (1979) and Mojzsis et al. (1996) that suggested the occurrence of 3.8 Ga biogenic graphite in these rocks. The origin of minute quantities of reduced carbon, released from sedimentary BIFs and metacherts at combustion steps > 700 C remains to be clarified. Its isotopic composition (d13C from -18 to -25%) may hint at a biogenic origin. However, such isotopically light carbon was also found in Proterozoic mafic dykes cross-cutting the metasedimentary units in the ISB. The occurrence of isotopically light, reduced carbon in biologically irrelevant dykes may indicate secondary graphite

  2. Reassessing the Evidence for the Earliest Traces of Life

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    vanZullen, Mark A.; Lepland, Alve; Arrhenlus, Gustaf

    2002-01-01

    The isotopic composition of graphite is commonly used as a biomarker in the oldest (>3.5 Gyr ago) highly metamorphosed terrestrial rocks. Earlier studies on isotopic characteristics of graphite occurring in rocks of the approximately 3.8-Gyr-old Isua supracrustal belt (ISB) in southern West Greenland have suggested the presence of a vast microbial ecosystem in the early Archean. This interpretation, however, has to be approached with extreme care. Here we show that graphite occurs abundantly in secondary carbonate veins in the ISB that are formed at depth in the crust by injection of hot fluids reacting with older crustal rocks (metasomatism). During these reactions, graphite forms from the disproportionation of Fe(II)-bearing carbonates at high temperature. These metasomatic rocks, which clearly lack biological relevance, were earlier thought to be of sedimentary origin and their graphite association provided the basis for inferences about early life. The new observations thus call for a reassessment of previously presented evidence for ancient traces of life in the highly metamorphosed Early Archaean rock record.

  3. Reassessing the evidence for the earliest traces of life.

    PubMed

    van Zuilen, Mark A; Lepland, Aivo; Arrhenius, Gustaf

    2002-08-01

    The isotopic composition of graphite is commonly used as a biomarker in the oldest (>3.5 Gyr ago) highly metamorphosed terrestrial rocks. Earlier studies on isotopic characteristics of graphite occurring in rocks of the approximately 3.8-Gyr-old Isua supracrustal belt (ISB) in southern West Greenland have suggested the presence of a vast microbial ecosystem in the early Archean. This interpretation, however, has to be approached with extreme care. Here we show that graphite occurs abundantly in secondary carbonate veins in the ISB that are formed at depth in the crust by injection of hot fluids reacting with older crustal rocks (metasomatism). During these reactions, graphite forms from the disproportionation of Fe(II)-bearing carbonates at high temperature. These metasomatic rocks, which clearly lack biological relevance, were earlier thought to be of sedimentary origin and their graphite association provided the basis for inferences about early life. The new observations thus call for a reassessment of previously presented evidence for ancient traces of life in the highly metamorphosed Early Archaean rock record.

  4. The Earliest Fossil Evidence for Life on Land and the Freshwater Origin of Algae?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Battison, L.; Brasier, M. D.; Antcliffe, J. B.

    2009-04-01

    Some 150 years ago, in 1859, Charles Darwin was greatly puzzled by a seeming absence of fossils in rocks older than the Cambrian period. He drew attention to a veritable Lost World that it is now known to have spanned more than 80 per cent of Earth History. And he made a prediction that we here bring again into focus: 'The presence of phosphate nodules and bituminous matter in some of the lowest azoic rocks probably indicates the former existence of life at these periods (Darwin 1859, p.307). His prediction came to fruition in 1899, when Sir Archibald Geikie announced to the world the first discovery of genuine microfossils in Precambrian phosphatic rocks, made by Jephro Teall, Ben Peach and John Horne within the Torridonian rocks of Scotland. The Torridonian phosphate of NW Scotland has, however, been rather little studied until recently. It is remarkable for its fidelity of fossil preservation, and also for its non-marine depositional setting. Dating to the end of the Mesoproterozoic Era around 1Ga ago, thick packages of fluvial sandstones are found to serve the remains of very ancient intermontane lake ecosystems. Fossil assemblages from terrestrial settings are rarely seen before the Devonian ~ 350 Ma ago. Evidence for freshwater and terrestrial life in the Precambrian has therefore been circumstantial rather than detailed and none has yet come from freshwater phosphate. We here demonstrate that phosphate from ~ 1200-1000 Ma Mesoproterozoic lake sediments of the Torridon Group preserve a remarkable suite of organisms forming a freshwater, terrestrial, phototrophic ecosystem. Ephemeral lakes and streams developed in intermontane basins within the interior of the supercontinent of Rodinia and periodically experienced prolonged desiccation allowing phosphate precipitation. The microbiology of these lake sediments is being studied in detail, where they are yielding - with the aid of Automontage - fresh evidence for the earliest known terrestrial ecology and

  5. Evaluating the earliest traces of Archean sub-seafloor life by NanoSIMS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mcloughlin, N.; Grosch, E. G.; Kilburn, M.; Wacey, D.

    2012-12-01

    The Paleoarchean sub-seafloor has been proposed as an environment for the emergence of life with titanite microtextures in pillow lavas argued to be the earliest traces of microbial micro-tunneling (Furnes et al. 2004). Here we use a nano-scale ion microprobe (NanoSIMS) to evaluate possible geochemical traces of life in 3.45 Ga pillow lavas of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa. We investigated both surface and drill core samples from the original "Biomarker" outcrop in the Hooggenoeg Fm. Pillow lava metavolcanic glass contain clusters of segmented microcrystalline titanite filaments, ~4μm across and <200μm in length. Their size, shape and distribution have been directly compared to those found in recent oceanic crust. Thus it has been argued that they are the mineralized remains of tunnels formed by microbes that etched volcanic glass in the Archean sub-seafloor (Furnes et al 2004; Banerjee et al. 2006). Elemental mapping by NanoSIMS was undertaken to investigate reports of enrichments in carbon (possibly also nitrogen) along the margins of the microtextures previously interpreted as decayed cellular remains. We mapped for 12C-, 26CN-, 32S- along with 16O-, 28Si-, 24Mg+,27Al+, 40Ca+, 48Ti+ and 56Fe+ in chlorite and quartz hosted examples. The 12C- or 26CN- linings were not found along the margins of the microtextures in neither the original, nor the drill core samples, despite NanoSIMS being a more sensitive and higher-spatial-resolution technique than earlier microprobe X-ray maps. The absence of organic linings in these samples excludes a key line of evidence previously used to support the biogenicity of the microtextures. Sulfur isotopes 32S and 34S were measured by NanoSIMS on two types of sulfide: i) small sulfides (1-15μm) intimately associated with the microtextures and; ii) larger sulfides (10-60μm) that cross-cut the microtextures and are disseminated near a quartz-carbonate vein. The sulfide inclusions in the microtextures have strongly

  6. Abiotic Earth - Establishing a Baseline for Earliest Life, Data from the Archean of Western Australia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindsay, J. F.; Brasier, M. D.; McLoughlin, N.; Green, O. R.; Fogel, M.; McNamara, K. M.; Steele, A.; Mertzman, S. A.

    2003-01-01

    Stromatolitic structures preserved at two stratigraphic levels within the 3.47-3.43 Ga Warrawoona Group of Western Australia have been interpreted as some of "the least controversial evidence of early life on earth" and "the oldest firmly established biogenic deposits now known from the geologic record". The structures were said to have formed in a shallow sub-tidal to intertidal setting as part of an evaporite succession. In an extensive field program we have re-evaluated exposures of the Strelley Pool Chert from which stromatolites have been described and carried out detailed mapping and sampling of the Strelley Pool West site 13.7 km west of the type locality. Data from our ongoing program cast considerable doubt on the biogenic origins of the stromatolitic structures and on the nature of their depositional setting.

  7. Functional Capabilities of the Earliest Peptides and the Emergence of Life

    PubMed Central

    Milner-White, E. James; Russell, Michael J.

    2011-01-01

    Considering how biological macromolecules first evolved, probably within a marine environment, it seems likely the very earliest peptides were not encoded by nucleic acids, or at least not via the genetic code as we know it. An objective of the present work is to demonstrate that sequence-independent peptides, or peptides with variable and unreliable lengths and sequences, have the potential to perform a variety of chemically useful functions such as anion and cation binding and membrane and channel formation as well as simple types of catalysis. These functions tend to be performed with the assistance of the main chain CONH atoms rather than the more variable or limited side chain atoms of the peptides presumed to exist then. PMID:24710286

  8. The breath of life: an essay on the earliest history of respiration: part ii.

    PubMed

    Gandevia, B

    1970-06-01

    It is to ancient Greek civilization that we must look for the first groping steps towards a naturalistic concept of respiration, although we shall not, of course, expect to find one which is consistent with modern views. Nearly a millennium before Christ, Homer wrote of the gods as more less predictable and very human beings, deserving more of admiration and emulation than worship; they took a fairly commonsense view of man's earthly pursuits, and left him a measure of control over his own destiny. From this relatively disrespectful state-by comparison with primitive or Old Testament views-it is but a stage to a rationalistic view of the universe, that is, to science, and this step was taken about three centuries later (6th century B.C.) by Thales, Anaximander and Anaximenes. We cannot pause to consider their views in detail, nor can we digress, as strictly we should, to consider the emerging relationship between philosophy and science. Suffice it to say that these first philosopher-scientists sought to explain the universe and life in rational terms, basing their rationalizations-we might say extrapolations-on certain specific observations of natural phenomena. The latter were concerned, in the main, with the interrelationships of basic substances (ultimately regarded as the four elements) such as fire, earth, air and water. Water, for example, could be condensed to form earth, or rarefied to form mist and vapour.

  9. A hypothesis about cellular signaling with nitric oxide in the earliest life forms in evolution.

    PubMed

    Murad, Ferid; Barber, Roger

    2009-11-01

    We propose that nitric oxide participated as an extracellular and intracellular messenger in the early evolution of life. From a toxic and noxious substance it evolved into an important material for cellular communication and regulation with unique chemistry and properties. The presence of some nitric oxide complexes in extraterrestrial samples may support evidence for life forms in the past or present. Although nitric oxide probably participated in the evolution and maintenance of life, if pollution continues at an ever-increasing rate, it could also end life on the planet as we know it today.

  10. Metasomatic origin of quartz-pyroxene rock, Akilia, Greenland, and implications for Earth's earliest life.

    PubMed

    Fedo, Christopher M; Whitehouse, Martin J

    2002-05-24

    A quartz-pyroxene rock interpreted as a banded iron formation (BIF) from the island of Akilia, southwest Greenland, contains (13)C-depleted graphite that has been claimed as evidence for the oldest (>3850 million years ago) life on Earth. Field relationships on Akilia document multiple intense deformation events that have resulted in parallel transposition of Early Archean rocks and significant boudinage, the tails of which commonly form the banding in the quartz-pyroxene rock. Geochemical data possess distinct characteristics consistent with an ultramafic igneous, not BIF, protolith for this lithology and the adjacent schists. Later metasomatic silica and iron introduction have merely resulted in a rock that superficially resembles a BIF. An ultramafic igneous origin invalidates claims that the carbon isotopic composition of graphite inclusions represents evidence for life at the time of crystallization.

  11. Identification of candidate molecules for the building blocks of life's earliest polymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hud, Nicholas

    2016-07-01

    Chemists have yet to find a plausible prebiotic route to RNA polymers, and most proposed mechanisms for prebiotic peptide synthesis are inefficient. We are exploring the hypothesis that RNA and peptides have both evolved from polymers with different chemical structures. We have found that molecules closely related to amino acids and the nucleobases of RNA, which were likely present on the prebiotic Earth, greatly facilitate the formation of polypeptides and RNA-like structures (Chen et al., 2014; Forsythe et al., 2015). The identification of molecules that may have served as precursors to the building blocks of extant polymers, or as prebiotic catalysts for biopolymer formation, has direct implications regarding which molecules that should be considered as possible signs of chemistries that can support the emergence of life in the universe. Furthermore, the possibility that life started with molecules that can be repeatedly cycled between their monomeric and polymeric states, as is still the case with extant biopolymers, suggests environmental characteristics that would have facilitated the formation and early evolution of functional biopolymers (Walker et al., 2012). M. C. Chen, et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2014, 136, 5640-5646 J. G. Forsythe, et al., Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. Engl., 2015, 54, 9871-9875. M.A. Walker, et al., PLoS ONE, 2012, 7, e34166.

  12. Web life: Ask Nature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2012-11-01

    Ask Nature is a site devoted to biomimicry, an interdisciplinary field in which practitioners study how animals and plants solve problems, and then use those solutions to develop better human technologies.

  13. From the Earliest Evidence of Life to Complex Single-cell Organisms: The First 3 Gyr on Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buick, Roger

    2006-12-01

    Life has probably been present on Earth since the time of the oldest sedimentary rock record 3.8 Gyr ago, as indicated by graphite with light carbon isotope ratios consistent with derivation from organic matter. But certain evidence for life appears only at 3.52 Gyr, in the form of kerogen (insoluble organic matter) in sedimentary carbonate showing a -25‰ carbon isotope fractionation identical to that imparted by biological carbon fixation. Soon after, at 3.48 Gyr, the first visible evidence for life appears as stromatolites (sediment mounds constructed by microbes), as well as the first evidence for a specific metabolism (large negative sulfur isotope fractionations indicating microbial sulfate reduction). By 2.7 Gyr ago, molecular biomarkers (hydrocarbons derived from biomolecules with distinctive carbon skeletons such as steroids) indicate that all 3 Domains of life: bacteria, eukaryotes (organisms with compartmentalized cells like us) and archaea (bacteria-like organisms with different biochemistry, often inhabiting extreme environments); had evolved. The first multicellular eukaryotes appeared by 1.84 Gyr in the form of fossilized filamentous algae, after the atmosphere changed from anoxic to moderately oxygenated at 2.4 Gyr and following a series of extreme “Snowball Earth” glaciations between 2.4-2.2 Gyr. Planktonic algae diversified thereafter and modern algal groups arose 1.2 Gyr ago, apparently at the end of a prolonged period of ocean anoxia when the deep sea was sulfidic and presumably toxic. Animal evolution was delayed until 0.65 Gyr ago when biomarkers for sponges first appear in the record, evidently after a further rise in atmospheric oxygen to modern levels but surprisingly pre-dating the last of another series of “Snowball Earth” glaciations. These sponges co-existed with an enigmatic extinct group of large flat marine organisms called “Ediacaran fossils” that may have been ancestral to modern animal groups but might also have been

  14. The physical nature of life.

    PubMed

    Kalmijn, Ad J; Gonzalez, Ivan Fernando; McClune, Michael C

    2002-01-01

    Life evolved from the primeval world of physics. Sensory systems inform animals of the natural environment, enabling them to conduct responsively. The discovery of weak, DC bioelectric fields in the vicinity of aquatic organisms and the role they play in guiding sharks and rays to their prey have led to the recognition of fundamental, hitherto less well known, physical aspects of sensory biology. The inferred cybernetic algorithm of electric-field orientation in sharks and rays is highly effective and extremely robust. In orienting to the weak DC electric fields of ocean currents and to the earth's magnetic field, sharks and rays unwittingly practise the motional-electric principles that Einstein had in mind when he introduced the special theory of relativity. At the sense-organ, receptor-membrane, and ion-channel levels, the elasmobranch ampullae of Lorenzini operate on the basis of graded positive feedback driven by negative conductance, supposedly employing voltage-sensitive ion channels as the active, excitable elements. The electric sense of sharks and rays presents an exquisite implementation of the very biophysical principles that also govern the graded, much richer than all-or-none, integrative brain processes of animal and man. PMID:14692484

  15. Geological constraints on detecting the earliest life on Earth: a perspective from the Early Archaean (older than 3.7 Gyr) of southwest Greenland

    PubMed Central

    Fedo, Christopher M; Whitehouse, Martin J; Kamber, Balz S

    2006-01-01

    At greater than 3.7 Gyr, Earth's oldest known supracrustal rocks, comprised dominantly of mafic igneous with less common sedimentary units including banded iron formation (BIF), are exposed in southwest Greenland. Regionally, they were intruded by younger tonalites, and then both were intensely dynamothermally metamorphosed to granulite facies (the highest pressures and temperatures generally encountered in the Earth's crust during metamorphism) in the Archaean and subsequently at lower grades until about 1500 Myr ago. Claims for the first preserved life on Earth have been based on the occurrence of greater than 3.8 Gyr isotopically light C occurring as graphite inclusions within apatite crystals from a 5 m thick purported BIF on the island of Akilia. Detailed geologic mapping and observations there indicate that the banding, first claimed to be depositional, is clearly deformational in origin. Furthermore, the mineralogy of the supposed BIF, being dominated by pyroxene, amphibole and quartz, is unlike well-known BIF from the Isua Greenstone Belt (IGB), but resembles enclosing mafic and ultramafic igneous rocks modified by metasomatism and repeated metamorphic recrystallization. This scenario parsimoniously links the geology, whole-rock geochemistry, 2.7 Gyr single crystal zircon ages in the unit, an approximately 1500 Myr age for apatites that lack any graphite, non-MIF sulphur isotopes in the unit and an inconclusive Fe isotope signature. Although both putative body fossils and carbon-12 enriched isotopes in graphite described at Isua are better explained by abiotic processes, more fruitful targets for examining the earliest stages in the emergence of life remain within greater than 3.7 Gyr IGB, which preserves BIF and other rocks that unambiguously formed at Earth's surface. PMID:16754603

  16. Geological constraints on detecting the earliest life on Earth: a perspective from the Early Archaean (older than 3.7 Gyr) of southwest Greenland.

    PubMed

    Fedo, Christopher M; Whitehouse, Martin J; Kamber, Balz S

    2006-06-29

    At greater than 3.7 Gyr, Earth's oldest known supracrustal rocks, comprised dominantly of mafic igneous with less common sedimentary units including banded iron formation (BIF), are exposed in southwest Greenland. Regionally, they were intruded by younger tonalites, and then both were intensely dynamothermally metamorphosed to granulite facies (the highest pressures and temperatures generally encountered in the Earth's crust during metamorphism) in the Archaean and subsequently at lower grades until about 1500 Myr ago. Claims for the first preserved life on Earth have been based on the occurrence of greater than 3.8 Gyr isotopically light C occurring as graphite inclusions within apatite crystals from a 5 m thick purported BIF on the island of Akilia. Detailed geologic mapping and observations there indicate that the banding, first claimed to be depositional, is clearly deformational in origin. Furthermore, the mineralogy of the supposed BIF, being dominated by pyroxene, amphibole and quartz, is unlike well-known BIF from the Isua Greenstone Belt (IGB), but resembles enclosing mafic and ultramafic igneous rocks modified by metasomatism and repeated metamorphic recrystallization. This scenario parsimoniously links the geology, whole-rock geochemistry, 2.7 Gyr single crystal zircon ages in the unit, an approximately 1500 Myr age for apatites that lack any graphite, non-MIF sulphur isotopes in the unit and an inconclusive Fe isotope signature. Although both putative body fossils and carbon-12 enriched isotopes in graphite described at Isua are better explained by abiotic processes, more fruitful targets for examining the earliest stages in the emergence of life remain within greater than 3.7 Gyr IGB, which preserves BIF and other rocks that unambiguously formed at Earth's surface. PMID:16754603

  17. Geological constraints on detecting the earliest life on Earth: a perspective from the Early Archaean (older than 3.7 Gyr) of southwest Greenland.

    PubMed

    Fedo, Christopher M; Whitehouse, Martin J; Kamber, Balz S

    2006-06-29

    At greater than 3.7 Gyr, Earth's oldest known supracrustal rocks, comprised dominantly of mafic igneous with less common sedimentary units including banded iron formation (BIF), are exposed in southwest Greenland. Regionally, they were intruded by younger tonalites, and then both were intensely dynamothermally metamorphosed to granulite facies (the highest pressures and temperatures generally encountered in the Earth's crust during metamorphism) in the Archaean and subsequently at lower grades until about 1500 Myr ago. Claims for the first preserved life on Earth have been based on the occurrence of greater than 3.8 Gyr isotopically light C occurring as graphite inclusions within apatite crystals from a 5 m thick purported BIF on the island of Akilia. Detailed geologic mapping and observations there indicate that the banding, first claimed to be depositional, is clearly deformational in origin. Furthermore, the mineralogy of the supposed BIF, being dominated by pyroxene, amphibole and quartz, is unlike well-known BIF from the Isua Greenstone Belt (IGB), but resembles enclosing mafic and ultramafic igneous rocks modified by metasomatism and repeated metamorphic recrystallization. This scenario parsimoniously links the geology, whole-rock geochemistry, 2.7 Gyr single crystal zircon ages in the unit, an approximately 1500 Myr age for apatites that lack any graphite, non-MIF sulphur isotopes in the unit and an inconclusive Fe isotope signature. Although both putative body fossils and carbon-12 enriched isotopes in graphite described at Isua are better explained by abiotic processes, more fruitful targets for examining the earliest stages in the emergence of life remain within greater than 3.7 Gyr IGB, which preserves BIF and other rocks that unambiguously formed at Earth's surface.

  18. Pox Pottery: Earliest Identified Mexican Ceramic.

    PubMed

    Brush, C F

    1965-07-01

    The earliest known ceramics from Mexico, termed "Pox Pottery," may mark the transition from a nomadic to a settled way of life. The presence of "Pox Pottery" in both coastal Guerrero and the Tehuacan Valley might provide evidence as to the type of environment in which this change first occurred.

  19. The Earliest Matches

    PubMed Central

    Goren-Inbar, Naama; Freikman, Michael; Garfinkel, Yosef; Goring-Morris, Nigel A.; Grosman, Leore

    2012-01-01

    Cylindrical objects made usually of fired clay but sometimes of stone were found at the Yarmukian Pottery Neolithic sites of Sha‘ar HaGolan and Munhata (first half of the 8th millennium BP) in the Jordan Valley. Similar objects have been reported from other Near Eastern Pottery Neolithic sites. Most scholars have interpreted them as cultic objects in the shape of phalli, while others have referred to them in more general terms as “clay pestles,” “clay rods,” and “cylindrical clay objects.” Re-examination of these artifacts leads us to present a new interpretation of their function and to suggest a reconstruction of their technology and mode of use. We suggest that these objects were components of fire drills and consider them the earliest evidence of a complex technology of fire ignition, which incorporates the cylindrical objects in the role of matches. PMID:22870306

  20. Natural products in modern life science

    PubMed Central

    Göransson, Ulf; Alsmark, Cecilia; Wedén, Christina; Backlund, Anders

    2010-01-01

    questions in Nature can be of value to increase the attraction for young students in modern life science. PMID:20700376

  1. Effects of growth on natural resource life

    SciTech Connect

    Armstead, C.

    1980-04-01

    Mr. Armstead says that forecasts of abundant natural resources should be examined with suspicion to see if they have taken account of the distortion that growth factor can give to long-term predictions. Failure to incorporate the influence of exponential growth on a resource's life expectancy leads to distorted calculations based on time and obscures the fact that a reduced growth rate can contribute more than discovering new reserves. Neither organisms or organizations can sustain indefinite exponential growth because of the earth's finite limitations. Nonrenewable resources tend to follow a transitory pattern of rapid growth, followed by a slowing down and then decline. 3 figures. (DCK)

  2. The earliest pigeon fanciers

    PubMed Central

    Blasco, Ruth; Finlayson, Clive; Rosell, Jordi; Marco, Antonio Sánchez; Finlayson, Stewart; Finlayson, Geraldine; Negro, Juan José; Pacheco, Francisco Giles; Vidal, Joaquín Rodríguez

    2014-01-01

    Feral Pigeons have colonised all corners of the Earth, having developed a close association with humans and their activities. The wild ancestor of the Feral Pigeon, the Rock Dove, is a species of rocky habitats, nesting typically on cliff ledges and at the entrance to large caves. This habit would have brought them into close contact with cave-dwelling humans, a relationship usually linked to the development of dwellings in the Neolithic. We show that the association between humans and Rock Doves is an ancient one with its roots in the Palaeolithic and predates the arrival of modern humans into Europe. At Gorham's Cave, Gibraltar, the Neanderthals exploited Rock Doves for food for a period of over 40 thousand years, the earliest evidence dating to at least 67 thousand years ago. We show that the exploitation was not casual or sporadic, having found repeated evidence of the practice in different, widely spaced, temporal contexts within the cave. Our results point to hitherto unappreciated capacities of the Neanderthals to exploit birds as food resources on a regular basis. More so, they were practising it long before the arrival of modern humans and had therefore invented it independently. PMID:25101932

  3. The earliest pigeon fanciers.

    PubMed

    Blasco, Ruth; Finlayson, Clive; Rosell, Jordi; Marco, Antonio Sánchez; Finlayson, Stewart; Finlayson, Geraldine; Negro, Juan José; Pacheco, Francisco Giles; Vidal, Joaquín Rodríguez

    2014-01-01

    Feral Pigeons have colonised all corners of the Earth, having developed a close association with humans and their activities. The wild ancestor of the Feral Pigeon, the Rock Dove, is a species of rocky habitats, nesting typically on cliff ledges and at the entrance to large caves. This habit would have brought them into close contact with cave-dwelling humans, a relationship usually linked to the development of dwellings in the Neolithic. We show that the association between humans and Rock Doves is an ancient one with its roots in the Palaeolithic and predates the arrival of modern humans into Europe. At Gorham's Cave, Gibraltar, the Neanderthals exploited Rock Doves for food for a period of over 40 thousand years, the earliest evidence dating to at least 67 thousand years ago. We show that the exploitation was not casual or sporadic, having found repeated evidence of the practice in different, widely spaced, temporal contexts within the cave. Our results point to hitherto unappreciated capacities of the Neanderthals to exploit birds as food resources on a regular basis. More so, they were practising it long before the arrival of modern humans and had therefore invented it independently.

  4. The web of life: Natural science information on the Internet

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clement, Gail

    2000-01-01

    As society has come to equate economic prosperity with the health of our living resources, national science policy has called for the development of a comprehensive digital knowledge base to support informed decision making and wise resource management. The Internet and World Wide Web demonstrate the earliest stages of this evolving virtual library of the natural world, offering an increasing array of high-quality, innovative resources and services in the natural science arena. This article discusses the leading providers of natural science information on the Internet and highlights some of the exemplary resources they are delivering online. The discussion concludes with a brief discussion of the role of the librarian in developing the Web of natural science knowledge online and provides a short Webliography of starting points for further exploration of this subject area. PDF

  5. Earth's earliest atmospheres.

    PubMed

    Zahnle, Kevin; Schaefer, Laura; Fegley, Bruce

    2010-10-01

    Earth is the one known example of an inhabited planet and to current knowledge the likeliest site of the one known origin of life. Here we discuss the origin of Earth's atmosphere and ocean and some of the environmental conditions of the early Earth as they may relate to the origin of life. A key punctuating event in the narrative is the Moon-forming impact, partly because it made Earth for a short time absolutely uninhabitable, and partly because it sets the boundary conditions for Earth's subsequent evolution. If life began on Earth, as opposed to having migrated here, it would have done so after the Moon-forming impact. What took place before the Moon formed determined the bulk properties of the Earth and probably determined the overall compositions and sizes of its atmospheres and oceans. What took place afterward animated these materials. One interesting consequence of the Moon-forming impact is that the mantle is devolatized, so that the volatiles subsequently fell out in a kind of condensation sequence. This ensures that the volatiles were concentrated toward the surface so that, for example, the oceans were likely salty from the start. We also point out that an atmosphere generated by impact degassing would tend to have a composition reflective of the impacting bodies (rather than the mantle), and these are almost without exception strongly reducing and volatile-rich. A consequence is that, although CO- or methane-rich atmospheres are not necessarily stable as steady states, they are quite likely to have existed as long-lived transients, many times. With CO comes abundant chemical energy in a metastable package, and with methane comes hydrogen cyanide and ammonia as important albeit less abundant gases.

  6. The earliest seeds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gillespie, W.H.; Rothwell, G.W.; Scheckler, S.E.

    1981-01-01

    Lagenostomalean-type seeds in bifurcating cupule systems have been discovered in the late Devonian Hampshire Formation of Randolph County, West Virginia, USA (Fig. 1). The associated megaflora, plants from coal balls, and vertebrate and invertebrate faunas demonstrate that the material is Famennian; the microflora indicates a more specific Fa2c age. Consequently, these seeds predate Archaeosperma arnoldii1 from the Fa2d of northeastern Pennsylvania, the oldest previously reported seed. By applying precision fracture, transfer, de??gagement, and thin-section techniques to selected cupules from the more than 100 specimens on hand, we have determined the three-dimensional morphology and histology of the seeds (Fig. 2a-h, k) and cupule systems. A comparison with known late Devonian to early Carboniferous seeds reveals that ours are more primitively organized than all except Genomosperma2,3. ?? 1981 Nature Publishing Group.

  7. Using Plants to Explore the Nature & Structural Complexity of Life

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howard, Ava R.

    2014-01-01

    Use of real specimens brings the study of biology to life. This activity brings easily acquired plant specimens into the classroom to tackle common alternative conceptions regarding life, size, complexity, the nature of science, and plants as multicellular organisms. The activity occurs after a discussion of the characteristics of life and engages…

  8. Ultraviolet selection pressure on the earliest organisms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sagan, C.

    1973-01-01

    It had been proposed by Sagan (1957, 1961) that UV light, partially penetrating the primitive reducing atmosphere of the earth, posed a major problem for the earliest evolution of life. This argument is now updated and refined. The picture of a secondary reducing atmosphere is presented. It is assumed that an excess of hydrogen from this atmosphere has already escaped to space. The genetic material surrounded itself as a solution to the UV selection pressure with bases or nucleotides having no function whatever in replication or protein synthesis.

  9. Earliest Life on Earth Preserved in Hotspring Deposits: Evidence from the 3.5 Ga Dresser Formation, Pilbara Craton, Australia, and Implications for the Search for Life on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Kranendonk, M. J.; Djokic, T.; Campbell, K. A.; Walter, M. R.; Oto, T.; Nakamura, E.

    2016-05-01

    A variety of biosignatures preserved in hotspring facies from the c. 3.5 Ga Dresser Formation, Australia, lends support to an origin of life in terrestrial hotsprings, and have profound implications for the search for life on Mars.

  10. [Hans Jonas: Nature Conservation, Conservation of Life].

    PubMed

    Burgui Burgui, Mario

    2015-01-01

    This article discusses three of the problems that the German philosopher Hans Jonas studied. The first one addresses the need for a specific ethic dedicated to the moral dimension of environmental problems, from a different perspective to the traditional. The second problem is crucial in the discussion on environmental ethics: the value of the nature. Does the nature have an intrinsic value or an instrumental value only (to satisfy the interests of the human being)? The thesis of Jonas, which claimed that nature is a good in itself, were further elaborated here. And the third problem is the derivation of moral norms and the role of man in this ethic that recognizes a good in itself in nature. According to Jonas, the human being is not diminished by recognizing the intrinsic value of nature, since the man's uniqueness and value are unquestionable. From these three central issues, the paper highlights the importance of seeking the links between bioethics and environmental ethics to address the current environmental, social and economic crisis.

  11. Natural disasters: forecasting economic and life losses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nishenko, Stuart P.; Barton, Christopher C.

    1997-01-01

    Events such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and tornadoes are natural disasters because they negatively impact society, and so they must be measured and understood in human-related terms. At the U.S. Geological Survey, we have developed a new method to examine fatality and dollar-loss data, and to make probabilistic estimates of the frequency and magnitude of future events. This information is vital to large sectors of society including disaster relief agencies and insurance companies.

  12. The changing nature of life cycle assessment

    PubMed Central

    McManus, Marcelle C.; Taylor, Caroline M.

    2015-01-01

    LCA has evolved from its origins in energy analysis in the 1960s and 70s into a wide ranging tool used to determine impacts of products or systems over several environmental and resource issues. The approach has become more prevalent in research, industry and policy. Its use continues to expand as it seeks to encompass impacts as diverse as resource accounting and social well being. Carbon policy for bioenergy has driven many of these changes. Enabling assessment of complex issues over a life cycle basis is beneficial, but the process is sometimes difficult. LCA's use in framing is increasingly complex and more uncertain, and in some cases, irreconcilable. The charged environment surrounding biofuels and bioenergy exacerbates all of these. Reaching its full potential to help guide difficult policy discussions and emerging research involves successfully managing LCA's transition from attributional to consequential and from retrospective to prospective. This paper examines LCA's on-going evolution and its use within bioenergy deployment. The management of methodological growth in the context of the unique challenges associated with bioenergy and biofuels is explored. Changes seen in bioenergy LCA will bleed into other LCA arenas, especially where it is important that a sustainable solution is chosen. PMID:26664146

  13. The earliest known sauropod dinosaur.

    PubMed

    Buffetaut, E; Suteethorn, V; Cuny, G; Tong, H; Le Loeuff, J; Khansubha, S; Jongautchariyakul, S

    2000-09-01

    Sauropods were a very successful group of dinosaurs during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, but their earlier history is poorly known. Until now, the earliest reported sauropod bones were from the Early Jurassic, and the only tentative evidence of earlier sauropods was in the form of controversial footprints. Here we report the discovery of an incomplete sauropod skeleton from the Late Triassic period of Thailand, which provides the first osteological evidence of pre-Jurassic sauropods. This dinosaur is markedly different from prosauropods and substantiates theoretical predictions that there was a fairly long period of sauropod evolution during the Triassic. PMID:10993074

  14. The earliest known sauropod dinosaur.

    PubMed

    Buffetaut, E; Suteethorn, V; Cuny, G; Tong, H; Le Loeuff, J; Khansubha, S; Jongautchariyakul, S

    2000-09-01

    Sauropods were a very successful group of dinosaurs during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, but their earlier history is poorly known. Until now, the earliest reported sauropod bones were from the Early Jurassic, and the only tentative evidence of earlier sauropods was in the form of controversial footprints. Here we report the discovery of an incomplete sauropod skeleton from the Late Triassic period of Thailand, which provides the first osteological evidence of pre-Jurassic sauropods. This dinosaur is markedly different from prosauropods and substantiates theoretical predictions that there was a fairly long period of sauropod evolution during the Triassic.

  15. Diet and the evolution of the earliest human ancestors.

    PubMed

    Teaford, M F; Ungar, P S

    2000-12-01

    Over the past decade, discussions of the evolution of the earliest human ancestors have focused on the locomotion of the australopithecines. Recent discoveries in a broad range of disciplines have raised important questions about the influence of ecological factors in early human evolution. Here we trace the cranial and dental traits of the early australopithecines through time, to show that between 4.4 million and 2.3 million years ago, the dietary capabilities of the earliest hominids changed dramatically, leaving them well suited for life in a variety of habitats and able to cope with significant changes in resource availability associated with long-term and short-term climatic fluctuations.

  16. The earliest known holometabolous insects.

    PubMed

    Nel, André; Roques, Patrick; Nel, Patricia; Prokin, Alexander A; Bourgoin, Thierry; Prokop, Jakub; Szwedo, Jacek; Azar, Dany; Desutter-Grandcolas, Laure; Wappler, Torsten; Garrouste, Romain; Coty, David; Huang, Diying; Engel, Michael S; Kirejtshuk, Alexander G

    2013-11-14

    The Eumetabola (Endopterygota (also known as Holometabola) plus Paraneoptera) have the highest number of species of any clade, and greatly contribute to animal species biodiversity. The palaeoecological circumstances that favoured their emergence and success remain an intriguing question. Recent molecular phylogenetic analyses have suggested a wide range of dates for the initial appearance of the Holometabola, from the Middle Devonian epoch (391 million years (Myr) ago) to the Late Pennsylvanian epoch (311 Myr ago), and Hemiptera (310 Myr ago). Palaeoenvironments greatly changed over these periods, with global cooling and increasing complexity of green forests. The Pennsylvanian-period crown-eumetabolan fossil record remains notably incomplete, particularly as several fossils have been erroneously considered to be stem Holometabola (Supplementary Information); the earliest definitive beetles are from the start of the Permian period. The emergence of the hymenopterids, sister group to other Holometabola, is dated between 350 and 309 Myr ago, incongruent with their current earliest record (Middle Triassic epoch). Here we describe five fossils--a Gzhelian-age stem coleopterid, a holometabolous larva of uncertain ordinal affinity, a stem hymenopterid, and early Hemiptera and Psocodea, all from the Moscovian age--and reveal a notable penecontemporaneous breadth of early eumetabolan insects. These discoveries are more congruent with current hypotheses of clade divergence. Eumetabola experienced episodes of diversification during the Bashkirian-Moscovian and the Kasimovian-Gzhelian ages. This cladogenetic activity is perhaps related to notable episodes of drying resulting from glaciations, leading to the eventual demise in Euramerica of coal-swamp ecosystems, evidenced by floral turnover during this interval. These ancient species were of very small size, living in the shadow of Palaeozoic-era 'giant' insects. Although these discoveries reveal unexpected Pennsylvanian

  17. The earliest known holometabolous insects.

    PubMed

    Nel, André; Roques, Patrick; Nel, Patricia; Prokin, Alexander A; Bourgoin, Thierry; Prokop, Jakub; Szwedo, Jacek; Azar, Dany; Desutter-Grandcolas, Laure; Wappler, Torsten; Garrouste, Romain; Coty, David; Huang, Diying; Engel, Michael S; Kirejtshuk, Alexander G

    2013-11-14

    The Eumetabola (Endopterygota (also known as Holometabola) plus Paraneoptera) have the highest number of species of any clade, and greatly contribute to animal species biodiversity. The palaeoecological circumstances that favoured their emergence and success remain an intriguing question. Recent molecular phylogenetic analyses have suggested a wide range of dates for the initial appearance of the Holometabola, from the Middle Devonian epoch (391 million years (Myr) ago) to the Late Pennsylvanian epoch (311 Myr ago), and Hemiptera (310 Myr ago). Palaeoenvironments greatly changed over these periods, with global cooling and increasing complexity of green forests. The Pennsylvanian-period crown-eumetabolan fossil record remains notably incomplete, particularly as several fossils have been erroneously considered to be stem Holometabola (Supplementary Information); the earliest definitive beetles are from the start of the Permian period. The emergence of the hymenopterids, sister group to other Holometabola, is dated between 350 and 309 Myr ago, incongruent with their current earliest record (Middle Triassic epoch). Here we describe five fossils--a Gzhelian-age stem coleopterid, a holometabolous larva of uncertain ordinal affinity, a stem hymenopterid, and early Hemiptera and Psocodea, all from the Moscovian age--and reveal a notable penecontemporaneous breadth of early eumetabolan insects. These discoveries are more congruent with current hypotheses of clade divergence. Eumetabola experienced episodes of diversification during the Bashkirian-Moscovian and the Kasimovian-Gzhelian ages. This cladogenetic activity is perhaps related to notable episodes of drying resulting from glaciations, leading to the eventual demise in Euramerica of coal-swamp ecosystems, evidenced by floral turnover during this interval. These ancient species were of very small size, living in the shadow of Palaeozoic-era 'giant' insects. Although these discoveries reveal unexpected Pennsylvanian

  18. Oxygen requirements of the earliest animals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mills, Daniel B.; Ward, Lewis M.; Jones, CarriAyne; Sweeten, Brittany; Forth, Michael; Treusch, Alexander H.; Canfield, Donald E.

    2014-03-01

    A rise in the oxygen content of the atmosphere and oceans is one of the most popular explanations for the relatively late and abrupt appearance of animal life on Earth. In this scenario, Earth's surface environment failed to meet the high oxygen requirements of animals up until the middle to late Neoproterozoic Era (850-542 million years ago), when oxygen concentrations sufficiently rose to permit the existence of animal life for the first time. Although multiple lines of geochemical evidence support an oxygenation of the Ediacaran oceans (635-542 million years ago), roughly corresponding with the first appearance of metazoans in the fossil record, the oxygen requirements of basal animals remain unclear. Here we show that modern demosponges, serving as analogs for early animals, can survive under low-oxygen conditions of 0.5-4.0% present atmospheric levels. Because the last common ancestor of metazoans likely exhibited a physiology and morphology similar to that of a modern sponge, its oxygen demands may have been met well before the enhanced oxygenation of the Ediacaran Period. Therefore, the origin of animals may not have been triggered by a contemporaneous rise in the oxygen content of the atmosphere and oceans. Instead, other ecological and developmental processes are needed to adequately explain the origin and earliest evolution of animal life on Earth.

  19. Oxygen requirements of the earliest animals

    PubMed Central

    Mills, Daniel B.; Ward, Lewis M.; Jones, CarriAyne; Sweeten, Brittany; Forth, Michael; Treusch, Alexander H.; Canfield, Donald E.

    2014-01-01

    A rise in the oxygen content of the atmosphere and oceans is one of the most popular explanations for the relatively late and abrupt appearance of animal life on Earth. In this scenario, Earth’s surface environment failed to meet the high oxygen requirements of animals up until the middle to late Neoproterozoic Era (850–542 million years ago), when oxygen concentrations sufficiently rose to permit the existence of animal life for the first time. Although multiple lines of geochemical evidence support an oxygenation of the Ediacaran oceans (635–542 million years ago), roughly corresponding with the first appearance of metazoans in the fossil record, the oxygen requirements of basal animals remain unclear. Here we show that modern demosponges, serving as analogs for early animals, can survive under low-oxygen conditions of 0.5–4.0% present atmospheric levels. Because the last common ancestor of metazoans likely exhibited a physiology and morphology similar to that of a modern sponge, its oxygen demands may have been met well before the enhanced oxygenation of the Ediacaran Period. Therefore, the origin of animals may not have been triggered by a contemporaneous rise in the oxygen content of the atmosphere and oceans. Instead, other ecological and developmental processes are needed to adequately explain the origin and earliest evolution of animal life on Earth. PMID:24550467

  20. On the electro-magnetic nature of life.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, J I

    1989-01-01

    Man has wondered since the dawning of thought about the origin and the meaning of the spark of life. How does life work and what is the difference between life and non-life? This paper wonders about the part that electromagnetism plays in the life process. It proposes a new insight into the relation of in vivo electromagnetic fields and gravitational fields and discusses such manifestations as solitons, the quantum hall effect, gravity waves, biological strings, biologically closed electric circuits, phonos and the piezoelectric nature of living tissue. It proposes a new and fundamental form of resonance, called Jacobson resonance. The system unifies quantum genetic characters and associated structures with electromagnetic field interaction energies. The result is the reorientation of atomic crystal lattice structures of organic molecules critical to the sustenance of life. A new treatment methodology is proposed for genomic, viral and trophic factor disorders essentially in terms of the potential efficacy of the magnetic force to reorient the spin angular momenta of electrons and protons; to therein rearrange atomic and molecular magnetic domains regulating homeostasis on microscopic, mesosopic and macroscopic levels through biological amplification of quantum interactions. Finally it proposes that the equation, mc2 = Bvl coulomb, may indeed represent the achievement of fourfold physical unification, the unification of physics and medicine, and resultant production of a thorough understanding of what may be the most fundamental natural law of the universe representing the ultimate goal of Einsteinian equivalence and relativistic field theory.

  1. Life-cycle analysis of shale gas and natural gas.

    SciTech Connect

    Clark, C.E.; Han, J.; Burnham, A.; Dunn, J.B.; Wang, M.

    2012-01-27

    The technologies and practices that have enabled the recent boom in shale gas production have also brought attention to the environmental impacts of its use. Using the current state of knowledge of the recovery, processing, and distribution of shale gas and conventional natural gas, we have estimated up-to-date, life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, we have developed distribution functions for key parameters in each pathway to examine uncertainty and identify data gaps - such as methane emissions from shale gas well completions and conventional natural gas liquid unloadings - that need to be addressed further. Our base case results show that shale gas life-cycle emissions are 6% lower than those of conventional natural gas. However, the range in values for shale and conventional gas overlap, so there is a statistical uncertainty regarding whether shale gas emissions are indeed lower than conventional gas emissions. This life-cycle analysis provides insight into the critical stages in the natural gas industry where emissions occur and where opportunities exist to reduce the greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas.

  2. Tales from the Underground: A Natural History of Subterranean Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balser, Teri

    We are all aware of the soil beneath our feet, yet how many of us stop and really think about it? A great diversity of life lies within the soil; it even contains organisms that have changed the course of human history In Tales from the Underground, David Wolfe takes readers on a tour of the soil and underground environment that ranges from the origins of life to the consequences of human impact on the Earth. The result is insight into a critical component of the natural world that many of us take for granted.

  3. The Origin and Earliest History of the Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halliday, A. N.

    2003-12-01

    treatment here. Furthermore, there are major gaps in our knowledge that render a comprehensive overview unworkable. The nature of the early crust (item (vii)) is poorly constrained, although some lines of evidence will be mentioned. The nature of the earliest life forms (item (viii)) is so loaded with projections into underconstrained hypothetical environments that not a great deal can be described as providing a factual basis suitable for inclusion in a reference volume at this time. Even in those areas in which geochemical constraints are more plentiful, it is essential to integrate them with astronomical observations and dynamic (physical) models of planetary growth and primary differentiation. In some cases, the various theoretical dynamic models can be tested with isotopic and geochemical methods. In other cases, it is the Earth's composition itself that has been used to erect specific accretion paradigms. Therefore, much of this background is provided in this chapter.All these models and interpretations of geochemical data involve some level of assumption in scaling the results to the big picture of the Earth. Without this, one cannot erect useful concepts that address the above issues. It is one of the main goals of this chapter to explain what these underlying assumptions are. As a consequence, this chapter focuses on the range of interpretations and uncertainties, leaving many issues "open." The chapter finishes by indicating where the main sources of uncertainty remain and what might be done about these in the future.

  4. Theory of the origin, evolution, and nature of life.

    PubMed

    Andrulis, Erik D

    2011-12-23

    Life is an inordinately complex unsolved puzzle. Despite significant theoretical progress, experimental anomalies, paradoxes, and enigmas have revealed paradigmatic limitations. Thus, the advancement of scientific understanding requires new models that resolve fundamental problems. Here, I present a theoretical framework that economically fits evidence accumulated from examinations of life. This theory is based upon a straightforward and non-mathematical core model and proposes unique yet empirically consistent explanations for major phenomena including, but not limited to, quantum gravity, phase transitions of water, why living systems are predominantly CHNOPS (carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur), homochirality of sugars and amino acids, homeoviscous adaptation, triplet code, and DNA mutations. The theoretical framework unifies the macrocosmic and microcosmic realms, validates predicted laws of nature, and solves the puzzle of the origin and evolution of cellular life in the universe.

  5. Theory of the Origin, Evolution, and Nature of Life

    PubMed Central

    Andrulis, Erik D.

    2011-01-01

    Life is an inordinately complex unsolved puzzle. Despite significant theoretical progress, experimental anomalies, paradoxes, and enigmas have revealed paradigmatic limitations. Thus, the advancement of scientific understanding requires new models that resolve fundamental problems. Here, I present a theoretical framework that economically fits evidence accumulated from examinations of life. This theory is based upon a straightforward and non-mathematical core model and proposes unique yet empirically consistent explanations for major phenomena including, but not limited to, quantum gravity, phase transitions of water, why living systems are predominantly CHNOPS (carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur), homochirality of sugars and amino acids, homeoviscous adaptation, triplet code, and DNA mutations. The theoretical framework unifies the macrocosmic and microcosmic realms, validates predicted laws of nature, and solves the puzzle of the origin and evolution of cellular life in the universe. PMID:25382118

  6. Theory of the origin, evolution, and nature of life.

    PubMed

    Andrulis, Erik D

    2011-01-01

    Life is an inordinately complex unsolved puzzle. Despite significant theoretical progress, experimental anomalies, paradoxes, and enigmas have revealed paradigmatic limitations. Thus, the advancement of scientific understanding requires new models that resolve fundamental problems. Here, I present a theoretical framework that economically fits evidence accumulated from examinations of life. This theory is based upon a straightforward and non-mathematical core model and proposes unique yet empirically consistent explanations for major phenomena including, but not limited to, quantum gravity, phase transitions of water, why living systems are predominantly CHNOPS (carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur), homochirality of sugars and amino acids, homeoviscous adaptation, triplet code, and DNA mutations. The theoretical framework unifies the macrocosmic and microcosmic realms, validates predicted laws of nature, and solves the puzzle of the origin and evolution of cellular life in the universe. PMID:25382118

  7. The role of natural selection in the origin of life.

    PubMed

    Fry, Iris

    2011-02-01

    It is commonly accepted among origin-of-life scientists that the emergence of life was an evolutionary process involving at one stage or other the working of natural selection. Researchers disagree, however, on the nature of the chemical infrastructure that could have formed prebiotically, enabling the evolutionary process. The division of the origin-of-life research community into 'geneticists' and 'metabolists' usually revolves around the issue whether the first to arise prebiotically was a genetic polymer or a primitive metabolic system. In this paper I offer an alternative classification based on the attitude to the onset of natural selection. From this perspective I add to the conventional division between gene-first and metabolism-first groups a position I call "preparatory metabolism". By this line of thought, an RNA or an RNA-like polymer could not have emerged prebiotically. Nevertheless, the onset of natural selection had to wait until such a polymer had arised. This paper examines the RNA-first, RNA-later, metabolism-first and preparatory-metabolism scenarios, assessing the weaknesses and strengths of each. I conclude that despite the recent theoretical advances in all these lines of research, and despite experimental breakthroughs, especially in overcoming several RNA-first hurdles, none of the examined paradigms has yet attained decisive experimental support. Demonstrating the evolvability of a potentially prebiotic infrastructure, whether genetic or metabolic, is a most serious challenge. So is the experimental demonstration of the emergence of such an infrastructure under prebiotic conditions. The current agenda before origin-of-life researchers of all stripes and colors is the search for the experimental means to tackle all these difficulties.

  8. Sustainable Life Cycles of Natural-Precursor-Derived Nanocarbons.

    PubMed

    Bazaka, Kateryna; Jacob, Mohan V; Ostrikov, Kostya Ken

    2016-01-13

    Sustainable societal and economic development relies on novel nanotechnologies that offer maximum efficiency at minimal environmental cost. Yet, it is very challenging to apply green chemistry approaches across the entire life cycle of nanotech products, from design and nanomaterial synthesis to utilization and disposal. Recently, novel, efficient methods based on nonequilibrium reactive plasma chemistries that minimize the process steps and dramatically reduce the use of expensive and hazardous reagents have been applied to low-cost natural and waste sources to produce value-added nanomaterials with a wide range of applications. This review discusses the distinctive effects of nonequilibrium reactive chemistries and how these effects can aid and advance the integration of sustainable chemistry into each stage of nanotech product life. Examples of the use of enabling plasma-based technologies in sustainable production and degradation of nanotech products are discussed-from selection of precursors derived from natural resources and their conversion into functional building units, to methods for green synthesis of useful naturally degradable carbon-based nanomaterials, to device operation and eventual disintegration into naturally degradable yet potentially reusable byproducts.

  9. Sustainable Life Cycles of Natural-Precursor-Derived Nanocarbons.

    PubMed

    Bazaka, Kateryna; Jacob, Mohan V; Ostrikov, Kostya Ken

    2016-01-13

    Sustainable societal and economic development relies on novel nanotechnologies that offer maximum efficiency at minimal environmental cost. Yet, it is very challenging to apply green chemistry approaches across the entire life cycle of nanotech products, from design and nanomaterial synthesis to utilization and disposal. Recently, novel, efficient methods based on nonequilibrium reactive plasma chemistries that minimize the process steps and dramatically reduce the use of expensive and hazardous reagents have been applied to low-cost natural and waste sources to produce value-added nanomaterials with a wide range of applications. This review discusses the distinctive effects of nonequilibrium reactive chemistries and how these effects can aid and advance the integration of sustainable chemistry into each stage of nanotech product life. Examples of the use of enabling plasma-based technologies in sustainable production and degradation of nanotech products are discussed-from selection of precursors derived from natural resources and their conversion into functional building units, to methods for green synthesis of useful naturally degradable carbon-based nanomaterials, to device operation and eventual disintegration into naturally degradable yet potentially reusable byproducts. PMID:26717047

  10. Natural selection drives the evolution of ant life cycles

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Edward O.; Nowak, Martin A.

    2014-01-01

    The genetic origin of advanced social organization has long been one of the outstanding problems of evolutionary biology. Here we present an analysis of the major steps in ant evolution, based for the first time, to our knowledge, on combined recent advances in paleontology, phylogeny, and the study of contemporary life histories. We provide evidence of the causal forces of natural selection shaping several key phenomena: (i) the relative lateness and rarity in geological time of the emergence of eusociality in ants and other animal phylads; (ii) the prevalence of monogamy at the time of evolutionary origin; and (iii) the female-biased sex allocation observed in many ant species. We argue that a clear understanding of the evolution of social insects can emerge if, in addition to relatedness-based arguments, we take into account key factors of natural history and study how natural selection acts on alleles that modify social behavior. PMID:25114217

  11. Fieldwork: man in the system of nature and priority of natural laws in human life.

    PubMed

    Tinyakova, Elena

    2007-06-01

    Fieldwork is a branch of inseparable unity of natural and humanitarian sciences; it is aimed at the cultural origin of humanity on the maximum level of its variety. Practically all natural sciences have some space determined by ethnic conscience in nature cognition: ethnodemography, ethnobotany, ethnozoology, etc. Fieldwork guides the research of human culture from the laws of nature. This kind of knowledge is useful to balance human relations with nature and avoid conflicts. Peoples should exchange their wisdom in the dialogue with nature to be more safe. Fieldwork understood as traditional culture only, explaining the variety of ethnoses on our earth, is just the narrow and diachronic level of this branch of knowledge. The cosmological knowledge, where fantasy and not exhausted in its cognition understanding the world of nature are mixed, forms the source of fieldwork and in many respects explains the direction of knowledge: the man finds himself under the open sky, he is the child of nature. Then as time went on there appeared a gradual transition--first nature was creating the man, then by and by he began turning to answer nature by his activity. Nowadays the man is actively creating nature. There are two levels of fieldwork: the ancient one which deals with the origin of ethnoses and the modern one which explores how contemporary life is determined by ethnic specific traits. Fieldwork is the core of multidisciplinary situation in man's knowledge. It is related to such humanitarian sciences: semiotics, culturology, sociology, history, philosophy, literature, linguistics. In the cycle of natural sciences fieldwork stands close to anthropology, geography, biology, demography. Fieldwork as a science has the two main levels--the "sophy" level and the logos "level". The first one discovers wisdom of human life, the second one is aimed at logical structuring of knowledge, here proceed various classifications of peoples.

  12. Predicting depression using earliest childhood memories.

    PubMed

    Acklin, M W; Sauer, A; Alexander, G; Dugoni, B

    1989-01-01

    In order to investigate the utility of earliest childhood memories (EMs) in clinical assessment, this study investigated the value of EMs in predicting naturally occurring depressive mood states. Of interest were those features of EMs that discriminate depressed from nondepressed individuals. Subjects were 212 undergraduate volunteers who completed the Beck Depression Inventory, the Profile of Mood States, and a self-administered EM questionnaire. Utilizing thematic predictors derived from cognitive and psychodynamic theories of depression, depressed subjects were differentiated from nondepressed subjects at a rate significantly greater than chance, p less than .001, with a highly respectable estimate of cross-validation shrinkage. The findings demonstrate the phenomenon of mood dependent recall in autobiographical memory, namely, that memory attributes are strongly influenced by current mood state. Consistent with psychodynamic theories of depression and in contrast to cognitive theory, depressive mood states appear to facilitate retrieval of memory schemas involving deprivation and disturbing human interaction. Schemas involving loss of control, failure, or reactions to noncontingent reinforcement (perceptions of the self as agent) appear less salient than relationship schemas (perceptions of the self as related) in depressive experience.

  13. Earth’s Earliest Atmospheres

    PubMed Central

    Zahnle, Kevin; Schaefer, Laura; Fegley, Bruce

    2010-01-01

    Earth is the one known example of an inhabited planet and to current knowledge the likeliest site of the one known origin of life. Here we discuss the origin of Earth’s atmosphere and ocean and some of the environmental conditions of the early Earth as they may relate to the origin of life. A key punctuating event in the narrative is the Moon-forming impact, partly because it made Earth for a short time absolutely uninhabitable, and partly because it sets the boundary conditions for Earth’s subsequent evolution. If life began on Earth, as opposed to having migrated here, it would have done so after the Moon-forming impact. What took place before the Moon formed determined the bulk properties of the Earth and probably determined the overall compositions and sizes of its atmospheres and oceans. What took place afterward animated these materials. One interesting consequence of the Moon-forming impact is that the mantle is devolatized, so that the volatiles subsequently fell out in a kind of condensation sequence. This ensures that the volatiles were concentrated toward the surface so that, for example, the oceans were likely salty from the start. We also point out that an atmosphere generated by impact degassing would tend to have a composition reflective of the impacting bodies (rather than the mantle), and these are almost without exception strongly reducing and volatile-rich. A consequence is that, although CO- or methane-rich atmospheres are not necessarily stable as steady states, they are quite likely to have existed as long-lived transients, many times. With CO comes abundant chemical energy in a metastable package, and with methane comes hydrogen cyanide and ammonia as important albeit less abundant gases. PMID:20573713

  14. Adults’ reports of their earliest memories: Consistency in events, ages, and narrative characteristics over time

    PubMed Central

    Bauer, Patricia J.; Tasdemir-Ozdes, Aylin; Larkina, Marina

    2014-01-01

    Earliest memories have been of interest since the late 1800s, when it was first noted that most adults do not have memories from the first years of life (so-called childhood amnesia). Several characteristics of adults’ earliest memories have been investigated, including emotional content, the perspective from which they are recalled, and vividness. The focus of the present research was a feature of early memories heretofore relatively neglected in the literature, namely, their consistency. Adults reported their earliest memories 2 to 4 times over a 4-year period. Reports of earliest memories were highly consistent in the events identified as the bases for earliest memories, the reported age at the time of the event, and in terms of qualities of the narrative descriptions. These findings imply stability in the boundary that marks the offset of childhood amnesia, as well as in the beginning of a continuous sense of self over time. PMID:24836979

  15. Convergent evolution as natural experiment: the tape of life reconsidered.

    PubMed

    Powell, Russell; Mariscal, Carlos

    2015-12-01

    Stephen Jay Gould argued that replaying the 'tape of life' would result in radically different evolutionary outcomes. Recently, biologists and philosophers of science have paid increasing attention to the theoretical importance of convergent evolution-the independent origination of similar biological forms and functions-which many interpret as evidence against Gould's thesis. In this paper, we examine the evidentiary relevance of convergent evolution for the radical contingency debate. We show that under the right conditions, episodes of convergent evolution can constitute valid natural experiments that support inferences regarding the deep counterfactual stability of macroevolutionary outcomes. However, we argue that proponents of convergence have problematically lumped causally heterogeneous phenomena into a single evidentiary basket, in effect treating all convergent events as if they are of equivalent theoretical import. As a result, the 'critique from convergent evolution' fails to engage with key claims of the radical contingency thesis. To remedy this, we develop ways to break down the heterogeneous set of convergent events based on the nature of the generalizations they support. Adopting this more nuanced approach to convergent evolution allows us to differentiate iterated evolutionary outcomes that are probably common among alternative evolutionary histories and subject to law-like generalizations, from those that do little to undermine and may even support, the Gouldian view of life.

  16. Diet and the evolution of the earliest human ancestors.

    PubMed

    Teaford, M F; Ungar, P S

    2000-12-01

    Over the past decade, discussions of the evolution of the earliest human ancestors have focused on the locomotion of the australopithecines. Recent discoveries in a broad range of disciplines have raised important questions about the influence of ecological factors in early human evolution. Here we trace the cranial and dental traits of the early australopithecines through time, to show that between 4.4 million and 2.3 million years ago, the dietary capabilities of the earliest hominids changed dramatically, leaving them well suited for life in a variety of habitats and able to cope with significant changes in resource availability associated with long-term and short-term climatic fluctuations. PMID:11095758

  17. Age of the earliest african anthropoids.

    PubMed

    Fleagle, J G; Bown, T M; Obradovich, J D; Simons, E L

    1986-12-01

    The earliest fossil record of African anthropoid primates (monkeys and apes) comes from the Jebel Qatrani Formation in the Fayum depression of Egypt. Reevaluation of both geologic and faunal evidence indicates that this formation was deposited in the early part of the Oligocene Epoch, more than 31 million years ago, earlier than previous estimates. The great antiquity of the fossil higher primates from Egypt accords well with their primitive morphology compared with later Old World higher primates. Thus, the anthropoid primates and hystricomorph rodents from Fayum are also considerably older than the earliest higher primates and rodents from South America. PMID:17778006

  18. [Multimedia (visual collaboration) brings true nature of human life].

    PubMed

    Tomita, N

    2000-03-01

    Videoconferencing system, high-quality visual collaboration, is bringing Multimedia into a society. Multimedia, high quality media such as TV broadcast, looks expensive because it requires broadband network with 100-200 Mpbs bandwidth or 3,700 analog telephone lines. However, thanks to the existing digital-line called N-ISDN (Narrow Integrated Service Digital Network) and PictureTel's audio/video compression technologies, it becomes far less expensive. N-ISDN provides 128 Kbps bandwidth, over twice wider than analog line. PictureTel's technology instantly compress audio/video signal into 1/1,000 in size. This means, with ISDN and PictureTel technology. Multimedia is materialized over even single ISDN line. This will allow doctor to remotely meet face-to-face with a medical specialist or patients to interview, conduct physical examinations, review records, and prescribe treatments. Bonding multiple ISDN lines will further improve video quality that enables remote surgery. Surgeon can perform an operation on internal organ by projecting motion video from Endoscope's CCD camera to large display monitor. Also, PictureTel provides advanced technologies of eliminating background noise generated by surgical knives or scalpels during surgery. This will allow sound of the breath or heartbeat be clearly transmitted to the remote site. Thus, Multimedia eliminates the barrier of distance, enabling people to be just at home, to be anywhere in the world, to undergo up-to-date medical treatment by expertise. This will reduce medical cost and allow people to live in the suburbs, in less pollution, closer to the nature. People will foster more open and collaborative environment by participating in local activities. Such community-oriented life-style will atone for mass consumption, materialistic economy in the past, then bring true happiness and welfare into our life after all.

  19. 29 CFR 4022.10 - Earliest PBGC Retirement Date.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 9 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Earliest PBGC Retirement Date. 4022.10 Section 4022.10... § 4022.10 Earliest PBGC Retirement Date. The Earliest PBGC Retirement Date for a participant is the...)(B) of ERISA. The Earliest PBGC Retirement Date is determined in accordance with this § 4022.10....

  20. 29 CFR 4022.10 - Earliest PBGC Retirement Date.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 9 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Earliest PBGC Retirement Date. 4022.10 Section 4022.10... § 4022.10 Earliest PBGC Retirement Date. The Earliest PBGC Retirement Date for a participant is the...)(B) of ERISA. The Earliest PBGC Retirement Date is determined in accordance with this § 4022.10....

  1. 29 CFR 4022.10 - Earliest PBGC Retirement Date.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 9 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Earliest PBGC Retirement Date. 4022.10 Section 4022.10... § 4022.10 Earliest PBGC Retirement Date. The Earliest PBGC Retirement Date for a participant is the...)(B) of ERISA. The Earliest PBGC Retirement Date is determined in accordance with this § 4022.10....

  2. The earliest record of human activity in northern Europe.

    PubMed

    Parfitt, Simon A; Barendregt, René W; Breda, Marzia; Candy, Ian; Collins, Matthew J; Coope, G Russell; Durbidge, Paul; Field, Mike H; Lee, Jonathan R; Lister, Adrian M; Mutch, Robert; Penkman, Kirsty E H; Preece, Richard C; Rose, James; Stringer, Christopher B; Symmons, Robert; Whittaker, John E; Wymer, John J; Stuart, Anthony J

    2005-12-15

    The colonization of Eurasia by early humans is a key event after their spread out of Africa, but the nature, timing and ecological context of the earliest human occupation of northwest Europe is uncertain and has been the subject of intense debate. The southern Caucasus was occupied about 1.8 million years (Myr) ago, whereas human remains from Atapuerca-TD6, Spain (more than 780 kyr ago) and Ceprano, Italy (about 800 kyr ago) show that early Homo had dispersed to the Mediterranean hinterland before the Brunhes-Matuyama magnetic polarity reversal (780 kyr ago). Until now, the earliest uncontested artefacts from northern Europe were much younger, suggesting that humans were unable to colonize northern latitudes until about 500 kyr ago. Here we report flint artefacts from the Cromer Forest-bed Formation at Pakefield (52 degrees N), Suffolk, UK, from an interglacial sequence yielding a diverse range of plant and animal fossils. Event and lithostratigraphy, palaeomagnetism, amino acid geochronology and biostratigraphy indicate that the artefacts date to the early part of the Brunhes Chron (about 700 kyr ago) and thus represent the earliest unequivocal evidence for human presence north of the Alps.

  3. Born to Retire: The Foreshortened Life Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ekerdt, David J.

    2004-01-01

    Retirement is no longer a concern solely for the second half of life. Rather, the idea that we will someday retire is increasingly present to all adults and it is even urged on adolescents. The earliest reaches of adulthood are being colonized by frequent reminders that it takes individual effort to achieve retirement. The changing nature of…

  4. Controlled Ecological Life Support Systems: Natural and Artificial Ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macelroy, Robert D. (Editor); Thompson, Brad G. (Editor); Tibbitts, Theodore W. (Editor); Volk, Tyler (Editor)

    1989-01-01

    The scientists supported by the NASA sponsored Controlled Ecological Life Support Systems (CELSS) program have played a major role in creating a Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) section devoted to the development of bioregenerative life support for use in space. The series of 22 papers were sponsored by Subcommission F.4. The papers deal with many of the diverse aspects of life support, and with outgrowth technologies that may have commercial applications in fields such as biotechnology and bioengineering. Papers from researchers in France, Canada, Japan and the USSR are also presented.

  5. Examining the Factor Structure and Hierarchical Nature of the Quality of Life Construct

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Mian; Schalock, Robert L.; Verdugo, Miguel A.; Jenaro, Christina

    2010-01-01

    There is considerable debate in the area of individual quality of life research regarding the factor structure and hierarchical nature of the quality of life construct. Our purpose in this study was to test via structural equation modeling an a priori quality of life model consisting of eight first-order factors and one second-order factor. Data…

  6. Considerations on Terrestrial Iron Depositing Analogs to Earliest Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Igor I.; Allen, Carlton C.; Sarkisova, S. A.; Garrison, D. H.; McKay, D. S.

    2007-01-01

    Iron oxide and hydroxide minerals, including hematite, can mineralize and preservemicrofossils and physical biomarkers (Allen at al., 2004). Preserved remnants of phototrophic microorganisms are recognized as biosignatures of past life on Earth (Schopf, 2006). To date, two types of surface iron depositing environments have been studied as analogs to possible habitable environments on earliest Mars: the highly acidified Rio Tinto River (Iberian Belt, Spain) [Gomez Ortis et al., 2007], and the nearneutral iron depositing Chocolate Pots Hot Spring (Yellowstone National Park, US) [Parenteau at al., 2005]. While phototrophs in the Rio Tinto are only represented by eukaryotic algae (Amaral Zettler et all., 2002), Chocolate Pots is mainly populated with cyanobacteria (Pierson et all., 2000; Brown et all., 2007). Which of these environments is the closer analog to a potentially habitable early Mars? Paleobiological data, combined with recent "tree of life" interpretations, suggest that phototrophic eukaryotes evolved not earlier than 2.5 - 2.8 b.y. after Earth s accretion (4.6 b.y.), while cyanobacteria and /or their iron-tolerant predecessors evolved between 1 - 1.5 b.y. after accretion (Brown et al., 2007). Lindsay and Brasier (2002) postulated that microbial life on Mars surface could have lasted no more than 1-1.5 b.y. after Mars accretion (also 4.6 b.y.). Recent multispectral mapping of Mars suggests that near-neutral wet environments prevailed at approximately this time (Bibring, et al., 2006). Thus, near-neutral iron depositing hot springs such as Chocolate Pots Hot Spring seem to be the more likely habitable analogs for earliest Mars.

  7. Cacao usage by the earliest Maya civilization.

    PubMed

    Hurst, W Jeffrey; Tarka, Stanley M; Powis, Terry G; Valdez, Fred; Hester, Thomas R

    2002-07-18

    The Maya archaeological site at Colha in northern Belize, Central America, has yielded several spouted ceramic vessels that contain residues from the preparation of food and beverages. Here we analyse dry residue samples by using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to atmospheric-pressure chemical-ionization mass spectrometry, and show that chocolate (Theobroma cacao) was consumed by the Preclassic Maya as early as 600 bc, pushing back the earliest chemical evidence of cacao use by some 1,000 years. Our application of this new and highly sensitive analytical technique could be extended to the identification of other ancient foods and beverages.

  8. The Dynamic Nature of Genomes across the Tree of Life

    PubMed Central

    Oliverio, Angela M.; Katz, Laura A.

    2014-01-01

    Genomes are dynamic in lineages across the tree of life. Among bacteria and archaea, for example, DNA content varies throughout life cycles, and nonbinary cell division in diverse lineages indicates the need for coordination of the inheritance of genomes. These observations contrast with the textbook view that bacterial and archaeal genomes are monoploid (i.e., single copied) and fixed both within species and throughout an individual’s lifetime. Here, we synthesize information on three aspects of dynamic genomes from exemplars representing a diverse array of bacterial and archaeal lineages: 1) ploidy level variation, 2) epigenetic mechanisms, and 3) life cycle variation. For example, the Euryarchaeota analyzed to date are all polyploid, as is the bacterium Epulopiscium that contains up to tens of thousands of copies of its genome and reproduces by viviparity. The bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans and the archaeon Halobacterium sp. NRC-1 can repair a highly fragmented genome within a few hours. Moreover, bacterial genera such as Dermocarpella and Planctomyces reproduce by fission (i.e., generating many cells from one cell) and budding, respectively, highlighting the need for regulation of genome inheritance in these lineages. Combining these data with our previous work on widespread genome dynamics among eukaryotes, we hypothesize that dynamic genomes are a rule rather than the exception across the tree of life. Further, we speculate that all domains may have the ability to distinguish germline from somatic DNA and that this ability may have been present the last universal common ancestor. PMID:24500971

  9. The Tuareg: Nature Changes a Life Style. Mini-Module.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    African-American Inst., New York, NY. School Services Div.

    This module contains a description of the Tuareg society in Africa, a list of resources for teachers and students to learn how the African drought is affecting Tuareg life-style, and a lesson plan with eight questions for class discussion. The social strata are described within the Tuareg, ranging from nomadic herd-tending nobles to servants who…

  10. The changing nature of end of life care

    PubMed Central

    Cauldwell, Katrine; Stone, Paddy

    2015-01-01

    Good end of life care (EOLC) for patients with incurable cancer is becoming a greater priority for oncologists in recent years. Frameworks such as the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) have often been helpful in guiding good care at the end of life. However, in the past year, the LCP has been phased out of use in the United Kingdom (UK), following concerns that it was poorly implemented. This review describes the LCP's origins in the UK, its strengths and limitations, and the concerns that prompted a review of its use. It describes the recommendations for change made by an independent review, and the alternative strategies now being developed in the UK to guide good EOLC. Although the LCP is still being widely used worldwide, the lessons learned from the UK can be widely applied in other countries. PMID:26157285

  11. The Nature of Student Thinking in Life Science Laboratories.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shepardson, Daniel P.

    1997-01-01

    Compares the nature of student thinking in confirmation and open-inquiry laboratory activities. Reports that student thinking processes exhibited in confirmation laboratories emphasized procedures and techniques--making sense of and doing the laboratory, whereas student thinking in open-inquiry laboratories emphasized data analysis--making sense…

  12. Reuniting Art and Nature in the Life of the Child

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Strauch-Nelson, Wendy

    2012-01-01

    Sometimes looking at the history of education can be a bit frustrating. Examination of the past is necessary, however, if people are to move forward responsibly for the sake of the child. In this article, the author examines the common ancestry of the kindergarten, art, and nature study. As the founder of the kindergarten, Friedrich Froebel played…

  13. Earliest known crown-group salamanders.

    PubMed

    Gao, Ke-Qin; Shubin, Neil H

    2003-03-27

    Salamanders are a model system for studying the rates and patterns of the evolution of new anatomical structures. Recent discoveries of abundant Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous salamanders are helping to address these issues. Here we report the discovery of well-preserved Middle Jurassic salamanders from China, which constitutes the earliest known record of crown-group urodeles (living salamanders and their closest relatives). The new specimens are from the volcanic deposits of the Jiulongshan Formation (Bathonian), Inner Mongolia, China, and represent basal members of the Cryptobranchidae, a family that includes the endangered Asian giant salamander (Andrias) and the North American hellbender (Cryptobranchus). These fossils document a Mesozoic record of the Cryptobranchidae, predating the previous record of the group by some 100 million years. This discovery provides evidence to support the hypothesis that the divergence of the Cryptobranchidae from the Hynobiidae had taken place in Asia before the Middle Jurassic period.

  14. Earliest recollections in anorexia and bulimia.

    PubMed

    Fassino, S; Abbate Daga, G; Garzaro, L; Rovera, G G

    1998-06-01

    Earliest Recollections (ER) are very useful as they reveal information about a person's main aims and lifestyle, according to the Individual Psychology assumption of the inner coherence of the personality. This paper looks at the utility of analyzing ER in psychopathological research, diagnosis and therapy. Its purpose is to compare particular ER in a group of anorectic outpatients, a group of bulimic outpatients and in a control group. The results provide further evidence that ER are a useful instrument to identify various aspects of family dynamics, particular pathological nuclei which are often of the borderline type. They can also help to overcome the initial hostility towards any therapy that is often present in anorectic and assist the therapist early on in drawing a mental picture of the premises for understanding the lifestyle of the subject both as a child, and now as a patient.

  15. Earliest known crown-group salamanders.

    PubMed

    Gao, Ke-Qin; Shubin, Neil H

    2003-03-27

    Salamanders are a model system for studying the rates and patterns of the evolution of new anatomical structures. Recent discoveries of abundant Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous salamanders are helping to address these issues. Here we report the discovery of well-preserved Middle Jurassic salamanders from China, which constitutes the earliest known record of crown-group urodeles (living salamanders and their closest relatives). The new specimens are from the volcanic deposits of the Jiulongshan Formation (Bathonian), Inner Mongolia, China, and represent basal members of the Cryptobranchidae, a family that includes the endangered Asian giant salamander (Andrias) and the North American hellbender (Cryptobranchus). These fossils document a Mesozoic record of the Cryptobranchidae, predating the previous record of the group by some 100 million years. This discovery provides evidence to support the hypothesis that the divergence of the Cryptobranchidae from the Hynobiidae had taken place in Asia before the Middle Jurassic period. PMID:12660782

  16. The earliest dromaeosaurid theropod from South America.

    PubMed

    Makovicky, Peter J; Apesteguía, Sebastián; Agnolín, Federico L

    2005-10-13

    The evolutionary history of Maniraptora, the clade of carnivorous dinosaurs that includes birds and the sickle-clawed Dromaeosauridae, has hitherto been largely restricted to Late Jurassic and Cretaceous deposits on northern continents. The stunning Early Cretaceous diversity of maniraptorans from Liaoning, China, coupled with a longevity implied by derived Late Jurassic forms such as Archaeopteryx, pushes the origins of maniraptoran lineages back to Pangaean times and engenders the possibility that such lineages existed in Gondwana. A few intriguing, but incomplete, maniraptoran specimens have been reported from South America, Africa and Madagascar. Their affinities remain contested, however, and they have been interpreted as biogeographic anomalies relative to other faunal components of these land-masses. Here we describe a near-complete, small dromaeosaurid that is both the most complete and the earliest member of the Maniraptora from South America, and which provides new evidence for a unique Gondwanan lineage of Dromaeosauridae with an origin predating the separation between northern and southern landmasses.

  17. Imaging the earliest stages of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Wu, William; Small, Scott A

    2006-12-01

    Historical progress in medicine can be charted along the lines of technical innovations that have visualized the invisible. One hundred years ago, Alois Alzheimer exploited newly developed histological stains to visualize his eponymonous disease in dead tissue under the microscope. Now, as we are entering the second century of Alzheimer's disease research, technical innovation has endowed us with a range of in vivo imaging techniques that promise to visualize Alzheimer' disease in living people. The earliest stage of Alzheimer's disease is characterized by cell-sickness, not cell-death, and can occur before the deposition of amyloid plaques or neurofibrillary tangles. In principle, 'functional' imaging techniques might be able to detect this early stage of the disease, a stage that was invisible to Alzheimer himself. Here, we will first define the neurobiological meaning of 'function' and then review the different approaches that measure brain dysfunction in Alzheimer' disease.

  18. Learning Evolution and the Nature of Science Using Evolutionary Computing and Artificial Life

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pennock, Robert T.

    2007-01-01

    Because evolution in natural systems happens so slowly, it is difficult to design inquiry-based labs where students can experiment and observe evolution in the way they can when studying other phenomena. New research in evolutionary computation and artificial life provides a solution to this problem. This paper describes a new A-Life software…

  19. The Earliest Ion Channels in Protocellular Membranes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mijajlovic, Milan; Pohorille, Andrew; Wilson, Michael; Wei, Chenyu

    2010-01-01

    Cellular membranes with their hydrophobic interior are virtually impermeable to ions. Bulk of ion transport through them is enabled through ion channels. Ion channels of contemporary cells are complex protein molecules which span the membrane creating a cylindrical pore filled with water. Protocells, which are widely regarded as precursors to modern cells, had similarly impermeable membranes, but the set of proteins in their disposal was much simpler and more limited. We have been, therefore, exploring an idea that the first ion channels in protocellular membranes were formed by much smaller peptide molecules that could spontaneously selfassemble into short-lived cylindrical bundles in a membrane. Earlier studies have shown that a group of peptides known as peptaibols is capable of forming ion channels in lipid bilayers when they are exposed to an electric field. Peptaibols are small, non-genetically encoded peptides produced by some fungi as a part of their system of defense against bacteria. They are usually only 14-20 residues long, which is just enough to span the membrane. Their sequence is characterized by the presence of non-standard amino acids which, interestingly, are also expected to have existed on the early earth. In particular, the presence of 2-aminoisobutyric acid (AIB) gives peptaibols strong helix forming propensities. Association of the helices inside membranes leads to the formation of cylindrical bundles, typically containing 4 to 10 monomers. Although peptaibols are excellent candidates for models of the earliest ion channels their structures, which are stabilized only by van der Waals forces and occasional hydrogen bonds between neighboring helices, are not very stable. Although it might properly reflect protobiological reality, it is also a major obstacle in studying channel behavior. For this reason we focused on two members of the peptaibol family, trichotoxin and antiamoebin, which are characterized by a single conductance level. This

  20. The earliest ion channels in protocellular membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mijajlovic, Milan; Pohorille, Andrew; Wilson, Michael; Wei, Chenyu

    Cellular membranes with their hydrophobic interior are virtually impermeable to ions. Bulk of ion transport through them is enabled through ion channels. Ion channels of contemporary cells are complex protein molecules which span the membrane creating a cylindrical pore filled with water. Protocells, which are widely regarded as precursors to modern cells, had similarly impermeable membranes, but the set of proteins in their disposal was much simpler and more limited. We have been, therefore, exploring an idea that the first ion channels in protocellular membranes were formed by much smaller peptide molecules that could spontaneously self-assemble into short-lived cylindrical bundles in a membrane. Earlier studies have shown that a group of peptides known as peptaibols is capable of forming ion channels in lipid bilayers when they are exposed to an electric field. Peptaibols are small, non-genetically encoded peptides produced by some fungi as a part of their system of defense against bacteria. They are usually only 14-20 residues long, which is just enough to span the membrane. Their sequence is characterized by the presence of non-standard amino acids which, interestingly, are also expected to have existed on the early earth. In particular, the presence of 2-aminoisobutyric acid (AIB) gives peptaibols strong helix forming propensities. Association of the helices inside membranes leads to the formation of cylindrical bundles, typically containing 4 to 10 monomers. Although peptaibols are excellent candidates for models of the earliest ion channels their struc-tures, which are stabilized only by van der Waals forces and occasional hydrogen bonds between neighboring helices, are not very stable. Although it might properly reflect protobiological real-ity, it is also a major obstacle in studying channel behavior. For this reason we focused on two members of the peptaibol family, trichotoxin and antiamoebin, which are characterized by a single conductance level. This

  1. Life Cycle GHG Emissions from Conventional Natural Gas Power Generation: Systematic Review and Harmonization (Presentation)

    SciTech Connect

    Heath, G.; O'Donoughue, P.; Whitaker, M.

    2012-12-01

    This research provides a systematic review and harmonization of the life cycle assessment (LCA) literature of electricity generated from conventionally produced natural gas. We focus on estimates of greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted in the life cycle of electricity generation from conventionally produced natural gas in combustion turbines (NGCT) and combined-cycle (NGCC) systems. A process we term "harmonization" was employed to align several common system performance parameters and assumptions to better allow for cross-study comparisons, with the goal of clarifying central tendency and reducing variability in estimates of life cycle GHG emissions. This presentation summarizes preliminary results.

  2. Nature over nurture: temperament, personality, and life span development.

    PubMed

    McCrae, R R; Costa, P T; Ostendorf, F; Angleitner, A; Hrebícková, M; Avia, M D; Sanz, J; Sánchez-Bernardos, M L; Kusdil, M E; Woodfield, R; Saunders, P R; Smith, P B

    2000-01-01

    Temperaments are often regarded as biologically based psychological tendencies with intrinsic paths of development. It is argued that this definition applies to the personality traits of the five-factor model. Evidence for the endogenous nature of traits is summarized from studies of behavior genetics, parent-child relations, personality structure, animal personality, and the longitudinal stability of individual differences. New evidence for intrinsic maturation is offered from analyses of NEO Five-Factor Inventory scores for men and women age 14 and over in German, British, Spanish, Czech, and Turkish samples (N = 5,085). These data support strong conceptual links to child temperament despite modest empirical associations. The intrinsic maturation of personality is complemented by the culturally conditioned development of characteristic adaptations that express personality; interventions in human development are best addressed to these.

  3. ROLE OF NATURAL ATTENUATION IN THE LIFE CYCLE OF MTBE PLUMES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Natural life cycle of a plume of MTBE from a spill of gasoline is controlled by the rate of attenuation of the source (due to partitioning from the residual gasoline to the flow of ground water) and the rate of attenuation in the plume (due to dispersion and natural biodegr...

  4. The earliest telescope preserved in Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, Tsuko

    2008-11-01

    This paper describes the antique telescope owned by one of Japan's major feudal warlords, Tokugawa Yoshinao. As he died in 1650, this means that this telescope was produced in or before that year. Our recent investigation of the telescope revealed that it is of Schyrlean type, consisting of four convex lenses, so that it gives erect images with a measured magnifying power of 3.9 (± 0.2-0.3). This also implies that Yoshinao's telescope could be one of the earliest Schyrlean telescopes ever. The design, fabrication technique, and the surface decoration of the telescopic tube and caps all suggest that it is not a Western make at all, but was produced probably under the guidance of a Chinese Jesuit missionary or by the Chinese, in Suzhou or Hangzhou in Zhejiang province, China, or in Nagasaki. Following descriptions in the Japanese and Chinese historical literature, we also discuss the possibility that production of Schyrlean-type telescopes started independently in the Far East nearly simultaneously with the publication of Oculus Enoch et Eliae by Anton Maria Schyrle in 1645.

  5. Earliest known Australian Tertiary mammal fauna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Godthelp, Henk; Archer, Michael; Cifelli, Richard; Hand, Suzanne J.; Gilkeson, Coral F.

    1992-04-01

    REMAINS of Early Eocene vertebrates from freshwater clays near Murgon, southeastern Queensland, represent Australia's oldest marsupials, bats, non-volant placentals, frogs, madtsoiid snakes, trionychid turtles1and birds. Radiometric dating of illites forming part of the matrix of the mammal-bearing zone has given a minimum age estimate of 54.6 +/- 0.05 x 106 years, which is roughly twice as old as any marsupials previously known from Australia2 and well before the 38 million year (Myr) separation of Australia from Antarctica/South America3. All marsupials so far known from the Tingamarra Local Fauna are more derived (being dilambdodont) than peradectids. None of them is clearly a member of a previously known Australian family, but some could be uniquely plesiomorphic dasyuroids or perameloids. Another is autapomorphically specialized and indicative of at least partial isolation of the Australian portion of Gondwana. Here we report on the discovery of a tooth of the earliest non-volant placental known from Australia, Tingamarra porterorum gen.et sp. nov., which seems to be a condylarth-like placental mammal. The presence of non-volant placentals in the Early Tertiary of Australia challenges a common presumption that marsupials dominated Australia's therian assemblages because of failure of such placentals to reach Australia before the Late Tertiary.

  6. Earliest Archaeological Evidence of Persistent Hominin Carnivory

    PubMed Central

    Ferraro, Joseph V.; Plummer, Thomas W.; Pobiner, Briana L.; Oliver, James S.; Bishop, Laura C.; Braun, David R.; Ditchfield, Peter W.; Seaman, John W.; Binetti, Katie M.; Seaman, John W.; Hertel, Fritz; Potts, Richard

    2013-01-01

    The emergence of lithic technology by ∼2.6 million years ago (Ma) is often interpreted as a correlate of increasingly recurrent hominin acquisition and consumption of animal remains. Associated faunal evidence, however, is poorly preserved prior to ∼1.8 Ma, limiting our understanding of early archaeological (Oldowan) hominin carnivory. Here, we detail three large well-preserved zooarchaeological assemblages from Kanjera South, Kenya. The assemblages date to ∼2.0 Ma, pre-dating all previously published archaeofaunas of appreciable size. At Kanjera, there is clear evidence that Oldowan hominins acquired and processed numerous, relatively complete, small ungulate carcasses. Moreover, they had at least occasional access to the fleshed remains of larger, wildebeest-sized animals. The overall record of hominin activities is consistent through the stratified sequence – spanning hundreds to thousands of years – and provides the earliest archaeological evidence of sustained hominin involvement with fleshed animal remains (i.e., persistent carnivory), a foraging adaptation central to many models of hominin evolution. PMID:23637995

  7. Natural Learning: The Life of an Environmental Schoolyard. Creating Environments for Rediscovering Nature's Way of Teaching.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, Robin C.; Wong, Herb H.

    The "Environment Yard" project is a 10-year effort to transform an ordinary asphalt schoolyard into a lush, naturalized environment. This book describes the project from which a natural extension of the classroom was created, reducing student boredom and antisocial behavior as they became engaged in the landscape. It instructs on how to naturalize…

  8. Earliest evidence for the use of pottery.

    PubMed

    Craig, O E; Saul, H; Lucquin, A; Nishida, Y; Taché, K; Clarke, L; Thompson, A; Altoft, D T; Uchiyama, J; Ajimoto, M; Gibbs, K; Isaksson, S; Heron, C P; Jordan, P

    2013-04-18

    Pottery was a hunter-gatherer innovation that first emerged in East Asia between 20,000 and 12,000 calibrated years before present (cal bp), towards the end of the Late Pleistocene epoch, a period of time when humans were adjusting to changing climates and new environments. Ceramic container technologies were one of a range of late glacial adaptations that were pivotal to structuring subsequent cultural trajectories in different regions of the world, but the reasons for their emergence and widespread uptake are poorly understood. The first ceramic containers must have provided prehistoric hunter-gatherers with attractive new strategies for processing and consuming foodstuffs, but virtually nothing is known of how early pots were used. Here we report the chemical analysis of food residues associated with Late Pleistocene pottery, focusing on one of the best-studied prehistoric ceramic sequences in the world, the Japanese Jōmon. We demonstrate that lipids can be recovered reliably from charred surface deposits adhering to pottery dating from about 15,000 to 11,800 cal bp (the Incipient Jōmon period), the oldest pottery so far investigated, and that in most cases these organic compounds are unequivocally derived from processing freshwater and marine organisms. Stable isotope data support the lipid evidence and suggest that most of the 101 charred deposits analysed, from across the major islands of Japan, were derived from high-trophic-level aquatic food. Productive aquatic ecotones were heavily exploited by late glacial foragers, perhaps providing an initial impetus for investment in ceramic container technology, and paving the way for further intensification of pottery use by hunter-gatherers in the early Holocene epoch. Now that we have shown that it is possible to analyse organic residues from some of the world's earliest ceramic vessels, the subsequent development of this critical technology can be clarified through further widespread testing of hunter

  9. Evaluation of different end-of-life management alternatives for used natural cork stoppers through life cycle assessment.

    PubMed

    Demertzi, Martha; Dias, Ana Cláudia; Matos, Arlindo; Arroja, Luís Manuel

    2015-12-01

    An important aspect of sustainable development is the implementation of effective and sustainable waste management strategies. The present study focuses on a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach to different waste management strategies for natural cork stoppers, namely incineration at a municipal solid waste incinerator, landfilling in a sanitary landfill, and recycling. In the literature, there are no LCA studies analyzing in detail the end-of-life stage of natural cork stoppers as well as other cork products. In addition, cork is usually treated as wood at the end-of-life stage. Thus, the outcome of this study can provide an important insight into this matter. The results showed that different management alternatives, namely incineration and recycling, could be chosen depending on the impact category considered. The former alternative presented the best environmental results in the impact categories of climate change, ozone depletion and acidification, while the latter for photochemical ozone formation and mineral and fossil resource depletion. The landfilling alternative did not present the best environmental performance in any of the impact categories. However, when the biogenic carbon dioxide emission was assessed for the climate change category, the landfilling alternative was found to be the most effective since most of the biogenic carbon would be permanently stored in the cork products and not emitted into the atmosphere. A sensitivity analysis was performed and the results showed that there are various parameters that can significantly influence the results (e.g., carbon content in cork and decay rate of cork in the landfill). Thus, LCA studies should include a detailed description concerning their assumptions when the end-of-life stage is included in the boundaries since they can influence the results, and furthermore, to facilitate the comparison of different end-of-life scenarios. The present study and the obtained results could be useful for the

  10. Evaluation of different end-of-life management alternatives for used natural cork stoppers through life cycle assessment.

    PubMed

    Demertzi, Martha; Dias, Ana Cláudia; Matos, Arlindo; Arroja, Luís Manuel

    2015-12-01

    An important aspect of sustainable development is the implementation of effective and sustainable waste management strategies. The present study focuses on a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach to different waste management strategies for natural cork stoppers, namely incineration at a municipal solid waste incinerator, landfilling in a sanitary landfill, and recycling. In the literature, there are no LCA studies analyzing in detail the end-of-life stage of natural cork stoppers as well as other cork products. In addition, cork is usually treated as wood at the end-of-life stage. Thus, the outcome of this study can provide an important insight into this matter. The results showed that different management alternatives, namely incineration and recycling, could be chosen depending on the impact category considered. The former alternative presented the best environmental results in the impact categories of climate change, ozone depletion and acidification, while the latter for photochemical ozone formation and mineral and fossil resource depletion. The landfilling alternative did not present the best environmental performance in any of the impact categories. However, when the biogenic carbon dioxide emission was assessed for the climate change category, the landfilling alternative was found to be the most effective since most of the biogenic carbon would be permanently stored in the cork products and not emitted into the atmosphere. A sensitivity analysis was performed and the results showed that there are various parameters that can significantly influence the results (e.g., carbon content in cork and decay rate of cork in the landfill). Thus, LCA studies should include a detailed description concerning their assumptions when the end-of-life stage is included in the boundaries since they can influence the results, and furthermore, to facilitate the comparison of different end-of-life scenarios. The present study and the obtained results could be useful for the

  11. Rethinking the area of protection "natural resources" in life cycle assessment.

    PubMed

    Dewulf, Jo; Benini, Lorenzo; Mancini, Lucia; Sala, Serenella; Blengini, Gian Andrea; Ardente, Fulvio; Recchioni, Marco; Maes, Joachim; Pant, Rana; Pennington, David

    2015-05-01

    Life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) in classical life cycle assessment (LCA) aims at analyzing potential impacts of products and services typically on three so-called areas of protection (AoPs): Natural Environment, Human Health, and Natural Resources. This paper proposes an elaboration of the AoP Natural Resources. It starts with analyzing different perspectives on Natural Resources as they are somehow sandwiched in between the Natural Environment (their cradle) and the human-industrial environment (their application). Reflecting different viewpoints, five perspectives are developed with the suggestion to select three in function of classical LCA. They result in three safeguard subjects: the Asset of Natural Resources, their Provisioning Capacity, and their role in Global Functions. Whereas the Provisioning Capacity is fully in function of humans, the global functions go beyond provisioning as they include nonprovisioning functions for humans and regulating and maintenance services for the globe as a whole, following the ecosystem services framework. A fourth and fifth safeguard subject has been identified: recognizing the role Natural Resources for human welfare, either specifically as building block in supply chains of products and services as such, either with or without their functions beyond provisioning. But as these are far broader as they in principle should include characterization of mechanisms within the human industrial society, they are considered as subjects for an integrated sustainability assessment (LCSA: life cycle sustainability assessment), that is, incorporating social, economic and environmental issues.

  12. Rethinking the area of protection "natural resources" in life cycle assessment.

    PubMed

    Dewulf, Jo; Benini, Lorenzo; Mancini, Lucia; Sala, Serenella; Blengini, Gian Andrea; Ardente, Fulvio; Recchioni, Marco; Maes, Joachim; Pant, Rana; Pennington, David

    2015-05-01

    Life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) in classical life cycle assessment (LCA) aims at analyzing potential impacts of products and services typically on three so-called areas of protection (AoPs): Natural Environment, Human Health, and Natural Resources. This paper proposes an elaboration of the AoP Natural Resources. It starts with analyzing different perspectives on Natural Resources as they are somehow sandwiched in between the Natural Environment (their cradle) and the human-industrial environment (their application). Reflecting different viewpoints, five perspectives are developed with the suggestion to select three in function of classical LCA. They result in three safeguard subjects: the Asset of Natural Resources, their Provisioning Capacity, and their role in Global Functions. Whereas the Provisioning Capacity is fully in function of humans, the global functions go beyond provisioning as they include nonprovisioning functions for humans and regulating and maintenance services for the globe as a whole, following the ecosystem services framework. A fourth and fifth safeguard subject has been identified: recognizing the role Natural Resources for human welfare, either specifically as building block in supply chains of products and services as such, either with or without their functions beyond provisioning. But as these are far broader as they in principle should include characterization of mechanisms within the human industrial society, they are considered as subjects for an integrated sustainability assessment (LCSA: life cycle sustainability assessment), that is, incorporating social, economic and environmental issues. PMID:25867920

  13. Father Nature: Fathers as Guides to the Natural World. American Land & Life Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Piper, Paul S., Ed.; Tag, Stan, Ed.

    This book contains 19 personal essays on the role that fathers play in fostering connections between their children and the natural world. Written from the perspective of adult children or of fathers themselves, most essays show how outdoor activities, particularly hunting and fishing, are replicated across the generations and serve to foster…

  14. Long life, natural death. The learned ideal of dying in late medieval commentaries on Avicenna's Canon.

    PubMed

    van 't Land, Karine

    2014-01-01

    Within late medieval learned medicine, natural death functioned both as a theoretical concept and as a goal for practice. Late medieval commentaries on Avicenna's Canon are used as source material in this study, in order to investigate the ways in which these learned medical authors envisaged natural death. The findings are compared to descriptions of natural death by natural philosophers, and to ideals of dying in broader medieval culture. According to the physicians, natural death was caused by the extinction of innate heat, due to a lack of innate moisture. They discussed natural death in relation to regimen, as the right regimen protected the body's heat and moisture, and thus helped a patient to keep natural death aloof. So, in order to think about natural death, the physicians turned to the whole of life, during which heat dried out moisture and regimens ought to be followed. By contrast, natural philosophers tended to focus on the moment of death itself. The comparison of natural death with the Good Death in broad medieval culture highlights the amoral nature of the natural death.

  15. Long life, natural death. The learned ideal of dying in late medieval commentaries on Avicenna's Canon.

    PubMed

    van 't Land, Karine

    2014-01-01

    Within late medieval learned medicine, natural death functioned both as a theoretical concept and as a goal for practice. Late medieval commentaries on Avicenna's Canon are used as source material in this study, in order to investigate the ways in which these learned medical authors envisaged natural death. The findings are compared to descriptions of natural death by natural philosophers, and to ideals of dying in broader medieval culture. According to the physicians, natural death was caused by the extinction of innate heat, due to a lack of innate moisture. They discussed natural death in relation to regimen, as the right regimen protected the body's heat and moisture, and thus helped a patient to keep natural death aloof. So, in order to think about natural death, the physicians turned to the whole of life, during which heat dried out moisture and regimens ought to be followed. By contrast, natural philosophers tended to focus on the moment of death itself. The comparison of natural death with the Good Death in broad medieval culture highlights the amoral nature of the natural death. PMID:25577929

  16. Computer Modeling of the Earliest Cellular Structures and Functions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pohorille, Andrew; Chipot, Christophe; Schweighofer, Karl

    2000-01-01

    In the absence of extinct or extant record of protocells (the earliest ancestors of contemporary cells). the most direct way to test our understanding of the origin of cellular life is to construct laboratory models of protocells. Such efforts are currently underway in the NASA Astrobiology Program. They are accompanied by computational studies aimed at explaining self-organization of simple molecules into ordered structures and developing designs for molecules that perform proto-cellular functions. Many of these functions, such as import of nutrients, capture and storage of energy. and response to changes in the environment are carried out by proteins bound to membrane< We will discuss a series of large-scale, molecular-level computer simulations which demonstrate (a) how small proteins (peptides) organize themselves into ordered structures at water-membrane interfaces and insert into membranes, (b) how these peptides aggregate to form membrane-spanning structures (eg. channels), and (c) by what mechanisms such aggregates perform essential proto-cellular functions, such as proton transport of protons across cell walls, a key step in cellular bioenergetics. The simulations were performed using the molecular dynamics method, in which Newton's equations of motion for each item in the system are solved iteratively. The problems of interest required simulations on multi-nanosecond time scales, which corresponded to 10(exp 6)-10(exp 8) time steps.

  17. Sisterhood and Sentimentality: Americas's Earliest Preschool Centers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hewes, Dorothy W.

    1995-01-01

    Describes how America's oldest child-care centers began during a period of economic growth and intellectual turbulence in the late 1800s, when women from all walks of American life united to promote the kindergarten movement inspired by the German Friedrich Froebel. Chronicles the movement from a women's history perspective. (ET)

  18. Life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions of shale gas, natural gas, coal, and petroleum.

    PubMed

    Burnham, Andrew; Han, Jeongwoo; Clark, Corrie E; Wang, Michael; Dunn, Jennifer B; Palou-Rivera, Ignasi

    2012-01-17

    The technologies and practices that have enabled the recent boom in shale gas production have also brought attention to the environmental impacts of its use. It has been debated whether the fugitive methane emissions during natural gas production and transmission outweigh the lower carbon dioxide emissions during combustion when compared to coal and petroleum. Using the current state of knowledge of methane emissions from shale gas, conventional natural gas, coal, and petroleum, we estimated up-to-date life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, we developed distribution functions for key parameters in each pathway to examine uncertainty and identify data gaps such as methane emissions from shale gas well completions and conventional natural gas liquid unloadings that need to be further addressed. Our base case results show that shale gas life-cycle emissions are 6% lower than conventional natural gas, 23% lower than gasoline, and 33% lower than coal. However, the range in values for shale and conventional gas overlap, so there is a statistical uncertainty whether shale gas emissions are indeed lower than conventional gas. Moreover, this life-cycle analysis, among other work in this area, provides insight on critical stages that the natural gas industry and government agencies can work together on to reduce the greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas.

  19. 43 CFR 15.2 - Removal or destruction of natural features and marine life.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... LARGO CORAL REEF PRESERVE § 15.2 Removal or destruction of natural features and marine life. No person... sand, gravel or minerals, corals, sea feathers and fans, shells and shell fish starfishes or other... this Preserve. No rope, wire or other contrivance shall be attached to any coral, rock or...

  20. 43 CFR 15.2 - Removal or destruction of natural features and marine life.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... LARGO CORAL REEF PRESERVE § 15.2 Removal or destruction of natural features and marine life. No person... sand, gravel or minerals, corals, sea feathers and fans, shells and shell fish starfishes or other... this Preserve. No rope, wire or other contrivance shall be attached to any coral, rock or...

  1. 43 CFR 15.2 - Removal or destruction of natural features and marine life.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... LARGO CORAL REEF PRESERVE § 15.2 Removal or destruction of natural features and marine life. No person... sand, gravel or minerals, corals, sea feathers and fans, shells and shell fish starfishes or other... this Preserve. No rope, wire or other contrivance shall be attached to any coral, rock or...

  2. 43 CFR 15.2 - Removal or destruction of natural features and marine life.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... LARGO CORAL REEF PRESERVE § 15.2 Removal or destruction of natural features and marine life. No person... sand, gravel or minerals, corals, sea feathers and fans, shells and shell fish starfishes or other... this Preserve. No rope, wire or other contrivance shall be attached to any coral, rock or...

  3. Assessment of dose during the life cycle of natural stone production.

    PubMed

    Turtiainen, Tuukka; Weltner, Anne

    2007-01-01

    The environmental impact during the life cycle of natural stone production was studied. One of the points of interest was radiation. Natural stone samples from 23 quarries were surveyed for the radioactivity. One quarry was selected for a case study where the effective dose to the workers was assessed. The use of these stones in buildings was also evaluated with respect to the excess dose caused to the residents. According to the results the excess effective dose to the workers does not exceed 1 mSv a(-1) at the quarries. In buildings, all natural stones studied can be used safely as surfacing materials.

  4. Earliest evidence of pollution by heavy metals in archaeological sites.

    PubMed

    Monge, Guadalupe; Jimenez-Espejo, Francisco J; García-Alix, Antonio; Martínez-Ruiz, Francisca; Mattielli, Nadine; Finlayson, Clive; Ohkouchi, Naohiko; Sánchez, Miguel Cortés; de Castro, Jose María Bermúdez; Blasco, Ruth; Rosell, Jordi; Carrión, José; Rodríguez-Vidal, Joaquín; Finlayson, Geraldine

    2015-09-21

    Homo species were exposed to a new biogeochemical environment when they began to occupy caves. Here we report the first evidence of palaeopollution through geochemical analyses of heavy metals in four renowned archaeological caves of the Iberian Peninsula spanning the last million years of human evolution. Heavy metal contents reached high values due to natural (guano deposition) and anthropogenic factors (e.g. combustion) in restricted cave environments. The earliest anthropogenic pollution evidence is related to Neanderthal hearths from Gorham's Cave (Gibraltar), being one of the first milestones in the so-called "Anthropocene". According to its heavy metal concentration, these sediments meet the present-day standards of "contaminated soil". Together with the former, the Gibraltar Vanguard Cave, shows Zn and Cu pollution ubiquitous across highly anthropic levels pointing to these elements as potential proxies for human activities. Pb concentrations in Magdalenian and Bronze age levels at El Pirulejo site can be similarly interpreted. Despite these high pollution levels, the contaminated soils might not have posed a major threat to Homo populations. Altogether, the data presented here indicate a long-term exposure of Homo to these elements, via fires, fumes and their ashes, which could have played certain role in environmental-pollution tolerance, a hitherto neglected influence.

  5. Earliest evidence of pollution by heavy metals in archaeological sites.

    PubMed

    Monge, Guadalupe; Jimenez-Espejo, Francisco J; García-Alix, Antonio; Martínez-Ruiz, Francisca; Mattielli, Nadine; Finlayson, Clive; Ohkouchi, Naohiko; Sánchez, Miguel Cortés; de Castro, Jose María Bermúdez; Blasco, Ruth; Rosell, Jordi; Carrión, José; Rodríguez-Vidal, Joaquín; Finlayson, Geraldine

    2015-01-01

    Homo species were exposed to a new biogeochemical environment when they began to occupy caves. Here we report the first evidence of palaeopollution through geochemical analyses of heavy metals in four renowned archaeological caves of the Iberian Peninsula spanning the last million years of human evolution. Heavy metal contents reached high values due to natural (guano deposition) and anthropogenic factors (e.g. combustion) in restricted cave environments. The earliest anthropogenic pollution evidence is related to Neanderthal hearths from Gorham's Cave (Gibraltar), being one of the first milestones in the so-called "Anthropocene". According to its heavy metal concentration, these sediments meet the present-day standards of "contaminated soil". Together with the former, the Gibraltar Vanguard Cave, shows Zn and Cu pollution ubiquitous across highly anthropic levels pointing to these elements as potential proxies for human activities. Pb concentrations in Magdalenian and Bronze age levels at El Pirulejo site can be similarly interpreted. Despite these high pollution levels, the contaminated soils might not have posed a major threat to Homo populations. Altogether, the data presented here indicate a long-term exposure of Homo to these elements, via fires, fumes and their ashes, which could have played certain role in environmental-pollution tolerance, a hitherto neglected influence. PMID:26388184

  6. Earliest evidence of pollution by heavy metals in archaeological sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monge, Guadalupe; Jimenez-Espejo, Francisco J.; García-Alix, Antonio; Martínez-Ruiz, Francisca; Mattielli, Nadine; Finlayson, Clive; Ohkouchi, Naohiko; Sánchez, Miguel Cortés; de Castro, Jose María Bermúdez; Blasco, Ruth; Rosell, Jordi; Carrión, José; Rodríguez-Vidal, Joaquín; Finlayson, Geraldine

    2015-09-01

    Homo species were exposed to a new biogeochemical environment when they began to occupy caves. Here we report the first evidence of palaeopollution through geochemical analyses of heavy metals in four renowned archaeological caves of the Iberian Peninsula spanning the last million years of human evolution. Heavy metal contents reached high values due to natural (guano deposition) and anthropogenic factors (e.g. combustion) in restricted cave environments. The earliest anthropogenic pollution evidence is related to Neanderthal hearths from Gorham's Cave (Gibraltar), being one of the first milestones in the so-called “Anthropocene”. According to its heavy metal concentration, these sediments meet the present-day standards of “contaminated soil”. Together with the former, the Gibraltar Vanguard Cave, shows Zn and Cu pollution ubiquitous across highly anthropic levels pointing to these elements as potential proxies for human activities. Pb concentrations in Magdalenian and Bronze age levels at El Pirulejo site can be similarly interpreted. Despite these high pollution levels, the contaminated soils might not have posed a major threat to Homo populations. Altogether, the data presented here indicate a long-term exposure of Homo to these elements, via fires, fumes and their ashes, which could have played certain role in environmental-pollution tolerance, a hitherto neglected influence.

  7. Earliest evidence of pollution by heavy metals in archaeological sites

    PubMed Central

    Monge, Guadalupe; Jimenez-Espejo, Francisco J.; García-Alix, Antonio; Martínez-Ruiz, Francisca; Mattielli, Nadine; Finlayson, Clive; Ohkouchi, Naohiko; Sánchez, Miguel Cortés; de Castro, Jose María Bermúdez; Blasco, Ruth; Rosell, Jordi; Carrión, José; Rodríguez-Vidal, Joaquín; Finlayson, Geraldine

    2015-01-01

    Homo species were exposed to a new biogeochemical environment when they began to occupy caves. Here we report the first evidence of palaeopollution through geochemical analyses of heavy metals in four renowned archaeological caves of the Iberian Peninsula spanning the last million years of human evolution. Heavy metal contents reached high values due to natural (guano deposition) and anthropogenic factors (e.g. combustion) in restricted cave environments. The earliest anthropogenic pollution evidence is related to Neanderthal hearths from Gorham's Cave (Gibraltar), being one of the first milestones in the so-called “Anthropocene”. According to its heavy metal concentration, these sediments meet the present-day standards of “contaminated soil”. Together with the former, the Gibraltar Vanguard Cave, shows Zn and Cu pollution ubiquitous across highly anthropic levels pointing to these elements as potential proxies for human activities. Pb concentrations in Magdalenian and Bronze age levels at El Pirulejo site can be similarly interpreted. Despite these high pollution levels, the contaminated soils might not have posed a major threat to Homo populations. Altogether, the data presented here indicate a long-term exposure of Homo to these elements, via fires, fumes and their ashes, which could have played certain role in environmental-pollution tolerance, a hitherto neglected influence. PMID:26388184

  8. Hybrid life-cycle assessment of natural gas based fuel chains for transportation.

    PubMed

    Strømman, Anders Hammer; Solli, Christian; Hertwich, Edgar G

    2006-04-15

    This research compares the use of natural gas, methanol, and hydrogen as transportation fuels. These three fuel chains start with the extraction and processing of natural gas in the Norwegian North Sea and end with final use in Central Europe. The end use is passenger transportation with a sub-compact car that has an internal combustion engine for the natural gas case and a fuel cell for the methanol and hydrogen cases. The life cycle assessment is performed by combining a process based life-cycle inventory with economic input-output data. The analysis shows that the potential climate impacts are lowest for the hydrogen fuel scenario with CO2 deposition. The hydrogen fuel chain scenario has no significant environmental disadvantage compared to the other fuel chains. Detailed analysis shows that the construction of the car contributes significantly to most impact categories. Finally, it is shown how the application of a hybrid inventory model ensures a more complete inventory description compared to standard process-based life-cycle assessment. This is particularly significant for car construction which would have been significantly underestimated in this study using standard process life-cycle assessment alone.

  9. Earliest land plants created modern levels of atmospheric oxygen.

    PubMed

    Lenton, Timothy M; Dahl, Tais W; Daines, Stuart J; Mills, Benjamin J W; Ozaki, Kazumi; Saltzman, Matthew R; Porada, Philipp

    2016-08-30

    The progressive oxygenation of the Earth's atmosphere was pivotal to the evolution of life, but the puzzle of when and how atmospheric oxygen (O2) first approached modern levels (∼21%) remains unresolved. Redox proxy data indicate the deep oceans were oxygenated during 435-392 Ma, and the appearance of fossil charcoal indicates O2 >15-17% by 420-400 Ma. However, existing models have failed to predict oxygenation at this time. Here we show that the earliest plants, which colonized the land surface from ∼470 Ma onward, were responsible for this mid-Paleozoic oxygenation event, through greatly increasing global organic carbon burial-the net long-term source of O2 We use a trait-based ecophysiological model to predict that cryptogamic vegetation cover could have achieved ∼30% of today's global terrestrial net primary productivity by ∼445 Ma. Data from modern bryophytes suggests this plentiful early plant material had a much higher molar C:P ratio (∼2,000) than marine biomass (∼100), such that a given weathering flux of phosphorus could support more organic carbon burial. Furthermore, recent experiments suggest that early plants selectively increased the flux of phosphorus (relative to alkalinity) weathered from rocks. Combining these effects in a model of long-term biogeochemical cycling, we reproduce a sustained +2‰ increase in the carbonate carbon isotope (δ(13)C) record by ∼445 Ma, and predict a corresponding rise in O2 to present levels by 420-400 Ma, consistent with geochemical data. This oxygen rise represents a permanent shift in regulatory regime to one where fire-mediated negative feedbacks stabilize high O2 levels.

  10. Earliest land plants created modern levels of atmospheric oxygen.

    PubMed

    Lenton, Timothy M; Dahl, Tais W; Daines, Stuart J; Mills, Benjamin J W; Ozaki, Kazumi; Saltzman, Matthew R; Porada, Philipp

    2016-08-30

    The progressive oxygenation of the Earth's atmosphere was pivotal to the evolution of life, but the puzzle of when and how atmospheric oxygen (O2) first approached modern levels (∼21%) remains unresolved. Redox proxy data indicate the deep oceans were oxygenated during 435-392 Ma, and the appearance of fossil charcoal indicates O2 >15-17% by 420-400 Ma. However, existing models have failed to predict oxygenation at this time. Here we show that the earliest plants, which colonized the land surface from ∼470 Ma onward, were responsible for this mid-Paleozoic oxygenation event, through greatly increasing global organic carbon burial-the net long-term source of O2 We use a trait-based ecophysiological model to predict that cryptogamic vegetation cover could have achieved ∼30% of today's global terrestrial net primary productivity by ∼445 Ma. Data from modern bryophytes suggests this plentiful early plant material had a much higher molar C:P ratio (∼2,000) than marine biomass (∼100), such that a given weathering flux of phosphorus could support more organic carbon burial. Furthermore, recent experiments suggest that early plants selectively increased the flux of phosphorus (relative to alkalinity) weathered from rocks. Combining these effects in a model of long-term biogeochemical cycling, we reproduce a sustained +2‰ increase in the carbonate carbon isotope (δ(13)C) record by ∼445 Ma, and predict a corresponding rise in O2 to present levels by 420-400 Ma, consistent with geochemical data. This oxygen rise represents a permanent shift in regulatory regime to one where fire-mediated negative feedbacks stabilize high O2 levels. PMID:27528678

  11. Earliest land plants created modern levels of atmospheric oxygen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lenton, Timothy M.; Dahl, Tais W.; Daines, Stuart J.; Mills, Benjamin J. W.; Ozaki, Kazumi; Saltzman, Matthew R.; Porada, Philipp

    2016-08-01

    The progressive oxygenation of the Earth’s atmosphere was pivotal to the evolution of life, but the puzzle of when and how atmospheric oxygen (O2) first approached modern levels (˜21%) remains unresolved. Redox proxy data indicate the deep oceans were oxygenated during 435-392 Ma, and the appearance of fossil charcoal indicates O2 >15-17% by 420-400 Ma. However, existing models have failed to predict oxygenation at this time. Here we show that the earliest plants, which colonized the land surface from ˜470 Ma onward, were responsible for this mid-Paleozoic oxygenation event, through greatly increasing global organic carbon burial—the net long-term source of O2. We use a trait-based ecophysiological model to predict that cryptogamic vegetation cover could have achieved ˜30% of today’s global terrestrial net primary productivity by ˜445 Ma. Data from modern bryophytes suggests this plentiful early plant material had a much higher molar C:P ratio (˜2,000) than marine biomass (˜100), such that a given weathering flux of phosphorus could support more organic carbon burial. Furthermore, recent experiments suggest that early plants selectively increased the flux of phosphorus (relative to alkalinity) weathered from rocks. Combining these effects in a model of long-term biogeochemical cycling, we reproduce a sustained +2‰ increase in the carbonate carbon isotope (δ13C) record by ˜445 Ma, and predict a corresponding rise in O2 to present levels by 420-400 Ma, consistent with geochemical data. This oxygen rise represents a permanent shift in regulatory regime to one where fire-mediated negative feedbacks stabilize high O2 levels.

  12. Life cycle water consumption for shale gas and conventional natural gas.

    PubMed

    Clark, Corrie E; Horner, Robert M; Harto, Christopher B

    2013-10-15

    Shale gas production represents a large potential source of natural gas for the nation. The scale and rapid growth in shale gas development underscore the need to better understand its environmental implications, including water consumption. This study estimates the water consumed over the life cycle of conventional and shale gas production, accounting for the different stages of production and for flowback water reuse (in the case of shale gas). This study finds that shale gas consumes more water over its life cycle (13-37 L/GJ) than conventional natural gas consumes (9.3-9.6 L/GJ). However, when used as a transportation fuel, shale gas consumes significantly less water than other transportation fuels. When used for electricity generation, the combustion of shale gas adds incrementally to the overall water consumption compared to conventional natural gas. The impact of fuel production, however, is small relative to that of power plant operations. The type of power plant where the natural gas is utilized is far more important than the source of the natural gas.

  13. The pursuit of happiness: The social and scientific origins of Hans Selye's natural philosophy of life.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Mark

    2012-12-01

    In 1956, Hans Selye tentatively suggested that the scientific study of stress could 'help us to formulate a precise program of conduct' and 'teach us the wisdom to live a rich and meaningful life'. Nearly two decades later, Selye expanded this limited vision of social order into a full-blown philosophy of life. In Stress without Distress, first published in 1974, he proposed an ethical code of conduct designed to mitigate personal and social problems. Basing his arguments on contemporary understandings of the biological processes involved in stress reactions, Selye referred to this code as 'altruistic egotism'. This article explores the origins and evolution of Selye's 'natural philosophy of life', analysing the links between his theories and adjacent intellectual developments in biology, psychosomatic and psychosocial medicine, cybernetics and socio-biology, and situating his work in the broader cultural framework of modern western societies.

  14. Life politics, nature and the state: Giddens' sociological theory and The Politics of Climate Change.

    PubMed

    Thorpe, Charles; Jacobson, Brynna

    2013-03-01

    Anthony Giddens' The Politics of Climate Change represents a significant shift in the way in which he addresses ecological politics. In this book, he rejects the relevance of environmentalism and demarcates climate-change policy from life politics. Giddens addresses climate change in the technocratic mode of simple rather than reflexive modernization. However, Giddens' earlier sociological theory provides the basis for a more reflexive understanding of climate change. Climate change instantiates how, in high modernity, the existential contradiction of the human relationship with nature returns in new form, expressed in life politics and entangled with the structural contradictions of the capitalist state. The interlinking of existential and structural contradiction is manifested in the tension between life politics and the capitalist nation-state. This tension is key for understanding the failures so far of policy responses to climate change. PMID:23488703

  15. Life politics, nature and the state: Giddens' sociological theory and The Politics of Climate Change.

    PubMed

    Thorpe, Charles; Jacobson, Brynna

    2013-03-01

    Anthony Giddens' The Politics of Climate Change represents a significant shift in the way in which he addresses ecological politics. In this book, he rejects the relevance of environmentalism and demarcates climate-change policy from life politics. Giddens addresses climate change in the technocratic mode of simple rather than reflexive modernization. However, Giddens' earlier sociological theory provides the basis for a more reflexive understanding of climate change. Climate change instantiates how, in high modernity, the existential contradiction of the human relationship with nature returns in new form, expressed in life politics and entangled with the structural contradictions of the capitalist state. The interlinking of existential and structural contradiction is manifested in the tension between life politics and the capitalist nation-state. This tension is key for understanding the failures so far of policy responses to climate change.

  16. Competition as a source of constraint on life history evolution in natural populations

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, A J

    2014-01-01

    Competition among individuals is central to our understanding of ecology and population dynamics. However, it could also have major implications for the evolution of resource-dependent life history traits (for example, growth, fecundity) that are important determinants of fitness in natural populations. This is because when competition occurs, the phenotype of each individual will be causally influenced by the phenotypes, and so the genotypes, of competitors. Theory tells us that indirect genetic effects arising from competitive interactions will give rise to the phenomenon of ‘evolutionary environmental deterioration', and act as a source of evolutionary constraint on resource-dependent traits under natural selection. However, just how important this constraint is remains an unanswered question. This article seeks to stimulate empirical research in this area, first highlighting some patterns emerging from life history studies that are consistent with a competition-based model of evolutionary constraint, before describing several quantitative modelling strategies that could be usefully applied. A recurrent theme is that rigorous quantification of a competition's impact on life history evolution will require an understanding of the causal pathways and behavioural processes by which genetic (co)variance structures arise. Knowledge of the G-matrix among life history traits is not, in and of itself, sufficient to identify the constraints caused by competition. PMID:23443060

  17. Competition as a source of constraint on life history evolution in natural populations.

    PubMed

    Wilson, A J

    2014-01-01

    Competition among individuals is central to our understanding of ecology and population dynamics. However, it could also have major implications for the evolution of resource-dependent life history traits (for example, growth, fecundity) that are important determinants of fitness in natural populations. This is because when competition occurs, the phenotype of each individual will be causally influenced by the phenotypes, and so the genotypes, of competitors. Theory tells us that indirect genetic effects arising from competitive interactions will give rise to the phenomenon of 'evolutionary environmental deterioration', and act as a source of evolutionary constraint on resource-dependent traits under natural selection. However, just how important this constraint is remains an unanswered question. This article seeks to stimulate empirical research in this area, first highlighting some patterns emerging from life history studies that are consistent with a competition-based model of evolutionary constraint, before describing several quantitative modelling strategies that could be usefully applied. A recurrent theme is that rigorous quantification of a competition's impact on life history evolution will require an understanding of the causal pathways and behavioural processes by which genetic (co)variance structures arise. Knowledge of the G-matrix among life history traits is not, in and of itself, sufficient to identify the constraints caused by competition.

  18. Life-cycle assessment of diesel, natural gas and hydrogen fuel cell bus transportation systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ally, Jamie; Pryor, Trevor

    The Sustainable Transport Energy Programme (STEP) is an initiative of the Government of Western Australia, to explore hydrogen fuel cell technology as an alternative to the existing diesel and natural gas public transit infrastructure in Perth. This project includes three buses manufactured by DaimlerChrysler with Ballard fuel cell power sources operating in regular service alongside the existing natural gas and diesel bus fleets. The life-cycle assessment (LCA) of the fuel cell bus trial in Perth determines the overall environmental footprint and energy demand by studying all phases of the complete transportation system, including the hydrogen infrastructure, bus manufacturing, operation, and end-of-life disposal. The LCAs of the existing diesel and natural gas transportation systems are developed in parallel. The findings show that the trial is competitive with the diesel and natural gas bus systems in terms of global warming potential and eutrophication. Emissions that contribute to acidification and photochemical ozone are greater for the fuel cell buses. Scenario analysis quantifies the improvements that can be expected in future generations of fuel cell vehicles and shows that a reduction of greater than 50% is achievable in the greenhouse gas, photochemical ozone creation and primary energy demand impact categories.

  19. Influence of natural extracts on the shelf life of modified atmosphere-packaged pork patties.

    PubMed

    Lorenzo, José M; Sineiro, Jorge; Amado, Isabel R; Franco, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    In this study four natural extracts from tea (TEA), grape (GRA), chestnut (CHE) and seaweed (SEA) with potential antioxidant activity were evaluated in pork patties. During 20 days of storage in modified atmosphere packs at 2°C, pH, colour, lipid oxidation and microbial spoilage parameters of raw minced porcine patties were examined and compared with a synthetic antioxidant (BHT) and control (CON) batch. Due to their higher polyphenol content, GRA and TEA extracts were the most effective antioxidants against lipid oxidation, also limiting colour deterioration. In addition, both natural extracts led to a decrease of total viable counts (TVC), lactic acid bacteria (LAB), Pseudomonas and psychotropic aerobic bacteria compared to the control. Among the four natural compounds tested, tea and grape extracts showed the most potential as alternatives to commercial antioxidants, for increasing the quality and extending the shelf-life of porcine patties.

  20. Land-Energy Nexus: Life Cycle Land Use of Natural Gas-Fired Electricity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heath, G.; Jordaan, S.; Macknick, J.; Mohammadi, E.; Ben-Horin, D.; Urrea, V.

    2014-12-01

    Comparisons of the land required for different types of energy are challenging due to the fact that upstream land use of fossil fuel technologies is not well characterized. This research focuses on improving estimates of the life cycle land use of natural gas-fired electricity through the novel combination of inventories of the location of natural gas-related infrastructure, satellite imagery analysis and gas production data. Land area per unit generation is calculated as the sum of natural gas life cycle stages divided by the throughput of natural gas, combined with the land use of the power plant divided by the generation of the power plant. Five natural gas life cycle stages are evaluated for their area: production, gathering, processing, transmission and disposal. The power plant stage is characterized by a thermal efficiency ηth, which converts MegaJoules (MJ) to kilowatt hours (kWh). We focus on seven counties in the Barnett shale region in Texas that represent over 90% of total Barnett Shale gas production. In addition to assessing the gathering and transmission pipeline network, approximately 500 sites are evaluated from the five life cycle stages plus power plants. For instance, assuming a 50 foot right-of-way for transmission pipelines, this part of the Barnett pipeline network occupies nearly 26,000 acres. Site, road and water components to total area are categorized. Methods are developed to scale up sampled results for each component type to the full population of sites within the Barnett. Uncertainty and variability are charaterized. Well-level production data are examined by integrating commercial datasets with advanced methods for quantifying estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) for wells, then summed to estimate natural gas produced in an entire play. Wells that are spatially coincident are merged using ArcGIS. All other sites are normalized by an estimate of gas throughput. Prior land use estimates are used to validate the satellite imagery analysis

  1. Dietary specializations and diversity in feeding ecology of the earliest stem mammals.

    PubMed

    Gill, Pamela G; Purnell, Mark A; Crumpton, Nick; Brown, Kate Robson; Gostling, Neil J; Stampanoni, M; Rayfield, Emily J

    2014-08-21

    The origin and radiation of mammals are key events in the history of life, with fossils placing the origin at 220 million years ago, in the Late Triassic period. The earliest mammals, representing the first 50 million years of their evolution and including the most basal taxa, are widely considered to be generalized insectivores. This implies that the first phase of the mammalian radiation--associated with the appearance in the fossil record of important innovations such as heterodont dentition, diphyodonty and the dentary-squamosal jaw joint--was decoupled from ecomorphological diversification. Finds of exceptionally complete specimens of later Mesozoic mammals have revealed greater ecomorphological diversity than previously suspected, including adaptations for swimming, burrowing, digging and even gliding, but such well-preserved fossils of earlier mammals do not exist, and robust analysis of their ecomorphological diversity has previously been lacking. Here we present the results of an integrated analysis, using synchrotron X-ray tomography and analyses of biomechanics, finite element models and tooth microwear textures. We find significant differences in function and dietary ecology between two of the earliest mammaliaform taxa, Morganucodon and Kuehneotherium--taxa that are central to the debate on mammalian evolution. Morganucodon possessed comparatively more forceful and robust jaws and consumed 'harder' prey, comparable to extant small-bodied mammals that eat considerable amounts of coleopterans. Kuehneotherium ingested a diet comparable to extant mixed feeders and specialists on 'soft' prey such as lepidopterans. Our results reveal previously hidden trophic specialization at the base of the mammalian radiation; hence even the earliest mammaliaforms were beginning to diversify--morphologically, functionally and ecologically. In contrast to the prevailing view, this pattern suggests that lineage splitting during the earliest stages of mammalian evolution was

  2. Dietary specializations and diversity in feeding ecology of the earliest stem mammals.

    PubMed

    Gill, Pamela G; Purnell, Mark A; Crumpton, Nick; Brown, Kate Robson; Gostling, Neil J; Stampanoni, M; Rayfield, Emily J

    2014-08-21

    The origin and radiation of mammals are key events in the history of life, with fossils placing the origin at 220 million years ago, in the Late Triassic period. The earliest mammals, representing the first 50 million years of their evolution and including the most basal taxa, are widely considered to be generalized insectivores. This implies that the first phase of the mammalian radiation--associated with the appearance in the fossil record of important innovations such as heterodont dentition, diphyodonty and the dentary-squamosal jaw joint--was decoupled from ecomorphological diversification. Finds of exceptionally complete specimens of later Mesozoic mammals have revealed greater ecomorphological diversity than previously suspected, including adaptations for swimming, burrowing, digging and even gliding, but such well-preserved fossils of earlier mammals do not exist, and robust analysis of their ecomorphological diversity has previously been lacking. Here we present the results of an integrated analysis, using synchrotron X-ray tomography and analyses of biomechanics, finite element models and tooth microwear textures. We find significant differences in function and dietary ecology between two of the earliest mammaliaform taxa, Morganucodon and Kuehneotherium--taxa that are central to the debate on mammalian evolution. Morganucodon possessed comparatively more forceful and robust jaws and consumed 'harder' prey, comparable to extant small-bodied mammals that eat considerable amounts of coleopterans. Kuehneotherium ingested a diet comparable to extant mixed feeders and specialists on 'soft' prey such as lepidopterans. Our results reveal previously hidden trophic specialization at the base of the mammalian radiation; hence even the earliest mammaliaforms were beginning to diversify--morphologically, functionally and ecologically. In contrast to the prevailing view, this pattern suggests that lineage splitting during the earliest stages of mammalian evolution was

  3. Naturally-occurring expressive suppression in daily life depletes executive functioning.

    PubMed

    Franchow, Emilie I; Suchy, Yana

    2015-02-01

    The depleting impact of experimentally manipulated expressive suppression (ES) on cognition (especially executive functioning and related processes) has been well established (Baumeister, 2002a). However, the impact of ES that occurs naturally in the course of daily life has not been examined. Sixty two adults (M = 22.89 years old) completed questions about recent ES burden (over the past 2 weeks and on the test day) and completed cognitive measures assessing executive functioning, working memory, and speed of information processing. Individuals with higher-than-usual burden of ES on the test day exhibited poorer executive performance and those with high ES over the past 2 weeks exhibited poorer processing speed above and beyond depression, suggesting that ES burden as it occurs in the course of daily life is associated with compromised cognitive performance. PMID:25111882

  4. Earliest Recollections and Birth Order: Two Adlerian Exercises.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parrott, Les

    1992-01-01

    Presents two exercises designed to demonstrate the influence of two Adlerian principles on personality. Includes exercises dealing with birth order and earliest recollection. Concludes that the exercises actively demonstrate major concepts for counseling courses in Adlerian psychotherapy. Reports that students rated both exercises highly, with…

  5. Ichnotaxonomy of the Laetoli trackways: The earliest hominin footprints

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meldrum, D. J.; Lockley, Martin G.; Lucas, Spencer G.; Musiba, Charles

    2011-04-01

    At 3.6 Ma, the Laetoli Pliocene hominin trackways are the earliest direct evidence of hominin bipedalism. Three decades since their discovery, not only is the question of their attribution still discussed, but marked differences in interpretation concerning the footprints' qualitative features and the inferred nature of the early hominin foot morphology remain. Here, we establish a novel ichnotaxon, Praehominipes laetoliensis, for these tracks and clarify the distinctions of these footprints from those of later hominins, especially modern humans. We also contrast hominin, human, and ape footprints to establish morphological features of these footprints correlated with a midtarsal break versus a stiff longitudinal arch. Original photos, including stereo photographs, and casts of footprints from the 1978 Laetoli excavation, confirm midtarsal flexibility, and repeatedly indicate an associated midfoot pressure ridge. In contrast, the modern human footprint reflects the derived arched-foot architecture, combined with a stiff-legged striding gait. Fossilized footprints of unshod modern human pedestrians in Hawaii and Nicaragua unambiguously illustrate these contrasts. Some points of comparisons with ape footprints are complicated by a variable hallucal position and the distinct manner of ape facultative bipedalism. In contrast to the comparatively rigid platform of the modern human foot, midtarsal flexibility is present in the chimpanzee foot. In ape locomotion, flexion at the transverse tarsal joint, referred to as the "midtarsal break," uncouples the respective functions of the prehensile forefoot and the propulsive hindfoot during grasp-climbing. At some point after the transition to habitual bipedalism, these grasp-climb adaptations, presumed to be present in the last common ancestor of apes and humans, were initially compromised by the loss of divergence of the hallux. An analogous trajectory is evident along an array of increasingly terrestrial extant ape species

  6. Genes and life-style factors in BELFAST nonagenarians: Nature, Nurture and Narrative.

    PubMed

    Rea, Jennifer Nicola M; Carvalho, Ashley; McNerlan, Susan E; Alexander, H Denis; Rea, Irene Maeve

    2015-10-01

    Understanding how to 'Age Longer and Age Well' is a priority for people personally, for populations globally and for government policy. Nonagenarians are the oldest members of our societies and survivors of their generation. Approximately 10 % of nonagenarians reach 90 years and beyond in good condition and seem to have a combination of both age-span and health-span. But what are the factors which help people reach their ninetieth birthday and beyond in good condition? Are they genetics, as in 'nature', or do they depend on 'nurture' and are related to environment, or are both factors inextricably intertwined within the concept of behavioural genetics? Nonagenarians have rich life experiences that can teach us much about ageing well; they are reservoirs of genetic, life-style and behavioural information which can help dissect out how to live not only longer but better. Personal family history and narrative are powerful tools that help to determine familial traits, beliefs and social behaviours and when used in parallel with new biotechnology methods inform and elaborate causality. Here we present themes and insights from personal narrative enquiry from nonagenarian participants from the Belfast Elderly Longitudinal Free-living Ageing STudy (BELFAST) about factors they consider important for good quality ageing and relate these insights to the emerging genetics and life-style evidence associated with healthy longevity. PMID:25773008

  7. Genes and life-style factors in BELFAST nonagenarians: Nature, Nurture and Narrative.

    PubMed

    Rea, Jennifer Nicola M; Carvalho, Ashley; McNerlan, Susan E; Alexander, H Denis; Rea, Irene Maeve

    2015-10-01

    Understanding how to 'Age Longer and Age Well' is a priority for people personally, for populations globally and for government policy. Nonagenarians are the oldest members of our societies and survivors of their generation. Approximately 10 % of nonagenarians reach 90 years and beyond in good condition and seem to have a combination of both age-span and health-span. But what are the factors which help people reach their ninetieth birthday and beyond in good condition? Are they genetics, as in 'nature', or do they depend on 'nurture' and are related to environment, or are both factors inextricably intertwined within the concept of behavioural genetics? Nonagenarians have rich life experiences that can teach us much about ageing well; they are reservoirs of genetic, life-style and behavioural information which can help dissect out how to live not only longer but better. Personal family history and narrative are powerful tools that help to determine familial traits, beliefs and social behaviours and when used in parallel with new biotechnology methods inform and elaborate causality. Here we present themes and insights from personal narrative enquiry from nonagenarian participants from the Belfast Elderly Longitudinal Free-living Ageing STudy (BELFAST) about factors they consider important for good quality ageing and relate these insights to the emerging genetics and life-style evidence associated with healthy longevity.

  8. Probabilistic Forecasting of Life and Economic Losses due to Natural Disasters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barton, C. C.; Tebbens, S. F.

    2014-12-01

    The magnitude of natural hazard events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods are traditionally measured by wind speed, energy release, or discharge. In this study we investigate the scaling of the magnitude of individual events of the 20th and 21stcentury in terms of economic and life losses in the United States and worldwide. Economic losses are subdivided into insured and total losses. Some data sets are inflation or population adjusted. Forecasts associated with these events are of interest to insurance, reinsurance, and emergency management agencies. Plots of cumulative size-frequency distributions of economic and life loss are well-fit by power functions and thus exhibit self-similar scaling. This self-similar scaling property permits use of frequent small events to estimate the rate of occurrence of less frequent larger events. Examining the power scaling behavior of loss data for disasters permits: forecasting the probability of occurrence of a disaster over a wide range of years (1 to 10 to 1,000 years); comparing losses associated with one type of disaster to another; comparing disasters in one region to similar disasters in another region; and, measuring the effectiveness of planning and mitigation strategies. In the United States, life losses due to flood and tornado cumulative-frequency distributions have steeper slopes, indicating that frequent smaller events contribute the majority of losses. In contrast, life losses due to hurricanes and earthquakes have shallower slopes, indicating that the few larger events contribute the majority of losses. Disaster planning and mitigation strategies should incorporate these differences.

  9. Scientific Encounters of the Curious Kind. Reading Activities that Explore Nature's Most Intriguing Life Forms. Grades 4-7.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Embry, Lynn

    Most students enjoy reading interesting selections about unusual plants, animals, insects, spiders, and other creatures. This book attempts to capitalize on the natural curiosity of students by introducing them to some of nature's most intriguing forms of life. The document is designed to provide students with background information, including…

  10. ESA on the trail of the earliest stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2003-01-01

    hi-res Size hi-res: 3054 kb Credits: NASA Simulated image of the distant Universe as seen by JWST This is a simulated image showing the abilities of the NGST. Compared to the Hubble Space Telescope the NGST will improve our 'sight' considerably. Artist's impression of JWST hi-res Size hi-res: 3960 kb Credits: ESA Artist's impression of JWST Image shows an artist's impression of the selected design for the JWST spacecraft. Northrop Grumman and Ball Aerospace are the prime contractors for JWST. Gamma-ray burst as seen by Integral Credits: ESA. Original image by the Integral IBIS team. Image processing by ESA/ECF Gamma-ray burst as seen by Integral A gamma-ray burst seen by ESA's Integral satellite. This picture was taken using the Imager on Board the Integral Satellite (IBIS). Astronomers suspect that some gamma-ray bursts are the explosions of individual population III stars. Astronomers know they must have been out there: only in this way could they solve the riddle of the origin and composition of stars in today's Universe. A couple of ESA missions will help astronomers search for this elusive population. When the Universe formed, there was just hydrogen and helium. Chemical elements such as oxygen, carbon, iron and so on were forged later, in the nuclear furnaces at the hearts of stars and then cast into space at the end of the star's life. Astronomers call everything that is heavier than helium a 'metal'. All stars we can observe today contain metals. The youngest contain the most metals and astronomers call them population I stars. The oldest contain only some metals and astronomers call these population II stars. Where do these metals come from? Astronomers have theorised that a first generation of stars, which they call population III, must have existed in the early Universe. This first generation of stars must have formed using only hydrogen and helium, the only elements available in the early cosmic history. After living for 'just' a million years, they

  11. Chemical and archaeological evidence for the earliest cacao beverages

    PubMed Central

    Henderson, John S.; Joyce, Rosemary A.; Hall, Gretchen R.; Hurst, W. Jeffrey; McGovern, Patrick E.

    2007-01-01

    Chemical analyses of residues extracted from pottery vessels from Puerto Escondido in what is now Honduras show that cacao beverages were being made there before 1000 B.C., extending the confirmed use of cacao back at least 500 years. The famous chocolate beverage served on special occasions in later times in Mesoamerica, especially by elites, was made from cacao seeds. The earliest cacao beverages consumed at Puerto Escondido were likely produced by fermenting the sweet pulp surrounding the seeds. PMID:18024588

  12. Improving subjective health and reducing absenteeism in a natural work life-intervention.

    PubMed

    Saksvik, P O; Nytrø, K

    2001-02-01

    A natural one-year work-life intervention to improve occupational health and reduce absenteeism was designed as a field experiment. The intervention allowed the employees in the health care sector of a municipality to take up to five days of self-administered sick leave with full financial compensation up to four times a year. 165 employees in the intervention group and 100 employees in the control group filled out a questionnaire before and after the intervention. The result showed no evidence of misuse of this sick-leave option and some positive subjective health effects were found among those who used the option. Slight improvements were found in musculoskeletal problems and for cold/influenza. There were no effects on overall absenteeism. The question of the impact of local cultures on interventions to improve occupational health is also discussed. PMID:11273575

  13. Interfamily variation in amphibian early life-history traits: raw material for natural selection?

    PubMed Central

    Hopkins, Gareth R; Gall, Brian G; French, Susannah S; Brodie, Edmund D

    2012-01-01

    The embryonic development and time to hatching of eggs can be highly adaptive in some species, and thus under selective pressure. In this study, we examined the underlying interfamily variation in hatching timing and embryonic development in a population of an oviparous amphibian, the rough-skinned newt (Taricha granulosa). We found significant, high variability in degree of embryonic development and hatching timing among eggs from different females. Patterns of variation were present regardless of temperature. We also could not explain the differences among families by morphological traits of the females or their eggs. This study suggests that the variation necessary for natural selection to act upon is present in the early life history of this amphibian. PMID:22957168

  14. Teleomechanism redux? Functional physiology and hybrid models of life in early modern natural philosophy.

    PubMed

    Wolfe, Charles T

    2014-01-01

    The distinction between 'mechanical' and 'teleological' has been familiar since Kant; between a fully mechanistic, quantitative science of Nature and a teleological, qualitative approach to living beings, namely 'organisms' understood as purposive or at least functional entities. The beauty of this distinction is that it apparently makes intuitive sense and maps onto historico-conceptual constellations in the life sciences, regarding the status of the body versus that of the machine. I argue that the mechanism-teleology distinction is imprecise and flawed using examples including the 'functional' features present even in Cartesian physiology, the Oxford Physiologists' work on circulation and respiration, the fact that the model of the 'body-machine' is not a mechanistic reduction of organismic properties to basic physical properties but is focused on the uniqueness of organic life; and the concept of 'animal economy' in vitalist medicine, which I present as a 'teleomechanistic' concept of organism (borrowing a term of Lenoir's which he applied to nineteenth-century embryology)--neither mechanical nor teleological.

  15. Teleomechanism redux? Functional physiology and hybrid models of life in early modern natural philosophy.

    PubMed

    Wolfe, Charles T

    2014-01-01

    The distinction between 'mechanical' and 'teleological' has been familiar since Kant; between a fully mechanistic, quantitative science of Nature and a teleological, qualitative approach to living beings, namely 'organisms' understood as purposive or at least functional entities. The beauty of this distinction is that it apparently makes intuitive sense and maps onto historico-conceptual constellations in the life sciences, regarding the status of the body versus that of the machine. I argue that the mechanism-teleology distinction is imprecise and flawed using examples including the 'functional' features present even in Cartesian physiology, the Oxford Physiologists' work on circulation and respiration, the fact that the model of the 'body-machine' is not a mechanistic reduction of organismic properties to basic physical properties but is focused on the uniqueness of organic life; and the concept of 'animal economy' in vitalist medicine, which I present as a 'teleomechanistic' concept of organism (borrowing a term of Lenoir's which he applied to nineteenth-century embryology)--neither mechanical nor teleological. PMID:25707100

  16. Primal Eukaryogenesis: On the Communal Nature of Precellular States, Ancestral to Modern Life

    PubMed Central

    Egel, Richard

    2012-01-01

    This problem-oriented, exploratory and hypothesis-driven discourse toward the unknown combines several basic tenets: (i) a photo-active metal sulfide scenario of primal biogenesis in the porespace of shallow sedimentary flats, in contrast to hot deep-sea hydrothermal vent conditions; (ii) an inherently complex communal system at the common root of present life forms; (iii) a high degree of internal compartmentalization at this communal root, progressively resembling coenocytic (syncytial) super-cells; (iv) a direct connection from such communal super-cells to proto-eukaryotic macro-cell organization; and (v) multiple rounds of micro-cellular escape with streamlined reductive evolution-leading to the major prokaryotic cell lines, as well as to megaviruses and other viral lineages. Hopefully, such nontraditional concepts and approaches will contribute to coherent and plausible views about the origins and early life on Earth. In particular, the coevolutionary emergence from a communal system at the common root can most naturally explain the vast discrepancy in subcellular organization between modern eukaryotes on the one hand and both archaea and bacteria on the other. PMID:25382122

  17. Bringing dinosaurs back to life: exhibiting prehistory at the American Museum of Natural History.

    PubMed

    Rieppel, Lukas

    2012-09-01

    This essay examines the exhibition of dinosaurs at the American Museum of Natural History during the first two decades of the twentieth century. Dinosaurs provide an especially illuminating lens through which to view the history of museum display practices for two reasons: they made for remarkably spectacular exhibits; and they rested on contested theories about the anatomy, life history, and behavior of long-extinct animals to which curators had no direct observational access. The American Museum sought to capitalize on the popularity of dinosaurs while mitigating the risks of mounting an overtly speculative display by fashioning them into a kind of mixed-media installation made of several elements, including fossilized bone, shellac, iron, and plaster. The resulting sculptures provided visitors with a vivid and lifelike imaginative experience. At the same time, curators, who were anxious to downplay the speculative nature of mounted dinosaurs, drew systematic attention to the material connection that tied individual pieces of fossilized bone to the actual past. Freestanding dinosaurs can therefore be read to have functioned as iconic sculptures that self-consciously advertised their indexical content.

  18. Deep microbial life in the Altmark natural gas reservoir: baseline characterization prior CO2 injection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morozova, Daria; Shaheed, Mina; Vieth, Andrea; Krüger, Martin; Kock, Dagmar; Würdemann, Hilke

    2010-05-01

    Within the framework of the CLEAN project (CO2 Largescale Enhanced gas recovery in the Altmark Natural gas field) technical basics with special emphasis on process monitoring are explored by injecting CO2 into a gas reservoir. Our study focuses on the investigation of the in-situ microbial community of the Rotliegend natural gas reservoir in the Altmark, located south of the city Salzwedel, Germany. In order to characterize the microbial life in the extreme habitat we aim to localize and identify microbes including their metabolism influencing the creation and dissolution of minerals. The ability of microorganisms to speed up dissolution and formation of minerals might result in changes of the local permeability and the long-term safety of CO2 storage. However, geology, structure and chemistry of the reservoir rock and the cap rock as well as interaction with saline formation water and natural gases and the injected CO2 affect the microbial community composition and activity. The reservoir located at the depth of about 3500m, is characterised by high salinity fluid and temperatures up to 127° C. It represents an extreme environment for microbial life and therefore the main focus is on hyperthermophilic, halophilic anaerobic microorganisms. In consequence of the injection of large amounts of CO2 in the course of a commercial EGR (Enhanced Gas Recovery) the environmental conditions (e.g. pH, temperature, pressure and solubility of minerals) for the autochthonous microorganisms will change. Genetic profiling of amplified 16S rRNA genes are applied for detecting structural changes in the community by using PCR- SSCP (PCR-Single-Strand-Conformation Polymorphism) and DGGE (Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis). First results of the baseline survey indicate the presence of microorganisms similar to representatives from other saline, hot, anoxic, deep environments. However, due to the hypersaline and hyperthermophilic reservoir conditions, cell numbers are low, so that

  19. Implications of low natural gas prices on life cycle greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. electricity sector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaramillo, P.; Venkatesh, A.; Griffin, M.; Matthews, S.

    2012-12-01

    Increased production of unconventional natural gas resources in the U.S. has drastically reduced the price of natural gas. While in 2005 prices went above 10/MMBtu, since 2011 they have been below 3/MMBtu. These low prices have encouraged the increase of natural gas utilization in the United States electricity sector. Natural gas can offset coal for power generation, reducing emissions such as greenhouse gases, sulfur and nitrogen oxides. In quantifying the benefit of offsetting coal by using natural gas, life cycle assessment (LCA) studies have shown up to 50% reductions in life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions can be expected. However, these studies predominantly use limited system boundaries that contain single individual coal and natural gas power plants. They do not consider (regional) fleets of power plants that are dispatched on the basis of their short-run marginal costs. In this study, simplified economic dispatch models (representing existing power plants in a given region) are developed for three U.S. regions - ERCOT, MISO and PJM. These models, along with historical load data are used to determine how natural gas utilization will increase in the short-term due to changes in natural gas price. The associated changes in fuel mix and life cycle GHG emissions are estimated. Results indicate that life cycle GHG emissions may, at best, decrease by 5-15% as a result of low natural gas prices, compared to almost 50% reductions estimated by previous LCAs. This study thus provides more reasonable estimates of potential reductions in GHG emissions from using natural gas instead of coal in the electricity sector in the short-term.

  20. The earliest evidence for anatomically modern humans in northwestern Europe.

    PubMed

    Higham, Tom; Compton, Tim; Stringer, Chris; Jacobi, Roger; Shapiro, Beth; Trinkaus, Erik; Chandler, Barry; Gröning, Flora; Collins, Chris; Hillson, Simon; O'Higgins, Paul; FitzGerald, Charles; Fagan, Michael

    2011-11-24

    The earliest anatomically modern humans in Europe are thought to have appeared around 43,000-42,000 calendar years before present (43-42 kyr cal BP), by association with Aurignacian sites and lithic assemblages assumed to have been made by modern humans rather than by Neanderthals. However, the actual physical evidence for modern humans is extremely rare, and direct dates reach no farther back than about 41-39 kyr cal BP, leaving a gap. Here we show, using stratigraphic, chronological and archaeological data, that a fragment of human maxilla from the Kent's Cavern site, UK, dates to the earlier period. The maxilla (KC4), which was excavated in 1927, was initially diagnosed as Upper Palaeolithic modern human. In 1989, it was directly radiocarbon dated by accelerator mass spectrometry to 36.4-34.7 kyr cal BP. Using a Bayesian analysis of new ultrafiltered bone collagen dates in an ordered stratigraphic sequence at the site, we show that this date is a considerable underestimate. Instead, KC4 dates to 44.2-41.5 kyr cal BP. This makes it older than any other equivalently dated modern human specimen and directly contemporary with the latest European Neanderthals, thus making its taxonomic attribution crucial. We also show that in 13 dental traits KC4 possesses modern human rather than Neanderthal characteristics; three other traits show Neanderthal affinities and a further seven are ambiguous. KC4 therefore represents the oldest known anatomically modern human fossil in northwestern Europe, fills a key gap between the earliest dated Aurignacian remains and the earliest human skeletal remains, and demonstrates the wide and rapid dispersal of early modern humans across Europe more than 40 kyr ago.

  1. Archaeometallurgical characterization of the earliest European metal helmets

    PubMed Central

    Mödlinger, Marianne; Piccardo, Paolo; Kasztovszky, Zsolt; Kovács, Imre; Szőkefalvi-Nagy, Zoltán; Káli, György; Szilágyi, Veronika

    2013-01-01

    Archaeometric analyses on conical and decorated cap helmets from the Bronze Age are presented. The helmets are dated to the 14–12th century BC according to associated finds in hoards. Alloy composition, material structure and manufacturing processes are determined and shed light on the earliest development of weaponry production in Central and Eastern Europe. Analyses were carried out using light and dark field microscopy, SEM–EDXS, PIXE, TOF-ND and PGAA. The results allowed reconstructing the manufacturing process, the differences between the cap of the helmets and their knobs (i.e. alloy composition) and the joining technique of the two parts. PMID:26523114

  2. Mapping the lunar shadow - the earliest solar eclipse maps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Gent, Robert H.

    The English astronomer Edmond Halley (1656-1742) is commonly credited as the first to draw and publish maps delineating the paths of totality for solar eclipses. Halley published such maps for the solar eclipses of 3 May 1715 and 22 May 1724, which were both visible from southern England. In this paper, the author presents examples of earlier maps depicting solar eclipse paths from Germany, the Netherlands and France. The earliest eclipse maps of this kind appear to be those showing the path of totality for the solar eclipses of 23 September 1699 and 12 May 1706.

  3. Analysis of Phenix end-of-life natural convection test with the MARS-LMR code

    SciTech Connect

    Jeong, H. Y.; Ha, K. S.; Lee, K. L.; Chang, W. P.; Kim, Y. I.

    2012-07-01

    The end-of-life test of Phenix reactor performed by the CEA provided an opportunity to have reliable and valuable test data for the validation and verification of a SFR system analysis code. KAERI joined this international program for the analysis of Phenix end-of-life natural circulation test coordinated by the IAEA from 2008. The main objectives of this study were to evaluate the capability of existing SFR system analysis code MARS-LMR and to identify any limitation of the code. The analysis was performed in three stages: pre-test analysis, blind posttest analysis, and final post-test analysis. In the pre-test analysis, the design conditions provided by the CEA were used to obtain a prediction of the test. The blind post-test analysis was based on the test conditions measured during the tests but the test results were not provided from the CEA. The final post-test analysis was performed to predict the test results as accurate as possible by improving the previous modeling of the test. Based on the pre-test analysis and blind test analysis, the modeling for heat structures in the hot pool and cold pool, steel structures in the core, heat loss from roof and vessel, and the flow path at core outlet were reinforced in the final analysis. The results of the final post-test analysis could be characterized into three different phases. In the early phase, the MARS-LMR simulated the heat-up process correctly due to the enhanced heat structure modeling. In the mid phase before the opening of SG casing, the code reproduced the decrease of core outlet temperature successfully. Finally, in the later phase the increase of heat removal by the opening of the SG opening was well predicted with the MARS-LMR code. (authors)

  4. Shelf-life evaluation of natural antimicrobials for Concord and Niagara grape juices.

    PubMed

    Siricururatana, P; Iyer, M M; Manns, D C; Churey, J J; Worobo, R W; Padilla-Zakour, O I

    2013-01-01

    This study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of natural antimicrobials for shelf-life extension of cold-filled still and carbonated Concord and Niagara grape juices, which have traditionally been preserved with chemical preservatives. Commercial juices were inoculated with a spoilage yeast cocktail of Dekkera, Kluveromyces, Brettanomyces, and Zygosaccharomyces at 10(2) and 10(4) CFU/ml. The following agents were added to still juices: no preservative (negative control), 0.05% potassium sorbate plus 0.05% sodium benzoate (positive control), 0.1 or 0.2% cultured dextrose, 250 ppm of dimethyldicarbonate (DMDC), 10 or 20 ppm of natamycin, and 250 ppm of DMDC plus 5 or 10 ppm of natamycin. Carbonated juice was treated with the negative control, positive control, and 250 ppm of DMDC plus 10 ppm of natamycin. Microbial stability of samples was assessed every 2 weeks during 6 months of storage at 21°C by yeast enumeration and measurement of turbidity, pH, and °Brix. Juices were deemed spoiled when yeast counts exceeded 10(6) CFU/ml. Cultured dextrose was not effective at levels tested in both types of juice. The most promising results were obtained with DMDC and natamycin combination treatments in still Niagara juice and in carbonated Concord and Niagara juices. In these treatments, shelf-life extension similar to that of the positive control (153 to 161 days) was achieved while maintaining similar turbidity, pH, and °Brix. Spoiled juices had lower pH and °Brix values and higher turbidity due to microbial activity and increased in microbial levels. PMID:23317859

  5. Cattle Management for Dairying in Scandinavia's Earliest Neolithic.

    PubMed

    Gron, Kurt J; Montgomery, Janet; Rowley-Conwy, Peter

    2015-01-01

    New evidence for cattle husbandry practices during the earliest period of the southern Scandinavian Neolithic indicates multiple birth seasons and dairying from its start. Sequential sampling of tooth enamel carbonate carbon and oxygen isotope ratio analyses and strontium isotopic provenancing indicate more than one season of birth in locally reared cattle at the earliest Neolithic Funnel Beaker (EN I TRB, 3950-3500 cal. B.C.) site of Almhov in Scania, Sweden. The main purpose for which cattle are manipulated to give birth in more than one season is to prolong lactation for the production of milk and dairy-based products. As this is a difficult, intensive, and time-consuming strategy, these data demonstrate complex farming practices by early Neolithic farmers. This result offers strong support for immigration-based explanations of agricultural origins in southern Scandinavia on the grounds that such a specialised skill set cannot represent the piecemeal incorporation of agricultural techniques into an existing hunter-gatherer-fisher economy.

  6. Cattle Management for Dairying in Scandinavia’s Earliest Neolithic

    PubMed Central

    Gron, Kurt J.; Montgomery, Janet; Rowley-Conwy, Peter

    2015-01-01

    New evidence for cattle husbandry practices during the earliest period of the southern Scandinavian Neolithic indicates multiple birth seasons and dairying from its start. Sequential sampling of tooth enamel carbonate carbon and oxygen isotope ratio analyses and strontium isotopic provenancing indicate more than one season of birth in locally reared cattle at the earliest Neolithic Funnel Beaker (EN I TRB, 3950-3500 cal. B.C.) site of Almhov in Scania, Sweden. The main purpose for which cattle are manipulated to give birth in more than one season is to prolong lactation for the production of milk and dairy-based products. As this is a difficult, intensive, and time-consuming strategy, these data demonstrate complex farming practices by early Neolithic farmers. This result offers strong support for immigration-based explanations of agricultural origins in southern Scandinavia on the grounds that such a specialised skill set cannot represent the piecemeal incorporation of agricultural techniques into an existing hunter-gatherer-fisher economy. PMID:26146989

  7. Cattle Management for Dairying in Scandinavia's Earliest Neolithic.

    PubMed

    Gron, Kurt J; Montgomery, Janet; Rowley-Conwy, Peter

    2015-01-01

    New evidence for cattle husbandry practices during the earliest period of the southern Scandinavian Neolithic indicates multiple birth seasons and dairying from its start. Sequential sampling of tooth enamel carbonate carbon and oxygen isotope ratio analyses and strontium isotopic provenancing indicate more than one season of birth in locally reared cattle at the earliest Neolithic Funnel Beaker (EN I TRB, 3950-3500 cal. B.C.) site of Almhov in Scania, Sweden. The main purpose for which cattle are manipulated to give birth in more than one season is to prolong lactation for the production of milk and dairy-based products. As this is a difficult, intensive, and time-consuming strategy, these data demonstrate complex farming practices by early Neolithic farmers. This result offers strong support for immigration-based explanations of agricultural origins in southern Scandinavia on the grounds that such a specialised skill set cannot represent the piecemeal incorporation of agricultural techniques into an existing hunter-gatherer-fisher economy. PMID:26146989

  8. Natural mortality: Its ecology, how it shapes fish life histories, and why it may be increased by fishing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jørgensen, Christian; Holt, Rebecca E.

    2013-01-01

    A stronger focus on natural mortality may be required to better understand contemporary changes in fish life histories and behaviour and their responses to anthropogenic drivers. Firstly, natural mortality is the selection under which fish evolved in the first place, so a theoretical understanding of effects of natural mortality alone is needed. Secondly, due to trade-offs, most organismal functions can only be achieved at some cost in terms of survival. Several trade-offs might need to be analysed simultaneously with effects on natural mortality being a common currency. Thirdly, there is scattered evidence that natural mortality has been increasing, some would say dramatically, in some fished stocks, which begs explanations. Fourthly, natural mortality most often implies transfer of mass and energy from one species to another, and therefore has foodweb and ecosystem consequences. We therefore analyse a model for evolution of fish life histories and behaviour, where state-dependent energy-allocation and growth strategies are found by optimization. Natural mortality is split into five different components, each specified as the outcome of individual traits and ecological trade-offs: a fixed baseline mortality; size-dependent predation; risk-dependent growth strategy; a fixed mortality when sexually mature; and mortality increasing with reproductive investment. The analysis is repeated with and without fishing. Each component of natural mortality has consequences for optimal life history strategies. Beyond earlier models, we show i) how the two types of reproductive mortality sometimes have similar and sometimes contrasting effects on life history evolution, ii) how ecosystem properties such as food availability and predation levels have stronger effects on optimal strategies than changing other mortality components, and iii) how expected changes in risk-dependent growth strategies are highly variable depending on the type of mortality changed.

  9. The complex nature of family support across the life span: Implications for psychological well-being.

    PubMed

    Fuller-Iglesias, Heather R; Webster, Noah J; Antonucci, Toni C

    2015-03-01

    This study examines the complex role of family networks in shaping adult psychological well-being over time. We examine the unique and interactive longitudinal influences of family structure (i.e., composition and size) and negative family relationship quality on psychological well-being among young (ages 18-34), middle-aged (ages 35-49), and older adults (ages 50+). A sample of 881 adults (72% White; 26% Black) was drawn from the longitudinal Social Relations, Age, and Health Study. Structural equation modeling indicated that among young and middle-aged adults, increasing family negativity was associated with increases in depressive symptoms over time. In contrast, among older adults, lowered proportion of family in network and an increasing number of family members in the network (i.e., family size) were associated with decreases in depressive symptoms. These findings were moderated by family negativity. Among older adults with low family negativity, having a lower proportion of family and larger family size were associated with decreasing depressive symptoms, but there was no effect among those reporting high family negativity. Overall, these results contribute to an increased understanding of the complex, developmental nature of how family support influences well-being across the life span and highlights unique age differences. PMID:25602936

  10. Nature of Phosphorus Compounds Fueling Microbial Life in Deep-Sea Sediments at North Pond

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Defforey, D.; Paytan, A.

    2012-12-01

    Phosphorus is an essential nutrient that can be limiting in some environments. Despite its critical importance for life, many components of its cycle, including phosphorus uptake and cycling in deep-sea sediments, remain unclear. Understanding phosphorus cycling in open ocean sediments is crucial, since a significant portion of Earth's prokaryotes thrives in this environment. However, little is known about the nature of phosphorus compounds these microorganisms are taking up or the mechanisms used. This study aims to identify the specific phosphorus forms within the labile and refractory sedimentary phosphorus pools that "fuel" the deep biosphere at North Pond, an isolated sediment pond on the western flank of the Mid-Atlantic ridge. Sediment samples were collected from four boreholes drilled during the IODP expedition 336. Sedimentary phosphorus compounds are characterized using sequential extractions (SEDEX), which separate them into distinct reservoirs. In addition, solution phase 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy is used to further characterize phosphorus forms. We hypothesize that phosphorus in deep sub-seafloor sediments has low bioavailability and is mainly present in mineral phases.

  11. Life-cycle greenhouse gas assessment of Nigerian liquefied natural gas addressing uncertainty.

    PubMed

    Safaei, Amir; Freire, Fausto; Henggeler Antunes, Carlos

    2015-03-17

    Natural gas (NG) has been regarded as a bridge fuel toward renewable sources and is expected to play a greater role in future global energy mix; however, a high degree of uncertainty exists concerning upstream (well-to-tank, WtT) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of NG. In this study, a life-cycle (LC) model is built to assess uncertainty in WtT GHG emissions of liquefied NG (LNG) supplied to Europe by Nigeria. The 90% prediction interval of GHG intensity of Nigerian LNG was found to range between 14.9 and 19.3 g CO2 eq/MJ, with a mean value of 16.8 g CO2 eq/MJ. This intensity was estimated considering no venting practice in Nigerian fields. The mean estimation can shift up to 25 g CO2 eq when considering a scenario with a higher rate of venting emissions. A sensitivity analysis of the time horizon to calculate GHG intensity was also performed showing that higher GHG intensity and uncertainty are obtained for shorter time horizons, due to the higher impact factor of methane. The uncertainty calculated for Nigerian LNG, specifically regarding the gap of data for methane emissions, recommends initiatives to measure and report emissions and further LC studies to identify hotspots to reduce the GHG intensity of LNG chains. PMID:25621534

  12. Life-cycle greenhouse gas assessment of Nigerian liquefied natural gas addressing uncertainty.

    PubMed

    Safaei, Amir; Freire, Fausto; Henggeler Antunes, Carlos

    2015-03-17

    Natural gas (NG) has been regarded as a bridge fuel toward renewable sources and is expected to play a greater role in future global energy mix; however, a high degree of uncertainty exists concerning upstream (well-to-tank, WtT) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of NG. In this study, a life-cycle (LC) model is built to assess uncertainty in WtT GHG emissions of liquefied NG (LNG) supplied to Europe by Nigeria. The 90% prediction interval of GHG intensity of Nigerian LNG was found to range between 14.9 and 19.3 g CO2 eq/MJ, with a mean value of 16.8 g CO2 eq/MJ. This intensity was estimated considering no venting practice in Nigerian fields. The mean estimation can shift up to 25 g CO2 eq when considering a scenario with a higher rate of venting emissions. A sensitivity analysis of the time horizon to calculate GHG intensity was also performed showing that higher GHG intensity and uncertainty are obtained for shorter time horizons, due to the higher impact factor of methane. The uncertainty calculated for Nigerian LNG, specifically regarding the gap of data for methane emissions, recommends initiatives to measure and report emissions and further LC studies to identify hotspots to reduce the GHG intensity of LNG chains.

  13. Reducing Uncertainty in Life Cycle CH4 Emissions from Natural Gas using Atmospheric Inversions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwietzke, S.; Griffin, W.; Matthews, H.; Bruhwiler, L.

    2013-12-01

    Rising interest in natural gas (NG) as a potentially cleaner alternative to coal and successful tapping of unconventional resources in North America, particularly shale gas, have led to numerous life cycle assessment (LCA) studies revisiting NG leakage rates, i.e., the fraction of produced NG, mostly methane, emitted to the atmosphere, intentionally or unintentionally. Accurately quantifying leakage rates of the full NG life cycle - extraction, processing, transport, and distribution - is challenging due to the size and complexity of the NG industry. Recent U.S. LCA estimates suggest that current NG leakage could be as high as 8% and 6%, from shale and conventional NG, respectively, compared to less than 2% in the latest EPA GHG emission inventory. Reducing uncertainty in the NG leakage rate is important for assessing potential climate benefits of NG over coal, and for understanding the global CH4 budget. The objective of this research is to analyze which ranges of the global average NG leakage rate are reasonable given existing atmospheric observations. We establish detailed prior global CH4 and C2H6 emission inventory scenarios for NG, oil, and coal using emissions data from the LCA literature including uncertainty estimates. Global CH4 and C2H6 inverse box-modeling is used to test the above hypotheses of various global NG leakage rates over the period 1984-2011. Forward simulations with NOAA's CarbonTracker-CH4 (CT-CH4) model provide additional spatial and seasonal information about CH4 atmospheric distribution. Box model inversion results indicate worst-case scenarios of current (2010) global average NG leakage rates of 7% (128 Tg CH4/yr) and 5% (92 Tg CH4/yr) based on CH4 isotope and C2H6 observations, respectively, as well as available raw gas composition data. Worst-case assumptions include upper bound estimates of the global CH4 and C2H6 budget, lower bound literature estimates of all CH4 and C2H6 sources other than NG simultaneously, and absence of a

  14. Characterization of the deep microbial life in the Altmark natural gas reservoir

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morozova, D.; Alawi, M.; Vieth-Hillebrand, A.; Kock, D.; Krüger, M.; Wuerdemann, H.; Shaheed, M.

    2010-12-01

    Within the framework of the CLEAN project (CO2 Largescale Enhanced gas recovery in the Altmark Natural gas field) technical basics with special emphasis on process monitoring are explored by injecting CO2 into a gas reservoir. Our study focuses on the investigation of the in-situ microbial community of the Rotliegend natural gas reservoir in the Altmark, located south of the city Salzwedel, Germany. In order to characterize the microbial life in the extreme habitat we aim to localize and identify microbes including their metabolism influencing the creation and dissolution of minerals. The ability of microorganisms to speed up dissolution and formation of minerals might result in changes of the local permeability and the long-term safety of CO2 storage. However, geology, structure and chemistry of the reservoir rock and the cap rock as well as interaction with saline formation water and natural gases and the injected CO2 affect the microbial community composition and activity. The reservoir located at the depth of approximately 3500 m, is characterised by high salinity (420 g/l) and temperatures up to 127°C. It represents an extreme environment for microbial life and therefore the main focus is on hyperthermophilic, halophilic anaerobic microorganisms. In consequence of the injection of large amounts of CO2 in the course of a commercial EGR (Enhanced Gas Recovery), the environmental conditions (e.g. pH, temperature, pressure and solubility of minerals) for the autochthonous microorganisms will change. Genetic profiling of amplified 16S rRNA genes are applied for detecting structural changes in the community by using PCR- SSCP (PCR-Single-Strand-Conformation Polymorphism), DGGE (Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis) and 16S rRNA cloning. First results of the baseline survey indicate the presence of microorganisms similar to representatives from other deep environments. The sequence analyses revealed the presence of several H2-oxidising bacteria (Hydrogenophaga sp

  15. Elevated Appraisals of the Negative Impact of Naturally Occurring Life Events: A Risk Factor for Depressive and Anxiety Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Espejo, Emmanuel Peter; Hammen, Constance; Brennan, Patricia A.

    2012-01-01

    The tendency to appraise naturally occurring life events (LEs) as having high negative impact may be a predisposing factor for the development of depression and anxiety disorders. In the current study, appraisals of the negative impact of recent LEs were examined in relationship to depressive and anxiety disorders in a sample of 653 adolescents…

  16. Early life history and survival of natural subyearling fall chinook salmon in the Snake and Clearwater rivers in 1995

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Connor, William P.; Bjornn, Theodore C.; Burge, Howard L.; Garcia, Aaron P.; Rondorf, Dennis W.

    1997-01-01

    The objectives of this segment of our study were to (1) describe the early life history characteristics of naturally produced subyearling fall chinook salmon in the Snake and Clearwater rivers, and (2) estimate survival for juvenile fall chinook salmon emigrating from the Snake and Clearwater rivers to the tail race of Lower Granite Dam.

  17. Developmental Investigation of the Domain-Specific Nature of the Life Satisfaction Construct across the Post-School Transition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Xidan; Morin, Alexandre J. S.; Parker, Philip D.; Marsh, Herbert W.

    2015-01-01

    This study evaluated the nature of the life satisfaction construct with an emphasis on the comparison between a global or domain-specific operationalization during the transition from adolescence to adulthood. A combination of person-centered and variable-centered methods were used to analyze 7 waves of data covering the postschool transition from…

  18. Histology and affinity of the earliest armoured vertebrate.

    PubMed

    Sansom, Ivan J; Donoghue, Philip C J; Albanesi, Guillermo

    2005-12-22

    Arandaspids are the earliest skeletonizing vertebrates known from articulated remains. Despite a wealth of data, their affinity remains questionable because they exhibit a random mixture of primitive and derived characteristics. We constrain the affinity of arandaspids by providing the first detailed characterization of their dermoskeleton which is revealed to be three-layered, composed of a basal laminated, cancellous middle and tubercular superficial layers. All three layers are composed of acellular bone but the superficial layer also includes dentine and enameloid, comprising the tubercles. As such, the composition of the arandaspid dermoskeleton is common to heterostracans and astraspids, supporting existing hypotheses of early vertebrate phylogeny. This emphasizes the peculiarity of existing interpretations of aranadaspid anatomy and there is need for a complete reappraisal of the existing anatomical data.

  19. Investigating the earliest epochs of the Milky Way halo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Starkenburg, Else; Starkenburg

    2016-08-01

    Resolved stellar spectroscopy can obtain knowledge about chemical enrichment processes back to the earliest times, when the oldest stars were formed. In this contribution I will review the early (chemical) evolution of the Milky Way halo from an observational perspective. In particular, I will discuss our understanding of the origin of the peculiar abundance patterns in various subclasses of extremely metal-poor stars, taking into account new data from our abundance and radial velocity monitoring programs, and their implications for our understanding of the formation and early evolution of both the Milky Way halo and the satellite dwarf galaxies therein. I conclude by presenting the ``Pristine'' survey, a program on the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope to study this intriguing epoch much more efficiently.

  20. Ultrasonic hearing and echolocation in the earliest toothed whales.

    PubMed

    Park, Travis; Fitzgerald, Erich M G; Evans, Alistair R

    2016-04-01

    The evolution of biosonar (production of high-frequency sound and reception of its echo) was a key innovation of toothed whales and dolphins (Odontoceti) that facilitated phylogenetic diversification and rise to ecological predominance. Yet exactly when high-frequency hearing first evolved in odontocete history remains a fundamental question in cetacean biology. Here, we show that archaic odontocetes had a cochlea specialized for sensing high-frequency sound, as exemplified by an Oligocene xenorophid, one of the earliest diverging stem groups. This specialization is not as extreme as that seen in the crown clade. Paired with anatomical correlates for high-frequency signal production in Xenorophidae, this is strong evidence that the most archaic toothed whales possessed a functional biosonar system, and that this signature adaptation of odontocetes was acquired at or soon after their origin. PMID:27072406

  1. The earliest fossil evidence for sexual dimorphism in primates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krishtalka, Leonard; Stucky, Richard K.; Beard, K. C.

    1990-01-01

    Recently obtained material of the early Eocene primate Notharctus venticolus, including two partial skulls from a single stratigraphic horizon, provides the geologically earliest evidence of sexual dimorphism in canine size and shape in primates and the only unequivocal evidence for such dimorphism in strepsirhines. By analogy with living platyrrhines, these data suggest that Notharctus venticolus may have lived in polygynous social groups characterized by a relatively high level of intermale competition for mates and other limited resources. The anatomy of the upper incisors and related evidence imply that Notharctus is not as closely related to extant lemuriform primates as has been recently proposed. The early Eocene evidence for canine sexual dimorphism reported here, and its occurrence in a nonanthropoid, indicates that in the order Primates such a condition is either primitive or evolved independently more than once.

  2. The Origin and Earliest Reception of Big-Bang Cosmology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kragh, H.

    2008-10-01

    The basic idea of big-bang cosmology is that the universe came into being a finite time ago and since then developed into its present state. More or less scientifically based versions of this idea can be found in the nineteenth century, but it was only after Einstein's general theory of relativity that it became possible to speak of a dynamical universe in a full sense. Although mathematical models of a big-bang universe were included in Friedmann's theory of 1922, the true beginning of (physical) big-bang cosmology should be dated to 1931, when Lemaître suggested his picture of the primordial state of the universe as a giant atomic nucleus. This paper outlines the origin of the big-bang hypothesis and pays particular attention to the works of Lemaître. It also deals with the earliest reception of the hypothesis, but only up to the mid-1930s.

  3. Ultrasonic hearing and echolocation in the earliest toothed whales.

    PubMed

    Park, Travis; Fitzgerald, Erich M G; Evans, Alistair R

    2016-04-01

    The evolution of biosonar (production of high-frequency sound and reception of its echo) was a key innovation of toothed whales and dolphins (Odontoceti) that facilitated phylogenetic diversification and rise to ecological predominance. Yet exactly when high-frequency hearing first evolved in odontocete history remains a fundamental question in cetacean biology. Here, we show that archaic odontocetes had a cochlea specialized for sensing high-frequency sound, as exemplified by an Oligocene xenorophid, one of the earliest diverging stem groups. This specialization is not as extreme as that seen in the crown clade. Paired with anatomical correlates for high-frequency signal production in Xenorophidae, this is strong evidence that the most archaic toothed whales possessed a functional biosonar system, and that this signature adaptation of odontocetes was acquired at or soon after their origin.

  4. New flutes document the earliest musical tradition in southwestern Germany.

    PubMed

    Conard, Nicholas J; Malina, Maria; Münzel, Susanne C

    2009-08-01

    Considerable debate surrounds claims for early evidence of music in the archaeological record. Researchers universally accept the existence of complex musical instruments as an indication of fully modern behaviour and advanced symbolic communication but, owing to the scarcity of finds, the archaeological record of the evolution and spread of music remains incomplete. Although arguments have been made for Neanderthal musical traditions and the presence of musical instruments in Middle Palaeolithic assemblages, concrete evidence to support these claims is lacking. Here we report the discovery of bone and ivory flutes from the early Aurignacian period of southwestern Germany. These finds demonstrate the presence of a well-established musical tradition at the time when modern humans colonized Europe, more than 35,000 calendar years ago. Other than the caves of the Swabian Jura, the earliest secure archaeological evidence for music comes from sites in France and Austria and post-date 30,000 years ago. PMID:19553935

  5. Uncertainty in life cycle greenhouse gas emissions from United States natural gas end-uses and its effects on policy.

    PubMed

    Venkatesh, Aranya; Jaramillo, Paulina; Griffin, W Michael; Matthews, H Scott

    2011-10-01

    Increasing concerns about greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the United States have spurred interest in alternate low carbon fuel sources, such as natural gas. Life cycle assessment (LCA) methods can be used to estimate potential emissions reductions through the use of such fuels. Some recent policies have used the results of LCAs to encourage the use of low carbon fuels to meet future energy demands in the U.S., without, however, acknowledging and addressing the uncertainty and variability prevalent in LCA. Natural gas is a particularly interesting fuel since it can be used to meet various energy demands, for example, as a transportation fuel or in power generation. Estimating the magnitudes and likelihoods of achieving emissions reductions from competing end-uses of natural gas using LCA offers one way to examine optimal strategies of natural gas resource allocation, given that its availability is likely to be limited in the future. In this study, the uncertainty in life cycle GHG emissions of natural gas (domestic and imported) consumed in the U.S. was estimated using probabilistic modeling methods. Monte Carlo simulations are performed to obtain sample distributions representing life cycle GHG emissions from the use of 1 MJ of domestic natural gas and imported LNG. Life cycle GHG emissions per energy unit of average natural gas consumed in the U.S were found to range between -8 and 9% of the mean value of 66 g CO(2)e/MJ. The probabilities of achieving emissions reductions by using natural gas for transportation and power generation, as a substitute for incumbent fuels such as gasoline, diesel, and coal were estimated. The use of natural gas for power generation instead of coal was found to have the highest and most likely emissions reductions (almost a 100% probability of achieving reductions of 60 g CO(2)e/MJ of natural gas used), while there is a 10-35% probability of the emissions from natural gas being higher than the incumbent if it were used as a

  6. Earliest evidence for commensal processes of cat domestication.

    PubMed

    Hu, Yaowu; Hu, Songmei; Wang, Weilin; Wu, Xiaohong; Marshall, Fiona B; Chen, Xianglong; Hou, Liangliang; Wang, Changsui

    2014-01-01

    Domestic cats are one of the most popular pets globally, but the process of their domestication is not well understood. Near Eastern wildcats are thought to have been attracted to food sources in early agricultural settlements, following a commensal pathway to domestication. Early evidence for close human-cat relationships comes from a wildcat interred near a human on Cyprus ca. 9,500 y ago, but the earliest domestic cats are known only from Egyptian art dating to 4,000 y ago. Evidence is lacking from the key period of cat domestication 9,500-4,000 y ago. We report on the presence of cats directly dated between 5560-5280 cal B.P. in the early agricultural village of Quanhucun in Shaanxi, China. These cats were outside the wild range of Near Eastern wildcats and biometrically smaller, but within the size-range of domestic cats. The δ(13)C and δ(15)N values of human and animal bone collagen revealed substantial consumption of millet-based foods by humans, rodents, and cats. Ceramic storage containers designed to exclude rodents indicated a threat to stored grain in Yangshao villages. Taken together, isotopic and archaeological data demonstrate that cats were advantageous for ancient farmers. Isotopic data also show that one cat ate less meat and consumed more millet-based foods than expected, indicating that it scavenged among or was fed by people. This study offers fresh perspectives on cat domestication, providing the earliest known evidence for commensal relationships between people and cats.

  7. Earliest evidence for commensal processes of cat domestication.

    PubMed

    Hu, Yaowu; Hu, Songmei; Wang, Weilin; Wu, Xiaohong; Marshall, Fiona B; Chen, Xianglong; Hou, Liangliang; Wang, Changsui

    2014-01-01

    Domestic cats are one of the most popular pets globally, but the process of their domestication is not well understood. Near Eastern wildcats are thought to have been attracted to food sources in early agricultural settlements, following a commensal pathway to domestication. Early evidence for close human-cat relationships comes from a wildcat interred near a human on Cyprus ca. 9,500 y ago, but the earliest domestic cats are known only from Egyptian art dating to 4,000 y ago. Evidence is lacking from the key period of cat domestication 9,500-4,000 y ago. We report on the presence of cats directly dated between 5560-5280 cal B.P. in the early agricultural village of Quanhucun in Shaanxi, China. These cats were outside the wild range of Near Eastern wildcats and biometrically smaller, but within the size-range of domestic cats. The δ(13)C and δ(15)N values of human and animal bone collagen revealed substantial consumption of millet-based foods by humans, rodents, and cats. Ceramic storage containers designed to exclude rodents indicated a threat to stored grain in Yangshao villages. Taken together, isotopic and archaeological data demonstrate that cats were advantageous for ancient farmers. Isotopic data also show that one cat ate less meat and consumed more millet-based foods than expected, indicating that it scavenged among or was fed by people. This study offers fresh perspectives on cat domestication, providing the earliest known evidence for commensal relationships between people and cats. PMID:24344279

  8. Observing the Earliest Galaxies: Looking for the Sources of Reionization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Illingworth, Garth

    2015-04-01

    Systematic searches for the earliest galaxies in the reionization epoch finally became possible in 2009 when the Hubble Space Telescope was updated with a powerful new infrared camera during the final Shuttle servicing mission SM4 to Hubble. The reionization epoch represents the last major phase transition of the universe and was a major event in cosmic history. The intense ultraviolet radiation from young star-forming galaxies is increasingly considered to be the source of the photons that reionized intergalactic hydrogen in the period between the ``dark ages'' (the time before the first stars and galaxies at about 100-200 million years after the Big Bang) and the end of reionization around 800-900 million years. Yet finding and measuring the earliest galaxies in this era of cosmic dawn has proven to a challenging task, even with Hubble's new infrared camera. I will discuss the deep imaging undertaken by Hubble and the remarkable insights that have accrued from the imaging datasets taken over the last decade on the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field (HUDF, HUDF09/12) and other regions. The HUDF datasets are central to the story and have been assembled into the eXtreme Deep Field (XDF), the deepest image ever from Hubble data. The XDF, when combined with results from shallower wide-area imaging surveys (e.g., GOODS, CANDELS) and with detections of galaxies from the Frontier Fields, has provided significant insights into the role of galaxies in reionization. Yet many questions remain. The puzzle is far from being fully solved and, while much will done over the next few years, the solution likely awaits the launch of JWST. NASA/STScI Grant HST-GO-11563.

  9. Comparative life-cycle air emissions of coal, domestic natural gas, LNG, and SNG for electricity generation

    SciTech Connect

    Paulina Jaramillo; W. Michael Griffin; H. Scott Matthews

    2007-09-15

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that in the coming decades the United States' natural gas (NG) demand for electricity generation will increase. Estimates also suggest that NG supply will increasingly come from imported liquefied natural gas (LNG). Additional supplies of NG could come domestically from the production of synthetic natural gas (SNG) via coal gasification-methanation. The objective of this study is to compare greenhouse gas (GHG), SOx, and NOx life-cycle emissions of electricity generated with NG/LNG/SNG and coal. This life-cycle comparison of air emissions from different fuels can help us better understand the advantages and disadvantages of using coal versus globally sourced NG for electricity generation. Our estimates suggest that with the current fleet of power plants, a mix of domestic NG, LNG, and SNG would have lower GHG emissions than coal. If advanced technologies with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) are used, however, coal and a mix of domestic NG, LNG, and SNG would have very similar life-cycle GHG emissions. For SOx and NOx we find there are significant emissions in the upstream stages of the NG/LNG life-cycles, which contribute to a larger range in SOx and NOx emissions for NG/LNG than for coal and SNG. 38 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs.

  10. Comparative life-cycle air emissions of coal, domestic natural gas, LNG, and SNG for electricity generation.

    PubMed

    Jaramillo, Paulina; Griffin, W Michael; Matthews, H Scott

    2007-09-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that in the coming decades the United States' natural gas (NG) demand for electricity generation will increase. Estimates also suggest that NG supply will increasingly come from imported liquefied natural gas (LNG). Additional supplies of NG could come domestically from the production of synthetic natural gas (SNG) via coal gasification-methanation. The objective of this study is to compare greenhouse gas (GHG), SOx, and NOx life-cycle emissions of electricity generated with NG/LNG/SNG and coal. This life-cycle comparison of air emissions from different fuels can help us better understand the advantages and disadvantages of using coal versus globally sourced NG for electricity generation. Our estimates suggest that with the current fleet of power plants, a mix of domestic NG, LNG, and SNG would have lower GHG emissions than coal. If advanced technologies with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) are used, however, coal and a mix of domestic NG, LNG, and SNG would have very similar life-cycle GHG emissions. For SOx and NOx we find there are significant emissions in the upstream stages of the NG/ LNG life-cycles, which contribute to a larger range in SOx and NOx emissions for NG/LNG than for coal and SNG. PMID:17937317

  11. Comparative life-cycle air emissions of coal, domestic natural gas, LNG, and SNG for electricity generation.

    PubMed

    Jaramillo, Paulina; Griffin, W Michael; Matthews, H Scott

    2007-09-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that in the coming decades the United States' natural gas (NG) demand for electricity generation will increase. Estimates also suggest that NG supply will increasingly come from imported liquefied natural gas (LNG). Additional supplies of NG could come domestically from the production of synthetic natural gas (SNG) via coal gasification-methanation. The objective of this study is to compare greenhouse gas (GHG), SOx, and NOx life-cycle emissions of electricity generated with NG/LNG/SNG and coal. This life-cycle comparison of air emissions from different fuels can help us better understand the advantages and disadvantages of using coal versus globally sourced NG for electricity generation. Our estimates suggest that with the current fleet of power plants, a mix of domestic NG, LNG, and SNG would have lower GHG emissions than coal. If advanced technologies with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) are used, however, coal and a mix of domestic NG, LNG, and SNG would have very similar life-cycle GHG emissions. For SOx and NOx we find there are significant emissions in the upstream stages of the NG/ LNG life-cycles, which contribute to a larger range in SOx and NOx emissions for NG/LNG than for coal and SNG.

  12. Stimulating Growth and Renewal of Public Libraries: The Natural Life Cycle as Framework. ERIC Digest.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parry, Norm

    This digest explores the life cycle of public libraries, presenting a "life stages" model and highlighting characteristics of each stage. It provides specific advice on what can be done in each stage to energize the library with "stage-appropriate" action. The characteristics that mark the Birth/Infant stage include: driving enthusiasm and effort…

  13. Comparison of life cycle greenhouse gases from natural gas pathways for medium and heavy-duty vehicles.

    PubMed

    Tong, Fan; Jaramillo, Paulina; Azevedo, Inês M L

    2015-06-16

    The low-cost and abundant supply of shale gas in the United States has increased the interest in using natural gas for transportation. We compare the life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from different natural gas pathways for medium and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs). For Class 8 tractor-trailers and refuse trucks, none of the natural gas pathways provide emissions reductions per unit of freight-distance moved compared to diesel trucks. When compared to the petroleum-based fuels currently used in these vehicles, CNG and centrally produced LNG increase emissions by 0-3% and 2-13%, respectively, for Class 8 trucks. Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) powered with natural gas-produced electricity are the only fuel-technology combination that achieves emission reductions for Class 8 transit buses (31% reduction compared to the petroleum-fueled vehicles). For non-Class 8 trucks (pick-up trucks, parcel delivery trucks, and box trucks), BEVs reduce emissions significantly (31-40%) compared to their diesel or gasoline counterparts. CNG and propane achieve relatively smaller emissions reductions (0-6% and 19%, respectively, compared to the petroleum-based fuels), while other natural gas pathways increase emissions for non-Class 8 MHDVs. While using natural gas to fuel electric vehicles could achieve large emission reductions for medium-duty trucks, the results suggest there are no great opportunities to achieve large emission reductions for Class 8 trucks through natural gas pathways with current technologies. There are strategies to reduce the carbon footprint of using natural gas for MHDVs, ranging from increasing vehicle fuel efficiency, reducing life cycle methane leakage rate, to achieving the same payloads and cargo volumes as conventional diesel trucks. PMID:25938939

  14. Comparison of life cycle greenhouse gases from natural gas pathways for medium and heavy-duty vehicles.

    PubMed

    Tong, Fan; Jaramillo, Paulina; Azevedo, Inês M L

    2015-06-16

    The low-cost and abundant supply of shale gas in the United States has increased the interest in using natural gas for transportation. We compare the life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from different natural gas pathways for medium and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs). For Class 8 tractor-trailers and refuse trucks, none of the natural gas pathways provide emissions reductions per unit of freight-distance moved compared to diesel trucks. When compared to the petroleum-based fuels currently used in these vehicles, CNG and centrally produced LNG increase emissions by 0-3% and 2-13%, respectively, for Class 8 trucks. Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) powered with natural gas-produced electricity are the only fuel-technology combination that achieves emission reductions for Class 8 transit buses (31% reduction compared to the petroleum-fueled vehicles). For non-Class 8 trucks (pick-up trucks, parcel delivery trucks, and box trucks), BEVs reduce emissions significantly (31-40%) compared to their diesel or gasoline counterparts. CNG and propane achieve relatively smaller emissions reductions (0-6% and 19%, respectively, compared to the petroleum-based fuels), while other natural gas pathways increase emissions for non-Class 8 MHDVs. While using natural gas to fuel electric vehicles could achieve large emission reductions for medium-duty trucks, the results suggest there are no great opportunities to achieve large emission reductions for Class 8 trucks through natural gas pathways with current technologies. There are strategies to reduce the carbon footprint of using natural gas for MHDVs, ranging from increasing vehicle fuel efficiency, reducing life cycle methane leakage rate, to achieving the same payloads and cargo volumes as conventional diesel trucks.

  15. Use of lycopene as a natural antioxidant in extending the shelf-life of anhydrous cow milk fat.

    PubMed

    Siwach, Ruby; Tokas, Jayanti; Seth, Raman

    2016-05-15

    Oxidative rancidity in anhydrous cow milk fat leads to reduction in its shelf life. Use of synthetic antioxidants is prevalent in dairy industry to prevent the development of rancidity. Keeping in view the increasing demand for natural additives, the present study was carried out to explore the potential of lycopene as a natural antioxidant in anhydrous cow milk fat. Lycopene at five different levels (30, 60, 90, 120 and 150 ppm) and butylated hydroxyl anisole (200 ppm), were incorporated in anhydrous cow milk fat. Potential of lycopene extract to enhance the shelf life of anhydrous cow milk fat was evaluated by measuring Free Fatty Acids, peroxide value, Thiobarbituric Acid value and color value during 12 months of storage at ambient conditions (30°C). Lycopene significantly (p<0.05) prevented the development of oxidative rancidity. Lycopene containing samples scored significantly higher in terms of sensory attributes as compared to control. PMID:26776006

  16. Malaria life cycle intensifies both natural selection and random genetic drift.

    PubMed

    Chang, Hsiao-Han; Moss, Eli L; Park, Daniel J; Ndiaye, Daouda; Mboup, Souleymane; Volkman, Sarah K; Sabeti, Pardis C; Wirth, Dyann F; Neafsey, Daniel E; Hartl, Daniel L

    2013-12-10

    Analysis of genome sequences of 159 isolates of Plasmodium falciparum from Senegal yields an extraordinarily high proportion (26.85%) of protein-coding genes with the ratio of nonsynonymous to synonymous polymorphism greater than one. This proportion is much greater than observed in other organisms. Also unusual is that the site-frequency spectra of synonymous and nonsynonymous polymorphisms are virtually indistinguishable. We hypothesized that the complicated life cycle of malaria parasites might lead to qualitatively different population genetics from that predicted from the classical Wright-Fisher (WF) model, which assumes a single random-mating population with a finite and constant population size in an organism with nonoverlapping generations. This paper summarizes simulation studies of random genetic drift and selection in malaria parasites that take into account their unusual life history. Our results show that random genetic drift in the malaria life cycle is more pronounced than under the WF model. Paradoxically, the efficiency of purifying selection in the malaria life cycle is also greater than under WF, and the relative efficiency of positive selection varies according to conditions. Additionally, the site-frequency spectrum under neutrality is also more skewed toward low-frequency alleles than expected with WF. These results highlight the importance of considering the malaria life cycle when applying existing population genetic tools based on the WF model. The same caveat applies to other species with similarly complex life cycles.

  17. A Jurassic mammaliaform and the earliest mammalian evolutionary adaptations.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Chang-Fu; Wu, Shaoyuan; Martin, Thomas; Luo, Zhe-Xi

    2013-08-01

    The earliest evolution of mammals and origins of mammalian features can be traced to the mammaliaforms of the Triassic and Jurassic periods that are extinct relatives to living mammals. Here we describe a new fossil from the Middle Jurassic that has a mandibular middle ear, a gradational transition of thoracolumbar vertebrae and primitive ankle features, but highly derived molars with a high crown and multiple roots that are partially fused. The upper molars have longitudinal cusp rows that occlude alternately with those of the lower molars. This specialization for masticating plants indicates that herbivory evolved among mammaliaforms, before the rise of crown mammals. The new species shares the distinctive dental features of the eleutherodontid clade, previously represented only by isolated teeth despite its extensive geographic distribution during the Jurassic. This eleutherodontid was terrestrial and had ambulatory gaits, analogous to extant terrestrial mammals such as armadillos or rock hyrax. Its fur corroborates that mammalian integument had originated well before the common ancestor of living mammals. PMID:23925238

  18. The earliest pterodactyloid and the origin of the group.

    PubMed

    Andres, Brian; Clark, James; Xu, Xing

    2014-05-01

    The pterosaurs were a diverse group of Mesozoic flying reptiles that underwent a body plan reorganization, adaptive radiation, and replacement of earlier forms midway through their long history, resulting in the origin of the Pterodactyloidea, a highly specialized clade containing the largest flying organisms. The sudden appearance and large suite of morphological features of this group were suggested to be the result of it originating in terrestrial environments, where the pterosaur fossil record has traditionally been poor [1, 2], and its many features suggested to be adaptations to those environments [1, 2]. However, little evidence has been available to test this hypothesis, and it has not been supported by previous phylogenies or early pterodactyloid discoveries. We report here the earliest pterosaur with the diagnostic elongate metacarpus of the Pterodactyloidea, Kryptodrakon progenitor, gen. et sp. nov., from the terrestrial Middle-Upper Jurassic boundary of Northwest China. Phylogenetic analysis confirms this species as the basalmost pterodactyloid and reconstructs a terrestrial origin and a predominantly terrestrial history for the Pterodactyloidea. Phylogenetic comparative methods support this reconstruction by means of a significant correlation between wing shape and environment also found in modern flying vertebrates, indicating that pterosaurs lived in or were at least adapted to the environments in which they were preserved.

  19. Aurorae: The earliest datable observation of the aurora borealis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stephenson, F. Richard; Willis, David M.; Hallinan, Thomas J.

    2004-12-01

    The Late Babylonian astronomical texts, discovered at the site of Babylon (32.5°N, 44.4°E) more than a century ago, contain what is probably the earliest reliable account of the aurora borealis. A clay tablet recording numerous celestial observations made by the official astronomers during the 37th year of King Nebuchadnezzar II (568/567 BC) describes an unusual ``red glow'' in the sky at night; the exact date of this observation corresponds to the night of 12/13 March in 567 BC. The most likely interpretation of the phenomenon is an auroral display. This event occurred several centuries before the first clearly identifiable observation of the aurora from elsewhere in the world, namely China in 193 BC. The Babylonian auroral observation is remarkable in the sense that it is one of a series of carefully recorded astronomical observations, for each of which the year, month and day are known precisely. This observation occurred at a time when the geomagnetic (dipole) latitude of Babylon was about 41°N compared with the present value of 27.5°N, suggesting a higher auroral incidence at Babylon in 567 BC than at present.

  20. Defining the Earliest Pathological Changes of Alzheimer’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Vickers, James C.; Mitew, Stan; Woodhouse, Adele; Fernandez-Martos, Carmen M.; Kirkcaldie, Mathew T.; Canty, Alison J.; McCormack, Graeme H.; King, Anna E.

    2016-01-01

    The prospects for effectively treating well-established dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), are slim, due to the destruction of key brain pathways that underlie higher cognitive function. There has been a substantial shift in the field towards detecting conditions such as AD in their earliest stages, which would allow preventative or therapeutic approaches to substantially reduce risk and/or slow the progression of disease. AD is characterized by hallmark pathological changes such as extracellular Aβ plaques and intracellular neurofibrillary pathology, which selectively affect specific subclasses of neurons and brain circuits. Current evidence indicates that Aβ plaques begin to form many years before overt dementia, a gradual and progressive pathology which offers a potential target for early intervention. Early Aβ changes in the brain result in localized damage to dendrites, axonal processes and synapses, to which excitatory synapses and the processes of projection neurons are highly vulnerable. Aβ pathology is replicated in a range of transgenic models overexpressing mutant human familial AD genes (eg APP and presenilin 1). Studying the development of aberrant regenerative and degenerative changes in neuritic processes associated with Aβ plaques may represent the best opportunity to understand the relationship between the pathological hallmarks of AD and neuronal damage, and to develop early interventions to prevent, slow down or mitigate against Aβ pathology and/or the neuronal alterations that leads to cognitive impairment. PMID:26679855

  1. Buried Impact Basins and the Earliest History of Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frey, H. V.

    2003-01-01

    The "Quasi-Circular Depressions" (QCDs) seen in MOLA data which have little or no visible appearance in image data have been interpreted as buried impact basins on Mars. These have important implications for the age of the lowland crust, what mechanisms could produce the crustal dichotomy, and the existence of crust older than the oldest observed surface units on Mars. A global survey of large QCDs using high resolution MOLA data now available has provided further details of the earliest history of Mars. The lowlands are of Early Noachian age, slightly younger than the buried highlands and definitely older than the exposed highland surface. A depopulation of large visible basins at diameters 800 to 1300 km suggests some global scale event early in martian history, maybe related to the formation of the lowlands and/or the development of Tharsis. A suggested early disappearance of the global magnetic field can be placed within a temporal sequence of formation of the very largest impact basins.

  2. Ediacaran matground ecology persisted into the earliest Cambrian.

    PubMed

    Buatois, Luis A; Narbonne, Guy M; Mángano, M Gabriela; Carmona, Noelia B; Myrow, Paul

    2014-01-01

    The beginning of the Cambrian was a time of marked biological and sedimentary changes, including the replacement of Proterozoic-style microbial matgrounds by Phanerozoic-style bioturbated mixgrounds. Here we show that Ediacaran-style matground-based ecology persisted into the earliest Cambrian. Our study in the type section of the basal Cambrian in Fortune Head, Newfoundland, Canada reveals widespread microbially induced sedimentary structures and typical Ediacaran-type matground ichnofossils. Ediacara-type body fossils are present immediately below the top of the Ediacaran but are strikingly absent from the overlying Cambrian succession, despite optimal conditions for their preservation, and instead the microbial surfaces are marked by the appearance of the first abundant arthropod scratch marks in Earth evolution. These features imply that the disappearance of the Ediacara biota represents an abrupt evolutionary event that corresponded with the appearance of novel bilaterian clades, rather than a fading away owing to the gradual elimination of conditions appropriate for Ediacaran preservation. PMID:24675373

  3. Earliest symptoms caused by neovascular membranes in the macula.

    PubMed

    Fine, A M; Elman, M J; Ebert, J E; Prestia, P A; Starr, J S; Fine, S L

    1986-04-01

    One hundred three patients with neovascular maculopathy and relatively recent vision loss were surveyed to determine the most frequent symptoms and to assess the reliability of the Amsler grid in helping patients to detect early symptoms. Blurred vision and distortion, most often with near vision, were the most frequent first symptoms reported by patients. Of 49 patients who said that they were observing the Amsler grid on a regular basis, only five indicated that the Amsler grid abnormality was the first visual symptom. However, all but five of 49 patients did notice an Amsler grid abnormality during the office examination, suggesting noncompliance as the probable explanation for failure to detect an Amsler grid abnormality earlier. Patients at risk for neovascular maculopathy should be encouraged to assess a variety of visual functions--including reading vision, color saturation, and image clarity--in addition to observing the Amsler grid, in order to help them detect the earliest symptoms of submacular fluid from a potentially treatable neovascular membrane.

  4. Fixational eye movements in the earliest stage of metazoan evolution.

    PubMed

    Bielecki, Jan; Høeg, Jens T; Garm, Anders

    2013-01-01

    All known photoreceptor cells adapt to constant light stimuli, fading the retinal image when exposed to an immobile visual scene. Counter strategies are therefore necessary to prevent blindness, and in mammals this is accomplished by fixational eye movements. Cubomedusae occupy a key position for understanding the evolution of complex visual systems and their eyes are assumedly subject to the same adaptive problems as the vertebrate eye, but lack motor control of their visual system. The morphology of the visual system of cubomedusae ensures a constant orientation of the eyes and a clear division of the visual field, but thereby also a constant retinal image when exposed to stationary visual scenes. Here we show that bell contractions used for swimming in the medusae refresh the retinal image in the upper lens eye of Tripedalia cystophora. This strongly suggests that strategies comparable to fixational eye movements have evolved at the earliest metazoan stage to compensate for the intrinsic property of the photoreceptors. Since the timing and amplitude of the rhopalial movements concur with the spatial and temporal resolution of the eye it circumvents the need for post processing in the central nervous system to remove image blur.

  5. Formative Life Experiences and the Recruitment of Natural Resource Conservation Professionals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Marc

    2013-01-01

    Recruiting young people to serve as future leaders is a major concern for many organizations involved in natural resource conservation. One of the primary reasons for this concern is that youth are becoming less connected to the natural world because of the synergistic effects of urbanization, electronic media, and reduced opportunities to explore…

  6. "Kids for Trees": Student Projects in Real-Life Natural Resource Management.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chandler, Jim

    The "Kids for Trees" program described in this guidebook is a hands-on natural resource management experience where students raise trees from seedlings to harvest and manage other natural resources in a sustainable manner. Sections of the book include key concepts, getting started, needs of different kinds of trees, learning about potential…

  7. Urban Natural Environments, Obesity, and Health-Related Quality of Life among Hispanic Children Living in Inner-City Neighborhoods.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jun-Hyun; Lee, Chanam; Sohn, Wonmin

    2016-01-12

    Although a substantial body of literature has provided evidence supporting the positive effects of natural environments on well-being, little has been known about the specific spatial patterns of urban nature in promoting health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among children. This study assessed the association that the urban natural environment measured by landscape spatial patterns may have with obesity and HRQOL among Hispanic children. Ninety-two 4th and 5th grade students were recruited from Houston, Texas, and the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) was used to capture the children's HRQOL. The quality of urban natural environments was assessed by quantifying the landscape spatial patterns, using landscape indices generated by Geographic Information Systems and remote sensing. From the bivariate analyses, children's body mass index showed a significantly negative association with their HRQOL. After controlling for socio-demographic factors, the results revealed that larger and more tree areas were positively correlated with children's HRQOL. In addition, those children living in areas with tree patches further apart from each other showed higher HRQOL. This research adds to the current multi-disciplinary area of research on environment-health relationships by investigating the roles of urban greeneries and linking their spatial structures with children's HRQOL.

  8. Urban Natural Environments, Obesity, and Health-Related Quality of Life among Hispanic Children Living in Inner-City Neighborhoods

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jun-Hyun; Lee, Chanam; Sohn, Wonmin

    2016-01-01

    Although a substantial body of literature has provided evidence supporting the positive effects of natural environments on well-being, little has been known about the specific spatial patterns of urban nature in promoting health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among children. This study assessed the association that the urban natural environment measured by landscape spatial patterns may have with obesity and HRQOL among Hispanic children. Ninety-two 4th and 5th grade students were recruited from Houston, Texas, and the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) was used to capture the children’s HRQOL. The quality of urban natural environments was assessed by quantifying the landscape spatial patterns, using landscape indices generated by Geographic Information Systems and remote sensing. From the bivariate analyses, children’s body mass index showed a significantly negative association with their HRQOL. After controlling for socio-demographic factors, the results revealed that larger and more tree areas were positively correlated with children’s HRQOL. In addition, those children living in areas with tree patches further apart from each other showed higher HRQOL. This research adds to the current multi-disciplinary area of research on environment-health relationships by investigating the roles of urban greeneries and linking their spatial structures with children’s HRQOL. PMID:26771623

  9. Urban Natural Environments, Obesity, and Health-Related Quality of Life among Hispanic Children Living in Inner-City Neighborhoods.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jun-Hyun; Lee, Chanam; Sohn, Wonmin

    2016-01-01

    Although a substantial body of literature has provided evidence supporting the positive effects of natural environments on well-being, little has been known about the specific spatial patterns of urban nature in promoting health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among children. This study assessed the association that the urban natural environment measured by landscape spatial patterns may have with obesity and HRQOL among Hispanic children. Ninety-two 4th and 5th grade students were recruited from Houston, Texas, and the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) was used to capture the children's HRQOL. The quality of urban natural environments was assessed by quantifying the landscape spatial patterns, using landscape indices generated by Geographic Information Systems and remote sensing. From the bivariate analyses, children's body mass index showed a significantly negative association with their HRQOL. After controlling for socio-demographic factors, the results revealed that larger and more tree areas were positively correlated with children's HRQOL. In addition, those children living in areas with tree patches further apart from each other showed higher HRQOL. This research adds to the current multi-disciplinary area of research on environment-health relationships by investigating the roles of urban greeneries and linking their spatial structures with children's HRQOL. PMID:26771623

  10. Cumulative exergy extraction from the natural environment (CEENE): a comprehensive life cycle impact assessment method for resource accounting.

    PubMed

    Dewulf, J; Bösch, M E; De Meester, B; Van der Vorst, G; Van Langenhove, H; Hellweg, S; Huijbregts, M A J

    2007-12-15

    The objective of the paper is to establish a comprehensive resource-based life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) method which is scientifically sound and that enables to assess all kinds of resources that are deprived from the natural ecosystem, all quantified on one single scale, free of weighting factors. The method is based on the exergy concept. Consistent exergy data on fossils, nuclear and metal ores, minerals, air, water, land occupation, and renewable energy sources were elaborated, with well defined system boundaries. Based on these data, the method quantifies the exergy "taken away" from natural ecosystems, and is thus called the cumulative exergy extraction from the natural environment (CEENE). The acquired data set was coupled with a state-of-the art life cycle inventory database, ecoinvent. In this way, the method is able to quantitatively distinguish eight categories of resources withdrawn from the natural environment: renewable resources, fossil fuels, nuclear energy, metal ores, minerals, water resources, land resources, and atmospheric resources. Third, the CEENE method is illustrated for a number of products that are available in ecoinvent, and results are compared with common resource oriented LCIA methods. The application to the materials in the ecoinvent database showed that fossil resources and land use are of particular importance with regard to the total CEENE score, although the other resource categories may also be significant.

  11. The logic of comparative life history studies for estimating key parameters, with a focus on natural mortality rate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hoenig, John M; Then, Amy Y.-H.; Babcock, Elizabeth A.; Hall, Norman G.; Hewitt, David A.; Hesp, Sybrand A.

    2016-01-01

    There are a number of key parameters in population dynamics that are difficult to estimate, such as natural mortality rate, intrinsic rate of population growth, and stock-recruitment relationships. Often, these parameters of a stock are, or can be, estimated indirectly on the basis of comparative life history studies. That is, the relationship between a difficult to estimate parameter and life history correlates is examined over a wide variety of species in order to develop predictive equations. The form of these equations may be derived from life history theory or simply be suggested by exploratory data analysis. Similarly, population characteristics such as potential yield can be estimated by making use of a relationship between the population parameter and bio-chemico–physical characteristics of the ecosystem. Surprisingly, little work has been done to evaluate how well these indirect estimators work and, in fact, there is little guidance on how to conduct comparative life history studies and how to evaluate them. We consider five issues arising in such studies: (i) the parameters of interest may be ill-defined idealizations of the real world, (ii) true values of the parameters are not known for any species, (iii) selecting data based on the quality of the estimates can introduce a host of problems, (iv) the estimates that are available for comparison constitute a non-random sample of species from an ill-defined population of species of interest, and (v) the hierarchical nature of the data (e.g. stocks within species within genera within families, etc., with multiple observations at each level) warrants consideration. We discuss how these issues can be handled and how they shape the kinds of questions that can be asked of a database of life history studies.

  12. Type 1 diabetes prevalence increasing globally and regionally: the role of natural selection and life expectancy at birth

    PubMed Central

    You, Wen-Peng; Henneberg, Maciej

    2016-01-01

    Objective Prevalence of type 1 diabetes (T1D) disease is increasing worldwide. We aim to test correlation of T1D prevalence to the reduced natural selection measured by Biological State Index (Ibs). Research design and methods Country-specific estimates of T1D prevalence, life expectancy, obesity prevalence rate, urbanization rates, per capita sugars consumption and per capita gross domestic product (GDP) were obtained. Ibs and country-specific longevity (e50) increase for each country were self-calculated. These data were then matched to T1D prevalence by country for our ecological study among 118 countries. Countries were also grouped to study the associations in different regions. SPSS V.22 was used for correlation analysis. Results Worldwide, both Ibs and life expectancy at birth (Ibs proxy) were significantly correlated to T1D prevalence in Pearson r (r=0.713, p<0.001 and r=0.722, p<0.001, respectively) and Spearman's r (r=0.724, p<0.001 and r=0.689, p<0.001, respectively). T1D prevalence was not correlated to longevity increase measured as life expectancy at 50 years old. T1D prevalence was significantly associated with Ibs (r=0.307, p<0.001) and newborn life expectancy (r=0.349, p<0.001) independent of per capita total sugar consumption, per capita GDP, urbanization and obesity prevalence in partial correlation. Globally, both life expectancy at birth and Ibs exponentially correlated to T1D prevalence. Pearson correlations generally existed in different country categorizations by geographic region, culture background and economic status. Conclusions Reduced natural selection may have contributed to the increasing T1D prevalence worldwide. T1D epidemiology study in total population may be the practical solution to identify the causes of increasing T1D prevalence. PMID:26977306

  13. Earliest Example of a Giant Monitor Lizard (Varanus, Varanidae, Squamata)

    PubMed Central

    Conrad, Jack L.; Balcarcel, Ana M.; Mehling, Carl M.

    2012-01-01

    Background Varanidae is a clade of tiny (<20 mm pre-caudal length [PCL]) to giant (>600 mm PCL) lizards first appearing in the Cretaceous. True monitor lizards (Varanus) are known from diagnostic remains beginning in the early Miocene (Varanus rusingensis), although extremely fragmentary remains have been suggested as indicating earlier Varanus. The paleobiogeographic history of Varanus and timing for origin of its gigantism remain uncertain. Methodology/Principal Findings A new Varanus from the Mytilini Formation (Turolian, Miocene) of Samos, Greece is described. The holotype consists of a partial skull roof, right side of a braincase, partial posterior mandible, fragment of clavicle, and parts of six vertebrae. A cladistic analysis including 83 taxa coded for 5733 molecular and 489 morphological characters (71 previously unincluded) demonstrates that the new fossil is a nested member of an otherwise exclusively East Asian Varanus clade. The new species is the earliest-known giant (>600 mm PCL) terrestrial lizard. Importantly, this species co-existed with a diverse continental mammalian fauna. Conclusions/Significance The new monitor is larger (longer) than 99% of known fossil and living lizards. Varanus includes, by far, the largest limbed squamates today. The only extant non-snake squamates that approach monitors in maximum size are the glass-snake Pseudopus and the worm-lizard Amphisbaena. Mosasauroids were larger, but exclusively marine, and occurred only during the Late Cretaceous. Large, extant, non-Varanus, lizards are limbless and/or largely isolated from mammalian competitors. By contrast, our new Varanus achieved gigantism in a continental environment populated by diverse eutherian mammal competitors. PMID:22900001

  14. The earliest Lunar Magma Ocean differentiation recorded in Fe isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Kun; Jacobsen, Stein B.; Sedaghatpour, Fatemeh; Chen, Heng; Korotev, Randy L.

    2015-11-01

    Recent high-precision isotopic measurements show that the isotopic similarity of Earth and Moon is unique among all known planetary bodies in our Solar System. These observations provide fundamental constraints on the origin of Earth-Moon system, likely a catastrophic Giant Impact event. However, in contrast to the isotopic composition of many elements (e.g., O, Mg, Si, K, Ti, Cr, and W), the Fe isotopic compositions of all lunar samples are significantly different from those of the bulk silicate Earth. Such a global Fe isotopic difference between the Moon and Earth provides an important constraint on the lunar formation - such as the amount of Fe evaporation as a result of a Giant Impact origin of the Moon. Here, we show through high-precision Fe isotopic measurements of one of the oldest lunar rocks (4.51 ± 0.10 Gyr dunite 72 415), compared with Fe isotope results of other lunar samples from the Apollo program, and lunar meteorites, that the lunar dunite is enriched in light Fe isotopes, complementing the heavy Fe isotope enrichment in other lunar samples. Thus, the earliest olivine accumulation in the Lunar Magma Ocean may have been enriched in light Fe isotopes. This new observation allows the Fe isotopic composition of the bulk silicate Moon to be identical to that of the bulk silicate Earth, by balancing light Fe in the deep Moon with heavy Fe in the shallow Moon rather than the Moon having a heavier Fe isotope composition than Earth as a result of Giant Impact vaporization.

  15. Kant and the nature of matter: Mechanics, chemistry, and the life sciences.

    PubMed

    Gaukroger, Stephen

    2016-08-01

    Kant believed that the ultimate processes that regulate the behavior of material bodies can be characterized exclusively in terms of mechanics. In 1790, turning his attention to the life sciences, he raised a potential problem for his mechanically-based account, namely that many of the operations described in the life sciences seemed to operate teleologically. He argued that the life sciences do indeed require us to think in teleological terms, but that this is a fact about us, not about the processes themselves. Nevertheless, even were we to concede his account of the life sciences, this would not secure the credentials of mechanics as a general theory of matter. Hardly any material properties studied in the second half of the eighteenth century were, or could have been, conceived in mechanical terms. Kant's concern with teleology is tangential to the problems facing a general matter theory grounded in mechanics, for the most pressing issues have nothing to do with teleology. They derive rather from a lack of any connection between mechanical forces and material properties. This is evident in chemistry, which Kant dismisses as being unscientific on the grounds that it cannot be formulated in mechanical terms. PMID:27474191

  16. The nature and dynamics of world religions: a life-history approach

    PubMed Central

    Baumard, Nicolas; Chevallier, Coralie

    2015-01-01

    In contrast with tribal and archaic religions, world religions are characterized by a unique emphasis on extended prosociality, restricted sociosexuality, delayed gratification and the belief that these specific behaviours are sanctioned by some kind of supernatural justice. Here, we draw on recent advances in life history theory to explain this pattern of seemingly unrelated features. Life history theory examines how organisms adaptively allocate resources in the face of trade-offs between different life-goals (e.g. growth versus reproduction, exploitation versus exploration). In particular, recent studies have shown that individuals, including humans, adjust their life strategy to the environment through phenotypic plasticity: in a harsh environment, organisms tend to adopt a ‘fast' strategy, pursuing smaller but more certain benefits, while in more affluent environments, organisms tend to develop a ‘slow' strategy, aiming for larger but less certain benefits. Reviewing a range of recent research, we show that world religions are associated with a form of ‘slow' strategy. This framework explains both the promotion of ‘slow' behaviours such as altruism, self-regulation and monogamy in modern world religions, and the condemnation of ‘fast' behaviours such as selfishness, conspicuous sexuality and materialism. This ecological approach also explains the diffusion pattern of world religions: why they emerged late in human history (500–300 BCE), why they are currently in decline in the most affluent societies and why they persist in some places despite this overall decline. PMID:26511055

  17. Kant and the nature of matter: Mechanics, chemistry, and the life sciences.

    PubMed

    Gaukroger, Stephen

    2016-08-01

    Kant believed that the ultimate processes that regulate the behavior of material bodies can be characterized exclusively in terms of mechanics. In 1790, turning his attention to the life sciences, he raised a potential problem for his mechanically-based account, namely that many of the operations described in the life sciences seemed to operate teleologically. He argued that the life sciences do indeed require us to think in teleological terms, but that this is a fact about us, not about the processes themselves. Nevertheless, even were we to concede his account of the life sciences, this would not secure the credentials of mechanics as a general theory of matter. Hardly any material properties studied in the second half of the eighteenth century were, or could have been, conceived in mechanical terms. Kant's concern with teleology is tangential to the problems facing a general matter theory grounded in mechanics, for the most pressing issues have nothing to do with teleology. They derive rather from a lack of any connection between mechanical forces and material properties. This is evident in chemistry, which Kant dismisses as being unscientific on the grounds that it cannot be formulated in mechanical terms.

  18. The nature and dynamics of world religions: a life-history approach.

    PubMed

    Baumard, Nicolas; Chevallier, Coralie

    2015-11-01

    In contrast with tribal and archaic religions, world religions are characterized by a unique emphasis on extended prosociality, restricted sociosexuality, delayed gratification and the belief that these specific behaviours are sanctioned by some kind of supernatural justice. Here, we draw on recent advances in life history theory to explain this pattern of seemingly unrelated features. Life history theory examines how organisms adaptively allocate resources in the face of trade-offs between different life-goals (e.g. growth versus reproduction, exploitation versus exploration). In particular, recent studies have shown that individuals, including humans, adjust their life strategy to the environment through phenotypic plasticity: in a harsh environment, organisms tend to adopt a 'fast' strategy, pursuing smaller but more certain benefits, while in more affluent environments, organisms tend to develop a 'slow' strategy, aiming for larger but less certain benefits. Reviewing a range of recent research, we show that world religions are associated with a form of 'slow' strategy. This framework explains both the promotion of 'slow' behaviours such as altruism, self-regulation and monogamy in modern world religions, and the condemnation of 'fast' behaviours such as selfishness, conspicuous sexuality and materialism. This ecological approach also explains the diffusion pattern of world religions: why they emerged late in human history (500-300 BCE), why they are currently in decline in the most affluent societies and why they persist in some places despite this overall decline.

  19. The nature and dynamics of world religions: a life-history approach.

    PubMed

    Baumard, Nicolas; Chevallier, Coralie

    2015-11-01

    In contrast with tribal and archaic religions, world religions are characterized by a unique emphasis on extended prosociality, restricted sociosexuality, delayed gratification and the belief that these specific behaviours are sanctioned by some kind of supernatural justice. Here, we draw on recent advances in life history theory to explain this pattern of seemingly unrelated features. Life history theory examines how organisms adaptively allocate resources in the face of trade-offs between different life-goals (e.g. growth versus reproduction, exploitation versus exploration). In particular, recent studies have shown that individuals, including humans, adjust their life strategy to the environment through phenotypic plasticity: in a harsh environment, organisms tend to adopt a 'fast' strategy, pursuing smaller but more certain benefits, while in more affluent environments, organisms tend to develop a 'slow' strategy, aiming for larger but less certain benefits. Reviewing a range of recent research, we show that world religions are associated with a form of 'slow' strategy. This framework explains both the promotion of 'slow' behaviours such as altruism, self-regulation and monogamy in modern world religions, and the condemnation of 'fast' behaviours such as selfishness, conspicuous sexuality and materialism. This ecological approach also explains the diffusion pattern of world religions: why they emerged late in human history (500-300 BCE), why they are currently in decline in the most affluent societies and why they persist in some places despite this overall decline. PMID:26511055

  20. The Encounter With Life-Threatening Danger: Its Nature and Impact.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Noyes, Russell, Jr.

    1981-01-01

    A factor analysis of questionnaire responses from (N=189) victims of life-threatening accidents identified three dimensions of the altered state of consciousness produced by dangerous circumstances. These dimensions, included depersonalization, hyperalertness, and mystical consciousness, appeared meaningful in terms of the endangered personality's…

  1. Allocation Games: Addressing the Ill-Posed Nature of Allocation in Life-Cycle Inventories.

    PubMed

    Hanes, Rebecca J; Cruze, Nathan B; Goel, Prem K; Bakshi, Bhavik R

    2015-07-01

    Allocation is required when a life cycle contains multi-functional processes. One approach to allocation is to partition the embodied resources in proportion to a criterion, such as product mass or cost. Many practitioners apply multiple partitioning criteria to avoid choosing one arbitrarily. However, life cycle results from different allocation methods frequently contradict each other, making it difficult or impossible for the practitioner to draw any meaningful conclusions from the study. Using the matrix notation for life-cycle inventory data, we show that an inventory that requires allocation leads to an ill-posed problem: an inventory based on allocation is one of an infinite number of inventories that are highly dependent upon allocation methods. This insight is applied to comparative life-cycle assessment (LCA), in which products with the same function but different life cycles are compared. Recently, there have been several studies that applied multiple allocation methods and found that different products were preferred under different methods. We develop the Comprehensive Allocation Investigation Strategy (CAIS) to examine any given inventory under all possible allocation decisions, enabling us to detect comparisons that are not robust to allocation, even when the comparison appears robust under conventional partitioning methods. While CAIS does not solve the ill-posed problem, it provides a systematic way to parametrize and examine the effects of partitioning allocation. The practical usefulness of this approach is demonstrated with two case studies. The first compares ethanol produced from corn stover hydrolysis, corn stover gasification, and corn grain fermentation. This comparison was not robust to allocation. The second case study compares 1,3-propanediol (PDO) produced from fossil fuels and from biomass, which was found to be a robust comparison. PMID:26061700

  2. Allocation Games: Addressing the Ill-Posed Nature of Allocation in Life-Cycle Inventories.

    PubMed

    Hanes, Rebecca J; Cruze, Nathan B; Goel, Prem K; Bakshi, Bhavik R

    2015-07-01

    Allocation is required when a life cycle contains multi-functional processes. One approach to allocation is to partition the embodied resources in proportion to a criterion, such as product mass or cost. Many practitioners apply multiple partitioning criteria to avoid choosing one arbitrarily. However, life cycle results from different allocation methods frequently contradict each other, making it difficult or impossible for the practitioner to draw any meaningful conclusions from the study. Using the matrix notation for life-cycle inventory data, we show that an inventory that requires allocation leads to an ill-posed problem: an inventory based on allocation is one of an infinite number of inventories that are highly dependent upon allocation methods. This insight is applied to comparative life-cycle assessment (LCA), in which products with the same function but different life cycles are compared. Recently, there have been several studies that applied multiple allocation methods and found that different products were preferred under different methods. We develop the Comprehensive Allocation Investigation Strategy (CAIS) to examine any given inventory under all possible allocation decisions, enabling us to detect comparisons that are not robust to allocation, even when the comparison appears robust under conventional partitioning methods. While CAIS does not solve the ill-posed problem, it provides a systematic way to parametrize and examine the effects of partitioning allocation. The practical usefulness of this approach is demonstrated with two case studies. The first compares ethanol produced from corn stover hydrolysis, corn stover gasification, and corn grain fermentation. This comparison was not robust to allocation. The second case study compares 1,3-propanediol (PDO) produced from fossil fuels and from biomass, which was found to be a robust comparison.

  3. Evolution and maintenance of haploid-diploid life cycles in natural populations: The case of the marine brown alga Ectocarpus.

    PubMed

    Couceiro, Lucía; Le Gac, Mickael; Hunsperger, Heather M; Mauger, Stéphane; Destombe, Christophe; Cock, J Mark; Ahmed, Sophia; Coelho, Susana M; Valero, Myriam; Peters, Akira F

    2015-07-01

    The evolutionary stability of haploid-diploid life cycles is still controversial. Mathematical models indicate that niche differences between ploidy phases may be a necessary condition for the evolution and maintenance of these life cycles. Nevertheless, experimental support for this prediction remains elusive. In the present work, we explored this hypothesis in natural populations of the brown alga Ectocarpus. Consistent with the life cycle described in culture, Ectocarpus crouaniorum in NW France and E. siliculosus in SW Italy exhibited an alternation between haploid gametophytes and diploid sporophytes. Our field data invalidated, however, the long-standing view of an isomorphic alternation of generations. Gametophytes and sporophytes displayed marked differences in size and, conforming to theoretical predictions, occupied different spatiotemporal niches. Gametophytes were found almost exclusively on the alga Scytosiphon lomentaria during spring whereas sporophytes were present year-round on abiotic substrata. Paradoxically, E. siliculosus in NW France exhibited similar habitat usage despite the absence of alternation of ploidy phases. Diploid sporophytes grew both epilithically and epiphytically, and this mainly asexual population gained the same ecological advantage postulated for haploid-diploid populations. Consequently, an ecological interpretation of the niche differences between haploid and diploid individuals does not seem to satisfactorily explain the evolution of the Ectocarpus life cycle.

  4. [Life risk and nature of SAMU: users' perspectives and implications for nursing].

    PubMed

    Veronese, Andréa Márian; de Oliveira, Dora Lúcia Leidens Corrêa; Nast, Karoline

    2012-12-01

    The article is part of a qualitative study analisys developed in 2009 aiming at investigating the demand of emergency calls to the Emergency Mobile Attendance Service/Porto Alegre (SAMU) that classifies it as non-pertinent. The information was gathered from 16 semi-structured interviews with the subjects of that demand by utilizing as a methodological guideline the Grounded Theory. The article approaches the content of the sub-category "Entering into conflict with SAMU regulation in the evaluation of life-threatening", by focusing the divergences between the regulation and the users' perception about the operation of the service and the meaning of "life-threatening", factors implied in the construction of the non-pertinent demand. The importance of Nursing within this scenery is in its competence to perform education actions about first aid and to participate in projects among sectors which are able to intervene in situations that generate vulnerability. PMID:23596928

  5. Life course transitions and natural disaster: marriage, birth, and divorce following Hurricane Hugo.

    PubMed

    Cohan, Catherine L; Cole, Steve W

    2002-03-01

    Change in marriage, birth, and divorce rates following Hurricane Hugo in 1989 were examined prospectively from 1975 to 1997 for all counties in South Carolina. Stress research and research on economic circumstances suggested that marriages and births would decline and divorces would increase in affected counties after the hurricane. Attachment theory suggested that marriages and births would increase and divorces would decline after the hurricane. Time-series analysis indicated that the year following the hurricane, marriage, birth, and divorce rates increased in the 24 counties declared disaster areas compared with the 22 other counties in the state. Taken together, the results suggested that a life-threatening event motivated people to take significant action in their close relationships that altered their life course.

  6. When everyday life becomes a storm on the horizon: families' experiences of good mental health while hiking in nature.

    PubMed

    Baklien, Børge; Ytterhus, Borgunn; Bongaardt, Rob

    2016-01-01

    Hiking in nature is often presented as a yearning for lost harmony premised on an alleged divide between nature as authentically healthy and society as polluted. This paper's aim is to question this strict divide and the strong belief in nature as having an innate health-providing effect, the biophilia hypothesis, by examining what Norwegian families with young children experience when walking in the forest. Twenty-four conversations with families during a hiking trip in the forest were recorded, and the data were analysed with Giorgi's descriptive phenomenological research method. The paper introduces the general descriptive meaning structure of the phenomenon 'family-hiking with young children'. It shows that a hiking trip clears space for the family in their everyday lives which is largely dominated by relations with non-family members at both work and leisure. The families experience that they actively generate a different existence with a sense of here-and-now presences that can strengthen core family relations and also provide the opportunity to pass down experiences that can be recollected and realized by future generations. This experience is complex and constituted by social practices, which indicate that the biophilia hypothesis seems to be an insufficient explanation of why families go hiking in nature. Nature rather represents a peaceful background that allows for the perpetuation of the family as a social institution and the recreation of cohesion in everyday life.

  7. Earliest Mexican Turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) in the Maya Region: Implications for Pre-Hispanic Animal Trade and the Timing of Turkey Domestication

    PubMed Central

    Thornton, Erin Kennedy; Emery, Kitty F.; Steadman, David W.; Speller, Camilla; Matheny, Ray; Yang, Dongya

    2012-01-01

    Late Preclassic (300 BC–AD 100) turkey remains identified at the archaeological site of El Mirador (Petén, Guatemala) represent the earliest evidence of the Mexican turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) in the ancient Maya world. Archaeological, zooarchaeological, and ancient DNA evidence combine to confirm the identification and context. The natural pre-Hispanic range of the Mexican turkey does not extend south of central Mexico, making the species non-local to the Maya area where another species, the ocellated turkey (Meleagris ocellata), is indigenous. Prior to this discovery, the earliest evidence of M. gallopavo in the Maya area dated to approximately one thousand years later. The El Mirador specimens therefore represent previously unrecorded Preclassic exchange of animals from northern Mesoamerica to the Maya cultural region. As the earliest evidence of M. gallopavo found outside its natural geographic range, the El Mirador turkeys also represent the earliest indirect evidence for Mesoamerican turkey rearing or domestication. The presence of male, female and sub-adult turkeys, and reduced flight morphology further suggests that the El Mirador turkeys were raised in captivity. This supports an argument for the origins of turkey husbandry or at least captive rearing in the Preclassic. PMID:22905156

  8. Earliest Mexican Turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) in the Maya Region: implications for pre-Hispanic animal trade and the timing of turkey domestication.

    PubMed

    Thornton, Erin Kennedy; Emery, Kitty F; Steadman, David W; Speller, Camilla; Matheny, Ray; Yang, Dongya

    2012-01-01

    Late Preclassic (300 BC-AD 100) turkey remains identified at the archaeological site of El Mirador (Petén, Guatemala) represent the earliest evidence of the Mexican turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) in the ancient Maya world. Archaeological, zooarchaeological, and ancient DNA evidence combine to confirm the identification and context. The natural pre-Hispanic range of the Mexican turkey does not extend south of central Mexico, making the species non-local to the Maya area where another species, the ocellated turkey (Meleagris ocellata), is indigenous. Prior to this discovery, the earliest evidence of M. gallopavo in the Maya area dated to approximately one thousand years later. The El Mirador specimens therefore represent previously unrecorded Preclassic exchange of animals from northern Mesoamerica to the Maya cultural region. As the earliest evidence of M. gallopavo found outside its natural geographic range, the El Mirador turkeys also represent the earliest indirect evidence for Mesoamerican turkey rearing or domestication. The presence of male, female and sub-adult turkeys, and reduced flight morphology further suggests that the El Mirador turkeys were raised in captivity. This supports an argument for the origins of turkey husbandry or at least captive rearing in the Preclassic.

  9. Learning Daily Life and Vocational Skills in Natural Settings: A Tanzanian Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stone-MacDonald, Angela

    2012-01-01

    At a special education school in Tanzania, children learn in natural settings using a functional curriculum that has been adapted to their local context. Children with developmental disabilities are supported in learning the skills and knowledge they need to participate in their families and the community. The school utilized funds of knowledge…

  10. The hybrid nature of the Eukaryota and a consilient view of life on Earth.

    PubMed

    McInerney, James O; O'Connell, Mary J; Pisani, Davide

    2014-06-01

    The origin of the eukaryotic cell, which is known as eukaryogenesis, has puzzled scientists for more than 100 years, and many hypotheses have been proposed. Recent analyses of new data enable the safe elimination of some of these hypotheses, whereas support for other hypotheses has increased. In this Opinion article, we evaluate the available theories for their compatibility with empirical observations and conclude that cellular life consists of two primary, paraphyletic prokaryotic groups and one secondary, monophyletic group that has symbiogenic origins - the eukaryotes.

  11. Effect of stress corrosion cracking on integrity and remaining life of natural gas pipelines

    SciTech Connect

    Jaske, C.E.; Beavers, J.A.; Harle, B.A.

    1996-08-01

    External stress-corrosion cracking of pipelines is a serious problem for the gas transmission industry. Longitudinal cracks initiate on the outside surface of the pipe and link up to form flaws that, in some cases, can lead to pipe rupture. This paper presents a model that quantifies the effect of stress-corrosion cracking on pipe failure stress. The model is an extension of those that have been developed for oil and gas pipelines and considers both flow-stress and fracture-toughness dependent failure modes. A methodology also is presented to calculate the remaining life of a pipeline containing flaws of known size.

  12. Rise of the Earliest Tetrapods: An Early Devonian Origin from Marine Environment

    PubMed Central

    George, David; Blieck, Alain

    2011-01-01

    Tetrapod fossil tracks are known from the Middle Devonian (Eifelian at ca. 397 million years ago - MYA), and their earliest bony remains from the Upper Devonian (Frasnian at 375–385 MYA). Tetrapods are now generally considered to have colonized land during the Carboniferous (i.e., after 359 MYA), which is considered to be one of the major events in the history of life. Our analysis on tetrapod evolution was performed using molecular data consisting of 13 proteins from 17 species and different paleontological data. The analysis on the molecular data was performed with the program TreeSAAP and the results were analyzed to see if they had implications on the paleontological data collected. The results have shown that tetrapods evolved from marine environments during times of higher oxygen levels. The change in environmental conditions played a major role in their evolution. According to our analysis this evolution occurred at about 397–416 MYA during the Early Devonian unlike previously thought. This idea is supported by various environmental factors such as sea levels and oxygen rate, and biotic factors such as biodiversity of arthropods and coral reefs. The molecular data also strongly supports lungfish as tetrapod's closest living relative. PMID:21779385

  13. Giant cladoxylopsid trees resolve the enigma of the Earth's earliest forest stumps at Gilboa.

    PubMed

    Stein, William E; Mannolini, Frank; Hernick, Linda VanAller; Landing, Ed; Berry, Christopher M

    2007-04-19

    The evolution of trees of modern size growing together in forests fundamentally changed terrestrial ecosystems. The oldest trees are often thought to be of latest Devonian age (about 380-360 Myr old) as indicated by the widespread occurrence of Archaeopteris (Progymnospermopsida). Late Middle Devonian fossil tree stumps, rooted and still in life position, discovered in the 1870s from Gilboa, New York, and later named Eospermatopteris, are widely cited as evidence of the Earth's 'oldest forest'. However, their affinities and significance have proved to be elusive because the aerial portion of the plant has been unknown until now. Here we report spectacular specimens from Schoharie County, New York, showing an intact crown belonging to the cladoxylopsid Wattieza (Pseudosporochnales) and its attachment to Eospermatopteris trunk and base. This evidence allows the reconstruction of a tall (at least 8 m), tree-fern-like plant with a trunk bearing large branches in longitudinal ranks. The branches were probably abscised as frond-like modules. Lower portions of the trunk show longitudinal carbonaceous strands typical of Eospermatopteris, and a flat bottom with many small anchoring roots. These specimens provide new insight into Earth's earliest trees and forest ecosystems. The tree-fern-like morphology described here is the oldest example so far of an evolutionarily recurrent arborescent body plan within vascular plants. Given their modular construction, these plants probably produced abundant litter, indicating the potential for significant terrestrial carbon accumulation and a detritus-based arthropod fauna by the Middle Devonian period.

  14. Environmental education as preparation people for life in conditions of global changes imbalanced Nature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dabrowska, A. E.

    2013-12-01

    The Regional Teacher Training Centre in Skierniewice is one of 49 public, accredited institutions in Poland. It is responsible for organizing of support of schools, institutions, networks of teachers and school managers for cooperation and self education, organizing and conducting forms of in-service training, giving methodological councils and disseminating examples of good practice. I present one example of how Environmental Education has been imparted to school students and their teachers through outdoor activities as part of the learning process. An Environmental Education Program, 'On Bolimov Nature Preserve Trails' has been organized regularly since 2001. The Bolimov Nature Preserve is a protected area in central Poland, situated between two agglomerations: capital city Warsaw to the East and industrial city Lodz to the West. It was established to protect an unique ecosystem on the Rawka River banks from human activity and harmful external factors. Pine tree forests, small streams, wetlands, glades are another elements of the park scenery. Walks on the park's trails are a great opportunity to see unique species of flora (more than 40 protected species and many endangered species on verge of extinction) and fauna. For teachers and students the Bolimov Nature Preserve offers educational lessons and events. The main activity is participation of students and teachers in group walk along trails of the park using various tools of orientation: maps, compasses and GPS. Along the paths they learn recognition of forms of terrain, identification of living species (using flora&fauna guides, magnifying glasses), measuring components of weather (using weather atlases, thermometers, anemometers) as well as preparation of soil profile. A survey is conducted after each such program. A statistical analysis of the survey data reveals that each year more and more students representing all levels of education from primary to upper secondary levels and their teachers are involved

  15. Effect of microbial life stages on the fate of methylmercury in natural waters

    SciTech Connect

    Ramamoorthy, S.; Cheng, T.C.; Kushner, D.J.

    1982-08-01

    The transformations of methylmercury in water under a variety of conditions somewhat similar to those found in nature were studied. The transformations were studied primarily in Ottawa River water, to which had been added a natural organic-rich clay sediment, living or thermally killed bacteria (Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas fluorescens) or the blue-green alga Anabaena flos-aquae. In addition, transformations of methylmercury caused by growing bacteria were studied. Results show that growing bacterial cells can transform mercury and methylmercury to volatile form which is readily lost to the aquatic environment. Living but non-growing bacterial and algal cells cause the demethylation of methylmercury to mercury and dead bacterial cells can lead to methylation of mercury to methylmercury. (JMT)

  16. Personality in its natural habitat: manifestations and implicit folk theories of personality in daily life.

    PubMed

    Mehl, Matthias R; Gosling, Samuel D; Pennebaker, James W

    2006-05-01

    To examine the expression of personality in its natural habitat, the authors tracked 96 participants over 2 days using the Electronically Activated Recorder (EAR), which samples snippets of ambient sounds in participants' immediate environments. Participants' Big Five scores were correlated with EAR-derived information on their daily social interactions, locations, activities, moods, and language use; these quotidian manifestations were generally consistent with the trait definitions and (except for Openness) often gender specific. To identify implicit folk theories about daily manifestations of personality, the authors correlated the EAR-derived information with impressions of participants based on their EAR sounds; judges' implicit folk theories were generally accurate (especially for Extraversion) and also partially gender specific. The findings point to the importance of naturalistic observation studies on how personality is expressed and perceived in the natural stream of everyday behavior.

  17. The onset of life in a natural submarine hydrothermal fractionation reactor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russell, M. J.; Martin, W.

    There was a strong disequilibrium between the carbon dioxide in the early atmosphere and hydrothermal hydrogen. Such a disequilibrium tends to increase at lower temperatures but so do the kinetic barriers to reaction. Ignoring these kinetic barriers the strongest thermodynamic drive is to the production of methane as carbon dioxide reacts with hydrogen. But kinetic barriers prevent this reaction below 500C. In its stead Shock et al. (1998) demonstrate that metastable acetate is overwhelmingly the best represented carbon compound produced theoretically on the mixing of hydrothermal solution with seawater between 10 and 65C. The minor sticky by-product of this reaction, which involves other reactants, can be considered as evolving to protolife. Thus we argue that the organic building modules of life could be generated from the simplest entities within the hydrothermal mound. And the main waste products would be acetate and water: {407H2+10NH3+HS-hydroth'l +{210CO2+H2PO4- + [Fe,Ni,Co]2+ocean → gC70H129O65N10P(Fe,Ni,Co)Sprotolife+{70H3C.COOH+219H2Owaste We suggest that protolife emerged at ˜ 40C where chemical gradients were steep in a hydrothermal mound which developed where alkaline waters seeped into the Hadean ocean. The mound acted as a fractionation reactor. Reactions were catalysed by such sulfide clusters as would produce greigite (NiFe5S8) in membranes also composed of sulfides (Martin and Russell 2003). A greigite cluster was the precursor to the active sites of carbon monoxide dehydrogenase (NiFe4S5) and acetyl coenzyme-A synthase ([Fe4S4]cysNicys2Ni) (Svetlitchnyi et al. 2004). Activation energy was supplied by reaction between photolytic ferric iron and H2 across the membranes comprising FeS compartments at the mound's surface. Small quantities of amino acids, metal-bearing clusters (Milner-White and Russell 2004), and eventually RNA precursors, self-organised to become involved in the more efficient generation of acetate waste, a thermodynamic

  18. Environmental determinants of population divergence in life-history traits for an invasive species: climate, seasonality and natural enemies.

    PubMed

    Seiter, S; Kingsolver, J

    2013-08-01

    Invasive species cope with novel environments through both phenotypic plasticity and evolutionary change. However, the environmental factors that cause evolutionary divergence in invasive species are poorly understood. We developed predictions for how different life-history traits, and plasticity in those traits, may respond to environmental gradients in seasonal temperatures, season length and natural enemies. We then tested these predictions in four geographic populations of the invasive cabbage white butterfly (Pieris rapae) from North America. We examined the influence of two rearing temperatures (20 and 26.7 °C) on pupal mass, pupal development time, immune function and fecundity. As predicted, development time was shorter and immune function was greater in populations adapted to longer season length. Also, phenotypic plasticity in development time was greater in regions with shorter growing seasons. Populations differed significantly in mean and plasticity of body mass and fecundity, but these differences were not associated with seasonal temperatures or season length. Our study shows that some life-history traits, such as development time and immune function, can evolve rapidly in response to latitudinal variation in season length and natural enemies, whereas others traits did not. Our results also indicate that phenotypic plasticity in development time can also diverge rapidly in response to environmental conditions for some traits. PMID:23859223

  19. Fate and persistence of glutaraldehyde and retention lagoon diversity of life at a natural gas storage facility

    SciTech Connect

    Derr, R.M.; Morris, E.A. III; Pope, D.H.

    1995-12-31

    In view of increasingly stringent environmental regulations concerning Produced water disposal, the natural gas industry needs to approximate the maximum amount of biocide which can be applied downhole and not adversely impact the local biology in retention lagoons receiving produced waters. Biocide treatment data from a microbially sour aquifer-storage natural gas facility, archived by the operations personnel, were incorporated into a study sponsored by the Gas Research Institute (GRI), Chicago, Illinois along with additional data from focused field sampling. The sandy assessed the persistence and fate of glutaraldehyde and its possible effects on diversity of life in the produced water system and outfall areas which receive the lagoon discharge under a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. In this study, a mathematical model was constructed that incorporated experimentally-determined glutaraldehyde persistence, wellhead Outaraldehyde residuals, rates of water production, and lagoon specifications. The model was used to calculate the levels of glutaraldehyde in the lagoons as a function of time, based on the amount of glutaraldehyde applied downhole. The modeled results were used to assess the potential impacts of various levels of downhole treatment using glutaraldehyde and confirmed that the current treatment regime provided little potential for adverse environmental effects in the retention lagoons or the lagoon outfall areas. Chemical and biological sampling and diversity of life analyses were performed in the retention lagoon system and outfall areas to further test for environmental impacts relating to biocide use; no evidence of adverse effects was found.

  20. Environmental determinants of population divergence in life-history traits for an invasive species: climate, seasonality and natural enemies.

    PubMed

    Seiter, S; Kingsolver, J

    2013-08-01

    Invasive species cope with novel environments through both phenotypic plasticity and evolutionary change. However, the environmental factors that cause evolutionary divergence in invasive species are poorly understood. We developed predictions for how different life-history traits, and plasticity in those traits, may respond to environmental gradients in seasonal temperatures, season length and natural enemies. We then tested these predictions in four geographic populations of the invasive cabbage white butterfly (Pieris rapae) from North America. We examined the influence of two rearing temperatures (20 and 26.7 °C) on pupal mass, pupal development time, immune function and fecundity. As predicted, development time was shorter and immune function was greater in populations adapted to longer season length. Also, phenotypic plasticity in development time was greater in regions with shorter growing seasons. Populations differed significantly in mean and plasticity of body mass and fecundity, but these differences were not associated with seasonal temperatures or season length. Our study shows that some life-history traits, such as development time and immune function, can evolve rapidly in response to latitudinal variation in season length and natural enemies, whereas others traits did not. Our results also indicate that phenotypic plasticity in development time can also diverge rapidly in response to environmental conditions for some traits.

  1. Shelf Life and Quality Study of Minced Tilapia with Nori and Hijiki Seaweeds as Natural Additives

    PubMed Central

    Ribeiro, Ingridy Simone; Shirahigue, Ligianne Din; Ferraz de Arruda Sucasas, Lia; Anbe, Lika; da Cruz, Pedro Gomes; Gallo, Cláudio Rosa; Carpes, Solange Teresinha; Marques, Marcos José; Oetterer, Marília

    2014-01-01

    The extraction of mechanically separated meat has emerged as an attractive process. However, it increases the incorporation of oxygen and, consequently, of flavors due to rancidity. Thus, preservatives must be added. The objective of this study was to evaluate the shelf life of minced tilapia to replace synthetic preservatives with Hijiki and Nori seaweeds extracts. The application of the extracts had no effect on the chemical composition of the minced tilapia. The seaweed extracts had inhibitory effect on total volatile base nitrogen. The minced tilapia complied with the microbiological standard set by Brazilin law. The panelists detected no differences in the rancid aroma and only minor differences were detected in the color of the products. It can be concluded that the minced tilapia with added seaweed extracts were within quality standards during frozen storage. PMID:25478593

  2. Munazza's story: Understanding science teaching and conceptions of the nature of science in Pakistan through a life history study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halai, Nelofer

    In this study I have described and tried to comprehend how a female science teacher understands her practice. Additionally, I have developed some understanding of her understanding of the nature of science. While teaching science, a teacher projects messages about the nature of science that can be captured by observations and interviews. Furthermore, the manner is which a teacher conceptualizes science for teaching, at least in part, depends on personal life experiences. Hence, I have used the life history method to understand Munazza's practice. Munazza is a young female science teacher working in a private, co-educational school for children from middle income families in Karachi, Pakistan. Her stories are central to the study, and I have represented them using a number of narrative devices. I have woven in my own stories too, to illustrate my perspective as a researcher. The data includes 13 life history interviews and many informal conversations with Munazza, observations of science teaching in classes seven and eight, and interviews with other science teachers and administrative staff of the school. Munazza's personal biography and experiences of school and undergraduate courses has influenced the way she teaches. It has also influenced the way she does not teach. She was not inspired by her science teachers, so she has tried not to teach the way she was taught science. Contextual factors, her conception of preparation for teaching as preparation for subject content and the tension that she faces in balancing care and control in her classroom are some factors that influence her teaching. Munazza believes that science is a stable, superior and value-free way of knowing. In trying to understand the natural world, observations come first, which give reliable information about the world leading inductively to a "theory". Hence, she relies a great deal on demonstrations in the class where students "see" for themselves and abstract the scientific concept from the

  3. Calculation of the Phenix end-of-life test in natural circulation with the CATHARE code

    SciTech Connect

    Maas, L.; Cocheme, F.

    2012-07-01

    The Inst. of Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) acts as technical support to French public authorities. As such, IRSN is in charge of safety assessment of operating and under construction reactors, as well as future projects. In this framework, one current objective of IRSN is to evaluate the ability and accuracy of numerical tools to foresee consequences of accidents. One of the advantages pointed up for fast reactors cooled by heavy liquid metal is the possibility of decay heat removal based on natural convection. The promotion of this passive cooling mode in future safety demonstrations will involve the use of adapted and validated numerical codes. After the final shutdown of the Phenix sodium cooled fast reactor in 2009, a set of tests covering different areas was conducted for code validation, including a natural circulation test in the primary circuit. Experimental data were issued by CEA to organize a benchmark exercise in the frame of an IAEA Coordinated Research Project (CRP), with the objective to assess the system-codes capability in simulating the thermal-hydraulics behavior of sodium cooled fast reactors in such accidental conditions. IRSN participated to this benchmark with the CATHARE code. This code, co-developed by CEA, EDF, AREVA and IRSN and widely used for PWR safety studies, was recently extended for sodium applications. This paper presents the CATHARE modeling of the Phenix primary circuit and the results obtained. A relatively good agreement was found with available measurements considering the experimental uncertainties. This work stressed the local aspects of phenomena occurring during the natural convection establishment and the limits of a 0D/1D approach. (authors)

  4. Intermediate and paratenic hosts in the life cycle of Aelurostrongylus abstrusus in natural environment.

    PubMed

    Jeżewski, Witold; Buńkowska-Gawlik, Katarzyna; Hildebrand, Joanna; Perec-Matysiak, Agnieszka; Laskowski, Zdzisław

    2013-12-01

    The cat lungworm Aelurostrongylus abstrusus affects the domestic cats and other felids all over the world. Feline aelurostrongylosis is of importance in clinical feline medicine. Snails and slugs are the intermediate hosts, but the cat is probably infected by eating paratenic hosts, e.g., rodents, birds, amphibians and reptiles. Herein we present the first finding of A. abstrusus in a naturally infected invasive synantropic slugs Arion lusitanicus (intermediate host) and wild living rodents Apodemus agrarius (paratenic host). The results confirm the usefulness of molecular approaches for investigating the biology, ecology and epidemiology of A. abstrusus, the agent of feline aelurostrongylosis.

  5. The Definition of Life and The Origin of Life on Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baross, J. A.

    2002-12-01

    The definition and origin of life are key questions at the heart of astrobiology, yet we do not have a consensus definition of life, for this requires an understanding of the nature of living systems that has not yet been achieved. Such an understanding is critical for many areas of astrobiology, including the origin and evolution of life on Earth, the detection of extant or extinct life on other solar system bodies, and the possibility for alternative carbon-based life. Ultimately, the question ``What is life?" becomes reduced to listing canonical features of terrestrial life that can be used to construct models for the origin of life and to develop possible ``biosignatures" for detecting life elsewhere. Origin of life studies have focused on the conditions during the first few hundred million years after Earth accreted, the sequence of chemical and biochemical steps leading to a living entity, the characteristics of the earliest microbial communities, and the events leading to greater complexity at the levels of individual cells, multi-cellular organisms and ecosystems. Theories on the origin of life range from the first living entity being clay crystals, protein or ribonucleic acid worlds (``RNA world"), metabolizing entities without information-containing molecules, or self-assembling membranes capable of capturing proteins and nucleic acids. It may be that in fact all of these theories played a role in the origin of life drama, perhaps at different times and places. Even though some experimental progress has been made, the origin of life remains one of the great-unsolved questions of science. Moreover, the possibility for multiple origins of life is an open question with profound implications for detecting life elsewhere in the universe

  6. Bioorganic Chemistry. A Natural Reunion of the Physical and Life Sciences

    PubMed Central

    Poulter, C. Dale

    2009-01-01

    Organic substances were conceived as those found in living organisms. Although the definition was soon broadened to include all carbon-containing compounds, naturally occurring molecules have always held a special fascination for organic chemists. From these beginnings, molecules from nature were indespensible tools as generations of organic chemists developed new techniques for determining structures, analyzed the mechanisms of reactions, explored the effects conformation and stereochemistry on reactions, and found challenging new targets to synthesize. Only recently have organic chemists harnessed the powerful techniques of organic chemistry to study the functions of organic molecules in their biological hosts, the enzymes that synthesize molecules and the complex processes that occur in a cell. In this Perspective, I present a personal account my entrée into bioorganic chemistry as a physical organic chemist and subsequent work to understand the chemical mechanisms of enzyme-catalyzed reactions, to develop techniques to identify and assign hydrogen bonds in tRNAs through NMR studies with isotopically labeled molecules, and to study how structure determines function in biosynthetic enzymes with proteins obtained by genetic engineering. PMID:19323569

  7. Cranial Bosses of Choerosaurus dejageri (Therapsida, Therocephalia): Earliest Evidence of Cranial Display Structures in Eutheriodonts

    PubMed Central

    Benoit, Julien; Manger, Paul R.; Fernandez, Vincent; Rubidge, Bruce S.

    2016-01-01

    Choerosaurus dejageri, a non-mammalian eutheriodont therapsid from the South African late Permian (~259 Ma), has conspicuous hemispheric cranial bosses on the maxilla and the mandible. These bosses, the earliest of this nature in a eutheriodont, potentially make C. dejageri a key species for understanding the evolutionary origins of sexually selective behaviours (intraspecific competition, ritualized sexual and intimidation displays) associated with cranial outgrowths at the root of the clade that eventually led to extant mammals. Comparison with the tapinocephalid dinocephalian Moschops capensis, a therapsid in which head butting is strongly supported, shows that the delicate structure of the cranial bosses and the gracile structure of the skull of Choerosaurus would be more suitable for display and low energy combat than vigorous head butting. Thus, despite the fact that Choerosaurus is represented by only one skull (which makes it impossible to address the question of sexual dimorphism), its cranial bosses are better interpreted as structures involved in intraspecific selection, i.e. low-energy fighting or display. Display structures, such as enlarged canines and cranial bosses, are widespread among basal therapsid clades and are also present in the putative basal therapsid Tetraceratops insignis. This suggests that sexual selection may have played a more important role in the distant origin and evolution of mammals earlier than previously thought. Sexual selection may explain the subsequent independent evolution of cranial outgrowths and pachyostosis in different therapsid lineages (Biarmosuchia, Dinocephalia, Gorgonopsia and Dicynodontia). PMID:27548428

  8. Cranial Bosses of Choerosaurus dejageri (Therapsida, Therocephalia): Earliest Evidence of Cranial Display Structures in Eutheriodonts.

    PubMed

    Benoit, Julien; Manger, Paul R; Fernandez, Vincent; Rubidge, Bruce S

    2016-01-01

    Choerosaurus dejageri, a non-mammalian eutheriodont therapsid from the South African late Permian (~259 Ma), has conspicuous hemispheric cranial bosses on the maxilla and the mandible. These bosses, the earliest of this nature in a eutheriodont, potentially make C. dejageri a key species for understanding the evolutionary origins of sexually selective behaviours (intraspecific competition, ritualized sexual and intimidation displays) associated with cranial outgrowths at the root of the clade that eventually led to extant mammals. Comparison with the tapinocephalid dinocephalian Moschops capensis, a therapsid in which head butting is strongly supported, shows that the delicate structure of the cranial bosses and the gracile structure of the skull of Choerosaurus would be more suitable for display and low energy combat than vigorous head butting. Thus, despite the fact that Choerosaurus is represented by only one skull (which makes it impossible to address the question of sexual dimorphism), its cranial bosses are better interpreted as structures involved in intraspecific selection, i.e. low-energy fighting or display. Display structures, such as enlarged canines and cranial bosses, are widespread among basal therapsid clades and are also present in the putative basal therapsid Tetraceratops insignis. This suggests that sexual selection may have played a more important role in the distant origin and evolution of mammals earlier than previously thought. Sexual selection may explain the subsequent independent evolution of cranial outgrowths and pachyostosis in different therapsid lineages (Biarmosuchia, Dinocephalia, Gorgonopsia and Dicynodontia). PMID:27548428

  9. The earliest history of the deuterostomes: the importance of the Chengjiang Fossil-Lagerstätte

    PubMed Central

    Shu, D.-G.; Conway Morris, S.; Zhang, Z.-F.; Han, J.

    2010-01-01

    While the broad framework of deuterostome evolution is now clear, the remarkable diversity of extant forms within this group has rendered the nature of the ancestral types problematic: what, for example, does the common ancestor of a sea urchin and lamprey actually look like? The answer to such questions can be addressed on the basis of remarkably well-preserved fossils from Cambrian Lagerstätten, not least the celebrated Chengjiang Lagerstätte (Yunnan, China). This deposit is particularly important because of its rich diversity of deuterostomes. These include some of the earliest known representatives, among which are the first vertebrates, as well as more enigmatic groups, notably the vetulicolians and yunnanozoans. The latter groups, in particular, have been the subject of some radical divergences in opinion as to their exact phylogenetic placements. Here, we both review the known diversity of Chengjiang deuterostomes and in particular argue that the vetulicolians and yunnanozoans represent very primitive deuterostomes. Moreover, in the latter case we present new data to indicate that the yunnanozoans are unlikely to be any sort of chordate. PMID:19439437

  10. Impulsive for life? The nature of long-term impulsivity in domestic dogs

    PubMed Central

    Riemer, Stefanie; Mills, Daniel; Wright, Hannah

    2014-01-01

    Individual differences in impulsivity occur at a cognitive and/or behavioural level and are associated with differing life outcomes. However there is a lack of empirical evidence to support the long-term stability of these characteristics in non-human animals. This study reports on the stability of convergent measures of impulsivity in domestic dogs assessed more than six years apart. Measures were (1) owner assessment by means of a questionnaire, the validated ‘Dog Impulsivity Assessment Scale’ (DIAS) and (2) dogs’ performance in a delayed reward choice test. Dogs had 15 minutes free access to two food dispensers, one dispensing a piece of food immediately, the other dispensing three pieces after a delay, which increased by one second every other time the dogs sampled it. Maximum delay reached in this task reflects decision making, or cognitive impulsivity, whereas the rate of extra presses on the delayed reward device during the delay can be considered as a measure of motor or behavioural impulsivity. DIAS scores were strongly and significantly correlated across years. The maximum delay reached in the behaviour test was also highly stable, whereas paw pressing rate was uncorrelated between the years. These results demonstrate that cognitive but not motor impulsivity is highly consistent over time in dogs. PMID:24136014

  11. Real-life assessment of the multidimensional nature of dyspnoea in COPD outpatients.

    PubMed

    Morélot-Panzini, Capucine; Gilet, Hélène; Aguilaniu, Bernard; Devillier, Philippe; Didier, Alain; Perez, Thierry; Pignier, Christophe; Arnould, Benoit; Similowski, Thomas

    2016-06-01

    Dyspnoea is a prominent symptom of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Recent multidimensional dyspnoea questionnaires like the Multidimensional Dyspnea Profile (MDP) individualise the sensory and affective dimensions of dyspnoea. We tested the MDP in COPD outpatients based on the hypothesis that the importance of the affective dimension of dyspnoea would vary according to clinical characteristics.A multicentre, prospective, observational, real-life study was conducted in 276 patients. MDP data were compared across various categories of patients (modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) dyspnoea score, COPD Assessment Test (CAT) score, Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) airflow obstruction categories, GOLD "ABCD" categories, and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS)). Univariate and multivariate regressions were conducted to explore factors influencing the affective dimension of dyspnoea. Cluster analysis was conducted to create homogeneous patient profiles.The MDP identified a more marked affective dimension of dyspnoea with more severe mMRC, CAT, 12-item Short-Form Health Survey mental component, airflow obstruction and HADS. Multivariate analysis identified airflow obstruction, depressive symptoms and physical activity as determinants of the affective dimension of dyspnoea. Patients clustered into an "elderly, ex-smoker, severe disease, no rehabilitation" group exhibited the most marked affective dimension of dyspnoea.An affective/emotional dimension of dyspnoea can be identified in routine clinical practice. It can contribute to the phenotypic description of patients. Studies are needed to determine whether targeted therapeutic interventions can be designed and whether they are useful.

  12. Natural resilience in Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus: life history, spatial and dietary alterations along gradients of interspecific interactions.

    PubMed

    Hammar, J

    2014-07-01

    The Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus species complex has been shown to be exceptionally vulnerable to rapid abiotic and biotic changes. Salvelinus alpinus, however, inhabit environmental extremes ranging from lakes and rivers in the High Arctic to deep multi-fish species lakes far outside the polar region. Long-term responses to post-glacial environmental variations and successively increased interspecific interactions reveal an essential degree of natural ecological resilience and phenotypic flexibility. Case studies in Scandinavia and Newfoundland illustrate the alternate trophic roles of S. alpinus, and its flexible niche use and life-history changes in order to regain or maintain body size in gradients of lakes with increasing fish species diversity. While allopatric in northern low-productive upland lakes, landlocked populations are commonly structured by cannibalism. In sympatry with other fish species, S. alpinus mostly serve as prey, with their decreasing growth and body size reflecting the successive diet shift from littoral macro-benthos to zooplankton and profundal microbenthos as interspecific competition for food and habitat intensifies. Interactions with natural and introduced superior zooplankton feeders and ultimate predators finally become detrimental. Consequently, the niche of S. alpinus is increasingly compressed in lakes along latitudinal and altitudinal gradients, although certain natural key conditions offer S. alpinus temporary asylum in the inescapable process towards local and regional extinction. The water temperature drop during winter allows S. alpinus to temporarily resume the richer littoral dietary and spatial niche use in low diversity lakes. In southern lowland and coastal lakes with more complex fish communities, access to key prey species such as profundal macro-crustaceans and smelt Osmerus spp. allow S. alpinus to regain its original niche space and characteristics as a large piscivore. In conclusion, S. alpinus along its

  13. Nature and Nurture in the Early-Life Origins of Metabolic Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Bulnes, Antonio; Astiz, Susana; Ovilo, Cristina; Garcia-Contreras, Consolacion; Vazquez-Gomez, Marta

    2016-01-01

    The combination of genetic background together with food excess and lack of exercise has become the cornerstone of metabolic disorders associated to lifestyle. The scenario is furthermore reinforced by their interaction with other environmental factors (stress, sleeping patterns, education, culture, rural versus urban locations, and xenobiotics, among others) inducing epigenetic changes in the exposed individuals. The immediate consequence is the development of further alterations like obesity and metabolic syndrome, and other adverse health conditions (type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, reproductive, immune and neurological disorders). Thus, having in mind the impact of the metabolic syndrome on the worldwide public health, the present review affords the relative roles and the interrelationships of nature (genetic predisposition to metabolic syndrome) and nurture (lifestyle and environmental effects causing epigenetic changes), on the establishment of the metabolic disorders in women; disorders that may evolve to metabolic syndrome prior or during pregnancy and may be transmitted to their descendants. PMID:26927212

  14. Nature and Nurture in the Early-Life Origins of Metabolic Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Bulnes, Antonio; Astiz, Susana; Ovilo, Cristina; Garcia-Contreras, Consolacion; Vazquez-Gomez, Marta

    2016-01-01

    The combination of genetic background together with food excess and lack of exercise has become the cornerstone of metabolic disorders associated to lifestyle. The scenario is furthermore reinforced by their interaction with other environmental factors (stress, sleeping patterns, education, culture, rural versus urban locations, and xenobiotics, among others) inducing epigenetic changes in the exposed individuals. The immediate consequence is the development of further alterations like obesity and metabolic syndrome, and other adverse health conditions (type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, reproductive, immune and neurological disorders). Thus, having in mind the impact of the metabolic syndrome on the worldwide public health, the present review affords the relative roles and the interrelationships of nature (genetic predisposition to metabolic syndrome) and nurture (lifestyle and environmental effects causing epigenetic changes), on the establishment of the metabolic disorders in women; disorders that may evolve to metabolic syndrome prior or during pregnancy and may be transmitted to their descendants.

  15. Natural products to improve quality of life targeting for colon drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyunjo

    2012-03-01

    The colon is largely being investigated as a site for administration of protein and peptides, which are degraded by digestive enzymes in the upper GIT. Also for local diseases of the colon such as inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal cancer and ameobiasis, drug administration to the site of action can not only reduce the dose to be administered, but also decrease the side effects. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) such as Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are characterized by chronic intestinal inflammation. Intestinal bacteria initiate the activation of intestinal inflammatory processes, which are mediated by pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokine. Increased chemokine expression has also been observed in epithelial cells, endothelial cells, and smooth muscle cells. Future trials of specific agents capable of inhibiting chemokine synthesis and secretion or blocking chemokine-chemokine receptor interaction will be important to study in patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Many important bioactive compounds have been discovered from natural sources using bioactivity directed fractionation and isolation (BDFl) Continuing discovery has also been facilitated by the recent development of new bioassay methods. These bioactive compounds are mostly plant secondary metabolites, and many naturally occurring pure compounds have become medicines, dietary supplements, and other useful commercial products. The present review includes various approaches investigated for colon drug delivery and their site specificity. To achieve successful colonic delivery, a drug needs to be protected from absorption and the environment of the upper gastrointestinal tract and then be abruptly released into the proximal colon, which is considered the optimum site for colon targeted delivery of drugs.

  16. The False Spring of 2012, Earliest in North American Record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ault, T. R.; Henebry, G. M.; de Beurs, K. M.; Schwartz, M. D.; Betancourt, J. L.; Moore, D.

    2013-05-01

    Phenology—the study of recurring plant and animal life cycle stages, especially their timing and relationships with weather and climate—is becoming an essential tool for documenting, communicating, and anticipating the consequences of climate variability and change. For example, March 2012 broke numerous records for warm temperatures and early flowering in the United States [Karl et al., 2012; Elwood et al., 2013]. Many regions experienced a "false spring," a period of weather in late winter or early spring sufficiently mild and long to bring vegetation out of dormancy prematurely, rendering it vulnerable to late frost and drought.

  17. Your Earliest Memory May Be Earlier than You Think: Prospective Studies of Children's Dating of Earliest Childhood Memories

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Qi; Peterson, Carole

    2014-01-01

    Theories of childhood amnesia and autobiographical memory development have been based on the assumption that the age estimates of earliest childhood memories are generally accurate, with an average age of 3.5 years among adults. It is also commonly believed that early memories will by default become inaccessible later on and this eventually…

  18. Effects of a natural toxin on life history and gene expression of Eisenia andrei.

    PubMed

    van Ommen Kloeke, A E Elaine; Gong, Ping; Ellers, Jacintha; Roelofs, Dick

    2014-02-01

    Earthworms perform key functions for a healthy soil ecosystem, such as bioturbation. The soil ecosystem can be challenged by natural toxins such as isothiocyanates (ITCs), produced by many commercial crops. Therefore, the effects of 2-phenylethyl ITC were investigated on the earthworm Eisenia andrei using an ecotoxicogenomics approach. Exposure to 2-phenylethyl ITC reduced both survival and reproduction of E. andrei in a dose-dependent manner (median effective concentration [EC50] = 556 nmol/g). Cross-species comparative genomic hybridization validated the applicability of an existing 4 × 44,000 Eisenia fetida microarray to E. andrei. Gene expression profiles revealed the importance of metallothionein (MT) as an early warning signal when E. andrei was exposed to low concentrations of 2-phenylethyl ITC. Alignment of these MT genes with the MT-2 gene of Lumbricus rubellus showed that at least 2 MT gene clusters are present in the Eisenia sp. genome. At high-exposure concentrations, gene expression was mainly affected by inhibiting chitinase activity, inducing an oxidative stress response, and stimulating energy metabolism. Furthermore, analysis by Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway implied that the high concentration may have caused impaired light sensitivity, angiogenesis, olfactory perception, learning, and memory. Increased levels of ITCs may be found in the field in the near future. The results presented call for a careful investigation to quantify the risk of such compounds before allowing them to enter the soil on a large scale. PMID:24395740

  19. Developmental investigation of the domain-specific nature of the life satisfaction construct across the post-school transition.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xidan; Morin, Alexandre J S; Parker, Philip D; Marsh, Herbert W

    2015-08-01

    This study evaluated the nature of the life satisfaction construct with an emphasis on the comparison between a global or domain-specific operationalization during the transition from adolescence to adulthood. A combination of person-centered and variable-centered methods were used to analyze 7 waves of data covering the postschool transition from a sample of 24,721 youth participating in Longitudinal Study of Australian Youth (LSAY) between 1998 and 2010. Evidence for the increasing importance of a domain-specific approach as adolescents entered adulthood was provided by: (1) factor analyses identifying a 3-factor model covering achievement, family, and leisure satisfaction that proved invariant across time waves; (2) factor mixture analyses showing shape-related differences between profiles (i.e., within-profile differences between domains) that increased as young people moved into adulthood.

  20. Beyond the Drake Equation: On the Probability of the Nature of Extraterrestrial Life Forms in Our Galaxy Today

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geller, Harold A.

    2014-01-01

    I will discuss my research into the issues associated with the nature of any extraterrestrials that may be encountered in the future in our galaxy. This research was sparked by statements made by Stephen Hawking in 2010 regarding his fear of emitting radiation from our Earth so that an extraterrestrial intelligent civilization may be alerted to our existence in the galaxy today. While addressing issues of extraterrestrial altruism, a probabilistic equation was developed which addresses the number of extraterrestrial intelligent life forms that may exist in our galaxy today, who could use our bodies for nourishment or reproductive purposes. The equation begins with the results from a Drake Equation calculation, and proceeds by addressing such biochemical parameters as the fraction of ETIs with: dextro sugar stereo-isomers; levo amino acid stereo-isomers; similar codon interpretation; chromosomal length and, similar cell membrane structure to allow egg penetration.

  1. Physiological epistasis, ontogenetic conflict and natural selection on physiology and life history.

    PubMed

    Sinervo, Barry; Calsbeek, Ryan

    2003-07-01

    Ontogenetic conflict arises when optima for alleles governing fitness variation differ between juveniles and adults or between adult sexes. Loci that govern development of alternative phenotypes in the sexes, hereafter termed morph-determining loci, mediate development through the endocrine system. Morphotypic selection is defined to be multivariate selection favoring discrete alternative morphotypes (e.g., optima). When the optimal combinations of alleles for alternative morphs differ between the sexes, it generates conflicting selection pressure and thus ontogenetic conflict. Selection on morph alleles promotes ontogenetic conflict because it perturbs physiological epistasis that governs the expression of male versus female traits. Expression of physiological traits arises from homeostasis that maintains trait expression within a normal range. The genetic basis of homeostasis is likely to arise from interactions among several genes (e.g., genetic epistasis) or protein products (e.g., physiological epistasis). For example, endocrine regulation arises from interactions between gondatropins, which are protein hormones produced by the hypothalamic-pituitary glands, and steroid hormones, which are produced by the gonads (e.g., HPG axis). The side-blotched lizard system is discussed with respect to physiological bases of ontogenetic conflict. We also describe a novel molecular marker strategy for uncovering genome-wide physiological epistasis in nature. Finally, ontogenetic conflict exerts selection on females to evolve mate selection or cryptic choice that is reflected in different sires being chosen for son versus daughter production. We describe how side-blotched lizard females ameliorate ontogenetic conflict by cryptic choice of male genotypes to produce sons versus daughters.

  2. Microbial biosynthesis of wax esters during desiccation: an adaptation for colonization of the earliest terrestrial environments?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finkelstein, D. B.; Brassell, S. C.; Pratt, L. M.

    2008-12-01

    Biosynthesis of wax esters (WE) by prokaryotes in natural systems, notably bacteria from hot springs and marine phytoplankton, is poorly documented, primarily because saponification is a routine step in the analysis of microbial mat lipids. Use of this preparative procedure, critical for characterization of the diagnostic distributions of carboxylic acids in phospholipids, precludes recovery of intact WE. Examination of non-saponified lipids in emergent and desiccated mats with comparable microbial communities from the Warner Lake region, Oregon, reveals increases in the relative abundance (18.6 to 59.9μg/g Corg) and average chain length (C38 to C46) of WE in the latter, combined with assimilation of phytol and tocopherol moieties. Prokaryotes can accumulate WE as storage lipids in vitro, notably at elevated temperature or under nitrogen limiting conditions, but we propose that biosynthesis of long-chain WE that have a low solubility and are resistant to degradation/oxidation may represent an evolutionary strategy to survive desiccation in evaporative environments. Moreover, aeolian transport of desiccated mat-rip-ups between lake flats allows for migration of microbial communities within and between lake flats and basins during arid conditions. Subsequent rehydration within an alkaline environment would naturally saponify WE, and thereby regenerate alcohol and acid moieties that could serve as membrane lipids for the next viable microbial generation. The evolutionary cradle of WE was likely abiotic generation under hydrothermal conditions, which is consistent with the antiquity of the ester linkage necessitated by its integral role in the membranes of Eubacteria (though not Archaea) and in bacteriochlorophyll. The subsequent capability of microbes to biosynthesize WE may have facilitated their survival when nutrients were limiting, and production of long-chain WE (>C40) may represent a further critical evolutionary threshold that enabled their persistence through

  3. Thermodynamic metrics for aggregation of natural resources in life cycle analysis: insight via application to some transportation fuels.

    PubMed

    Baral, Anil; Bakshi, Bhavik R

    2010-01-15

    While methods for aggregating emissions are widely used and standardized in life cycle assessment (LCA), there is little agreement about methods for aggregating natural resources for obtaining interpretable metrics. Thermodynamic methods have been suggested including energy, exergy, and emergy analyses. This work provides insight into the nature of thermodynamic aggregation, including assumptions about substitutability between resources and loss of detailed information about the data being combined. Methods considered include calorific value or energy, industrial cumulative exergy consumption (ICEC) and its variations, and ecological cumulative exergy consumption (ECEC) or emergy. A hierarchy of metrics is proposed that spans the range from detailed data to aggregate metrics. At the fine scale, detailed data can help identify resources to whose depletion the selected product is most vulnerable. At the coarse scale, new insight is provided about thermodynamic aggregation methods. Among these, energy analysis is appropriate only for products that rely primarily on fossil fuels, and it cannot provide a useful indication of renewability. Exergy-based methods can provide results similar to energy analysis by including only nonrenewable fuels but can also account for materials use and provide a renewability index. However, ICEC and its variations do not address substitutability between resources, causing its results to be dominated by dilute and low-quality resources such as sunlight. The use of monetary values to account for substitutability does not consider many ecological resources and may not be appropriate for the analysis of emerging products. ECEC or emergy explicitly considers substitutability and resource quality and provides more intuitive results but is plagued by data gaps and uncertainties. This insight is illustrated via application to the life cycles of gasoline, diesel, corn ethanol, and soybean biodiesel. Here, aggregate metrics reveal the dilemma

  4. Elevated Appraisals of the Negative Impact of Naturally Occurring Life Events: A Risk Factor for Depressive and Anxiety Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Espejo, Emmanuel P.; Hammen, Constance; Brennan, Patricia A.

    2012-01-01

    The tendency to appraise naturally occurring life events (LEs) as having high negative impact may be a predisposing factor for the development of depression and anxiety disorders. In the current study, appraisals of the negative impact of recent LEs were examined in relationship to depressive and anxiety disorders in a sample of 653 adolescents who were administered diagnostic and life stress interviews at ages 15 and 20. Participants’ appraisals of the negative impact of LEs reported at age 15 were statistically adjusted using investigator-based ratings to control for objective differences across LEs. Higher appraisals of the negative impact of LEs were associated with both past and current depressive and anxiety disorders at age 15 and predicted subsequent first onsets of depressive and anxiety disorders occurring between ages 15 and 20. In addition, appraisals of the negative impact of LEs were particularly elevated among those experiencing both a depressive and anxiety disorder over the course of the study. The findings suggest that systematically elevated appraisals of the negative impact of LEs is a predisposing factor for depression and anxiety disorders and may represent a specific risk factor for co-morbid depression and anxiety in mid-adolescence and early adulthood. Keywords: depression; anxiety; stress appraisals; prospective study; PMID:21845380

  5. Astronomy in Ireland from earliest times to the eighteenth century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKenna-Lawlor, Susan M. P.

    Evidence that the builders of Irish passage graves and stone circles may have possessed some knowledge of basic celestial cycles is discussed. The introduction of Celtic culture to Ireland circa 600 B.C. is next described and an account of the astronomical learning of the Celts provided based on classical documentation and Irish vernacular sources. Following on the coming of Christianity to Ireland in the fifth century, the necessity to construct Easter tables led Irish monks to such related activities as establishing collections of computi, compiling Annals and undertaking studies of available astronomical material. In particular, through exposure to Helenistic writings, they understood celestial motions in terms of the Ptolemaic model and were recognised authorities in Europe in the eighth and ninth centuries on astronomical matters. The influence of the Viking and Norman invasions in disrupting the intellectual life of the country is then outlined and the circumstances relating to the creation of conditions leading to the brilliant flowering of Irish astronomy in the eighteenth century are elucidated.

  6. The Origin and Earliest History of the Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halliday, A. N.

    The past 10 years have seen major advances in our understanding of how Earth first developed. With better measurements of circumstellar disk life times and new theories for the Moon-forming giant impact, driven by improvements in theory and modeling that are tensioned against new kinds of isotopic and other geochemical constraints, the origins of Earth-like planets have never been clearer. This is particularly interesting and relevant to the current search for exosolar habitable environments. Isotope geochemistry provides powerful evidence that Earth formed over a protracted period of more than 30 Ma, culminating in the giant impact. Oxygen and titanium isotopes provide evidence that most of the atoms in the Moon were derived from Earth requiring revisions to giant impact simulations. The core started forming early and we now have clear isotopic evidence that silicon is one of the light constituents. The origins of Earth's volatiles are still debated, but there is increasing evidence for the importance of chondrites and comets as opposed to solar volatiles. The timing and importance of any late veneer are still debated, while new isotopic data provide unequivocal evidence of early mantle heterogeneity, much of which has been eliminated with billions of years of mantle convective mixing.

  7. Life cycle greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. liquefied natural gas exports: implications for end uses.

    PubMed

    Abrahams, Leslie S; Samaras, Constantine; Griffin, W Michael; Matthews, H Scott

    2015-03-01

    This study analyzes how incremental U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports affect global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We find that exported U.S. LNG has mean precombustion emissions of 37 g CO2-equiv/MJ when regasified in Europe and Asia. Shipping emissions of LNG exported from U.S. ports to Asian and European markets account for only 3.5-5.5% of precombustion life cycle emissions, hence shipping distance is not a major driver of GHGs. A scenario-based analysis addressing how potential end uses (electricity and industrial heating) and displacement of existing fuels (coal and Russian natural gas) affect GHG emissions shows the mean emissions for electricity generation using U.S. exported LNG were 655 g CO2-equiv/kWh (with a 90% confidence interval of 562-770), an 11% increase over U.S. natural gas electricity generation. Mean emissions from industrial heating were 104 g CO2-equiv/MJ (90% CI: 87-123). By displacing coal, LNG saves 550 g CO2-equiv per kWh of electricity and 20 g per MJ of heat. LNG saves GHGs under upstream fugitive emissions rates up to 9% and 5% for electricity and heating, respectively. GHG reductions were found if Russian pipeline natural gas was displaced for electricity and heating use regardless of GWP, as long as U.S. fugitive emission rates remain below the estimated 5-7% rate of Russian gas. However, from a country specific carbon accounting perspective, there is an imbalance in accrued social costs and benefits. Assuming a mean social cost of carbon of $49/metric ton, mean global savings from U.S. LNG displacement of coal for electricity generation are $1.50 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) of gaseous natural gas exported as LNG ($.028/kWh). Conversely, the U.S. carbon cost of exporting the LNG is $1.80/Mcf ($.013/kWh), or $0.50-$5.50/Mcf across the range of potential discount rates. This spatial shift in embodied carbon emissions is important to consider in national interest estimates for LNG exports. PMID:25650513

  8. Life cycle greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. liquefied natural gas exports: implications for end uses.

    PubMed

    Abrahams, Leslie S; Samaras, Constantine; Griffin, W Michael; Matthews, H Scott

    2015-03-01

    This study analyzes how incremental U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports affect global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We find that exported U.S. LNG has mean precombustion emissions of 37 g CO2-equiv/MJ when regasified in Europe and Asia. Shipping emissions of LNG exported from U.S. ports to Asian and European markets account for only 3.5-5.5% of precombustion life cycle emissions, hence shipping distance is not a major driver of GHGs. A scenario-based analysis addressing how potential end uses (electricity and industrial heating) and displacement of existing fuels (coal and Russian natural gas) affect GHG emissions shows the mean emissions for electricity generation using U.S. exported LNG were 655 g CO2-equiv/kWh (with a 90% confidence interval of 562-770), an 11% increase over U.S. natural gas electricity generation. Mean emissions from industrial heating were 104 g CO2-equiv/MJ (90% CI: 87-123). By displacing coal, LNG saves 550 g CO2-equiv per kWh of electricity and 20 g per MJ of heat. LNG saves GHGs under upstream fugitive emissions rates up to 9% and 5% for electricity and heating, respectively. GHG reductions were found if Russian pipeline natural gas was displaced for electricity and heating use regardless of GWP, as long as U.S. fugitive emission rates remain below the estimated 5-7% rate of Russian gas. However, from a country specific carbon accounting perspective, there is an imbalance in accrued social costs and benefits. Assuming a mean social cost of carbon of $49/metric ton, mean global savings from U.S. LNG displacement of coal for electricity generation are $1.50 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) of gaseous natural gas exported as LNG ($.028/kWh). Conversely, the U.S. carbon cost of exporting the LNG is $1.80/Mcf ($.013/kWh), or $0.50-$5.50/Mcf across the range of potential discount rates. This spatial shift in embodied carbon emissions is important to consider in national interest estimates for LNG exports.

  9. Hubble's deepest view ever of the Universe unveils earliest galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2004-03-01

    Hubble sees galaxies galore hi-res Size hi-res: 446 kb Credits: NASA, ESA, and S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team Hubble sees galaxies galore Galaxies, galaxies everywhere - as far as the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope can see. This view of nearly 10,000 galaxies is the deepest visible-light image of the cosmos. Called the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, this galaxy-studded view represents a ‘deep’ core sample of the universe, cutting across billions of light-years. Hubble reveals galactic drama hi-res Size hi-res: 879 kb Credits: NASA, ESA, and S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team Hubble reveals galactic drama A galactic brawl. A close encounter with a spiral galaxy. Blue wisps of galaxies. These close-up snapshots of galaxies in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field reveal the drama of galactic life. Here three galaxies just below centre are enmeshed in battle, their shapes distorted by the brutal encounter. Hubble reveals galactic drama hi-res Size hi-res: 886 kb Credits: NASA, ESA, and S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team Hubble reveals galactic drama A galactic brawl. A close encounter with a spiral galaxy. Blue wisps of galaxies. These close-up snapshots of galaxies in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field reveal the drama of galactic life. Here three galaxies just below centre are enmeshed in battle, their shapes distorted by the brutal encounter. Hubble reveals galactic drama hi-res Size hi-res: 892 kb Credits: NASA, ESA, and S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team Hubble reveals galactic drama A galactic brawl. A close encounter with a spiral galaxy. Blue wisps of galaxies. These close-up snapshots of galaxies in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field reveal the drama of galactic life. The galaxies in this panel were plucked from a harvest of nearly 10,000 galaxies in the Ultra Deep Field, the deepest visible-light image of the cosmos. This historic new view is actually made up by two separate images taken by Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) and the Near Infrared Camera and

  10. Age at earliest reported memory: associations with personality traits, behavioral health, and repression.

    PubMed

    Spirrison, C L; McCarley, N G

    2001-09-01

    The present study examined relationships between the age at earliest memory and the personality traits and behavioral health of 107 undergraduates. Participants answered questions on their earliest memory and completed the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and a medical history form. Analyses indicated that continuous scores on two MBTI scales (Sensing-Intuition and Judging-Perceiving) were inversely related to age at earliest memory as were participant's self-reported drug and alcohol problems, emotional and psychological symptoms, accident rates, physical symptoms, and satisfaction with health. Respondents who reported first memories at or after 7 years of age (i.e., approximately 1 SD above the mean age at recalled memory) were classified as repressors. Repressors scored in the Sensing and Judging directions on the MBTI and reported significantly fewer emotional symptoms, accidents, psychological symptoms, and less health satisfaction than nonrepressors. Results are consistent with the age at earliest memory and repression literature and support the use of earliest memory age as an index of repression. PMID:11575624

  11. Earliest Phanerozoic or latest Proterozoic fossils from the Arabian Shield

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cloud, P.; Awramik, S.M.; Morrison, K.; Hadley, D.G.

    1979-01-01

    We report here the first biologically definable fossils from pre-Saq (pre-Middle Cambrian) rocks of the Arabian Shield. They include the distinctive helically coiled tubular filaments of the oscillatorialean blue-green alga Obruchevella parva as well as two size classes of spheroidal unicells of uncertain affinity. Also present is the conical stromatolite Conophyton and unidentified stromatolites. All occur in cherty limestones of the Jubaylah Group, northern Saudi Arabia, a nonmarine to locally marine taphrogeosynclinal sequence that fills depressions along the northwest-trending Najd faults. Conophyton has heretofore been found only in strata older than about 680 Ma (except for puzzling records in modern hot springs) while Obruchevella is so far known only from rocks between about 680 and 470 Ma old. Thus it appears that the Jubaylah Group is close to the Proterozoic-Phanerozoic transition. The simple spheroidal nanno-fossils are not diagnostic as to age. Their relationships within what appears to be early diagenetic chert suggest a classical algal-mat association. The brecciated and microchanneled appearance of much of the fossiliferous rock, its locally dolomitic nature, and the prevalence of cryptalgalaminate favors a very shallow, locally turbulent, and perhaps episodically exposed marine or marginal marine setting. The Jubaylah Group lies unconformably beneath the Siq Sandstone (basal member of the Saq Sandstone) of medial Cambrian age, rests nonconformably on crystalline basement, and has yielded a K-Ar whole-rock age (on andesitic basalt) of ???540 Ma. To judge from the fossils, however, that age may be as much as 100 Ma or more too young. ?? 1979.

  12. Mental health, life functioning and risk factors among people exposed to frequent natural disasters and chronic poverty in Vietnam

    PubMed Central

    Weiss, Bahr; Trung, Lam Tu

    2016-01-01

    Background People living in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) are at increased risk for exposure to major natural disasters, which places them at increased risk for mental health problems. Evidence is less clear, however, regarding the effects of less severe but more frequent natural disasters, which are likely to increase due to global climate change. Aims To examine the mental health and life functioning, and their predictors, of people living in central coastal Vietnam – an area characterised by high risk for natural disasters and poverty. Method One thousand individuals were randomly selected from five provinces in central coastal Vietnam. Individuals were assessed cross-sectionally for exposure to major storms and other traumatic events (Post-traumatic Diagnostic Scale, or PDS), financial stress (Chronic Financial Stress Scale), depression (PHQ-9), anxiety (GAD-7), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (PDS), somatic syndrome (SCL-90-R), alcohol dependence (ICD-10), self-perceived general physical health (SF-36), and functional impairment (PDS life functioning section); caseness was determined using the various measures’ algorithms. Results 22.7% of the sample (n=227) met caseness criteria in one or more mental health domains, and 22.1% (n=221) reported moderate to severe functional impairment. Lifetime exposure to typhoons and other major storms was 99% (n=978), with 77% (n=742) reporting traumatic major storm exposure. Moderate to high levels of financial stress were reported by 30% (n=297). Frequency of exposure to major storms was not associated with increased risk for mental health problems but traumatic exposure to a major storm was. Overall, the strongest predictor of mental health problems was financial stress. Number of traumatic typhoons and other major storms in turn were significant predictors (r2=0.03) of financial stress. The primary predictor of alcohol dependence was male gender, highlighting the importance of gender roles in

  13. Life cycle emissions and cost of producing electricity from coal, natural gas, and wood pellets in Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yimin; McKechnie, Jon; Cormier, Denis; Lyng, Robert; Mabee, Warren; Ogino, Akifumi; Maclean, Heather L

    2010-01-01

    The use of coal is responsible for (1)/(5) of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Substitution of coal with biomass fuels is one of a limited set of near-term options to significantly reduce these emissions. We investigate, on a life cycle basis, 100% wood pellet firing and cofiring with coal in two coal generating stations (GS) in Ontario, Canada. GHG and criteria air pollutant emissions are compared with current coal and hypothetical natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) facilities. 100% pellet utilization provides the greatest GHG benefit on a kilowatt-hour basis, reducing emissions by 91% and 78% relative to coal and NGCC systems, respectively. Compared to coal, using 100% pellets reduces NO(x) emissions by 40-47% and SO(x) emissions by 76-81%. At $160/metric ton of pellets and $7/GJ natural gas, either cofiring or NGCC provides the most cost-effective GHG mitigation ($70 and $47/metric ton of CO2 equivalent, respectively). The differences in coal price, electricity generation cost, and emissions at the two GS are responsible for the different options being preferred. A sensitivity analysis on fuel costs reveals considerable overlap in results for all options. A lower pellet price ($100/metric ton) results in a mitigation cost of $34/metric ton of CO2 equivalent for 10% cofiring at one of the GS. The study results suggest that biomass utilization in coal GS should be considered for its potential to cost-effectively mitigate GHGs from coal-based electricity in the near term. PMID:19961171

  14. The potential effects of sodium bicarbonate, a major constituent from coalbed natural gas production, on aquatic life

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Farag, Aida M.; Harper, David D.

    2012-01-01

    The production water from coalbed natural gas (CBNG) extraction contains many constituents. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has established aquatic life criteria for some of these constituents, and it is therefore possible to evaluate their risk to aquatic life. However, of the major ions associated with produced waters, chloride is the only one with an established aquatic life criterion (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1988). The focus of this research was NaHCO3, a compound that is a major constituent of coalbed natural gas produced waters in the Tongue and Powder River Basins. This project included laboratory experiments, field in situ experiments, a field mixing zone study, and a fishery presence/absence assessment. Though this investigation focuses on the Tongue and Powder River Basins, the information is applicable to other watersheds where sodium bicarbonate is a principle component of product water either from CBNG or from traditional or unconventional oil and gas development. These data can also be used to separate effects of saline discharges from those potentially posed by other constituents. Finally, this research effort and the additional collaboration with USGS Water Resources and Mapping, Bureau of Land Management, US Environmental Protection Agency, State of Montana, State of Wyoming, Montana State University, University of Wyoming, and others as part of a Powder River Aquatic Task Group, can be used as a model for successful approaches to studying landscapes with energy development. The laboratory acute toxicity experiments were completed with a suite of organisms, including 7 species of fish, 5 species of invertebrates, and 1 amphibian species. Experiments performed on these multiple species resulted in LC50s that ranged from 1,120 to greater than (>) 8,000 milligrams sodium bicarbonate per liter (mg NaHCO3/L) (also defined as 769 to >8,000 milligrams bicarbonate per liter (mg HCO3-/L) or total alkalinity expressed as 608 to >4

  15. The potential effects of sodium bicarbonate, a major constituent from coalbed natural gas production, on aquatic life

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Farag, Aida M.; Harper, David D.

    2012-01-01

    The production water from coalbed natural gas (CBNG) extraction contains many constituents. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has established aquatic life criteria for some of these constituents, and it is therefore possible to evaluate their risk to aquatic life. However, of the major ions associated with produced waters, chloride is the only one with an established aquatic life criterion (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1988). The focus of this research was NaHCO3, a compound that is a major constituent of coalbed natural gas produced waters in the Tongue and Powder River Basins. This project included laboratory experiments, field in situ experiments, a field mixing zone study, and a fishery presence/absence assessment. Though this investigation focuses on the Tongue and Powder River Basins, the information is applicable to other watersheds where sodium bicarbonate is a principle component of product water either from CBNG or from traditional or unconventional oil and gas development. These data can also be used to separate effects of saline discharges from those potentially posed by other constituents. Finally, this research effort and the additional collaboration with USGS Water Resources and Mapping, Bureau of Land Management, US Environmental Protection Agency, State of Montana, State of Wyoming, Montana State University, University of Wyoming, and others as part of a Powder River Aquatic Task Group, can be used as a model for successful approaches to studying landscapes with energy development. The laboratory acute toxicity experiments were completed with a suite of organisms, including 7 species of fish, 5 species of invertebrates, and 1 amphibian species. Experiments performed on these multiple species resulted in LC50s that ranged from 1,120 to greater than (>) 8,000 milligrams sodium bicarbonate per liter (mg NaHCO3/L) (also defined as 769 to >8,000 milligrams bicarbonate per liter (mg HCO3-/L) or total alkalinity expressed as 608 to >4

  16. Glycine Identification in Natural Jarosites Using Laser Desorption Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometry: Implications for the Search for Life on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotler, J. Michelle; Hinman, Nancy W.; Yan, Beizhan; Stoner, Daphne L.; Scott, Jill R.

    2008-04-01

    The jarosite group minerals have received increasing attention since the discovery of jarosite on the martian surface by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. Given that jarosite can incorporate foreign ions within its structure, we have investigated the use of jarosite as an indicator of aqueous and biological processes on Earth and Mars. The use of laser desorption Fourier transform mass spectrometry has revealed the presence of organic matter in several jarosite samples from various locations worldwide. One of the ions from the natural jarosites has been attributed to glycine because it was systematically observed in combinations of glycine with synthetic ammonium and potassium jarosites, Na2SO4 and K2SO4. The ability to observe these organic signatures in jarosite samples with an in situ instrumental technique, such as the one employed in this study, furthers the goals of planetary geologists to determine whether signs of life (e.g., the presence of biomolecules or biomolecule precursors) can be detected in the rock record of terrestrial and extraterrestrial samples.

  17. The influence of an advanced agriculture & life science course on students' views of the nature of science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Megan N.

    One of the goals in today's society is to ensure that students exiting school have the ability to understand, develop, and comprehend scientific information. For students to be able to meet these goals, it is imperative that they become scientifically literate and understand the concept of the Nature of Science (NOS). The discipline of Agricultural Education has strong connections with science and today many students are earning science credit and developing science understanding through Agricultural Education courses. If students are continuing to gain science mastery through their Agricultural Education courses, they should also be gaining adequate conceptions of science and the NOS. Overall, many studies have indicated that students exiting the K-12 education system lack these vital skills and understanding. The purpose of this study was to explore the conceptions of the NOS of advanced agriculture students in Indiana. This study explored the conceptions of agricultural science students before and after taking a semester of an advanced life science course (N=48). Conceptions were explored through a qualitative case study utilizing the VNOS-C questionnaire. Responses were coded into one of three categories: Naive, Emerging, or Informed. Demographic data were also collected and analyzed. Overall, results of this study indicate that students in advanced agricultural science courses lack NOS understanding. The study's conclusions are discussed along with implications for theory, research and practice in addition to future directions for research.

  18. Integrating early life experience, gene expression, brain development, and emergent phenotypes: unraveling the thread of nature via nurture.

    PubMed

    Weaver, Ian C G

    2014-01-01

    Adaptation to environmental changes is based on the perpetual generation of new phenotypes. Modern biology has focused on the role of epigenetic mechanisms in facilitating the adaptation of organisms to changing environments through alterations in gene expression. Inherited and/or acquired epigenetic factors are relatively stable and have regulatory roles in numerous genomic activities that translate into phenotypic outcomes. Evidence that dietary and pharmacological interventions have the potential to reverse environment-induced modification of epigenetic states (e.g., early life experience, nutrition, medication, infection) has provided an additional stimulus for understanding the biological basis of individual differences in cognitive abilities and disorders of the brain. It has been suggested that accurate quantification of the relative contribution of heritable genetic and epigenetic variation is essential for understanding phenotypic divergence and adaptation in changing environments, a process requiring stable modulation of gene expression. The main challenge for epigenetics in psychology and psychiatry is to determine how experiences and environmental cues, including the nature of our nurture, influence the expression of neuronal genes to produce long-term individual differences in behavior, cognition, personality, and mental health. To this end, focusing on DNA and histone modifications and their initiators, mediators and readers may provide new inroads for understanding the molecular basis of phenotypic plasticity and disorders of the brain. In this chapter, we review recent discoveries highlighting epigenetic aspects of normal brain development and mental illness, as well as discuss some future directions in the field of behavioral epigenetics.

  19. Acquisition of natural humoral immunity to P. falciparum in early life in Benin: impact of clinical, environmental and host factors

    PubMed Central

    Dechavanne, Célia; Sadissou, Ibrahim; Bouraima, Aziz; Ahouangninou, Claude; Amoussa, Roukiyath; Milet, Jacqueline; Moutairou, Kabirou; Massougbodji, Achille; Theisen, Michael; Remarque, Edmond J.; Courtin, David; Nuel, Gregory; Migot-Nabias, Florence; Garcia, André

    2016-01-01

    To our knowledge, effects of age, placental malaria infection, infections during follow-up, nutritional habits, sickle-cell trait and individual exposure to Anopheles bites were never explored together in a study focusing on the acquisition of malaria antibody responses among infants living in endemic areas.Five hundred and sixty-seven Beninese infants were weekly followed-up from birth to 18 months of age. Immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgG1 and IgG3 specific for 5 malaria antigens were measured every 3 months. A linear mixed model was used to analyze the effect of each variable on the acquisition of antimalarial antibodies in 6-to18-month old infants in univariate and multivariate analyses. Placental malaria, nutrition intakes and sickle-cell trait did not influence the infant antibody levels to P. falciparum antigens. In contrary, age, malaria antibody levels at birth, previous and present malaria infections as well as exposure to Anopheles bites were significantly associated with the natural acquisition of malaria antibodies in 6-to18-month old Beninese infants. This study highlighted inescapable factors to consider simultaneously in an immuno-epidemiological study or a vaccine trial in early life. PMID:27670685

  20. The power of visual memory: the earliest remembered drawing of Alberto Giacometti, Snow White in Her Coffin.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Laurie

    2008-04-01

    Since the time of Freud, many psychoanalysts have seen screen memories and earliest memories as reflecting underlying dynamics. I propose that an earliest remembered artwork is a highly condensed construction similar to a screen memory. Alberto Giacometti's earliest remembered drawing, of Snow White in Her Coffin, contains clues to the artist's personality and references to childhood experience. Giacometti's memory of the drawing done in childhood is a striking condensation of significant biographical events and psychodynamic conflicts, as well as a marker of important unconscious fantasies. The artist's postwar sculptural style, utilizing gaunt figures, epitomizes the final transformation of the psychological meaning of his earliest remembered drawing.

  1. Early silurian spore tetrads from new york: earliest new world evidence for vascular plants?

    PubMed

    Gray, J; Boucot, A J

    1971-09-01

    Several taxa of abundant cutinized trilete spores from earliest Silurian shale in New York predate by almost an entire period vascular land plant megafossils. Paleoecological evidence suggests that these spores may represent vascular land or semiaquatic plants but a bryophytic origin cannot be precluded on the basis of spore characters. An algal origin is considered unlikely.

  2. Earliest Memories and Recent Memories of Highly Salient Events--Are They Similar?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peterson, Carole; Fowler, Tania; Brandeau, Katherine M.

    2015-01-01

    Four- to 11-year-old children were interviewed about 2 different sorts of memories in the same home visit: recent memories of highly salient and stressful events--namely, injuries serious enough to require hospital emergency room treatment--and their earliest memories. Injury memories were scored for amount of unique information, completeness…

  3. 13 CFR 120.523 - What is the “earliest uncured payment default”?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 13 Business Credit and Assistance 1 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false What is the âearliest uncured payment defaultâ? 120.523 Section 120.523 Business Credit and Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION BUSINESS LOANS Servicing, Liquidation and Debt Collection Litigation of 7(a) and 504 Loans Sba's...

  4. 13 CFR 120.523 - What is the “earliest uncured payment default”?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 13 Business Credit and Assistance 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false What is the âearliest uncured payment defaultâ? 120.523 Section 120.523 Business Credit and Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION BUSINESS LOANS Servicing, Liquidation and Debt Collection Litigation of 7(a) and 504 Loans Sba's...

  5. Infantile Amnesia across the Years: A 2-Year Follow-Up of Children's Earliest Memories

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peterson, Carole; Warren, Kelly L.; Short, Megan M.

    2011-01-01

    Although infantile amnesia has been investigated for many years in adults, only recently has it been investigated in children. This study was a 2-year follow-up and extension of an earlier study. Children (4-13 years old) were asked initially and 2 years later for their earliest 3 memories. At follow-up, their age at the time of these memories…

  6. Birth to Three Matters: A Framework to Support Children in Their Earliest Years

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abbott, Lesley; Langston, Ann

    2005-01-01

    Government commitment to the care and education of children from birth to three years in England led to the commissioning in 2001 of "a framework of best practice" (DfEE, 2001:24) to support children in their earliest years. The resulting framework of "effective" practice, together with supporting materials, was developed by a team based at…

  7. Maternal Reminiscing Style during Early Childhood Predicts the Age of Adolescents' Earliest Memories

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jack, Fiona; MacDonald, Shelley; Reese, Elaine; Hayne, Harlene

    2009-01-01

    Individual differences in parental reminiscing style are hypothesized to have long-lasting effects on children's autobiographical memory development, including the age of their earliest memories. This study represents the first prospective test of this hypothesis. Conversations about past events between 17 mother-child dyads were recorded on…

  8. Natural history of Ctenus medius Keyserling, 1891 (Araneae, Ctenidae). II: Life cycle and aspects of reproductive behavior under laboratory conditions.

    PubMed

    Folly-Ramos, E; Almeida, C E; Carmo-Silva, M; Costa, J

    2002-11-01

    Ctenus medius Keyserling, 1891 is a wandering spider common in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. It has been the subject of few studies. Thus, this work aims to elucidate aspects of its natural history, such as the life cycle and reproductive behavior of this species, through laboratory and field observations. Two females with egg sacs were observed in the laboratory and one was observed in field (Barra Mansa, 22 degrees 32'S and 44 degrees 10'W) until the emergence of the spiderlings. For observation of the immature stage development, a portion of the spiderlings from the same hatch were taken to the laboratory and watched until sexual maturity. In the field, the period between the oviposition and the emergence of spiderlings was of 36 days. The female selects a site for egg sac deposition and stays there until the spiderlings emerge. Seven days after the emergence, the female abandoned the site where the egg sac was made, concomitant to the spiderlings dispersion from observation's place and until the moment that the spiderlings started to eat. For the spiderlings kept under laboratory conditions, cannibalism was not observed in the first instars (1-4th) when sufficient food was offered. Sexual maturity happened in the 14th or 15th instars, with an average of 309.2 to 344.5 days until the last/sexual molt, respectively. Until the date of sexual maturity, there was a mortality rate of 85%. This species is very fragile in captivity. This hampered deductions concerning longevity. Both females and males collected in the field were induced to mate in the laboratory. Courtship movements of males were registered, but the females did not permit the mating. These data may assist in initial biological studies of Ctenus genus and offer comparative parameters for studies of other related species. PMID:12659029

  9. Life cycle air emissions impacts and ownership costs of light-duty vehicles using natural gas as a primary energy source.

    PubMed

    Luk, Jason M; Saville, Bradley A; MacLean, Heather L

    2015-04-21

    This paper aims to comprehensively distinguish among the merits of different vehicles using a common primary energy source. In this study, we consider compressed natural gas (CNG) use directly in conventional vehicles (CV) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), and natural gas-derived electricity (NG-e) use in plug-in battery electric vehicles (BEV). This study evaluates the incremental life cycle air emissions (climate change and human health) impacts and life cycle ownership costs of non-plug-in (CV and HEV) and plug-in light-duty vehicles. Replacing a gasoline CV with a CNG CV, or a CNG CV with a CNG HEV, can provide life cycle air emissions impact benefits without increasing ownership costs; however, the NG-e BEV will likely increase costs (90% confidence interval: $1000 to $31 000 incremental cost per vehicle lifetime). Furthermore, eliminating HEV tailpipe emissions via plug-in vehicles has an insignificant incremental benefit, due to high uncertainties, with emissions cost benefits between -$1000 and $2000. Vehicle criteria air contaminants are a relatively minor contributor to life cycle air emissions impacts because of strict vehicle emissions standards. Therefore, policies should focus on adoption of plug-in vehicles in nonattainment regions, because CNG vehicles are likely more cost-effective at providing overall life cycle air emissions impact benefits.

  10. Life cycle air emissions impacts and ownership costs of light-duty vehicles using natural gas as a primary energy source.

    PubMed

    Luk, Jason M; Saville, Bradley A; MacLean, Heather L

    2015-04-21

    This paper aims to comprehensively distinguish among the merits of different vehicles using a common primary energy source. In this study, we consider compressed natural gas (CNG) use directly in conventional vehicles (CV) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), and natural gas-derived electricity (NG-e) use in plug-in battery electric vehicles (BEV). This study evaluates the incremental life cycle air emissions (climate change and human health) impacts and life cycle ownership costs of non-plug-in (CV and HEV) and plug-in light-duty vehicles. Replacing a gasoline CV with a CNG CV, or a CNG CV with a CNG HEV, can provide life cycle air emissions impact benefits without increasing ownership costs; however, the NG-e BEV will likely increase costs (90% confidence interval: $1000 to $31 000 incremental cost per vehicle lifetime). Furthermore, eliminating HEV tailpipe emissions via plug-in vehicles has an insignificant incremental benefit, due to high uncertainties, with emissions cost benefits between -$1000 and $2000. Vehicle criteria air contaminants are a relatively minor contributor to life cycle air emissions impacts because of strict vehicle emissions standards. Therefore, policies should focus on adoption of plug-in vehicles in nonattainment regions, because CNG vehicles are likely more cost-effective at providing overall life cycle air emissions impact benefits. PMID:25825338

  11. Health-Related Quality of Life and Primi-Gravid: A Comparative Study of Natural Conception and Conception by Assisted Reproduction Technologies (ARTs)

    PubMed Central

    Ahmadi, Seyed Ebrahim; Montazeri, Ali; Mozafari, Ramin; Azari, Afsaneh; Nateghi, Mohammad Reza; Ashrafi, Mahnaz

    2014-01-01

    Background Childbearing for the first time is a unique experience. Quality of life is an important indicator in health studies. This study aimed to assess the quality of life of women who were conceived by ARTs and had successful childbirth for the first time and to compare it with quality of life in women who become pregnant naturally and similarly had successful childbirth for the first time. Materials and Methods This was a cross sectional comparative study. The accessible sam- ple was recruited from patients attending an infertility clinic and two obstetric and gynecology clinics in Tehran, Iran, during March 2010 to March 2011. In all 276 patients were approached. Of these, 162 women (76 women in natural conception group and 86 women in assisted reproduction technologies group) who met the inclusion criteria were entered into the study. Quality of life was assessed using the 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36). Women completed the questionnaire at two time points: i. last trimester and ii. first month after delivery. Comparison was made between two groups using Mann-Whitney U test and paired samples t test. Results Comparing the SF-36 scores between women in natural conception group and ARTs group before childbirth, it was found that natural group had better condition on physical functioning, role limitation due to physical problems, bodily pain and social functioning, while the ARTs group reported better status on general health, vitality, role limitation due to emotional problems, and mental health. However, after childbirth, the ARTs group reported a better condition almost on all measures, except for physical functioning. Comparing differences in obtained scores between two groups before and after childbirth, the results showed that improvements in health related quality of life measures for the ARTs group were greater in all measures, expect for general health. Conclusion The findings from this study suggest that health-related quality of life was

  12. Signatures of natural selection in the mitochondrial genomes of Tachycineta swallows and their implications for latitudinal patterns of the 'pace of life'.

    PubMed

    Stager, Maria; Cerasale, David J; Dor, Roi; Winkler, David W; Cheviron, Zachary A

    2014-08-01

    Latitudinal variation in avian life histories can be summarized as a slow-fast continuum, termed the 'pace of life', that encompasses patterns in life span, reproduction, and rates of development among tropical and temperate species. Much of the variation in avian pace of life is tied to differences in rates of long-term metabolic energy expenditure. Given the vital role of the mitochondrion in metabolic processes, studies of variation in the mitochondrial genome may offer opportunities to establish mechanistic links between genetic variation and latitudinal 'pace of life' patterns. Using comparative genomic analyses, we examined complete mitochondrial genome sequences obtained from nine, broadly distributed Tachycineta swallow species to test for signatures of natural selection across the mitogenome within a phylogenetic framework. Our results show that although purifying selection is the dominant selective force acting on the mitochondrial genome in Tachycineta, three mitochondrial genes (ND2, ND5, and CYTB) contain regions that exhibit signatures of diversifying selection. Two of these genes (ND2 and ND5) encode interacting subunits of NADH dehydrogenase, and amino residues that were inferred to be targets of positive selection were disproportionately concentrated in these genes. Moreover, the positively selected sites exhibited a phylogenetic pattern that could be indicative of adaptive divergence between "fast" and "slow" lineages. These results suggest that functional variation in cytochrome b and NADH dehydrogenase could mechanistically contribute to latitudinal 'pace of life' patterns in Tachycineta.

  13. The Laws of Nature and the Origin of Life in Pupils' Consciousness: A Study of Contradictory Modes of Thought.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Engestrom, Yrjo

    1981-01-01

    Data identified two essential contradictions within the development of Finnish primary and secondary pupils' natural-scientific consciousness: one between the dominant biological-biologistic conception and the emerging physical-chemical or universal conception of the laws of nature; the other between religious and natural-scientific conceptions of…

  14. Conceptual design study on very small long-life gas cooled fast reactor using metallic natural Uranium-Zr as fuel cycle input

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monado, Fiber; Ariani, Menik; Su'ud, Zaki; Waris, Abdul; Basar, Khairul; Aziz, Ferhat; Permana, Sidik; Sekimoto, Hiroshi

    2014-02-01

    A conceptual design study of very small 350 MWth Gas-cooled Fast Reactors with Helium coolant has been performed. In this study Modified CANDLE burn-up scheme was implemented to create small and long life fast reactors with natural Uranium as fuel cycle input. Such system can utilize natural Uranium resources efficiently without the necessity of enrichment plant or reprocessing plant. The core with metallic fuel based was subdivided into 10 regions with the same volume. The fresh Natural Uranium is initially put in region-1, after one cycle of 10 years of burn-up it is shifted to region-2 and the each region-1 is filled by fresh Natural Uranium fuel. This concept is basically applied to all axial regions. The reactor discharge burn-up is 31.8% HM. From the neutronic point of view, this design is in compliance with good performance.

  15. Conceptual design study on very small long-life gas cooled fast reactor using metallic natural Uranium-Zr as fuel cycle input

    SciTech Connect

    Monado, Fiber; Ariani, Menik; Su'ud, Zaki; Waris, Abdul; Basar, Khairul; Permana, Sidik; Aziz, Ferhat; Sekimoto, Hiroshi

    2014-02-12

    A conceptual design study of very small 350 MWth Gas-cooled Fast Reactors with Helium coolant has been performed. In this study Modified CANDLE burn-up scheme was implemented to create small and long life fast reactors with natural Uranium as fuel cycle input. Such system can utilize natural Uranium resources efficiently without the necessity of enrichment plant or reprocessing plant. The core with metallic fuel based was subdivided into 10 regions with the same volume. The fresh Natural Uranium is initially put in region-1, after one cycle of 10 years of burn-up it is shifted to region-2 and the each region-1 is filled by fresh Natural Uranium fuel. This concept is basically applied to all axial regions. The reactor discharge burn-up is 31.8% HM. From the neutronic point of view, this design is in compliance with good performance.

  16. Natural pH Gradients in Hydrothermal Alkali Vents Were Unlikely to Have Played a Role in the Origin of Life.

    PubMed

    Jackson, J Baz

    2016-08-01

    The hypothesis that a natural pH gradient across inorganic membranes lying between the ocean and fluid issuing from hydrothermal alkali vents provided energy to drive chemical reactions during the origin of life has an attractive parallel with chemiosmotic ATP synthesis in present-day organisms. However, arguments raised in this review suggest that such natural pH gradients are unlikely to have played a part in life's origin. There is as yet no evidence for thin inorganic membranes holding sharp pH gradients in modern hydrothermal alkali vents at Lost City near the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Proposed models of non-protein forms of the H(+)-pyrophosphate synthase that could have functioned as a molecular machine utilizing the energy of a natural pH gradient are unsatisfactory. Some hypothetical designs of non-protein motors utilizing a natural pH gradient to drive redox reactions are plausible but complex, and such motors are deemed unlikely to have assembled by chance in prebiotic times. Small molecular motors comprising a few hundred atoms would have been unable to function in the relatively thick (>1 μm) inorganic membranes that have hitherto been used as descriptive models for the natural pH gradient hypothesis. Alternative hypotheses for the evolution of chemiosmotic systems following the emergence of error-prone gene replication and translation are more likely to be correct.

  17. Natural pH Gradients in Hydrothermal Alkali Vents Were Unlikely to Have Played a Role in the Origin of Life.

    PubMed

    Jackson, J Baz

    2016-08-01

    The hypothesis that a natural pH gradient across inorganic membranes lying between the ocean and fluid issuing from hydrothermal alkali vents provided energy to drive chemical reactions during the origin of life has an attractive parallel with chemiosmotic ATP synthesis in present-day organisms. However, arguments raised in this review suggest that such natural pH gradients are unlikely to have played a part in life's origin. There is as yet no evidence for thin inorganic membranes holding sharp pH gradients in modern hydrothermal alkali vents at Lost City near the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Proposed models of non-protein forms of the H(+)-pyrophosphate synthase that could have functioned as a molecular machine utilizing the energy of a natural pH gradient are unsatisfactory. Some hypothetical designs of non-protein motors utilizing a natural pH gradient to drive redox reactions are plausible but complex, and such motors are deemed unlikely to have assembled by chance in prebiotic times. Small molecular motors comprising a few hundred atoms would have been unable to function in the relatively thick (>1 μm) inorganic membranes that have hitherto been used as descriptive models for the natural pH gradient hypothesis. Alternative hypotheses for the evolution of chemiosmotic systems following the emergence of error-prone gene replication and translation are more likely to be correct. PMID:27534947

  18. The Fate of Childhood Memories: Children Postdated Their Earliest Memories as They Grew Older.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qi; Peterson, Carole

    2015-01-01

    Childhood amnesia has been attributed to the inaccessibility of early memories as children grow older. We propose that systematic biases in the age estimates of memories may play a role. A group of 4- to 9-year-olds children were followed for 8 years, recalling and dating their earliest childhood memories at three time points. Although children retained many of the memories over time, their age estimates of these memories shifted forward in time, to later ages. The magnitude of postdating was especially sizable for earlier memories and younger children such that some memories were dated more than a year later than originally. As a result, the boundary of childhood amnesia increased with age. These findings shed light on childhood amnesia and the fate of early memories. They further suggest that generally accepted estimates for people's age of earliest memory may be wrong, which has far-reaching implications.

  19. The Fate of Childhood Memories: Children Postdated Their Earliest Memories as They Grew Older

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Qi; Peterson, Carole

    2016-01-01

    Childhood amnesia has been attributed to the inaccessibility of early memories as children grow older. We propose that systematic biases in the age estimates of memories may play a role. A group of 4- to 9-year-olds children were followed for 8 years, recalling and dating their earliest childhood memories at three time points. Although children retained many of the memories over time, their age estimates of these memories shifted forward in time, to later ages. The magnitude of postdating was especially sizable for earlier memories and younger children such that some memories were dated more than a year later than originally. As a result, the boundary of childhood amnesia increased with age. These findings shed light on childhood amnesia and the fate of early memories. They further suggest that generally accepted estimates for people’s age of earliest memory may be wrong, which has far-reaching implications. PMID:26793149

  20. An experimental 'Life' for an experimental life: Richard Waller's biography of Robert Hooke (1705).

    PubMed

    Moxham, Noah

    2016-03-01

    Richard Waller's 'Life of Dr Robert Hooke', prefixed to his edition of Hooke's Posthumous Works (1705), is an important source for the life of one of the most eminent members of the early Royal Society. It also has the distinction of being one of the earliest biographies of a man of science to be published in English. I argue that it is in fact the first biography to embrace the subject's natural-philosophical work as the centre of his life, and I investigate Waller's reasons for adopting this strategy and his struggle with the problem of how to represent an early experimental philosopher in print. I suggest that Waller eschews the 'Christian philosopher' tradition of contemporary biography - partly because of the unusually diverse and fragmentary nature of Hooke's intellectual output - and draws instead upon the structure of the Royal Society's archive as a means of organizing and understanding Hooke's life. The most quoted phrase from Waller's biography is that Hooke became 'to a crime close and reserved' in later life; this essay argues that Waller's biographical sketch was fashioned in order to undo the effects of that reserve. In modelling his approach very closely on the structure of the society's records he was principally concerned with making Hooke's work and biography accessible, intelligible and useful to the fellowship in a context familiar to them, a context which had provided the institutional framework for most of Hooke's adult life. I argue that Waller's 'Life' was also intended to make the largest claims for Hooke's intellectual standing that the author dared in the context of the enmity between Hooke and Isaac Newton once the latter became president of the Royal Society. However, I also adduce fresh manuscript evidence that Waller actually compiled, but did not publish, a defence of Hooke's claim to have discovered the inverse square law of gravity, allowing us to glimpse a much more assertive biography of Hooke than the published version.

  1. An experimental 'Life' for an experimental life: Richard Waller's biography of Robert Hooke (1705).

    PubMed

    Moxham, Noah

    2016-03-01

    Richard Waller's 'Life of Dr Robert Hooke', prefixed to his edition of Hooke's Posthumous Works (1705), is an important source for the life of one of the most eminent members of the early Royal Society. It also has the distinction of being one of the earliest biographies of a man of science to be published in English. I argue that it is in fact the first biography to embrace the subject's natural-philosophical work as the centre of his life, and I investigate Waller's reasons for adopting this strategy and his struggle with the problem of how to represent an early experimental philosopher in print. I suggest that Waller eschews the 'Christian philosopher' tradition of contemporary biography - partly because of the unusually diverse and fragmentary nature of Hooke's intellectual output - and draws instead upon the structure of the Royal Society's archive as a means of organizing and understanding Hooke's life. The most quoted phrase from Waller's biography is that Hooke became 'to a crime close and reserved' in later life; this essay argues that Waller's biographical sketch was fashioned in order to undo the effects of that reserve. In modelling his approach very closely on the structure of the society's records he was principally concerned with making Hooke's work and biography accessible, intelligible and useful to the fellowship in a context familiar to them, a context which had provided the institutional framework for most of Hooke's adult life. I argue that Waller's 'Life' was also intended to make the largest claims for Hooke's intellectual standing that the author dared in the context of the enmity between Hooke and Isaac Newton once the latter became president of the Royal Society. However, I also adduce fresh manuscript evidence that Waller actually compiled, but did not publish, a defence of Hooke's claim to have discovered the inverse square law of gravity, allowing us to glimpse a much more assertive biography of Hooke than the published version. PMID

  2. The characteristics and chronology of the earliest Acheulean at Konso, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Beyene, Yonas; Katoh, Shigehiro; Woldegabriel, Giday; Hart, William K; Uto, Kozo; Sudo, Masafumi; Kondo, Megumi; Hyodo, Masayuki; Renne, Paul R; Suwa, Gen; Asfaw, Berhane

    2013-01-29

    The Acheulean technological tradition, characterized by a large (>10 cm) flake-based component, represents a significant technological advance over the Oldowan. Although stone tool assemblages attributed to the Acheulean have been reported from as early as circa 1.6-1.75 Ma, the characteristics of these earliest occurrences and comparisons with later assemblages have not been reported in detail. Here, we provide a newly established chronometric calibration for the Acheulean assemblages of the Konso Formation, southern Ethiopia, which span the time period ∼1.75 to <1.0 Ma. The earliest Konso Acheulean is chronologically indistinguishable from the assemblage recently published as the world's earliest with an age of ∼1.75 Ma at Kokiselei, west of Lake Turkana, Kenya. This Konso assemblage is characterized by a combination of large picks and crude bifaces/unifaces made predominantly on large flake blanks. An increase in the number of flake scars was observed within the Konso Formation handaxe assemblages through time, but this was less so with picks. The Konso evidence suggests that both picks and handaxes were essential components of the Acheulean from its initial stages and that the two probably differed in function. The temporal refinement seen, especially in the handaxe forms at Konso, implies enhanced function through time, perhaps in processing carcasses with long and stable cutting edges. The documentation of the earliest Acheulean at ∼1.75 Ma in both northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia suggests that behavioral novelties were being established in a regional scale at that time, paralleling the emergence of Homo erectus-like hominid morphology. PMID:23359714

  3. The characteristics and chronology of the earliest Acheulean at Konso, Ethiopia

    PubMed Central

    Beyene, Yonas; Katoh, Shigehiro; WoldeGabriel, Giday; Hart, William K.; Uto, Kozo; Sudo, Masafumi; Kondo, Megumi; Hyodo, Masayuki; Renne, Paul R.; Suwa, Gen; Asfaw, Berhane

    2013-01-01

    The Acheulean technological tradition, characterized by a large (>10 cm) flake-based component, represents a significant technological advance over the Oldowan. Although stone tool assemblages attributed to the Acheulean have been reported from as early as circa 1.6–1.75 Ma, the characteristics of these earliest occurrences and comparisons with later assemblages have not been reported in detail. Here, we provide a newly established chronometric calibration for the Acheulean assemblages of the Konso Formation, southern Ethiopia, which span the time period ∼1.75 to <1.0 Ma. The earliest Konso Acheulean is chronologically indistinguishable from the assemblage recently published as the world’s earliest with an age of ∼1.75 Ma at Kokiselei, west of Lake Turkana, Kenya. This Konso assemblage is characterized by a combination of large picks and crude bifaces/unifaces made predominantly on large flake blanks. An increase in the number of flake scars was observed within the Konso Formation handaxe assemblages through time, but this was less so with picks. The Konso evidence suggests that both picks and handaxes were essential components of the Acheulean from its initial stages and that the two probably differed in function. The temporal refinement seen, especially in the handaxe forms at Konso, implies enhanced function through time, perhaps in processing carcasses with long and stable cutting edges. The documentation of the earliest Acheulean at ∼1.75 Ma in both northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia suggests that behavioral novelties were being established in a regional scale at that time, paralleling the emergence of Homo erectus-like hominid morphology. PMID:23359714

  4. The earliest giant Osprioneides borings from the Sandbian (late ordovician) of Estonia.

    PubMed

    Vinn, Olev; Wilson, Mark A; Mõtus, Mari-Ann

    2014-01-01

    The earliest Osprioneides kampto borings were found in bryozoan colonies of Sandbian age from northern Estonia (Baltica). The Ordovician was a time of great increase in the quantities of hard substrate removed by single trace makers. Increased predation pressure was most likely the driving force behind the infaunalization of larger invertebrates such as the Osprioneides trace makers in the Ordovician. It is possible that the Osprioneides borer originated in Baltica or in other paleocontinents outside of North America. PMID:24901511

  5. Virtual endocranial cast of earliest Eocene Diacodexis (Artiodactyla, Mammalia) and morphological diversity of early artiodactyl brains.

    PubMed

    Orliac, M J; Gilissen, E

    2012-09-22

    The study of brain evolution, particularly that of the neocortex, is of primary interest because it directly relates to how behavioural variations arose both between and within mammalian groups. Artiodactyla is one of the most diverse mammalian clades. However, the first 10 Myr of their brain evolution has remained undocumented so far. Here, we used high-resolution X-ray computed tomography to investigate the endocranial cast of Diacodexis ilicis of earliest Eocene age. Its virtual reconstruction provides unprecedented access to both metric parameters and fine anatomy of the most complete endocast of the earliest artiodactyl. This picture is assessed in a broad comparative context by reconstructing endocasts of 14 other Early and Middle Eocene representatives of basal artiodactyls, allowing the tracking of the neocortical structure of artiodactyls back to its simplest pattern. We show that the earliest artiodactyls share a simple neocortical pattern, so far never observed in other ungulates, with an almond-shaped gyrus instead of parallel sulci as previously hypothesized. Our results demonstrate that artiodactyls experienced a tardy pulse of encephalization during the Late Neogene, well after the onset of cortical complexity increase. Comparisons with Eocene perissodactyls show that the latter reached a high level of cortical complexity earlier than the artiodactyls. PMID:22764165

  6. Myoblasts and myoblast-conditioned medium attract the earliest spinal neurites from frog embryos.

    PubMed Central

    McCaig, C D

    1986-01-01

    A study was made of the capacity of newly segmented somites, unsegmented mesoderm and medium conditioned by each of these tissues to attract the growth of the earliest spinal neurites from the neural tube of Xenopus laevis in tissue culture. When presented with segmented somitic myoblasts or sheets of skin, spinal neurites grew selectively towards the somitic myoblasts. Neurites were not attracted specifically to somitic myoblasts from their own rostrocaudal level. A variable proportion of myoblasts from unsegmented caudal mesoderm differentiated and elongated in co-culture with neural tube and skin. These myoblasts also attracted neural outgrowths, but only if present in sufficient numbers. An agar slab containing medium conditioned by the presence of segmented myoblasts for 1 day attracted neurite outgrowths. A source of medium conditioned by the presence of undifferentiated, unsegmented myotomal mesoderm alone did not attract neurite outgrowths. Nerve growth factor (NGF) at a range of concentrations in the agar source (500-10,000 ng/ml) did not attract the earliest neurite outgrowths. It is concluded that the earliest skeletal myoblasts from Xenopus laevis embryos may attract neural outgrowths by releasing a soluble factor. Myoblasts may have to develop to the stage of somite segmentation before secretion of such an agent begins. The release of a myoblast-derived factor so early in development may assist directed nerve growth in vivo. Images Plate 1 Plate 2 PMID:3795063

  7. Chance of Necessity: Modeling Origins of Life

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pohorille, Andrew

    2006-01-01

    The fundamental nature of processes that led to the emergence of life has been a subject of long-standing debate. One view holds that the origin of life is an event governed by chance, and the result of so many random events is unpredictable. This view was eloquently expressed by Jacques Monod in his book Chance or Necessity. In an alternative view, the origin of life is considered a deterministic event. Its details need not be deterministic in every respect, but the overall behavior is predictable. A corollary to the deterministic view is that the emergence of life must have been determined primarily by universal chemistry and biochemistry rather than by subtle details of environmental conditions. In my lecture I will explore two different paradigms for the emergence of life and discuss their implications for predictability and universality of life-forming processes. The dominant approach is that the origin of life was guided by information stored in nucleic acids (the RNA World hypothesis). In this view, selection of improved combinations of nucleic acids obtained through random mutations drove evolution of biological systems from their conception. An alternative hypothesis states that the formation of protocellular metabolism was driven by non-genomic processes. Even though these processes were highly stochastic the outcome was largely deterministic, strongly constrained by laws of chemistry. I will argue that self-replication of macromolecules was not required at the early stages of evolution; the reproduction of cellular functions alone was sufficient for self-maintenance of protocells. In fact, the precise transfer of information between successive generations of the earliest protocells was unnecessary and could have impeded the discovery of cellular metabolism. I will also show that such concepts as speciation and fitness to the environment, developed in the context of genomic evolution also hold in the absence of a genome.

  8. Fullerene and the origin of life.

    PubMed

    Goodman, Geoffrey; Gershwin, M Eric; Bercovich, Dani

    2012-10-01

    The role of carbon in the development of life and as the structural backbone of all organisms is universally accepted and an essential part of evolution. However, the molecular basis is largely unknown and the interactions of carbon with nitrogen and oxygen in space are enigmatic. In 1985, the previously unknown form of carbon, coined fullerene, was discovered. We hypothesize that by virtue of the unique properties of fullerene, this hollow, ultra-robust, large, purely carbon molecule was the earliest progenitor of life. It acted as a stable universal biologic template on which small molecules spontaneously assembled and then formed, by further assembly, a surface mantle (here termed rosasome) of larger molecules. We submit that this process, by its inherent flexibility, initiated evolution, allowing the emergence of parallel diverse rosasome lines responding selectively to varying spatial environments. For example, rosasomal lines mantled with nucleotide and peptide layers are conceived as primordial forerunners of the ubiquitous ribosome. Moreover, the parallel independent and interdependent evolution of rosasome lines would be more rapid than sequential development, refute precedence of either DNA or RNA, and explain the evolution of integration of two subunits with different structures and functions in ribosomes and of the triplet nature of the codon. Based on recent astronomical data, this hypothesis supports the concept that life is not a singularity. This concept also suggests a potential vehicle for therapeutics, biotechnology and genetic engineering.

  9. Lactic acid bacteria and natural antimicrobials to improve the safety and shelf-life of minimally processed sliced apples and lamb's lettuce.

    PubMed

    Siroli, Lorenzo; Patrignani, Francesca; Serrazanetti, Diana I; Tabanelli, Giulia; Montanari, Chiara; Gardini, Fausto; Lanciotti, Rosalba

    2015-05-01

    Outbreaks of food-borne disease associated with the consumption of fresh and minimally processed fruits and vegetables have increased dramatically over the last few years. Traditional chemical sanitizers are unable to completely eradicate or kill the microorganisms on fresh produce. These conditions have stimulated research to alternative methods for increasing food safety. The use of protective cultures, particularly lactic acid bacteria (LAB), has been proposed for minimally processed products. However, the application of bioprotective cultures has been limited at the industrial level. From this perspective, the main aims of this study were to select LAB from minimally processed fruits and vegetables to be used as biocontrol agents and then to evaluate the effects of the selected strains, alone or in combination with natural antimicrobials (2-(E)-hexenal/hexanal, 2-(E)-hexenal/citral for apples and thyme for lamb's lettuce), on the shelf-life and safety characteristics of minimally processed apples and lamb's lettuce. The results indicated that applying the Lactobacillus plantarum strains CIT3 and V7B3 to apples and lettuce, respectively, increased both the safety and shelf-life. Moreover, combining the selected strains with natural antimicrobials produced a further increase in the shelf-life of these products without detrimental effects on the organoleptic qualities.

  10. Lactic acid bacteria and natural antimicrobials to improve the safety and shelf-life of minimally processed sliced apples and lamb's lettuce.

    PubMed

    Siroli, Lorenzo; Patrignani, Francesca; Serrazanetti, Diana I; Tabanelli, Giulia; Montanari, Chiara; Gardini, Fausto; Lanciotti, Rosalba

    2015-05-01

    Outbreaks of food-borne disease associated with the consumption of fresh and minimally processed fruits and vegetables have increased dramatically over the last few years. Traditional chemical sanitizers are unable to completely eradicate or kill the microorganisms on fresh produce. These conditions have stimulated research to alternative methods for increasing food safety. The use of protective cultures, particularly lactic acid bacteria (LAB), has been proposed for minimally processed products. However, the application of bioprotective cultures has been limited at the industrial level. From this perspective, the main aims of this study were to select LAB from minimally processed fruits and vegetables to be used as biocontrol agents and then to evaluate the effects of the selected strains, alone or in combination with natural antimicrobials (2-(E)-hexenal/hexanal, 2-(E)-hexenal/citral for apples and thyme for lamb's lettuce), on the shelf-life and safety characteristics of minimally processed apples and lamb's lettuce. The results indicated that applying the Lactobacillus plantarum strains CIT3 and V7B3 to apples and lettuce, respectively, increased both the safety and shelf-life. Moreover, combining the selected strains with natural antimicrobials produced a further increase in the shelf-life of these products without detrimental effects on the organoleptic qualities. PMID:25583340

  11. Can switching fuels save water? A life cycle quantification of freshwater consumption for Texas coal- and natural gas-fired electricity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grubert, Emily A.; Beach, Fred C.; Webber, Michael E.

    2012-12-01

    Thermal electricity generation is a major consumer of freshwater for cooling, fuel extraction and air emissions controls, but the life cycle water impacts of different fossil fuel cycles are not well understood. Much of the existing literature relies on decades-old estimates for water intensity, particularly regarding water consumed for fuel extraction. This work uses contemporary data from specific resource basins and power plants in Texas to evaluate water intensity at three major stages of coal and natural gas fuel cycles: fuel extraction, power plant cooling and power plant emissions controls. In particular, the water intensity of fuel extraction is quantified for Texas lignite, conventional natural gas and 11 unconventional natural gas basins in Texas, including major second-order impacts associated with multi-stage hydraulic fracturing. Despite the rise of this water-intensive natural gas extraction method, natural gas extraction appears to consume less freshwater than coal per unit of energy extracted in Texas because of the high water intensity of Texas lignite extraction. This work uses new resource basin and power plant level water intensity data to estimate the potential effects of coal to natural gas fuel switching in Texas’ power sector, a shift under consideration due to potential environmental benefits and very low natural gas prices. Replacing Texas’ coal-fired power plants with natural gas combined cycle plants (NGCCs) would reduce annual freshwater consumption in the state by an estimated 53 billion gallons per year, or 60% of Texas coal power’s water footprint, largely due to the higher efficiency of NGCCs.

  12. The earliest neuronal responses to hypoxia in the neocortical circuit are glutamate-dependent.

    PubMed

    Revah, Omer; Lasser-Katz, Efrat; Fleidervish, Ilya A; Gutnick, Michael J

    2016-11-01

    Soon after exposure to hypoxia or ischemia, neurons in cortical tissues undergo massive anoxic depolarization (AD). This precipitous event is preceded by more subtle neuronal changes, including enhanced excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmitter release. Here, we have used patch-in-slice techniques to identify the earliest effects of acute hypoxia on the synaptic and intrinsic properties of Layer 5 neurons, to determine their time course and to evaluate the role of glutamate receptors in their generation. Coronal slices of mouse somatosensory cortex were maintained at 36°C in an interface chamber and challenged with episodes of hypoxia. In recordings with cell-attached electrodes, the open probability of Ca(2+)-dependent BK channels began to increase within seconds of hypoxia onset, indicating a sharp rise in [Ca(2+)]i just beneath the membrane. By using a high concentration of K(+) in the pipette, we simultaneously monitored the membrane potential and showed that the [Ca(2+)]i rise was not associated with membrane depolarization. The earliest hypoxia-induced synaptic disturbance was a marked increase in the frequency of sPSCs, which also began soon after the removal of oxygen and long before AD. This synaptic effect was accompanied by depletion of the readily releasable transmitter pools, as demonstrated by a decreased response to hyperosmotic solutions. The early [Ca(2+)]i rise, the early increase in transmitter release and the subsequent AD itself were all prevented by bathing in a cocktail containing blockers of ionotropic glutamate receptors. We found no evidence for involvement of pannexin hemichannels or TRPM7 channels in the early responses to hypoxia in this experimental preparation. Our data indicate that the earliest cellular consequences of cortical hypoxia are triggered by activation of glutamate-gated channels. PMID:27443966

  13. Complex life histories of fishes revealed through natural information storage devices: case studies of diadromous events as recorded by otoliths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elfman, M.; Limburg, K. E.; Kristiansson, P.; Svedäng, H.; Westin, L.; Wickström, H.; Malmqvist, K.; Pallon, J.

    2000-03-01

    Diadromous fishes - species that move across salinity gradients as part of their life repertoire - form a major part of coastal and inland fisheries. Conventional mark-recapture techniques have long been used to track their movements, but give incomplete information at best. On the other hand, otoliths (ear-stones) of fishes can provide a complete record of major life history events, as reflected both in their microstructure and elemental composition. Strontium, which substitutes for calcium in the aragonite matrix of otoliths, is a powerful tracer of salinity histories in many migratory fishes. We measured Sr and Ca with a nuclear microprobe (PIXE) and show examples (eel, Anguilla anguilla; brown trout, Salmo trutta; American shad, Alosa sapidissima) of how the technique has solved several mysteries within fisheries biology.

  14. Earliest tea as evidence for one branch of the Silk Road across the Tibetan Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Houyuan; Zhang, Jianping; Yang, Yimin; Yang, Xiaoyan; Xu, Baiqing; Yang, Wuzhan; Tong, Tao; Jin, Shubo; Shen, Caiming; Rao, Huiyun; Li, Xingguo; Lu, Hongliang; Fuller, Dorian Q.; Wang, Luo; Wang, Can; Xu, Deke; Wu, Naiqin

    2016-01-01

    Phytoliths and biomolecular components extracted from ancient plant remains from Chang’an (Xi’an, the city where the Silk Road begins) and Ngari (Ali) in western Tibet, China, show that the tea was grown 2100 years ago to cater for the drinking habits of the Western Han Dynasty (207BCE-9CE), and then carried toward central Asia by ca.200CE, several hundred years earlier than previously recorded. The earliest physical evidence of tea from both the Chang’an and Ngari regions suggests that a branch of the Silk Road across the Tibetan Plateau, was established by the second to third century CE.

  15. Pulses of middle Eocene to earliest Oligocene climatic deterioration in southern California and the Gulf Coast

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Frederiksen, N.O.

    1991-01-01

    A general deterioration of terrestrial climate took place during middle Eocene to earliest Oligocene time in southern California and in the Gulf Coast. Pollen data, calibrated by calcareous nannofossil ages, indicate four events of rapid floral and/or vegetational change among angiosperms during this time interval. The events can be correlated between the two regions even though these regions lay within different floristic provinces, and each event of angiosperm change is interpreted to indicate a pulse of rapid climatic shift. The most distinct of these events is the Middle Eocene Diversity Decline, which resulted from a peak in last appearances (extinctions, emigrations) centered in the early Bartonian. -from Author

  16. Earliest tea as evidence for one branch of the Silk Road across the Tibetan Plateau.

    PubMed

    Lu, Houyuan; Zhang, Jianping; Yang, Yimin; Yang, Xiaoyan; Xu, Baiqing; Yang, Wuzhan; Tong, Tao; Jin, Shubo; Shen, Caiming; Rao, Huiyun; Li, Xingguo; Lu, Hongliang; Fuller, Dorian Q; Wang, Luo; Wang, Can; Xu, Deke; Wu, Naiqin

    2016-01-01

    Phytoliths and biomolecular components extracted from ancient plant remains from Chang'an (Xi'an, the city where the Silk Road begins) and Ngari (Ali) in western Tibet, China, show that the tea was grown 2100 years ago to cater for the drinking habits of the Western Han Dynasty (207BCE-9CE), and then carried toward central Asia by ca.200CE, several hundred years earlier than previously recorded. The earliest physical evidence of tea from both the Chang'an and Ngari regions suggests that a branch of the Silk Road across the Tibetan Plateau, was established by the second to third century CE.

  17. Earliest tea as evidence for one branch of the Silk Road across the Tibetan Plateau.

    PubMed

    Lu, Houyuan; Zhang, Jianping; Yang, Yimin; Yang, Xiaoyan; Xu, Baiqing; Yang, Wuzhan; Tong, Tao; Jin, Shubo; Shen, Caiming; Rao, Huiyun; Li, Xingguo; Lu, Hongliang; Fuller, Dorian Q; Wang, Luo; Wang, Can; Xu, Deke; Wu, Naiqin

    2016-01-01

    Phytoliths and biomolecular components extracted from ancient plant remains from Chang'an (Xi'an, the city where the Silk Road begins) and Ngari (Ali) in western Tibet, China, show that the tea was grown 2100 years ago to cater for the drinking habits of the Western Han Dynasty (207BCE-9CE), and then carried toward central Asia by ca.200CE, several hundred years earlier than previously recorded. The earliest physical evidence of tea from both the Chang'an and Ngari regions suggests that a branch of the Silk Road across the Tibetan Plateau, was established by the second to third century CE. PMID:26738699

  18. Postcranial skeletal pneumaticity and air-sacs in the earliest pterosaurs

    PubMed Central

    Butler, Richard J.; Barrett, Paul M.; Gower, David J.

    2009-01-01

    Patterns of postcranial skeletal pneumatization (PSP) indicate that pterosaurs possessed components of a bird-like respiratory system, including a series of ventilatory air-sacs. However, the presence of PSP in the oldest known pterosaurs has not been unambiguously demonstrated by previous studies. Here we provide the first unequivocal documentation of PSP in Late Triassic and earliest Jurassic pterosaurs. This demonstrates that PSP and, by inference, air-sacs were probably present in the common ancestor of almost all known pterosaurs, and has broader implications for the evolution of respiratory systems in bird-line archosaurs, including dinosaurs. PMID:19411265

  19. Earliest tea as evidence for one branch of the Silk Road across the Tibetan Plateau

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Houyuan; Zhang, Jianping; Yang, Yimin; Yang, Xiaoyan; Xu, Baiqing; Yang, Wuzhan; Tong, Tao; Jin, Shubo; Shen, Caiming; Rao, Huiyun; Li, Xingguo; Lu, Hongliang; Fuller, Dorian Q.; Wang, Luo; Wang, Can; Xu, Deke; Wu, Naiqin

    2016-01-01

    Phytoliths and biomolecular components extracted from ancient plant remains from Chang’an (Xi’an, the city where the Silk Road begins) and Ngari (Ali) in western Tibet, China, show that the tea was grown 2100 years ago to cater for the drinking habits of the Western Han Dynasty (207BCE-9CE), and then carried toward central Asia by ca.200CE, several hundred years earlier than previously recorded. The earliest physical evidence of tea from both the Chang’an and Ngari regions suggests that a branch of the Silk Road across the Tibetan Plateau, was established by the second to third century CE. PMID:26738699

  20. The use of high pressure processing to enhance the quality and shelf life of reduced sodium naturally cured restructured cooked hams.

    PubMed

    Pietrasik, Z; Gaudette, N J; Johnston, S P

    2016-06-01

    The combined effect of partial salt replacement with modified potassium chloride and high pressure processing (600 MPa for 3 min at 8°C) on the quality and shelf life of naturally-cured restructured hams was investigated over a 12 week storage period. Instrumental, microbiological and consumer acceptability testing was performed. A partial salt substitution with modified potassium chloride adversely affected textural and water binding characteristics of hams and led to a decrease in the consumer acceptance compared to regular salt hams. Celery powder used as a curing agent had beneficial effects on water holding and moisture retention and improved bind of restructured hams; however the consumer acceptability of flavor and aftertaste received significantly lower scores compared to nitrite. No significant differences in all consumer acceptability parameters resulted for hams subjected to HPP compared to non-HPP for all storage periods indicating that HPP can effectively extend shelf-life of restructured ham without compromising eating quality. PMID:26874593

  1. Extraordinary fossils reveal the nature of Cambrian life: a commentary on Whittington (1975) ‘The enigmatic animal Opabinia regalis, Middle Cambrian, Burgess Shale, British Columbia’

    PubMed Central

    Briggs, Derek E. G.

    2015-01-01

    Harry Whittington's 1975 monograph on Opabinia was the first to highlight how some of the Burgess Shale animals differ markedly from those that populate today's oceans. Categorized by Stephen J. Gould as a ‘weird wonder’ (Wonderful life, 1989) Opabinia, together with other unusual Burgess Shale fossils, stimulated ongoing debates about the early evolution of the major animal groups and the nature of the Cambrian explosion. The subsequent discovery of a number of other exceptionally preserved fossil faunas of Cambrian and early Ordovician age has significantly augmented the information available on this critical interval in the history of life. Although Opabinia initially defied assignment to any group of modern animals, it is now interpreted as lying below anomalocaridids on the stem leading to the living arthropods. This commentary was written to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. PMID:25750235

  2. Extraordinary fossils reveal the nature of Cambrian life: a commentary on Whittington (1975) 'The enigmatic animal Opabinia regalis, Middle Cambrian, Burgess Shale, British Columbia'.

    PubMed

    Briggs, Derek E G

    2015-04-19

    Harry Whittington's 1975 monograph on Opabinia was the first to highlight how some of the Burgess Shale animals differ markedly from those that populate today's oceans. Categorized by Stephen J. Gould as a 'weird wonder' (Wonderful life, 1989) Opabinia, together with other unusual Burgess Shale fossils, stimulated ongoing debates about the early evolution of the major animal groups and the nature of the Cambrian explosion. The subsequent discovery of a number of other exceptionally preserved fossil faunas of Cambrian and early Ordovician age has significantly augmented the information available on this critical interval in the history of life. Although Opabinia initially defied assignment to any group of modern animals, it is now interpreted as lying below anomalocaridids on the stem leading to the living arthropods. This commentary was written to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.

  3. Comparative analysis of the production costs and life-cycle GHG emissions of FT liquid fuels from coal and natural gas.

    PubMed

    Jaramillo, Paulina; Griffin, W Michael; Matthews, H Scott

    2008-10-15

    Liquid transportation fuels derived from coal and natural gas could helpthe United States reduce its dependence on petroleum. The fuels could be produced domestically or imported from fossil fuel-rich countries. The goal of this paper is to determine the life-cycle GHG emissions of coal- and natural gas-based Fischer-Tropsch (FT) liquids, as well as to compare production costs. The results show that the use of coal- or natural gas-based FT liquids will likely lead to significant increases in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to petroleum-based fuels. In a best-case scenario, coal- or natural gas-based FT-liquids have emissions only comparable to petroleum-based fuels. In addition, the economic advantages of gas-to-liquid (GTL) fuels are not obvious: there is a narrow range of petroleum and natural gas prices at which GTL fuels would be competitive with petroleum-based fuels. CTLfuels are generally cheaper than petroleum-based fuels. However, recent reports suggest there is uncertainty about the availability of economically viable coal resources in the United States. If the U.S. has a goal of increasing its energy security, and at the same time significantly reducing its GHG emissions, neither CTL nor GTL consumption seem a reasonable path to follow.

  4. Comparative analysis of the production costs and life-cycle GHG emissions of FT liquid fuels from coal and natural gas

    SciTech Connect

    Paulina Jaramillo; W. Michael Griffin; H. Scott Matthews

    2008-10-15

    Liquid transportation fuels derived from coal and natural gas could help the United States reduce its dependence on petroleum. The fuels could be produced domestically or imported from fossil fuel-rich countries. The goal of this paper is to determine the life-cycle GHG emissions of coal- and natural gas-based Fischer-Tropsch (FT) liquids, as well as to compare production costs. The results show that the use of coal- or natural gas-based FT liquids will likely lead to significant increases in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to petroleum-based fuels. In a best-case scenario, coal- or natural gas-based FT-liquids have emissions only comparable to petroleum-based fuels. In addition, the economic advantages of gas-to-liquid (GTL) fuels are not obvious: there is a narrow range of petroleum and natural gas prices at which GTL fuels would be competitive with petroleum-based fuels. CTL fuels are generally cheaper than petroleum-based fuels. However, recent reports suggest there is uncertainty about the availability of economically viable coal resources in the United States. If the U.S. has a goal of increasing its energy security, and at the same time significantly reducing its GHG emissions, neither CTL nor GTL consumption seem a reasonable path to follow. 28 refs., 2 figs., 4 tabs.

  5. Infants and Toddlers Meet the Natural World

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McHenry, Jolie D.; Buerk, Kathy J.

    2008-01-01

    Children observe, listen, feel, taste, and take apart while exploring everything in their environment. Teachers can cultivate nature investigations with very young children by offering infants natural objects they can explore and investigate. When adults introduce nature in the earliest stages of development, children will be open to new ideas and…

  6. The Wilderness Expedition: An Effective Life Course Intervention to Improve Young People's Well-Being and Connectedness to Nature

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barton, Jo; Bragg, Rachel; Pretty, Jules; Roberts, Jo; Wood, Carly

    2016-01-01

    It is well understood that wilderness expeditions improve well-being; however, there is little supporting quantitative data. The aim of this study was to measure the impact of wilderness expeditions on self-esteem (SE) and connectedness to nature (CN) and assess whether benefits varied according to participant and expedition characteristics. SE…

  7. Choosing natural enemies for conservation biological control: use of the prey detectability half-life to rank agroecosystem predators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agroecosystems are speciose, making selection of natural enemies for conservation biological control non-trivial. Molecular gut analysis enables ranking of predators by the incidence of pest remains in the gut. However, predators differ in digestive rates, and ranking by incidence favors those with ...

  8. Can environmental conditions experienced in early life influence future generations?

    PubMed Central

    Burton, Tim; Metcalfe, Neil B.

    2014-01-01

    The consequences of early developmental conditions for performance in later life are now subjected to convergent interest from many different biological sub-disciplines. However, striking data, largely from the biomedical literature, show that environmental effects experienced even before conception can be transmissible to subsequent generations. Here, we review the growing evidence from natural systems for these cross-generational effects of early life conditions, showing that they can be generated by diverse environmental stressors, affect offspring in many ways and can be transmitted directly or indirectly by both parental lines for several generations. In doing so, we emphasize why early life might be so sensitive to the transmission of environmentally induced effects across generations. We also summarize recent theoretical advancements within the field of developmental plasticity, and discuss how parents might assemble different ‘internal’ and ‘external’ cues, even from the earliest stages of life, to instruct their investment decisions in offspring. In doing so, we provide a preliminary framework within the context of adaptive plasticity for understanding inter-generational phenomena that arise from early life conditions. PMID:24807254

  9. Temporal acceleration of the human papillomavirus life cycle by adeno-associated virus (AAV) type 2 superinfection in natural host tissue.

    PubMed

    Agrawal, Nalini; Mane, Michael; Chiriva-Internati, Maurizio; Roman, Juan J; Hermonat, Paul L

    2002-06-01

    Epidemiologically, certain human papillomaviruses are positively associated with cervical cancer, while adeno-associated viruses (AAV-2) are negatively associated with this same cancer. Both HPV and AAV productively replicate in differentiating keratinocytes of the skin and interact with each other. However, AAV has a relatively fast life cycle, generating infectious progeny by the third to fourth day of an organotypic epithelial raft culture. In contrast, HPV is slow, generating infectious progeny only after 10-12 days. As earlier studies indicated that these two skin-tropic virus types significantly affect each other's life cycle, we investigated if the temporal kinetics of the slow HPV life cycle was affected by the fast AAV in raft cultures. Here it is shown that the presence of AAV-2 at a variety of multiplicities of infection (m.o.i.) resulted in early onset HPV-31b DNA replication. Using plasmids which each expressed only one of the four rep proteins, an enhancement affect was seen for all four rep proteins of AAV, with Rep40 having the highest activity. Furthermore, AAV (m.o.i. of 5) also resulted in a temporally accelerated production of HPV infectious units, seen as early as Day 4, with high levels of viral progeny being produced by Day 6.5. Like earlier studies at Day 12, histological differences were seen at Day 6.5 between AAV-infected and mock-infected HPV/rafts. These data suggest that under specific conditions the AAV rep trans-factors can positively regulate HPV gene expression in addition to the usual negative regulation that has been consistently observed by the rep proteins. These data also suggest that AAV has a significant effect upon the temporal kinetics of the HPV life cycle in natural host tissue. However, it is unclear if or how this AAV-induced fast HPV life cycle mechanistically correlates with lower rates of HPV-associated cervical disease.

  10. Earliest economic exploitation of chicken outside East Asia: Evidence from the Hellenistic Southern Levant

    PubMed Central

    Perry-Gal, Lee; Erlich, Adi; Gilboa, Ayelet; Bar-Oz, Guy

    2015-01-01

    Chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) is today one of the most widespread domesticated species and is a main source of protein in the human diet. However, for thousands of years exploitation of chickens was confined to symbolic and social domains such as cockfighting. The question of when and where chickens were first used for economic purposes remains unresolved. The results of our faunal analysis demonstrate that the Hellenistic (fourth–second centuries B.C.E.) site of Maresha, Israel, is the earliest site known today where economic exploitation of chickens was widely practiced. We base our claim on the exceptionally high frequency of chicken bones at that site, the majority of which belong to adult individuals, and on the observed 2:1 ratio of female to male bones. These results are supported further by an extensive survey of faunal remains from 234 sites in the Southern Levant, spanning more than three millennia, which shows a sharp increase in the frequency of chicken during the Hellenistic period. We further argue that the earliest secure evidence for economic exploitation of chickens in Europe dates to the first century B.C.E. and therefore is predated by the finds in the Southern Levant by at least a century. We suggest that the gradual acclimatization of chickens in the Southern Levant and its gradual integration into the local economy, the latter fully accomplished in the Hellenistic period, was a crucial step in the adoption of this species in European husbandry some 100 y later. PMID:26195775

  11. Laetoli Footprints Preserve Earliest Direct Evidence of Human-Like Bipedal Biomechanics

    PubMed Central

    Raichlen, David A.; Gordon, Adam D.; Harcourt-Smith, William E. H.; Foster, Adam D.; Haas, Wm. Randall

    2010-01-01

    Background Debates over the evolution of hominin bipedalism, a defining human characteristic, revolve around whether early bipeds walked more like humans, with energetically efficient extended hind limbs, or more like apes with flexed hind limbs. The 3.6 million year old hominin footprints at Laetoli, Tanzania represent the earliest direct evidence of hominin bipedalism. Determining the kinematics of Laetoli hominins will allow us to understand whether selection acted to decrease energy costs of bipedalism by 3.6 Ma. Methodology/Principal Findings Using an experimental design, we show that the Laetoli hominins walked with weight transfer most similar to the economical extended limb bipedalism of humans. Humans walked through a sand trackway using both extended limb bipedalism, and more flexed limb bipedalism. Footprint morphology from extended limb trials matches weight distribution patterns found in the Laetoli footprints. Conclusions These results provide us with the earliest direct evidence of kinematically human-like bipedalism currently known, and show that extended limb bipedalism evolved long before the appearance of the genus Homo. Since extended-limb bipedalism is more energetically economical than ape-like bipedalism, energy expenditure was likely an important selection pressure on hominin bipeds by 3.6 Ma. PMID:20339543

  12. Equatorial Precession Drove Mid-Latitude Changes in ENSO-Scale Variation in the Earliest Miocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fox, B.; D'Andrea, W. J.; Lee, D. E.; Wilson, G. S.

    2014-12-01

    Foulden Maar is an annually laminated lacustrine diatomite deposit from the South Island of New Zealand. The deposit was laid down over ~100 kyr of the latest Oligocene and earliest Miocene, during the peak and deglaciation phase of the Mi-1 Antarctic glaciation event. At this time, New Zealand was located at approximately the same latitude as today (~45°S). Evidence from organic geochemical proxies (δD, δ13C) and physical properties (density, colour) indicates the presence of an 11-kyr cycle at the site. Although it is known that 11-kyr insolation (half-precession) cycles occur between the Tropics, this cycle is rarely seen in sedimentary archives deposited outside the immediate vicinity of the Equator. Records from Foulden Maar correlate well with the amplitude and phase of the modelled equatorial half-precession cycle for the earliest Miocene. High-resolution (50 µm) colour intensity measurements and lamina thickness measurements both indicate the presence of significant ENSO-like (2-8 year) variation in the Foulden Maar sediments. Early results from targeted lamina thickness measurements suggest that ENSO-band variation is modulated by the 11-kyr cycle, with power in the ENSO band increasing during periods of increased insolation at the Equator. This implies that equatorial half-precession had a significant effect on ENSO-like variation in the early Miocene, and that this effect was felt as far afield as the mid-latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere.

  13. Structural mouthpart interaction evolved already in the earliest lineages of insects.

    PubMed

    Blanke, Alexander; Rühr, Peter T; Mokso, Rajmund; Villanueva, Pablo; Wilde, Fabian; Stampanoni, Marco; Uesugi, Kentaro; Machida, Ryuichiro; Misof, Bernhard

    2015-08-01

    In butterflies, bees, flies and true bugs specific mouthparts are in close contact or even fused to enable piercing, sucking or sponging of particular food sources. The common phenomenon behind these mouthpart types is a complex composed of several consecutive mouthparts which structurally interact during food uptake. The single mouthparts are thus only functional in conjunction with other adjacent mouthparts, which is fundamentally different to biting-chewing. It is, however, unclear when structural mouthpart interaction (SMI) evolved since this principle obviously occurred multiple times independently in several extant and extinct winged insect groups. Here, we report a new type of SMI in two of the earliest wingless hexapod lineages--Diplura and Collembola. We found that the mandible and maxilla interact with each other via an articulatory stud at the dorsal side of the maxillary stipes, and they are furthermore supported by structures of the hypopharynx and head capsule. These interactions are crucial stabilizing elements during food uptake. The presence of SMI in these ancestrally wingless insects, and its absence in those crustacean groups probably ancestral to insects, indicates that SMI is a groundplan apomorphy of insects. Our results thus contradict the currently established view of insect mouthpart evolution that biting-chewing mouthparts without any form of SMI are the ancestral configuration. Furthermore, SMIs occur in the earliest insects in a high anatomical variety. SMIs in stemgroup representatives of insects may have triggered efficient exploitation and fast adaptation to new terrestrial food sources much earlier than previously supposed.

  14. Earliest economic exploitation of chicken outside East Asia: Evidence from the Hellenistic Southern Levant.

    PubMed

    Perry-Gal, Lee; Erlich, Adi; Gilboa, Ayelet; Bar-Oz, Guy

    2015-08-11

    Chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) is today one of the most widespread domesticated species and is a main source of protein in the human diet. However, for thousands of years exploitation of chickens was confined to symbolic and social domains such as cockfighting. The question of when and where chickens were first used for economic purposes remains unresolved. The results of our faunal analysis demonstrate that the Hellenistic (fourth-second centuries B.C.E.) site of Maresha, Israel, is the earliest site known today where economic exploitation of chickens was widely practiced. We base our claim on the exceptionally high frequency of chicken bones at that site, the majority of which belong to adult individuals, and on the observed 2:1 ratio of female to male bones. These results are supported further by an extensive survey of faunal remains from 234 sites in the Southern Levant, spanning more than three millennia, which shows a sharp increase in the frequency of chicken during the Hellenistic period. We further argue that the earliest secure evidence for economic exploitation of chickens in Europe dates to the first century B.C.E. and therefore is predated by the finds in the Southern Levant by at least a century. We suggest that the gradual acclimatization of chickens in the Southern Levant and its gradual integration into the local economy, the latter fully accomplished in the Hellenistic period, was a crucial step in the adoption of this species in European husbandry some 100 y later.

  15. Structural mouthpart interaction evolved already in the earliest lineages of insects.

    PubMed

    Blanke, Alexander; Rühr, Peter T; Mokso, Rajmund; Villanueva, Pablo; Wilde, Fabian; Stampanoni, Marco; Uesugi, Kentaro; Machida, Ryuichiro; Misof, Bernhard

    2015-08-01

    In butterflies, bees, flies and true bugs specific mouthparts are in close contact or even fused to enable piercing, sucking or sponging of particular food sources. The common phenomenon behind these mouthpart types is a complex composed of several consecutive mouthparts which structurally interact during food uptake. The single mouthparts are thus only functional in conjunction with other adjacent mouthparts, which is fundamentally different to biting-chewing. It is, however, unclear when structural mouthpart interaction (SMI) evolved since this principle obviously occurred multiple times independently in several extant and extinct winged insect groups. Here, we report a new type of SMI in two of the earliest wingless hexapod lineages--Diplura and Collembola. We found that the mandible and maxilla interact with each other via an articulatory stud at the dorsal side of the maxillary stipes, and they are furthermore supported by structures of the hypopharynx and head capsule. These interactions are crucial stabilizing elements during food uptake. The presence of SMI in these ancestrally wingless insects, and its absence in those crustacean groups probably ancestral to insects, indicates that SMI is a groundplan apomorphy of insects. Our results thus contradict the currently established view of insect mouthpart evolution that biting-chewing mouthparts without any form of SMI are the ancestral configuration. Furthermore, SMIs occur in the earliest insects in a high anatomical variety. SMIs in stemgroup representatives of insects may have triggered efficient exploitation and fast adaptation to new terrestrial food sources much earlier than previously supposed. PMID:26203002

  16. Technique: imaging earliest tooth development in 3D using a silver-based tissue contrast agent.

    PubMed

    Raj, Muhammad T; Prusinkiewicz, Martin; Cooper, David M L; George, Belev; Webb, M Adam; Boughner, Julia C

    2014-02-01

    Looking in microscopic detail at the 3D organization of initiating teeth within the embryonic jaw has long-proved technologically challenging because of the radio-translucency of these tiny un-mineralized oral tissues. Yet 3D image data showing changes in the physical relationships among developing tooth and jaw tissues are vital to understand the coordinated morphogenesis of vertebrate teeth and jaws as an animal grows and as species evolve. Here, we present a new synchrotron-based scanning solution to image odontogenesis in 3D and in histological detail using a silver-based contrast agent. We stained fixed, intact wild-type mice aged embryonic (E) day 10 to birth with 1% Protargol-S at 37°C for 12-32 hr. Specimens were scanned at 4-10 µm pixel size at 28 keV, just above the silver K-edge, using micro-computed tomography (µCT) at the Canadian Light Source synchrotron. Synchrotron µCT scans of silver-stained embryos showed even the earliest visible stages of tooth initiation, as well as many other tissue types and structures, in histological detail. Silver stain penetration was optimal for imaging structures in intact embryos E15 and younger. This silver stain method offers a powerful yet straightforward approach to visualize at high-resolution and in 3D the earliest stages of odontogenesis in situ, and demonstrates the important of studying the tooth organ in all three planes of view.

  17. The earliest modern mongoose (Carnivora, Herpestidae) from Africa (late Miocene of Chad)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peigné, Stéphane; Bonis, Louis; Likius, Andossa; Mackaye, Hassane Taïsso; Vignaud, Patrick; Brunet, Michel

    2005-06-01

    We report on the earliest modern mongooses of Africa, from the late Miocene (ca. 7 Ma) of the hominid locality TM 266, Toros-Menalla, Chad. The material is based on fragmentary dentitions of three individuals. The main diagnostic feature of the Chadian species is the great development of the shear in the carnassials, which distinguishes the Chadian specimens from all extant herpestids except Herpestes and Galerella. In comparison with most extinct and extant Herpestes, the species from Toros-Menalla differs by a markedly smaller size and, depending on the species, relatively more elongated carnassials, more transversely elongated M1 and more reduced p4. On the basis of a great morphological similarity and the absence of significant differences, we assign our material to Galerella sanguinea; the Chadian finding therefore represents the earliest appearance of an extant species of Herpestidae. This record ties the first appearance of the genus to a minimum age of ca. 7 Ma, which is consistent with the estimated divergence date of 11.4 Ma known from the literature for the species of Galerella.

  18. Structural mouthpart interaction evolved already in the earliest lineages of insects

    PubMed Central

    Blanke, Alexander; Rühr, Peter T.; Mokso, Rajmund; Villanueva, Pablo; Wilde, Fabian; Stampanoni, Marco; Uesugi, Kentaro; Machida, Ryuichiro; Misof, Bernhard

    2015-01-01

    In butterflies, bees, flies and true bugs specific mouthparts are in close contact or even fused to enable piercing, sucking or sponging of particular food sources. The common phenomenon behind these mouthpart types is a complex composed of several consecutive mouthparts which structurally interact during food uptake. The single mouthparts are thus only functional in conjunction with other adjacent mouthparts, which is fundamentally different to biting–chewing. It is, however, unclear when structural mouthpart interaction (SMI) evolved since this principle obviously occurred multiple times independently in several extant and extinct winged insect groups. Here, we report a new type of SMI in two of the earliest wingless hexapod lineages—Diplura and Collembola. We found that the mandible and maxilla interact with each other via an articulatory stud at the dorsal side of the maxillary stipes, and they are furthermore supported by structures of the hypopharynx and head capsule. These interactions are crucial stabilizing elements during food uptake. The presence of SMI in these ancestrally wingless insects, and its absence in those crustacean groups probably ancestral to insects, indicates that SMI is a groundplan apomorphy of insects. Our results thus contradict the currently established view of insect mouthpart evolution that biting–chewing mouthparts without any form of SMI are the ancestral configuration. Furthermore, SMIs occur in the earliest insects in a high anatomical variety. SMIs in stemgroup representatives of insects may have triggered efficient exploitation and fast adaptation to new terrestrial food sources much earlier than previously supposed. PMID:26203002

  19. Natural history of Charcot-Marie-Tooth 2: 2-year follow-up of muscle strength, walking ability and quality of life.

    PubMed

    Padua, Luca; Pareyson, D; Aprile, I; Cavallaro, T; Quattrone, D A; Rizzuto, N; Vita, G; Tonali, P; Schenone, A

    2010-04-01

    Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is the most frequent inherited neuropathy, no therapies are available at the moment but clinical trials are ongoing. For that reason it is very important to know the natural history of the disease. We report the results of the natural history of clinical features and quality of life (QoL) in patients with CMT2. Twenty patients were enrolled. At recruitment and at follow-up (2 years), all patients underwent neurological evaluation, QoL and disability assessments. The study-end evaluation took place 20-28 months after the baseline evaluation. During the 2-year follow-up period, CMT2 patients showed a mild reduction of strength of distal muscles of upper limbs and proximal muscles of lower limbs, a worsening sensory function and a mild increase in walking disability. However, there was no relevant worsening of QoL, except for a mild deterioration of one mental health domain. PMID:20016922

  20. The study of capability natural uranium as fuel cycle input for long life gas cooled fast reactors with helium as coolant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ariani, Menik; Satya, Octavianus Cakra; Monado, Fiber; Su'ud, Zaki; Sekimoto, Hiroshi

    2016-03-01

    The objective of the present research is to assess the feasibility design of small long-life Gas Cooled Fast Reactor with helium as coolant. GCFR included in the Generation-IV reactor systems are being developed to provide sustainable energy resources that meet future energy demand in a reliable, safe, and proliferation-resistant manner. This reactor can be operated without enrichment and reprocessing forever, once it starts. To obtain the capability of consuming natural uranium as fuel cycle input modified CANDLE burn-up scheme was adopted in this system with different core design. This study has compared the core with three designs of core reactors with the same thermal power 600 MWth. The fuel composition each design was arranged by divided core into several parts of equal volume axially i.e. 6, 8 and 10 parts related to material burn-up history. The fresh natural uranium is initially put in region 1, after one cycle of 10 years of burn-up it is shifted to region 2 and the region 1 is filled by fresh natural uranium fuel. This concept is basically applied to all regions, i.e. shifted the core of the region (i) into region (i+1) region after the end of 10 years burn-up cycle. The calculation results shows that for the burn-up strategy on "Region-8" and "Region-10" core designs, after the reactors start-up the operation furthermore they only needs natural uranium supply to the next life operation until one period of refueling (10 years).

  1. Overall results of and lessons learned from the IAEA CRP on sodium natural circulation test performed during the Phenix end-of-life experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Monti, S.; Toti, A.; Tenchine, D.; Pialla, D.

    2012-07-01

    In 2007, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) launched the Coordinated Research Project (CRP) 'Control Rod Withdrawal and Sodium Natural Circulation Tests Performed during the Phenix End-of-Life Experiments'. The overall purpose of the CRP, performed within the framework of the IAEA programme in support of innovative fast reactor technology development and deployment, is to improve the Member States' analytical capabilities in the various fields of research and design of sodium-cooled fast reactors through data and codes verification and validation. In particular the CRP, taking advantage of the End-of-Life set of experiments performed before the final shut-down of the French prototype fast breeder power reactor Phenix, aims at improving fast reactor simulation methods and design capabilities in the field of temperature and power distribution evaluation, as well as of the analysis of sodium natural circulation phenomena. The paper presents the overall results of the CRP, including blind calculations and post-test and sensitivity analyses carried out by the CRP participants, as well as lessons learned and recommendations for further future implementations to resolve open issues. (authors)

  2. Antioxidant Capacity of “Mexican Arnica” Heterotheca inuloides Cass Natural Products and Some Derivatives: Their Anti-Inflammatory Evaluation and Effect on C. elegans Life Span

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Chávez, José Luis; Nieto-Camacho, Antonio; Delgado-Lamas, Guillermo

    2015-01-01

    It has been suggested that the accumulation of biomolecular damage caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) contributes to aging. The antioxidant activity is related to the ability of certain compounds to protect against the potentially harmful effect of processes or reactions involving ROS. This ability is associated with the termination of free radical propagation in biological systems. From Heterotheca inuloides various compounds which have shown to possess antioxidant capacity and scavenging ROS. The aim of this study was to determine the antioxidant capacity of additional natural components isolated from H. inuloides and some semisynthetic derivatives, their anti-inflammatory activity and the effect on Caenorhabditis elegans nematode life span. Compounds showed ability to inhibit various biological processes such as lipid peroxidation, scavenge nonbiological important oxidants such as 1O2, OH∙, H2O2, and HOCl and scavenge non biological stable free radicals (DPPH). Some cadinane type compounds showed possess antioxidant, ROS scavenging capacity, anti-inflammatory activity, and effect on the C. elegans life span. Flavonoid type compounds increased the life of the nematode and quercetin was identified as the compound with the greatest activity. The modification of chemical structure led to a change in the antioxidant capacity, the anti-inflammatory activity, and the survival of the worm. PMID:25821555

  3. [A New Approach to Fostering Socio-Emotional Communication and Development in the Earliest Years of Life].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fenichel, Emily, Ed.

    1996-01-01

    The five articles in this newsletter theme issue focus on the development of socioemotional and communication skills in infants and toddlers through the Partners in Parenting Education (PIPE) program. The first article, "The Partners in Parenting Education Program: A New Option in Parent Education" (Perry M. Butterfield), describes the program's…

  4. Effectiveness of two-sided UV-C treatments in inhibiting natural microflora and extending the shelf-life of minimally processed 'Red Oak Leaf' lettuce.

    PubMed

    Allende, Ana; McEvoy, James L; Luo, Yaguang; Artes, Francisco; Wang, Chien Y

    2006-05-01

    The use of UV-C radiation treatments to inhibit the microbial growth and extend the shelf-life of minimally processed 'Red Oak Leaf' lettuce was investigated. Initially, UV-C resistance of 20 bacterial strains from different genera often associated with fresh produce (Enterobacter, Erwinia, Escherichia, Leuconostoc, Pantoea, Pseudomonas, Rahnela, Salmonella, Serratia and Yersinia) were tested in vitro. Most of the bacterial strains were inhibited with the minimum dose (30 J m(-2)). Erwinia carotovora, Leuconostoc carnosum, Salmonella typhimurium, and Yersinia aldovae were the most resistant strains requiring a UV-C dose of 85 J m(-2) to completely inhibit growth. An in vivo study consisted of treating minimally processed 'Red Oak Leaf' lettuce (Lactuca sativa) with UV-C at three radiation doses (1.18, 2.37 and 7.11 kJ m(-2)) on each side of the leaves and storing the product under passive MAP conditions at 5 degrees C for up to 10 days. The gas composition inside packages varied significantly among the treatments, with CO2 concentrations positively and O2 concentrations negatively correlating with the radiation dose. All the radiation doses were effective in reducing the natural microflora of the product, although the highest doses showed the greatest microbial inhibitions. Taking into account the microbial limit set by Spanish legislation [Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE), 2001. Normas de higiene para la elaboración, distribución y comercio de comidas preparadas, Madrid, Spain, Real Decreto 3484/2000, pp. 1435-1441], all UV-C treatments extended the shelf-life of the product. However, the 7.11 kJ m(-2) dose induced tissue softening and browning after 7 days of storage at 5 degrees C. Therefore, the use of two sided UV-C radiation, at the proper dose, is effective in reducing the natural microflora and extending the shelf-life of minimally processed 'Red Oak Leaf' lettuce.

  5. Effect of Addition of Natural Antioxidants on the Shelf-Life of "Chorizo", a Spanish Dry-Cured Sausage.

    PubMed

    Pateiro, Mirian; Bermúdez, Roberto; Lorenzo, José Manuel; Franco, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    The dose effect of the addition of natural antioxidants (tea, chestnut, grape seed and beer extracts) on physicochemical, microbiological changes and on oxidative stability of dry-cured "chorizo", as well as their effect during the storage under vacuum conditions was evaluated. Color parameters were significantly (p < 0.05) affected by the addition of antioxidants so that samples that contained antioxidants were more effective in maintaining color. The improving effects were dose-dependent with highest values with the dose of 50 mg/kg during ripening and depend on the extract during vacuum packaging. Addition of antioxidants decreased (p < 0.05) the oxidation, showing thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) values below 0.4 mg MDA/kg. Natural antioxidants matched or even improved the results obtained for butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). Regarding texture profile analysis (TPA) analysis, hardness values significantly (p < 0.001) decreased with the addition of antioxidants, obtaining the lower results with the dose of 200 mg/kg both during ripening and vacuum packaging. Antioxidants reduced the counts of total viable counts (TVC), lactic acid bacteria (LAB), mold and yeast. Free fatty acid content during ripening and under vacuum conditions showed a gradual and significant (p < 0.05) release as a result of lipolysis. At the end of ripening, the addition of GRA1000 protected chorizos from oxidative degradation. PMID:26785337

  6. Posttranslational modification and sequence variation of redox-active proteins correlate with biofilm life cycle in natural microbial communities

    SciTech Connect

    Singer, Steven; Erickson, Brian K; Verberkmoes, Nathan C; Hwang, Mona; Shah, Manesh B; Hettich, Robert {Bob} L; Banfield, Jillian F.; Thelen, Michael P.

    2010-01-01

    Characterizing proteins recovered from natural microbial communities affords the opportunity to correlate protein expression and modification with environmental factors, including species composition and successional stage. Proteogenomic and biochemical studies of pellicle biofilms from subsurface acid mine drainage streams have shown abundant cytochromes from the dominant organism, Leptospirillum Group II. These cytochromes are proposed to be key proteins in aerobic Fe(II) oxidation, the dominant mode of cellular energy generation by the biofilms. In this study, we determined that posttranslational modification and expression of amino-acid sequence variants change as a function of biofilm maturation. For Cytochrome579 (Cyt579), the most abundant cytochrome in the biofilms, late developmental-stage biofilms differed from early-stage biofilms in N-terminal truncations and decreased redox potentials. Expression of sequence variants of two monoheme c-type cytochromes also depended on biofilm development. For Cyt572, an abundant membrane-bound cytochrome, the expression of multiple sequence variants was observed in both early and late developmental-stage biofilms; however, redox potentials of Cyt572 from these different sources did not vary significantly. These cytochrome analyses show a complex response of the Leptospirillum Group II electron transport chain to growth within a microbial community and illustrate the power of multiple proteomics techniques to define biochemistry in natural systems.

  7. Eocene fossil is earliest evidence of flower-visiting by birds

    PubMed Central

    Mayr, Gerald; Wilde, Volker

    2014-01-01

    Birds are important pollinators, but the evolutionary history of ornithophily (bird pollination) is poorly known. Here, we report a skeleton of the avian taxon Pumiliornis from the middle Eocene of Messel in Germany with preserved stomach contents containing numerous pollen grains of an eudicotyledonous angiosperm. The skeletal morphology of Pumiliornis is in agreement with this bird having been a, presumably nectarivorous, flower-visitor. It represents the earliest and first direct fossil evidence of flower-visiting by birds and indicates a minimum age of 47 million years for the origin of bird–flower interactions. As Pumiliornis does not belong to any of the modern groups of flower-visiting birds, the origin of ornithophily in some angiosperm lineages may have predated that of their extant avian pollinators. PMID:24872461

  8. The earliest recorded aurora in North America since European colonization [rapid communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silverman, S. M.

    2005-05-01

    Jesuit missionaries in the seventeenth century, in what is now Quebec, Canada and New England, United States, periodically sent reports on their activities to their superiors in Canada and France. These were then edited and published in annual volumes. A translation of these reports, together with related documents, was published in the United States around the turn of the twentieth century. Included in these volumes are three reports easily identified as auroras. The earliest of these, from 1611, predates the hitherto known first North American report, in 1719, by more than a century. The other reports are from Quebec in 1662 and mid-America in 1736. These reports are quoted in full and discussed in terms of the geophysical context of the times. Additional reports from New England for the aurora of 1719, not previously available in the auroral literature, are also presented and discussed.

  9. Earliest known coelacanth skull extends the range of anatomically modern coelacanths to the Early Devonian.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Min; Yu, Xiaobo; Lu, Jing; Qiao, Tuo; Zhao, Wenjin; Jia, Liantao

    2012-04-10

    Coelacanths are known for their evolutionary conservatism, and the body plan seen in Latimeria can be traced to late Middle Devonian Diplocercides, Holopterygius and presumably Euporosteus. However, the group's early history is unclear because of an incomplete fossil record. Until now, the only Early Devonian coelacanth is an isolated dentary (Eoactinistia) from Australia, whose position within the coelacanths is unknown. Here we report the earliest known coelacanth skull (Euporosteus yunnanensis sp. nov.) from the Early Devonian (late Pragian) of Yunnan, China. Resolved by maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses as crownward of Diplocercides or as its sister taxon, the new form extends the chronological range of anatomically modern coelacanths by about 17 Myr. The finding lends support to the possibility that Eoactinistia is also an anatomically modern coelacanth, and provides a more refined reference point for studying the rapid early diversification and subsequent evolutionary conservatism of the coelacanths.

  10. Earliest record of the invasive Foraminifera Trochammina hadai in San Francisco Bay, California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McGann, Mary

    2014-01-01

    In 1995, Trochammina hadai, a benthic Foraminifera prevalent in Japanese estuaries, was found in San Francisco Bay, California, USA. Subsequent field investigations determined that the species was also present in nearly all of the major ports and estuaries along the western United States. Because of its widespread colonization, it is of interest to determine when T. hadai first appeared as an invasive in the coastal regions of the North Pacific. In San Francisco Bay, the species was not found in 404 surface samples collected between 1930 and 1981. In 1983, however, a grab sediment sample from one of four sites in the southern portion of the bay contained T. hadai. This site was the most northern of the four and contained 12 specimens of the invasive, comprising 1.5% of the assemblage. This is the earliest appearance on record of T. hadai in San Francisco Bay.

  11. The termites of Early Eocene Cambay amber, with the earliest record of the Termitidae (Isoptera).

    PubMed

    Engel, Michael S; Grimaldi, David A; Nascimbene, Paul C; Singh, Hukam

    2011-01-01

    The fauna of termites (Isoptera) preserved in Early Eocene amber from the Cambay Basin (Gujarat, India) are described and figured. Three new genera and four new species are recognized, all of them Neoisoptera - Parastylotermes krishnai Engel & Grimaldi, sp. n. (Stylotermitidae); Prostylotermes kamboja Engel & Grimaldi, gen. et sp. n. (Stylotermitidae?); Zophotermes Engel, gen. n., with Zophotermes ashoki Engel & Singh, sp. n. (Rhinotermitidae: Prorhinotermitinae); and Nanotermes isaacae Engel & Grimaldi, gen. et sp. n. (Termitidae: Termitinae?). Together these species represent the earliest Tertiary records of the Neoisoptera and the oldest definitive record of Termitidae, a family that comprises >75% of the living species of Isoptera. Interestingly, the affinities of the Cambay amber termites are with largely Laurasian lineages, in this regard paralleling relationships seen between the fauna of bees and some flies. Diversity of Neoisoptera in Indian amber may reflect origin of the amber deposit in Dipterocarpaceae forests formed at or near the paleoequator.

  12. Phytoliths reveal the earliest fine reedy textile in China at the Tianluoshan site.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianping; Lu, Houyuan; Sun, Guoping; Flad, Rowan; Wu, Naiqin; Huan, Xiujia; He, Keyang; Wang, Yonglei

    2016-01-01

    Textiles are among the longest and most widespread technologies in human history, although poor preservation of perishable artifacts in Paleolithic and Neolithic contexts makes them difficult to unearth and has hampered study of their production and use. Here we report evidence of a plain-woven mat from the Tianluoshan site, Zhejiang, Eastern China. Phytolith and AMS dating from the mat and modern reference collections shown that the mat was made of reeds (Phragmites australis (Cav.)) and dated to 6775-6645 cal. yr. BP. This is the earliest directly dated fiber artifact so far known in China, over at least one thousand years earlier than any established dates for woven remains elsewhere. The evidence of the mat and other related remains suggest that textile products might occur earlier than 7000-8000 years ago and are significant for understanding the history of textiles, as well as production and human adaptation in Neolithic China. PMID:26766794

  13. Phytoliths reveal the earliest fine reedy textile in China at the Tianluoshan site

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jianping; Lu, Houyuan; Sun, Guoping; Flad, Rowan; Wu, Naiqin; Huan, Xiujia; He, Keyang; Wang, Yonglei

    2016-01-01

    Textiles are among the longest and most widespread technologies in human history, although poor preservation of perishable artifacts in Paleolithic and Neolithic contexts makes them difficult to unearth and has hampered study of their production and use. Here we report evidence of a plain-woven mat from the Tianluoshan site, Zhejiang, Eastern China. Phytolith and AMS dating from the mat and modern reference collections shown that the mat was made of reeds (Phragmites australis (Cav.)) and dated to 6775–6645 cal. yr. BP. This is the earliest directly dated fiber artifact so far known in China, over at least one thousand years earlier than any established dates for woven remains elsewhere. The evidence of the mat and other related remains suggest that textile products might occur earlier than 7000–8000 years ago and are significant for understanding the history of textiles, as well as production and human adaptation in Neolithic China. PMID:26766794

  14. Earliest crinoids: New evidence for the origin of the dominant Paleozoic echinoderms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guensburg, Thomas E.; Sprinkle, James

    2001-02-01

    The oldest crinoids have been discovered in Early Ordovician strata of the western United States. A set of emergent crinoid traits based on these and other early crinoids enables reinterpretation of crinoid origins and early history. The new fossils retain primitive echinoderm characteristics, including ambulacral floor plates and largely unorganized cup plating, a first for crinoids. They lack shared derived characteristics linking them to other stalked echinoderms, including blastozoans. Contrary to current widespread opinion, crinoids originated as an independent group during the Cambrian, apparently from an edrioasteroid ancestor. All four major Paleozoic crinoid clades had evolved by the early Ibexian (Tremadocian), and this initial diversification slightly preceded those of most other Paleozoic evolutionary fauna components. These earliest crinoids attached to carbonate hardgrounds developed on sponge-algal mounds, intraformational conglomerates, and grainstones.

  15. Phytoliths reveal the earliest fine reedy textile in China at the Tianluoshan site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jianping; Lu, Houyuan; Sun, Guoping; Flad, Rowan; Wu, Naiqin; Huan, Xiujia; He, Keyang; Wang, Yonglei

    2016-01-01

    Textiles are among the longest and most widespread technologies in human history, although poor preservation of perishable artifacts in Paleolithic and Neolithic contexts makes them difficult to unearth and has hampered study of their production and use. Here we report evidence of a plain-woven mat from the Tianluoshan site, Zhejiang, Eastern China. Phytolith and AMS dating from the mat and modern reference collections shown that the mat was made of reeds (Phragmites australis (Cav.)) and dated to 6775–6645 cal. yr. BP. This is the earliest directly dated fiber artifact so far known in China, over at least one thousand years earlier than any established dates for woven remains elsewhere. The evidence of the mat and other related remains suggest that textile products might occur earlier than 7000–8000 years ago and are significant for understanding the history of textiles, as well as production and human adaptation in Neolithic China.

  16. Biotic Response in Aquatic Reptiles (Testudines) during Earliest Eocene Climatic Warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holroyd, P. A.; Hutchison, J. H.

    2010-12-01

    The earliest Eocene is marked by significant events of global warming: the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) at ~55.8 Ma and two short-lived events (ETM2 or Elmo and H2) approximately 2 Ma later. These environmental changes induced strong responses in the continental biota. Noteworthy changes in North American mid-latitude faunas and floras that are temporally correlated with earliest Eocene warming events include: increased diversity; turnover; and significant range changes, comprising both northward shifts in ranges of North American taxa as well as intercontinental dispersal across Holarctica. Evidence for these biotic changes comes directly from the fossil record and indirectly from phylogeographic analyses of molecular phylogenies of extant biota. To date, the stratigraphic record of biotic change has only been examined for the flora and terrestrial mammals. Data on reptiles and for continental aquatic systems are particularly lacking. In order to assess the impact of climate-mediated faunal change in aquatic systems during early Paleogene warming, we have focused on developing a detailed record of fossil turtles (Testudines) from the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming, where these records can be directly compared to similarly studied mammalian and floral data and to isotopic studies that provide independent proxies of climate change. Using genus-level occurrence data from more than 450 stratigraphically-constrained localities spanning ~2.5 Ma, we calculated first and last appearances, taxonomic richness, and relative abundance as measured by presence-absence (site occupancy). Among turtles, taxonomic richness increased episodically through the earliest Eocene with two new taxa appearing at the PETM, two immediately following it, and two at Biohorizon B, an interval associated with the younger hyperthermals. These new, immigrant taxa eventually comprised 40% of known generic richness. Phylogenetically, the inferred biogeographic source regions are southern North

  17. Eocene fossil is earliest evidence of flower-visiting by birds.

    PubMed

    Mayr, Gerald; Wilde, Volker

    2014-05-01

    Birds are important pollinators, but the evolutionary history of ornithophily (bird pollination) is poorly known. Here, we report a skeleton of the avian taxon Pumiliornis from the middle Eocene of Messel in Germany with preserved stomach contents containing numerous pollen grains of an eudicotyledonous angiosperm. The skeletal morphology of Pumiliornis is in agreement with this bird having been a, presumably nectarivorous, flower-visitor. It represents the earliest and first direct fossil evidence of flower-visiting by birds and indicates a minimum age of 47 million years for the origin of bird-flower interactions. As Pumiliornis does not belong to any of the modern groups of flower-visiting birds, the origin of ornithophily in some angiosperm lineages may have predated that of their extant avian pollinators.

  18. Nature and Age of Neighbours Matter: Interspecific Associations among Tree Species Exist and Vary across Life Stages in Tropical Forests.

    PubMed

    Ledo, Alicia

    2015-01-01

    Detailed information about interspecific spatial associations among tropical tree species is scarce, and hence the ecological importance of those associations may have been underestimated. However, they can play a role in community assembly and species diversity maintenance. This study investigated the spatial dependence between pairs of species. First, the spatial associations (spatial attraction and spatial repulsion) that arose between species were examined. Second, different sizes of trees were considered in order to evaluate whether the spatial relationships between species are constant or vary during the lifetime of individuals. Third, the consistency of those spatial associations with the species-habitat associations found in previous studies was assessed. Two different tropical ecosystems were investigated: a montane cloud forest and a lowland moist forest. The results showed that spatial associations among species exist, and these vary among life stages and species. The rarity of negative spatial interactions suggested that exclusive competition was not common in the studied forests. On the other hand, positive interactions were common, and the results of this study strongly suggested that habitat associations were not the only cause of spatial attraction among species. If this is true, habitat associations and density dependence are not the only mechanisms that explain species distribution and diversity; other ecological interactions, such as facilitation among species, may also play a role. These spatial associations could be important in the assembly of tropical tree communities and forest succession, and should be taken into account in future studies. PMID:26581110

  19. Nature and Age of Neighbours Matter: Interspecific Associations among Tree Species Exist and Vary across Life Stages in Tropical Forests.

    PubMed

    Ledo, Alicia

    2015-01-01

    Detailed information about interspecific spatial associations among tropical tree species is scarce, and hence the ecological importance of those associations may have been underestimated. However, they can play a role in community assembly and species diversity maintenance. This study investigated the spatial dependence between pairs of species. First, the spatial associations (spatial attraction and spatial repulsion) that arose between species were examined. Second, different sizes of trees were considered in order to evaluate whether the spatial relationships between species are constant or vary during the lifetime of individuals. Third, the consistency of those spatial associations with the species-habitat associations found in previous studies was assessed. Two different tropical ecosystems were investigated: a montane cloud forest and a lowland moist forest. The results showed that spatial associations among species exist, and these vary among life stages and species. The rarity of negative spatial interactions suggested that exclusive competition was not common in the studied forests. On the other hand, positive interactions were common, and the results of this study strongly suggested that habitat associations were not the only cause of spatial attraction among species. If this is true, habitat associations and density dependence are not the only mechanisms that explain species distribution and diversity; other ecological interactions, such as facilitation among species, may also play a role. These spatial associations could be important in the assembly of tropical tree communities and forest succession, and should be taken into account in future studies.

  20. Nature and Age of Neighbours Matter: Interspecific Associations among Tree Species Exist and Vary across Life Stages in Tropical Forests

    PubMed Central

    Ledo, Alicia

    2015-01-01

    Detailed information about interspecific spatial associations among tropical tree species is scarce, and hence the ecological importance of those associations may have been underestimated. However, they can play a role in community assembly and species diversity maintenance. This study investigated the spatial dependence between pairs of species. First, the spatial associations (spatial attraction and spatial repulsion) that arose between species were examined. Second, different sizes of trees were considered in order to evaluate whether the spatial relationships between species are constant or vary during the lifetime of individuals. Third, the consistency of those spatial associations with the species-habitat associations found in previous studies was assessed. Two different tropical ecosystems were investigated: a montane cloud forest and a lowland moist forest. The results showed that spatial associations among species exist, and these vary among life stages and species. The rarity of negative spatial interactions suggested that exclusive competition was not common in the studied forests. On the other hand, positive interactions were common, and the results of this study strongly suggested that habitat associations were not the only cause of spatial attraction among species. If this is true, habitat associations and density dependence are not the only mechanisms that explain species distribution and diversity; other ecological interactions, such as facilitation among species, may also play a role. These spatial associations could be important in the assembly of tropical tree communities and forest succession, and should be taken into account in future studies. PMID:26581110

  1. Bivalves from the latest Jurassic-earliest Cretaceous hydrocarbon seep carbonates from central Spitsbergen, Svalbard.

    PubMed

    Hryniewicz, Krzysztof; Little, Crispin T S; Nakrem, Hans Arne

    2014-09-02

    The bivalve fauna from the latest Jurassic-earliest Cretaceous hydrocarbon seep deposits from central Spitsbergen, Svalbard comprises at least 17 species, four of which belong to chemosymbiotic taxa often found at seeps. These are the solemyid Solemya (Petrasma) cf. woodwardiana; Nucinella svalbardensis sp. nov., which belongs to a group of large Nucinella species known from seeps and deep water environments; the lucinid bivalve, Tehamatea rasmusseni sp. nov., included in a genus widely distributed in other Jurassic-Cretaceous seeps; and Cretaxinus hurumi gen. et sp. nov., which is the oldest known thyasirid and is discussed in relation to other large seep-restricted genera in this family. The remaining species in the fauna belong to 'background' genera known from coeval normal marine sediments, mostly from the Boreal area. These include the nuculid Dacromya chetaensis, two new malletiids (Mesosaccella rogovi sp. nov. and M. toddi sp. nov.), the oxytomiid Oxytoma octavia, at least three Buchia species, at least two pectinids, including Camptonectes (Costicamptonectes) aff. milnelandensis and Camptonectes (Camptochlamys) clatrathus, the limid Pseudolimea arctica, the arcticid Pseudotrapezium aff. groenlandicum, and the pholadomyid Goniomya literata. The large number of 'background' species in the bivalve fauna is probably a reflection of the shallow-water setting of the Svalbard seeps. This might also explain the lack of the seep-restricted modiomorphid bivalve Caspiconcha from the fauna. With solemyids, Nucinella, lucinids and thyasirids, the latest Jurassic-earliest Cretaceous bivalve seep fauna of Svalbard contains typical representatives of the Mesozoic bivalve seep faunas, both long established and young evolutionary colonists.

  2. 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.

  3. The earliest events in protein folding: Helix dynamics in proteins and model peptides

    SciTech Connect

    Dyer, R.B.; Williams, S.; Woodruff, W.H.

    1996-12-31

    The earliest events in protein folding are critically important in determining the folding pathway, but have proved difficult to study by conventional approaches. We have developed new rapid initiation methods and structure-specific probes to interrogate the earliest events of protein folding. Our focus is the pathways. Folding or unfolding reactions are initiated on a fast timescale (10 ns) using a laser induced temperature jump (15 C) and probed with time-resolved infrared spectroscopy. We obtained the kinetics of the helix-coil transition for a model 21-residue peptide. The observed rate constant k{sub obs} = k{sub f} + k{sub u} for reversible kinetics; from the observed rate (6 x 10{sup 6} s{sup -1}) and the equilibrium constant favoring folding of 7.5 at 27 C, we calculate a folding lifetime of 180 ns and an unfolding lifetime of 1.4 {mu}s. The {open_quotes}molten globule{close_quotes} form of apomyoglobin (horse, pH*3, 0.15M NaCl) shows similar kinetics for helix that is unconstrained by tertiary structure (helix with an unusually low Amide I frequency, near 1633 cm{sup -1}). In {open_quotes}native{close_quotes} apomyoglobin (horse, pH*5.3, 10 mM NaCl) two very different rates (45 ns and 70 {mu}s) are observed and we infer that a third occurs on a timescales inaccessible to our experiment (> 1 ms). We suggest that the slower processes are due to helix formation that is rate-limited by the formation of tertiary structure.

  4. Analysis of the Phenix end-of-life natural convection test with SAS4A/SASSYS-1

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, J. W.; Fanning, T. H.; Dunn, F. E.; Sofu, T.

    2012-07-01

    From a reduced power and flow condition, the 2009 Phenix Natural Convection Test mimics a protected loss-of-heat sink event. The measured transient response of the Phenix reactor to such an event provides an important data set for validating safety analysis codes. A model of the Phenix reactor and primary coolant system was developed using the reactor safety analysis code system SAS4A/SASSYS-1. While the overall global response of the reactor was predicted reasonably well, there were some non-negligible discrepancies in the temperature predictions during the transient and work continues to improve the model. Some modeling issues have been identified, and will be addressed as improvements to the model continue. (authors)

  5. William Russ Pugh's remarkable life: natural scientist, innovative anaesthetist and founding member of the Royal Society of Tasmania.

    PubMed

    Paull, J D

    2011-07-01

    While well known in anaesthetic circles for being the first to provide ether anaesthesia for a surgical procedure in June 1847 in Launceston, Tasmania, William Russ Pugh's achievements in the field of natural history are less well known. He personally assisted Count Peter de Strzelecki in the chemical analysis of Australian coal and mineral samples and provided the laboratory space and equipment. His analytic skills were utilised by coroners in cases of poisoning. He was consulted about a ship's cargo which threatened to spontaneously combust in Launceston's port. He was a founding member of the Tasmanian Society and subsequently of the Royal Society of Tasmania. He made many presentations on geology, zoology, botany, mineralogy and meteorology to meetings of both Societies. These scientific interests may have provided the knowledge and motivation which encouraged Pugh to proceed so confidently with the introduction of ether anaesthesia.

  6. Natural growth and diet of known-age pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus) early life stages in the upper Missouri River basin, Montana and North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Braaten, P.J.; Fuller, D.B.; Lott, R.D.; Haddix, T.M.; Holte, L.D.; Wilson, R.H.; Bartron, M.L.; Kalie, J.A.; DeHaan, P.W.; Ardren, W.R.; Holm, R.J.; Jaeger, M.E.

    2012-01-01

    Prior to anthropogenic modifications, the historic Missouri River provided ecological conditions suitable for reproduction, growth, and survival of pallid sturgeon Scaphirhynchus albus. However, little information is available to discern whether altered conditions in the contemporary Missouri River are suitable for feeding, growth and survival of endangered pallid sturgeon during the early life stages. In 2004 and 2007, nearly 600 000 pallid sturgeon free embryos and larvae were released in the upper Missouri River and survivors from these releases were collected during 2004–2010 to quantify natural growth rates and diet composition. Based on genetic analysis and known-age at release (1–17 days post-hatch, dph), age at capture (dph, years) could be determined for each survivor. Totals of 23 and 28 survivors from the 2004 and 2007 releases, respectively, were sampled. Growth of pallid sturgeon was rapid (1.91 mm day-1) during the initial 13–48 dph, then slowed as fish approached maximum length (120–140 mm) towards the end of the first growing season. The diet of young-of-year pallid sturgeon was comprised of Diptera larvae, Diptera pupae, and Ephemeroptera nymphs. Growth of pallid sturgeon from ages 1–6 years was about 48.0 mm year-1. This study provides the first assessment of natural growth and diet of young pallid sturgeon in the wild. Results depict pallid sturgeon growth trajectories that may be expected for naturally produced wild stocks under contemporary habitat conditions in the Missouri River and Yellowstone River.

  7. Life history QTLs and natural selection on flowering time in Boechera stricta, a perennial relative of Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Jill T.; Lee, Cheng-Ruei; Mitchell-Olds, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Plants must precisely time flowering to capitalize on favorable conditions. Although we know a great deal about the genetic basis of flowering phenology in model species under controlled conditions, the genetic architecture of this ecologically-important trait is poorly understood in non-model organisms. Here, we evaluated the transition from vegetative growth to flowering in Boechera stricta, a perennial relative of Arabidopsis thaliana. We examined flowering time QTLs using 7,920 recombinant inbred individuals, across seven lab and field environments differing in vernalization, temperature, and photoperiod. Genetic and environmental factors strongly influenced the transition to reproduction. We found directional selection for earlier flowering in the field. In the growth chamber experiment, longer winters accelerated flowering, whereas elevated ambient temperatures delayed flowering. Our analyses identified one large effect QTL (nFT), which influenced flowering time in both experiments and the probability of flowering in the field. In Montana, homozygotes for the native allele at nFT showed a selective advantage of 6.6%. Nevertheless, we found relatively low correlations between flowering times in the field and the growth chambers. Additionally, we detected flowering-related QTLs in the field which were absent across the full range of laboratory conditions, thus emphasizing the need to conduct experiments in natural environments. PMID:21083662

  8. Stress-induced hypermutation as a physical property of life, a force of natural selection and its role in four thought experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilbert, Lennart

    2013-04-01

    The independence of genetic mutation rate from selection is central to neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory. However, it has been continuously challenged for more than 30 years by experimental evidence of genetic mutation rate transiently increasing in response to stress (stress-induced hypermutation, SIH). The prominent concept of evolved evolvability (EE) explains that natural selection for strategies more competitive at evolutionary adaptation itself gives rise to mechanisms dynamically adjusting mutation rates to environmental stress. Here, we theoretically investigate the alternative (not mutually exclusive) hypothesis that SIH is an inherent physical property of all genetically reproducing life. We define stress as any condition lowering the capability of utilizing metabolic resources for genome storage and replication. This thermodynamical analysis indicates stress-induced increases in the genetic mutation rate in genome storage and in genome replication as inherent physical properties of genetically reproducing life. Further integrating SIH into an overall organismic thermodynamic budget identifies SIH as a force of natural selection, alongside death rate, replication rate and constitutive mutation rate differences. We execute four thought experiments with a non-recombinant lesion mutant strain to predict experimental observations due to SIH in response to different stresses and stress combinations. We find (1) acceleration of adaptation over models without SIH, (2) possibility of adaptation at high stresses which are not explicable by mutation in genome replication alone and (3) different adaptive potential under high growth-inhibiting versus high lethal stresses. The predictions are directly comparable to culture experiments (colony size time courses, antibacterial resistance assay and occurrence of lesion-reversion mutant colonies) and genome sequence analysis. Considering suggestions of drug-mediated disruption of SIH and attempts to target mutation

  9. Beneficial effects of natural antioxidants EGCG and alpha-lipoic acid on life span and age-dependent behavioral declines in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Brown, Marishka K; Evans, Joseph L; Luo, Yuan

    2006-11-01

    Oxidative stress has been associated with both the aging process and the development of age-dependent tissue degenerative pathologies. Beneficial effects of antioxidant therapies to abrogate the deleterious consequences of elevated free radicals are implicated in disease prevention and cost-effective strategy. Previous data have shown protective effects of the polyphenol green tea constituent epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and a classic natural antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid (LA) against oxidative stress and aging. In this study, EGCG and alpha-lipoic acid were applied to model Caenorhabditis elegans, and their ability to modulate the life span and several age-associated behavioral declines were examined, including: pharyngeal pumping, chemotaxic behavior and amyloid beta-associated pathological behavior. It was demonstrated that both antioxidants attenuated the levels of hydrogen peroxide in C. elegans, but their effects on age-dependent decline in behaviors were different. EGCG, but not alpha-lipoic acid, attenuated the rate of decline in pharyngeal pumping behavior in C. elegans. In contrast, alpha-lipoic acid, but not EGCG, extended mean and maximal life span in C. elegans. Both EGCG and alpha-lipoic acid were able to facilitate the chemotaxis index and this effect was additive. Furthermore, EGCG, but not alpha-lipoic acid, moderately alleviated an Abeta-induced pathological behavior in a transgenic C. elegans strain. These results indicate that natural antioxidants can protect against age-dependent behavioral declines. Other protective mechanisms, in addition to their antioxidant properties, may underlie their differential beneficial effects on aging and physiological behaviors. PMID:17156833

  10. Rapid adaptive divergence of life-history traits in response to abiotic stress within a natural population of a parthenogenetic nematode

    PubMed Central

    Doroszuk, Agnieszka; Wojewodzic, Marcin W; Kammenga, Jan E

    2006-01-01

    Sexual reproduction is acknowledged to facilitate adaptation to novel environments while asexual eukaryotes are often regarded as having low adaptive potential. This view has been challenged in a number of studies, but the adaptive potential of asexual populations in the field is poorly documented. We investigated the response of natural populations of the parthenogenetic nematode Acrobeloides nanus to imposed divergent selective pressures. For this purpose, we employed a replicated evolution experiment in the field. After 20 years of evolution under abiotic stress and control conditions, life-history traits were assessed in reaction norm- and reciprocal transplant experiments. Both these experiments indicated adaptive divergence within the population of A. nanus. Namely, the transplant experiment demonstrated that in the stressed soil environment, body growth rate was more reduced in the nematodes originating from the control treatment. In the reaction norm experiment, survival and reproduction were higher under test conditions corresponding to the native environment of the nematodes. The differences in the analysed traits are discussed in the context of life-history theory. Overall, our results strongly support high adaptive potential of A. nanus and suggest that population structure and distribution of asexual species is shaped by local adaptation events. PMID:17002946

  11. Effectiveness of two-sided UV-C treatments in inhibiting natural microflora and extending the shelf-life of minimally processed 'Red Oak Leaf' lettuce.

    PubMed

    Allende, Ana; McEvoy, James L; Luo, Yaguang; Artes, Francisco; Wang, Chien Y

    2006-05-01

    The use of UV-C radiation treatments to inhibit the microbial growth and extend the shelf-life of minimally processed 'Red Oak Leaf' lettuce was investigated. Initially, UV-C resistance of 20 bacterial strains from different genera often associated with fresh produce (Enterobacter, Erwinia, Escherichia, Leuconostoc, Pantoea, Pseudomonas, Rahnela, Salmonella, Serratia and Yersinia) were tested in vitro. Most of the bacterial strains were inhibited with the minimum dose (30 J m(-2)). Erwinia carotovora, Leuconostoc carnosum, Salmonella typhimurium, and Yersinia aldovae were the most resistant strains requiring a UV-C dose of 85 J m(-2) to completely inhibit growth. An in vivo study consisted of treating minimally processed 'Red Oak Leaf' lettuce (Lactuca sativa) with UV-C at three radiation doses (1.18, 2.37 and 7.11 kJ m(-2)) on each side of the leaves and storing the product under passive MAP conditions at 5 degrees C for up to 10 days. The gas composition inside packages varied significantly among the treatments, with CO2 concentrations positively and O2 concentrations negatively correlating with the radiation dose. All the radiation doses were effective in reducing the natural microflora of the product, although the highest doses showed the greatest microbial inhibitions. Taking into account the microbial limit set by Spanish legislation [Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE), 2001. Normas de higiene para la elaboración, distribución y comercio de comidas preparadas, Madrid, Spain, Real Decreto 3484/2000, pp. 1435-1441], all UV-C treatments extended the shelf-life of the product. However, the 7.11 kJ m(-2) dose induced tissue softening and browning after 7 days of storage at 5 degrees C. Therefore, the use of two sided UV-C radiation, at the proper dose, is effective in reducing the natural microflora and extending the shelf-life of minimally processed 'Red Oak Leaf' lettuce. PMID:16943010

  12. Precise U-Pb Zircon Constraints on the Earliest Magmatic History of the Carolina Terrane.

    PubMed

    Wortman; Samson; Hibbard

    2000-05-01

    The early magmatic and tectonic history of the Carolina terrane and its possible affinities with other Neoproterozoic circum-Atlantic arc terranes have been poorly understood, in large part because of a lack of reliable geochronological data. Precise U-Pb zircon dates for the Virgilina sequence, the oldest exposed part, constrain the timing of the earliest known stage of magmatism in the terrane and of the Virgilina orogeny. A flow-banded rhyolite sampled from a metavolcanic sequence near Chapel Hill, North Carolina, yielded a U-Pb zircon date of 632.9 +2.6/-1.9 Ma. A granitic unit of the Chapel Hill pluton, which intrudes the metavolcanic sequence, yielded a nearly identical U-Pb zircon date of 633 +2/-1.5 Ma, interpreted as its crystallization age. A felsic gneiss and a dacitic tuff from the Hyco Formation yielded U-Pb zircon dates of 619.9 +4.5/-3 Ma and 615.7 +3.7/-1.9 Ma, respectively. Diorite and granite of the Flat River complex have indistinguishable U-Pb upper-intercept dates of 613.9 +1.6/-1.5 Ma and 613.4 +2.8/-2 Ma. The Osmond biotite-granite gneiss, which intruded the Hyco Formation before the Virgilina orogeny, crystallized at 612.4 +5.2/-1.7 Ma. Granite of the Roxboro pluton, an intrusion that postdated the Virgilina orogeny, yielded a U-Pb upper intercept date of 546.5 +3.0/-2.4 Ma, interpreted as the time of its crystallization. These new dates both provide the first reliable estimates of the age of the Virgilina sequence and document that the earliest known stage of magmatism in the Carolina terrane had begun by 633 +2/-1.5 Ma and continued at least until 612.4 +5.2/-1.7 Ma, an interval of approximately 25 m.yr. Timing of the Virgilina orogeny is bracketed between 612.4 +5.2/-1.7 Ma and 586+/-10 Ma (reported age of the upper Uwharrie Formation). The U-Pb systematics of all units studied in the Virgilina sequence are simple and lack any evidence of an older xenocrystic zircon component, which would indicate the presence of a continental

  13. The Eagle Nebula's fingers - pointers to the earliest stages of star formation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, G. J.; Nelson, R. P.; Holland, W. S.; Robson, E. I.; Greaves, J. S.; McCaughrean, M. J.; Pilbratt, G. L.; Balser, D. S.; Oka, T.; Sakamoto, S.; Hasegawa, T.; McCutcheon, W. H.; Matthews, H. E.; Fridlund, C. V. M.; Tothill, N. F. H.; Huldtgren, M.; Deane, J. R.

    1999-02-01

    stages of collapse, which will lead to the formation of a condensed, warm object. It is well known that such characteristics are expected from the earliest stages of objects popularly known as `protostars'. The cores in the tips of the Eagle Nebula's fingers have characteristics similar to those expected to occur in the earliest stages of protostellar formation.

  14. Precise U-Pb Zircon Constraints on the Earliest Magmatic History of the Carolina Terrane.

    PubMed

    Wortman; Samson; Hibbard

    2000-05-01

    The early magmatic and tectonic history of the Carolina terrane and its possible affinities with other Neoproterozoic circum-Atlantic arc terranes have been poorly understood, in large part because of a lack of reliable geochronological data. Precise U-Pb zircon dates for the Virgilina sequence, the oldest exposed part, constrain the timing of the earliest known stage of magmatism in the terrane and of the Virgilina orogeny. A flow-banded rhyolite sampled from a metavolcanic sequence near Chapel Hill, North Carolina, yielded a U-Pb zircon date of 632.9 +2.6/-1.9 Ma. A granitic unit of the Chapel Hill pluton, which intrudes the metavolcanic sequence, yielded a nearly identical U-Pb zircon date of 633 +2/-1.5 Ma, interpreted as its crystallization age. A felsic gneiss and a dacitic tuff from the Hyco Formation yielded U-Pb zircon dates of 619.9 +4.5/-3 Ma and 615.7 +3.7/-1.9 Ma, respectively. Diorite and granite of the Flat River complex have indistinguishable U-Pb upper-intercept dates of 613.9 +1.6/-1.5 Ma and 613.4 +2.8/-2 Ma. The Osmond biotite-granite gneiss, which intruded the Hyco Formation before the Virgilina orogeny, crystallized at 612.4 +5.2/-1.7 Ma. Granite of the Roxboro pluton, an intrusion that postdated the Virgilina orogeny, yielded a U-Pb upper intercept date of 546.5 +3.0/-2.4 Ma, interpreted as the time of its crystallization. These new dates both provide the first reliable estimates of the age of the Virgilina sequence and document that the earliest known stage of magmatism in the Carolina terrane had begun by 633 +2/-1.5 Ma and continued at least until 612.4 +5.2/-1.7 Ma, an interval of approximately 25 m.yr. Timing of the Virgilina orogeny is bracketed between 612.4 +5.2/-1.7 Ma and 586+/-10 Ma (reported age of the upper Uwharrie Formation). The U-Pb systematics of all units studied in the Virgilina sequence are simple and lack any evidence of an older xenocrystic zircon component, which would indicate the presence of a continental

  15. Nonmarine stromatolites and the search for early life on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Awramik, S. M.

    1991-01-01

    The available evidence permits one to conclude that streams flowed and lakes developed on Mars sometime in the remote past. The lessons learned from the Earth's earliest fossil record suggest that stromatolites might have formed on Mars, speculating that: (1) biopoesis occurred on Mars during its earliest history; (2) life evolved and diversified; (3) life inhabited aqueous environments; and (4) sunlight was an important environmental resource. The most likely place to find stromatolites and possibly microbial fossils on Mars would be in ancient lake and stream deposits. If thermal spring deposits can be identified, then they too are sites for biogeological investigations. Other aspects of this study are presented.

  16. Gender and Genre: Loci of Invention and Contradiction in the Earliest Speeches by U.S. Women.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, Karlyn Kohrs

    1995-01-01

    Analyzes two of the earliest known speeches by United States women, Priscilla Mason's 1793 salutatory oration and Deborah Sampson Gannett's 1802 lecture tour. Suggests that the conflict between justifying their violation of taboos and speaking in ways appropriate to the occasion (and to their sex) limited their ability to produce coherent works of…

  17. A fossil primate of uncertain affinities from the earliest late Eocene of Egypt

    PubMed Central

    Seiffert, Erik R.; Simons, Elwyn L.; Boyer, Doug M.; Perry, Jonathan M. G.; Ryan, Timothy M.; Sallam, Hesham M.

    2010-01-01

    Paleontological work carried out over the last 3 decades has established that three major primate groups were present in the Eocene of Africa—anthropoids, adapiforms, and advanced strepsirrhines. Here we describe isolated teeth of a previously undocumented primate from the earliest late Eocene (≈37 Ma) of northern Egypt, Nosmips aenigmaticus, whose phylogenetic placement within Primates is unclear. Nosmips is smaller than the sympatric adapiform Afradapis but is considerably larger than other primate taxa known from the same paleocommunity. The species bears an odd mosaic of dental features, combining enlarged, elongate, and molariform premolars with simple upper molars that lack hypocones. Phylogenetic analysis across a series of different assumption sets variously places Nosmips as a stem anthropoid, a nonadapiform stem strepsirrhine, or even among adapiforms. This phylogenetic instability suggests to us that Nosmips likely represents a highly specialized member of a previously undocumented, and presumably quite ancient, endemic African primate lineage, the subordinal affinities of which have been obscured by its striking dental autapomorphies. Discriminant functions based on measurements of lower molar size and topography reliably classify extant prosimian primates into their correct dietary groups and identify Nosmips and Afradapis as omnivores and folivores, respectively. Although Nosmips currently defies classification, this strange and unexpected fossil primate nevertheless provides additional evidence for high primate diversity in northern Africa ≈37 million years ago and further underscores the fact that our understanding of early primate evolution on that continent remains highly incomplete. PMID:20457923

  18. Origin and timing of New Zealand's earliest domestic chickens: Polynesian commensals or European introductions?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, Jamie R.; Herrera, Michael J. B.; Scofield, R. Paul; Wilmshurst, Janet M.

    2016-08-01

    Human settlers transported chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus) to most East Polynesian archipelagos between AD 1000 and 1300; however, it has long been assumed that New Zealand was an exception. Despite the fact that chicken bones have been recovered from localities of early archaeological middens in New Zealand, their age and genetic relationships have never been critically assessed. Here, we test the assumption that chickens were not introduced to New Zealand during prehistory through ancient DNA and radiocarbon analyses of chicken bones from sites of Māori middens containing prehistoric material. The chickens belong to the widespread mitochondrial control region haplogroup E. Radiocarbon dating reveals that the bones are not prehistoric, but are still the earliest chicken remains known from New Zealand. Two of the bones pre-date permanent European settlement (ca 1803s onwards) but overlap with the arrival of James Cook's second voyage (1773-1774), and, therefore, they are likely to be chickens, or progeny thereof, liberated during that voyage. Our results support the idea that chickens were first introduced to New Zealand by Europeans, and provide new insights into Māori uptake and integration of resources introduced during the early post-European period.

  19. The earliest fossil record of Panorpidae (Mecoptera) from the Middle Jurassic of China

    PubMed Central

    Ding, He; Shih, Chungkun; Bashkuev, Alexei; Zhao, Yunyun; Ren, Dong

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The early history of Panorpidae (Mecoptera) is poorly known due to sparse fossil records. Up to date, only nine fossil species have been described, all from the Paleogene, except the Early Cretaceous Solusipanorpa gibbidorsa Lin, 1980. However, we suggest S. gibbidorsa is too incompletely preserved to permit even family classification. A new genus with two new species, Jurassipanorpa impunctata gen. et sp. n. and Jurassipanorpa sticta sp. n., are described based on four well-preserved specimens from the late Middle Jurassic Jiulongshan Formation of Daohugou, Inner Mongolia, China. These two new species are the earliest fossil records of Panorpidae. The new genus is erected based on a combination of forewing characters: both R1 and Rs1 with two branches, 1A reaching posterior margin of wing distad of the forking of Rs from R1, and no crossveins or only one crossvein between veins of 1A and 2A. In all four specimens, long and robust setae ranging from 0.09 to 0.38 mm in length and pointing anteriorly, are present on anal veins of forewings. The function of these setae is enigmatic. PMID:25152669

  20. Ancestral feeding state of ruminants reconsidered: earliest grazing adaptation claims a mixed condition for Cervidae

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Specialised leaf-eating is almost universally regarded as the ancestral state of all ruminants, yet little evidence can be cited in support of this assumption, apart from the fact that all early ruminants had low crowned cheek teeth. Instead, recent years have seen the emergence evidence contradicting the conventional view that low tooth crowns always indicate leaf-eating and high tooth crowns grass-eating. Results Here we report the results of two independent palaeodietary reconstructions for one of the earliest deer, Procervulus ginsburgi from the Early Miocene of Spain, suggesting that despite having lower tooth crowns than any living ruminant, this species included a significant proportion of grass in its diet. Conclusion The phylogenetic distribution of feeding styles strongly supports that leaf-grass mixed feeding was the original feeding style of deer, and that later dietary specialization on leaves or grass occurred independently in several lineages. Evidence for other ruminant clades suggests that facultative mixed feeding may in fact have been the primitive dietary state of the Ruminantia, which would have been morphologically expressed only under specific environmental factors. PMID:18205907

  1. Earliest evidence of dental caries manipulation in the Late Upper Palaeolithic

    PubMed Central

    Oxilia, Gregorio; Peresani, Marco; Romandini, Matteo; Matteucci, Chiara; Spiteri, Cynthianne Debono; Henry, Amanda G.; Schulz, Dieter; Archer, Will; Crezzini, Jacopo; Boschin, Francesco; Boscato, Paolo; Jaouen, Klervia; Dogandzic, Tamara; Broglio, Alberto; Moggi-Cecchi, Jacopo; Fiorenza, Luca; Hublin, Jean-Jacques; Kullmer, Ottmar; Benazzi, Stefano

    2015-01-01

    Prehistoric dental treatments were extremely rare, and the few documented cases are known from the Neolithic, when the adoption of early farming culture caused an increase of carious lesions. Here we report the earliest evidence of dental caries intervention on a Late Upper Palaeolithic modern human specimen (Villabruna) from a burial in Northern Italy. Using Scanning Electron Microscopy we show the presence of striations deriving from the manipulation of a large occlusal carious cavity of the lower right third molar. The striations have a “V”-shaped transverse section and several parallel micro-scratches at their base, as typically displayed by cutmarks on teeth. Based on in vitro experimental replication and a complete functional reconstruction of the Villabruna dental arches, we confirm that the identified striations and the associated extensive enamel chipping on the mesial wall of the cavity were produced ante-mortem by pointed flint tools during scratching and levering activities. The Villabruna specimen is therefore the oldest known evidence of dental caries intervention, suggesting at least some knowledge of disease treatment well before the Neolithic. This study suggests that primitive forms of carious treatment in human evolution entail an adaptation of the well-known toothpicking for levering and scratching rather than drilling practices. PMID:26179739

  2. Genomic evidence for plant-parasitic nematodes as the earliest Wolbachia hosts

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Amanda M. V.; Wasala, Sulochana K.; Howe, Dana K.; Peetz, Amy B.; Zasada, Inga A.; Denver, Dee R.

    2016-01-01

    Wolbachia, one of the most widespread endosymbionts, is a target for biological control of mosquito-borne diseases (malaria and dengue virus), and antibiotic elimination of infectious filarial nematodes. We sequenced and analyzed the genome of a new Wolbachia strain (wPpe) in the plant-parasitic nematode Pratylenchus penetrans. Phylogenomic analyses placed wPpe as the earliest diverging Wolbachia, suggesting two evolutionary invasions into nematodes. The next branches comprised strains in sap-feeding insects, suggesting Wolbachia may have first evolved as a nutritional mutualist. Genome size, protein content, %GC, and repetitive DNA allied wPpe with mutualistic Wolbachia, whereas gene repertoire analyses placed it between parasite (A, B) and mutualist (C, D, F) groups. Conservation of iron metabolism genes across Wolbachia suggests iron homeostasis as a potential factor in its success. This study enhances our understanding of this globally pandemic endosymbiont, highlighting genetic patterns associated with host changes. Combined with future work on this strain, these genomic data could help provide potential new targets for plant-parasitic nematode control. PMID:27734894

  3. The earliest evidence for the use of human bone as a tool.

    PubMed

    Verna, C; d'Errico, F

    2011-02-01

    We report on the analysis of three human cranial fragments from a Mousterian context at the site of La Quina (France), which show anthropogenic surface modifications. Macroscopic and microscopic analyses, including SEM observation, demonstrate that the modifications visible on one of these fragments are similar to those produced on bone fragments used experimentally to retouch flakes. The microscopic analysis also identified ancient scraping marks, possibly resulting from the cleaning of the skull prior to its breakage and utilisation of a resulting fragment as a tool. The traces of utilisation and the dimensions of this object are compared to those on a sample of 67 bone retouchers found in the same excavation area and layer. Results show that the tool size, as well as the dimensions and location of the utilised area, fall well within the range of variation observed on faunal shaft fragments from La Quina that were used as retouchers. This skull fragment represents the earliest known use of human bone as a raw material and the first reported use of human bone for this purpose by hominins other than modern humans. The two other skull fragments, which probably come from the same individual, also bear anthropogenic surface modifications in the form of percussion, cut, and scraping marks. The deliberate versus unintentional hypotheses for the unusual choice of the bone are presented in light of contextual information, modifications identified on the two skull fragments not used as tools, and data on bone retouchers from the same layer, the same site, and other Mousterian sites.

  4. The Earliest Chinese Proto-Porcelain Excavated from Kiln Sites: An Elemental Analysis.

    PubMed

    Li, Yu; Zhang, Bin; Cheng, Huansheng; Zheng, Jianming

    2015-01-01

    In June 2012, the Piaoshan kiln site was excavated in Huzhou, Zhejiang Province, which hitherto proved to be the earliest known Chinese proto-porcelain kiln. Judging from the decorative patterns of unearthed impressed stoneware and proto-porcelain sherds, the site was determined to date to the late Xia (c. 2070-c. 1600 BC), the first dynasty of China. Here, we report on proton-induced X-ray emission analyses of 118 proto-porcelain and 35 impressed stoneware sherds from Piaoshan and five subsequent kiln sites in the vicinity. Using principal components analysis on the major chemical compositions, we reveal the relationships between impressed stoneware and proto-porcelain samples from the six kiln sites. The sherds from different sites have distinctive chemical profiles. The results indicate that the raw materials were procured locally. We find a developmental tendency for early glazes towards mature calcium-based glaze. It is most likely that woody plant ashes with increased calcia-potash ratios were applied to the formula.

  5. Earliest Carboniferous tetrapod and arthropod faunas from Scotland populate Romer's Gap

    PubMed Central

    Smithson, Timothy R.; Wood, Stanley P.; Marshall, John E. A.; Clack, Jennifer A.

    2012-01-01

    Devonian tetrapods (limbed vertebrates), known from an increasingly large number of localities, have been shown to be mainly aquatic with many primitive features. In contrast, the post-Devonian record is marked by an Early Mississippian temporal gap ranging from the earliest Carboniferous (Tournaisian and early Viséan) to the mid-Viséan. By the mid-Viséan, tetrapods had become effectively terrestrial as attested by the presence of stem amniotes, developed an essentially modern aspect, and given rise to the crown group. Up to now, only two localities have yielded tetrapod specimens from the Tournaisian stage: one in Scotland with a single articulated skeleton and one in Nova Scotia with isolated bones, many of uncertain identity. We announce a series of discoveries of Tournaisian-age localities in Scotland that have yielded a wealth of new tetrapod and arthropod fossils. These include both terrestrial and aquatic forms and new taxa. We conclude that the gap in the fossil record has been an artifact of collection failure. PMID:22393016

  6. A Swift Look at SN 2011fe: The Earliest Ultraviolet Observations of a Type Ia Supernova

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oates, Samantha; Holland, Stephen; Immler, Stefan; Brown, Peter J.; Dawson, Kyle S.; DePasquale, Massimiliano; Gronwall, Caryl; Kuin, Paul; Mazzali, Paolo; Miline, Peter; Siegel, Michael

    2012-01-01

    We present the earliest ultraviolet (UV) observations of the bright Type Ia supernova SN 2011fe/PTF11kly in the nearby galaxy M101 at a distance of only 6.4 Mpc. It was discovered shortly after explosion by the Palomar Transient Factory and first observed by Swift/UVOT about a day after explosion. The early UV light is well-defined, with approx. 20 data points per filter in the 5 days after explosion. With these early UV observations, we extend the near-UV template of SNe Ia to earlier times for comparison with observations at low and high redshift and report fits from semiempirical models of the explosion. We find the early UV count rates to be well fit by the superposition of two parabolic curves. Finally, we use the early UV flux measurements to examine a possible shock interaction with a non-degenerate companion. We find that even a solar mass companion at a distance of a few solar radii is unlikely at more than 95% confidence.

  7. Basal tissue structure in the earliest euconodonts: Testing hypotheses of developmental plasticity in euconodont phylogeny

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dong, X.-P.; Donoghue, P.C.J.; Repetski, J.E.

    2005-01-01

    The hypothesis that conodonts are vertebrates rests solely on evidence of soft tissue anatomy. This has been corroborated by microstructural, topological and developmental evidence of homology between conodont and vertebrate hard tissues. However, these conclusions have been reached on the basis of evidence from highly derived euconodont taxa and the degree to which they are representative of plesiomorphic euconodonts remains an open question. Furthermore, the range of variation in tissue types comprising the euconodont basal body has been used to establish a hypothesis of developmental plasticity early in the phylogeny of the clade, and a model of diminishing potentiality in the evolution of development systems. The microstructural fabrics of the basal tissues of the earliest euconodonts (presumed to be the most plesiomorphic) are examined to test these two hypotheses. It is found that the range of microstructural variation observed hitherto was already apparent among plesiomorphic euconodonts. Thus, established histological data are representative of the most plesiomorphic euconodonts. However, although there is evidence of a range in microstructural fabrics, these are compatible with the dentine tissue system alone, and the degree of variation is compatible with that seen in clades of comparable diversity. ?? The Palaeontological Association.

  8. The Earliest Chinese Proto-Porcelain Excavated from Kiln Sites: An Elemental Analysis.

    PubMed

    Li, Yu; Zhang, Bin; Cheng, Huansheng; Zheng, Jianming

    2015-01-01

    In June 2012, the Piaoshan kiln site was excavated in Huzhou, Zhejiang Province, which hitherto proved to be the earliest known Chinese proto-porcelain kiln. Judging from the decorative patterns of unearthed impressed stoneware and proto-porcelain sherds, the site was determined to date to the late Xia (c. 2070-c. 1600 BC), the first dynasty of China. Here, we report on proton-induced X-ray emission analyses of 118 proto-porcelain and 35 impressed stoneware sherds from Piaoshan and five subsequent kiln sites in the vicinity. Using principal components analysis on the major chemical compositions, we reveal the relationships between impressed stoneware and proto-porcelain samples from the six kiln sites. The sherds from different sites have distinctive chemical profiles. The results indicate that the raw materials were procured locally. We find a developmental tendency for early glazes towards mature calcium-based glaze. It is most likely that woody plant ashes with increased calcia-potash ratios were applied to the formula. PMID:26535583

  9. Changes of lysosomes in the earliest stages of the development of atherosclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Bobryshev, Yuri V; Shchelkunova, Tatyana A; Morozov, Ivan A; Rubtsov, Petr M; Sobenin, Igor A; Orekhov, Alexander N; Smirnov, Alexander N

    2013-01-01

    One of hypotheses of atherosclerosis is based on a presumption that the zones prone to the development of atherosclerosis contain lysosomes which are characterized by enzyme deficiency and thus, are unable to dispose of lipoproteins. The present study was undertaken to investigate the characteristics and changes of lysosomes in the earliest stages of the development of atherosclerosis. Electron microscopic immunocytochemistry revealed that there were certain changes in the distribution of CD68 antigen in lysosomes along the ‘normal intima-initial lesion-fatty streak’ sequence. There were no significant changes found in the key mRNAs encoding for the components of endosome/lysosome compartment in initial atherosclerotic lesions, but in fatty streaks, the contents of EEA1 and Rab5a mRNAs were found to be diminished while the contents of CD68 and p62 mRNAs were increased, compared with the intact tissue. The study reinforces a view that changes occurring in lysosomes play a role in atherogenesis from the very earlier stages of the disease. PMID:23490339

  10. The Earliest Chinese Proto-Porcelain Excavated from Kiln Sites: An Elemental Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yu; Zhang, Bin; Cheng, Huansheng; Zheng, Jianming

    2015-01-01

    In June 2012, the Piaoshan kiln site was excavated in Huzhou, Zhejiang Province, which hitherto proved to be the earliest known Chinese proto-porcelain kiln. Judging from the decorative patterns of unearthed impressed stoneware and proto-porcelain sherds, the site was determined to date to the late Xia (c. 2070–c. 1600 BC), the first dynasty of China. Here, we report on proton-induced X-ray emission analyses of 118 proto-porcelain and 35 impressed stoneware sherds from Piaoshan and five subsequent kiln sites in the vicinity. Using principal components analysis on the major chemical compositions, we reveal the relationships between impressed stoneware and proto-porcelain samples from the six kiln sites. The sherds from different sites have distinctive chemical profiles. The results indicate that the raw materials were procured locally. We find a developmental tendency for early glazes towards mature calcium-based glaze. It is most likely that woody plant ashes with increased calcia-potash ratios were applied to the formula. PMID:26535583

  11. The earliest mollusc dominated seep fauna from the Early Jurassic of Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaim, Andrzej; Jenkins, Robert; Parent, Horacio; Garrido, Alberto; Moriya, Kazuhiro

    2015-04-01

    The earliest mollusc dominated seep fauna from the Early Jurassic of Argentina Andrzej Kaim, Robert G. Jenkins, Horacio Parent, Alberto C. Garrido The hydrocarbon seep deposits are known from Early Jurassic of Argentina since the report of Gomez-Perez (2003). The latter author identified very negative δ13C values (down to -33) and several fabrics typical for seep carbonates. Nevertheless she identified no macrofaunal assemblages apart from worm tubes. We re-visited the locality of Gomez-Perez (named here La Elina) and we were able to collect several molluscs associated with the seep carbonate. The most common and diversified are molluscs and worm tubes. We identified at least three species of gastropods, including the oldest-known species of neomphalids, lucinid and protobranch bivalves and numerous ammonoids. Unlike another known Early Jurassic seep from Oregon and the only Late Triassic seep (also from Oregon) there are no brachiopods associated with this seep. Therefore we consider the seep at La Elina as the oldest seep of modern aspect where the fauna is dominated by molluscs and not brachiopods.

  12. Crystals stirred up: 2. Numerical insights into the formation of the earliest crust on the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suckale, Jenny; Elkins-Tanton, Linda T.; Sethian, James A.

    2012-08-01

    This is the second paper in a two-part series examining the fluid dynamics of crystal settling and flotation in the lunar magma ocean. In the first paper, we develop a direct numerical method for resolving the hydrodynamic interactions between crystals and their feedback on the flow field in magmatic liquid. In this paper, we use this computational technique to test the leading model for the formation of the earliest crust on the Moon. The anorthositic lithology of the lunar crust is thought to have been formed by the flotation of buoyant plagioclase crystals at a time when the lunar mantle was still wholly or largely molten. This model is appealing from an observational point of view, but its fluid dynamical validity is not obvious, because (1) plagioclase probably started crystallizing very late (i.e., when the magma ocean was already 80% solidified) and (2) a significant portion of the shallow lunar crust consists of almost pure plagioclase (>90 vol. %), requiring very efficient plagioclase segregation. The goal of this study is to better understand the fluid dynamical conditions that hinder or facilitate crystal settling or flotation. Our approach complements earlier studies by explicitly linking the petrological and fluid dynamical evolution and by focusing on the effect of increasing crystal fraction. We find that crystal settling was probably possible throughout the entire solidification history of the lunar magma ocean as long as crystal sizes were sufficiently large (r > 1 mm) and crystal fraction sufficiently low (ϕ < 13%).

  13. Earliest and first Northern Hemispheric hoatzin fossils substantiate Old World origin of a "Neotropic endemic".

    PubMed

    Mayr, Gerald; De Pietri, Vanesa L

    2014-02-01

    The recent identification of hoatzins (Opisthocomiformes) in the Miocene of Africa showed part of the evolution of these birds, which are now only found in South America, to have taken place outside the Neotropic region. Here, we describe a new fossil species from the late Eocene of France, which constitutes the earliest fossil record of hoatzins and the first one from the Northern Hemisphere. Protoazin parisiensis gen. et sp. nov. is more closely related to South American Opisthocomiformes than the African taxon Namibiavis and substantiates an Old World origin of hoatzins, as well as a relictual distribution of the single extant species. Although recognition of hoatzins in Europe may challenge their presumed transatlantic dispersal, there are still no North American fossils in support of an alternative, Northern Hemispheric, dispersal route. In addition to Opisthocomiformes, other avian taxa are known from the Cenozoic of Europe, the extant representatives of which are only found in South America. Recognition of hoatzins in the early Cenozoic of Europe is of particular significance because Opisthocomiformes have a fossil record in sub-Saharan Africa, which supports the hypothesis that extinction of at least some of these "South American" groups outside the Neotropic region was not primarily due to climatic factors.

  14. A fossil primate of uncertain affinities from the earliest late Eocene of Egypt.

    PubMed

    Seiffert, Erik R; Simons, Elwyn L; Boyer, Doug M; Perry, Jonathan M G; Ryan, Timothy M; Sallam, Hesham M

    2010-05-25

    Paleontological work carried out over the last 3 decades has established that three major primate groups were present in the Eocene of Africa-anthropoids, adapiforms, and advanced strepsirrhines. Here we describe isolated teeth of a previously undocumented primate from the earliest late Eocene ( approximately 37 Ma) of northern Egypt, Nosmips aenigmaticus, whose phylogenetic placement within Primates is unclear. Nosmips is smaller than the sympatric adapiform Afradapis but is considerably larger than other primate taxa known from the same paleocommunity. The species bears an odd mosaic of dental features, combining enlarged, elongate, and molariform premolars with simple upper molars that lack hypocones. Phylogenetic analysis across a series of different assumption sets variously places Nosmips as a stem anthropoid, a nonadapiform stem strepsirrhine, or even among adapiforms. This phylogenetic instability suggests to us that Nosmips likely represents a highly specialized member of a previously undocumented, and presumably quite ancient, endemic African primate lineage, the subordinal affinities of which have been obscured by its striking dental autapomorphies. Discriminant functions based on measurements of lower molar size and topography reliably classify extant prosimian primates into their correct dietary groups and identify Nosmips and Afradapis as omnivores and folivores, respectively. Although Nosmips currently defies classification, this strange and unexpected fossil primate nevertheless provides additional evidence for high primate diversity in northern Africa approximately 37 million years ago and further underscores the fact that our understanding of early primate evolution on that continent remains highly incomplete.

  15. Earliest foraminifera and radiolaria from North America: evolutionary and geological implications

    SciTech Connect

    Lipps, J.H.

    1985-01-01

    Foraminifera and radiolaria were found in lower and middle Cambrian rocks in the western US. They occur in clastic rocks associated with archaeocyathid bioherms and shales in SE California, SW Nevada, W Utah and Idaho. The foraminifera are agglutinated tubes, straight or coiled; the radiolaria are spherical or flattened wit robust lattices. They occur together with some of the earliest shelled metazoa. Their widespread occurrence indicates that protozoa were important elements of the first animal-dominated communities. Their presence suggests a complex trophic structure involving secondary consumers that utilized small autotrophs, carnivores, and detritus. Ordovician and Silurian foraminifera and radiolaria, also found in the US and USSR, show that the subsequent radiation of heterotrophic protists follows a pattern similar to that of metazoans. These fossil protozoa indicate that the skeletonization of early organisms was controlled by factors not related solely to a multicellular grade of organization. Hypotheses requiring the attainment of atmospheric oxygen levels high enough for metazoan skeletonization processes to operate, seawater chemistry allowing the use of specific skeletal materials, attainment of large size, evolution of regulatory genes, and similar ideas can be eliminated or modified. The fossils also indicate that the advent of skeletonized metazoa and protists, and their subsequent radiation were probably related to the proliferation of trophic interactions within those early communities.

  16. Earliest Holocene south Greenland ice sheet retreat within its late Holocene extent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlson, Anders E.; Winsor, Kelsey; Ullman, David J.; Brook, Edward J.; Rood, Dylan H.; Axford, Yarrow; LeGrande, Allegra N.; Anslow, Faron S.; Sinclair, Gaylen

    2014-08-01

    Early Holocene summer warmth drove dramatic Greenland ice sheet (GIS) retreat. Subsequent insolation-driven cooling caused GIS margin readvance to late Holocene maxima, from which ice margins are now retreating. We use 10Be surface exposure ages from four locations between 69.4°N and 61.2°N to date when in the early Holocene south to west GIS margins retreated to within these late Holocene maximum extents. We find that this occurred at 11.1 ± 0.2 ka to 10.6 ± 0.5 ka in south Greenland, significantly earlier than previous estimates, and 6.8 ± 0.1 ka to 7.9 ± 0.1 ka in southwest to west Greenland, consistent with existing 10Be ages. At least in south Greenland, these 10Be ages likely provide a minimum constraint for when on a multicentury timescale summer temperatures after the last deglaciation warmed above late Holocene temperatures in the early Holocene. Current south Greenland ice margin retreat suggests that south Greenland may have now warmed to or above earliest Holocene summer temperatures.

  17. The diversity of early Life on Earth : implications for life on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westall, F.; Southam, G.

    Although the locations where the earliest traces of life can be studied are few and far between (Isua, 3.8 Ga; Pilbara and Barberton, 3.5-3.3 Ga), the life that existed in the Early Archaean life has left a wealth of testimony. Structural and chemical fossils found in Early Arcahean `habitats' demonstrate that the biosphere was already in an advanced evolutionary state, i.e., much of the strata preserved from this period appears to have been colonised by morphologically and biochemically diverse bacteria. The Early-Mid Archaean microorganisms were morphologically similar to modern organisms and behaved in the same way, building colonies, biofilms and mats and interacting directly with their immediate substrate and with each other (in consortia). Their metabolic processes included chemolithotrophy, possibly methanogenesis and possibly anoxygenic photosynthesis. Early life was diverse and included thermophilic, acid-tolerant, halo-tolerant to halophilic, and radiation resistant species. With one exception, the traces of early life are subtle, on the scale of tens to hundreds of µm although, where environmental conditions were stable and quiet enough for their development, microbial mats on sediment surfaces could contribute to the formation of stromatolites of about 10 cm in height. The diversity, relative level of evolution and widespread distribution of life by 3.5 Ga implies that it must have evolved much earlier, possibly even before or during the period of late heavy bombardment). However, no record of its appearance and early evolution remains on Earth. Given the conditions on early Mars were generally similar to those on early Earth, i.e., habitable, the Southern Highlands of Mars could potentially host this missing record. Life on early Mars would probably have been similarly subtle in its expression, although there is a possibility of "stumbling" across small macroscopic stromatolites. If life still exists on the planet today, it's in the subsurface and its

  18. Nature Detectives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harr, Natalie; Lee, Richard E.; Jr.

    2010-01-01

    Richard Louv's "Last Child in the Woods" (2008) added to a growing consensus to get children outside and experiencing nature. Using ideas from place-based education, the authors present a simple year-long project that brings science, nature, and other curriculum standards to life right in your school yard. With a focus on journaling, this project…

  19. Matematica Natural.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lozano, Patricia; Medearis, Linda

    Matematica Natural (Natural Mathematics) is a mathematics curriculum for young children based on the assumption that they learn mathematics through concrete, real life, relevant experiences and that educational differences rather than cultural differences influence math achievement. The curriculum uses hands-on materials and activities to teach…

  20. Biomarkers as Proxies for Life and Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Summons, R. E.

    2006-05-01

    Biomarkers are organic molecules that can be used to trace specific types of organisms or biological processes in contemporary ecosystems, ancient sediments and, potentially, beyond the Earth. Biomarkers offer a means to evaluate Earth's biosphere from its earliest development to the modern day. Hydrocarbons, which are the remains of lipids that once resided in the membranes of ancestral organisms, carry chemical and isotopic clues about the nature of early ecosystems. The hydrocarbon remains of fatty acids, sterols, bacterial triterpenoids and pigments are very recalcitrant substances and can be found in rocks as old as 2.8 billion years. These molecules tell us that the three domains, archaea, bacteria and eukarya that comprise all extant life appeared quite early in Earth's history as did the oxygen-producing photosynthesis that oxidized our atmosphere and made it possible for animal life to evolve and increase in complexity. Pigment-derived biomarkers are especially useful for evaluating paleo-environmental conditions. They occur in rocks from the Archean to the present day and can be especially diagnostic for euxinic conditions. The greatest known mass extinction event occurred at the end of the Permian period and extinguished about 70% of the animals and plants that existed at that time. Much controversy surrounds its cause with many different scenarios having been proposed. An international collaboration has enabled biomarker profiles to be obtained from Permian- Triassic boundary sections in China, Australia, Canada, Tibet and Greenland. These data suggest that euxinic conditions prevailed widely in the oceans for an extended period from the Late Permian and that sulfide toxicity may have been a major factor in the demise of both plant and animal life.

  1. Exobiology and future Mars missions - The search for Mars' earliest biosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mckay, Christopher P.

    1986-01-01

    The primordial Mars may have possessed a thick carbon dioxide atmosphere, with liquid water common on the surface, similar in many ways to the primordial earth. During this epoch, billions of years ago, the surface of Mars could have been conducive to the origin of life. It is possible that life evolved on Mars to be later eliminated as the atmospheric pressure dropped. Analysis of the surface of Mars for the traces of this early Martian biota could provide many insights into the phenomenon of life and its coupling to planetary evolution.

  2. Exobiology and Future Mars Missions: The Search for Mars' Earliest Biosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McKay, Christopher P.

    1986-01-01

    The primordial Mars may have possessed a thick carbon dioxide atmosphere, with liquid water Common on the surface, similar in many ways to the primordial Earth. During this epoch, billions of years ago, the surface of Mars could have been conducive to the origin of life. It is possible that life evolved on Mars to be later eliminated as the atmospheric pressure dropped. Analysis of the surface of Mars for the traces of this early martian biota could provide many insights into the phenomenon of life and its coupling to planetary evolution.

  3. Origin and age of the earliest Martian crust from meteorite NWA 7533.

    PubMed

    Humayun, M; Nemchin, A; Zanda, B; Hewins, R H; Grange, M; Kennedy, A; Lorand, J-P; Göpel, C; Fieni, C; Pont, S; Deldicque, D

    2013-11-28

    The ancient cratered terrain of the southern highlands of Mars is thought to hold clues to the planet's early differentiation, but until now no meteoritic regolith breccias have been recovered from Mars. Here we show that the meteorite Northwest Africa (NWA) 7533 (paired with meteorite NWA 7034) is a polymict breccia consisting of a fine-grained interclast matrix containing clasts of igneous-textured rocks and fine-grained clast-laden impact melt rocks. High abundances of meteoritic siderophiles (for example nickel and iridium) found throughout the rock reach a level in the fine-grained portions equivalent to 5 per cent CI chondritic input, which is comparable to the highest levels found in lunar breccias. Furthermore, analyses of three leucocratic monzonite clasts show a correlation between nickel, iridium and magnesium consistent with differentiation from impact melts. Compositionally, all the fine-grained material is alkalic basalt, chemically identical (except for sulphur, chlorine and zinc) to soils from Gusev crater. Thus, we propose that NWA 7533 is a Martian regolith breccia. It contains zircons for which we measured an age of 4,428 ± 25 million years, which were later disturbed 1,712 ± 85 million years ago. This evidence for early crustal differentiation implies that the Martian crust, and its volatile inventory, formed in about the first 100 million years of Martian history, coeval with earliest crust formation on the Moon and the Earth. In addition, incompatible element abundances in clast-laden impact melt rocks and interclast matrix provide a geochemical estimate of the average thickness of the Martian crust (50 kilometres) comparable to that estimated geophysically. PMID:24256724

  4. Protein structural and surface water rearrangement constitute major events in the earliest aggregation stages of tau

    PubMed Central

    Pavlova, Anna; Cheng, Chi-Yuan; Kinnebrew, Maia; Lew, John; Dahlquist, Frederick W.; Han, Songi

    2016-01-01

    Protein aggregation plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, and the mechanism of its progression is poorly understood. Here, we examine the structural and dynamic characteristics of transiently evolving protein aggregates under ambient conditions by directly probing protein surface water diffusivity, local protein segment dynamics, and interprotein packing as a function of aggregation time, along the third repeat domain and C terminus of Δtau187 spanning residues 255–441 of the longest isoform of human tau. These measurements were achieved with a set of highly sensitive magnetic resonance tools that rely on site-specific electron spin labeling of Δtau187. Within minutes of initiated aggregation, the majority of Δtau187 that is initially homogeneously hydrated undergoes structural transformations to form partially structured aggregation intermediates. This is reflected in the dispersion of surface water dynamics that is distinct around the third repeat domain, found to be embedded in an intertau interface, from that of the solvent-exposed C terminus. Over the course of hours and in a rate-limiting process, a majority of these aggregation intermediates proceed to convert into stable β-sheet structured species and maintain their stacking order without exchanging their subunits. The population of β-sheet structured species is >5% within 5 min of aggregation and gradually grows to 50–70% within the early stages of fibril formation, while they mostly anneal block-wisely to form elongated fibrils. Our findings suggest that the formation of dynamic aggregation intermediates constitutes a major event occurring in the earliest stages of tau aggregation that precedes, and likely facilitates, fibril formation and growth. PMID:26712030

  5. Indigenous Arabs are descendants of the earliest split from ancient Eurasian populations.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-Flores, Juan L; Fakhro, Khalid; Agosto-Perez, Francisco; Ramstetter, Monica D; Arbiza, Leonardo; Vincent, Thomas L; Robay, Amal; Malek, Joel A; Suhre, Karsten; Chouchane, Lotfi; Badii, Ramin; Al-Nabet Al-Marri, Ajayeb; Abi Khalil, Charbel; Zirie, Mahmoud; Jayyousi, Amin; Salit, Jacqueline; Keinan, Alon; Clark, Andrew G; Crystal, Ronald G; Mezey, Jason G

    2016-02-01

    An open question in the history of human migration is the identity of the earliest Eurasian populations that have left contemporary descendants. The Arabian Peninsula was the initial site of the out-of-Africa migrations that occurred between 125,000 and 60,000 yr ago, leading to the hypothesis that the first Eurasian populations were established on the Peninsula and that contemporary indigenous Arabs are direct descendants of these ancient peoples. To assess this hypothesis, we sequenced the entire genomes of 104 unrelated natives of the Arabian Peninsula at high coverage, including 56 of indigenous Arab ancestry. The indigenous Arab genomes defined a cluster distinct from other ancestral groups, and these genomes showed clear hallmarks of an ancient out-of-Africa bottleneck. Similar to other Middle Eastern populations, the indigenous Arabs had higher levels of Neanderthal admixture compared to Africans but had lower levels than Europeans and Asians. These levels of Neanderthal admixture are consistent with an early divergence of Arab ancestors after the out-of-Africa bottleneck but before the major Neanderthal admixture events in Europe and other regions of Eurasia. When compared to worldwide populations sampled in the 1000 Genomes Project, although the indigenous Arabs had a signal of admixture with Europeans, they clustered in a basal, outgroup position to all 1000 Genomes non-Africans when considering pairwise similarity across the entire genome. These results place indigenous Arabs as the most distant relatives of all other contemporary non-Africans and identify these people as direct descendants of the first Eurasian populations established by the out-of-Africa migrations.

  6. Simulating Metal-Poor and Metal-Free Star Formation in the Earliest Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Safranek-Shrader, Chalence

    2014-01-01

    The end of the cosmic dark ages was brought about by the formation of the first stars and galaxies. Since this epoch is currently outside of observational reach, numerical studies are key in understanding this uncharted cosmic epoch. In this dissertation talk, I will describe my work using high-resolution, zoom-in simulations to understand the formation of these earliest stellar associations in a cosmological setting. The overarching focus will be on the fragmentation of collapsing gas and how this process is moderated by the gas chemistry, radiation fields, and realistic cosmological initial conditions. A key aspect of this work has been the development of sophisticated physics modules for the hydrodynamics code FLASH, including non-equilibrium chemistry, radiative transfer schemes, and sink particles. I will begin by describing how more moderate mass Population III stars ended their lives with a relatively quick heavy-element enrichment of their host dark matter halos, resulting in prompt Population II star formation. The introduction of metals from the first supernovae is believed to induce a star formation mode transition from high to low characteristic mass. I will show how the fragmentation of such metal enriched gas depends strongly on the metallicity, with fragmentation setting in when gas hits the CMB temperature floor. If present, an H2 photo-dissociating Lyman-Werner radiation background can delay the formation of the first stars and potentially result in clustered metal-free star formation in more massive, self-shielding halos at lower redshift. I will present results from recent simulations that follow the collapse and fragmentation of the first dust enriched gas to high densities (n ~ 10^14 cm^-3), analyzing the interplay of dust cooling with a CMB temperature floor and gauging the effect that dust heating from protostellar feedback has on the outcome of star formation. Finally, I will discuss this work’s implications for next

  7. Stable Isotopes and Zooarchaeology at Teotihuacan, Mexico Reveal Earliest Evidence of Wild Carnivore Management in Mesoamerica.

    PubMed

    Sugiyama, Nawa; Somerville, Andrew D; Schoeninger, Margaret J

    2015-01-01

    From Roman gladiatorial combat to Egyptian animal mummies, the capture and manipulation of carnivores was instrumental in helping to shape social hierarchies throughout the ancient world. This paper investigates the historical inflection point when humans began to control animals not only as alimental resources but as ritual symbols and social actors in the New World. At Teotihuacan (A.D. 1-550), one of the largest pre-Hispanic cities, animal remains were integral components of ritual caches expressing state ideology and militarism during the construction of the Moon and the Sun Pyramids. The caches contain the remains of nearly 200 carnivorous animals, human sacrificial victims and other symbolic artifacts. This paper argues the presence of skeletal pathologies of infectious disease and injuries manifest on the carnivore remains show direct evidence of captivity. Stable isotope analysis (δ13C and δ15N) of bones and teeth confirms that some of these carnivores were consuming high levels of C4 foods, likely reflecting a maize-based anthropocentric food chain. These results push back the antiquity of keeping captive carnivores for ritualistic purposes nearly 1000 years before the Spanish conquistadors described Moctezuma's zoo at the Aztec capital. Mirroring these documents the results indicate a select group of carnivores at Teotihuacan may have been fed maize-eating omnivores, such as dogs and humans. Unlike historical records, the present study provides the earliest and direct archaeological evidence for this practice in Mesoamerica. It also represents the first systematic isotopic exploration of a population of archaeological eagles (n = 24) and felids (n = 29). PMID:26332042

  8. Stable Isotopes and Zooarchaeology at Teotihuacan, Mexico Reveal Earliest Evidence of Wild Carnivore Management in Mesoamerica

    PubMed Central

    Sugiyama, Nawa; Somerville, Andrew D.; Schoeninger, Margaret J.

    2015-01-01

    From Roman gladiatorial combat to Egyptian animal mummies, the capture and manipulation of carnivores was instrumental in helping to shape social hierarchies throughout the ancient world. This paper investigates the historical inflection point when humans began to control animals not only as alimental resources but as ritual symbols and social actors in the New World. At Teotihuacan (A.D. 1–550), one of the largest pre-Hispanic cities, animal remains were integral components of ritual caches expressing state ideology and militarism during the construction of the Moon and the Sun Pyramids. The caches contain the remains of nearly 200 carnivorous animals, human sacrificial victims and other symbolic artifacts. This paper argues the presence of skeletal pathologies of infectious disease and injuries manifest on the carnivore remains show direct evidence of captivity. Stable isotope analysis (δ13C and δ15N) of bones and teeth confirms that some of these carnivores were consuming high levels of C4 foods, likely reflecting a maize-based anthropocentric food chain. These results push back the antiquity of keeping captive carnivores for ritualistic purposes nearly 1000 years before the Spanish conquistadors described Moctezuma’s zoo at the Aztec capital. Mirroring these documents the results indicate a select group of carnivores at Teotihuacan may have been fed maize-eating omnivores, such as dogs and humans. Unlike historical records, the present study provides the earliest and direct archaeological evidence for this practice in Mesoamerica. It also represents the first systematic isotopic exploration of a population of archaeological eagles (n = 24) and felids (n = 29). PMID:26332042

  9. Stable Isotopes and Zooarchaeology at Teotihuacan, Mexico Reveal Earliest Evidence of Wild Carnivore Management in Mesoamerica.

    PubMed

    Sugiyama, Nawa; Somerville, Andrew D; Schoeninger, Margaret J

    2015-01-01

    From Roman gladiatorial combat to Egyptian animal mummies, the capture and manipulation of carnivores was instrumental in helping to shape social hierarchies throughout the ancient world. This paper investigates the historical inflection point when humans began to control animals not only as alimental resources but as ritual symbols and social actors in the New World. At Teotihuacan (A.D. 1-550), one of the largest pre-Hispanic cities, animal remains were integral components of ritual caches expressing state ideology and militarism during the construction of the Moon and the Sun Pyramids. The caches contain the remains of nearly 200 carnivorous animals, human sacrificial victims and other symbolic artifacts. This paper argues the presence of skeletal pathologies of infectious disease and injuries manifest on the carnivore remains show direct evidence of captivity. Stable isotope analysis (δ13C and δ15N) of bones and teeth confirms that some of these carnivores were consuming high levels of C4 foods, likely reflecting a maize-based anthropocentric food chain. These results push back the antiquity of keeping captive carnivores for ritualistic purposes nearly 1000 years before the Spanish conquistadors described Moctezuma's zoo at the Aztec capital. Mirroring these documents the results indicate a select group of carnivores at Teotihuacan may have been fed maize-eating omnivores, such as dogs and humans. Unlike historical records, the present study provides the earliest and direct archaeological evidence for this practice in Mesoamerica. It also represents the first systematic isotopic exploration of a population of archaeological eagles (n = 24) and felids (n = 29).

  10. THE EARLIEST NEAR-INFRARED TIME-SERIES SPECTROSCOPY OF A TYPE Ia SUPERNOVA

    SciTech Connect

    Hsiao, E. Y.; Phillips, M. M.; Morrell, N.; Contreras, C.; Roth, M.; Marion, G. H.; Kirshner, R. P.; Burns, C. R.; Freedman, W. L.; Persson, S. E.; Winge, C.; Gerardy, C. L.; Hoeflich, P.; Im, M.; Jeon, Y.; Pignata, G.; Stanishev, V.; and others

    2013-04-01

    We present ten medium-resolution, high signal-to-noise ratio near-infrared (NIR) spectra of SN 2011fe from SpeX on the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) and Gemini Near-Infrared Spectrograph (GNIRS) on Gemini North, obtained as part of the Carnegie Supernova Project. This data set constitutes the earliest time-series NIR spectroscopy of a Type Ia supernova (SN Ia), with the first spectrum obtained at 2.58 days past the explosion and covering -14.6 to +17.3 days relative to B-band maximum. C I {lambda}1.0693 {mu}m is detected in SN 2011fe with increasing strength up to maximum light. The delay in the onset of the NIR C I line demonstrates its potential to be an effective tracer of unprocessed material. For the first time in a SN Ia, the early rapid decline of the Mg II {lambda}1.0927 {mu}m velocity was observed, and the subsequent velocity is remarkably constant. The Mg II velocity during this constant phase locates the inner edge of carbon burning and probes the conditions under which the transition from deflagration to detonation occurs. We show that the Mg II velocity does not correlate with the optical light-curve decline rate {Delta}m{sub 15}(B). The prominent break at {approx}1.5 {mu}m is the main source of concern for NIR k-correction calculations. We demonstrate here that the feature has a uniform time evolution among SNe Ia, with the flux ratio across the break strongly correlated with {Delta}m{sub 15}(B). The predictability of the strength and the onset of this feature suggests that the associated k-correction uncertainties can be minimized with improved spectral templates.

  11. Earliest evidence for cheese making in the sixth millennium BC in northern Europe.

    PubMed

    Salque, Mélanie; Bogucki, Peter I; Pyzel, Joanna; Sobkowiak-Tabaka, Iwona; Grygiel, Ryszard; Szmyt, Marzena; Evershed, Richard P

    2013-01-24

    The introduction of dairying was a critical step in early agriculture, with milk products being rapidly adopted as a major component of the diets of prehistoric farmers and pottery-using late hunter-gatherers. The processing of milk, particularly the production of cheese, would have been a critical development because it not only allowed the preservation of milk products in a non-perishable and transportable form, but also it made milk a more digestible commodity for early prehistoric farmers. The finding of abundant milk residues in pottery vessels from seventh millennium sites from north-western Anatolia provided the earliest evidence of milk processing, although the exact practice could not be explicitly defined. Notably, the discovery of potsherds pierced with small holes appear at early Neolithic sites in temperate Europe in the sixth millennium BC and have been interpreted typologically as 'cheese-strainers', although a direct association with milk processing has not yet been demonstrated. Organic residues preserved in pottery vessels have provided direct evidence for early milk use in the Neolithic period in the Near East and south-eastern Europe, north Africa, Denmark and the British Isles, based on the δ(13)C and Δ(13)C values of the major fatty acids in milk. Here we apply the same approach to investigate the function of sieves/strainer vessels, providing direct chemical evidence for their use in milk processing. The presence of abundant milk fat in these specialized vessels, comparable in form to modern cheese strainers, provides compelling evidence for the vessels having being used to separate fat-rich milk curds from the lactose-containing whey. This new evidence emphasizes the importance of pottery vessels in processing dairy products, particularly in the manufacture of reduced-lactose milk products among lactose-intolerant prehistoric farming communities. PMID:23235824

  12. Origin and age of the earliest Martian crust from meteorite NWA 7533.

    PubMed

    Humayun, M; Nemchin, A; Zanda, B; Hewins, R H; Grange, M; Kennedy, A; Lorand, J-P; Göpel, C; Fieni, C; Pont, S; Deldicque, D

    2013-11-28

    The ancient cratered terrain of the southern highlands of Mars is thought to hold clues to the planet's early differentiation, but until now no meteoritic regolith breccias have been recovered from Mars. Here we show that the meteorite Northwest Africa (NWA) 7533 (paired with meteorite NWA 7034) is a polymict breccia consisting of a fine-grained interclast matrix containing clasts of igneous-textured rocks and fine-grained clast-laden impact melt rocks. High abundances of meteoritic siderophiles (for example nickel and iridium) found throughout the rock reach a level in the fine-grained portions equivalent to 5 per cent CI chondritic input, which is comparable to the highest levels found in lunar breccias. Furthermore, analyses of three leucocratic monzonite clasts show a correlation between nickel, iridium and magnesium consistent with differentiation from impact melts. Compositionally, all the fine-grained material is alkalic basalt, chemically identical (except for sulphur, chlorine and zinc) to soils from Gusev crater. Thus, we propose that NWA 7533 is a Martian regolith breccia. It contains zircons for which we measured an age of 4,428 ± 25 million years, which were later disturbed 1,712 ± 85 million years ago. This evidence for early crustal differentiation implies that the Martian crust, and its volatile inventory, formed in about the first 100 million years of Martian history, coeval with earliest crust formation on the Moon and the Earth. In addition, incompatible element abundances in clast-laden impact melt rocks and interclast matrix provide a geochemical estimate of the average thickness of the Martian crust (50 kilometres) comparable to that estimated geophysically.

  13. Indigenous Arabs are descendants of the earliest split from ancient Eurasian populations.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-Flores, Juan L; Fakhro, Khalid; Agosto-Perez, Francisco; Ramstetter, Monica D; Arbiza, Leonardo; Vincent, Thomas L; Robay, Amal; Malek, Joel A; Suhre, Karsten; Chouchane, Lotfi; Badii, Ramin; Al-Nabet Al-Marri, Ajayeb; Abi Khalil, Charbel; Zirie, Mahmoud; Jayyousi, Amin; Salit, Jacqueline; Keinan, Alon; Clark, Andrew G; Crystal, Ronald G; Mezey, Jason G

    2016-02-01

    An open question in the history of human migration is the identity of the earliest Eurasian populations that have left contemporary descendants. The Arabian Peninsula was the initial site of the out-of-Africa migrations that occurred between 125,000 and 60,000 yr ago, leading to the hypothesis that the first Eurasian populations were established on the Peninsula and that contemporary indigenous Arabs are direct descendants of these ancient peoples. To assess this hypothesis, we sequenced the entire genomes of 104 unrelated natives of the Arabian Peninsula at high coverage, including 56 of indigenous Arab ancestry. The indigenous Arab genomes defined a cluster distinct from other ancestral groups, and these genomes showed clear hallmarks of an ancient out-of-Africa bottleneck. Similar to other Middle Eastern populations, the indigenous Arabs had higher levels of Neanderthal admixture compared to Africans but had lower levels than Europeans and Asians. These levels of Neanderthal admixture are consistent with an early divergence of Arab ancestors after the out-of-Africa bottleneck but before the major Neanderthal admixture events in Europe and other regions of Eurasia. When compared to worldwide populations sampled in the 1000 Genomes Project, although the indigenous Arabs had a signal of admixture with Europeans, they clustered in a basal, outgroup position to all 1000 Genomes non-Africans when considering pairwise similarity across the entire genome. These results place indigenous Arabs as the most distant relatives of all other contemporary non-Africans and identify these people as direct descendants of the first Eurasian populations established by the out-of-Africa migrations. PMID:26728717

  14. Indigenous Arabs are descendants of the earliest split from ancient Eurasian populations

    PubMed Central

    Rodriguez-Flores, Juan L.; Fakhro, Khalid; Agosto-Perez, Francisco; Ramstetter, Monica D.; Arbiza, Leonardo; Vincent, Thomas L.; Robay, Amal; Malek, Joel A.; Suhre, Karsten; Chouchane, Lotfi; Badii, Ramin; Al-Nabet Al-Marri, Ajayeb; Abi Khalil, Charbel; Zirie, Mahmoud; Jayyousi, Amin; Salit, Jacqueline; Keinan, Alon; Clark, Andrew G.; Crystal, Ronald G.; Mezey, Jason G.

    2016-01-01

    An open question in the history of human migration is the identity of the earliest Eurasian populations that have left contemporary descendants. The Arabian Peninsula was the initial site of the out-of-Africa migrations that occurred between 125,000 and 60,000 yr ago, leading to the hypothesis that the first Eurasian populations were established on the Peninsula and that contemporary indigenous Arabs are direct descendants of these ancient peoples. To assess this hypothesis, we sequenced the entire genomes of 104 unrelated natives of the Arabian Peninsula at high coverage, including 56 of indigenous Arab ancestry. The indigenous Arab genomes defined a cluster distinct from other ancestral groups, and these genomes showed clear hallmarks of an ancient out-of-Africa bottleneck. Similar to other Middle Eastern populations, the indigenous Arabs had higher levels of Neanderthal admixture compared to Africans but had lower levels than Europeans and Asians. These levels of Neanderthal admixture are consistent with an early divergence of Arab ancestors after the out-of-Africa bottleneck but before the major Neanderthal admixture events in Europe and other regions of Eurasia. When compared to worldwide populations sampled in the 1000 Genomes Project, although the indigenous Arabs had a signal of admixture with Europeans, they clustered in a basal, outgroup position to all 1000 Genomes non-Africans when considering pairwise similarity across the entire genome. These results place indigenous Arabs as the most distant relatives of all other contemporary non-Africans and identify these people as direct descendants of the first Eurasian populations established by the out-of-Africa migrations. PMID:26728717

  15. Assessing the duration and possible causes of the earliest Toarcian carbon isotopic excursion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krencker, Francois-Nicolas; Bodin, Stéphane; Suan, Guillaume; Kabiri, Lahcen; Immenhauser, Adrian

    2013-04-01

    The early Toarcian stage (Early Jurassic) records two short-lived events of major faunal turnover and environmental perturbation. The first event (eT-E) occurs during the earliest Toarcian (early Polymorphum chronozone) and has been documented only in a few sites worldwide. The second event, better known as the Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event (T-OAE) has been documented in numerous sites from Northern Siberia to Argentina. Both events are marked by negative carbon isotope excursions (CIE) recorded in carbonate and organic substrate. Therefore they are thought to be associated with major changes in carbon cycling. Similarities between the eT-E and the T-OAE thus lead to the conclusion that these events might have been triggered by similar mechanisms. If this is the case, the CIEs associated with both events should have a comparable duration. In order to valid or falsify this hypothesis, it is therefore crucial to constrain the duration of both events. The duration of the T-OAE CIE was assessed in several papers by cyclostratigraphic analyses thanks to favourable outcropping condition. It is however not the case for the eT-E CIE, this latter being often associated with sedimentary condensation or hiatal surfaces. We make use of the high palaeo-subsidence rates of the Lower Toarcian Moroccan shelf leading to extended sections in the High Atlas Basin. The Foum Tillicht section was sampled in increments of 20 cm across a stratigraphic interval of 50 m, covering the Polymorphum chronozone. Carbon and oxygen isotopes analyses were performed on micritic and organic matter. Ammonites and nannofossils biostratigraphy aided in calibrating geochemical analyses. Carbon isotopes data display a rhythmic pattern. Preliminary results indicate that the eT-E negative carbon isotope excursion lasted around 400 kyr.

  16. Late Paleocene fossils from the Cerrejon Formation, Colombia, are the earliest record of Neotropical rainforest.

    PubMed

    Wing, Scott L; Herrera, Fabiany; Jaramillo, Carlos A; Gómez-Navarro, Carolina; Wilf, Peter; Labandeira, Conrad C

    2009-11-01

    Neotropical rainforests have a very poor fossil record, making hypotheses concerning their origins difficult to evaluate. Nevertheless, some of their most important characteristics can be preserved in the fossil record: high plant diversity, dominance by a distinctive combination of angiosperm families, a preponderance of plant species with large, smooth-margined leaves, and evidence for a high diversity of herbivorous insects. Here, we report on an approximately 58-my-old flora from the Cerrejón Formation of Colombia (paleolatitude approximately 5 degrees N) that is the earliest megafossil record of Neotropical rainforest. The flora has abundant, diverse palms and legumes and similar family composition to extant Neotropical rainforest. Three-quarters of the leaf types are large and entire-margined, indicating rainfall >2,500 mm/year and mean annual temperature >25 degrees C. Despite modern family composition and tropical paleoclimate, the diversity of fossil pollen and leaf samples is 60-80% that of comparable samples from extant and Quaternary Neotropical rainforest from similar climates. Insect feeding damage on Cerrejón fossil leaves, representing primary consumers, is abundant, but also of low diversity, and overwhelmingly made by generalist feeders rather than specialized herbivores. Cerrejón megafossils provide strong evidence that the same Neotropical rainforest families have characterized the biome since the Paleocene, maintaining their importance through climatic phases warmer and cooler than present. The low diversity of both plants and herbivorous insects in this Paleocene Neotropical rainforest may reflect an early stage in the diversification of the lineages that inhabit this biome, and/or a long recovery period from the terminal Cretaceous extinction.

  17. Earliest evidence for cheese making in the sixth millennium BC in northern Europe.

    PubMed

    Salque, Mélanie; Bogucki, Peter I; Pyzel, Joanna; Sobkowiak-Tabaka, Iwona; Grygiel, Ryszard; Szmyt, Marzena; Evershed, Richard P

    2013-01-24

    The introduction of dairying was a critical step in early agriculture, with milk products being rapidly adopted as a major component of the diets of prehistoric farmers and pottery-using late hunter-gatherers. The processing of milk, particularly the production of cheese, would have been a critical development because it not only allowed the preservation of milk products in a non-perishable and transportable form, but also it made milk a more digestible commodity for early prehistoric farmers. The finding of abundant milk residues in pottery vessels from seventh millennium sites from north-western Anatolia provided the earliest evidence of milk processing, although the exact practice could not be explicitly defined. Notably, the discovery of potsherds pierced with small holes appear at early Neolithic sites in temperate Europe in the sixth millennium BC and have been interpreted typologically as 'cheese-strainers', although a direct association with milk processing has not yet been demonstrated. Organic residues preserved in pottery vessels have provided direct evidence for early milk use in the Neolithic period in the Near East and south-eastern Europe, north Africa, Denmark and the British Isles, based on the δ(13)C and Δ(13)C values of the major fatty acids in milk. Here we apply the same approach to investigate the function of sieves/strainer vessels, providing direct chemical evidence for their use in milk processing. The presence of abundant milk fat in these specialized vessels, comparable in form to modern cheese strainers, provides compelling evidence for the vessels having being used to separate fat-rich milk curds from the lactose-containing whey. This new evidence emphasizes the importance of pottery vessels in processing dairy products, particularly in the manufacture of reduced-lactose milk products among lactose-intolerant prehistoric farming communities.

  18. IL-15–PI3K–AKT–mTOR: A Critical Pathway in the Life Journey of Natural Killer Cells

    PubMed Central

    Ali, Alaa Kassim; Nandagopal, Neethi; Lee, Seung-Hwan

    2015-01-01

    Among numerous cytokines modulating natural killer (NK) cell function, interleukin 15 (IL-15) exerts a broad range of effect from development and homeostasis, to activation of mature NK cells during infection. Its significance is further highlighted by clinical trials in which IL-15 is being used to boost the proliferation and anti-tumor response of NK cells. Among the signal transduction pathways triggered by the engagement of IL-15 receptor with its ligand, the PI3K–AKT–mTOR pathway seems to be critical for the IL-15-mediated activation of NK cells, therefore being responsible for efficient anti-viral and anti-tumor responses. This review provides an overview of the role of IL-15 at multiple stages of NK cell life journey. Understanding the pathway by which IL-15 conveys critical signals for the generation of NK cells with efficient effector functions, in combination with established protocols for NK cell expansion ex vivo, will undoubtedly open new avenues for therapeutic applications for immunomodulation against infections and cancers. PMID:26257729

  19. Culture effects on adults' earliest childhood recollection and self-description: implications for the relation between memory and the self.

    PubMed

    Wang, Q

    2001-08-01

    American and Chinese college students (N = 256) reported their earliest childhood memory on a memory questionnaire and provided self-descriptions on a shortened 20 Statements Test (M. H. Kuhn & T. S. McPartland, 1954). The average age at earliest memory of Americans was almost 6 months earlier than that of Chinese. Americans reported lengthy, specific, self-focused, and emotionally elaborate memories; they also placed emphasis on individual attributes in describing themselves. Chinese provided brief accounts of childhood memories centering on collective activities, general routines, and emotionally neutral events; they also included a great number of social roles in their self-descriptions. Across the entire sample, individuals who described themselves in more self-focused and positive terms provided more specific and self-focused memories. Findings are discussed in light of the interactive relation between autobiographical memory and cultural self-construal.

  20. Planets and Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sullivan, Woodruff T., III; Baross, John

    2007-09-01

    Foreword; Preface; Contributors; Prologue; Part I. History: 1. History of astrobiological ideas W. T. Sullivan and D. Carney; 2. From exobiology to astrobiology S. J. Dick; Part II. The Physical Stage: 3. Formation of Earth-like habitable planets D. E. Brownlee and M. Kress; 4. Planetary atmospheres and life D. Catling and J. F. Kasting; Part III. The Origin of Life on Earth: 5. Does 'life' have a definition? C.E. Cleland and C. F. Chyba; 6. Origin of life: crucial issues R. Shapiro; 7. Origin of proteins and nucleic acids A. Ricardo and S. A. Benner; 8. The roots of metabolism G.D. Cody and J. H. Scott; 9. Origin of cellular life D. W. Deamer; Part IV. Life on Earth: 10. Evolution: a defining feature of life J. A. Baross; 11. Evolution of metabolism and early microbial communities J. A. Leigh, D. A. Stahl and J. T. Staley; 12. The earliest records of life on Earth R. Buick; 13. The origin and diversification of eukaryotes M. L. Sogin, D. J. Patterson and A. McArthur; 14. Limits of carbon life on Earth and elsewhere J. A. Baross, J. Huber and M. Schrenk; 15. Life in ice J. W. Deming and H. Eicken; 16. The evolution and diversification of life S. Awramik and K. J. McNamara; 17. Mass extinctions P. D. Ward; Part V. Potentially Habitable Worlds: 18. Mars B. M. Jakosky, F. Westall and A. Brack; 19. Europa C. F. Chyba and C. B. Phillips; 20. Titan J. I. Lunine and B. Rizk; 21. Extrasolar planets P. Butler; Part VI. Searching for Extraterrestrial Life: 22. How to search for life on other worlds C. P. McKay; 23. Instruments and strategies for detecting extraterrestrial life P. G. Conrad; 24. Societial and ethical concerns M. S. Race; 25. Planetary protection J. D. Rummel; 26. Searching for extraterrestrial intelligence J. C. Tarter; 27. Alien biochemistries P. D. Ward and S. A. Benner; Part VII. Future of the Field: 28. Disciplinary and educational opportunities L. Wells, J. Armstrong and J. Huber; Epilogue C. F. Chyba; Appendixes: A. Units and usages; B. Planetary

  1. Camellia nanningensis sp. nov.: the earliest fossil wood record of the genus Camellia (Theaceae) from East Asia.

    PubMed

    Huang, Lu-Liang; Jin, Jian-Hua; Quan, Cheng; Oskolski, Alexei A

    2016-09-01

    A new species Camellia nanningensis was described on the basis of well-preserved mummified wood from the upper Oligocene Yongning Formation of Nanning Basin in Guangxi Province, South China. This represents the most ancient fossil wood assigned to Camellia, and the earliest fossil record of the family Theaceae in China. This fossil material shows that Camellia occurred in China as early as the late Oligocene, suggesting more ancient radiation of this genus than estimated by molecular dating. PMID:27379410

  2. Auxosporulation in Paralia guyana MacGillivary (Bacillariophyta) and Possible New Insights into the Habit of the Earliest Diatoms

    PubMed Central

    Kaczmarska, Irena; Ehrman, James M.

    2015-01-01

    Background Diatoms are one of the most ecologically important aquatic micro-eukaryotes. As a group unambiguously recognized as diatoms, they seem to have appeared relatively recently with a limited record of putative remains from oldest sediments. In contrast, molecular clock estimates for the earliest possible emergence of diatoms suggest a considerably older date. Depending on the analysis, Paralia and Leptocylindrus have been recovered within the basal molecular divergences of diatoms. Thus these genera may be in the position to inform on characters that the earliest diatoms possessed. Findings Here we present auxospore development and structure of initial and post-auxospore cells in a representative of the ancient non-polar centric genus Paralia. Their initial frustules showed unusual, but not unprecedented, spore-like morphology. Similarly, initial frustules of Leptocylindrus have been long considered resting spores and a unique peculiarity of this genus. However, even though spore-like in appearance, initial cells of Paralia readily resumed mitotic divisions. In addition, Paralia post-auxospore cells underwent several rounds of mitoses in a multi-step process of building a typical, “perfect” vegetative valve. This degree of heteromorphy immediately post-auxosporulation is thus far unknown among the diatoms. Implications A spore-related origin of diatoms has already been considered, most recently in the form of the “multiplate diploid cyst” hypothesis. Our discovery that the initial cells in some of the most ancient diatom lineages are structurally spore-like is consistent with that hypothesis because the earliest diatoms may be expected to look somewhat similar to their ancestors. We speculate that because the earliest diatoms may have appeared less diatom-like and more spore-like, they could have gone unrecognized as such in the Triassic/Jurassic sediments. If correct, diatoms may indeed be much older than the fossil record indicates, and possibly

  3. Earliest step of core-mantle separation: Shock melting experiment of chondrite-like materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eiichi, T.; Tsumagari, Y.; Nishio, M.; Sekine, T.

    2009-12-01

    formed even in shortest runs (Fig.1b, 1600C 10 sec). Based on these experiments, we conclude that size of the metal grains formed in each shock melting process in planet building stage depends on the connectivity of Fe-metal phase in the source materials. Pallasite (stony-iron meteorite) may represent the product of local melt pockets formed after impacts, the earliest form of core-mantle separation in planet building stage.

  4. Contribution of the earliest woody trees (lignophytes) to the greening of the continents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer-Berthaud, B.; Decombeix, A.-L.

    2009-04-01

    The diversification of early terrestrial plants is characterized by an intense phase of morphological innovation during the Devonian that resulted in the evolution of a large variety of growth forms. Several unrelated taxa adopted the tree habit, a form characterized by its extended lifetime and the possession of a tall, vertical trunk.This evolution provided large-sized plants with functional advantages over smaller ones in terms of reproduction and light interception. From a biophysical point of view, this increase in stature was a challenge as it created new constraints in terms of biomechanical support and water transport. The various groups that evolved trees resolved these problems by adopting specific strategies in relation to their own evolutionary history and inherited traits. It is uncertain whether the evolution of the tree habit and of forests has directly promoted the diversification of the reproductive systems and the advent of the seed habit. But it created new niches, contributing to the diversication of the terrestrial floras and faunas. It may also have considerably impacted the biosphere and contributed to the dramatic decline of atmospheric CO2 in the Late Devonian through the enhanced development of soils and changes in erosional and sedimentary processes. Understanding these interactions through a better assessment of the structure, development, functioning and evolution of early trees represents a new challenge for paleobotanists. Here we provide a review of the earliest arborescent representatives of the lignophyte clade, paying special attention to the anatomical, morphological and developmental traits that may have contributed to their wide paleogeographical distribution in the Late Devonian and later on. These trees are the first ones in the history of vegetation to possess leaves as well as long-lived roots and branches. Their growth is three-dimensional by comparison to the essentially vertical growth of earlier trees. Using the

  5. High-resolution stable carbon isotope record of the Permian to earliest Triassic from East Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanson Barrera, Anna; Hochuli, Peter A.; Bucher, Hugo; Meier, Maximiliano; Schneebeli Hermann, Elke; Weissert, Helmut; Bernasconi, Stefano M.

    2013-04-01

    The Late Permian and Early Triassic organic carbon isotope records show global major excursions probably triggered by episodic volcanic degasing of the Siberian Large Igneous Province. Important and rapid fluctuations of the global carbon cycle are also reflected in the biosphere. The geological record seems to comprise several major floral and marine faunal turnovers indicating short-lived biotic recoveries. In northwest Pangea, the active Early Triassic Greenland - Norway rifting system led to the accommodation of thick sedimentary sequences. This basin has a great potential for detailed studies of regional and global biotic and climatic changes with high temporal resolution during this critical interval in Earth's history. The western part of this basin is exposed in north-eastern Greenland and is represented by a succession of deltaic sediments organized in a general regressive trend ranging throughout the Griesbachian and the onset of the Dienerian. On the eastern side of the basin the succession has been drilled off the Norwegian coast. On Hold with Hope (East Greenland, 74°N) up to ca. 800m thick sections of the ammonoid-bearing Early Triassic Wordie Creek Formation have been logged and sampled. Here we present a high-resolution organic carbon isotope record and preliminary palynofacies data of a 500m thick composite section ranging from the Permian into the earliest Triassic. The organic carbon isotope record is closely comparable to the coeval section from the Trøndelag platform in Mid-Norway. The two records show a first major negative shift (ca. -6‰) representing the unconformity between the Ravnefjeld and the Wordie Creek formations, regionally known as the lithological Permian-Triassic boundary. Higher up, a second negative shift of ca. -4‰ correlates with the carbon shift associated with the GSSP Permian-Triassic boundary as defined at Meishan (China), represented by carbon isotope values around -30‰. This negative shift is followed by a

  6. Earliest evidence of personal ornaments associated with burial: the Conus shells from Border Cave.

    PubMed

    d'Errico, Francesco; Backwell, Lucinda

    2016-04-01

    The four to six month old infant from Border Cave, found with a perforated Conus shell in a pit excavated in Howiesons Poort (HP) layers dated to 74 ± 4 BP, is considered the oldest instance of modern human burial from Africa, and the earliest example of a deceased human interred with a personal ornament. In this article we present new data retrieved from unpublished archives on the burial excavation, and conduct an in-depth analysis of the Conus found with the infant, and a second similar Conus that probably originates from the same layer. Based on morphological, morphometric and ecological evidence we assign these two shells to Conus ebraeus Linnaeus 1758, a tropical species still living on the nearest coastline to Border Cave, in northern KwaZulu-Natal. This attribution changes the paleoclimatic setting inferred from the previous ascription of these shells to Conus bairstowi, a species endemic to the Eastern Cape and adapted to colder sea surface temperatures. Reconstructions of 74 ka sea surface temperatures along the southern African east coast are consistent with our reassignment. Analysis of shell thanatocoenoses and biocoenosis from the KwaZulu-Natal coast, including microscopic study of their surfaces, reveals that complete, well preserved living or dead Conus, such as those found at Border Cave, are rare on beaches, can be collected at low tide at a depth of c. 0.5-2 m among the rocks, and that the archeological shells were dead when collected. We demonstrate that the perforations at the apex were produced by humans, and that traces of wear due to prolonged utilization as an ornament are present. SEM-EDX analysis of patches of red residue on the Conus found in the pit with the infant indicates that it is composed of iron, phosphorus, silicon, aluminium, and magnesium. Results indicate that, at least in some areas of southern Africa, the use of marine gastropods as ornaments, already attested in Still Bay, extended to the first phases of the HP. PMID

  7. Spitzer and HHT observations of the earliest stages of star formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stutz, Amelia M.

    We use Spitzer Space Telescope and Heinrich Hertz Telescope (HHT) observations to study the earliest stages of low-mass star formation. Using spatially resolved absorption features, termed shadows, we study the cold cloud cores where stars form. We study Barnard 335, a prototypical isolated Bok globule with an embedded Class 0 protostar. We discover an 8 mm shadow in the inner regions of the core; using this feature we measure the dense core structure and mass. Using HHT observations we detect a rotating structure, a flattened molecular core, with a diameter ~10,000 AU. The flattened molecular core is likely to be the same structure as that generating the 8 mm shadow, and is expected from theoretical simulations. This structure has not been robustly detected in previous observations although there have been some prior indications of its presence. We study dense starless core structure through longer wavelength observations of shadows; we present Spitzer observations of 8 mm, 24 mm, and 70 mm shadows of 14 cores in total. Combined with HHT observations of 12 CO 2-1 and 13 CO2- 1, we derive core sizes, masses, study core structure, and investigate the collapse status of each core. Our study of starless core CB190 reveals that the core is likely to be stable against collapse if magnetic pressure is present at a reasonable level in the core. Our study of the 70 mm shadow associated with the starless core L429 reveals that this object is very likely to be collapsing. Finally, we study a sample of 12 starless cores selected to have prominent 24 mm shadows. We find that about 2/3 of these sources are likely to be collapsing. Additionally, we find indications that 1/2 of the cores revealed to be collapse candidates show indications of having 70 mm shadows. We conclude that all cores dense enough to produce 70 mm shadows are collapse candidates, and that the presence of a shadow at 24 mm is an indicator that the core is likely ([Special characters omitted.] 60% probability

  8. Late Permian-earliest Triassic high-resolution organic carbon isotope and palynofacies records from Kap Stosch (East Greenland)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanson-Barrera, Anna; Hochuli, Peter A.; Bucher, Hugo; Schneebeli-Hermann, Elke; Weissert, Helmut; Adatte, Thierry; Bernasconi, Stefano M.

    2015-10-01

    During and after the end Permian mass extinction terrestrial and marine biota underwent major changes and reorganizations. The latest Permian and earliest Triassic is also characterized by major negative carbon isotope shifts reflecting fundamental changes in the carbon cycle. The present study documents a high-resolution bulk organic carbon isotope record and palynofacies analysis spanning the latest Permian-earliest Triassic of East Greenland. An almost 700 meter thick composite section from Kap Stosch allowed discriminating 6 chemostratigraphic intervals that provide the basis for the correlation with other coeval records across the world, and for the recognition of basin wide transgressive-regressive events documenting tectonic activity during the opening of the Greenland-Norway Basin. The identification of the main factors that influenced the organic carbon isotope signal during the earliest Triassic (Griesbachian to Dienerian) was possible due to the combination of bulk organic carbon isotope, palynofacies and Rock-Eval data. Two negative carbon isotopic shifts in the Kap Stosch record can be correlated with negative shifts recorded in coeval sections across the globe. A first negative shift precedes the base of the Triassic as defined by the first occurrence of the conodont Hindeodus parvus in the Meishan reference section, and the second one coincides with the suggested Griesbachian-Dienerian boundary. This new organic carbon isotope record from the extended Kap Stosch section from the Boreal Realm documents regional and global carbon cycle signals of the interval between the latest Palaeozoic and the onset of the Mesozoic.

  9. Water and Life on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McKay, Christopher P.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Mars appears to be cold dry and dead world. However there is good evidence that early in its history it had liquid water, more active volcanism, and a thicker atmosphere. Mars had this earth-like environment over three and a half billion years ago, during the same time that life appeared on Earth. The main question in the exploration of Mars then is the search for a independent origin of life on that planet. Ecosystems in cold, dry locations on Earth - such as the Antarctic - provide examples of how life on Mars might have survived and where to look for fossils. Although the Viking results may indicate that Mars has no life today, there is direct geomorphological evidence that, in the past, Mars had large amounts of liquid water on its surface - possibly due to a thicker atmosphere. From a biological perspective the existence of liquid water, by itself motivates the question of the origin of life on Mars. One of the martian meteorites dates back to this early period and may contain evidence consistent with life. From studies of the Earth's earliest biosphere we know that by 3.5 Gyr. ago, life had originated on Earth and reached a fair degree of biological sophistication. Surface activity and erosion on Earth make it difficult to trace the history of life before the 3.5 Gyr timeframe. Ecosystems in cold, dry locations on Earth - such as the Antarctic - provide examples of how life on Mars might have survived and where to look for fossils.

  10. Earth's earliest biosphere-a proposal to develop a collection of curated archean geologic reference materials.

    PubMed

    Lindsay, John F; McKay, David S; Allen, Carlton C

    2003-01-01

    The discovery of evidence indicative of life in a Martian meteorite has led to an increase in interest in astrobiology. As a result of this discovery, and the ensuing controversy, it has become apparent that our knowledge of the early development of life on Earth is limited. Archean stratigraphic successions containing evidence of Earth's early biosphere are well preserved in the Pilbara Craton of Western Australia. The craton includes part of a protocontinent consisting of granitoid complexes that were emplaced into, and overlain by, a 3.51-2.94 Ga volcanigenic carapace - the Pilbara Supergroup. The craton is overlain by younger supracrustal basins that form a time series recording Earth history from approximately 2.8 Ga to approximately 1.9 Ga. It is proposed that a well-documented suite of these ancient rocks be collected as reference material for Archean and astrobiological research. All samples would be collected in a well-defined geological context in order to build a framework to test models for the early evolution of life on Earth and to develop protocols for the search for life on other planets.

  11. Earth's earliest biosphere-a proposal to develop a collection of curated archean geologic reference materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindsay, John F.; McKay, David S.; Allen, Carlton C.

    2003-01-01

    The discovery of evidence indicative of life in a Martian meteorite has led to an increase in interest in astrobiology. As a result of this discovery, and the ensuing controversy, it has become apparent that our knowledge of the early development of life on Earth is limited. Archean stratigraphic successions containing evidence of Earth's early biosphere are well preserved in the Pilbara Craton of Western Australia. The craton includes part of a protocontinent consisting of granitoid complexes that were emplaced into, and overlain by, a 3.51-2.94 Ga volcanigenic carapace - the Pilbara Supergroup. The craton is overlain by younger supracrustal basins that form a time series recording Earth history from approximately 2.8 Ga to approximately 1.9 Ga. It is proposed that a well-documented suite of these ancient rocks be collected as reference material for Archean and astrobiological research. All samples would be collected in a well-defined geological context in order to build a framework to test models for the early evolution of life on Earth and to develop protocols for the search for life on other planets.

  12. Earth's earliest biosphere-a proposal to develop a collection of curated archean geologic reference materials.

    PubMed

    Lindsay, John F; McKay, David S; Allen, Carlton C

    2003-01-01

    The discovery of evidence indicative of life in a Martian meteorite has led to an increase in interest in astrobiology. As a result of this discovery, and the ensuing controversy, it has become apparent that our knowledge of the early development of life on Earth is limited. Archean stratigraphic successions containing evidence of Earth's early biosphere are well preserved in the Pilbara Craton of Western Australia. The craton includes part of a protocontinent consisting of granitoid complexes that were emplaced into, and overlain by, a 3.51-2.94 Ga volcanigenic carapace - the Pilbara Supergroup. The craton is overlain by younger supracrustal basins that form a time series recording Earth history from approximately 2.8 Ga to approximately 1.9 Ga. It is proposed that a well-documented suite of these ancient rocks be collected as reference material for Archean and astrobiological research. All samples would be collected in a well-defined geological context in order to build a framework to test models for the early evolution of life on Earth and to develop protocols for the search for life on other planets. PMID:14987479

  13. Mineral Bionization - Surface Chemical Modeling of the Emergence of Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arrhenius, G.

    2001-12-01

    The earliest stages in entering an RNA-world require natural mechanisms that are capable of selective concentration of simple aldehydes from dilute solution in the environment (4), furthermore phosphorylation of the sequestered aldehydes (2) and their catalytic condensation to form, selectively, tetrose- (threose) or pentose- (ribose) phosphate (3); the latter representing the R in RNA. A variety of common positively charged sheet structure minerals (mixed valence double layer metal hydroxide minerals such as hydrotalcite and green rust) have proven to be remarkably capable of performing these crucial tasks under simplified natural conditions (1). These prebiotic model reactions have demonstrated plausible closure of the gap, previously thought to preclude the natural formation of nucleoside phosphates, the backbone components of the information carrying genetic material. Pioneering research by other workers (5) has demonstrated the feasibility of necessary further steps in the chain toward functional RNA; mineral (montmorillonite) catalyzed oligomerization of nucleotides, the formation of complementary RNA strands (6) and the enzymatic activity of RNA (ribozymes). These contributions have placed the initially conjectural concept of an initial RNA-world on an experimental footing. Remaining problems include the initial transfer of information to spontaneously forming RNA, sufficient to convey biofunctionallity (7). Also in this central problem mineral surface interactions may be speculated to play a natural role; a question that is open to experimental verification. References. 1. Pitsch, S.; Eschenmoser, A.; Gedulin, B.; Hui, S. and Arrhenius, G. Origins Life Evol. Biosphere, 1994, 24 (5), 389. 2. Kolb, V.; Zhang, S.; Xu, Y.; Arrhenius, G. Origins Life Evol. Biosphere, 1997, 27, 485. 3. Krishnamurthy, R.; Pitsch, S.; Arrhenius, G. Origins Life Evol. Biosphere, Origins Life Evol. Biosphere 1999, 29, 139 4. Pitsch, S.; Krishnamurthy, R.; Arrhenius, G. Helv. Chim

  14. Ordovician earliest Silurian rift tholeiites in the Acatlán Complex, southern Mexico: Evidence of rifting on the southern margin of the Rheic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keppie, J. Duncan; Dostal, Jaroslav; Miller, Brent V.; Ramos-Arias, M. A.; Morales-Gámez, Miguel; Nance, R. Damian; Murphy, J. Brendan; Ortega-Rivera, Amabel; Lee, J. W. K.; Housh, T.; Cooper, P.

    2008-12-01

    The Acatlán Complex of southern Mexico is a vestige of a Paleozoic Ocean inferred to be either the Cambro-Ordovician Iapetus and/or the Ordovician-Carboniferous Rheic oceans. Ordovician granitoids in the complex have been interpreted as either the products of dehydration melting, arc or rift magmatism, however, the geochemistry of felsic rocks is inconclusive. The geochemistry of a recently discovered, major, Ordovician-earliest Silurian mafic igneous suite associated with these granitoids is critical to defining the tectonic setting of the igneous event, and to paleogeographic reconstructions. Such data from three areas in the Acatlán Complex (Xayacatlán, Patlanoaya, and Cuaulote) document tholeiitic, within-plate characteristics with a source in either primitive mantle or mantle previously modified by subduction-related magmatism possibly combined with crustal contamination. This, combined with their occurrence as a dike swarm intruding rift-passive margin clastic sedimentary rocks, indicates rifting of a continental margin. Mafic dikes at Xayacatlán yielded a concordant U-Pb TIMS zircon age of 442 ± 1 Ma and a 40Ar/ 39Ar hornblende plateau age of 434 ± 3 Ma. The age of mafic magmatism at other localities is defined by the ages of associated granitoids intruded at ca. 461 Ma and by the age of the youngest detrital zircon in the host rocks: 496 ± 25 Ma at Patlanoaya. Previously published age data suggest that this igneous event may have started earlier at 478 ± 5 Ma (Early Ordovician). Although the life spans of the Iapetus and Rheic oceans overlap during the Ordovician, subduction and collision characterize the former, whereas the latter was in a rift-drift mode. Thus, this Ordovician-earliest Silurian magmatism is more consistent with rifting along the southern margin of the Rheic Ocean. Initiation of rifting at ca. 480 Ma is contemporaneous with separation of peri-Gondwanan terranes, such as Avalonia and Carolinia, from Amazonia-Oaxaquia. Subsequent

  15. New insights into the earliest Quaternary environments in the Central North Sea from 3D seismic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamb, Rachel; Huuse, Mads; Stewart, Margaret; Brocklehurst, Simon H.

    2014-05-01

    In the past the transition between an unconformable surface in the south to a conformable horizon towards the north has made identification and mapping the base-Quaternary in the central North Sea difficult (Sejrup et al 1991; Gatliff et al 1994). However recent integration of biostratigraphy, pollen analysis, paleomagnetism and amino acid analysis in the Dutch and Danish sectors (Rasmussen et al 2005; Kuhlmann et al 2006) has allowed greater confidence in the correlation to the region 3D seismic datasets and thus has allowed the base-Quaternary to be mapped across the entire basin. The base-Quaternary has been mapped using the PGS MegaSurvey dataset from wells in the Danish Sector along the initially unconformable horizon and down the delta front into the more conformable basin giving a high degree of confidence in the horizon pick. The revised base-Quaternary surface reaches a depth of 1248 ms TWT with an elongate basin shape which is significantly deeper than the traditionally mapped surface. Using RMS amplitudes and other seismic attributes the revised base-Quaternary has been investigated along the horizon and in time slice to interpret the environments of the earliest Quaternary prior to the onset of glaciation. Combined with analysis of aligned elongate furrows over 10 km long, 100 m wide and 100 m deep suggest a deep marine environment in an almost enclosed basin with persistent strong NW-SE bottom currents in the deepest parts. Pockmarks were formed by the escape of shallow gas on the sides of a small delta in the eastern part of the basin. The progradation of large deltas from both the north and south into the basin make up the majority of the deposition of sediment into the basin. Key Words: base-Quaternary; seismic interpretation; paleoenvironments References: Gatliff, R.W, Richards, P.C, Smith, K, Graham, C.C, McCormac, M, Smith, N.J.P, Long, D, Cameron, T.D.J, Evans, D, Stevenson, A.G, Bulat, J, Ritchie, J.D, (1994) 'United Kingdom offshore regional

  16. Nitrogen line spectroscopy in O-stars. III. The earliest O-stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rivero González, J. G.; Puls, J.; Massey, P.; Najarro, F.

    2012-07-01

    Context. The classification scheme proposed by Walborn et al. (2002, AJ, 123, 2754), based primarily on the relative strengths of the N ivλ4058 and N iiiλ4640 emission lines, has been used in a variety of studies to spectroscopically classify early O-type stars. Owing to the lack of a solid theoretical basis, this scheme has not yet been universally accepted though. Aims: We provide first theoretical predictions for the N ivλ4058/N iiiλ4640 emission line ratio in dependence of various parameters, and confront these predictions with results from the analysis of a sample of early-type LMC/SMC O-stars. Methods: Stellar and wind parameters of our sample stars are determined by line profile fitting of hydrogen, helium and nitrogen lines, exploiting the helium and nitrogen ionization balance. Corresponding synthetic spectra are calculated by means of the NLTE atmosphere/spectrum synthesis code fastwind. Results: Though there is a monotonic relationship between the N iv/N iii emission line ratio and the effective temperature, all other parameters being equal, theoretical predictions indicate additional dependencies on surface gravity, mass-loss, metallicity, and, particularly, nitrogen abundance. For a given line ratio (i.e., spectral type), more enriched objects should be typically hotter. These basic predictions are confirmed by results from the alternative model atmosphere code cmfgen. The effective temperatures for the earliest O-stars, inferred from the nitrogen ionization balance, are partly considerably hotter than indicated by previous studies. Consistent with earlier results, effective temperatures increase from supergiants to dwarfs for all spectral types in the LMC. The relation between observed N ivλ4058/N iiiλ4640 emission line ratio and effective temperature, for a given luminosity class, turned out to be quite monotonic for our sample stars, and to be fairly consistent with our model predictions. The scatter within a spectral sub-type is mainly

  17. The earliest phases of high-mass star formation: the NGC 6334-NGC 6357 complex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russeil, D.; Zavagno, A.; Motte, F.; Schneider, N.; Bontemps, S.; Walsh, A. J.

    2010-06-01

    Context. Our knowledge of high-mass star formation has been mainly based on follow-up studies of bright sources found by IRAS, and has thus been incomplete for its earliest phases, which are inconspicuous at infrared wavelengths. With a new generation of powerful bolometer arrays, unbiased large-scale surveys of nearby high-mass star-forming complexes now search for the high-mass analog of low-mass cores and class 0 protostars. Aims: Following the pioneering study of Cygnus X, we investigate the star-forming region NGC 6334-NGC 6357 (~1.7 kpc). Methods: We study the complex NGC 6334-NGC 6357 in an homogeneous way following the previous work of Motte and collaborators. We used the same method to extract the densest cores which are the most likely sites for high-mass star formation. We analyzed the SIMBA/SEST 1.2 mm data presented in Munoz and coworkers, which covers all high-column density areas (A v ≥ 15 mag) of the NGC 6334-NGC 6357 complex and extracted dense cores following the method used for Cygnus X. We constrain the properties of the most massive dense cores (M > 100 M_⊙) using new molecular line observations (as SiO, N2H+,H13CO+, HCO+ (1-0) and CH3CN) with Mopra and a complete cross-correlation with infrared databases (MSX, GLIMPSE, MIPSGAL) and literature. Results: We extracted 163 massive dense cores of which 16 are more massive than 200 M_⊙. These high-mass dense cores have a typical FWHM size of 0.37 pc, an average mass of M ~ 600 M_⊙, and a volume-averaged density of ~ 1.5 × 105 cm-3. Among these massive dense cores, 6 are good candidates for hosting high-mass infrared-quiet protostars, 9 cores are classified as high-luminosity infrared protostars, and we find only one high-mass starless clump (~0.3 pc, ~ 4 × 104 cm-3) that is gravitationally bound. Conclusions: Since our sample is derived from a single molecular complex and covers every embedded phase of high-mass star formation, it provides a statistical estimate of the lifetime of massive

  18. How Much Could We Improve Children's Life Chances by Intervening Early and Often? CCF Brief #54

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sawhill, Isabel V.; Karpilow, Quentin

    2014-01-01

    Children born into low-income families face barriers to success in each stage of life from birth to age 40. Using data on a representative group of American children and a life cycle model to track their progress from the earliest years through school and beyond, the authors show that well-evaluated targeted interventions can close over 70 percent…

  19. Earth's Earliest Ecosystems in the C: The Use of Microbial Mats to Demonstrate General Principles of Scientific Inquiry and Microbial Ecology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bebout, Brad M.; Bucaria, Robin

    2006-01-01

    Microbial mats are living examples of the most ancient biological communities on Earth. As Earth's earliest ecosystems, they are centrally important to understanding the history of life on our planet and are useful models for the search for life elsewhere. As relatively compact (but complete) ecosystems, microbial mats are also extremely useful for educational activities. Mats may be used to demonstrate a wide variety of concepts in general and microbial ecology, including the biogeochemical cycling of elements, photosynthesis and respiration, and the origin of the Earth's present oxygen containing atmosphere. Microbial mats can be found in a number of common environments accessible to teachers, and laboratory microbial mats can be constructed using materials purchased from biological supply houses. With funding from NASA's Exobiology program, we have developed curriculum and web-based activities centered on the use of microbial mats as tools for demonstrating general principles in ecology, and the scientific process. Our web site (http://microbes.arc.nasa.gov) includes reference materials, lesson plans, and a "Web Lab", featuring living mats maintained in a mini-aquarium. The site also provides information as to how research on microbial mats supports NASA's goals, and various NASA missions. A photo gallery contains images of mats, microscopic views of the organisms that form them, and our own research activities. An animated educational video on the web site uses computer graphic and video microscopy to take students on a journey into a microbial mat. These activities are targeted to a middle school audience and are aligned with the National Science Standards.

  20. Defending definitions of life.

    PubMed

    Mix, Lucas John

    2015-01-01

    Over the past 10 years, it has become unpopular to talk about definitions of life, under the assumption that attempts at a precise definition are counterproductive. Recent attempts have failed to meet strict philosophical criteria for definitions and have failed to reach consensus. I argue that provisional definitions are necessary for clear communications. Our current knowledge of biology justifies a number of universal claims about the category of life. Whether or not "life" represents a natural category, it maps to a number of important, observable processes. Given the importance of those processes and the extent of our knowledge, plural explicit definitions of life (and related categories) will be necessary for progress in astrobiology and origin-of-life studies as well as biology in general. I propose concrete categories related to, but not necessarily coextensive with, life for clear communication and hypothesis formation: Woese life, Darwin life, Haldane life.

  1. Efficacy of the Natural Clay, Calcium Aluminosilicate Anti-Diarrheal, in Reducing Medullary Thyroid Cancer–Related Diarrhea and Its Effects on Quality of Life: A Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Mimi I.; Cleeland, Charles; Busaidy, Naifa L.; Habra, Mouhammed; Waguespack, Steven G.; Sherman, Steven I.; Ying, Anita; Fox, Patricia; Cabanillas, Maria E.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Medullary thyroid cancer (MTC)–related diarrhea can be debilitating, reduces quality of life (QOL), and may be the only indication for initiating systemic therapy. Conventional antidiarrheal drugs are not always helpful and may have side effects. Calcium aluminosilicate antidiarrheal (CASAD), a natural calcium montmorrilonite clay, safely adsorbs toxins and inflammatory proteins associated with diarrhea. It was hypothesized that CASAD would reduce the severity of diarrhea and improve QOL in MTC patients. Methods: This was a prospective pilot trial (NCT01739634) of MTC patients not on systemic therapy with self-reported diarrhea of three or more bowel movements (BMs) per day for a week or more. The study design included a one-week run-in period followed by one week of CASAD ± a two-week optional continuation period. The primary endpoint was efficacy of one week of CASAD treatment in decreasing the number of BMs per day by ≥20% when compared with the baseline run-in period. Secondary objectives included tolerability and safety and the impact on QOL using the MD Anderson Symptom Inventory-Thyroid questionnaire (MDASI-THY). Results: Ten MTC patients (median age = 52 years, 70% female, 80% white) were enrolled. All had distant metastases, and median calcitonin was 5088 ng/mL (range 1817–42,007 ng/mL). Ninety percent had received prior antidiarrheals, and 40% of these had used two or more drugs, including tincture of opium (30%), loperamide (50%), diphenoxylate/atropine (20%), colestipol (10%), or cholestyramine (10%). Of seven evaluable patients, four (56%) had ≥20% reduction in BMs per day. Six out of seven patients discontinued their prior antidiarrheals. Best response ranged from 7% to 99% reduction in mean BMs/day from baseline. Five out of seven patients considered CASAD a success, and they opted for the two-week continuation period. Improvements in diarrhea and all six interference items assessed by MDASI-THY were noted at weeks

  2. Middle school students' understanding of the natural history of the Earth and life on Earth as a function of deep time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pulling, Azalie Cecile

    The purpose of this study was to use deep time, that is geologic time as a mechanism to explore middle school students' understanding of the natural history of the earth and the evolution of life on earth. Geologic time is a logical precursor to middle school students' understanding of biological evolution. This exploratory, mixed model study used qualitative and quantitative methods in each stage of the research to explore sixth grade students, understanding of geologic time, their worldviews (e.g., conceptual ecology), and conceptual change. The study included fifty-nine students in the large group study and four case studies. The primary data collection instrument was the Geologic Timeline Survey. Additional data collection instruments and methods (e.g., concept evaluation statement, journal entries, word associations, interviews, and formal tests) were used to triangulate the study findings. These data were used to create narrative modal profiles of the categories of student thinking that emerged from the large group analysis: Middle School (MS) Scientists (correct science), MS Protoscientists (approaching correct science), MS Prescientists (dinosaur understanding), and MS Pseudoscientists (fundamental religious understanding). Case studies were used to provide a thick description of each category. This study discovered a pattern of student thinking about geologic time that moved along a knowledge continuum from pseudoscience (fundamental creationist understanding) to prescience (everyday-science understanding) to science (correct or approaching correct science). The researcher described the deep-seated misconceptions produced by the prescience thinking level, e.g., dinosaur misconceptions, and cautioned the science education community about using dinosaurs as a glamour-science topic. The most limiting conceptual frameworks found in this study were prescience (a dinosaur focus) and pseudoscience (a fundamental religious focus). An understanding of geologic time

  3. The fuel cell model of abiogenesis: a new approach to origin-of-life simulations.

    PubMed

    Barge, Laura M; Kee, Terence P; Doloboff, Ivria J; Hampton, Joshua M P; Ismail, Mohammed; Pourkashanian, Mohamed; Zeytounian, John; Baum, Marc M; Moss, John A; Lin, Chung-Kuang; Kidd, Richard D; Kanik, Isik

    2014-03-01

    In this paper, we discuss how prebiotic geo-electrochemical systems can be modeled as a fuel cell and how laboratory simulations of the origin of life in general can benefit from this systems-led approach. As a specific example, the components of what we have termed the "prebiotic fuel cell" (PFC) that operates at a putative Hadean hydrothermal vent are detailed, and we used electrochemical analysis techniques and proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell components to test the properties of this PFC and other geo-electrochemical systems, the results of which are reported here. The modular nature of fuel cells makes them ideal for creating geo-electrochemical reactors with which to simulate hydrothermal systems on wet rocky planets and characterize the energetic properties of the seafloor/hydrothermal interface. That electrochemical techniques should be applied to simulating the origin of life follows from the recognition of the fuel cell-like properties of prebiotic chemical systems and the earliest metabolisms. Conducting this type of laboratory simulation of the emergence of bioenergetics will not only be informative in the context of the origin of life on Earth but may help in understanding whether life might emerge in similar environments on other worlds.

  4. The fuel cell model of abiogenesis: a new approach to origin-of-life simulations.

    PubMed

    Barge, Laura M; Kee, Terence P; Doloboff, Ivria J; Hampton, Joshua M P; Ismail, Mohammed; Pourkashanian, Mohamed; Zeytounian, John; Baum, Marc M; Moss, John A; Lin, Chung-Kuang; Kidd, Richard D; Kanik, Isik

    2014-03-01

    In this paper, we discuss how prebiotic geo-electrochemical systems can be modeled as a fuel cell and how laboratory simulations of the origin of life in general can benefit from this systems-led approach. As a specific example, the components of what we have termed the "prebiotic fuel cell" (PFC) that operates at a putative Hadean hydrothermal vent are detailed, and we used electrochemical analysis techniques and proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell components to test the properties of this PFC and other geo-electrochemical systems, the results of which are reported here. The modular nature of fuel cells makes them ideal for creating geo-electrochemical reactors with which to simulate hydrothermal systems on wet rocky planets and characterize the energetic properties of the seafloor/hydrothermal interface. That electrochemical techniques should be applied to simulating the origin of life follows from the recognition of the fuel cell-like properties of prebiotic chemical systems and the earliest metabolisms. Conducting this type of laboratory simulation of the emergence of bioenergetics will not only be informative in the context of the origin of life on Earth but may help in understanding whether life might emerge in similar environments on other worlds. PMID:24621309

  5. The Chachil Limestone (Pliensbachian-earliest Toarcian) Neuquén Basin, Argentina: U-Pb age calibration and its significance on the Early Jurassic evolution of southwestern Gondwana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leanza, H. A.; Mazzini, A.; Corfu, F.; Llambías, E. J.; Svensen, H.; Planke, S.; Galland, O.

    2013-03-01

    New radiometric U-Pb ages obtained on zircon crystals from Early Jurassic ash layers found within beds of the Chachil Limestone at its type locality in the Chachil depocentre (southern Neuquén Basin) confirm a Pliensbachian age (186.0 ± 0.4 Ma). Additionally, two ash layers found in limestone beds in Chacay Melehue at the Cordillera del Viento depocentre (central Neuquén Basin) gave Early Pliensbachian (185.7 ± 0.4 Ma) and earliest Toarcian (182.3 ± 0.4 Ma) U-Pb zircon ages. Based on these new datings and regional geological observations, we propose that the limestones cropping out at Chacay Melehue are correlatable with the Chachil Limestone. Recent data by other authors from limestones at Serrucho creek in the upper Puesto Araya Formation (Valenciana depocentre, southern Mendoza) reveal ages of 182.16 ± 0.6 Ma. Based on these new evidences, we consider the Chachil Limestone an important Early Jurassic stratigraphic marker, representing an almost instantaneous widespread flooding episode in western Gondwana. The unit marks the initiation in the Neuquén Basin of the Cuyo Group, followed by widespread black shale deposition. Accordingly, these limestones can be regarded as the natural seal of the Late Triassic -earliest Jurassic Precuyano Cycle, which represents the infill of halfgrabens and/or grabens related to a strong extensional regime. Paleontological evidence supports that during Pliensbachian-earliest Toarcian times these limestones were deposited in western Gondwana in marine warm water environments.

  6. The nature and origins of ambient language influence on infant vocal production and early words.

    PubMed

    Vihman, M M; de Boysson-Bardies, B

    1994-01-01

    Phonological structure may be seen as emerging in ontogeny from the combined effects of performance constraints rooted in the neuromotor and perceptual systems, individual lexical development and the influence of the particular ambient language. We review here the nature and origins of the earliest ambient language influences. Global effects within the first year of life include both (1) loss of early appearing phonetic gestures not supported by the ambient language and (2) positive effects, reflecting infant attention to prosody and to cues available in the visual as well as the auditory modality. In the course of early lexical development more specific effects become manifest as individual children pursue less common phonetic paths to which the ambient language provides 'sufficient exposure'.

  7. Man-Made Closed Ecological Systems as Model of Natural Ecosystems and as Means to Provide High Quality of Human Life in Adverse Environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gitelson, I. I.; Harper, Lynn (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    For its more than thirty year long history, the experimental creation of closed ecological systems has from its very sources been distinctly and strongly motivated by the development of human life-support systems for space. As the trend developed its fundamental significance and broad opportunities of terrestrial applications of the technologies under development were coming to the foreground. Nowadays, it can be argued that development of closed ecosystems is experimental foundation of a new branch of ecology biospherics, the goal of which is to comprehend the regularities of existence of the biosphere as a unique in the Universe (in that part of it that we know, at least) closed ecosystem. Closed technologies can be implemented in life-support systems under adverse conditions of life on the Earth - in Arctic and Antarctic latitudes, deserts, high mountains or deep in the ocean, as well as under the conditions of polluted water and air. In space where the environment is hostile for life all around the cell of life should be sealed and the life-support system as close to the ideally closed cyclic turnover of the matter as possible. Under terrestrial conditions designers should strive for maximum closure of the limiting factor: water - in deserts, oxygen - in high mountains, energy - in polar latitudes, etc. Essential closure of a life-support systems withstands also pollution of the environment by the wastes of human vital activity. This is of particular importance for the quarantine of visited planets, and on the Earth under the conditions of deficient heat in high latitudes and water in and areas. The report describes experimental ecosystem 'BIOS' and exohabitats being designed on its basis, which are adapted to various conditions, described capacities of the Center for Closed Ecosystems in Drasnoyarsk for international collaboration in research and education in this field.

  8. The Breath of Life. The Problem of Poisoned Air.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carr, Donald E.

    The origins and nature of air pollution, from earliest days to the present, are examined in this book. Although air pollution has been with us since the discovery of fire, it is proffered that the major culprit now is the burning of gasoline and low-grade heating oil. All other sources of air pollution are negligible. The main thesis is that only…

  9. Earliest Porotic Hyperostosis on a 1.5-Million-Year-Old Hominin, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    Domínguez-Rodrigo, Manuel; Pickering, Travis Rayne; Diez-Martín, Fernando; Mabulla, Audax; Musiba, Charles; Trancho, Gonzalo; Baquedano, Enrique; Bunn, Henry T.; Barboni, Doris; Santonja, Manuel; Uribelarrea, David; Ashley, Gail M.; Martínez-Ávila, María del Sol; Barba, Rebeca; Gidna, Agness; Yravedra, José; Arriaza, Carmen

    2012-01-01

    Meat-eating was an important factor affecting early hominin brain expansion, social organization and geographic movement. Stone tool butchery marks on ungulate fossils in several African archaeological assemblages demonstrate a significant level of carnivory by Pleistocene hominins, but the discovery at Olduvai Gorge of a child's pathological cranial fragments indicates that some hominins probably experienced scarcity of animal foods during various stages of their life histories. The child's parietal fragments, excavated from 1.5-million-year-old sediments, show porotic hyperostosis, a pathology associated with anemia. Nutritional deficiencies, including anemia, are most common at weaning, when children lose passive immunity received through their mothers' milk. Our results suggest, alternatively, that (1) the developmentally disruptive potential of weaning reached far beyond sedentary Holocene food-producing societies and into the early Pleistocene, or that (2) a hominin mother's meat-deficient diet negatively altered the nutritional content of her breast milk to the extent that her nursing child ultimately died from malnourishment. Either way, this discovery highlights that by at least 1.5 million years ago early human physiology was already adapted to a diet that included the regular consumption of meat. PMID:23056303

  10. It's a long way from amphioxus: descendants of the earliest chordate.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Fernàndez, Jordi; Benito-Gutiérrez, Elia

    2009-06-01

    The origin of chordates and the consequent genesis of vertebrates were major events in natural history. The amphioxus (lancelet) is now recognised as the closest extant relative to the stem chordate and is the only living invertebrate that retains a vertebrate-like development and body plan through its lifespan, despite more than 500 million years of independent evolution from the stem vertebrate. The inspiring data coming from its recently sequenced genome confirms that amphioxus has a prototypical chordate genome with respect to gene content and structure, and even chromosomal organisation. Pushed by joint efforts of amphioxus researchers, amphioxus is now entering a new era, namely its maturation as a laboratory model, through the availability of a large amount of molecular data and the advent of experimental manipulation of the embryo. These two facts may well serve to illuminate the hidden secrets of the genetic changes that generated, among other vertebrates, ourselves.

  11. Abraham Lincoln's marfanoid mother: the earliest known case of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2B?

    PubMed

    Sotos, John G

    2012-07-01

    The nature and cause of President Abraham Lincoln's unusual physical features have long been debated, with the greatest attention directed at two monogenic disorders of the transforming growth factor β system: Marfan syndrome and multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2B. The present report examines newly discovered phenotypic information about Lincoln's biological mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, and concludes that (a) Lincoln's mother was skeletally marfanoid, (b) the President and his mother were highly concordant for the presence of numerous facial features found in various transforming growth factor β disorders, and (c) Lincoln's mother, like her son, had hypotonic skeletal muscles, resulting in myopathic facies and 'pseudodepression'. These conclusions establish that mother and son had the same monogenic autosomal dominant marfanoid disorder. A description of Nancy Hanks Lincoln as coarse-featured, and a little-known statement that a wasting disease contributed to her death at age 34, lends support to the multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2B hypothesis.

  12. On the Natural and Unnatural History of the Voltage-Gated Na(+) Channel.

    PubMed

    Moczydlowski, E G

    2016-01-01

    This review glances at the voltage-gated sodium (Na(+)) channel (NaV) from the skewed perspective of natural history and the history of ideas. Beginning with the earliest natural philosophers, the objective of biological science and physiology was to understand the basis of life and discover its intimate secrets. The idea that the living state of matter differs from inanimate matter by an incorporeal spirit or mystical force was central to vitalism, a doctrine based on ancient beliefs that persisted until the last century. Experimental electrophysiology played a major role in the abandonment of vitalism by elucidating physiochemical mechanisms that explained the electrical excitability of muscle and nerve. Indeed, as a principal biomolecule underlying membrane excitability, the NaV channel may be considered as the physical analog or surrogate for the vital spirit once presumed to animate higher forms of life. NaV also epitomizes the "other secret of life" and functions as a quantal transistor element of biological intelligence. Subplots of this incredible but true story run the gamut from electric fish to electromagnetism, invention of the battery, venomous animals, neurotoxins, channelopathies, arrhythmia, anesthesia, astrobiology, etc.

  13. On the Natural and Unnatural History of the Voltage-Gated Na(+) Channel.

    PubMed

    Moczydlowski, E G

    2016-01-01

    This review glances at the voltage-gated sodium (Na(+)) channel (NaV) from the skewed perspective of natural history and the history of ideas. Beginning with the earliest natural philosophers, the objective of biological science and physiology was to understand the basis of life and discover its intimate secrets. The idea that the living state of matter differs from inanimate matter by an incorporeal spirit or mystical force was central to vitalism, a doctrine based on ancient beliefs that persisted until the last century. Experimental electrophysiology played a major role in the abandonment of vitalism by elucidating physiochemical mechanisms that explained the electrical excitability of muscle and nerve. Indeed, as a principal biomolecule underlying membrane excitability, the NaV channel may be considered as the physical analog or surrogate for the vital spirit once presumed to animate higher forms of life. NaV also epitomizes the "other secret of life" and functions as a quantal transistor element of biological intelligence. Subplots of this incredible but true story run the gamut from electric fish to electromagnetism, invention of the battery, venomous animals, neurotoxins, channelopathies, arrhythmia, anesthesia, astrobiology, etc. PMID:27586279

  14. Quantifying the environmental impact of an integrated human/industrial-natural system using life cycle assessment; a case study on a forest and wood processing chain.

    PubMed

    Schaubroeck, Thomas; Alvarenga, Rodrigo A F; Verheyen, Kris; Muys, Bart; Dewulf, Jo

    2013-01-01

    Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a tool to assess the environmental sustainability of a product; it quantifies the environmental impact of a product's life cycle. In conventional LCAs, the boundaries of a product's life cycle are limited to the human/industrial system, the technosphere. Ecosystems, which provide resources to and take up emissions from the technosphere, are not included in those boundaries. However, similar to the technosphere, ecosystems also have an impact on their (surrounding) environment through their resource usage (e.g., nutrients) and emissions (e.g., CH4). We therefore propose a LCA framework to assess the impact of integrated Techno-Ecological Systems (TES), comprising relevant ecosystems and the technosphere. In our framework, ecosystems are accounted for in the same manner as technosphere compartments. Also, the remediating effect of uptake of pollutants, an ecosystem service, is considered. A case study was performed on a TES of sawn timber production encompassing wood growth in an intensively managed forest ecosystem and further industrial processing. Results show that the managed forest accounted for almost all resource usage and biodiversity loss through land occupation but also for a remediating effect on human health, mostly via capture of airborne fine particles. These findings illustrate the potential relevance of including ecosystems in the product's life cycle of a LCA, though further research is needed to better quantify the environmental impact of TES.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Jennifer

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Portuguese Students' Understanding at Ages 10-11 and 14-15 of the Origin and Nature of the Earth and the Development of Life.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marques, Luis; Thompson, David

    1997-01-01

    Uses interviews and a written questionnaire to probe students' ideas on the origin of earth and life on earth. A significant number of commonly held misconceptions were prevalent in the sample (N=493). Provides guidelines to assist learners in challenging existing views. Contains 64 references. (DDR)

  17. Quantifying the environmental impact of an integrated human/industrial-natural system using life cycle assessment; a case study on a forest and wood processing chain.

    PubMed

    Schaubroeck, Thomas; Alvarenga, Rodrigo A F; Verheyen, Kris; Muys, Bart; Dewulf, Jo

    2013-01-01

    Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a tool to assess the environmental sustainability of a product; it quantifies the environmental impact of a product's life cycle. In conventional LCAs, the boundaries of a product's life cycle are limited to the human/industrial system, the technosphere. Ecosystems, which provide resources to and take up emissions from the technosphere, are not included in those boundaries. However, similar to the technosphere, ecosystems also have an impact on their (surrounding) environment through their resource usage (e.g., nutrients) and emissions (e.g., CH4). We therefore propose a LCA framework to assess the impact of integrated Techno-Ecological Systems (TES), comprising relevant ecosystems and the technosphere. In our framework, ecosystems are accounted for in the same manner as technosphere compartments. Also, the remediating effect of uptake of pollutants, an ecosystem service, is considered. A case study was performed on a TES of sawn timber production encompassing wood growth in an intensively managed forest ecosystem and further industrial processing. Results show that the managed forest accounted for almost all resource usage and biodiversity loss through land occupation but also for a remediating effect on human health, mostly via capture of airborne fine particles. These findings illustrate the potential relevance of including ecosystems in the product's life cycle of a LCA, though further research is needed to better quantify the environmental impact of TES. PMID:24195778

  18. Unique Nature of the Quality of Life in the Context of Extreme Climatic, Geographical and Specific Socio-Cultural Living Conditions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kulik, Anastasia; Neyaskina, Yuliya; Frizen, Marina; Shiryaeva, Olga; Surikova, Yana

    2016-01-01

    This article presents the results of a detailed empirical research, aimed at studying the quality of life in the context of extreme climatic, geographical and specific sociocultural living conditions. Our research is based on the methodological approach including social, economical, ecological and psychological characteristics and reflecting…

  19. Life's Still Lifes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McIntosh, Harold V.

    The de Bruijn diagram describing those decompositions of the neighborhoods of a one dimensional cellular automaton which conform to predetermined requirements of periodicity and translational symmetry shows how to construct extended configurations satisfying the same requirements. Similar diagrams, formed by stages, describe higher dimensional automata, although they become more laborious to compute with increasing neighborhood size. The procedure is illustrated by computing some still lifes for Conway's game of Life, a widely known two dimensional cellular automaton. This paper is written in September 10, 1988.

  20. The feasibility study of small long-life gas cooled fast reactor with mixed natural Uranium/Thorium as fuel cycle input

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ariani, Menik; Su'ud, Zaki; Waris, Abdul; Khairurrijal, Monado, Fiber; Sekimoto, Hiroshi

    2012-06-01

    A conceptual design study of Gas Cooled Fast Reactors with Modified CANDLE burn-up scheme has been performed. In this study, design GCFR with Helium coolant which can be continuously operated by supplying mixed Natural Uranium/Thorium without fuel enrichment plant or fuel reprocessing plant. The active reactor cores are divided into two region, Thorium fuel region and Uranium fuel region. Each fuel core regions are subdivided into ten parts (region-1 until region-10) with the same volume in the axial direction. The fresh Natural Uranium and Thorium is initially put in region-1, after one cycle of 10 years of burn-up it is shifted to region-2 and the each region-1 is filled by fresh natural Uranium/Thorium fuel. This concept is basically applied to all regions in both cores area, i.e. shifted the core of ith region into i+1 region after the end of 10 years burn-up cycle. For the next cycles, we will add only Natural Uranium and Thorium on each region-1. The calculation results show the reactivity reached by mixed Natural Uranium/Thorium with volume ratio is 4.7:1. This reactor can results power thermal 550 MWth. After reactor start-up the operation, furthermore reactor only needs Natural Uranium/Thorium supply for continue operation along 100 years.

  1. The feasibility study of small long-life gas cooled fast reactor with mixed natural Uranium/Thorium as fuel cycle input

    SciTech Connect

    Ariani, Menik; Su'ud, Zaki; Waris, Abdul; Khairurrijal,; Monado, Fiber; Sekimoto, Hiroshi

    2012-06-06

    A conceptual design study of Gas Cooled Fast Reactors with Modified CANDLE burn-up scheme has been performed. In this study, design GCFR with Helium coolant which can be continuously operated by supplying mixed Natural Uranium/Thorium without fuel enrichment plant or fuel reprocessing plant. The active reactor cores are divided into two region, Thorium fuel region and Uranium fuel region. Each fuel core regions are subdivided into ten parts (region-1 until region-10) with the same volume in the axial direction. The fresh Natural Uranium and Thorium is initially put in region-1, after one cycle of 10 years of burn-up it is shifted to region-2 and the each region-1 is filled by fresh natural Uranium/Thorium fuel. This concept is basically applied to all regions in both cores area, i.e. shifted the core of i{sup th} region into i+1 region after the end of 10 years burn-up cycle. For the next cycles, we will add only Natural Uranium and Thorium on each region-1. The calculation results show the reactivity reached by mixed Natural Uranium/Thorium with volume ratio is 4.7:1. This reactor can results power thermal 550 MWth. After reactor start-up the operation, furthermore reactor only needs Natural Uranium/Thorium supply for continue operation along 100 years.

  2. Earliest colonization events of Rhizophagus irregularis in rice roots occur preferentially in previously uncolonized cells.

    PubMed

    Kobae, Yoshihiro; Fujiwara, Toru

    2014-08-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi form a symbiotic association with several plant species. An arbuscule, a finely branched structure of AM fungi, is formed in root cells and plays essential roles in resource exchange. Because arbuscules are ephemeral, host cells containing collapsed arbuscules can be recolonized, and a wide region of roots can be continuously colonized by AM fungi, suggesting that repetitive recolonization in root cells is required for continuous mycorrhization. However, recolonization frequency has not been quantified because of the lack of appropriate markers for visualization of the cellular processes after arbuscule collapse; therefore, the nature of the colonization sequence remains uncertain. Here we observed that a green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged secretory carrier membrane protein (SCAMP) of rice was expressed even in cells with collapsed arbuscules, allowing live imaging coupled with GFP-SCAMP to evaluate the colonization and recolonization sequences. The average lifetime of intact arbuscules was 1-2 d. Cells with collapsed arbuscules were rarely recolonized and formed a new arbuscule during the observation period of 5 d, whereas de novo colonization occurred even in close proximity to cells containing collapsed arbuscules and contributed to the expansion of the colonized region. Colonization spread into an uncolonized region of roots but sparsely into a previously colonized region having no metabolically active arbuscule but several intercellular hyphae. Therefore, we propose that a previously colonized region tends to be intolerant to new colonization in rice roots. Our observations highlight the overlooked negative impact of the degeneration stage of arbuscules in the colonization sequence.

  3. Earliest domestication of common millet (Panicum miliaceum) in East Asia extended to 10,000 years ago

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Houyuan; Zhang, Jianping; Liu, Kam-biu; Wu, Naiqin; Li, Yumei; Zhou, Kunshu; Ye, Maolin; Zhang, Tianyu; Zhang, Haijiang; Yang, Xiaoyan; Shen, Licheng; Xu, Deke; Li, Quan

    2009-01-01

    The origin of millet from Neolithic China has generally been accepted, but it remains unknown whether common millet (Panicum miliaceum) or foxtail millet (Setaria italica) was the first species domesticated. Nor do we know the timing of their domestication and their routes of dispersal. Here, we report the discovery of husk phytoliths and biomolecular components identifiable solely as common millet from newly excavated storage pits at the Neolithic Cishan site, China, dated to between ca. 10,300 and ca. 8,700 calibrated years before present (cal yr BP). After ca. 8,700 cal yr BP, the grain crops began to contain a small quantity of foxtail millet. Our research reveals that the common millet was the earliest dry farming crop in East Asia, which is probably attributed to its excellent resistance to drought. PMID:19383791

  4. A new genus and species of micro bee fly from the Earliest Eocene French amber (Diptera: Mythicomyiidae: Psiloderoidinae).

    PubMed

    Myskowiak, Justine; Garrouste, Romain; Nel, Andre

    2016-01-01

    Mythicomyiidae, or micro bee flies, are tiny flies (0.5-5.0 mm) that are found throughout most parts of the world except the highest altitudes and latitudes (Greathead & Evenhuis 2001). Including all extinct and extant taxa, the Mythicomyiidae currently comprise more than 380 valid taxonomic species distributed among 30 genera. The subfamily Psiloderoidinae is especially well represented among the fossil Mythicomyiidae by seven Cretaceous or Cenozoic genera. We here describe a new genus and a new species of this subfamily based on fossils from the Earliest Eocene of Oise (France). A Psiloderoidinae, Proplatypygus matilei Nel & DePloëg, 2004, is already described in this amber. Another mythicomyiid, Eurodoliopteryx inexpectatus Nel, 2006, is the most frequent bombylioid in this amber (Nel & DePloëg, 2004; Nel, 2006). PMID:27395149

  5. Earliest human occupations at Dmanisi (Georgian Caucasus) dated to 1.85–1.78 Ma

    PubMed Central

    Ferring, Reid; Oms, Oriol; Agustí, Jordi; Berna, Francesco; Nioradze, Medea; Shelia, Teona; Tappen, Martha; Vekua, Abesalom; Zhvania, David; Lordkipanidze, David

    2011-01-01

    The early Pleistocene colonization of temperate Eurasia by Homo erectus was not only a significant biogeographic event but also a major evolutionary threshold. Dmanisi's rich collection of hominin fossils, revealing a population that was small-brained with both primitive and derived skeletal traits, has been dated to the earliest Upper Matuyama chron (ca. 1.77 Ma). Here we present archaeological and geologic evidence that push back Dmanisi's first occupations to shortly after 1.85 Ma and document repeated use of the site over the last half of the Olduvai subchron, 1.85–1.78 Ma. These discoveries show that the southern Caucasus was occupied repeatedly before Dmanisi's hominin fossil assemblage accumulated, strengthening the probability that this was part of a core area for the colonization of Eurasia. The secure age for Dmanisi's first occupations reveals that Eurasia was probably occupied before Homo erectus appears in the East African fossil record. PMID:21646521

  6. Serafeddin Sabuncuoğlu, the author of the earliest pediatric surgical atlas: Cerrahiye-i Ilhaniye.

    PubMed

    Büyükünal, S N; Sari, N

    1991-10-01

    The author of one of the earliest surgical books was Serafeddin Sabuncuoğlu, who was born in one of the ancient cities of Central Anatolia. In 1465, he wrote a surgical book in Turkish. The aim of this study was to investigate the details of this book and compare it with the old classics. It was observed that the book of Sabuncuoğlu did not contain only pictures or miniatures of pediatric surgical procedures, but there were many important and major new contributions to the surgical literature originally described by Sabuncuoğlu himself. He based his contributions and techniques on formerly designed and described procedures, moreover, developing and nourishing pediatric surgical culture of that era. Thus a combination of Greek, Roman, Arabic, and Turkish pediatric surgery combined extraordinarily and influenced the development of European pediatric surgery. PMID:1779321

  7. Opportunistic Feeding Strategy for the Earliest Old World Hypsodont Equids: Evidence from Stable Isotope and Dental Wear Proxies

    PubMed Central

    Tütken, Thomas; Kaiser, Thomas M.; Vennemann, Torsten; Merceron, Gildas

    2013-01-01

    Background The equid Hippotherium primigenium, with moderately hypsodont cheek teeth, rapidly dispersed through Eurasia in the early late Miocene. This dispersal of hipparions into the Old World represents a major faunal event during the Neogene. The reasons for this fast dispersal of H. primigenium within Europe are still unclear. Based on its hypsodonty, a high specialization in grazing is assumed although the feeding ecology of the earliest European hipparionines within a pure C3 plant ecosystem remains to be investigated. Methodology/Principal Findings A multi-proxy approach, combining carbon and oxygen isotopes from enamel as well as dental meso- and microwear analyses of cheek teeth, was used to characterize the diet of the earliest European H. primigenium populations from four early Late Miocene localities in Germany (Eppelsheim, Höwenegg), Switzerland (Charmoille), and France (Soblay). Enamel δ13C values indicate a pure C3 plant diet with small (<1.4‰) seasonal variations for all four H. primigenium populations. Dental wear and carbon isotope compositions are compatible with dietary differences. Except for the Höwenegg hipparionines, dental microwear data indicate a browse-dominated diet. By contrast, the tooth mesowear patterns of all populations range from low to high abrasion suggesting a wide spectrum of food resources. Conclusions/Significance Combined dental wear and stable isotope analysis enables refined palaeodietary reconstructions in C3 ecosystems. Different H. primigenium populations in Europe had a large spectrum of feeding habits with a high browsing component. The combination of specialized phenotypes such as hypsodont cheek teeth with a wide spectrum of diet illustrates a new example of the Liem’s paradox. This dietary flexibility associated with the capability to exploit abrasive food such as grasses probably contributed to the rapid dispersal of hipparionines from North America into Eurasia and the fast replacement of the brachydont

  8. Comparison of life history traits of Tanais dulongii (Tanaidacea: Tanaididae) in natural and artificial marine environments of the south-western Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rumbold, Carlos E.; Obenat, Sandra M.; Spivak, Eduardo D.

    2015-06-01

    Tanaidaceans are small benthic crustaceans with a strictly benthic life cycle and low dispersion rates, so they are good candidates to evaluate the effects of environment over life history strategies and reproductive biology. In this work, we studied two populations of Tanais dulongii (Audouin, 1826) that live in two contrasting habitats in order to determine whether they differ in life history traits. The animals were obtained by systematic sampling in a rocky shore with a lower anthropic impact (La Estafeta: LE) and a polluted area (Mar del Plata harbour: MdP) from March 2011 to March 2012. Seawater temperature and salinity did not differ between sites, but MdP showed more acid and hypoxic conditions than LE. Population density was homogeneous and lower in MdP (ca. 20 ind/100 gr) than that in LE where density varied between 250 and 800 ind/100 gr. Reproductive individuals and juveniles were always present, and both populations showed two main recruitment periods: the first in spring in both populations, and the second in summer in MdP but in autumn-winter in LE. In both populations, sex ratio was strongly female-biased. Juveniles, females and males from LE had larger sizes than that from MdP and reached their sexual differentiation at larger sizes. The estimated lifespan was about 9 and 12 months in MdP and LE, respectively. This study suggests that the differences observed between populations of T. dulongii in life history traits are intimately related to environmental differences in pH and dissolved oxygen between habitats, but should not be discarded a synergistic effect of temperature, organic pollution, food availability and predation pressure.

  9. Earth's Earliest Ecosystems in the Classroom: The Use of Microbial Mats to Illustrate and Demonstrate General Principles of Scientific Inquiry and Microbial Ecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bebout, B. M.; Bucaria, R.

    2004-12-01

    Microbial mats are living examples of the most ancient biological communities on Earth. As Earth's earliest ecosystems, they are centrally important to understanding the history of life on our planet and are useful models for the search for life elsewhere. As relatively small (but complete) ecosystems, microbial mats are also extremely useful for educational activities. Mats may be used to demonstrate a wide variety of concepts in general and microbial ecology, including the biogeochemical cycling of elements, photosynthesis and respiration, and the and the origin of the Earth's present oxygen containing atmosphere. Microbial mats can be found in a number of common environments accessible to teachers, and laboratory microbial mats can even be constructed using materials purchased from biological supply houses. With funding from NASA's Exobiology program, provided as a supplement to our research funding, we are developing curriculum and web-based activities centered on the use of microbial mats as tools for demonstrating general principles in ecology, and the scientific process. A web site with useful background information and links is now on-line. The curriculum, now in the pilot phase, is an integrated module having Science, Math and Language Art threads. A "Web Lab", featuring living mats maintained in a mini-aquarium, and complete with remotely-operable instrumentation not commonly available in classrooms, will be available to classrooms over the Internet. Using that system, the responses of the mat community to changes in environmental parameters, (e.g., light, pH, flow, and temperature) can be monitored using microsensors. Students will be able to develop hypotheses and propose experiments in the Web Lab to test them. Data from these experiments will be posted in real time and students will be able to collect the data, analyze it, and post results and conclusions back to the web page in a true implementation of the scientific inquiry process. The web site

  10. Breaking News: Decoding the earliest "computer": The antikythera astrolabe. Science and technology in ancient Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liritzis, I.

    Center for History and Palaeography, Cultural Foundation of the National Bank of Greece, X-Tek Systems, and Hewlett-Packard. They applied a powerful microfocus X-ray computer assisted tomography (CAT) using reflectance imaging to enhance surface details. The first results were announced in this week issue of the international scientific journal of Nature and at the same time during the 2-day international conference (30th Nov to 1st Dec.,in Athens) where the present information is retrieved from (Deconding the Antikythera Mechnism, Abstract Book). The results are indeed exciting and enabled new detailed 3D reconstruction of the internal structure of the Antikythera Mechanism using a total of one terabyte of CAT data and the surface polynomial mapping images.

  11. An Analysis on the Level of Leisure Satisfaction and the Level of Satisfaction with Life of Young People Who Attend Sport Education Camps in Nature

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ercan, Polat

    2016-01-01

    This study analyzes the influence of leisure satisfaction on young people who attended the sport education camp in Bolu city. Target group of the study are students who have participated in the activities called "Nature Camp for Youth" which is held annually by Youth and Sport Ministry. The age range of the target group is between 17 and…

  12. Life sciences and space research 25 (3): Natural and artifical ecosystems; Meeting F4 of the COSPAR Plenary Meeting, 29th, Washington, DC, Aug. 28-Sep. 5, 1992

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macelroy, R. D. (Editor); Mitchell, C. A. (Editor); Andre, M. (Editor); Blackwell, C. C. (Editor); Tibbitts, T. W. (Editor); Banin, A. (Editor); Levine, J. S. (Editor)

    1994-01-01

    Bioregenerative life support systems will be an essential part of long duration manned space flight. Studies have been made of various components of these closed ecological systems. these studies have included those spaceborne experiments on Spacelab and Mir, as well as ground-based simulations. The effects of reduced gravity include alterations in food crop and other plant growth and vigor. Systems have also been designed and tested to provide a balanced regenerative system that recycles airborne and other wastes while providing nutrients and other input for future cycles. Hydroponic cultivation must include control of pathogens. All closed systems require sensing and automatic control.

  13. On a quantum mechanical system theory of the origin of life: from the Stapp-model to the origin of natural symbols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balázs, András

    2016-01-01

    The Heisenberg-James-Stapp (quantum mechanical) mind model is surveyed and criticized briefly. The criticism points out that the model, while being essentially consistent concerning (human) consciousness, fundamentally lacks the evolutional point of view both onto- and phylogenetically. Ethology and other than Jamesian psychology is quoted and a quantum mechanical theoretical scheme is suggested to essentially extend Stapp's frame in an evolutionary context. It is proposed that its central supposition, spontaneous quantum measurement can be better utilized in an investigation of the origin of the "subjective" process, having come about concomitantly with the chemistry of the origin of life. We dwell on its applicability at this latter process, at its heart standing, it is supposed, the endophysical nonlinear "self-measurement" of (quantum mechanically describable) matter, and so our investigation is extended to this primeval phenomenon. It is suggested that the life phenomenon is an indirect C* → (W*) → C* quantum algebraic process transition, where the (W*) system would represent the living state. Summarized also are our previous results on an internalized, "reversed", time process, introduced originally by Gunji, which is subordinated to the external "forwards" time evolution, driving towards symmetry by gradual space-mappings, where the original splitting-up must have come about in a spontaneous symmetry breaking nonlinear "self-measurement" of matter in an endophysical World.

  14. WOWBugs: New Life for Life Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matthews, Robert W.; And Others

    This book of life science activities introduces a new experimental animal--the WOWBug, "Melittobia digitata"--that is commonly found in nature but has never before been used in the precollege classroom. It includes 20 activities and experiments for grades 5-12, that cover topics from basic orientation to ecological interactions, from physical…

  15. LIFE: Life Investigation For Enceladus A Sample Return Mission Concept in Search for Evidence of Life.

    PubMed

    Tsou, Peter; Brownlee, Donald E; McKay, Christopher P; Anbar, Ariel D; Yano, Hajime; Altwegg, Kathrin; Beegle, Luther W; Dissly, Richard; Strange, Nathan J; Kanik, Isik

    2012-08-01

    Life Investigation For Enceladus (LIFE) presents a low-cost sample return mission to Enceladus, a body with high astrobiological potential. There is ample evidence that liquid water exists under ice coverage in the form of active geysers in the "tiger stripes" area of the southern Enceladus hemisphere. This active plume consists of gas and ice particles and enables the sampling of fresh materials from the interior that may originate from a liquid water source. The particles consist mostly of water ice and are 1-10 μ in diameter. The plume composition shows H(2)O, CO(2), CH(4), NH(3), Ar, and evidence that more complex organic species might be present. Since life on Earth exists whenever liquid water, organics, and energy coexist, understanding the chemical components of the emanating ice particles could indicate whether life is potentially present on Enceladus. The icy worlds of the outer planets are testing grounds for some of the theories for the origin of life on Earth. The LIFE mission concept is envisioned in two parts: first, to orbit Saturn (in order to achieve lower sampling speeds, approaching 2 km/s, and thus enable a softer sample collection impact than Stardust, and to make possible multiple flybys of Enceladus); second, to sample Enceladus' plume, the E ring of Saturn, and the Titan upper atmosphere. With new findings from these samples, NASA could provide detailed chemical and isotopic and, potentially, biological compositional context of the plume. Since the duration of the Enceladus plume is unpredictable, it is imperative that these samples are captured at the earliest flight opportunity. If LIFE is launched before 2019, it could take advantage of a Jupiter gravity assist, which would thus reduce mission lifetimes and launch vehicle costs. The LIFE concept offers science returns comparable to those of a Flagship mission but at the measurably lower sample return costs of a Discovery-class mission. PMID:22970863

  16. LIFE: Life Investigation For Enceladus A Sample Return Mission Concept in Search for Evidence of Life.

    PubMed

    Tsou, Peter; Brownlee, Donald E; McKay, Christopher P; Anbar, Ariel D; Yano, Hajime; Altwegg, Kathrin; Beegle, Luther W; Dissly, Richard; Strange, Nathan J; Kanik, Isik

    2012-08-01

    Life Investigation For Enceladus (LIFE) presents a low-cost sample return mission to Enceladus, a body with high astrobiological potential. There is ample evidence that liquid water exists under ice coverage in the form of active geysers in the "tiger stripes" area of the southern Enceladus hemisphere. This active plume consists of gas and ice particles and enables the sampling of fresh materials from the interior that may originate from a liquid water source. The particles consist mostly of water ice and are 1-10 μ in diameter. The plume composition shows H(2)O, CO(2), CH(4), NH(3), Ar, and evidence that more complex organic species might be present. Since life on Earth exists whenever liquid water, organics, and energy coexist, understanding the chemical components of the emanating ice particles could indicate whether life is potentially present on Enceladus. The icy worlds of the outer planets are testing grounds for some of the theories for the origin of life on Earth. The LIFE mission concept is envisioned in two parts: first, to orbit Saturn (in order to achieve lower sampling speeds, approaching 2 km/s, and thus enable a softer sample collection impact than Stardust, and to make possible multiple flybys of Enceladus); second, to sample Enceladus' plume, the E ring of Saturn, and the Titan upper atmosphere. With new findings from these samples, NASA could provide detailed chemical and isotopic and, potentially, biological compositional context of the plume. Since the duration of the Enceladus plume is unpredictable, it is imperative that these samples are captured at the earliest flight opportunity. If LIFE is launched before 2019, it could take advantage of a Jupiter gravity assist, which would thus reduce mission lifetimes and launch vehicle costs. The LIFE concept offers science returns comparable to those of a Flagship mission but at the measurably lower sample return costs of a Discovery-class mission.

  17. Deciphering death: a commentary on Gompertz (1825) ‘On the nature of the function expressive of the law of human mortality, and on a new mode of determining the value of life contingencies’

    PubMed Central

    Kirkwood, Thomas B. L.

    2015-01-01

    In 1825, the actuary Benjamin Gompertz read a paper, ‘On the nature of the function expressive of the law of human mortality, and on a new mode of determining the value of life contingencies’, to the Royal Society in which he showed that over much of the adult human lifespan, age-specific mortality rates increased in an exponential manner. Gompertz's work played an important role in shaping the emerging statistical science that underpins the pricing of life insurance and annuities. Latterly, as the subject of ageing itself became the focus of scientific study, the Gompertz model provided a powerful stimulus to examine the patterns of death across the life course not only in humans but also in a wide range of other organisms. The idea that the Gompertz model might constitute a fundamental ‘law of mortality’ has given way to the recognition that other patterns exist, not only across the species range but also in advanced old age. Nevertheless, Gompertz's way of representing the function expressive of the pattern of much of adult mortality retains considerable relevance for studying the factors that influence the intrinsic biology of ageing. This commentary was written to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. PMID:25750242

  18. Deciphering death: a commentary on Gompertz (1825) 'On the nature of the function expressive of the law of human mortality, and on a new mode of determining the value of life contingencies'.

    PubMed

    Kirkwood, Thomas B L

    2015-04-19

    In 1825, the actuary Benjamin Gompertz read a paper, 'On the nature of the function expressive of the law of human mortality, and on a new mode of determining the value of life contingencies', to the Royal Society in which he showed that over much of the adult human lifespan, age-specific mortality rates increased in an exponential manner. Gompertz's work played an important role in shaping the emerging statistical science that underpins the pricing of life insurance and annuities. Latterly, as the subject of ageing itself became the focus of scientific study, the Gompertz model provided a powerful stimulus to examine the patterns of death across the life course not only in humans but also in a wide range of other organisms. The idea that the Gompertz model might constitute a fundamental 'law of mortality' has given way to the recognition that other patterns exist, not only across the species range but also in advanced old age. Nevertheless, Gompertz's way of representing the function expressive of the pattern of much of adult mortality retains considerable relevance for studying the factors that influence the intrinsic biology of ageing. This commentary was written to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.

  19. Louis I. Dublin and the development of the observational study: the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company natural history (cohort) studies of typhoid fever and scarlet fever.

    PubMed

    Lilienfeld, David E

    2009-06-01

    During 1911-1914, using the resources of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, Louis I. Dublin conducted two national studies into the survival of those surviving episodes of typhoid fever or scarlet fever. He identified an elevated risk of such mortality, associated with specific causes of death, among those having had typhoid fever but not among the scarlet fever survivors. The studies were methodologically sophisticated, resembling those conducted three to four decades later. The studies appear to have been accepted by the medical and public health communities. However, the absence of modern data processing technology and the lack of financial support for such studies by other investigators precluded the further development of modern epidemiology until World War II.

  20. Run reconstruction and life-history model. Fish/shellfish study number 28. Exxon Valdez oil spill state/federal natural resource damage assessment final report

    SciTech Connect

    Geiger, H.J.; Templin, W.D.; Collie, J.S.; Quinn, T.J.

    1995-08-01

    The Exxon Valdez oil spill resulted in contaminants of juvenile pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) habitat, including freshwater spawning areas in southwestern Prince William Sound (PWS). The authors estimated the loss of returning wild adult pink salmon in 1990-1992, and speculated about this loss in 1993-1994. The primary cause of death was direct poisoning in the embryo stage of development. These studies have low statistical power to detect oil spill effects in the pre- and post- emergent fry and ocean life stages, therefore the true extent of the injury may be understated. The egg-mortality levels increased in the oiled areas in the 1991 and 1992 brood years. The authors also report on a run-reconstruction model, a deterministic model that assumed Markovian transition probabilities for the migration of each individual stock. The authors` most important finding is that of excessive harvest rates on pink salmon stocks in the northern and northwestern part of PWS.

  1. Occupational Outlook in the 15th Century: Sanchez de Arevalo's Mirror of Human Life.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chabassus, Henri; Zytowski, Donald G.

    1987-01-01

    Discusses a book published in 1468, Rodrigo Sanchez de Arevalo's "Mirror of Human Life," the earliest known comprehensive compilation of occupational descriptions. Describes the similarity of Sanchez's ideas about occupational choice and contemporary career counseling theory: informed choice; person-environment congruence; and the components of…

  2. [Infant nutrition in Switzerland 1978. A prospective study on the nutritional habits during the first 6 months of life. I. Natural nutrition: breast feeding].

    PubMed

    Tönz, O; Schwaninger, U; Holzherr, E; Schafroth, M

    1980-06-14

    With the help of 55 nurses counseling young mothers in northern, central and eastern Switzerland the feeding habits of 371 infants born in March and April 1978 were studied during the first 6 months of life. Infants who were still breastfed at the end of the observation period were monitored for another 6 months. 92% of all infants were breastfed during the puerperium (62% receiving exclusively mother's milk). At the end of the second month some 60% of the infants were breast-fed (40% exclusively). At the end of the fourth month the numbers were 30% (15%) and after 6 months 18% (2%). The "mean corrected nursing period" was 10.25 weeks. The length of this period showed a direct correlation with the socioeconomic class of the family and especially with the educational status of the mother. A small difference in duration of the nursing period between male and female infants was not statistically significant, although during childbed there was a significant difference in favour of boys. There appeared to be a relationship between duration of nursing and age, parity and bodyweight of the mother. There were marked differences in frequency and duration of breast-feeding according to whether rooming-in was practiced during childbed or not. At the end of the first half year of life babies with a long nursing period had a significantly lower body weight than those with partial or no breastfeeding. A much smaller difference in body length resulted in a lower and probably more favourable weight/length ratio. There was no difference in head circumference. As compared with other industralized European countries, the authors regard current nursing habits in Switzerland as satisfactory.

  3. The origin of life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McClendon, John H.

    1999-07-01

    Microfossil finds have been firmly established at about 3.5 Ga (giga annee=10 9 years), but no rocks older than about 4.0 Ga have been demonstrated, leaving the history of the first 0.6 Ga missing. This gap has been filled by models of the solar system. The origin of the ocean, atmosphere, and much crustal material apparently lies in a heavy rain of comets, subsequent to the catastrophic Moon-forming event. The earliest microfossils are those of the Apex chert in Australia, about 3.5 Ga old. `Prebiotic' simulations of possible biochemistry have made some progress in recent years, but many obstacles remain, and there is no agreement as to the course of development. The `ribose nucleic acid (RNA) World', aboriginal `clay genes', and catalysis on iron-sulfide precipitates are not ruled out. The search for the `last common ancestor' has reached a point between the Bacteria and the Archaea. It is possible that this organism may have been a thermophile, similar to many modern hot spring organisms. But it is likely to have been an autotroph, and a late development after the true origin of life. Even more speculative are suggestions about the origins of metabolic sequences, in particular the origin of the genetic code. Since all modern organisms share this code (and many other things), there had to be a long history of development during the blank period of Earth history.

  4. Astronomers Unveiling Life's Cosmic Origins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-02-01

    Processes that laid the foundation for life on Earth -- star and planet formation and the production of complex organic molecules in interstellar space -- are yielding their secrets to astronomers armed with powerful new research tools, and even better tools soon will be available. Astronomers described three important developments at a symposium on the "Cosmic Cradle of Life" at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago, IL. Chemistry Cycle The Cosmic Chemistry Cycle CREDIT: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF Full Size Image Files Chemical Cycle Graphic (above image, JPEG, 129K) Graphic With Text Blocks (JPEG, 165K) High-Res TIFF (44.2M) High-Res TIFF With Text Blocks (44.2M) In one development, a team of astrochemists released a major new resource for seeking complex interstellar molecules that are the precursors to life. The chemical data released by Anthony Remijan of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and his university colleagues is part of the Prebiotic Interstellar Molecule Survey, or PRIMOS, a project studying a star-forming region near the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. PRIMOS is an effort of the National Science Foundation's Center for Chemistry of the Universe, started at the University of Virginia (UVa) in October 2008, and led by UVa Professor Brooks H. Pate. The data, produced by the NSF's Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia, came from more than 45 individual observations totalling more than nine GigaBytes of data and over 1.4 million individual frequency channels. Scientists can search the GBT data for specific radio frequencies, called spectral lines -- telltale "fingerprints" -- naturally emitted by molecules in interstellar space. "We've identified more than 720 spectral lines in this collection, and about 240 of those are from unknown molecules," Remijan said. He added, "We're making available to all scientists the best collection of data below 50 GHz ever produced for

  5. Bilingual Readiness in Earliest School Years; A Curriculum Demonstration Project. Bilingual Readiness in Primary Grades; An Early Childhood Demonstration Project. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Finocchiaro, Mary; King, Paul F.

    These two curriculum demonstration projects on bilingual readiness in the earliest school years contain many similarities. Both were formed on the thesis that young children can and will learn a second language readily and that the urban classroom mixture of Spanish-speaking, English-speaking, and Negro-dialect speaking children can be capitalized…

  6. The Earliest Reference to ADHD in the Medical Literature? Melchior Adam Weikard's Description in 1775 of "Attention Deficit" (Mangel der Aufmerksamkeit, Attentio Volubilis)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barkley, Russell A.; Peters, Helmut

    2012-01-01

    Objective: The present article reports on the discovery and translation of a chapter in a 1775 medical textbook by the German physician, Melchior Adam Weikard, which describes attention disorders. This article is believed to be the earliest reference to the syndrome that today is known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. Method:…

  7. Climate and environmental effects of electric vehicles versus compressed natural gas vehicles in China: a life-cycle analysis at provincial level.

    PubMed

    Huo, Hong; Zhang, Qiang; Liu, Fei; He, Kebin

    2013-02-01

    Electric vehicles (EVs) and compressed natural gas vehicles (CNGVs), which are mainly coal-based and natural gas-based, are the two most widely proposed replacements of gasoline internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) in P.R. China. We examine fuel-cycle emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), PM(2.5), PM(10), NO(x), and SO(2) of CNGVs and EVs relative to gasoline ICEVs and hybrids, by Chinese province. CNGVs can currently reduce emissions of GHGs, PM(10), PM(2,5), NO(x), and SO(2) by approximately 6%, 7%, 20%, 18% and 22%, respectively. EVs can reduce GHG emissions by 20%, but increase PM(10), PM(2.5), NO(x), and SO(2) emissions by approximately 360%, 250%, 120%, and 370%, respectively. Nevertheless, results vary significantly by province. Regarding their contribution to national emissions, PM increases from EVs are unimportant, because light-duty passenger vehicles contribute very little to overall PM emissions nationwide (≤0.05%); however, their NO(x) and SO(2) increases are important. Since China is striving to reduce power plant emissions, EVs are expected to have equivalent or even lower SO(2) and NO(x) emissions relative to ICEVs in the future (2030). Before then, however, EVs should be developed according to the cleanness of regional power mixes. This would lower their SO(2) and NO(x) emissions and earn more GHG reduction credits. PMID:23276251

  8. Climate and environmental effects of electric vehicles versus compressed natural gas vehicles in China: a life-cycle analysis at provincial level.

    PubMed

    Huo, Hong; Zhang, Qiang; Liu, Fei; He, Kebin

    2013-02-01

    Electric vehicles (EVs) and compressed natural gas vehicles (CNGVs), which are mainly coal-based and natural gas-based, are the two most widely proposed replacements of gasoline internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) in P.R. China. We examine fuel-cycle emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), PM(2.5), PM(10), NO(x), and SO(2) of CNGVs and EVs relative to gasoline ICEVs and hybrids, by Chinese province. CNGVs can currently reduce emissions of GHGs, PM(10), PM(2,5), NO(x), and SO(2) by approximately 6%, 7%, 20%, 18% and 22%, respectively. EVs can reduce GHG emissions by 20%, but increase PM(10), PM(2.5), NO(x), and SO(2) emissions by approximately 360%, 250%, 120%, and 370%, respectively. Nevertheless, results vary significantly by province. Regarding their contribution to national emissions, PM increases from EVs are unimportant, because light-duty passenger vehicles contribute very little to overall PM emissions nationwide (≤0.05%); however, their NO(x) and SO(2) increases are important. Since China is striving to reduce power plant emissions, EVs are expected to have equivalent or even lower SO(2) and NO(x) emissions relative to ICEVs in the future (2030). Before then, however, EVs should be developed according to the cleanness of regional power mixes. This would lower their SO(2) and NO(x) emissions and earn more GHG reduction credits.

  9. Effect of Addition of Natural Antioxidants on the Shelf-Life of “Chorizo”, a Spanish Dry-Cured Sausage

    PubMed Central

    Pateiro, Mirian; Bermúdez, Roberto; Lorenzo, José Manuel; Franco, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    The dose effect of the addition of natural antioxidants (tea, chestnut, grape seed and beer extracts) on physicochemical, microbiological changes and on oxidative stability of dry-cured “chorizo”, as well as their effect during the storage under vacuum conditions was evaluated. Color parameters were significantly (p < 0.05) affected by the addition of antioxidants so that samples that contained antioxidants were more effective in maintaining color. The improving effects were dose-dependent with highest values with the dose of 50 mg/kg during ripening and depend on the extract during vacuum packaging. Addition of antioxidants decreased (p < 0.05) the oxidation, showing thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) values below 0.4 mg MDA/kg. Natural antioxidants matched or even improved the results obtained for butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). Regarding texture profile analysis (TPA) analysis, hardness values significantly (p < 0.001) decreased with the addition of antioxidants, obtaining the lower results with the dose of 200 mg/kg both during ripening and vacuum packaging. Antioxidants reduced the counts of total viable counts (TVC), lactic acid bacteria (LAB), mold and yeast. Free fatty acid content during ripening and under vacuum conditions showed a gradual and significant (p < 0.05) release as a result of lipolysis. At the end of ripening, the addition of GRA1000 protected chorizos from oxidative degradation. PMID:26785337

  10. Identification of the earliest collagen- and plant-based coatings from Neolithic artefacts (Nahal Hemar cave, Israel)

    PubMed Central

    Solazzo, Caroline; Courel, Blandine; Connan, Jacques; van Dongen, Bart E.; Barden, Holly; Penkman, Kirsty; Taylor, Sheila; Demarchi, Beatrice; Adam, Pierre; Schaeffer, Philippe; Nissenbaum, Arie; Bar-Yosef, Ofer; Buckley, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Mortuary practices in human evolution record cognitive, social changes and technological innovations. The Neolithic Revolution in the Levant was a watershed in this domain that has long fascinated the archaeological community. Plaster modelled skulls are well known at Jericho and several other Neolithic sites, and in Nahal Hemar cave (Israel, ca. 8200 −7300 cal. BC) excavations yielded six unique human skulls covered with a black organic coating applied in a net pattern evoking a headdress. This small cave was used as storage for paraphernalia in the semi-arid area of the Judean desert and the dry conditions preserved other artefacts such as baskets coated with a similar dark substance. While previous analysis had revealed the presence of amino acids consistent with a collagen signature, in the present report, specific biomarkers were characterised using combined proteomic and lipid approaches. Basket samples yielded collagen and blood proteins of bovine origin (Bos genus) and a large sequence coverage of a plant protein charybdin (Charybdis genus). The skull residue samples were dominated by benzoate and cinnamate derivatives and triterpenes consistent with a styrax-type resin (Styrax officinalis), thus providing the earliest known evidence of an odoriferous plant resin used in combination with an animal product. PMID:27503740

  11. Microscopic endometrial perivascular epithelioid cell nodules: a case report with the earliest presentation of a uterine perivascular epithelioid cell tumor.

    PubMed

    Fang, Chia-Lang; Lin, Yun-Ho; Chen, Wei-Yu

    2012-09-03

    Perivascular epithelioid cell (PEC) tumors (PEComas) are a family of related mesenchymal tumors composed of PECs which co-express melanocytic and smooth muscle markers. Although their distinctive histologic, immunohistochemical, ultrastructural, and genetic features have been clearly demonstrated, their histogenesis and normal counterpart remain largely unknown. Precursor lesions of PEComas have rarely been reported. We herein describe a tuberous sclerosis patient with microscopic PEC nodules in the endometrium of adenomyosis, pelvic endometriosis, an ovarian endometriotic cyst, and the endometrium of the uterine cavity. The nodules showed a mixture of spindle-shaped and epithelioid cells concentrically arranged around small arteries. The cells exhibited uniform nuclei, light eosinophilic cytoplasm, and immunoreactivity with HMB-45 and CD10. Some nodules revealed continuity with a PEComa in the myometrium. These findings support microscopic endometrial PEC nodules possibly being precursor lesions of uterine PEComas. The wide distribution of the nodules in the pelvis may be related to the multicentricity of PEComas in tuberous sclerosis patients. Owing to the immunoreactivity with CD10, microscopic endometrial PEC nodules may be misinterpreted as endothelial stromal cells unless melanocytic markers are stained. To the best of our knowledge, this is a case with the earliest manifestation of PEC lesions occurring in the endometrium. Virtual slides: The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/9658280017862643.

  12. The earliest occurrence of the steppe pika ( Ochotona pusilla) in Europe near the Pliocene/Pleistocene boundary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fostowicz-Frelik, Łucja; Frelik, Grzegorz J.

    2010-03-01

    The steppe pika ( Ochotona pusilla), a representative of the lagomorph family Ochotonidae, is restricted today to Kazakhstan and Russia. This subspecies-rich form belongs to a morphologically distinct, monospecific group of relatively small pikas, inhabiting steppe-like habitat. In the fossil record, it serves as a bioindicator of dry, grassland environment. The steppe pika was abundant and widespread in Europe during the Last Glaciation, and its unquestionable presence has been reported there since the middle Pleistocene. A new discovery of O. pusilla, from the Kielniki 3B locality (Poland), dated to the latest Pliocene, moves back the species appearance in Europe about one million years, almost coeval with its first record from the late Pliocene of Kazakhstan. Presence of such a typical steppe inhabitant as O. pusilla indicates significant climate change towards more arid, continental conditions, which started influencing Europe at 2.6 Ma. We present the first reliable record of the earliest O. pusilla entry deep into Europe in the latest Pliocene.

  13. Earliest Marine beds in the Jurassic sedimentary record near the Huajuapan-Petlalcingo region, southern Mexico and their paleogeographic implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Contla, D.

    2008-12-01

    A paleogeographic model of Jurassic-Cretaceous is presented, the study area is the region near Huajuapan de Leon in the Mixteca Terrane, Mexico where a sedimentary successions constituted by interlayered terrestrial and marine beds, provides evidence of transgression and regression episodes. The sediments in the study zone were deposited over a Paleozoic metamorphic basement, the Acatlan Complex. The stratigraphic features in the Middle Jurassic of the terrestrial beds indicate a depositional elements varying from alluvial fans to floodplains and channel deposits, represented by conglomerates, sandy conglomerates and sandstones. After, in the same epoch (Bajocian and Bathonian age) a transgression coming from the Pacific Ocean covered the region. A transitional zone between continental and marine sediments is situated between Tezoatlan and Petlalcingo, the actual cross section consists in the earliest marine beds: limestones interlayered with terrestrial beds. Fossil contents in this beds indicate an age between the Oxfordian and the Tithonian. During this period of transgression the paleogeography was dominated by a small bay with shallow waters connected in the south with the Pacific Ocean, represented principally by limestone and dolomite units. At the end of the transgression, volcanic episodes occurred and the land emerged again. The sedimentary beds were later affected by tectonic activity that produced a normal fault near Zapotitlan, putting the metamorphic basement in contact with the sedimentary sequence.

  14. New dinosaur (Theropoda, stem-Averostra) from the earliest Jurassic of the La Quinta formation, Venezuelan Andes.

    PubMed

    Langer, Max C; Rincón, Ascanio D; Ramezani, Jahandar; Solórzano, Andrés; Rauhut, Oliver W M

    2014-10-01

    Dinosaur skeletal remains are almost unknown from northern South America. One of the few exceptions comes from a small outcrop in the northernmost extension of the Andes, along the western border of Venezuela, where strata of the La Quinta Formation have yielded the ornithischian Laquintasaura venezuelae and other dinosaur remains. Here, we report isolated bones (ischium and tibia) of a small new theropod, Tachiraptor admirabilis gen. et sp. nov., which differs from all previously known members of the group by an unique suite of features of its tibial articulations. Comparative/phylogenetic studies place the new form as the sister taxon to Averostra, a theropod group that is known primarily from the Middle Jurassic onwards. A new U-Pb zircon date (isotope dilution thermal-ionization mass spectrometry; ID-TIMS method) from the bone bed matrix suggests an earliest Jurassic maximum age for the La Quinta Formation. A dispersal-vicariance analysis suggests that such a stratigraphic gap is more likely to be filled by new records from north and central Pangaea than from southern areas. Indeed, our data show that the sampled summer-wet equatorial belt, which yielded the new taxon, played a pivotal role in theropod evolution across the Triassic-Jurassic boundary. PMID:26064540

  15. Onwards and upwards in the Caucasus - A multidisciplinary approach to understanding the lifeways of the earliest modern humans in Armenia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kandel, Andrew; Gasparyan, Boris; Bruch, Angela; Deckers, Katleen; Nahapetyan, Samvel; Weissbrod, Lior

    2013-04-01

    The Armenian Highlands have functioned as a gateway with regards to the peopling of the Southern Caucasus. Most importantly, changes in climate have long controlled access to this remote and often inhospitable mountainous region. Here we present the results of the multidisciplinary study of Aghitu-3 Cave which brings together researchers from the fields of archaeology, geology and geomorphology, zooarchaeology, paleobotany and paleoclimate. By integrating these areas of study, we have reconstructed the lifeways of the earliest behaviorally (and presumably anatomically) modern humans who settled Southern Armenia about 35,000 (cal BP) years ago and placed this occupational sequence within a framework of environmental change. These first Upper Paleolithic inhabitants of Armenia made temporary use of this basalt cave located along the Vorotan River corridor at an altitude of 1601 m during seasonal forays into the highlands. The infrequent use of this site as a hunting camp comes to an end at about 31,000 cal BP. The next package of sediment shows little evidence of human occupation, although fauna seem to flourish during the time between 31-29,000 cal BP. Following this phase of depopulation, the intensity of occupation increases substantially after 29,000 cal BP. Human presence is amply documented in the numerous stone artifacts, faunal remains and fireplaces that cover the site. These changes in population movement are echoed in the sequence of sediments preserved in the cave and can be correlated with the fluctuating climatic conditions associated with the late Pleistocene.

  16. Changing the picture of Earth's earliest fossils (3.5-1.9 Ga) with new approaches and new discoveries.

    PubMed

    Brasier, Martin D; Antcliffe, Jonathan; Saunders, Martin; Wacey, David

    2015-04-21

    New analytical approaches and discoveries are demanding fresh thinking about the early fossil record. The 1.88-Ga Gunflint chert provides an important benchmark for the analysis of early fossil preservation. High-resolution analysis of Gunflintia shows that microtaphonomy can help to resolve long-standing paleobiological questions. Novel 3D nanoscale reconstructions of the most ancient complex fossil Eosphaera reveal features hitherto unmatched in any crown-group microbe. While Eosphaera may preserve a symbiotic consortium, a stronger conclusion is that multicellular morphospace was differently occupied in the Paleoproterozoic. The 3.46-Ga Apex chert provides a test bed for claims of biogenicity of cell-like structures. Mapping plus focused ion beam milling combined with transmission electron microscopy data demonstrate that microfossil-like taxa, including species of Archaeoscillatoriopsis and Primaevifilum, are pseudofossils formed from vermiform phyllosilicate grains during hydrothermal alteration events. The 3.43-Ga Strelley Pool Formation shows that plausible early fossil candidates are turning up in unexpected environmental settings. Our data reveal how cellular clusters of unexpectedly large coccoids and tubular sheath-like envelopes were trapped between sand grains and entombed within coatings of dripstone beach-rock silica cement. These fossils come from Earth's earliest known intertidal to supratidal shoreline deposit, accumulated under aerated but oxygen poor conditions.

  17. The early Middle Pleistocene archeopaleontological site of Wadi Sarrat (Tunisia) and the earliest record of Bos primigenius

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez-Navarro, Bienvenido; Karoui-Yaakoub, Narjess; Oms, Oriol; Amri, Lamjed; López-García, Juan Manuel; Zerai, Kamel; Blain, Hugues-Alexandre; Mtimet, Moncef-Saïd; Espigares, María-Patrocinio; Ben Haj Ali, Nebiha; Ros-Montoya, Sergio; Boughdiri, Mabrouk; Agustí, Jordi; Khayati-Ammar, Hayet; Maalaoui, Kamel; El Khir, Maahmoudi Om; Sala, Robert; Othmani, Abdelhak; Hawas, Ramla; Gómez-Merino, Gala; Solè, Àlex; Carbonell, Eudald; Palmqvist, Paul

    2014-04-01

    Here we describe the new, rich lacustrine paleontological and archeological site of Wadi Sarrat (Le Kef, northeastern Tunisia), dated to the beginning of the Middle Pleistocene, ˜0.7 Ma, by a combination of paleomagnetism and biochronology. This locality preserves the earliest record of auroch, Bos primigenius, the ancestor of the worldwide extant domestic cattle species Bos taurus, which is represented by a nearly complete, giant-sized cranium (specimen OS1). Both the cranial anatomy and the size of this specimen reflect the phylogenetic legacy inherited from its ancestor, the late Early Pleistocene African Bos buiaensis, recorded in the eastern African paleoanthropological site of Buia, Eritrea (1.0 Ma). Given that the latter species is an evolved form of the classical Early Pleistocene African buffalo Pelorovis oldowayensis, the finding of B. primigenius at Wadi Sarrat shows that the genus Bos evolved in Africa and dispersed into Eurasia at the beginning of the Middle Pleistocene, which coincides with the spread of the Acheulian technocomplex in northern Africa and Europe. Therefore, the lineage of Pelorovis-Bos has been part of the human ecological landscape since the appearance of the genus Homo in the African Early Pleistocene.

  18. Iapetonudus (N. gen.) and Iapetognathus Landing, unusual Earliest Ordovician multielement conodont taxa and their utility for biostratigraphy

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nicoll, R.S.; Miller, J.F.; Nowlan, G.S.; Repetski, J.E.; Ethington, Raymond L.

    1999-01-01

    The Early Ordovician (Tremadocian) multielement conodont genus Iapetognathus is one of the oldest denticulate euconodont genera known. The ramiform-ramiform apparatus structure of Iapetognathus is not similar morphologically to other Late Cambrian to Earliest Ordovician denticulate multielement taxa, such as Eodentatus or Cordyloduts, because the major denticulate process has a lateral rather than a posterior orientation as it is in the other two examples. For this reason the genus is believed to have developed from the coniform-coniform apparatus Iapetonudus ibexensis (N.gen., n.sp.) through the development of the denticulate lateral processes. The two genera have a number of morphologic features in common and appear in stratigraphic succession. Iapetognathus aengensis (Lindstro??m) is redefined as a multielement taxon using topotype material and Ig. preaengensis Landing is placed in synonymy with it. Iapetognathus sprakersi, recently described by Landing in Landing and others (1996), is recognized as a multielement species and the new multielement species, Ig. fluctivagus, Ig. jilinensis and Ig. landingi n. spp. are described herein, based on type specimens from Utah (U.S.A.), Jilin (China) and Colorado (U.S.A.) respectively. Iapetonudus and Iapetognathus are important genera in defining the level of the Cambrian-Ordovician boundary. Iapetonudus is currently recognized only from Utah, Texas and Oklahoma, but Iapetognathus is cosmopolitan in its distribution.

  19. New dinosaur (Theropoda, stem-Averostra) from the earliest Jurassic of the La Quinta formation, Venezuelan Andes.

    PubMed

    Langer, Max C; Rincón, Ascanio D; Ramezani, Jahandar; Solórzano, Andrés; Rauhut, Oliver W M

    2014-10-01

    Dinosaur skeletal remains are almost unknown from northern South America. One of the few exceptions comes from a small outcrop in the northernmost extension of the Andes, along the western border of Venezuela, where strata of the La Quinta Formation have yielded the ornithischian Laquintasaura venezuelae and other dinosaur remains. Here, we report isolated bones (ischium and tibia) of a small new theropod, Tachiraptor admirabilis gen. et sp. nov., which differs from all previously known members of the group by an unique suite of features of its tibial articulations. Comparative/phylogenetic studies place the new form as the sister taxon to Averostra, a theropod group that is known primarily from the Middle Jurassic onwards. A new U-Pb zircon date (isotope dilution thermal-ionization mass spectrometry; ID-TIMS method) from the bone bed matrix suggests an earliest Jurassic maximum age for the La Quinta Formation. A dispersal-vicariance analysis suggests that such a stratigraphic gap is more likely to be filled by new records from north and central Pangaea than from southern areas. Indeed, our data show that the sampled summer-wet equatorial belt, which yielded the new taxon, played a pivotal role in theropod evolution across the Triassic-Jurassic boundary.

  20. Further morphological evidence on South African earliest Homo lower postcanine dentition: Enamel thickness and enamel dentine junction.

    PubMed

    Pan, Lei; Dumoncel, Jean; de Beer, Frikkie; Hoffman, Jakobus; Thackeray, John Francis; Duployer, Benjamin; Tenailleau, Christophe; Braga, José

    2016-07-01

    The appearance of the earliest members of the genus Homo in South Africa represents a key event in human evolution. Although enamel thickness and enamel dentine junction (EDJ) morphology preserve important information about hominin systematics and dietary adaptation, these features have not been sufficiently studied with regard to early Homo. We used micro-CT to compare enamel thickness and EDJ morphology among the mandibular postcanine dentitions of South African early hominins (N = 30) and extant Homo sapiens (N = 26), with special reference to early members of the genus Homo. We found that South African early Homo shows a similar enamel thickness distribution pattern to modern humans, although three-dimensional average and relative enamel thicknesses do not distinguish australopiths, early Homo, and modern humans particularly well. Based on enamel thickness distributions, our study suggests that a dietary shift occurred between australopiths and the origin of the Homo lineage. We also observed that South African early Homo postcanine EDJ combined primitive traits seen in australopith molars with derived features observed in modern human premolars. Our results confirm that some dental morphological patterns in later Homo actually occurred early in the Homo lineage, and highlight the taxonomic value of premolar EDJ morphology in hominin species.

  1. Changing the picture of Earth's earliest fossils (3.5-1.9 Ga) with new approaches and new discoveries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brasier, Martin D.; Antcliffe, Jonathan; Saunders, Martin; Wacey, David

    2015-04-01

    New analytical approaches and discoveries are demanding fresh thinking about the early fossil record. The 1.88-Ga Gunflint chert provides an important benchmark for the analysis of early fossil preservation. High-resolution analysis of Gunflintia shows that microtaphonomy can help to resolve long-standing paleobiological questions. Novel 3D nanoscale reconstructions of the most ancient complex fossil Eosphaera reveal features hitherto unmatched in any crown-group microbe. While Eosphaera may preserve a symbiotic consortium, a stronger conclusion is that multicellular morphospace was differently occupied in the Paleoproterozoic. The 3.46-Ga Apex chert provides a test bed for claims of biogenicity of cell-like structures. Mapping plus focused ion beam milling combined with transmission electron microscopy data demonstrate that microfossil-like taxa, including species of Archaeoscillatoriopsis and Primaevifilum, are pseudofossils formed from vermiform phyllosilicate grains during hydrothermal alteration events. The 3.43-Ga Strelley Pool Formation shows that plausible early fossil candidates are turning up in unexpected environmental settings. Our data reveal how cellular clusters of unexpectedly large coccoids and tubular sheath-like envelopes were trapped between sand grains and entombed within coatings of dripstone beach-rock silica cement. These fossils come from Earth's earliest known intertidal to supratidal shoreline deposit, accumulated under aerated but oxygen poor conditions.

  2. Stable isotope paleoclimatology of the earliest Eocene using kimberlite-hosted mummified wood from the Canadian Subarctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hook, B. A.; Halfar, J.; Gedalof, Z.; Bollmann, J.; Schulze, D.

    2014-11-01

    The recent discovery of well-preserved mummified wood buried within a subarctic kimberlite diamond mine prompted a paleoclimatic study of the early Eocene "hothouse" (ca. 53.3 Ma). At the time of kimberlite eruption, the Subarctic and Artic were warm and humid producing a temperate rainforest biome well north of the Arctic Circle. Previous studies have estimated mean annual temperatures in this region were 4-20 °C in the early Eocene, using a variety of proxies including leaf margin analysis, and stable isotopes (δ18O) of fossil cellulose. Here, we examine stable isotopes of tree-ring cellulose at subannual to annual scale resolution, using the oldest viable cellulose found to date. We use mechanistic models and transfer functions to estimate earliest Eocene temperatures using mummified cellulose, which was well preserved in the kimberlite. Multiple samples of Piceoxylon wood within the kimberlite were crossdated by tree-ring width. Multiple proxies are used in combination to tease apart likely environmental factors influencing the tree physiology and growth in the unique extinct ecosystem of the Polar rainforest. Calculations of interannual variation in temperature over a multidecadal time-slice in the early Eocene are presented, with a mean temperature estimate of 11.4 °C (1σ = 1.8 °C) based on δ18O. Dual-isotope spectral analysis suggests that multidecadal climate cycles similar to the modern Pacific Decadal Oscillation likely drove temperature and cloudiness trends on 20-30 year timescales.

  3. Identification of the earliest collagen- and plant-based coatings from Neolithic artefacts (Nahal Hemar cave, Israel).

    PubMed

    Solazzo, Caroline; Courel, Blandine; Connan, Jacques; van Dongen, Bart E; Barden, Holly; Penkman, Kirsty; Taylor, Sheila; Demarchi, Beatrice; Adam, Pierre; Schaeffer, Philippe; Nissenbaum, Arie; Bar-Yosef, Ofer; Buckley, Michael

    2016-08-09

    Mortuary practices in human evolution record cognitive, social changes and technological innovations. The Neolithic Revolution in the Levant was a watershed in this domain that has long fascinated the archaeological community. Plaster modelled skulls are well known at Jericho and several other Neolithic sites, and in Nahal Hemar cave (Israel, ca. 8200 -7300 cal. BC) excavations yielded six unique human skulls covered with a black organic coating applied in a net pattern evoking a headdress. This small cave was used as storage for paraphernalia in the semi-arid area of the Judean desert and the dry conditions preserved other artefacts such as baskets coated with a similar dark substance. While previous analysis had revealed the presence of amino acids consistent with a collagen signature, in the present report, specific biomarkers were characterised using combined proteomic and lipid approaches. Basket samples yielded collagen and blood proteins of bovine origin (Bos genus) and a large sequence coverage of a plant protein charybdin (Charybdis genus). The skull residue samples were dominated by benzoate and cinnamate derivatives and triterpenes consistent with a styrax-type resin (Styrax officinalis), thus providing the earliest known evidence of an odoriferous plant resin used in combination with an animal product.

  4. New dinosaur (Theropoda, stem-Averostra) from the earliest Jurassic of the La Quinta formation, Venezuelan Andes

    PubMed Central

    Langer, Max C.; Rincón, Ascanio D.; Ramezani, Jahandar; Solórzano, Andrés; Rauhut, Oliver W. M.

    2014-01-01

    Dinosaur skeletal remains are almost unknown from northern South America. One of the few exceptions comes from a small outcrop in the northernmost extension of the Andes, along the western border of Venezuela, where strata of the La Quinta Formation have yielded the ornithischian Laquintasaura venezuelae and other dinosaur remains. Here, we report isolated bones (ischium and tibia) of a small new theropod, Tachiraptor admirabilis gen. et sp. nov., which differs from all previously known members of the group by an unique suite of features of its tibial articulations. Comparative/phylogenetic studies place the new form as the sister taxon to Averostra, a theropod group that is known primarily from the Middle Jurassic onwards. A new U–Pb zircon date (isotope dilution thermal-ionization mass spectrometry; ID-TIMS method) from the bone bed matrix suggests an earliest Jurassic maximum age for the La Quinta Formation. A dispersal–vicariance analysis suggests that such a stratigraphic gap is more likely to be filled by new records from north and central Pangaea than from southern areas. Indeed, our data show that the sampled summer-wet equatorial belt, which yielded the new taxon, played a pivotal role in theropod evolution across the Triassic–Jurassic boundary. PMID:26064540

  5. Cis phosphorylated tau as the earliest detectable pathogenic conformation in Alzheimer disease, offering novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Kazuhiro; Zhen Zhou, Xiao; Ping Lu, Kun

    2013-01-01

    After protein phosphorylation on certain serine or threonine residues preceding a proline (pSer/Thr-Pro), the function of certain phosphorylated protein is further regulated by cis-trans conformational change. Due to the lack of any tool to detect such two conformations in cells, however, it is not even known whether any cis or trans conformation exists in vivo, not to mention their conformation-specific functions or regulation. We developed a novel peptide chemistry technology to generate the first pair of antibodies that can distinguish cis from trans pThr231-Pro tau. Cis, but not trans, pThr231-tau appears early in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) neurons and further accumulates in only degenerating neurons as Alzheimer disease (AD) progresses, localizing to dystrophic neurites, which are known to correlate well with memory loss. Unlike trans p-tau, the cis cannot promote microtubule assembly, and is more resistant to dephosphorylation and degradation and more prone to aggregation. Pin1 accelerates cis to trans isomerization to prevent tau pathology in AD. Thus, during MCI and AD development, cis pThr231-Pro tau is the earliest detectable pathogenic tau conformation and antibodies and vaccines against the pathogenic cis p-tau may be used for the early diagnosis and treatment of AD. These findings offer in vivo approach to study conformational regulation of Pro-directed phosphorylation signaling.

  6. Detecting Presymptomatic Infection Is Necessary to Forecast Major Epidemics in the Earliest Stages of Infectious Disease Outbreaks

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Robin N.; Gilligan, Christopher A.; Cunniffe, Nik J.

    2016-01-01

    We assess how presymptomatic infection affects predictability of infectious disease epidemics. We focus on whether or not a major outbreak (i.e. an epidemic that will go on to infect a large number of individuals) can be predicted reliably soon after initial cases of disease have appeared within a population. For emerging epidemics, significant time and effort is spent recording symptomatic cases. Scientific attention has often focused on improving statistical methodologies to estimate disease transmission parameters from these data. Here we show that, even if symptomatic cases are recorded perfectly, and disease spread parameters are estimated exactly, it is impossible to estimate the probability of a major outbreak without ambiguity. Our results therefore provide an upper bound on the accuracy of forecasts of major outbreaks that are constructed using data on symptomatic cases alone. Accurate prediction of whether or not an epidemic will occur requires records of symptomatic individuals to be supplemented with data concerning the true infection status of apparently uninfected individuals. To forecast likely future behavior in the earliest stages of an emerging outbreak, it is therefore vital to develop and deploy accurate diagnostic tests that can determine whether asymptomatic individuals are actually uninfected, or instead are infected but just do not yet show detectable symptoms. PMID:27046030

  7. Identification of the earliest collagen- and plant-based coatings from Neolithic artefacts (Nahal Hemar cave, Israel).

    PubMed

    Solazzo, Caroline; Courel, Blandine; Connan, Jacques; van Dongen, Bart E; Barden, Holly; Penkman, Kirsty; Taylor, Sheila; Demarchi, Beatrice; Adam, Pierre; Schaeffer, Philippe; Nissenbaum, Arie; Bar-Yosef, Ofer; Buckley, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Mortuary practices in human evolution record cognitive, social changes and technological innovations. The Neolithic Revolution in the Levant was a watershed in this domain that has long fascinated the archaeological community. Plaster modelled skulls are well known at Jericho and several other Neolithic sites, and in Nahal Hemar cave (Israel, ca. 8200 -7300 cal. BC) excavations yielded six unique human skulls covered with a black organic coating applied in a net pattern evoking a headdress. This small cave was used as storage for paraphernalia in the semi-arid area of the Judean desert and the dry conditions preserved other artefacts such as baskets coated with a similar dark substance. While previous analysis had revealed the presence of amino acids consistent with a collagen signature, in the present report, specific biomarkers were characterised using combined proteomic and lipid approaches. Basket samples yielded collagen and blood proteins of bovine origin (Bos genus) and a large sequence coverage of a plant protein charybdin (Charybdis genus). The skull residue samples were dominated by benzoate and cinnamate derivatives and triterpenes consistent with a styrax-type resin (Styrax officinalis), thus providing the earliest known evidence of an odoriferous plant resin used in combination with an animal product. PMID:27503740

  8. High-resolution δ13Ccarb chemostratigraphy from latest Guadalupian through earliest Triassic in South China and Iran

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Shu-zhong; Cao, Chang-qun; Zhang, Hua; Bowring, Samuel A.; Henderson, Charles M.; Payne, Jonathan L.; Davydov, Vladimir I.; Chen, Bo; Yuan, Dong-xun; Zhang, Yi-chun; Wang, Wei; Zheng, Quan-feng

    2013-08-01

    Large carbon cycle perturbations are associated with the end-Permian mass extinction and subsequent recovery, but Late Permian (Lopingian) carbon cycle dynamics prior to the mass extinction event remain poorly documented. Here we present a high-resolution δ13Ccarb chemostratigraphic framework from latest Guadalupian to earliest Triassic time, calibrated with high-resolution conodont biostratigraphy and high-precision geochronology. We observe two large negative excursions in δ13Ccarb, the first in uppermost Guadalupian strata and the second at the end of the Changhsingian stage, and between these events distinctive excursions from the middle Wuchiapingian to the early Changhsingian. The end-Changhsingian excursion represents a major reorganization of the global carbon cycle associated with the end-Permian mass extinction. However, the extent to which the end-Guadalupian and Wuchiapingian/Changhsingian boundary excursions result from local versus global controls remains unresolved. Regardless of their underlying causes, these three excursions provide chemostratigraphic markers for global correlation of Lopingian strata.

  9. Glycine Identification in Natural Jarosites Using Laser-Desorption Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometry: Implications for the search for life on Mars

    SciTech Connect

    J. Michelle Kotler; Nancy W. Hinman; Beizhan Yan; Daphne L. Stoner; Jill R. Scott

    2008-04-01

    The jarosite group minerals have received increasing attention since the discovery of jarosite by the Mars Exploration Rover-Opportunity on the Martian surface. The mineral group has the ability to incorporate foreign ions in its structure leading to investigations regarding its use as an indicator of aqueous and/or biological activity on Earth and Mars. The use of laser desorption Fourier transform mass spectrometry has revealed the presence of organic matter in several jarosite samples from various worldwide locations. One of the organic cluster ions has been attributed to glycine based on results from combinations of glycine with synthetic jarosite and K2SO4. The ability to observe these organic signatures in jarosite samples with an “in situ” instrumental technique, such as employed in this study, furthers the goals of planetary geologists to determine whether signs of life (e.g., the presence of biomolecules or biomolecule precursors) can be detected in the rock record of terrestrial and extraterrestrial samples.

  10. Efficacy of mint (Mentha arvensis) leaf and citrus (Citrus aurantium) peel extracts as natural preservatives for shelf life extension of chill stored Indian mackerel.

    PubMed

    Viji, Pankyamma; Binsi, Puthanpurakkal Kizhakkathil; Visnuvinayagam, Sivam; Bindu, Jaganath; Ravishankar, Chandragiri Nagarajarao; Srinivasa Gopal, Teralandur Krishnaswamy

    2015-10-01

    Efficacy of mint (Mentha arvensis) leaf and citrus (Citrus aurantium) peel extracts in retarding the quality changes in Indian mackerel during chilled storage was investigated. Mint leaf extract showed higher quantity of phenolics and superior in-vitro antioxidant activities than citrus peel extract. Gutted mackerel were given a dip treatment in mint extract (0.5 %, w/v) and citrus extract (1 % w/v), packed in LDPE pouches and stored at 0-2 °C. The biochemical quality indices viz. total volatile base nitrogen (TVB-N), trimethylamine nitrogen (TMA-N), free fattyacids (FFA) were significantly (p < 0.05) lower in mint extract (ME) treated fishes compared to citrus extract (CE) treated and control fishes (C) without any treatment. Plant extract treatment significantly inhibited lipid oxidation in mackerel as indicated by peroxide value (PV) and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS). Aerobic plate count (APC) was markedly higher in C group followed by CE group throughout the storage period. As per sensory evaluation, shelf life of Indian mackerel was determined to be 11-13 days for C group, 13-15 days for CE group and 16-17 days for ME group, during storage at 0-2 °C. PMID:26396373

  11. Efficacy of mint (Mentha arvensis) leaf and citrus (Citrus aurantium) peel extracts as natural preservatives for shelf life extension of chill stored Indian mackerel.

    PubMed

    Viji, Pankyamma; Binsi, Puthanpurakkal Kizhakkathil; Visnuvinayagam, Sivam; Bindu, Jaganath; Ravishankar, Chandragiri Nagarajarao; Srinivasa Gopal, Teralandur Krishnaswamy

    2015-10-01

    Efficacy of mint (Mentha arvensis) leaf and citrus (Citrus aurantium) peel extracts in retarding the quality changes in Indian mackerel during chilled storage was investigated. Mint leaf extract showed higher quantity of phenolics and superior in-vitro antioxidant activities than citrus peel extract. Gutted mackerel were given a dip treatment in mint extract (0.5 %, w/v) and citrus extract (1 % w/v), packed in LDPE pouches and stored at 0-2 °C. The biochemical quality indices viz. total volatile base nitrogen (TVB-N), trimethylamine nitrogen (TMA-N), free fattyacids (FFA) were significantly (p < 0.05) lower in mint extract (ME) treated fishes compared to citrus extract (CE) treated and control fishes (C) without any treatment. Plant extract treatment significantly inhibited lipid oxidation in mackerel as indicated by peroxide value (PV) and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS). Aerobic plate count (APC) was markedly higher in C group followed by CE group throughout the storage period. As per sensory evaluation, shelf life of Indian mackerel was determined to be 11-13 days for C group, 13-15 days for CE group and 16-17 days for ME group, during storage at 0-2 °C.

  12. Effects of soaking with natural additives in combinations with vacuum or modified atmosphere packaging on microbial populations and shelf life of fresh truffles (Chinese Tuber indicum).

    PubMed

    Miao, Yuzhi; Chen, Cuiping; Ma, Qinqin; Wang, Yiding; Zhang, Xiaoyu; Guo, Fanglan; Li, Wei; Yong, Bin

    2014-10-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the relative effects and interactions of combined soaking treatment using citric acid (CTA) and apple polyphenol (APP) at mild heating temperatures for the inactivation of the external and internal microflora (mesophilic aerobic bacteria, mesophilic anaerobic bacteria, and fungi) in Chinese Tuber indicum, as well as to analyze the microbiological and sensory changes under modified atmosphere packaging (MAP)- and vacuum atmosphere packaging (VAC)-packed Chinese T. indicum stored at 4 °C for up to 55 d. Chinese T. indicum was soaked with CTA and APP alone or in combination for 10, 20, and 30 min at 35, 45, and 55 °C. A disinfection method using CTA and APP (3% CTA + 3% APP for 20 min at 45 °C) was obtained. Under this set of combination, the experimental values of microbial counts of mesophilic aerobic bacteria, mesophilic anaerobic bacteria, and fungi were 2.31 ± 0.4 log CFU/g, <1.0 log CFU/g, and <1.0 log CFU/g, respectively. Through the analysis of sensory qualities and microbial populations for MAP- or VAC-packed Chinese T. indicum, the shelf life of soaked truffles was prolonged to 45 or 40 d, respectively. The synergistic effect of CTA and APP may provide valuable insight into the reduction of microorganisms on fresh truffles.

  13. Life's crucible.

    PubMed

    Radetsky, P

    1998-02-01

    Research by German chemists Gunter Wachtershauser and Claudia Huber about the origins of life is reviewed. Other theories about the beginning of life on Earth are examined with comments by noted researchers.

  14. Earliest Silicic Volcanism Associated with Mid-Miocene Flood Basalts: Tuffs Interbedded with Steens Basalt, Nevada and Oregon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luckett, M.; Mahood, G. A.; Benson, T. R.

    2013-12-01

    have analyzed the vitrophyres of these four tuffs and, accounting for possible crystal enrichment/depletion in fall deposits and the observed mineralogy, we believe they represent eruption of an alkali rhyolite, two trachydacites and one trachyte. In their weakly alkalic composition they are most similar to the more alkalic lavas from the Hawks Valley/Lone Mountain center or the oldest ignimbrite from High Rock Caldera Complex, the Idaho Canyon Tuff. They appear to be insufficiently allkalic to come from McDermitt Caldera Field. Jarboe et al. (2010) report a reverse paleomagnetic polarity for a sample of Steens Basalt within the section in the southern Pueblo Mountains, making it equivalent to lower Steens Basalt at the type section at Steens Mountain. This suggests that at least minor silicic volcanism accompanied the earliest stages of flood basalt magmatism. We have irradiated alkali feldspar from the fused tuffs for 40Ar/39Ar analysis, and will present this data as a way to determine the timing of these earliest silicic eruptions, and to provide ages for Steens basalt lavas more precise than can be obtained on the low-K basalts themselves.

  15. The ear region of earliest known elephant relatives: new light on the ancestral morphotype of proboscideans and afrotherians.

    PubMed

    Schmitt, Arnaud; Gheerbrant, Emmanuel

    2016-01-01

    One of the last major clades of placental mammals recognized was the Afrotheria, which comprises all main endemic African mammals. This group includes the ungulate-like paenungulates, and among them the elephant order Proboscidea. Among afrotherians, the petrosal anatomy remains especially poorly known in Proboscidea. We provide here the first comparative CT scan study of the ear region of the two earliest known proboscideans (and paenungulates), Eritherium and Phosphatherium, from the mid Palaeocene and early Eocene of Morocco. It is helpful to characterize the ancestral morphotype of Proboscidea to understand petrosal evolution within proboscideans and afrotherians. The petrosal structure of these two taxa shows several differences. Eritherium is more primitive than Phosphatherium and closer to the basal paenungulate Ocepeia in several traits (inflated tegmen tympani, very deep fossa subarcuata and ossified canal for ramus superior of stapedial artery). Phosphatherium, however, retains plesiomorphies such as a true crus commune secundaria. A cladistic analysis of petrosal traits of Eritherium and Phosphatherium among Proboscidea results in a single tree with a low level of homoplasy in which Eritherium, Phosphatherium and Numidotherium are basal. This contrasts with previous phylogenetic studies showing homoplasy in petrosal evolution among Tethytheria. It suggests that evolutionary modalities of petrosal characters differ with the taxonomic level among Afrotheria: noticeable convergences occurred among the paenungulate orders, whereas little homoplasy seems to have occurred at intra-ordinal level in orders such as Proboscidea. Most petrosal features of both Eritherium and Phosphatherium are primitive. The ancestral petrosal morphotype of Proboscidea was not specialized but was close to the generalized condition of paenungulates, afrotherians, and even eutherians. This is consistent with cranial and dental characters of Eritherium, suggesting that the ancestral

  16. Earliest evidence for caries and exploitation of starchy plant foods in Pleistocene hunter-gatherers from Morocco

    PubMed Central

    Humphrey, Louise T.; De Groote, Isabelle; Morales, Jacob; Barton, Nick; Collcutt, Simon; Bronk Ramsey, Christopher; Bouzouggar, Abdeljalil

    2014-01-01

    Dental caries is an infectious disease that causes tooth decay. The high prevalence of dental caries in recent humans is attributed to more frequent consumption of plant foods rich in fermentable carbohydrates in food-producing societies. The transition from hunting and gathering to food production is associated with a change in the composition of the oral microbiota and broadly coincides with the estimated timing of a demographic expansion in Streptococcus mutans, a causative agent of human dental caries. Here we present evidence linking a high prevalence of caries to reliance on highly cariogenic wild plant foods in Pleistocene hunter-gatherers from North Africa, predating other high caries populations and the first signs of food production by several thousand years. Archaeological deposits at Grotte des Pigeons in Morocco document extensive evidence for human occupation during the Middle Stone Age and Later Stone Age (Iberomaurusian), and incorporate numerous human burials representing the earliest known cemetery in the Maghreb. Macrobotanical remains from occupational deposits dated between 15,000 and 13,700 cal B.P. provide evidence for systematic harvesting and processing of edible wild plants, including acorns and pine nuts. Analysis of oral pathology reveals an exceptionally high prevalence of caries (51.2% of teeth in adult dentitions), comparable to modern industrialized populations with a diet high in refined sugars and processed cereals. We infer that increased reliance on wild plants rich in fermentable carbohydrates and changes in food processing caused an early shift toward a disease-associated oral microbiota in this population. PMID:24395774

  17. RAPTOR: Closed-Loop monitoring of the night sky and the earliest optical detection of GRB 021211

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vestrand, W. T.; Borozdin, K.; Casperson, D. J.; Fenimore, E.; Galassi, M.; McGowan, K.; Starr, D.; White, R. R.; Wozniak, P.; Wren, J.

    2004-10-01

    We discuss the RAPTOR (Rapid Telescopes for Optical Response) sky monitoring system at Los Alamos National Laboratory. RAPTOR is a fully autonomous robotic system that is designed to identify and make follow-up observations of optical transients with durations as short as one minute. The RAPTOR design is based on Biomimicry of Human Vision. The sky monitor is composed of two identical arrays of telescopes, separated by 38 kilometers, which stereoscopically monitor a field of about 1300 square-degrees for transients. Both monitoring arrays are carried on rapidly slewing mounts and are composed of an ensemble of wide-field telescopes clustered around a more powerful narrow-field telescope called the ``fovea'' telescope. All telescopes are coupled to real-time analysis pipelines that identify candidate transients and relay the information to a central decision unit that filters the candidates to find real celestial transients and command a response. When a celestial transient is found, the system can point the fovea telescopes to any position on the sky within five seconds and begin follow-up observations. RAPTOR also responds to Gamma Ray Burst (GRB) alerts generated by GRB monitoring spacecraft. Here we present RAPTOR observations of GRB 021211 that constitute the earliest detection of optical emission from that event and are the second fastest achieved for any GRB. The detection of bright optical emission from GRB021211, a burst with modest gamma-ray fluence, indicates that prompt optical emission, detectable with small robotic telescopes, is more common than previously thought. Further, the very fast decline of the optical afterglow from GRB 021211 suggests that some so-called ``optically dark'' GRBs were not detected only because of the slow response of the follow-up telescopes.

  18. Earliest evidence for caries and exploitation of starchy plant foods in Pleistocene hunter-gatherers from Morocco.

    PubMed

    Humphrey, Louise T; De Groote, Isabelle; Morales, Jacob; Barton, Nick; Collcutt, Simon; Bronk Ramsey, Christopher; Bouzouggar, Abdeljalil

    2014-01-21

    Dental caries is an infectious disease that causes tooth decay. The high prevalence of dental caries in recent humans is attributed to more frequent consumption of plant foods rich in fermentable carbohydrates in food-producing societies. The transition from hunting and gathering to food production is associated with a change in the composition of the oral microbiota and broadly coincides with the estimated timing of a demographic expansion in Streptococcus mutans, a causative agent of human dental caries. Here we present evidence linking a high prevalence of caries to reliance on highly cariogenic wild plant foods in Pleistocene hunter-gatherers from North Africa, predating other high caries populations and the first signs of food production by several thousand years. Archaeological deposits at Grotte des Pigeons in Morocco document extensive evidence for human occupation during the Middle Stone Age and Later Stone Age (Iberomaurusian), and incorporate numerous human burials representing the earliest known cemetery in the Maghreb. Macrobotanical remains from occupational deposits dated between 15,000 and 13,700 cal B.P. provide evidence for systematic harvesting and processing of edible wild plants, including acorns and pine nuts. Analysis of oral pathology reveals an exceptionally high prevalence of caries (51.2% of teeth in adult dentitions), comparable to modern industrialized populations with a diet high in refined sugars and processed cereals. We infer that increased reliance on wild plants rich in fermentable carbohydrates and changes in food processing caused an early shift toward a disease-associated oral microbiota in this population.

  19. Gene Expression in Wilms’ Tumor Mimics the Earliest Committed Stage in the Metanephric Mesenchymal-Epithelial Transition

    PubMed Central

    Li, Chi-Ming; Guo, Meirong; Borczuk, Alain; Powell, Charles A.; Wei, Michelle; Thaker, Harshwardhan M.; Friedman, Richard; Klein, Ulf; Tycko, Benjamin

    2002-01-01

    Wilms’ tumor (WT) has been considered a prototype for arrested cellular differentiation in cancer, but previous studies have relied on selected markers. We have now performed an unbiased survey of gene expression in WTs using oligonucleotide microarrays. Statistical criteria identified 357 genes as differentially expressed between WTs and fetal kidneys. This set contained 124 matches to genes on a microarray used by Stuart and colleagues (Stuart RO, Bush KT, Nigam SK: Changes in global gene expression patterns during development and maturation of the rat kidney. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:5649–5654) to establish genes with stage-specific expression in the developing rat kidney. Mapping between the two data sets showed that WTs systematically overexpressed genes corresponding to the earliest stage of metanephric development, and underexpressed genes corresponding to later stages. Automated clustering identified a smaller group of 27 genes that were highly expressed in WTs compared to fetal kidney and heterologous tumor and normal tissues. This signature set was enriched in genes encoding transcription factors. Four of these, PAX2, EYA1, HBF2, and HOXA11, are essential for cell survival and proliferation in early metanephric development, whereas others, including SIX1, MOX1, and SALL2, are predicted to act at this stage. SIX1 and SALL2 proteins were expressed in the condensing mesenchyme in normal human fetal kidneys, but were absent (SIX1) or reduced (SALL2) in cells at other developmental stages. These data imply that the blastema in WTs has progressed to the committed stage in the mesenchymal-epithelial transition, where it is partially arrested in differentiation. The WT-signature set also contained the Wnt receptor FZD7, the tumor antigen PRAME, the imprinted gene NNAT and the metastasis-associated transcription factor E1AF. PMID:12057921

  20. Toros-Menalla (Chad, 7 Ma), the earliest hominin-bearing area: How many mammal paleocommunities?

    PubMed

    Le Fur, Soizic; Fara, Emmanuel; Mackaye, Hassane Taïsso; Vignaud, Patrick; Brunet, Michel

    2014-04-01

    The fossiliferous area of Toros-Menalla (TM) (Djurab Desert, northern Chad) has yielded one of the richest African mammal faunas of the late Miocene. It is also the place where the earliest known hominin, Sahelanthropus tchadensis, was found. Although more than 300 localities are recorded in that area, previous paleoecological studies focused only on the largest and richest one. The integration of the material from other TM localities, and thus of a significant number of mammal taxa, is crucial to improve the corresponding paleoenvironmental reconstructions. Before such inferences can be drawn, it is necessary to test for the ecological integrity of these mammal assemblages: how many paleocommunities do they represent? The faunal structures of several assemblages selected for their apparent resilience to sampling biases are compared here. The criteria used in the inter-assemblage comparison are ecological diversity, taxonomic structure (taxonomic rank of abundance) and taxonomic composition. Based on multivariate analyses, two groups of TM assemblages can be distinguished. One of them contains the hominin-bearing assemblages. It is taxonomically richer and shows a wider ecological spectrum than its counterpart. The degree of taphonomic alteration undergone by the TM assemblages, as well as the distribution of amphibious mammals among them, suggest different depositional settings for these two groups of assemblages, the richest of which was probably associated with lower hydraulic energy. Overall, it seems that the TM assemblages recorded the same mammal paleocommunity preserved in two contrasted depositional settings. Moreover, the spatial overlap of these assemblages provides further evidence for the mosaic character of the landscape associated with S. tchadensis.