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Sample records for european starling sturnus

  1. Effects of dietary quality on basal metabolic rate and internal morphology of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Geluso, Keith; Hayes, J.P.

    1999-01-01

    European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) were fed either a low- or high-quality diet to test the effects of dietary quality on basal metabolic rate (BMR) and internal morphology. Basal metabolic rate did not differ significantly between the two dietary groups, but internal morphology differed greatly. Starlings fed the low-quality diet had heavier gastrointestinal tracts, gizzards, and livers. Starlings fed the high-quality diet had heavier breast muscles. Starlings on the low-quality diet maintained mass, while starlings on the high-quality diet gained mass. Dry matter digestibility and energy digestibility were lower for starlings fed the low-quality diet, and their food and water intake were greater than starlings on the high-quality diet. The lack of dietary effect on BMR may be the result of increased energy expenditure of digestive organs paralleling a reduction of energy expenditure of organs and tissues not related to digestion (i.e., skeletal muscle). This trade-off in energy allocation among organs suggests a mechanism by which organisms may alter BMR in response to a change in seasonal variation in food availability.

  2. Embryonic modulation of maternal steroids in European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Paitz, Ryan T; Bowden, Rachel M; Casto, Joseph M

    2011-01-07

    In birds, maternally derived yolk steroids are a proposed mechanism by which females can adjust individual offspring phenotype to prevailing conditions. However, when interests of mother and offspring differ, parent-offspring conflict will arise and embryonic interests, not those of the mother, should drive offspring response to maternal steroids in eggs. Because of this potential conflict, we investigated the ability of developing bird embryos to process maternally derived yolk steroids. We examined how progesterone, testosterone and oestradiol levels changed in both the yolk/albumen (YA) and the embryo of European starling eggs during the first 10 days of development. Next, we injected tritiated testosterone into eggs at oviposition to characterize potential metabolic pathways during development. Ether extractions separated organic and aqueous metabolites in both the embryo and YA homogenate, after which major steroid metabolites were identified. Results indicate that the concentrations of all three steroids declined during development in the YA homogenate. Exogenous testosterone was primarily metabolized to an aqueous form of etiocholanolone that remained in the YA. These results clearly demonstrate that embryos can modulate their local steroid environment, setting up the potential for parent-offspring conflict. Embryonic regulation must be considered when addressing the evolutionary consequences of maternal steroids in eggs.

  3. Mid-winter temperatures, not spring temperatures, predict breeding phenology in the European starling Sturnus vulgaris.

    PubMed

    Williams, Tony D; Bourgeon, Sophie; Cornell, Allison; Ferguson, Laramie; Fowler, Melinda; Fronstin, Raime B; Love, Oliver P

    2015-01-01

    In many species, empirical data suggest that temperatures less than 1 month before breeding strongly influence laying date, consistent with predictions that short lag times between cue and response are more reliable, decreasing the chance of mismatch with prey. Here we show in European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) that mid-winter temperature ca 50-90 days before laying (8 January-22 February) strongly (r (2) = 0.89) predicts annual variation in laying date. Mid-winter temperature also correlated highly with relative clutch size: birds laid later, but laid larger clutches, in years when mid-winter temperatures were lower. Despite a high degree of breeding synchrony (mean laying date 5-13 April = ±4 days; 80% of nests laid within 4.8 days within year), European starlings show strong date-dependent variation in clutch size and productivity, but this appears to be mediated by a different temporal mechanism for integration of supplemental cue (temperature) information. We suggest the relationship between mid-winter temperature and breeding phenology might be indirect with both components correlating with a third factor: temperature-dependent development of the starling's insect (tipulid) prey. Mid-winter temperatures might set the trajectory of growth and final biomass of tipulid larvae, with this temperature cue providing starlings with information on breeding season prey availability (though exactly how remains unknown).

  4. Lead concentrations and reproductive success in European starlings Sturnus vulgaris nesting within highway roadside verges

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grue, C.E.; Hoffman, D.J.; Beyer, W.N.; Franson, L.P.

    1986-01-01

    In 1981, the authors studied lead concentrations and reproductive success in free-living European starlings Sturnus vulgaris nesting within the verges of two Maryland highways with different traffic volumes, Route 197(average daily traffic volume[ADT] = 10,800 vehicles) and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (ADT=52,500 vehicles) and a nearby control area. Concentrations (mg kg-1 dry weight) of lead in the ingesta (84-94 mg kg-1), carcasses (4.0-9.6 mg kg-1)and feathers (6.8-52 mg kg-1) of Parkway nestlings and adults were 3 to 13 times those found in starlings from the control area, whereas lead concentrations in the ingesta and tissues of starlings from the verge of Route 197 were similar to those of controls. Activity of delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) in red blood cells (RBCs) of adult and nestling starlings from the Parkway was depressed from 43 to 60% compared to controls. RBC ALAD activity in adults from nests along Route 197 was similar to that of adult starlings from the control area, but that of their young was depressed 17%. Haemoglobin concentrations (-16%) and haematocrits (-10%) in Parkway nestlings were depressed compared with those of nestlings from the other two study areas, whereas those of adults were not affected. Clutch size, number of young hatched and the number of young in nests 1 to 3 days before fledging were similar among sites, as were body weights of adults and prefledging weights of their young. However, brain weights of Parkway nestlings were lower (P < 0.05) than those of nestlings from the other study areas. Results suggests that lead within verges of major highways probably does not pose a serious hazard to adult ground-foraging songbirds. However, the effects of lead-induced reductions in haemoglobin concentration, haematocrit, RBC ALAD activity and brain weight on the postfledging survival of their young are not known.

  5. Toxicity of parathion to captive European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)-absence of seasonal effects

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Grue, C.E.

    1990-01-01

    The effects of season on the toxicity of the prototypic organophosphorus insecticide parathion was evaluated using adult European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) housed in outdoor pens. Groups of birds received oral doses of parathion in the fall, winter, spring and summer. Median lethal dosage, and brain and plasma cholinesterase inhibition, were found to be quite similar among seasons. Parathion may have been more toxic during hot weather (winter vs. summer LD50 estimate: 160 vs. 118 mg/kg; p < 0.1). In view of previous reports in which ambient temperature extremes and harsh weather have enhanced organophosphorus insecticide toxicity to birds, it is concluded that circannual toxicity studies should include measures of sensitivity (acute oral exposure) and vulnerability (dietary exposure) to better predict responses of free-ranging birds.

  6. Helminth parasites of the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) (Aves, Sturnidae), an invasive bird in Argentina.

    PubMed

    Valente, Romina; Ibañez, Lucía Mariel; Lorenti, Eliana; Fiorini, Vanina Dafne; Montalti, Diego; Diaz, Julia Inés

    2014-07-01

    The aim of this work is to contribute to the knowledge of gastrointestinal parasites of the European starling Sturnus vulgaris, an invasive bird from Argentina. Seventy-six birds were collected during the spring of 2007 and were examined for helminths. Six parasite species were found: one trematoda of the Echinostoma revolutum "group," four nematodes (Synhimantus nasuta, Microtetrameres sp., Pterothominx exilis, and Ornithocapillaria ovopunctata), and one acanthocephalan (Plagiorhynchus cylindraceus). All species found have been recorded in Eurasia and/or North America previously, although present reports enlarge their geographical distribution. As expected in an invasive host, the parasite community shows much lower species richness (n = 6) than those observed in their native area (79 and 35 in the Eurasia and North America, respectively).

  7. Azimuthal sound localization in the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris): III. Comparison of sound localization measures.

    PubMed

    Feinkohl, Arne; Borzeszkowski, Katharina M; Klump, Georg M

    2016-02-01

    Sound localization studies have typically employed two types of tasks: absolute tasks that measured the localization of the angular location of a single sound and relative tasks that measured the localization of the angular location of a sound relative to the angular location of another sound from a different source (e.g., in the Minimum Audible Angle task). The present study investigates the localization of single sounds in the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) with a left/right discrimination paradigm. Localization thresholds of 8-12° determined in starlings using this paradigm were much lower than the minimum audible angle thresholds determined in a previous study with the same individuals. The traditional concept of sound localization classifies the present experiment as an absolute localization task. However, we propose that the experiment presenting single sounds measured localization of the angular location of the sound relative to a non-acoustic spatial frame of reference. We discuss how the properties of the setup can determine if presentation of single sounds in a left/right discrimination paradigm comprises an absolute localization task rather than a localization task relative to a non-acoustic reference. Furthermore, the analysis methods employed may lead to quite different threshold estimates for the same data, especially in case of a response bias in left/right discrimination. We propose using an analysis method precluding effects of response bias on the threshold estimate.

  8. Reproductive state modulates testosterone-induced singing in adult female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)

    PubMed Central

    Stevenson, Tyler J.; Fortune, Eric S.; Ball, Gregory F.

    2015-01-01

    European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) exhibit seasonal changes in singing and in the volumes of the neural substrate. Increases in song nuclei volume are mediated at least in part by increases in day length, which is also associated with increases in plasma testosterone (T), reproductive activity, and singing behavior in males. The correlations between photoperiod (i.e. daylength), T, reproductive state and singing hamper our ability to disentangle causal relationships. We investigated how photoperiodic-induced variation in reproductive state modulates the effects of T on singing behavior and song nuclei volumes in adult female starlings. Female Starlings do not naturally produce measureable levels of circulating T but nevertheless respond to exogenous T, which induces male-like singing. We manipulated photoperiod by placing birds in a photosensitive or photorefractory state and then treated them with T-filled or empty silastic implants. We recorded morning singing behavior for three weeks, after which we assessed reproductive condition and measured song nuclei volumes. We found that T-treated photosensitive birds sang significantly more than all other groups including T-treated photorefractory birds. All T-treated birds had larger song nuclei volumes than with blank-treated birds (despite photorefractory T-treated birds not increasing song-rate). There was no effect of photoperiod on the song nuclei volumes of T-treated birds. These data show that the behavioral effects of exogenous T can be modulated by reproductive state in adult female songbirds. Furthermore, these data are consistent with other observations that increases in singing rate in response to T are not necessarily due to the direct effects of T on song nuclei volume. PMID:25989596

  9. Developmental Exposure to Aroclor 1254 Alters Migratory Behavior in Juvenile European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Flahr, Leanne M; Michel, Nicole L; Zahara, Alexander R D; Jones, Paul D; Morrissey, Christy A

    2015-05-19

    Birds exposed to endocrine disrupting chemicals during development could be susceptible to neurological and other physiological changes affecting migratory behaviors. We investigated the effects of ecologically relevant levels of Aroclor 1254, a polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) mixture, on moult, fattening, migratory activity, and orientation in juvenile European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Birds were orally administered 0 (control), 0.35 (low), 0.70 (intermediate), or 1.05 (high) μg Aroclor 1254/g-body weight by gavage from 1 through 18 days posthatch and later exposed in captivity to a photoperiod shift simulating an autumn migration. Migratory activity and orientation were examined using Emlen funnel trials. Across treatments, we found significant increases in mass, fat, and moulting and decreasing plasma thyroid hormones over time. We observed a significant increase in activity as photoperiod was shifted from 13L:11D (light:dark) to 12L:12D, demonstrating that migratory condition was induced in captivity. At 12L:12D, control birds oriented to 155.95° (South-Southeast), while high-dosed birds did not. High-dosed birds showed a delayed orientation to 197.48° (South-Southwest) under 10L:14D, concomitant with apparent delays in moult. These findings demonstrate how subtle contaminant-induced alterations during development could lead to longer-scale effects, including changes in migratory activity and orientation, which could potentially result in deleterious effects on fitness and survival.

  10. Chronic psychological stress alters body weight and blood chemistry in European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Awerman, J L; Romero, L M

    2010-05-01

    One hallmark of chronic stress is a decrease in body weight that rebounds once chronic stress is alleviated. We applied chronic psychological stress by exposing European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) to a previously validated chronic stress protocol (CSP) consisting of 4 different randomly applied stressors per day. Experimental design consisted of a 21 day CSP (CSP1), a 60day recovery (R1), a second 14 day CSP (CSP2), and a second 30 day recovery (R2). Body weight decreased by approximately 5% during CSP1, but overshot to 5-10% above initial body weight during R1. To investigate underlying mechanisms, we periodically measured 12 biochemical analytes, including aspartate aminotransferase (AST), creatine kinase (CK), bile acids, total protein, albumin, globulin, glucose, uric acid, calcium (Ca(++)), phosphorus (PHOS), potassium (K(+)), and sodium (Na(+)). AST and CK increased at the beginning of CSP1, suggesting muscle breakdown. Additionally, decreases in albumin and total protein paired with stable uric acid, but no associated change in glucose, suggested protein breakdown as a secondary energy source. Changes in blood parameters that occurred during CSP1 did not reverse during R1. During CSP2 and R2, weight loss and gain occurred in different proportions. CSP2 produced an approximate 15% decrease in body weight, but R2 resulted in only re-gaining 5% of this weight, although this was equivalent to the pre-CSP1 weight. In summary, protein metabolism appeared to mediate weight loss during chronic stress, but over-gaining weight was not a good indicator of recovery.

  11. Artificial rain and cold wind act as stressors to captive molting and non-molting European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    de Bruijn, Robert; Romero, L Michael

    2013-03-01

    Free-roaming animals continually cope with changes in their environment. One of the most unpredictable environmental phenomena is weather. Being able to respond to weather appropriately is crucial as it can be a threat to survival. The stress response, consisting of increases in heart rate and release of glucocorticoids, is an important mechanism by which animals cope with stressors. This study examined behavioral, heart rate, and corticosterone responses of captive European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) to two aspects of weather mimicked under controlled conditions, a subtle (3 °C) decrease in temperature and a short, mild bout of rain. Both decreased temperature and exposure to rain elicited increases in heart rate and corticosterone in non-molting starlings. Molt is an important life history stage in birds that affects feather cover and may require a different response to weather-related stressors. We repeated the experiment in molting starlings and found increases in heart rate in response to rain and cold wind. However, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis was suppressed during molt, as molting starlings did not increase corticosterone release in response to either stimulus. These data suggest these stimuli induce increased allostatic load in starlings, and that animals may adjust their response depending on the life-history stage.

  12. European starling (Sturnus vulgaris): avian model and monitor of polychlorinated biphenyl contamination at a Superfund site in southern Illinois, USA.

    PubMed

    Arenal, Christine A; Halbrook, Richard S; Woodruff, MaryJo

    2004-01-01

    Accumulation and effects of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in avian species were evaluated at a Superfund site located at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge (IL, USA). European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) were monitored at nest boxes constructed at each of two study and two reference sites. During the breeding season, starling productivity and adult provisioning behavior were monitored. At 15 d after hatch, chicks and adults were collected for contaminant and biomarker analyses. Chicks and adults were necropsied. ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity was measured in liver tissue, and polychlorinatedbiphenyl (PCB; Aroclor 1254) and 34 chlorinated biphenyl (CB) congener concentrations were measured in carcasses. Polychlorinated biphenyl and CB concentrations also were measured in eggs that failed to hatch. Mean Aroclor 1254 and quantified CB concentrations were greater (p < 0.001) in eggs that failed to hatch, 15-d-old chicks, and adults collected from PCB-contaminated sites (hereafter PCB sites) compared to those collected from reference sites. The EROD activity was greater (p = 0.005) in 15-d-old chicks, but not adults (p = 0.972), collected from PCB sites compared to those collected from reference sites. No differences were found among study and reference sites in number of eggs laid or percent of eggs hatched; however, reduced nest provisioning behavior and decreased chick survival were observed at PCB sites. Polychlorinated biphenyl concentrations measured in samples collected from the PCB sites are similar to concentrations previously associated with adverse effects in avian species. Other avian species utilizing these sites also may be exposed to PCBs with associated adverse effects. This study demonstrates that starling nestlings are good biological monitors of local contamination and continued monitoring may provide useful data for evaluating the effectiveness of proposed remediation.

  13. Constitutive immune function in European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, is decreased immediately after an endurance flight in a wind tunnel.

    PubMed

    Nebel, Silke; Bauchinger, Ulf; Buehler, Deborah M; Langlois, Lillie A; Boyles, Michelle; Gerson, Alexander R; Price, Edwin R; McWilliams, Scott R; Guglielmo, Christopher G

    2012-01-15

    Life-history theory predicts that animals face a trade-off in energy allocation between performing strenuous exercise, such as migratory flight, and mounting an immune response. We experimentally tested this prediction by studying immune function in European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, flown in a wind tunnel. Specifically, we predicted that constitutive immune function decreases in response to training and, additionally, in response to immediate exercise. We compared constitutive immune function among three groups: (1) 'untrained' birds that were kept in cages and were not flown; (2) 'trained' birds that received flight training over a 15 day period and performed a 1-4 h continuous flight, after which they rested for 48 h before being sampled; and (3) 'post-flight' birds that differed from the 'trained' group only in being sampled immediately after the final flight. A bird in our trained group represents an individual during migration that has been resting between migratory flights for at least 2 days. A bird in our post-flight group represents an individual that has just completed a migratory flight and has not yet had time to recover. Three of our four indicators (haptoglobin, agglutination and lysis) showed the predicted decrease in immune function in the post-flight group, and two indicators (haptoglobin, agglutination) showed the predicted decreasing trend from the untrained to trained to post-flight group. Haptoglobin levels were negatively correlated with flight duration. No effect of training or flight was detected on leukocyte profiles. Our results suggest that in European starlings, constitutive immune function is decreased more as a result of immediate exercise than of exercise training. Because of the recent emergence of avian-borne diseases, understanding the trade-offs and challenges faced by long-distance migrants has gained a new level of relevance and urgency.

  14. Estimation of unsteady aerodynamics in the wake of a freely flying European starling (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Ben-Gida, Hadar; Kirchhefer, Adam; Taylor, Zachary J; Bezner-Kerr, Wayne; Guglielmo, Christopher G; Kopp, Gregory A; Gurka, Roi

    2013-01-01

    Wing flapping is one of the most widespread propulsion methods found in nature; however, the current understanding of the aerodynamics in bird wakes is incomplete. The role of the unsteady motion in the flow and its contribution to the aerodynamics is still an open question. In the current study, the wake of a freely flying European starling has been investigated using long-duration high-speed Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) in the near wake. Kinematic analysis of the wings and body of the bird has been performed using additional high-speed cameras that recorded the bird movement simultaneously with the PIV measurements. The wake evolution of four complete wingbeats has been characterized through reconstruction of the time-resolved data, and the aerodynamics in the wake have been analyzed in terms of the streamwise forces acting on the bird. The profile drag from classical aerodynamics was found to be positive during most of the wingbeat cycle, yet kinematic images show that the bird does not decelerate. It is shown that unsteady aerodynamics are necessary to satisfy the drag/thrust balance by approximating the unsteady drag term. These findings may shed light on the flight efficiency of birds by providing a partial answer to how they minimize drag during flapping flight.

  15. Estimation of Unsteady Aerodynamics in the Wake of a Freely Flying European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

    PubMed Central

    Ben-Gida, Hadar; Kirchhefer, Adam; Taylor, Zachary J.; Bezner-Kerr, Wayne; Guglielmo, Christopher G.; Kopp, Gregory A.; Gurka, Roi

    2013-01-01

    Wing flapping is one of the most widespread propulsion methods found in nature; however, the current understanding of the aerodynamics in bird wakes is incomplete. The role of the unsteady motion in the flow and its contribution to the aerodynamics is still an open question. In the current study, the wake of a freely flying European starling has been investigated using long-duration high-speed Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) in the near wake. Kinematic analysis of the wings and body of the bird has been performed using additional high-speed cameras that recorded the bird movement simultaneously with the PIV measurements. The wake evolution of four complete wingbeats has been characterized through reconstruction of the time-resolved data, and the aerodynamics in the wake have been analyzed in terms of the streamwise forces acting on the bird. The profile drag from classical aerodynamics was found to be positive during most of the wingbeat cycle, yet kinematic images show that the bird does not decelerate. It is shown that unsteady aerodynamics are necessary to satisfy the drag/thrust balance by approximating the unsteady drag term. These findings may shed light on the flight efficiency of birds by providing a partial answer to how they minimize drag during flapping flight. PMID:24278243

  16. Spatial epidemiology of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in dairy cattle in relation to night roosts Of Sturnus vulgaris (European Starling) in Ohio, USA (2007-2009).

    PubMed

    Swirski, A L; Pearl, D L; Williams, M L; Homan, H J; Linz, G M; Cernicchiaro, N; LeJeune, J T

    2014-09-01

    The goal of our study was to use spatial scan statics to determine whether the night roosts of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) act as point sources for the dissemination of Escherichia coli O157:H7 among dairy farms. From 2007 to 2009, we collected bovine faecal samples (n = 9000) and starling gastrointestinal contents (n = 430) from 150 dairy farms in northeastern Ohio, USA. Isolates of E. coli O157:H7 recovered from these samples were subtyped using multilocus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA). Generated MLVA types were used to construct a dendrogram based on a categorical multistate coefficient and unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA). Using a focused spatial scan statistic, we identified statistically significant spatial clusters among dairy farms surrounding starling night roosts, with an increased prevalence of E. coli O157:H7-positive bovine faecal pats, increased diversity of distinguishable MLVA types and a greater number of isolates with MLVA types from bovine-starling clades versus bovine-only clades. Thus, our findings are compatible with the hypothesis that starlings have a role in the dissemination of E. coli O157:H7 among dairy farms, and further research into starling management is warranted.

  17. Early life adversity increases foraging and information gathering in European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris

    PubMed Central

    Andrews, Clare; Viviani, Jérémie; Egan, Emily; Bedford, Thomas; Brilot, Ben; Nettle, Daniel; Bateson, Melissa

    2015-01-01

    Animals can insure themselves against the risk of starvation associated with unpredictable food availability by storing energy reserves or gathering information about alternative food sources. The former strategy carries costs in terms of mass-dependent predation risk, while the latter trades off against foraging for food; both trade-offs may be influenced by an individual's developmental history. Here, we consider a possible role of early developmental experience in inducing different mass regulation and foraging strategies in European starlings. We measured the body mass, body condition, foraging effort, food consumption and contrafreeloading (foraging for food hidden in sand when equivalent food is freely available) of adult birds (≥10 months old) that had previously undergone a subtle early life manipulation of food competition (cross-fostering into the highest or lowest ranks in the brood size hierarchy when 2–12 days of age). We found that developmentally disadvantaged birds were fatter in adulthood and differed in foraging behaviour compared with their advantaged siblings. Disadvantaged birds were hyperphagic compared with advantaged birds, but only following a period of food deprivation, and also spent more time contrafreeloading. Advantaged birds experienced a trade-off between foraging success and time spent contrafreeloading, whereas disadvantaged birds faced no such trade-off, owing to their greater foraging efficiency. Thus, developmentally disadvantaged birds appeared to retain a phenotypic memory of increased nestling food competition, employing both energy storage and information-gathering insurance strategies to a greater extent than their advantaged siblings. Our results suggest that subtle early life disadvantage in the form of psychosocial stress and/or food insecurity can leave a lasting legacy on foraging behaviour and mass regulation even in the absence of food insufficiency during development or adulthood. PMID:26566292

  18. Early life adversity increases foraging and information gathering in European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris.

    PubMed

    Andrews, Clare; Viviani, Jérémie; Egan, Emily; Bedford, Thomas; Brilot, Ben; Nettle, Daniel; Bateson, Melissa

    2015-11-01

    Animals can insure themselves against the risk of starvation associated with unpredictable food availability by storing energy reserves or gathering information about alternative food sources. The former strategy carries costs in terms of mass-dependent predation risk, while the latter trades off against foraging for food; both trade-offs may be influenced by an individual's developmental history. Here, we consider a possible role of early developmental experience in inducing different mass regulation and foraging strategies in European starlings. We measured the body mass, body condition, foraging effort, food consumption and contrafreeloading (foraging for food hidden in sand when equivalent food is freely available) of adult birds (≥10 months old) that had previously undergone a subtle early life manipulation of food competition (cross-fostering into the highest or lowest ranks in the brood size hierarchy when 2-12 days of age). We found that developmentally disadvantaged birds were fatter in adulthood and differed in foraging behaviour compared with their advantaged siblings. Disadvantaged birds were hyperphagic compared with advantaged birds, but only following a period of food deprivation, and also spent more time contrafreeloading. Advantaged birds experienced a trade-off between foraging success and time spent contrafreeloading, whereas disadvantaged birds faced no such trade-off, owing to their greater foraging efficiency. Thus, developmentally disadvantaged birds appeared to retain a phenotypic memory of increased nestling food competition, employing both energy storage and information-gathering insurance strategies to a greater extent than their advantaged siblings. Our results suggest that subtle early life disadvantage in the form of psychosocial stress and/or food insecurity can leave a lasting legacy on foraging behaviour and mass regulation even in the absence of food insufficiency during development or adulthood.

  19. Neurotensin immunolabeling relates to sexually-motivated song and other social behaviors in male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Merullo, Devin P; Cordes, Melissa A; Stevenson, Sharon A; Riters, Lauren V

    2015-04-01

    The brain regions involved in vocal communication are well described for some species, including songbirds, but less is known about the neural mechanisms underlying motivational aspects of communication. Mesolimbic dopaminergic projections from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) are central to mediating motivated behaviors. In songbirds, VTA provides dopaminergic innervation to brain regions associated with motivation and social behavior that are also involved in sexually-motivated song production. Neurotensin (NT) is a neuropeptide that strongly modulates dopamine activity, co-localizes with dopamine in VTA, and is found in regions where dopaminergic cells project from VTA. Yet, little is known about how NT contributes to vocal communication or other motivated behaviors. We examined the relationships between sexually-motivated song produced by male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) and NT immunolabeling in brain regions involved in social behavior and motivation. Additionally, we observed relationships between NT labeling, non-vocal courtship behaviors (another measure of sexual motivation), and agonistic behavior to begin to understand NT's role in socially-motivated behaviors. NT labeling in VTA, lateral septum, and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis correlated with sexually-motivated singing and non-vocal courtship behaviors. NT labeling in VTA, lateral septum, medial preoptic nucleus, and periaqueductal gray was associated with agonistic behavior. This study is the first to suggest NT's involvement in song, and one of the few to implicate NT in social behaviors more generally. Additionally, our results are consistent with the idea that distinct patterns of neuropeptide activity in brain areas involved in social behavior and motivation underlie differentially motivated behaviors.

  20. Experimental challenge of a peridomestic avian species, European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), with novel Influenza A H7N9 virus from China

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, Jeffrey S.; Ip, Hon S.; Teslaa, Joshua L.; Nashold, Sean W.; Dusek, Robert

    2016-01-01

    In 2013 a novel avian influenza H7N9 virus was isolated from several critically ill patients in China, and infection with this virus has since caused more than 200 human deaths. Live poultry markets are the likely locations of virus exposure to humans. Peridomestic avian species also may play important roles in the transmission and maintenance of H7N9 at live poultry markets. We experimentally challenged wild European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) with the novel H7N9 virus and measured virus excretion, clinical signs, and infectious dose. We found that European Starlings can be infected with this virus when inoculated with relatively high doses, and we predict that infected birds excrete sufficient amounts of virus to transmit to other birds, including domestic chickens. Infected European Starlings showed no clinical signs or mortality after infection with H7N9. This abundant peridomestic bird may be a source of the novel H7N9 virus in live poultry markets and may have roles in virus transmission to poultry and humans.

  1. Experimental infection of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) and house sparrows (Passer domesticus) with pandemic 2009 H1N1 and swine H1N1 and H3N2 triple reassortant influenza viruses.

    PubMed

    Nemeth, Nicole M; Oesterle, Paul T; Poulson, Rebecca L; Jones, Cheryl A; Tompkins, S Mark; Brown, Justin D; Stallknecht, David E

    2013-04-01

    European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) and House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) are common peridomestic passerine birds that are often associated with domestic animal production facilities. This association provides a potential means for pathogen transmission between facilities. We inoculated European Starlings and House Sparrows with three non-avian influenza virus strains: two swine isolates (H1N1 and H3N2) and one human isolate representing the H1N1 pandemic strain that originated from swine. No viral shedding was observed in House Sparrows, and shedding was minimal and transient in two of 12 (17%) European Starlings. One of these two infected Starlings seroconverted 14 days after inoculation. These results suggest that these two passerine species are minimally susceptible to current influenza viruses in domestic pigs and therefore pose a negligible risk for transmission between or within swine production facilities.

  2. The role of prolactin in the development of reproductive photorefractoriness and postnuptial molt in the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Dawson, A; Sharp, P J

    1998-02-01

    Seasonal breeding in many birds, including the European starling, is terminated by the development of absolute reproductive photorefractoriness, followed by a postnuptial molt, when photo-induced PRL secretion is at its seasonal maximum. To determine whether this photo-induced increase in PRL secretion has a causal role in the development of photorefractoriness or molt, European starlings were actively immunized against vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), the PRL releasing hormone in birds, or against PRL, during a photo-induced breeding cycle. In half of the VIP-immunized birds, the photo-induced increase in PRL was completely suppressed. Although these birds became photorefractory, the rate of gonadal regression was markedly slowed. These birds did not molt. In the remaining VIP-immunized birds, the photo-induced increase in PRL was inhibited but not completely suppressed. In these birds, and in those immunized against PRL, gonadal regression was also slowed, but molt progressed as normal. There were no significant differences in concentrations of plasma thyroxine between treatment and control groups, indicating that the effects of immunization on gonadal regression were not mediated by the induction of hypothyroidism. These results are consistent with the view that in the European starling the seasonal photo-induced increase in PRL accelerates gonadal regression during the onset of photorefractoriness but does not itself cause photorefractoriness. Further, the seasonal increase in PRL is required for the induction of the postnuptial molt.

  3. Wild European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) adjust to captivity with sustained sympathetic nervous system drive and a reduced fight-or-flight response.

    PubMed

    Dickens, Molly J; Romero, L Michael

    2009-01-01

    Although research on wild species typically involves capture, handling, and some degree of captivity, few studies examine how these actions affect and/or alter the animal's underlying stress physiology. Furthermore, we poorly understand the immediate changes that occur as wild animals adjust to captive conditions. Most studies to date have investigated relatively long-term changes in the glucocorticoid response to an acute stressor, but immediate changes in the fight-or-flight response are relatively understudied in wild-caught species. In this study, we investigated changes to the cardiovascular stress response during the first 10 d of captivity of freshly captured wild European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). We demonstrated that (1) baseline heart rate (HR) remains elevated for several days following transport into captivity, (2) the normal balance between sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and parasympathetic nervous system regulation of HR is disrupted, with the SNS exerting relatively greater control over baseline HR for the first days of captivity, and (3) the HR response to startle, a mild stressor, becomes significantly reduced compared to that of starlings maintained in captivity for several months and remains below the control response for at least 10 d. These data are the first to show that successive acute stressors and introduction to a captive setting significantly alter the physiology and responsiveness of the cardiovascular stress response system.

  4. Two seconds is all it takes: European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) increase levels of circulating glucocorticoids after witnessing a brief raptor attack.

    PubMed

    Jones, Blake C; Smith, Adam D; Bebus, Sara E; Schoech, Stephan J

    2016-02-01

    Researchers typically study "acute" activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis by measuring levels of circulating glucocorticoids in animals that have been exposed to a predator or a cue from a predator (e.g., odor), or have experienced a standardized capture-and-restraint protocol, all of which are many minutes in duration. However, exposure to predators in the "wild", either as the subject of an attack or as a witness to an attack, is generally much shorter as most depredation attempts upon free-living animals last <5s. Yet, whether a stimulus lasting only seconds can activate the HPA axis is unknown. To determine if a stimulus of a few seconds triggers a glucocorticoid response, we measured levels of corticosterone (CORT; the primary avian glucocorticoid) in wild-caught European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) after they witnessed a brief (<2-8s) raptor attack upon a conspecific, a human "attack" (i.e., a researcher handling a conspecific), and an undisturbed control. Witnesses of a raptor attack responded with CORT levels comparable to that induced by a standardized capture-and-restraint protocol. Glucocorticoid levels of individuals following the control treatment were similar to baseline levels, and those that witnessed a human "attack" had intermediate levels. Our results demonstrate that witnessing a predator attack of very brief duration triggers a profound adrenocortical stress response. Given the considerable evidence of a role for glucocorticoids in learning and memory, such a response may affect how individuals learn to recognize and appropriately react to predators.

  5. Metabolic power of European starlings Sturnus vulgaris during flight in a wind tunnel, estimated from heat transfer modelling, doubly labelled water and mask respirometry.

    PubMed

    Ward, S; Möller, U; Rayner, J M V; Jackson, D M; Nachtigall, W; Speakman, J R

    2004-11-01

    It is technically demanding to measure the energetic cost of animal flight. Each of the previously available techniques has some disadvantage as well advantages. We compared measurements of the energetic cost of flight in a wind tunnel by four European starlings Sturnus vulgaris made using three independent techniques: heat transfer modelling, doubly labelled water (DLW) and mask respirometry. We based our heat transfer model on thermal images of the surface temperature of the birds and air flow past the body and wings calculated from wing beat kinematics. Metabolic power was not sensitive to uncertainty in the value of efficiency when estimated from heat transfer modelling. A change in the assumed value of whole animal efficiency from 0.19 to 0.07 (the range of estimates in previous studies) only altered metabolic power predicted from heat transfer modelling by 13%. The same change in the assumed value of efficiency would cause a 2.7-fold change in metabolic power if it were predicted from mechanical power. Metabolic power did not differ significantly between measurements made using the three techniques when we assumed an efficiency in the range 0.11-0.19, although the DLW results appeared to form a U-shaped power-speed curve while the heat transfer model and respirometry results increased linearly with speed. This is the first time that techniques for determining metabolic power have been compared using data from the same birds flying under the same conditions. Our data provide reassurance that all the techniques produce similar results and suggest that heat transfer modelling may be a useful method for estimating metabolic rate.

  6. Shape from Shading in Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)

    PubMed Central

    Qadri, Muhammad A.; Romero, L. Michael; Cook, Robert G.

    2014-01-01

    Birds behave as if they quickly and accurately perceive an object-filled visual world. Beyond the extensive research with pigeons, however, there is a large and important gap in our knowledge about the mechanisms of object perception and recognition in other avian visual systems. The pattern of shading reflected from object surfaces is one important optical feature providing fundamental information about shape. To better understand how surface and object shading is processed by a passerine species, five starlings were tested with differentially illuminated convex and concave curved surfaces in three experiments using a simultaneous visual discrimination procedure. Starlings rapidly learned this shape-from-shading discrimination independent of varied lighting direction, surface color, and camera perspective. Variations in the pattern of lighting through experimental manipulations of camera perspective, surface height, contrast, material specularity, and surface shape were consistent with the hypothesis that the starlings perceived these illuminated surfaces as having three-dimensional shape, similar to results previously collected with pigeons. These similarities across different orders of birds indicate that the relative shading for objects in a visual scene is a highly salient feature for shape processing in birds and is likely a highly conserved visual process that is widely distributed within this class of animal. PMID:25111630

  7. Postfledging survival of European starlings

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krementz, D.G.; Nichols, J.D.; Hines, J.E.

    1989-01-01

    We tested the hypotheses that mass at fledging and fledge date within the breeding season affect postfledging survival in European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Nestlings were weighed on day 18 after hatch and tagged with individually identifiable patagial tags. Fledge date was recorded. Marked fledglings were resighted during weekly two-day intensive observation periods for 9 weeks postfledging. Post-fledging survival and sighting probabilities were estimated for each of four groups (early or late fledging by heavy or light fledging mass). Body mass was related to post-fledging survival for birds that fledged early. Results were not clear-cut for relative fledge date, although there was weak evidence that this also influenced survival. Highest survival probability estimates occurred in the EARLY-HEAVY group, while the lowest survival estimate occurred in the LATE-LIGHT group. Sighting probabilities differed significantly among groups, emphasizing the need to estimate and compare survival using models which explicitly incorporate sighting probabilities.

  8. Heat transfer from starlings sturnus vulgaris during flight

    PubMed

    Ward; Rayner; MOLler; Jackson; Nachtigall; Speakman

    1999-06-01

    Infrared thermography was used to measure heat transfer by radiation and the surface temperature of starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) (N=4) flying in a wind tunnel at 6-14 m s-1 and at 15-25 degrees C. Heat transfer by forced convection was calculated from bird surface temperature and biophysical modelling of convective heat transfer coefficients. The legs, head and ventral brachial areas (under the wings) were the hottest parts of the bird (mean values 6.8, 6.0 and 5.3 degrees C, respectively, above air temperature). Thermal gradients between the bird surface and the air decreased at higher air temperatures or during slow flight. The legs were trailed in the air stream during slow flight and when air temperature was high; this could increase heat transfer from the legs from 1 to 12 % of heat transfer by convection, radiation and evaporation (overall heat loss). Overall heat loss at a flight speed of 10.2 m s-1 averaged 11. 3 W, of which radiation accounted for 8 % and convection for 81 %. Convection from the ventral brachial areas was the most important route of heat transfer (19 % of overall heat loss). Of the overall heat loss, 55 % occurred by convection and radiation from the wings, although the primaries and secondaries were the coolest parts of the bird (2.2-2.5 degrees C above air temperature). Calculated heat transfer from flying starlings was most sensitive to accurate measurement of air temperature and convective heat transfer coefficients.

  9. Links between breeding readiness, opioid immunolabeling, and the affective state induced by hearing male courtship song in female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)

    PubMed Central

    Riters, Lauren V.; Ellis, Jesse M. S.; Angyal, Caroline S.; Borkowski, Vincent; Cordes, Melissa A.; Stevenson, Sharon A.

    2013-01-01

    Male courtship vocalizations represent a potent signal designed to attract females; however, not all females find male signals equally attractive. We explored the possibility that the affective state induced by hearing courtship vocalizations depends on the motivational state of a receiver. We used a conditioned place preference test of reward to determine the extent to which the rewarding properties of hearing male courtship song differed in female European starlings categorized as nest box owners (a sign of breeding readiness) or non-owners. Nest box owners developed a preference for a chamber in which they previously heard male courtship song. Non-owners displayed no preference for a chamber in which they previously heard song. Positive correlations were identified between the preference a female developed for the song-paired chamber and female nesting and dominance behaviors observed prior to conditioning (indices of the motivation to breed). Immunolabeling for met-enkephalin (an opioid neuropeptide involved in reward) in the medial preoptic nucleus, ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus, nucleus accumbens, and periaqueductal gray was higher in females with compared to those without nest boxes. Both nest box entries and song-induced place preference also correlated positively with met-enkephalin labeling in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus. These findings indicate that the reward value of vocal signals is linked to individual differences in motivational state; and that differences in enkephalin activity may play a role in modifying an individual’s motivational state and/or the reward value of song. PMID:23473880

  10. Differential relationships between D1 and D2 dopamine receptor expression in the medial preoptic nucleus and sexually-motivated song in male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    DeVries, M S; Cordes, M A; Stevenson, S A; Riters, L V

    2015-08-20

    Converging data in songbirds support a central role for the medial preoptic nucleus (POM) in motivational aspects of vocal production. Recent data suggest that dopamine in the POM plays a complex modulatory role in the production of sexually-motivated song and that an optimal level of dopamine D1 receptor stimulation is required to facilitate singing behavior. To further explore this possibility, we used quantitative real-time PCR to examine relationships between mRNA expression of D1 as well as D2 receptors in the POM (and also the lateral septum and Area X) and sexually-motivated singing behavior in male European starlings. Results showed that both males with the highest and lowest D1 expression in the POM sang significantly less than males with intermediate levels of expression. Furthermore, singing behavior rose linearly in association with increasing levels of D1 expression in POM but dropped abruptly, such that individuals with D1 expression values higher than the mean sang very little. Analysis of birds with low and intermediate levels of D1 expression in POM revealed strong positive correlations between D1 expression and song but negative relationships between D2 receptor expression and song. These findings support prior work suggesting an optimal level of POM D1 receptor stimulation best facilitates sexually-motivated singing behavior. Results also suggest that D2 receptors may work in opposition to D1 receptors in POM to modify vocal production.

  11. [Chewing lice (Phthiraptera: Ischnocera, Amblycera) of starlings (Sturnus vulgaris, L.) in Turkey].

    PubMed

    Dik, Bilal; Uslu, Uğur; Derinbay Ekici, Ozlem; Işik, Nermin

    2009-01-01

    This study was carried out in order to detect chewing lice species occurring on starlings (Sturnus vulgaris, L). For this purpose, 27 starlings which were shot and sent in nylon bags to our laboratory by hunters were inspected for lice. Nine lice specimens were collected from the starlings and they were preserved in vials separately in 70% alcohol. They were cleared in 10% KOH for one or two days and mounted on slides in Canada balsam. They were examined by light microscope and identified to species. Four (14.81%) of 27 starlings were found to be infested with lice. Four species were identified as Myrsidea cucullaris (Nitzsch, 1818), Brueelia nebulosa (Burmeister, 1838), Sturnidoecus sturni (Schrank, 1766) and Brueelia sp. All of them have been reported for the first time from starlings in Turkey.

  12. The starling (Sturnus vulgaris) as an experimental model for staphylococcal infection of the avian foot.

    PubMed

    Cooper, J E; Needham, J R

    1981-07-01

    Inoculation of the footpad of the starling (Sturnus vulgaris) with a broth culture of Staphylococcus aureus resulted in a swelling of the foot and histological changes similar to those seen in bumblefoot in poultry and other species. In a number of cases S: aureus could be re-isolated. It is suggested that this could prove to be a useful model in the study of avian pododermatitis.

  13. Residues of organochlorine compounds in starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), 1979

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cain, B.W.; Bunck, C.M.

    1983-01-01

    Starlings were collected for the National Pesticides Monitoring Program from 112 sites throughout the contiguous United States and analyzed for organochlorine compounds. Starling samples from 14 sites had greater than 1.0 ppm DDE residues with the highest DDE level being 15.8 ppm in a sample taken near Roswell, New Mexico. The occurrence of PCBs and chlordane isomers increased since the 1976 collection, but DDT, and dieldrin occurrences decreased. DDE and dieldrin levels decreased since the 1976 collection, but the level of PCBs has increased

  14. Photoperiodic differences in a forebrain nucleus involved in vocal plasticity: enkephalin immunoreactivity reveals volumetric variation in song nucleus lMAN but not NIf in male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Stevenson, Tyler J; Ball, Gregory F

    2010-09-15

    Seasonal variation in the volume of various song control nuclei in many passerine species remains one of the best examples of naturally occurring adult neuroplasticity among vertebrates. The lateral portion of the magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (lMAN) is a song nucleus that is important for song learning and seems to be critical for inducing variability in the song structure that is later pruned via a feedback process to produce adult crystallized song. To date, lMAN has not been shown to exhibit seasonal changes in volume, probably because it is difficult to resolve the boundaries of lMAN when employing histological methods based on Nissl staining. Here, lMAN(core) volumes were examined in intact photostimulated (i.e., breeding), castrated photostimulated and photorefractory (i.e., nonbreeding) male starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) to investigate the degree of seasonal variation in brain morphology. We present data demonstrating that the volumes of the total MAN and lMAN(core) delineated by enkephalin immunoreactivity are greater in photostimulated male starlings as compared to photorefractory males. Moreover, two other regions associated with the song system that have not been investigated previously in the context of seasonal plasticity namely (i) the medial portion of MAN (mMAN), and (ii) the nucleus interfacialis (NIf) did not display significant volumetric variation. We propose that greater lMAN(core) volumes are associated with the increase in vocal plasticity that is generally observed prior to production of stereotyped song.

  15. An excitation-pattern model for the starling (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Buus, S; Klump, G M; Gleich, O; Langemann, U

    1995-07-01

    This paper develops and tests an excitation-pattern model for the starling. Like excitation-pattern models for humans [e.g., Zwicker, Acustica 6, 365-381 (1956); Florentine and Buus, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 70, 1646-1654 (1981)], the model for starlings provides a unified account of a large body of data. The foundation of the model is a critical-band scale, which is derived as an equal-distance scale according to a cochlear-map function. The cochlear-map function is determined as a best-fitting function to physiological data relating characteristic frequency (CF) of auditory-nerve fibers to their place of innervation on the basilar papilla. Excitation patterns are derived from auditory-nerve measurements of levels at CF necessary to produce firing rates equal to those evoked by a test tone. The shape of these excitation patterns is independent of level and frequency when plotted on a cochlear-distance scale. The resulting model indicates that 10-dB bandwidths of auditory-nerve tuning curves and frequency DLs can be approximated as equal distances along the basilar papilla. Predictions of level discrimination are in good agreement with the data, except below 20 dB SL. Overall, the present work indicates that excitation-pattern models account for a wide range of auditory phenomena in both humans and starlings, when the models take into account differences in critical-band scales, absolute thresholds, excitation-pattern slopes, and growth of excitation, which is linear in starlings, but nonlinear in humans.

  16. Drowning is an apparent and unexpected recurrent cause of mass mortality of Common starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Lawson, Becki; Duff, J Paul; Beckmann, Katie M; Chantrey, Julian; Peck, Kirsi M; Irvine, Richard M; Robinson, Robert A; Cunningham, Andrew A

    2015-11-25

    Drowning is infrequently reported as a cause of death of wild birds and such incidents typically involve individual, rather than multiple, birds. Over a 21-year period (1993 to 2013 inclusive), we investigated 12 incidents of mortality of multiple (2 - 80+) Common starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) in Great Britain that appeared to be due to drowning. More than ten birds were affected in ten of these reported incidents. These incidents always occurred during the spring and early summer months and usually involved juvenile birds. In all cases, circumstantial evidence and post-mortem examinations indicated drowning to be the most likely cause of death with no underlying disease found. A behavioural explanation seems likely, possibly related to the gregarious nature of this species combined with juvenile inexperience in identifying water hazards. A review of data from the ringed bird recovery scheme across Great Britain (1909-2013 inclusive) of both starlings and Common blackbirds (Turdus merula), also a common garden visitor, identified additional suspected drowning incidents, which were significantly more common in the former species, supporting a species predisposition to drowning. For each species there was a marked seasonal peak from April to August. Drowning should be included as a differential diagnosis when investigating incidents of multiple starling mortality, especially of juveniles.

  17. Short photoperiod increases energy intake, metabolic thermogenesis and organ mass in silky starlings Sturnus sericeus

    PubMed Central

    WANG, Jia-Qi; WANG, Jia-Jia; WU, Xu-Jian; ZHENG, Wei-Hong; LIU, Jin-Song

    2016-01-01

    Environmental cues play important roles in the regulation of an animal’s physiology and behavior. One such cue, photoperiod, plays an important role in the seasonal acclimatization of birds. It has been demonstrated that an animal’s body mass, basal metabolic rate (BMR), and energy intake, are all affected by photoperiod. The present study was designed to examine photoperiod induced changes in the body mass, metabolism and metabolic organs of the silky starling, Sturnus sericeus. Captive silky starlings increased their body mass and BMR during four weeks of acclimation to a short photoperiod. Birds acclimated to a short photoperiod also increased the mass of certain organs (liver, gizzard and small intestine), and both gross energy intake (GEI) and digestible energy intake (DEI), relative to those acclimated to a long photoperiod. Furthermore, BMR was positively correlated with body mass, liver mass, GEI and DEI. These results suggest that silky starlings increase metabolic thermogenesis when exposed to a short photoperiod by increasing their body and metabolic organ mass, and their GEI and DEI. These findings support the hypothesis that bird species from temperate climates typically display high phenotypic flexibility in thermogenic capacity. PMID:27029864

  18. Short photoperiod increases energy intake, metabolic thermogenesis and organ mass in silky starlings Sturnus sericeus.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jia-Qi; Wang, Jia-Jia; Wu, Xu-Jian; Zheng, Wei-Hong; Liu, Jin-Song

    2016-03-18

    Environmental cues play important roles in the regulation of an animal's physiology and behavior. One such cue, photoperiod, plays an important role in the seasonal acclimatization of birds. It has been demonstrated that an animal's body mass, basal metabolic rate (BMR), and energy intake, are all affected by photoperiod. The present study was designed to examine photoperiod induced changes in the body mass, metabolism and metabolic organs of the silky starling, Sturnus sericeus. Captive silky starlings increased their body mass and BMR during four weeks of acclimation to a short photoperiod. Birds acclimated to a short photoperiod also increased the mass of certain organs (liver, gizzard and small intestine), and both gross energy intake (GEI) and digestible energy intake (DEI), relative to those acclimated to a long photoperiod. Furthermore, BMR was positively correlated with body mass, liver mass, GEI and DEI. These results suggest that silky starlings increase metabolic thermogenesis when exposed to a short photoperiod by increasing their body and metabolic organ mass, and their GEI and DEI. These findings support the hypothesis that bird species from temperate climates typically display high phenotypic flexibility in thermogenic capacity.

  19. Drowning is an apparent and unexpected recurrent cause of mass mortality of Common starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)

    PubMed Central

    Lawson, Becki; Duff, J. Paul; Beckmann, Katie M.; Chantrey, Julian; Peck, Kirsi M.; Irvine, Richard M.; Robinson, Robert A.; Cunningham, Andrew A.

    2015-01-01

    Drowning is infrequently reported as a cause of death of wild birds and such incidents typically involve individual, rather than multiple, birds. Over a 21-year period (1993 to 2013 inclusive), we investigated 12 incidents of mortality of multiple (2 − 80+) Common starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) in Great Britain that appeared to be due to drowning. More than ten birds were affected in ten of these reported incidents. These incidents always occurred during the spring and early summer months and usually involved juvenile birds. In all cases, circumstantial evidence and post-mortem examinations indicated drowning to be the most likely cause of death with no underlying disease found. A behavioural explanation seems likely, possibly related to the gregarious nature of this species combined with juvenile inexperience in identifying water hazards. A review of data from the ringed bird recovery scheme across Great Britain (1909–2013 inclusive) of both starlings and Common blackbirds (Turdus merula), also a common garden visitor, identified additional suspected drowning incidents, which were significantly more common in the former species, supporting a species predisposition to drowning. For each species there was a marked seasonal peak from April to August. Drowning should be included as a differential diagnosis when investigating incidents of multiple starling mortality, especially of juveniles. PMID:26601771

  20. Metabolic rate and evaporative water loss in the silky starling (Sturnus sericeus)

    PubMed Central

    Huan-Huan, BAO; Qing-Jian, LIANG; Hong-Lei, ZHU; Xiao-Qiu, ZHOU; Wei-Hong, ZHENG; Jin-Song, LIU

    2014-01-01

    To better understand the physiological characteristics of the silky starling (Sturnus sericeus), its body temperature (Tb), basal metabolic rate (BMR), evaporative water loss (EWL) and thermal conductance (C) elicited by different ambient temperatures (Ta) (5−30 ℃) were determined in the present study. Our results showed that they have a high Tb (41.6±0.1 ℃), a wide thermal neutral zone (TNZ) (20−27.5 ℃) and a relatively low BMR within the TNZ (3.37±0.17 mL O2/g·h). The EWL was nearly stable below the TNZ (0.91±0.07 mg H2O/g·h) but increased remarkably within and above the TNZ. The C was constant below the TNZ, with a minimum value of 0.14±0.01 mL O2/g·h·℃. These findings indicate that the BMR, Tb and EWL of the silky starling were all affected by Ta, especially when Ta was below 20 ℃ and the EWL plays an important role in thermal regulation. PMID:25017746

  1. The ultrastructure of the epithelium of the ductuli efferentes testis in the common starling (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed Central

    Bellamy, S J; Kendall, M D

    1985-01-01

    The ductuli efferentes of male common starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) were prepared for light and electron microscopy. The epithelium of breeding birds was pseudostratified, consisting of ciliated cells, which were of the same type throughout the ductules, and of two types of non-ciliated cells: an electron-dense form with complex lateral invaginations, long microvilli and apical invaginations found in proximal ductuli efferentes (Type 1 a) and a less dense, taller, seemingly more secretory cell found distally (Type 1 b). Both types contained crystal-like structures in granular and transitional endoplasmic reticulum, which were occasionally seen in ciliated cells and not elsewhere. These 'intracisternal bodies' were probably proteinaceous in nature. The ciliated cells were typically more electron-lucent than the non-ciliated cells. They adopted the height and interdigitation characteristics of the surrounding epithelium. Occasional annulate lamellae were encountered. Intraepithelial lymphocytes were seen occasionally, notably in non-breeding birds. The epithelial morphology of the non-breeding common starling is briefly mentioned. The tubules were collapsed and apparently inactive, although signs of proliferative activity were seen in birds killed in February. The distinction of the epithelial cells into one ciliated and two non-ciliated types in this study is discussed in the light of previous work, as differences were found to exist. It is suggested that care should be taken in the use of mammalian tubule nomenclature when it is applied to birds. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Figs. 5-6 Fig. 7 Fig. 8 Fig. 9 PMID:4077685

  2. Dairy cattle management factors that influence on-farm density of European starlings in Ohio, 2007-2009.

    PubMed

    Medhanie, Genet A; Pearl, David L; McEwen, Scott A; Guerin, Michele T; Jardine, Claire M; LeJeune, Jeffrey T

    2015-06-15

    Potential dairy farm management and environmental factors that attract European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) to dairy farms were explored. During the period from 2007 to 2009, 150 dairy farms were each visited twice (once during the summer and again in the fall) and the number of starlings was recorded. Risk factors were assessed for possible association with the number of starlings per milking cow (starling density), using a zero-inflated negative binomial model. Starling density was higher on farms visited in 2007 compared to those visited in 2008 or 2009. The interaction term between feeding method and feeding site was significantly associated with starling density on farm; generally, feeding outdoors was associated with increased starling density. The odds of a zero starling count (compared to a count greater than zero) was higher on farms that removed manure from barns weekly or less frequently than weekly compared to those that removed manure daily or after every milking. The odds of a zero starling count decreased with increasing distance of a farm from the closest night roost. Identifying on farm risk factors that expose farms to starlings will help farmers develop strategies that minimize the number of birds on their farms and thereby reduce physical damage to the farms as well as the potential for pathogen transmission from birds to cattle and humans.

  3. Ectoparasitism and the role of green nesting material in the European starling

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fauth, P.T.; Krementz, D.G.; Hines, J.E.

    1991-01-01

    The use of green nesting material is wide-spread among birds. Recent evidence suggests that birds use secondary chemicals contained in green plants to control ectoparasites. We manipulated green nesting material and ectoparasites of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris ) to test two hypotheses: (1) ectoparasites adversely affect prefledging survival and morphometrics or postfledging survival, and (2) green nesting material ameliorates the effects of ectoparasites. We recorded fat score, number of scabs, tarsal length, body mass, and hematocrit level on each nestling 17 days after hatching. We also fitted each nestling with unique patagial tags and resighted the starlings for 6-8 weeks after fledging to estimate survival and sighting rates. Nests devoid of green nesting material and dusted with the insecticide, carbaryl, had fewer high ectoparasite infestations, and nestlings had significantly lower scab scores, and significantly higher body masses than nestlings in undusted boxes. However, there was no difference in postfledging survival between birds from carbaryl-treated and undusted nests.

  4. Plasma leptin during reproduction in European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Leptin, a systemic hormone produced by adipocytes or fat cells, has been widely studied in mammals, and is known to play diverse roles in body mass regulation, immune function, reproduction, etc. However we know very little about avian leptin, especially in free-living birds; indeed, this remains a ...

  5. The non-photic induction of spermatogenic development in European starlings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rutledge, J. T.

    1980-03-01

    Detailed studies of the photosexual biology of male European starlings ( Sturnus vulgaris) document a non-obligatory involvement of photoperiod in the induction of testicular metamorphosis. Although post-winter solstice increases in daily photophase duration are responsible for the ecologically correct chronology of the annual reproductive cycle, starlings maintained in the absence of daily photostimulation under go testicular metamorphosis with complete spermatogenic development. Present experiments reveal that the rate of testicular growth in starlings held in constant darkness (DD) is affected by previous photoperiodic experience. Birds held under a natural northtemperate zone photoperiod and transferred to DD on 13 September require significantly fewer days to achieve spermatogenic testes than birds pretreated under 12-and 14-h photoperiods or in constant light (LL). Complete spermatogenesis in the 14-h group is achieved only after a greater duration of DD exposure than in all other birds. Variations in the extent of the 12-h pretreatment period do not alter the testis growth rate in starlings subsequently transferred to DD. It is suggested that photoperiodic conditions applied prior to the initiation of DD treatment may affect the characteristics of circadian oscillations that occur in the absence of a photoperiodic zeitgeber, and thus change the reproductive response rate through alterations of hormonal secretions from the hypothalamo-hypophyseal axis.

  6. Effects of oral doses of fluoride on nestling European starlings

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fleming, W.J.; Grue, C.E.; Schuler, C.A.; Bunck, C.M.

    1987-01-01

    Nestling European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), raised and fed by free-living adults, were given daily oral doses of either distilled water, 193 mg sodium as Na2CO3 per kg of body weight (sodium control group), or 6, 10, 13, 17,23, 30, 40, 80, 160 mg of the fluoride ion as NaF in distilled water per kg of body weight (mg/kg). Dosing began when nestlings were 24-48 hr old and continued for 16 days. The 24-hr LD50 of fluoride for day-old starlings was 50 mg/kg. The 16-day LD50 was 17 mg/kg. The sodium control group did not differ from the water control group with respect to any of the measured variables. Growth rates were significantly reduced in the 13 and 17 mg of fluoride/kg groups; weights of birds given higher dose levels were omitted from growth comparisons because of high, fluoride-induced mortality. Although pre-fledging weights for the 10, 13, and 17 mg of fluoride/kg groups averaged 3.6 to 8.6% less than controls at 17 days, this difference was not significant. Feather and bone growth of the fluoride and control groups were not different, except for keel length measured at 17 days of age which averaged less in the fluoride groups. Liver and spleen weights were not affected by fluoride treatments. No histological damage related to fluoride treatments was found in liver, spleen, or kidney. The logarithm of bone fluoride and magnesium concentration increased with the logarithm of increasing fluoride treatment levels and were significantly correlated with each other. Fluoride treatments had no effect on percent calcium or phosphorus in bone or plasma alkaline phosphatase activity. Oral doses of fluoride appear to be more toxic than equivalent dietary levels. Most birds probably acquire fluoride through their diet. Therefore, the results of the study may overestimate the potential effects of fluorides on songbirds living in fluoride-contaminated environments.

  7. Age-dependent changes in plasma and brain cholinesterase activities of house wrens and European starlings.

    PubMed

    Mayack, David T; Martin, Tim

    2003-07-01

    We determined age-dependent changes in plasma and brain cholinesterase (ChE) activity for two species of passerines: house wren (Troglodytes aedon) and European starling (Sturnus vulgaris, starling). In plasma from nestlings of both species, total ChE activity increased with age, acetycholinesterase (AChE, EC 3.1.1.7) activity declined rapidly immediately after hatching, and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE, EC 3.1.1.8) activity increased steadily. For both species, total ChE and BChE activities and the BChE:AChE ratio in plasma were significantly greater in adults than nestlings suggesting trends observed in nestlings continue post fledging. In older nestlings and adults, AChE activity in plasma was significantly greater and BChE:AChE ratio less in house wrens than starlings. For house wrens as compared with starlings, ChE activity in brain increased at a significantly greater rate with age in nestlings and was significantly greater in adults. However, ChE activity in brain was similar at fledging for both species suggesting that the increase in ChE in brain is more directly related to ontogeny than chronologic age in nestlings of passerines. For both species, ChE activity increased significantly with brain weight of nestlings but not adults. House wrens hold similar patterns of age-dependent change in ChE activity in common with starlings but also exhibit differences in AChE activity in plasma that should be considered as a factor potentially affecting their relative toxicologic response to ChE inhibitors.

  8. The role of European starlings in the spread of coccidia within concentrated animal feeding operations.

    PubMed

    Carlson, James C; Linz, George M; Ballweber, Lora R; Elmore, Stacey A; Pettit, Susan E; Franklin, Alan B

    2011-08-25

    To investigate the relationship between European starlings and bovine coccidiosis we collected samples from European starlings, cattle feed bunks, cattle water troughs, and cattle feces within concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). These samples were screened for coccidia spp. to investigate (i) the prevalence of coccidia in starlings using CAFOs; (ii) if there is a relationship between bovine coccidiosis and starling numbers; (iii) if coccidia contamination of cattle feed and water is related to the number of starlings observed on CAFOs. Coccidia belonging to the genus Eimeria were detected in cattle feces and one water sample but no Eimeria spp. were detected in European starlings or cattle feed. However, many European starling samples were positive for Isospora. Starling use of CAFOs did not appear to be associated with coccidia spp. shedding by cattle and there was no correlation between starling numbers and contamination of cattle feed and water, suggesting that starling do not contribute to the amplification and spread of Eimeria in CAFOs.

  9. Distributed Recognition of Natural Songs by European Starlings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knudsen, Daniel; Thompson, Jason V.; Gentner, Timothy Q.

    2010-01-01

    Individual vocal recognition behaviors in songbirds provide an excellent framework for the investigation of comparative psychological and neurobiological mechanisms that support the perception and cognition of complex acoustic communication signals. To this end, the complex songs of European starlings have been studied extensively. Yet, several…

  10. Postfledging survival of European starlings exposed as nestlings to an organophosphorus insecticide

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stromborg, K.L.; Grue, C.E.; Nichols, J.D.; Hepp, G.R.; Hines, J.E.; Bourne, H.C.

    1988-01-01

    To test the hypothesis that exposure to organophosphorus (OP) insecticides reduces postfledging survival of altricial birds, 16-d-old European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) were weighed and orally dosed with corn oil containing 6.0 mg of dicrotophos per kilogram of body mass or an equivalent exposure of pure corn oil (controls). Two days later, each survivor was weighed again and patagially tagged for identification after fledging. Resightings of marked fledglings were made during weekly 2-d intensive observations yielding four estimates of postfledging survival. Before fledging, only OP-dosed birds died (18.5%), and OP-dosed survivors lost more mass (5.2%, P = .001) than controls (1.4%) but their masses on day 18 were only slightly lower (2% of control mean, P = .10). Brain cholinesterase activity, a sensitive indicator of OP exposure in birds, was depressed and average of 93% in OP-dosed nestlings that died compared to controls, and an average of 46% in OP-dosed nestlings alive on day 18. Age at fledging, postfledging survival, flocking behavior, and habitat use, however, did not differ between OP-dosed and control birds. The effects of the OP on the nestlings appeared to be rapid, to be reversible in survivors, and did not extend into the postfledging period. In addition, we found no relationship between body mass at fledging and postfledging survival.

  11. Brood size moderates associations between relative size, telomere length, and immune development in European starling nestlings.

    PubMed

    Nettle, Daniel; Andrews, Clare; Reichert, Sophie; Bedford, Tom; Gott, Annie; Parker, Craig; Kolenda, Claire; Martin-Ruiz, Carmen; Monaghan, Pat; Bateson, Melissa

    2016-11-01

    For young birds in a nest, body size may have implications for other aspects of development such as telomere length and immune function. However, it is possible to predict associations in either direction. On the one hand, there may be trade-offs between growth and telomere maintenance, and growth and investment in immune function, suggesting there will be negative correlations. On the other hand, relatively larger individuals might be advantaged in competition with their nest-mates, allowing them to garner more resources overall, leading to positive correlations. We studied development over the nestling period in 34 nests of wild European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris. Intrabrood competition is typically more intense in larger broods. Hence, we predicted that body size should become an increasingly positive predictor of telomere length and immune functioning as brood size increases. In partial support of our prediction, there were significant interactions between brood size and body size in predicting both erythrocyte telomere length change and plasma levels of the cytokine interleukin-6. The associations between body size and these outcomes went from negative in the smallest broods to positive in the largest. A further immune marker, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, showed no systematic patterning with body size or brood size. Our results confirm that the size to which a nestling grows is important for telomere dynamics and the development of the immune system, but the phenotypic associations are moderated by the competitive context.

  12. Fibre architecture and song activation rates of syringeal muscles are not lateralized in the European starling

    PubMed Central

    Uchida, A. M.; Meyers, R. A.; Cooper, B. G.; Goller, F.

    2010-01-01

    The songbird vocal organ, the syrinx, is composed of two sound generators, which are independently controlled by sets of two extrinsic and four intrinsic muscles. These muscles rank among the fastest vertebrate muscles, but the molecular and morphological foundations of this rapid physiological performance are unknown. Here we show that the four intrinsic muscles in the syrinx of male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) are composed of fast oxidative and superfast fibres. Dorsal and ventral tracheobronchialis muscles contain slightly more superfast fibres relative to the number of fast oxidative fibres than dorsal and ventral syringealis muscles. This morphological difference is not reflected in the highest, burst-like activation rate of the two muscle groups during song as assessed with electromyographic recordings. No difference in fibre type ratio was found between the corresponding muscles of the left and right sound generators. Airflow and electromyographic measurements during song indicate that maximal activation rate and speed of airflow regulation do not differ between the two sound sources. Whereas the potential for high-speed muscular control exists on both sides, the two sound generators are used differentially for modulation of acoustic parameters. These results show that large numbers of superfast fibre types are present in intrinsic syringeal muscles of a songbird, providing further confirmation of rapid contraction kinetics. However, syringeal muscles are composed of two fibre types which raises questions about the neuromuscular control of this heterogeneous muscle architecture. PMID:20228343

  13. Chronic stress in free-living European starlings reduces corticosterone concentrations and reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Cyr, Nicole E; Michael Romero, L

    2007-03-01

    Chronic increases in stress hormones such as glucocorticoids are maladaptive, yet studies demonstrating a causal relationship among chronic stress, increases in glucocorticoid concentrations, and subsequent fitness costs in free-living animals are lacking. We experimentally induced chronic psychological stress in female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) by subjecting half of the females at our study site to a chronic stress protocol consisting of 4, 30 min stressors (loud radio, predator calls, a novel object, or predator decoys including a snake, rat, and owl) administered in random order daily for 8 days after clutch completion. Experimental females were captured at the end of the chronic stress protocol (9 days after the onset of the chronic stress protocol), and unstressed control females were captured at the same stage of the nesting cycle. Chronically stressed females had lower baseline corticosterone (CORT, the avian glucocorticoid) concentrations and lower reproductive success than unstressed females. Furthermore, surviving nestlings in experimentally stressed broods showed sensitization of the CORT response to acute stress, which is a physiological change that could persist to adulthood. Attenuation of baseline CORT concentrations in adult females is contrary to the general assumption that elevated CORT concentrations indicate stress, suggesting that more research is necessary before CORT concentrations can be used to accurately assess chronic stress in field studies.

  14. Residues of organochlorine pesticides and polychloribiphenyls [sic] in starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), from the continental United States, 1982

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bunck, C.M.; Prouty, R.M.; Krynitsky, A.J.

    1987-01-01

    Starlings were collected from 129 sites throughout the contiguous United States in the fall of 1982 and analyzed for organochlorine compounds as part of a nationwide monitoring program. Residues of 14 organochlorine compounds were found. Only DDE, polychlorobiphenyls (PCB), dieldrin, and heptachlor epoxide occurred in more than 50% of the lO-starling pools. Geographical variation in the occurrence of seven organochlorine compounds was noted. Mean DDE levels were higher in the southwestern United States. Mean PCB levels were higher in the eastern United States. The occurrence frequency of most organochlorines in 1982 was similar to that which was reported in the previous nationwide study in 1979. A slight increase in occurrence was noted for trans-nonachlor. Mean DDE level I in 1982 was similar to that of 1979. Mean PCB level in 1982 was lower than the 1979 mean, but this change may not reflect a decrease in environmental PCB levels.

  15. Assessment of concentrations and effects of organohalogen contaminants in a terrestrial passerine, the European starling.

    PubMed

    Eng, Margaret L; Williams, Tony D; Letcher, Robert J; Elliott, John E

    2014-03-01

    European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) are a valuable model species for the assessment of concentrations and effects of environmental contaminants in terrestrial birds. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are found in birds throughout the world, but relatively little is known of their concentrations or effects in free-living terrestrial passerines. We used a nest box population of European starlings to 1) measure the variation in egg concentrations of persistent organohalogen contaminants at an agricultural site, and 2) assess whether individual variation in PBDE concentrations in eggs was related to reproductive parameters, as well as maternal or nestling characteristics including body condition, thyroid hormones, oxidative stress, and hematocrit. As PBDEs were the main contaminant class of interest, we only assessed a subset of eggs for other organohalogen contaminants to establish background concentrations. Exposure to organohalogen contaminants was extremely variable over this relatively small study area. Geometric mean wet weight concentrations (range in brackets) of the major contaminants were 36.5 (12-174) ng/g ΣDDT (n=6 eggs) and 10.9 (2-307) ng/g ΣPBDEs (n=14). ΣPCBs at 3.58 (1.5-6.4) ng/g (n=6) were lower and less variable. There were low levels of other organochlorine (OC) pesticides such as dieldrin (2.02 ng/g), chlordanes (1.11 ng/g) and chlorobenzenes (0.23 ng/g). The only form of DDT detected was p,p'-DDE. The congener profiles of PBDEs and PCBs reflect those of industrial mixtures (i.e. DE-71, Aroclors 1254, 1260 and 1262). For all of the contaminant classes, concentrations detected in eggs at our study site were below levels previously reported to cause effects. Due to small sample sizes, we did not assess the relationship between ΣPCBs or ΣOCs and adult or chick condition. We observed no correlative relationships between individual variation in PBDE concentrations in starling eggs and reproductive success, maternal condition, or nestling

  16. An assessment of the developmental toxicity of BDE-99 in the European starling using an integrated laboratory and field approach.

    PubMed

    Eng, Margaret L; Elliott, John E; Williams, Tony D

    2014-10-01

    Developmental exposure of wildlife to anthropogenic contaminants can have long-term effects that are difficult to assess in field monitoring studies, and may not be evident in laboratory studies that lack ecological components. The objective of this study was to assess the long-term effects of early exposure to contaminants under ecological conditions in a model passerine species, the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris). We selected 2,2',4,4',5-pentabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-99) as a representative contaminant, as it is one of the major constituents of the commercial penta-BDE flame retardant mixture, and has been reported in avian egg and tissue samples worldwide. We developed a novel approach to assess the developmental toxicity of BDE-99 in starlings by combining aspects of laboratory and field studies. We dosed free-living nestlings living in natural broods in the field with environmentally relevant concentrations of BDE-99 (0-173.8 ng/g bw/day) for the duration of the nesting cycle. To simulate monitoring of long-term effects we brought birds into captivity just prior to fledging and used photoperiod manipulations to induce reproductive development. We assessed a range of physiological and development measures such as hematocrit, oxidative stress, thyroid hormones, neuroanatomy, growth, molt rate, bill color, and testes development. We found some evidence of thyroid hormone disruption, but there were no effects on any other measures of physiology or development. The European starling could serve as a valuable model species for assessing early exposure and long-term effects of anthropogenic contaminants in terrestrial wildlife using this combined field/laboratory approach.

  17. Early-life adversity accelerates cellular ageing and affects adult inflammation: Experimental evidence from the European starling

    PubMed Central

    Nettle, Daniel; Andrews, Clare; Reichert, Sophie; Bedford, Tom; Kolenda, Claire; Parker, Craig; Martin-Ruiz, Carmen; Monaghan, Pat; Bateson, Melissa

    2017-01-01

    Early-life adversity is associated with accelerated cellular ageing during development and increased inflammation during adulthood. However, human studies can only establish correlation, not causation, and existing experimental animal approaches alter multiple components of early-life adversity simultaneously. We developed a novel hand-rearing paradigm in European starling nestlings (Sturnus vulgaris), in which we separately manipulated nutritional shortfall and begging effort for a period of 10 days. The experimental treatments accelerated erythrocyte telomere attrition and increased DNA damage measured in the juvenile period. For telomere attrition, amount of food and begging effort exerted additive effects. Only the combination of low food amount and high begging effort increased DNA damage. We then measured two markers of inflammation, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, when the birds were adults. The experimental treatments affected both inflammatory markers, though the patterns were complex and different for each marker. The effect of the experimental treatments on adult interleukin-6 was partially mediated by increased juvenile DNA damage. Our results show that both nutritional input and begging effort in the nestling period affect cellular ageing and adult inflammation in the starling. However, the pattern of effects is different for different biomarkers measured at different time points. PMID:28094324

  18. Songs of two starling species: common traits versus adaptations to the social environment.

    PubMed

    Houdelier, C; Hausberger, M; Craig, A J F K

    2012-12-01

    We analysed, for the first time, songs of the African Red-winged Starling Onychognathus morio and compared their general characteristics with those of the European Starling Sturnus vulgaris. Both species are gregarious during the non-breeding season, but European Starlings tend to nest in colonies, form unstable pair-bonds and are occasionally polygynous, whereas Red-winged Starlings form long-term pair-bonds and occupy exclusive nesting territories. Red-winged Starlings produced the same basic song categories as European Starlings: warbles and whistles. These two categories appeared to be involved in similar social interactions in the two species. However, several aspects of song behaviour differed between the two species: Red-winged Starlings, breeding in isolated nests, preferentially used whistles for long-distance communication and showed a simpler organization of warbling song. Whistles in the Red-winged Starling were mostly shared between birds and, in contrast to the European Starling, were not indicators of individual identity. Also in contrast to the European Starling, female song in Red-winged Starlings appeared very important throughout the breeding period. Our results suggest that some song characteristics in the two species are phylogenetically conserved whereas others are affected by the distinct social systems of the two species.

  19. Songs of two starling species: common traits versus adaptations to the social environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houdelier, C.; Hausberger, M.; Craig, A. J. F. K.

    2012-12-01

    We analysed, for the first time, songs of the African Red-winged Starling Onychognathus morio and compared their general characteristics with those of the European Starling Sturnus vulgaris. Both species are gregarious during the non-breeding season, but European Starlings tend to nest in colonies, form unstable pair-bonds and are occasionally polygynous, whereas Red-winged Starlings form long-term pair-bonds and occupy exclusive nesting territories. Red-winged Starlings produced the same basic song categories as European Starlings: warbles and whistles. These two categories appeared to be involved in similar social interactions in the two species. However, several aspects of song behaviour differed between the two species: Red-winged Starlings, breeding in isolated nests, preferentially used whistles for long-distance communication and showed a simpler organization of warbling song. Whistles in the Red-winged Starling were mostly shared between birds and, in contrast to the European Starling, were not indicators of individual identity. Also in contrast to the European Starling, female song in Red-winged Starlings appeared very important throughout the breeding period. Our results suggest that some song characteristics in the two species are phylogenetically conserved whereas others are affected by the distinct social systems of the two species.

  20. Levels of PBDEs in plasma of juvenile starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) from British Columbia, Canada and assessment of PBDE metabolism by avian liver microsomes.

    PubMed

    Erratico, Claudio; Currier, Heidi; Szeitz, András; Bandiera, Stelvio; Covaci, Adrian; Elliott, John

    2015-06-15

    In this study, the levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), HO-PBDEs, and bromophenols were monitored in starling chick plasma samples collected in Delta (British Columbia, Canada) close to the Vancouver municipal landfill and in Glen Valley, a rural area in British Columbia. The in vitro formation of hydroxylated metabolites of 2,2',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47) and 2,2',4,4',5-pentabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-99) was also investigated using starling chick liver microsomes. Total PBDE plasma levels were approximately 60 times higher in starling chicks from Delta than from Glen Valley, suggesting that the Delta site is a major source of PBDEs for the local population of starlings and that PBDEs previously measured in starling eggs are bioavailable to chicks. In both locations, BDE-47 and BDE-99 were the two major congeners present at similar concentrations, suggesting contamination with the Penta-BDE mixture. Among the several possible hydroxylated metabolites of PBDEs monitored in starling plasma, only 2,4,5-tribromophenol was detected and its levels did not exceed 18±7 pg/mL. Also, several hydroxylated metabolites of BDE-47 and BDE-99 were formed by starling chick liver microsomes, but in low amounts. Therefore, our data consistently suggest that oxidative metabolism of PBDEs in starling chicks proceeds at low rate in vivo and in vitro. In conclusion, the landfill located in Delta is a relevant source of bioavailable PBDEs for the local starling population. Because of the limited ability of starling chicks to metabolize PBDEs, these compounds are likely to bioaccumulate in starlings over time. The possible toxicological implications of PBDEs bioaccumulation in starlings are currently unknown and require further research.

  1. DHEA and estradiol levels in brain, gonads, adrenal glands, and plasma of developing male and female European starlings.

    PubMed

    Shah, Amit H; Chin, Eunice H; Schmidt, Kim L; Soma, Kiran K

    2011-10-01

    Traditionally, sexual differentiation of the brain was thought to be driven by gonadal hormones, particularly testosterone (T). However, recent studies in songbirds suggest that other steroids may also be important. For example, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) can be synthesized by the gonads, adrenal glands, and/or brain and locally metabolized into T and 17β-estradiol (E(2)). Here, we examined DHEA and E(2) levels in the brain, peripheral tissues, and plasma of wild European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). In Study 1, samples were collected from males and females at P0 (day of hatch), P6, and P8. In Study 2, samples were collected at P4. At P0, DHEA levels in the diencephalon were higher in males than females. DHEA levels were generally high in the gonads and adrenals, and they were higher in testes than ovaries at P8. Further, E(2) levels were non-detectable in most brain samples, suggesting that DHEA was not metabolized to E(2) or that locally produced E(2) was rapidly inactivated. At P4, DHEA levels in telencephalic regions were lower in males than females. Taken together, these data suggest that sex differences in peripheral DHEA secretion and neural DHEA metabolism at specific ages during development might play a role in sexual differentiation of the songbird brain.

  2. On the Estimation of Time Dependent Lift of a European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) during Flapping Flight

    PubMed Central

    Stalnov, Oksana; Ben-Gida, Hadar; Kirchhefer, Adam J.; Guglielmo, Christopher G.; Kopp, Gregory A.; Liberzon, Alexander; Gurka, Roi

    2015-01-01

    We study the role of unsteady lift in the context of flapping wing bird flight. Both aerodynamicists and biologists have attempted to address this subject, yet it seems that the contribution of unsteady lift still holds many open questions. The current study deals with the estimation of unsteady aerodynamic forces on a freely flying bird through analysis of wingbeat kinematics and near wake flow measurements using time resolved particle image velocimetry. The aerodynamic forces are obtained through two approaches, the unsteady thin airfoil theory and using the momentum equation for viscous flows. The unsteady lift is comprised of circulatory and non-circulatory components. Both approaches are presented over the duration of wingbeat cycles. Using long-time sampling data, several wingbeat cycles have been analyzed in order to cover both the downstroke and upstroke phases. It appears that the unsteady lift varies over the wingbeat cycle emphasizing its contribution to the total lift and its role in power estimations. It is suggested that the circulatory lift component cannot assumed to be negligible and should be considered when estimating lift or power of birds in flapping motion. PMID:26394213

  3. On the Estimation of Time Dependent Lift of a European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) during Flapping Flight.

    PubMed

    Stalnov, Oksana; Ben-Gida, Hadar; Kirchhefer, Adam J; Guglielmo, Christopher G; Kopp, Gregory A; Liberzon, Alexander; Gurka, Roi

    2015-01-01

    We study the role of unsteady lift in the context of flapping wing bird flight. Both aerodynamicists and biologists have attempted to address this subject, yet it seems that the contribution of unsteady lift still holds many open questions. The current study deals with the estimation of unsteady aerodynamic forces on a freely flying bird through analysis of wingbeat kinematics and near wake flow measurements using time resolved particle image velocimetry. The aerodynamic forces are obtained through two approaches, the unsteady thin airfoil theory and using the momentum equation for viscous flows. The unsteady lift is comprised of circulatory and non-circulatory components. Both approaches are presented over the duration of wingbeat cycles. Using long-time sampling data, several wingbeat cycles have been analyzed in order to cover both the downstroke and upstroke phases. It appears that the unsteady lift varies over the wingbeat cycle emphasizing its contribution to the total lift and its role in power estimations. It is suggested that the circulatory lift component cannot assumed to be negligible and should be considered when estimating lift or power of birds in flapping motion.

  4. Flame retardants in eggs of American kestrels and European starlings from southern Lake Ontario region (North America).

    PubMed

    Chen, Da; Letcher, Robert J; Martin, Pamela

    2012-11-01

    While a number of studies have extensively investigated flame retardant (FR) contamination in aquatic ecosystems from the Laurentian Great Lakes basin, there remains a dearth of information for terrestrial ecosystems. In the current study, American kestrels (Falco sparverius) (AMKE) and European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) (EUST) that are terrestrial ecosystem consumers, and from the southern Lake Ontario regions, were investigated as potential terrestrial bio-monitoring species. Egg homogenates were screened for sixteen PBDE congeners and nineteen non-PBDE FRs of established or emerging environmental importance. PBDE congeners dominated the FR burdens in eggs of AMKE and EUST, with total concentrations ranging from 3.4 to 39.8 (median: 13.5) and 1.5 to 117 (median: 4.9) ng g(-1) wet weight (ww), respectively. Although the production and application of the Firemaster FF-1 (a commercial hexabromobiphenyl PBB mixture) has been discontinued for over four decades, its major component, 2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexabromobiphenyl (BB-153), was still frequently detected in AMKE and EUST eggs. Two isomers of the chlorinated FR Dechlorane plus (DP) were mostly detected in eggs collected from Niagara-on-the-Lake in the western portion of Lake Ontario, approximately 15 km from the only North American DP manufacturing site, clearly reflecting point source influences. FR comparisons in eggs from AMKE, EUST and Great Lakes herring gulls revealed species-specific contamination burdens and PBDE congener profiles, likely due to influences from trophic levels and PBDE congener-specific bioaccumulation and biomagnification capacities in terrestrial versus aquatic food chains. Insectivorous birds (e.g. great tit) and relatives of AMKE have also been used as bio-monitoring tools in European and Asian regions, allowing investigation of spatial distribution patterns on a more international scale. AMKE and EUST have also been used as model species for laboratory evaluation of FR toxic effects in

  5. Sexual dimorphism in the volume of song control nuclei in European starlings: assessment by a Nissl stain and autoradiography for muscarinic cholinergic receptors.

    PubMed

    Bernard, D J; Casto, J M; Ball, G F

    1993-08-22

    Previous studies have found that the volume of several song control nuclei is larger in male songbirds than in female songbirds. The degree of this volumetric sex difference within a given species appears to be systematically related to the degree of the behavioral sex difference. The largest volumetric differences have been reported in species in which the male sings and the female sings little, if at all, and the smallest sex differences in volume have been reported in species in which males and females both sing in nearly equal amounts. We compared the volume of three song control nuclei in male and female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), a species in which females are known to sing, though at a much lower rate than males. We investigated the volume of hyperstriatum ventrale, pars caudale, nucleus robustus archistriatalis, and area X of the lobus parolfactorius as defined with the use of a Nissl stain. In addition, we measured the volume of area X as defined by the density of muscarinic cholinergic receptors visualized by in vitro receptor autoradiographic methods. The volumes of all three of the song nuclei, as defined by Nissl staining, are significantly larger in males than in females. For area X, Nissl staining and receptor autoradiography indicate the same significant volumetric sex difference. The three nuclei are approximately one and one half to two times larger in males than in females, a degree of dimorphism that is intermediate to those reported for other species. Previous investigations of sex differences in the avian vocal control system have used only Nissl stains to define nuclear volumes. We demonstrate in this paper that receptor autoradiography can be used to assess dimorphisms in nuclear volume. Broad application of this approach to a number of neurotransmitter receptor systems will better characterize the dimorphisms in the song system, and therefore will provide greater insight into the neuroanatomical and neurochemical control of

  6. D1-like dopamine receptor density in nuclei involved in social behavior correlates with song in a context-dependent fashion in male European starlings

    PubMed Central

    Heimovics, Sarah A; Cornil, Charlotte A; Ball, Gregory F; Riters, Lauren V

    2009-01-01

    Research in songbirds shows that singing behavior is regulated by both brain areas involved in vocal behavior as well as those involved in social behavior. Interestingly, the precise role of these regions in song can vary as a function of the social, environmental and breeding context. To date, little is known about the neurotransmitters underlying such context-dependent regulation of song. Dopamine (DA) modulates highly motivated, goal-directed behaviors (including sexually motivated song) and emerging data implicate DA in the context-dependent regulation of singing behavior. This study was performed to begin to examine whether differences in DA receptors may underlie, in part, context-dependent differences in song production. We used autoradiographic procedures to label D1-like and D2-like DA receptors to examine the relationship between DA receptor density and singing behavior in multiple contexts in male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Within a breeding context (when testosterone (T) was high), D1-like receptor density in the medial preoptic nucleus (POM) and midbrain central gray (GCt) negatively correlated with song used to attract a female. Additionally in this context, D1-like receptor density in POM, GCt, medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTm), and lateral septum (LS) negatively correlated with song likely used to defend a nestbox. In contrast, in a non-breeding context (when T was low), D1-like receptor density in POM and LS positively correlated with song used to maintain social flocks. No relationships were identified between song in any context and D2-like receptor densities. Differences in the brain regions and directional relationships between D1-like receptor binding and song suggest that dopaminergic systems play a region and context-specific role in song. These data also suggest that individual variation in singing behavior may, in part, be explained by individual differences in D1-like receptor density in brain regions

  7. The confusion effect when attacking simulated three-dimensional starling flocks

    PubMed Central

    Hildenbrandt, Hanno; Scott-Samuel, Nicholas E.; Cuthill, Innes C.; Hemelrijk, Charlotte K. 

    2017-01-01

    The confusion effect describes the phenomenon of decreasing predator attack success with increasing prey group size. However, there is a paucity of research into the influence of this effect in coherent groups, such as flocks of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Here, for the first time, we use a computer game style experiment to investigate the confusion effect in three dimensions. To date, computerized studies on the confusion effect have used two-dimensional simulations with simplistic prey movement and dynamics. Our experiment is the first investigation of the effects of flock size and density on the ability of a (human) predator to track and capture a target starling in a realistically simulated three-dimensional flock of starlings. In line with the predictions of the confusion effect, modelled starlings appear to be safer from predation in larger and denser flocks. This finding lends credence to previous suggestions that starling flocks have anti-predator benefits and, more generally, it suggests that active increases in density in animal groups in response to predation may increase the effectiveness of the confusion effect. PMID:28280553

  8. Spatio-temporal variation in European starling reproductive success at multiple small spatial scales.

    PubMed

    Brickhill, Daisy; Evans, Peter Gh; Reid, Jane M

    2015-08-01

    Understanding population dynamics requires spatio-temporal variation in demography to be measured across appropriate spatial and temporal scales. However, the most appropriate spatial scale(s) may not be obvious, few datasets cover sufficient time periods, and key demographic rates are often incompletely measured. Consequently, it is often assumed that demography will be spatially homogeneous within populations that lack obvious subdivision. Here, we quantify small-scale spatial and temporal variation in a key demographic rate, reproductive success (RS), within an apparently contiguous population of European starlings. We used hierarchical cluster analysis to define spatial clusters of nest sites at multiple small spatial scales and long-term data to test the hypothesis that small-scale spatio-temporal variation in RS occurred. RS was measured as the number of chicks alive ca. 12 days posthatch either per first brood or per nest site per breeding season (thereby incorporating multiple breeding attempts). First brood RS varied substantially among spatial clusters and years. Furthermore, the pattern of spatial variation was stable across years; some nest clusters consistently produced more chicks than others. Total seasonal RS also varied substantially among spatial clusters and years. However, the magnitude of variation was much larger and the pattern of spatial variation was no longer temporally consistent. Furthermore, the estimated magnitude of spatial variation in RS was greater at smaller spatial scales. We thereby demonstrate substantial spatial, temporal, and spatio-temporal variation in RS occurring at very small spatial scales. We show that the estimated magnitude of this variation depended on spatial scale and that spatio-temporal variation would not have been detected if season-long RS had not been measured. Such small-scale spatio-temporal variation should be incorporated into empirical and theoretical treatments of population dynamics.

  9. Spatio-temporal variation in European starling reproductive success at multiple small spatial scales

    PubMed Central

    Brickhill, Daisy; Evans, Peter GH; Reid, Jane M

    2015-01-01

    Understanding population dynamics requires spatio-temporal variation in demography to be measured across appropriate spatial and temporal scales. However, the most appropriate spatial scale(s) may not be obvious, few datasets cover sufficient time periods, and key demographic rates are often incompletely measured. Consequently, it is often assumed that demography will be spatially homogeneous within populations that lack obvious subdivision. Here, we quantify small-scale spatial and temporal variation in a key demographic rate, reproductive success (RS), within an apparently contiguous population of European starlings. We used hierarchical cluster analysis to define spatial clusters of nest sites at multiple small spatial scales and long-term data to test the hypothesis that small-scale spatio-temporal variation in RS occurred. RS was measured as the number of chicks alive ca. 12 days posthatch either per first brood or per nest site per breeding season (thereby incorporating multiple breeding attempts). First brood RS varied substantially among spatial clusters and years. Furthermore, the pattern of spatial variation was stable across years; some nest clusters consistently produced more chicks than others. Total seasonal RS also varied substantially among spatial clusters and years. However, the magnitude of variation was much larger and the pattern of spatial variation was no longer temporally consistent. Furthermore, the estimated magnitude of spatial variation in RS was greater at smaller spatial scales. We thereby demonstrate substantial spatial, temporal, and spatio-temporal variation in RS occurring at very small spatial scales. We show that the estimated magnitude of this variation depended on spatial scale and that spatio-temporal variation would not have been detected if season-long RS had not been measured. Such small-scale spatio-temporal variation should be incorporated into empirical and theoretical treatments of population dynamics. PMID:26380670

  10. Effects of dietary aluminum, calcium, and phosphorus on egg and bone of European starlings

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miles, A.K.; Grue, C.E.; Pendleton, G.W.; Soares, J.H.

    1993-01-01

    Egg and bone of passerine birds nesting in acidified habitats may be affected by high levels of Al or P, or low levels of Ca. Nine treatments of three levels of dietary Al (target levels of 200, 1,000, and 5,000 ?g/g) and three levels of Ca:P (target levels of NN = 1.3% Ca: 0.9% P; LL = 0.19 Ca:0.45 P; LH = 0.19 Ca:1.65 P) were fed to 16-17 starling pairs during two breeding seasons. Eggs of starlings fed the LH diet were smaller and weighed less than eggs from the NN and LL treatments. Treatment effects on thickness, strength, and weight of eggshells were not consistent between seasons, probably because of differences in actual dietary levels of AI, Ca, and P or in incubation intervals. In one season, birds fed the highest Al diet had thicker eggshells than those from the other Al treatments (no effect from Ca:P); the following season, eggshells from the NN and LH treatments were thicker and stronger than those from the LL treatment. Eggshells from the NN treatment weighed more than those from the other Ca:P treatments. Starlings on the LH diet had the strongest femurs, but the effect was interactive with different levels of dietary AI. Effects of Ca:P on egg and bone were more evident than Al effects.

  11. Reward Associated with Singing Behavior Correlates with Opioid-Related Gene Expression in the Medial Preoptic Nucleus in Male European Starlings

    PubMed Central

    Riters, Lauren V.; Stevenson, Sharon A.; DeVries, M. Susan; Cordes, Melissa A.

    2014-01-01

    Birdsong consists of species-specific learned vocal sequences that are used primarily to attract mates and to repel competitors during the breeding season. However, many birds continue to sing at times when vocal production has no immediate or obvious impact on conspecific behavior. The mechanisms that ensure that animals produce important behaviors in contexts in which the function of these behaviors is not immediate or obvious are not known. One possibility is that animals engage in such behaviors because they are associated with pleasure. Here we examined the hypothesis that male European starlings sing outside of the breeding season in part because the act of singing in this context is facilitated and/or maintained by opioid-mediated reward. We measured song-associated reward using a conditioned place preference (CPP) test in male starlings producing fall, non-breeding season-typical song. We used quantitative real time PCR to measure expression of the enkephalin opioid precursor preproenkephalin (PENK) and mu opioid receptors (MOR) in the medial preoptic nucleus (POM; a region in which opioids are implicated in both reward and starling fall song) and additionally the song control region HVC as a control. Starlings developed a strong preference for a place that had been paired previously with the act of producing fall-typical song, indicating that fall song production was associated with a positive affective state. Both PENK and MOR mRNA expression in the POM, but not HVC, correlated positively with both individual reward state (as reflected in CPP) and undirected singing behavior. These results suggest that singing induces opioid receptor and enkephalin expression in the POM and consequent reward, and/or that opioid release in the POM induced by individual or environmental factors (e.g., the presence of food, safety of a flock or the absence of predators) induces a positive affective state which then facilitates singing behavior. PMID:25521590

  12. On-farm starling populations and other environmental and management factors associated with the presence of cefotaxime and ciprofloxacin resistant E. coli among dairy cattle in Ohio.

    PubMed

    Medhanie, Genet A; Pearl, David L; McEwen, Scott A; Guerin, Michele T; Jardine, Claire M; Schrock, Jennifer; LeJeune, Jeffrey T

    2016-11-01

    Wild birds that forage around livestock facilities have been implicated as vectors of antimicrobial resistant organisms. Although antimicrobial resistant bacteria have been isolated from European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), their role in the dissemination of antimicrobial resistant elements in livestock facilities needs further investigation. To determine whether on-farm starling density and other factors were associated with the presence of cefotaxime and ciprofloxacin resistant E. coli among dairy cows in Ohio, bovine fecal pats from 150 farms were tested for the presence of cefotaxime and ciprofloxacin resistant E. coli. Each farm was visited twice (during the summer and fall of 2007-2009). Multi-level logistic regression models with a random intercept to account for fecal pats collected within a specific visit to a farm were used to assess the associations. The percentage of samples with cefotaxime and ciprofloxacin resistant E. coli was 13.4% and 13.6%, respectively. The percentage of farms having at least one sample testing positive for cefotaxime and ciprofloxacin resistant E. coli was 56.7% and 48.7%, respectively. The odds of detecting cefotaxime and ciprofloxacin resistant E. coli in the samples was significantly higher in 2007 compared to 2008 and 2009, in fall compared to summer, and from farms closer than 60km to starling night roost sites compared to the farms further than 60km. The presence of starlings during the day had a negative association with the likelihood of detecting cefotaxime resistant E. coli. Presence of calves also had a negative association with the likelihood of detecting both cefotaxime and ciprofloxacin resistant E. coli. European starlings might play a role in the dissemination of antimicrobial resistant agents in livestock facilities related to their daily population movements rather than the specific density of birds on farm during the day.

  13. Absence of circannual toxicity of parathion to starlings

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Grue, C.E.

    1990-01-01

    Ambient temperature and season have been observed to influence the toxicity of several environmental pollutants in homeotherms. The circannual toxicity of ethyl parathion (EP) was examined in adult European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Groups of birds housed in outdoor pens received oral doses of EP (20-150 mg/kg body weight) in fall, winter, spring and summer (temperature range -3.3 to 36.7?C). The median lethal dosage (LD50), and brain and plasma cholinesterase inhibition, were found to be quite similar among seasons. There was some suggestion that EP may have been more toxic during hot weather (winter versus summer LD50 estimate [95% confidence interval]:160 [114-225] vs. 118 [102-136] mg/kg; P<0.10). In view of previous reports in which ambient temperature extremes and harsh weather have enhanced organophosphorus insecticide toxicity to birds, it is concluded that circannual toxicity studies should include measures of sensitivity (acute oral exposure) and vulnerability (dietary exposure) to better predict responses of free-ranging birds

  14. Context-Dependent Preferences in Starlings: Linking Ecology, Foraging and Choice

    PubMed Central

    Vasconcelos, Marco; Monteiro, Tiago; Kacelnik, Alex

    2013-01-01

    Foraging animals typically encounter opportunities that they either pursue or skip, but occasionally meet several alternatives simultaneously. Behavioural ecologists predict preferences using absolute properties of each option, while decision theorists focus on relative evaluations at the time of choice. We use European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) to integrate ecological reasoning with decision models, linking and testing hypotheses for value acquisition and choice mechanism. We hypothesise that options' values depend jointly on absolute attributes, learning context, and subject's state. In simultaneous choices, preference could result either from comparing subjective values using deliberation time, or from processing each alternative independently, without relative comparisons. The combination of the value acquisition hypothesis and independent processing at choice time has been called the Sequential Choice Model. We test this model with options equated in absolute properties to exclude the possibility of preference being built at the time of choice. Starlings learned to obtain food by responding to four stimuli in two contexts. In context [AB], they encountered options A5 or B10 in random alternation; in context [CD], they met C10 or D20. Delay to food is denoted, in seconds, by the suffixes. Observed latency to respond (Li) to each option alone (our measure of value) ranked thus: LA≈LCStarlings preferred A5 over C10 and C10 over B10. There was no detectable evaluation time, and preference magnitude was predictable from latency differentials. This implies that value reflects learning rather than choice context, that preferences are not constructed by relative judgements at the time of choice, and that mechanisms

  15. Extrapolating laboratory avian toxicity data to free-living birds: Comparison of the toxicity of parathion to captive and free-living European starlings

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grue, C.E.; Rattner, B.A.; Bunck, C.M.

    1993-01-01

    In 1985 and 1986, we captured nesting wild female European starlings with young 8-10 days of age. Birds were weighted, banded, and given one of four dosages of the OP insecticide parathion (50, 72, 104 or 150 mg/kg dissolved in corn oil) or pure corn-oil (control). and their young weighed. Nest boxes (7- 12/treatment) were observed and young re-weighed 2-3 days postdose to determine presence/absence of the females. If necessary, males were captured and fate of young used to confirm female response. Brain ChE inhibition in dosed birds (based on a pilot study) was 55-74%. EC50's (failure to return to nest box) for the females was 74 mg/kg in 1985 and 92 mg/kg in 1986. Confidence limit (95%) for these estimates overlapped LD50's for captive female starlings dosed with the OP in spring and early summer 1987 (136, 128 mg/kg, respectively). Results suggest that responses of captive and free-living birds to potentially lethal concentrations of OP's are similar, despite the additional stresses in the wild.

  16. Nationwide residues of mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, and selenium in starlings, 1973

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    White, D.H.; Bean, J.R.; Longcore, J.R.

    1977-01-01

    Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) collected in 1973 at 51 sites throughout the continental United States were analyzed for mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, and selenium. All samples contained detectable levels of these elements. In general, residues were low: mercury residues ranged from <0.01 to 0.20 ppm: lead, from <0.10 10 3.20 ppm: cadmium, from <0.05 to 0.20 ppm: arsenic, from <0.05 to 1.40 ppm: and selenium, from 0.10 to 1.10 ppm. There was a significant overall decline in mercury and lead residues in starlings since 1971, and a significant increase in arsenic residues. Lead residues were significantly higher in starlings from urban areas than from rural areas.

  17. Inverted-U shaped effects of D1 dopamine receptor stimulation in the medial preoptic nucleus on sexually-motivated song in male European starlings

    PubMed Central

    Riters, Lauren V.; Pawlisch, Benjamin A.; Kelm-Nelson, Cynthia A.; Stevenson, Sharon A.

    2014-01-01

    Past studies in songbirds highlight a central role for the medial preoptic nucleus (mPOA) in context-appropriate vocal communication. During the breeding season, male songbirds sing primarily to attract females (sexually-motivated song) and to repel competitors (agonistically-motivated song). Past data link dopamine and D1 dopamine receptors in the mPOA to sexually-motivated but not agonistically-motivated song; however, direct effects of dopamine receptor manipulations in the mPOA on song have not been experimentally tested. Here we tested the hypothesis that D1 receptor stimulation in the mPOA selectively influences sexually-motivated male song and the possibility that the effects of D1 agonism differ at low and high doses. In a first study, breeding condition male European starlings received infusions of saline or a single dose of the D1 receptor agonist SKF 38393 on separate test days into mPOA or hypothalamic control areas. Stimulation of D1 receptors in mPOA triggered sexually-motivated but not agonistically-motivated song. A second study showed inverted-U shaped dose-response effects of the agonist such that low levels of sexually-motivated song were observed at low and high levels of D1 receptor activation. A third study showed that effects of the D1 agonist were blocked by the D1 receptor antagonist SCH 23390. These findings suggest that an optimal level of D1 dopamine receptor stimulation in mPOA is needed to facilitate sexually-motivated vocal production. The results support a central, context-specific role for the mPOA in vocal communication and more broadly demonstrate a complex, modulatory influence of D1 receptors in mPOA on sexually-motivated behavior. PMID:24528137

  18. Do spotless starlings place feathers at their nests by ultraviolet color?

    PubMed

    Avilés, Jesús M; Parejo, Deseada; Pérez-Contreras, Tomás; Navarro, Carlos; Soler, Juan J

    2010-02-01

    A considerable number of bird species carry feathers to their nests. Feathers' presence in the nests has traditionally been explained by their insulating properties. Recently, however, it has been suggested that feathers carried to the nests by females of the spotted starling (Sturnus unicolor L.) could have an ornamental function based on their ultraviolet (300-400 nm) and human-visible longer wavelength (400-700 nm) coloration. In our population, 95.7% of feathers found inside next-boxes occupied by nesting starlings were rock dove fly feathers. Of these feathers, 82.7% were naturally positioned with their reverse side oriented toward the entrance hole and 42.4% of all found feathers were situated within the nest-cup. Here we experimentally assess the signaling function of ultraviolet coloration of feathers in nests of spotless starlings by providing nests with a number of pigeon flight feathers that were respectively treated on their obverse, reverse, both, or neither side with a UV blocker. Starlings placed 42.5% of the experimental feathers in the nest-cup irrespective of the UV block treatment. Orientation of feathers toward the entrance hole was not related with their ultraviolet radiation. However, feathers placed within the nest-cup were more likely found with their reverse side oriented toward the entrance hole confirming our correlative findings. These results suggest a minor role of ultraviolet coloration on feather location by spotless starlings.

  19. Do spotless starlings place feathers at their nests by ultraviolet color?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avilés, Jesús M.; Parejo, Deseada; Pérez-Contreras, Tomás; Navarro, Carlos; Soler, Juan J.

    2010-02-01

    A considerable number of bird species carry feathers to their nests. Feathers’ presence in the nests has traditionally been explained by their insulating properties. Recently, however, it has been suggested that feathers carried to the nests by females of the spotted starling ( Sturnus unicolor L.) could have an ornamental function based on their ultraviolet (300-400 nm) and human-visible longer wavelength (400-700 nm) coloration. In our population, 95.7% of feathers found inside next-boxes occupied by nesting starlings were rock dove fly feathers. Of these feathers, 82.7% were naturally positioned with their reverse side oriented toward the entrance hole and 42.4% of all found feathers were situated within the nest-cup. Here we experimentally assess the signaling function of ultraviolet coloration of feathers in nests of spotless starlings by providing nests with a number of pigeon flight feathers that were respectively treated on their obverse, reverse, both, or neither side with a UV blocker. Starlings placed 42.5% of the experimental feathers in the nest-cup irrespective of the UV block treatment. Orientation of feathers toward the entrance hole was not related with their ultraviolet radiation. However, feathers placed within the nest-cup were more likely found with their reverse side oriented toward the entrance hole confirming our correlative findings. These results suggest a minor role of ultraviolet coloration on feather location by spotless starlings.

  20. Sensitivity of nestling and adult starlings to dicrotophos, an organophosphate pesticide

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grue, C.E.; Shipley, B.K.

    1984-01-01

    The 24-hr median lethal dose (LD50) of dicrotophos (3-hydroxy-N,N-dimethyl-cis-crotonamide dimethyl phosphate) for free-living 5-day-old nestling European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris, LDso = 4.92 mg/kg body wt) was about one-half that obtained for free-living 15day-old nestlings (9.59 mg/kg) and captive adult males (8.37 mg/kg) and females (8.47 mg/ kg). Nestlings and adults with low pretreatment body weights appeared to be more vulnerable to organophosphate (OP) exposure. Brain cholinesterase (ChE) activity was severely depressed in all birds that died (74-94%); the degree of inhibition did not vary with age or sex. Inhibition of brain ChE in 5-day-old nestlings alive 24 hr post dose (X = 28-43%) was lower than that of 15-day-old (X = 55-68%) and adult (X = 55-77%) survivors. Body weights of OP-dosed birds that died were depressed an average of 20 to 46% in 5-day-olds, 7 to 20% in 15-day-olds, and 0 to 10% in adults; weight losses varied inversely with age and dosage, and directly with time to death. Average weight losses in 5- and 15-day-old survivors (X < 31 and 26%, respectively) varied directly with dose and exceeded comparable values for adults (X = 3-15%). Results suggest that (1) young nestling songbirds may be nearly twice as sensitive as adults to OPs, (2) growth of nestlings may be severely depressed following OP exposure, and (3) recovery of brain ChE activity following exposure to ChE inhibitors may be more rapid in nestlings than adults.

  1. Recursion, Language, and Starlings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corballis, Michael C.

    2007-01-01

    It has been claimed that recursion is one of the properties that distinguishes human language from any other form of animal communication. Contrary to this claim, a recent study purports to demonstrate center-embedded recursion in starlings. I show that the performance of the birds in this study can be explained by a counting strategy, without any…

  2. Are Female Starlings Able to Recognize the Scent of Their Offspring?

    PubMed Central

    Amo, Luisa; Tomás, Gustavo; Parejo, Deseada; Avilés, Jesús Miguel

    2014-01-01

    Background Although there is growing evidence that birds may have individual chemical profiles that can function in several social contexts, offspring recognition based on olfactory cues has never been explored. This ability should be more likely evolved in colonial birds and/or species suffering brood parasitism, in which the risk of being engaged in costly misdirected parental care is high. Methodology/Principal Findings We performed a choice experiment to examine whether females of the spotless starling, Sturnus unicolor, a species that is colonial, and where a fraction of the population is exposed to intraspecific brood parasitism, can discriminate between the scent of their offspring and that of unrelated nestlings. We also explored whether the development of the uropygial gland secretion may play a role in such olfactory discrimination by performing the choice experiments to females rearing nestlings of two different ages, that is, without and with developed uropygial glands. Results showed that female starlings did not preferentially choose the scent of their offspring, independently of whether the gland of nestlings was developed or not. Conclusions/Significance Our results suggest that female starlings do not have or do not show the ability to distinguish their offspring based on olfaction, at least up to 12–14 days of nestling age. Further research is needed to examine whether odour-based discrimination may function when fledgling starlings leave the nest and the risk of costly misidentification is likely to increase. PMID:25299305

  3. Campylobacter jejuni colonization and population structure in urban populations of ducks and starlings in New Zealand

    PubMed Central

    Mohan, Vathsala; Stevenson, Mark; Marshall, Jonathan; Fearnhead, Paul; Holland, Barbara R; Hotter, Grant; French, Nigel P

    2013-01-01

    Abstract A repeated cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the prevalence of Campylobacter spp. and the population structure of C. jejuni in European starlings and ducks cohabiting multiple public access sites in an urban area of New Zealand. The country's geographical isolation and relatively recent history of introduction of wild bird species, including the European starling and mallard duck, create an ideal setting to explore the impact of geographical separation on the population biology of C. jejuni, as well as potential public health implications. A total of 716 starling and 720 duck fecal samples were collected and screened for C. jejuni over a 12 month period. This study combined molecular genotyping, population genetics and epidemiological modeling and revealed: (i) higher Campylobacter spp. isolation in starlings (46%) compared with ducks (30%), but similar isolation of C. jejuni in ducks (23%) and starlings (21%), (ii) significant associations between the isolation of Campylobacter spp. and host species, sampling location and time of year using logistic regression, (iii) evidence of population differentiation, as indicated by FST, and host-genotype association with clonal complexes CC ST-177 and CC ST-682 associated with starlings, and clonal complexes CC ST-1034, CC ST-692, and CC ST-1332 associated with ducks, and (iv) greater genetic diversity and genotype richness in ducks compared with starlings. These findings provide evidence that host-associated genotypes, such as the starling-associated ST-177 and ST-682, represent lineages that were introduced with the host species in the 19th century. The isolation of sequence types associated with human disease in New Zealand indicate that wild ducks and starlings need to be considered as a potential public health risk, particularly in urban areas. We applied molecular epidemiology and population genetics to obtain insights in to the population structure, host-species relationships, gene flow and

  4. Female starlings adjust primary sex ratio in response to aromatic plants in the nest.

    PubMed Central

    Polo, Vicente; Veiga, José P.; Cordero, Pedro J.; Viñuela, Javier; Monaghan, Pat

    2004-01-01

    Adjustment of offspring sex ratios should be favoured by natural selection when parents are capable of facultatively altering brood sex ratios and of recognizing the circumstances that predict the probable fitness benefit of producing sons and daughters. Although experimental studies have shown that female birds may adjust offspring sex ratios in response to changes in their own condition and in the external appearance of their mate, and male attributes other than his external morphology are also thought to act as signals of male quality, it is not known whether females will respond to changes in such signals, in the absence of any change in the appearance of the male himself. Here, we experimentally manipulated a male courtship display, the green plants carried to the nest by male spotless starlings (Sturnus unicolor), without changing any physical attributes of the male himself, and examined whether this influenced female decisions on offspring sex ratio. We found that in an environment in which female starlings were producing more daughters than sons, experimental enhancement of the green nesting material caused females to significantly increase the number of male eggs produced and thereby removed the female bias. This effect was consistent in 2 years and at two localities. This demonstrates that the green material, whose function has long puzzled biologists, conveys important information to the female and that she facultatively adjusts offspring production accordingly. PMID:15347516

  5. Feathers at nests are potential female signals in the spotless starling

    PubMed Central

    Veiga, José P; Polo, Vicente

    2005-01-01

    Although the presence of feathers in the nest is widespread among birds, it has not been previously suggested that feathers can be used as sexual signals. Females of the spotless starling (Sturnus unicolor) regularly carry feathers to their nest, mostly during laying and incubation. We show that the arrangement of these feathers was non-random with respect to the side (obverse or reverse) placed upwards (which can be viewed from the nest entrance). Feathers of the wood pigeon (Columba palumbus) and the spotless starling, which exhibit higher ultraviolet and visible reflectance on their reverse side, were predominantly placed with this side upwards. On the contrary, feathers of the jay (Garrulus glandarius) were predominantly found exhibiting the obverse side, which possesses higher reflectance in this species. Feathers of the azure-winged magpie (Cyanopica cyana), with similar reflectance values on either side, were placed indiscriminately in obverse and reverse positions. The results suggest that feathers are arranged to maximize their conspicuousness within the nest and hence that they might be potentially used as intraspecific signals. PMID:17148200

  6. Starlings uphold principles of economic rationality for delay and probability of reward

    PubMed Central

    Monteiro, Tiago; Vasconcelos, Marco; Kacelnik, Alex

    2013-01-01

    Rationality principles are the bedrock of normative theories of decision-making in biology and microeconomics, but whereas in microeconomics, consistent choice underlies the notion of utility; in biology, the assumption of consistent selective pressures justifies modelling decision mechanisms as if they were designed to maximize fitness. In either case, violations of consistency contradict expectations and attract theoretical interest. Reported violations of rationality in non-humans include intransitivity (i.e. circular preferences) and lack of independence of irrelevant alternatives (changes in relative preference between options when embedded in different choice sets), but the extent to which these observations truly represent breaches of rationality is debatable. We tested both principles with starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), training subjects either with five options differing in food delay (exp. 1) or with six options differing in reward probability (exp. 2), before letting them choose repeatedly one option out of several binary and trinary sets of options. The starlings conformed to economic rationality on both tests, showing strong stochastic transitivity and no violation of the independence principle. These results endorse the rational choice and optimality approaches used in behavioural ecology, and highlight the need for functional and mechanistic enquiring when apparent violations of such principles are observed. PMID:23390098

  7. Further studies on the use of enzyme profiles to monitor residue accumulation in wildlife: Plasma enzymes in starlings fed graded concentrations of morsodren, DDE, Aroclor 1254, and malathion

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dieter, M.P.

    1975-01-01

    Wild-trapped starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) were fed concentrations of Morsodren (2, 4, and 8 ppm), DDE or Aroclor 1254 (5, 25, and 100 ppm), or malathion (8, 35, and 160 ppm) that were found to be sublethal in pen-reared Coturnix quail fed these amounts for 12 weeks. Plasma enzymes had to be measured earlier than planned in starlings fed Morsodren (at three weeks) or the organochlorine compounds (at seven weeks) because of unexpected, subsequent mortality. Variations in enzyme response were greater in wild than in pen-reared birds, but not enough to mask the toxicant-induced changes in enzyme activity. Cholinesterase activities decreased in birds fed Morsodren or malathion, and increased in those fed the organochlorine compounds. Lactate dehydrogenase activities increased two-fold in starlings fed Morsodren and two- to four-fold in those fed the organochlorine compounds, but only 50% in those fed malathion. Further examination of enzyme profiles showed that creatine kinase and aspartate aminotransferase activities increased two-to four-fold in birds fed Morsodren or the organochlorine compounds but not at all in those fed malathion. Thus the classes of environmental contaminants fed to starlings could be easily distinguished by these enzymatic parameters. Evaluation of enzymatic profiles appears to be a potentially valuable technique to monitor the presence of toxicants in wild populations, especially if used to complement standard chemical residue analyses. Here the residue analyses showed, after three weeks feeding, that mercury in the carcasses reflected the concentrations fed daily, whereas accumulation in the livers was two- to four-fold greater. After seven weeks feeding, liver residues of either organochlorine compound were about three-fold higher than the concentrations fed daily. However, four times as much DDE as Aroclor 1254 had accumulated in the carcasses.

  8. Hand rearing affects emotional responses but not basic cognitive performance in European starlings☆

    PubMed Central

    Feenders, Gesa; Bateson, Melissa

    2013-01-01

    Hand rearing is a common procedure in behavioural research on birds. While likely to produce tamer experimental animals, there is a risk that it could induce pathological changes in brain and behaviour similar to those seen in mammals that have experienced maternal separation. We explored the effects of hand rearing on the cognitive and behavioural development of European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, to assess the generality of results obtained from hand-reared animals. Two groups of age-matched birds were created from the same wild population: one hand-reared from 10 days posthatch and one brought into the laboratory as independent juveniles. These groups were compared on a battery of neuropsychological tasks designed to probe different aspects of cognitive function including learning, perseverative cognition, interval timing, neophobia and impulsivity. There was no evidence for cognitive impairment in the hand-reared birds. They did not have reduced learning speed, impairments in accuracy or precision of interval timing or pathological perseverative cognition compared to the wild-caught birds. Additionally, there was no evidence that birds that developed stereotypies in laboratory cages (predominantly the wild-caught birds) had any cognitive impairments, although this may be because no birds had severe, crystallized stereotypies. There was some evidence that hand-reared birds were less neophobic and less impulsive than wild-caught birds, suggesting that hand rearing might alter emotionally mediated decision making in a direction usually associated with reduced developmental stress in mammals. This study therefore supports the use of hand rearing as an experimental procedure in behavioural research on passerine birds. PMID:23888084

  9. Care of nestlings by wild female starlings exposed to an organophosphate pesticide

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grue, C.E.; Powell, G.V.N.; McChesney, M.J.

    1982-01-01

    (1) Our objective was to determine the effect of exposure to an organophosphate pesticide (OP), dicrotophos (3-hydroxy-N,N-dimethyl-cis-scrotonamide dimethyl phosphate), on care of nestlings by wild female starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)....(2) We selected twelve pairs of active nests based on synchrony in the reproductive cycle. When nestlings were 10 days old (day 10), adult males were captured and killed and brood size was adjusted to four. The frequency and temporal distribution of sorties made by each pair of females to feed their young were recorded for 2 h at 18.00 hours on day 11 and 06.00 hours on day 12. One female from each pair was given a single oral dose of dicrotophos (2.5 mg/kg of body weight) dissolved in corn oil; the second female received an equivalent exposure of pure corn oil. Birds were released and their nestlings weighed. Parental care was again monitored between 18.00 and 20.00 hours on day 12 and 06.00 and 08.00 hours on day 13. Females were then captured and they with their young were weighed and killed. Changes in parental care in OP-dosed and control females were compared using paired t-tests. ....(3) The OP-dosed females made significantly (P < 0.5) fewer sorties to feed their young and remained away from their boxes for longer periods of time than controls. Nestlings of OP-treated females lost significantly more weight (X = 9.3%) than nestlings of controls (X = 3.2%). Brain ChE activity in OP-treated females was inhibited an average of 50.7% compared with controls. Weight changes in OP-dosed (X = -8.9%) and control females (X = -8.3%) were similar.....(4) Results indicate that parental care may be significantly reduced in songbirds receiving severe but sublethal exposure to organophosphate pesticides. The potential for a reduction or modification in parental care to alter reproductive success in passerines is discussed..... (5) Techniques utilized, or modifications thereof, may be useful in collecting the additional data needed to

  10. Cardiac thin filament regulation and the Frank-Starling mechanism.

    PubMed

    Kobirumaki-Shimozawa, Fuyu; Inoue, Takahiro; Shintani, Seine A; Oyama, Kotaro; Terui, Takako; Minamisawa, Susumu; Ishiwata, Shin'ichi; Fukuda, Norio

    2014-07-01

    The heart has an intrinsic ability to increase systolic force in response to a rise in ventricular filling (the Frank-Starling law of the heart). It is widely accepted that the length dependence of myocardial activation underlies the Frank-Starling law of the heart. Recent advances in muscle physiology have enabled the identification of the factors involved in length-dependent activation, viz., titin (connectin)-based interfilament lattice spacing reduction and thin filament "on-off" regulation, with the former triggering length-dependent activation and the latter determining the number of myosin molecules recruited to thin filaments. Patients with a failing heart have demonstrated reduced exercise tolerance at least in part via depression of the Frank-Starling mechanism. Recent studies revealed that various mutations occur in the thin filament regulatory proteins, such as troponin, in the ventricular muscle of failing hearts, which consequently alter the Frank-Starling mechanism. In this article, we review the molecular mechanisms of length-dependent activation, and the influence of troponin mutations on the phenomenon.

  11. Social coordination in animal vocal interactions. Is there any evidence of turn-taking? The starling as an animal model

    PubMed Central

    Henry, Laurence; Craig, Adrian J. F. K.; Lemasson, Alban; Hausberger, Martine

    2015-01-01

    Turn-taking in conversation appears to be a common feature in various human cultures and this universality raises questions about its biological basis and evolutionary trajectory. Functional convergence is a widespread phenomenon in evolution, revealing sometimes striking functional similarities between very distant species even though the mechanisms involved may be different. Studies on mammals (including non-human primates) and bird species with different levels of social coordination reveal that temporal and structural regularities in vocal interactions may depend on the species' social structure. Here we test the hypothesis that turn-taking and associated rules of conversations may be an adaptive response to the requirements of social life, by testing the applicability of turn-taking rules to an animal model, the European starling. Birdsong has for many decades been considered as one of the best models of human language and starling songs have been well described in terms of vocal production and perception. Starlings do have vocal interactions where alternating patterns predominate. Observational and experimental data on vocal interactions reveal that (1) there are indeed clear temporal and structural regularities, (2) the temporal and structural patterning is influenced by the immediate social context, the general social situation, the individual history, and the internal state of the emitter. Comparison of phylogenetically close species of Sturnids reveals that the alternating pattern of vocal interactions varies greatly according to the species' social structure, suggesting that interactional regularities may have evolved together with social systems. These findings lead to solid bases of discussion on the evolution of communication rules in relation to social evolution. They will be discussed also in terms of processes, at the light of recent neurobiological findings. PMID:26441787

  12. Social coordination in animal vocal interactions. Is there any evidence of turn-taking? The starling as an animal model.

    PubMed

    Henry, Laurence; Craig, Adrian J F K; Lemasson, Alban; Hausberger, Martine

    2015-01-01

    Turn-taking in conversation appears to be a common feature in various human cultures and this universality raises questions about its biological basis and evolutionary trajectory. Functional convergence is a widespread phenomenon in evolution, revealing sometimes striking functional similarities between very distant species even though the mechanisms involved may be different. Studies on mammals (including non-human primates) and bird species with different levels of social coordination reveal that temporal and structural regularities in vocal interactions may depend on the species' social structure. Here we test the hypothesis that turn-taking and associated rules of conversations may be an adaptive response to the requirements of social life, by testing the applicability of turn-taking rules to an animal model, the European starling. Birdsong has for many decades been considered as one of the best models of human language and starling songs have been well described in terms of vocal production and perception. Starlings do have vocal interactions where alternating patterns predominate. Observational and experimental data on vocal interactions reveal that (1) there are indeed clear temporal and structural regularities, (2) the temporal and structural patterning is influenced by the immediate social context, the general social situation, the individual history, and the internal state of the emitter. Comparison of phylogenetically close species of Sturnids reveals that the alternating pattern of vocal interactions varies greatly according to the species' social structure, suggesting that interactional regularities may have evolved together with social systems. These findings lead to solid bases of discussion on the evolution of communication rules in relation to social evolution. They will be discussed also in terms of processes, at the light of recent neurobiological findings.

  13. Energy expenditure during flight in relation to body mass: effects of natural increases in mass and artificial load in Rose Coloured Starlings.

    PubMed

    Schmidt-Wellenburg, Carola A; Engel, Sophia; Visser, G Henk

    2008-08-01

    Rose Coloured Starlings (Sturnus roseus) flew repeatedly for several hours in a wind tunnel while undergoing spontaneous variation in body mass. The treatments were as follows: flying unrestrained (U), with a control harness of 1.2% of their body mass (C), or with a harness of 7.4% of their body mass, which was either applied immediately before the flight (LS) or at least 9 days in advance (LL). Energy expenditure during flight (ef in W) was measured with the Doubly Labelled Water method. Flight costs in L(S) and LL were not significantly different and therefore were pooled (L). The harness itself did not affect ef, i.e. U and C flights were not different. ef was allometrically related with body mass m (in g). The slopes were not significantly different between the treatments, but ef was increased by 5.4% in L compared to C flights (log10(ef) = 0.050 + 0.47 x log10(m) for C, and log10(ef) = 0.073 + 0.47 x log10(m) for L). The difference in ef between C, LS and LL was best explained by taking the transported mass m transp (in g) instead of m into account (log10(ef) = -0.08 + 0.54 x log10(m transp)). Flight costs increased to a lesser extent than expected from interspecific allometric comparison or aerodynamic theory, regardless of whether the increase in mass occurred naturally or artificially. We did not observe an effect of treatment on breast muscle size and wingbeat frequency. We propose that the relatively low costs at a high mass are rather a consequence of immediate adjustments in physiology and/or flight behaviour than of long-term adaptations.

  14. Energy expenditure during flight in relation to body mass: effects of natural increases in mass and artificial load in Rose Coloured Starlings

    PubMed Central

    Engel, Sophia; Visser, G. Henk

    2008-01-01

    Rose Coloured Starlings (Sturnus roseus) flew repeatedly for several hours in a wind tunnel while undergoing spontaneous variation in body mass. The treatments were as follows: flying unrestrained (U), with a control harness of 1.2% of their body mass (C), or with a harness of 7.4% of their body mass, which was either applied immediately before the flight (LS) or at least 9 days in advance (LL). Energy expenditure during flight (ef in W) was measured with the Doubly Labelled Water method. Flight costs in LS and LL were not significantly different and therefore were pooled (L). The harness itself did not affect ef, i.e. U and C flights were not different. ef was allometrically related with body mass m (in g). The slopes were not significantly different between the treatments, but ef was increased by 5.4% in L compared to C flights (log10(ef) = 0.050 + 0.47 × log10(m) for C, and log10(ef) = 0.073 + 0.47 × log10(m) for L). The difference in ef between C, LS and LL was best explained by taking the transported mass mtransp (in g) instead of m into account (log10(ef) = −0.08 + 0.54 × log10(mtransp)). Flight costs increased to a lesser extent than expected from interspecific allometric comparison or aerodynamic theory, regardless of whether the increase in mass occurred naturally or artificially. We did not observe an effect of treatment on breast muscle size and wingbeat frequency. We propose that the relatively low costs at a high mass are rather a consequence of immediate adjustments in physiology and/or flight behaviour than of long-term adaptations. PMID:18481070

  15. The Frank-Starling mechanism in vertebrate cardiac myocytes.

    PubMed

    Shiels, Holly A; White, Ed

    2008-07-01

    The Frank-Starling law of the heart applies to all classes of vertebrates. It describes how stretch of cardiac muscle, up to an optimum length, increases contractility thereby linking cardiac ejection to cardiac filling. The cellular mechanisms underlying the Frank-Starling response include an increase in myofilament sensitivity for Ca2+, decreased myofilament lattice spacing and increased thin filament cooperativity. Stretching of mammalian, amphibian and fish cardiac myocytes reveal that the functional peak of the sarcomere length (SL)-tension relationship occurs at longer SL in the non-mammalian classes. These findings correlate with in vivo cardiac function as non-mammalian vertebrates, such as fish, vary stroke volume to a relatively larger extent than mammals. Thus, it seems the length-dependent properties of individual myocytes are modified to accommodate differences in organ function, and the high extensibility of certain hearts is matched by the extensibility of their myocytes. Reasons for the differences between classes are still to be elucidated, however, the structure of mammalian ventricular myocytes, with larger widths and higher levels of passive stiffness than those from other vertebrate classes may be implicated.

  16. Assessment of contractility in intact ventricular cardiomyocytes using the dimensionless 'Frank-Starling Gain' index.

    PubMed

    Bollensdorff, Christian; Lookin, Oleg; Kohl, Peter

    2011-07-01

    This paper briefly recapitulates the Frank-Starling law of the heart, reviews approaches to establishing diastolic and systolic force-length behaviour in intact isolated cardiomyocytes, and introduces a dimensionless index called 'Frank-Starling Gain', calculated as the ratio of slopes of end-systolic and end-diastolic force-length relations. The benefits and limitations of this index are illustrated on the example of regional differences in Guinea pig intact ventricular cardiomyocyte mechanics. Potential applicability of the Frank-Starling Gain for the comparison of cell contractility changes upon stretch will be discussed in the context of intra- and inter-individual variability of cardiomyocyte properties.

  17. How social experience shapes song representation in the brain of starlings.

    PubMed

    George, Isabelle; Cousillas, Hugo

    2013-06-01

    Birdsong, like speech, is a learned behaviour whose critical function is to communicate with others and whose development critically depends on social influences. Song learning is a complex phenomenon that involves not only the development of species-specific vocalisations, but also the development of the ability to organise these vocalisations and to use them in an appropriate context. Although the fact that interactions with adult experienced models are essential for song production to develop properly has been well established, far less is known about song perception and processing. The fact that songbirds learn to vocalise and to use their vocalisations selectively through interactions with adults questions whether such interactions are also required for songbirds to perceive and process their vocalisations selectively and whether social interactions may shape song perception and processing as they shape song production. In order to address these questions, our team uses an original neuroethological approach to study the neural bases of song behaviour in a highly social songbird species: the European starlings. We provide here a synthesis of the results we have obtained using this approach over the last decade. Our results show that direct social experience with adult experienced models not only shapes song behaviour but also shapes these songbirds' brains and their ability to perceive and to process acoustic signals whose communicative value, as well as their acoustic structure, have to be learned.

  18. Can Bayliss and Starling gut hormones cure a worldwide pandemic?

    PubMed Central

    Scott, R V; Tan, T M; Bloom, S R

    2014-01-01

    Bayliss and Starling first coined the term ‘hormone’ with reference to secretin, a substance they found that was produced by the gut, but released into the blood stream to act at a distance. The intestine is now known as the largest endocrine organ in the body, and it produces numerous hormones with a wide range of functions. These include controlling appetite and energy homeostasis. Obesity is one of the greatest health threats facing the world today. At present, the only successful treatment is surgery. Bariatric procedures such as the Roux-en-Y bypass work by elevating gut hormones that induce satiety. Significant research has gone into producing versions of these hormones that can be delivered therapeutically to treat obesity. This review looks at the role of gut hormones in obesity, and the development of gut hormone-derived obesity treatments. PMID:25217372

  19. Test of the Starling resistor model in the human upper airway during sleep

    PubMed Central

    Genta, Pedro R.; Owens, Robert L.; Edwards, Bradley A.; Sands, Scott A.; Loring, Stephen H.; White, David P.; Jackson, Andrew C.; Pedersen, Ole F.; Butler, James P.

    2014-01-01

    The human pharyngeal airway during sleep is conventionally modeled as a Starling resistor. However, inspiratory flow often decreases with increasing effort (negative effort dependence, NED) rather than remaining fixed as predicted by the Starling resistor model. In this study, we tested a major prediction of the Starling resistor model—that the resistance of the airway upstream from the site of collapse remains fixed during flow limitation. During flow limitation in 24 patients with sleep apnea, resistance at several points along the pharyngeal airway was measured using a pressure catheter with multiple sensors. Resistance between the nose and the site of collapse (the upstream segment) was measured before and after the onset of flow limitation to determine whether the upstream dimensions remained fixed (as predicted by the Starling resistor model) or narrowed (a violation of the Starling resistor model). The upstream resistance from early to mid inspiration increased considerably during flow limitation (by 35 ± 41 cmH2O·liter−1·s−1, P < 0.001). However, there was a wide range of variability between patients, and the increase in upstream resistance was strongly correlated with the amount of NED (r = 0.75, P < 0.001). Therefore, patients with little NED exhibited little upstream narrowing (consistent with the Starling model), and patients with large NED exhibited large upstream narrowing (inconsistent with the Starling model). These findings support the idea that there is not a single model of pharyngeal collapse, but rather that different mechanisms may dominate in different patients. These differences could potentially be exploited for treatment selection. PMID:25324514

  20. Use of captive starlings to determine effects of pollutants on passerine reproduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grue, C.E.; Christian, C.L.; Lamb, D.W.; Kenaga, E.E.

    1981-01-01

    Three reproductive trials were conducted to develop techniques for propagation of captive starlings (Stumus vulgaris) which could determine the effects of environmental contaminants on passerine reproduction. Trials were conducted during the spring of 1979 in five adjacent 2.4 by 3 by 12-m outdoor wire pens containing four or ten pairs of starlings, a similar number of nest boxes, perches, water, commercial turkey starter, and alfalfa hay as nesting material. Nestling diets consisted of combinations of Nebraska Brand bird of prey diet, live or frozen mealworms (Tenebrio molitor) and crickets (Acheta domestica), or live earthworms (Pheretima sp.). Starlings reproduced successfully when the number of breeding pairs per pen was reduced from ten to four. The average clutch sizes for each pen (4.3 to 4.9) were similar to those reported for wild starlings. Hatching (60 to 90.4 percent) and fledging (0 to 100 percent) success varied among pens. The fledging success was greatest in the pens which received the most diverse nestling diets: Nebraska Brand diet plus frozen or live mealworms and crickets. Whether the insects were presented alive or frozen appeared to have little effect on the reproductive success. The starlings did not consume or carry earthworms to their young. The body weights of 20-day-old nestlings raised in captivity (X=73.9 g) were similar to those of starlings in the wild. The use of single pairs per pen may eliminate problems in presentation of nestling diets due to asynchrony in breeding between pairs and excessive interactions among individuals, which may interfere with parental care. The starling appears to be an excellent model for examining the effects of environmental contaminants on the reproduction of songbirds in captivity.

  1. Simulation of the Frank-Starling Law of the Heart.

    PubMed

    Ribarič, Samo; Kordaš, Marjan

    2012-01-01

    We developed a lumped parameter, computer-based model of an equivalent electronic circuit for a one-atrium one-ventricle (frog) heart attached to a vascular circuit, to simulate a basic concept of cardiovascular physiology, the Frank-Starling Law of the Heart. A series of simulations was performed, to observe changes in cardiovascular variables (e.g., arterial pressure, ventricular volume, and valve flows) if either preload or afterload was increased. The simulated data agreed qualitatively, and quantitatively when experimental data are available, with data obtained on amphibian or on mammalian myocardium. In addition, the data obtained in these simulations improve our understanding of the mechanism(s) whereby the heart muscle adapts itself to increased distension (increased preload) or to impeded systolic contraction (increased afterload). The analysis of the measured valve flows suggests that the ventricle is a highly input sensitive pump because the input pressure determines the diastolic distension and, consequently, the force of ventricular systolic contraction. On the other hand, the ventricle is a relatively output insensitive pump. Therefore, not only atrium contraction, but also predominantly the preceding ventricular systolic contraction is the main mechanism of the subsequent diastolic ventricular filling. We conclude that the presented model enables the study of basic concepts of cardiovascular physiology.

  2. Simulation of the Frank-Starling Law of the Heart

    PubMed Central

    Ribarič, Samo; Kordaš, Marjan

    2012-01-01

    We developed a lumped parameter, computer-based model of an equivalent electronic circuit for a one-atrium one-ventricle (frog) heart attached to a vascular circuit, to simulate a basic concept of cardiovascular physiology, the Frank-Starling Law of the Heart. A series of simulations was performed, to observe changes in cardiovascular variables (e.g., arterial pressure, ventricular volume, and valve flows) if either preload or afterload was increased. The simulated data agreed qualitatively, and quantitatively when experimental data are available, with data obtained on amphibian or on mammalian myocardium. In addition, the data obtained in these simulations improve our understanding of the mechanism(s) whereby the heart muscle adapts itself to increased distension (increased preload) or to impeded systolic contraction (increased afterload). The analysis of the measured valve flows suggests that the ventricle is a highly input sensitive pump because the input pressure determines the diastolic distension and, consequently, the force of ventricular systolic contraction. On the other hand, the ventricle is a relatively output insensitive pump. Therefore, not only atrium contraction, but also predominantly the preceding ventricular systolic contraction is the main mechanism of the subsequent diastolic ventricular filling. We conclude that the presented model enables the study of basic concepts of cardiovascular physiology. PMID:23243461

  3. Frank-starling control of a left ventricular assist device.

    PubMed

    Stevens, Michael Charles; Gaddum, Nicholas Richard; Pearcy, Mark; Salamonsen, Robert F; Timms, Daniel Lee; Mason, David Glen; Fraser, John F

    2011-01-01

    A physiological control system was developed for a rotary left ventricular assist device (LVAD) in which the target pump flow rate (LVADQ) was set as a function of left atrial pressure (LAP), mimicking the Frank-Starling mechanism. The control strategy was implemented using linear PID control and was evaluated in a pulsatile mock circulation loop using a prototyped centrifugal pump by varying pulmonary vascular resistance to alter venous return. The control strategy automatically varied pump speed (2460 to 1740 to 2700 RPM) in response to a decrease and subsequent increase in venous return. In contrast, a fixed-speed pump caused a simulated ventricular suction event during low venous return and higher ventricular volumes during high venous return. The preload sensitivity was increased from 0.011 L/min/mmHg in fixed speed mode to 0.47L/min/mmHg, a value similar to that of the native healthy heart. The sensitivity varied automatically to maintain the LAP and LVADQ within a predefined zone. This control strategy requires the implantation of a pressure sensor in the left atrium and a flow sensor around the outflow cannula of the LVAD. However, appropriate pressure sensor technology is not yet commercially available and so an alternative measure of preload such as pulsatility of pump signals should be investigated.

  4. Selection, constraint, and the evolution of coloration in African starlings.

    PubMed

    Maia, Rafael; Rubenstein, Dustin R; Shawkey, Matthew D

    2016-05-01

    Colorful plumage plays a prominent role in the evolution of birds, influencing communication (sexual/social selection), and crypsis (natural selection). Comparative studies have focused primarily on these selective pressures, but the mechanisms underlying color production can also be important by constraining the color gamut upon which selection acts. Iridescence is particularly interesting to study the interaction between selection and color-producing mechanisms because a broad range of colors can be produced with a shared template, and innovations to this template further expand this by increasing the parameters interacting to produce colors. We examine the patterns of ornamentation and dichromatism evolution in African starlings, a group remarkably diverse in color production mechanisms, social systems, and ecologies. We find that the presence of iridescence is ancestral to the group, being predominantly lost in females and cooperative breeders, as well as species with less labile templates. Color-producing mechanisms interact and are the main predictors of plumage ornamentation and elaboration, with little influence of selective pressures in their evolution. Dichromatism, however is influenced by social system and the loss of iridescence. Our results show the importance of considering both selection and constraints, and the different roles that they may have, in the evolution of ornamentation and dimorphism.

  5. Information transfer and behavioural inertia in starling flocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Attanasi, Alessandro; Cavagna, Andrea; Del Castello, Lorenzo; Giardina, Irene; Grigera, Tomas S.; Jelić, Asja; Melillo, Stefania; Parisi, Leonardo; Pohl, Oliver; Shen, Edward; Viale, Massimiliano

    2014-09-01

    Collective decision-making in biological systems requires all individuals in the group to go through a behavioural change of state. During this transition fast and robust transfer of information is essential to prevent cohesion loss. The mechanism by which natural groups achieve such robustness, however, is not clear. Here we present an experimental study of starling flocks performing collective turns. We find that information about direction changes propagates across the flock with a linear dispersion law and negligible attenuation, hence minimizing group decoherence. These results contrast starkly with present models of collective motion, which predict diffusive transport of information. Building on spontaneous symmetry breaking and conservation-law arguments, we formulate a theory that correctly reproduces linear and undamped propagation. Essential to this framework is the inclusion of the birds' behavioural inertia. The theory not only explains the data, but also predicts that information transfer must be faster the stronger the group's orientational order, a prediction accurately verified by the data. Our results suggest that swift decision-making may be the adaptive drive for the strong behavioural polarization observed in many living groups.

  6. Replication of the Frank-Starling response in a mock circulation loop.

    PubMed

    Gregory, Shaun D; Stevens, Michael; Timms, Daniel; Pearcy, Mark

    2011-01-01

    Mock circulation loops (MCLs) are used to evaluate cardiovascular devices prior to in-vivo trials; however they lack the vital autoregulatory responses that occur in humans. This study aimed to develop and implement a left and right ventricular Frank-Starling response in a MCL. A proportional controller based on ventricular end diastolic volume was used to control the driving pressure of the MCL's pneumatically operated ventricles. Ventricular pressure-volume loops and end systolic pressure-volume relationships were produced for a variety of healthy and pathological conditions and compared with human data to validate the simulated Frank-Starling response. The non-linear Frank-Starling response produced in this study successfully altered left and right ventricular contractility with changing preload and was validated with previously reported data. This improvement to an already detailed MCL has resulted in a test rig capable of further refining cardiovascular devices and reducing the number of in-vivo trials.

  7. Assessment of the Frank-Starling relationship by two-dimensional echocardiography.

    PubMed

    Zipprich, D A; Owen, C H; Lewis, C W; Gall, S A; Davis, J W; Kisslo, J A; Glower, D D

    1996-01-01

    The Frank-Starling relationship between left ventricular stroke work and end-diastolic minor-axis cross-sectional area was evaluated as a load-insensitive measure of inotropic state by two-dimensional echocardiography in 10 conscious dogs. Stroke work was calculated as the product of systolic change in cross-sectional area and either (1) beat-to-beat mean arterial pressure or (2) initial systolic blood pressure. Both Frank-Starling relationships were highly linear during preload variation (mean r = 0.96), sensitive to the inotropic state (slope increase with calcium 51% +/- 43% and 62% +/- 53%, respectively), and insensitive to afterload (r < 0.4, slope or x intercept versus afterload). Thus the Frank-Starling relationships derived from two-dimensional echocardiographic images and peripheral arterial pressure may be a useful and practical means of assessing inotropic state with minimally invasive measurements.

  8. β-Arrestin mediates the Frank-Starling mechanism of cardiac contractility.

    PubMed

    Abraham, Dennis M; Davis, Robert T; Warren, Chad M; Mao, Lan; Wolska, Beata M; Solaro, R John; Rockman, Howard A

    2016-12-13

    The Frank-Starling law of the heart is a physiological phenomenon that describes an intrinsic property of heart muscle in which increased cardiac filling leads to enhanced cardiac contractility. Identified more than a century ago, the Frank-Starling relationship is currently known to involve length-dependent enhancement of cardiac myofilament Ca(2+) sensitivity. However, the upstream molecular events that link cellular stretch to the length-dependent myofilament Ca(2+) sensitivity are poorly understood. Because the angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1R) and the multifunctional transducer protein β-arrestin have been shown to mediate mechanosensitive cellular signaling, we tested the hypothesis that these two proteins are involved in the Frank-Starling mechanism of the heart. Using invasive hemodynamics, we found that mice lacking β-arrestin 1, β-arrestin 2, or AT1R were unable to generate a Frank-Starling force in response to changes in cardiac volume. Although wild-type mice pretreated with the conventional AT1R blocker losartan were unable to enhance cardiac contractility with volume loading, treatment with a β-arrestin-biased AT1R ligand to selectively activate β-arrestin signaling preserved the Frank-Starling relationship. Importantly, in skinned muscle fiber preparations, we found markedly impaired length-dependent myofilament Ca(2+) sensitivity in β-arrestin 1, β-arrestin 2, and AT1R knockout mice. Our data reveal β-arrestin 1, β-arrestin 2, and AT1R as key regulatory molecules in the Frank-Starling mechanism, which potentially can be targeted therapeutically with β-arrestin-biased AT1R ligands.

  9. Empirical evidence of cold stress induced cell mediated and humoral immune response in common myna ( Sturnus tristis)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sandhu, Mansur A.; Zaib, Anila; Anjum, Muhammad S.; Qayyum, Mazhar

    2015-11-01

    Common myna ( Sturnus tristis) is a bird indigenous to the Indian subcontinent that has invaded many parts of the world. At the onset of our investigation, we hypothesized that the immunological profile of myna makes it resistant to harsh/new environmental conditions. In order to test this hypothesis, a number of 40 mynas were caught and divided into two groups, i.e., 7 and 25 °C for 14 days. To determine the effect of cold stress, cell mediated and humoral immune responses were assessed. The macrophage engulfment percentage was significantly ( P < 0.05) higher at 25 °C rather than 7 °C either co-incubated with opsonized or unopsonized sheep red blood cells (SRBC). Macrophage engulfment/cell and nitric oxide production behaved in a similar manner. However, splenic cells plaque formation, heterophil to lymphocyte (H/L) ratio, and serum IgM or IgG production remained non-significant. There was a significant increase of IgG antibody production after a second immunization by SRBC. To the best of our knowledge, these findings have never been reported in the progression of this bird's invasion in frosty areas of the world. The results revealed a strengthened humoral immune response of myna and made this bird suitable for invasion in the areas of harsh conditions.

  10. Effect of thermal stress on Frank-Starling relations in humans.

    PubMed

    Wilson, T E; Brothers, R M; Tollund, C; Dawson, E A; Nissen, P; Yoshiga, C C; Jons, C; Secher, N H; Crandall, C G

    2009-07-01

    The Frank-Starling 'law of the heart' is implicated in certain types of orthostatic intolerance in humans. Environmental conditions have the capacity to modulate orthostatic tolerance, where heat stress decreases and cooling increases orthostatic tolerance. The objective of this project was to test the hypothesis that heat stress augments and cooling attenuates orthostatic-induced decreases in stroke volume (SV) via altering the operating position on a Frank-Starling curve. Pulmonary artery catheters were placed in 11 subjects for measures of pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP) and SV (thermodilution derived cardiac output/heart rate). Subjects experienced lower-body negative-pressure (LBNP) of 0, 15 and 30 mmHg during normothermia, skin-surface cooling (decrease in mean skin temperature of 4.3 +/- 0.4 degrees C (mean +/- s.e.m.) via perfusing 16 degrees C water through a tubed-lined suit), and whole-body heating (increase in blood temperature of 1.0 +/- 0.1 degrees C via perfusing 46 degrees C water through the suit). SV was 123 +/- 8, 121 +/- 10, 131 +/- 7 ml prior to LBNP, during normothermia, skin-surface cooling, and whole-body heating, respectfully (P = 0.20). LBNP of 30 mmHg induced greater decreases in SV during heating (-48.7 +/- 6.7 ml) compared to normothermia (-33.2 +/- 7.4 ml) and to cooling (-10.3 +/- 2.9 ml; all P < 0.05). Relating PCWP to SV indicated that cooling values were located on the flatter portion of a Frank-Starling curve because of attenuated decreases in SV per decrease in PCWP. In contrast, heating values were located on the steeper portion of a Frank-Starling curve because of augmented decreases in SV per decrease in PCWP. These data suggest that a Frank-Starling mechanism may contribute to improvements in orthostatic tolerance during cold stress and orthostatic intolerance during heat stress.

  11. Endothelin-1 contributes to the Frank-Starling response in hypertrophic rat hearts.

    PubMed

    Piuhola, Jarkko; Szokodi, István; Kinnunen, Pietari; Ilves, Mika; deChâtel, Rudolf; Vuolteenaho, Olli; Ruskoaho, Heikki

    2003-01-01

    Endothelin-1 is involved in mechanical load-induced cardiac growth processes; it also has effects on contractility. The interaction of endothelin-1 and the Frank-Starling response is unknown. The present study aimed to characterize the role of endothelin-1 in the regulation of the Frank-Starling response, one of the major mechanisms regulating cardiac contractile force, in both normal and hypertrophied hearts. Nontransgenic rat hearts and hypertrophic hearts of hypertensive double transgenic rats harboring human angiotensinogen and renin genes were studied in a Langendorff isolated heart setup with a liquid-filled balloon inside the left ventricle used to measure contractile parameters. The rats were studied at compensated phase, before showing any signs of heart failure. Compensated hypertrophy in double transgenic rat hearts resulted in improved contractility at a given level of preload when compared with nontransgenic rat hearts. Hearts of both rat lines showed preserved Frank-Starling responses, that is, increased contractile function in response to increased end-diastolic pressure. The mixed endothelin A/B receptor antagonist bosentan attenuated the Frank-Starling response by 53% (P<0.01) in the double transgenic hearts but not in nontransgenic hearts. The diastolic parameters remained unaffected. The left ventricles of the double transgenic rat hearts showed an 82% higher level of endothelin type A receptor mRNA and a 25% higher level of immunoreactive endothelin-1 compared with nontransgenic rat hearts. The type 1 angiotensin II receptor antagonist CV-11974 had no significant effect on contractile function in response to load in either strain. These results show that endogenous endothelin-1 contributes to the Frank-Starling response in hypertrophied rat hearts by affecting systolic performance.

  12. European Starlings Are Capable of Discriminating Subtle Size Asymmetries in Paired Stimuli

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swaddle, John P.; Johnson, Charles W.

    2007-01-01

    Small deviations from bilateral symmetry (fluctuating asymmetries) are cues to fitness differences in some animals. Therefore, researchers have considered whether animals use these small asymmetries as visual cues to determine appropriate behavioral responses (e.g., mate preferences). However, there have been few systematic studies of animals'…

  13. [Cardiohemodynamics and efficiency Frank-Starling mechanism in spontaneously hypertensive rats].

    PubMed

    Dorofeieva, N O; Kuz'menko, M O; Shimans'ka, T V; Sagach, V F

    2012-01-01

    We studied cardiohemodynamics and efficiency Frank-Starling mechanism in 6-month-old spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and age-matched Wistar rats, using pressure-volume (PV) conductance catheter system (Millar Instruments, Houston, TX) to evaluate systolic and diastolic function in vivo. Rats were anesthetized with urethane. Cardiohemodynamics analyzed using PVAN 3.6 (Millar Instruments). We found that systolic and diastolic function of the heart in spontaneously hypertensive rats were lower, than in controls. We have shown, inhibition of the efficiency Frank-Starling mechanism, increasing arterial stiffness in spontaneously hypertensive rats. It's shown, less efficiency heart work, with more energy and more oxygen consumption in spontaneously hypertensive rats, may be associated with increasing arterial stiffness and decrease functional reserve of the heart.

  14. The NO stimulator, Catestatin, improves the Frank-Starling response in normotensive and hypertensive rat hearts.

    PubMed

    Angelone, T; Quintieri, A M; Pasqua, T; Filice, E; Cantafio, P; Scavello, F; Rocca, C; Mahata, S K; Gattuso, A; Cerra, M C

    2015-08-01

    The myocardial response to mechanical stretch (Frank-Starling law) is an important physiological cardiac determinant. Modulated by many endogenous substances, it is impaired in the presence of cardiovascular pathologies and during senescence. Catestatin (CST:hCgA352-372), a 21-amino-acid derivate of Chromogranin A (CgA), displays hypotensive/vasodilatory properties and counteracts excessive systemic and/or intra-cardiac excitatory stimuli (e.g., catecholamines and endothelin-1). CST, produced also by the myocardium, affects the heart by modulating inotropy, lusitropy and the coronary tone through a Nitric Oxide (NO)-dependent mechanism. This study evaluated the putative influence elicited by CST on the Frank-Starling response of normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) and hypertensive (SHR) hearts by using isolated and Langendorff perfused cardiac preparations. Functional changes were evaluated on aged (18-month-old) WKY rats and SHR which mimic human chronic heart failure (HF). Comparison to WKY rats, SHR showed a reduced Frank-Starling response. In both rat strains, CST administration improved myocardial mechanical response to increased end-diastolic pressures. This effect was mediated by EE/IP3K/NOS/NO/cGMP/PKG, as revealed by specific inhibitors. CST-dependent positive Frank-Starling response is paralleled by an increment in protein S-Nitrosylation. Our data suggested CST as a NO-dependent physiological modulator of the stretch-induced intrinsic regulation of the heart. This may be of particular importance in the aged hypertrophic heart, whose function is impaired because of a reduced systolic performance accompanied by delayed relaxation and increased diastolic stiffness.

  15. A tribute to a scientist extraordinaire - Ernest H. Starling (1866-1927).

    PubMed

    Palanisamy, Vimala; Km, Prathibha

    2015-01-01

    One of the defining moments in the history of medicine came in the year 1902 with the discovery of Secretin, the first hormone to be isolated in the human body. The men credited with this milestone discovery, which went on to revolutionize medicine, are Ernest H. Starling and William M. Bayliss. Their contributions aided the transition of medical practice from empiricism towards rationalism. E.H. Starling introduced the word 'hormone', laying the foundation for the development of Endocrinology as a medical specialty. His extensive research in circulatory physiology including the study of the electric activity of the heart and capillary fluid shift has made his name a mainstay in its study. His interests were varied, where he contributed his scientific bend of mind to the study of different fields of Physiology and his non-conformist ideals to the study of the then prevalent educational system in Great Britain. In lieu with celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of E. H. Starling, a brilliant scientist and an educational reformist, a chronological construe of his academic pursuits and milestone achievements has been presented. One hopes that such recollections serve to inspire and invigorate the scientist inside everyone and also serve as guiding beacons to students and researchers.

  16. Nitrite is a positive modulator of the Frank-Starling response in the vertebrate heart.

    PubMed

    Angelone, Tommaso; Gattuso, Alfonsina; Imbrogno, Sandra; Mazza, Rosa; Tota, Bruno

    2012-06-01

    Evidence from both mammalian and nonmammalian vertebrates indicates that intracardiac nitric oxide (NO) facilitates myocardial relaxation, ventricular diastolic distensibility, and, consequently, the Frank-Starling response, i.e., the preload-induced increase of cardiac output. Since nitrite ion (NO(2)(-)), the major storage pool of bioactive NO, recently emerged as a cardioprotective endogenous modulator, we explored its influence on the Frank-Starling response in eel, frog, and rat hearts, used as paradigms of fish, amphibians, and mammals, respectively. We demonstrated that, like NO, exogenous nitrite improves the Frank-Starling response in all species, as indicated by an increase of stroke volume and stroke work (eel and frog) and of left ventricular (LV) pressure and LVdP/dt max (rat), used as indexes of inotropism. Unlike in frog and rat, in eel, the positive influence of nitrite appeared to be dependent on NO synthase inhibition. In all species, the effect was sensitive to NO scavengers, independent on nitroxyl anion, and mediated by a cGMP/PKG-dependent pathway. Moreover, the nitrite treatment increased S-nitrosylation of lower-molecular-weight proteins in cytosolic and membrane fractions. These results suggest that nitrite acts as a physiological source of NO, modulating through different species-specific mechanisms, the stretch-induced intrinsic regulation of the vertebrate heart.

  17. Frank-Starling mechanism retains recirculation fraction of myocardial Ca(2+) in the beating heart.

    PubMed

    Mizuno, J; Araki, J; Mohri, S; Minami, H; Doi, Y; Fujinaka, W; Miyaji, K; Kiyooka, T; Oshima, Y; Iribe, G; Hirakawa, M; Suga, H

    2001-12-01

    Myocardial Ca(2+) handling in excitation-contraction coupling is the second primary determinant of energy or O(2) demand in a working heart. The intracellular and extracellular routes remove myocardial Ca(2+) that was released into the sarcoplasma with different Ca(2+): ATP stoichiometries. The intracellular route is twice as economical as the extracellular route. Therefore the fraction of total Ca(2+) removed via the sarcoplasmic reticulum, i.e., the recirculation fraction of intracellular Ca(2+) (RF), determines the economy of myocardial Ca(2+) handling. RF has conventionally been estimated as the exponential decay rate of postextrasystolic potentiation (PESP). However, we have found that PESP usually decays in alternans, but not exponentially in the canine left ventricle beating above 100 beats/min. We have succeeded in estimating RF from the exponential decay component of an alternans PESP. We previously found that the Frank-Starling mechanism or varied ventricular preload did not affect the economy of myocardial Ca(2+) handling. Then, to account for this important finding, we hypothesized that the Frank-Starling mechanism would not affect RF at a constant heart rate. We tested this hypothesis and found its supportive evidence in 11 canine left ventricles. We conclude that RF at a constant heart rate would remain constant, independent of the Frank-Starling mechanism.

  18. Effect of thermal stress on Frank–Starling relations in humans

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, T E; Brothers, R M; Tollund, C; Dawson, E A; Nissen, P; Yoshiga, C C; Jons, C; Secher, N H; Crandall, C G

    2009-01-01

    The Frank–Starling ‘law of the heart’ is implicated in certain types of orthostatic intolerance in humans. Environmental conditions have the capacity to modulate orthostatic tolerance, where heat stress decreases and cooling increases orthostatic tolerance. The objective of this project was to test the hypothesis that heat stress augments and cooling attenuates orthostatic-induced decreases in stroke volume (SV) via altering the operating position on a Frank–Starling curve. Pulmonary artery catheters were placed in 11 subjects for measures of pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP) and SV (thermodilution derived cardiac output/heart rate). Subjects experienced lower-body negative-pressure (LBNP) of 0, 15 and 30 mmHg during normothermia, skin-surface cooling (decrease in mean skin temperature of 4.3 ± 0.4°C (mean ±s.e.m.) via perfusing 16°C water through a tubed-lined suit), and whole-body heating (increase in blood temperature of 1.0 ± 0.1°C via perfusing 46°C water through the suit). SV was 123 ± 8, 121 ± 10, 131 ± 7 ml prior to LBNP, during normothermia, skin-surface cooling, and whole-body heating, respectfully (P= 0.20). LBNP of 30 mmHg induced greater decreases in SV during heating (−48.7 ± 6.7 ml) compared to normothermia (−33.2 ± 7.4 ml) and to cooling (−10.3 ± 2.9 ml; all P < 0.05). Relating PCWP to SV indicated that cooling values were located on the flatter portion of a Frank–Starling curve because of attenuated decreases in SV per decrease in PCWP. In contrast, heating values were located on the steeper portion of a Frank–Starling curve because of augmented decreases in SV per decrease in PCWP. These data suggest that a Frank–Starling mechanism may contribute to improvements in orthostatic tolerance during cold stress and orthostatic intolerance during heat stress. PMID:19417092

  19. The role of context, colour and location cues in socially learned novel food source preferences in starlings, Sternus vulgaris.

    PubMed

    Root-Bernstein, Meredith

    2010-06-01

    Although the opportunity for errors in social learning is widely recognised, as yet little research has been directed towards understanding specific inaccuracies, biases and limitations in social learning and the mechanisms that give rise to them. In two experiments I ask how starlings, Sternus vulgaris, identify exemplars of novel feeders previously learned about socially. I find that starlings have a stronger response to feeders in the same context as that in which social learning took place, compared to identical and nonidentical feeders in a different context. Within a context that matches where social learning took place, starlings prefer feeders that show the same location and colour as the feeder demonstrated by the demonstrator starling, and show no preference when colour and location cues are dissociated. This suggests that starlings are relatively accurate social learners, since they show strong responses to novel foraging options only if they match the context, colour and location of options learned about socially, and they do so after very few trials. Furthermore, the responses of the subjects were compatible with conditioned learning-like mechanisms, which provide a useful basis for the further investigation of the origins and implications of errors in social learning.

  20. Assessing video presentations as environmental enrichment for laboratory birds.

    PubMed

    Coulon, Marion; Henry, Laurence; Perret, Audrey; Cousillas, Hugo; Hausberger, Martine; George, Isabelle

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of video presentations of natural landscapes on European starlings' (Sturnus vulgaris) stereotypic behaviours (SBs) and other abnormal repetitive behaviours (ARBs) and to evaluate the impact of past experience by comparing wild-caught and hand-reared starlings' reactions. Ten wild-caught and five hand-reared starlings were presented 1-hour videos of landscapes twice a day for five successive days, while a control group of eight wild-caught and four hand-reared starlings was presented a grey screen for the same amount of time. The analysis of the starlings' behaviour revealed that the video presentations of landscapes appeared to have a positive but limited and experience-dependent effect on starlings' SBs and other ARBs compared to the controls. Indeed, whereas video presentations seemed to modulate high rates of SBs and ARBs, they did not appear to be enriching enough to prevent the emergence or the development of SBs and ARBs in an impoverished environment. They even appeared to promote a particular type of SB (somersaulting) that is thought to be linked to escape motivation. The fact that this effect was observed in hand-reared starlings suggests that videos of landscapes could elicit motivation to escape even in birds that never experienced outdoor life. These results highlight the importance of investigating stereotypic behaviour both quantitatively and qualitatively in order to provide crucial clues on animal welfare.

  1. Extent of utilization of the Frank-Starling mechanism in conscious dogs. [preload effects on myocardial regulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boettcher, D. H.; Vatner, S. F.; Heyndrickx, G. R.; Braunwald, E.

    1978-01-01

    The left ventricular end-diastolic pressure-dimension relationships in conscious dogs were studied; the ventricle was stressed to its limit in terms of myocardial preload in order to assess the extent of use of the Frank-Starling mechanism under these conditions. The preload was increased through volume loading with saline infusions, the provocation of global myocardial ischemia by constriction of the left main coronary artery, and infusion of methoxamine. While left ventricular end-diastolic pressure increased substantially in the reclining conscious animals, the left ventricular end-diastolic diameter did not increase, suggesting a minimum role for the Frank-Starling mechanism in this case.

  2. Functional significance of the Frank-Starling mechanism under physiological and pathophysiological conditions.

    PubMed

    Jacob, R; Dierberger, B; Kissling, G

    1992-11-01

    The functional significance of the Frank-Starling mechanism under physiological and pathophysiological conditions is discussed, based mainly on animal experiment results (in the dog, pig and rat). The dependence of individual stroke volume on end-diastolic volume can be described adequately using Frank's diagram. This can be illustrated by varying filling pressure (respiratory cycle, vascular tone in the capacitance system, body position, circulating blood volume) and by alterations in the duration of the filling period (heart rate and rhythm, rate of relaxation) and in ventricular compliance (wall thickness, fibrosis; contracture, rigor). The functional importance of the Frank-Starling mechanism lies mainly in adapting left to right ventricular output. During upright physical exercise an increase in end-diastolic volume due to the action of the peripheral muscle pump and increased venous tone can assist in enhancing stroke volume. Reduced contractility leads to a shift of the operating point to the right in the pressure-volume diagram, thus tending to prevent a decrease in stroke volume. However, the consequences of increased circulating blood volume in chronic heart failure are, as a rule, mainly detrimental (congestive symptoms; myocardial component of coronary resistance; cardiac energetics). Reduced contractility results in a flattening of the relation between stroke volume (or stroke work) and end-diastolic volume. Furthermore, the Starling mechanism is prevented from becoming effective if the sarcomere-length reserve is exhausted, or in the presence of inadequate sarcomere extension due to impaired relaxation or reduced distensibility of the ventricular wall. The latter is illustrated using the example of a dilated fibrotic left ventricle from a rat with experimental supravalvular aortic stenosis.

  3. Use of the Frank-Starling mechanism during submaximal versus maximal upright exercise.

    PubMed

    Plotnick, G D; Becker, L C; Fisher, M L; Gerstenblith, G; Renlund, D G; Fleg, J L; Weisfeldt, M L; Lakatta, E G

    1986-12-01

    To evaluate the extent to which the Frank-Starling mechanism is utilized during successive stages of vigorous upright exercise, absolute left ventricular end-diastolic volume and ejection fraction were determined by gated blood pool scintigraphy at rest and during multilevel maximal upright bicycle exercise in 30 normal males aged 26-50 yr, who were able to exercise to 125 W or greater. Left ventricular end-systolic volume, stroke volume, and cardiac output were calculated at rest and during each successive 3-min stage of exercise [25, 50, 75, 100, and 125-225 W (peak)]. During early exercise (25 W), end-diastolic and stroke volumes increased (+17 +/- 1 and +31 +/- 4%, respectively), with no change in end-systolic volume. With further exercise (50-75 W) end-diastolic volume remained unchanged as end-systolic volume decreased (-12 +/- 4 and -24 + 5%, respectively). At peak exercise end-diastolic volume decreased to resting level, stroke volume remained at a plateau, and end-systolic volume further decreased (-48 +/- 7%). Thus the Frank-Starling mechanism is used early in exercise, perhaps because of a delay in sympathetic mobilization, and does not appear to play a role in the later stages of vigorous exercise.

  4. Reconstitution of the Frank-Starling mechanism in engineered heart tissues.

    PubMed

    Asnes, Clara F; Marquez, J Pablo; Elson, Elliot L; Wakatsuki, Tetsuro

    2006-09-01

    According to the Frank-Starling mechanism, as the heart is stretched, it increases its contraction force. Reconstitution of the Frank-Starling mechanism is an important milestone for producing functional heart tissue constructs. Spontaneously contracting engineered heart tissues (EHTs) were reconstituted by growing dissociated chicken embryo cardiomyocytes in collagen matrices. Twitch and baseline tensions were recorded at precisely controlled levels of tissue strain. The EHTs showed a steep increase in twitch tension from 0.47 +/- 0.02 to 0.91 +/- 0.02 mN/mm2 as they were stretched at a constant rate (2.67% per min) from 86% to 100% of the length at which maximum twitch force was exerted. In response to a sudden stretch (3.3%), the twitch tension increased gradually (approximately 60 s) in a Gd3+-sensitive manner, suggesting the presence of stretch-activated Ca2+ channels. A large difference in baseline tension between lengthening (loading) and shortening (unloading) was also recorded. Disruption of nonsarcomeric actin filaments by cytochalasin D and latrunculin B decreased this difference. A simple mechanical model interprets these results in terms of mechanical connections between myocytes and nonmuscle cells. The experimental results strongly suggest that regulation of twitch tension in EHTs is similar to that of natural myocardium.

  5. Reconstitution of the Frank-Starling Mechanism in Engineered Heart Tissues

    PubMed Central

    Asnes, Clara F.; Marquez, J. Pablo; Elson, Elliot L.; Wakatsuki, Tetsuro

    2006-01-01

    According to the Frank-Starling mechanism, as the heart is stretched, it increases its contraction force. Reconstitution of the Frank-Starling mechanism is an important milestone for producing functional heart tissue constructs. Spontaneously contracting engineered heart tissues (EHTs) were reconstituted by growing dissociated chicken embryo cardiomyocytes in collagen matrices. Twitch and baseline tensions were recorded at precisely controlled levels of tissue strain. The EHTs showed a steep increase in twitch tension from 0.47 ± 0.02 to 0.91 ± 0.02 mN/mm2 as they were stretched at a constant rate (2.67% per min) from 86% to 100% of the length at which maximum twitch force was exerted. In response to a sudden stretch (3.3%), the twitch tension increased gradually (∼60 s) in a Gd3+-sensitive manner, suggesting the presence of stretch-activated Ca2+ channels. A large difference in baseline tension between lengthening (loading) and shortening (unloading) was also recorded. Disruption of nonsarcomeric actin filaments by cytochalasin D and latrunculin B decreased this difference. A simple mechanical model interprets these results in terms of mechanical connections between myocytes and nonmuscle cells. The experimental results strongly suggest that regulation of twitch tension in EHTs is similar to that of natural myocardium. PMID:16782784

  6. Prolactin is associated with the development of photorefractoriness in intact, castrated, and testosterone-implanted starlings

    SciTech Connect

    Goldsmith, A.R.; Nicholls, T.J.

    1984-05-01

    Using radioimmunoassays, prolactin, luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) were measured in the plasma of intact, castrated, and testosterone-implanted male starlings. Two groups of birds (intact and castrated males) were transferred when photosensitive from short (8-hr) to long (16-hr) day lengths; in both cases plasma prolactin levels increased steadily reaching a peak after 5 weeks of photostimulation, at the time of the onset of photorefractoriness. Three groups (intacts, castrates, and castrates implanted with Silastic capsules containing testosterone) were exposed to day lengths increasing by 30 min per week from 8 to 16 hr. Again, prolactin levels increased in a similar fashion in all three groups at the time of refractoriness, which occurred when the day length reached 15-16 hr. Thus the timing of photorefractoriness and the associated rise in prolactin secretion which occur in response to photostimulation do not depend upon the presence of the gonads and are not affected when testosterone is maintained at a constant high level. Nor is the increase in prolactin altered when the cycle of gonadotrophin secretion which normally precedes it is completely suppressed by the implantation of a testosterone capsule. It would seem that prolactin secretion in the starling is stimulated by transfer from short to long day lengths, but not as a consequence of high gonadotrophin or androgen secretion rates.

  7. [Interpretation of the epizootic outbreak among wild and domestic birds in the south of the European part of Russia in December 2007].

    PubMed

    L'vov, D K; Shchelkanov, M Iu; Prilipov, A G; Deriabin, P G; Fediakina, I T; Galkina, I V; Kireev, D E; Frolov, A V; Akanina, D S; Usacheva, O V; Shliapnikova, O V; Poglazov, A B; Morozova, T N; Proshina, E S; Grebennikova, T V; Zaberezhnyĭ, A D; Iakovlev, S S; Shcherbakova, L O; Shapovalov, A B; Zhalin, M V; Rudenko, V P; Pichuev, A E; Litvin, K N; Varkentin, A V; Steshenko, V V; Kharitonov, S P; Proshina, E S; Samokhvalov, E I; Al'khovskiĭ, S V; Aliper, T I; Martynovchenko, V V; Lysenko, S N; Vlasov, N A; Nepoklonov, E A

    2008-01-01

    The paper presents the results of interpreting the epizootic outbreak etiologically associated with high-virulent influenza virus A/H5N1 among domestic and wild birds in the Zernogradsky and Tselinsky districts of the Rostov Region. Epizooty was characterized by a high infection rate in the synanthropic birds of a ground-based complex. RT-PCT revealed influenza virus A/H5 in 60% of pigeons and crows and in around 20% of starlings, and in 10% of tree sparrows. Fifteen viral strains from chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus), Indian ducks (Cairina moschata), rooks (Corvus frugilegus), rock pigeons (Columba livia), tree sparrows (Passer montanus), common starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), and great white herons (Egretta alba) were isolated and deposited in the State Collection of Viruses of the Russian Federation. Full-sized genomes of 5 strains were sequenced and deposited in the international database GenBank. The isolated strains belong to the Quinhai-Siberian (2.2) genotype, an Iranian-Northern Caucasian subgroup, they are phylogenetically closest to the strain A/chicken/Moscow/2/2007 (inducing epizooty among poultry in the near-Moscow Region in February 2007) and have 13 unique amino acid replacements as the consensus of the Quinhai-Siberian genotypes in the proteins PB2, PA, HA, NP, NA, and M2, by preserving thereby 4 unique replacements first describes for the strain A/chicken/Moscow/2/2007. The findings are indicative of a different mechanism that is responsible for bringing the virus into the northeastern part of the Azov Sea area in September 2007 (during the fall migration of wild birds) and in December 2007 in the south-western Rostov Region where a human factor cannot be excluded. Mass infection of synanthropic birds endangers the further spread of epizooty, including that in the central regions of the Russian Federation in spring after near migrants return after wintering.

  8. Role of the giant elastic protein titin in the Frank-Starling mechanism of the heart.

    PubMed

    Fukuda, Norio; Granzier, Henk

    2004-04-01

    Increased ventricular volume enhances the systolic performance, a phenomenon known as Frank-Starling's law of the heart. At its basis is the ability of cardiac muscle to produce increased active force in response to increased muscle length. Although numerous studies have been conducted to elucidate the molecular basis of length-dependent activation, the mechanism remains elusive. The giant protein titin (also known as connectin) is the third filament system in the sarcomere and is responsible for most passive stiffness of striated muscle in the physiological sarcomere length range. The force generated by titin is usually seen as passive and independent of active force generation. Recent findings, however, suggest that titin-based passive force modulates actin-myosin interaction, resulting in greater active force in response to stretch. In this short review, we discuss the molecular mechanisms of length-dependent activation, focusing on the possible role of titin in its regulation.

  9. Sexing Adult Pale-Winged Starlings Using Morphometric and Discriminant Function Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Henry, Laurence; Biquand, Véronique; Craig, Adrian J. F. K.; Hausberger, Martine

    2015-01-01

    Accurate sexing of birds is vital for behavioral studies but can be a real problem in the field, especially for monomorphic species. Our goal here was to characterize the morphology of male and female monomorphic pale-winged starlings (Onychognathus nabouroup), a South African sturnid whose plumage is sexually monomorphic. Morphological measurements of genetically sexed animals indicated that males were statistically larger than females for five measurements: Mass, tail length, tarsus length and wing length. By using a Discriminant Function Analysis based on the measurements taken by one ringer, we were able to predict correctly the sex of 81.10% of the birds of data collected in the field and 77.9% of museum skins independently of year of capture and ringer. The model developed here should be useful for further field studies of this species. PMID:26367269

  10. Exhaustion of Frank-Starling mechanism in conscious dogs with heart failure.

    PubMed

    Komamura, K; Shannon, R P; Ihara, T; Shen, Y T; Mirsky, I; Bishop, S P; Vatner, S F

    1993-10-01

    The goal of this study was to elucidate the ability of the left ventricle to accommodate an increase in preload (Frank-Starling mechanism) in the presence of congestive heart failure (CHF) but in the absence of the complicating effects of hypertrophy and fibrosis. To accomplish this, the effects of volume loading were examined in eight conscious dogs during the control state and after 3 wk of right ventricular pacing (240 beats/min). CHF increased heart rate (by 16 +/- 5 from 92 +/- 5 beats/min), left ventricular (LV) end-diastolic pressure (by 17 +/- 2 from 10 +/- 1 mmHg), and LV end-diastolic volume (EDV; by 23 +/- 4 from 57 +/- 3 ml). Despite reduced LV ejection fraction (from 54 +/- 3 to 31 +/- 3%), there was no significant change in cardiac output (2.5 +/- 0.3 l/min) compared with control (2.7 +/- 0.2 l/min). Stroke volume was preserved (control 19 +/- 2 ml; CHF 18 +/- 2 ml) at a constant heart rate by a shift to the right in the relationship between LV stroke volume and EDV, indicating the importance of chronic ventricular dilatation in maintaining pump performance. In the control state, acute volume load increased LV EDV (by 17 +/- 2 ml) and stroke volume (by 11 +/- 2 ml), whereas in CHF it did not increase LV EDV or stroke volume. Scanning electron microscopy revealed areas of reduced collagen weave pattern surrounding myofibers. Myocyte cross-sectional area by transmission electron microscopy was significantly reduced, and there were multiple electron-dense expansions of the Z lines with disruption of the normal lateral sarcomere alignment. These morphological findings suggest that chronic ventricular dilatation utilized in CHF results from myocyte stretch and morphological intracellular rearrangement. Furthermore, the failing heart cannot further augment stroke volume by acutely increasing EDV in CHF, suggesting that the Frank-Starling reserve is essentially exhausted.

  11. Preload-based Starling-like control of rotary blood pumps: An in-vitro evaluation.

    PubMed

    Mansouri, Mahdi; Gregory, Shaun D; Salamonsen, Robert F; Lovell, Nigel H; Stevens, Michael C; Pauls, Jo P; Akmeliawati, Rini; Lim, Einly

    2017-01-01

    Due to a shortage of donor hearts, rotary left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) are used to provide mechanical circulatory support. To address the preload insensitivity of the constant speed controller (CSC) used in conventional LVADs, we developed a preload-based Starling-like controller (SLC). The SLC emulates the Starling law of the heart to maintain mean pump flow ([Formula: see text]) with respect to mean left ventricular end diastolic pressure (PLVEDm) as the feedback signal. The SLC and CSC were compared using a mock circulation loop to assess their capacity to increase cardiac output during mild exercise while avoiding ventricular suction (marked by a negative PLVEDm) and maintaining circulatory stability during blood loss and severe reductions in left ventricular contractility (LVC). The root mean squared hemodynamic deviation (RMSHD) metric was used to assess the clinical acceptability of each controller based on pre-defined hemodynamic limits. We also compared the in-silico results from our previously published paper with our in-vitro outcomes. In the exercise simulation, the SLC increased [Formula: see text] by 37%, compared to only 17% with the CSC. During blood loss, the SLC maintained a better safety margin against left ventricular suction with PLVEDm of 2.7 mmHg compared to -0.1 mmHg for CSC. A transition to reduced LVC resulted in decreased mean arterial pressure (MAP) and [Formula: see text] with CSC, whilst the SLC maintained MAP and [Formula: see text]. The results were associated with a much lower RMSHD value with SLC (70.3%) compared to CSC (225.5%), demonstrating improved capacity of the SLC to compensate for the varying cardiac demand during profound circulatory changes. In-vitro and in-silico results demonstrated similar trends to the simulated changes in patient state however the magnitude of hemodynamic changes were different, thus justifying the progression to in-vitro evaluation.

  12. Preload-based Starling-like control of rotary blood pumps: An in-vitro evaluation

    PubMed Central

    Gregory, Shaun D.; Salamonsen, Robert F.; Lovell, Nigel H.; Stevens, Michael C.; Pauls, Jo P.; Akmeliawati, Rini; Lim, Einly

    2017-01-01

    Due to a shortage of donor hearts, rotary left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) are used to provide mechanical circulatory support. To address the preload insensitivity of the constant speed controller (CSC) used in conventional LVADs, we developed a preload-based Starling-like controller (SLC). The SLC emulates the Starling law of the heart to maintain mean pump flow (QP¯) with respect to mean left ventricular end diastolic pressure (PLVEDm) as the feedback signal. The SLC and CSC were compared using a mock circulation loop to assess their capacity to increase cardiac output during mild exercise while avoiding ventricular suction (marked by a negative PLVEDm) and maintaining circulatory stability during blood loss and severe reductions in left ventricular contractility (LVC). The root mean squared hemodynamic deviation (RMSHD) metric was used to assess the clinical acceptability of each controller based on pre-defined hemodynamic limits. We also compared the in-silico results from our previously published paper with our in-vitro outcomes. In the exercise simulation, the SLC increased QP¯ by 37%, compared to only 17% with the CSC. During blood loss, the SLC maintained a better safety margin against left ventricular suction with PLVEDm of 2.7 mmHg compared to -0.1 mmHg for CSC. A transition to reduced LVC resulted in decreased mean arterial pressure (MAP) and QP¯ with CSC, whilst the SLC maintained MAP and QP¯. The results were associated with a much lower RMSHD value with SLC (70.3%) compared to CSC (225.5%), demonstrating improved capacity of the SLC to compensate for the varying cardiac demand during profound circulatory changes. In-vitro and in-silico results demonstrated similar trends to the simulated changes in patient state however the magnitude of hemodynamic changes were different, thus justifying the progression to in-vitro evaluation. PMID:28212401

  13. Protein kinase C epsilon induces systolic cardiac failure marked by exhausted inotropic reserve and intact Frank-Starling mechanism.

    PubMed

    Montgomery, David E; Rundell, Veronica L M; Goldspink, Paul H; Urboniene, Dalia; Geenen, David L; de Tombe, Pieter P; Buttrick, Peter M

    2005-11-01

    Myofilament dysfunction is a common point of convergence for many forms of heart failure. Recently, we showed that cardiac overexpression of PKC epsilon initially depresses myofilament activity and then leads to a progression of changes characteristic of human heart failure. Here, we examined the effects of PKC epsilon on contractile reserve, Starling mechanism, and myofilament activation in this model of end-stage dilated cardiomyopathy. Pressure-volume loop analysis and echocardiography showed that the PKC epsilon mice have markedly compromised systolic function and increased end-diastolic volumes. Dobutamine challenge resulted in a small increase in contractility in PKC epsilon mice but failed to enhance cardiac output. The PKC epsilon mice showed a normal length-dependent tension development in skinned cardiac muscle preparations, although Frank-Starling mechanism appeared to be compromised in the intact animal. Simultaneous measurement of tension and ATPase demonstrated that the maximum tension and ATPase were markedly lower in the PKC epsilon mice at any length or Ca2+ concentration. However, the tension cost was also lower indicating less energy expenditure. We conclude 1) that prolonged overexpression of PKC epsilon ultimately leads to a dilated cardiomyopathy marked by exhausted contractile reserve, 2) that PKC epsilon does not compromise the Frank-Starling mechanism at the myofilament level, and 3) that the Starling curve excursion is limited by the inotropic state of the heart. These results reflect the significance of the primary myofilament contractilopathy induced by phosphorylation and imply a role for PKC epsilon-mediated phosphorylation in myofilament physiology and the pathophysiology of decompensated cardiac failure.

  14. Recovery of the Frank-Starling mechanism by coenzyme Q10 in patients with load-induced contractility depression.

    PubMed

    Oda, T

    1993-01-01

    Load-induced contractility depression, in which supernormal left ventricular ejection fraction and contractility at rest decrease by added afterload, is most often found in children with mitral valve prolapse who have symptoms. Patients have high ventricular end-diastolic pressure at rest, which is further increased by afterload challenge. The Frank-Starling mechanism may be maximally mobilized with high preload even at rest to compensate for the intrinsically depressed inotropic state. Therefore, preload reserve may be easily exhausted due to afterload addition. We aimed to determine left ventricular end-diastolic fiber length, stroke work, and contractility before and during handgrip by echocardiograms to obtain evidence for the Frank-Starling mechanism in patients and controls, including patients treated with coenzyme Q10. The subjects were divided into four groups, each consisting of 30 children aged 6-16 years: group 1, normals; group 2, patients; group 3, the same patients as in group 2 after coenzyme Q10 therapy; and group 4, patients with asymptomatic mitral valve prolapse. Baseline values and percentage increases in systolic blood pressure, heart rate, and left ventricular wall stress showed no differences among the groups. Only in group 2 were the percentage increase in ejection fraction, fiber shortening velocity, contractility, and end-diastolic dimension strongly negative, despite supernormal baseline levels. In other groups, these were significantly positive, without intergroup differences. We conclude that in the heart with load-induced contractility depression, the Frank-Starling mechanism deviates from normal. The normal Frank-Starling mechanism was recovered due to coenzyme Q10, which may improve disturbed bioenergetic function at the molecular level.

  15. Effects of temperature on the nitric oxide-dependent modulation of the Frank-Starling mechanism: the fish heart as a case study.

    PubMed

    Amelio, D; Garofalo, F; Capria, C; Tota, B; Imbrogno, S

    2013-02-01

    The Frank-Starling law is a fundamental property of the vertebrate myocardium which allows, when the end-diastolic volume increases, that the consequent stretch of the myocardial fibers generates a more forceful contraction. It has been shown that in the eel (Anguilla anguilla) heart, nitric oxide (NO) exerts a direct myocardial relaxant effect, increasing the sensitivity of the Frank-Starling response (Garofalo et al., 2009). With the use of isolated working heart preparations, this study investigated the relationship between NO modulation of Frank-Starling response and temperature challenges in the eel. The results showed that while, in long-term acclimated fish (spring animals perfused at 20 °C and winter animals perfused at 10 °C) the inhibition of NO production by L-N5 (1-iminoethyl)ornithine (L-NIO) significantly reduced the Frank-Starling response, under thermal shock conditions (spring animals perfused at 10 or 15 °C and winter animals perfused at 15 or 20 °C) L-NIO treatment resulted without effect. Western blotting analysis revealed a decrease of peNOS and pAkt expressions in samples subjected to thermal shock. Moreover, an increase in Hsp90 protein levels was observed under heat thermal stress. Together, these data suggest that the NO synthase/NO-dependent modulation of the Frank-Starling mechanism in fish is sensitive to thermal stress.

  16. Systematics, morphology, and ecological history of the Mascarene starlings (Aves: Sturnidae) with the description of a new genus and species from Mauritius.

    PubMed

    Hume, Julian Pender

    2014-08-12

    Two endemic starlings, both extinct, have been described from the Mascarene Islands of Réunion and Rodrigues: the Hoopoe Starling, Huppe or Réunion Crested Starling Fregilupus varius, which is known from 19 skins and a single Holocene proximal end of a fossil femur, and the Rodrigues Starling Necropsar rodericanus, which is known as specimens only from fossils of most skeletal elements. Both were recorded alive in early accounts of Mascarene faunas. A third species of starling Cryptopsar ischyrhynchus gen. nov. sp. nov. is described herein from fossils from Mauritius, but was never reported in the early literature. This paper provides an analysis of the Sturnidae of the Mascarene Islands based on newly discovered fossil remains, and details historical reports and accounts. Their ecology and extinction are interpreted from historical evidence. Necropsar, Cryptopsar and Fregilupus clearly form part of the same clade, but morphological analysis shows that Necropsar and Cryptopsar are more closely related to each other than to Fregilupus and may have been part of a different colonisation event. All three genera appear to have their origins in SE Asia and have morphological similarities with the SE Asian sturnid genera, Sturnia and Gracupica, so they presumably colonised the islands via island-hopping during lower sea level stands. 

  17. Cardiac system bioenergetics: metabolic basis of the Frank-Starling law.

    PubMed

    Saks, Valdur; Dzeja, Petras; Schlattner, Uwe; Vendelin, Marko; Terzic, Andre; Wallimann, Theo

    2006-03-01

    The fundamental principle of cardiac behaviour is described by the Frank-Starling law relating force of contraction during systole with end-diastolic volume. While both work and respiration rates increase linearly with imposed load, the basis of mechano-energetic coupling in heart muscle has remained a long-standing enigma. Here, we highlight advances made in understanding of complex cellular and molecular mechanisms that orchestrate coupling of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation with ATP utilization for muscle contraction. Cardiac system bioenergetics critically depends on an interrelated metabolic infrastructure regulating mitochondrial respiration and energy fluxes throughout cellular compartments. The data reviewed indicate the significance of two interrelated systems regulating mitochondrial respiration and energy fluxes in cells: (1) the creatine kinase, adenylate kinase and glycolytic pathways that communicate flux changes generated by cellular ATPases within structurally organized enzymatic modules and networks; and (2) a secondary system based on mitochondrial participation in cellular calcium cycle, which adjusts substrate oxidation and energy-transducing processes to meet increasing cellular energy demands. By conveying energetic signals to metabolic sensors, coupled phosphotransfer reactions provide a high-fidelity regulation of the excitation-contraction cycle. Such integration of energetics with calcium signalling systems provides the basis for 'metabolic pacing', synchronizing the cellular electrical and mechanical activities with energy supply processes.

  18. Myosin head orientation: a structural determinant for the Frank-Starling relationship.

    PubMed

    Farman, Gerrie P; Gore, David; Allen, Edward; Schoenfelt, Kelly; Irving, Thomas C; de Tombe, Pieter P

    2011-06-01

    The cellular mechanism underlying the Frank-Starling law of the heart is myofilament length-dependent activation. The mechanism(s) whereby sarcomeres detect changes in length and translate this into increased sensitivity to activating calcium has been elusive. Small-angle X-ray diffraction studies have revealed that the intact myofilament lattice undergoes numerous structural changes upon an increase in sarcomere length (SL): lattice spacing and the I(1,1)/I(1,0) intensity ratio decreases, whereas the M3 meridional reflection intensity (I(M3)) increases, concomitant with increases in diastolic and systolic force. Using a short (∼10 ms) X-ray exposure just before electrical stimulation, we were able to obtain detailed structural information regarding the effects of external osmotic compression (with mannitol) and obtain SL on thin intact electrically stimulated isolated rat right ventricular trabeculae. We show that over the same incremental increases in SL, the relative changes in systolic force track more closely to the relative changes in myosin head orientation (as reported by I(M3)) than to the relative changes in lattice spacing. We conclude that myosin head orientation before activation determines myocardial sarcomere activation levels and that this may be the dominant mechanism for length-dependent activation.

  19. A sliding mode-based starling-like controller for implantable rotary blood pumps.

    PubMed

    Bakouri, Mohsen A; Salamonsen, Robert F; Savkin, Andrey V; AlOmari, Abdul-Hakeem H; Lim, Einly; Lovell, Nigel H

    2014-07-01

    Clinically adequate implementation of physiological control of a rotary left ventricular assist device requires a sophisticated technique such as the recently proposed method based on the Frank-Starling mechanism. In this mechanism, the stroke volume of the heart increases in response to an increase in the volume of blood filling the left ventricle at the end of diastole. To emulate this process, changes in pump speed need to automatically regulate pump flow to ensure that the combined output of the left ventricle and pump match the output of the right ventricle across changing cardiovascular states. In this approach, we exploit the linear relationship between estimated mean pump flow (Q ̅ est) and pump flow pulsatility (PIQp) in a tracking control algorithm based on sliding mode control. The immediate response of the controller was assessed using a lumped parameter model of the cardiovascular system (CVS) and pump from which could be extracted both Q ̅ est and PIQp. Two different perturbations from the resting state in the presence of left ventricular failure were tested. The first was blood loss requiring a reduction in pump flow to match the reduced output from the right ventricle and to avoid the complication of ventricular suction. The second was exercise, requiring an increase in pump flow. The sliding mode controller induced the required changes in Qp within approximately five heart beats in the blood loss simulation and eight heart beats in the exercise simulation without clinically significant transients or steady-state errors.

  20. Role of the Frank-Starling mechanism during maximal semisupine exercise after oral atenolol.

    PubMed

    Andersen, K; Vik-Mo, H

    1982-08-01

    Reproducible left ventricular dimensions were found by M-mode echocardiography in eight healthy men in the semisupine position during two maximal bicycle exercise tests, performed with four hours interval. Left ventricular end-diastolic dimension did not increase during maximal exercise, while fractional shortening increased by a decrease in end-systolic dimension. Twelve men studied by the same procedure were given 100 mg atenolol orally just after the first test which conspicuously reduced their heart rate response to exercise. End-diastolic dimension increased significantly from rest to peak exercise after the administration of atenolol in contrast to that before beta blockade, and fractional shortening at maximal exercise increased compared with the preceding control test. We conclude that atenolol changes the left ventricular response to maximal semisupine exercise in normal man, with dilatation and a concomitant increase in systolic myocardial shortening. This suggests that atenolol during maximal exercise reveals the part played by the Frank-Starling mechanism in cardiac reserve. In addition to that mechanism, the increased ventricular emptying is probably also the result of reduced afterload after administration of atenolol.

  1. Myosin head orientation: a structural determinant for the Frank-Starling relationship

    PubMed Central

    Farman, Gerrie P.; Gore, David; Allen, Edward; Schoenfelt, Kelly; Irving, Thomas C.

    2011-01-01

    The cellular mechanism underlying the Frank-Starling law of the heart is myofilament length-dependent activation. The mechanism(s) whereby sarcomeres detect changes in length and translate this into increased sensitivity to activating calcium has been elusive. Small-angle X-ray diffraction studies have revealed that the intact myofilament lattice undergoes numerous structural changes upon an increase in sarcomere length (SL): lattice spacing and the I1,1/I1,0 intensity ratio decreases, whereas the M3 meridional reflection intensity (IM3) increases, concomitant with increases in diastolic and systolic force. Using a short (∼10 ms) X-ray exposure just before electrical stimulation, we were able to obtain detailed structural information regarding the effects of external osmotic compression (with mannitol) and obtain SL on thin intact electrically stimulated isolated rat right ventricular trabeculae. We show that over the same incremental increases in SL, the relative changes in systolic force track more closely to the relative changes in myosin head orientation (as reported by IM3) than to the relative changes in lattice spacing. We conclude that myosin head orientation before activation determines myocardial sarcomere activation levels and that this may be the dominant mechanism for length-dependent activation. PMID:21460195

  2. Role of the Frank-Starling mechanism during maximal semisupine exercise after oral atenolol.

    PubMed Central

    Andersen, K; Vik-Mo, H

    1982-01-01

    Reproducible left ventricular dimensions were found by M-mode echocardiography in eight healthy men in the semisupine position during two maximal bicycle exercise tests, performed with four hours interval. Left ventricular end-diastolic dimension did not increase during maximal exercise, while fractional shortening increased by a decrease in end-systolic dimension. Twelve men studied by the same procedure were given 100 mg atenolol orally just after the first test which conspicuously reduced their heart rate response to exercise. End-diastolic dimension increased significantly from rest to peak exercise after the administration of atenolol in contrast to that before beta blockade, and fractional shortening at maximal exercise increased compared with the preceding control test. We conclude that atenolol changes the left ventricular response to maximal semisupine exercise in normal man, with dilatation and a concomitant increase in systolic myocardial shortening. This suggests that atenolol during maximal exercise reveals the part played by the Frank-Starling mechanism in cardiac reserve. In addition to that mechanism, the increased ventricular emptying is probably also the result of reduced afterload after administration of atenolol. Images PMID:7093084

  3. Titin and Troponin: Central Players in the Frank-Starling Mechanism of the Heart

    PubMed Central

    Fukuda, Norio; Terui, Takako; Ohtsuki, Iwao; Ishiwata, Shin’ichi; Kurihara, Satoshi

    2009-01-01

    The basis of the Frank-Starling mechanism of the heart is the intrinsic ability of cardiac muscle to produce greater active force in response to stretch, a phenomenon known as length-dependent activation. A feedback mechanism transmitted from cross-bridge formation to troponin C to enhance Ca2+ binding has long been proposed to account for length-dependent activation. However, recent advances in muscle physiology research technologies have enabled the identification of other factors involved in length-dependent activation. The striated muscle sarcomere contains a third filament system composed of the giant elastic protein titin, which is responsible for most passive stiffness in the physiological sarcomere length range. Recent studies have revealed a significant coupling of active and passive forces in cardiac muscle, where titin-based passive force promotes cross-bridge recruitment, resulting in greater active force production in response to stretch. More currently, the focus has been placed on the troponin-based “on-off” switching of the thin filament state in the regulation of length-dependent activation. In this review, we discuss how myocardial length-dependent activation is coordinately regulated by sarcomere proteins. PMID:20436852

  4. Titin and troponin: central players in the frank-starling mechanism of the heart.

    PubMed

    Fukuda, Norio; Terui, Takako; Ohtsuki, Iwao; Ishiwata, Shin'ichi; Kurihara, Satoshi

    2009-05-01

    The basis of the Frank-Starling mechanism of the heart is the intrinsic ability of cardiac muscle to produce greater active force in response to stretch, a phenomenon known as length-dependent activation. A feedback mechanism transmitted from cross-bridge formation to troponin C to enhance Ca(2+) binding has long been proposed to account for length-dependent activation. However, recent advances in muscle physiology research technologies have enabled the identification of other factors involved in length-dependent activation. The striated muscle sarcomere contains a third filament system composed of the giant elastic protein titin, which is responsible for most passive stiffness in the physiological sarcomere length range. Recent studies have revealed a significant coupling of active and passive forces in cardiac muscle, where titin-based passive force promotes cross-bridge recruitment, resulting in greater active force production in response to stretch. More currently, the focus has been placed on the troponin-based "on-off" switching of the thin filament state in the regulation of length-dependent activation. In this review, we discuss how myocardial length-dependent activation is coordinately regulated by sarcomere proteins.

  5. Cellular mechanisms for the slow phase of the Frank-Starling response.

    PubMed

    Bluhm, W F; Sung, D; Lew, W Y; Garfinkel, A; McCulloch, A D

    1998-01-01

    Following a step increase in sarcomere length, isometric cardiac muscle tension increases instantaneously by the Frank-Starling mechanism. In isolated papillary muscle and myocytes, there is an additional significant rise in developed tension over the following 15 min due to an unknown mechanism. This slow change in tension could not be explained by mechanical heterogeneity of the muscle preparations or by an increase in myofilament sensitivity to Ca2+. The slow change in tension was not dependent on sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ loading assessed with rapid cooling contractures, and was not significantly altered by sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ depletion (ryanodine) or inhibition of sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ reuptake (cyclopiazonic acid). We used the Luo-Rudy ionic model of the ventricular myocyte together with a model of the length-dependent myofilament activation by Ca2+ to examine the effects of step changes in the parameters of sarcolemmal ion fluxes as possible mechanisms for the slow change in stress. The slow increase in tension was simulated by step changes in the Na+-K+ pump or Na+ leak currents, suggesting that the slow change in stress may be caused by length induced changes in Na+ fluxes. The model also predicted a slow increase in the magnitude of the initial repolarization during phase 1 of the action potential. The combination of experimental and computational models used in this investigation represents a valuable technique in elucidating the cellular mechanisms of fundamental processes in cardiac excitation-contraction coupling.

  6. Titin/connectin-based modulation of the Frank-Starling mechanism of the heart.

    PubMed

    Fukuda, Norio; Granzier, Henk L

    2005-01-01

    The basis of the Frank-Starling mechanism of the heart is the increase in active force when muscle is stretched. Various findings have shown that muscle length, i.e., sarcomere length (SL), modulates activation of cardiac myofilaments at a given concentration of Ca2+ ([Ca2+]). This augmented Ca2+ activation with SL, commonly known as "length-dependent activation", is manifested as the leftward shift of the force-pCa (= -log [Ca2+]) relation as well as by the increase in maximal Ca2+ -activated force. Despite the numerous studies that have been undertaken, the molecular mechanism(s) of length-dependent activation is (are) still not fully understood. The giant sarcomere protein titin/connectin is the largest protein known to date. Titin/connectin is responsible for most passive force in vertebrate striated muscle and also functions as a molecular scaffold during myofibrillogenesis. Recent studies suggest that titin/connectin plays an important role in length-dependent activation by sensing stretch and promoting actomyosin interaction. Here we review and extend this previous work and focus on the mechanism by which titin/connectin might modulate actomyosin interaction.

  7. Cardiac system bioenergetics: metabolic basis of the Frank-Starling law

    PubMed Central

    Saks, Valdur; Dzeja, Petras; Schlattner, Uwe; Vendelin, Marko; Terzic, Andre; Wallimann, Theo

    2006-01-01

    The fundamental principle of cardiac behaviour is described by the Frank-Starling law relating force of contraction during systole with end-diastolic volume. While both work and respiration rates increase linearly with imposed load, the basis of mechano-energetic coupling in heart muscle has remained a long-standing enigma. Here, we highlight advances made in understanding of complex cellular and molecular mechanisms that orchestrate coupling of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation with ATP utilization for muscle contraction. Cardiac system bioenergetics critically depends on an interrelated metabolic infrastructure regulating mitochondrial respiration and energy fluxes throughout cellular compartments. The data reviewed indicate the significance of two interrelated systems regulating mitochondrial respiration and energy fluxes in cells: (1) the creatine kinase, adenylate kinase and glycolytic pathways that communicate flux changes generated by cellular ATPases within structurally organized enzymatic modules and networks; and (2) a secondary system based on mitochondrial participation in cellular calcium cycle, which adjusts substrate oxidation and energy-transducing processes to meet increasing cellular energy demands. By conveying energetic signals to metabolic sensors, coupled phosphotransfer reactions provide a high-fidelity regulation of the excitation–contraction cycle. Such integration of energetics with calcium signalling systems provides the basis for ‘metabolic pacing’, synchronizing the cellular electrical and mechanical activities with energy supply processes. PMID:16410283

  8. Emergence of collective changes in travel direction of starling flocks from individual birds' fluctuations.

    PubMed

    Attanasi, Alessandro; Cavagna, Andrea; Del Castello, Lorenzo; Giardina, Irene; Jelic, Asja; Melillo, Stefania; Parisi, Leonardo; Pohl, Oliver; Shen, Edward; Viale, Massimiliano

    2015-07-06

    One of the most impressive features of moving animal groups is their ability to perform sudden coherent changes in travel direction. While this collective decision can be a response to an external alarm cue, directional switching can also emerge from the intrinsic fluctuations in individual behaviour. However, the cause and the mechanism by which such collective changes of direction occur are not fully understood yet. Here, we present an experimental study of spontaneous collective turns in natural flocks of starlings. We employ a recently developed tracking algorithm to reconstruct three-dimensional trajectories of each individual bird in the flock for the whole duration of a turning event. Our approach enables us to analyse changes in the individual behaviour of every group member and reveal the emergent dynamics of turning. We show that spontaneous turns start from individuals located at the elongated tips of the flocks, and then propagate through the group. We find that birds on the tips deviate from the mean direction of motion much more frequently than other individuals, indicating that persistent localized fluctuations are the crucial ingredient for triggering a collective directional change. Finally, we quantitatively verify that birds follow equal-radius paths during turning, the effects of which are a change of the flock's orientation and a redistribution of individual locations in the group.

  9. Myosin head orientation: a structural determinant for the Frank-Starling relationship

    SciTech Connect

    Farman, Gerrie P.; Gore, David; Allen, Edward; Schoenfelt, Kelly; Irving, Thomas C.; de Tombe, Pieter P.

    2011-09-06

    The cellular mechanism underlying the Frank-Starling law of the heart is myofilament length-dependent activation. The mechanism(s) whereby sarcomeres detect changes in length and translate this into increased sensitivity to activating calcium has been elusive. Small-angle X-ray diffraction studies have revealed that the intact myofilament lattice undergoes numerous structural changes upon an increase in sarcomere length (SL): lattice spacing and the I{sub 1,1}/I{sub 1,0} intensity ratio decreases, whereas the M3 meridional reflection intensity (I{sub M3}) increases, concomitant with increases in diastolic and systolic force. Using a short ({approx}10 ms) X-ray exposure just before electrical stimulation, we were able to obtain detailed structural information regarding the effects of external osmotic compression (with mannitol) and obtain SL on thin intact electrically stimulated isolated rat right ventricular trabeculae. We show that over the same incremental increases in SL, the relative changes in systolic force track more closely to the relative changes in myosin head orientation (as reported by IM3) than to the relative changes in lattice spacing. We conclude that myosin head orientation before activation determines myocardial sarcomere activation levels and that this may be the dominant mechanism for length-dependent activation.

  10. Emergence of collective changes in travel direction of starling flocks from individual birds' fluctuations

    PubMed Central

    Attanasi, Alessandro; Cavagna, Andrea; Del Castello, Lorenzo; Giardina, Irene; Jelic, Asja; Melillo, Stefania; Parisi, Leonardo; Pohl, Oliver; Shen, Edward; Viale, Massimiliano

    2015-01-01

    One of the most impressive features of moving animal groups is their ability to perform sudden coherent changes in travel direction. While this collective decision can be a response to an external alarm cue, directional switching can also emerge from the intrinsic fluctuations in individual behaviour. However, the cause and the mechanism by which such collective changes of direction occur are not fully understood yet. Here, we present an experimental study of spontaneous collective turns in natural flocks of starlings. We employ a recently developed tracking algorithm to reconstruct three-dimensional trajectories of each individual bird in the flock for the whole duration of a turning event. Our approach enables us to analyse changes in the individual behaviour of every group member and reveal the emergent dynamics of turning. We show that spontaneous turns start from individuals located at the elongated tips of the flocks, and then propagate through the group. We find that birds on the tips deviate from the mean direction of motion much more frequently than other individuals, indicating that persistent localized fluctuations are the crucial ingredient for triggering a collective directional change. Finally, we quantitatively verify that birds follow equal-radius paths during turning, the effects of which are a change of the flock's orientation and a redistribution of individual locations in the group. PMID:26236825

  11. Perching but not foraging networks predict the spread of novel foraging skills in starlings.

    PubMed

    Boogert, Neeltje J; Nightingale, Glenna F; Hoppitt, William; Laland, Kevin N

    2014-11-01

    The directed social learning hypothesis suggests that information does not spread evenly through animal groups, but rather individual characteristics and patterns of physical proximity guide the social transmission of information along specific pathways. Network-based diffusion analysis (NBDA) allows researchers to test whether information spreads following a social network. However, the explanatory power of different social networks has rarely been compared, and current models do not easily accommodate random effects (e.g. allowing for individuals within groups to correlate in their asocial solving rates). We tested whether the spread of two novel foraging skills through captive starling groups was affected by individual- and group-level random and fixed effects (i.e. sex, age, body condition, dominance rank and demonstrator status) and perching or foraging networks. We extended NBDA to include random effects and conducted model discrimination in a Bayesian context. We found that social learning increased the rate at which birds acquired the novel foraging task solutions by 6.67 times, and acquiring one of the two novel foraging task solutions facilitated the asocial acquisition of the other. Surprisingly, the spread of task solutions followed the perching rather than the foraging social network. Upon acquiring a task solution, foraging performance was facilitated by the presence of group mates. Our results highlight the importance of considering more than one social network when predicting the spread of information through animal groups. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Cognition in the wild.

  12. Myocardial response to incremental exercise in endurance-trained athletes: influence of heart rate, contractility and the Frank-Starling effect.

    PubMed

    Warburton, Darren E R; Haykowsky, Mark J; Quinney, H Arthur; Blackmore, Derrick; Teo, Koon K; Humen, Dennis P

    2002-09-01

    Recent evidence indicates that endurance-trained athletes are able to increase their stroke volume (SV) throughout incremental upright exercise, probably due to a progressively greater effect of the Frank-Starling mechanism. This is contrary to the widely held belief that SV reaches a plateau at a submaximal heart rate (irrespective of fitness level), owing to a limitation in the time for diastolic filling. The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate whether endurance-trained athletes rely on a progressively greater effect of the Frank-Starling mechanism throughout incremental exercise. A secondary purpose was to evaluate the effects of postural position on the cardiovascular responses to incremental exercise. Ten male cyclists participated in this investigation. Left ventricular function was assessed throughout incremental exercise in the supine and upright positions (counterbalanced) using radionuclide ventriculography. Stroke volume increased in a linear fashion during incremental exercise in both the upright and supine positions. The increases in cardiac output (Q) throughout incremental to maximal exercise (in both the supine and upright positions) were significantly related to changes in heart rate, myocardial contractility and the Frank-Starling mechanism. Percentage changes in end-diastolic volume and SV were significantly greater in the upright position versus the supine position, reflecting an increased reliance on the Frank-Starling effect to increase Q. We conclude from this investigation that highly trained endurance athletes are able to make progressively increasing usage of the Frank-Starling effect throughout incremental exercise. Postural position has a significant effect on the relative contribution of heart rate, myocardial contractility and the Frank-Starling mechanism to the increase in Q during exercise conditions.

  13. The external work-pressure time integral relationships and the afterload dependence of Frank-Starling mechanism.

    PubMed

    Sela, Gali; Landesberg, Amir

    2009-10-01

    The mechanisms underlying the Frank-Starling Law of the heart are elusive and the prevalent notion suggests that it is afterload independent. However, isolated fiber studies reveal that the afterload determines cardiac function through cross-bridge dependent mechanisms. The study explores the roles of the afterload, in situ. The LV was exposed by left-thoracotomy in adult sheep (72.6+/-8.2 kg, n=8). Pressure transducers were inserted into the LV and aorta, a flowmeter was placed around the aortic root, and the LV volume was assessed by sonocrystals. Occluders around the aorta and the inferior vena cava enabled control of the afterload and preload. Different afterloads were imposed by partial aortic occlusions. Transient inferior vena cava occlusions (IVCOs) were preformed whenever the afterload was steady. A highly linear relationship was found between the external work (EW) and pressure time integral (PTI) (R(2)=0.98+/-0.01) during each transient IVCO (n=48). The slope of the EW-PTI relationship (WPTiR) was preload independent since, for any given afterload, the EW and PTI lay on a straight line. Interestingly, the slope of the WPTiR was afterload dependant: The slope was 33.3+/-4.1 mJ/mmHg.s at baselines and decreased by 1.0+/-0.50 mJ/mmHg.s with every 1 mmHg.min/L increase in the peripheral resistance. A unique WPTiR was obtained during both the occlusion and release phases of each IVCO, while two distinct EW-preload or PTI-preload relationships were observed. The novel WPTiR ties the Frank (pressure development) and Starling (EW production) phenomena together. The dependence of the WPTiR on the afterload highlights the adaptive control of the Frank-Starling mechanisms to changes in the afterload.

  14. Modulation of the Cardiomyocyte Contraction inside a Hydrostatic Pressure Bioreactor: In Vitro Verification of the Frank-Starling Law

    PubMed Central

    Fassina, Lorenzo; Magenes, Giovanni; Gimmelli, Roberto; Naro, Fabio

    2015-01-01

    We have studied beating mouse cardiac syncytia in vitro in order to assess the inotropic, ergotropic, and chronotropic effects of both increasing and decreasing hydrostatic pressures. In particular, we have performed an image processing analysis to evaluate the kinematics and the dynamics of those pressure-loaded beating syncytia starting from the video registration of their contraction movement. By this analysis, we have verified the Frank-Starling law of the heart in in vitro beating cardiac syncytia and we have obtained their geometrical-functional classification. PMID:25667923

  15. Modulation of the cardiomyocyte contraction inside a hydrostatic pressure bioreactor: in vitro verification of the Frank-Starling law.

    PubMed

    Fassina, Lorenzo; Magenes, Giovanni; Gimmelli, Roberto; Naro, Fabio

    2015-01-01

    We have studied beating mouse cardiac syncytia in vitro in order to assess the inotropic, ergotropic, and chronotropic effects of both increasing and decreasing hydrostatic pressures. In particular, we have performed an image processing analysis to evaluate the kinematics and the dynamics of those pressure-loaded beating syncytia starting from the video registration of their contraction movement. By this analysis, we have verified the Frank-Starling law of the heart in in vitro beating cardiac syncytia and we have obtained their geometrical-functional classification.

  16. Disulfide-activated protein kinase G Iα regulates cardiac diastolic relaxation and fine-tunes the Frank–Starling response

    PubMed Central

    Scotcher, Jenna; Prysyazhna, Oleksandra; Boguslavskyi, Andrii; Kistamas, Kornel; Hadgraft, Natasha; Martin, Eva D.; Worthington, Jenny; Rudyk, Olena; Rodriguez Cutillas, Pedro; Cuello, Friederike; Shattock, Michael J.; Marber, Michael S.; Conte, Maria R.; Greenstein, Adam; Greensmith, David J.; Venetucci, Luigi; Timms, John F.; Eaton, Philip

    2016-01-01

    The Frank–Starling mechanism allows the amount of blood entering the heart from the veins to be precisely matched with the amount pumped out to the arterial circulation. As the heart fills with blood during diastole, the myocardium is stretched and oxidants are produced. Here we show that protein kinase G Iα (PKGIα) is oxidant-activated during stretch and this form of the kinase selectively phosphorylates cardiac phospholamban Ser16—a site important for diastolic relaxation. We find that hearts of Cys42Ser PKGIα knock-in (KI) mice, which are resistant to PKGIα oxidation, have diastolic dysfunction and a diminished ability to couple ventricular filling with cardiac output on a beat-to-beat basis. Intracellular calcium dynamics of ventricular myocytes isolated from KI hearts are altered in a manner consistent with impaired relaxation and contractile function. We conclude that oxidation of PKGIα during myocardial stretch is crucial for diastolic relaxation and fine-tunes the Frank–Starling response. PMID:27782102

  17. Cooperative cross-bridge activation of thin filaments contributes to the Frank-Starling mechanism in cardiac muscle.

    PubMed

    Smith, L; Tainter, C; Regnier, M; Martyn, D A

    2009-05-06

    Myosin cross-bridges play an important role in the regulation of thin-filament activation in cardiac muscle. To test the hypothesis that sarcomere length (SL) modulation of thin-filament activation by strong-binding cross-bridges underlies the Frank-Starling mechanism, we inhibited force and strong cross-bridge binding to intermediate levels with sodium vanadate (Vi). Force and stiffness varied proportionately with [Ca(2+)] and [Vi]. Increasing [Vi] (decreased force) reduced the pCa(50) of force-[Ca(2+)] relations at 2.3 and 2.0 microm SL, with little effect on slope (n(H)). When maximum force was inhibited to approximately 40%, the effects of SL on force were diminished at lower [Ca(2+)], whereas at higher [Ca(2+)] (pCa < 5.6) the relative influence of SL on force increased. In contrast, force inhibition to approximately 20% significantly reduced the sensitivity of force-[Ca(2+)] relations to changes in both SL and myofilament lattice spacing. Strong cross-bridge binding cooperatively induced changes in cardiac troponin C structure, as measured by dichroism of 5' iodoacetamido-tetramethylrhodamine-labeled cardiac troponin C. This apparent cooperativity was reduced at shorter SL. These data emphasize that SL and/or myofilament lattice spacing modulation of the cross-bridge component of cardiac thin-filament activation contributes to the Frank-Starling mechanism.

  18. The Frank-Starling mechanism is not mediated by changes in rate of cross-bridge detachment.

    PubMed

    Wannenburg, T; Janssen, P M; Fan, D; de Tombe, P P

    1997-11-01

    We tested the hypothesis that the Frank-Starling relationship is mediated by changes in the rate of cross-bridge detachment in cardiac muscle. We simultaneously measured isometric force development and the rate of ATP consumption at various levels of Ca2+ activation in skinned rat cardiac trabecular muscles at three sarcomere lengths (2.0, 2.1, and 2.2 microns). The maximum rate of ATP consumption was 1.5 nmol.s-1.microliter fiber vol-1, which represents an estimated adenosinetriphosphatase (ATPase) rate of approximately 10 s-1 per myosin head at 24 degrees C. The rate of ATP consumption was tightly and linearly coupled to the level of isometric force development, and changes in sarcomere length had no effect on the slope of the force-ATPase relationships. The average slope of the force-ATPase relationships was 15.5 pmol.mN-1.mm-1. These results suggest that the mechanisms that underlie the Frank-Starling relationship in cardiac muscle do not involve changes in the kinetics of the apparent detachment step in the cross-bridge cycle.

  19. Cooperative Cross-Bridge Activation of Thin Filaments Contributes to the Frank-Starling Mechanism in Cardiac Muscle

    PubMed Central

    Smith, L.; Tainter, C.; Regnier, M.; Martyn, D.A.

    2009-01-01

    Myosin cross-bridges play an important role in the regulation of thin-filament activation in cardiac muscle. To test the hypothesis that sarcomere length (SL) modulation of thin-filament activation by strong-binding cross-bridges underlies the Frank-Starling mechanism, we inhibited force and strong cross-bridge binding to intermediate levels with sodium vanadate (Vi). Force and stiffness varied proportionately with [Ca2+] and [Vi]. Increasing [Vi] (decreased force) reduced the pCa50 of force-[Ca2+] relations at 2.3 and 2.0 μm SL, with little effect on slope (nH). When maximum force was inhibited to ∼40%, the effects of SL on force were diminished at lower [Ca2+], whereas at higher [Ca2+] (pCa < 5.6) the relative influence of SL on force increased. In contrast, force inhibition to ∼20% significantly reduced the sensitivity of force-[Ca2+] relations to changes in both SL and myofilament lattice spacing. Strong cross-bridge binding cooperatively induced changes in cardiac troponin C structure, as measured by dichroism of 5′ iodoacetamido-tetramethylrhodamine-labeled cardiac troponin C. This apparent cooperativity was reduced at shorter SL. These data emphasize that SL and/or myofilament lattice spacing modulation of the cross-bridge component of cardiac thin-filament activation contributes to the Frank-Starling mechanism. PMID:19413974

  20. Disulfide-activated protein kinase G Iα regulates cardiac diastolic relaxation and fine-tunes the Frank-Starling response.

    PubMed

    Scotcher, Jenna; Prysyazhna, Oleksandra; Boguslavskyi, Andrii; Kistamas, Kornel; Hadgraft, Natasha; Martin, Eva D; Worthington, Jenny; Rudyk, Olena; Rodriguez Cutillas, Pedro; Cuello, Friederike; Shattock, Michael J; Marber, Michael S; Conte, Maria R; Greenstein, Adam; Greensmith, David J; Venetucci, Luigi; Timms, John F; Eaton, Philip

    2016-10-26

    The Frank-Starling mechanism allows the amount of blood entering the heart from the veins to be precisely matched with the amount pumped out to the arterial circulation. As the heart fills with blood during diastole, the myocardium is stretched and oxidants are produced. Here we show that protein kinase G Iα (PKGIα) is oxidant-activated during stretch and this form of the kinase selectively phosphorylates cardiac phospholamban Ser16-a site important for diastolic relaxation. We find that hearts of Cys42Ser PKGIα knock-in (KI) mice, which are resistant to PKGIα oxidation, have diastolic dysfunction and a diminished ability to couple ventricular filling with cardiac output on a beat-to-beat basis. Intracellular calcium dynamics of ventricular myocytes isolated from KI hearts are altered in a manner consistent with impaired relaxation and contractile function. We conclude that oxidation of PKGIα during myocardial stretch is crucial for diastolic relaxation and fine-tunes the Frank-Starling response.

  1. Exhaustion of the Frank-Starling mechanism in conscious dogs with heart failure induced by chronic coronary microembolization.

    PubMed

    Gill, Robert M; Jones, Bonita D; Corbly, Angela K; Ohad, Dan G; Smith, Gerald D; Sandusky, George E; Christe, Michael E; Wang, Jie; Shen, Weiqun

    2006-07-04

    The role of the Frank-Starling mechanism in the regulation of cardiac systolic function in the ischemic failing heart was examined in conscious dogs. Left ventricular (LV) dimension, pressure and systolic function were assessed using surgically implanted instrumentations and non-invasive echocardiogram. Heart failure was induced by daily intra-coronary injections of microspheres for 3-4 weeks via implanted coronary catheters. Chronic coronary embolization resulted in a progressive dilation of the left ventricle (12+/-3%), increase in LV end-diastolic pressure (118+/-19%), depression of LV dP/dt(max) (-19+/-4%), fractional shortening (-36+/-7%), and cardiac work (-60+/-9%), and development of heart failure, while the LV contractile response to dobutamine was depressed. A brief inferior vena caval occlusion in dogs with heart failure decreased LV preload to match the levels attained in their control state and caused a further reduction of LV dP/dt(max), fractional shortening, stroke work and cardiac work. Moreover, in response to acute volume loading, the change in the LV end-diastolic dimension-pressure (DeltaLVEDD-DeltaLVEDP) curve in the failing heart became steeper and shifted significantly to the left, while the increases in LV stroke work and cardiac work were blunted. Thus, our results suggest that the Frank-Starling mechanism is exhausted in heart failure and unable to further respond to increasing volume while it plays an important compensatory role in adaptation to LV dysfunction in heart failure.

  2. Sexual and natural selection in the evolution of extended phenotypes: the use of green nesting material in starlings.

    PubMed

    Rubalcaba, J G; Polo, V; Maia, R; Rubenstein, D R; Veiga, J P

    2016-08-01

    Although sexual selection is typically considered the predominant force driving the evolution of ritualized sexual behaviours, natural selection may also play an important and often underappreciated role. The use of green aromatic plants among nesting birds has been interpreted as a component of extended phenotype that evolved either via natural selection due to potential sanitary functions or via sexual selection as a signal of male attractiveness. Here, we compared both hypotheses using comparative methods in starlings, a group where this behaviour is widespread. We found that the use of green plants was positively related to male-biased size dimorphism and that it was most likely to occur among cavity-nesting species. These results suggest that this behaviour is likely favoured by sexual selection, but also related to its sanitary use in response to higher parasite loads in cavities. We speculate that the use of green plants in starlings may be facilitated by cavity nesting and was subsequently co-opted as a sexual signal by males. Our results represent an example of how an extended phenotypic component of males becomes sexually selected by females. Thus, both natural selection and sexual selection are necessary to fully understand the evolution of ritualized behaviours involved in courtship.

  3. The failing human heart is unable to use the Frank-Starling mechanism.

    PubMed

    Schwinger, R H; Böhm, M; Koch, A; Schmidt, U; Morano, I; Eissner, H J; Uberfuhr, P; Reichart, B; Erdmann, E

    1994-05-01

    There is evidence that the failing human left ventricle in vivo subjected to additional preload is unable to use the Frank-Starling mechanism. The present study compared the force-tension relation in human nonfailing and terminally failing (heart transplants required because of dilated cardiomyopathy) myocardium. Isometric force of contraction of electrically driven left ventricular papillary muscle strips was studied under various preload conditions (2 to 20 mN). To investigate the influence of inotropic stimulation, the force-tension relation was studied in the presence of the cardiac glycoside ouabain. In skinned-fiber preparations of the left ventricle, developed tension was measured after stretching the preparations to 150% of the resting length. To evaluate the length-dependent activation of cardiac myofibrils by Ca2+ in failing and nonfailing myocardium, the tension-Ca2+ relations were also measured. After an increase of preload, the force of contraction gradually increased in nonfailing myocardium but was unchanged in failing myocardium. There were no differences in resting tension, muscle length, or cross-sectional area of the muscles between both groups. Pretreatment with ouabain (0.02 mumol/L) restored the force-tension relation in failing myocardium and preserved the force-tension relation in nonfailing tissue. In skinned-fiber preparations of the same hearts, developed tension increased significantly after stretching only in preparations from nonfailing but not from failing myocardium. The Ca2+ sensitivity of skinned fibers was significantly higher in failing myocardium (EC50, 1.0; 95% confidence limit, 0.88 to 1.21 mumol/L) compared with nonfailing myocardium (EC50, 1.7; 95% confidence limit, 1.55 to 1.86 mumol/L). After increasing the fiber length by stretching, a significant increase in the sensitivity of the myofibrils to Ca2+ was observed in nonfailing but not in failing myocardium. These experiments provide evidence for an impaired force

  4. Left atrial Frank–Starling law assessed by real‐time, three‐dimensional echocardiographic left atrial volume changes

    PubMed Central

    Anwar, Ashraf M; Geleijnse, Marcel L; Soliman, Osama I I; Nemes, Attila; Cate, Folkert J ten

    2007-01-01

    Background The Frank–Starling law describes the relation between left ventricular volume and function. However, only a few studies have described the relation between left atrial volume (LAV) and function. Objective To describe an LA Frank–Starling law by studying changes in LAV measured by real‐time, three‐dimensional echocardiography (RT3DE). Methods LAV was calculated by RT3DE in 70 patients at end‐systole (LAVmax), end‐diastole (LAVmin) and pre‐atrial contraction (LAVpre‐A). According to LAVmax, patients were classified into three groups: LAVmax <50 ml (group I), LAVmax 50–70 ml (group II) and LAVmax >70 ml (group III). Calculated indices of LA pump function were active atrial stroke volume (SV), defined as LAVpre‐A – LAVmin, and active atrial emptying fraction (EF), defined as active atrial SV/LAVpre‐A ×100% Results Active atrial SV was significantly higher in group II than in group I (mean (SD) 19.0 (9.2) vs 8.2 (4.9) ml, p<0.0001), in group III it was non‐significantly lower than in group II (16.7 (12.5) vs 19.0 (9.2) ml). Active atrial SV correlated well with LAVpre‐A (r = 0.56, p<0.001), but decreased with larger LAVpre‐A. Active atrial EF tended to be higher in group II than in group I (43.1 (18.2) vs 33.2 (17.5), p<0.10), in group III it was significantly lower than in group II (26.2 (18.5) vs 43.1 (18.2), p<0.01). Conclusion A Frank–Starling mechanism in the left atrium could be described by RT3DE, shown by an increase in LA contractility in response to an increase in LA preload up to a point, beyond which LA contractility decreased. PMID:17502327

  5. Use of the Frank-Starling mechanism during exercise is linked to exercise-induced changes in arterial load

    PubMed Central

    Chantler, Paul D.; Melenovsky, Vojtech; Schulman, Steven P.; Gerstenblith, Gary; Becker, Lewis C.; Ferrucci, Luigi; Fleg, Jerome L.; Najjar, Samer S.

    2012-01-01

    Effective arterial elastance(EA) is a measure of the net arterial load imposed on the heart that integrates the effects of heart rate(HR), peripheral vascular resistance(PVR), and total arterial compliance(TAC) and is a modulator of cardiac performance. To what extent the change in EA during exercise impacts on cardiac performance and aerobic capacity is unknown. We examined EA and its relationship with cardiovascular performance in 352 healthy subjects. Subjects underwent rest and exercise gated scans to measure cardiac volumes and to derive EA[end-systolic pressure/stroke volume index(SV)], PVR[MAP/(SV*HR)], and TAC(SV/pulse pressure). EA varied with exercise intensity: the ΔEA between rest and peak exercise along with its determinants, differed among individuals and ranged from −44% to +149%, and was independent of age and sex. Individuals were separated into 3 groups based on their ΔEAI. Individuals with the largest increase in ΔEA(group 3;ΔEA≥0.98 mmHg.m2/ml) had the smallest reduction in PVR, the greatest reduction in TAC and a similar increase in HR vs. group 1(ΔEA<0.22 mmHg.m2/ml). Furthermore, group 3 had a reduction in end-diastolic volume, and a blunted increase in SV(80%), and cardiac output(27%), during exercise vs. group 1. Despite limitations in the Frank-Starling mechanism and cardiac function, peak aerobic capacity did not differ by group because arterial-venous oxygen difference was greater in group 3 vs. 1. Thus the change in arterial load during exercise has important effects on the Frank-Starling mechanism and cardiac performance but not on exercise capacity. These findings provide interesting insights into the dynamic cardiovascular alterations during exercise. PMID:22003052

  6. Use of the Frank-Starling mechanism during exercise is linked to exercise-induced changes in arterial load.

    PubMed

    Chantler, Paul D; Melenovsky, Vojtech; Schulman, Steven P; Gerstenblith, Gary; Becker, Lewis C; Ferrucci, Luigi; Fleg, Jerome L; Lakatta, Edward G; Najjar, Samer S

    2012-01-01

    Effective arterial elastance(E(A)) is a measure of the net arterial load imposed on the heart that integrates the effects of heart rate(HR), peripheral vascular resistance(PVR), and total arterial compliance(TAC) and is a modulator of cardiac performance. To what extent the change in E(A) during exercise impacts on cardiac performance and aerobic capacity is unknown. We examined E(A) and its relationship with cardiovascular performance in 352 healthy subjects. Subjects underwent rest and exercise gated scans to measure cardiac volumes and to derive E(A)[end-systolic pressure/stroke volume index(SV)], PVR[MAP/(SV*HR)], and TAC(SV/pulse pressure). E(A) varied with exercise intensity: the ΔE(A) between rest and peak exercise along with its determinants, differed among individuals and ranged from -44% to +149%, and was independent of age and sex. Individuals were separated into 3 groups based on their ΔE(A)I. Individuals with the largest increase in ΔE(A)(group 3;ΔE(A)≥0.98 mmHg.m(2)/ml) had the smallest reduction in PVR, the greatest reduction in TAC and a similar increase in HR vs. group 1(ΔE(A)<0.22 mmHg.m(2)/ml). Furthermore, group 3 had a reduction in end-diastolic volume, and a blunted increase in SV(80%), and cardiac output(27%), during exercise vs. group 1. Despite limitations in the Frank-Starling mechanism and cardiac function, peak aerobic capacity did not differ by group because arterial-venous oxygen difference was greater in group 3 vs. 1. Thus the change in arterial load during exercise has important effects on the Frank-Starling mechanism and cardiac performance but not on exercise capacity. These findings provide interesting insights into the dynamic cardiovascular alterations during exercise.

  7. Radionuclide ventriculographic responses to graded supine and upright exercise: critical role of the Frank-Starling mechanism at submaximal exercise.

    PubMed

    Steingart, R M; Wexler, J; Slagle, S; Scheuer, J

    1984-06-01

    To assess the influence of work load and posture on the response to exercise, 25 patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) and 17 normal subjects underwent graded supine and upright exercise radionuclide ventriculography. In both groups, end-diastolic counts increased with supine exercise (p less than 0.001). The ejection fraction and peak systolic pressure-end-systolic volume relation increased in normal subjects (p less than 0.02), but not in patients with CAD. At upright rest, end-diastolic counts decreased in both groups (p less than 0.001) and then increased with exercise (p less than 0.001). The increase in end-diastolic counts was most pronounced on the transition from upright rest to the 150-kpm work load and resulted in a significant increase in stroke counts (p less than 0.05) for both patients with CAD and normal subjects, without a measurable change in the ejection fraction or the peak systolic pressure-end-systolic volume relation. Later in exercise, end-diastolic counts plateaued, and the ejection fraction and the peak systolic pressure, end-systolic volume relation increased only among normal subjects. Thus, low-level upright exercise is highly dependent on the Starling mechanism in both normal subjects and patients with CAD, with enhanced contractility apparent only during more vigorous exercise in normal subjects.

  8. Effects of Interaction Between Ventricular Assist Device Assistance and Autoregulated Mock Circulation Including Frank-Starling Mechanism and Baroreflex.

    PubMed

    Jansen-Park, So-Hyun; Mahmood, Mohammad Nauzef; Müller, Indra; Turnhoff, Lisa Kathrin; Schmitz-Rode, Thomas; Steinseifer, Ulrich; Sonntag, Simon Johannes

    2016-10-01

    A mock heart circulation loop (MHCL) is a hydraulic model simulating the human circulatory system. It allows in vitro investigations of the interaction between cardiac assist devices and the human circulatory system. In this study, a preload sensitive MHCL, the MHCLAUTO , was developed to investigate the interaction between the left ventricle and left ventricular assist devices (LVADs). The Frank-Starling mechanism was modeled by regulating the stroke volume (SV) based on the measured mean diastolic left atrial pressure (MLAPdiast ). The baroreflex autoregulation mechanism was implemented to maintain a constant mean aortic pressure (MAP) by varying ventricular contractility (Emax ), heart rate (HR), afterload/systemic vascular resistance (SVR) and unstressed venous volume (UVV). The DP3 blood pump (Medos Medizintechnik GmbH) was used to simulate the LVAD. Characteristic parameters were measured in pathological conditions both with and without LVAD to assess the hemodynamic effect of LVAD on the MHCLAUTO . The results obtained from the MHCLAUTO show a high correlation to literature data. The study demonstrates the possibility of using the MHCLAUTO as a research tool to better understand the physiological interactions between cardiac implants and human circulation.

  9. Calcium sensitivity and the Frank-Starling mechanism of the heart are increased in titin N2B region-deficient mice.

    PubMed

    Lee, Eun-Jeong; Peng, Jun; Radke, Michael; Gotthardt, Michael; Granzier, Henk L

    2010-09-01

    Previous work suggests that titin-based passive tension is a factor in the Frank-Starling mechanism of the heart, by increasing length-dependent activation (LDA) through an increase in calcium sensitivity at long sarcomere length. We tested this hypothesis in a mouse model (N2B KO model) in which titin-based passive tension is elevated as a result of the excision of the N2B element, one of cardiac titin's spring elements. LDA was assessed by measuring the active tension-pCa (-log[Ca(2+)]) relationship at sarcomere length (SLs) of 1.95, 2.10, and 2.30 microm in WT and N2B KO skinned myocardium. LDA was positively correlated with titin-based passive tension due to an increase in calcium sensitivity at the longer SLs in the KO. For example, at pCa 6.0, the KO:WT tension ratio was 1.28+/-0.07 and 1.42+/-0.04 at SLs of 2.1 and 2.3 microm, respectively. There was no difference in protein expression or total phosphorylation of sarcomeric proteins. We also measured the calcium sensitivity after PKA treating the skinned muscle and found that titin-based passive tension was also now correlated with LDA, with a slope that was significantly increased compared to no PKA treatment. Finally, we performed isolated heart experiments and measured the Frank-Starling relation (slope of developed wall stress-LV volume relation) as well as diastolic stiffness (slope of diastolic wall stress-volume relation). The FSM was more pronounced in the N2B KO hearts and the slope of the FSM correlated with diastolic stiffness. These findings support that titin-based passive tension triggers an increase in calcium sensitivity at long sarcomere length, thereby playing an important role in the Frank-Starling mechanism of the heart.

  10. Regulatory mechanism of length-dependent activation in skinned porcine ventricular muscle: role of thin filament cooperative activation in the Frank-Starling relation.

    PubMed

    Terui, Takako; Shimamoto, Yuta; Yamane, Mitsunori; Kobirumaki, Fuyu; Ohtsuki, Iwao; Ishiwata, Shin'ichi; Kurihara, Satoshi; Fukuda, Norio

    2010-10-01

    Cardiac sarcomeres produce greater active force in response to stretch, forming the basis of the Frank-Starling mechanism of the heart. The purpose of this study was to provide the systematic understanding of length-dependent activation by investigating experimentally and mathematically how the thin filament "on-off" switching mechanism is involved in its regulation. Porcine left ventricular muscles were skinned, and force measurements were performed at short (1.9 µm) and long (2.3 µm) sarcomere lengths. We found that 3 mM MgADP increased Ca(2+) sensitivity of force and the rate of rise of active force, consistent with the increase in thin filament cooperative activation. MgADP attenuated length-dependent activation with and without thin filament reconstitution with the fast skeletal troponin complex (sTn). Conversely, 20 mM of inorganic phosphate (Pi) decreased Ca(2+) sensitivity of force and the rate of rise of active force, consistent with the decrease in thin filament cooperative activation. Pi enhanced length-dependent activation with and without sTn reconstitution. Linear regression analysis revealed that the magnitude of length-dependent activation was inversely correlated with the rate of rise of active force. These results were quantitatively simulated by a model that incorporates the Ca(2+)-dependent on-off switching of the thin filament state and interfilament lattice spacing modulation. Our model analysis revealed that the cooperativity of the thin filament on-off switching, but not the Ca(2+)-binding ability, determines the magnitude of the Frank-Starling effect. These findings demonstrate that the Frank-Starling relation is strongly influenced by thin filament cooperative activation.

  11. Regulatory mechanism of length-dependent activation in skinned porcine ventricular muscle: role of thin filament cooperative activation in the Frank-Starling relation

    PubMed Central

    Terui, Takako; Shimamoto, Yuta; Yamane, Mitsunori; Kobirumaki, Fuyu; Ohtsuki, Iwao; Ishiwata, Shin’ichi; Kurihara, Satoshi

    2010-01-01

    Cardiac sarcomeres produce greater active force in response to stretch, forming the basis of the Frank-Starling mechanism of the heart. The purpose of this study was to provide the systematic understanding of length-dependent activation by investigating experimentally and mathematically how the thin filament “on–off” switching mechanism is involved in its regulation. Porcine left ventricular muscles were skinned, and force measurements were performed at short (1.9 µm) and long (2.3 µm) sarcomere lengths. We found that 3 mM MgADP increased Ca2+ sensitivity of force and the rate of rise of active force, consistent with the increase in thin filament cooperative activation. MgADP attenuated length-dependent activation with and without thin filament reconstitution with the fast skeletal troponin complex (sTn). Conversely, 20 mM of inorganic phosphate (Pi) decreased Ca2+ sensitivity of force and the rate of rise of active force, consistent with the decrease in thin filament cooperative activation. Pi enhanced length-dependent activation with and without sTn reconstitution. Linear regression analysis revealed that the magnitude of length-dependent activation was inversely correlated with the rate of rise of active force. These results were quantitatively simulated by a model that incorporates the Ca2+-dependent on–off switching of the thin filament state and interfilament lattice spacing modulation. Our model analysis revealed that the cooperativity of the thin filament on–off switching, but not the Ca2+-binding ability, determines the magnitude of the Frank-Starling effect. These findings demonstrate that the Frank-Starling relation is strongly influenced by thin filament cooperative activation. PMID:20876361

  12. Calcium sensitivity and the Frank-Starling mechanism of the heart are increased in titin N2B region deficient mice

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Eun-Jeong; Peng, Jun; Radke, Michael; Gotthardt, Michael; Granzier, Henk L

    2010-01-01

    Previous work suggests that titin-based passive tension is a factor in the Frank-Starling mechanism of the heart, by increasing length-dependent activation (LDA) through an increase in calcium sensitivity at long sarcomere length. We tested this hypothesis in a mouse model (N2B KO model) in which titin-based passive tension is elevated as a result of the excision of the N2B element, one of cardiac titin’s spring elements. LDA was assessed by measuring the active tension-pCa (−log[Ca2+]) relationship at sarcomere length (SLs) of 1.95, 2.10 and 2.30 µm in WT and N2B KO skinned myocardium. LDA was positively correlated with titin-based passive tension, due to an increase in calcium sensitivity at the longer SLs in the KO. For example, at pCa 6.0 the KO:WT tension ratio was 1.28 ± 0.07 and 1.42 ± 0.04 at SLs of 2.1 and 2.3 µm, respectively. There was no difference in protein expression or phosphorylation of sarcomeric proteins. We also measured the calcium sensitivity after PKA treating the skinned muscle and found that titin-based passive tension was also now correlated with LDA, with a slope that was significantly increased compared to no PKA treatment. Finally, we performed isolated heart experiments and measured the Frank-Starling relation (slope of developed wall stress-LV volume relation) as well as diastolic stiffness (slope of diastolic wall stress – volume relation). The FSM was more pronounced in the N2B KO hearts and the slope of the FSM correlated with diastolic stiffness. These findings support that titin-based passive tension triggers an increase in calcium sensitivity at long sarcomere length, thereby playing an important role in the Frank-Starling mechanism of the heart. PMID:20507834

  13. Retinal Ganglion Cell Topography of Five Species of Ground-Foraging Birds

    PubMed Central

    Dolan, Tracy; Fernández-Juricic, Esteban

    2010-01-01

    Birds that forage on the ground have been studied extensively in relation to behavioral trade-offs between foraging and scanning for predators; however, we know little about the topography of their retinas, which can influence how they gather visual information. We characterized the density of retinal ganglion cells across the retina and estimated visual acuity of four Passeriformes (European starling Sturnus vulgaris, brown-headed cowbird Molothrus ater, house sparrow Passer domesticus, house finch Carpodacus mexicanus) and one Columbiforme (mourning dove Zenaida macroura) that forage on the ground. We used cresyl violet to stain retinal ganglion cells and estimated visual acuity based on cell density and eye size. All species contained a single area centralis, where cell densities were >20,000 cells/mm2. The proportion of the retina that fell in each of five cell density ranges varied between species. European starlings and house finches had the largest area of high cell density, mourning doves had the smallest. The largest proportion of the retina (>35%) of brown-headed cowbird and house sparrow was in the second-lowest cell density range. Considering the 25th percentile of highest cell densities, house finches and European starlings showed the highest cell densities and mourning doves the lowest. Estimated visual acuity increased from house finch, house sparrow, brown-headed cowbird, European starling to mourning dove, and was associated with both retinal area and cell density. Our findings suggest that these ground foragers do not have highly specialized retinas in relation to other types of foragers (e.g. tree foragers), probably because foraging on seeds and insects from the ground is not as visually demanding; however, the studied species showed variability in retinal topography that may be related to foraging techniques, eye size constraints, and size of the area centralis. PMID:20516656

  14. Effect of volume loading on the Frank–Starling relation during reductions in central blood volume in heat-stressed humans

    PubMed Central

    Bundgaard-Nielsen, M; Wilson, T E; Seifert, T; Secher, N H; Crandall, C G

    2010-01-01

    During reductions in central blood volume while heat stressed, a greater decrease in stroke volume (SV) for a similar decrease in ventricular filling pressure, compared to normothermia, suggests that the heart is operating on a steeper portion of a Frank–Starling curve. If so, volume loading of heat-stressed individuals would shift the operating point to a flatter portion of the heat stress Frank–Starling curve thereby attenuating the reduction in SV during subsequent decreases in central blood volume. To investigate this hypothesis, right heart catheterization was performed in eight males from whom pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP), central venous pressure and SV (via thermodilution) were obtained while central blood volume was reduced via lower-body negative pressure (LBNP) during normothermia, whole-body heating (increase in blood temperature ∼1°C), and during whole-body heating after intravascular volume expansion. Volume expansion was accomplished by administration of a combination of a synthetic colloid (HES 130/0.4, Voluven) and saline. Before LBNP, SV was not affected by heating (122 ± 30 ml; mean ±s.d.) compared to normothermia (110 ± 20 ml; P= 0.06). However, subsequent volume loading increased SV to 143 ± 29 ml (P= 0.003). LBNP provoked a larger decrease in SV relative to the decrease in PCWP during heating (8.6 ± 1.9 ml mmHg−1) compared to normothermia (4.5 ± 3.0 ml mmHg−1, P= 0.02). After volume loading while heat stressed, the reduction in the SV to PCWP ratio during LBNP was comparable to that observed during normothermia (4.8 ± 2.3 ml mmHg−1; P= 0.78). These data support the hypothesis that a Frank–Starling mechanism contributes to compromised blood pressure control during simulated haemorrhage in heat-stressed individuals, and extend those findings by showing that volume infusion corrects this deficit by shifting the operating point to a flatter portion of the heat stress Frank–Starling curve. PMID:20603336

  15. Effect of volume loading on the Frank-Starling relation during reductions in central blood volume in heat-stressed humans.

    PubMed

    Bundgaard-Nielsen, M; Wilson, T E; Seifert, T; Secher, N H; Crandall, C G

    2010-09-01

    During reductions in central blood volume while heat stressed, a greater decrease in stroke volume (SV) for a similar decrease in ventricular filling pressure, compared to normothermia, suggests that the heart is operating on a steeper portion of a Frank-Starling curve. If so, volume loading of heat-stressed individuals would shift the operating point to a flatter portion of the heat stress Frank-Starling curve thereby attenuating the reduction in SV during subsequent decreases in central blood volume. To investigate this hypothesis, right heart catheterization was performed in eight males from whom pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP), central venous pressure and SV (via thermodilution) were obtained while central blood volume was reduced via lower-body negative pressure (LBNP) during normothermia, whole-body heating (increase in blood temperature 1 degrees C), and during whole-body heating after intravascular volume expansion. Volume expansion was accomplished by administration of a combination of a synthetic colloid (HES 130/0.4, Voluven) and saline. Before LBNP, SV was not affected by heating (122 +/- 30 ml; mean +/- s.d.) compared to normothermia (110 +/- 20 ml; P = 0.06). However, subsequent volume loading increased SV to 143 +/- 29 ml (P = 0.003). LBNP provoked a larger decrease in SV relative to the decrease in PCWP during heating (8.6 +/- 1.9 ml mmHg(1)) compared to normothermia (4.5 +/- 3.0 ml mmHg(1), P = 0.02). After volume loading while heat stressed, the reduction in the SV to PCWP ratio during LBNP was comparable to that observed during normothermia (4.8 +/- 2.3 ml mmHg(1); P = 0.78). These data support the hypothesis that a Frank-Starling mechanism contributes to compromised blood pressure control during simulated haemorrhage in heat-stressed individuals, and extend those findings by showing that volume infusion corrects this deficit by shifting the operating point to a flatter portion of the heat stress Frank-Starling curve.

  16. Linearity of the Frank-Starling relationship in the intact heart: the concept of preload recruitable stroke work.

    PubMed

    Glower, D D; Spratt, J A; Snow, N D; Kabas, J S; Davis, J W; Olsen, C O; Tyson, G S; Sabiston, D C; Rankin, J S

    1985-05-01

    The Frank-Starling relationship generally has been examined with filling pressure as the index of preload, resulting in a curvilinear function that plateaus at higher filling pressures. To investigate this relationship further in the intact heart, 32 dogs were chronically instrumented with left ventricular and pleural micromanometers and with regional (10 dogs) or global (22 dogs) ultrasonic dimension transducers. Seven days after implantation, left ventricular pressure and regional or global dimensions were recorded in the conscious state. After autonomic blockade, preload was varied by vena caval occlusion. Myocardial function was assessed by calculating regional or global stroke work, and preload was measured as end-diastolic segment length or chamber volume. The relationship between stroke work and either end-diastolic segment length or chamber volume (termed the preload recruitable stroke work relationship) was highly linear in every study (mean r = .97) and could be quantified by a slope (MW) and x-intercept (LW). Previous nonlinear relationships between stroke work and filling pressure seemed to reflect the exponential diastolic pressure-volume curve. Over the physiologic range of systolic arterial pressures produced by infusion of nitroprusside or phenylephrine, no significant change was observed in MW or LW in the normal dog. Calcium infusion increased both regional and global MW by 71 +/- 19% and 65 +/- 9%, respectively (p less than .02), with no significant change in LW. To normalize for ventricular geometry and heart rate, stroke work was computed from circumferential stress-strain data and converted to myocardial power output, which was then plotted against end-diastolic circumferential strain. This relationship also was highly linear, and the slope, Mmp (mW/cm3 of myocardium), is proposed as a potential measure of intrinsic myocardial performance independent of loading, geometry, and heart rate.

  17. Interpreting population estimates of birds following pesticide applications--behavior of male starlings exposed to an organophosphate pesticide

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grue, C.E.; Shipley, B.J.; Ralph, C. John; Scott, J. Michael

    1981-01-01

    We determined activity budgets for 10 pairs of captive male Starlings between 7 May and 18 July 1980. Our objective was to quantify changes in behavior after exposure to an organophosphate (OP) pesticide and to assess the impact of changes in behavior on the interpretation of population estimates of birds following pesticide applications. We observed each pair of males for an hour at 07:30 and 09:30 for four days and classified their behavior into one of four categories: flying, perching, foraging, or singing and displaying. At 06:30 on day 2, one male received a single oral dose of 2.5 mg dicrotophos (3-hydroxy-N, N-dimethyl-cis-crotonamide dimethyl phosphate) per kg of body weight; the other male received an equivalent exposure of corn oil. Changes in the activity budgets of OP-dosed and control males were compared using t-tests. Activity of OP-dosed males was significantly (P _ 0.05) reduced within the 2-4 h following exposure. OP-dosed males spent more time perching (46.1%) than controls and less time flying (-96.6%), foraging (-28.5%), and singing and displaying (-49.5%). The frequency of perching (-75.3%), flying (-83.8%), foraging (-54.1%), and singing and displaying (- 59.2%) was significantly reduced. Activity in OP-dosed males returned to normal by 26-28 h posttreatment. Results suggest that movement and vocalization may be significantly reduced in birds exposed to organophosphate and carbamate pesticides. Conventional censusing techniques and population estimating procedures may, therefore, be inadequate to assess changes in bird populations after pesticide applications because of the difficulty in separating decreases in density due to mortality or emigration from reductions in activity.

  18. The role of the Frank-Starling law in the transduction of cellular work to whole organ pump function: a computational modeling analysis.

    PubMed

    Niederer, Steven A; Smith, Nicolas P

    2009-04-01

    We have developed a multi-scale biophysical electromechanics model of the rat left ventricle at room temperature. This model has been applied to investigate the relative roles of cellular scale length dependent regulators of tension generation on the transduction of work from the cell to whole organ pump function. Specifically, the role of the length dependent Ca(2+) sensitivity of tension (Ca(50)), filament overlap tension dependence, velocity dependence of tension, and tension dependent binding of Ca(2+) to Troponin C on metrics of efficient transduction of work and stress and strain homogeneity were predicted by performing simulations in the absence of each of these feedback mechanisms. The length dependent Ca(50) and the filament overlap, which make up the Frank-Starling Law, were found to be the two dominant regulators of the efficient transduction of work. Analyzing the fiber velocity field in the absence of the Frank-Starling mechanisms showed that the decreased efficiency in the transduction of work in the absence of filament overlap effects was caused by increased post systolic shortening, whereas the decreased efficiency in the absence of length dependent Ca(50) was caused by an inversion in the regional distribution of strain.

  19. The Role of the Frank–Starling Law in the Transduction of Cellular Work to Whole Organ Pump Function: A Computational Modeling Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Niederer, Steven A.; Smith, Nicolas P.

    2009-01-01

    We have developed a multi-scale biophysical electromechanics model of the rat left ventricle at room temperature. This model has been applied to investigate the relative roles of cellular scale length dependent regulators of tension generation on the transduction of work from the cell to whole organ pump function. Specifically, the role of the length dependent Ca2+ sensitivity of tension (Ca50), filament overlap tension dependence, velocity dependence of tension, and tension dependent binding of Ca2+ to Troponin C on metrics of efficient transduction of work and stress and strain homogeneity were predicted by performing simulations in the absence of each of these feedback mechanisms. The length dependent Ca50 and the filament overlap, which make up the Frank-Starling Law, were found to be the two dominant regulators of the efficient transduction of work. Analyzing the fiber velocity field in the absence of the Frank-Starling mechanisms showed that the decreased efficiency in the transduction of work in the absence of filament overlap effects was caused by increased post systolic shortening, whereas the decreased efficiency in the absence of length dependent Ca50 was caused by an inversion in the regional distribution of strain. PMID:19390615

  20. Dark nests and egg colour in birds: a possible functional role of ultraviolet reflectance in egg detectability

    PubMed Central

    Avilés, Jesús M; Soler, Juan J; Pérez-Contreras, Tomás

    2006-01-01

    Owing to the conspicuousness of ultraviolet (UV) colour in dark environments, natural selection might have selected UV egg coloration because it would enhance egg detectability by parents in murky nests. Here, we tested this hypothesis by using comparative and experimental approaches. First, we studied variation in egg coloration of 98 species of European passerines measured using UV–visible reflectance spectrometry (300–700 nm) in relation to nesting habits. Analyses based on raw data and controlling for phylogenetic distances both at the species and the family levels revealed that hole-nester species produced eggs with higher UV reflectance than those nesting in open habitats. The experimental approach consisted of the manipulation of UV reflectance of the experimental eggs introduced outside the nest-cup of the hole-nester spotless starling Sturnus unicolor and the study of the retrieval of these eggs. Ultraviolet-reflecting eggs (controls) were more frequently retrieved to the nest-cup than non-reflecting (–UV) eggs. These results were not due to ‘–UV’ eggs being recognized by starlings as parasitic because when a parasitic egg is detected, starlings removed it from the nest-box. Therefore, these results are consistent with the hypothesis that UV egg colours are designed to provide highly detectable targets for parent birds in dark nest environments. PMID:17015364

  1. Brain cholinesterase activity of nestling great egrets, snowy egrets and black-crowned night-herons.

    PubMed

    Custer, T W; Ohlendorf, H M

    1989-07-01

    inhibition of brain cholinesterase (ChE) activity in birds is often used to diagnose exposure or death from organophosphorus or carbamate pesticides. Brain ChE activity in the young of altricial species increases with age; however, this relationship has only been demonstrated in the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris). Brain ChE activity of nestling great egrets (Casmerodius albus) collected from a colony in Texas (USA) increased significantly with age and did not differ among individuals from different nests. Brain ChE activity of nestling snowy egrets (Egretta thula) and black-crowned night-herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) collected in one colony each from Rhode Island, Texas and California (USA) also increased significantly with age and did not differ among individuals from different nests or colonies. This study further demonstrates that age must be considered when evaluating exposure of nestling altricial birds to ChE inhibitors.

  2. Why birdsong is sometimes like music.

    PubMed

    Baptista, Luis F; Keister, Robin A

    2005-01-01

    The sounds and songs of birds have inspired the musical compositions of numerous cultures throughout the globe. This article examines a variety of compositions from Western music that feature birdsong and explores the concept of birds as both vocalists and instrumentalists. The concept of birds as composers is then developed-how they use rhythmic variations, pitch relationships, and combinations of notes similar to those found in music-and the theory that birds create variation in their songs partially to avoid monotony is considered. Various families of birds that borrow sounds from other species are surveyed, in particular the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris), which may have inspired a Mozart composition. We conclude that the fusion of avian bioacoustics and the study of birdsong in music may function as a conservation tool, raising the awareness of humans and stimulating future generations to save for posterity what remains of the natural world.

  3. Investigation of nitrogen transformations in a southern California constructed wastewater treatment wetland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sartoris, J.J.; Thullen, J.S.; Barber, L.B.; Salas, D.E.

    2000-01-01

    We tested the hypotheses that mass at fledging and fledge date within the breeding season affect postfledging survival in European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Nestlings were weighed on day 18 after hatch and tagged with individually identifiable patagial tags. Fledge date was recorded. Marked fledglings were resighted during weekly two-day intensive observation periods for 9 weeks postfledging. Post-fledging survival and sighting probabilities were estimated for each of four groups (early or late fledging by heavy or light fledging mass). Body mass was related to post-fledging survival for birds that fledged early. Results were not clear-cut for relative fledge date, although there was weak evidence that this also influenced survival. Highest survival probability estimates occurred in the EARLY-HEAVY group, while the lowest survival estimate occurred in the LATE-LIGHT group. Sighting probabilities differed significantly among groups, emphasizing the need to estimate and compare survival using models which explicitly incorporate sighting probabilities.

  4. Brain cholinesterase activity of nestling great egrets snowy egrets and black-crowned night-herons

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, T.W.; Ohlendorf, H.M.

    1989-01-01

    Inhibition of brain cholinesterase (ChE) activity in birds is often used to diagnose exposure or death from organophosphorus or carbamate pesticides. Brain ChE activity in the young of altricial species increases with age; however, this relationship has only been demonstrated in the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris). Brain ChE activity of nestling great egrets (Casmerodius albus) collected from a colony in Texas (USA) increased significantly with age and did not differ among individuals from different nests. Brain ChE activity of nestling snowy egrets (Egretta thula) and black-crowned night-herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) collected in one colony each from Rhode Island, Texas and California (USA) also increased significantly with age and did not differ among individuals from different nests or colonies. This study further demonstrates that age must be considered when evaluating exposure of nestling altricial birds to ChE inhibitors.

  5. Brain cholinesterase activity of nestling great egrets, snowy egrets, and black-crowned night-herons

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, T.W.; Ohlendorf, H.M.

    1989-01-01

    Inhibition of brain cholinesterase (ChE) activity in birds is often used to diagnose exposure or death from organophosphorus or carbmate pesticides. Brain ChE activity in the young of altricial species increase with age; however, this relationship has only been demonstrated in the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris). Brain ChE activity of nestling great egrets (Casmerodius albus) collected from a colony in Texas increased significantly with age and did not differ among individuals from different nests. Brain ChE activity of nestling snowy egrets (Egretta thula) and black-crowned night -herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) collected in one colony each from Rhode Island, Texas, and California also increased significantly with age and did not differ among individuals from different nests or colonies. This study further demonstrates that age must be considered when evaluating exposure of nestling altricial birds to ChE inhibitors.

  6. Titin strain contributes to the Frank–Starling law of the heart by structural rearrangements of both thin- and thick-filament proteins

    PubMed Central

    Ait-Mou, Younss; Hsu, Karen; Farman, Gerrie P.; Kumar, Mohit; Greaser, Marion L.; Irving, Thomas C.; de Tombe, Pieter P.

    2016-01-01

    The Frank–Starling mechanism of the heart is due, in part, to modulation of myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity by sarcomere length (SL) [length-dependent activation (LDA)]. The molecular mechanism(s) that underlie LDA are unknown. Recent evidence has implicated the giant protein titin in this cellular process, possibly by positioning the myosin head closer to actin. To clarify the role of titin strain in LDA, we isolated myocardium from either WT or homozygous mutant (HM) rats that express a giant splice isoform of titin, and subjected the muscles to stretch from 2.0 to 2.4 μm of SL. Upon stretch, HM compared with WT muscles displayed reduced passive force, twitch force, and myofilament LDA. Time-resolved small-angle X-ray diffraction measurements of WT twitching muscles during diastole revealed stretch-induced increases in the intensity of myosin (M2 and M6) and troponin (Tn3) reflections, as well as a reduction in cross-bridge radial spacing. Independent fluorescent probe analyses in relaxed permeabilized myocytes corroborated these findings. X-ray electron density reconstruction revealed increased mass/ordering in both thick and thin filaments. The SL-dependent changes in structure observed in WT myocardium were absent in HM myocardium. Overall, our results reveal a correlation between titin strain and the Frank–Starling mechanism. The molecular basis underlying this phenomenon appears not to involve interfilament spacing or movement of myosin toward actin but, rather, sarcomere stretch-induced simultaneous structural rearrangements within both thin and thick filaments that correlate with titin strain and myofilament LDA. PMID:26858417

  7. Titin strain contributes to the Frank-Starling law of the heart by structural rearrangements of both thin- and thick-filament proteins.

    PubMed

    Ait-Mou, Younss; Hsu, Karen; Farman, Gerrie P; Kumar, Mohit; Greaser, Marion L; Irving, Thomas C; de Tombe, Pieter P

    2016-02-23

    The Frank-Starling mechanism of the heart is due, in part, to modulation of myofilament Ca(2+) sensitivity by sarcomere length (SL) [length-dependent activation (LDA)]. The molecular mechanism(s) that underlie LDA are unknown. Recent evidence has implicated the giant protein titin in this cellular process, possibly by positioning the myosin head closer to actin. To clarify the role of titin strain in LDA, we isolated myocardium from either WT or homozygous mutant (HM) rats that express a giant splice isoform of titin, and subjected the muscles to stretch from 2.0 to 2.4 μm of SL. Upon stretch, HM compared with WT muscles displayed reduced passive force, twitch force, and myofilament LDA. Time-resolved small-angle X-ray diffraction measurements of WT twitching muscles during diastole revealed stretch-induced increases in the intensity of myosin (M2 and M6) and troponin (Tn3) reflections, as well as a reduction in cross-bridge radial spacing. Independent fluorescent probe analyses in relaxed permeabilized myocytes corroborated these findings. X-ray electron density reconstruction revealed increased mass/ordering in both thick and thin filaments. The SL-dependent changes in structure observed in WT myocardium were absent in HM myocardium. Overall, our results reveal a correlation between titin strain and the Frank-Starling mechanism. The molecular basis underlying this phenomenon appears not to involve interfilament spacing or movement of myosin toward actin but, rather, sarcomere stretch-induced simultaneous structural rearrangements within both thin and thick filaments that correlate with titin strain and myofilament LDA.

  8. Mechanism of the Frank-Starling law--a simulation study with a novel cardiac muscle contraction model that includes titin and troponin I.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Natalie S; Shimayoshi, Takao; Amano, Akira; Matsuda, Tetsuya

    2006-09-01

    A stretch-induced increase of active tension is one of the most important properties of the heart, known as the Frank-Starling law. Although a variation of myofilament Ca(2+) sensitivity with sarcomere length (SL) change was found to be involved, the underlying molecular mechanisms are not fully clarified. Some recent experimental studies indicate that a reduction of the lattice spacing between thin and thick filaments, through the increase of passive tension caused by the sarcomeric protein titin with an increase in SL within the physiological range, promotes formation of force-generating crossbridges (Xbs). However, the mechanism by which the Xb concentration determines the degree of cooperativity for a given SL has so far evaded experimental elucidation. In this simulation study, a novel, rather simple molecular-based cardiac contraction model, appropriate for integration into a ventricular cell model, was designed, being the first model to introduce experimental data on titin-based radial tension to account for the SL-dependent modulation of the interfilament lattice spacing and to include a conformational change of troponin I (TnI). Simulation results for the isometric twitch contraction time course, the length-tension and the force-[Ca(2+)] relationships are comparable to experimental data. A complete potential Frank-Starling mechanism was analyzed by this simulation study. The SL-dependent modulation of the myosin binding rate through titin's passive tension determines the Xb concentration which then alters the degree of positive cooperativity affecting the rate of the TnI conformation change and causing the Hill coefficient to be SL-dependent.

  9. The cross-bridge dynamics is determined by two length-independent kinetics: Implications on muscle economy and Frank-Starling Law.

    PubMed

    Amiad Pavlov, Daria; Landesberg, Amir

    2016-01-01

    The cellular mechanisms underlying the Frank-Starling Law of the heart and the skeletal muscle force-length relationship are not clear. This study tested the effects of sarcomere length (SL) on the average force per cross-bridge and on the rate of cross-bridge cycling in intact rat cardiac trabeculae (n=9). SL was measured by laser diffraction and controlled with a fast servomotor to produce varying initial SLs. Tetanic contractions were induced by addition of cyclopiazonic acid, to maintain a constant activation. Stress decline and redevelopment in response to identical ramp shortenings, starting at various initial SLs, was analyzed. Both stress decline and redevelopment responses revealed two distinct kinetics: a fast and a slower phase. The duration of the rapid phases (4.2 ± 0.1 msec) was SL-independent. The second slower phase depicted a linear dependence of the rate of stress change on the instantaneous stress level. Identical slopes (70.5 ± 1.6 [1/s], p=0.33) were obtained during ramp shortening at all initial SLs, indicating that the force per cross-bridge and cross-bridge cycling kinetics are length-independent. A decrease in the slope at longer SLs was obtained during stress redevelopment, due to internal shortening. The first phase is attributed to rapid changes in the average force per cross-bridge. The second phase is ascribed to both cross-bridge cycling between its strong and weak conformations and to changes in the number of strong cross-bridges. Cross-bridge cycling kinetics and muscle economy are length-independent and the Frank-Starling Law cannot be attributed to changes in the force per cross-bridge or in the single cross-bridge cycling rates.

  10. Titin strain contributes to the Frank–Starling law of the heart by structural rearrangements of both thin- and thick-filament proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Ait-Mou, Younss; Hsu, Karen; Farman, Gerrie P.; Kumar, Mohit; Greaser, Marion L.; Irving, Thomas C.; de Tombe, Pieter P.

    2016-02-08

    The Frank–Starling mechanism of the heart is due, in part, to modulation of myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity by sarcomere length (SL) [length-dependent activation (LDA)]. The molecular mechanism(s) that underlie LDA are unknown. Recent evidence has implicated the giant protein titin in this cellular process, possibly by positioning the myosin head closer to actin. To clarify the role of titin strain in LDA, we isolated myocardium from either WT or homozygous mutant (HM) rats that express a giant splice isoform of titin, and subjected the muscles to stretch from 2.0 to 2.4 μm of SL. Upon stretch, HM compared with WT muscles displayed reduced passive force, twitch force, and myofilament LDA. Time-resolved small-angle X-ray diffraction measurements of WT twitching muscles during diastole revealed stretch-induced increases in the intensity of myosin (M2 and M6) and troponin (Tn3) reflections, as well as a reduction in cross-bridge radial spacing. Independent fluorescent probe analyses in relaxed permeabilized myocytes corroborated these findings. X-ray electron density reconstruction revealed increased mass/ordering in both thick and thin filaments. The SL-dependent changes in structure observed in WT myocardium were absent in HM myocardium. Overall, our results reveal a correlation between titin strain and the Frank–Starling mechanism. The molecular basis underlying this phenomenon appears not to involve interfilament spacing or movement of myosin toward actin but, rather, sarcomere stretch-induced simultaneous structural rearrangements within both thin and thick filaments that correlate with titin strain and myofilament LDA.

  11. Titin strain contributes to the Frank–Starling law of the heart by structural rearrangements of both thin- and thick-filament proteins

    DOE PAGES

    Ait-Mou, Younss; Hsu, Karen; Farman, Gerrie P.; ...

    2016-02-08

    The Frank–Starling mechanism of the heart is due, in part, to modulation of myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity by sarcomere length (SL) [length-dependent activation (LDA)]. The molecular mechanism(s) that underlie LDA are unknown. Recent evidence has implicated the giant protein titin in this cellular process, possibly by positioning the myosin head closer to actin. To clarify the role of titin strain in LDA, we isolated myocardium from either WT or homozygous mutant (HM) rats that express a giant splice isoform of titin, and subjected the muscles to stretch from 2.0 to 2.4 μm of SL. Upon stretch, HM compared with WT musclesmore » displayed reduced passive force, twitch force, and myofilament LDA. Time-resolved small-angle X-ray diffraction measurements of WT twitching muscles during diastole revealed stretch-induced increases in the intensity of myosin (M2 and M6) and troponin (Tn3) reflections, as well as a reduction in cross-bridge radial spacing. Independent fluorescent probe analyses in relaxed permeabilized myocytes corroborated these findings. X-ray electron density reconstruction revealed increased mass/ordering in both thick and thin filaments. The SL-dependent changes in structure observed in WT myocardium were absent in HM myocardium. Overall, our results reveal a correlation between titin strain and the Frank–Starling mechanism. The molecular basis underlying this phenomenon appears not to involve interfilament spacing or movement of myosin toward actin but, rather, sarcomere stretch-induced simultaneous structural rearrangements within both thin and thick filaments that correlate with titin strain and myofilament LDA.« less

  12. Titin strain contributes to the Frank-Starling law of the heart by structural rearrangements of both thin- and thick-filament proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Ait-Mou, Younss; Hsu, Karen; Farman, Gerrie P.; Kumar, Mohit; Greaser, Marion L.; Irving, Thomas C.; de Tombe, Pieter P.

    2016-04-29

    We determined that the Frank–Starling mechanism of the heart is due, in part, to modulation of myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity by sarcomere length (SL) [length-dependent activation (LDA)]. The molecular mechanism(s) that underlie LDA are unknown. Recent evidence has implicated the giant protein titin in this cellular process, possibly by positioning the myosin head closer to actin. To clarify the role of titin strain in LDA, we isolated myocardium from either WT or homozygous mutant (HM) rats that express a giant splice isoform of titin, and subjected the muscles to stretch from 2.0 to 2.4 μm of SL. Upon stretch, HM compared with WT muscles displayed reduced passive force, twitch force, and myofilament LDA. Time-resolved small-angle X-ray diffraction measurements of WT twitching muscles during diastole revealed stretch-induced increases in the intensity of myosin (M2 and M6) and troponin (Tn3) reflections, as well as a reduction in cross-bridge radial spacing. Independent fluorescent probe analyses in relaxed permeabilized myocytes corroborated these findings. X-ray electron density reconstruction revealed increased mass/ordering in both thick and thin filaments. The SL-dependent changes in structure observed in WT myocardium were absent in HM myocardium. Our results reveal a correlation between titin strain and the Frank–Starling mechanism. The molecular basis underlying this phenomenon appears not to involve interfilament spacing or movement of myosin toward actin but, rather, sarcomere stretch-induced simultaneous structural rearrangements within both thin and thick filaments that correlate with titin strain and myofilament LDA.

  13. The seroprevalence of avipoxvirus and its association with avian malaria (Plasmodium spp.) infection in introduced passerine birds in the southern regions of the North Island of New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Ha, H J; Banda, M; Alley, M R; Howe, L; Gartrell, B D

    2013-03-01

    Blood samples were collected from 65 free-ranging birds from six species in the southern North Island of New Zealand. Sera from the birds were tested for the presence of avipoxvirus (APV) antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and blood cells from 55 birds were also tested for Plasmodium spp. by PCR. Forty-five birds (69.2%) tested seropositive to APV. Song thrushes (Turdus philomelos) presented the highest seroprevalence at 100% (4/4), followed by Eurasian blackbirds (Turdus merula) (96.86%, 31/32), chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs) (54.55%, 6/11), starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) (25%, 3/12), greenfinches (Carduelis chloris) (25%, 1/4), and European goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis) (0%, 0/2). Plasmodium spp. DNA was detected in 15/55 birds (27.3%), including 11 Eurasian blackbirds, one song thrush, and three starlings. Eight Eurasian blackbird isolates (73%) grouped within the subgenus Novyella. Two Eurasian blackbird isolates and the song thrush isolate clustered within a different group with previously reported lineages LINN1 and AFTRU5. In addition, all three starling isolates clustered within the well-characterized lineage Plasmodium (Huffia) elongatum GRW06. All Plasmodium-positive Eurasian blackbirds and the song thrush were seropositive to APV, whereas only 67% of Plasmodium-positive starlings showed evidence of previous exposure to APV. A significant relationship between birds seropositive to APV and birds infected by Plasmodium spp. was observed (chi2 = 5.69, df = 1, P = 0.0086). To the authors' knowledge this is the first report describing the seroprevalence of APV and its association with Plasmodium spp. infection in introduced bird species in New Zealand.

  14. Seasonal variation in diagnostic enzymes and biochemical constituents of captive northern bobwhites and passerines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hill, E.F.; Murray, H.C.

    1987-01-01

    1. A variety of biochemical measurements were taken periodically in captive northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus L.), European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris L.), red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus L.) and common grackles (Quiscalus quiscula L.) to determine whether baseline values remain sufficiently stable throughout the year for general clinical use in the absence of concurrent control specimens. 2. Variables included whole blood hematocrit and hemoglobin, plasma lactate dehydrogenase, alpha-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, creatine kinase, butyrylcholinesterase, alkaline phosphatase, glucose, albumin, total protein, creatinine, urea nitrogen, uric acid, cholesterol, and triglycerides, and brain acetylcholinesterase. Butyryl- and acetylcholinesterase were included because of their specific uses in toxicology. 3. Significant seasonal differences were detected for each of the variables except brain acetylcholinesterase in at least one of the species. Significant species differences were detected during at least one season for all of the variables measured. 4. All species were maintained outdoors, but only northern bobwhites came into reproductive condition and showed sex-differences in the clinical variables during their normal breeding season. 5. It was concluded that reference values for the 18 clinical variables measured could be calculated from our data for adult specimens of the species studied, and that results for one species cannot be extrapolated with certainty to any other species. 6. Estimated normal bounds for each of the 18 variables measured by commonly used clinical procedures are presented for reproductively quiescent northern bobwhites, European starlings, red-winged blackbirds, and common grackles.

  15. Acute oral toxicity of sodium cyanide in birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wiemeyer, Stanley N.; Hill, E.F.; Carpenter, J.W.; Krynitsky, A.J.

    1986-01-01

    Sensitivities of six avian species, black vulture (Coragyps atratus), American kestrel (Falco sparverius), Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica), domestic chicken (Gallus domesticus), eastern screech-owl (Otus asio), and European starling (Sturnus vulgaris), to acute poisoning by sodium cyanide (NaCN) were compared by single dose LD50's. Three species, domestic chickens, black vultures, and turkey vultures (Cathartes aura), were dosed with NaCN to determine cyanide residues in those that died and also in survivors, in addition to postmortem fate. Three flesh-eating species (black vulture, American kestrel, and eastern screech-owl; LD50's 4.0-8.6 mg/kg) were more sensitive to NaCN than three species (Japanese quail, domestic chicken, and European starling; LD50's 9.4-21 mg/kg) that fed predominantly on plant material. Elevated concentrations of cyanide were found in the blood of birds that died of cyanide poisoning; however, concentrations in birds that died overlapped those in survivors. Blood was superior to liver as the tissue of choice for detecting cyanide exposure. No gross pathological changes related to dosing were observed at necropsy.

  16. Revisiting Frank–Starling: regulatory light chain phosphorylation alters the rate of force redevelopment (k tr) in a length‐dependent fashion

    PubMed Central

    West, Timothy G.; Ferenczi, Michael A.

    2016-01-01

    Key points Regulatory light chain (RLC) phosphorylation has been shown to alter the ability of muscle to produce force and power during shortening and to alter the rate of force redevelopment (k tr) at submaximal [Ca2+].Increasing RLC phosphorylation ∼50% from the in vivo level in maximally [Ca2+]‐activated cardiac trabecula accelerates k tr.Decreasing RLC phosphorylation to ∼70% of the in vivo control level slows k tr and reduces force generation. k tr is dependent on sarcomere length in the physiological range 1.85–1.94 μm and RLC phosphorylation modulates this response.We demonstrate that Frank–Starling is evident at maximal [Ca2+] activation and therefore does not necessarily require length‐dependent change in [Ca2+]‐sensitivity of thin filament activation.The stretch response is modulated by changes in RLC phosphorylation, pinpointing RLC phosphorylation as a modulator of the Frank–Starling law in the heart.These data provide an explanation for slowed systolic function in the intact heart in response to RLC phosphorylation reduction. Abstract Force and power in cardiac muscle have a known dependence on phosphorylation of the myosin‐associated regulatory light chain (RLC). We explore the effect of RLC phosphorylation on the ability of cardiac preparations to redevelop force (k tr) in maximally activating [Ca2+]. Activation was achieved by rapidly increasing the temperature (temperature‐jump of 0.5–20ºC) of permeabilized trabeculae over a physiological range of sarcomere lengths (1.85–1.94 μm). The trabeculae were subjected to shortening ramps over a range of velocities and the extent of RLC phosphorylation was varied. The latter was achieved using an RLC‐exchange technique, which avoids changes in the phosphorylation level of other proteins. The results show that increasing RLC phosphorylation by 50% accelerates k tr by ∼50%, irrespective of the sarcomere length, whereas decreasing phosphorylation by 30% slows k tr by ∼50

  17. [Biobanks European infrastructure].

    PubMed

    Kinkorová, Judita; Topolčan, Ondřej

    2016-01-01

    Biobanks are structured repositories of human tissue samples connected with specific information. They became an integral part of personalized medicine in the new millennium. At the European research area biobanks are isolated not well coordinated and connected to the network. European commission supports European infrastructure BBMRI-ERIC (Biobanks and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure European Research Infrastructure Consortium), consortium of 54 members with more than 225 associated organizations, largely biobanks from over 30 countries. The aim is to support biomedical research using stored samples. Czech Republic is a member of the consortium as a national node BBMRI_CZ, consisting of five partners.

  18. Synthesis of the Results of the Field Verification Program Wetland Disposal Alternative

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-02-01

    Phaseolus vulgaris L.)," Environmental ioxicoiogy ana 1-hemistry, Vol 5, pp 659-665. Eisler, R. 1981. Trace Metals in Marine Organisms, Pergamon Press, New...sparrow (weaver finch) Sturnus vulgaris -- Starling Cyanocitta cristata--Bluejay Mimus polyglottos--Mockingbird Corvus brachyrhynchos--Common crow

  19. Effects of crustacean cardioactive peptide on the hearts of two Orthopteran insects, and the demonstration of a Frank-Starling-like effect.

    PubMed

    da Silva, Sara R; da Silva, Rosa; Lange, Angela B

    2011-04-01

    Like vertebrate cardiovascular systems, the dorsal vessel of the Orthopteran insects Baculum extradentatum and Locusta migratoria is under myogenic as well as neural control, through the action of neurotransmitters, neuromodulators and neurohormones. It was previously shown that the excitatory neuropeptide, crustacean cardioactive peptide (CCAP), triggers an increase in heart rate in B. extradentatum, and CCAP-like immunoreactivity is present in the innervation to the heart in many insects. In the present study, CCAP resulted in a dose-dependent increase in heart rate and hemolymph flow velocity, or cardiac output, in B. extradentatum. In contrast, CCAP led to a significant increase in stroke volume and cardiac output in L. migratoria without modifying heart rate or aortic contraction frequency. Hemolymph flow through the excurrent ostia of L. migratoria, small openings or valves on the posterior aorta and anterior heart, was inhibited with increasing concentrations of CCAP, with complete inhibition seen at 10(-7) M CCAP. In the locust, CCAP increases the volume of hemolymph in the dorsal vessel by the synchronous closing of the excurrent ostia, resulting in more forceful heart contractions and increased stroke volume and cardiac output, without modifying heart rate through a physiological mechanism analogous to the Frank-Starling mechanism in vertebrates. Therefore, crustacean cardioactive peptide alters the contractile properties of cardiac tissue in both B. extradentatum and L. migratoria, allowing for an increase in blood flow and circulation.

  20. European auxiliary propulsion, 1972

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holcomb, L. B.

    1972-01-01

    The chemical and electric auxiliary propulsion technology of the United Kingdom, France, and West Germany is discussed in detail, and the propulsion technology achievements of Italy, India, Japan, and Russia are reviewed. A comparison is presented of Shell 405 catalyst and a European spontaneous hydrazine catalyst called CNESRO I. Finally, conclusions are drawn regarding future trends in European auxiliary propulsion technology development.

  1. Candidate predators for biological control of the poultry red mite Dermanyssus gallinae.

    PubMed

    Lesna, Izabela; Wolfs, Peter; Faraji, Farid; Roy, Lise; Komdeur, Jan; Sabelis, Maurice W

    2009-06-01

    The poultry red mite, Dermanyssus gallinae, is currently a significant pest in the poultry industry in Europe. Biological control by the introduction of predatory mites is one of the various options for controlling poultry red mites. Here, we present the first results of an attempt to identify potential predators by surveying the mite fauna of European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) nests, by assessing their ability to feed on poultry red mites and by testing for their inability to extract blood from bird hosts, i.e., newly hatched, young starlings and chickens. Two genuine predators of poultry red mites are identified: Hypoaspis aculeifer and Androlaelaps casalis. A review of the literature shows that some authors suspected the latter species to parasitize on the blood of birds and mammals, but they did not provide experimental evidence for these feeding habits and/or overlooked published evidence showing the reverse. We advocate careful analysis of the trophic structure of arthropods inhabiting bird nests as a basis for identifying candidate predators for control of poultry red mites.

  2. The European experience.

    PubMed

    Roels, Leo; Rahmel, Axel

    2011-04-01

    This mini-review on European experiences with tackling the problem of organ shortage for transplantation was based on a literature review of predominantly European publications dealing with the issue of organ donation from deceased donors. The authors tried to identify the most significant factors that have demonstrated to impact on donation rates from deceased donors and subsequent transplant successes. These factors include legislative measures (national laws and European Directives), optimization of the donation process, use of expanded criteria donors, innovative preservation and surgical techniques, organizational efforts, and improved allocation algorithms.

  3. The European Spallation Source

    SciTech Connect

    Lindroos M.; Calaga R.; Bousson S.; Danared H.; Devanz G. et al

    2011-04-20

    In 2003 the joint European effort to design a European Spallation Source (ESS) resulted in a set of reports, and in May 2009 Lund was agreed to be the ESS site. The ESS Scandinavia office has since then worked on setting all the necessary legal and organizational matters in place so that the Design Update and construction can be started in January 2011, in collaboration with European partners. The Design Update phase is expected to end in 2012, to be followed by a construction phase, with first neutrons expected in 2018-2019.

  4. European journals on microbiology.

    PubMed

    Ronda, C; Vázquez, M

    1997-12-01

    A survey on the scientific journals dealing with microbiology published in Europe has been carried out. Eighteen European countries publish microbiological journals with the United Kingdom. Netherlands and Germany leading in number of journals on this specialty. Most of the European journals on microbiology are published bimonthly (27%), and English is the most common language used (54%). Most of these journals (86%) are included in some database, but only 36 (25%) are indexed in the six databases studied. Out of the 146 journals registered, 71 (49%), published in 11 European countries, are included in the 1995 Journal Citation Reports (ISI, Philadelphia).

  5. European PTTI report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cordara, Franco; Grimaldi, Sabrina; Leschiutta, Sigfrido

    1994-01-01

    Time and frequency metrology in Europe presents some peculiar features in its three main components: research on clocks, comparisons and dissemination methods, and dissemination services. Apart from the usual activities of the national metrological laboratories, an increasing number of cooperation between the European countries are promoted inside some European organizations, such as the ECC, EFTA, EUROMET, and WECC. Cooperation between these organizations is covered. The present, evolving situation will be further influenced by the recent political changes in Eastern Europe.

  6. Fatty acids are important for the Frank-Starling mechanism and Gregg effect but not for catecholamine response in isolated rat hearts.

    PubMed

    Pagliaro, P; Chiribiri, A; Gattullo, D; Penna, C; Rastaldo, R; Recchia, F A

    2002-11-01

    In some pathophysiological conditions myocardial metabolism can switch from mainly long chain fatty acid (LCFA) oxidation to mainly glucose oxidation. Whether the predominant fatty acid or glucose oxidation affects cardiac performance has not been defined. In a buffer perfused isovolumetrically contracting rat heart, oxidation of endogenous pool LCFA was avoided by inhibiting carnitine-palmitoyl-transferase I (CPT-I) with oxfenicine (2 mM). In order to restore fatty acid oxidation, hexanoate (1 mM), which bypasses CPT-I inhibition, was added to the perfusate. Three groups of hearts were subjected to either an increase in left ventricular volume (VV, +25%) or an increase in coronary flow (CF, +50%), or inotropic stimulation with isoproterenol (10(-8) and 10(-6) m). The increase in VV (the Frank-Starling mechanism) increased rate-pressure product (RPP) by 21 +/- 2% under control conditions, but only by 6 +/- 2% during oxfenicine-induced CPT-I inhibition. The contractile response to changes in VV recovered after the addition of hexanoate. Similar results were obtained in hearts, in which an increase in CF was elicited (the Gregg phenomenon). Isoproterenol caused a similar increase in contractility regardless of the presence of oxfenicine or hexanoate. In all groups, a commensurate increase in oxygen consumption accompanied the increase in contractility. The fatty acid oxidation is necessary for an adequate contractile response of the isolated heart to increased pre-load or flow, whereas the inotropic response to adrenergic beta-receptor stimulation is insensitive to changes in substrate availability.

  7. Abnormal splicing in the N‐terminal variable region of cardiac troponin T impairs systolic function of the heart with preserved Frank‐Starling compensation

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Han‐Zhong; Chen, Guozhen; Nan, Changlong; Huang, Xupei; Jin, Jian‐Ping

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Abnormal splice‐out of the exon 7‐encoded segment in the N‐terminal variable region of cardiac troponin T (cTnT‐ΔE7) was found in turkeys and, together with the inclusion of embryonic exon (eTnT), in adult dogs with a correlation with dilated cardiomyopathy. Overexpression of these cTnT variants in transgenic mouse hearts significantly decreased cardiac function. To further investigate the functional effect of cTnT‐ΔE7 or ΔE7+eTnT in vivo under systemic regulation, echocardiography was carried out in single and double‐transgenic mice. No atrial enlargement, ventricular hypertrophy or dilation was detected in the hearts of 2‐month‐old cTnT‐ΔE7 and ΔE7+eTnT mice in comparison to wild‐type controls, indicating a compensated state. However, left ventricular fractional shortening and ejection fraction were decreased in ΔE7 and ΔE7+eTnT mice, and the response to isoproterenol was lower in ΔE7+eTnT mice. Left ventricular outflow tract velocity and gradient were decreased in the transgenic mouse hearts, indicating decreased systolic function. Ex vivo working heart function showed that high afterload or low preload resulted in more severe decreases in the systolic function and energetic efficiency of cTnT‐ΔE7 and ΔE7+eTnT hearts. On the other hand, increases in preload demonstrated preserved Frank‐Starling responses and minimized the loss of cardiac function and efficiency. The data demonstrate that the N‐terminal variable region of cardiac TnT regulates systolic function of the heart. PMID:25194024

  8. Experimentally Increasing TITIN Compliance in a Novel Mouse Model Attenuates the Frank-Starling Mechanism but has a Beneficial Effect on Diastole

    PubMed Central

    Methawasin, Mei; Hutchinson, Kirk R; Lee, Eun-Jeong; Smith, John E; Saripalli, Chandra; Hidalgo, Carlos G; Ottenheijm, Coen AC; Granzier, Henk

    2014-01-01

    Background Experimentally upregulating compliant titins has been suggested as a therapeutic for lowering pathological diastolic stiffness levels. However, how increasing titin compliance impacts global cardiac function requires in-depth study. We investigate the effect of upregulating compliant titins in a novel mouse model with a genetically altered titin splicing factor; integrative approaches were used from intact cardiomyocyte mechanics to pressure(P)-volume(V) analysis and Doppler echocardiography. Methods and Results Compliant titins were upregulated through deletion of the RNA Recognition Motif of the splicing factor RBM20 (Rbm20ΔRRM mice). A genome-wide exon expression analysis and a candidate approach revealed that the phenotype is likely to be dominated by greatly increased lengths of titin’s spring-elements. At both cardiomyocyte and left ventricular (LV)chamber levels diastolic stiffness was reduced in heterozygous (+/−) Rbm20ΔRRM mice with a further reduction in homozygous (−/−) mice at only the intact myocyte level. Fibrosis was present in only −/− Rbm20ΔRRM hearts. The Frank-Starling Mechanism was reduced in a graded fashion in Rbm20ΔRRM mice, at both the cardiomyocyte and LV chamber levels. Exercise tests revealed an increase in exercise capacity in +/− mice. Conclusions Titin is not only important in diastolic but also in systolic cardiac function. Upregulating compliant titins reduces diastolic chamber stiffness due to increased compliance of myocytes but depresses end-systolic elastance; under conditions of exercise the beneficial effects on diastolic function dominate. Therapeutic manipulation of the RBM20-based splicing system might be able to minimize effects on fibrosis and systolic function while improving diastolic function of heart failure patients. PMID:24599837

  9. Abnormal splicing in the N-terminal variable region of cardiac troponin T impairs systolic function of the heart with preserved Frank-Starling compensation.

    PubMed

    Feng, Han-Zhong; Chen, Guozhen; Nan, Changlong; Huang, Xupei; Jin, Jian-Ping

    2014-09-01

    Abnormal splice-out of the exon 7-encoded segment in the N-terminal variable region of cardiac troponin T (cTnT-ΔE7) was found in turkeys and, together with the inclusion of embryonic exon (eTnT), in adult dogs with a correlation with dilated cardiomyopathy. Overexpression of these cTnT variants in transgenic mouse hearts significantly decreased cardiac function. To further investigate the functional effect of cTnT-ΔE7 or ΔE7+eTnT in vivo under systemic regulation, echocardiography was carried out in single and double-transgenic mice. No atrial enlargement, ventricular hypertrophy or dilation was detected in the hearts of 2-month-old cTnT-ΔE7 and ΔE7+eTnT mice in comparison to wild-type controls, indicating a compensated state. However, left ventricular fractional shortening and ejection fraction were decreased in ΔE7 and ΔE7+eTnT mice, and the response to isoproterenol was lower in ΔE7+eTnT mice. Left ventricular outflow tract velocity and gradient were decreased in the transgenic mouse hearts, indicating decreased systolic function. Ex vivo working heart function showed that high afterload or low preload resulted in more severe decreases in the systolic function and energetic efficiency of cTnT-ΔE7 and ΔE7+eTnT hearts. On the other hand, increases in preload demonstrated preserved Frank-Starling responses and minimized the loss of cardiac function and efficiency. The data demonstrate that the N-terminal variable region of cardiac TnT regulates systolic function of the heart.

  10. Digestive efficiencies of Cape white-eyes (Zosterops virens), red-winged starlings (Onychognathus morio) and speckled mousebirds (Colius striatus) fed varying concentrations of equicaloric glucose or sucrose artificial fruit diets.

    PubMed

    Zungu, Manqoba M; Downs, Colleen T

    2016-09-01

    Digestive physiology is important for understanding the feeding behaviour of organisms. Specifically, studies on the digestive physiology of frugivorous and nectarivorous birds are important for elucidating their preference patterns in the wild and the selective pressures they exert on fruit pulp and nectar. In this study, digesta transit times and digestive efficiencies of three species of birds, the Cape white-eyes (Zosterops virens), red-winged starlings (Onychognathus morio) and speckled mousebirds (Colius striatus) were investigated on equicaloric glucose or sucrose artificial fruit diets. Three concentrations, approximating the natural range of sugar concentrations in sugary, bird-dispersed fruits were used: low (6.6%), medium (12.4%) and high (22%). Digesta transit times of birds increased with an increase in concentration for all diets but were generally higher on glucose diets. Intake rates, on the other hand, decreased with an increase in sugar concentration. All species of birds failed to maintain a constant assimilated energy intake on glucose diets but mousebirds and white-eyes maintained it on sucrose diets. Apparent assimilation efficiencies of glucose diets for all species were comparable and typical of those found in other frugivorous birds. However, assimilation efficiencies for sucrose diets differed widely with red-winged starlings displaying very low assimilation efficiencies and as a consequence; they lost significant body mass on all sucrose diets. These results demonstrate the importance of digestive physiology in explaining fruit selection patterns in frugivorous birds and how a seemingly trivial physiological trait can have dire ecological consequences.

  11. European Composite Honeycomb Material

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tschepe, Christoph; Sauerbrey, Martin; Klebor, Maximillian; Henriksen, Torben

    2014-06-01

    A European CFRP honeycomb material for high demanding structure applications like antenna reflectors and optical benches was developed in the frame of an ESA GSTP project.The composite honeycomb was designed according to requirements defined by the European space industry. A developed manufacturing technique based on prepreg moulding enables the production of homogeneous CFRP honeycomb blocks. All characteristic material properties, including compression, tension and shear strength and CTE, were determined in a comprehensive verification test campaign. Competitiveness to comparable products was further verified by a representative breadboard.

  12. European security and France

    SciTech Connect

    deRose, A.

    1985-01-01

    A French authority on security argues for new European initiatives in the face of the ''danger represented by Soviet military power deployed in support of an imperialistic ideology.'' His proposals, including the strengthening of conventional forces without abandoning the option of the first use of nuclear weapons, are meant to give substance to President Mitterrand's declaration in 1983: ''The European nations now need to realize that their defense is also their responsibility....'' A part of the increasingly important debate in France over defense policy in Europe.

  13. Evaluating the risk of pathogen transmission from wild animals to domestic pigs in Australia.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Hayley E; Toribio, Jenny-Ann L M L; Lapidge, Steven J; Hernández-Jover, Marta

    2016-01-01

    Wild animals contribute to endemic infection in livestock as well as the introduction, reintroduction and maintenance of pathogens. The source of introduction of endemic diseases to a piggery is often unknown and the extent of wildlife contribution to such local spread is largely unexplored. The aim of the current study was to quantitatively assess the probability of domestic pigs being exposed to different pathogens from wild animals commonly found around commercial piggeries in Australia. Specifically, this study aims to quantify the probability of exposure to the pathogens Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp. and Campylobacter spp. from European starlings (Sturnus vulgarus); Brachyspira hyodysenteriae, Lawsonia intracellularis and Salmonella spp. from rats (Rattus rattus and Rattus norvegicus); and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae, Leptospira spp., Brucella suis and L. intracellularis from feral pigs (Sus scrofa). Exposure assessments, using scenario trees and Monte Carlo stochastic simulation modelling, were conducted to identify potential pathways of introduction and calculate the probabilities of these pathways occurring. Input parameters were estimated from a national postal survey of commercial pork producers and from disease detection studies conducted for European starlings, rats and feral pigs in close proximity to commercial piggeries in Australia. Based on the results of the exposure assessments, rats presented the highest probability of exposure of pathogens to domestic pigs at any point in time, and L. intracellularis (median 0.13, 5% and 95%, 0.05-0.23) and B. hyodysenteriae (median 0.10, 0.05-0.19) were the most likely pathogens to be transmitted. Regarding European starlings, the median probability of exposure of domestic pigs to pathogenic E. coli at any point in time was estimated to be 0.03 (0.02-0.04). The highest probability of domestic pig exposure to feral pig pathogens at any point in time was found to be for M. hyopneumoniae (median 0.013, 0

  14. European Civilization. Teacher's Manual.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leppert, Ella C.; Halac, Dennis

    The instructional materials in this teaching guide for Course II, Unit IV, follow and build upon a previous sequential course described in SO 003 169 offering ninth grade students a study on the development of Western European Civilization. Focus is upon four periods of high development: The High Middle Ages (12th Century), The Renaissance (15th…

  15. The European VLBI network

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schilizzi, R. T.

    1980-01-01

    The capabilities of the European very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) network are summarized. The range of baseline parameters, sensitivities, and recording and other equipment available are included. Plans for upgrading the recording facilities and the use of geostationary satellites for signal transfer and clock synchronization are discussed.

  16. European Study Tour Guidelines.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mitchell, Vicki L.; Mitchell, Kenneth E.

    Guidelines are presented for planning and financing European study tours at the community college level. First, a rationale for incorporating study tours of Europe within the community college curriculum is presented and the benefits of such tours in providing students with experiences they could not normally have are outlined. Next, the paper…

  17. European Music Year 1985.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alexanderson, Thomas; And Others

    1984-01-01

    Articles concerning music are included in this newsletter dedicated to cultural venture to be jointly carried out by the Council of Europe and the European communities. Many events will mark Music Year 1985, including concerts, dance performances, operas, publications, recordings, festivals, exhibitions, competitions, and conferences on musical…

  18. Multilingualism in European Workplaces

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gunnarsson, Britt-Louise

    2014-01-01

    This state-of-the-art article includes a review of past and recent studies on multilingualism at work in European environments. One aim is to provide the reader with a cross-cultural picture of workplace studies on various languages in Europe, another to discuss both positive and problem-based accounts of multilingualism at work. The overview…

  19. Teaching European Identities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raento, Pauliina

    2008-01-01

    The political, cultural and social make-up of Europe is changing fast. A new European identity is under construction, but old contradictions and diversity challenge its contents, forms and boundaries. Migration, the changing role of the nation-state and Europe's regions, the reshaping of politico-administrative and perceptional boundaries, the…

  20. The European Mobile System (EMS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jongejans, A.; Rogard, R.; Mistretta, I.; Ananasso, F.

    1993-01-01

    The European Space Agency is presently procuring an L band payload in order to promote a regional European L band system coping with the specific needs of the European market. The payload, and the two communications systems to be supported, are described below. The potential market for EMS in Europe is discussed.

  1. Chestnut, European (Castanea sativa).

    PubMed

    Corredoira, Elena; Valladares, Silvia; Vieitez, Ana M; Ballester, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    Development of a system for direct transfer of antifungal candidate genes into European chestnut (Castanea sativa) would provide an alternative approach to conventional breeding for production of chestnut trees that are tolerant to ink disease caused by Phytophthora spp. Overexpression of genes encoding PR proteins (such as thaumatin-like proteins), which display antifungal activity, may represent an important advance in control of the disease. We have used a chestnut thaumatin-like protein gene (CsTL1) isolated from European chestnut cotyledons and have achieved overexpression of the gene in chestnut somatic embryogenic lines used as target material. We have also acclimatized the transgenic plants and grown them on in the greenhouse. Here, we describe the various steps of the process, from the induction of somatic embryogenesis to the production of transgenic plants.

  2. Education and European integration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowe, John

    1992-11-01

    The main purpose of this article is to discuss the implications for education and training of the movement towards integration in Europe in the historic context of the creation of a single market within the European Community (EC) and the end of the Communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe. The experience of the EC is used to illustrate trends and problems in the development of international cooperation in education and training. Common concerns and priorities throughout the new Europe are then identified and discussed. These include the pursuit of quality in schooling, efforts to serve the interests of disadvantaged learners, and the treatment of European Studies in the curriculum, including the improvement of the teaching of foreign languages.

  3. The European Spallation Source

    SciTech Connect

    Peggs, S; Eshraqi, M; Hahn, H; Jansson, A; Lindroos, M; Ponton, A; Rathsman, K; Trahern, G; Bousso, S; Calaga, R; Devanz, G; Duperrier, R D; Eguia, J; Gammino, S; Moller, S P; Oyon, C; Ruber, R.J.M.Y.; Satogata, T

    2011-03-01

    The European Spallation Source (ESS) is a 5 MW, 2.5 GeV long pulse proton linac, to be built and commissioned in Lund, Sweden. The Accelerator Design Update (ADU) project phase is under way, to be completed at the end of 2012 by the delivery of a Technical Design Report. Improvements to the 2003 ESS design will be summarised, and the latest design activities will be presented.

  4. Biophotonics: a European perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robin, Thierry; Cochard, Jacques; Breussin, Frédéric

    2013-03-01

    The objective of the present work is to determine the opportunities and challenges for Biophotonics business development in Europe for the next five years with a focus on sensors and systems: for health diagnostics and monitoring; for air, water and food safety and quality control. The development of this roadmap was initiated and supported by EPIC (The European Photonics Industry Consortium). We summarize the final roadmap data: market application segments and trends, analysis of the market access criteria, analysis of the technology trends and major bottlenecks and challenges per application.

  5. Eastern European risk management

    SciTech Connect

    Honey, J.A. )

    1992-01-01

    Here the authors assess Eastern European risk management practices through the evaluation of the nuclear power plants in the region. This evaluation is limited to the Soviet-designed and -built VVER-440 pressurized water reactors (PWRs) that are currently operating in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Russia, and the Ukraine and until recently operated at Greifswald in the former East Germany. This evaluation is based on the basic design of the plants, a safety evaluation of the Greifswald facility by representatives from the Federal Republic of Germany and personal visits by the author to Greifswald and Loviisa.

  6. Is European Defense a Bridge too Far?

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-03-08

    Defense, European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) CLASSIFICATION: Unclassified During the last several decades the European Union has not paid much...obvious European defense shortcomings. Then, after the Cologne European Council of June 1999, the European Union launched the European Security and...considerably and the military capabilities of the European Union have been strengthened with initiatives such as the battlegroup concept and the development of

  7. A New Impetus for European Youth. European Commission White Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Commission of the European Communities, Brussels (Belgium).

    Despite their highly divergent situations, young people largely share the same values, ambitions, and difficulties. Despite the more complex social and economic context in which young Europeans are currently living, they are well equipped to adapt. National and European policymakers must facilitate this process of change by making young people…

  8. European Cenozoic rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziegler, Peter A.

    1992-07-01

    The European Cenozoic rift system extends from the coast of the North Sea to the Mediterranean over a distance of some 1100 km; it finds its southern prolongation in the Valencia Trough and a Plio-Pleistocene volcanic chain crossing the Atlas ranges. Development of this mega-rift was paralleled by orogenic activity in the Alps and Pyrenees. Major rift domes, accompanied by subsidence reversal of their axial grabens, developed 20-40 Ma after beginning of rifting. Uplift of the Rhenish Shield is related to progressive thermal lithospheric thinning; the Vosges-Black Forest and the Massif Central domes are probably underlain by asthenoliths emplaced at the crust/mantle boundary. Evolution of this rift system, is thought to be governed by the interaction of the Eurasian and African plates and by early phases of a plate-boundary reorganization that may lead to the break-up of the present continent assembly.

  9. Optranet: a European project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeanjean, Marie

    2003-10-01

    In a situation where curricula did not adjust at the required pace and many students are getting attracted out of science and technology, the shortage of skilled workers at the technician and engineer level is known to be a threat to development. In spite of a serious crisis in 2001, the trend of an increased presence of optical technologies remains unchanged and is bound to remain part of the landscape for decades. The level of investment required and the markets make Europe the best scale to plan for unified curricula and a global analysis of the human resources needs. There is no agreement on the definition of a trained optician, and European countries differ in the way they educate opticians, source of a lack of clarity and visibility which is detrimental to attracting good students and to the job market. Through its closely work with companies, OPTRANET will propose measures to enhance the adequacy and the visibility of the training offer.

  10. The morphological basis of the arm-to-wing transition.

    PubMed

    Poore, Samuel O

    2008-02-01

    Human-powered flight has fascinated scientists, artists, and physicians for centuries. This history includes Abbas Ibn Firnas, a Spanish inventor who attempted the first well-documented human flight; Leonardo da Vinci and his flying machines; the Turkish inventor Hezarfen Ahmed Celebi; and the modern aeronautical pioneer Otto Lilienthal. These historic figures held in common their attempts to construct wings from man-made materials, and though their human-powered attempts at flight never came to fruition, the ideas and creative elements contained within their flying machines were essential to modern aeronautics. Since the time of these early pioneers, flight has continued to captivate humans, and recently, in a departure from creating wings from artificial elements, there has been discussion of using reconstructive surgery to fabricate human wings from human arms. This article is a descriptive study of how one might attempt such a reconstruction and in doing so calls upon essential evidence in the evolution of flight, an understanding of which is paramount to constructing human wings from arms. This includes a brief analysis and exploration of the anatomy of the 150-million-year-old fossil Archaeopteryx lithographica, with particular emphasis on the skeletal organization of this primitive bird's wing and wrist. Additionally, certain elements of the reconstruction must be drawn from an analysis of modern birds including a description of the specialized shoulder of the European starling, Sturnus vulgaris. With this anatomic description in tow, basic calculations regarding wing loading and allometry suggest that human wings would likely be nonfunctional. However, with the proper reconstructive balance between primitive (Archaeopteryx) and modern (Sturnus), and in attempting to integrate a careful analysis of bird anatomy with modern surgical techniques, the newly constructed human wings could function as cosmetic features simulating, for example, the nonfunctional

  11. An American Construction of European Education Space

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Silova, Iveta; Brehm, William C.

    2010-01-01

    The construction of the European education space has typically been attributed to European education policy makers, institutions, and networks. Rarely do scholars consider the role of outside, non-European actors in shaping the terrain of European education thought and practice. This article considers the construction of the European education…

  12. European Schoolnet: Enabling School Networking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scimeca, Santi; Dumitru, Petru; Durando, Marc; Gilleran, Anne; Joyce, Alexa; Vuorikari, Riina

    2009-01-01

    School networking is increasingly important in a globalised world, where schools themselves can be actors on an international stage. This article builds on the activities and experience of the longest established European initiative in this area, European Schoolnet (EUN), a network of 31 Ministries of Education. First, we offer an introduction…

  13. The European Dimension in Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Council of Europe, Strasbourg (France). Directorate of Education, Culture and Sport, Documentation Section.

    This paper addresses concerns about a European dimension in education that has been created by the enlargement of the European Union (EU) (the inclusion of Austria, Finland, and Sweden) and the gradual transformations of institutions into a future federal state. Sections of the paper include: (1) "Introduction"; (2) "Defining the…

  14. Brazilian Portuguese Ethnonymy and Europeanisms.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stephens, Thomas M.

    1994-01-01

    Delineates the incorporation and analyzes the impact of European borrowings in Brazilian racio-ethnic terminology. This overview covers French, Italian, Spanish, and English influences. Borrowings from European languages have had a small impact on the calculus of Brazilian racio-ethnic terms. (43 references) (Author/CK)

  15. Vascular surgery: the European perspective.

    PubMed

    Harris, P

    1999-09-01

    Isaac Newton, among others, observed that 'we see so far because we are standing upon the shoulders of giants'. In vascular surgery most of the giants have been European, and this is a heritage which we as Europeans can take pride in and build upon if we chose to do so. As in other areas of life, commitment is essential in order to influence the future. For vascular surgeons in Europe this means active participation in the European scientific societies for vascular surgery and in the UEMS. The main value of the EBSQ.VASC assessments to date has been to expose the uneven standards of training in vascular surgery within the European Union. Only if action follows to address these inequalities will the tactics of the European Board of Vascular Surgery be vindicated.

  16. Aroclor 1254 residues in birds: Lethal levels and loss rates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stickel, W.H.; Stickel, L.F.; Dyrland, R.A.; Hughes, D.L.

    1984-01-01

    Lethal residues of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were determined experimentally in four species of wild birds (male common grackles (Quiscalus quiscula ), immature female red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus ), adult male brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater ) and immature female starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)) given dietary dosage of 1,500 ppm of Aroclor 1254) until one-half had died, sacrificing the survivors, chemically analyzing the tissues, and comparing results in dead birds and survivors. For all species, residues of 310 ppm or higher in the brain showed increasing likelihood of death from PCB poisoning. Residues in dead birds did not differ among species except for starlings (Sturnus vulgaris ), which averaged slightly lower than the others. However, the species differed in the length of time to 50% mortality and in the levels of PCBs in brains at sacrifice.

  17. Depressed Frank-Starling mechanism in the left ventricular muscle of the knock-in mouse model of dilated cardiomyopathy with troponin T deletion mutation ΔK210.

    PubMed

    Inoue, Takahiro; Kobirumaki-Shimozawa, Fuyu; Kagemoto, Tatsuya; Fujii, Teruyuki; Terui, Takako; Kusakari, Yoichiro; Hongo, Kenichi; Morimoto, Sachio; Ohtsuki, Iwao; Hashimoto, Kazuhiro; Fukuda, Norio

    2013-10-01

    It has been reported that the Frank-Starling mechanism is coordinately regulated in cardiac muscle via thin filament "on-off" equilibrium and titin-based lattice spacing changes. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that the deletion mutation ΔK210 in the cardiac troponin T gene shifts the equilibrium toward the "off" state and accordingly attenuate the sarcomere length (SL) dependence of active force production, via reduced cross-bridge formation. Confocal imaging in isolated hearts revealed that the cardiomyocytes were enlarged, especially in the longitudinal direction, in ΔK210 hearts, with striation patterns similar to those in wild type (WT) hearts, suggesting that the number of sarcomeres is increased in cardiomyocytes but the sarcomere length remains unaltered. For analysis of the SL dependence of active force, skinned muscle preparations were obtained from the left ventricle of WT and knock-in (ΔK210) mice. An increase in SL from 1.90 to 2.20μm shifted the mid-point (pCa50) of the force-pCa curve leftward by ~0.21pCa units in WT preparations. In ΔK210 muscles, Ca(2+) sensitivity was lower by ~0.37pCa units, and the SL-dependent shift of pCa50, i.e., ΔpCa50, was less pronounced (~0.11pCa units), with and without protein kinase A treatment. The rate of active force redevelopment was lower in ΔK210 preparations than in WT preparations, showing blunted thin filament cooperative activation. An increase in thin filament cooperative activation upon an increase in the fraction of strongly bound cross-bridges by MgADP increased ΔpCa50 to ~0.21pCa units. The depressed Frank-Starling mechanism in ΔK210 hearts is the result of a reduction in thin filament cooperative activation.

  18. A European perspective--the European clinical research infrastructures network.

    PubMed

    Demotes-Mainard, J; Kubiak, C

    2011-11-01

    Evaluating research outcomes requires multinational cooperation in clinical research for optimization of treatment strategies and comparative effectiveness research, leading to evidence-based practice and healthcare cost containment. The European Clinical Research Infrastructures Network (ECRIN) is a distributed ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures) roadmap pan-European infrastructure designed to support multinational clinical research, making Europe a single area for clinical studies, taking advantage of its population size to access patients, and unlocking latent scientific potential. Servicing multinational trials started during its preparatory phase, and ECRIN will now apply for an ERIC (European Research Infrastructures Consortium) status by 2011. By creating a single area for clinical research in Europe, this achievement will contribute to the implementation of the Europe flagship initiative 2020 'Innovation Union', whose objectives include defragmentation of the research and education capacity, tackling the major societal challenges starting with the area of healthy ageing, and removing barriers to bring ideas to the market.

  19. North European Transect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korja, Annakaisa; Heikkinen, Pekka J.; Roslov, Yuri; Ivanova, Nina; Verba, Marc; Sakoulina, Tamara

    2010-05-01

    A nearly continuous, 3600 km long, NE-running North European Transect (NET) is combined from the existing deep seismic reflection data sets in the Baltic Sea (BABEL, 1600 km), Northern Finland (FIRE 4-4A, 580 km) and Barents Sea (1-AR, 1440 km;). The reflective image of the deep crust is highly dependent on the thickness of the sedimentary cover. The cover is few hundred meters in the Baltic sea, few tens of meters in the land areas and few kilometers in the Barents Sea area. In the Barents Sea area, the seismic image is dominated by the layered structure of the sedimentary basins and the middle and lower crust are poorly imaged. Therefore the Moho boundary in the Barents Sea has been determined from wide-angle reflections. Geologically the transect covers the transition from Phanerozoic Europe to Precambrian Europe and back to the Phanerozoic Barents Sea Shelf. It displays how Northern Europe grew around Baltica in several tectonic episodes involving the formation and destruction of Columbia/Hudsonland, Rodinia and Pangea supercontinents. The paleo plateboundaries are traversed by subvertical transparent zones suggesting transpressional and trantensional environments. The BABEL lines image how the core of Baltica was formed by sequential accretion of microcontinents and arc terranes at the old continental margin during the Svecofennian Orogeny ~1.9-1.8 Ga .When Baltica joined the Columbia supercontinent, new terranes were added to its southern edge in the Sveocbaltic Orogeny (~1.8 Ga). During the dispersal of the Columbia, the Baltic Sea failed rift was formed, rapakivi granitoids were intruded and sedimentary basins were developed. An extended plate margin structure has been imposed on the Rodinian (Sveconorwegian) and Pangean additions (Variscan-Caledonian). Major crustal thinning takes place along a series of subvertical faults across the Trans-European Suture Zone marking the transition from Phanerozoic to Proterozoic Europe. The FIRE lines in Northen Finland

  20. Migration- and exercise-induced changes to flight muscle size in migratory birds and association with IGF1 and myostatin mRNA expression.

    PubMed

    Price, Edwin R; Bauchinger, Ulf; Zajac, Daria M; Cerasale, David J; McFarlan, Jay T; Gerson, Alexander R; McWilliams, Scott R; Guglielmo, Christopher G

    2011-09-01

    Seasonal adjustments to muscle size in migratory birds may result from preparatory physiological changes or responses to changed workloads. The mechanisms controlling these changes in size are poorly understood. We investigated some potential mediators of flight muscle size (myostatin and insulin-like growth factor, IGF1) in pectoralis muscles of wild wintering or migrating white-throated sparrows (Zonotrichia albicollis), captive white-throated sparrows that were photoperiod manipulated to be in a `wintering' or `migratory' (Zugunruhe) state, and captive European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) that were either exercised for 2 weeks in a wind tunnel or untrained. Flight muscle size increased in photo-stimulated `migrants' and in exercised starlings. Acute exercise but not long-term training caused increased expression of IGF1, but neither caused a change in expression of myostatin or its metalloprotease activator TLL1. Photo-stimulated `migrant' sparrows demonstrated increased expression of both myostatin and IGF1, but wild sparrows exhibited no significant seasonal changes in expression of either myostatin or IGF1. Additionally, in both study species we describe several splice variants of myostatin that are shared with distantly related bird species. We demonstrate that their expression patterns are not different from those of the typical myostatin, suggesting that they have no functional importance and may be mistakes of the splicing machinery. We conclude that IGF1 is likely to be an important mediator of muscle phenotypic flexibility during acute exercise and during endogenous, seasonal preparation for migration. The role of myostatin is less clear, but its paradoxical increase in photo-stimulated `migrants' may indicate a role in seasonal adjustments of protein turnover.

  1. A novel statistical method for behaviour sequence analysis and its application to birdsong.

    PubMed

    Alger, Sarah J; Larget, Bret R; Riters, Lauren V

    2016-06-01

    Complex vocal signals, such as birdsong, contain acoustic elements that differ in both order and duration. These elements may convey socially relevant meaning, both independently and through their interactions, yet statistical methods that combine order and duration data to extract meaning have not, to our knowledge, been fully developed. Here we design novel semi-Markov methods, Bayesian estimation and classification trees to extract order and duration information from behavioural sequences and apply these methods to songs produced by male European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, in two social contexts in which the function of song differs: a spring (breeding) and autumn (nonbreeding) context. Additionally, previous data indicate that damage to the medial preoptic nucleus (POM), a brain area known to regulate male sexually motivated behaviour, affects structural aspects of starling song such that males in a sexually relevant context (i.e. spring) sing shorter songs than appropriate for this context. We further test the utility of our statistical approach by comparing attributes of song structure in POM-lesioned males to song produced by control spring and autumn males. Spring and autumn songs were statistically separable based on the duration and order of phrase types. Males produced more structurally complex aspects of song in spring than in autumn. Spring song was also longer and more stereotyped than autumn song, both attributes used by females to select mates. Songs produced by POM-lesioned males in some cases fell between measures of spring and autumn songs but differed most from songs produced by autumn males. Overall, these statistical methods can effectively extract biologically meaningful information contained in many behavioural sequences given sufficient sample sizes and replication numbers.

  2. Stress, captivity, and reproduction in a wild bird species.

    PubMed

    Dickens, Molly J; Bentley, George E

    2014-09-01

    In seasonal species, glucocorticoid concentrations are often highest during the breeding season. However, the role of increased hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity in the regulation of reproduction remains poorly understood. Our study is the first, to our knowledge, to document reproductive consequences of a non-pharmacological hindrance to seasonal HPA fluctuations. Using wild-caught male and female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) housed in an outdoor, semi-natural environment, we divided birds into two mixed-sex groups. One group remained in the outdoor aviary, where starlings breed at the appropriate time of year. The other group was transferred into an indoor flight aviary, where we predicted reproductive suppression to occur. We measured changes in corticosterone (CORT) at baseline and stress-induced concentrations prior to group separation and at the experiment's conclusion. After ten days, the birds showed remarkable differences in breeding behavior and HPA activity. Outdoor birds exhibited increases in baseline and stress-induced CORT and progressed into active breeding (pairing, nest building, egg laying, etc.). In contrast, indoor birds displayed no change in baseline or stress-induced CORT and few signs of active breeding. We found significant sex and treatment effects on expression of HPA and hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis elements, suggesting sex-specific regulatory mechanisms. Our data suggest a novel, facilitating role for the HPA axis in the transition between early breeding and active breeding in a wild, seasonal avian species. In addition, understanding how changes in housing condition affect seasonal HPA fluctuations may help alleviate barriers to breeding wild animals in captivity.

  3. European courts and old people.

    PubMed

    Mulley, Graham P

    2013-09-01

    There are two major European Courts, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The ECJ deals with legal matters, mainly involving the interpretation of EU law and ensuring that the law is applied evenly across all 27 EU member states. The ECHR aims to make certain that civil and political rights of citizens in the 46 member states of the Council of Europe are observed. Most cases involving older citizens are about social policy (such as pension arrangements, equality, age discrimination and mandatory retirement). There have been few cases dealing with patients' rights, long-term care or housing. Referrals of selected cases involving old people should be considered if their rights are not being protected. In this Commentary, there is an account of how these Courts have evolved, together with guidance on whom to refer, to which Court, and when and how referrals should be made.

  4. European Union a New Babylon?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mesch, F.

    2010-07-01

    The growing European Union faces growing problems in personal communication. These problems cannot be overcome only by more language courses in school. As important is a better mutual knowledge of the culture of other countries, a knowledge that can be gained only by a personal, professional stay in foreign countries. On university level, such stays are best organized by networks connecting European universities. In the broad field of measurement, this IMEKO symposium might offer a unique forum to thoroughly discuss structure and realization of such a network with all interested colleagues.

  5. [The European mouflon, Ovis musimon].

    PubMed

    Hermans, W A

    1996-09-15

    Until a couple of decades ago, the European mouflon found on the islands of Corsica, Sardinia, and Cyprus was considered an independent wild species and last representative of the European wild sheep. However, recent research has shown that there have not been wild sheep in Europe since the late Pleistocene. Archeological investigation in Corsica has shown that the mouflon is not a wild sheep but a primitive domestic sheep brought to the islands by farmers from the Near East and which then became wild (feral).

  6. Interactions between European Citizenship and Language Learning among Adolescent Europeans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hennebry, Mairin

    2011-01-01

    Recent enlargement of the European Union (EU) has created debate as to the suitability of current structures and policies for effectively engaging citizens and developing social cohesion. Education and specifically modern foreign language (MFL) teaching are argued by the literature to play a key role in equipping young people to interact and…

  7. Diagrams of Europeanization: European Education Governance in the Digital Age

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Decuypere, Mathias

    2016-01-01

    European education governance is increasingly affected by and effectuated through digital means. This article presents an analysis of the way in which Europe is increasingly deploying digital technologies, and more specifically websites, in order to shape and communicate its education policies. Drawing on the notion of the diagram as the…

  8. Surveillance for Ixodes pacificus and the tick-borne pathogens Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi in birds from California's Inner Coast Range.

    PubMed

    Dingler, Regina J; Wright, Stan A; Donohue, Ann M; Macedo, Paula A; Foley, Janet E

    2014-06-01

    We investigated the involvement of birds in the ecology of the western black-legged tick, Ixodes pacificus, and its associated zoonotic bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum, at two interior coast-range study sites in northern California. Anaplasma phagocytophilum, the agent of granulocytic anaplasmosis (GA), and B. burgdorferi s.s., the agent of Lyme disease (LD), are tick-borne pathogens that are well established in California. We screened blood and ticks from 349 individual birds in 48 species collected in 2011 and 2012 using pathogen-specific PCR. A total of 617 immature I. pacificus was collected with almost three times as many larvae than nymphs. There were 7.5 times more I. pacificus at the Napa County site compared to the Yolo County site. Two of 74 (3%) nymphal pools from an Oregon junco (Junco hyemalis) and a hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) and 4 individual larvae (all from Oregon juncos) were PCR-positive for B. burgdorferi. Blood samples from a golden-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) and a European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) were positive for A. phagocytophilum DNA at very low levels. Birds that forage on ground or bark and nest on the ground, as well as some migratory species, are at an increased risk for acquiring I. pacificus. Our findings show that birds contribute to the ecologies of LD and GA in California by serving as a blood-meal source, feeding and transporting immature I. pacificus, and sometimes as a source of Borrelia infection.

  9. Songbirds use spectral shape, not pitch, for sound pattern recognition

    PubMed Central

    Bregman, Micah R.; Patel, Aniruddh D.; Gentner, Timothy Q.

    2016-01-01

    Humans easily recognize “transposed” musical melodies shifted up or down in log frequency. Surprisingly, songbirds seem to lack this capacity, although they can learn to recognize human melodies and use complex acoustic sequences for communication. Decades of research have led to the widespread belief that songbirds, unlike humans, are strongly biased to use absolute pitch (AP) in melody recognition. This work relies almost exclusively on acoustically simple stimuli that may belie sensitivities to more complex spectral features. Here, we investigate melody recognition in a species of songbird, the European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), using tone sequences that vary in both pitch and timbre. We find that small manipulations altering either pitch or timbre independently can drive melody recognition to chance, suggesting that both percepts are poor descriptors of the perceptual cues used by birds for this task. Instead we show that melody recognition can generalize even in the absence of pitch, as long as the spectral shapes of the constituent tones are preserved. These results challenge conventional views regarding the use of pitch cues in nonhuman auditory sequence recognition. PMID:26811447

  10. Increased predation of nutrient-enriched aposematic prey

    PubMed Central

    Halpin, Christina G.; Skelhorn, John; Rowe, Candy

    2014-01-01

    Avian predators readily learn to associate the warning coloration of aposematic prey with the toxic effects of ingesting them, but they do not necessarily exclude aposematic prey from their diets. By eating aposematic prey ‘educated’ predators are thought to be trading-off the benefits of gaining nutrients with the costs of eating toxins. However, while we know that the toxin content of aposematic prey affects the foraging decisions made by avian predators, the extent to which the nutritional content of toxic prey affects predators' decisions to eat them remains to be tested. Here, we show that European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) increase their intake of a toxic prey type when the nutritional content is artificially increased, and decrease their intake when nutritional enrichment is ceased. This clearly demonstrates that birds can detect the nutritional content of toxic prey by post-ingestive feedback, and use this information in their foraging decisions, raising new perspectives on the evolution of prey defences. Nutritional differences between individuals could result in equally toxic prey being unequally predated, and might explain why some species undergo ontogenetic shifts in defence strategies. Furthermore, the nutritional value of prey will likely have a significant impact on the evolutionary dynamics of mimicry systems. PMID:24598424

  11. Variation in wing pattern and palatability in a female-limited polymorphic mimicry system

    PubMed Central

    Long, Elizabeth C; Hahn, Thomas P; Shapiro, Arthur M

    2014-01-01

    Checkerspot butterflies in the genera Euphydryas and Chlosyne exhibit phenotypic polymorphisms along a well-defined latitudinal and elevational gradient in California. The patterns of phenotypic variation in Euphydryas chalcedona, Chlosyne palla, and Chlosyne hoffmanni suggest a mimetic relationship; in addition, the specific patterns of variation in C. palla suggest a female-limited polymorphic mimicry system (FPM). However, the existence of polymorphic models runs counter to predictions of mimicry theory. Palatability trials were undertaken to assess whether or not the different color morphs of each species were distasteful or toxic to a generalized avian predator, the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris). Results indicate that the black morph of E. chalcedona is distasteful, but not toxic, to predators, while the red morph is palatable. C . hoffmanni and both color morphs of C. palla are palatable to predators. Predators that learn to reject black E. chalcedona also reject black C. palla, suggesting that the latter is a FPM of the former. C. hoffmanni does not appear to be involved in this mimetic relationship. PMID:25512850

  12. The benefits of being toxic to deter predators depends on prey body size.

    PubMed

    Smith, Karen E; Halpin, Christina G; Rowe, Candy

    2016-01-01

    Many prey have evolved toxins as a defense against predation. Those species that advertise their toxicity to would-be predators with conspicuous warning signals are known as "aposematic." Investment in toxicity by aposematically signaling prey is thought to underpin how aversive prey are to predators; increasing toxicity means that predators learn to avoid prey faster and attack them at lower rates. However, predators' foraging decisions on aposematic prey are determined not only by their toxicity, but also by their nutrient content: predators can trade-off the costs of ingesting toxin with the benefits of acquiring nutrients. Prey body size is a cue that positively correlates with nutrient content, and that varies within and between aposematic species. We predicted that a dose of quinine (known to be toxic to birds) would be a more effective deterrent to avian predators when prey were small compared with when they were large, and that the benefits of possessing toxin would be greater for small-bodied prey. Using an established laboratory protocol of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) foraging on mealworms (Tenebrio molitor), we found evidence for increased protection from a dose of quinine for small-bodied compared with large-bodied prey. This shows that larger prey need more toxin to attain the same level of defense as smaller prey, which has implications for the evolution of aposematism and mimicry.

  13. Variation in wing pattern and palatability in a female-limited polymorphic mimicry system.

    PubMed

    Long, Elizabeth C; Hahn, Thomas P; Shapiro, Arthur M

    2014-12-01

    Checkerspot butterflies in the genera Euphydryas and Chlosyne exhibit phenotypic polymorphisms along a well-defined latitudinal and elevational gradient in California. The patterns of phenotypic variation in Euphydryas chalcedona, Chlosyne palla, and Chlosyne hoffmanni suggest a mimetic relationship; in addition, the specific patterns of variation in C. palla suggest a female-limited polymorphic mimicry system (FPM). However, the existence of polymorphic models runs counter to predictions of mimicry theory. Palatability trials were undertaken to assess whether or not the different color morphs of each species were distasteful or toxic to a generalized avian predator, the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris). Results indicate that the black morph of E. chalcedona is distasteful, but not toxic, to predators, while the red morph is palatable. C . hoffmanni and both color morphs of C. palla are palatable to predators. Predators that learn to reject black E. chalcedona also reject black C. palla, suggesting that the latter is a FPM of the former. C. hoffmanni does not appear to be involved in this mimetic relationship.

  14. Better the devil you know: avian predators find variation in prey toxicity aversive

    PubMed Central

    Barnett, Craig A.; Bateson, Melissa; Rowe, Candy

    2014-01-01

    Toxic prey that signal their defences to predators using conspicuous warning signals are called ‘aposematic’. Predators learn about the toxic content of aposematic prey and reduce their attacks on them. However, through regulating their toxin intake, predators will include aposematic prey in their diets when the benefits of gaining the nutrients they contain outweigh the costs of ingesting the prey's toxins. Predators face a problem when managing their toxin intake: prey sharing the same warning signal often vary in their toxicities. Given that predators should avoid uncertainty when managing their toxin intake, we tested whether European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) preferred to eat fixed-defence prey (where all prey contained a 2% quinine solution) to mixed-defence prey (where half the prey contained a 4% quinine solution and the other half contained only water). Our results support the idea that predators should be more ‘risk-averse’ when foraging on variably defended prey and suggest that variation in toxicity levels could be a form of defence. PMID:25392317

  15. The benefits of being toxic to deter predators depends on prey body size

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Karen E.; Halpin, Christina G.

    2016-01-01

    Many prey have evolved toxins as a defense against predation. Those species that advertise their toxicity to would-be predators with conspicuous warning signals are known as “aposematic.” Investment in toxicity by aposematically signaling prey is thought to underpin how aversive prey are to predators; increasing toxicity means that predators learn to avoid prey faster and attack them at lower rates. However, predators’ foraging decisions on aposematic prey are determined not only by their toxicity, but also by their nutrient content: predators can trade-off the costs of ingesting toxin with the benefits of acquiring nutrients. Prey body size is a cue that positively correlates with nutrient content, and that varies within and between aposematic species. We predicted that a dose of quinine (known to be toxic to birds) would be a more effective deterrent to avian predators when prey were small compared with when they were large, and that the benefits of possessing toxin would be greater for small-bodied prey. Using an established laboratory protocol of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) foraging on mealworms (Tenebrio molitor), we found evidence for increased protection from a dose of quinine for small-bodied compared with large-bodied prey. This shows that larger prey need more toxin to attain the same level of defense as smaller prey, which has implications for the evolution of aposematism and mimicry. PMID:28028378

  16. Increased predation of nutrient-enriched aposematic prey.

    PubMed

    Halpin, Christina G; Skelhorn, John; Rowe, Candy

    2014-04-22

    Avian predators readily learn to associate the warning coloration of aposematic prey with the toxic effects of ingesting them, but they do not necessarily exclude aposematic prey from their diets. By eating aposematic prey 'educated' predators are thought to be trading-off the benefits of gaining nutrients with the costs of eating toxins. However, while we know that the toxin content of aposematic prey affects the foraging decisions made by avian predators, the extent to which the nutritional content of toxic prey affects predators' decisions to eat them remains to be tested. Here, we show that European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) increase their intake of a toxic prey type when the nutritional content is artificially increased, and decrease their intake when nutritional enrichment is ceased. This clearly demonstrates that birds can detect the nutritional content of toxic prey by post-ingestive feedback, and use this information in their foraging decisions, raising new perspectives on the evolution of prey defences. Nutritional differences between individuals could result in equally toxic prey being unequally predated, and might explain why some species undergo ontogenetic shifts in defence strategies. Furthermore, the nutritional value of prey will likely have a significant impact on the evolutionary dynamics of mimicry systems.

  17. Evidence that dopamine within motivation and song control brain regions regulates birdsong context-dependently.

    PubMed

    Heimovics, Sarah A; Riters, Lauren V

    2008-09-03

    Vocal communication is critical for successful social interactions among conspecifics, but little is known about how the brain regulates context-appropriate communication. The neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) is involved in modulating highly motivated, goal-directed behaviors (including sexually motivated singing behavior), and emerging data suggest that the role of DA in vocal communication may differ depending on the context in which it occurs. To address this possibility, relationships between immunolabeled tyrosine hydroxylase (TH, the rate-limiting enzyme in catecholamine synthesis) and song produced within versus outside of a breeding context were explored in male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Immunocytochemistry for dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DBH; the enzyme that converts DA to norepinephrine) was also performed to provide insight into whether relationships between song and TH immunoreactivity reflected dopaminergic or noradrenergic neurotransmission. Measures of TH and DBH were quantified in song control regions (HVC, Area X, robust nucleus of the acropallium) and regions implicated in motivation (medial preoptic nucleus (POM), ventral tegmental area (VTA), and midbrain central gray). In Area X, POM, and VTA measures of TH correlated with song produced within, but not outside of a breeding context. DBH in these regions did not correlate with song in either context. Together, these data suggest DA in both song control and motivation brain regions may be more tightly linked to the regulation of highly goal-directed, sexually motivated vocal behavior.

  18. Lift generation by the avian tail.

    PubMed

    Maybury, W J; Rayner, J M; Couldrick, L B

    2001-07-22

    Variation with tail spread of the lift generated by a bird tail was measured on mounted, frozen European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) in a wind tunnel at a typical air speed and body and tail angle of attack in order to test predictions of existing aerodynamic theories modelling tail lift. Measured lift at all but the lowest tail spread angles was significantly lower than the predictions of slender wing, leading edge vortex and lifting line models of lift production. Instead, the tail lift coefficient based on tail area was independent of tail spread, tail aspect ratio and maximum tail span. Theoretical models do not predict bird tail lift reliably and, when applied to tail morphology, may underestimate the aerodynamic optimum tail feather length. Flow visualization experiments reveal that an isolated tail generates leading edge vortices as expected for a low-aspect ratio delta wing, but that in the intact bird body-tail interactions are critical in determining tail aerodynamics: lifting vortices shed from the body interact with the tail and degrade tail lift compared with that of an isolated tail.

  19. Mediation of a corticosterone-induced reproductive conflict.

    PubMed

    Love, Oliver P; Breuner, Creagh W; Vézina, François; Williams, Tony D

    2004-06-01

    Current research in birds suggests that a conflict should exist during reproduction for the role of the glucocorticoid corticosterone (CORT). While elevated levels have been correlated with the increased energetic demand of raising offspring, elevated CORT levels have traditionally been implicated in reproductive abandonment. We examined the relationship between CORT and nest desertion in breeding wild female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) incorporating analyses of both total circulating levels and 'free', unbound CORT through analysis of corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG). Free baseline CORT levels of nest-abandoning birds were significantly higher than nonabandoning birds within each stage, with chick-rearing birds exhibiting the highest free baseline CORT levels, while concurrently remaining the most resistant stage to nest desertion. Elevated free baseline CORT levels in chick-rearing birds were not due to increased total CORT secretion, but rather to a decrease in CBG levels. Overall, our results suggest that CORT and CBG interact to play a role in mediating the increased energetic demand of offspring, while minimizing the chances of nest desertion, thereby alleviating any potential behavioral conflict for CORT during reproduction. Furthermore, these results demonstrate that the traditional view of the role of CORT during reproduction is much more complex than previously appreciated. Together with mounting evidence, we suggest that elevated corticosteroid levels are an inherent and necessary part of reproduction in nonmammalian tetrapods.

  20. Ambient temperature influences birds' decisions to eat toxic prey☆

    PubMed Central

    Chatelain, M.; Halpin, C.G.; Rowe, C.

    2013-01-01

    Aposematic prey warn predators of their toxicity using conspicuous signals. However, predators regularly include aposematic prey in their diets, particularly when they are in a poor energetic state and in need of nutrients. We investigated whether or not an environmental factor, ambient temperature, could change the energetic state of predators and lead to an increased intake of prey that they know to contain toxins. We found that European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, increased their consumption of mealworm, Tenebrio molitor, prey containing quinine (a mild toxin) when the ambient temperature was reduced below their thermoneutral zone from 20 °C to 6 °C. The birds differed in their sensitivity to changes in ambient temperature, with heavier birds increasing the number of toxic prey they ate more rapidly with decreasing temperature compared to birds with lower body mass. This could have been the result of their requiring more nutrients at lower temperatures or being better able to detoxify quinine. Taken together, our results suggest that conspicuous coloration may be more costly at lower temperatures, and that aposematic prey may need to invest more in chemical defences as temperatures decline. Our study also provides novel insights into what factors affect birds' decisions to eat toxic prey, and demonstrates that selection pressures acting on prey defences can vary with changing temperature across days, seasons, climes, and potentially in response to climate change. PMID:24109148

  1. Blood-feeding ectoparasites as developmental stressors: Does corticosterone mediate effects of mite infestation on nestling growth, immunity and energy availability?

    PubMed

    Pryor, Leah J Eisner; Casto, Joseph M

    2015-08-01

    How resources are distributed to growth and self-maintenance early in life is likely to impact survival and reproduction. Early resource allocation decisions may be particularly critical in altricial birds, as they have rapid developmental trajectories, and may be highly susceptible to environmental factors that can perturb development. The aim of this study was to determine if blood-feeding ectoparasites act as developmental stressors in European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) nestlings, driving a trade-off between growth and immunity. We hypothesized that because ectoparasites compete for resources they would induce growth-immunity trade-offs in parasitized nestlings. We also tested the hypothesis that changes in plasma corticosterone mediate the effects of ectoparasites on growth and immunity. Throughout development we assessed between-nest variation in ectoparasite density, measured growth, and a variety of blood parameters, including plasma corticosterone. We also assessed immune function across development. We found that nestlings from nests with high levels of ectoparasites were smaller, had elevated blood glucose, lower hematocrit levels, and appeared to engage in compensatory growth prior to fledging. They also had elevated innate immune responses early, but reduced responses later relative to nestlings from nests with low levels of ectoparasites. Plasma corticosterone was not affected by ectoparasite load, but did increase with nestling age. Overall, we find evidence that ectoparasites are developmental stressors that affect growth-immunity trade-offs, but their effects do not appear to be mediated by changes in circulating levels of corticosterone.

  2. Flow pattern similarities in the near wake of three bird species suggest a common role for unsteady aerodynamic effects in lift generation.

    PubMed

    Gurka, Roi; Krishnan, Krishnamoorthy; Ben-Gida, Hadar; Kirchhefer, Adam J; Kopp, Gregory A; Guglielmo, Christopher G

    2017-02-06

    Analysis of the aerodynamics of flapping wings has yielded a general understanding of how birds generate lift and thrust during flight. However, the role of unsteady aerodynamics in avian flight due to the flapping motion still holds open questions in respect to performance and efficiency. We studied the flight of three distinctive bird species: western sandpiper (Calidris mauri), European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) and American robin (Turdus migratorius) using long-duration, time-resolved particle image velocimetry, to better characterize and advance our understanding of how birds use unsteady flow features to enhance their aerodynamic performances during flapping flight. We show that during transitions between downstroke and upstroke phases of the wing cycle, the near wake-flow structures vary and generate unique sets of vortices. These structures appear as quadruple layers of concentrated vorticity aligned at an angle with respect to the horizon (named 'double branch'). They occur where the circulation gradient changes sign, which implies that the forces exerted by the flapping wings of birds are modified during the transition phases. The flow patterns are similar in (non-dimensional) size and magnitude for the different birds suggesting that there are common mechanisms operating during flapping flight across species. These flow patterns occur at the same phase where drag reduction of about 5% per cycle and lift enhancement were observed in our prior studies. We propose that these flow structures should be considered in wake flow models that seek to account for the contribution of unsteady flow to lift and drag.

  3. A sonic net excludes birds from an airfield: implications for reducing bird strike and crop losses.

    PubMed

    Swaddle, John P; Moseley, Dana L; Hinders, Mark K; Smith, Elizabeth P

    2016-03-01

    Collisions between birds and aircraft cause billions of dollars of damages annually to civil, commercial, and military aviation. Yet technology to reduce bird strike is not generally effective, especially over longer time periods. Previous information from our lab indicated that filling an area with acoustic noise, which masks important communication channels for birds, can displace European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) from food sources. Here we deployed a spatially controlled noise (termed a "sonic net"), designed to overlap with the frequency range of bird vocalizations, at an airfield. By conducting point counts, we monitored the presence of birds for four weeks before deployment of our sonic net, and for four weeks during deployment. We found an 82% reduction in bird presence in the sonic net area compared with change in the reference areas. This effect was as strong in the fourth week of exposure as in the first week. We also calculated the potential costs avoided resulting from this exclusion. We propose that spatially controlled acoustic manipulations that mask auditory communication for birds may be an effective long term and fairly benign way of excluding problem birds from areas of socioeconomic importance, such as airfields, agricultural sites, and commercial properties.

  4. An experimental demonstration that early-life competitive disadvantage accelerates telomere loss.

    PubMed

    Nettle, Daniel; Monaghan, Pat; Gillespie, Robert; Brilot, Ben; Bedford, Thomas; Bateson, Melissa

    2015-01-07

    Adverse experiences in early life can exert powerful delayed effects on adult survival and health. Telomere attrition is a potentially important mechanism in such effects. One source of early-life adversity is the stress caused by competitive disadvantage. Although previous avian experiments suggest that competitive disadvantage may accelerate telomere attrition, they do not clearly isolate the effects of competitive disadvantage from other sources of variation. Here, we present data from an experiment in European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) that used cross-fostering to expose siblings to divergent early experience. Birds were assigned either to competitive advantage (being larger than their brood competitors) or competitive disadvantage (being smaller than their brood competitors) between days 3 and 12 post-hatching. Disadvantage did not affect weight gain, but it increased telomere attrition, leading to shorter telomere length in disadvantaged birds by day 12. There were no effects of disadvantage on oxidative damage as measured by plasma lipid peroxidation. We thus found strong evidence that early-life competitive disadvantage can accelerate telomere loss. This could lead to faster age-related deterioration and poorer health in later life.

  5. Juveniles exposed to embryonic corticosterone have enhanced flight performance

    PubMed Central

    Chin, Eunice H.; Love, Oliver P.; Verspoor, Jan J.; Williams, Tony D.; Rowley, Kyle; Burness, Gary

    2008-01-01

    Exposure to maternally derived glucocorticoids during embryonic development impacts offspring phenotype. Although many of these effects appear to be transiently ‘negative’, embryonic exposure to maternally derived stress hormones is hypothesized to induce preparative responses that increase survival prospects for offspring in low-quality environments; however, little is known about how maternal stress influences longer-term survival-related performance traits in free-living individuals. Using an experimental elevation of yolk corticosterone (embryonic signal of low maternal quality), we examined potential impacts of embryonic exposure to maternally derived stress on flight performance, wing loading, muscle morphology and muscle physiology in juvenile European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Here we report that fledglings exposed to experimentally increased corticosterone in ovo performed better during flight performance trials than control fledglings. Consistent with differences in performance, individuals exposed to elevated embryonic corticosterone fledged with lower wing loading and had heavier and more functionally mature flight muscles compared with control fledglings. Our results indicate that the positive effects on a survival-related trait in response to embryonic exposure to maternally derived stress hormones may balance some of the associated negative developmental costs that have recently been reported. Moreover, if embryonic experience is a good predictor of the quality or risk of future environments, a preparative phenotype associated with exposure to apparently negative stimuli during development may be adaptive. PMID:18842541

  6. Carotenoids, birdsong and oxidative status: administration of dietary lutein is associated with an increase in song rate and circulating antioxidants (albumin and cholesterol) and a decrease in oxidative damage.

    PubMed

    Casagrande, Stefania; Pinxten, Rianne; Zaid, Erika; Eens, Marcel

    2014-01-01

    Despite the appealing hypothesis that carotenoid-based colouration signals oxidative status, evidence supporting the antioxidant function of these pigments is scarce. Recent studies have shown that lutein, the most common carotenoid used by birds, can enhance the expression of non-visual traits, such as birdsong. Nevertheless, the underlying physiological mechanisms remain unclear. In this study we hypothesized that male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) fed extra lutein increase their song rate as a consequence of an improved oxidative status. Although birdsong may be especially sensitive to the redox status, this has, to the best of our knowledge, never been tested. Together with the determination of circulating oxidative damage (ROMs, reactive oxygen metabolites), we quantified uric acid, albumin, total proteins, cholesterol, and testosterone, which are physiological parameters potentially sensitive to oxidation and/or related to both carotenoid functions and birdsong expression. We found that the birds fed extra lutein sang more frequently than control birds and showed an increase of albumin and cholesterol together with a decrease of oxidative damage. Moreover, we could show that song rate was associated with high levels of albumin and cholesterol and low levels of oxidative damage, independently from testosterone levels. Our study shows for the first time that song rate honestly signals the oxidative status of males and that dietary lutein is associated with the circulation of albumin and cholesterol in birds, providing a novel insight to the theoretical framework related to the honest signalling of carotenoid-based traits.

  7. Carotenoids, Birdsong and Oxidative Status: Administration of Dietary Lutein Is Associated with an Increase in Song Rate and Circulating Antioxidants (Albumin and Cholesterol) and a Decrease in Oxidative Damage

    PubMed Central

    Casagrande, Stefania; Pinxten, Rianne; Zaid, Erika; Eens, Marcel

    2014-01-01

    Despite the appealing hypothesis that carotenoid-based colouration signals oxidative status, evidence supporting the antioxidant function of these pigments is scarce. Recent studies have shown that lutein, the most common carotenoid used by birds, can enhance the expression of non-visual traits, such as birdsong. Nevertheless, the underlying physiological mechanisms remain unclear. In this study we hypothesized that male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) fed extra lutein increase their song rate as a consequence of an improved oxidative status. Although birdsong may be especially sensitive to the redox status, this has, to the best of our knowledge, never been tested. Together with the determination of circulating oxidative damage (ROMs, reactive oxygen metabolites), we quantified uric acid, albumin, total proteins, cholesterol, and testosterone, which are physiological parameters potentially sensitive to oxidation and/or related to both carotenoid functions and birdsong expression. We found that the birds fed extra lutein sang more frequently than control birds and showed an increase of albumin and cholesterol together with a decrease of oxidative damage. Moreover, we could show that song rate was associated with high levels of albumin and cholesterol and low levels of oxidative damage, independently from testosterone levels. Our study shows for the first time that song rate honestly signals the oxidative status of males and that dietary lutein is associated with the circulation of albumin and cholesterol in birds, providing a novel insight to the theoretical framework related to the honest signalling of carotenoid-based traits. PMID:25549336

  8. Developing dynamic mechanistic species distribution models: predicting bird-mediated spread of invasive plants across northeastern North America.

    PubMed

    Merow, Cory; Lafleur, Nancy; Silander, John A; Wilson, Adam M; Rubega, Margaret

    2011-07-01

    Species distribution models are a fundamental tool in ecology, conservation biology, and biogeography and typically identify potential species distributions using static phenomenological models. We demonstrate the importance of complementing these popular models with spatially explicit, dynamic mechanistic models that link potential and realized distributions. We develop general grid-based, pattern-oriented spread models incorporating three mechanisms--plant population growth, local dispersal, and long-distance dispersal--to predict broadscale spread patterns in heterogeneous landscapes. We use the model to examine the spread of the invasive Celastrus orbiculatus (Oriental bittersweet) by Sturnus vulgaris (European starling) across northeastern North America. We find excellent quantitative agreement with historical spread records over the last century that are critically linked to the geometry of heterogeneous landscapes and each of the explanatory mechanisms considered. Spread of bittersweet before 1960 was primarily driven by high growth rates in developed and agricultural landscapes, while subsequent spread was mediated by expansion into deciduous and coniferous forests. Large, continuous patches of coniferous forests may substantially impede invasion. The success of C. orbiculatus and its potential mutualism with S. vulgaris suggest troubling predictions for the spread of other invasive, fleshy-fruited plant species across northeastern North America.

  9. A statistical framework for genetic association studies of power curves in bird flight

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Min; Zhao, Wei

    2006-01-01

    How the power required for bird flight varies as a function of forward speed can be used to predict the flight style and behavioral strategy of a bird for feeding and migration. A U-shaped curve was observed between the power and flight velocity in many birds, which is consistent to the theoretical prediction by aerodynamic models. In this article, we present a general genetic model for fine mapping of quantitative trait loci (QTL) responsible for power curves in a sample of birds drawn from a natural population. This model is developed within the maximum likelihood context, implemented with the EM algorithm for estimating the population genetic parameters of QTL and the simplex algorithm for estimating the QTL genotype-specific parameters of power curves. Using Monte Carlo simulation derived from empirical observations of power curves in the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris), we demonstrate how the underlying QTL for power curves can be detected from molecular markers and how the QTL detected affect the most appropriate flight speeds used to design an optimal migration strategy. The results from our model can be directly integrated into a conceptual framework for understanding flight origin and evolution. PMID:17066123

  10. Habitat relationships and nest site characteristics of cavity-nesting birds in cottonwood floodplains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sedgwick, James A.; Knopf, Fritz L.

    1990-01-01

    We examined habitat relationships and nest site characteristics for 6 species of cavity-nesting birds--American kestrel (Falco sparverius), northern flicker (Colaptes auratus), red-headed woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus), black-capped chickadee (Parus atricapillus), house wren (Troglodytes aedon), and European starling (Sturnus vulgaris)--in a mature plains cottonwood (Populus sargentii) bottomland along the South Platte River in northeastern Colorado in 1985 and 1986. We examined characteristics of cavities, nest trees, and the habitat surrounding nest trees. Density of large trees (>69 cm dbh), total length of dead limbs ≥10 cm diameter (TDLL), and cavity density were the most important habitat variables; dead limb length (DLL), dbh, and species were the most important tree variables; and cavity height, cavity entrance diameter, and substrate condition at the cavity (live vs. dead) were the most important cavity variables in segregating cavity nesters along habitat, tree, and cavity dimensions, respectively. Random sites differed most from cavity-nesting bird sites on the basis of dbh, DLL, limb tree density (trees with ≥1 m dead limbs ≥10 cm diameter), and cavity density. Habitats of red-headed woodpeckers and American kestrels were the most unique, differing most from random sites. Based on current trends in cottonwood demography, densities of cavity-nesting birds will probably decline gradually along the South Platte River, paralleling a decline in DLL, limb tree density, snag density, and the concurrent lack of cottonwood regeneration.

  11. Parathion poisoning of Mississippi kites in Oklahoma

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Franson, J. Christian

    1994-01-01

    Parathion(phosphorothioic acid O, O-diethyl O-[4-nitrophenyl] ester) is a broad spectrum organophosphorus insecticide, used on a variety of crops and occasionally for mosquito control, and is highly toxic to birds (Smith 1987). Intentional poisoning with parathion is reported to have killed more than 8000 red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus), common grackles (Quiscalus quiscula), brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) and European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) in two separate instances (Stone et al. 1984). Use of parathion on wheat fields has resulted in the mortality of about 1600 Canada geese (Branta canadensis) and other waterfowl in one instance (White et al. 1982) and about 200 Canada geese in another (Flickinger et al. 1991). More than 200 laughing gulls (Larus atricilla) died near cotton fields treated with parathion (White et al. 1979). Secondary poisoning of raptors resulting from the consumption of prey exposed to parathion, has been reported experimentally and in the field. Stone et al. (1984) found two dead red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), a Cooper's hawk (Accipiter cooperii) and an American kestrel (Falco sparverius) that had fed on blackbirds killed by parathion. One of four American kestrels died after being fed cricket frogs (Acris crepitans) that had been exposed to 10ppm parathion for 96 hr (Fleming et al. 1982). The Mississippi kite (Ictinia mississippensis) is highly insectivorous (Brown and Amadon 1968) and is thus subject to secondary poisoning resulting from consumption of insects exposed to pesticides. I report here an instance of secondary parathion poisoning in wild Mississippi kites.

  12. Birds learn to use distastefulness as a signal of toxicity

    PubMed Central

    Skelhorn, John; Rowe, Candy

    2010-01-01

    Aposematic prey advertise their toxicity using conspicuous visual signals that predators quickly learn to avoid. However, it is advantageous for predators not to simply avoid toxic prey, but to learn about the amount of toxin that prey contain, and include them in their diets when the nutritional gains are high relative to the costs of ingesting the toxin. Therefore, when foraging on a defended prey population where individuals vary in their toxin concentration, predators should learn to use cues which distinguish prey with different levels of toxicity in order to include less defended individuals in their diets. In this experiment, we found that European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) could learn to use a bitter taste to predict the amount of toxin that individual prey contained, and use that information to preferentially ingest less toxic prey to maximize their nutrient intake relative to the amount of toxin ingested. Our results suggest that bitter tastes could evolve as reliable signals of toxicity, and can help to explain why many toxins taste bitter. They also highlight the need to develop new mathematical simulations of the evolution of prey defences which incorporate the adaptive decision-making processes underlying nutrient and toxin management. PMID:20129989

  13. Mathematical Modelling in European Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ferri, Rita Borromeo

    2013-01-01

    Teaching and learning of mathematical modelling has become a key competence within school curricula and educational standards in many countries of the world. The term mathematical modelling, its meaning, and how it can be implemented in mathematics lessons have been intensively discussed during several Conferences of the European Society for…

  14. Reconstructing Indo-European Syllabification

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Byrd, Andrew Miles

    2010-01-01

    The chief concern of this dissertation is to investigate a fundamental, yet unsolved problem within the phonology of Proto-Indo-European (PIE): the process of syllabification. I show that by analyzing the much more easily reconstructable word-edge clusters we may predict which types of consonant clusters can occur word-medially, provided that we…

  15. Attitudes of Europeans toward Age.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ageing International, 1993

    1993-01-01

    Two Commission of European Communities surveys of people over age 15 and of those over 60 demonstrated a widespread belief that older people deserve public support and services and face employment discrimination. Socioeconomic factors influenced older people's sense of security and life satisfaction. Positive intergenerational attitudes appeared.…

  16. European Year of Languages, 2001.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Council of Europe, Strasbourg (France). Directorate of Education, Culture and Sport, Documentation Section.

    This document is a folder full of brochures describing the activities of Council of Europe and the European Union to celebrate 2001 as a year of languages in order to celebrate the linguistic diversity of Europe and promote the many opportunities available for lifelong language learning. A number of facts and figures about the languages of Europe…

  17. Scholarships for European vet students.

    PubMed

    Egan, Jordon; Takacs, Daniella

    2017-02-25

    Every year, students from European vet schools can apply for $5000 scholarships, which aim to 'enhance the academic experience of students'. Among last year's recipients were Jordon Egan, from the Royal Veterinary College, and Daniella Takács, from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Budapest.

  18. European urology: quality, impact, online.

    PubMed

    Catto, James W F; Montorsi, Francesco; Schulman, Claude

    2013-10-01

    European Urology provides contemporary, cutting-edge urologic research, guidance, and discussion. The journal continues to invite collaborative reviews, to invest in rapid but fair peer review, to seek the best research, and to serve the needs of readers and patients.

  19. Beyond "Ability": Some European Alternatives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wrigley, Terry

    2013-01-01

    This article draws on European approaches to differentiation that do not entail fatalistic determinism. It describes two challenging initiatives in Denmark, where democratic learning and learning for democracy are enshrined in law. Other examples come from Germany, from the Bielefeld laboratory school and a sixth form college, where planning for…

  20. European tests on materials outgassing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zwaal, A.

    1977-01-01

    With a view to international coordination of spacecraft materials, a number of European firms and institutes performed outgassing tests on identical materials at 125 C in high vacuum. The outgassing data obtained with the different types of equipment is presented and both the results and the critical parameters are discussed.

  1. The European Location Framework - from National to European

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pauknerova, E.; Sidlichovsky, P.; Urbanas, S.; Med, M.

    2016-06-01

    The European Location Framework (ELF) means a technical infrastructure which will deliver authoritative, interoperable geospatial reference data from all over Europe for analysing and understanding information connected to places and features. The ELF has been developed and set up through the ELF Project, which has been realized by a consortium of partners (public, private and academic organisations) since March 2013. Their number increased from thirty to forty in the year 2016, together with a project extension from 36 to 44 months. The project is co-funded by the European Commission's Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and will end in October 2016. In broad terms, the ELF Project will deliver a unique gateway to the authoritative reference geospatial information for Europe (harmonised pan-European maps, geographic and land information) sourced from the National Mapping and Cadastral Authorities (NMCAs) around Europe and including transparent licensing. This will be provided as an online ELF web service that will deliver an up-to-date topographic base map and also as view & download services for access to the ELF datasets. To develop and build up the ELF, NMCAs are accompanied and collaborate with several research & academia institutes, a standardisation body, system integrators, software developers and application providers. The harmonisation is in progress developing and triggering a number of geo-tools like edge-matching, generalisation, transformation and others. ELF will provide also some centralised tools like Geo Locator for searching location based on geographical names, addresses and administrative units, and GeoProduct Finder for discovering the available web-services and licensing them. ELF combines national reference geo-information through the ELF platform. ELF web services will be offered to users and application developers through open source (OSKARI) and proprietary (ArcGIS Online) cloud platforms. Recently, 29 NMCAs plus the

  2. New head picked for European Spallation Source

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banks, Michael

    2016-06-01

    The UK physicist John Womersley is to become the next director-general of the €1.8bn European Spallation Source (ESS), which is currently being built in Lund, Sweden, by a 17-member consortium of European countries.

  3. European physics impact - to a first approximation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Starckx, Senne

    2013-05-01

    Physics-based industries contributed around 14%, or €3800bn, to the total value of the European economy in 2010 - exceeding that of the construction and retail sectors combined - according to a report by the European Physical Society (EPS).

  4. Meeting US and European supplier control requirements.

    PubMed

    Donawa, Maria

    2009-01-01

    Medical device manufacturers operating under European quality system requirements are sometimes surprised to learn that their supplier control procedures do not fully meet United States (US) requirements. This article discusses important differences between US and European requirements for controlling suppliers.

  5. European Cargo Ship Launches to Station

    NASA Video Gallery

    The European Space Agency's third Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-3) launched atop an Ariane 5 rocket from the European space port in Kourou, French Guiana, at 12:34 a.m. EDT Friday, beginning a si...

  6. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

    PubMed

    Evans, Roger

    2014-11-04

    The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control was set up in 2005 to strengthen Europe's defences against infectious diseases. The centre is an independent agency of the European Union and is based in Stockholm, Sweden.

  7. European psychotraumatology – alongside the recent European history

    PubMed Central

    Lueger-Schuster, Brigitte

    2013-01-01

    This article outlines a personal reflection of experiences within the field of traumatic stress, especially in relation to specific events, which affected the author's professional life. Conclusions for further challenges for European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS) are delineated. ESTSS's role in the global network of traumatic stress societies is discussed. This is a personal view of Brigitte Lueger-Schuster, president of ESTSS on behalf of the 20th birthday of ESTSS. PMID:23755321

  8. ETUDE - European Trade Union Distance Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Creanor, Linda; Walker, Steve

    2000-01-01

    Describes transnational distance learning activities among European trade union educators carried out as part of the European Trade Union Distance Education (ETUDE) project, supported by the European Commission. Highlights include the context of international trade union distance education; tutor training course; tutors' experiences; and…

  9. Europeanizing Education: Governing a New Policy Space

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawn, Martin; Grek, Sotiria

    2012-01-01

    The study of common and diverse effects in the field of education across Europe is a growing field of inquiry and research. It is the result of many actions, networks and programmes over the last few decades and the development of common European education policies. "Europeanizing Education" describes the origins of European education…

  10. European Initiatives in Postgraduate Education in Gerontology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Rijsselt, Rene J. T.; Parkatti, Terttu; Troisi, Joseph

    2007-01-01

    This paper describes three innovative European initiatives in postgraduate education in gerontology. The first is the European Masters Program in Gerontology (EuMaG), developed as an interdisciplinary joint program, supported and delivered by 22 European universities. Second, the Nordplus initiative to increase mobility of students and staff in…

  11. How Is European Governance Configuring the EHEA?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Magalhães, António; Veiga, Amélia; Sousa, Sofia; Ribeiro, Filipa

    2012-01-01

    This article focuses on the interaction between the European dimension driven by the creation of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and the development of national reforms to fulfil that objective. On the basis of data gathered in eight countries involved in EuroHESC project TRUE (Transforming European Universities), the curricular and the…

  12. Making Citizens, Being European? European Symbolism in Slovenian Citizenship Education Textbooks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Banjac, Marinko; Pušnik, Tomaž

    2015-01-01

    Citizenship education has been an important part of the European Union's (EU) agenda to integrate a European dimension into schools' curricula. The usage of European symbolism in citizenship education curriculum material has been an especially important (yet understudied) means not only to promote a distinct European identity and increase…

  13. EST: The European Solar Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collados, M.

    2008-09-01

    The European Solar Telescope (EST) is a project for a 4 meter-class ground-based telescope, to be located in the Canary Islands. The project is promoted by the European Association for Solar Telescopes (EAST), a consortium formed by research organizations from 15 European countries. EST will be optimized for studies of magnetic coupling between the deep photosphere and upper chromosphere. The project has been approved for funds by the European Union, within the FP-7 framework, to produce the design of all systems and subsystems of the telescope during the next three years. This includes the optical and optomechanical design of the telescope itself and of the instruments and their control. MCAO will be included in the optical path in a natural way to compensate for atmospheric disturbances in an optimum way. The design of EST will strongly emphasize the use of a large number of visible and near-infrared instruments simultaneously which will influence the telescope design from the very beginning. This communication will center mainly on the scientific objectives that EST will address. Generally speaking, they involve understanding how the magnetic field emerges through the solar surface, interacts with the plasma dynamics to transfer energy between different regions, and finally releases it in the form of heat or as violent events in the solar chromosphere and corona. Among the many topics of interest, one may cite, as described in the EST Science Requirements Document: small-scale flux emergence in quiet sun regions, large-scale magnetic structures, magnetic flux cancellation processes, polar magnetic fields, magnetic topology of the photosphere and chromosphere, conversion of mechanical to magnetic energy in the photosphere, wave propagation from photosphere to chromosphere, energy dissipation in the chromosphere at small and large scales, etc. The present status and future perspectives of the project will also be outlined.

  14. European Seminar on Neural Computing

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-08-31

    weights) There are three distinct approaches currently being of the connections between PE’s, analogous to synaptic taken for supporting neural ...for creation of dedicated re- * Connectionist models for artificial intelligence (Al) search centers, analogous to the Computer and Neural System...IONDOIL ONRL Report 8 Oo Ln 0In t m S D TIC European Seminar on Neural Computing 1 IELECTE is MAY 161990 L D % Claire Zomzely-Neurath 31 August 1988

  15. Evaluating the European Defense Force

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2002-05-31

    Union and the European Security and Defense Identity. From its inception following World War II, the WEU has shared a common birthright of sorts...for a merging of monetary, citizenship , and security affairs. The monetary policy is already in effect with the new Euro dollar entering...circulation in 2002. The most dramatic impact of citizenship policies is the idea of dual- citizenship of Europe and its respective states members. Finally

  16. European Science Notes Information Bulletin.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-12-01

    Third European Conference on Diamond, Diamond-like, and Related Coatings .................. 427 M. N. Yoder, L. Kabacoff, J. E. Butler, K Doverspike, J...tions on the functionf will yield results on the the correlation E(dj[n], dk[m]) depends on H, j, k , analysis and synthesis operators. m, n and the number...structure of fully developed turbulence in the ho- goes like this: Define the functions ,•j..(x) = j , k (x) mogeneous and inhomogeneous, incompressible

  17. International Heliophysical Year: European Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briand, C.

    2007-08-01

    The First European General Assembly of the "International Heliophysical Year" (IHY) took place at the headquarters of the Centre Nationial de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Paris, France, 10-13 January 2006. There were 113 participants representing 27 nations. The science concerned with the International Heliophysical Year programme was first illustrated. Then, the status of current instruments as well as practical information on the campaign management policy was given. Twenty European National Coordinators described the progress of their IHY activities. Representatives from Egypt, Angola and the coordinator of the Balkan, Black and Caspian Sea Region also reported on the progress of IHY activities in their respective regions. People from the IHY Secretariat provided a summary of the global IHY efforts including the United Nations Basic Space Sciences Program. In the education and public outreach front, a variety of activities have been planned: TV and radio shows, board games on space weather, specific programmes for schools and universities, workshops for teachers are some of the actions that were presented by the delegates. Beyond of these national and individual initiatives, specific activities requiring European coordination were discussed. This paper provides an extended summary of the main talks and discussions that held during the meeting.

  18. Brain death: the European perspective.

    PubMed

    Citerio, Giuseppe; Murphy, Paul G

    2015-04-01

    Some of the seminal steps toward the recognition and definition of brain death were European. There is a general consensus on both the medical concept of brain death in Europe as well as the minimum fundamental clinical standards that are required for its diagnosis-the absence of consciousness, brainstem reflexes, and the ability to breathe in the absence of reversible or confounding conditions. Two aspects of brain death determination are addressed in this article. The authors analyze how brain death is diagnosed across Europe, identifying both the similarities and differences that exist between countries (the latter mainly concerning ancillary tests, timing, and the number of physicians involved in the brain death determination). In addition, they describe the very considerable variations in when brain death determinations are made between and within individual European countries, and propose that they are due to differences in the end-of-life care practices in patients with irreversible brain injuries, medical attitudes, and organ donation practices. Although legislation is available to standardize the brain death diagnosis process in most individual European countries, there are still disparities across Europe as a whole. The current variation in practice makes a continental consensus for the definition of brain death imperative.

  19. European Nucleotide Archive in 2016

    PubMed Central

    Toribio, Ana Luisa; Alako, Blaise; Amid, Clara; Cerdeño-Tarrága, Ana; Clarke, Laura; Cleland, Iain; Fairley, Susan; Gibson, Richard; Goodgame, Neil; ten Hoopen, Petra; Jayathilaka, Suran; Kay, Simon; Leinonen, Rasko; Liu, Xin; Martínez-Villacorta, Josué; Pakseresht, Nima; Rajan, Jeena; Reddy, Kethi; Rosello, Marc; Silvester, Nicole; Smirnov, Dmitriy; Vaughan, Daniel; Zalunin, Vadim; Cochrane, Guy

    2017-01-01

    The European Nucleotide Archive (ENA; http://www.ebi.ac.uk/ena) offers a rich platform for data sharing, publishing and archiving and a globally comprehensive data set for onward use by the scientific community. With a broad scope spanning raw sequencing reads, genome assemblies and functional annotation, the resource provides extensive data submission, search and download facilities across web and programmatic interfaces. Here, we outline ENA content and major access modalities, highlight major developments in 2016 and outline a number of examples of data reuse from ENA. PMID:27899630

  20. European alchemy: some traditional beliefs.

    PubMed

    Karpenko, V

    1999-01-01

    Three important doctrines of European alchemy are discussed: the Emerald Table of Hermes, the idea of transmutation, and the Elixir of Life. The analysis of these problems is focused on the 16th century, the epoch of the high flourish of alchemy in Renaissance Europe. As typical examples two works are chosen: the treatises of Jean-Pierre Fabre (1588-1658) and Alexander von Suchten (? 1520 - ? 1590). The arguments of these authors illustrate the ways how alchemists tried to defend their position in face of repeated failures. Just the 16th century stood in the sign of dramatic development of crafts, but, simultaneously, of growing interest in alchemy.

  1. European perspectives of food safety.

    PubMed

    Bánáti, Diána

    2014-08-01

    Food safety has been a growing concern among European Union (EU) citizens over the last decades. Despite the fact that food has never been safer, consumers are considerably uncertain and increasingly critical about the safety of their food. The introduction of new principles, such as the primary responsibility of producers, traceability, risk analysis, the separation of risk assessment and risk management provided a more transparent, science-based system in Europe, which can help to restore consumers' lost confidence. The present EU integrated approach to food safety 'from farm to fork' aims to assure a high level of food safety within the EU.

  2. Policymaking in European healthy cities.

    PubMed

    de Leeuw, Evelyne; Green, Geoff; Spanswick, Lucy; Palmer, Nicola

    2015-06-01

    This paper assesses policy development in, with and for Healthy Cities in the European Region of the World Health Organization. Materials for the assessment were sourced through case studies, a questionnaire and statistical databases. They were compiled in a realist synthesis methodology, applying theory-based evaluation principles. Non-response analyses were applied to ascertain the degree of representatives of the high response rates for the entire network of Healthy Cities in Europe. Further measures of reliability and validity were applied, and it was found that our material was indicative of the entire network. European Healthy Cities are successful in developing local health policy across many sectors within and outside government. They were also successful in addressing 'wicked' problems around equity, governance and participation in themes such as Healthy Urban Planning. It appears that strong local leadership for policy change is driven by international collaboration and the stewardship of the World Health Organization. The processes enacted by WHO, structuring membership of the Healthy City Network (designation) and the guidance on particular themes, are identified as being important for the success of local policy development.

  3. Sprawl in European urban areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prastacos, Poulicos; Lagarias, Apostolos

    2016-08-01

    In this paper the 2006 edition of the Urban Atlas database is used to tabulate areas of low development density, usually referred to as "sprawl", for many European cities. The Urban Atlas database contains information on the land use distribution in the 305 largest European cities. Twenty different land use types are recognized, with six of them representing urban fabric. Urban fabric classes are residential areas differentiated by the density of development, which is measured by the sealing degree parameter that ranges from 0% to 100% (non-developed, fully developed). Analysis is performed on the distribution of the middle to low density areas defined as those with sealing degree less than 50%. Seven different country groups in which urban areas have similar sprawl characteristics are identified and some key characteristics of sprawl are discussed. Population of an urban area is another parameter considered in the analysis. Two spatial metrics, average patch size and mean distance to the nearest neighboring patch of the same class, are used to describe proximity/separation characteristics of sprawl in the urban areas of the seven groups.

  4. The new European Hubble archive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Marchi, Guido; Arevalo, Maria; Merin, Bruno

    2016-01-01

    The European Hubble Archive (hereafter eHST), hosted at ESA's European Space Astronomy Centre, has been released for public use in October 2015. The eHST is now fully integrated with the other ESA science archives to ensure long-term preservation of the Hubble data, consisting of more than 1 million observations from 10 different scientific instruments. The public HST data, the Hubble Legacy Archive, and the high-level science data products are now all available to scientists through a single, carefully designed and user friendly web interface. In this talk, I will show how the the eHST can help boost archival research, including how to search on sources in the field of view thanks to precise footprints projected onto the sky, how to obtain enhanced previews of imaging data and interactive spectral plots, and how to directly link observations with already published papers. To maximise the scientific exploitation of Hubble's data, the eHST offers connectivity to virtual observatory tools, easily integrates with the recently released Hubble Source Catalog, and is fully accessible through ESA's archives multi-mission interface.

  5. European EVA decompression sickness risks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vogt, Lorenz; Wenzel, Jürgen; Skoog, A. I.; Luck, S.; Svensson, Bengt

    For the first manned flight of Hermes there will be a capability of performing EVA. The European EVA Space Suit will be an anthropomorphic system with an internal pressure of 500 hPa of pure oxygen. The pressure reduction from the Hermes cabin pressure of 1013 hPa will induce a risk for Decompression Sickness (DCS) for the EVA crewmember if no adequate protective procedures are implemented. Specific decompression procedures have to be developed. From a critical review of the literature and by using knowledge gained from research conducted in the past in the fields of diving and aerospace medicine safe protective procedures are proposed for the European EVA scenario. An R factor of 1.2 and a tissue half-time ( t1/2) of 360 minutes in a single-tissue model have been identified as appropriate operational values. On the basis of an acceptable risk level of approximately 1%, oxygen prebreathing times are proposed for (a) direct pressure reduction from 1013 hPa to a suit pressure of 500 hPa, and (b) staged decompression using a 700 hPa intermediate stage in the spacecraft cabin. In addition, factors which influence individual susceptibility to DCS are identified. Recommendations are also given in the areas of crew selection and medical monitoring requirements together with therapeutic measures that can be implemented in the Hermes scenario. A method for demonstration of the validity of proposed risks and procedures is proposed.

  6. The New European Wind Atlas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lundtang Petersen, Erik

    2013-04-01

    The New European Wind Atlas 1. European wind resource assessment through a ERA-NET Plus project 1.1 The new EU Atlas The Commission decided earlier this year to issue an ERA-NET Plus call for the creation and publication of a new EU wind atlas. The atlas will cover Member states as well as Member states' exclusive economic zones, both onshore and offshore. It involved the launch of a single joint call for proposals by promoters of national and/or regional programmes, thereby allowing a more efficient use of existing financial resources. Therefore the funding scheme is that of ERA-NET Plus which implies that at least 5 MS shall commit at least 1 million Euros each and the Commission tops up with on third of the MS contribution. Basically it is the MS research programmes that will execute the project but an important part of the project is to create "open project development platforms" with associated protocols allowing a wider range of scientists worldwide to contribute. The project has a duration of 5 years. The decision on the new wind atlas was taken after several years of work by the European Wind Energy Technology Platform and the European Energy Research Alliances' Joint programme for Wind Energy. 2. Structure of the project The project will be structured around three areas of work, to be implemented in parallel: 2.1 Creation and publication of a European wind atlas in electronic form, which will include the underlying data and a new EU wind climate database. The database will at a minimum include: Wind resources and their associated uncertainty; Extreme wind; Turbulence characteristics; Adverse weather conditions; Predictability for short term prediction; Guidelines. 2.2 Development of dynamical downscaling methodologies and open-source models. The developed downscaling methodologies and models will be fully documented and made public available and will be used to produce overview maps of wind resources and relevant data at several heights and a horizontal

  7. The Revised European Social Fund and Action to Combat Unemployment in the European Community.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vandamme, Francois

    1984-01-01

    The tasks of the European Social Fund, the European Economic Community's social policy instrument, were reviewed in l983 in the light of the worsening unemployment situation and the priority placed on employment and vocational training policies. (Author/SSH)

  8. Assessing European wild fire vulnerability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oehler, F.; Oliveira, S.; Barredo, J. I.; Camia, A.; Ayanz, J. San Miguel; Pettenella, D.; Mavsar, R.

    2012-04-01

    Wild fire vulnerability is a measure of potential socio-economic damage caused by a fire in a specific area. As such it is an important component of long-term fire risk management, helping policy-makers take informed decisions about adequate expenditures for fire prevention and suppression, and to target those regions at highest risk. This paper presents a first approach to assess wild fire vulnerability at the European level. A conservative approach was chosen that assesses the cost of restoring the previous land cover after a potential fire. Based on the CORINE Land Cover, a restoration cost was established for each land cover class at country level, and an average restoration time was assigned according to the recovery capacity of the land cover. The damage caused by fire was then assessed by discounting the cost of restoring the previous land cover over the restoration period. Three different vulnerability scenarios were considered assuming low, medium and high fire severity causing different levels of damage. Over Europe, the potential damage of wild land fires ranges from 10 - 13, 732 Euro*ha-1*yr-1 for low fire severity, 32 - 45,772 Euro*ha-1*yr-1 for medium fire severity and 54 - 77,812 Euro*ha-1*yr-1 for high fire severity. The least vulnerable are natural grasslands, moors and heathland and sclerophyllous vegetation, while the highest cost occurs for restoring broad-leaved forest. Preliminary validation comparing these estimates with official damage assessments for past fires shows reasonable results. The restoration cost approach allows for a straightforward, data extensive assessment of fire vulnerability at European level. A disadvantage is the inherent simplification of the evaluation procedure with the underestimation of non-markets goods and services. Thus, a second approach has been developed, valuing individual wild land goods and services and assessing their annual flow which is lost for a certain period of time in case of a fire event. However

  9. EMSO: European Multidisciplinary Seafloor Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Favali, P.; Partnership, Emso

    2009-04-01

    EMSO, a Research Infrastructure listed within ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures) Roadmap), is the European-scale network of multidisciplinary seafloor observatories from the Arctic to the Black Sea with the scientific objective of long-term real-time monitoring of processes related to geosphere/biosphere/hydrosphere interactions. EMSO will enhance our understanding of processes through long time series appropriate to the scale of the phenomena, constituting the new frontier of studying Earth interior, deep-sea biology and chemistry and ocean processes. EMSO will reply also to the need expressed in the frame of GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) to develop a marine segment integrated in the in situ and satellite global monitoring system. The EMSO development relays upon the synergy between the scientific community and the industry to improve the European competitiveness with respect to countries like USA/Canada, NEPTUNE, VENUS and MARS projects, Taiwan, MACHO project, and Japan, DONET project. In Europe the development of an underwater network is based on previous EU-funded projects since early '90, and presently supported by EU initiatives. The EMSO infrastructure will constitute the extension to the sea of the land-based networks. Examples of data recorded by seafloor observatories will be presented. EMSO is presently at the stage of Preparatory Phase (PP), funded in the EC FP7 Capacities Programme. The project has started in April 2008 and will last 4 years with the participation of 12 Institutions representing 12 countries. EMSO potential will be significantly increased also with the interaction with other Research Infrastructures addressed to Earth Science. 2. IFREMER-Institut Français de Recherche pour l'exploitation de la mer (France, ref. Roland Person); KDM-Konsortium Deutsche Meeresforschung e.V. (Germany, ref. Christoph Waldmann); IMI-Irish Marine Institute (Ireland, ref. Michael Gillooly); UTM-CSIC-Unidad de

  10. EMSO: European Multidisciplinary Seafloor Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Favali, Paolo

    2010-05-01

    EMSO, a Research Infrastructure listed within ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures) Roadmap (Report 2006, http://cordis.europa.eu/esfri/roadmap.htm), is the European-scale network of multidisciplinary seafloor observatories from the Arctic to the Black Sea with the scientific objective of long-term real-time monitoring of processes related to geosphere/biosphere/hydrosphere interactions. EMSO will enhance our understanding of processes through long time series appropriate to the scale of the phenomena, constituting the new frontier of studying Earth interior, deep-sea biology and chemistry and ocean processes. The development of an underwater network is based on previous EU-funded projects since early '90 and is being supported by several EU initiatives, as the on-going ESONET-NoE, coordinated by IFREMER (2007-2011, http://www.esonet-emso.org/esonet-noe/), and aims at gathering together the Research Community of the Ocean Observatories. In 2006 the FP7 Capacities Programme launched a call for Preparatory Phase (PP) projects, that will provide the support to create the legal and organisational entities in charge of managing the infrastructures, and coordinating the financial effort among the countries. Under this call the EMSO-PP project was approved in 2007 with the coordination of INGV and the participation of other 11 Institutions of 11 countries. The project has started in April 2008 and will last 4 years. The EMSO is a key-infrastructure both for Ocean Sciences and for Solid Earth Sciences. In this respect it will enhance and complement profitably the capabilities of other European research infrastructures such as EPOS, ERICON-Aurora Borealis, and SIOS. The perspective of the synergy among EMSO and other ESFRI Research Infrastructures will be outlined. EMSO Partners: IFREMER-Institut Français de Recherche pour l'exploitation de la mer (France, ref. Roland Person); KDM-Konsortium Deutsche Meeresforschung e.V. (Germany, ref. Christoph

  11. Equal Opportunities and European Educational/Vocational Policy [and] Equal Opportunities and the European Social Fund.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brine, Jacky

    This document contains a symposium paper and a conference paper. "Equal Opportunities and European Educational and Vocational Policy" explores the symposium theme of concepts of difference as it relates directly to the European discourse of equal opportunities and its influence on European educational and vocational policy. It outlines…

  12. EERA and Its European Conferences on Educational Research: A Patchwork of Research on European Educational Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keiner, Edwin; Hofbauer, Susann

    2014-01-01

    The process of Europeanisation is closely linked to the process of an emerging European Educational Research Area and an education research identity. The European Conferences on Educational Research (ECER), European Educational Research Association (EERA) and its networks are involved in new directions and strands of educational research in…

  13. Status of European appliance standards

    SciTech Connect

    Turiel, I.; Lebot, B.

    1992-05-01

    The European Community (EC) recently commissioned a study of the impact of potential appliance standards on electricity consumption in the twelve EC nations. This study looks at refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, clothes washers, and clothes dryers. The impact of minimum efficiency standards on electricity use over the time period from 1995--2010 is estimated. The results of this study were presented to the EC in September of 1991. Revisions were made to the draft report and final copies sent to all interested parties. The member nations of the EC will soon consider whether they wish to implement uniform energy efficiency standards that would take effect in 1995. The results of the study described above will be presented and the political considerations will be discussed. In addition, data describing the appliance market in Europe will be presented.

  14. Carbon sequestration in European croplands.

    PubMed

    Smith, Pete; Falloon, Pete

    2005-01-01

    The Marrakech Accords allow biospheric carbon sinks and sources to be included in attempts to meet emission reduction targets for the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. Forest management, cropland management, grazing land management, and re-vegetation are allowable activities under Article 3.4 of the Kyoto Protocol. Soil carbon sinks (and sources) can, therefore, be included under these activities. Croplands are estimated to be the largest biospheric source of carbon lost to the atmosphere in Europe each year, but the cropland estimate is the most uncertain among all land-use types. It is estimated that European croplands (for Europe as far east as the Urals) lose 300 Tg (C) per year, with the mean figure for the European Union estimated to be 78 Tg (C) per year (with one SD=37). National estimates for EU countries are of a similar order of magnitude on a per-area basis. There is significant potential within Europe to decrease the flux of carbon to the atmosphere from cropland, and for cropland management to sequester soil carbon, relative to the amount of carbon stored in cropland soils at present. The biological potential for carbon storage in European (EU 15) cropland is of the order of 90-120 Tg (C) per year, with a range of options available that include reduced and zero tillage, set-aside, perennial crops, deep rooting crops, more efficient use of organic amendments (animal manure, sewage sludge, cereal straw, compost), improved rotations, irrigation, bioenergy crops, extensification, organic farming, and conversion of arable land to grassland or woodland. The sequestration potential, considering only constraints on land use, amounts of raw materials and available land, is up to 45 Tg (C) per year. The realistic potential and the conservative achievable potentials may be considerably lower than the biological potential because of socioeconomic and other constraints, with a realistically achievable potential estimated to be about 20% of the

  15. PRACE - The European HPC Infrastructure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stadelmeyer, Peter

    2014-05-01

    The mission of PRACE (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe) is to enable high impact scientific discovery and engineering research and development across all disciplines to enhance European competitiveness for the benefit of society. PRACE seeks to realize this mission by offering world class computing and data management resources and services through a peer review process. This talk gives a general overview about PRACE and the PRACE research infrastructure (RI). PRACE is established as an international not-for-profit association and the PRACE RI is a pan-European supercomputing infrastructure which offers access to computing and data management resources at partner sites distributed throughout Europe. Besides a short summary about the organization, history, and activities of PRACE, it is explained how scientists and researchers from academia and industry from around the world can access PRACE systems and which education and training activities are offered by PRACE. The overview also contains a selection of PRACE contributions to societal challenges and ongoing activities. Examples of the latter are beside others petascaling, application benchmark suite, best practice guides for efficient use of key architectures, application enabling / scaling, new programming models, and industrial applications. The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) is an international non-profit association with its seat in Brussels. The PRACE Research Infrastructure provides a persistent world-class high performance computing service for scientists and researchers from academia and industry in Europe. The computer systems and their operations accessible through PRACE are provided by 4 PRACE members (BSC representing Spain, CINECA representing Italy, GCS representing Germany and GENCI representing France). The Implementation Phase of PRACE receives funding from the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreements RI-261557, RI-283493 and RI

  16. Universal Services in the European Union.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bauer, Johannes M.

    1999-01-01

    Discusses universal service policies in the European Union. Topics include information access; the demise of the public service model; the effects of competition on universal service; financing; national implementation of member states; programs for schools and libraries; and pertinent Web sites on European universal service policy. (LRW)

  17. Mathematics Teaching in Four European Countries

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andrews, Paul; Sayers, Judy

    2006-01-01

    This article discusses a comparative study, funded by the European Union, of the teaching of mathematics in five European countries, (Flanders, England, Finland, Hungary and Spain) to students in the upper primary (ages 10-12) and lower secondary (12-14) years. These ages were chosen as they represent a time when many students' experiences of…

  18. European Industrial Doctorates: Marie Curie Actions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    European Commission, 2012

    2012-01-01

    European industrial doctorates are joint doctoral training projects funded by the European Union (EU) and open to all research fields. The project brings together an academic participant (university, research institution, etc.) and a company. They have to be established in two different EU Member States or associated countries. Associated partners…

  19. European Rabbits as Reservoir for Coxiella burnetii

    PubMed Central

    González-Barrio, David; Maio, Elisa; Vieira-Pinto, Madalena

    2015-01-01

    We studied the role of European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) as a reservoir for Coxiella burnetii in the Iberian region. High individual and population seroprevalences observed in wild and farmed rabbits, evidence of systemic infections, and vaginal shedding support the reservoir role of the European rabbit for C. burnetii. PMID:25988670

  20. Report from the European Prison Education Association

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Behan, Cormac

    2008-01-01

    Since the last edition of the Journal, the European Prison Education Association (EPEA) has been officially elected a member of the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) at EAEA's General Assembly held at the University of Latvia in Riga. The EAEA is the largest umbrella organization in Europe advocating lifelong learning. It is…

  1. Internationalisms--Identical Vocabularies in European Languages.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Braun, Peter

    Linguistic history has described borrowing in the European languages as a process exclusive to one language at any given time. However, it is more likely that there is a core of common loan words, or internationalisms, in many European languages. These internationalisms have come from a variety of sources: the historic interrelatedness of…

  2. A European Vision for Adult Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waddington, Sue; Tuckett, Alan; Boucher, Fiona

    2012-01-01

    The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) is the UK national coordinator for the European Agenda for Adult Learning, with the challenge of creating a coherent message across the four countries to inform European cooperation on adult learning. To start the debate, the journal staff asked Sue Waddington, Alan Tuckett, and Fiona…

  3. Implications of 1992 for European Telecommunications.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muller, Jurgen

    This paper analyzes the effect of the unified single market of 1992 on European telecommunications. The major policy aspects of the European Economic Commission's Green Paper on "The Development of the Common Market for Telecommunications Services and Equipment" are highlighted, and the effects of these policies in the equipment market…

  4. European and Intercultural Dimension in Greek Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Damanakis, Michael

    2005-01-01

    Negotiations concerning Greece's accession into the European Union began as early as 1961, when a cooperation agreement was signed between Greece and the European Economic Community. These negotiations were concluded 20 years later, on 1 January 1981, when Greece became the tenth full member of the EU. The next major step in Greece's progress…

  5. Transnational Lives in European Educational Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawn, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Transnational collaboration by educational researchers in Europe has grown fast since the mid-1990s and the means to support it have become more easily accessible. A study of the growth of the European Educational Research Association (EERA) since its foundation in the mid-1990s shows how transnational research in European education began, and how…

  6. The Future of Copyright Management: European Perspectives.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Battisti, Michele

    This paper presents European perspectives on the future of copyright management. The first section is an overview of intellectual property rights in Europe, including differences between copyright countries and "droit d'auteur" countries. The second section addresses European Community legal policy, including examples related to the…

  7. Towards European Citizenship through Higher Education?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fernndez, Scar

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of this study, the first part of a recently concluded project, is to describe and analyse the perceptions that European university students have of European citizenship and to offer some insight into the term. Before describing our findings, we offer a brief review of the concept of citizenship, attempting to define it in the European…

  8. The European standards of Haemophilia Centres

    PubMed Central

    Giangrande, Paul; Calizzani, Gabriele; Menichini, Ivana; Candura, Fabio; Mannucci, Pier Mannuccio; Makris, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Introduction The European haemophilia community of professionals and patients has agreed on the principles of haemophilia care to address comprehensive optimal delivery of care which is nowadays scattered throughout Europe. Many of the health facilities call themselves Haemophilia Centres despite their variation in size, expertise and services provided. Only a small number of countries have Haemophilia Centre accreditation systems in place. Methods In the framework of the European Haemophilia Network project, following an inclusive process of stakeholder involvement, the European Guidelines for the certification of haemophilia centres have been developed in order to set quality standards for European Haemophilia Centres and criteria for their certification. Results The Guidelines define the standards and criteria for the designation of two levels of care delivery: European Haemophilia Treatment Centres, providing local routine care, and European Haemophilia Comprehensive Care Centres, providing specialised and multi-disciplinary care and functioning as tertiary referral centres. Additionally, they define standards about general requirements, patient care, provision of an advisory service and establishment of network of clinical and specialised services. Conclusions The implementation of the European Guidelines for the certification of Haemophilia Centres will contribute to the reduction of health inequalities through the standardisation of quality of care in European Union Member States and could represent a model to be taken into consideration for other rare disease groups. PMID:24922293

  9. The Words That Buoy the European Impulse.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hogenraad, Robert; Tousignant, Nathalie; Castano, Emanuele; Bestgen, Yves; Dumoulin, Michel

    With a view on analyzing the deeper trends in the European discourse that will shape the European Union's (EU's) future, a study examined 121 speeches made by EU political leaders over the period 1985-1997 and concorded and statisticized which words were used, how often, where, and when with the help of a computer-aided content analysis engine.…

  10. How Young Is Standard Average European?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haspelmath, Martin

    1998-01-01

    An analysis of Standard Average European, a European linguistic area, looks at 11 of its features (definite, indefinite articles, have-perfect, participial passive, antiaccusative prominence, nominative experiencers, dative external possessors, negation/negative pronouns, particle comparatives, A-and-B conjunction, relative clauses, verb fronting…

  11. Prospects for European labour demand.

    PubMed

    Lindley, R M

    1988-07-01

    The impact of economic and technological trends upon the level and structure of labor demand is examined, exploring the methods used to model the labor market and making special reference to demography and technology. Evidence on recent and prospective changes in labor demand is reviewed for France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the UK. The models used to explore future employment scenarios usually fail to incorporate the linkages required to fully analyze the various demographic-economic interactions. Further, this is not generally viewed as a limitation, given the time frame of most employment projections and their preoccupation with changes in the structure of labor demand. Medium-term multisectoral models tend to pay more attention to both demographic and technical change, but the treatment of both aspects is limited. The projections provide a framework for considering how both socioeconomic behavior and policy might change to achieve different outcomes. The greater a model's behavioral content, as expressed in its relationships between different variables, the greater the insight obtainable from simulation exercises. The 1st half of the 1970s was characterized by a reduction in German employment, representing the severest of European reactions to the oil crisis. The 2nd half of the decade recorded rapid growth in Italy and the Netherlands. The 1980s started with marked declines in Germany and the UK. Overall, the net gains of the 1970s were lost in the recession following the 2nd oil crisis. In none of the 5 countries studied does any realistic prospect emerge of achieving full employment before 2000. The most optimistic outcome is that unemployment will decline only slowly, it at all. The growth of both new forms and areas of employment will not compensate sufficiently for the loss of jobs elsewhere and the growth of labor supply. The industrial sector will continue to experience change in favor of the service sector but at a slower rate than during

  12. Who discovered the Frank-Starling mechanism?

    PubMed

    Zimmer, Heinz-Gerd

    2002-10-01

    In 1866 at Carl Ludwig's Physiological Institute at Leipzig, Elias Cyon described the influence of diastolic filling of the isolated perfused frog heart on ejection volume. A study performed at the institute of the effect of filling pressure on contraction amplitude was published in 1869 by Joseph Coats, based on a recording made by Henry P. Bowditch.

  13. Do online pharmacies fit European internal markets?

    PubMed

    Mäkinen, Mia Maria; Rautava, Päivi Tuire; Forsström, Jari Johannes

    2005-05-01

    The aim of this article is to consider the suitability of online pharmacies into European internal market area. This required considering the models of present online pharmacies in respect to the existing legislation. Data on online pharmacy settings was collected by looking some online pharmacies, which were found by using Goggle search machine with term "online pharmacy" and by studying websites of some well-known online pharmacies. European legislation and policy were studied from European Union's official website. Online drug markets seem to be increasing in popularity for reasons related to their ready availability and cost benefits. Few online pharmacies are based in Europe, yet online markets are worldwide. Community legislation does not stipulate on the legality of online pharmacies on European internal markets. Instead Community legislation offers framework for electronic commerce that could also include online pharmacy practise. National legislation, however, may rule them out either directly or indirectly. Regardless of European internal markets online pharmacies' cross-border operations are particularly complicated. Preliminary ruling from the European Court of Justice concerning one European online pharmacy's cross-border practise is awaited 2003-2004 and will offer some aspects for future.

  14. Hermes - A manned European system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cretenet, J.-C.

    Features of a European hypersonic winged reentry vehicle, Hermes, are presented, together with the technology requirements for its development and the missions it would serve. LEO is beginning to hold promise for the manufacture of materials in microgravity and/or vacuum conditions in orbiting facilities which need to be serviced. A manned, reusable, winged reentry vehicle would permit the delivery and return of payloads from space, recovery of the first stage of the Ariane V rocket for reuse, and return of the Hermes to a landing at the Kourou launch site. The avionics would be similar to those of modern aircraft, as would the landing system. In-orbit operational techniques would be needed, as would an internal environment similar to Spacelab, a rigid turnaround time, high utilization rate, and a 10 yr lifetime. The length of the Hermes is projected as 12.5 m, wingtip to wingtip breadth of 7.4 m, and a total mass of 11,400 kg for a heliosynchronous orbit mission, while 15,400 kg are available for a circular, 490 m/sec orbit.

  15. Infective endocarditis: the European viewpoint.

    PubMed

    Tornos, Pilar; Gonzalez-Alujas, Teresa; Thuny, Frank; Habib, Gilbert

    2011-05-01

    Infective endocarditis (IE) is a difficult and complex disease. In recent years epidemiology and microbiology have changed. In developed countries IE is now affecting older patients and patients with no previously known valve disease. Prosthetic IE (prosthetic valve endocarditis [PVE]) and endocarditis in patients with pacemakers and other devices (cardiac device related infective endocarditis [CDRIE]) are becoming more frequent. The number of Staphylococcus aureus IE is increasing related to the number of endocarditis that occurs because of health care associated procedures, especially in diabetics or patients on chronic hemodialysis. The change in the underlying population and the increase in the number of cases caused by very virulent organism explain why the disease still carries a poor prognosis and a high mortality. The variety of clinical manifestations and complications, as well as the serious prognosis, makes it mandatory that IE patients need to be treated in experienced hospitals with a collaborative approach between different specialists, involving cardiologists, infectious disease specialists, microbiologists, surgeons, and frequently others, including neurologists and radiologists. Only an early diagnosis followed by risk stratification and a prompt institution of the correct antibiotic treatment as well as an appropriate and timed surgical indication may improve mortality figures. The recent European Guidelines try to provide clear and simple recommendations, obtained by expert consensus after thorough review of the available literature to all specialists involved in clinical decision-making of this difficult and changing disease.

  16. Current european regulatory perspectives on insulin analogues

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Insulin analogues are increasingly considered as an alternative to human insulin in the therapy of diabetes mellitus. Insulin analogues (IAs) are chemically different from human insulin and may have different pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic properties. The significance of the modifications of the insulin molecule for the safety profile of IAs must be considered. This review describes the regulatory procedure and the expectations for the scientific content of European marketing authorization applications for innovative IAs submitted to the European Medicines Agency. Particular consideration is given to a potential cancer hazard. Specific regulatory guidance on how to address a possible carcinogenic or tumor promoting effect of innovative IAs in non-clinical studies is available. After marketing authorization, the factual access of patients to the new product will be determined to great extent by health technology assessment bodies, reimbursement decisions and the price. Whereas the marketing authorization is a European decision, pricing and reimbursement are national or regional responsibilities. The assessment of benefit and risk by the European Medicines Agency is expected to influence future decisions on price and reimbursement on a national or regional level. Collaborations between regulatory agencies and health technology assessment bodies have been initiated on European and national level to facilitate the use of the European Medicines Agency's benefit risk assessment as basis on which to build the subsequent health technology assessment. The option for combined or joint scientific advice procedures with regulators and health technology assessment bodies on European level or on a national level in several European Member States may help applicants to optimize their development program and dossier preparation in regard of both European marketing authorization application and reimbursement decisions. PMID:21736748

  17. An overview on European SPS activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reinhartz, K. K.

    1980-01-01

    The organization of space and energy research in Europe is discussed. The European situation is highlighted with emphasis on the dependency of energy imports and on the energy requirements of Europe. The status of SPS research in the countries that form the European Space Agency was reviewed. It is concluded that in view of the unfavorable geographical and climatic situation of large parts of Europe, terrestrial solar energy conversion is unlikely to make a significant contribution to Europe's future energy supply. Thus, SPS development is of special interest to the European community.

  18. European small geostationary communications satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Wei, , Dr.; Ellmers, Frank; Winkler, Andreas; Schuff, Herbert; Sansegundo Chamarro, Manuel Julián

    2011-04-01

    Hispasat Advanced Generation 1 (HAG1) is the first satellite using the SGEO platform, which is under the development in the ESA Artes-11 program. Since the last presentation in the IAC 2007, a European industrial consortium led by OHB has completed the mission and spacecraft design. The platform Preliminary Design Review has been carried out in May 2008. The customer for the first mission is a commercial operator—Hispasat. The contract was signed in December 2008 and the satellite will be launched in 2012. To give confidence to the customer, SGEO platform will use up to date flight proven technologies. HAG1 carries 20/24 Ku-band and 3/5 Ka-band transponders to provide commercial services. Some innovative payload technologies will also be flown on board of HAG1 to gain in-orbit heritage. SGEO has also been selected as the baseline platform for the ESA Data Relay Satellite (EDRS). Phase-A study has just kicked off in January 2009. The targeted launch date is 2013. Heinrich Hertz will also use the SGEO platform. Heinrich Hertz is funded by the German Space Agency (DLR) and provides flight opportunities for technologies and components developed by the German Space Industry. With the HAG1 contract in hand, and EDRS and Heinrich Hertz in the line, OHB with its partners has the confidence that it will be able to speed up the product development of the SGEO platform for potential customers in the commercial market. This paper will first present the updated platform design and the status of the product development will be followed with the introduction of innovative payload technologies on board the first mission—HAG1 and ended with the mission concepts of EDRS and Heinrich Hertz missions.

  19. Heart Failure Epidemiology: European Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Guha, K; McDonagh, T

    2013-01-01

    Heart failure poses an increasing problem for global healthcare systems. The epidemiological data which has been accrued over the last thirty years has predominantly been accumulated from experience within North America and Europe. Initial large cohort, prospective longitudinal studies produced the first publications; however latterly the focus has shifted onto epidemiological data governing hospitalisation and mortality. The emphasis behind this shift has been the resource implications with regards to repetitive, costly and prolonged hospitalisation. The European experience in heart failure, though similar to North America has recently demonstrated differences in hospitalisation which may underlie the differences between healthcare system configuration. Heart failure however remains an increasing global problem and the endpoint of a variety of cardiovascular diseases. Allied with the fact of increasingly elderly populations and prior data demonstrating a steep rise in prevalent cases within more elderly populations, it is likely that the increasing burden of disease will continue to pose challenges for modern healthcare. Despite the predicted increase in the number of patients affected by heart failure, over the last thirty years, a clear management algorithm has evolved for the use of pharmacotherapies (neuro-hormonal antagonists), device based therapies (Implantable Cardioverting Defibrillator (ICD) and Cardiac Resynchronisation Therapy (CRT)) and mechanical therapies including left ventricular assist devices and cardiac transplantation. Though the management of such patients has been clearly delineated in national and international guidelines, the underuse of all available and appropriate therapies remains a significant problem. When comparing various epidemiological studies from different settings and timepoints, it should be remembered that rates of prevalence and incidence may vary depending upon the definition used, methods of accumulating information (with

  20. Review of European microgravity measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hamacher, Hans

    1994-01-01

    AA In a French/Russion cooperation, CNES developed a microgravity detection system for analyzing the Mir space station micro-g-environment for the first time. European efforts to characterize the microgravity (1/9) environment within a space laboratory began in the late seventies with the design of the First Spacelab Mission SL-1. Its Material Science Double Rack was the first payload element to carry its own tri-axial acceleration package. Even though incapable for any frequency analysis, the data provided a wealth of novel information for optimal experiment and hardware design and operations for missions to come. Theoretical investigations under ESA contract demonstrated the significance of the detailed knowledge of micro-g data for a thorough experiment analysis. They especially revealed the high sensitivity of numerous phenomena to low frequency acceleration. Accordingly, the payloads of the Spacelab missions D-1 and D-2 were furnished with state-of-the-art detection systems to ensure frequency analysis between 0.1 and 100 Hz. The Microgravity Measurement Assembly (MMA) of D-2 was a centralized system comprising fixed installed as well as mobile tri-axial packages showing real-time data processing and transmission to ground. ESA's free flyer EURECA carried a system for continuous measurement over the entire mission. All EURECA subsystems and experimental facilities had to meet tough requirements defining the upper acceleration limits. In a French/Russion cooperation, CNES developed a mi crogravity detection system for analyzing the Mir space station micro-g-environment for the first time. An approach to get access to low frequency acceleration between 0 and 0.02 Hz will be realized by QSAM (Quasi-steady Acceleration Measurement) on IML-2, complementary to the NASA system Spacelab Acceleration Measurement System SAMS. A second flight of QSAM is planned for the Russian free flyer FOTON.

  1. Developing indicators for European birds

    PubMed Central

    Gregory, Richard D; van Strien, Arco; Vorisek, Petr; Gmelig Meyling, Adriaan W; Noble, David G; Foppen, Ruud P.B; Gibbons, David W

    2005-01-01

    The global pledge to deliver ‘a significant reduction in the current rate of biodiversity loss by 2010’ is echoed in a number of regional and national level targets. There is broad consensus, however, that in the absence of conservation action, biodiversity will continue to be lost at a rate unprecedented in the recent era. Remarkably, we lack a basic system to measure progress towards these targets and, in particular, we lack standard measures of biodiversity and procedures to construct and assess summary statistics. Here, we develop a simple classification of biodiversity indicators to assist their development and clarify purpose. We use European birds, as example taxa, to show how robust indicators can be constructed and how they can be interpreted. We have developed statistical methods to calculate supranational, multi-species indices using population data from national annual breeding bird surveys in Europe. Skilled volunteers using standardized field methods undertake data collection where methods and survey designs differ slightly across countries. Survey plots tend to be widely distributed at a national level, covering many bird species and habitats with reasonable representation. National species' indices are calculated using log-linear regression, which allows for plot turnover. Supranational species' indices are constructed by combining the national species' indices weighted by national population sizes of each species. Supranational, multi-species indicators are calculated by averaging the resulting indices. We show that common farmland birds in Europe have declined steeply over the last two decades, whereas woodland birds have not. Evidence elsewhere shows that the main driver of farmland bird declines is increased agricultural intensification. We argue that the farmland bird indicator is a useful surrogate for trends in other elements of biodiversity in this habitat. PMID:15814345

  2. Phootprint: A European Phobos Sample Return Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barraclough, S.; Ratcliffe, A.; Buchwald, R.; Scheer, H.; Chapuy, M.; Garland, M.; Rebuffat, D.

    2014-06-01

    Phootprint is an ESA funded feasibility study for a European Phobos Sample Return Mission. A complete system design has been performed including ERC, Landing Leg, Sample Acquisition System and GNC Proximity Operations.

  3. European packaging laws: Can it happen here?

    SciTech Connect

    Rogers, B.

    1996-06-01

    European packaging recycling and reduction efforts helped reshape recycling efforts and thinking. This article provides an update on what is happening with packaging recycling in Europe and how it affects the rest of the world, especially the US. World recycling markets were shaken by the enactment of the German Packaging Recycling ordinance of 1991. While the initial market shock waves may have subsided, the effects are still being felt. The ordinance has changed the way European countries think about packaging waste, and that way of thinking has spread, in various forms, around the world, affecting US manufacturers and causing US lawmakers to at least consider similar legislation here. The German Packaging Ordinance, its counterparts in other countries, and the European Union (EU) Directive have, themselves, been evolutionary as well as revolutionary--reacting and changing over the past five years. US reaction to the European laws has also evolved, moving from horror and annoyance to a reasoned analysis and evaluation.

  4. [European curriculum for further education in radiology].

    PubMed

    Ertl-Wagner, B

    2014-11-01

    The European training curriculum for radiology of the European Society of Radiology (ESR) aims to harmonize training in radiology in Europe. Levels I and II constitute the centerpiece of the curriculum. The ESR recommends a 5-year training period in radiology with 3 years of level I and 2 years of level II training. The undergraduate (U) level curriculum is conceived as a basis for teaching radiology in medical schools and consists of a modality-oriented U1 level and an organ-based U2 level. Level III curricula provide contents for subspecialty and fellowship training after board certification in radiology. The curricular contents of all parts of the European Training Curriculum are divided into the sections knowledge, skills as well as competences and attitudes. The European training curriculum is meant to be a recommendation and a basis for the development of national curricula, but is not meant to replace existing national regulations.

  5. European Lung Foundation: from local to global

    PubMed Central

    Powell, Pippa; Williams, Sîan

    2016-01-01

    Key points Although there are many patient organisations in Europe, this is not the case in all countries across the globe. Access to care is one of the main global issues highlighted by the European Lung Foundation International Patient Advisory Committee. The European Respiratory Society/European Lung Foundation Healthy Lungs for Life campaign can be used locally or globally to raise awareness of the risk factors for lung disease. Implementation science is a method that can be used to assess the feasibility of using research findings in routine healthcare in clinical settings in different parts of the world. Educational aims To show how patient- and public-focussed initiatives and activities can be adapted and modified to be effective in local, national and international settings, and to provide specific examples of these from the European Lung Foundation. PMID:28210296

  6. Natural gas demand surges among European customers

    SciTech Connect

    Knott, D.

    1993-12-27

    Europe's view of natural gas as a clean fuel is driving demand faster than European producers can supply the fuel. By 2010 European gas demand is expected to rise by 50%, so imports will need to rise in step. There are plenty of gas reserves within and in reach of the European market to meet increasing needs. But current low gas prices in Europe are a barrier to development of gas projects, which are large, long term investments. Meanwhile, the structure of Europe and its gas markets is changing. There is a trend to privatization and uncertainty over the future role of state gas monopolies. The paper discusses European production, natural gas as a primary energy source, gas sources, price requirements, megaprojects, the Middle East promise, new infrastructure, power generation, privatization, and third party access.

  7. European Cargo Ship Launches to Station

    NASA Video Gallery

    The European Space Agency's (ESA) fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle cargo craft (ATV-4) launched atop an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana at 5:52 p.m. EDT on Wednesday to begin a 10-day t...

  8. European Science Notes. Volume 39, Number 10.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1985-10-01

    Behavioral Sciences -7The European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction . ............................ Richard E. Snow 451 The first and...Metallwerk Plansee--A Leader in Powder Metallurgy ............................. Kenneth D. Challenger 466 This is the first of two articles this month focusing...intended to be exhaustive; it is expected that the organization of The first and founding conference future EARLI conferences wiil work with of the European

  9. Demographics of the European apicultural industry.

    PubMed

    Chauzat, Marie-Pierre; Cauquil, Laura; Roy, Lise; Franco, Stéphanie; Hendrikx, Pascal; Ribière-Chabert, Magali

    2013-01-01

    Over the last few years, many European and North American countries have reported a high rate of disorders (mortality, dwindling and disappearance) affecting honeybee colonies (Apis mellifera). Although beekeeping has become an increasingly professional activity in recent years, the beekeeping industry remains poorly documented in Europe. The European Union Reference Laboratory for Honeybee Health sent a detailed questionnaire to each Member State, in addition to Kosovo and Norway, to determine the demographics and state of their beekeeping industries. Based on data supplied by the National Reference Laboratory for honeybee diseases in each European country, a European database was created to describe the beekeeping industry including the number and types of beekeepers, operation size, industry production, and health (notifiable diseases, mortalities). The total number of beekeepers in Europe was estimated at 620,000. European honey production was evaluated at around 220,000 tons in 2010. The price of honey varied from 1.5 to 40 €/kg depending on the country and on the distribution network. The estimated colony winter mortality varied from 7 to 28% depending on the country and the origin of the data (institutional survey or beekeeping associations). This survey documents the high heterogeneity of the apicultural industry within the European Union. The high proportion of non-professional beekeepers and the small mean number of colonies per beekeeper were the only common characteristics at European level. The tremendous variation in European apicultural industries has implication for any comprehensive epidemiological or economic analysis of the industry. This variability needs to be taken into account for such analysis as well as for future policy development. The industry would be served if beekeeping registration was uniformly implemented across member states. Better information on the package bee and queen production would help in understanding the ability of

  10. European Scientific Notes. Volume 36, Number 7,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1982-07-31

    Fig. 1. Simplified mechanical system repre- physical Illness; at least some of the negative senting the human body standing on a effects observed are...meeting. D. x. Barr 161 The European Spaue Agency and the * 5gIEKP. Popoe Kepler Miesion,Among the poelbl new Btau" under onsideration by the European spac...defining equal fatigue- keep the effective vibration below the discom decreased proficiency boundaries. fort levels; this Is especially true if critical

  11. Demographics of the European Apicultural Industry

    PubMed Central

    Chauzat, Marie-Pierre; Cauquil, Laura; Roy, Lise; Franco, Stéphanie; Hendrikx, Pascal; Ribière-Chabert, Magali

    2013-01-01

    Over the last few years, many European and North American countries have reported a high rate of disorders (mortality, dwindling and disappearance) affecting honeybee colonies (Apis mellifera). Although beekeeping has become an increasingly professional activity in recent years, the beekeeping industry remains poorly documented in Europe. The European Union Reference Laboratory for Honeybee Health sent a detailed questionnaire to each Member State, in addition to Kosovo and Norway, to determine the demographics and state of their beekeeping industries. Based on data supplied by the National Reference Laboratory for honeybee diseases in each European country, a European database was created to describe the beekeeping industry including the number and types of beekeepers, operation size, industry production, and health (notifiable diseases, mortalities). The total number of beekeepers in Europe was estimated at 620 000. European honey production was evaluated at around 220 000 tons in 2010. The price of honey varied from 1.5 to 40 €/kg depending on the country and on the distribution network. The estimated colony winter mortality varied from 7 to 28% depending on the country and the origin of the data (institutional survey or beekeeping associations). This survey documents the high heterogeneity of the apicultural industry within the European Union. The high proportion of non-professional beekeepers and the small mean number of colonies per beekeeper were the only common characteristics at European level. The tremendous variation in European apicultural industries has implication for any comprehensive epidemiological or economic analysis of the industry. This variability needs to be taken into account for such analysis as well as for future policy development. The industry would be served if beekeeping registration was uniformly implemented across member states. Better information on the package bee and queen production would help in understanding the ability of

  12. Competition and liberalization in European gas markets: Towards a continental European model

    SciTech Connect

    Stern, J.P.

    1998-06-01

    Many of the long-awaited changes to the European gas market are now imminent. Institutional developments and market forces are combining to produce a transformation. This major study analyzes the developments in a wide range of European countries, including central and eastern Europe. In examining how different institutional traditions and political priorities will affect the gas market, Stern explores the potential for a distinct continental European model of competition and liberalization.

  13. European Vertical Reference System Influence in Latvia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Celms, A.; Reķe, I.; Ratkevičs, A.

    2015-11-01

    Till 1 December, 2014, in Latvia the heights were determined in Baltic Normal Height System 1977. The national height system is determined by the Cabinet of Ministers and internal laws. Now for the change of the national height system to reconcile it with the European Vertical Reference System, amendments to the laws and regulations have been developed, but so far only the amendment to the Geospatial Information Law is in force, the amendment to the regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers is still not approved. This amendment declares the Latvia Height System based on the European Vertical Reference System in Latvia as the national height system. For height transformation, there is a transformation formula for each European country. After calculations it is seen that height difference between Baltic Normal Height System 1977 and European Vertical Reference System depends on point location in the territory (coordinates). This unequal height difference between both height systems will cause unequal height values on border connection points between Baltic countries. The aim of the research is to evaluate the European Vertical Reference System in Latvia. To reach the aim the following tasks are set: 1) to evaluate the components of transformation formulas; 2) using the transformation formulas to calculate height differences between Baltic Normal Height System 1977 and the European Vertical Reference System realization EVRF2007 for the territory of Latvia and also between Baltic Normal Height System 1977 and the Latvia Normal Height System; 3) to get height differences in the European Vertical Reference System on the borderlines of Latvia - Estonia and Latvia - Lithuania.

  14. How Green Are European Curricula? A Comparative Analysis of Primary School Syllabi in Five European Countries

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hanish, Anna; Rank, Astrid; Seeber, Gunther

    2014-01-01

    The authors conducted a cross-national curriculum analysis as part of a European Union Comenius project regarding the implementation of an online tool to foster environmental education (EE) in primary schools. The overall goal was to determine the extent and intensity that EE is embedded in the syllabi of five European countries. To this end, the…

  15. The European Round Table of Industrialists and the Restructuring of European Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kauppinen, Ilkka

    2014-01-01

    The restructuring of European higher education (EHE) since the 1980s is a widely studied subject. However, this paper argues that previous studies have paid insufficient attention to the role of transnational policy-making groups in this complex and multilevel process. This argument is supported by focusing on how the European Round Table of…

  16. Governing by Inspection? European Inspectorates and the Creation of a European Education Policy Space

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grek, Sotiria; Lawn, Martin; Ozga, Jenny; Segerholm, Christina

    2013-01-01

    This paper draws on the first, completed phase of a research project on inspection as governing in three European inspection systems. The data presented here draw attention to the rather under-researched associational activities of European inspectorates and their developing practices of policy learning and exchange, and highlight their…

  17. ERASMUS: European Community Program for the Development of Student Mobility in the European Community.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    European Education, 1991

    1991-01-01

    Describes the European Community's efforts to unify Europe and enhance competitiveness in world markets by improving use of available intellectual potential. Discusses ERASMUS, the European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students. Explains the role of Inter-University Cooperation Programs (ICPs), a course credit transfer…

  18. The Emergent European Educational Policies under Scrutiny: The Bologna Process from a Central European Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kwiek, Marek

    2004-01-01

    In this article, the Bologna Process and the European Research Area are viewed as the two sides of the same coin: that of the redefinition of the missions of the institution of the university. The Bologna Process is viewed as relatively closed to global developments: as largely inward-looking, focused on European regional problems (and European…

  19. Working towards a European Geological Data Infrastructure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Krogt, Rob; Hughes, Richard; Pedersen, Mikael; Serrano, Jean-Jacques; Lee, Kathryn A.; Tulstrup, Jørgen; Robida, François

    2013-04-01

    The increasing importance of geological information for policy, regulation and business needs at European and international level has been recognized by the European Parliament and the European Commission, who have called for the development of a common European geological knowledge base. The societal relevance of geoscience data/information is clear from many current issues such as shale gas exploration (including environmental impacts), the availability of critical mineral resources in a global economy, management and security with regard to geohazards (seismic, droughts, floods, ground stability), quality of (ground-)water and soil and societal responses to the impacts of climate change. The EGDI-Scope project responds to this, aiming to prepare an implementation plan for a pan-European Geological Data Infrastructure (EGDI), under the umbrella of the FP7 e- Infrastructures program. It is envisaged that the EGDI will build on geological datasets and models currently held by the European Geological Surveys at national and regional levels, and will also provide a platform for datasets generated by the large number of relevant past, ongoing and future European projects which have geological components. With European policy makers and decision makers from (international) industry as the main target groups (followed by research communities and the general public) stakeholder involvement is imperative to the successful realization and continuity of the EGDI. With these ambitions in mind, the presentation will focus on the following issues, also based on the first results and experiences of the EGDI-Scope project that started mid-2012: • The organization of stakeholder input and commitment connected to relevant 'use cases' within different thematic domains; a number of stakeholder representatives is currently involved, but the project is open to more extensive participation; • A large number of European projects relevant for data delivery to EGDI has been reviewed

  20. European comparisons between mental health services.

    PubMed

    Wahlbeck, K

    2011-03-01

    When developing accessible, affordable and effective mental health systems, exchange of data between countries is an important moving force towards better mental health care. Unfortunately, health information systems in most countries are weak in the field of mental health, and comparability of data is low. Special international data collection exercises, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) Atlas Project and the WHO Baseline Project have provided valuable insights in the state of mental health systems in countries, but such single-standing data collections are not sustainable solutions. Improvements in routine data collection are urgently needed. The European Commission has initiated major improvements to ensure harmonized and comprehensive health data collection, by introducing the European Community Health Indicators set and the European Health Interview Survey. However, both of these initiatives lack strength in the field of mental health. The neglect of the need for relevant and valid comparable data on mental health systems is in conflict with the importance of mental health for European countries and the objectives of the 'Europe 2020' strategy. The need for valid and comparable mental health services data is today addressed only by single initiatives, such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development work to establish quality indicators for mental health care. Real leadership in developing harmonized mental health data across Europe is lacking. A European Mental Health Observatory is urgently needed to lead development and implementation of monitoring of mental health and mental health service provision in Europe.

  1. West European public and the Atlantic Alliance

    SciTech Connect

    Ziegler, A.H. Jr.

    1987-01-01

    Using original and previously published survey data, this study explores West European public attitudes about Atlantic cooperation in general and NATO in particular. Alternative viewpoints are categorized into a typology that is used to describe the conceptual nature of European beliefs and to measure the level of public support for the different viewpoints. Long-term trends in these attitudes and causal determinants are also examined. A distinguishing feature of this study is that it is truly comparative. The analysis relies on identical survey items administered in four European countries: Great Britain, France, West German, and Italy. The longitudinal data examined indicate that some fundamental changes have occurred in European security beliefs. Anti-Americanism has increased dramatically at the same time that attitudes toward the Soviet Union have become more favorable, and the fear of nuclear weapons and nuclear war has increased substantially. Explanations for these shifts in opinion are not found in sociological factors, such as changes in generational experiences, educational levels, or social classes; but instead, European attitudes appear to reflect broad changes in international politics, such as the Vietnam War, nuclear parity, and detente. Favorable opinion for NATO tends to be high, yet specific defense-related measures receive much less support.

  2. European veterinary education: a bridge to quality.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, Tito H

    2005-03-01

    The aim of this review is to provide an insight into the current state of, and future changes in, veterinary education within the European Community, as well as the role of the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE) in evaluating and raising standards of education and training. It also describes the role of EAEVE in developing strategies for changes in the future. Veterinary schools have traditionally aimed at producing the omnicompetent veterinarian at graduation. Many have questioned whether this is possible, and a recent European Commission (EC) funded market survey has confirmed that this is indeed an impossible task and has identified the requirements of society within the European Union (EU) for veterinary services in the future. There is however a need to change the current 1978 European Directive. The current mechanisms which have been used by EAEVE to evaluate over 100 veterinary schools in Europe and their relationship with other systems of appraisal are described. The future of veterinary education within the context of higher education in Europe as part of the Bologna process and in relation to standards of veterinary education worldwide are discussed. Whilst the merits of standardisation of educational quality so that there can be mutual recognition of qualifications are supported, the need to preserve the strengths associated with the diversity of approaches and teaching methods is strongly advocated.

  3. Ostrich ocular optics.

    PubMed

    Martin, G R; Ashash, U; Katzir, G

    2001-01-01

    The optical structure of the eyes of ostriches (Struthio camelus; Struthionidae; Struthioniformes) was determined by the construction of a schematic eye model for paraxial optics. The eye is large (axial length = 38 mm) and of globose shape with an anterior focal length (posterior nodal distance) of 21.8 mm. The optical design of the eye is such that the lens and cornea contribute equally to its total optical power. Interspecific comparison shows that optically the ostrich eye is a larger scaled version of the eyes of common starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) and an owl (Strix aluco).

  4. Baptism of Fire for the European Security and Defense Policy: Will the European Forces Successfully Implement the Dayton Accords?

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-06-01

    in 2005, some critics argue that, though the European Union (EU) has become an economic superpower, it is still a negligible player in the realm of...PAGES 121 14. SUBJECT TERMS European Union (EU), European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP), European Union Forces (EUFOR), Bosnia and...Balkans and showed a startling incapacity to deal with this crisis. Even in 2005, some critics argue that, though the European Union (EU) has become an

  5. European neolithization and ancient DNA: an assessment.

    PubMed

    Deguilloux, Marie-France; Leahy, Rachael; Pemonge, Marie-Hélène; Rottier, Stéphane

    2012-01-01

    Neolithic processes underlying the distribution of genetic diversity among European populations have been the subject of intense debate since the first genetic data became available. However, patterns observed in the current European gene pool are the outcome of Paleolithic and Neolithic processes, overlaid with four millennia of further developments. This observation encouraged paleogeneticists to contribute to the debate by directly comparing genetic variation from the ancient inhabitants of Europe to their contemporary counterparts. Pre-Neolithic and Neolithic paleogenetic data are becoming increasingly available for north and northwest European populations. Despite the numerous problems inherent in the paleogenetic approach, the accumulation of ancient DNA datasets offers new perspectives from which to interpret the interactions between hunter-gatherer and farming communities. In light of information emerging from diverse disciplines, including recent paleogenetic studies, the most plausible model explaining the movement of Neolithic pioneer groups in central Europe is that of leapfrog migration.

  6. Environmental sustainability in European public healthcare.

    PubMed

    Chiarini, Andrea; Vagnoni, Emidia

    2016-01-01

    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to enlarge the debate concerning the influence of leadership on environmental sustainability implementation in European public healthcare organisations. Design/methodology/approach - This paper is a viewpoint. It is based on preliminary analysis of European standards dedicated to environmental sustainability and their spread across Europe in public healthcare organisations. Viewpoints concerning leadership are then discussed and asserted. Findings - This paper found a limited implementation of standards such as Green Public Procurement criteria, Eco-Management and Audit Scheme and ISO 14001 in public healthcare. Some clues indicate that the lack of implementation is related to leadership and management commitment. Originality/value - For the first time, this paper investigates relationships between leadership and environmental sustainability in European public healthcare opening further avenues of research on the subject.

  7. Educational Innovations in Finnish and European Contexts: An Analysis of the Aims and Outcomes of "The European Observatory" of the European Commission (1994-1998). Research Report 200.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tella, Seppo; Tirri, Kirsi

    The purpose of this document is to analyze some of the major developments and research findings of the European Observatory of Innovations in Education and Training (1994-1998). The Observatory was a consortium of 13 member countries of the European Union serving as a European network of researchers and educators in the field of comparative…

  8. Awareness System Implemented in the European Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jańıček, František; Jedinák, Martin; Šulc, Igor

    2014-09-01

    Transmission system in Slovakia is part of a synchronously interconnected system of continental Europe. Besides indisputable technical and economical benefits of cooperation many hazardous factors exist of fault condition spreading with impact on our system. Even today a system break-up escalated into a vast blackout is a real danger. European transmission system operators continually work on preventive measures and develop systems with a goal to handle critical situations. The ambition of the European Awareness System is to signalize the rise of these situations and also assist with system restoration

  9. European scientific notes. Volume 34, Number 9

    SciTech Connect

    Burt, W.V.; Peters, D.J.

    1980-09-30

    This is a monthly publication presenting brief articles concerning recent developments in European Scientific Research. It is hoped that these articles (which do not constitute part of the scientific literature) may prove of value to American scientists by calling attention to current development and to institutions and individuals engaged in these scientific efforts. The articles are written primarily by members of the staff of ORNL and occasionally articles are prepared by, or in cooperation with, members of the scientific staffs of the United States Air Force's European Office of Aerospace Research and Development and the United States ARmy Research and Standardization Group. Articles are also contributed by visiting Stateside scientists.

  10. European Scientific Notes. Volume 37, Number 6.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1983-06-30

    AD-A31 850 EUROPEAN SlN11I NOTE VOUM 37 NUMBRbU OFIC 1/ OF NAVAL RESEARCH LONDON (ENGLAND) D MOSHER ET AL. 30 JUN 83 ESN-37-6 UNLASSIFIED F/G 5/2 NIL... RESEARCH LONDON EUROPEAN SCIENTIFIC NOTES ESN 37-6 30 JUNE 1983 V OF Distributed by the Office of Naval Research Branch Office. C This document is issued...PROJECT TASK US Office of Naval Research , Branch Office London Box 39 FPO NY 09510 II. CONTROLLING OFFICE NAME AND ADDRESS 12. REPORT DATE 30 aune

  11. Serving European Science: The EIROforum Collaboration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madsen, C.

    2004-06-01

    OVER THE LAST FEW years, the idea of a “European Research Area” (ERA) has gained strong support among science policy makers and, increasingly, among scientists themselves. The goal of the ERA is to establish a single “market” for research on our continent, allowing for better co-ordination of research efforts, synergies between projects, the achievement of “critical mass” (both human and financial) and thus to strengthen the competitiveness of European research. These goals necessitate deep structural changes in the way science is organised, breaking up existing borderlines and barriers between national research systems in Europe.

  12. European XFEL: Soft X-Ray instrumentation

    SciTech Connect

    Molodtsov, S. L.

    2011-12-15

    The currently constructed European X-Ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) will generate new knowledge in almost all the technical and scientific disciplines that are shaping our daily life-including nanotechnology, medicine, pharmaceutics, chemistry, materials science, power engineering and electronics. On 8 January 2009, civil engineering work (tunnels, shafts, halls) has been started at all three construction sites. In this presentation status and parameters of the European XFEL facility and instrumentation as well as planned research applications particularly in the range of soft X-rays are reviewed.

  13. European Science Notes, volume 40, number 2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaffer, L. E.

    1986-02-01

    ESN is a monthly publication with brief articles on recent developments in European scientific research. Its partial contents are: Biotechnology Research at GBF, and at the Inst. of Technical Chemistry, Univ. of Hanover, West Germany; 7th European Immunology Congress; Biotechnia '85 - First International Congress for Biotechnology; Acoustic Cavitation Generated by Clinical Ultrasound; Advances in Chemical Reaction Dynamics; Geophysics Research in Israel; Fiber Composite Research at Paisley College of Technology, Scotland; A review of International Research on the Physical Metallurgy of Welding; Silicon Metallurgy at the Helsinki Technical Univ.; A Conference on Guided Optical Structures and Their Applications; Optoelectronics Research at Oxford Univ.; and Fractal Conferences in Europe.

  14. The molecular genetics of European ancestry.

    PubMed Central

    Sykes, B

    1999-01-01

    In an earlier paper we proposed, on the basis of mitochondrial control region variation, that the bulk of modern European mitochondrial DNA(mtDNA) diversity had its roots in the European Upper Palaeolithic. Refining the mtDNA phylogeny and enlarging the sample size both within Europe and the Middle East still support this interpretation and indicate three separate phases of colonization: (i) the Early Upper Palaeolithic about 50,000 BP; (ii) the Late Upper Palaeolithic 11,000-14,000 BP; and (iii) the Neolithic from 8500 BP. PMID:10091253

  15. [European Union fight against smoking related activitiy].

    PubMed

    Calvete Oliva, Antonio

    2005-01-01

    This study is aimed at providing information concerning the provisions adopted by the European Union on both a compulsory and non-compulsory basis for its member States related in one way or another to the fight against smoking. To this end, a review is made of all of the provisions published in the Official Journal of the European Union as of the first published in 1986 up to March 2005, commenting upon the aspects of each provision having to do with the subject stated above.

  16. [Research with big data: the European perspective].

    PubMed

    Bender, Stefan; Elias, P

    2015-08-01

    The article examines the impact that legislative developments in the European Union have had, still have and are continuing to have on cross-border access to microdata for research purposes. Therefore, we describe two competing aims: the tension between the ambitions of the EU to create a European Research Area within which research communities gain access to and share data across national boundaries; and the desire within the EU to establish a harmonious legislative framework that provides protection from the misuse of personal information. We attempt to examine which new developments at the EU level will have an impact upon research plans and the challenges researchers face when analysing big data.

  17. European Extremely Large Telescope: progress report

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tamai, R.; Spyromilio, J.

    2014-07-01

    The European Extremely Large Telescope is a project of the European Southern Observatory to build and operate a 40-m class optical near-infrared telescope. The telescope design effort is largely concluded and construction contracts are being placed with industry and academic/research institutes for the various components. The siting of the telescope in Northern Chile close to the Paranal site allows for an integrated operation of the facility providing significant economies. The progress of the project in various areas is presented in this paper and references to other papers at this SPIE meeting are made.

  18. Missions and Challenges of the European Battlegroups

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-01-22

    a variety of aircraft, including the Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules and the Transall C- 160. The A400M range is 3300 Kilometer (1782 miles) and has a...20Declaration%20Text.html, (accessed 27 December 2008). 9 Gustav Lindstrom , Enter the EU Battlegroups, (Paris: Institute for Security Studies, Chaillot Paper no...Gustav Lindstrom , 9-15. 12 Ibid, 17. 13 Western European Union Council of Ministers, “Petersberg Declaration,” Bonn, 19 June 1992. 6, para 4. 14 European

  19. Status of German European exhaust emission legislation

    SciTech Connect

    Seiffert, U.

    1985-01-01

    Recent legislative initiatives in West Germany and other European countries are leading to more stringent automobile exhaust emission standards. A review of the emission inventory on a global and West German basis and other factors, such as acid rain and forest damage, indicate that the contribution of automobile exhaust to the emission problem may be less than the European public assumes. As an interim step while new standards are being considered, the West German government is promoting the purchase of low-pollution vehicles through a vehicle tax reduction program.

  20. European pharmacovigilance: increasingly outsourced to drug companies.

    PubMed

    2014-12-01

    New regulations reorganising pharmacovigilance at the European level were adopted in late 2010, then revised in 2012 in the wake of the Mediator (benfluorex) disaster. The European Commission's original proposals, released in 2008, would have represented a major step backwards in the protection afforded to European citizens, in particular by facilitating earlier marketing authorisations. Thanks to the mobilisation of civil society, the Members of the European Parliament have improved these proposals, supported by EU health ministers. The role of the new European Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) has been strengthened. Patients in every Member State have the right to report adverse drug effects directly to health authorities. EU drug regulatory agencies are required to provide greater transparency, and public access to information about adverse effects has been improved. However, one major regression persists: the central role given to pharmaceutical companies in the collection and interpretation of reports of adverse drug effects, despite their conflicts of interest. Drug companies are asked to record the adverse effect reports of which they are aware in a vast European centralised database, Eudravigilance, without going through drug regulatory agencies. Pharmaceutical companies remain responsible for producing "a scientific evaluation of the risk-benefit balance" of their drug, as part of the periodic benefit-risk assessment reports they are required to submit to drug regulatory agencies. These reports are analysed for the entire EU by two Member States (one rapporteur and one co-rapporteur), so that harmonised decisions can be taken. But these decisions are based on data preanalysed by the drug companies. In addition, the independence of the European Medicines Agency is undermined by its financial reliance on the fees paid by pharmaceutical companies in exchange for these assessments. In 2012, following France's Mediator disaster, several modest

  1. Brazil to Join the European Southern Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2010-12-01

    The Federative Republic of Brazil has yesterday signed the formal accession agreement paving the way for it to become a Member State of the European Southern Observatory (ESO). Following government ratification Brazil will become the fifteenth Member State and the first from outside Europe. On 29 December 2010, at a ceremony in Brasilia, the Brazilian Minister of Science and Technology, Sergio Machado Rezende and the ESO Director General, Tim de Zeeuw signed the formal accession agreement aiming to make Brazil a Member State of the European Southern Observatory. Brazil will become the fifteen Member State and the first from outside Europe. Since the agreement means accession to an international convention, the agreement must now be submitted to the Brazilian Parliament for ratification [1]. The signing of the agreement followed the unanimous approval by the ESO Council during an extraordinary meeting on 21 December 2010. "Joining ESO will give new impetus to the development of science, technology and innovation in Brazil as part of the considerable efforts our government is making to keep the country advancing in these strategic areas," says Rezende. The European Southern Observatory has a long history of successful involvement with South America, ever since Chile was selected as the best site for its observatories in 1963. Until now, however, no non-European country has joined ESO as a Member State. "The membership of Brazil will give the vibrant Brazilian astronomical community full access to the most productive observatory in the world and open up opportunities for Brazilian high-tech industry to contribute to the European Extremely Large Telescope project. It will also bring new resources and skills to the organisation at the right time for them to make a major contribution to this exciting project," adds ESO Director General, Tim de Zeeuw. The European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) telescope design phase was recently completed and a major review was

  2. Predators' decisions to eat defended prey depend on the size of undefended prey☆

    PubMed Central

    Halpin, Christina G.; Skelhorn, John; Rowe, Candy

    2013-01-01

    Predators that have learned to associate warning coloration with toxicity often continue to include aposematic prey in their diet in order to gain the nutrients and energy that they contain. As body size is widely reported to correlate with energetic content, we predicted that prey size would affect predators' decisions to eat aposematic prey. We used a well-established system of wild-caught European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, foraging on mealworms, Tenebrio molitor, to test how the size of undefended (water-injected) and defended (quinine-injected) prey, on different coloured backgrounds, affected birds’ decisions to eat defended prey. We found that birds ate fewer defended prey, and less quinine, when undefended prey were large compared with when they were small, but that the size of the defended prey had no effect on the numbers eaten. Consequently, we found no evidence that the mass of the defended prey or the overall mass of prey ingested affected the amount of toxin that a predator was willing to ingest, and instead the mass of undefended prey eaten was more important. This is a surprising finding, challenging the assumptions of state-dependent models of aposematism and mimicry, and highlighting the need to understand better the mechanisms of predator decision making. In addition, the birds did not learn to discriminate visually between defended and undefended prey based on size, but only on the basis of colour. This suggests that colour signals may be more salient to predators than size differences, allowing Batesian mimics to benefit from aposematic models even when they differ in size. PMID:23814280

  3. Organochlorines accumulate in heron and egret chicks sampled in the Houston Ship Channel

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, T.W.; Shipley, Frank S.; Kiesling, Russell W.

    1991-01-01

    The National Contaminant Monitoring Program (NCBP) is an effort of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to measure concentrations of DDT and other persistent chemicals in the environment and to quantify changes in these levels. The NCBP has established a network of sampling stations in segments of the environment for which Federal agencies have authority. The wildlife component of this program, administered by the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, includes the periodic sampling of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), and American black ducks (Anas rubripes). In order to include an estuarine component into the NCBP, herons and egrets are being evaluated. Eggs and chicks (five, ten, and 15 days of age) of snowy egrets (Egretta thula), and black-crowned night-herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) were collected in Naragansett Bay, RI; the Houston Ship Channel (HSC), TX; and San Francisco Bay, CA. Great egret (Casmerodius albus) eggs and chicks also were collected at the Texas colony. Eggs and chicks were analyzed for organochlorines; trace element and petroleum hydrocarbon analyses are pending. DDE and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were detected in all eggs and chicks, and they accumulated as the chicks grew. At each location, black-crowned nightheron chicks accumulated both DDE and PCBs more rapidly than snowy egrets or great egrets. PCBs accumulated more rapidly in night-heron chicks in Rhode Island than California; however, PCB accumulation for snowy egret chicks did not differ among locations. Contaminant accumulation rates in heron and egret chicks could be used as a new wetland component of the NCBP.

  4. Developmental stress impairs performance on an association task in male and female songbirds, but impairs auditory learning in females only.

    PubMed

    Farrell, Tara M; Morgan, Amanda; MacDougall-Shackleton, Scott A

    2016-01-01

    In songbirds, early-life environments critically shape song development. Many studies have demonstrated that developmental stress impairs song learning and the development of song-control regions of the brain in males. However, song has evolved through signaller-receiver networks and the effect stress has on the ability to receive auditory signals is equally important, especially for females who use song as an indicator of mate quality. Female song preferences have been the metric used to evaluate how developmental stress affects auditory learning, but preferences are shaped by many non-cognitive factors and preclude the evaluation of auditory learning abilities in males. To determine whether developmental stress specifically affects auditory learning in both sexes, we subjected juvenile European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, to either an ad libitum or an unpredictable food supply treatment from 35 to 115 days of age. In adulthood, we assessed learning of both auditory and visual discrimination tasks. Females reared in the experimental group were slower than females in the control group to acquire a relative frequency auditory task, and slower than their male counterparts to acquire an absolute frequency auditory task. There was no difference in auditory performance between treatment groups for males. However, on the colour association task, birds from the experimental group committed more errors per trial than control birds. There was no correlation in performance across the cognitive tasks. Developmental stress did not affect all cognitive processes equally across the sexes. Our results suggest that the male auditory system may be more robust to developmental stress than that of females.

  5. Cascade of ecological consequences for West Nile virus transmission when aquatic macrophytes invade stormwater habitats.

    PubMed

    Mackay, Andrew J; Muturi, Ephantus J; Ward, Michael P; Allan, Brian F

    2016-01-01

    Artificial aquatic habitats are ubiquitous in anthropogenic landscapes and highly susceptible to colonization by invasive plant species. Recent research into the ecology of infectious diseases indicates that the establishment of invasive plant species can trigger ecological cascades which alter the transmission dynamics of vector-borne pathogens that imperil human health. Here, we examined whether the presence or management of two invasive, emergent plants, cattails (Typha spp.) and phragmites (Phragmites australis), in stormwater dry detention basins (DDBs) alter the local distribution of vectors, avian hosts, or West Nile virus (WNV) transmission risk in an urban residential setting. Mosquitoes and birds were surveyed at 14 DDBs and paired adjacent residential sites. During the study period, emergent vegetation was mowed by site managers in three DDBs. In the absence of vegetation management, the overall abundance and species composition of both adult vectors and avian hosts differed between residential and DDB habitats; however, WNV entomological risk indices were equivalent. Communal bird roosts composed primarily of three species, European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus), and Common Grackles (Quiscalus quiscula), representing a broad range of WNV reservoir competence, were observed at half (three out of six) of the DDBs containing unmanaged stands of phragmites; however, their presence was associated with a lower seasonal increase in vector infection rate. Conversely, mowing of emergent vegetation resulted in a significant and sustained increase in the abundance of WNV-infected vectors in DDBs and the increase in risk extended to adjacent residential sites. These findings indicate that management of invasive plants in DDBs during the growing season can increase, while presence of communal bird roosts can decrease, WNV transmission risk.

  6. Endocannabinoid Signaling in the Stress Response of Male and Female Songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Dickens, Molly J.; Vecchiarelli, Haley A.; Hill, Matthew N.

    2015-01-01

    Endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling plays an important role in the stress response pathways of the mammalian brain, yet its role in the avian stress response has not been described. Understanding eCB signaling in avian species (such as the European starling, Sturnus vulgaris) allows a model system that exhibits natural attenuation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) responsiveness to stressors. Specifically, seasonally breeding birds exhibit the highest HPA activity during the breeding season and subsequently exhibit a robust HPA down-regulation during molt. Because eCB signaling in mammals has an overall inhibitory effect on HPA activity, we expected shifts in eCB signaling to regulate the seasonal HPA down-regulation during molt. However, our data did not support a role for eCB signaling in the molt-related suppression of HPA activity. For example, injection of the cannabinoid receptor (CB1) antagonist, AM251, did not potentiate molt-suppressed HPA activity. Instead, our data suggest eCB regulation of HPA plasticity as birds transition from breeding to molt. In support of this hypothesis, birds in the late breeding season demonstrated a more dynamic response at the level of avian amygdala eCB content in response to acute stress. The response and directionality of this effect match that seen in mammals. Overall, our data suggest that eCB signaling may allow for a dynamic range in HPA responsiveness (eg, breeding), but the signaling pathway's role may be limited when the HPA response is restrained (eg, molt). This first characterization of eCB signaling in the avian stress response also emphasizes that although the system functions similarly to other species, its exact role may be species specific. PMID:26431225

  7. Experimental evaluation of the usefulness of feathers as a non-destructive biomonitor for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) using silastic implants as a novel method of exposure.

    PubMed

    Van den Steen, E; Covaci, A; Jaspers, V L B; Dauwe, T; Voorspoels, S; Eens, M; Pinxten, R

    2007-02-01

    Risk assessment of pollutants requires both monitoring studies in the field and experimental exposure studies. In this study, we evaluated silastic implants as an alternative method of exposure for use in toxicological studies and at the same time evaluated the usefulness of feathers as a non-destructive biomonitor for PCBs. European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) were exposed to different doses (including a control group) of environmentally relevant concentrations of PCB 153 during a 15-week period using silastic implants with both ends/only one end sealed. After implantation, there was a rapid and significant increase in PCB 153 blood concentration in the exposed groups. The significant differences in blood concentrations among the treatment groups show that silastic implants are useful as a method of exposure. Moreover, the ratio between the tissue concentrations of two treatment groups reflected the difference in implantation doses between these groups. There was also a clear difference in tissue concentrations among the treatment groups, although we could not test this statistically due to the small sample sizes. The slow release kinetics for a prolonged period and the relatively stable blood concentrations during the 15-week period render silastic tubes very interesting to study the effects of chronic exposure to pollutants. Our results also revealed that sealing both ends of the implant instead of only one did not significantly affect the exposure. There were strong, significant positive correlations between the blood and the tissues, which confirm the use of blood to monitor PCBs. To evaluate the usefulness of feathers as a non-destructive biomonitor for PCBs, we plucked the original and newly grown wing and tail feathers. We observed strong, significant positive correlations between the concentrations in the newly grown feathers and concentrations in the muscle, liver, brain and blood. PCB 153 concentrations in the newly grown feathers differed among the

  8. Willingness for Mobility amongst European Fishermen

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pita, Cristina; Dickey, Heather; Pierce, Graham J.; Mente, Elena; Theodossiou, Ioannis

    2010-01-01

    The global trend of fisheries overexploitation and collapse has resulted in the need to reduce fishing effort, and providing alternative employment for fishermen is a frequently mentioned policy option in order to achieve this goal. Reducing fishing effort is central to the European Commission Common Fisheries Policy and over the years, the…

  9. Common Core History for Young Europeans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rogers, Peter

    1993-01-01

    A required core contemporary history course is proposed for Europe's senior pupils, needed because of prospects for European integration. The course could be shaped by pairing three fundamental ideas with related conflicts: Reformation/30 Years War, Enlightenment/French Revolution and Napoleanic Wars, and Nationalism/World Wars I and II. (IAH)

  10. Indo-Europeans in the Near East.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hodge, Carleton T.

    1981-01-01

    Outlines factors to consider regarding movements of peoples and cultural change, including the thousands of years between the departure of Indo-Europeans from the Near East and their arrival in localities where we find them, and their movements in the second millenium. Available from: Anthropological Linguistics, Dr. Florence Voegelin, Dept. of…

  11. Overview on Biofuels from a European Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ponti, Luigi; Gutierrez, Andrew Paul

    2009-01-01

    In light of the recently developed European Union (EU) Biofuels Strategy, the literature is reviewed to examine (a) the coherency of biofuel production with the EU nonindustrial vision of agriculture, and (b) given its insufficient land base, the implications of a proposed bioenergy pact to grow biofuel crops in the developing world to meet EU…

  12. European students explore possible mission to Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1999-07-01

    The Russian Yuri Gagarin was the first man in orbit, the American Neil Armstrong the first man on the Moon, on 21 July, 1969. Is there a chance that the first human being to set foot on Mars will be a European? Attendants at the 1999 Alpbach Summer School will be putting their minds to this challenging question. Seventy-four students from member states of the European Space Agency will be attending the Summer School from 3 to 12 August in the small mountain village of Alpbach in the Austrian Tyrol. They will be set the task of defining a future Mars Exploration Mission. 25 European experts will provide them with an overview of all aspects of the Red Planet. Basic questions such as the chemical and mineralogical composition of its surface, its geophysics and geochemistry or the search for life on Mars will be addressed. A review of past, present and future exploration of Mars will be presented. The annual Summer School is co-organised by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Transport, the European Space Agency and the Austrian Space Agency. ESA's Director of Science, Prof. Roger Bonnet, will open this year's at 9 a.m. on 3 August, in Alpbach Secondary School with a lecture on "Mars Exploration: For What Purpose? How?" Media representatives are most welcome.

  13. The European Young Chemist Award 2014.

    PubMed

    Pignataro, Bruno

    2014-12-08

    The future's bright! The European Young Chemist Award for 2014 was awarded at the 5th EuCheMS Chemistry Congress in Instanbul. Impressions and reflections from the Convener of the event, Professor Bruno Pignataro, are given in the Guest Editorial.

  14. Mobility Attitudes and Behaviours among Young Europeans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Doherty, Noeleen; Dickmann, Michael; Mills, Timothy

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: The paper seeks to explore the career attitudes, motivations and behaviours of young people in initial vocational education and training (IVET) in Europe. Design/methodology/approach: This exploratory web-based survey was conducted during the European year for mobility. Drawing on existing research on the motivators of international…

  15. Europe's Universities in the European Research Area

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, John H.

    2008-01-01

    Universities are placed strategically at the interplay of research and technological development, educational and regional development policies at both national and European level. Universities are also unique environments in which interdisciplinary skills are being developed to tackle the complex challenges facing human, social and economic…

  16. Is There a European Language History?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mattheier, Klaus J.

    2010-01-01

    The thoughts on a language history within a European context sketched out here represent an attempt to extend the concepts of regional and particularly national language history by adding a third dimension: transnational language history in Europe. After a few general thoughts on the extended area of research, in which so-called external language…

  17. European registration: today, tomorrow, and beyond.

    PubMed

    Currie, W J

    1990-05-01

    Within the European Community (EC) countries the national pharmaceutical regulatory systems work with varying degrees of efficiency and scientific sophistication. At the Community level the objective of mutual recognition has failed to be realized. To achieve for one registration application within the EC, timely and simultaneous marketing approvals throughout the member states will require changes to the present regulatory procedures or the single market concept for pharmaceuticals will not be realized. To have the greatest chances for success we should move cautiously, identifying and correcting deficiencies in the present procedures, which are known from experience, rather than abandoning such hard won knowledge for a new system with all its attendant potential unknowns and uncertainty. The free movement of drugs within the Internal European market will be a reality. The question remaining is at what price will it be achieved? It is vital to the European economy and consumer, as well as to the innovative pharmaceutical industry, that Europe does not exchange its present competitive edge in the time to develop and register new drugs for a costly drug lag. The experiment must equally succeed as a torch showing the way forward not only for an enlarging European Community, but also to the ever increasing interest in global harmonization of drug regulation.

  18. Standardizing the European Education Policy Space

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawn, Martin

    2011-01-01

    Countries in Europe, through the European Union, are creating, as part of the market and its governance, a new policy space in education. It is being formed through law, regulation, networking and harmonization. The development of standards across the different fields of policy, statistical calculation and commerce underpins and extends the…

  19. Satisfaction with Social Contacts of Older Europeans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bonsang, Eric; van Soest, Arthur

    2012-01-01

    This paper analyses the determinants of an important component of well-being among individuals aged 50 years or older in eleven European countries: satisfaction with social contacts. We use data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe and anchoring vignettes to correct for potential differences in responses scales across…

  20. Dynamics of Volunteering in Older Europeans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hank, Karsten; Erlinghagen, Marcel

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: To investigate the dynamics of volunteering in the population aged 50 years or older across 11 Continental European countries. Design and Methods: Using longitudinal data from the first 2 waves of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, we run multivariate regressions on a set of binary-dependent variables indicating…

  1. European Year of Lifelong Learning 1996.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Commission of the European Communities, Brussels (Belgium). Directorate-General for Education, Training, and Youth.

    This publication provides glimpses of how different individuals and organizations have responded to the spirit of lifelong learning during the European Year. Each case study consists of the project's location, name, and objective and brief description. They include the following: Chapito Project, Lisbon, Portugal; Ligerius Project, a…

  2. European Braille Conference. Papers and Recommendations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Norwegian Blind Organization, Oslo.

    Presented are seven papers given at a 1973 conference on European braille by the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind. Arne Husveg sees braille as a continuing indispensable aid and recommends legislation giving the blind the right to free instruction and materials. The use of special braille systems of mathematical, physical, and chemical…

  3. Special Education in the European Community.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Commission des Communautes Europeennes (Luxembourg).

    The monograph contains a report on developments and trends in special education within the European community and a selection of the principal papers of a conference on special education in Europe. Chapter 1 contains results of a comparative study presented tabularly and narratively covering all handicaps in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France,…

  4. European Community Education Cooperation: The First Decade.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Commission des Communautes Europeennes (Luxembourg).

    Nearly one-third of the European Community population of 320 million is involved daily with some form of education. The Community Education Action Programme celebrated its tenth anniversary in February 1986. The initial thrust was to increase mutual understanding and promote closer relations between the different education systems of member…

  5. Regulatory pathways in the European Union.

    PubMed

    Kohler, Manuela

    2011-01-01

    In principle, there are three defined procedures to obtain approval for a medicinal product in the European Union. As discussed in this overview of the procedures, the decision on which regulatory pathway to use will depend on the nature of the active substance, the target indication(s), the history of product and/or the marketing strategy.

  6. European Quality--Adding to the Debate?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Birtwistle, Tim

    1996-01-01

    Two pilot programs designed to improve and maintain quality in European higher education are described and compared: an audit of universities' procedures for quality assurance; and an assessment of programs of study, including teaching and learning, student characteristics, staff, facilities, and quality management. Both include institutional…

  7. AstRoMap European Astrobiology Roadmap.

    PubMed

    Horneck, Gerda; Walter, Nicolas; Westall, Frances; Grenfell, John Lee; Martin, William F; Gomez, Felipe; Leuko, Stefan; Lee, Natuschka; Onofri, Silvano; Tsiganis, Kleomenis; Saladino, Raffaele; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke; Palomba, Ernesto; Harrison, Jesse; Rull, Fernando; Muller, Christian; Strazzulla, Giovanni; Brucato, John R; Rettberg, Petra; Capria, Maria Teresa

    2016-03-01

    The European AstRoMap project (supported by the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme) surveyed the state of the art of astrobiology in Europe and beyond and produced the first European roadmap for astrobiology research. In the context of this roadmap, astrobiology is understood as the study of the origin, evolution, and distribution of life in the context of cosmic evolution; this includes habitability in the Solar System and beyond. The AstRoMap Roadmap identifies five research topics, specifies several key scientific objectives for each topic, and suggests ways to achieve all the objectives. The five AstRoMap Research Topics are • Research Topic 1: Origin and Evolution of Planetary Systems • Research Topic 2: Origins of Organic Compounds in Space • Research Topic 3: Rock-Water-Carbon Interactions, Organic Synthesis on Earth, and Steps to Life • Research Topic 4: Life and Habitability • Research Topic 5: Biosignatures as Facilitating Life Detection It is strongly recommended that steps be taken towards the definition and implementation of a European Astrobiology Platform (or Institute) to streamline and optimize the scientific return by using a coordinated infrastructure and funding system.

  8. Why We Need a European Vision

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ravenhall, Mark

    2012-01-01

    All the countries of the United Kingdom have something to learn from nations facing comparable challenges elsewhere in Europe. Seeing these challenges through a European lens can help these countries understand them and their selves better. The author thinks they need to join in solidarity with adult educators across Europe and, indeed, further…

  9. Comparative "Glocal" Perspectives on European Teacher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caena, Francesca

    2014-01-01

    This article reports the findings of a PhD study, which offers comparative perspectives on teacher education in a period of reforms, inquiring into stakeholders' perceptions in English, French, Italian and Spanish contexts as case studies. The interaction of needs and constraints in European initial teacher education within higher education…

  10. The European Qualifications Framework: A Technical Critique

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lester, Stan

    2015-01-01

    The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) was introduced in 2008 as a "meta-framework" or common reference point for national qualifications frameworks in Europe, a function for which, with some caveats, it has been pragmatically successful. It has also been used with variable success to support the development or referencing of…

  11. Current European developments in solar paddle drives

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bentall, R. H.

    1973-01-01

    The European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) is sponsoring the development of a number of critical spacecraft hardware items. The hardware under development includes two competing solar paddle drives which are being produced to similar specifications. Three mechanisms of each type are being produced and will undergo thermal vacuum testing. All mechanisms have lead lubricated bearings.

  12. Geographical assemblages of European raptors and owls

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-López, Pascual; Benavent-Corai, José; García-Ripollés, Clara

    2008-09-01

    In this work we look for geographical structure patterns in European raptors (Order: Falconiformes) and owls (Order: Strigiformes). For this purpose we have conducted our research using freely available tools such as statistical software and databases. To perform the study, presence-absence data for the European raptors and owl species (Class Aves) were downloaded from the BirdLife International website. Using the freely available "pvclust" R-package, we applied similarity Jaccard index and cluster analysis in order to delineate biogeographical relationships for European countries. According to the cluster of similarity, we found that Europe is structured into two main geographical assemblages. The larger length branch separated two main groups: one containing Iceland, Greenland and the countries of central, northern and northwestern Europe, and the other group including the countries of eastern, southern and southwestern Europe. Both groups are divided into two main subgroups. According to our results, the European raptors and owls could be considered structured into four meta-communities well delimited by suture zones defined by Remington (1968) [Remington, C.L., 1968. Suture-zones of hybrid interaction between recently joined biotas. Evol. Biol. 2, 321-428]. Climatic oscillations during the Quaternary Ice Ages could explain at least in part the modern geographical distribution of the group.

  13. Professionalization in Universities and European Convergence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vivas, Amparo Jimenez; Hevia, David Menendez Alvarez

    2009-01-01

    The constant assessment of the quality of higher education within the framework of European convergence is a challenge for all those universities that wish their degrees and diplomas to reflect a unified Europe. As is the case in any assessment, change and review process, the quest to improve quality implies measuring achievement of the objectives…

  14. Pre-European Conditions of Micmac People

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howe, Shirley Ann

    1976-01-01

    The history and traditional ways of the Micmac Indians prior to the 17th century are discussed. During this era, the Micmac Indians had a sociopolitical system which provided political, social, economic, cultural and educational structures which surprised the early Europeans. (NQ)

  15. European Scientific Notes. Volume 38, Number 7.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1984-07-01

    London. ESN 38-7 (1984) NATO Establishes Special Program Panel on Sensory Systems for Robotic Control ............................ J.F. Blackburn 365...technical information about sensing technology- and machine intelligence in robots . S Parallel Processing at the University of Amsterdam ....... J.F...Rozzell 407 Robot Census: Too Many Manufacturers .................. Larry E. Shaffer 408 Stage Set for European Standards for Biomaterials ..... Thomas

  16. [The specialty of orthodontics in European perspective].

    PubMed

    van der Linden, F P; Schmiedel, W J; Bijlstra, R J

    2003-01-01

    After clarifying the role and significance of the European Federations of Orthodontic Specialists Associations (EFOSA), the results of a recent survey on the situation of the Speciality of Orthodontics in Europe are presented. Among the many items included are the recognition and availability of orthodontic specialists, their training, their working conditions, the height of the charged fees and the present insurance and refunding systems.

  17. European Science Notes. Volume 39, Number 4.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1985-04-01

    asked and answered prior to starting the viduelle du Niveau de Developpement procedure. The procedure was then car- Operatoire et ses Implications ried...European * questions had been answered, countries, including three Eastern bloc The Flammer work suggests a new nations as well as North America and

  18. European Swimming Pool Designs Cross the Atlantic.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jaskulak, Neil

    1983-01-01

    Conventional swimming pools have been built with the needs of competitive swimmers in mind. Planners in several European countries have greatly increased swimming pool attendance by designing "leisure pools," based primarily on the needs and behavior of recreationists. Design of these pools and their equipment requirements are discussed.…

  19. Western European Art Foundations and Publishing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    King, Lindsay M.; Clement, Russell T.

    2011-01-01

    Western European art foundations create invaluable opportunities for research and exhibition by artists, curators, and scholars. These activities are often documented and disseminated via high-quality publications. This article highlights an important but under-recognized collecting resource for academic and museum libraries by profiling several…

  20. The European Perspective on Women's Leadership

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Macha, Hildegard; Bauer, Quirin J.

    2009-01-01

    In this article, the authors show the perspective on women's leadership in Europe. The authors present the European data on the educational status of girls and women at schools and universities and in academic careers. Data from Germany is presented as an example to provide evidence of some details. First, the authors point out four contradictions…

  1. European Scientific Notes 36-1,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1982-01-31

    prevention deals with measures ized because of an accident . His private taken by those with no diagnosis estab- physician addressed the assembly...could lead to test satellite (OTS) from CERN (Conseil commercial products. Wide area communi- European pour La Recherche Nucleaire , cations under

  2. The European Telecommunications Satellite Organization (Eutelsat)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grenier, Jean

    An overview is presented of Eutelsat, which was created in 1977 by 17 European telecommunications operators to provide mobile and fixed satellite communication services to the entire continent. The eight Eutelsat satellites now in orbit are utilized for telephony and business services, for direct-to-home broadcasting, for the distribution and exchange of radio and television programs, and for land mobile services.

  3. European Perspectives on Global Climate Change.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kempton, Willett; Craig, Paul P.

    1993-01-01

    Explores why some European countries are much more eager than the United States to endorse international environmental treaties and the roles history, culture, economics, and geography play. Influential policymakers throughout Austria, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom are interviewed. (12 references) (Author/MCO)

  4. European Training Thesaurus: A Multilingual Synopsis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cedefop - European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, 2012

    2012-01-01

    Education and training issues are similar across Europe, but how can we ensure we mean the same things with the same terms? The new format of the European training thesaurus (ETT) is a multilingual synopsis. It is an online tool enabling those working in education, training and employment to have a common understanding of terms. It helps…

  5. European Academic Labor Markets in Transition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Musselin, Christine

    2005-01-01

    Even if convergences are to be observed among the orientations adopted by higher education policies in European countries, they still are characterized by strong national features. One of the most striking national patterns of each system is its academic labor market, salaries, status, recruitment procedures, workloads, career patterns, promotion…

  6. European Society for Clinical Virology - winter meeting.

    PubMed

    Westh, Henrik

    2004-02-01

    The European Society for Clinical Virology annual winter meeting mainly appeals to clinical virologists interested in human disease. Basic and clinical data were presented, highlighting a number of interesting findings. This report briefly describes options in HIV antiviral treatment, and focuses on fusion inhibitors, a new anti-HIV class of drugs. Recent improvements in experimental DNA vaccines are also presented.

  7. AstRoMap European Astrobiology Roadmap

    PubMed Central

    Horneck, Gerda; Westall, Frances; Grenfell, John Lee; Martin, William F.; Gomez, Felipe; Leuko, Stefan; Lee, Natuschka; Onofri, Silvano; Tsiganis, Kleomenis; Saladino, Raffaele; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke; Palomba, Ernesto; Harrison, Jesse; Rull, Fernando; Muller, Christian; Strazzulla, Giovanni; Brucato, John R.; Rettberg, Petra; Capria, Maria Teresa

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The European AstRoMap project (supported by the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme) surveyed the state of the art of astrobiology in Europe and beyond and produced the first European roadmap for astrobiology research. In the context of this roadmap, astrobiology is understood as the study of the origin, evolution, and distribution of life in the context of cosmic evolution; this includes habitability in the Solar System and beyond. The AstRoMap Roadmap identifies five research topics, specifies several key scientific objectives for each topic, and suggests ways to achieve all the objectives. The five AstRoMap Research Topics are • Research Topic 1: Origin and Evolution of Planetary Systems• Research Topic 2: Origins of Organic Compounds in Space• Research Topic 3: Rock-Water-Carbon Interactions, Organic Synthesis on Earth, and Steps to Life• Research Topic 4: Life and Habitability• Research Topic 5: Biosignatures as Facilitating Life Detection It is strongly recommended that steps be taken towards the definition and implementation of a European Astrobiology Platform (or Institute) to streamline and optimize the scientific return by using a coordinated infrastructure and funding system. Key Words: Astrobiology roadmap—Europe—Origin and evolution of life—Habitability—Life detection—Life in extreme environments. Astrobiology 16, 201–243. PMID:27003862

  8. Promoting European Dimensions in Lifelong Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Field, John, Ed.

    This collection of 19 essays shares the lessons of a wealth of experience and challenges professionals to open up adult learning to a variety of international perspectives. The first essay, "Building a European Dimension: A Realistic Response to Globalization?" (John Field), is an introduction to the essays. The six essays in Section I,…

  9. The Information Economy--A European Agenda.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilmot, R.

    From a European perspective, this paper focuses on a set of issues affecting the emerging information economy. Among the issues covered are: developing a means of measuring the value of information and knowledge; studying other institutions such as the United States Department of Defense and the United States venture capital industry which are…

  10. Quantifying the European Strategic Airlift Gap

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-06-01

    total E and H variants) Turkish Air Force C-130E flying over Hirfanli Dam Lake in November 2009. General Aircraft Data Wingspan...That Weight: Improving European Strategic Airlift Capabilities (Unpublished Doctoral degree in Public Policy Analysis) Pardee RAND Graduate School

  11. Post-modernity, Education and European Identities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coulby, David; Jones, Crispin

    1996-01-01

    Describes the "Enlightenment program" (often equated with modernity) and postmodernist criticisms of Enlightenment thought. Discusses the notions of Europe and Europeans as reflecting social inclusion/exclusion as much as geography. Examines the relevance of postmodernist theories to school and university knowledge systems, highlighting…

  12. Maintenance of European nuclear power plants

    SciTech Connect

    Burke, R.W.; Schoenecke, P.L.

    1987-05-01

    European practice and attitude toward maintenance have been reviewed and discussed face-to-face. Important but sometimes subtle differences with the US situation appear. Among the more obvious differences is the more cooperative relationship between the industry and the government.

  13. Poverty in Ireland in Comparative European Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whelan, Christopher T.; Maitre, Bertrand

    2010-01-01

    In this paper we seek to put Irish poverty rates in a comparative European context. We do so in a context whereby the Irish economic boom and EU enlargement have led to increasing reservations being expressed regarding rates deriving from the EU "at risk of poverty" indicator. Our comparative analysis reports findings for both overall…

  14. European Education in a World Civilization.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garrido, Jose Luis Garcia

    1992-01-01

    Discusses problems facing European education as the world continues to become more interconnected through politics, communication, and economics. Stresses the need to maintain national values without regressing to nationalism. Examines teacher training, history instruction, and television as areas where divisions can be lessened. Warns against…

  15. Inspection of Home Education in European Countries

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blok, Henk; Karsten, Sjoerd

    2011-01-01

    In many European countries and in North America, home education is a viable alternative for education at school. Parents who want to home school their child are legally allowed to do so, although some countries impose rather strict conditions. This article concentrates on the way authorities supervise or inspect the quality of home education. A…

  16. European summer temperatures since Roman times

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luterbacher, Jürg

    2016-04-01

    The spatial context is critical when assessing present-day climate anomalies, attributing them to potential forcings and making statements regarding their frequency and severity in a long-term perspective. Recent international initiatives have expanded the number of high-quality proxy-records and developed new statistical reconstruction methods. These advances allow more rigorous regional past temperature reconstructions and, in turn, the possibility of evaluating climate models on policy-relevant, spatio-temporal scales. Here we provide a new proxy-based, annually-resolved, spatial reconstruction of the European summer (June-August) temperature fields back to 755 CE based on Bayesian hierarchical modelling (BHM), together with estimates of the European mean temperature variation since 138 BCE based on BHM and composite-plus-scaling (CPS). Our reconstructions compare well with independent instrumental and proxy-based temperature estimates, but suggest a larger amplitude in summer temperature variability than previously reported. Both CPS and BHM reconstructions indicate that the mean 20th century European summer temperature was not significantly different from some earlier centuries, including the 1st, 2nd, 8th and 10th centuries CE. The 1st century (in BHM also the 10th century) may even have been slightly warmer than the 20th century, but the difference is not statistically significant. Comparing each 50 yr period with the 1951-2000 period reveals a similar pattern. Recent summers, however, have been unusually warm in the context of the last two millennia and there are no 30-yr periods in either reconstruction that exceed the mean average European summer temperature of the last 3 decades (1986-2015 CE). A comparison with an ensemble of climate model simulations suggests that the reconstructed European summer temperature variability over the period 850-2000 CE reflects changes in both internal variability and external forcing on multi-decadal time-scales. For pan-European

  17. European Commission activities in eHealth.

    PubMed

    Olsson, Silas; Lymberis, Andreas; Whitehouse, Diane

    2004-12-01

    Health-care is an information-intensive and knowledge-demanding sector, which is why eHealth solutions are so important in this field. The European Commission (EC) has been initiating and funding research and development activities regarding Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for health, or "eHealth", since 1988. These programmes covered priority topics like electronic health-care records, regional and national health networks, telemedicine in homecare and care-at-the-point-of-need to support continuity of care concepts, systems to support people to stay healthy, and systems and tools to support health professionals to work more efficiently and safely on patients. During the 15-year span of the programmes, the European Union (EU) has contributed about 500 million Euro to approximately 400 R&D projects, support activities, best practice and studies covering technical, clinical, ethical, legal, organisational and market issues. eHealth has shown proven benefits in application fields like improved access to care, care at the point-of-need, citizen-centred care, improved quality and cost containment. Such applications were on show at the EU High Level eHealth Conferences in Brussels, Belgium, in 2003, and in Cork, Ireland, in 2004. eHealth is now on the governmental agenda of EU Member States to be implemented on a broader scale. In line with this development, the Commission has taken a number of policy initiatives. A European Union Action Plan for a European eHealth Area was published by the Commission in April 2004 and endorsed by the EU health ministers in June 2004. This means that, for the first time, Europe has a coherent agenda for the implementation of eHealth. This report will concentrate on eHealth activities initiated by the Information Society Directorate-General of the European Commission.

  18. PEP725 Pan European Phenological Database

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koch, E.; Adler, S.; Lipa, W.; Ungersböck, M.; Zach-Hermann, S.

    2010-09-01

    Europe is in the fortunate situation that it has a long tradition in phenological networking: the history of collecting phenological data and using them in climatology has its starting point in 1751 when Carl von Linné outlined in his work Philosophia Botanica methods for compiling annual plant calendars of leaf opening, flowering, fruiting and leaf fall together with climatological observations "so as to show how areas differ". Recently in most European countries, phenological observations have been carried out routinely for more than 50 years by different governmental and non governmental organisations and following different observation guidelines, the data stored at different places in different formats. This has been really hampering pan European studies as one has to address many network operators to get access to the data before one can start to bring them in a uniform style. From 2004 to 2009 the COST-action 725 established a European wide data set of phenological observations. But the deliverables of this COST action was not only the common phenological database and common observation guidelines - COST725 helped to trigger a revival of some old networks and to establish new ones as for instance in Sweden. At the end of 2009 the COST action the database comprised about 8 million data in total from 15 European countries plus the data from the International Phenological Gardens IPG. In January 2010 PEP725 began its work as follow up project with funding from EUMETNET the network of European meteorological services and of ZAMG the Austrian national meteorological service. PEP725 not only will take over the part of maintaining, updating the COST725 database, but also to bring in phenological data from the time before 1951, developing better quality checking procedures and ensuring an open access to the database. An attractive webpage will make phenology and climate impacts on vegetation more visible in the public enabling a monitoring of vegetation development.

  19. European Commission project: European Guideline for Target Group-Oriented Psychosocial Aftercare-Implementation.

    PubMed

    Vymetal, Stepan; Deistler, Albert; Bering, Robert; Schedlich, Claudia; Rooze, Magda; Orengo, Francisco; Zurek, Gisela; Krtickova, Michaela

    2011-06-01

    After disasters, the individual health and well-being of first responders and affected population are affected for years. Therefore, psychosocial help is needed. Although most victims recover on their own, a minority of survivors, members of rescue teams, or relatives develop long-term, disaster-related psychic disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This subgroup especially should receive timely and appropriate psychosocial help. Many European countries offer post-disaster psychosocial care from a variety of caregivers (i.e., professionals and volunteers, non-governmental organizations, church or commercial organizations). Therefore, European standards for providing post-disaster psychosocial support currently is required. This article describes the project European Guideline for Target Group-Oriented Psychosocial Aftercare-Implementation, supported by the European Commission.

  20. Vocational Education and Training in Greece: The European Challenge.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Paleocrassas, Stamatis

    1992-01-01

    Gives a brief review of Greece's current vocational education/training system, compares it to European models, describes the European Community process of harmonization of vocational qualifications, and discusses new legislation establishing a national vocational education/training system. (SK)

  1. The National Cardiac Societies of the European Society of Cardiology.

    PubMed

    Atar, Dan

    2015-06-01

    The National Cardiac Societies are one of the Constituent Bodies of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). They are the backbone of the ESC and together form the "Cardiology of Europe" in 56 European and Mediterranean countries.

  2. European brown hare syndrome in free-ranging European brown and mountain hares from Switzerland.

    PubMed

    Frölich, K; Haerer, G; Bacciarini, L; Janovsky, M; Rudolph, M; Giacometti, M

    2001-10-01

    From 1997 to 2000, complete necropsy and histopathologic investigations were performed on 157 free-ranging European brown hares (Lepus europaeus) found dead throughout Switzerland. Organ samples of all these individuals (157 livers and 107 spleens available) were tested for European brown hare syndrome virus (EBHSV)-antigen by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test kit. Furthermore, 60 additional blood samples were tested for antibodies against EBHSV by ELISA. In addition, liver samples of 87 free-ranging mountain hares (Lepus timidus) hunted in 1996 were tested for EBHSV-antigen. In two European brown hares from southern Switzerland lesions suggestive of changes induced by EBHSV were present, and high titers of EBHSV-antigen were detected in both liver and spleen samples of these animals. Based on negative staining electron microscopy investigations of liver and spleen homogenates, we observed calicivirus in one antigen-positive hare. Low EBHSV-antigen titers were found in three additional European brown hares from central and western Switzerland, but EBHS-lesions were absent. Antibodies against EBHSV were not detected in any of the sera of European brown hares, and EBHSV-antigen was not found in the samples of mountain hares. This is the first report of EBHS in European brown hares from Switzerland.

  3. Sea & Space: a New European Educational Programme

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1998-01-01

    This spring, teachers across Europe will enjoy support for exciting, novel educational projects on astronomy, navigation and environmental observations. The largely web-based and highly interactive SEA & SPACE programme makes it possible for pupils to perform field experiments and astronomical observations and to obtain and process satellite images. A contest will take the best pupils for one week to Lisbon (Portugal), to Europe's space port in Kourou (French Guyana) where the European launcher lifts off or to ESO's Very Large Telescope at the Cerro Paranal Observatory in Chile, the largest optical telescope in the world. The SEA & SPACE project is a joint initiative of the European Space Agency (ESA) , the European Southern Observatory (ESO) , and the European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE). It builds on these organisations' several years' successful participation in the European Week for Scientific and Technological Culture organised by the European Commission that they intend to continue in 1998. The 1998 World Exhibition EXPO98 in Lisbon will focus on the oceans. This is why the umbrella theme of SEA & SPACE is concerned with the many relations between the oceans and the space that surrounds us, from ancient times to present days. Under the new programme, teaching resources are offered for three major areas, Remote Sensing of Europe's Coastal Environment, Navigation and Oceans of Water. Remote Sensing of Europe's Coastal Environment : observations of the Earth from Space are made accessible to pupils who will appreciate their usefulness through interactive image processing and field observations; Navigation : the capabilities and functioning of different navigation techniques are explored through experiments using navigation by the stars, with GPS, and via satellite images/maps; Oceans of Water : What is the role of water in Nature? How can one detect water from satellites or with telescopes? How much water is there in rivers and floods, in an ocean

  4. A European Humus Forms Reference Base

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zanella, A.; Englisch, M.; Ponge, J.-F.; Jabiol, B.; Sartori, G.; Gardi, C.

    2012-04-01

    From 2003 on, a panel of experts in humus and humus dynamics (Humus group) has been working about a standardisation and improvement of existing national humus classifications. Some important goals have been reached, in order to share data and experiences: a) definition of specific terms; b) description of 15 types of diagnostic horizons; c) of 10 basic humus forms references; d) subdivision of each main reference in 2-4 sub-unities; e) elaboration of a general European Humus Form Reference Base (http://hal-agroparistech.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/56/17/95/PDF/Humus_Forms_ERB_31_01_2011.pdf); f) publication of the scientific significance of this base of classification as an article [A European morpho-functional classification of humus forms. Geoderma, 164 (3-4), 138-145]. The classification will be updated every 2 years and presently the Humus group is assessing biological (general: soil, vegetation, biome; specific: fungi, bacteria, pedofauna), physical (air temperature, rainfall) and chemical (pH, mineral elements, organic matter, quality and quantity of humic components…) factors which characterize basic humus forms and their varieties. The content of the new version of the classification is planned to be more "practical", like an ecological manual which lists associated humus forms and environmental data in the aim to contribute to a more precise environmental diagnosis of every analysed terrestrial and semiterrestrial European ecosystem. The Humus group is also involved in an endeavour to include humus forms in the World Reference Base for Soils (WRB-FAO) according to nomenclatural principles erected for soil profiles. Thirty basic references have been defined, complemented by a set of qualifiers (prefixes and suffixes), allowing to classify European humus forms and probably a large majority of humus forms known worldwide. The principles of the classification, the diagnostic horizons and humus forms main references are presented at the General Assembly of

  5. The Quality of Textbooks: A Basis for European Collaboration.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hooghoff, Hans

    The enhancement of the European dimension in the national curriculum is a large scale educational innovation that affects many European countries. This report puts forward the proposition that broad scale educational innovation has more success if the aims and objectives find their way into textbooks. The reasons why a European dimension in…

  6. The European Qualification Framework: Skills, Competences or Knowledge?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mehaut, Philippe; Winch, Christopher

    2012-01-01

    The European Qualification Framework (EQF) is intended to transform European national qualification frameworks (NQFs) by moulding them into a learning outcomes framework. Currently adopted as an enabling law by the European Union, the EQF has now operated for several years. In order to secure widespread adoption, however, it will be necessary for…

  7. Languages and Institutions in the European Union. Mercator Working Papers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alcaraz, Manuel

    This paper situates languages in the framework of European construction, analyzing problems resulting from the definition of languages' official status in the European Union (EU) juridical system. It explains that the process of European construction is historically defined by means of two distinct features (it is an open process, and at the same…

  8. A European Perspective on the Promotion of Women's Career Aspirations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lasonen, Lahja Johanna

    Although commitment to equal opportunities in employment has been a major component of European Community legislation and although increasing numbers of European women are entering professions, women throughout Europe still face many barriers to advancing in their professions. Since the early 1970s, European governments including Finland have…

  9. European Law: Ending Discrimination against Girls in Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rendel, Margherita

    1992-01-01

    Examines how the European Convention on Human Rights and its case law could combat sexist education and develop concepts of philosophical convictions, the European Community's duty, and children's rights. Considers feminist strategies for improving girls' education, English and European procedural laws, and difficulties of using English law. (RLC)

  10. A European Space for Education Looking for Its Public

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wahlstrom, Ninni

    2010-01-01

    The open method of coordination (OMC) within the Lisbon strategy is discussed in terms of a European Space for Education and "programme ontology". The focus is on indicators and the European dimension, and how they "work" in the forming of contents and identities in this European Space for Education. The OMC is analyzed in…

  11. The Organisation and Management of a European Educational Satellite System.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bates, A. W.

    This paper looks at the possible roles that the European Economic Community (EEC), as a pan-European quasi-governmental institution, might play in the management and organization of a European educational satellite system. The argument is made that there is a need for the EEC Commission to play an ongoing, regulatory role in this area. An…

  12. Politics and Policies of Promoting Multilingualism in the European Union

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Romaine, Suzanne

    2013-01-01

    This article examines the politics of policies promoting multilingualism in the European Union (EU), specifically in light of the recently released European Union Civil Society Platform on Multilingualism. As the most far-reaching and ambitious policy document issued by the European Commission, the Platform warrants close scrutiny at a significant…

  13. Expert Groups in the Building of European Public Policy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robert, Cecile

    2012-01-01

    When it comes to building European public action, expertise is ubiquitous and polymorphic. This article intends to study the ways expertise is being used in the European Commission and the logics underlying its use. The massive use of expertise also has consequences for the practices and identities of actors with whom European institutions…

  14. A European Approach to Lifelong Learning: Goals and Realities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thery, Michel; Roussel, Patrick; Zygmunt, Christian

    2003-01-01

    Comparison of company practices regarding continuing training of employees shows great diversity among the 15 European Union member states. In 11 countries, over 70 percent of companies are "training involved" (TICs). South European countries have a low percentage of TICs; the proportion of TICs in north European countries is over 80…

  15. Training Engineers of Joint Programs for the European Aerospace Industry.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomas, Jurgen

    1985-01-01

    Examines topics and issues related to training engineers of joint programs for the European aerospace industry. Forms of cooperation, European educational systems, and skills needed to successfully work as an engineer in a joint program for the European aircraft industry are the major areas addressed. (JN)

  16. Putting Dreyfus into Action: The European Credit Transfer System

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Markowitsch, Jorg; Luomi-Messerer, Karin; Becker, Matthias; Spottl, Georg

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this article is to look closely at the development of a European Credit Transfer System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET). The European Commission, together with the member States, are working on it and several pilot projects have been initiated within the Leonardo da Vinci Programme of the European Commission.…

  17. Project Report ECLIPSE: European Citizenship Learning Program for Secondary Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bombardelli, Olga

    2014-01-01

    This paper reports on a European project, the Comenius ECLIPSE project (European Citizenship Learning in a Programme for Secondary Education) developed by six European partners coordinated by the University of Trento in the years 2011-2014. ECLIPSE (co-financed by the EACEA--Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency) aims at developing,…

  18. Possible Orientations of the European Dimension in Romanian Educational Policy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Enache, Roxana

    2011-01-01

    Curricular reform in any educational system should be to balance national, European or international elements and should integrate diversity. European education calls for a democratic citizenship education that includes a political, cultural, social and economic education--an overall European dimension, which implies an awareness of the drive and…

  19. Reconciling Energy Use with Environmental Protection in the European Community.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Axelrod, Regina S.

    1992-01-01

    Presents the energy and environmental policymaking strategies of the European Community to regulate the consumption of energy. Strategies include the stabilization of carbon dioxide emissions, the creation of the European Environmental Agency, the implementation of the European Energy Charter, the SAVE Program, and economic and fiscal instruments…

  20. Space weather: European Space Agency perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daly, E. J.; Hilgers, A.

    Spacecraft and payloads have become steadily more sophisticated and therefore more susceptible to space weather effects. ESA has long been active in applying models and tools to the problems associated with such effects on its spacecraft. In parallel, ESA and European agencies have built a highly successful solar-terrestrial physics capability. ESA is now investigating the marriage of these technological and scientific capabilities to address perceived user needs for space weather products and services. Two major ESA-sponsored studies are laying the groundwork for a possible operational European space weather service. The wide-ranging activities of ESA in the Space Weather/Space Environment domain are summarized and recent important examples of space weather concerns given.

  1. [European Union funds and clinical toxicology].

    PubMed

    Wiszniewiecka, Monika; Cejrowski, Daniel; Sein Anand, Jacek

    2015-01-01

    Since 2014 we are heading the third programming period of help from European Union (EU). The new budget will run until 2020. From common resources of EU, 106 billion euro will reach Poland, of which about 82.3 billion to cohesion policy, levelling differences of regional development. Clinical toxicology centres will be able to apply for funding under the allocation for the health service. Polish health service very actively benefited from EU funds in previous programming periods, between 2004-2006, and 2007-2013. Thanks to grants from the EU, a large number of health centres were built or renovated. Unfortunately the needs of hospitals, which were underinvested for many years, exceeded available funds according to UE programmes. Except investment projects, also projects training of health professionals were executed. In the current programming period European Union will still support projects aimed at health service. Clinical toxicology centres should have a try of using this period to fulfil their plans.

  2. Are aliens threatening European aquatic coastal ecosystems?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reise, Karsten; Olenin, Sergej; Thieltges, David W.

    2006-05-01

    Inshore waters of European coasts have accumulated a high share of non-indigenous species, where a changeable palaeoenvironment has caused low diversity in indigenous biota. Also strongly transformed modern coastal ecosystems seem to assimilate whatever species have been introduced and tolerate the physical regime. Adding non-native species does not have any directional predetermined effects on recipient coastal ecosystems. The status of being a non-native rather refers to a position in evolutionary history than qualify as an ecological category with distinct and consistent properties. Effects of invaders vary between habitats and with the phase of invasion and also with shifting ambient conditions. Although aliens accelerate change in European coastal biota, we found no evidence that they generally impair biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. More often, invaders expand ecosystem functioning by adding new ecological traits, intensifying existing ones and increasing functional redundancy.

  3. Generation of a Catalogue of European Windstorms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varino, Filipa; Baptiste Granier, Jean; Bordoy, Roger; Arbogast, Philippe; Joly, Bruno; Riviere, Gwendal; Fandeur, Marie-Laure; Bovy, Henry; Mitchell-Wallace, Kirsten; Souch, Claire

    2016-04-01

    The probability of multiple wind-storm events within a year is crucial to any (re)insurance company writing European wind business. Indeed, the volatility of losses is enhanced by the clustering of storms (cyclone families), as occurred in early 1990 (Daria, Vivian, Wiebke), December 1999 (Lothar, Martin) or December 2015 (Desmond, Eva, Frank), among others. In order to track winter extratropical cyclones, we use the maximum relative vorticity at 850 hPa of the new-released long-term ERA-20C reanalysis from the ECMWF since the beginning of the 20th Century until 2010. We develop an automatic procedure to define events. We then quantify the severity of each storm using loss and meteorological indices at country and Europe-wide level. Validation against market losses for the period 1970-2010 is undertaken before considering the severity and frequency of European windstorms for the 110 years period.

  4. A European approach to clinical investigator training

    PubMed Central

    Boeynaems, Jean-Marie; Canivet, Cindy; Chan, Anthony; Clarke, Mary J.; Cornu, Catherine; Daemen, Esther; Demotes, Jacques; Nys, Katelijne De; Hirst, Barry; Hundt, Ferdinand; Kassai, Behrouz; Kerpel-Fronius, Sandor; Kiessig, Lucy; Klech, Heinrich; Kraehenbuhl, Jean-Pierre; Lafolie, Pierre; Lucht, Martin; Niese, Detlef; Pauli-Magnus, Christiane; Peters, Barbara; Schaltenbrand, Ralf; Stockis, Armel; Stykova, Martina; Verheus, Nicolette; Klingmann, Ingrid

    2013-01-01

    A better education and training of clinical investigators and their teams is one of the factors that could foster the development of clinical research in Europe, a key objective of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). PharmaTrain (an IMI programme on training in medicines development), and European Clinical Research Infrastructures Network (ECRIN) have joined forces to address this issue. An advisory group composed of representatives of universities, pharmaceutical companies and other organisations met four times between June 2011 and July 2012. This resulted in a position paper proposing a strategy to improve and harmonize clinical investigator training in Europe, and including a detailed syllabus and list of learning outcomes. Major recommendations are the establishment of minimal and mutually recognized certification requirement for investigators throughout the EU and the creation of a European platform to provide a suitable course and examination infrastructure. PMID:24058345

  5. [Sexual risk factors among European young people].

    PubMed

    Calatrava, María; López-Del Burgo, Cristina; de Irala, Jokin

    2012-05-05

    The sexual transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other sexually transmitted infections (STI) in Europe are still rising. In order to prioritize STI prevention strategies in Europe, it is important to describe the prevalence of different sexual risk factors for STIs among European young people. We carried out a systematic review of published articles and studies performed by European institutions. A total of 21 articles and 10 studies were identified. The data shows an increase in early sexual initiation and the number of sexual partners. Young people who use condoms inconsistently ranged from 15 to 20%. The observed risk factors are: unawareness about other STIs different from HIV, being in favour of casual sex, wrongly believing that some measures are effective in avoiding HIV, not being aware of the risks from having multiple sexual partners and unawareness about the sexual transmission of HIV. The data suggests the need to improve the information addressed to youth.

  6. European standardization effort: interworking the goal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mattheus, Rudy A.

    1993-09-01

    In the European Standardization Committee (CEN), the technical committee responsible for the standardization activities in Medical Informatics (CEN TC 251), has agreed upon the directions of the scopes to follow in this field. They are described in the Directory of the European Standardization Requirements for Healthcare Informatics and Programme for the Development of Standards adopted on 02-28-1991 by CEN/TC 251 and approved by CEN/BT. Top-down objectives describe the common framework and items like terminology, security, more bottom up oriented items describe fields like medical imaging and multi-media. The draft standard is described; the general framework model and object oriented model; the interworking aspects, the relation to ISO standards, and the DICOM proposal. This paper also focuses on all the boundaries in the standardization work, which are also influencing the standardization process.

  7. European research priorities for intracerebral haemorrhage.

    PubMed

    Steiner, Thorsten; Petersson, Jesper; Al-Shahi Salman, Rustam; Christensen, Hanne; Cordonnier, Charlotte; Csiba, Laszlo; Harnof, Sagi; Krieger, Derk; Mendelow, David; Molina, Carlos; Montaner, Joan; Overgaard, Karsten; Roine, Risto O; Schmutzhard, Erich; Tatlisumak, Turgut; Toni, Danilo; Stapf, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Over 2 million people are affected by intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) worldwide every year, one third of them dying within 1 month, and many survivors being left with permanent disability. Unlike most other stroke types, the incidence, morbidity and mortality of ICH have not declined over time. No standardised diagnostic workup for the detection of the various underlying causes of ICH currently exists, and the evidence for medical or surgical therapeutic interventions remains limited. A dedicated European research programme for ICH is needed to identify ways to reduce the burden of ICH-related death and disability. The European Research Network on Intracerebral Haemorrhage EURONICH is a multidisciplinary academic research collaboration that has been established to define current research priorities and to conduct large clinical studies on all aspects of ICH.

  8. Nuclear medicine technologist training in European countries.

    PubMed

    Lass, Piotr

    2002-08-01

    This article overviews the training of nuclear medicine technologists in chosen European countries, the United States and Canada. There are basically two types of training: at medical schools following secondary school, without any university degree, usually on a 2- or 3-year basis, or else as a university course, leading to a BSc degree after 3 years, and in some countries to an MSc degree after an additional 2 years. In the United States both systems coexist, while in Europe the picture varies from country to country. The number of hours devoted to nuclear medicine also varies between curricula. Some efforts are being made to unify this system by transition to the university model of education in many European countries.

  9. Supernovae and cosmology with future European facilities.

    PubMed

    Hook, I M

    2013-06-13

    Prospects for future supernova surveys are discussed, focusing on the European Space Agency's Euclid mission and the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), both expected to be in operation around the turn of the decade. Euclid is a 1.2 m space survey telescope that will operate at visible and near-infrared wavelengths, and has the potential to find and obtain multi-band lightcurves for thousands of distant supernovae. The E-ELT is a planned, general-purpose ground-based, 40-m-class optical-infrared telescope with adaptive optics built in, which will be capable of obtaining spectra of type Ia supernovae to redshifts of at least four. The contribution to supernova cosmology with these facilities will be discussed in the context of other future supernova programmes such as those proposed for DES, JWST, LSST and WFIRST.

  10. Health care for undocumented migrants: European approaches.

    PubMed

    Gray, Bradford H; van Ginneken, Ewout

    2012-12-01

    European countries have smaller shares of undocumented migrants than does the United States, but these individuals have substantial needs for medical care and present difficult policy challenges even in countries with universal health insurance systems. Recent European studies show that policies in most countries provide for no more than emergency services for undocumented migrants. Smaller numbers of countries provide more services or allow undocumented migrants who meet certain requirements access to the same range of services as nationals. These experiences show it is possible to improve access to care for undoc­umented migrants. Strategies vary along three dimensions: (1) focusing on segments of the population, like children or pregnant women; (2) focusing on types of services, like preventive services or treatment of infectious diseases; or (3) using specific funding policies, like allowing undocumented migrants to purchase insurance.

  11. European user trial of paging by satellite

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fudge, R. E.; Fenton, C. J.

    1990-01-01

    British Telecom conceived the idea of adapting their existing paging service, together with the use of existing terrestrial pagers, to yield a one way data (i.e., paging) satellite service to mobiles. The user trial of paging by satellites was successful. It demonstrated that services could be provided over a wide geographical area to low priced terminals. Many lessons were learned in unexpected areas. These include the need for extensive liaison with all users involved, especially the drivers, to ensure they understood the potential benefits. There was a significant desire for a return acknowledgement channel or even a return data channel. Above all there is a need to ensure that the equipment can be taken across European borders and legitimately used in all European countries. The next step in a marketing assessment would be to consider the impact of two way data messaging such as INMARSAT-C.

  12. Opportunities to Learn about Europe at School. A Comparative Analysis among European Adolescents in 21 European Member States

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Verhaegen, Soetkin; Hooghe, Marc; Meeusen, Cecil

    2013-01-01

    In this article, we investigate the relationship between different learning methods and the formation of European identity among adolescents. The analysis is based on the European module of the International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (2009), with 70,502 respondents in 21 European member states. The results show that offering…

  13. European Scientific Notes. Volume 38, Number 4.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1984-04-01

    R.L. Carovillano 218 The Seventh European Regional Astronomy meeting dealt with almost every area of astronomy; coverage included solar ...in the 25- to found in areas as diverse as electro- 35-m range at the Comitato Nazionale optics and pharmacology. Energia Nucleare laboratory in...physics research has led to knowledge gained in one area (or param- many discoveries in the solar system and eter domain) to another area that lacks to

  14. European Scientific Notes. Volume 36, Number 4,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1982-04-30

    primarily for the information of L ’ S. Government scientific personnel and contractors. It i-, not coli- c sidered part of the scientific literature...Stjbtiti.) S YEO EOT&PRO OEE EUROPEAN SCIENTIFIC NOTES April_____________ S. PERFORMING ORG. REPORT NUMBER 7. AUTHOR(*) S. CONTRACT OR GRANT NUMBER(#) 9... PERFORMING ORGANI1ZATION NAME AND ADDRESS 10, PROGRAM ELEMENT PROJECT, TASK( AREA & WORK UNIT NUMBERS US OFFICE OF NAVAL RESEARCH BRANCH OFFICE

  15. European stem cell research in legal shackles.

    PubMed

    Nielen, Myrthe G; de Vries, Sybe A; Geijsen, Niels

    2013-12-11

    Advances in stem cell biology have raised legal challenges to the patentability of stem cells and any derived technologies and processes. In 1999, Oliver Brüstle was granted a patent for the generation and therapeutic use of neural cells derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). The patent was challenged and put before the European Court of Justice, which ruled that inventions involving the prior destruction of human embryos cannot be patented. The legal maneuvering around this case demonstrates that the future of stem cell-based patents in Europe remains unsettled. Furthermore, owing to the European Court's broad definition of hESC as 'any cell that is capable of commencing development into a human being,' novel technologies that could eliminate the need for hESCs, such as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), are at risk of being included under the same ruling. Advances in the in vitro development of germ cells from pluripotent stem cells may one day provide a direct developmental path from iPSC to oocyte and sperm, and, according to the European Court's reasoning, legally equate iPSCs with human embryos. In this review, we will briefly discuss the Brüstle v Greenpeace case and the implications of the European Court of Justice's ruling. We will identify potential risks for stem cell research and future therapeutics resulting from the broad legal definition of the human embryo. Finally, we will broach the current legal landscape, as this broad definition has also created great uncertainty about the status of human iPSCs.

  16. The cure of cancer: a European perspective.

    PubMed

    Francisci, Silvia; Capocaccia, Riccardo; Grande, Enrico; Santaquilani, Mariano; Simonetti, Arianna; Allemani, Claudia; Gatta, Gemma; Sant, Milena; Zigon, Giulia; Bray, Freddie; Janssen-Heijnen, Maryska

    2009-04-01

    Cancer survival analyses based on cancer registry data do not provide direct information on the main aim of cancer treatment, the cure of the patient. In fact, classic survival indicators do not distinguish between patients who are cured, and patients who will die of their disease and in whom prolongation of survival is the main objective of treatment. In this study, we applied parametric cure models to the cancer incidence and follow-up data provided by 49 EUROCARE-4 (European Cancer Registry-based study, fourth edition) cancer registries, with the aims of providing additional insights into the survival of European cancer patients diagnosed from 1988 to 1999, and of investigating between-population differences. Between-country estimates the proportion of cured patients varied from about 4-13% for lung cancer, from 9% to 30% for stomach cancer, from 25% to 49% for colon and rectum cancer, and from 55% to 73% for breast cancer. For all cancers combined, estimates varied between 21% and 47% in men, and 38% and 59% in women and were influenced by the distribution of cases by cancer site. Countries with high proportions of cured and long fatal case survival times for all cancers combined were characterised by generally favourable case mix. For the European pool of cases both the proportion of cured and the survival time of fatal cases were associated with age, and increased from the early to the latest diagnosis period. The increases over time in the proportions of Europeans estimated cured of lung, stomach and colon and rectum cancers are noteworthy and suggest genuine progress in cancer control. The proportion of cured of all cancers combined is a useful general indicator of cancer control as it reflects progress in diagnosis and treatment, as well as success in the prevention of rapidly fatal cancers.

  17. The Economic Impact on Future European Security.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-07-01

    European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Jacques Attali , is a former adviser to President Francois Mitterand. "Mr. Attali had never run a...Linkina NATO and the WEU, p. 10. 14. " Attali Unleashed," Wall Street Journal (New York), 17 April 1991, p. A14. 24 15. "France Threatens NATO Walkout...Jacques Attali to serve as president of the bank, but the designated American number two in command declined. Quickly, Mr. Attali appointed an

  18. International arrivals: widespread bioinvasions in European Seas

    PubMed Central

    Galil, B.S.; Marchini, A.; Occhipinti-Ambrogi, A.; Minchin, D.; Narščius, A.; Ojaveer, H.; Olenin, S.

    2014-01-01

    The European Union lacks a comprehensive framework to address the threats posed by the introduction and spread of marine non-indigenous species (NIS). Current efforts are fragmented and suffer substantial gaps in coverage. In this paper we identify and discuss issues relating to the assessment of spatial and temporal patterns of introductions in European Seas (ES), based on a scientifically validated information system of aquatic non-indigenous and cryptogenic species, AquaNIS. While recognizing the limitations of the existing data, we extract information that can be used to assess the relative risk of introductions for different taxonomic groups, geographic regions and likely vectors. The dataset comprises 879 multicellular NIS. We applied a country-based approach to assess patterns of NIS richness in ES, and identify the principal introduction routes and vectors, the most widespread NIS and their spatial and temporal spread patterns. Between 1970 and 2013, the number of recorded NIS has grown by 86, 173 and 204% in the Baltic, Western European margin and the Mediterranean, respectively; 52 of the 879 NIS were recorded in 10 or more countries, and 25 NIS first recorded in European seas since 1990 have since been reported in five or more countries. Our results highlight the ever-rising role of shipping (commercial and recreational) as a vector for the widespread and recently spread NIS. The Suez Canal, a corridor unique to the Mediterranean, is responsible for the increased introduction of new thermophilic NIS into this warming sea. The 2020 goal of the EU Biodiversity Strategy concerning marine Invasive Alien Species may not be fully attainable. The setting of a new target date should be accompanied by scientifically robust, sensible and pragmatic plans to minimize introductions of marine NIS and to study those present. PMID:24899770

  19. European Community Projects on Surface Electromyography

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-02

    surface EMG and provided insight in muscular disorders in computer users. Neuromuscular assessment in the Elderly Worker (NEW, 2001-2004) will apply...sport and geriatric medicine. Keywords - electromyography, surface EMG, fine wire EMG, needle EMG, muscles, European Union I. INTRODUCTION...Pullman et al. [3] are “SEMG is considered unacceptable as a clinical t ool i n the diagnosis of neuromuscular disease at t his time.” a nd “SEMG

  20. PEP725 Pan European Phenological Database

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koch, Elisabeth; Adler, Silke; Ungersböck, Markus; Zach-Hermann, Susanne

    2010-05-01

    Europe is in the fortunate situation that it has a long tradition in phenological networking: the history of collecting phenological data and using them in climatology has its starting point in 1751 when Carl von Linné outlined in his work Philosophia Botanica methods for compiling annual plant calendars of leaf opening, flowering, fruiting and leaf fall together with climatological observations "so as to show how areas differ". The Societas Meteorologicae Palatinae at Mannheim well known for its first European wide meteorological network also established a phenological network which was active from 1781 to 1792. Recently in most European countries, phenological observations have been carried out routinely for more than 50 years by different governmental and non governmental organisations and following different observation guidelines, the data stored at different places in different formats. This has been really hampering pan European studies, as one has to address many National Observations Programs (NOP) to get access to the data before one can start to bring them in a uniform style. From 2004 to 2005 the COST-action 725 was running with the main objective to establish a European reference data set of phenological observations that can be used for climatological purposes, especially climate monitoring, and detection of changes. So far the common database/reference data set of COST725 comprises 7687248 data from 7285 observation sites in 15 countries and International Phenological Gardens (IPG) spanning the timeframe from 1951 to 2000. ZAMG is hosting the database. In January 2010 PEP725 has started and will take over not only the part of maintaining, updating the database, but also to bring in phenological data from the time before 1951, developing better quality checking procedures and ensuring an open access to the database. An attractive webpage will make phenology and climate impacts on vegetation more visible in the public enabling a monitoring of

  1. Comparison with European observations of meteor impact

    SciTech Connect

    Canavan, G.H.

    1997-06-01

    A model for the inference of object size and speed from observations is used to discuss European observations of impact. It compares the observed and predicted breakup altitudes for the objects larger than one meter and observes useful correlations. Trends in magnitude correlate well with measured velocities, altitudes, and trajectories and inferred size and strength parameters, but each parameter is subject to dispute, which can only be addressed when the sensitivity of predictions to uncertainties in these parameters is assessed.

  2. Evolution of Trends in European Medical Informatics

    PubMed Central

    I. Mihalas, George

    2014-01-01

    This presentation attempts to analyze the trends in Medical Informatics along half a century, in the European socio-political and technological development context. Based on the major characteristics which seem dominant in some periods, a staging is proposed, with a description of each period – the context, major ideas, views and events. A summary of major features of each period is also added. This paper has an original presentation of the evolution of major trends in medical informatics. PMID:24648618

  3. New Testing Standard For European Programs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giordano, P.

    2004-08-01

    Standardization is a key aspect of the production business committed to the optimization of the product development and cost. In the Space field, American industries and Government organizations have developed since several decades Space standards like the MIL series, deriving them from the aircraft and military fields, or the NASA standards. The same happened later in other countries like Russia, Japan and China. In the last years most of those standards were revised to cope with the emerging needs of the market. In Europe, the Space activities were generally managed by a set of ESA standards, the PSS, which covered some aspects of these activities and reflected the up-to-date approaches and common practices. But, in the last years an initiative was also promoted by ESA, National Agencies and Space Organizations, named ECSS (European Cooperation for Space Standardization), with the aim to develop a coherent, single set of user-friendly standards for use in all European space activities. European industries supported this initiative, including a deep involvement of Alenia Spazio and, sometime through a suitable revision of the old PSS documents, new standards were defined, as for the "Testing" (ECSS-E-10-03A, now published). The ECSS-E-10-03A provides standard environmental and performance test requirements for space products (systems and their constituents) which are generally applicable to all projects. Scope of this paper is to present the status of the worldwide initiatives in the testing standardization, the major contents of the European ECSS Testing standard and the possibilities for tailoring. Differences in requirement definition with other international testing standards and proposals for further ECSS optimization are presented on the basis of Alenia Spazio experience in supporting the above initiatives.

  4. European Scientific Notes. Volume 34, Number 4,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-04-30

    probed, or as relativistic components may help resolve the remaining dis- of the nucleus ’ mcmentum distribution crepancies. For large momentum trans...RESOLUTION TST CHART OFFICE OF NAVAL RESEARCH LONDON COLEYEL> EUROPEAN SCIENTIFIC NOTES 0 ESN 34-4+ 30 April 1980 DTlC ELECTE Distributed by the Office...contractors. It is not con- sidered part of the scientific literature and should not be. cited : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE: DISTRIBUTION UNLIMITED 80 6

  5. The Independent European Force: Costs of Independence

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-01-01

    cost method of obtaining the intelligence that a new military force might need. In particular, we have not considered all the nonsatellite ways of...system to eavesdrop on communications from geosynchrnus orbit, a system to detect ballistic missile launches, and a duplicate of the United States...for a short time. But if the contingpicy is extended and a lasting European presence is needed, support forces and resupply capabilities would have

  6. The Physical Tourist. A European Study Course

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kortemeyer, Gerd; Westfall, Catherine

    2010-03-01

    We organized and led a European study course for American undergraduate university students to explore the early history of relativity and quantum theory. We were inspired by The Physical Tourist articles published in this journal on Munich, Bern, Berlin, Copenhagen, and Göttingen. We describe this adventure both for others wishing to teach such a course and for anyone wishing to walk in the footsteps of the physicists who revolutionized physics in the early decades of the twentieth century.

  7. PEP725 Pan European Phenological Database

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koch, E.; Lipa, W.; Ungersböck, M.; Zach-Hermann, S.

    2012-04-01

    PEP725 is a 5 years project with the main object to promote and facilitate phenological research by delivering a pan European phenological database with an open, unrestricted data access for science, research and education. PEP725 is funded by EUMETNET (the network of European meteorological services), ZAMG and the Austrian ministry for science & research bm:w_f. So far 16 European national meteorological services and 7 partners from different nati-onal phenological network operators have joined PEP725. The data access is very easy via web-access from the homepage www.pep725.eu. Ha-ving accepted the PEP725 data policy and registry the data download can be done by different criteria as for instance the selection of a specific plant or all data from one country. At present more than 300 000 new records are available in the PEP725 data-base coming from 31 European countries and from 8150 stations. For some more sta-tions (154) META data (location and data holder) are provided. Links to the network operators and data owners are also on the webpage in case you have more sophisticated questions about the data. Another objective of PEP725 is to bring together network-operators and scientists by organizing workshops. In April 2012 the second of these workshops will take place on the premises of ZAMG. Invited speakers will give presentations spanning the whole study area of phenology starting from observations to modelling. Quality checking is also a big issue. At the moment we study the literature to find ap-propriate methods.

  8. The European Academy of Tumor Immunology

    PubMed Central

    Kroemer, Guido; Fridman, Wolf Hervé; Sautès-Fridman, Catherine; Zitvogel, Laurence

    2012-01-01

    The European Academy of Tumor Immunology (EATI, official website: http://eati.landesbioscience.com/index.html) has been founded in 2011 with the idea of creating a novel organization that responds to the need of structuring the European research space in this expanding, clinically ever more important area of research. Rapidly, this initiative, which regroups (part of) the elite of tumor immunologists, has been joined by 110 scientists, who accepted to join EATI as founding members. Obviously, EATI will not enter in competition with existing prestigious organizations, be they supranational (such as the Cancer Research Institute, CRI; the European Society for Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy, ESCII; and the Society for the Immunotherapy of Cancer, SITC), or national [such as the Cancer Immunology Working Group, CIMM, of the American Association for Cancer Reserch; the (German) Association for Cancer Immunotherapy, CIMT; the (US) Cancer Immunotherapy Consortium, CIC; the (US) Cancer Vaccine Consortium, CVC; and the Italian Network for Cancer Biotherapy, NIBIT]. The choice of cooperation (rather than competition) with these organizations is clearly documented by the fact that many prominent members of CIMM, CIC, CIMT, CRI, CVC, ESCII, NIBIT and SITC are also EATI Academicians. PMID:22720233

  9. An overview of European space transportation systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lo, R. E.

    1985-01-01

    With the completion of the launch rocket series Ariane 1 to 4, Europe will have reached the same capacity to transport commercial payloads as the USA has with the Space Shuttle and the kick stages which are presently operative. The near term development of these capacities would require Europe to develop a larger launch rocket, Araine 5. Further motivations for this rocket are access to manned spaceflight, the development of an European space station, and the demand for shuttle technology. Shuttle technology is the subject of research being done in France on the winged re-entry vehicle Hermes. Operation of the European space station Columbus will require development of an interorbital transport system to facilitate traffic between the various segments of the space station. All European space transportation systems will have to match their quality to that of the other countries involve in space flight. All areas of development are marked not only by possible cooperation but also by increased competition because of increasing commercialization of space flight.

  10. The European experience with vascular injuries.

    PubMed

    Fingerhut, Abe; Leppäniemi, Ari K; Androulakis, George A; Archodovassilis, F; Bouillon, Bertil; Cavina, Enrico; Chaloner, Eddie; Chiarugi, Massimo; Davidovic, Lazar; Delgado-Millan, Miguel Angel; Goris, Jan; Gunnlaugsson, Gunnar H; Jover, Jose Maria; Konstandoulakis, Manoussos M; Kurtoglu, Mehmet; Lepäntalo, Mauri; Llort-Pont, Carme; Meneu-Diaz, Juan Carlos; Moreno-Gonzales, Enrique; Navarro-Soto, Salvador; Panoussis, P; Ryan, James M; Salenius, Juha P; Seccia, Massimo; Takolander, Rabbe; Taviloglu, Korhan; Tiesenhausen, Kurt; Torfason, Bjarni; Uranüs, Selman

    2002-02-01

    The rich and diverse heritage of the management of vascular injuries in the 45 independent European countries prevents the authors from revealing a uniform picture of the European experience, but some trends are clearly emerging. In countries with a low incidence of penetrating trauma and increasing use of interventional vascular procedures, the proportion of iatrogenic vascular trauma exceeds 40% of all vascular injuries, whereas on other parts of the continent, armed conflicts are still a major cause of vascular trauma. National vascular registries, mostly in the Scandinavian countries, produce useful, nationwide data about vascular trauma and its management but suffer still from inadequate data collection. Despite a relatively low incidence of vascular trauma in most European countries, the results are satisfactory, probably in most cases because of active and early management by surgeons on call, whether with vascular training or not, treating all kinds of vascular surgical emergencies. In some countries, attempts at developing a trauma and emergency surgical specialty, including expertise in the management of vascular injuries, are on their way.

  11. European plans for new clocks in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leschiutta, Sigfrido M.; Tavella, Patrizia

    1995-01-01

    An outline of the future European space research program where precise clocks are necessary is presented, pointing out how space applications are posing impressive requirements as regards clock mass, power, ruggedness, long life, accuracy and, in some cases, spectral purity. The material presented was gathered in some laboratories; useful information was obtained from the Space Agencies of France (CNES), Germany (DARA) and Italy (ASI), but the bulk is coming from a recent exercise promoted inside ESA (the European Space Agency) and aimed to prefigure space research activities at the beginning of the next millennium. This exercise was called Horizon 2000 plus; the outcomings were summarized in two reports, presented by ESA in may 1994. Precise clocks and time measurements are needed not only for deep-space or out-ward space missions, but are essential tools also for Earth oriented activities. In this latter field, the European views and needs were discussed in October 1994, in a meeting organized by ESA and devoted to Earth Observation problems. By a scrutiny of these reports, an analysis was performed on the missions requiring a precise clock on board and the driving requirements were pointed out, leading to a survey of the necessary PTTI developments that, to some extent, are in the realm of possibility but that pose serious challenges. In this report the use of frequency standards in the satellite navigation systems is not considered.

  12. The SDI and European security interests

    SciTech Connect

    Deschamps, L.

    1987-01-01

    This paper examines Europe's reactions to President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). On the one hand, the American proposals have inspired forceful European opposition of a kind potentially damaging to Alliance solidarity. On the other, paradoxically, the debate occurred in a period of rare Alliance harmony, when the deployment of cruise and Pershing II missiles was satisfactorily completed despite Soviet hostility. Yet the nature of the discussion and the compromises reached between Europe and the United States on the SDI have meant that a true strategic debate has not yet begun. Although the SDI is largely an American response to an American strategic problem, Europeans are intimately affected by many of its implications. The author argues that if the SDI program is not to cause great difficulties in the future a more sophisticated discussion of the purposes of strategic defense must now be undertaken. Contents. Introduction; defense in the nuclear age; defense or deterrence: The limits of western consensus; the Euro-American debate on the SDI; European concerns and American responses; and conclusion.

  13. Nano-education from a European perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malsch, I.

    2008-03-01

    At a global level, educating the nanotechnology workforce has been discussed since the beginning of the new millennium. Scientists, engineers and technicians should be trained in nanotechnology. Most educators prefer training students first in their own discipline at the Bachelor level (physics, chemistry, biology, etc) followed by specialisation in nanoscience and technology at the Master's level. Some favour a broad interdisciplinary basic training in different nanosciences followed by specialisation in a particular application area. What constitutes a good nanoscience curriculum is also being discussed, as well as the application of e-learning methodologies. The European Union is stimulating the development of nanoscience education in universities. The Erasmus Mundus programme is funding nanoscience and nanotechnology education programmes involving universities in several European countries. The policy debate in Europe is moving towards vocational training in nanotechnology for educating the technicians needed in industry and research. The EU vocational training institute CEDEFOP published a report in 2005 The EU funded European gateway to nanotechnology Nanoforum has stimulated the accessibility of nano-education throughout Europe with reports and online databases of education courses and materials. For university education, they list courses at the Bachelor, Master's, and PhD level as well as short courses. The EU funded EuroIndiaNet project also reviewed Nano-education courses at the Master's level, short courses, e-learning programmes, summerschools and vocational training courses. In this presentation, I review Nanoforum and other publications on nano-education in Europe and highlight current trends and gaps.

  14. Tuberculosis among migrant populations in the European Union and the European Economic Area

    PubMed Central

    Tillmann, Taavi; Sandgren, Andreas; Williams, Gemma; Rechel, Bernd; Ingleby, David; Noori, Teymur; Mladovsky, Philipa; McKee, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Background: Although tuberculosis (TB) incidence has been decreasing in the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) in the last decades, specific subgroups of the population, such as migrants, remain at high risk of TB. This study is based on the report ‘Key Infectious Diseases in Migrant Populations in the EU/EEA’ commissioned by The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Methods: We collected, critically appraised and summarized the available evidence on the TB burden in migrants in the EU/EEA. Data were collected through: (i) a comprehensive literature review; (ii) analysis of data from The European Surveillance System (TESSy) and (iii) evidence provided by TB experts during an infectious disease workshop in 2012. Results: In 2010, of the 73 996 TB cases notified in the EU/EEA, 25% were of foreign origin. The overall decrease of TB cases observed in recent years has not been reflected in migrant populations. Foreign-born people with TB exhibit different socioeconomic and clinical characteristics than native sufferers. Conclusion: This is one of the first studies to use multiple data sources, including the largest available European database on infectious disease notifications, to assess the burden and provide a comprehensive description and analysis of specific TB features in migrants in the EU/EEA. Strengthened information about health determinants and factors for migrants’ vulnerability is needed to plan, implement and evaluate targeted TB care and control interventions for migrants in the EU/EEA. PMID:25500265

  15. European brown hare syndrome virus in free-ranging European brown hares from Argentina.

    PubMed

    Frölich, Kai; Kujawski, Olgierd E J Graf; Rudolph, Michael; Ronsholt, Leif; Speck, Stephanie

    2003-01-01

    From 1998 to 2000, serum samples of 80 shot European brown hares (Lepus europaeus) from Argentina were examined for antibodies against European brown hare syndrome virus (EBHSV) and 80 spleen samples were tested for EBHSV-antigen by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Nine hares were positive for EBHSV-antigen. Antibodies against EBHSV were detected in only one individual. Based on negative staining electron microscopy of spleen homogenates, we observed calicivirus in one of five EBHSV-antigen positive hares. However, EBHS has not been reported to cause abnormal mortality in these hares. This is the first report of antibodies to EBHSV, EBHSV-antigen, and electron microscopy findings in free-ranging European brown hares from South America.

  16. The European Hematology Association Roadmap for European Hematology Research: a consensus document.

    PubMed

    Engert, Andreas; Balduini, Carlo; Brand, Anneke; Coiffier, Bertrand; Cordonnier, Catherine; Döhner, Hartmut; de Wit, Thom Duyvené; Eichinger, Sabine; Fibbe, Willem; Green, Tony; de Haas, Fleur; Iolascon, Achille; Jaffredo, Thierry; Rodeghiero, Francesco; Salles, Gilles; Schuringa, Jan Jacob

    2016-02-01

    The European Hematology Association (EHA) Roadmap for European Hematology Research highlights major achievements in diagnosis and treatment of blood disorders and identifies the greatest unmet clinical and scientific needs in those areas to enable better funded, more focused European hematology research. Initiated by the EHA, around 300 experts contributed to the consensus document, which will help European policy makers, research funders, research organizations, researchers, and patient groups make better informed decisions on hematology research. It also aims to raise public awareness of the burden of blood disorders on European society, which purely in economic terms is estimated at €23 billion per year, a level of cost that is not matched in current European hematology research funding. In recent decades, hematology research has improved our fundamental understanding of the biology of blood disorders, and has improved diagnostics and treatments, sometimes in revolutionary ways. This progress highlights the potential of focused basic research programs such as this EHA Roadmap.The EHA Roadmap identifies nine 'sections' in hematology: normal hematopoiesis, malignant lymphoid and myeloid diseases, anemias and related diseases, platelet disorders, blood coagulation and hemostatic disorders, transfusion medicine, infections in hematology, and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. These sections span 60 smaller groups of diseases or disorders.The EHA Roadmap identifies priorities and needs across the field of hematology, including those to develop targeted therapies based on genomic profiling and chemical biology, to eradicate minimal residual malignant disease, and to develop cellular immunotherapies, combination treatments, gene therapies, hematopoietic stem cell treatments, and treatments that are better tolerated by elderly patients.

  17. The European Hematology Association Roadmap for European Hematology Research: a consensus document

    PubMed Central

    Engert, Andreas; Balduini, Carlo; Brand, Anneke; Coiffier, Bertrand; Cordonnier, Catherine; Döhner, Hartmut; de Wit, Thom Duyvené; Eichinger, Sabine; Fibbe, Willem; Green, Tony; de Haas, Fleur; Iolascon, Achille; Jaffredo, Thierry; Rodeghiero, Francesco; Salles, Gilles; Schuringa, Jan Jacob

    2016-01-01

    The European Hematology Association (EHA) Roadmap for European Hematology Research highlights major achievements in diagnosis and treatment of blood disorders and identifies the greatest unmet clinical and scientific needs in those areas to enable better funded, more focused European hematology research. Initiated by the EHA, around 300 experts contributed to the consensus document, which will help European policy makers, research funders, research organizations, researchers, and patient groups make better informed decisions on hematology research. It also aims to raise public awareness of the burden of blood disorders on European society, which purely in economic terms is estimated at €23 billion per year, a level of cost that is not matched in current European hematology research funding. In recent decades, hematology research has improved our fundamental understanding of the biology of blood disorders, and has improved diagnostics and treatments, sometimes in revolutionary ways. This progress highlights the potential of focused basic research programs such as this EHA Roadmap. The EHA Roadmap identifies nine ‘sections’ in hematology: normal hematopoiesis, malignant lymphoid and myeloid diseases, anemias and related diseases, platelet disorders, blood coagulation and hemostatic disorders, transfusion medicine, infections in hematology, and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. These sections span 60 smaller groups of diseases or disorders. The EHA Roadmap identifies priorities and needs across the field of hematology, including those to develop targeted therapies based on genomic profiling and chemical biology, to eradicate minimal residual malignant disease, and to develop cellular immunotherapies, combination treatments, gene therapies, hematopoietic stem cell treatments, and treatments that are better tolerated by elderly patients. PMID:26819058

  18. A Grand Vision for European Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2007-09-01

    Today, and for the first time, astronomers share their global Science Vision for European Astronomy in the next two decades. This two-year long effort by the ASTRONET network of funding agencies, sponsored by the European Commission and coordinated by INSU-CNRS, underscores Europe's ascension to world leadership in astronomy and its will to maintain that position. It will be followed in just over a year by a prioritised roadmap for the observational facilities needed to implement the Vision. Implementation of these plans will ensure that Europe fully contributes to Mankind's ever deeper understanding of the wonders of our Universe. astronet logo "This is a great opportunity to help create a vibrant long-term future for astronomy and science" says Tim de Zeeuw (Leiden Observatory, The Netherlands) who led this community-wide effort. The ASTRONET Science Vision provides a comprehensive overview of the most important scientific questions that European astronomy should address in the next twenty years. The four key questions are the extremes of the Universe, from the nature of the dark matter and dark energy that comprise over 95% of the Universe to the physics of extreme objects such as black holes, neutron stars, and gamma-ray bursts; the formation of galaxies from the first seeds to our Milky Way; the formation of stars and planets and the origin of life; and the crucial question of how do we (and our Solar System) fit in the global picture. These themes reach well beyond the realm of traditional astronomy into the frontiers of physics and biology. The Vision identifies the major new facilities that will be needed to achieve these goals, but also stresses the need for parallel developments in theory and numerical simulations, high-performance computing resources, efficient astronomical data archiving and the European Virtual Observatory, as well as in laboratory astrophysics. "This report is a key input for the even more challenging task of developing a prioritised

  19. European brown hare syndrome in wild European brown hares from Greece.

    PubMed

    Billinis, Charalambos; Psychas, Vassilios; Tontis, Dimitrios K; Spyrou, Vassiliki; Birtsas, Periklis K; Sofia, Marina; Likotrafitis, Fotios; Maslarinou, Olga M; Kanteres, Dimitrios

    2005-10-01

    From 1999 to mid-2003, 97 European brown hares (Lepus europaeus) found dead throughout Greece were examined by necropsy, histopathology, and reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for the presence of European brown hare syndrome (EBHS) and EBHS virus (EBHSV), respectively. Hare losses were sporadic, starting in the cold season and lasting for many months (December to May). The most prominent gross lesions were observed in the liver and included swelling and discoloration; congestion and hemorrhages were present mainly in lungs and tracheal mucosa. Necropsy findings were suggestive of EBHS, which was confirmed by histopathology and RT-PCR. This study documents, for the first time, EBHS in Greece.

  20. Global integration of European tuna markets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiménez-Toribio, Ramòn; Guillotreau, Patrice; Mongruel, Rémi

    2010-07-01

    This paper evaluates the degree of integration between the world market and the major European marketplaces of frozen and canned tuna through both vertical and horizontal price relationships. Spatial linkages are investigated horizontally in order to estimate the connection between the European market and the world-wide market on the primary stage of the value chain. One of the key results is the high level of market integration at the ex-vessel stage, and the price leadership of yellowfin tuna over skipjack tuna. The same approach is applied at the ex-factory level. Basically, the European market for final goods appears to be segmented between the Northern countries consuming low-priced canned skipjack tuna imported from Asia (mainly Thailand) and the Southern countries (Italy, Spain) processing and importing yellowfin-based products sold at higher prices. France appears to be an intermediate market where both products are consumed. The former market is found to be well integrated to the world market and can be considered to be competitive, but there is a suspicion of market power being exercised on the latter. Price relationships are therefore tested vertically between the price of frozen tuna paid by the canneries and the price of canned fish in both Italy and France. The two species show an opposite pattern in prices transmission along the value chain: price changes along the chain are far better transmitted for the “global” skipjack tuna than for the more “European” yellowfin tuna. The results are discussed, along with their implications for the fishing industry.