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Sample records for identifying potential environmental

  1. Identifying potential environmental impacts of waste handling strategies in textile industry.

    PubMed

    Yacout, Dalia M M; Hassouna, M S

    2016-08-01

    Waste management is a successful instrument to minimize generated waste and improve environmental conditions. In spite of the large share of developing countries in the textile industry, limited information is available concerning the waste management strategies implemented for textiles on those countries and their environmental impacts. In the current study, two waste management approaches for hazardous solid waste treatment of acrylic fibers (landfill and incineration) were investigated. The main research questions were: What are the different impacts of each waste management strategy? Which waste management strategy is more ecofriendly? Life cycle assessment was employed in order to model the environmental impacts of each waste streaming approach separately then compare them together. Results revealed that incineration was the more ecofriendly approach. Highest impacts of both approaches were on ecotoxicity and carcinogenic potentials due to release of metals from pigment wastes. Landfill had an impact of 46.8 % on human health as compared to 28 % by incineration. Incineration impact on ecosystem quality was higher than landfill impact (68.4 and 51.3 %, respectively). As for resources category, incineration had a higher impact than landfill (3.5 and 2.0 %, respectively). Those impacts could be mitigated if state-of-the-art landfill or incinerator were used and could be reduced by applying waste to energy approaches for both management systems In conclusion, shifting waste treatment from landfill to incineration would decrease the overall environmental impacts and allow energy recovery. The potential of waste to energy approach by incineration with heat recovery could be considered in further studies. Future research is needed in order to assess the implementation of waste management systems and the preferable waste management strategies in the textile industry on developing countries. PMID:27372905

  2. Identifying potential environmental impacts of waste handling strategies in textile industry.

    PubMed

    Yacout, Dalia M M; Hassouna, M S

    2016-08-01

    Waste management is a successful instrument to minimize generated waste and improve environmental conditions. In spite of the large share of developing countries in the textile industry, limited information is available concerning the waste management strategies implemented for textiles on those countries and their environmental impacts. In the current study, two waste management approaches for hazardous solid waste treatment of acrylic fibers (landfill and incineration) were investigated. The main research questions were: What are the different impacts of each waste management strategy? Which waste management strategy is more ecofriendly? Life cycle assessment was employed in order to model the environmental impacts of each waste streaming approach separately then compare them together. Results revealed that incineration was the more ecofriendly approach. Highest impacts of both approaches were on ecotoxicity and carcinogenic potentials due to release of metals from pigment wastes. Landfill had an impact of 46.8 % on human health as compared to 28 % by incineration. Incineration impact on ecosystem quality was higher than landfill impact (68.4 and 51.3 %, respectively). As for resources category, incineration had a higher impact than landfill (3.5 and 2.0 %, respectively). Those impacts could be mitigated if state-of-the-art landfill or incinerator were used and could be reduced by applying waste to energy approaches for both management systems In conclusion, shifting waste treatment from landfill to incineration would decrease the overall environmental impacts and allow energy recovery. The potential of waste to energy approach by incineration with heat recovery could be considered in further studies. Future research is needed in order to assess the implementation of waste management systems and the preferable waste management strategies in the textile industry on developing countries.

  3. Identifying potential academic leaders

    PubMed Central

    White, David; Krueger, Paul; Meaney, Christopher; Antao, Viola; Kim, Florence; Kwong, Jeffrey C.

    2016-01-01

    Objective To identify variables associated with willingness to undertake leadership roles among academic family medicine faculty. Design Web-based survey. Bivariate and multivariable analyses (logistic regression) were used to identify variables associated with willingness to undertake leadership roles. Setting Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto in Ontario. Participants A total of 687 faculty members. Main outcome measures Variables related to respondents’ willingness to take on various academic leadership roles. Results Of all 1029 faculty members invited to participate in the survey, 687 (66.8%) members responded. Of the respondents, 596 (86.8%) indicated their level of willingness to take on various academic leadership roles. Multivariable analysis revealed that the predictors associated with willingness to take on leadership roles were as follows: pursuit of professional development opportunities (odds ratio [OR] 3.79, 95% CI 2.29 to 6.27); currently holding at least 1 leadership role (OR 5.37, 95% CI 3.38 to 8.53); a history of leadership training (OR 1.86, 95% CI 1.25 to 2.78); the perception that mentorship is important for one’s current role (OR 2.25, 95% CI 1.40 to 3.60); and younger age (OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.95 to 0.99). Conclusion Willingness to undertake new or additional leadership roles was associated with 2 variables related to leadership experiences, 2 variables related to perceptions of mentorship and professional development, and 1 demographic variable (younger age). Interventions that support opportunities in these areas might expand the pool and strengthen the academic leadership potential of faculty members. PMID:27331226

  4. Identifying potential areas for biofuel production and evaluating the environmental effects: a case study of the James River Basin in the Midwestern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wu, Yiping; Liu, Shu-Guang; Li, Zhengpeng

    2012-01-01

    Biofuels are now an important resource in the United States because of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Both increased corn growth for ethanol production and perennial dedicated energy crop growth for cellulosic feedstocks are potential sources to meet the rising demand for biofuels. However, these measures may cause adverse environmental consequences that are not yet fully understood. This study 1) evaluates the long-term impacts of increased frequency of corn in the crop rotation system on water quantity and quality as well as soil fertility in the James River Basin and 2) identifies potential grasslands for cultivating bioenergy crops (e.g. switchgrass), estimating the water quality impacts. We selected the soil and water assessment tool, a physically based multidisciplinary model, as the modeling approach to simulate a series of biofuel production scenarios involving crop rotation and land cover changes. The model simulations with different crop rotation scenarios indicate that decreases in water yield and soil nitrate nitrogen (NO3-N) concentration along with an increase in NO3-N load to stream water could justify serious concerns regarding increased corn rotations in this basin. Simulations with land cover change scenarios helped us spatially classify the grasslands in terms of biomass productivity and nitrogen loads, and we further derived the relationship of biomass production targets and the resulting nitrogen loads against switchgrass planting acreages. The suggested economically efficient (planting acreage) and environmentally friendly (water quality) planting locations and acreages can be a valuable guide for cultivating switchgrass in this basin. This information, along with the projected environmental costs (i.e. reduced water yield and increased nitrogen load), can contribute to decision support tools for land managers to seek the sustainability of biofuel development in this region.

  5. Identifying environmental correlates of intraspecific genetic variation.

    PubMed

    Harrisson, K A; Yen, J D L; Pavlova, A; Rourke, M L; Gilligan, D; Ingram, B A; Lyon, J; Tonkin, Z; Sunnucks, P

    2016-09-01

    Genetic variation is critical to the persistence of populations and their capacity to adapt to environmental change. The distribution of genetic variation across a species' range can reveal critical information that is not necessarily represented in species occurrence or abundance patterns. We identified environmental factors associated with the amount of intraspecific, individual-based genetic variation across the range of a widespread freshwater fish species, the Murray cod Maccullochella peelii. We used two different approaches to statistically quantify the relative importance of predictor variables, allowing for nonlinear relationships: a random forest model and a Bayesian approach. The latter also accounted for population history. Both approaches identified associations between homozygosity by locus and both disturbance to the natural flow regime and mean annual flow. Homozygosity by locus was negatively associated with disturbance to the natural flow regime, suggesting that river reaches with more disturbed flow regimes may support larger, more genetically diverse populations. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that artificially induced perennial flows in regulated channels may provide greater and more consistent habitat and reduce the frequency of population bottlenecks that can occur frequently under the highly variable and unpredictable natural flow regime of the system. Although extensive river regulation across eastern Australia has not had an overall positive effect on Murray cod numbers over the past century, regulation may not represent the primary threat to Murray cod survival. Instead, pressures other than flow regulation may be more critical to the persistence of Murray cod (for example, reduced frequency of large floods, overfishing and chemical pollution). PMID:27273322

  6. Identifying environmental correlates of intraspecific genetic variation.

    PubMed

    Harrisson, K A; Yen, J D L; Pavlova, A; Rourke, M L; Gilligan, D; Ingram, B A; Lyon, J; Tonkin, Z; Sunnucks, P

    2016-09-01

    Genetic variation is critical to the persistence of populations and their capacity to adapt to environmental change. The distribution of genetic variation across a species' range can reveal critical information that is not necessarily represented in species occurrence or abundance patterns. We identified environmental factors associated with the amount of intraspecific, individual-based genetic variation across the range of a widespread freshwater fish species, the Murray cod Maccullochella peelii. We used two different approaches to statistically quantify the relative importance of predictor variables, allowing for nonlinear relationships: a random forest model and a Bayesian approach. The latter also accounted for population history. Both approaches identified associations between homozygosity by locus and both disturbance to the natural flow regime and mean annual flow. Homozygosity by locus was negatively associated with disturbance to the natural flow regime, suggesting that river reaches with more disturbed flow regimes may support larger, more genetically diverse populations. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that artificially induced perennial flows in regulated channels may provide greater and more consistent habitat and reduce the frequency of population bottlenecks that can occur frequently under the highly variable and unpredictable natural flow regime of the system. Although extensive river regulation across eastern Australia has not had an overall positive effect on Murray cod numbers over the past century, regulation may not represent the primary threat to Murray cod survival. Instead, pressures other than flow regulation may be more critical to the persistence of Murray cod (for example, reduced frequency of large floods, overfishing and chemical pollution).

  7. Identifying Potential Noise Sources within Acoustic Signals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holcomb, Victoria; Lewalle, Jacques

    2013-11-01

    We test a new algorithm for its ability to detect sources of noise within random background. The goal of these tests is to better understand how to identify sources within acoustic signals while simultaneously determining the strengths and weaknesses of the algorithm in question. Unlike previously published algorithms, the antenna method does not pinpoint events by looking for the most energetic portions of a signal. The algorithm searches for the ideal lag combinations between three signals by taking excerpts of possible events. The excerpt with the lowest calculated minimum distance between possible events is how the algorithm identifies sources. At the minimum distance, the events are close in time and frequency. This method can be compared to the cross correlation and denoising methods to better understand its effectiveness. This work is supported in part by Spectral Energies LLC, under an SBIR grant from AFRL, as well as the Syracuse University MAE department.

  8. Identifying, rating, and remembering environmental sound events.

    PubMed

    Marcell, Michael; Malatanos, Maria; Leahy, Connie; Comeaux, Cadie

    2007-08-01

    Sound events are sequences of closely grouped and temporally related environmental sounds that tell a story or establish a sense of place. The goal of our project was to create a set of sound events depicting various scenarios (such as a car accident, cooking breakfast, and walking outdoors) and to gather normative data about how people understand them. Samples of college students listened to 22 sound events over headphones in three self-paced, computer-based studies. In the Identification Task, 43 participants used text boxes to type descriptions of what was happening in the sound events. In the Rating Task, 39 participants used Likert scales to rate the sound events on the attributes of familiarity, complexity, and pleasantness. In the Memory Task, 42 participants answered two multiple-choice questions immediately after listening to each sound event. Detailed tables are provided for the following: (1) Description of the sound events and their components; (2) accuracy and response time measurements for each of the 22 sound events across the three studies; and (3) rank-orderings of the sound events by ease of identification, recognition of details, and rated familiarity, complexity, and pleasantness. Digital files of the stimuli, which may be of interest to auditory cognition researchers and clinical neuropsychologists, may be downloaded from either www.psychonomic.org/archive or www.cofc.edu/-marcellm/sound event studies/sndevent.htm. PMID:17958168

  9. Identifying environmental sounds: a multimodal mapping study

    PubMed Central

    Tomasino, Barbara; Canderan, Cinzia; Marin, Dario; Maieron, Marta; Gremese, Michele; D'Agostini, Serena; Fabbro, Franco; Skrap, Miran

    2015-01-01

    Our environment is full of auditory events such as warnings or hazards, and their correct recognition is essential. We explored environmental sounds (ES) recognition in a series of studies. In study 1 we performed an Activation Likelihood Estimation (ALE) meta-analysis of neuroimaging experiments addressing ES processing to delineate the network of areas consistently involved in ES processing. Areas consistently activated in the ALE meta-analysis were the STG/MTG, insula/rolandic operculum, parahippocampal gyrus and inferior frontal gyrus bilaterally. Some of these areas truly reflect ES processing, whereas others are related to design choices, e.g., type of task, type of control condition, type of stimulus. In study 2 we report on 7 neurosurgical patients with lesions involving the areas which were found to be activated by the ALE meta-analysis. We tested their ES recognition abilities and found an impairment of ES recognition. These results indicate that deficits of ES recognition do not exclusively reflect lesions to the right or to the left hemisphere but both hemispheres are involved. The most frequently lesioned area is the hippocampus/insula/STG. We made sure that any impairment in ES recognition would not be related to language problems, but reflect impaired ES processing. In study 3 we carried out an fMRI study on patients (vs. healthy controls) to investigate how the areas involved in ES might be functionally deregulated because of a lesion. The fMRI evidenced that controls activated the right IFG, the STG bilaterally and the left insula. We applied a multimodal mapping approach and found that, although the meta-analysis showed that part of the left and right STG/MTG activation during ES processing might in part be related to design choices, this area was one of the most frequently lesioned areas in our patients, thus highlighting its causal role in ES processing. We found that the ROIs we drew on the two clusters of activation found in the left and in

  10. Identifying Environmental Contributions to Autism: Provocative Clues and False Leads

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawler, Cindy P.; Croen, Lisa A.; Grether, Judith K.; Van de Water, Judy

    2004-01-01

    The potential role of environmental factors in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is an area of emerging interest within the public and scientific communities. The high degree of heritability of ASD suggests that environmental influences are likely to operate through their interaction with genetic susceptibility during vulnerable periods of…

  11. 3 Drugs Identified to Potentially Fight Zika Virus

    MedlinePlus

    ... 160680.html 3 Drugs Identified to Potentially Fight Zika Virus But only one is already approved in ... developing fetuses protection against the damaging effects of Zika virus, a new multicenter study reports. Researchers identified ...

  12. Identifying and managing adverse environmental health effects: 4. Pesticides

    PubMed Central

    Sanborn, Margaret D.; Cole, Donald; Abelsohn, Alan; Weir, Erica

    2002-01-01

    PESTICIDE EXPOSURE CAN CAUSE MANY DIFFERENT HEALTH EFFECTS, from acute problems such as dermatitis and asthma exacerbation to chronic problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cancer. The resulting clinical presentations are undifferentiated, and specific knowledge of the links to environmental exposures is often required for effective diagnosis. In this article we illustrate the use of the CH2OPD2 mnemonic (Community, Home, Hobbies, Occupation, Personal habits, Drugs and Diet), a history-taking tool that assists physicians in quickly identifying possible environmental exposures. We also provide clinical information on the epidemiology, clinical presentations, treatment and prevention of pesticide exposures. PMID:12054413

  13. Environmental Perchlorate Exposure: Potential Adverse Thyroid Effects

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Angela M.; Pearce, Elizabeth N.; Braverman, Lewis E.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose of review This review will present a general overview of the sources, human studies, and proposed regulatory action regarding environmental perchlorate exposure. Recent findings Some recent studies have reported significant associations between urinary perchlorate concentrations, thyroid dysfunction, and decreased infant IQ in groups who would be particularly susceptible to perchlorate effects. An update regarding the recent proposed regulatory actions and potential costs surrounding amelioration of perchlorate contamination is provided. Summary The potential adverse thyroidal effects of environmental perchlorate exposure remain controversial, and further research is needed to further define its relationship to human health among pregnant and lactating women and their infants. PMID:25106002

  14. Identifying improvement potentials in cement production with life cycle assessment.

    PubMed

    Boesch, Michael Elias; Hellweg, Stefanie

    2010-12-01

    Cement production is an environmentally relevant process responsible for 5% of total anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions and 7% of industrial fuel use. In this study, life cycle assessment is used to evaluate improvement potentials in the cement production process in Europe and the USA. With a current fuel substitution rate of 18% in Europe and 11% in the USA, both regions have a substantial potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save virgin resources by further increasing the coprocessing of waste fuels. Upgrading production technology would be particularly effective in the USA where many kiln systems with very low energy efficiency are still in operation. Using best available technology and a thermal substitution rate of 50% for fuels, greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 9% for Europe and 18% for the USA per tonne of cement. Since clinker production is the dominant pollution producing step in cement production, the substitution of clinker with mineral components such as ground granulated blast furnace slag or fly ash is an efficient measure to reduce the environmental impact. Blended cements exhibit substantially lower environmental footprints than Portland cement, even if the substitutes feature lower grindability and require additional drying and large transport distances. The highest savings in CO(2) emissions and resource consumption are achieved with a combination of measures in clinker production and cement blending. PMID:21047057

  15. Identifying improvement potentials in cement production with life cycle assessment.

    PubMed

    Boesch, Michael Elias; Hellweg, Stefanie

    2010-12-01

    Cement production is an environmentally relevant process responsible for 5% of total anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions and 7% of industrial fuel use. In this study, life cycle assessment is used to evaluate improvement potentials in the cement production process in Europe and the USA. With a current fuel substitution rate of 18% in Europe and 11% in the USA, both regions have a substantial potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save virgin resources by further increasing the coprocessing of waste fuels. Upgrading production technology would be particularly effective in the USA where many kiln systems with very low energy efficiency are still in operation. Using best available technology and a thermal substitution rate of 50% for fuels, greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 9% for Europe and 18% for the USA per tonne of cement. Since clinker production is the dominant pollution producing step in cement production, the substitution of clinker with mineral components such as ground granulated blast furnace slag or fly ash is an efficient measure to reduce the environmental impact. Blended cements exhibit substantially lower environmental footprints than Portland cement, even if the substitutes feature lower grindability and require additional drying and large transport distances. The highest savings in CO(2) emissions and resource consumption are achieved with a combination of measures in clinker production and cement blending.

  16. Potential of isotope analysis (C, Cl) to identify dechlorination mechanisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cretnik, Stefan; Thoreson, Kristen; Bernstein, Anat; Ebert, Karin; Buchner, Daniel; Laskov, Christine; Haderlein, Stefan; Shouakar-Stash, Orfan; Kliegman, Sarah; McNeill, Kristopher; Elsner, Martin

    2013-04-01

    Chloroethenes are commonly used in industrial applications, and detected as carcinogenic contaminants in the environment. Their dehalogenation is of environmental importance in remediation processes. However, a detailed understanding frequently accounted problem is the accumulation of toxic degradation products such as cis-dichloroethylene (cis-DCE) at contaminated sites. Several studies have addressed the reductive dehalogenation reactions using biotic and abiotic model systems, but a crucial question in this context has remained open: Do environmental transformations occur by the same mechanism as in their corresponding in vitro model systems? The presented study shows the potential to close this research gap using the latest developments in compound specific chlorine isotope analysis, which make it possible to routinely measure chlorine isotope fractionation of chloroethenes in environmental samples and complex reaction mixtures.1,2 In particular, such chlorine isotope analysis enables the measurement of isotope fractionation for two elements (i.e., C and Cl) in chloroethenes. When isotope values of both elements are plotted against each other, different slopes reflect different underlying mechanisms and are remarkably insensitive towards masking. Our results suggest that different microbial strains (G. lovleyi strain SZ, D. hafniense Y51) and the isolated cofactor cobalamin employ similar mechanisms of reductive dechlorination of TCE. In contrast, evidence for a different mechanism was obtained with cobaloxime cautioning its use as a model for biodegradation. The study shows the potential of the dual isotope approach as a tool to directly compare transformation mechanisms of environmental scenarios, biotic transformations, and their putative chemical lab scale systems. Furthermore, it serves as an essential reference when using the dual isotope approach to assess the fate of chlorinated compounds in the environment.

  17. Analysis of gene expression profile identifies potential biomarkers for atherosclerosis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Luran; Liu, Yan; Liu, Chang; Zhang, Zhuobo; Du, Yaojun; Zhao, Hao

    2016-10-01

    The present study aimed to identify potential biomarkers for atherosclerosis via analysis of gene expression profiles. The microarray dataset no. GSE20129 was downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus database. A total of 118 samples from the peripheral blood of female patients was used, including 47 atherosclerotic and 71 non‑atherosclerotic patients. The differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in the atherosclerosis samples were identified using the Limma package. Gene ontology term and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway analyses for DEGs were performed using the Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery tool. The recursive feature elimination (RFE) algorithm was applied for feature selection via iterative classification, and support vector machine classifier was used for the validation of prediction accuracy. A total of 430 DEGs in the atherosclerosis samples were identified, including 149 up‑ and 281 downregulated genes. Subsequently, the RFE algorithm was used to identify 11 biomarkers, whose receiver operating characteristic curves had an area under curve of 0.92, indicating that the identified 11 biomarkers were representative. The present study indicated that APH1B, JAM3, FBLN2, CSAD and PSTPIP2 may have important roles in the progression of atherosclerosis in females and may be potential biomarkers for early diagnosis and prognosis as well as treatment targets for this disease. PMID:27573188

  18. Analysis of gene expression profile identifies potential biomarkers for atherosclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Luran; Liu, Yan; Liu, Chang; Zhang, Zhuobo; Du, Yaojun; Zhao, Hao

    2016-01-01

    The present study aimed to identify potential biomarkers for atherosclerosis via analysis of gene expression profiles. The microarray dataset no. GSE20129 was downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus database. A total of 118 samples from the peripheral blood of female patients was used, including 47 atherosclerotic and 71 non-atherosclerotic patients. The differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in the atherosclerosis samples were identified using the Limma package. Gene ontology term and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway analyses for DEGs were performed using the Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery tool. The recursive feature elimination (RFE) algorithm was applied for feature selection via iterative classification, and support vector machine classifier was used for the validation of prediction accuracy. A total of 430 DEGs in the atherosclerosis samples were identified, including 149 up- and 281 downregulated genes. Subsequently, the RFE algorithm was used to identify 11 biomarkers, whose receiver operating characteristic curves had an area under curve of 0.92, indicating that the identified 11 biomarkers were representative. The present study indicated that APH1B, JAM3, FBLN2, CSAD and PSTPIP2 may have important roles in the progression of atherosclerosis in females and may be potential biomarkers for early diagnosis and prognosis as well as treatment targets for this disease. PMID:27573188

  19. Potential environmental implications of nanoscale zero-valent iron particles for environmental remediation

    PubMed Central

    Jang, Min-Hee; Lim, Myunghee; Hwang, Yu Sik

    2014-01-01

    Objectives Nanoscale zero-valent iron (nZVI) particles are widely used in the field of various environmental contaminant remediation. Although the potential benefits of nZVI are considerable, there is a distinct need to identify any potential risks after environmental exposure. In this respect, we review recent studies on the environmental applications and implications of nZVI, highlighting research gaps and suggesting future research directions. Methods Environmental application of nZVI is briefly summarized, focusing on its unique properties. Ecotoxicity of nZVI is reviewed according to type of organism, including bacteria, terrestrial organisms, and aquatic organisms. The environmental fate and transport of nZVI are also summarized with regards to exposure scenarios. Finally, the current limitations of risk determination are thoroughly provided. Results The ecotoxicity of nZVI depends on the composition, concentration, size and surface properties of the nanoparticles and the experimental method used, including the species investigated. In addition, the environmental fate and transport of nZVI appear to be complex and depend on the exposure duration and the exposure conditions. To date, field-scale data are limited and only short-term studies using simple exposure methods have been conducted. Conclusions In this regard, the primary focus of future study should be on 1) the development of an appropriate and valid testing method of the environmental fate and ecotoxicity of reactive nanoparticles used in environmental applications and 2) assessing their potential environmental risks using in situ field scale applications. PMID:25518840

  20. Identifying and managing adverse environmental health effects: 3. Lead exposure

    PubMed Central

    Sanborn, Margaret D.; Abelsohn, Alan; Campbell, Monica; Weir, Erica

    2002-01-01

    LEAD LEVELS IN NORTH AMERICAN CHILDREN AND ADULTS have declined in the past 3 decades, but lead persists in the environment in lead paint, old plumbing and contaminated soil. There are also a number of occupations and hobbies that carry a high risk of lead exposure. There is no evidence for a threshold below which lead has no adverse health effects. Blood lead levels previously considered safe are now known to cause subtle, chronic health effects. The health effects of lead exposure include developmental neurotoxicity, reproductive dysfunction and toxicity to the kidneys, blood and endocrine systems. Most lead exposures are preventable, and diagnosing lead poisoning is relatively simple compared with diagnosing health effects of exposures to other environmental toxins. Accurate assessment of lead poisoning requires specific knowledge of the sources, high-risk groups and relevant laboratory tests. In this article we review the multiple, systemic toxic effects of lead and provide current information on groups at risk, prevention, diagnosis and clinical treatment. We illustrate how the CH2OPD2 mnemonic (Community, Home, Hobbies, Occupation, Personal habits, Diet and Drugs) and specific screening questions are useful tools for physicians to quickly obtain an environmental exposure history and identify patients at high risk of lead exposure. By applying effective primary prevention, case-finding and treatment interventions for lead exposure, both the individual patient and the larger community reap the benefits of better health. PMID:12041847

  1. Potential environmental effects of energy conservation measures in northwest industries

    SciTech Connect

    Baechler, M C; Gygi, K F; Hendrickson, P L

    1992-01-01

    The Bonneville Power Administration (Bonneville) has identified 101 plants in the Pacific Northwest that account for 80% of the region's industrial electricity consumption. These plants offer a precise target for a conservation program. PNL determined that most of these 101 plants were represented by 11 major industries. We then reviewed 36 major conservation technologies used in these 11 industrial settings to determine their potential environmental impacts. Energy efficiency technologies designed for industrial use may result in direct or indirect environmental impacts. Effects may result from the production of the conservation measure technology, changes in the working environment due to different energy and material requirements, or changes to waste streams. Industry type, work-place conditions, worker training, and environmental conditions inside and outside the plant are all key variables that may affect environmental outcomes. To address these issues this report has three objectives: Describe potential conservation measures that Bonneville may employ in industrial programs and discuss potential primary impacts. Characterize industrial systems and processes where the measure may be employed and describe general environmental issues associated with each industry type. Review environmental permitting, licensing, and other regulatory actions required for industries and summarize the type of information available from these sources for further analysis.

  2. A screening approach for identifying environmental justice issues in environmental impact statements

    SciTech Connect

    Schexnayder, S.S.

    1995-12-01

    Executive Order 12898 and the accompanying memorandum addressed to Federal agency heads, both issued on February 11, 1994, require NEPA processes to incorporate environmental justice. The NEPA processes affected are: (1) public involvement formats, (2) analyses of potential impacts. The Executive Order clearly indicates that research strategies and mitigation measure should be developed with the input of the populations mentioned in the Executive Order, i.e., minority and low-income populations. However, an enhanced public involvement process may not occur because the NEPA activity may have been underway before the Executive Order was issued or because the agency chooses not to change traditional public participation mechanisms. It is also possible that enhanced mechanisms may not effectively elicit involvement. In either case, analysis that considers environmental justice must proceed. These analyses could be highly data-intensive--requiring new or modified methodological approaches-- and time-intensive, particularly if the process elements of the executive order are interpreted broadly, Federal agencies and NEPA project managers already have expressed concern about the potential cost of conducting exhaustive environmental justice related analyses where they may not be warranted. Also, the time and resources required to conduct a full environmental justice analysis is counter to recent trends to streamline the NEPA process. In light of this, a process to screen for indicators of the potential for environmental justice issues has been developed. The method incorporates separate screens for human health impacts, socioeconomic impacts, and social structural impacts. Positive results of any screen indicates the need for full-scale, environmental-justice-related analysis of that category of impact. The screen is intended as a useful tool in implementing environmental justice in environmental impact statements.

  3. Identifying potential cancer driver genes by genomic data integration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yong; Hao, Jingjing; Jiang, Wei; He, Tong; Zhang, Xuegong; Jiang, Tao; Jiang, Rui

    2013-12-01

    Cancer is a genomic disease associated with a plethora of gene mutations resulting in a loss of control over vital cellular functions. Among these mutated genes, driver genes are defined as being causally linked to oncogenesis, while passenger genes are thought to be irrelevant for cancer development. With increasing numbers of large-scale genomic datasets available, integrating these genomic data to identify driver genes from aberration regions of cancer genomes becomes an important goal of cancer genome analysis and investigations into mechanisms responsible for cancer development. A computational method, MAXDRIVER, is proposed here to identify potential driver genes on the basis of copy number aberration (CNA) regions of cancer genomes, by integrating publicly available human genomic data. MAXDRIVER employs several optimization strategies to construct a heterogeneous network, by means of combining a fused gene functional similarity network, gene-disease associations and a disease phenotypic similarity network. MAXDRIVER was validated to effectively recall known associations among genes and cancers. Previously identified as well as novel driver genes were detected by scanning CNAs of breast cancer, melanoma and liver carcinoma. Three predicted driver genes (CDKN2A, AKT1, RNF139) were found common in these three cancers by comparative analysis.

  4. Identifying potential cancer driver genes by genomic data integration

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yong; Hao, Jingjing; Jiang, Wei; He, Tong; Zhang, Xuegong; Jiang, Tao; Jiang, Rui

    2013-01-01

    Cancer is a genomic disease associated with a plethora of gene mutations resulting in a loss of control over vital cellular functions. Among these mutated genes, driver genes are defined as being causally linked to oncogenesis, while passenger genes are thought to be irrelevant for cancer development. With increasing numbers of large-scale genomic datasets available, integrating these genomic data to identify driver genes from aberration regions of cancer genomes becomes an important goal of cancer genome analysis and investigations into mechanisms responsible for cancer development. A computational method, MAXDRIVER, is proposed here to identify potential driver genes on the basis of copy number aberration (CNA) regions of cancer genomes, by integrating publicly available human genomic data. MAXDRIVER employs several optimization strategies to construct a heterogeneous network, by means of combining a fused gene functional similarity network, gene-disease associations and a disease phenotypic similarity network. MAXDRIVER was validated to effectively recall known associations among genes and cancers. Previously identified as well as novel driver genes were detected by scanning CNAs of breast cancer, melanoma and liver carcinoma. Three predicted driver genes (CDKN2A, AKT1, RNF139) were found common in these three cancers by comparative analysis. PMID:24346768

  5. Potential environmental impacts of future halocarbon emissions

    SciTech Connect

    Holmes, K.J.; Ellis, J.H.

    1996-08-01

    An integrated analysis of future halocarbon emissions and their environmental impacts shows that strict global compliance is required if the Montreal Protocol is to accomplish the goal of eliminating the lower stratospheric ozone hole. This analysis is integrated in the sense that demographic, economic, and regulatory processes controlling future production were linked explicitly to the technological factors translating production into emissions and the environmental processes transforming emissions into environmental impacts. Given current models of halocarbon transformation and atmospheric response, this research suggests that if a small percentage of nations continues to expand production at modest rates, the ozone hole will not be eliminated. In addition, high growth rate assumptions for halocarbon production by noncompliance nations will result in significantly increased ozone depletion. This research also shows that the continued use of small amounts of ozone-depleting substances for essential uses and the failure to adequately replace all ozone-depleting substances can eliminate the possibility of returning the atmosphere to pre-ozone hole conditions. The global climate change potential of halocarbons is fairly small if growth rates for chlorofluorocarbon substitutes remain low. If growth rates return to precontrol levels, these substitutes could contribute significantly to global climate change. 41 refs., 3 figs., 3 tabs.

  6. Newer Approaches to Identify Potential Untoward Effects in Functional Foods.

    PubMed

    Marone, Palma Ann; Birkenbach, Victoria L; Hayes, A Wallace

    2016-01-01

    Globalization has greatly accelerated the numbers and variety of food and beverage products available worldwide. The exchange among greater numbers of countries, manufacturers, and products in the United States and worldwide has necessitated enhanced quality measures for nutritional products for larger populations increasingly reliant on functionality. These functional foods, those that provide benefit beyond basic nutrition, are increasingly being used for their potential to alleviate food insufficiency while enhancing quality and longevity of life. In the United States alone, a steady import increase of greater than 15% per year or 24 million shipments, over 70% products of which are food related, is regulated under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This unparalleled growth has resulted in the need for faster, cheaper, and better safety and efficacy screening methods in the form of harmonized guidelines and recommendations for product standardization. In an effort to meet this need, the in vitro toxicology testing market has similarly grown with an anticipatory 15% increase between 2010 and 2015 of US$1.3 to US$2.7 billion. Although traditionally occupying a small fraction of the market behind pharmaceuticals and cosmetic/household products, the scope of functional food testing, including additives/supplements, ingredients, residues, contact/processing, and contaminants, is potentially expansive. Similarly, as functional food testing has progressed, so has the need to identify potential adverse factors that threaten the safety and quality of these products. PMID:26657815

  7. Identifying ontogenetic, environmental and individual components of forest tree growth

    PubMed Central

    Chaubert-Pereira, Florence; Caraglio, Yves; Lavergne, Christian; Guédon, Yann

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims This study aimed to identify and characterize the ontogenetic, environmental and individual components of forest tree growth. In the proposed approach, the tree growth data typically correspond to the retrospective measurement of annual shoot characteristics (e.g. length) along the trunk. Methods Dedicated statistical models (semi-Markov switching linear mixed models) were applied to data sets of Corsican pine and sessile oak. In the semi-Markov switching linear mixed models estimated from these data sets, the underlying semi-Markov chain represents both the succession of growth phases and their lengths, while the linear mixed models represent both the influence of climatic factors and the inter-individual heterogeneity within each growth phase. Key Results On the basis of these integrative statistical models, it is shown that growth phases are not only defined by average growth level but also by growth fluctuation amplitudes in response to climatic factors and inter-individual heterogeneity and that the individual tree status within the population may change between phases. Species plasticity affected the response to climatic factors while tree origin, sampling strategy and silvicultural interventions impacted inter-individual heterogeneity. Conclusions The transposition of the proposed integrative statistical modelling approach to cambial growth in relation to climatic factors and the study of the relationship between apical growth and cambial growth constitute the next steps in this research. PMID:19684021

  8. Using SCOPE to identify potential regulatory motifs in coregulated genes.

    PubMed

    Martyanov, Viktor; Gross, Robert H

    2011-05-31

    SCOPE is an ensemble motif finder that uses three component algorithms in parallel to identify potential regulatory motifs by over-representation and motif position preference. Each component algorithm is optimized to find a different kind of motif. By taking the best of these three approaches, SCOPE performs better than any single algorithm, even in the presence of noisy data. In this article, we utilize a web version of SCOPE to examine genes that are involved in telomere maintenance. SCOPE has been incorporated into at least two other motif finding programs and has been used in other studies. The three algorithms that comprise SCOPE are BEAM, which finds non-degenerate motifs (ACCGGT), PRISM, which finds degenerate motifs (ASCGWT), and SPACER, which finds longer bipartite motifs (ACCnnnnnnnnGGT). These three algorithms have been optimized to find their corresponding type of motif. Together, they allow SCOPE to perform extremely well. Once a gene set has been analyzed and candidate motifs identified, SCOPE can look for other genes that contain the motif which, when added to the original set, will improve the motif score. This can occur through over-representation or motif position preference. Working with partial gene sets that have biologically verified transcription factor binding sites, SCOPE was able to identify most of the rest of the genes also regulated by the given transcription factor. Output from SCOPE shows candidate motifs, their significance, and other information both as a table and as a graphical motif map. FAQs and video tutorials are available at the SCOPE web site which also includes a "Sample Search" button that allows the user to perform a trial run. Scope has a very friendly user interface that enables novice users to access the algorithm's full power without having to become an expert in the bioinformatics of motif finding. As input, SCOPE can take a list of genes, or FASTA sequences. These can be entered in browser text fields, or read from

  9. Potential of DNA sequences to identify zoanthids (Cnidaria: Zoantharia).

    PubMed

    Sinniger, Frederic; Reimer, James D; Pawlowski, Jan

    2008-12-01

    The order Zoantharia is known for its chaotic taxonomy and difficult morphological identification. One method that potentially could help for examining such troublesome taxa is DNA barcoding, which identifies species using standard molecular markers. The mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) has been utilized to great success in groups such as birds and insects; however, its applicability in many other groups is controversial. Recently, some studies have suggested that barcoding is not applicable to anthozoans. Here, we examine the use of COI and mitochondrial 16S ribosomal DNA for zoanthid identification. Despite the absence of a clear barcoding gap, our results show that for most of 54 zoanthid samples, both markers could separate samples to the species, or species group, level, particularly when easily accessible ecological or distributional data were included. Additionally, we have used the short V5 region of mt 16S rDNA to identify eight old (13 to 50 years old) museum samples. We discuss advantages and disadvantages of COI and mt 16S rDNA as barcodes for Zoantharia, and recommend that either one or both of these markers be considered for zoanthid identification in the future.

  10. Identifying Potential Regions of Copy Number Variation for Bipolar Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yi-Hsuan; Lu, Ru-Band; Hung, Hung; Kuo, Po-Hsiu

    2014-01-01

    Bipolar disorder is a complex psychiatric disorder with high heritability, but its genetic determinants are still largely unknown. Copy number variation (CNV) is one of the sources to explain part of the heritability. However, it is a challenge to estimate discrete values of the copy numbers using continuous signals calling from a set of markers, and to simultaneously perform association testing between CNVs and phenotypic outcomes. The goal of the present study is to perform a series of data filtering and analysis procedures using a DNA pooling strategy to identify potential CNV regions that are related to bipolar disorder. A total of 200 normal controls and 200 clinically diagnosed bipolar patients were recruited in this study, and were randomly divided into eight control and eight case pools. Genome-wide genotyping was employed using Illumina Human Omni1-Quad array with approximately one million markers for CNV calling. We aimed at setting a series of criteria to filter out the signal noise of marker data and to reduce the chance of false-positive findings for CNV regions. We first defined CNV regions for each pool. Potential CNV regions were reported based on the different patterns of CNV status between cases and controls. Genes that were mapped into the potential CNV regions were examined with association testing, Gene Ontology enrichment analysis, and checked with existing literature for their associations with bipolar disorder. We reported several CNV regions that are related to bipolar disorder. Two CNV regions on chromosome 11 and 22 showed significant signal differences between cases and controls (p < 0.05). Another five CNV regions on chromosome 6, 9, and 19 were overlapped with results in previous CNV studies. Experimental validation of two CNV regions lent some support to our reported findings. Further experimental and replication studies could be designed for these selected regions.

  11. Identifying environmental safety and health requirements for an Environmental Restoration Management Contractor

    SciTech Connect

    Beckman, W.H.; Cossel, S.C.; Alhadeff, N.; Porco, D.J.; Lindamood, S.B.; Beers, J.A.

    1993-10-01

    The purpose of the Standards/Requirements Identification Program, developed partially in response to the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board Recommendation 90-2, was to identify applicable requirements that established the Environmental Restoration Management Contractor`s (ERMC) responsibilities and authorities under the Environmental Restoration Management Contract, determine the adequacy of these requirements, ascertain a baseline level of compliance with them, and implement a maintenance program that would keep the program current as requirements or compliance levels change. The resultant Standards/Requirements Identification Documents (S/RIDs) consolidate the applicable requirements. These documents govern the development of procedures and manuals to ensure compliance with the requirements. Twenty-four such documents, corresponding with each functional area identified at the site, are to be issued. These requirements are included in the contractor`s management plan.

  12. Simplified LCA and matrix methods in identifying the environmental aspects of a product system.

    PubMed

    Hur, Tak; Lee, Jiyong; Ryu, Jiyeon; Kwon, Eunsun

    2005-05-01

    In order to effectively integrate environmental attributes into the product design and development processes, it is crucial to identify the significant environmental aspects related to a product system within a relatively short period of time. In this study, the usefulness of life cycle assessment (LCA) and a matrix method as tools for identifying the key environmental issues of a product system were examined. For this, a simplified LCA (SLCA) method that can be applied to Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) was developed to efficiently identify their significant environmental aspects for eco-design, since a full scale LCA study is usually very detailed, expensive and time-consuming. The environmentally responsible product assessment (ERPA) method, which is one of the matrix methods, was also analyzed. Then, the usefulness of each method in eco-design processes was evaluated and compared using the case studies of the cellular phone and vacuum cleaner systems. It was found that the SLCA and the ERPA methods provided different information but they complemented each other to some extent. The SLCA method generated more information on the inherent environmental characteristics of a product system so that it might be useful for new design/eco-innovation when developing a completely new product or method where environmental considerations play a major role from the beginning. On the other hand, the ERPA method gave more information on the potential for improving a product so that it could be effectively used in eco-redesign which intends to alleviate environmental impacts of an existing product or process.

  13. Simplified LCA and matrix methods in identifying the environmental aspects of a product system.

    PubMed

    Hur, Tak; Lee, Jiyong; Ryu, Jiyeon; Kwon, Eunsun

    2005-05-01

    In order to effectively integrate environmental attributes into the product design and development processes, it is crucial to identify the significant environmental aspects related to a product system within a relatively short period of time. In this study, the usefulness of life cycle assessment (LCA) and a matrix method as tools for identifying the key environmental issues of a product system were examined. For this, a simplified LCA (SLCA) method that can be applied to Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) was developed to efficiently identify their significant environmental aspects for eco-design, since a full scale LCA study is usually very detailed, expensive and time-consuming. The environmentally responsible product assessment (ERPA) method, which is one of the matrix methods, was also analyzed. Then, the usefulness of each method in eco-design processes was evaluated and compared using the case studies of the cellular phone and vacuum cleaner systems. It was found that the SLCA and the ERPA methods provided different information but they complemented each other to some extent. The SLCA method generated more information on the inherent environmental characteristics of a product system so that it might be useful for new design/eco-innovation when developing a completely new product or method where environmental considerations play a major role from the beginning. On the other hand, the ERPA method gave more information on the potential for improving a product so that it could be effectively used in eco-redesign which intends to alleviate environmental impacts of an existing product or process. PMID:15829365

  14. Chrysophyte cysts as potential environmental indicators.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adam, D.P.; Mahood, A.D.

    1981-01-01

    Many chrysophyte algae produce morphologically distinctive, siliceous, microscopic cysts during a resting stage of their life cycles; these cysts are often preserved in sediments. Scanning electron microscopy and Nomarski optics permit much more detailed observation of these cysts than was heretofore possible. Many cyst types are found only in specific habitats, such as montane lakes, wet meadows, ephemeral ponds, and Sphagnum bogs. In the samples studied, cysts seem to be most common in fluctuating fresh-water habitats of low to moderate pH and some winter freezing. Chrysophyte cysts have the potential to be a useful tool for modern environmental assessments and paleoecological studies of Cenozoic fresh-water lacustrine deposits. -from Authors

  15. Identifying environmental safety and health requirements for the Fernald Environmental Restoration Management Corporation

    SciTech Connect

    Beckman, W.H.; Cossel, S.C.; Alhadeff, N.; Porco, D.J.; Lindamood, S.B.; Beers, J.A.

    1994-01-14

    This presentation will describe the Fernald Environmental Restoration Management Corporation`s (FERMCO) Standards/Requirements Identification Documents (S/RlDs) Program, the unique process used to implement it, and the status of the program. We will also discuss the lessons learned as the program was implemented. The Department of Energy (DOE) established the Fernald site to produce uranium metals for the nation`s defense programs in 1953. In 1989, DOE suspended production and, in 1991, the mission of the site was formally changed to one of environmental cleanup and restoration. The site was renamed the Fernald Environmental Management Project (FEMP). FERMCO`s mission is to provide safe, early, and least-cost final clean-up of the site in compliance with all regulations and commitments. DOE has managed nuclear facilities primarily through its oversight of Management and Operating contractors. Comprehensive nuclear industry standards were absent when most DOE sites were first established, Management and Operating contractors had to apply existing non-nuclear industry standards and, in many cases, formulate new technical standards. Because it was satisfied with the operation of its facilities, DOE did not incorporate modern practices and standards as they became available. In March 1990, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board issued Recommendation 90-2, which called for DOE to identify relevant standards and requirements, conduct adequacy assessments of requirements in protecting environmental, public, and worker health and safety, and determine the extent to which the requirements are being implemented. The Environmental Restoration and Waste Management Office of DOE embraced the recommendation for facilities under its control. Strict accountability requirements made it essential that FERMCO and DOE clearly identify applicable requirements necessary, determine the requirements` adequacy, and assess FERMCO`s level of compliance.

  16. Female lions can identify potentially infanticidal males from their roars.

    PubMed

    McComb, K; Pusey, A; Packer, C; Grinnell, J

    1993-04-22

    Despite evidence from several bird, fish and mammal species that listeners can discriminate between the vocalizations of familiar and unfamiliar adult conspecifics, direct links between discriminatory abilities and fitness benefits have been difficult to identify. In free-ranging populations of African lions (Panthera leo), females with cubs face a substantial threat from one particular category of unfamiliar individuals: infanticidal males. Here we use playback experiments to demonstrate that females with cubs can distinguish immediately between roars from their own resident males (the fathers of the cubs) and those from unfamiliar, potentially infanticidal males. Although they remain relaxed when played roars from resident males, they immediately become agitated on hearing unfamiliar males and retreat rapidly with their cubs if the latter have reached about 4.5 months of age. These responses are not simply a function of the roarers being unfamiliar, for when played the roars of unfamiliar females, females with cubs consistently approach the loudspeaker. Furthermore, females often move toward the cubs in response to playbacks of unfamiliar males but not in response to playbacks of unfamiliar females or resident males. Our results suggest how females with cubs might, by quickly detecting and categorizing unfamiliar intruders within their territory, protect their cubs from infanticidal males and expel intruding females. Distinguishing between individuals on the basis of their vocal characteristics could therefore confer direct fitness benefits on discriminating lionesses. PMID:8389047

  17. OXPHOS-Dependent Cells Identify Environmental Disruptors of Mitochondrial Function

    EPA Science Inventory

    Mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with numerous chronic diseases including metabolic syndrome. Environmental chemicals can impair mitochondrial function through numerous mechanisms such as membrane disruption, complex inhibition and electron transport chain uncoupling. Curr...

  18. A simple method to identify areas of environmental risk due to manure application.

    PubMed

    Flores, Héctor; Arumí, José Luis; Rivera, Diego; Lagos, L Octavio

    2012-06-01

    The management of swine manure is becoming an important environmental issue in Chile. One option for the final disposal of manure is to use it as a biofertilizer, but this practice could impact the surrounding environment. To assess the potential environmental impacts of the use of swine manure as a biofertilizer, we propose a method to identify zones of environmental risk through indices. The method considers two processes: nutrient runoff and solute leaching, and uses available information about soils, crops and management practices (irrigation, fertilization, and rotation). We applied the method to qualitatively assess the environmental risk associated with the use of swine manure as a biofertilizer in an 8,000-pig farm located in Central Chile. Results showed that the farm has a moderate environmental risk, but some specific locations have high environmental risks, especially those associated with impacts on areas surrounding water resources. This information could assist the definition of better farm-level management practices, as well as the preservation of riparian vegetation acting as buffer strips. The main advantage of our approach is that it combines qualitative and quantitative information, including particular situations or field features based on expert knowledge. The method is flexible, simple, and can be easily extended or adapted to other processes.

  19. Potential effects of environmental chemical contamination in congenital heart disease.

    PubMed

    Gorini, Francesca; Chiappa, Enrico; Gargani, Luna; Picano, Eugenio

    2014-04-01

    There is compelling evidence that prenatal exposures to environmental xenobiotics adversely affect human development and childhood. Among all birth defects, congenital heart disease (CHD) is the most prevalent of all congenital malformations and remains the leading cause of death. It has been estimated that in most cases the causes of heart defects remain unknown, while a growing number of studies have indicated the potential role of environmental agents as risk factors in CHD occurrence. In particular, maternal exposure to chemicals during the first trimester of pregnancy represents the most critical window of exposure for CHD. Specific classes of xenobiotics (e.g. organochlorine pesticides, organic solvents, air pollutants) have been identified as potential risk factors for CHD. Nonetheless, the knowledge gained is currently still incomplete as a consequence of the frequent heterogeneity of the methods applied and the difficulty in estimating the net effect of environmental pollution on the pregnant mother. The presence of multiple sources of pollution, both indoor and outdoor, together with individual lifestyle factors, may represent a further confounding element for association with the disease. A future new approach for research should probably focus on individual measurements of professional, domestic, and urban exposure to physical and chemical pollutants in order to accurately retrace the environmental exposure of parents of affected offspring during the pre-conceptional and pregnancy periods.

  20. Environmental Health Related Socio-Spatial Inequalities: Identifying "Hotspots" of Environmental Burdens and Social Vulnerability.

    PubMed

    Shrestha, Rehana; Flacke, Johannes; Martinez, Javier; van Maarseveen, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Differential exposure to multiple environmental burdens and benefits and their distribution across a population with varying vulnerability can contribute heavily to health inequalities. Particularly relevant are areas with high cumulative burdens and high social vulnerability termed as "hotspots". This paper develops an index-based approach to assess these multiple burdens and benefits in combination with vulnerability factors at detailed intra-urban level. The method is applied to the city of Dortmund, Germany. Using non-spatial and spatial methods we assessed inequalities and identified "hotspot" areas in the city. We found modest inequalities burdening higher vulnerable groups in Dortmund (CI = -0.020 at p < 0.05). At the detailed intra-urban level, however, inequalities showed strong geographical patterns. Large numbers of "hotspots" exist in the northern part of the city compared to the southern part. A holistic assessment, particularly at a detailed local level, considering both environmental burdens and benefits and their distribution across the population with the different vulnerability, is essential to inform environmental justice debates and to mobilize local stakeholders. Locating "hotspot" areas at this detailed spatial level can serve as a basis to develop interventions that target vulnerable groups to ensure a health conducive equal environment. PMID:27409625

  1. National variety trials identify clones with high potential

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Quality potato varieties are the backbone of a strong potato industry. Variety trials have been used to identify promising new varieties for well over a century. Trials are repeated and information collected over many years in order to confidently identify lines that may be well suited for productio...

  2. Potential effects of environmental regulatory procedures on geothermal development

    SciTech Connect

    Beeland, G.V.; Boies, D.B.

    1981-01-01

    The potential effects of several types of applicable environmental regulatory procedures on geothermal development were assessed, and particular problem areas were identified. The possible impact of procedures adopted pursuant to the following Federal statutes were analyzed: Clean Air Act; Clean Water Act; Safe Drinking Water Act; and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. State regulations applicable, or potentially applicable, to geothermal facilities were also reviewed to determine: permit information requirements; pre-permit air or water quality monitoring requirements; effect of mandated time frames for permit approval; and potential for exemption of small facilities. The regulations of the following states were covered in the review: Alaska; Arizona; California; Colorado; Hawaii; Idaho; Montana; Nevada; New Mexico; Oregon; Utah; Washington; and Wyoming. (MHR)

  3. Field potential soil variability index to identify precision agriculture opportunity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Precision agriculture (PA) technologies used for identifying and managing within-field variability are not widely used despite decades of advancement. Technological innovations in agronomic tools, such as canopy reflectance or electrical conductivity sensors, have created opportunities to achieve a ...

  4. Assessing potential future environmental legal events

    SciTech Connect

    Tonn, B.; Petrich, C.

    1997-10-28

    This report addresses the topic of environmental citizenship in the United States. The term refers to responsibilities each of us have with respect to helping our communities and nation make sound environmental decisions. This research centers on the citizens and what we ought to be doing, as opposed to what the government ought to be doing for us, to improve environmental citizenship. This report examines four central questions: What are the requirements (i.e., responsibilities) of citizenship vis-a-vis environmental decision- making processes; what constraints limit people`s ability to meet these requirements; what does our form of governance do to help or hinder in meeting these requirements; and what recommendations can be put forth to improve public participation in environmental decision making?

  5. Structured methods for identifying and correcting potential human errors in aviation operations

    SciTech Connect

    Nelson, W.R.

    1997-10-01

    Human errors have been identified as the source of approximately 60% of the incidents and accidents that occur in commercial aviation. It can be assumed that a very large number of human errors occur in aviation operations, even though in most cases the redundancies and diversities built into the design of aircraft systems prevent the errors from leading to serious consequences. In addition, when it is acknowledged that many system failures have their roots in human errors that occur in the design phase, it becomes apparent that the identification and elimination of potential human errors could significantly decrease the risks of aviation operations. This will become even more critical during the design of advanced automation-based aircraft systems as well as next-generation systems for air traffic management. Structured methods to identify and correct potential human errors in aviation operations have been developed and are currently undergoing testing at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL).

  6. Vibrio parahaemolyticus Strains of Pandemic Serotypes Identified from Clinical and Environmental Samples from Jiangsu, China.

    PubMed

    Li, Jingjiao; Xue, Feng; Yang, Zhenquan; Zhang, Xiaoping; Zeng, Dexin; Chao, Guoxiang; Jiang, Yuan; Li, Baoguang

    2016-01-01

    Vibrio parahaemolyticus has emerged as a major foodborne pathogen in China, Japan, Thailand, and other Asian countries. In this study, 72 strains of V. parahaemolyticus were isolated from clinical and environmental samples between 2006 and 2014 in Jiangsu, China. The serotypes and six virulence genes including thermostable direct hemolysin (TDR) and TDR-related hemolysin (TRH) genes were assessed among the isolates. Twenty five serotypes were identified and O3:K6 was one of the dominant serotypes. The genetic diversity was assessed by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis, and 48 sequence types (STs) were found, suggesting this V. parahaemolyticus group is widely dispersed and undergoing rapid evolution. A total of 25 strains of pandemic serotypes such as O3:K6, O5:K17, and O1:KUT were identified. It is worth noting that the pandemic serotypes were not exclusively identified from clinical samples, rather, nine strains were also isolated from environmental samples; and some of these strains harbored several virulence genes, which may render those strains pathogenicity potential. Therefore, the emergence of these "environmental" pandemic V. parahaemolyticus strains may poses a new threat to the public health in China. Furthermore, six novel serotypes and 34 novel STs were identified among the 72 isolates, indicating that V. parahaemolyticus were widely distributed and fast evolving in the environment in Jiangsu, China. The findings of this study provide new insight into the phylogenic relationship between V. parahaemolyticus strains of pandemic serotypes from clinical and environmental sources and enhance the MLST database; and our proposed possible O- and K- antigen evolving paths of V. parahaemolyticus may help understand how the serotypes of this dispersed bacterial population evolve. PMID:27303379

  7. An overview of algae biofuel production and potential environmental impact.

    PubMed

    Menetrez, Marc Y

    2012-07-01

    Algae are among the most potentially significant sources of sustainable biofuels in the future of renewable energy. A feedstock with virtually unlimited applicability, algae can metabolize various waste streams (e.g., municipal wastewater, carbon dioxide from industrial flue gas) and produce products with a wide variety of compositions and uses. These products include lipids, which can be processed into biodiesel; carbohydrates, which can be processed into ethanol; and proteins, which can be used for human and animal consumption. Algae are commonly genetically engineered to allow for advantageous process modification or optimization. However, issues remain regarding human exposure to algae-derived toxins, allergens, and carcinogens from both existing and genetically modified organisms (GMOs), as well as the overall environmental impact of GMOs. A literature review was performed to highlight issues related to the growth and use of algal products for generating biofuels. Human exposure and environmental impact issues are identified and discussed, as well as current research and development activities of academic, commercial, and governmental groups. It is hoped that the ideas contained in this paper will increase environmental awareness of issues surrounding the production of algae and will help the algae industry develop to its full potential. PMID:22681590

  8. An overview of algae biofuel production and potential environmental impact.

    PubMed

    Menetrez, Marc Y

    2012-07-01

    Algae are among the most potentially significant sources of sustainable biofuels in the future of renewable energy. A feedstock with virtually unlimited applicability, algae can metabolize various waste streams (e.g., municipal wastewater, carbon dioxide from industrial flue gas) and produce products with a wide variety of compositions and uses. These products include lipids, which can be processed into biodiesel; carbohydrates, which can be processed into ethanol; and proteins, which can be used for human and animal consumption. Algae are commonly genetically engineered to allow for advantageous process modification or optimization. However, issues remain regarding human exposure to algae-derived toxins, allergens, and carcinogens from both existing and genetically modified organisms (GMOs), as well as the overall environmental impact of GMOs. A literature review was performed to highlight issues related to the growth and use of algal products for generating biofuels. Human exposure and environmental impact issues are identified and discussed, as well as current research and development activities of academic, commercial, and governmental groups. It is hoped that the ideas contained in this paper will increase environmental awareness of issues surrounding the production of algae and will help the algae industry develop to its full potential.

  9. IDENTIFYING POTENTIAL SOURCES OF BACKGROUND CONTAMINATION IN RT-PCR

    EPA Science Inventory

    Extraction of nucleic acids from low biomass samples, such as drinking water, is particularly sensitive to potential background contamination because the contaminating material is minimally diluted by the sample. The presence of bacterial DNA in Taq DNA polymerase is wel...

  10. Hazardous potential of manufactured nanoparticles identified by in vivo assay.

    PubMed

    Valant, Janez; Drobne, Damjana; Sepcić, Kristina; Jemec, Anita; Kogej, Ksenija; Kostanjsek, Rok

    2009-11-15

    New products of nanotechnologies, including nanoparticles, need to be assessed according to their biological reactivity and toxic potential. Given the large number of diverse nanomaterials, a tiered approach is favoured. The aim of our work presented here is to elaborate an in vivo assay with terrestrial invertebrates (Porcellio scaber), which could serve as a first step of hazard identification of nanoparticles. We adapted the widely used acridine orange/ethidium bromide (AO/EB) assay to be applicable for cell membrane stability assessment of entire organ where the animal was exposed in vivo. The digestive glands (hepatopancreas) of terrestrial isopods were taken as a model test system. The assay was validated with Cu(NO(3))(2) and surfactants. The results showed that all tested nanoparticles, i.e. nanosized TiO(2), nanosized ZnO and fullerenes (C(60)) have cell membrane destabilization potential. As expected, C(60) is the most biologically potent. The AO/EB in vivo assay proved to be fast because response is recorded after 30 min of exposure, relatively simple because digestive glands are inspected immediately after isolation from exposed animals and promising approach because different types of nanoparticles could be tested for their biological potential. This assay provides data for the identification of hazardous potential of nanoparticles before subsequent steps in a tiered approach are decided.

  11. Potential Metabolic Biomarkers to Identify Interstitial Lung Abnormalities

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Yong; Jia, Dongmei; Lin, Zhang; Guo, Baosheng; He, Bing; Lu, Cheng; Xiao, Cheng; Liu, Zhongdi; Zhao, Ning; Bian, Zhaoxiang; Zhang, Ge; Zhang, Weidong; Liu, Xinru; Lu, Aiping

    2016-01-01

    Determining sensitive biomarkers in the peripheral blood to identify interstitial lung abnormalities (ILAs) is essential for the simple early diagnosis of ILAs. This study aimed to determine serum metabolic biomarkers of ILAs and the corresponding pathogenesis. Three groups of subjects undergoing health screening, including healthy subjects, subjects with ILAs, and subjects who were healthy initially and with ILAs one year later (Healthy→ILAs), were recruited for this study. The metabolic profiles of all of the subjects’ serum were analyzed by liquid chromatography quadruple time-of-flight mass spectrometry. The metabolic characteristics of the ILAs subjects were discovered, and the corresponding biomarkers were predicted. The metabolomic data from the Healthy→ILAs subjects were collected for further verification. The results indicated that five serum metabolite alterations (up-regulated phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidic acid, betaine aldehyde and phosphatidylethanolamine, as well as down-regulated 1-acylglycerophosphocholine) were sensitive and reliable biomarkers for identifying ILAs. Perturbation of the corresponding biological pathways (RhoA signaling, mTOR/P70S6K signaling and phospholipase C signaling) might be at least partially responsible for the pathogenesis of ILAs. This study may provide a good template for determining the early diagnostic markers of subclinical disease status and for obtaining a better understanding of their pathogenesis. PMID:27438829

  12. Framework for Identifying Key Environmental Concerns in Marine Renewable Energy Projects- Appendices

    SciTech Connect

    Kramer, Sharon; Previsic, Mirko; Nelson, Peter; Woo, Sheri

    2010-06-17

    Marine wave and tidal energy technology could interact with marine resources in ways that are not well understood. As wave and tidal energy conversion projects are planned, tested, and deployed, a wide range of stakeholders will be engaged; these include developers, state and federal regulatory agencies, environmental groups, tribal governments, recreational and commercial fishermen, and local communities. Identifying stakeholders’ environmental concerns in the early stages of the industry’s development will help developers address and minimize potential environmental effects. Identifying important concerns will also assist with streamlining siting and associated permitting processes, which are considered key hurdles by the industry in the U.S. today. In September 2008, RE Vision consulting, LLC was selected by the Department of Energy (DoE) to conduct a scenario-based evaluation of emerging hydrokinetic technologies. The purpose of this evaluation is to identify and characterize environmental impacts that are likely to occur, demonstrate a process for analyzing these impacts, identify the “key” environmental concerns for each scenario, identify areas of uncertainty, and describe studies that could address that uncertainty. This process is intended to provide an objective and transparent tool to assist in decision-making for siting and selection of technology for wave and tidal energy development. RE Vision worked with H. T. Harvey & Associates, to develop a framework for identifying key environmental concerns with marine renewable technology. This report describes the results of this study. This framework was applied to varying wave and tidal power conversion technologies, scales, and locations. The following wave and tidal energy scenarios were considered: 4 wave energy generation technologies 3 tidal energy generation technologies 3 sites: Humboldt coast, California (wave); Makapu’u Point, Oahu, Hawaii (wave); and the Tacoma Narrows, Washington (tidal

  13. The role of Life Cycle Assessment in identifying and reducing environmental impacts of CCS

    SciTech Connect

    Sathre, Roger; Masanet, Eric; Cain, Jennifer; Chester, Mikhail

    2011-04-20

    Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) should be used to assist carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) planners to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and avoid unintended environmental trade-offs. LCA is an analytical framework for determining environmental impacts resulting from processes, products, and services. All life cycle stages are evaluated including raw material sourcing, processing, operation, maintenance, and component end-of-life, as well as intermediate stages such as transportation. In recent years a growing number of LCA studies have analyzed CCS systems. We reviewed 50+ LCA studies, and selected 11 studies that compared the environmental performance of 23 electric power plants with and without CCS. Here we summarize and interpret the findings of these studies. Regarding overall climatemitigation effectiveness of CCS, we distinguish between the capture percentage of carbon in the fuels, the net carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reduction, and the net GHG emission reduction. We also identify trade-offs between the climate benefits and the potential increased non-climate impacts of CCS. Emissions of non-CO2 flue gases such as NOx may increase due to the greater throughput of fuel, and toxicity issues may arise due to the use of monoethanolamine (MEA) capture solvent, resulting in ecological and human health impacts. We discuss areas where improvements in LCA data or methods are needed. The decision to implement CCS should be based on knowledge of the overall environmental impacts of the technologies, not just their carbon capture effectiveness. LCA will be an important tool in providing that knowledge.

  14. Vibrio parahaemolyticus Strains of Pandemic Serotypes Identified from Clinical and Environmental Samples from Jiangsu, China

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jingjiao; Xue, Feng; Yang, Zhenquan; Zhang, Xiaoping; Zeng, Dexin; Chao, Guoxiang; Jiang, Yuan; Li, Baoguang

    2016-01-01

    Vibrio parahaemolyticus has emerged as a major foodborne pathogen in China, Japan, Thailand, and other Asian countries. In this study, 72 strains of V. parahaemolyticus were isolated from clinical and environmental samples between 2006 and 2014 in Jiangsu, China. The serotypes and six virulence genes including thermostable direct hemolysin (TDR) and TDR-related hemolysin (TRH) genes were assessed among the isolates. Twenty five serotypes were identified and O3:K6 was one of the dominant serotypes. The genetic diversity was assessed by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis, and 48 sequence types (STs) were found, suggesting this V. parahaemolyticus group is widely dispersed and undergoing rapid evolution. A total of 25 strains of pandemic serotypes such as O3:K6, O5:K17, and O1:KUT were identified. It is worth noting that the pandemic serotypes were not exclusively identified from clinical samples, rather, nine strains were also isolated from environmental samples; and some of these strains harbored several virulence genes, which may render those strains pathogenicity potential. Therefore, the emergence of these “environmental” pandemic V. parahaemolyticus strains may poses a new threat to the public health in China. Furthermore, six novel serotypes and 34 novel STs were identified among the 72 isolates, indicating that V. parahaemolyticus were widely distributed and fast evolving in the environment in Jiangsu, China. The findings of this study provide new insight into the phylogenic relationship between V. parahaemolyticus strains of pandemic serotypes from clinical and environmental sources and enhance the MLST database; and our proposed possible O- and K- antigen evolving paths of V. parahaemolyticus may help understand how the serotypes of this dispersed bacterial population evolve. PMID:27303379

  15. Polymorphisms in canine platelet glycoproteins identify potential platelet antigens.

    PubMed

    Callan, Mary Beth; Werner, Petra; Mason, Nicola J; Meny, Geralyn M; Raducha, Michael G; Henthorn, Paula S

    2013-08-01

    Human alloimmune thrombocytopenic conditions caused by exposure to a platelet-specific alloantigen include neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia, posttransfusion purpura, and platelet transfusion refractoriness. More than 30 platelet-specific alloantigens have been defined in the human platelet antigen (HPA) system; however, there is no previous information on canine platelet-specific alloantigens. Using the HPA system as a model, we evaluated the canine ITGB3, ITGA2B, and GP1BB genes encoding GPIIIa (β3), GPIIb (αIIb), and GPIbβ, respectively, which account for 21 of 27 HPA, to determine whether amino acid polymorphisms are present in the orthologous canine genes. A secondary objective was to perform a pilot study to assess possible association between specific alleles of these proteins and a diagnosis of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) in dogs. By using genomic DNA from dogs of various breeds with and without ITP, sequencing of PCR products encompassing all coding regions and exon-intron boundaries for these 3 genes revealed 4 single-nucleotide polymorphisms in ITGA2B resulting in amino acid polymorphisms in the canine genome, 3 previously reported and 1 newly identified (Gly[GGG]/Arg[AGG] at amino acid position 576 of ITGA2B. Of 16 possible ITGA2B protein alleles resulting from unique combinations of the 4 polymorphic amino acids, 5 different protein isoforms were present in homozygous dogs and explain all of the genotype combinations in heterozygous dogs. There was no amino acid polymorphism or protein isoform that was specific for a particular breed or for the diagnosis of ITP. PMID:24209971

  16. IDENTIFYING POTENTIAL MARKERS OF THE SUN'S GIANT CONVECTIVE SCALE

    SciTech Connect

    McIntosh, Scott W.; Wang, Xin; Leamon, Robert J.; Scherrer, Philip H.

    2014-04-01

    Line-of-sight magnetograms from the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) are analyzed using a diagnostic known as the magnetic range of influence (MRoI). The MRoI is a measure of the length over which a photospheric magnetogram is balanced and so its application gives the user a sense of the connective length scales in the outer solar atmosphere. The MRoI maps and histograms inferred from the SDO/HMI magnetograms primarily exhibit four scales: a scale of a few megameters that can be associated with granulation, a scale of a few tens of megameters that can be associated with super-granulation, a scale of many hundreds to thousands of megameters that can be associated with coronal holes and active regions, and a hitherto unnoticed scale that ranges from 100 to 250 Mm. We infer that this final scale is an imprint of the (rotationally driven) giant convective scale on photospheric magnetism. This scale appears in MRoI maps as well-defined, spatially distributed concentrations that we have dubbed ''g-nodes''. Furthermore, using coronal observations from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly on SDO, we see that the vicinity of these g-nodes appears to be a preferred location for the formation of extreme-ultraviolet (and likely X-Ray) brightpoints. These observations and straightforward diagnostics offer the potential of a near real-time mapping of the Sun's largest convective scale, a scale that possibly reaches to the very bottom of the convective zone.

  17. 42 CFR 137.301 - How are project and program environmental review costs identified?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false How are project and program environmental review... Construction Nepa Process § 137.301 How are project and program environmental review costs identified? (a) The... development to identify program and project related costs associated with carrying out...

  18. 42 CFR 137.301 - How are project and program environmental review costs identified?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 1 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false How are project and program environmental review... Construction Nepa Process § 137.301 How are project and program environmental review costs identified? (a) The... development to identify program and project related costs associated with carrying out...

  19. 77 FR 66185 - Environmental Assessment for Potential Commercial Wind Lease Issuance and Site Assessment...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-11-02

    ... Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Environmental Assessment for Potential Commercial Wind Lease Issuance... be subject to subsequent environmental review, on those leases) in an identified Wind Energy Area... around the Call Area (77 FR 5830). The Call Area is located offshore Massachusetts. Issues and...

  20. 40 CFR Table 5 to Subpart Jj of... - List of VHAP of Potential Concern Identified by Industry

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 11 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false List of VHAP of Potential Concern Identified by Industry 5 Table 5 to Subpart JJ of Part 63 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION... by Industry CAS No. Chemical name EPA de minimis, tons/yr 68122 Dimethyl formamide 1.0...

  1. 40 CFR Table 5 to Subpart Jj of... - List of VHAP of Potential Concern Identified by Industry

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 11 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false List of VHAP of Potential Concern Identified by Industry 5 Table 5 to Subpart JJ of Part 63 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION... by Industry CAS No. Chemical name EPA de minimis, tons/yr 68122 Dimethyl formamide 1.0...

  2. 40 CFR Table 5 to Subpart Jj of... - List of VHAP of Potential Concern Identified by Industry

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 11 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false List of VHAP of Potential Concern Identified by Industry 5 Table 5 to Subpart JJ of Part 63 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION... by Industry CAS No. Chemical name EPA de minimis, tons/yr 68122 Dimethyl formamide 1.0...

  3. Molecular Modeling of Environmentally Important Processes: Reduction Potentials

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewis, Anne; Bumpus, John A.; Truhlar, Donald G.; Cramer, Christopher J.

    2004-01-01

    The increasing use of computational quantum chemistry in the modeling of environmentally important processes is described. The employment of computational quantum mechanics for the prediction of oxidation-reduction potential for solutes in an aqueous medium is discussed.

  4. Potential Application of Environmental Noise Recordings in Geoarchaeological Site Characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Luzio, E.

    2015-12-01

    Environmental noise recordings are commonly applied in seismic microzonation studies. By calculating the H/V spectral ratio, the fundamental frequency of soft terrains overlying a rigid bedrock can be determined (Nakamura (1989). In such a simple two-layer system, equation f = n Vs/4H (1) links the resonance frequency "f" to the thickness "H" and shear waves velocity "Vs "of the resonating layer. In recent years, this methodology has been applied generally to obtain information on the seismostratigraphy of an investigated site in different environmental context. In this work, its potential application in the characterization of archaeological features hosted in shallow geological levels is discussed. Field cases are identified in the Appia Antica archaeological site which is placed in central Italy. Here, acknowledged targets correspond to: i) empty tanks carved by the Romans into Cretaceous limestone in the IV-III cen. BC and ii): the basaltic stone paving of the ancient road track which is locally buried beneath colluvial deposits. Narrowly-spaced recordings of environmental noise were carried using a portable digital seismograph equipped with three electrodynamic orthogonal sensors (velocimeters) responding in the band 0.1 ÷1024 Hz and adopting a sampling frequency of 256 Hz.. Results are discussed in terms of absolute H/V values and related distribution maps in the very high-frequency interval of 10-40Hz. In the tanks hosting area, interpolation of H/V maximum values around 13Hz matches caves location and alignment, which is also evidenced by clear inversions (H/V<1) at lower frequencies (10-1Hz). Correlation between H/V peaks and the top surface of the buried stone paving along the prosecution of the road track is even more straightforward. Finally, the depth variations of the tank roofs and the basaltic paving were reconstructed combining in equation (1) results of noise recordings with borehole data and geophysical surveys (SASW analysis).

  5. Identifying and managing adverse environmental health effects: 5. Persistent organic pollutants

    PubMed Central

    Abelsohn, Alan; Gibson, Brian L.; Sanborn, Margaret D.; Weir, Erica

    2002-01-01

    CONCERN AND AWARENESS IS GROWING about the health effects of exposures to environmental contaminants, including those found in food. Most primary care physicians lack knowledge and training in the clinical recognition and management of the health effects of environmental exposures. We have found that the use of a simple history-taking tool — the CH2OPD2 mnemonic (Community, Home, Hobbies, Occupation, Personal habits, Diet and Drugs) — can help physicians identify patients at risk of such health effects. We present an illustrative case of a mother who is concerned about eating fish and wild game because her 7-year-old son has been found to have learning difficulties and she is planning another pregnancy. Potential exposures to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and mercury are considered. The neurodevelopmental effects of POPs on the fetus are reviewed. We provide advice to limit a patient's exposure to these contaminants and discuss the relevance of these exposures to the learning difficulties of the 7-year-old child and to the planning of future pregnancies. PMID:12074124

  6. Ecosystem greenspots: identifying potential drought, fire, and climate-change micro-refuges.

    PubMed

    Mackey, Brendan; Berry, Sandra; Hugh, Sonia; Ferrier, Simon; Harwood, Thomas D; Williams, Kristen J

    2012-09-01

    In response to climate change and other threatening processes there is renewed interest in the role of refugia and refuges. In bioregions that experience drought and fire, micro-refuges can play a vital role in ensuring the persistence of species. We develop and apply an approach to identifying potential micro-refuges based on a time series of remotely sensed vegetation greenness (fraction of photosynthetically active radiation intercepted by the sunlit canopy; fPAR). The primary data for this analysis were NASA MODIS 16-day L3 Global 250 m (MOD13Q1) satellite imagery. This method draws upon relevant ecological theory (source sink habitats, habitat templet) to calculate a micro-refuge index, which is analyzed for each of the major vegetation ecosystems in the case-study region (the Great Eastern Ranges of New South Wales, Australia). Potential ecosystem greenspots were identified, at a range of thresholds, based on an index derived from: the mean and coefficient of variance (COV) of fPAR over the 10-year time series; the minimum mean annual fPAR; and the COV of the 12 values of mean monthly fPAR. These greenspots were mapped and compared with (1) an index of vascular plant species composition, (2) environmental variables, and (3) protected areas. Potential micro-refuges were found within all vegetation ecosystem types. The total area of ecosystem greenspots within the upper 25% threshold was 48 406 ha; around 0.2% of the total area of native vegetation (23.9 x 10(6) ha) in the study region. The total area affected by fire was 3.4 x 10(6) ha. The results of the environmental diagnostic analysis suggest deterministic controls on the geographical distribution of potential micro-refuges that may continue to function under climate change. The approach is relevant to other regions of the world where the role of micro-refuges in the persistence of species is recognized, including across the world's arid zones and, in particular, for the Australian, southern African, and

  7. Betweenness-Based Method to Identify Critical Transmission Sectors for Supply Chain Environmental Pressure Mitigation.

    PubMed

    Liang, Sai; Qu, Shen; Xu, Ming

    2016-02-01

    To develop industry-specific policies for mitigating environmental pressures, previous studies primarily focus on identifying sectors that directly generate large amounts of environmental pressures (a.k.a. production-based method) or indirectly drive large amounts of environmental pressures through supply chains (e.g., consumption-based method). In addition to those sectors as important environmental pressure producers or drivers, there exist sectors that are also important to environmental pressure mitigation as transmission centers. Economy-wide environmental pressure mitigation might be achieved by improving production efficiency of these key transmission sectors, that is, using less upstream inputs to produce unitary output. We develop a betweenness-based method to measure the importance of transmission sectors, borrowing the betweenness concept from network analysis. We quantify the betweenness of sectors by examining supply chain paths extracted from structural path analysis that pass through a particular sector. We take China as an example and find that those critical transmission sectors identified by betweenness-based method are not always identifiable by existing methods. This indicates that betweenness-based method can provide additional insights that cannot be obtained with existing methods on the roles individual sectors play in generating economy-wide environmental pressures. Betweenness-based method proposed here can therefore complement existing methods for guiding sector-level environmental pressure mitigation strategies. PMID:26727352

  8. Review of oil and HNS accidental spills in Europe: identifying major environmental monitoring gaps and drawing priorities.

    PubMed

    Neuparth, T; Moreira, S M; Santos, M M; Reis-Henriques, M A

    2012-06-01

    The European Atlantic area has been the scene of a number of extensive shipping incidents with immediate and potential long-term impacts to marine ecosystems. The occurrence of accidental spills at sea requires an effective response that must include a well executed monitoring programme to assess the environmental contamination and damage of the affected marine habitats. Despite a number of conventions and protocols developed by international and national authorities that focused on the preparedness and response to oil and HNS spills, much remains to be done, particularly in relation to the effectiveness of the environmental monitoring programmes implemented after oil and HNS spills. Hence, the present study reviews the status of the environmental monitoring programmes established following the major spill incidents over the last years in European waters, aiming at identifying the key monitoring gaps and drawing priorities for an effective environmental monitoring of accidental spills.

  9. Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA): Identifying the Hazards of the Martian Soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meloy, T. P.; Hecht, M. H.; Anderson, M. S.; Frant, M. A.; Fuerstenau, S. D.; Keller, H. U.; Markiewicz, W. J.; Marshall, J.; Pike, W. T.; Quate, C. F.

    1999-09-01

    Sometime in the next decade NASA will decide whether to send a human expedition to explore the planet Mars. The Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA) has been selected by NASA to evaluate the Martian environment for soil and dust hazards to human exploration. The integrated MECA payload contains three elements: a wet-chemistry laboratory, a microscopy station, and enhancements to a lander robot-arm system incorporating arrays of material patches and an electrometer to identify triboelectric charging during soil excavation. The wet-chemistry laboratory will evaluate samples of Martian soil in water to determine the total dissolved solids, redox potential, pH, and quantify the concentration of many soluble ions using ion-selective electrodes. These electrodes can detect potentially dangerous heavy-metal ions, emitted pathogenic gases, and the soil's corrosive potential. MECA's microscopy station combines optical and atomic-force microscopy with a robot-arm camera to provide imaging over nine orders of magnitude, from meters to nanometers. Soil particle properties including size, shape, color, hardness, adhesive potential (electrostatic and magnetic), will be determined on the microscope stage using an ar-ray of sample receptacles and collection substrates, and an abrasion tool,. The simple, rugged atomic-force microscope will image in the submicron size range and has the capability of performing a particle-by-particle analysis of the dust and soil. Although selected by NASA's Human Exploration and Development of Space Enterprise, the MECA instrument suite also has the capability to address basic geology, paleoclimate, and exobiology issues. To understand both contemporaneous and ancient processes on Mars, the mineralogical, petrological, and reactivity of Martian surface materials should be constrained: the NMCA experiment will shed light on these quantities through its combination of chemistry and microscopy. On Earth, the earliest forms of life are

  10. Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA): Identifying the Hazards of the Martian Soil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meloy, T. P.; Hecht, M. H.; Anderson, M. S.; Frant, M. A.; Fuerstenau, S. D.; Keller, H. U.; Markiewicz, W. J.; Marshall, J.; Pike, W. T.; Quate, C. F.

    1999-01-01

    Sometime in the next decade NASA will decide whether to send a human expedition to explore the planet Mars. The Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA) has been selected by NASA to evaluate the Martian environment for soil and dust hazards to human exploration. The integrated MECA payload contains three elements: a wet-chemistry laboratory, a microscopy station, and enhancements to a lander robot-arm system incorporating arrays of material patches and an electrometer to identify triboelectric charging during soil excavation. The wet-chemistry laboratory will evaluate samples of Martian soil in water to determine the total dissolved solids, redox potential, pH, and quantify the concentration of many soluble ions using ion-selective electrodes. These electrodes can detect potentially dangerous heavy-metal ions, emitted pathogenic gases, and the soil's corrosive potential. MECA's microscopy station combines optical and atomic-force microscopy with a robot-arm camera to provide imaging over nine orders of magnitude, from meters to nanometers. Soil particle properties including size, shape, color, hardness, adhesive potential (electrostatic and magnetic), will be determined on the microscope stage using an ar-ray of sample receptacles and collection substrates, and an abrasion tool,. The simple, rugged atomic-force microscope will image in the submicron size range and has the capability of performing a particle-by-particle analysis of the dust and soil. Although selected by NASA's Human Exploration and Development of Space Enterprise, the MECA instrument suite also has the capability to address basic geology, paleoclimate, and exobiology issues. To understand both contemporaneous and ancient processes on Mars, the mineralogical, petrological, and reactivity of Martian surface materials should be constrained: the NMCA experiment will shed light on these quantities through its combination of chemistry and microscopy. On Earth, the earliest forms of life are

  11. Assessing urban potential flooding risk and identifying effective risk-reduction measures.

    PubMed

    Cherqui, Frédéric; Belmeziti, Ali; Granger, Damien; Sourdril, Antoine; Le Gauffre, Pascal

    2015-05-01

    Flood protection is one of the traditional functions of any drainage system, and it remains a major issue in many cities because of economic and health impact. Heavy rain flooding has been well studied and existing simulation software can be used to predict and improve level of protection. However, simulating minor flooding remains highly complex, due to the numerous possible causes related to operational deficiencies or negligent behaviour. According to the literature, causes of blockages vary widely from one case to another: it is impossible to provide utility managers with effective recommendations on how to improve the level of protection. It is therefore vital to analyse each context in order to define an appropriate strategy. Here we propose a method to represent and assess the flooding risk, using GIS and data gathered during operation and maintenance. Our method also identifies potential management responses. The approach proposed aims to provide decision makers with clear and comprehensible information. Our method has been successfully applied to the Urban Community of Bordeaux (France) on 4895 interventions related to flooding recorded during the 2009-2011 period. Results have shown the relative importance of different issues, such as human behaviour (grease, etc.) or operational deficiencies (roots, etc.), and lead to identify corrective and proactive. This study also confirms that blockages are not always directly due to the network itself and its deterioration. Many causes depend on environmental and operating conditions on the network and often require collaboration between municipal departments in charge of roads, green spaces, etc.

  12. A Perceptuomotor and Oral Language Program for Children Identified as Potential Failures.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weimer, Wayne Robert

    This study sought to determine whether the de Hirsch Predictive Index Tests would accurately identify children who were potential failures in school. The study also investigated whether a perceptual-motor and oral language program would aid those children identified as potential failures. The Predictive Index Tests were administered to 645 first…

  13. Clinical proteomics identifies potential biomarkers in Helicobacter pylori for gastrointestinal diseases.

    PubMed

    Huang, Chun-Hao; Chiou, Shyh-Horng

    2014-02-14

    The development of gastrointestinal diseases has been found to be associated with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection and various biochemical stresses in stomach and intestine. These stresses, such as oxidative, osmotic and acid stresses, may bring about bi-directional effects on both hosts and H. pylori, leading to changes of protein expression in their proteomes. Therefore, proteins differentially expressed in H. pylori under various stresses not only reflect gastrointestinal environment but also provide useful biomarkers for disease diagnosis and prognosis. In this regard, proteomic technology is an ideal tool to identify potential biomarkers as it can systematically monitor proteins and protein variation on a large scale of cell's translational landscape, permitting in-depth analyses of host and pathogen interactions. By performing two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2-DE) followed by liquid chromatography-nanoESI-mass spectrometry (nanoLC-MS/MS), we have successfully pinpointed alkylhydroperoxide reductase (AhpC), neutrophil-activating protein and non-heme iron-binding ferritin as three prospective biomarkers showing up-regulation in H. pylori under oxidative, osmotic and acid stresses, respectively. Further biochemical characterization reveals that various environmental stresses can induce protein structure change and functional conversion in the identified biomarkers. Especially salient is the antioxidant enzyme AhpC, an abundant antioxidant protein present in H. pylori. It switches from a peroxide reductase of low-molecular-weight (LMW) oligomers to a molecular chaperone of high-molecular-weight (HMW) complexes under oxidative stress. Different seropositivy responses against LMW or HMW AhpC in H. pylori-infected patients faithfully match the disease progression from disease-free healthy persons to patients with gastric ulcer and cancer. These results has established AhpC of H. pylori as a promising diagnostic marker for

  14. Challenges associated with identifying the environmental determinants of the inflammatory bowel diseases.

    PubMed

    Molodecky, Natalie A; Panaccione, Remo; Ghosh, Subrata; Barkema, Herman W; Kaplan, Gilaad G

    2011-08-01

    In the last several years there has been an explosion in the discovery of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) susceptibility genes; however, similar advances in identifying and defining environmental risk factors associated with IBD have lagged behind. Moreover, many studies that have explored the same or similar environmental risk factors of IBD have demonstrated disparate results and come to conflicting conclusions. In order for the field to move forward, it is important to understand and resolve why these differences exist. This significant heterogeneity has blurred the identification of the fundamental environmental determinants of IBD. The purpose of this review article is to explore the factors that have likely contributed to the heterogeneity among observational studies of environmental risk factors in IBD. In doing so, it is hoped that methodological standardization may lead to consistent environmental associations.

  15. Integrated Bioinformatics, Environmental Epidemiologic and Genomic Approaches to Identify Environmental and Molecular Links between Endometriosis and Breast Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Roy, Deodutta; Morgan, Marisa; Yoo, Changwon; Deoraj, Alok; Roy, Sandhya; Yadav, Vijay Kumar; Garoub, Mohannad; Assaggaf, Hamza; Doke, Mayur

    2015-01-01

    We present a combined environmental epidemiologic, genomic, and bioinformatics approach to identify: exposure of environmental chemicals with estrogenic activity; epidemiologic association between endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) and health effects, such as, breast cancer or endometriosis; and gene-EDC interactions and disease associations. Human exposure measurement and modeling confirmed estrogenic activity of three selected class of environmental chemicals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), bisphenols (BPs), and phthalates. Meta-analysis showed that PCBs exposure, not Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates, increased the summary odds ratio for breast cancer and endometriosis. Bioinformatics analysis of gene-EDC interactions and disease associations identified several hundred genes that were altered by exposure to PCBs, phthalate or BPA. EDCs-modified genes in breast neoplasms and endometriosis are part of steroid hormone signaling and inflammation pathways. All three EDCs–PCB 153, phthalates, and BPA influenced five common genes—CYP19A1, EGFR, ESR2, FOS, and IGF1—in breast cancer as well as in endometriosis. These genes are environmentally and estrogen responsive, altered in human breast and uterine tumors and endometriosis lesions, and part of Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways in cancer. Our findings suggest that breast cancer and endometriosis share some common environmental and molecular risk factors. PMID:26512648

  16. Integrated Bioinformatics, Environmental Epidemiologic and Genomic Approaches to Identify Environmental and Molecular Links between Endometriosis and Breast Cancer.

    PubMed

    Roy, Deodutta; Morgan, Marisa; Yoo, Changwon; Deoraj, Alok; Roy, Sandhya; Yadav, Vijay Kumar; Garoub, Mohannad; Assaggaf, Hamza; Doke, Mayur

    2015-01-01

    We present a combined environmental epidemiologic, genomic, and bioinformatics approach to identify: exposure of environmental chemicals with estrogenic activity; epidemiologic association between endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) and health effects, such as, breast cancer or endometriosis; and gene-EDC interactions and disease associations. Human exposure measurement and modeling confirmed estrogenic activity of three selected class of environmental chemicals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), bisphenols (BPs), and phthalates. Meta-analysis showed that PCBs exposure, not Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates, increased the summary odds ratio for breast cancer and endometriosis. Bioinformatics analysis of gene-EDC interactions and disease associations identified several hundred genes that were altered by exposure to PCBs, phthalate or BPA. EDCs-modified genes in breast neoplasms and endometriosis are part of steroid hormone signaling and inflammation pathways. All three EDCs-PCB 153, phthalates, and BPA influenced five common genes-CYP19A1, EGFR, ESR2, FOS, and IGF1-in breast cancer as well as in endometriosis. These genes are environmentally and estrogen responsive, altered in human breast and uterine tumors and endometriosis lesions, and part of Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways in cancer. Our findings suggest that breast cancer and endometriosis share some common environmental and molecular risk factors. PMID:26512648

  17. Integrated Bioinformatics, Environmental Epidemiologic and Genomic Approaches to Identify Environmental and Molecular Links between Endometriosis and Breast Cancer.

    PubMed

    Roy, Deodutta; Morgan, Marisa; Yoo, Changwon; Deoraj, Alok; Roy, Sandhya; Yadav, Vijay Kumar; Garoub, Mohannad; Assaggaf, Hamza; Doke, Mayur

    2015-10-23

    We present a combined environmental epidemiologic, genomic, and bioinformatics approach to identify: exposure of environmental chemicals with estrogenic activity; epidemiologic association between endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) and health effects, such as, breast cancer or endometriosis; and gene-EDC interactions and disease associations. Human exposure measurement and modeling confirmed estrogenic activity of three selected class of environmental chemicals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), bisphenols (BPs), and phthalates. Meta-analysis showed that PCBs exposure, not Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates, increased the summary odds ratio for breast cancer and endometriosis. Bioinformatics analysis of gene-EDC interactions and disease associations identified several hundred genes that were altered by exposure to PCBs, phthalate or BPA. EDCs-modified genes in breast neoplasms and endometriosis are part of steroid hormone signaling and inflammation pathways. All three EDCs-PCB 153, phthalates, and BPA influenced five common genes-CYP19A1, EGFR, ESR2, FOS, and IGF1-in breast cancer as well as in endometriosis. These genes are environmentally and estrogen responsive, altered in human breast and uterine tumors and endometriosis lesions, and part of Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways in cancer. Our findings suggest that breast cancer and endometriosis share some common environmental and molecular risk factors.

  18. Identifying environmental health priorities for a whole nation: the use of principal environmental exposure pathways in the Philippines.

    PubMed

    Hertzman, C; Torres, E; Subida, R; Martins, J

    1998-01-01

    This paper presents a novel approach to establishing environmental health priorities for a large society, based upon the concept of principal environmental exposure pathways (PEEPs). Principal environmental exposure pathways extend the concept of a causal pathway backward from health outcome to exposure, then to the industrial, transportation, commercial, or living conditions that gave rise to the pollution of interest. In the Philippines, where the method was developed and used, five PEEPs were identified: an urban air-pollution pathway; a community water-supply pathway; an urban solid-waste pathway; a rural "point-source" pathway; and a pathway whereby fertilizers and pesticides affect food, worker health, and rural water supplies. Characterizing the PEEPs involved pinpointing the populations at risk necessary to estimate the burden of morbidity and mortality related to each as well as identifying the health outcomes that were experienced by those exposed along each pathway or that they could be expected to experience; determining where adequate health-outcome information was available or absent; where exposure sources were or were not adequately identified; where there were significant gaps in agency responsibilities; where new data flows were needed; and where things could have been improved by improving inter-agency cooperation. The most important success of the PEEP method was to reduce the "problem of everything" in a complex country of 65 million people to a small and manageable number of priority environmental exposures.

  19. Predicting Fish Growth Potential and Identifying Water Quality Constraints: A Spatially-Explicit Bioenergetics Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Budy, Phaedra; Baker, Matthew; Dahle, Samuel K.

    2011-10-01

    Anthropogenic impairment of water bodies represents a global environmental concern, yet few attempts have successfully linked fish performance to thermal habitat suitability and fewer have distinguished co-varying water quality constraints. We interfaced fish bioenergetics, field measurements, and Thermal Remote Imaging to generate a spatially-explicit, high-resolution surface of fish growth potential, and next employed a structured hypothesis to detect relationships among measures of fish performance and co-varying water quality constraints. Our thermal surface of fish performance captured the amount and spatial-temporal arrangement of thermally-suitable habitat for three focal species in an extremely heterogeneous reservoir, but interpretation of this pattern was initially confounded by seasonal covariation of water residence time and water quality. Subsequent path analysis revealed that in terms of seasonal patterns in growth potential, catfish and walleye responded to temperature, positively and negatively, respectively; crappie and walleye responded to eutrophy (negatively). At the high eutrophy levels observed in this system, some desired fishes appear to suffer from excessive cultural eutrophication within the context of elevated temperatures whereas others appear to be largely unaffected or even enhanced. Our overall findings do not lead to the conclusion that this system is degraded by pollution; however, they do highlight the need to use a sensitive focal species in the process of determining allowable nutrient loading and as integrators of habitat suitability across multiple spatial and temporal scales. We provide an integrated approach useful for quantifying fish growth potential and identifying water quality constraints on fish performance at spatial scales appropriate for whole-system management.

  20. Predicting fish growth potential and identifying water quality constraints: a spatially-explicit bioenergetics approach.

    PubMed

    Budy, Phaedra; Baker, Matthew; Dahle, Samuel K

    2011-10-01

    Anthropogenic impairment of water bodies represents a global environmental concern, yet few attempts have successfully linked fish performance to thermal habitat suitability and fewer have distinguished co-varying water quality constraints. We interfaced fish bioenergetics, field measurements, and Thermal Remote Imaging to generate a spatially-explicit, high-resolution surface of fish growth potential, and next employed a structured hypothesis to detect relationships among measures of fish performance and co-varying water quality constraints. Our thermal surface of fish performance captured the amount and spatial-temporal arrangement of thermally-suitable habitat for three focal species in an extremely heterogeneous reservoir, but interpretation of this pattern was initially confounded by seasonal covariation of water residence time and water quality. Subsequent path analysis revealed that in terms of seasonal patterns in growth potential, catfish and walleye responded to temperature, positively and negatively, respectively; crappie and walleye responded to eutrophy (negatively). At the high eutrophy levels observed in this system, some desired fishes appear to suffer from excessive cultural eutrophication within the context of elevated temperatures whereas others appear to be largely unaffected or even enhanced. Our overall findings do not lead to the conclusion that this system is degraded by pollution; however, they do highlight the need to use a sensitive focal species in the process of determining allowable nutrient loading and as integrators of habitat suitability across multiple spatial and temporal scales. We provide an integrated approach useful for quantifying fish growth potential and identifying water quality constraints on fish performance at spatial scales appropriate for whole-system management.

  1. Identifying the role of conservation biology for solving the environmental crisis.

    PubMed

    Dalerum, Fredrik

    2014-11-01

    Humans are altering their living environment to an extent that could cause environmental collapse. Promoting change into environmental sustainability is therefore urgent. Despite a rapid expansion in conservation biology, appreciation of underlying causes and identification of long-term solutions have largely been lacking. I summarized knowledge regarding the environmental crisis, and argue that the most important contributions toward solutions come from economy, political sciences, and psychology. Roles of conservation biology include providing environmental protection until sustainable solutions have been found, evaluating the effectiveness of implemented solutions, and providing societies with information necessary to align effectively with environmental values. Because of the potential disciplinary discrepancy between finding long-term solutions and short-term protection, we may face critical trade-offs between allocations of resources toward achieving sustainability. Since biological knowledge is required for such trade-offs, an additional role for conservation biologists may be to provide guidance toward finding optimal strategies in such trade-offs.

  2. Using in Vitro High Throughput Screening Assays to Identify Potential Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals

    PubMed Central

    Rotroff, Daniel M.; Dix, David J.; Houck, Keith A.; Knudsen, Thomas B.; Martin, Matthew T.; McLaurin, Keith W.; Reif, David M.; Crofton, Kevin M.; Singh, Amar V.; Xia, Menghang; Huang, Ruili

    2012-01-01

    Background: Over the past 20 years, an increased focus on detecting environmental chemicals that pose a risk of adverse effects due to endocrine disruption has driven the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP). Thousands of chemicals are subject to the EDSP; thus, processing these chemicals using current test batteries could require millions of dollars and decades. A need for increased throughput and efficiency motivated the development of methods using in vitro high throughput screening (HTS) assays to prioritize chemicals for EDSP Tier 1 screening (T1S). Objective: In this study we used U.S. EPA ToxCast HTS assays for estrogen, androgen, steroidogenic, and thyroid-disrupting mechanisms to classify compounds and compare ToxCast results to in vitro and in vivo data from EDSP T1S assays. Method: We implemented an iterative model that optimized the ability of endocrine-related HTS assays to predict components of EDSP T1S and related results. Balanced accuracy was used as a measure of model performance. Results: ToxCast estrogen receptor and androgen receptor assays predicted the results of relevant EDSP T1S assays with balanced accuracies of 0.91 (p < 0.001) and 0.92 (p < 0.001), respectively. Uterotrophic and Hershberger assay results were predicted with balanced accuracies of 0.89 (p < 0.001) and 1 (p < 0.001), respectively. Models for steroidogenic and thyroid-related effects could not be developed with the currently published ToxCast data. Conclusions: Overall, results suggest that current ToxCast assays can accurately identify chemicals with potential to interact with the estrogenic and androgenic pathways, and could help prioritize chemicals for EDSP T1S assays. PMID:23052129

  3. Assessment of potential environmental impacts of geopressured methane development. Final report for 1979

    SciTech Connect

    Golabi, K.

    1980-03-01

    This study presents a critical examination of available information on the characteristics of geopressured methane resources. It identifies and assesses potential environmental impacts and regulatory constraints that may influence the development and commercial use of the resource, and defines issues unique to geopressured methane development. Finally, the study provides a list of recommendations for planning future research efforts.

  4. Program development to identify and characterize potential emergency situations at a petroleum refinery and determination of industrial hygiene emergency responses

    SciTech Connect

    Oransky, J.J.; Delp, S.N.; Deppen, E.A.; Barrett, D.

    1995-12-31

    In the modern world the field of industrial hygiene continues to grow beyond the traditional definition of the profession. This case study documents the problem solving approach used to identify potential exposures and evaluate industrial hygiene preparedness to handle emergencies due to fire or major spill at a complex multi-process petroleum refinery. In the recent past an environmental engineer and industrial hygiene consulting firm was retained by a mature, multi-process petroleum refinery to assist in the program development to identify and characterize potential emergency situations due to a fire, major release, or spill. This study would assist the refinery in compliance with the process safety and emergency response standards and to protect refinery operations and fire fighting personnel by minimizing potential exposures and risk when responding to such a major incident.

  5. A novel technique for identifying opportunities to improve environmental hygiene in the operating room.

    PubMed

    Jefferson, Julie; Whelan, Rita; Dick, Brian; Carling, Philip

    2011-03-01

    Environmental cleaning and disinfection is essential for optimizing safe patient care in the OR; however, perioperative staff members have not had an easy-to-use, objective method for determining whether high-touch, potentially contaminated surfaces have been cleaned during terminal room cleaning. To address this issue, members of the Healthcare Environmental Hygiene Study Group used a transparent, removable, environmentally stable disclosing agent and handheld ultraviolet light to determine whether potentially contaminated surfaces had been contacted by a wet disinfection cleaning cloth during terminal cleaning of ORs. Results from the project showed that 237 of 946 targeted surfaces (25%) had the disclosing agent removed (ie, were cleaned). The use of the disclosing agent for staff education and process monitoring has led to significant improvements in the disinfection cleaning process. PMID:21353808

  6. Using a watershed-centric approach to identify potentially impacted beaches

    EPA Science Inventory

    Beaches can be affected by a variety of contaminants. Of particular concern are beaches impacted by human fecal contamination and urban runoff. This poster demonstrates a methodology to identify potentially impacted beaches using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Since h...

  7. Noble metals: a toxicological appraisal of potential new environmental contaminants.

    PubMed Central

    Brubaker, P E; Moran, J P; Bridbord, K; Hueter, F G

    1975-01-01

    The public health benefits expected by reducing known hazardous emissions from mobile sources should not be compromised by increasing levels of other potentially hazardous unregulated emissions. Catalytic converters are going to be used to meet the statutory requirements on carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions from light duty motor vehicles. Platinum and palladium metals are the catalytic materials to be used in these emission control devices. Preliminary experimental evidence and analysis of the impact of these control devices on the future use and demand for platinum indicates that this metal may appear at detectable levels in the environment by the end of this decade. At the present time, platinum and palladium are not present in the public environment and represent potentially new environmental contaminants as a consequence of use of this new abatement control technology. There is relatively little information available to adequately assess the potential health hazards that may be associated with exposure to these metals and their compounds. Analysis of the environmental problems and concerns associated with possible new environmental contaminants are discussed. Limited estimates are made on community exposure by use of a meteorological dispersion model. Biodegradation potential and attention is also given to the limited toxicological information available. PMID:50939

  8. Potential environmental benefits of prospective genetic changes in broiler traits.

    PubMed

    Leinonen, I; Williams, A G; Kyriazakis, I

    2016-02-01

    A system approach-based Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) framework, combined with a simple mechanistic model of bird energy balance was used to predict the potential effects of 15 y prospective broiler breeding on the environmental impacts of the standard UK broiler production system. The year 2014 Ross 308 genotype was used as a baseline, and a future scenario was specified from rates of genetic improvement predicted by the industry. The scenario included changes in the traits of growth rate (reducing the time to reach a target weight 2.05 kg from 34 d to 27 d), body lipid content, carcass yield, mortality and the number of chicks produced by a breeder hen. Diet composition was adjusted in order to accommodate the future nutrient requirements of the birds following the genetic change. The results showed that predicted changes in biological performance due to selective breeding could lead to reduced environmental impacts of the broiler production chain, most notably in the Eutrophication Potential (by 12%), Acidification Potential (by 10%) and Abiotic Resource Use (by 9%) and Global Warming Potential (by 9%). These reductions were mainly caused by the reduced maintenance energy requirement and thus lower feed intake, resulting from the shorter production cycle, together with the increased carcass yield. However, some environmental benefits were limited by the required changes in feed composition (e.g., increased inclusion of soy meal and vegetable oil) as a result of the changes in bird nutrient requirements. This study is the first one aiming to link the mechanistic animal modeling approach to predicted genetic changes in order to produce quantitative estimates of the future environmental impacts of broiler production. Although a more detailed understanding on the mechanisms of the potential changes in bird performance and their consequences on feeding and husbandry would be still be needed, the modeling framework produced in this study provides a starting point for

  9. Potential environmental benefits of prospective genetic changes in broiler traits.

    PubMed

    Leinonen, I; Williams, A G; Kyriazakis, I

    2016-02-01

    A system approach-based Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) framework, combined with a simple mechanistic model of bird energy balance was used to predict the potential effects of 15 y prospective broiler breeding on the environmental impacts of the standard UK broiler production system. The year 2014 Ross 308 genotype was used as a baseline, and a future scenario was specified from rates of genetic improvement predicted by the industry. The scenario included changes in the traits of growth rate (reducing the time to reach a target weight 2.05 kg from 34 d to 27 d), body lipid content, carcass yield, mortality and the number of chicks produced by a breeder hen. Diet composition was adjusted in order to accommodate the future nutrient requirements of the birds following the genetic change. The results showed that predicted changes in biological performance due to selective breeding could lead to reduced environmental impacts of the broiler production chain, most notably in the Eutrophication Potential (by 12%), Acidification Potential (by 10%) and Abiotic Resource Use (by 9%) and Global Warming Potential (by 9%). These reductions were mainly caused by the reduced maintenance energy requirement and thus lower feed intake, resulting from the shorter production cycle, together with the increased carcass yield. However, some environmental benefits were limited by the required changes in feed composition (e.g., increased inclusion of soy meal and vegetable oil) as a result of the changes in bird nutrient requirements. This study is the first one aiming to link the mechanistic animal modeling approach to predicted genetic changes in order to produce quantitative estimates of the future environmental impacts of broiler production. Although a more detailed understanding on the mechanisms of the potential changes in bird performance and their consequences on feeding and husbandry would be still be needed, the modeling framework produced in this study provides a starting point for

  10. Mapping environmental injustices: pitfalls and potential of geographic information systems in assessing environmental health and equity.

    PubMed Central

    Maantay, Juliana

    2002-01-01

    Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have been used increasingly to map instances of environmental injustice, the disproportionate exposure of certain populations to environmental hazards. Some of the technical and analytic difficulties of mapping environmental injustice are outlined in this article, along with suggestions for using GIS to better assess and predict environmental health and equity. I examine 13 GIS-based environmental equity studies conducted within the past decade and use a study of noxious land use locations in the Bronx, New York, to illustrate and evaluate the differences in two common methods of determining exposure extent and the characteristics of proximate populations. Unresolved issues in mapping environmental equity and health include lack of comprehensive hazards databases; the inadequacy of current exposure indices; the need to develop realistic methodologies for determining the geographic extent of exposure and the characteristics of the affected populations; and the paucity and insufficiency of health assessment data. GIS have great potential to help us understand the spatial relationship between pollution and health. Refinements in exposure indices; the use of dispersion modeling and advanced proximity analysis; the application of neighborhood-scale analysis; and the consideration of other factors such as zoning and planning policies will enable more conclusive findings. The environmental equity studies reviewed in this article found a disproportionate environmental burden based on race and/or income. It is critical now to demonstrate correspondence between environmental burdens and adverse health impacts--to show the disproportionate effects of pollution rather than just the disproportionate distribution of pollution sources. PMID:11929725

  11. Potential environmental benefits from regulatory consideration of synthetic drilling muds

    SciTech Connect

    Burke, C.J.; Veil, J.A.

    1995-02-01

    When drilling exploration and production wells for oil and gas, drillers use specialized drilling fluids, referred to as muds, to help maintain well control and to remove drill cuttings from the hole. Historically, either water-based muds (WBMs) or oil-based muds (OBMs) have been used for offshore wells. Recently, in response to US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations and drilling-waste discharge requirements imposed by North Sea nations, the drilling industry has developed several types of synthetic-based muds (SBMs) that combine the desirable operating qualities of OBMs with the lower toxicity and environmental impact qualities of WBMs. This report describes the operational, environmental, and economic features of all three types of muds and discusses potential EPA regulatory barriers to wider use of SBMs.

  12. Identifying environmental health priorities in underserved populations: a study of rural versus urban communities

    PubMed Central

    Bernhard, M.C.; Evans, M.B.; Kent, S.T.; Johnson, E.; Threadgill, S.L.; Tyson, S.; Becker, S.M.; Gohlke, J.M.

    2013-01-01

    Objectives Understanding and effectively addressing persistent health disparities in minority communities requires a clear picture of members’ concerns and priorities. This study was intended to engage residents in urban and rural communities in order to identify environmental health priorities. Specific emphasis was placed on how the communities defined the term environment, their perceptions of environmental exposures as affecting their health, specific priorities in their communities, and differences in urban versus rural populations. Study design A community-engaged approach was used to develop and implement focus groups and compare environmental health priorities in urban versus rural communities. Methods A total of eight focus groups were conducted: four in rural and four in urban communities. Topics included defining the term environment, how the environment may affect health, and environmental priorities within their communities, using both open discussion and a predefined list. Data were analysed both qualitatively and quantitatively to identify patterns and trends. Results There were important areas of overlap in priorities between urban and rural communities; both emphasized the importance of the social environment and shared a concern over air pollution from industrial sources. In contrast, for urban focus groups, abandoned houses and their social and physical sequelae were a high priority while concerns about adequate sewer and water services and road maintenance were high priorities in rural communities. Conclusions This study was able to identify environmental health priorities in urban versus rural minority communities. In contrast to some previous risk perception research, the results of this study suggest prioritization of tangible, known risks in everyday life instead of rare, disaster-related events, even in communities that have recently experienced devastating damage from tornadoes. The findings can help inform future efforts to study

  13. Environmentally induced epigenetic toxicity: potential public health concerns

    PubMed Central

    Marczylo, Emma L.; Jacobs, Miriam N.; Gant, Timothy W.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Throughout our lives, epigenetic processes shape our development and enable us to adapt to a constantly changing environment. Identifying and understanding environmentally induced epigenetic change(s) that may lead to adverse outcomes is vital for protecting public health. This review, therefore, examines the present understanding of epigenetic mechanisms involved in the mammalian life cycle, evaluates the current evidence for environmentally induced epigenetic toxicity in human cohorts and rodent models and highlights the research considerations and implications of this emerging knowledge for public health and regulatory toxicology. Many hundreds of studies have investigated such toxicity, yet relatively few have demonstrated a mechanistic association among specific environmental exposures, epigenetic changes and adverse health outcomes in human epidemiological cohorts and/or rodent models. While this small body of evidence is largely composed of exploratory in vivo high-dose range studies, it does set a precedent for the existence of environmentally induced epigenetic toxicity. Consequently, there is worldwide recognition of this phenomenon, and discussion on how to both guide further scientific research towards a greater mechanistic understanding of environmentally induced epigenetic toxicity in humans, and translate relevant research outcomes into appropriate regulatory policies for effective public health protection. PMID:27278298

  14. 7 CFR 170.6 - How are potential market participants identified for the USDA Farmers Market?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ...? Potential market participants are recruited by AMS market management through local farm organizations in the... 7 Agriculture 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false How are potential market participants identified for the USDA Farmers Market? 170.6 Section 170.6 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of...

  15. Use of Event-Related Potentials to Identify Language and Reading Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Molfese, Victoria J.; Molfese, Dennis L.; Beswick, Jennifer L.; Jacobi-Vessels, Jill; Molfese, Peter J.; Molnar, Andrew E.; Wagner, Mary C.; Haines, Brittany L.

    2008-01-01

    The extent to which oral language and emergent literacy skills are influenced by event-related potential measures of phonological processing was examined. Results revealed that event-related potential responses identify differences in letter naming but not receptive language skills.

  16. Surveillance methods for identifying, characterizing, and monitoring tobacco products: potential reduced exposure products as an example

    PubMed Central

    O’Connor, Richard J.; Cummings, K. Michael; Rees, Vaughan W.; Connolly, Gregory N.; Norton, Kaila J.; Sweanor, David; Parascandola, Mark; Hatsukami, Dorothy K.; Shields, Peter G.

    2015-01-01

    Tobacco products are widely sold and marketed, yet integrated data systems for identifying, tracking, and characterizing products are lacking. Tobacco manufacturers recently have developed potential reduction exposure products (PREPs) with implied or explicit health claims. Currently, a systematic approach for identifying, defining, and evaluating PREPs sold at the local, state or national levels in the US has not been developed. Identifying, characterizing, and monitoring new tobacco products could be greatly enhanced with a responsive surveillance system. This paper critically reviews available surveillance data sources for identifying and tracking tobacco products, including PREPs, evaluating strengths and weaknesses of potential data sources in light of their reliability and validity. Absent regulations mandating disclosure of product-specific information, it is likely that public health officials will need to rely on a variety of imperfect data sources to help identify, characterize, and monitor tobacco products, including PREPs. PMID:19959680

  17. Surveillance methods for identifying, characterizing, and monitoring tobacco products: potential reduced exposure products as an example.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Richard J; Cummings, K Michael; Rees, Vaughan W; Connolly, Gregory N; Norton, Kaila J; Sweanor, David; Parascandola, Mark; Hatsukami, Dorothy K; Shields, Peter G

    2009-12-01

    Tobacco products are widely sold and marketed, yet integrated data systems for identifying, tracking, and characterizing products are lacking. Tobacco manufacturers recently have developed potential reduced exposure products (PREP) with implied or explicit health claims. Currently, a systematic approach for identifying, defining, and evaluating PREPs sold at the local, state, or national levels in the United States has not been developed. Identifying, characterizing, and monitoring new tobacco products could be greatly enhanced with a responsive surveillance system. This article critically reviews available surveillance data sources for identifying and tracking tobacco products, including PREPs, evaluating strengths and weaknesses of potential data sources in light of their reliability and validity. With the absence of regulations mandating disclosure of product-specific information, it is likely that public health officials will need to rely on a variety of imperfect data sources to help identify, characterize, and monitor tobacco products, including PREPs.

  18. Identifying the effects of environmental and policy change interventions on healthy eating.

    PubMed

    Bowen, Deborah J; Barrington, Wendy E; Beresford, Shirley A A

    2015-03-18

    Obesity has been characterized as a disease. Strategies to change the incidence and prevalence of this disease include a focus on changing physical and social environments, over and above individual-level strategies, using a multilevel or systems approach. We focus our attention on evidence published between 2008 and 2013 on the effectiveness of interventions in nutrition environments, i.e., environmental interventions designed to influence the intake of healthful foods and amount of energy consumed. An overarching socioecological framework that has guided much of this research was used to characterize different types of environmental strategies. Intervention examples in each area of the framework are provided with a discussion of key findings and related conceptual and methodological issues. The emphasis in this review is on adults, but clearly this literature is only one part of the picture. Much research has been focused on child-specific interventions, including environmental interventions. Some evidence suggests effectiveness of policy-based or other types of interventions that aim to regulate or restructure environments to promote healthy dietary choices, and these strategies would apply to both children and adults. Opportunities to evaluate these policy changes in adults' social and physical environments are rare. Much of the existing research has been with children. As conceptual and methodological issues continue to be identified and resolved, we hope that future research in this domain will identify environmental strategies that can be included in intervention toolboxes to build healthy nutrition environments for both adults and children.

  19. Identifying the Effects of Environmental and Policy Change Interventions on Healthy Eating

    PubMed Central

    Bowen, Deborah J.; Barrington, Wendy E.; Beresford, Shirley A.A.

    2015-01-01

    Obesity has been characterized as a disease. Strategies to change the incidence and prevalence of this disease include a focus on changing physical and social environments, over and above individual-level strategies, using a multilevel or systems approach. We focus our attention on evidence published between 2008 and 2013 on the effectiveness of interventions in nutrition environments, i.e., environmental interventions designed to influence the intake of healthful foods and amount of energy consumed. An overarching socioecological framework that has guided much of this research was used to characterize different types of environmental strategies. Intervention examples in each area of the framework are provided with a discussion of key findings and related conceptual and methodological issues. The emphasis in this review is on adults, but clearly this literature is only one part of the picture. Much research has been focused on child-specific interventions, including environmental interventions. Some evidence suggests effectiveness of policy-based or other types of interventions that aim to regulate or restructure environments to promote healthy dietary choices, and these strategies would apply to both children and adults. Opportunities to evaluate these policy changes in adults’ social and physical environments are rare. Much of the existing research has been with children. As conceptual and methodological issues continue to be identified and resolved, we hope that future research in this domain will identify environmental strategies that can be included in intervention toolboxes to build healthy nutrition environments for both adults and children. PMID:25785891

  20. Release of genetically engineered insects: a framework to identify potential ecological effects

    PubMed Central

    David, Aaron S; Kaser, Joe M; Morey, Amy C; Roth, Alexander M; Andow, David A

    2013-01-01

    Genetically engineered (GE) insects have the potential to radically change pest management worldwide. With recent approvals of GE insect releases, there is a need for a synthesized framework to evaluate their potential ecological and evolutionary effects. The effects may occur in two phases: a transitory phase when the focal population changes in density, and a steady state phase when it reaches a new, constant density. We review potential effects of a rapid change in insect density related to population outbreaks, biological control, invasive species, and other GE organisms to identify a comprehensive list of potential ecological and evolutionary effects of GE insect releases. We apply this framework to the Anopheles gambiae mosquito – a malaria vector being engineered to suppress the wild mosquito population – to identify effects that may occur during the transitory and steady state phases after release. Our methodology reveals many potential effects in each phase, perhaps most notably those dealing with immunity in the transitory phase, and with pathogen and vector evolution in the steady state phase. Importantly, this framework identifies knowledge gaps in mosquito ecology. Identifying effects in the transitory and steady state phases allows more rigorous identification of the potential ecological effects of GE insect release. PMID:24198955

  1. Release of genetically engineered insects: a framework to identify potential ecological effects.

    PubMed

    David, Aaron S; Kaser, Joe M; Morey, Amy C; Roth, Alexander M; Andow, David A

    2013-10-01

    Genetically engineered (GE) insects have the potential to radically change pest management worldwide. With recent approvals of GE insect releases, there is a need for a synthesized framework to evaluate their potential ecological and evolutionary effects. The effects may occur in two phases: a transitory phase when the focal population changes in density, and a steady state phase when it reaches a new, constant density. We review potential effects of a rapid change in insect density related to population outbreaks, biological control, invasive species, and other GE organisms to identify a comprehensive list of potential ecological and evolutionary effects of GE insect releases. We apply this framework to the Anopheles gambiae mosquito - a malaria vector being engineered to suppress the wild mosquito population - to identify effects that may occur during the transitory and steady state phases after release. Our methodology reveals many potential effects in each phase, perhaps most notably those dealing with immunity in the transitory phase, and with pathogen and vector evolution in the steady state phase. Importantly, this framework identifies knowledge gaps in mosquito ecology. Identifying effects in the transitory and steady state phases allows more rigorous identification of the potential ecological effects of GE insect release.

  2. Potential for use of environmental factors in urban planning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teixeira da Silva, Ricardo; van der Ploeg, Martine; van Delden, Hedwig; Fleskens, Luuk

    2016-04-01

    Projections for population growth estimate, on top of the current 7.4 billion world population, an increase of 2 billion people for the next 40 years. It is also projected that 66 per cent of the world population in 2050 will live in urban areas. To accommodate the urban population growth cities are changing continuously land cover to urban areas. Such changes are a threat for natural resources and food production systems stability and capability to provide food and other functions. However, little has been done concerning a rational soil management for food production in urban and peri-urban areas. This study focuses on the assessment of soil lost due to urban expansion and discusses the potential loss regarding the quality of the soil for food production and environmental functions. It is relevant to increase the knowledge on the role of soils in peri-urban areas and in the interaction of physical, environmental and social factors. The methodology consists of assessing the soil quality in and around urban and peri-urban areas. It focuses particularly on the physical properties and the environmental factors, for two periods of time and account the potential losses due to urban expansion. This project is on-going, therefore current advances will be presented and will look for a discussion on the contribution of soil quality for decision-making and land management in urban and peri-urban areas.

  3. Acrolein environmental levels and potential for human exposure.

    PubMed

    Faroon, O; Roney, N; Taylor, J; Ashizawa, A; Lumpkin, M H; Plewak, D J

    2008-09-01

    This article provides environmental information on acrolein including environmental fate, potential for human exposure, analytical methods, and a listing of regulations and advisories. Acrolein may be released to the environment in emissions and effluents from its manufacturing and use facilities, in emissions from combustion processes (including cigarette smoking and combustion of petrochemical fuels), from direct application to water and waste water as a slimicide and aquatic herbicide, as a photooxidation product of various hydrocarbon pollutants found in air (including propylene and 1,3-butadiene), and from land disposal of some organic waste materials. Acrolein is a reactive compound and is unstable in the environment. The general population may be exposed to acrolein through inhalation of contaminated air and through ingestion of certain foods. Important sources of acrolein exposure are via inhalation of tobacco smoke and environmental tobacco smoke and via the overheating of fats contained in all living matter. There is potential for exposure to acrolein in many occupational settings as the result of its varied uses and its formation during the combustion and pyrolysis of materials such as wood, petrochemical fuels, and plastics. PMID:19039083

  4. Rhamnolipid biosurfactants: production and their potential in environmental biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Pornsunthorntawee, Orathai; Wongpanit, Panya; Rujiravanit, Ratana

    2010-01-01

    Certain species of Pseudomonas are able to produce and excrete a heterogeneous mixture of biosurfactants with a glycolipid structure. These are known as rhamnolipids. In the biosynthetic process, rhamnolipid production is governed by both the genetic regulatory system and central metabolic pathways involving fatty acid synthesis, activated sugars and enzymes. These surface-active compounds can be produced from various types of low-cost substrates, such as carbohydrates, vegetable oils and even industrial wastes, leading to a good potential for commercial exploitation. By controlling environmental factors and growth conditions, high rhamnolipid production yields can be achieved. Rhamnolipids provide good physicochemical properties in terms of surface activities, stabilities and emulsification activities. Moreover, these surface-active compounds exhibit antimicrobial activities against both phytopathogenic fungi and bacteria. Due to an increase in concerns about environmental protection and the distinguishing properties of the rhamnolipids, it seems that rhamnolipids meet the criteria for several industrial and environmental applications, such as environmental remediation and biological control. Rhamnolipids have already been commercially produced, making them more economically competitive with synthetic surfactants. In the near future, rhamnolipids may be commercially successful biosurfactants.

  5. Potential environmental impacts of offshore UK geological CO2 storage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carruthers, Kit; Wilkinson, Mark; Butler, Ian B.

    2016-04-01

    Geological carbon dioxide storage in the United Kingdom (UK) will almost certainly be entirely offshore, with storage for over 100 years' worth of UK CO2 output from industry and power generation in offshore depleted hydrocarbon fields and sandstone formations. Storage capacity can be limited by the increase in formation water pressure upon CO2 injection, therefore removal and disposal of formation waters ('produced waters') can control formation water pressures, and increase CO2 storage capacity. Formation waters could also be produced during CO2-Enhanced Oil Recovery (CO2-EOR). The precedent from current UK North Sea hydrocarbon extraction is to 'overboard' produced waters into the ocean, under current regulations. However, laboratory and field scale studies, with an emphasis on the effects on onshore shallow potable groundwaters, have shown that CO2 dissolution in formation waters during injection and storage acidifies the waters and promotes mobilisation from the reservoir sandstones of major and trace elements into solution, including heavy metals. Eight of these elements are specifically identified in the UK as potentially hazardous to the marine environment (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, Zn). A comparison was made between the concentrations of these eight trace elements in the results of laboratory batch leaching experiments of reservoir rock in CO2-rich saline solutions and overboarded waters from current offshore UK hydrocarbon production. This showed that, taking the North Sea as a whole, the experimental results fall within the range of concentrations of current oil and gas activities. However, on a field-by-field basis, concentrations may be enhanced with CO2 storage, such that they are higher than waters normally produced from a particular field. Lead, nickel and zinc showed the greatest concentration increases in the experiments with the addition of CO2, with the other five elements of interest not showing any strong trends with respect to enhanced CO2

  6. Environmental engineering of navigation infrastructure: a survey of existing practices, challenges, and potential opportunities.

    PubMed

    Fredette, Thomas J; Foran, Christy M; Brasfield, Sandra M; Suedel, Burton C

    2012-01-01

    Navigation infrastructure such as channels, jetties, river training structures, and lock-and-dam facilities are primary components of a safe and efficient water transportation system. Planning for such infrastructure has until recently involved efforts to minimize impacts on the environment through a standardized environmental assessment process. More recently, consistent with environmental sustainability concepts, planners have begun to consider how such projects can also be constructed with environmental enhancements. This study examined the existing institutional conditions within the US Army Corps of Engineers and cooperating federal agencies relative to incorporating environmental enhancements into navigation infrastructure projects. The study sought to (1) investigate institutional attitudes towards the environmental enhancement of navigation infrastructure (EENI) concept, (2) identify potential impediments to implementation and solutions to such impediments, (3) identify existing navigation projects designed with the express intent of enhancing environmental benefit in addition to the primary project purpose, (4) identify innovative ideas for increasing environmental benefits for navigation projects, (5) identify needs for additional technical information or research, and (6) identify laws, regulations, and policies that both support and hinder such design features. The principal investigation tool was an Internet-based survey with 53 questions. The survey captured a wide range of perspectives on the EENI concept including ideas, concerns, research needs, and relevant laws and policies. Study recommendations included further promotion of the concept of EENI to planners and designers, documentation of existing projects, initiation of pilot studies on some of the innovative ideas provided through the survey, and development of national goals and interagency agreements to facilitate implementation.

  7. Environmental Health Related Socio-Spatial Inequalities: Identifying “Hotspots” of Environmental Burdens and Social Vulnerability

    PubMed Central

    Shrestha, Rehana; Flacke, Johannes; Martinez, Javier; van Maarseveen, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Differential exposure to multiple environmental burdens and benefits and their distribution across a population with varying vulnerability can contribute heavily to health inequalities. Particularly relevant are areas with high cumulative burdens and high social vulnerability termed as “hotspots”. This paper develops an index-based approach to assess these multiple burdens and benefits in combination with vulnerability factors at detailed intra-urban level. The method is applied to the city of Dortmund, Germany. Using non-spatial and spatial methods we assessed inequalities and identified “hotspot” areas in the city. We found modest inequalities burdening higher vulnerable groups in Dortmund (CI = −0.020 at p < 0.05). At the detailed intra-urban level, however, inequalities showed strong geographical patterns. Large numbers of “hotspots” exist in the northern part of the city compared to the southern part. A holistic assessment, particularly at a detailed local level, considering both environmental burdens and benefits and their distribution across the population with the different vulnerability, is essential to inform environmental justice debates and to mobilize local stakeholders. Locating “hotspot” areas at this detailed spatial level can serve as a basis to develop interventions that target vulnerable groups to ensure a health conducive equal environment. PMID:27409625

  8. Identifying potential adverse effects using the web: a new approach to medical hypothesis generation

    PubMed Central

    Benton, Adrian; Ungar, Lyle; Hill, Shawndra; Hennessy, Sean; Mao, Jun; Chung, Annie; Leonard, Charles E.; Holmes, John H.

    2011-01-01

    Medical message boards are online resources where users with a particular condition exchange information, some of which they might not otherwise share with medical providers. Many of these boards contain a large number of posts and contain patient opinions and experiences that would be potentially useful to clinicians and researchers. We present an approach that is able to collect a corpus of medical message board posts, de-identify the corpus, and extract information on potential adverse drug effects discussed by users. Using a corpus of posts to breast cancer message boards, we identified drug event pairs using co-occurrence statistics. We then compared the identified drug event pairs with adverse effects listed on the package labels of tamoxifen, anastrozole, exemestane, and letrozole. Of the pairs identified by our system, 75–80% were documented on the drug labels. Some of the undocumented pairs may represent previously unidentified adverse drug effects. PMID:21820083

  9. Potentials and Limitations of Wireless Sensor Networks for Environmental

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bumberger, J.; Remmler, P.; Hutschenreuther, T.; Toepfer, H.; Dietrich, P.

    2013-12-01

    Understanding and dealing with environmental challenges worldwide requires suitable interdisciplinary methods and a level of expertise to be able to implement these solutions, so that the lifestyles of future generations can be secured in the years to come. To characterize environmental systems it is necessary to identify and describe processes with suitable methods. Environmental systems are often characterized by their high heterogeneity, so individual measurements for their complete representation are often not sufficient. The application of wireless sensor networks in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems offer significant benefits as a better consideration of the local test conditions becomes possible. This can be essential for the monitoring of heterogeneous environmental systems. Significant advantages in the application of wireless sensor networks are their self-organizing behaviour, resulting in a major reduction in installation and operation costs and time. In addition, a point measurement with a sensor is significantly improved by measuring at several points. It is also possible to perform analog and digital signal processing and computation on the basis of the measured data close to the sensor. Hence, a significant reduction of the data to be transmitted can be achieved which leads to a better energy management of sensor nodes. Furthermore, their localization via satellite, the miniaturization of the nodes and long-term energy self-sufficiency are current topics under investigation. In this presentation, the possibilities and limitations of the applicability of wireless sensor networks for long-term environmental monitoring are presented. To underline the importance of this future technology, example concepts are given in the field of near-surface geothermics, groundwater observation, measurement of spatial radiation intensity and air humidity on soils, measurement of matter fluxes, greenhouse gas measurement, and landslide monitoring.

  10. Assessing potential future environmental legislative, regulatory, and judicial events

    SciTech Connect

    Tonn, B.; Schweitzer, M.; Godfrey, G.; Wagner, C.; MacGregor, D.G.

    1998-03-01

    This report describes a methodology to proactively and methodically assess future potential environmental legislative, regulatory, and judicial events. This is an important endeavor because new, revised, and reauthorized legislation, proposed and final regulations, and outcomes of judicial proceedings have the potential to impose new actions, directions, and costs of many organizations in the United States (related to capital investments, operating approaches, and research and development) and to affect the quality of life. The electric power industry is particularly impacted by environmental regulatory events (the term `regulatory` is used to cover all the types of legal events listed above), as the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity affects air and water quality, require disposal of solid, hazardous, and radioactive wastes, and at times, impacts wetlands and endangered species. Numerous potential regulatory events, such as the reauthorization of the Clean Water Act and new regulations associated with global climate change, can greatly affect the power industry. Organizations poised to respond proactively to such events will improve their competitive positions, reduce their costs in the long-term, and improve their public images.

  11. Using Social Media Data to Identify Potential Candidates for Drug Repurposing: A Feasibility Study

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Hongfang; Nambisan, Priya

    2016-01-01

    Background Drug repurposing (defined as discovering new indications for existing drugs) could play a significant role in drug development, especially considering the declining success rates of developing novel drugs. Typically, new indications for existing medications are identified by accident. However, new technologies and a large number of available resources enable the development of systematic approaches to identify and validate drug-repurposing candidates. Patients today report their experiences with medications on social media and reveal side effects as well as beneficial effects of those medications. Objective Our aim was to assess the feasibility of using patient reviews from social media to identify potential candidates for drug repurposing. Methods We retrieved patient reviews of 180 medications from an online forum, WebMD. Using dictionary-based and machine learning approaches, we identified disease names in the reviews. Several publicly available resources were used to exclude comments containing known indications and adverse drug effects. After manually reviewing some of the remaining comments, we implemented a rule-based system to identify beneficial effects. Results The dictionary-based system and machine learning system identified 2178 and 6171 disease names respectively in 64,616 patient comments. We provided a list of 10 common patterns that patients used to report any beneficial effects or uses of medication. After manually reviewing the comments tagged by our rule-based system, we identified five potential drug repurposing candidates. Conclusions To our knowledge, this is the first study to consider using social media data to identify drug-repurposing candidates. We found that even a rule-based system, with a limited number of rules, could identify beneficial effect mentions in patient comments. Our preliminary study shows that social media has the potential to be used in drug repurposing. PMID:27311964

  12. Using peat for energy: Potential environmental restraints. Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reed, R. M.; Voorhees, L. D.; Mulholland, P. J.

    Serious consideration is being given to using peat as an energy resource in Minnesota, North Carolina, Florida, and some New England States. Potential environmental constraints for using peat as an energy resource are associated with disruption of important regional wetland ecosystems. Mining peatlands may significantly modify ground and surface water hydrology, degrade water quality in downstream receiving systems, contribute to the deterioration of local air quality, disrupt or eliminate plant and animal populations having specialized requirements and limited distributions, and destroy unique wetland ecosystems representing important scientific and educational resources. Careful selection of peatlands to be developed and application of appropriate mitigation and monitoring programs will be necessary to offset these impacts.

  13. Prioritizing chemicals for environmental management in China based on screening of potential risks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Xiangyi; Mao, Yan; Sun, Jinye; Shen, Yingwa

    2014-03-01

    The rapid development of China's chemical industry has created increasing pressure to improve the environmental management of chemicals. To bridge the large gap between the use and safe management of chemicals, we performed a comprehensive review of the international methods used to prioritize chemicals for environmental management. By comparing domestic and foreign methods, we confirmed the presence of this gap and identified potential solutions. Based on our literature review, we developed an appropriate screening method that accounts for the unique characteristics of chemical use within China. The proposed method is based on an evaluation using nine indices of the potential hazard posed by a chemical: three environmental hazard indices (persistence, bioaccumulation, and eco-toxicity), four health hazard indices (acute toxicity, carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, and reproductive and developmental toxicity), and two environmental exposure hazard indices (chemical amount and utilization pattern). The results of our screening agree with results of previous efforts from around the world, confirming the validity of the new system. The classification method will help decisionmakers to prioritize and identify the chemicals with the highest environmental risk, thereby providing a basis for improving chemical management in China.

  14. In Vitro Screening of Environmental Chemicals Identifies Zearalenone as a Novel Substrate of the Placental BCRP/ABCG2 Transporter

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Jingcheng; Wang, Qi; Bircsak, Kristin M.; Wen, Xia; Aleksunes, Lauren M.

    2015-01-01

    The BCRP (ABCG2) transporter is responsible for the efflux of chemicals from the placenta to the maternal circulation. Inhibition of BCRP activity could enhance exposure of offspring to environmental chemicals leading to altered reproductive, endocrine, and metabolic development. The purpose of this study was to characterize environmental chemicals as potential substrates and inhibitors of the human placental BCRP transporter. The interaction of BCRP with a panel of environmental chemicals was assessed using the ATPase and inverted plasma membrane vesicle assays as well as a cell-based fluorescent substrate competition assay. Human HEK cells transfected with wild-type BCRP or the Q141K genetic variant, as well as BeWo placental cells that endogenously express BCRP were used to further test inhibitor and substrate interactions. To varying degrees, the eleven chemicals inhibited BCRP activity in activated ATPase membranes and inverted membrane vesicles. Further, genistein, zearalenone, and tributyltin increased the retention of the fluorescent BCRP substrate, Hoechst 33342, between 50–100% in BeWo cells. Additional experiments characterized the mycotoxin and environmental estrogen, zearalenone, as a novel substrate and inhibitor of BCRP in WT-BCRP and BeWo cells. Interestingly, the BCRP genetic variant Q141K exhibited reduced efflux of zearalenone compared to the wild-type protein. Taken together, screening assays and direct quantification experiments identified zearalenone as a novel human BCRP substrate. Additional in vivo studies are needed to directly determine whether placental BCRP prevents fetal exposure to zearalenone. PMID:26052432

  15. 7 CFR 170.6 - How are potential market participants identified for the USDA Farmers Market?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... the USDA Farmers Market? 170.6 Section 170.6 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture... AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) MISCELLANEOUS MARKETING PRACTICES UNDER THE AGRICULTURAL MARKETING ACT OF 1946 USDA FARMERS MARKET § 170.6 How are potential market participants identified for the USDA Farmers...

  16. 7 CFR 170.6 - How are potential market participants identified for the USDA Farmers Market?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... the USDA Farmers Market? 170.6 Section 170.6 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture... AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) MISCELLANEOUS MARKETING PRACTICES UNDER THE AGRICULTURAL MARKETING ACT OF 1946 USDA FARMERS MARKET § 170.6 How are potential market participants identified for the USDA Farmers...

  17. 7 CFR 170.6 - How are potential market participants identified for the USDA Farmers Market?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... the USDA Farmers Market? 170.6 Section 170.6 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture... AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) MISCELLANEOUS MARKETING PRACTICES UNDER THE AGRICULTURAL MARKETING ACT OF 1946 USDA FARMERS MARKET § 170.6 How are potential market participants identified for the USDA Farmers...

  18. 7 CFR 170.6 - How are potential market participants identified for the USDA Farmers Market?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... the USDA Farmers Market? 170.6 Section 170.6 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture... AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) MISCELLANEOUS MARKETING PRACTICES UNDER THE AGRICULTURAL MARKETING ACT OF 1946 USDA FARMERS MARKET § 170.6 How are potential market participants identified for the USDA Farmers...

  19. High Incidence of Mammalian Orthoreovirus Identified by Environmental Surveillance in Taiwan

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Sheng-Wen; Yang, Jyh-Yuan; Wang, Jen-Ren

    2015-01-01

    Wild poliovirus (WPV) persists in diverse locales worldwide, spreading outward from endemic areas. In response to the international threat of WPV transmission and changes in the national vaccination policy, we established an environmental surveillance system to monitor the circulation of wild and vaccine-related poliovirus in Taiwan. From July 2012 to December 2013, we collected sewage specimens every month from 10 sewage treatment plants located throughout Taiwan. The specimens were concentrated by the two-phase separation method and then inoculated into L20B, RD, and A549 cells for virus isolation. Viral isolates were identified and serotyped by immunofluorescence assay or molecular analysis. A total of 300 sewage samples were collected, and the results showed 163 samples (54.3%) were positive for virus, and 268 isolates were identified. Among these, 75 samples (25%) were positive for enterovirus (EV), but no poliovirus was found. In addition, 92 isolates were identified as enteroviruses and the most common serotypes were coxsackievirus B4, coxsackievirus B3, and coxsackievirus B2. Interestingly, 102 (34%) and 82 (27.3%) specimens were positive for mammalian orthoreovirus (MRV) and adenovirus, respectively. This study confirmed that sewage surveillance can be a useful additional modality for monitoring the possible presence of wild-type or vaccine-derived poliovirus in wastewater, and can indicate the current types of viruses circulating in the population. Furthermore, since MRV was found in children with acute necrotizing encephalopathy and meningitis, the high incidence of MRV detected by environmental surveillance warrants further investigation. PMID:26555962

  20. Environmental Association Analyses Identify Candidates for Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Glycine soja, the Wild Progenitor of Cultivated Soybeans

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Justin E.; Kono, Thomas J. Y.; Stupar, Robert M.; Kantar, Michael B.; Morrell, Peter L.

    2016-01-01

    Natural populations across a species range demonstrate population structure owing to neutral processes such as localized origins of mutations and migration limitations. Selection also acts on a subset of loci, contributing to local adaptation. An understanding of the genetic basis of adaptation to local environmental conditions is a fundamental goal in basic biological research. When applied to crop wild relatives, this same research provides the opportunity to identify adaptive genetic variation that may be used to breed for crops better adapted to novel or changing environments. The present study explores an ex situ conservation collection, the USDA germplasm collection, genotyped at 32,416 SNPs to identify population structure and test for associations with bioclimatic and biophysical variables in Glycine soja, the wild progenitor of Glycine max (soybean). Candidate loci were detected that putatively contribute to adaptation to abiotic stresses. The identification of potentially adaptive variants in this ex situ collection may permit a more targeted use of germplasm collections. PMID:26818076

  1. Environmental Association Analyses Identify Candidates for Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Glycine soja, the Wild Progenitor of Cultivated Soybeans.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Justin E; Kono, Thomas J Y; Stupar, Robert M; Kantar, Michael B; Morrell, Peter L

    2016-04-07

    Natural populations across a species range demonstrate population structure owing to neutral processes such as localized origins of mutations and migration limitations. Selection also acts on a subset of loci, contributing to local adaptation. An understanding of the genetic basis of adaptation to local environmental conditions is a fundamental goal in basic biological research. When applied to crop wild relatives, this same research provides the opportunity to identify adaptive genetic variation that may be used to breed for crops better adapted to novel or changing environments. The present study explores an ex situ conservation collection, the USDA germplasm collection, genotyped at 32,416 SNPs to identify population structure and test for associations with bioclimatic and biophysical variables in Glycine soja, the wild progenitor of Glycine max (soybean). Candidate loci were detected that putatively contribute to adaptation to abiotic stresses. The identification of potentially adaptive variants in this ex situ collection may permit a more targeted use of germplasm collections.

  2. Environmental potential of carbon dioxide utilization in the polyurethane supply chain.

    PubMed

    von der Assen, Niklas; Sternberg, André; Kätelhön, Arne; Bardow, André

    2015-01-01

    Potential environmental benefits have been identified for the utilization of carbon dioxide (CO2) as a feedstock for polyurethanes (PUR). CO2 can be utilized in the PUR supply chain in a wide variety of ways ranging from direct CO2 utilization for polyols as a PUR precursor, to indirect CO2 utilization for basic chemicals in the PUR supply chain. In this paper, we present a systematic exploration and environmental evaluation of all direct and indirect CO2 utilization options for flexible and rigid PUR foams. The analysis is based on an LCA-based PUR supply chain optimization model using linear programming to identify PUR production with minimal environmental impacts. The direct utilization of CO2 for polyols allows for large specific impact reductions of up to 4 kg CO2-eq. and 2 kg oil-eq. per kg CO2 utilized, but the amounts of CO2 that can be utilized are limited to 0.30 kg CO2 per kg PUR. The amount of CO2 utilized can be increased to up to 1.7 kg CO2 per kg PUR by indirect CO2 utilization in the PUR supply chain. Indirect CO2 utilization requires hydrogen (H2). The environmental impacts of H2 production strongly affect the impact of indirect CO2 utilization in PUR. To achieve optimal environmental performance under the current fossil-based H2 generation, PUR production can only utilize much less CO2 than theoretically possible. Thus, utilizing as much CO2 in the PUR supply chain as possible is not always environmentally optimal. Clean H2 production is required to exploit the full CO2 utilization potential for environmental impact reduction in PUR production.

  3. A two-scale system to identify environmental risk of chemical industry clusters.

    PubMed

    Huang, Lei; Wan, Wenbo; Li, Fengying; Li, Bing; Yang, Jie; Bi, Jun

    2011-02-15

    Recent reform policies in China have spurred rapid industrial development. This has led to a large increase in chemical accidents, which may have catastrophic impacts on the local population and environment. As industrial facilities become more complex, it becomes more difficult to control and mitigate the risks associated with chemical accidents. In this study, we propose a two-scale system for assessing the environmental risk level of chemical industry clusters. A series of risk early warning indices for both the plant-specific level and regional clusters level are used in this system. Firstly, at the enterprise scale, a risk early warning index is constructed using inputs such as the presence of hazardous materials, the operation of critical plant equipment and the efficiency of extant management techniques. Secondly, an index for quantifying risks on regional scales depends on environmental, economic, and social conditions as well as the specific enterprises' components. As an illustration, the system is applied to a case study involving a five-plant chemical industry cluster in Jiangsu province, China. A geographical information system-based methodology is used to obtain a composite index score for each mesh of the five plants. The results prove that the proposed two-scale early warning system can efficiently identify environmental risk and help guide emergency responses at both the enterprise and cluster level.

  4. A case-control study to identify environmental risk factors for hand, foot, and mouth disease outbreaks in Beijing.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xiaona; Sun, Ying; Lin, Changying; Jia, Lei; Wu, Qingrui; Li, Xinyu; Wang, Quanyi

    2014-01-01

    A matched case-control study was conducted in Beijing to identify the relative importance of major environmental risk factors for outbreaks of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD). A case was defined as a kindergarten class with at least 1 HFMD outbreak. As a control, a kindergarten class that did not experience an HFMD outbreak was used. To identify potential transmission factors, the control group was divided into 2 subgroups: a sporadic group and an HFMD-negative group. We collected data for 8 environmental factors and basic information of each class. The correlations between the suspected environmental factors and HFMD outbreaks were analyzed. Thirty outbreak classes, 19 sporadic classes, and 30 HFMD-negative classes were enrolled. Class grade, indoor solar radiation, and ultraviolet (UV) radiation revealed significant differences among the 3 groups. After controlling for other factors, UV radiation (adjusted β = -0.42) and class grade (adjusted β = -0.46) as protective factors and temperature (adjusted β = 0.31) as a risk factor were significantly associated with the attack rate by multiple linear regression analysis. Logistic regression analysis showed that the probability of an HFMD outbreak in the lower grade was 6-fold greater than that in the higher grade (P = 0.0380, odds ratio = 0.157, 95% confidence interval = 0.027-0.903). We identified UV radiation and class grade as protective factors that were associated with the epidemic intensity in Beijing. However, more data is needed to evaluate the relationship between these factors and HFMD outbreaks.

  5. Castor bean (Ricinus communis L.) as a potential environmental bioindicator.

    PubMed

    Mendes, M G; Santos Junior, C D; Dias, A C C; Bonetti, A M

    2015-10-21

    Biomonitoring of air quality using living organisms is a very interesting approach to environmental impact assessment. Organisms with a vast distribution, such as plants, are widely used for these purposes. The castor bean (Ricinus communis L.) is an oleaginous plant that can potentially be used as a bioindicator plant owing to its rapid growth and large leaves, which have a wide surface area of contact with the air and the pollutants therein. This study investigated the the bioindicator potential of the castor bean by performing several tests. We observed statistically significant differences in the concentrations of chlorophyll a and b in the leaves of plants in polluted areas compared to that in the control group plants, which were located in a pollution-free area. Leaves of plants in the former group had higher peroxidase activity and showed a greater buffering ability than those of plants in the control group. The pKa values obtained via buffering capacity tests, revealed the presence of aminoazobenzene (an industrial dye) in leaves of R. communis. Genotoxicity was evaluated through the comet assay technique and revealed that other than some differences in DNA fragmentation, there is no statistically significant difference in this parameter between places analyzed. Our data indicate that R. communis can be a highly useful biological indicator. Further, we hypothesized that the castor bean can be a potential candidate for phytoremediation owing its physiological buffering capacity when exposed to substantial pollution.

  6. CO2 Sequestration in Unmineable Coal Seams: Potential Environmental Impacts

    SciTech Connect

    Hedges, S.W.; Soong, Yee; McCarthy Jones, J.R.; Harrison, D.K.; Irdi, G.A.; Frommell, E.A.; Dilmore, R.M.; Pique, P.J.; Brown, T.D

    2005-09-01

    An initial investigation into the potential environmental impacts of CO2 sequestration in unmineable coal seams has been conducted, focusing on changes in the produced water during enhanced coalbed methane (ECBM) production using a CO2 injection process (CO2-ECBM). Two coals have been used in this study, the medium volatile bituminous Upper Freeport coal (APCS 1) of the Argonne Premium Coal Samples series, and an as-mined Pittsburgh #8 coal, which is a high volatile bituminous coal. Coal samples were reacted with either synthetic produced water or field collected produced water and gaseous carbon dioxide at 40 οC and 50 bar to evaluate the potential for mobilizing toxic metals during CO2-ECBM/sequestration. Microscopic and x-ray diffraction analysis of the post-reaction coal samples clearly show evidence of chemical reaction, and chemical analysis of the produced water shows substantial changes in composition. These results suggest that changes to the produced water chemistry and the potential for mobilizing toxic trace elements from coalbeds are important factors to be considered when evaluating deep, unmineable coal seams for CO2 sequestration.

  7. Potential environmental benefits from increased use of bioenergy in China.

    PubMed

    Fan, Shuyang; Freedman, Bill; Gao, Jixi

    2007-09-01

    Because of its large population and rapidly growing economy, China is confronting a serious energy shortage and daunting environmental problems. An increased use of fuels derived from biomass could relieve some demand for nonrenewable sources of energy while providing environmental benefits in terms of cleaner air and reduced emissions of greenhouse gases. In 2003, China generated about 25.9 x 10(8) metric tons of industrial waste (liquid + solid), 14.7 x 10(8) metric tons/year (t/y) of manure (livestock + human), 7.1 x 10(8) t/y of crop residues and food-processing byproducts, 2 x 10(8) t/y of fuelwood and wood manufacturing residues, and 1.5 x 10(8) t/y of municipal waste. Biofuels derived from these materials could potentially displace the use of about 4.12 x 10(8) t/y of coal and 3.75 x 10(6) t/y of petroleum. An increased bioenergy use of this magnitude would help to reduce the emissions of key air pollutants: SO(2 )by 11.6 x 10(6) t/y, NO(X) by 1.48 x 10(6) t/y, CO2 by 1.07 x 10(9) t/y, and CH4 by 50 x 10(6) t/y. The reduced SO(2) emissions would be equivalent to 54% of the national emissions in 2003, whereas those for CO2 are 30%. It is important to recognize, however, that large increases in the use of biomass fuels also could result in socioeconomic and environmental problems such as less production of food and damage caused to natural habitats. PMID:17638052

  8. Potential Environmental Benefits from Increased Use of Bioenergy in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fan, Shuyang; Freedman, Bill; Gao, Jixi

    2007-09-01

    Because of its large population and rapidly growing economy, China is confronting a serious energy shortage and daunting environmental problems. An increased use of fuels derived from biomass could relieve some demand for nonrenewable sources of energy while providing environmental benefits in terms of cleaner air and reduced emissions of greenhouse gases. In 2003, China generated about 25.9 × 108 metric tons of industrial waste (liquid + solid), 14.7 × 108 metric tons/year (t/y) of manure (livestock + human), 7.1 × 108 t/y of crop residues and food-processing byproducts, 2 × 108 t/y of fuelwood and wood manufacturing residues, and 1.5 × 108 t/y of municipal waste. Biofuels derived from these materials could potentially displace the use of about 4.12 × 108 t/y of coal and 3.75 × 106 t/y of petroleum. An increased bioenergy use of this magnitude would help to reduce the emissions of key air pollutants: SO2 by 11.6 × 106 t/y, NOX by 1.48 × 106 t/y, CO2 by 1.07 × 109 t/y, and CH4 by 50 × 106 t/y. The reduced SO2 emissions would be equivalent to 54% of the national emissions in 2003, whereas those for CO2 are 30%. It is important to recognize, however, that large increases in the use of biomass fuels also could result in socioeconomic and environmental problems such as less production of food and damage caused to natural habitats.

  9. Identifying potential conflict associated with oil and gas exploration in Texas state coastal waters: A multicriteria spatial analysis.

    PubMed

    Brody, Samuel D; Grover, Himanshu; Bernhardt, Sarah; Tang, Zhenghong; Whitaker, Bianca; Spence, Colin

    2006-10-01

    Recent interest in expanding offshore oil production within waters of the United States has been met with opposition by groups concerned with recreational, environmental, and aesthetic values associated with the coastal zone. Although the proposition of new oil platforms off the coast has generated conflict over how coastal resources should be utilized, little research has been conducted on where these user conflicts might be most intense and which sites might be most suitable for locating oil production facilities in light of the multiple, and often times, competing interests. In this article, we develop a multiple-criteria spatial decision support tool that identifies the potential degree of conflict associated with oil and gas production activities for existing lease tracts in the coastal margin of Texas. We use geographic information systems to measure and map a range of potentially competing representative values impacted by establishing energy extraction infrastructure and then spatially identify which leased tracts are the least contentious sites for oil and gas production in Texas state waters. Visual and statistical results indicate that oil and gas lease blocks within the study area vary in their potential to generate conflict among multiple stakeholders.

  10. Identifying potential conflict associated with oil and gas exploration in Texas state coastal waters: A multicriteria spatial analysis.

    PubMed

    Brody, Samuel D; Grover, Himanshu; Bernhardt, Sarah; Tang, Zhenghong; Whitaker, Bianca; Spence, Colin

    2006-10-01

    Recent interest in expanding offshore oil production within waters of the United States has been met with opposition by groups concerned with recreational, environmental, and aesthetic values associated with the coastal zone. Although the proposition of new oil platforms off the coast has generated conflict over how coastal resources should be utilized, little research has been conducted on where these user conflicts might be most intense and which sites might be most suitable for locating oil production facilities in light of the multiple, and often times, competing interests. In this article, we develop a multiple-criteria spatial decision support tool that identifies the potential degree of conflict associated with oil and gas production activities for existing lease tracts in the coastal margin of Texas. We use geographic information systems to measure and map a range of potentially competing representative values impacted by establishing energy extraction infrastructure and then spatially identify which leased tracts are the least contentious sites for oil and gas production in Texas state waters. Visual and statistical results indicate that oil and gas lease blocks within the study area vary in their potential to generate conflict among multiple stakeholders. PMID:16933080

  11. Identifying Potential Conflict Associated with Oil and Gas Exploration in Texas State Coastal Waters: A Multicriteria Spatial Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brody, Samuel D.; Grover, Himanshu; Bernhardt, Sarah; Tang, Zhenghong; Whitaker, Bianca; Spence, Colin

    2006-10-01

    Recent interest in expanding offshore oil production within waters of the United States has been met with opposition by groups concerned with recreational, environmental, and aesthetic values associated with the coastal zone. Although the proposition of new oil platforms off the coast has generated conflict over how coastal resources should be utilized, little research has been conducted on where these user conflicts might be most intense and which sites might be most suitable for locating oil production facilities in light of the multiple, and often times, competing interests. In this article, we develop a multiple-criteria spatial decision support tool that identifies the potential degree of conflict associated with oil and gas production activities for existing lease tracts in the coastal margin of Texas. We use geographic information systems to measure and map a range of potentially competing representative values impacted by establishing energy extraction infrastructure and then spatially identify which leased tracts are the least contentious sites for oil and gas production in Texas state waters. Visual and statistical results indicate that oil and gas lease blocks within the study area vary in their potential to generate conflict among multiple stakeholders.

  12. A Topology Potential-Based Method for Identifying Essential Proteins from PPI Networks.

    PubMed

    Li, Min; Lu, Yu; Wang, Jianxin; Wu, Fang-Xiang; Pan, Yi

    2015-01-01

    Essential proteins are indispensable for cellular life. It is of great significance to identify essential proteins that can help us understand the minimal requirements for cellular life and is also very important for drug design. However, identification of essential proteins based on experimental approaches are typically time-consuming and expensive. With the development of high-throughput technology in the post-genomic era, more and more protein-protein interaction data can be obtained, which make it possible to study essential proteins from the network level. There have been a series of computational approaches proposed for predicting essential proteins based on network topologies. Most of these topology based essential protein discovery methods were to use network centralities. In this paper, we investigate the essential proteins' topological characters from a completely new perspective. To our knowledge it is the first time that topology potential is used to identify essential proteins from a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network. The basic idea is that each protein in the network can be viewed as a material particle which creates a potential field around itself and the interaction of all proteins forms a topological field over the network. By defining and computing the value of each protein's topology potential, we can obtain a more precise ranking which reflects the importance of proteins from the PPI network. The experimental results show that topology potential-based methods TP and TP-NC outperform traditional topology measures: degree centrality (DC), betweenness centrality (BC), closeness centrality (CC), subgraph centrality (SC), eigenvector centrality (EC), information centrality (IC), and network centrality (NC) for predicting essential proteins. In addition, these centrality measures are improved on their performance for identifying essential proteins in biological network when controlled by topology potential.

  13. Potential ligand-binding residues in rat olfactory receptors identified by correlated mutation analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Singer, M. S.; Oliveira, L.; Vriend, G.; Shepherd, G. M.

    1995-01-01

    A family of G-protein-coupled receptors is believed to mediate the recognition of odor molecules. In order to identify potential ligand-binding residues, we have applied correlated mutation analysis to receptor sequences from the rat. This method identifies pairs of sequence positions where residues remain conserved or mutate in tandem, thereby suggesting structural or functional importance. The analysis supported molecular modeling studies in suggesting several residues in positions that were consistent with ligand-binding function. Two of these positions, dominated by histidine residues, may play important roles in ligand binding and could confer broad specificity to mammalian odor receptors. The presence of positive (overdominant) selection at some of the identified positions provides additional evidence for roles in ligand binding. Higher-order groups of correlated residues were also observed. Each group may interact with an individual ligand determinant, and combinations of these groups may provide a multi-dimensional mechanism for receptor diversity.

  14. Characterization of potential mineralization in Afghanistan: four permissive areas identified using imaging spectroscopy data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    King, Trude V.V.; Berger, Byron R.; Johnson, Michaela R.

    2014-01-01

    As part of the U.S. Geological Survey and Department of Defense Task Force for Business and Stability Operations natural resources revitalization activities in Afghanistan, four permissive areas for mineralization, Bamyan 1, Farah 1, Ghazni 1, and Ghazni 2, have been identified using imaging spectroscopy data. To support economic development, the areas of potential mineralization were selected on the occurrence of selected mineral assemblages mapped using the HyMap™ data (kaolinite, jarosite, hydrated silica, chlorite, epidote, iron-bearing carbonate, buddingtonite, dickite, and alunite) that may be indicative of past mineralization processes in areas with limited or no previous mineral resource studies. Approximately 30 sites were initially determined to be candidates for areas of potential mineralization. Additional criteria and material used to refine the selection and prioritization process included existing geologic maps, Landsat Thematic Mapper data, and published literature. The HyMapTM data were interpreted in the context of the regional geologic and tectonic setting and used the presence of alteration mineral assemblages to identify areas with the potential for undiscovered mineral resources. Further field-sampling, mapping, and supporting geochemical analyses are necessary to fully substantiate and verify the specific deposit types in the four areas of potential mineralization.

  15. Environmental surface cleanliness and the potential for contamination during handwashing.

    PubMed

    Griffith, Christopher J; Malik, Rifhat; Cooper, Rose A; Looker, Nick; Michaels, Barry

    2003-04-01

    Effective handwashing (including drying) is important in infection control. The ability of the various stages of handwashing to decrease skin-surface microbial counts has been documented. However, an important element, environmental surface cleanliness, and the potential for contamination of hands during the process has not been well studied or quantified. An examination of the adenosine triphosphate (a measure of residual organic soil), bacterial, and staphylococcal load on ward handwash station surfaces, which could be touched during handwashing, is reported. Hand contact surfaces tested consisted of approximately 620 each of: faucet handles, soap dispenser activator mechanisms, and folded paper-towel dispenser exits. Failure rates in excess of benchmark clean values were higher with adenosine triphosphate assays than microbial counts. This could indicate the presence of a higher level of general organic debris (eg, skin cells) as opposed to microbial contamination or could reflect greater assay sensitivity. Faucet handles were more likely to be contaminated and be in excess of benchmark values than paper-towel dispenser exits. However, the latter are likely to be the final surface touched during the handwashing process and overall nearly 20% were above microbiologic benchmark values. Many of the organisms isolated were staphylococci and the results are discussed within the context of microbial cross-contamination and potential pathogen spread. PMID:12665742

  16. Potential environmental consequences of administration of anthelmintics to sheep.

    PubMed

    Beynon, S A

    2012-09-30

    Anthelmintics, veterinary medicines for the control of endoparasites, enter into the environment largely through faeces of the treated animals. Sheep dung is a patchily distributed, ephemeral resource, with a functionally important decomposer community. The nature of this community and the pharmacokinetics of anthelmintics in sheep mean that the ecotoxic impacts of these drugs in sheep dung may differ markedly from those in cattle dung, where most research has been focussed. The period of maximum residue excretion is generally more transient in sheep than cattle dung, but low-level excretion may continue for longer, giving the potential for extended sub-lethal effects. Here, the environmental impacts of sheep anthelmintics, as well as alternative endoparasite control methods are reviewed. Impacts are discussed in terms of the potential for residues to enter into the environment, the toxicity and the impact on ecosystem functioning at an appropriate scale. Future research priorities are also discussed; these include the need for studies of the functional contributions of dung-colonising species, as well as the development of higher-tier ecotoxicological methods bridging the gap between laboratory and field experiments. Large-scale and long-term studies, including the development of appropriate models, are necessary to allow the consequences of anthelmintic administration to be assessed, particularly within the remit of sustainable animal production.

  17. Extracellular polymeric substances of bacteria and their potential environmental applications.

    PubMed

    More, T T; Yadav, J S S; Yan, S; Tyagi, R D; Surampalli, R Y

    2014-11-01

    Biopolymers are considered a potential alternative to conventional chemical polymers because of their ease of biodegradability, high efficiency, non-toxicity and non-secondary pollution. Recently, extracellular polymeric substances (EPS, biopolymers produced by the microorganisms) have been recognised by many researchers as a potential flocculent for their applications in various water, wastewater and sludge treatment processes. In this context, literature information on EPS is widely dispersed and is very scarce. Thus, this review marginalizes various studies conducted so far about EPS nature-production-recovery, properties, environmental applications and moreover, critically examines future research needs and advanced application prospective of the EPS. One of the most important aspect of chemical composition and structural details of different moieties of EPS in terms of carbohydrates, proteins, extracellular DNA, lipid and surfactants and humic substances are described. These chemical characteristics of EPS in relation to formation and properties of microbial aggregates as well as degradation of EPS in the matrix (biomass, flocs etc) are analyzed. The important engineering properties (based on structural characteristics) such as adsorption, biodegradability, hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity of EPS matrix are also discussed in details. Different aspects of EPS production process such as bacterial strain maintenance; inoculum and factors affecting EPS production were presented. The important factors affecting EPS production include growth phase, carbon and nitrogen sources and their ratio, role of other nutrients (phosphorus, micronutrients/trace elements, and vitamins), impact of pH, temperature, metals, aerobic versus anaerobic conditions and pure and mixed culture. The production of EPS in high concentration with high productivity is essential due to economic reasons. Therefore, the knowledge about all the aspects of EPS production (listed above) is highly

  18. Extracellular polymeric substances of bacteria and their potential environmental applications.

    PubMed

    More, T T; Yadav, J S S; Yan, S; Tyagi, R D; Surampalli, R Y

    2014-11-01

    Biopolymers are considered a potential alternative to conventional chemical polymers because of their ease of biodegradability, high efficiency, non-toxicity and non-secondary pollution. Recently, extracellular polymeric substances (EPS, biopolymers produced by the microorganisms) have been recognised by many researchers as a potential flocculent for their applications in various water, wastewater and sludge treatment processes. In this context, literature information on EPS is widely dispersed and is very scarce. Thus, this review marginalizes various studies conducted so far about EPS nature-production-recovery, properties, environmental applications and moreover, critically examines future research needs and advanced application prospective of the EPS. One of the most important aspect of chemical composition and structural details of different moieties of EPS in terms of carbohydrates, proteins, extracellular DNA, lipid and surfactants and humic substances are described. These chemical characteristics of EPS in relation to formation and properties of microbial aggregates as well as degradation of EPS in the matrix (biomass, flocs etc) are analyzed. The important engineering properties (based on structural characteristics) such as adsorption, biodegradability, hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity of EPS matrix are also discussed in details. Different aspects of EPS production process such as bacterial strain maintenance; inoculum and factors affecting EPS production were presented. The important factors affecting EPS production include growth phase, carbon and nitrogen sources and their ratio, role of other nutrients (phosphorus, micronutrients/trace elements, and vitamins), impact of pH, temperature, metals, aerobic versus anaerobic conditions and pure and mixed culture. The production of EPS in high concentration with high productivity is essential due to economic reasons. Therefore, the knowledge about all the aspects of EPS production (listed above) is highly

  19. Exome sequencing of hepatocellular carcinomas identifies new mutational signatures and potential therapeutic targets

    DOE PAGES

    Schulze, Kornelius; Imbeaud, Sandrine; Letouzé, Eric; Alexandrov, Ludmil B.; Calderaro, Julien; Rebouissou, Sandra; Couchy, Gabrielle; Meiller, Clément; Shinde, Jayendra; Soysouvanh, Frederic; et al

    2015-03-30

    Our genomic analyses promise to improve tumor characterization to optimize personalized treatment for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Exome sequencing analysis of 243 liver tumors identified mutational signatures associated with specific risk factors, mainly combined alcohol and tobacco consumption and exposure to aflatoxin B1. We identified 161 putative driver genes associated with 11 recurrently altered pathways. Associations of mutations defined 3 groups of genes related to risk factors and centered on CTNNB1 (alcohol), TP53 (hepatitis B virus, HBV) and AXIN1. These analyses according to tumor stage progression identified TERT promoter mutation as an early event, whereasFGF3, FGF4, FGF19 or CCND1more » amplification and TP53 and CDKN2A alterations appeared at more advanced stages in aggressive tumors. In 28% of the tumors, we identified genetic alterations potentially targetable by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)–approved drugs. Finally, we identified risk factor–specific mutational signatures and defined the extensive landscape of altered genes and pathways in HCC, which will be useful to design clinical trials for targeted therapy.« less

  20. Exome sequencing of hepatocellular carcinomas identifies new mutational signatures and potential therapeutic targets

    SciTech Connect

    Schulze, Kornelius; Imbeaud, Sandrine; Letouzé, Eric; Alexandrov, Ludmil B.; Calderaro, Julien; Rebouissou, Sandra; Couchy, Gabrielle; Meiller, Clément; Shinde, Jayendra; Soysouvanh, Frederic; Calatayud, Anna-Line; Pinyol, Roser; Pelletier, Laura; Balabaud, Charles; Laurent, Alexis; Blanc, Jean-Frederic; Mazzaferro, Vincenzo; Calvo, Fabien; Villanueva, Augusto; Nault, Jean-Charles; Bioulac-Sage, Paulette; Stratton, Michael R.; Llovet, Josep M.; Zucman-Rossi, Jessica

    2015-03-30

    Our genomic analyses promise to improve tumor characterization to optimize personalized treatment for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Exome sequencing analysis of 243 liver tumors identified mutational signatures associated with specific risk factors, mainly combined alcohol and tobacco consumption and exposure to aflatoxin B1. We identified 161 putative driver genes associated with 11 recurrently altered pathways. Associations of mutations defined 3 groups of genes related to risk factors and centered on CTNNB1 (alcohol), TP53 (hepatitis B virus, HBV) and AXIN1. These analyses according to tumor stage progression identified TERT promoter mutation as an early event, whereasFGF3, FGF4, FGF19 or CCND1 amplification and TP53 and CDKN2A alterations appeared at more advanced stages in aggressive tumors. In 28% of the tumors, we identified genetic alterations potentially targetable by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)–approved drugs. Finally, we identified risk factor–specific mutational signatures and defined the extensive landscape of altered genes and pathways in HCC, which will be useful to design clinical trials for targeted therapy.

  1. An inverse docking approach for identifying new potential anti-cancer targets.

    PubMed

    Grinter, Sam Z; Liang, Yayun; Huang, Sheng-You; Hyder, Salman M; Zou, Xiaoqin

    2011-04-01

    Inverse docking is a relatively new technique that has been used to identify potential receptor targets of small molecules. Our docking software package MDock is well suited for such an application as it is both computationally efficient, yet simultaneously shows adequate results in binding affinity predictions and enrichment tests. As a validation study, we present the first stage results of an inverse-docking study which seeks to identify potential direct targets of PRIMA-1. PRIMA-1 is well known for its ability to restore mutant p53's tumor suppressor function, leading to apoptosis in several types of cancer cells. For this reason, we believe that potential direct targets of PRIMA-1 identified in silico should be experimentally screened for their ability to inhibit cancer cell growth. The highest-ranked human protein of our PRIMA-1 docking results is oxidosqualene cyclase (OSC), which is part of the cholesterol synthetic pathway. The results of two followup experiments which treat OSC as a possible anti-cancer target are promising. We show that both PRIMA-1 and Ro 48-8071, a known potent OSC inhibitor, significantly reduce the viability of BT-474 and T47-D breast cancer cells relative to normal mammary cells. In addition, like PRIMA-1, we find that Ro 48-8071 results in increased binding of p53 to DNA in BT-474 cells (which express mutant p53). For the first time, Ro 48-8071 is shown as a potent agent in killing human breast cancer cells. The potential of OSC as a new target for developing anticancer therapies is worth further investigation.

  2. Environmental sensor technologies and procedures for detecting and identifying indoor air pollution. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    O'Connor, E.T.; Kermath, D.; Kemme, M.R.

    1992-03-01

    Public concern about environmental quality now encompasses the indoor environment-the buildings where people work and live. In recent years researchers have been discovering new links between indoor air quality (IAQ) and the occupants' comfort, health, and productivity. As the operator of many thousands of buildings, and the employer of the millions of people who use those buildings, the U.S. Army has a strong interest in maintaining and promoting good IAQ. This report presents a concise summary of the key IAQ parameters of interest to building managers, the most common indoor air contaminants, the variety of sensor technology currently available for detect and identifying those contaminants, and basic procedures for using that technology.

  3. Environmental effects and individual body condition drive seasonal fecundity of rabbits: identifying acute and lagged processes.

    PubMed

    Wells, Konstans; O'Hara, Robert B; Cooke, Brian D; Mutze, Greg J; Prowse, Thomas A A; Fordham, Damien A

    2016-07-01

    The reproduction of many species is determined by seasonally-driven resource supply. But it is difficult to quantify whether the fecundity is sensitive to short- or long-term exposure to environmental conditions such as rainfall that drive resource supply. Using 25 years of data on individual fecundity of European female rabbits, Oryctolagus cuniculus, from semiarid Australia, we investigate the role of individual body condition, rainfall and temperature as drivers of seasonal and long-term and population-level changes in fecundity (breeding probability, ovulation rate, embryo survival). We built distributed lag models in a hierarchical Bayesian framework to account for both immediate and time-lagged effects of climate and other environmental drivers, and possible shifts in reproduction over consecutive seasons. We show that rainfall during summer, when rabbits typically breed only rarely, increased breeding probability immediately and with time lags of up to 10 weeks. However, an earlier onset of the yearly breeding period did not result in more overall reproductive output. Better body condition was associated with an earlier onset of breeding and higher embryo survival. Breeding probability in the main breeding season declined with increased breeding activity in the preceding season and only individuals in good body condition were able to breed late in the season. Higher temperatures reduce breeding success across seasons. We conclude that a better understanding of seasonal dynamics and plasticity (and their interplay) in reproduction will provide crucial insights into how lagomorphs are likely to respond and potentially adapt to the influence of future climate and other environmental change. PMID:27028444

  4. Calculations supporting evaluation of potential environmental standards for Yucca Mountain

    SciTech Connect

    Duguid, J.O.; Andrews, R.W.; Brandstetter, E.; Dale, T.F.; Reeves, M.

    1994-04-01

    The Energy Policy Act of 1992, Section 801 (US Congress, 1992) provides for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to contract the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to conduct a study and provide findings and recommendations on reasonable standards for the disposal of high-level wastes at the Yucca Mountain site. The NAS study is to provide findings and recommendations which include, among other things, whether a health-based standard based on dose to individual members of the public from releases to the accessible environment will provide a reasonable standard for the protection of the health and safety of the public. The EPA, based upon and consistent with the findings and recommendations of the NAS, is required to promulgate standards for protection of the public from releases from radioactive materials stored or disposed of in a repository at the Yucca Mountain site. This document presents a number of different ``simple`` analyses of undisturbed repository performance that are intended to provide input to those responsible for setting appropriate environmental standards for a potential repository at the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada. Each of the processes included in the analyses has been simplified to capture the primary significance of that process in containing or isolating the waste from the biosphere. In these simplified analyses, the complex waste package interactions were approximated by a simple waste package ``failure`` distribution which is defined by the initiation and rate of waste package ``failures``. Similarly, releases from the waste package and the engineered barrier system are controlled by the very near field environment and the presence and rate of advective and diffusive release processes. Release was approximated by either a simple alteration-controlled release for the high solubility radionuclides and either a diffusive or advective-controlled release for the solubility-limited radionuclides.

  5. Potential roles of noncoding RNAs in environmental epigenetic transgenerational inheritance.

    PubMed

    Yan, Wei

    2014-12-01

    "Epigenetic transgenerational inheritance" (ETI) has been defined as germline (sperm or egg) transmission of epigenetic information between generations in the absence of direct exposures or genetic manipulations. Among reported cases of ETI in mammals, the majority are induced by environmental factors, including environmental toxicants [e.g. agricultural fungicide vinclozolin, plastic additive bisphenol A, pesticide methoxychlor, dioxin, di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, and hydrocarbons] and poor nutritional conditions. Although the ETI phenomenon is well established, the underlying mechanism remains elusive. Putative epimutations, including changes in DNA methylation and histone modification patterns, have been reported, but it remains unclear how these epimutations are formed in the first place, and how they are memorized in the germline and then get transmitted to subsequent generations. Based on recent advances in our understanding of regulatory noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs), I propose that ncRNAs are involved in ETI, during both the initial epimutation formation and the subsequent germline transmission of epimutations. ncRNAs can function at epigenetic levels by affecting DNA methylation and histone modifications, thereby changing gene transcriptional activities, which can lead to an altered mRNA transcriptome associated with a disease phenotype. Alternatively, novel or altered ncRNA expression can cause dysregulated post-transcriptional regulation, thus directly affecting the mRNA transcriptome and inducing a disease phenotype. Sperm-borne ncRNAs are potential mediators for epigenetic memory across generations, but they alone may not be sufficient for stable transmission of epimutations across generations. Overall, research on ncRNAs in the context of ETI is urgently needed to shed light on the underlying mechanism of ETI.

  6. Biosolids impact soil phosphorus accountability, fractionation, and potential environmental risk.

    PubMed

    Ippolito, J A; Barbarick, K A; Norvell, K L

    2007-01-01

    Biosolids land application rates are typically based on crop N requirements but can lead to soil P accumulation. The Littleton/Englewood, Colorado, wastewater treatment facility has supported biosolids beneficial-use on a dryland wheat-fallow agroecosystem site since 1982, with observable soil P concentration increases as biyearly repeated biosolids applications increased from 0, 6.7, 13, 27, to 40 Mg ha(-1). The final study year was 2003, after which P accountability, fractionation, and potential environmental risk were assessed. Between 93 and 128% of biosolids-P added was accounted for when considering conventional tillage soil displacement, grain removal, and soil adsorption. The Fe-P fraction dominated all soil surface P fractions, likely due to an increase in amorphous Fe-oxide because Fe2(SO4)3 was added at the wastewater treatment facility inflow for digester H2S reduction. The Ca-P phase dominated all soil subsurface P fractions due to calcareous soil conditions. A combination of conventional tillage, drought from 1999 to 2003, and repeated and increasing biosolids application rates may have forced soil surface microorganism dormancy, reduction, or mortality; thus, biomass P reduction was evident. Subsurface biomass P was greater than surface biomass, possibly due to protection against environmental and anthropogenic variables or to increased dissolved organic carbon inputs. Even given years of biosolids application, the soil surface had the ability to sorb additional P as determined by shaking the soil in an excessive P solution. Biosolids-application regulations based on the Colorado Phosphorus Index would not impede current site practices. Proper monitoring, management, and addition of other best management practices are needed for continued assurance that P movement off-site does not become a major issue. PMID:17412911

  7. High-Throughput Yeast-Based Reporter Assay to Identify Compounds with Anti-inflammatory Potential.

    PubMed

    Garcia, G; Santos, C Nunes do; Menezes, R

    2016-01-01

    The association between altered proteostasis and inflammatory responses has been increasingly recognized, therefore the identification and characterization of novel compounds with anti-inflammatory potential will certainly have a great impact in the therapeutics of protein-misfolding diseases such as degenerative disorders. Although cell-based screens are powerful approaches to identify potential therapeutic compounds, establishing robust inflammation models amenable to high-throughput screening remains a challenge. To bridge this gap, we have exploited the use of yeasts as a platform to identify lead compounds with anti-inflammatory properties. The yeast cell model described here relies on the high-degree homology between mammalian and yeast Ca(2+)/calcineurin pathways converging into the activation of NFAT and Crz1 orthologous proteins, respectively. It consists of a recombinant yeast strain encoding the lacZ gene under the control of Crz1-recongition elements to facilitate the identification of compounds interfering with Crz1 activation through the easy monitoring of β-galactosidase activity. Here, we describe in detail a protocol optimized for high-throughput screening of compounds with potential anti-inflammatory activity as well as a protocol to validate the positive hits using an alternative β-galactosidase substrate. PMID:27613055

  8. Using high frequency consumption data to identify demand response potential for solar energy integration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, L.; Borgeson, S.; Fredman, D.; Hans, L.; Spurlock, A.; Todd, A.

    2015-12-01

    California's renewable portfolio standard (2012) requires the state to get 33% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Increased share of variable renewable sources such as solar and wind in the California electricity system may require more grid flexibility to insure reliable power services. Such grid flexibility can be potentially provided by changes in end use electricity consumptions in response to grid conditions (demand-response). In the solar case, residential consumption in the late afternoon can be used as reserve capacity to balance the drop in solar generation. This study presents our initial attempt to identify, from a behavior perspective, residential demand response potentials in relation to solar ramp events using a data-driven approach. Based on hourly residential energy consumption data, we derive representative daily load shapes focusing on discretionary consumption with an innovative clustering analysis technique. We aggregate the representative load shapes into behavior groups in terms of the timing and rhythm of energy use in the context of solar ramp events. Households of different behavior groups that are active during hours with high solar ramp rates are identified for capturing demand response potential. Insights into the nature and predictability of response to demand-response programs are provided.

  9. Identifying Potential Recommendation Domains for Conservation Agriculture in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Malawi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tesfaye, Kindie; Jaleta, Moti; Jena, Pradyot; Mutenje, Munyaradzi

    2015-02-01

    Conservation agriculture (CA) is being promoted as an option for reducing soil degradation, conserving water, enhancing crop productivity, and maintaining yield stability. However, CA is a knowledge- and technology-intensive practice, and may not be feasible or may not perform better than conventional agriculture under all conditions and farming systems. Using high resolution (≈1 km2) biophysical and socioeconomic geospatial data, this study identified potential recommendation domains (RDs) for CA in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Malawi. The biophysical variables used were soil texture, surface slope, and rainfall while the socioeconomic variables were market access and human and livestock population densities. Based on feasibility and comparative performance of CA over conventional agriculture, the biophysical and socioeconomic factors were first used to classify cultivated areas into three biophysical and three socioeconomic potential domains, respectively. Combinations of biophysical and socioeconomic domains were then used to develop potential RDs for CA based on adoption potential within the cultivated areas. About 39, 12, and 5 % of the cultivated areas showed high biophysical and socioeconomic potential while 50, 39, and 21 % of the cultivated areas showed high biophysical and medium socioeconomic potential for CA in Malawi, Kenya, and Ethiopia, respectively. The results indicate considerable acreages of land with high CA adoption potential in the mixed crop-livestock systems of the studied countries. However, there are large differences among countries depending on biophysical and socio-economic conditions. The information generated in this study could be used for targeting CA and prioritizing CA-related agricultural research and investment priorities in the three countries.

  10. Identifying potential recommendation domains for conservation agriculture in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Malawi.

    PubMed

    Tesfaye, Kindie; Jaleta, Moti; Jena, Pradyot; Mutenje, Munyaradzi

    2015-02-01

    Conservation agriculture (CA) is being promoted as an option for reducing soil degradation, conserving water, enhancing crop productivity, and maintaining yield stability. However, CA is a knowledge- and technology-intensive practice, and may not be feasible or may not perform better than conventional agriculture under all conditions and farming systems. Using high resolution (≈1 km(2)) biophysical and socioeconomic geospatial data, this study identified potential recommendation domains (RDs) for CA in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Malawi. The biophysical variables used were soil texture, surface slope, and rainfall while the socioeconomic variables were market access and human and livestock population densities. Based on feasibility and comparative performance of CA over conventional agriculture, the biophysical and socioeconomic factors were first used to classify cultivated areas into three biophysical and three socioeconomic potential domains, respectively. Combinations of biophysical and socioeconomic domains were then used to develop potential RDs for CA based on adoption potential within the cultivated areas. About 39, 12, and 5% of the cultivated areas showed high biophysical and socioeconomic potential while 50, 39, and 21% of the cultivated areas showed high biophysical and medium socioeconomic potential for CA in Malawi, Kenya, and Ethiopia, respectively. The results indicate considerable acreages of land with high CA adoption potential in the mixed crop-livestock systems of the studied countries. However, there are large differences among countries depending on biophysical and socio-economic conditions. The information generated in this study could be used for targeting CA and prioritizing CA-related agricultural research and investment priorities in the three countries.

  11. Using Helicopter Electromagnetic Surveys to Identify Potential Hazards at Mine Waste Impoundments

    SciTech Connect

    Hammack, R.W.

    2008-01-01

    In July 2003, helicopter electromagnetic surveys were conducted at 14 coal waste impoundments in southern West Virginia. The purpose of the surveys was to detect conditions that could lead to impoundment failure either by structural failure of the embankment or by the flooding of adjacent or underlying mine works. Specifically, the surveys attempted to: 1) identify saturated zones within the mine waste, 2) delineate filtrate flow paths through the embankment or into adjacent strata and receiving streams, and 3) identify flooded mine workings underlying or adjacent to the waste impoundment. Data from the helicopter surveys were processed to generate conductivity/depth images. Conductivity/depth images were then spatially linked to georeferenced air photos or topographic maps for interpretation. Conductivity/depth images were found to provide a snapshot of the hydrologic conditions that exist within the impoundment. This information can be used to predict potential areas of failure within the embankment because of its ability to image the phreatic zone. Also, the electromagnetic survey can identify areas of unconsolidated slurry in the decant basin and beneath the embankment. Although shallow, flooded mineworks beneath the impoundment were identified by this survey, it cannot be assumed that electromagnetic surveys can detect all underlying mines. A preliminary evaluation of the data implies that helicopter electromagnetic surveys can provide a better understanding of the phreatic zone than the piezometer arrays that are typically used.

  12. Environmental toxicity and radioactivity assessment of a titanium-processing residue with potential for environmental use.

    PubMed

    Wendling, Laura A; Binet, Monique T; Yuan, Zheng; Gissi, Francesca; Koppel, Darren J; Adams, Merrin S

    2013-07-01

    Thorough examination of the physicochemical characteristics of a Ti-processing residue was undertaken, including mineralogical, geochemical, and radiochemical characterization, and an investigation of the environmental toxicity of soft-water leachate generated from the residue. Concentrations of most metals measured in the leachate were low; thus, the residue is unlikely to leach high levels of potentially toxic elements on exposure to low-ionic strength natural waters. Relative to stringent ecosystem health-based guidelines, only chromium concentrations in the leachate exceeded guideline concentrations for 95% species protection; however, sulfate was present at concentrations known to cause toxicity. It is likely that the high concentration of calcium and extreme water hardness of the leachate reduced the bioavailability of some elements. Geochemical modeling of the leachate indicated that calcium and sulfate concentrations were largely controlled by gypsum mineral dissolution. The leachate was not toxic to the microalga Chlorella sp., the cladoceran Ceriodaphnia dubia, or the estuarine bacterium Vibrio fischeri. The Ti-processing residue exhibited an absorbed dose rate of 186 nGy/h, equivalent to an annual dose of 1.63 mGy and an annual effective dose of 0.326 mGy. In summary, the results indicate that the Ti-processing residue examined is suitable for productive use as an environmental amendment following 10 to 100 times dilution to ameliorate potential toxic effects due to chromium or sulfate.

  13. Genetic studies of plasma analytes identify novel potential biomarkers for several complex traits

    PubMed Central

    Deming, Yuetiva; Xia, Jian; Cai, Yefei; Lord, Jenny; Del-Aguila, Jorge L.; Fernandez, Maria Victoria; Carrell, David; Black, Kathleen; Budde, John; Ma, ShengMei; Saef, Benjamin; Howells, Bill; Bertelsen, Sarah; Bailey, Matthew; Ridge, Perry G.; Hefti, Franz; Fillit, Howard; Zimmerman, Earl A.; Celmins, Dzintra; Brown, Alice D.; Carrillo, Maria; Fleisher, Adam; Reeder, Stephanie; Trncic, Nadira; Burke, Anna; Tariot, Pierre; Reiman, Eric M.; Chen, Kewei; Sabbagh, Marwan N.; Beiden, Christine M.; Jacobson, Sandra A.; Sirrel, Sherye A.; Doody, Rachelle S.; Villanueva-Meyer, Javier; Chowdhury, Munir; Rountree, Susan; Dang, Mimi; Kowall, Neil; Killiany, Ronald; Budson, Andrew E.; Norbash, Alexander; Johnson, Patricia Lynn; Green, Robert C.; Marshall, Gad; Johnson, Keith A.; Sperling, Reisa A.; Snyder, Peter; Salloway, Stephen; Malloy, Paul; Correia, Stephen; Bernick, Charles; Munic, Donna; Stern, Yaakov; Honig, Lawrence S.; Bell, Karen L.; Relkin, Norman; Chaing, Gloria; Ravdin, Lisa; Paul, Steven; Flashman, Laura A.; Seltzer, Marc; Hynes, Mary L.; Santulli, Robert B.; Bates, Vernice; Capote, Horacio; Rainka, Michelle; Friedl, Karl; Murali Doraiswamy, P.; Petrella, Jeffrey R.; Borges-Neto, Salvador; James, Olga; Wong, Terence; Coleman, Edward; Schwartz, Adam; Cellar, Janet S.; Levey, Allan L.; Lah, James J.; Behan, Kelly; Scott Turner, Raymond; Johnson, Kathleen; Reynolds, Brigid; Pearlson, Godfrey D.; Blank, Karen; Anderson, Karen; Obisesan, Thomas O.; Wolday, Saba; Allard, Joanne; Lerner, Alan; Ogrocki, Paula; Tatsuoka, Curtis; Fatica, Parianne; Farlow, Martin R.; Saykin, Andrew J.; Foroud, Tatiana M.; Shen, Li; Faber, Kelly; Kim, Sungeun; Nho, Kwangsik; Marie Hake, Ann; Matthews, Brandy R.; Brosch, Jared R.; Herring, Scott; Hunt, Cynthia; Albert, Marilyn; Onyike, Chiadi; D’Agostino, Daniel; Kielb, Stephanie; Graff-Radford, Neill R; Parfitt, Francine; Kendall, Tracy; Johnson, Heather; Petersen, Ronald; Jack, Clifford R.; Bernstein, Matthew; Borowski, Bret; Gunter, Jeff; Senjem, Matt; Vemuri, Prashanthi; Jones, David; Kantarci, Kejal; Ward, Chad; Mason, Sara S.; Albers, Colleen S.; Knopman, David; Johnson, Kris; Chertkow, Howard; Hosein, Chris; Mintzer, Jacob; Spicer, Kenneth; Bachman, David; Grossman, Hillel; Mitsis, Effie; Pomara, Nunzio; Hernando, Raymundo; Sarrael, Antero; Potter, William; Buckholtz, Neil; Hsiao, John; Kittur, Smita; Galvin, James E.; Cerbone, Brittany; Michel, Christina A.; Pogorelec, Dana M.; Rusinek, Henry; de Leon, Mony J; Glodzik, Lidia; De Santi, Susan; Johnson, Nancy; Chuang-Kuo; Kerwin, Diana; Bonakdarpour, Borna; Weintraub, Sandra; Grafman, Jordan; Lipowski, Kristine; Mesulam, Marek-Marsel; Scharre, Douglas W.; Kataki, Maria; Adeli, Anahita; Kaye, Jeffrey; Quinn, Joseph; Silbert, Lisa; Lind, Betty; Carter, Raina; Dolen, Sara; Borrie, Michael; Lee, T-Y; Bartha, Rob; Martinez, Walter; Villena, Teresa; Sadowsky, Carl; Khachaturian, Zaven; Ott, Brian R.; Querfurth, Henry; Tremont, Geoffrey; Frank, Richard; Fleischman, Debra; Arfanakis, Konstantinos; Shah, Raj C.; deToledo-Morrell, Leyla; Sorensen, Greg; Finger, Elizabeth; Pasternack, Stephen; Rachinsky, Irina; Drost, Dick; Rogers, John; Kertesz, Andrew; Furst, Ansgar J.; Chad, Stevan; Yesavage, Jerome; Taylor, Joy L.; Lane, Barton; Rosen, Allyson; Tinklenberg, Jared; Black, Sandra; Stefanovic, Bojana; Caldwell, Curtis; Robin Hsiung, Ging-Yuek; Mudge, Benita; Assaly, Michele; Fox, Nick; Schultz, Susan K.; Boles Ponto, Laura L.; Shim, Hyungsub; Ekstam Smith, Karen; Burns, Jeffrey M.; Swerdlow, Russell H.; Brooks, William M.; Marson, Daniel; Griffith, Randall; Clark, David; Geldmacher, David; Brockington, John; Roberson, Erik; Natelson Love, Marissa; DeCarli, Charles; Carmichael, Owen; Olichney, John; Maillard, Pauline; Fletcher, Evan; Nguyen, Dana; Preda, Andrian; Potkin, Steven; Mulnard, Ruth A.; Thai, Gaby; McAdams-Ortiz, Catherine; Landau, Susan; Jagust, William; Apostolova, Liana; Tingus, Kathleen; Woo, Ellen; Silverman, Daniel H.S.; Lu, Po H.; Bartzokis, George; Thompson, Paul; Donohue, Michael; Thomas, Ronald G.; Walter, Sarah; Gessert, Devon; Brewer, James; Vanderswag, Helen; Sather, Tamie; Jiminez, Gus; Balasubramanian, Archana B.; Mason, Jennifer; Sim, Iris; Aisen, Paul; Davis, Melissa; Morrison, Rosemary; Harvey, Danielle; Thal, Lean; Beckett, Laurel; Neylan, Thomas; Finley, Shannon; Weiner, Michael W.; Hayes, Jacqueline; Rosen, Howard J.; Miller, Bruce L.; Perry, David; Massoglia, Dino; Brawman-Mentzer, Olga; Schuff, Norbert; Smith, Charles D.; Hardy, Peter; Sinha, Partha; Oates, Elizabeth; Conrad, Gary; Koeppe, Robert A.; Lord, Joanne L.; Heidebrink, Judith L.; Arnold, Steven E.; Karlawish, Jason H.; Wolk, David; Clark, Christopher M.; Trojanowki, John Q.; Shaw, Leslie M.; Lee, Virginia; Korecka, Magdalena; Figurski, Michal; Toga, Arthur W.; Crawford, Karen; Neu, Scott; Schneider, Lon S.; Pawluczyk, Sonia; Beccera, Mauricio; Teodoro, Liberty; Spann, Bryan M.; Womack, Kyle; Mathews, Dana; Quiceno, Mary; Foster, Norm; Montine, Tom; Fruehling, J. Jay; Harding, Sandra; Johnson, Sterling; Asthana, Sanjay; Carlsson, Cynthia M.; Petrie, Eric C.; Peskind, Elaine; Li, Gail; Porsteinsson, Anton P.; Goldstein, Bonnie S.; Martin, Kim; Makino, Kelly M.; Ismail, M. Saleem; Brand, Connie; Smith, Amanda; Ashok Raj, Balebail; Fargher, Kristin; Kuller, Lew; Mathis, Chet; Ann Oakley, Mary; Lopez, Oscar L.; Simpson, Donna M.; Sink, Kaycee M.; Gordineer, Leslie; Williamson, Jeff D.; Garg, Pradeep; Watkins, Franklin; Cairns, Nigel J.; Raichle, Marc; Morris, John C.; Householder, Erin; Taylor-Reinwald, Lisa; Holtzman, David; Ances, Beau; Carroll, Maria; Creech, Mary L.; Franklin, Erin; Mintun, Mark A.; Schneider, Stacy; Oliver, Angela; Duara, Ranjan; Varon, Daniel; Greig, Maria T.; Roberts, Peggy; Varma, Pradeep; MacAvoy, Martha G.; Carson, Richard E.; van Dyck, Christopher H.; Davies, Peter; Holtzman, David; Morris, John C.; Bales, Kelly; Pickering, Eve H.; Lee, Jin-Moo; Heitsch, Laura; Kauwe, John; Goate, Alison; Piccio, Laura; Cruchaga, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    Genome-wide association studies of 146 plasma protein levels in 818 individuals revealed 56 genome-wide significant associations (28 novel) with 47 analytes. Loci associated with plasma levels of 39 proteins tested have been previously associated with various complex traits such as heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, Type 2 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. These data suggest that these plasma protein levels may constitute informative endophenotypes for these complex traits. We found three potential pleiotropic genes: ABO for plasma SELE and ACE levels, FUT2 for CA19-9 and CEA plasma levels, and APOE for ApoE and CRP levels. We also found multiple independent signals in loci associated with plasma levels of ApoH, CA19-9, FetuinA, IL6r, and LPa. Our study highlights the power of biological traits for genetic studies to identify genetic variants influencing clinically relevant traits, potential pleiotropic effects, and complex disease associations in the same locus.

  14. A simple contact mapping algorithm for identifying potential peptide mimetics in protein–protein interaction partners

    PubMed Central

    Krall, Alex; Brunn, Jonathan; Kankanala, Spandana; Peters, Michael H

    2014-01-01

    A simple, static contact mapping algorithm has been developed as a first step at identifying potential peptide biomimetics from protein interaction partner structure files. This rapid and simple mapping algorithm, “OpenContact” provides screened or parsed protein interaction files based on specified criteria for interatomic separation distances and interatomic potential interactions. The algorithm, which uses all-atom Amber03 force field models, was blindly tested on several unrelated cases from the literature where potential peptide mimetics have been experimentally developed to varying degrees of success. In all cases, the screening algorithm efficiently predicted proposed or potential peptide biomimetics, or close variations thereof, and provided complete atom-atom interaction data necessary for further detailed analysis and drug development. In addition, we used the static parsing/mapping method to develop a peptide mimetic to the cancer protein target, epidermal growth factor receptor. In this case, secondary, loop structure for the peptide was indicated from the intra-protein mapping, and the peptide was subsequently synthesized and shown to exhibit successful binding to the target protein. The case studies, which all involved experimental peptide drug advancement, illustrate many of the challenges associated with the development of peptide biomimetics, in general. Proteins 2014; 82:2253–2262. © 2014 The Authors. Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:24756879

  15. Ability of Dental Students in Spain to Identify Potentially Malignant Disorders and Oral Cancer.

    PubMed

    Cerero-Lapiedra, Rocío; Esparza-Gómez, Germán C; Casado-de la Cruz, Laura; Domínguez-Gordillo, Adelaida A; Corral-Linaza, César; Seoane-Romero, Juan M

    2015-08-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the ability of students at the School of Dentistry, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain, to diagnose oral cancer and other potentially malignant disorders, as well as to compare their ability at different stages of the learning process and evaluate their knowledge retention. Students were surveyed after they had studied oral medicine and oral pathology at two time points: midway through and near the end of their studies. The survey consisted of questions about 40 photographs of benign oral lesions, malignant oral lesions, and potentially malignant disorders. The response rate for all groups was greater than 70%. The results showed that these students' overall success rate in differentiating benign from malignant lesions averaged 73.9%. When the distinction for potentially malignant disorders was included, their average overall success rate decreased to 42.8% (p<0.001). Furthermore, the students' average success rate was at its lowest at the end of the dental program (p<0.001). Results from this study suggest that, given these students' difficulties in identifying potentially malignant disorders, an increased emphasis on cancer education in the dental curriculum may be needed for future practitioners to master this ability. PMID:26246535

  16. 49 CFR 192.917 - How does an operator identify potential threats to pipeline integrity and use the threat...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 49 Transportation 3 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false How does an operator identify potential threats to....917 How does an operator identify potential threats to pipeline integrity and use the threat identification in its integrity program? (a) Threat identification. An operator must identify and evaluate...

  17. 49 CFR 192.917 - How does an operator identify potential threats to pipeline integrity and use the threat...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 49 Transportation 3 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false How does an operator identify potential threats to....917 How does an operator identify potential threats to pipeline integrity and use the threat identification in its integrity program? (a) Threat identification. An operator must identify and evaluate...

  18. 49 CFR 192.917 - How does an operator identify potential threats to pipeline integrity and use the threat...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 49 Transportation 3 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false How does an operator identify potential threats to....917 How does an operator identify potential threats to pipeline integrity and use the threat identification in its integrity program? (a) Threat identification. An operator must identify and evaluate...

  19. Energy-optimised pharmacophore approach to identify potential hotspots during inhibition of Class II HDAC isoforms.

    PubMed

    Ganai, Shabir Ahmad; Shanmugam, Karthi; Mahadevan, Vijayalakshmi

    2015-01-01

    Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are conjugated enzymes that modulate chromatin architecture by deacetylating lysine residues on the histone tails leading to transcriptional repression. Pharmacological interventions of these enzymes with small molecule inhibitors called Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) have shown enhanced acetylation of the genome and are hence emerging as potential targets at the clinic. Type-specific inhibition of Class II HDACs has shown enhanced therapeutic benefits against developmental and neurodegenerative disorders. However, the structural identity of class-specific isoforms limits the potential of their inhibitors in precise targeting of their enzymes. Diverse strategies have been implemented to recognise the features in HDAC enzymes which may help in identifying isoform specificity factors. This work attempts a computational approach that combines in silico docking and energy-optimised pharmacophore (E-pharmacophore) mapping of 18 known HDAC inhibitors and has identified structural variations that regulate their interactions against the six Class II HDAC enzymes considered for the study. This combined approach establishes that inhibitors possessing higher number of aromatic rings in different structural regions might function as potent inhibitors, while inhibitors with scarce ring structures might point to compromised potency. This would aid the rationale for chemical optimisation and design of isoform selective HDAC inhibitors with enhanced affinity and therapeutic efficiency.

  20. MicroRNA screening identifies circulating microRNAs as potential biomarkers for osteosarcoma

    PubMed Central

    LI, HUI; ZHANG, KUN; LIU, LI-HONG; OUYANG, YURONG; GUO, HONG-BIN; ZHANG, HANCHONG; BU, JIE; XIAO, TAO

    2015-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a family of small non-protein coding RNAs, which regulate the expression of a wide variety of genes at the post-transcriptional level to control numerous biological and pathological processes. Various circulating miRNAs have been identified as potential diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers in multiple types of cancer and disease. The aim of the present study was to identify potential miRNA biomarkers for the early diagnosis and relapse prediction of osteosarcoma (OS). miRNA profiling was performed on serum from patients with osteosarcoma and healthy controls. All putative miRNAs were verified by reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis of 20 pre-therapeutic OS patients and 20 healthy individuals. The expression of miR-106a-5p, miR16-5p, miR-20a-5p, miR-425-5p, miR451a, miR-25-3p and miR139-5p was demonstrated to be downregulated in the serum of OS patients when compared with that of the healthy controls. Receiver-operating characteristic curve analyses indicated that these 7 miRNAs may be used as diagnostic biomarkers with the ability to discriminate between the healthy cohort and patients with OS. These results provide novel insights into the use of miRNAs in early blood screening for OS. PMID:26622728

  1. Developments in the EPA Computational Toxicology Program to Identify Environmental Endocrine Disruptors ( Environmental Endocrine Disruptors Gordon Conference)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Presentation at the Environmental Endocrine Disruptors Gordon Conference in Newry, ME June 22, 2016 to give an overview of the use of high throughput screening and high throughput toxicokinetics to build models for endocrine disruption by environmental chemicals for estrogen rece...

  2. Hot spot analysis applied to identify ecosystem services potential in Lithuania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pereira, Paulo; Depellegrin, Daniel; Misiune, Ieva

    2016-04-01

    Hot spot analysis are very useful to identify areas with similar characteristics. This is important for a sustainable use of the territory, since we can identify areas that need to be protected, or restored. This is a great advantage in terms of land use planning and management, since we can allocate resources, reduce the economical costs and do a better intervention in the landscape. Ecosystem services (ES) are different according land use. Since landscape is very heterogeneous, it is of major importance understand their spatial pattern and where are located the areas that provide better ES and the others that provide less services. The objective of this work is to use hot-spot analysis to identify areas with the most valuable ES in Lithuania. CORINE land-cover (CLC) of 2006 was used as the main spatial information. This classification uses a grid of 100 m resolution and extracted a total of 31 land use types. ES ranking was carried out based on expert knowledge. They were asked to evaluate the ES potential of each different CLC from 0 (no potential) to 5 (very high potential). Hot spot analysis were evaluated using the Getis-ord test, which identifies cluster analysis available in ArcGIS toolbox. This tool identifies areas with significantly high low values and significant high values at a p level of 0.05. In this work we used hot spot analysis to assess the distribution of providing, regulating cultural and total (sum of the previous 3) ES. The Z value calculated from Getis-ord was used to statistical analysis to access the clusters of providing, regulating cultural and total ES. ES with high Z value show that they have a high number of cluster areas with high potential of ES. The results showed that the Z-score was significantly different among services (Kruskal Wallis ANOVA =834. 607, p<0.001). The Z score of providing services (0.096±2.239) were significantly higher than the total (0.093±2.045), cultural (0.080±1.979) and regulating (0.076±1.961). These

  3. Identifying the decision to be supported: a review of papers from environmental modelling and software

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sojda, Richard S.; Chen, Serena H.; El Sawah, Sondoss; Guillaume, Joseph H.A.; Jakeman, A.J.; Lautenbach, Sven; McIntosh, Brian S.; Rizzoli, A.E.; Seppelt, Ralf; Struss, Peter; Voinov, Alexey; Volk, Martin

    2012-01-01

    Two of the basic tenets of decision support system efforts are to help identify and structure the decisions to be supported, and to then provide analysis in how those decisions might be best made. One example from wetland management would be that wildlife biologists must decide when to draw down water levels to optimise aquatic invertebrates as food for breeding ducks. Once such a decision is identified, a system or tool to help them make that decision in the face of current and projected climate conditions could be developed. We examined a random sample of 100 papers published from 2001-2011 in Environmental Modelling and Software that used the phrase “decision support system” or “decision support tool”, and which are characteristic of different sectors. In our review, 41% of the systems and tools related to the water resources sector, 34% were related to agriculture, and 22% to the conservation of fish, wildlife, and protected area management. Only 60% of the papers were deemed to be reporting on DSS. This was based on the papers reviewed not having directly identified a specific decision to be supported. We also report on the techniques that were used to identify the decisions, such as formal survey, focus group, expert opinion, or sole judgment of the author(s). The primary underlying modelling system, e.g., expert system, agent based model, Bayesian belief network, geographical information system (GIS), and the like was categorised next. Finally, since decision support typically should target some aspect of unstructured decisions, we subjectively determined to what degree this was the case. In only 23% of the papers reviewed, did the system appear to tackle unstructured decisions. This knowledge should be useful in helping workers in the field develop more effective systems and tools, especially by being exposed to the approaches in different, but related, disciplines. We propose that a standard blueprint for reporting on DSS be developed for

  4. Exome sequencing of hepatocellular carcinomas identifies new mutational signatures and potential therapeutic targets

    PubMed Central

    Alexandrov, Ludmil B; Calderaro, Julien; Rebouissou, Sandra; Couchy, Gabrielle; Meiller, Clément; Shinde, Jayendra; Soysouvanh, Frederic; Calatayud, Anna-Line; Pinyol, Roser; Pelletier, Laura; Balabaud, Charles; Laurent, Alexis; Blanc, Jean-Frederic; Mazzaferro, Vincenzo; Calvo, Fabien; Villanueva, Augusto; Nault, Jean-Charles; Bioulac-Sage, Paulette; Stratton, Michael R; Llovet, Josep M; Zucman-Rossi, Jessica

    2015-01-01

    Genomic analyses promise to improve tumor characterization in order to optimize personalized treatment for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Exome sequencing analysis of 243 liver tumors revealed mutational signatures associated with specific risk factors, mainly combined alcohol/tobacco consumption, and aflatoxin B1. We identified 161 putative driver genes associated with 11 recurrent pathways. Associations of mutations defined 3 groups of genes related to risk factors and centered on CTNNB1 (alcohol), TP53 (HBV), and AXIN1. Analyses according to tumor stage progression revealed TERT promoter mutation as an early event whereas FGF3, FGF4, FGF19/CCND1 amplification, TP53 and CDKN2A alterations, appeared at more advanced stages in aggressive tumors. In 28% of the tumors we identified genetic alterations potentially targetable by FDA-approved drugs. In conclusion, we identified risk factor-specific mutational signatures and defined the extensive landscape of altered genes and pathways in HCC which will be useful to design clinical trials for targeted therapy. PMID:25822088

  5. Residential energy use in Mexico: Structure, evolution, environmental impacts, and savings potential

    SciTech Connect

    Masera, O.; Friedmann, R.; deBuen, O.

    1993-05-01

    This article examines the characteristics of residential energy use in Mexico, its environmental impacts, and the savings potential of the major end-uses. The main options and barriers to increase the efficiency of energy use are discussed. The energy analysis is based on a disaggregation of residential energy use by end-uses. The dynamics of the evolution of the residential energy sector during the past 20 years are also addressed when the information is available. Major areas for research and for innovative decision-making are identified and prioritized.

  6. Endocrine markers for identifying prolificacy potential and predicting fetal number in goats.

    PubMed

    Haldar, Avijit; Pal, Saumen K; Chakraborty, Sandip; Hazorika, Mausumi; Pan, Subhransu; Majumdar, Debasis; Biswas, Chanchal K; Patra, Aditi; Mirmahmoudi, Rouhollah; Prakash, Bukkaaraya S

    2013-07-01

    Identifying prolificacy potential and determination of fetal number during pregnancy for proper care and management of the pregnant goats bearing multiple fetuses and achieving the benefits out of multiple births are essential for sustainable goat farming. Our objectives were (1) to examine prolificacy potential in goats by using pituitary response to gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) challenge test, (2) to investigate hormonal profiles for the prediction of fetal number in pregnant goats and (3) to find out the most reliable timing of blood sampling for discriminating prolificacy trait and differentiating the goats bearing single, twin and triplet fetuses. In first experiment (GnRH challenge test), plasma FSH concentrations were significantly higher (P<0.01) among the goats belonging to triplet vs. twin vs. single kidding size groups after GnRH administration. Multivariate stepwise discriminant function analysis recognized that one blood sampling at 220min after GnRH administration can be used to distinguish prolificacy potential in goats. In second experiment, plasma progesterone levels were significantly higher (P<0.01) in goats bearing triplet vs. twin vs. single fetus between day 84 and 21 prior to parturition. Plasma estrone sulphate concentrations were found to be higher (P<0.05) in does bearing multiple fetuses than the does bearing single fetus between day 126 and 28 prior to parturition. A single blood sampling at day 63 prior to parturition was the most probable suitable time for discriminating kidding size by using plasma progesterone as marker. PMID:23787106

  7. Leveraging Concept-based Approaches to Identify Potential Phyto-therapies

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Vivekanand; Sarkar, Indra Neil

    2013-01-01

    The potential of plant-based remedies has been documented in both traditional and contemporary biomedical literature. Such types of text sources may thus be sources from which one might identify potential plant-based therapies (“phyto-therapies”). Concept-based analytic approaches have been shown to uncover knowledge embedded within biomedical literature. However, to date there has been limited attention towards leveraging such techniques for the identification of potential phyto-therapies. This study presents concept-based analytic approaches for the retrieval and ranking of associations between plants and human diseases. Focusing on identification of phyto-therapies described in MEDLINE, both MeSH descriptors used for indexing and MetaMap inferred UMLS concepts are considered. Furthermore, the identification and ranking consider both direct (i.e., plant concepts directly correlated with disease concepts) and inferred (i.e., plant concepts associated with disease concepts based on shared signs and symptoms) relationships. Based on the two scoring methodologies used in this study, it was found that a vector space model approach outperformed probabilistic reliability based inferences. An evaluation of the approach is provided based on therapeutic interventions catalogued in both ClinicalTrials.gov and NDF-RT. The promising findings from this feasibility study highlight the challenges and applicability of concept-based analytic strategies for distilling phyto-therapeutic knowledge from text based knowledge sources like MEDLINE. PMID:23665360

  8. Leveraging concept-based approaches to identify potential phyto-therapies.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Vivekanand; Sarkar, Indra Neil

    2013-08-01

    The potential of plant-based remedies has been documented in both traditional and contemporary biomedical literature. Such types of text sources may thus be sources from which one might identify potential plant-based therapies ("phyto-therapies"). Concept-based analytic approaches have been shown to uncover knowledge embedded within biomedical literature. However, to date there has been limited attention towards leveraging such techniques for the identification of potential phyto-therapies. This study presents concept-based analytic approaches for the retrieval and ranking of associations between plants and human diseases. Focusing on identification of phyto-therapies described in MEDLINE, both MeSH descriptors used for indexing and MetaMap inferred UMLS concepts are considered. Furthermore, the identification and ranking consider both direct (i.e., plant concepts directly correlated with disease concepts) and inferred (i.e., plant concepts associated with disease concepts based on shared signs and symptoms) relationships. Based on the two scoring methodologies used in this study, it was found that a Vector Space Model approach outperformed probabilistic reliability based inferences. An evaluation of the approach is provided based on therapeutic interventions catalogued in both ClinicalTrials.gov and NDF-RT. The promising findings from this feasibility study highlight the challenges and applicability of concept-based analytic strategies for distilling phyto-therapeutic knowledge from text based knowledge sources like MEDLINE.

  9. Identifying Potential Areas for Siting Interim Nuclear Waste Facilities Using Map Algebra and Optimization Approaches

    SciTech Connect

    Omitaomu, Olufemi A; Liu, Cheng; Cetiner, Sacit M; Belles, Randy; Mays, Gary T; Tuttle, Mark A

    2013-01-01

    The renewed interest in siting new nuclear power plants in the United States has brought to the center stage, the need to site interim facilities for long-term management of spent nuclear fuel (SNF). In this paper, a two-stage approach for identifying potential areas for siting interim SNF facilities is presented. In the first stage, the land area is discretized into grids of uniform size (e.g., 100m x 100m grids). For the continental United States, this process resulted in a data matrix of about 700 million cells. Each cell of the matrix is then characterized as a binary decision variable to indicate whether an exclusion criterion is satisfied or not. A binary data matrix is created for each of the 25 siting criteria considered in this study. Using map algebra approach, cells that satisfy all criteria are clustered and regarded as potential siting areas. In the second stage, an optimization problem is formulated as a p-median problem on a rail network such that the sum of the shortest distance between nuclear power plants with SNF and the potential storage sites from the first stage is minimized. The implications of obtained results for energy policies are presented and discussed.

  10. Manure-borne estrogens as potential environmental contaminants: a review.

    PubMed

    Hanselman, Travis A; Graetz, Donald A; Wilkie, Ann C

    2003-12-15

    Livestock wastes are potential sources of endocrine disrupting compounds to the environment. Steroidal estrogen hormones such as estradiol, estrone, and estriol are a particular concern because there is evidence that low nanogram per liter concentrations of estrogens in water can adversely affect the reproductive biology of fish and other aquatic vertebrate species. We performed a literature review to assess the current state of science regarding estrogen physicochemical properties, livestock excretion, and the fate of manure-borne estrogens in the environment. Unconjugated steroidal estrogens have low solubility in water (0.8-13.3 mg L(-1)) and are moderately hydrophobic (log Kow 2.6-4.0). Cattle excrete mostly 17alpha-estradiol, 17beta-estradiol, estrone, and respective sulfated and glucuronidated counterparts, whereas swine and poultry excrete mostly 17beta-estradiol, estrone, estriol, and respective sulfated and glucuronidated counterparts. The environmental fate of estrogens is not clearly known. Laboratory-based studies have found that the biological activity of these compounds is greatly reduced or eliminated within several hours to days due to degradation and sorption. On the other hand, field studies have demonstrated that estrogens are sufficiently mobile and persistent to impact surface and groundwater quality. Future research should use standardized methods for the analysis of manure, soil, and water. More information is needed about the types and amounts of estrogens that exist in livestock wastes and the fate of manure-borne estrogens applied to agricultural lands. Field and laboratory studies should work toward revealing the mechanisms of estrogen degradation, sorption, and transport so that the risk of estrogen contamination of waterways can be minimized.

  11. Identifying and managing adverse environmental health effects: 2. Outdoor air pollution

    PubMed Central

    Abelsohn, Alan; Stieb, David; Sanborn, Margaret D.; Weir, Erica

    2002-01-01

    AIR POLLUTION CONTRIBUTES TO PREVENTABLE ILLNESS AND DEATH. Subgroups of patients who appear to be more sensitive to the effects of air pollution include young children, the elderly and people with existing chronic cardiac and respiratory disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. It is unclear whether air pollution contributes to the development of asthma, but it does trigger asthma episodes. Physicians are in a position to identify patients at particular risk of health effects from air pollution exposure and to suggest timely and appropriate actions that these patients can take to protect themselves. A simple tool that uses the CH2OPD2 mnemonic (Community, Home, Hobbies, Occupation, Personal habits, Diet and Drugs) can help physicians take patients' environmental exposure histories to assess those who may be at risk. As public health advocates, physicians contribute to the primary prevention of illness and death related to air pollution in the population. In this article we review the origins of air pollutants, the pathophysiology of health effects, the burden of illness and the clinical implications of smog exposure using the illustrative case of an adolescent patient with asthma. PMID:12000251

  12. Identifying and managing adverse environmental health effects: 2. Outdoor air pollution.

    PubMed

    Abelsohn, Alan; Stieb, David; Sanborn, Margaret D; Weir, Erica

    2002-04-30

    Air pollution contributes to preventable illness and death. Subgroups of patients who appear to be more sensitive to the effects of air pollution include young children, the elderly and people with existing chronic cardiac and respiratory disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. It is unclear whether air pollution contributes to the development of asthma, but it does trigger asthma episodes. Physicians are in a position to identify patients at particular risk of health effects from air pollution exposure and to suggest timely and appropriate actions that these patients can take to protect themselves. A simple tool that uses the CH2OPD2 mnemonic (Community, Home, Hobbies, Occupation, Personal habits, Diet and Drugs) can help physicians take patients' environmental exposure histories to assess those who may be at risk. As public health advocates, physicians contribute to the primary prevention of illness and death related to air pollution in the population. In this article we review the origins of air pollutants, the pathophysiology of health effects, the burden of illness and the clinical implications of smog exposure using the illustrative case of an adolescent patient with asthma. PMID:12000251

  13. Potential Coastal Pumped Hydroelectric Energy Storage Locations Identified using GIS-based Topographic Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parsons, R.; Barnhart, C. J.; Benson, S. M.

    2013-12-01

    Large-scale electrical energy storage could accommodate variable, weather dependent energy resources such as wind and solar. Pumped hydroelectric energy storage (PHS) and compressed energy storage area (CAES) have life cycle energy and financial costs that are an order of magnitude lower than conventional electrochemical storage technologies. However PHS and CAES storage technologies require specific geologic conditions. Conventional PHS requires an upper and lower reservoir separated by at least 100 m of head, but no more than 10 km in horizontal distance. Conventional PHS also impacts fresh water supplies, riparian ecosystems, and hydrologic environments. A PHS facility that uses the ocean as the lower reservoir benefits from a smaller footprint, minimal freshwater impact, and the potential to be located near off shore wind resources and population centers. Although technologically nascent, today one coastal PHS facility exists. The storage potential for coastal PHS is unknown. Can coastal PHS play a significant role in augmenting future power grids with a high faction of renewable energy supply? In this study we employ GIS-based topographic analysis to quantify the coastal PHS potential of several geographic locations, including California, Chile and Peru. We developed automated techniques that seek local topographic minima in 90 m spatial resolution shuttle radar topography mission (SRTM) digital elevation models (DEM) that satisfy the following criteria conducive to PHS: within 10 km from the sea; minimum elevation 150 m; maximum elevation 1000 m. Preliminary results suggest the global potential for coastal PHS could be very significant. For example, in northern Chile we have identified over 60 locations that satisfy the above criteria. Two of these locations could store over 10 million cubic meters of water or several GWh of energy. We plan to report a global database of candidate coastal PHS locations and to estimate their energy storage capacity.

  14. Environmental stressors during space flight: potential effects on body temperature

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jauchem, J. R.

    1988-01-01

    1. Organisms may be affected by many environmental factors during space flight, e.g., acceleration, weightlessness, decreased pressure, changes in oxygen tension, radiofrequency radiation and vibration. 2. Previous studies of change in body temperature--one response to these environmental factors--are reviewed. 3. Conditions leading to heat stress and hypothermia are discussed.

  15. Genome-Wide Expression Profiles Identify Potential Targets for Gene by Environment Interactions in Asthma Severity

    PubMed Central

    Sordillo, Joanne E; Kelly, Roxanne; Bunyavanich, Supinda; McGeachie, Michael; Qiu, Weiliang; Croteau-Chonka, Damien C.; Soto-Quiros, Manuel; Avila, Lydiana; Celedón, Juan C.; Brehm, John M.; Weiss, Scott T; Gold, Diane R; Litonjua, Augusto A

    2015-01-01

    Background Gene by environment interaction (G × E) studies utilizing GWAS data are often underpowered after adjustment for multiple comparisons. Differential gene expression, in response to the exposure of interest, may capture the most biologically relevant genes at the genome-wide level. Methods We used differential genome-wide expression profiles from the Home Allergens and Asthma Birth cohort in response to Der f 1 allergen (sensitized vs. non-sensitized) to inform a G × E study of dust mite exposure and asthma severity. Polymorphisms in differentially expressed genes were identified in GWAS data from CAMP, a clinical trial in childhood asthmatics. Home dust mite allergen (< or ≥ 10µg/g dust) was assessed at baseline, and (≥ 1) severe asthma exacerbation (emergency room (ER) visit or hospitalization for asthma in the first trial year) served as the disease severity outcome. The Genetics of Asthma in Costa Rica (GACRS) study, and a Puerto Rico/Connecticut asthma cohortwere used for replication. Results IL-9, IL-5 and PRG2 expression was up-regulated in Der f 1 stimulated PBMCs from dust mite sensitized individuals (adj. p value <0.04). IL-9 polymorphisms (rs11741137, rs2069885, rs1859430) showed evidence for interaction with dust mite in CAMP (p=0.02 to 0.03), with replication in GACRS (p=0.04). Subjects with the dominant genotype for these IL-9 polymorphisms were more likely to report a severe asthma exacerbation if exposed to elevated dust mite. Conclusions Genome-wide differential gene expression in response to dust mite allergen identified IL-9, a biologically plausible gene target that may interact with environmental dust mite to increase severe asthma exacerbations in children. PMID:25913104

  16. Evaluating the mobility potential of antibiotic resistance genes in environmental resistomes without metagenomics

    PubMed Central

    Pärnänen, Katariina; Karkman, Antti; Tamminen, Manu; Lyra, Christina; Hultman, Jenni; Paulin, Lars; Virta, Marko

    2016-01-01

    Antibiotic resistance genes are ubiquitous in the environment. However, only a fraction of them are mobile and able to spread to pathogenic bacteria. Until now, studying the mobility of antibiotic resistance genes in environmental resistomes has been challenging due to inadequate sensitivity and difficulties in contig assembly of metagenome based methods. We developed a new cost and labor efficient method based on Inverse PCR and long read sequencing for studying mobility potential of environmental resistance genes. We applied Inverse PCR on sediment samples and identified 79 different MGE clusters associated with the studied resistance genes, including novel mobile genetic elements, co-selected resistance genes and a new putative antibiotic resistance gene. The results show that the method can be used in antibiotic resistance early warning systems. In comparison to metagenomics, Inverse PCR was markedly more sensitive and provided more data on resistance gene mobility and co-selected resistances. PMID:27767072

  17. A new simplex chemometric approach to identify olive oil blends with potentially high traceability.

    PubMed

    Semmar, N; Laroussi-Mezghani, S; Grati-Kamoun, N; Hammami, M; Artaud, J

    2016-10-01

    Olive oil blends (OOBs) are complex matrices combining different cultivars at variable proportions. Although qualitative determinations of OOBs have been subjected to several chemometric works, quantitative evaluations of their contents remain poorly developed because of traceability difficulties concerning co-occurring cultivars. Around this question, we recently published an original simplex approach helping to develop predictive models of the proportions of co-occurring cultivars from chemical profiles of resulting blends (Semmar & Artaud, 2015). Beyond predictive model construction and validation, this paper presents an extension based on prediction errors' analysis to statistically define the blends with the highest predictability among all the possible ones that can be made by mixing cultivars at different proportions. This provides an interesting way to identify a priori labeled commercial products with potentially high traceability taking into account the natural chemical variability of different constitutive cultivars.

  18. Identifying potential sources of Sudan I contamination in Capsicum fruits over its growth period.

    PubMed

    Wu, Naiying; Gao, Wei; Zhou, Li; Lian, Yunhe; Li, Fengfei; Han, Wenjie

    2015-04-15

    Sudan dyes in spices are often assumed to arise from cross-contamination or malicious addition. Here, experiments were carried out to identify the potential source of Sudan I-IV in Capsicum fruits through investigation of their contents in native Capsicum tissues, soils and associated agronomic materials. Sudan II-IV was not detected in any of the tested samples. Sudan I was found in almost all samples except for the mulching film. Sudan I concentrations decreased from stems to leaves and then to fruits or roots. Sudan I levels in soils were significantly elevated by vegetation treatment. These results exclude the possibility of soil as the main source for Sudan I contamination in Capsicum fruits. Further study found out pesticide and fertilizer constitutes the major source of Sudan I contamination. This work represents a preliminary step for a detailed Sudan I assessment to support Capsicum management and protection in the studied region.

  19. Identifying Multiple Potential Metabolic Cycles in Time-Series from Biolog Experiments

    PubMed Central

    Schaufler, Katharina; Tedin, Karsten; Vehkala, Minna; Corander, Jukka

    2016-01-01

    Biolog Phenotype Microarray (PM) is a technology allowing simultaneous screening of the metabolic behaviour of bacteria under a large number of different conditions. Bacteria may often undergo several cycles of metabolic activity during a Biolog experiment. We introduce a novel algorithm to identify these metabolic cycles in PM experimental data, thus increasing the potential of PM technology in microbiology. Our method is based on a statistical decomposition of the time-series measurements into a set of growth models. We show that the method is robust to measurement noise and captures accurately the biologically relevant signals from the data. Our implementation is made freely available as a part of an R package for PM data analysis and can be found at www.helsinki.fi/bsg/software/Biolog_Decomposition. PMID:27676629

  20. Positive selection moments identify potential functional residues in human olfactory receptors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Singer, M. S.; Weisinger-Lewin, Y.; Lancet, D.; Shepherd, G. M.

    1996-01-01

    Correlated mutation analysis and molecular models of olfactory receptors have provided evidence that residues in the transmembrane domains form a binding pocket for odor ligands. As an independent test of these results, we have calculated positive selection moments for the alpha-helical sixth transmembrane domain (TM6) of human olfactory receptors. The moments can be used to identify residues that have been preferentially affected by positive selection and are thus likely to interact with odor ligands. The results suggest that residue 622, which is commonly a serine or threonine, could form critical H-bonds. In some receptors a dual-serine subsite, formed by residues 622 and 625, could bind hydroxyl determinants on odor ligands. The potential importance of these residues is further supported by site-directed mutagenesis in the beta-adrenergic receptor. The findings should be of practical value for future physiological studies, binding assays, and site-directed mutagenesis.

  1. A new simplex chemometric approach to identify olive oil blends with potentially high traceability.

    PubMed

    Semmar, N; Laroussi-Mezghani, S; Grati-Kamoun, N; Hammami, M; Artaud, J

    2016-10-01

    Olive oil blends (OOBs) are complex matrices combining different cultivars at variable proportions. Although qualitative determinations of OOBs have been subjected to several chemometric works, quantitative evaluations of their contents remain poorly developed because of traceability difficulties concerning co-occurring cultivars. Around this question, we recently published an original simplex approach helping to develop predictive models of the proportions of co-occurring cultivars from chemical profiles of resulting blends (Semmar & Artaud, 2015). Beyond predictive model construction and validation, this paper presents an extension based on prediction errors' analysis to statistically define the blends with the highest predictability among all the possible ones that can be made by mixing cultivars at different proportions. This provides an interesting way to identify a priori labeled commercial products with potentially high traceability taking into account the natural chemical variability of different constitutive cultivars. PMID:27132835

  2. Patient Safety Indicators: using administrative data to identify potential patient safety concerns.

    PubMed Central

    Miller, M R; Elixhauser, A; Zhan, C; Meyer, G S

    2001-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To develop Patient Safety Indicators (PSI) to identify potential in-hospital patient safety problems for the purpose of quality improvement. DATA SOURCE/STUDY DESIGN: The data source was 2,400,000 discharge records in the 1997 New York State Inpatient Database. PSI algorithms were developed using systematic literature reviews of indicators and hand searches of the ICD-9-CM code book. The prevalence of PSI events and associations between PSI events and patient-level and hospital-level characteristics, length of stay, in-hospital mortality, and hospital charges were examined. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: PSIs were developed for 12 distinct clinical situations and an overall summary measure. The 1997 event rates per 10,000 discharges varied from 1.1 for foreign bodies left during procedure to 84.7 for birth traumas. Discharge records with PSI events had twofold to threefold longer hospital stays, twofold to 20-fold higher rates of in-hospital mortality, and twofold to eightfold higher total charges than records without PSI events. Multivariate logistic regression revealed that PSI events were primarily associated with increasing age (p < .001), hospitals performing more inpatient surgery (p < .001), and hospitals with higher percentage of beds in intensive care units (p < .001). CONCLUSIONS: The PSIs provide an efficient and user-friendly tool to identify potential inhospital patient safety problems for targeted institution-level quality improvement efforts. Until better error-reporting systems are developed the PSIs can serve to shed light on the problem of medical errors not limited solely to mortality because of errors. PMID:16148964

  3. A feasibility study on the influence of the geomorphological feature in identifying the potential landslide hazard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baek, M. H.; Kim, T. H.

    2014-11-01

    In this study we focused on identifying geomorphological features that control the location of landslides. The representation of these features is based on a high resolution DEM (Digital Elevation Model) derived from airborne laser altimetry (LiDAR) and evaluated by statistical analysis of axial orientation data. The main principle of this analysis is generating eigenvalues from axial orientation data and comparing them. The Planarity, a ratio of eigenvalues, would tell the degree of roughness on ground surface based on their ratios. Results are compared to the recent landslide case in Korea in order to evaluate the feasibility of the proposed methodology in identifying the potential landslide hazard. The preliminary landslide assessment based on the Planarity analysis well discriminates features between stable and unstable domain in the study area especially in the landslide initiation zones. Results also show it is beneficial to build the preliminary landslide hazard especially inventory mapping where none of information on historical records of landslides is existed. By combining other physical procedures such as geotechnical monitoring, the landslide hazard assessment using geomorphological features will promise a better understanding of landslides and their mechanisms, and provide an enhanced methodology to evaluate their hazards and appropriate actions.

  4. Identifying potential misfit items in cognitive process of learning engineering mathematics based on Rasch model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ataei, Sh; Mahmud, Z.; Khalid, M. N.

    2014-04-01

    The students learning outcomes clarify what students should know and be able to demonstrate after completing their course. So, one of the issues on the process of teaching and learning is how to assess students' learning. This paper describes an application of the dichotomous Rasch measurement model in measuring the cognitive process of engineering students' learning of mathematics. This study provides insights into the perspective of 54 engineering students' cognitive ability in learning Calculus III based on Bloom's Taxonomy on 31 items. The results denote that some of the examination questions are either too difficult or too easy for the majority of the students. This analysis yields FIT statistics which are able to identify if there is data departure from the Rasch theoretical model. The study has identified some potential misfit items based on the measurement of ZSTD where the removal misfit item was accomplished based on the MNSQ outfit of above 1.3 or less than 0.7 logit. Therefore, it is recommended that these items be reviewed or revised to better match the range of students' ability in the respective course.

  5. Identifying DNA-binding proteins using structural motifs and the electrostatic potential.

    PubMed

    Shanahan, Hugh P; Garcia, Mario A; Jones, Susan; Thornton, Janet M

    2004-01-01

    Robust methods to detect DNA-binding proteins from structures of unknown function are important for structural biology. This paper describes a method for identifying such proteins that (i) have a solvent accessible structural motif necessary for DNA-binding and (ii) a positive electrostatic potential in the region of the binding region. We focus on three structural motifs: helix-turn-helix (HTH), helix-hairpin-helix (HhH) and helix-loop-helix (HLH). We find that the combination of these variables detect 78% of proteins with an HTH motif, which is a substantial improvement over previous work based purely on structural templates and is comparable to more complex methods of identifying DNA-binding proteins. Similar true positive fractions are achieved for the HhH and HLH motifs. We see evidence of wide evolutionary diversity for DNA-binding proteins with an HTH motif, and much smaller diversity for those with an HhH or HLH motif. PMID:15356290

  6. GPR56 identifies primary human acute myeloid leukemia cells with high repopulating potential in vivo.

    PubMed

    Pabst, Caroline; Bergeron, Anne; Lavallée, Vincent-Philippe; Yeh, Jonathan; Gendron, Patrick; Norddahl, Gudmundur L; Krosl, Jana; Boivin, Isabel; Deneault, Eric; Simard, Jessica; Imren, Suzan; Boucher, Geneviève; Eppert, Kolja; Herold, Tobias; Bohlander, Stefan K; Humphries, Keith; Lemieux, Sébastien; Hébert, Josée; Sauvageau, Guy; Barabé, Frédéric

    2016-04-21

    Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a genetically heterogeneous hematologic malignancy, which is initiated and driven by a rare fraction of leukemia stem cells (LSCs). Despite the difficulties of identifying a common LSC phenotype, there is increasing evidence that high expression of stem cell gene signatures is associated with poor clinical outcome. Identification of functionally distinct subpopulations in this disease is therefore crucial to dissecting the molecular machinery underlying LSC self-renewal. Here, we combined next-generation sequencing technology with in vivo assessment of LSC frequencies and identified the adhesion G protein-coupled receptor 56 (GPR56) as a novel and stable marker for human LSCs for the majority of AML samples. High GPR56 expression was significantly associated with high-risk genetic subgroups and poor outcome. Analysis of GPR56 in combination with CD34 expression revealed engraftment potential of GPR56(+)cells in both the CD34(-)and CD34(+)fractions, thus defining a novel LSC compartment independent of the CD34(+)CD38(-)LSC phenotype. PMID:26834243

  7. Identifying the Potential Loss of Monitoring Wells Using an Uncertainty Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Freedman, Vicky L.; Waichler, Scott R.; Cole, Charles R.; Vermeul, Vince R.; Bergeron, Marcel P.

    2005-11-01

    From the mid-1940s through the 1980s, large volumes of wastewater were discharged at the Hanford Site in southeastern Washington State, causing a large-scale rise (in excess of 20 m) in the water table. When wastewater discharges ceased in 1988, groundwater mounds began to dissipate. This caused a large number of wells to go dry and has made it difficult to monitor contaminant plume migration. To identify the wells that could potentially go dry, a first order uncertainty analysis was performed using a three-dimensional, finite element code (CFEST) coupled with UCODE, a nonlinear parameter estimation code. The analysis was conducted in four steps. First, key parameter values were identified by calibrating to historical hydraulic head data. Second, the model was tested for linearity, a strict requirement for representing output uncertainty. Third, results from the calibration period were used to verify model predictions by comparing monitoring wells? wet/dry status with field data. In the final step, predictions on the number and locations of dry wells were made through the year 2048. A non-physically based model that extrapolated trends at each individual well was also tested as a predictor of a well?s wet/dry status. Results demonstrated that when uncertainty in both parameter estimates and measurement error was considered, the CFEST-based model successfully predicted the majority of dry wells, outperforming the trend model. Predictions made through the year 2048 identified approximately 50% of the wells in the monitoring well network are likely to go dry, which can aid in decisions for their replacement.

  8. Sustained attention deficits in relation to psychometrically identified schizotypy: evaluating a potential endophenotypic marker.

    PubMed

    Gooding, Diane C; Matts, Christie W; Rollmann, Elizabeth A

    2006-02-15

    Sustained attention deficits have been posited as a potential endophenotypic marker of vulnerability to schizophrenia. Prior studies have indicated that schizophrenia patients, their first-degree relatives, and psychosis-prone individuals, identified on the basis of measures of positive schizotypy, have demonstrated sustained attention deficits. To date, there have been no published reports of sustained attention deficits in individuals with negative schizotypy, as measured by the revised Social Anhedonia Scale. In this study, we examined sustained attention, measured with the CPT-Identical Pairs version, in 160 individuals with elevated scores on the Chapman Perceptual Aberration and/or Magical Ideation Scales, 96 individuals with elevated scales on the Social Anhedonia Scale, and 137 controls. Both psychosis-prone groups performed more poorly than the controls in terms of discrimination ability, as measured by d', though the groups did not differ in terms of either their reaction time or overall response criterion (lnbeta). These results provide evidence that both positive and negative aspects of schizotypy are associated with sustained attention deficits, as measured by the Continuous Performance Test. The findings add to the converging evidence indicating that sustained attention deficits are a potential endophenotypic indicator of a schizophrenia diathesis.

  9. A Quest to Identify Prostate Cancer Circulating Biomarkers with a Bench-to-Bedside Potential

    PubMed Central

    Batra, Jaspreet Singh; Girdhani, Swati

    2014-01-01

    Prostate cancer (PCA) is a major health concern in current times. Ever since prostate specific antigen (PSA) was introduced in clinical practice almost three decades ago, the diagnosis and management of PCA have been revolutionized. With time, concerns arose as to the inherent shortcomings of this biomarker and alternatives were actively sought. Over the past decade new PCA biomarkers have been identified in tissue, blood, urine, and other body fluids that offer improved specificity and supplement our knowledge of disease progression. This review focuses on superiority of circulating biomarkers over tissue biomarkers due to the advantages of being more readily accessible, minimally invasive (blood) or noninvasive (urine), accessible for sampling on regular intervals, and easily utilized for follow-up after surgery or other treatment modalities. Some of the circulating biomarkers like PCA3, IL-6, and TMPRSS2-ERG are now detectable by commercially available kits while others like microRNAs (miR-21, -221, -141) and exosomes hold potential to become available as multiplexed assays. In this paper, we will review some of these potential candidate circulating biomarkers that either individually or in combination, once validated with large-scale trials, may eventually get utilized clinically for improved diagnosis, risk stratification, and treatment. PMID:26317031

  10. Identifying psychiatric patients with serotonergic dysfunctions by event-related potentials.

    PubMed

    Hegerl, U; Juckel, G

    2000-04-01

    The increasing knowledge concerning anatomical structures and cellular processes underlying event-related potentials (ERP) as well as methodological advances in ERP data analysis (e.g. dipole source analysis) is beginning to bridge the gap between ERP and neurochemical aspects. Reliable indicators of the serotonin system are urgently needed because of its role in pathophysiology and as target of pharmacotherapeutic interventions in psychiatric disorders. Converging arguments from preclinical and clinical studies support the hypothesis that the loudness dependence of the auditory evoked N1/P2-response (LDAEP) is regulated by the level of central serotonergic neurotransmission. Dipole source analysis represents an important methodological advance in this context, because the two N1/P2-subcomponents, generated by the primary and secondary auditory cortex known to be differentially innervated by serotonergic fibres, can be separated. A pronounced LDAEP of primary auditory cortices is supposed to reflect low central serotonergic neurotransmission, and vice versa. LDAEP is a parameter with potential clinical value since subgroups of patients with a serotonergic dysfunction can be identified and can be treated more specifically. In depressed patients, a significant relationship between strong LDAEP, indicating low serotonergic function, and a favourable response to SSRI has been found. Additionally, there is evidence from several studies with patients with affective disorders that a strong LDAEP predicts favourable response to a preventive lithium treatment. PMID:12607207

  11. Airborne Quercus pollen in SW Spain: Identifying favourable conditions for atmospheric transport and potential source areas.

    PubMed

    Maya-Manzano, José María; Fernández-Rodríguez, Santiago; Smith, Matt; Tormo-Molina, Rafael; Reynolds, Andrew M; Silva-Palacios, Inmaculada; Gonzalo-Garijo, Ángela; Sadyś, Magdalena

    2016-11-15

    The pollen grains of Quercus spp. (oak trees) are allergenic. This study investigates airborne Quercus pollen in SW Spain with the aim identifying favourable conditions for atmospheric transport and potential sources areas. Two types of Quercus distribution maps were produced. Airborne Quercus pollen concentrations were measured at three sites located in the Extremadura region (SW Spain) for 3 consecutive years. The seasonal occurrence of Quercus pollen in the air was investigated, as well as days with pollen concentrations ≥80Pm(-3). The distance that Quercus pollen can be transported in appreciable numbers was calculated using clusters of back trajectories representing the air mass movement above the source areas (oak woodlands), and by using a state-of-the-art dispersion model. The two main potential sources of Quercus airborne pollen captured in SW Spain are Q. ilex subsp. ballota and Q. suber. The minimum distances between aerobiological stations and Quercus woodlands have been estimated as: 40km (Plasencia), 66km (Don Benito), 62km (Zafra) from the context of this study. Daily mean Quercus pollen concentration can exceed 1,700Pm(-3), levels reached not less than 24 days in a single year. High Quercus pollen concentration were mostly associated with moderate wind speed events (6-10ms(-1)), whereas that a high wind speed (16-20ms(-1)) seems to be associated with low concentrations. PMID:27443456

  12. Omen: identifying potential spear-phishing targets before the email is sent.

    SciTech Connect

    Wendt, Jeremy Daniel.

    2013-07-01

    We present the results of a two year project focused on a common social engineering attack method called "spear phishing". In a spear phishing attack, the user receives an email with information specifically focused on the user. This email contains either a malware-laced attachment or a link to download the malware that has been disguised as a useful program. Spear phishing attacks have been one of the most effective avenues for attackers to gain initial entry into a target network. This project focused on a proactive approach to spear phishing. To create an effective, user-specific spear phishing email, the attacker must research the intended recipient. We believe that much of the information used by the attacker is provided by the target organization's own external website. Thus when researching potential targets, the attacker leaves signs of his research in the webserver's logs. We created tools and visualizations to improve cybersecurity analysts' abilities to quickly understand a visitor's visit patterns and interests. Given these suspicious visitors and log-parsing tools, analysts can more quickly identify truly suspicious visitors, search for potential spear-phishing targeted users, and improve security around those users before the spear phishing email is sent.

  13. Airborne Quercus pollen in SW Spain: Identifying favourable conditions for atmospheric transport and potential source areas.

    PubMed

    Maya-Manzano, José María; Fernández-Rodríguez, Santiago; Smith, Matt; Tormo-Molina, Rafael; Reynolds, Andrew M; Silva-Palacios, Inmaculada; Gonzalo-Garijo, Ángela; Sadyś, Magdalena

    2016-11-15

    The pollen grains of Quercus spp. (oak trees) are allergenic. This study investigates airborne Quercus pollen in SW Spain with the aim identifying favourable conditions for atmospheric transport and potential sources areas. Two types of Quercus distribution maps were produced. Airborne Quercus pollen concentrations were measured at three sites located in the Extremadura region (SW Spain) for 3 consecutive years. The seasonal occurrence of Quercus pollen in the air was investigated, as well as days with pollen concentrations ≥80Pm(-3). The distance that Quercus pollen can be transported in appreciable numbers was calculated using clusters of back trajectories representing the air mass movement above the source areas (oak woodlands), and by using a state-of-the-art dispersion model. The two main potential sources of Quercus airborne pollen captured in SW Spain are Q. ilex subsp. ballota and Q. suber. The minimum distances between aerobiological stations and Quercus woodlands have been estimated as: 40km (Plasencia), 66km (Don Benito), 62km (Zafra) from the context of this study. Daily mean Quercus pollen concentration can exceed 1,700Pm(-3), levels reached not less than 24 days in a single year. High Quercus pollen concentration were mostly associated with moderate wind speed events (6-10ms(-1)), whereas that a high wind speed (16-20ms(-1)) seems to be associated with low concentrations.

  14. Heat tolerance around flowering in wheat identified as a key trait for increased yield potential in Europe under climate change.

    PubMed

    Stratonovitch, Pierre; Semenov, Mikhail A

    2015-06-01

    To deliver food security for the 9 billon population in 2050, a 70% increase in world food supply will be required. Projected climatic and environmental changes emphasize the need for breeding strategies that delivers both a substantial increase in yield potential and resilience to extreme weather events such as heat waves, late frost, and drought. Heat stress around sensitive stages of wheat development has been identified as a possible threat to wheat production in Europe. However, no estimates have been made to assess yield losses due to increased frequency and magnitude of heat stress under climate change. Using existing experimental data, the Sirius wheat model was refined by incorporating the effects of extreme temperature during flowering and grain filling on accelerated leaf senescence, grain number, and grain weight. This allowed us, for the first time, to quantify yield losses resulting from heat stress under climate change. The model was used to optimize wheat ideotypes for CMIP5-based climate scenarios for 2050 at six sites in Europe with diverse climates. The yield potential for heat-tolerant ideotypes can be substantially increased in the future (e.g. by 80% at Seville, 100% at Debrecen) compared with the current cultivars by selecting an optimal combination of wheat traits, e.g. optimal phenology and extended duration of grain filling. However, at two sites, Seville and Debrecen, the grain yields of heat-sensitive ideotypes were substantially lower (by 54% and 16%) and more variable compared with heat-tolerant ideotypes, because the extended grain filling required for the increased yield potential was in conflict with episodes of high temperature during flowering and grain filling. Despite much earlier flowering at these sites, the risk of heat stress affecting yields of heat-sensitive ideotypes remained high. Therefore, heat tolerance in wheat is likely to become a key trait for increased yield potential and yield stability in southern Europe in the

  15. Heat tolerance around flowering in wheat identified as a key trait for increased yield potential in Europe under climate change

    PubMed Central

    Stratonovitch, Pierre; Semenov, Mikhail A.

    2015-01-01

    To deliver food security for the 9 billon population in 2050, a 70% increase in world food supply will be required. Projected climatic and environmental changes emphasize the need for breeding strategies that delivers both a substantial increase in yield potential and resilience to extreme weather events such as heat waves, late frost, and drought. Heat stress around sensitive stages of wheat development has been identified as a possible threat to wheat production in Europe. However, no estimates have been made to assess yield losses due to increased frequency and magnitude of heat stress under climate change. Using existing experimental data, the Sirius wheat model was refined by incorporating the effects of extreme temperature during flowering and grain filling on accelerated leaf senescence, grain number, and grain weight. This allowed us, for the first time, to quantify yield losses resulting from heat stress under climate change. The model was used to optimize wheat ideotypes for CMIP5-based climate scenarios for 2050 at six sites in Europe with diverse climates. The yield potential for heat-tolerant ideotypes can be substantially increased in the future (e.g. by 80% at Seville, 100% at Debrecen) compared with the current cultivars by selecting an optimal combination of wheat traits, e.g. optimal phenology and extended duration of grain filling. However, at two sites, Seville and Debrecen, the grain yields of heat-sensitive ideotypes were substantially lower (by 54% and 16%) and more variable compared with heat-tolerant ideotypes, because the extended grain filling required for the increased yield potential was in conflict with episodes of high temperature during flowering and grain filling. Despite much earlier flowering at these sites, the risk of heat stress affecting yields of heat-sensitive ideotypes remained high. Therefore, heat tolerance in wheat is likely to become a key trait for increased yield potential and yield stability in southern Europe in the

  16. Heat tolerance around flowering in wheat identified as a key trait for increased yield potential in Europe under climate change.

    PubMed

    Stratonovitch, Pierre; Semenov, Mikhail A

    2015-06-01

    To deliver food security for the 9 billon population in 2050, a 70% increase in world food supply will be required. Projected climatic and environmental changes emphasize the need for breeding strategies that delivers both a substantial increase in yield potential and resilience to extreme weather events such as heat waves, late frost, and drought. Heat stress around sensitive stages of wheat development has been identified as a possible threat to wheat production in Europe. However, no estimates have been made to assess yield losses due to increased frequency and magnitude of heat stress under climate change. Using existing experimental data, the Sirius wheat model was refined by incorporating the effects of extreme temperature during flowering and grain filling on accelerated leaf senescence, grain number, and grain weight. This allowed us, for the first time, to quantify yield losses resulting from heat stress under climate change. The model was used to optimize wheat ideotypes for CMIP5-based climate scenarios for 2050 at six sites in Europe with diverse climates. The yield potential for heat-tolerant ideotypes can be substantially increased in the future (e.g. by 80% at Seville, 100% at Debrecen) compared with the current cultivars by selecting an optimal combination of wheat traits, e.g. optimal phenology and extended duration of grain filling. However, at two sites, Seville and Debrecen, the grain yields of heat-sensitive ideotypes were substantially lower (by 54% and 16%) and more variable compared with heat-tolerant ideotypes, because the extended grain filling required for the increased yield potential was in conflict with episodes of high temperature during flowering and grain filling. Despite much earlier flowering at these sites, the risk of heat stress affecting yields of heat-sensitive ideotypes remained high. Therefore, heat tolerance in wheat is likely to become a key trait for increased yield potential and yield stability in southern Europe in the

  17. Permafrost as palaeo-environmental archive - potentials and limitations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schirrmeister, L.; Wetterich, S.; Meyer, H.; Grosse, G.; Schwamborn, G.; Siegert, C.

    2009-04-01

    temperatures, mean winter temperatures, mean Juli temperatures, precipitation, humidity, soil climate and chemistry, hydrology and hydrochemistry of waters). The general potential of permafrost archives includes spatial (circumarctic, high arctic to boreal zones) and temporal (Mid Pleistocene to modern) environmental gradients. Lateral cross sections contain information about permafrost degradation during interglacial periods, the aggradation of ice-rich sequences during stadial and interstadial periods, and extreme changes in periglacial hydrology during the late Quaternary. The spatial reconstruction of ancient landscapes is possible by detailed study of kilometer-long coastal exposures. Temporally relative high resolution (about 50 years) isotope data from ice wedges reflect the Late Pleistocene to Holocene climate transition. Using transfer functions for pollen, plant macro remains or chironomids, the numerical estimation of palaeo-climate data (temperature and precipitation) is possible. The limitations of permafrost archives are the frequent lack of continuous sequences due to thermokarst or thermo-erosion events. Local stratigraphies are sometimes difficult to correlate on a regional scale because of permafrost degradation and neotectonic influence on the accumulative/erosive environment in some regions. Until now there are still uncertainties for comparing different geochronological methods, some of them related to unknown influences of permafrost processes on chemical and physical parameters important to the age determination technique. Due to strong cryoturbation patterns and sometimes challenging sampling situations on near-vertical frozen exposures the geochronological resolution in permafrost sequences is usually lower than in lacustrine sequences or glacial ice cores. Eventually, as for any other archive, we need to consider the effect of local versus regional signals derived from the palaeo-ecological interpretation of fossil records.

  18. Groundwater baseline sampling programs designed to identify potential leakage from unconventional gas plays in Alberta, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayer, B.; Humez, P.; Ing, J.; Nightingale, M.

    2014-12-01

    With the rapid expansion of natural gas exploitation from unconventional reservoirs including coalbed methane and shale gas plays, there is significant public concern about potential future contamination of shallow potable groundwater with stray gases, formation waters or chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing. In order to enable a scientifically sound assessment of potential future deterioration of freshwater resources in shallow aquifers, it is essential to first establish and understand the current baseline of groundwater quality including its dissolved or free gases. Since 2006, we have conducted monitoring programs determining the chemical and isotopic compositions of water, its dissolved constituents, and of gases obtained from shallow groundwater and formation fluids collected from coalbed methane and shale gas plays in Western Canada. For groundwater samples, we placed special emphasis on determining the sources of dissolved and free gases using isotope techniques to assess whether gases produced from shale gas plays or potentially leaking from the intermediate zone are isotopically distinct from those in shallow aquifers. Methane and ethane in free gas samples obtained from shallow aquifers (n = 24) were found to have mean δ13C values of -72.4 ‰ and -50.2 ‰, respectively. These values are markedly different from the much higher δ13C values of methane and ethane in deeper portions of the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin and in shale gas plays. Therefore, it appears highly feasible to identify potential gas leakage from unconventional gas plays provided that baseline data for shallow groundwater have been determined. Repeat baseline sampling of free gas from selected wells revealed a comparatively low variability of δ13C values of methane and ethane of usually < 2 ‰ over periods of several years, suggesting that it is not necessary to conduct baseline analyses more than three times. Also, δ13C values of methane in free gas samples and

  19. Using a Physical Education Environmental Survey to Identify Areas of Concern and Improve Conditions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hill, Grant; Hulbert, George

    2007-01-01

    School environmental conditions can impact learning in physical educational classes. It is important for schools to control environmental health hazards, not only to promote a conducive school learning environment, but to also reduce associated health risks. To help physical education leaders determine the quality of physical education facilities…

  20. MicroRNAs as Potential Signatures of Environmental Exposure or Effect: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Vrijens, Karen; Bollati, Valentina

    2015-01-01

    Background: The exposome encompasses all life-course environmental exposures from the prenatal period onward that influence health. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are interesting entities within this concept as markers and causation of disease. MicroRNAs are short oligonucleotide sequences that can interact with several mRNA targets. Objectives: We reviewed the current state of the field on the potential of using miRNAs as biomarkers for environmental exposure. We investigated miRNA signatures in response to all types of environmental exposure to which a human can be exposed, including cigarette smoke, air pollution, nanoparticles, and diverse chemicals; and we examined the health conditions for which the identified miRNAs have been reported (i.e., cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes). Methods: We searched the PubMed and ScienceDirect databases to identify relevant studies. Results: For all exposures incorporated in this review, 27 miRNAs were differentially expressed in at least two independent studies. miRNAs that had expression alterations associated with smoking observed in multiple studies are miR-21, miR-34b, miR-125b, miR-146a, miR-223, and miR-340; and those miRNAs that were observed in multiple air pollution studies are miR-9, miR-10b, miR-21, miR-128, miR-143, miR-155, miR-222, miR-223, and miR-338. We found little overlap among in vitro, in vivo, and human studies between miRNAs and exposure. Here, we report on disease associations for those miRNAs identified in multiple studies on exposure. Conclusions: miRNA changes may be sensitive indicators of the effects of acute and chronic environmental exposure. Therefore, miRNAs are valuable novel biomarkers for exposure. Further studies should elucidate the role of the mediation effect of miRNA between exposures and effect through all stages of life to provide a more accurate assessment of the consequences of miRNA changes. Citation: Vrijens K, Bollati V, Nawrot TS. 2015. MicroRNAs as potential signatures of

  1. Identifying the dominant metabolic strategies used by microorganisms within basalt-hosted, anoxic deep subsurface basement fluids via environmental genomics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rappe, M. S.; Jungbluth, S.; Carr, S. A.; Lin, H. T.; Hsieh, C. C.; Nigro, O. D.; Steward, G. F.; Orcutt, B.

    2014-12-01

    A microbial ecosystem distinct from both overlying sediments and bottom seawater lies within the basaltic crust of the Juan de Fuca Ridge flank. The metabolic potential and genomic characteristics of microbes residing in fluids of this remote, anoxic region of the subsurface ocean were investigated using environmental DNA extracted from large-volume fluid samples obtained from advanced borehole observatories installed at two recently drilled IODP Boreholes, U1362A and U1362B. Fluids were collected from the deep (204 meters sub-basement) horizon of Borehole U1362A and shallow (40 meters sub-basement) horizon of Borehole U1362B and used to generate 503 and 705 million base-pairs of genomic DNA sequence data, respectively. Phylogenetically informative genes revealed that the community structure recovered via metagenomics was generally consistent with that obtained previously by 16S rRNA gene sequencing and was dominated by uncultivated bacterial lineages of Proteobacteria, Nitrospirae, Candidate Division OP8 (Aminicenantes), Thermotoga and archaeal groups THSCG, MCG (Bathyarchaeota), MBGE, and Archaeoglobus. Genes involved in phage integration, chemotaxis, nitrate reduction, methanogenesis, and amino acid degradation were all detected, revealing potentially dynamic microbial communities. Putative sulfate reduction genes were discovered within previously identified Firmicutes lineage Candidatus Desulforudis, along with other groups (e.g. Archaeoglobus). Significant metagenome assembly resulted in 72 and 105 contigs of >100 Kbp from U1362B and U1362A, respectively, including 1137, 977 and 356 Kbp-long contigs from Candidate Division OP8 residing in U1362B. These assemblies have revealed novel metabolic potential within abundant members of the deep subsurface microbial community, which can be directly related to their survival in the deep oceanic crust.

  2. Visual Indicators on Vaccine Boxes as Early Warning Tools to Identify Potential Freeze Damage

    PubMed Central

    Angoff, Ronald; Wood, Jillian; Chernock, Maria C.; Tipping, Diane

    2015-01-01

    Background The aim of this study was to determine whether the use of visual freeze indicators on vaccines would assist health care providers in identifying vaccines that may have been exposed to potentially damaging temperatures. Methods Twenty-seven sites in Connecticut involved in the Vaccine for Children Program participated. In addition to standard procedures, visual freeze indicators (FREEZEmarker® L; Temptime Corporation, Morris Plains, NJ) were affixed to each box of vaccine that required refrigeration but must not be frozen. Temperatures were monitored twice daily. Results During the 24 weeks, all 27 sites experienced triggered visual freeze indicator events in 40 of the 45 refrigerators. A total of 66 triggered freeze indicator events occurred in all 4 types of refrigerators used. Only 1 of the freeze events was identified by a temperature-monitoring device. Temperatures recorded on vaccine data logs before freeze indicator events were within the 35°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C) range in all but 1 instance. A total of 46,954 doses of freeze-sensitive vaccine were stored at the time of a visual freeze indicator event. Triggered visual freeze indicators were found on boxes containing 6566 doses (14.0% of total doses). Of all doses stored, 14,323 doses (30.5%) were of highly freeze-sensitive vaccine; 1789 of these doses (12.5%) had triggered indicators on the boxes. Conclusions Visual freeze indicators are useful in the early identification of freeze events involving vaccines. Consideration should be given to including these devices as a component of the temperature-monitoring system for vaccines. PMID:27330265

  3. Enterococcus phages as potential tool for identifying sewage inputs in the Great Lakes region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,; K.Vijayavel,; Byappanahalli, Muruleedhara N.; J. Ebdon,; ,; H. Taylor,; ,; Whitman, Richard L.; ,; D.R. Kashian,

    2014-01-01

    Bacteriophages are viruses living in bacteria that can be used as a tool to detect fecal contamination in surface waters around the world. However, the lack of a universal host strain makes them unsuitable for tracking fecal sources. We evaluated the suitability of two newly isolated Enterococcus host strains (ENT-49 and ENT-55) capable for identifying sewage contamination in impacted waters by targeting phages specific to these hosts. Both host strains were isolated from wastewater samples and identified as E. faecium by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Occurrence of Enterococcus phages was evaluated in sewage samples (n = 15) from five wastewater treatment plants and in fecal samples from twenty-two species of wild and domesticated animals (individual samples; n = 22). Levels of Enterococcus phages, F + coliphages, Escherichia coli and enterococci were examined from four rivers, four beaches, and three harbors. Enterococcus phages enumeration was at similar levels (Mean = 6.72 Log PFU/100 mL) to F + coliphages in all wastewater samples, but were absent from all non-human fecal sources tested. The phages infecting Enterococcus spp. and F + coliphages were not detected in the river samples (detection threshold < 10 PFU/100 mL), but were present in the beach and harbor samples (range = 1.83 to 2.86 Log PFU/100 mL). Slightly higher concentrations (range = 3.22 to 3.69 Log MPN/100 mL) of E. coli and enterococci when compared to F + coliphages and Enterococcus phages, were observed in the river, beach and harbor samples. Our findings suggest that the bacteriophages associated with these particular Enterococcus host strains offer potentially sensitive and human-source specific indicators of enteric pathogen risk.

  4. A genetic database can be utilized to identify potential biomarkers for biphenotypic hepatocellular carcinoma-cholangiocarcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Mohan, Sachin; Grewal, Navjot; Elfant, Adam B.; Judge, Thomas A.

    2016-01-01

    Background Biphenotypic hepatocellular carcinoma-cholangiocarcinoma (HCC-CC) is an uncommon primary liver neoplasm. Due to limitations in radiologic imaging for the diagnosis of this condition, biopsy is a common method for diagnosis, which is invasive and holds potential complications. To identify alternative means for obtaining the diagnosis and assessing the prognosis of this condition, we evaluated biomarkers for biphenotypic HCC-CC using a genetic database. Methods To evaluate the genetic associations with each variable we utilized GeneCards®, The Human Gene Compendium (http://www.genecards.org). The results of our search were entered into the Pathway Interaction Database from the National Cancer Institute (PID-NCI) (http://pid.nci.nih.gov), to generate a biomolecule interaction map. Results The results of our query yielded 690 genes for HCC, 98 genes for CC and 50 genes for HCC-CC. Genes depicted in this analysis demonstrate the role of hormonal regulation, embryonic development, cell surface adhesion, cytokeratin stability, mucin production, metalloproteinase regulation, Ras signaling, metabolism and apoptosis. Examples of previously described markers included hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), mesenchymal epithelial transition (MET) and Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS). Novel markers included phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase, catalytic subunit alpha (PIK3CA), GPC3, choline kinase alpha (CHKA), prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (PTGS2), telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT), myeloid cell leukemia 1 (MCL1) and N-acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2). Conclusions GeneCards is a useful research tool in the genetic analysis of low frequency malignancies. Utilizing this tool we identified several biomarkers are methods for diagnosing HCC-CC. Finally, utilizing these methods, HCC-CC was found to be predominantly a subtype of CC. PMID:27563447

  5. Identifying Potential Mechanisms Enabling Acidophily in the Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaeon “Candidatus Nitrosotalea devanaterra”

    PubMed Central

    Sayavedra-Soto, Luis A.; Gallois, Nicolas; Schouten, Stefan; Stein, Lisa Y.; Prosser, James I.; Nicol, Graeme W.

    2016-01-01

    Ammonia oxidation is the first and rate-limiting step in nitrification and is dominated by two distinct groups of microorganisms in soil: ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB). AOA are often more abundant than AOB and dominate activity in acid soils. The mechanism of ammonia oxidation under acidic conditions has been a long-standing paradox. While high rates of ammonia oxidation are frequently measured in acid soils, cultivated ammonia oxidizers grew only at near-neutral pH when grown in standard laboratory culture. Although a number of mechanisms have been demonstrated to enable neutrophilic AOB growth at low pH in the laboratory, these have not been demonstrated in soil, and the recent cultivation of the obligately acidophilic ammonia oxidizer “Candidatus Nitrosotalea devanaterra” provides a more parsimonious explanation for the observed high rates of activity. Analysis of the sequenced genome, transcriptional activity, and lipid content of “Ca. Nitrosotalea devanaterra” reveals that previously proposed mechanisms used by AOB for growth at low pH are not essential for archaeal ammonia oxidation in acidic environments. Instead, the genome indicates that “Ca. Nitrosotalea devanaterra” contains genes encoding both a predicted high-affinity substrate acquisition system and potential pH homeostasis mechanisms absent in neutrophilic AOA. Analysis of mRNA revealed that candidate genes encoding the proposed homeostasis mechanisms were all expressed during acidophilic growth, and lipid profiling by high-performance liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS) demonstrated that the membrane lipids of “Ca. Nitrosotalea devanaterra” were not dominated by crenarchaeol, as found in neutrophilic AOA. This study for the first time describes a genome of an obligately acidophilic ammonia oxidizer and identifies potential mechanisms enabling this unique phenotype for future biochemical characterization. PMID:26896134

  6. Identifying Potential Mechanisms Enabling Acidophily in the Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaeon "Candidatus Nitrosotalea devanaterra".

    PubMed

    Lehtovirta-Morley, Laura E; Sayavedra-Soto, Luis A; Gallois, Nicolas; Schouten, Stefan; Stein, Lisa Y; Prosser, James I; Nicol, Graeme W

    2016-05-01

    Ammonia oxidation is the first and rate-limiting step in nitrification and is dominated by two distinct groups of microorganisms in soil: ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB). AOA are often more abundant than AOB and dominate activity in acid soils. The mechanism of ammonia oxidation under acidic conditions has been a long-standing paradox. While high rates of ammonia oxidation are frequently measured in acid soils, cultivated ammonia oxidizers grew only at near-neutral pH when grown in standard laboratory culture. Although a number of mechanisms have been demonstrated to enable neutrophilic AOB growth at low pH in the laboratory, these have not been demonstrated in soil, and the recent cultivation of the obligately acidophilic ammonia oxidizer "Candidatus Nitrosotalea devanaterra" provides a more parsimonious explanation for the observed high rates of activity. Analysis of the sequenced genome, transcriptional activity, and lipid content of "Ca Nitrosotalea devanaterra" reveals that previously proposed mechanisms used by AOB for growth at low pH are not essential for archaeal ammonia oxidation in acidic environments. Instead, the genome indicates that "Ca Nitrosotalea devanaterra" contains genes encoding both a predicted high-affinity substrate acquisition system and potential pH homeostasis mechanisms absent in neutrophilic AOA. Analysis of mRNA revealed that candidate genes encoding the proposed homeostasis mechanisms were all expressed during acidophilic growth, and lipid profiling by high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS) demonstrated that the membrane lipids of "Ca Nitrosotalea devanaterra" were not dominated by crenarchaeol, as found in neutrophilic AOA. This study for the first time describes a genome of an obligately acidophilic ammonia oxidizer and identifies potential mechanisms enabling this unique phenotype for future biochemical characterization. PMID:26896134

  7. Integrated genomic and transcriptomic analysis of human brain metastases identifies alterations of potential clinical significance.

    PubMed

    Saunus, Jodi M; Quinn, Michael C J; Patch, Ann-Marie; Pearson, John V; Bailey, Peter J; Nones, Katia; McCart Reed, Amy E; Miller, David; Wilson, Peter J; Al-Ejeh, Fares; Mariasegaram, Mythily; Lau, Queenie; Withers, Teresa; Jeffree, Rosalind L; Reid, Lynne E; Da Silva, Leonard; Matsika, Admire; Niland, Colleen M; Cummings, Margaret C; Bruxner, Timothy J C; Christ, Angelika N; Harliwong, Ivon; Idrisoglu, Senel; Manning, Suzanne; Nourse, Craig; Nourbakhsh, Ehsan; Wani, Shivangi; Anderson, Matthew J; Fink, J Lynn; Holmes, Oliver; Kazakoff, Stephen; Leonard, Conrad; Newell, Felicity; Taylor, Darrin; Waddell, Nick; Wood, Scott; Xu, Qinying; Kassahn, Karin S; Narayanan, Vairavan; Taib, Nur Aishah; Teo, Soo-Hwang; Chow, Yock Ping; kConFab; Jat, Parmjit S; Brandner, Sebastian; Flanagan, Adrienne M; Khanna, Kum Kum; Chenevix-Trench, Georgia; Grimmond, Sean M; Simpson, Peter T; Waddell, Nicola; Lakhani, Sunil R

    2015-11-01

    Treatment options for patients with brain metastases (BMs) have limited efficacy and the mortality rate is virtually 100%. Targeted therapy is critically under-utilized, and our understanding of mechanisms underpinning metastatic outgrowth in the brain is limited. To address these deficiencies, we investigated the genomic and transcriptomic landscapes of 36 BMs from breast, lung, melanoma and oesophageal cancers, using DNA copy-number analysis and exome- and RNA-sequencing. The key findings were as follows. (a) Identification of novel candidates with possible roles in BM development, including the significantly mutated genes DSC2, ST7, PIK3R1 and SMC5, and the DNA repair, ERBB-HER signalling, axon guidance and protein kinase-A signalling pathways. (b) Mutational signature analysis was applied to successfully identify the primary cancer type for two BMs with unknown origins. (c) Actionable genomic alterations were identified in 31/36 BMs (86%); in one case we retrospectively identified ERBB2 amplification representing apparent HER2 status conversion, then confirmed progressive enrichment for HER2-positivity across four consecutive metastatic deposits by IHC and SISH, resulting in the deployment of HER2-targeted therapy for the patient. (d) In the ERBB/HER pathway, ERBB2 expression correlated with ERBB3 (r(2)  = 0.496; p < 0.0001) and HER3 and HER4 were frequently activated in an independent cohort of 167 archival BM from seven primary cancer types: 57.6% and 52.6% of cases were phospho-HER3(Y1222) or phospho-HER4(Y1162) membrane-positive, respectively. The HER3 ligands NRG1/2 were barely detectable by RNAseq, with NRG1 (8p12) genomic loss in 63.6% breast cancer-BMs, suggesting a microenvironmental source of ligand. In summary, this is the first study to characterize the genomic landscapes of BM. The data revealed novel candidates, potential clinical applications for genomic profiling of resectable BMs, and highlighted the possibility of therapeutically targeting

  8. In silico analysis for identifying potential vaccine candidates against Staphylococcus aureus

    PubMed Central

    Sedighian, Hamid

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most important causes of nosocomial and community-acquired infections. The increasing incidence of multiple antibiotic-resistant S. aureus strains and the emergence of vancomycin resistant S. aureus strains have placed renewed interest on alternative means of prevention and control of infection. S. aureus produces a variety of virulence factors, so a multi-subunit vaccine will be more successful for preventing S. aureus infections than a mono-subunit vaccine. Materials and Methods We selected three important virulence factors of S. aureus, clumping factor A (ClfA), iron-regulated surface determinant (IsdB), and gamma hemolysin (Hlg) that are potential candidates for vaccine development. We designed synthetic genes encoding the clfA, isdB, and hlg and used bioinformatics tools to predict structure of the synthetic construct and its stabilities. VaxiJen analysis of the protein showed a high antigenicity. Linear and conformational B-cell epitopes were identified. Results The proteins encoded by these genes were useful as vaccine candidates against S. aureus infections. Conclusion In silico tools are highly suited to study, design, and evaluate vaccine strategies. PMID:25649548

  9. Identifying Hydrologic Flowpaths on Arctic Hillslopes Using Electrical Resistivity and Self Potential

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voytek, E.; Rushlow, C. R.; Godsey, S.; Singha, K.

    2015-12-01

    Shallow subsurface flow is a dominant process controlling hillslope runoff generation, soil development, and solute reaction and transport. Despite their importance, the location and geometry of flowpaths are difficult to determine. In arctic environments, shallow subsurface flowpaths are limited to a thin zone of seasonal thaw above continuous permafrost, which is traditionally assumed to mimic to surface topography. Here we use a combined approach of electrical resistivity imaging (ERI) and self-potential measurements (SP) to map shallow subsurface flowpaths in and around water tracks, drainage features common to arctic hillslopes. ERI measurements delineate thawed zones in the subsurface that control flowpaths, while SP is sensitive to groundwater flow. We find that areas of low electrical resistivity in the water tracks are deeper than manual thaw depth estimates and variations from surface topography. This finding suggests that traditional techniques significantly underestimate active layer thaw and the extent of the flowpath network on arctic hillslopes. SP measurements identify complex 3-D flowpaths in the thawed zone. Our results lay the groundwork for investigations into the seasonal dynamics, hydrologic connectivity, and climate sensitivity of spatially distributed flowpath networks on arctic hillslopes.

  10. Multiplatform molecular profiling identifies potentially targetable biomarkers in malignant phyllodes tumors of the breast.

    PubMed

    Gatalica, Zoran; Vranic, Semir; Ghazalpour, Anatole; Xiu, Joanne; Ocal, Idris Tolgay; McGill, John; Bender, Ryan P; Discianno, Erin; Schlum, Aaron; Sanati, Souzan; Palazzo, Juan; Reddy, Sandeep; Pockaj, Barbara

    2016-01-12

    Malignant phyllodes tumor is a rare breast malignancy with sarcomatous overgrowth and with limited effective treatment options for recurrent and metastatic cases. Recent clinical trials indicated a potential for anti-angiogenic, anti-EGFR and immunotherapeutic approaches for patients with sarcomas, which led us to investigate these and other targetable pathways in malignant phyllodes tumor of the breast. Thirty-six malignant phyllodes tumors (including 8 metastatic tumors with two cases having matched primary and metastatic tumors) were profiled using gene sequencing, gene copy number analysis, whole genome expression, and protein expression. Whole genome expression analysis demonstrated consistent over-expression of genes involved in angiogenesis including VEGFA, Angiopoietin-2, VCAM1, PDGFRA, and PTTG1. EGFR protein overexpression was observed in 26/27 (96%) of cases with amplification of the EGFR gene in 8/24 (33%) cases. Two EGFR mutations were identified including EGFRvIII and a presumed pathogenic V774M mutation, respectively. The most common pathogenic mutations included TP53 (50%) and PIK3CA (15%). Cases with matched primary and metastatic tumors harbored identical mutations in both sites (PIK3CA/KRAS and RB1 gene mutations, respectively). Tumor expression of PD-L1 immunoregulatory protein was observed in 3/22 (14%) of cases. Overexpression of molecular biomarkers of increased angiogenesis, EGFR and immune checkpoints provides novel targeted therapy options in malignant phyllodes tumors of the breast.

  11. A multicenter photoprovocation study to identify potential biomarkers by global peptide profiling in cutaneous lupus erythematosus.

    PubMed

    Calderon, C; Zucht, H D; Kuhn, A; Wozniacka, A; Szepietowski, J C; Nyberg, F; Weichenthal, M; Piantone, A; Budde, P

    2015-11-01

    Cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE) is an inflammatory autoimmune skin disease in which abnormal photosensitivity is an important pathogenetic factor but is difficult to predict, creating a challenge in determining treatment efficacy. Although photosensitivity in CLE patients may change over time, photoprovocation testing with ultraviolet (UV) A and UVB irradiation can be a helpful tool to explore differences between responders and nonresponders during photoprovocation. To identify biomarkers that could substitute for the clinical endpoint lesion development, we performed a global peptidomics profiling analysis of CLE subjects in a controlled photoprovocation study. Plasma and skin biopsy samples were collected before and after UV-irradiation from 13 healthy volunteers and 47 CLE subjects. Twenty-two of the 47 CLE subjects developed skin lesions. The samples were analyzed using a label-free quantitative peptidomics workflow combined with univariate and multivariate statistical analyses. The primary finding was identification of a specific plasma peptide signature separating responders versus nonresponders at baseline. The peptide signature consisted of beta 2-microglobulin (B2MG), human beta-defensin-1, and peptides derived from CD99, polymeric immunoglobulin receptor, and immunoglobulin kappa light chains. In skin, elevated B2MG levels correlated with lesion formation. Our results show that the peptidome is a rich source of potential biomarkers for predicting photosensitivity in CLE.

  12. A multicenter photoprovocation study to identify potential biomarkers by global peptide profiling in cutaneous lupus erythematosus.

    PubMed

    Calderon, C; Zucht, H D; Kuhn, A; Wozniacka, A; Szepietowski, J C; Nyberg, F; Weichenthal, M; Piantone, A; Budde, P

    2015-11-01

    Cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE) is an inflammatory autoimmune skin disease in which abnormal photosensitivity is an important pathogenetic factor but is difficult to predict, creating a challenge in determining treatment efficacy. Although photosensitivity in CLE patients may change over time, photoprovocation testing with ultraviolet (UV) A and UVB irradiation can be a helpful tool to explore differences between responders and nonresponders during photoprovocation. To identify biomarkers that could substitute for the clinical endpoint lesion development, we performed a global peptidomics profiling analysis of CLE subjects in a controlled photoprovocation study. Plasma and skin biopsy samples were collected before and after UV-irradiation from 13 healthy volunteers and 47 CLE subjects. Twenty-two of the 47 CLE subjects developed skin lesions. The samples were analyzed using a label-free quantitative peptidomics workflow combined with univariate and multivariate statistical analyses. The primary finding was identification of a specific plasma peptide signature separating responders versus nonresponders at baseline. The peptide signature consisted of beta 2-microglobulin (B2MG), human beta-defensin-1, and peptides derived from CD99, polymeric immunoglobulin receptor, and immunoglobulin kappa light chains. In skin, elevated B2MG levels correlated with lesion formation. Our results show that the peptidome is a rich source of potential biomarkers for predicting photosensitivity in CLE. PMID:26206719

  13. Multiplatform molecular profiling identifies potentially targetable biomarkers in malignant phyllodes tumors of the breast

    PubMed Central

    Gatalica, Zoran; Vranic, Semir; Ghazalpour, Anatole; Xiu, Joanne; Ocal, Idris Tolgay; McGill, John; Bender, Ryan P.; Discianno, Erin; Schlum, Aaron; Sanati, Souzan; Palazzo, Juan; Reddy, Sandeep; Pockaj, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    Malignant phyllodes tumor is a rare breast malignancy with sarcomatous overgrowth and with limited effective treatment options for recurrent and metastatic cases. Recent clinical trials indicated a potential for anti-angiogenic, anti-EGFR and immunotherapeutic approaches for patients with sarcomas, which led us to investigate these and other targetable pathways in malignant phyllodes tumor of the breast. Thirty-six malignant phyllodes tumors (including 8 metastatic tumors with two cases having matched primary and metastatic tumors) were profiled using gene sequencing, gene copy number analysis, whole genome expression, and protein expression. Whole genome expression analysis demonstrated consistent over-expression of genes involved in angiogenesis including VEGFA, Angiopoietin-2, VCAM1, PDGFRA, and PTTG1. EGFR protein overexpression was observed in 26/27 (96%) of cases with amplification of the EGFR gene in 8/24 (33%) cases. Two EGFR mutations were identified including EGFRvIII and a presumed pathogenic V774M mutation, respectively. The most common pathogenic mutations included TP53 (50%) and PIK3CA (15%). Cases with matched primary and metastatic tumors harbored identical mutations in both sites (PIK3CA/KRAS and RB1 gene mutations, respectively). Tumor expression of PD-L1 immunoregulatory protein was observed in 3/22 (14%) of cases. Overexpression of molecular biomarkers of increased angiogenesis, EGFR and immune checkpoints provides novel targeted therapy options in malignant phyllodes tumors of the breast. PMID:26625196

  14. Analytical approaches to identify potential migrants in polyester-polyurethane can coatings.

    PubMed

    Louise Bradley, Emma; Driffield, Malcolm; Guthrie, James; Harmer, Nick; Thomas Oldring, Peter Kenneth; Castle, Laurence

    2009-12-01

    The safety of a polyester-polyurethane can coating has been assessed using a suite of complementary analytical methods to identify and estimate the concentrations of potential chemical migrants. The polyester was based on phthalic acids and aliphatic diols. The polyisocyanate cross-linking agent was 1-isocyanato-3-isocyanatomethyl-3,5,5-trimethyl cyclohexane homopolymer (IPDI) blocked with methylethylketone oxime (MEKO) to make a one-part formulation. The overall migrate, obtained using solvent extraction of cured films, comprised almost completely of 12 cyclic and one linear polyester oligomer up to molecular weight 800 and containing up to six monomer units. These 13 oligomers covered a total of 28 isomeric forms. Other minor components detected were plasticisers and surfactants as well as impurities present in the starting materials. There was no detectable residue of either the blocked isocyanate (<0.01 microg/dm(2)) used as the starting substance or the unblocked isocyanate (<0.02 microg/dm(2)). The level of extractable IPDI was used as an indicator of the completeness of cure in experimental coatings. These studies revealed that there was an influence of time, temperature and catalyst content. Polymerisation was also influenced by the additives used and by the ageing of the wet coating formulation over several months. These studies allow parameters to be specified to ensure that commercial production coatings receive a full cure giving low migration characteristics. PMID:19787516

  15. Identifying populations potentially exposed to agricultural pesticides using remote sensing and a Geographic Information System

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ward, M.H.; Nuckols, J.R.; Weigel, S. J.; Cantor, K.P.; Miller, Roger S.

    2000-01-01

    Pesticides used in agriculture may cause adverse health effects among the population living near agricultural areas. However, identifying the populations most likely to be exposed is difficult. We conducted a feasibility study to determine whether satellite imagery could be used to reconstruct historical crop patterns. We used historical Farm Service Agency records as a source of ground reference data to classify a late summer 1984 satellite image into crop species in a three-county area in south central Nebraska. Residences from a population-based epidemiologic study of non-Hodgkin lymphoma were located on the crop maps using a geographic information system (GIS). Corn, soybeans, sorghum, and alfalfa were the major crops grown in the study area. Eighty-five percent of residences could be located, and of these 22% had one of the four major crops within 500 m of the residence, an intermediate distance for the range of drift effects from pesticides applied in agriculture. We determined the proximity of residences to specific crop species and calculated crop-specific probabilities of pesticide use based on available data. This feasibility study demonstrated that remote sensing data and historical records on crop location can be used to create historical crop maps. The crop pesticides that were likely to have been applied can be estimated when information about crop-specific pesticide use is available. Using a GIS, zones of potential exposure to agricultural pesticides and proximity measures can be determined for residences in a study.

  16. Potential High-Temperature Shape-Memory Alloys Identified in the Ti(Ni,Pt) System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Noebe, Ronald D.; Biles, Tiffany A.; Garg, Anita; Nathal, Michael V.

    2004-01-01

    "Shape memory" is a unique property of certain alloys that, when deformed (within certain strain limits) at low temperatures, will remember and recover to their original predeformed shape upon heating. It occurs when an alloy is deformed in the low-temperature martensitic phase and is then heated above its transformation temperature back to an austenitic state. As the material passes through this solid-state phase transformation on heating, it also recovers its original shape. This behavior is widely exploited, near room temperature, in commercially available NiTi alloys for connectors, couplings, valves, actuators, stents, and other medical and dental devices. In addition, there are limitless applications in the aerospace, automotive, chemical processing, and many other industries for materials that exhibit this type of shape-memory behavior at higher temperatures. But for high temperatures, there are currently no commercial shape-memory alloys. Although there are significant challenges to the development of high-temperature shape-memory alloys, at the NASA Glenn Research Center we have identified a series of alloy compositions in the Ti-Ni-Pt system that show great promise as potential high-temperature shape-memory materials.

  17. Analytical approaches to identify potential migrants in polyester-polyurethane can coatings.

    PubMed

    Louise Bradley, Emma; Driffield, Malcolm; Guthrie, James; Harmer, Nick; Thomas Oldring, Peter Kenneth; Castle, Laurence

    2009-12-01

    The safety of a polyester-polyurethane can coating has been assessed using a suite of complementary analytical methods to identify and estimate the concentrations of potential chemical migrants. The polyester was based on phthalic acids and aliphatic diols. The polyisocyanate cross-linking agent was 1-isocyanato-3-isocyanatomethyl-3,5,5-trimethyl cyclohexane homopolymer (IPDI) blocked with methylethylketone oxime (MEKO) to make a one-part formulation. The overall migrate, obtained using solvent extraction of cured films, comprised almost completely of 12 cyclic and one linear polyester oligomer up to molecular weight 800 and containing up to six monomer units. These 13 oligomers covered a total of 28 isomeric forms. Other minor components detected were plasticisers and surfactants as well as impurities present in the starting materials. There was no detectable residue of either the blocked isocyanate (<0.01 microg/dm(2)) used as the starting substance or the unblocked isocyanate (<0.02 microg/dm(2)). The level of extractable IPDI was used as an indicator of the completeness of cure in experimental coatings. These studies revealed that there was an influence of time, temperature and catalyst content. Polymerisation was also influenced by the additives used and by the ageing of the wet coating formulation over several months. These studies allow parameters to be specified to ensure that commercial production coatings receive a full cure giving low migration characteristics.

  18. Education in Environmental Remote Sensing: Potentials and Problems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kiefer, Ralph W.; Lillesand, Thomas M.

    1983-01-01

    Discusses remote sensing principles and applications and the status and needs of remote sensing education in the United States. A summary of the fundamental policy issues that will determine remote sensing's future role in environmental and resource managements is included. (Author/BC)

  19. Biased Data and Potential Solutions for Health and Environmental Assessments

    EPA Science Inventory

    The utility and credibility of environmental assessments depend on the use of unbiased data. However, it is increasingly clear that, despite peer review, much of the scientific literature is biased. Sources of bias may include publication practices, research design and implemen...

  20. Evaluating the potential effectiveness of proposed environmental justice initiatives

    SciTech Connect

    Greenfield, N.L.; Namovicz, C.R.

    1994-12-31

    Congress directed the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to create the Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) program to address the concerns of these citizens and, thereby improve community relations at Superfund sites. TAGs provide funding to allow affected residents to hire independent scientific and technical consultants to help them understand the issues at the site and better participate in remedy selection. This study will not directly assess the experience of Environmental Justice sites within the Superfund program. Rather, this study examines existing data on TAGs and the applicability of an expanded TAG program in addressing expressed Environmental Justice concerns. Specifically, the study compares the characteristics of sites with TAGs to a matched control group of sites/communities without TAGs. The study establishes a rigorous statistical baseline upon which it can evaluate the marginal contribution of outreach initiatives to the needs and concerns of minority and low income communities. The results of these analyses will serve as a foundation for evaluating proposed changes in the scope and emphasis of Superfund`s community relations and Environmental Justice outreach programs.

  1. Sediment Toxicity Identification Evaluations (TIEs): Manipulating Bioavailability to Whole Organisms to Identify Environmental Toxins

    EPA Science Inventory

    Toxicity tests are a common method for determining whether sediment contaminants represent an environmental risk. Toxicity tests indicate if contaminants in sediments are bioavailable and capable of causing adverse biological effects to whole aquatic organisms. Several environmen...

  2. Identifying Environmental Risk Factors of Cholera in a Coastal Area with Geospatial Technologies

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Min; Cao, Chunxiang; Wang, Duochun; Kan, Biao

    2014-01-01

    Satellites contribute significantly to environmental quality and public health. Environmental factors are important indicators for the prediction of disease outbreaks. This study reveals the environmental factors associated with cholera in Zhejiang, a coastal province of China, using both Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographic information System (GIS). The analysis validated the correlation between the indirect satellite measurements of sea surface temperature (SST), sea surface height (SSH) and ocean chlorophyll concentration (OCC) and the local cholera magnitude based on a ten-year monthly data from the year 1999 to 2008. Cholera magnitude has been strongly affected by the concurrent variables of SST and SSH, while OCC has a one-month time lag effect. A cholera prediction model has been established based on the sea environmental factors. The results of hot spot analysis showed the local cholera magnitude in counties significantly associated with the estuaries and rivers. PMID:25551518

  3. Through Their Lens: The Potential of Photovoice for Documentation of Environmental Perspectives among Kenyan Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Quigley, Cassie F.; Dogbey, James; Che, S. Megan; Hallo, Jeffrey; Womac, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    This study explores the potential of photovoice for understanding environmental perspectives of teachers in the Narok District of Kenya. The objective of this paper is to share this photo-methodology with environmental educators so they may use it as an innovative methodological tool to understand the construction of environmental perspectives.…

  4. UMEL: a new regression tool to identify measurement peaks in LIDAR/DIAL systems for environmental physics applications.

    PubMed

    Gelfusa, M; Gaudio, P; Malizia, A; Murari, A; Vega, J; Richetta, M; Gonzalez, S

    2014-06-01

    Recently, surveying large areas in an automatic way, for early detection of both harmful chemical agents and forest fires, has become a strategic objective of defence and public health organisations. The Lidar and Dial techniques are widely recognized as a cost-effective alternative to monitor large portions of the atmosphere. To maximize the effectiveness of the measurements and to guarantee reliable monitoring of large areas, new data analysis techniques are required. In this paper, an original tool, the Universal Multi Event Locator, is applied to the problem of automatically identifying the time location of peaks in Lidar and Dial measurements for environmental physics applications. This analysis technique improves various aspects of the measurements, ranging from the resilience to drift in the laser sources to the increase of the system sensitivity. The method is also fully general, purely software, and can therefore be applied to a large variety of problems without any additional cost. The potential of the proposed technique is exemplified with the help of data of various instruments acquired during several experimental campaigns in the field.

  5. THE USE OF SPATIAL ANALYTICAL TECHNIQUES TO IDENTIFY POTENTIAL BROWNFIELDS SITES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Brownfields are abandoned, idled, or underutilized properties where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination. Most Brownfields sites are located in urban, commercial, and industrial areas. Under the Brownfields Program, the United...

  6. Diversity of reductive dehalogenase genes from environmental samples and enrichment cultures identified with degenerate primer PCR screens.

    PubMed

    Hug, Laura A; Edwards, Elizabeth A

    2013-01-01

    Reductive dehalogenases are the critical enzymes for anaerobic organohalide respiration, a microbial metabolic process that has been harnessed for bioremediation efforts to resolve chlorinated solvent contamination in groundwater and is implicated in the global halogen cycle. Reductive dehalogenase sequence diversity is informative for the dechlorination potential of the site or enrichment culture. A suite of degenerate PCR primers targeting a comprehensive curated set of reductive dehalogenase genes was designed and applied to 12 DNA samples extracted from contaminated and pristine sites, as well as six enrichment cultures capable of reducing chlorinated compounds to non-toxic end-products. The amplified gene products from four environmental sites and two enrichment cultures were sequenced using Illumina HiSeq, and the reductive dehalogenase complement of each sample determined. The results indicate that the diversity of the reductive dehalogenase gene family is much deeper than is currently accounted for: one-third of the translated proteins have less than 70% pairwise amino acid identity to database sequences. Approximately 60% of the sequenced reductive dehalogenase genes were broadly distributed, being identified in four or more samples, and often in previously sequenced genomes as well. In contrast, 17% of the sequenced reductive dehalogenases were unique, present in only a single sample and bearing less than 90% pairwise amino acid identity to any previously identified proteins. Many of the broadly distributed reductive dehalogenases are uncharacterized in terms of their substrate specificity, making these intriguing targets for further biochemical experimentation. Finally, comparison of samples from a contaminated site and an enrichment culture derived from the same site 8 years prior allowed examination of the effect of the enrichment process.

  7. Potential environmental impact of a hydrogen economy on the stratosphere.

    PubMed

    Tromp, Tracey K; Shia, Run-Lie; Allen, Mark; Eiler, John M; Yung, Y L

    2003-06-13

    The widespread use of hydrogen fuel cells could have hitherto unknown environmental impacts due to unintended emissions of molecular hydrogen, including an increase in the abundance of water vapor in the stratosphere (plausibly by as much as approximately 1 part per million by volume). This would cause stratospheric cooling, enhancement of the heterogeneous chemistry that destroys ozone, an increase in noctilucent clouds, and changes in tropospheric chemistry and atmosphere-biosphere interactions. PMID:12805546

  8. Potential environmental impact of a hydrogen economy on the stratosphere.

    PubMed

    Tromp, Tracey K; Shia, Run-Lie; Allen, Mark; Eiler, John M; Yung, Y L

    2003-06-13

    The widespread use of hydrogen fuel cells could have hitherto unknown environmental impacts due to unintended emissions of molecular hydrogen, including an increase in the abundance of water vapor in the stratosphere (plausibly by as much as approximately 1 part per million by volume). This would cause stratospheric cooling, enhancement of the heterogeneous chemistry that destroys ozone, an increase in noctilucent clouds, and changes in tropospheric chemistry and atmosphere-biosphere interactions.

  9. Altered protein S-glutathionylation identifies a potential mechanism of resistance to acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity.

    PubMed

    McGarry, David J; Chakravarty, Probir; Wolf, C Roland; Henderson, Colin J

    2015-11-01

    Acetaminophen (APAP) is the most commonly used over-the-counter analgesic. However, hepatotoxicity induced by APAP is a major clinical issue, and the factors that define sensitivity to APAP remain unclear. We have previously demonstrated that mice nulled for glutathione S-transferase Pi (GSTP) are resistant to APAP-induced hepatotoxicity. This study aims to exploit this difference to delineate pathways of importance in APAP toxicity. We used mice nulled for GSTP and heme oxygenase-1 oxidative stress reporter mice, together with a novel nanoflow liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry methodology to investigate the role of oxidative stress, cell signaling, and protein S-glutathionylation in APAP hepatotoxicity. We provide evidence that the sensitivity difference between wild-type and Gstp1/2(-/-) mice is unrelated to the ability of APAP to induce oxidative stress, despite observing significant increases in c-Jun N-terminal kinase and extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation in wild-type mice. The major difference in response to APAP was in the levels of protein S-glutathionylation: Gstp1/2(-/-) mice exhibited a significant increase in the number of S-glutathionylated proteins compared with wild-type animals. Remarkably, these S-glutathionylated proteins are involved in oxidative phosphorylation, respiratory complexes, drug metabolism, and mitochondrial apoptosis. Furthermore, we found that S-glutathionylation of the rate-limiting glutathione-synthesizing enzyme, glutamate cysteine ligase, was markedly increased in Gstp1/2(-/-) mice in response to APAP. The data demonstrate that S-glutathionylation provides an adaptive response to APAP and, as a consequence, suggest that this is an important determinant in APAP hepatotoxicity. This work identifies potential novel avenues associated with cell survival for the treatment of chemical-induced hepatotoxicity. PMID:26311813

  10. A spatial modeling approach to identify potential butternut restoration sites in Mammoth Cave National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thompson, L.M.; Van Manen, F.T.; Schlarbaum, S.E.; DePoy, M.

    2006-01-01

    Incorporation of disease resistance is nearly complete for several important North American hardwood species threatened by exotic fungal diseases. The next important step toward species restoration would be to develop reliable tools to delineate ideal restoration sites on a landscape scale. We integrated spatial modeling and remote sensing techniques to delineate potential restoration sites for Butternut (Juglans cinerea L.) trees, a hardwood species being decimated by an exotic fungus, in Mammoth Cave National Park (MCNP), Kentucky. We first developed a multivariate habitat model to determine optimum Butternut habitats within MCNP. Habitat characteristics of 54 known Butternut locations were used in combination with eight topographic and land use data layers to calculate an index of habitat suitability based on Mahalanobis distance (D2). We used a bootstrapping technique to test the reliability of model predictions. Based on a threshold value for the D2 statistic, 75.9% of the Butternut locations were correctly classified, indicating that the habitat model performed well. Because Butternut seedlings require extensive amounts of sunlight to become established, we used canopy cover data to refine our delineation of favorable areas for Butternut restoration. Areas with the most favorable conditions to establish Butternut seedlings were limited to 291.6 ha. Our study provides a useful reference on the amount and location of favorable Butternut habitat in MCNP and can be used to identify priority areas for future Butternut restoration. Given the availability of relevant habitat layers and accurate location records, our approach can be applied to other tree species and areas. ?? 2006 Society for Ecological Restoration International.

  11. Potential biomarkers of fatigue identified by plasma metabolome analysis in rats.

    PubMed

    Kume, Satoshi; Yamato, Masanori; Tamura, Yasuhisa; Jin, Guanghua; Nakano, Masayuki; Miyashige, Yukiharu; Eguchi, Asami; Ogata, Yoshiyuki; Goda, Nobuhito; Iwai, Kazuhiro; Yamano, Emi; Watanabe, Yasuyoshi; Soga, Tomoyoshi; Kataoka, Yosky

    2015-01-01

    In the present study, prior to the establishment of a method for the clinical diagnosis of chronic fatigue in humans, we validated the utility of plasma metabolomic analysis in a rat model of fatigue using capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry (CE-MS). In order to obtain a fatigued animal group, rats were placed in a cage filled with water to a height of 2.2 cm for 5 days. A food-restricted group, in which rats were limited to 10 g/d of food (around 50% of the control group), was also assessed. The food-restricted group exhibited weight reduction similar to that of the fatigued group. CE-MS measurements were performed to evaluate the profile of food intake-dependent metabolic changes, as well as the profile in fatigue loading, resulting in the identification of 48 metabolites in plasma. Multivariate analyses using hierarchical clustering and principal component analysis revealed that the plasma metabolome in the fatigued group showed clear differences from those in the control and food-restricted groups. In the fatigued group, we found distinctive changes in metabolites related to branched-chain amino acid metabolism, urea cycle, and proline metabolism. Specifically, the fatigued group exhibited significant increases in valine, leucine, isoleucine, and 2-oxoisopentanoate, and significant decreases in citrulline and hydroxyproline compared with the control and food-restricted groups. Plasma levels of total nitric oxide were increased in the fatigued group, indicating systemic oxidative stress. Further, plasma metabolites involved in the citrate cycle, such as cis-aconitate and isocitrate, were reduced in the fatigued group. The levels of ATP were significantly decreased in the liver and skeletal muscle, indicative of a deterioration in energy metabolism in these organs. Thus, this comprehensive metabolic analysis furthered our understanding of the pathophysiology of fatigue, and identified potential diagnostic biomarkers based on fatigue pathophysiology.

  12. Potential Biomarkers of Fatigue Identified by Plasma Metabolome Analysis in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Kume, Satoshi; Yamato, Masanori; Tamura, Yasuhisa; Jin, Guanghua; Nakano, Masayuki; Miyashige, Yukiharu; Eguchi, Asami; Ogata, Yoshiyuki; Goda, Nobuhito; Iwai, Kazuhiro; Yamano, Emi; Watanabe, Yasuyoshi; Soga, Tomoyoshi; Kataoka, Yosky

    2015-01-01

    In the present study, prior to the establishment of a method for the clinical diagnosis of chronic fatigue in humans, we validated the utility of plasma metabolomic analysis in a rat model of fatigue using capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry (CE-MS). In order to obtain a fatigued animal group, rats were placed in a cage filled with water to a height of 2.2 cm for 5 days. A food-restricted group, in which rats were limited to 10 g/d of food (around 50% of the control group), was also assessed. The food-restricted group exhibited weight reduction similar to that of the fatigued group. CE-MS measurements were performed to evaluate the profile of food intake-dependent metabolic changes, as well as the profile in fatigue loading, resulting in the identification of 48 metabolites in plasma. Multivariate analyses using hierarchical clustering and principal component analysis revealed that the plasma metabolome in the fatigued group showed clear differences from those in the control and food-restricted groups. In the fatigued group, we found distinctive changes in metabolites related to branched-chain amino acid metabolism, urea cycle, and proline metabolism. Specifically, the fatigued group exhibited significant increases in valine, leucine, isoleucine, and 2-oxoisopentanoate, and significant decreases in citrulline and hydroxyproline compared with the control and food-restricted groups. Plasma levels of total nitric oxide were increased in the fatigued group, indicating systemic oxidative stress. Further, plasma metabolites involved in the citrate cycle, such as cis-aconitate and isocitrate, were reduced in the fatigued group. The levels of ATP were significantly decreased in the liver and skeletal muscle, indicative of a deterioration in energy metabolism in these organs. Thus, this comprehensive metabolic analysis furthered our understanding of the pathophysiology of fatigue, and identified potential diagnostic biomarkers based on fatigue pathophysiology. PMID

  13. Joint spatial modeling to identify shared patterns among chronic related potentially preventable hospitalizations

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Rates of Potentially Preventable Hospitalizations (PPH) are used to evaluate access of territorially delimited populations to high quality ambulatory care. A common geographic pattern of several PPH would reflect the performance of healthcare providers. This study is aimed at modeling jointly the geographical variation in six chronic PPH conditions in one Spanish Autonomous Community for describing common and discrepant patterns, and to assess the relative weight of the common pattern on each condition. Methods Data on the 39,970 PPH hospital admissions for diabetes short term complications, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure, dehydration, angina admission and adult asthma, between 2007 and 2009 were extracted from the Hospital Discharge Administrative Databases and assigned to one of the 240 Basic Health Zones. Rates and Standardized Hospitalization Ratios per geographic unit were estimated. The spatial analysis was carried out jointly for PPH conditions using Shared Component Models (SCM). Results The component shared by the six PPH conditions explained about the 36% of the variability of each PPH condition, ranging from the 25.9 for dehydration to 58.7 for COPD. The geographical pattern found in the latent common component identifies territorial clusters with particularly high risk. The specific risk pattern that each isolated PPH does not share with the common pattern for all six conditions show many non-significant areas for most PPH, but with some exceptions. Conclusions The geographical distribution of the risk of the PPH conditions is captured in a 36% by a unique latent pattern. The SCM modeling may be useful to evaluate healthcare system performance. PMID:24899214

  14. A fibrinogen-related protein identified from hepatopancreas of crayfish is a potential pattern recognition receptor.

    PubMed

    Chen, Qiming; Bai, Suhua; Dong, Chaohua

    2016-09-01

    Fibrinogen-related protein (FREP) family is a large group of proteins containing fibrinogen-like (FBG) domain and plays multiple physiological roles in animals. However, their immune functions in crayfish are not fully explored. In the present study, a novel fibrinogen-like protein (designated as PcFBN1) was identified and characterized from hepatopancreas of red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii. The cDNA sequence of PcFBN1 contains an open reading frame (ORF) of 1353 bp encoding a protein of 450 amino acids. Sequence and structural analysis indicated that PcFBN1 contains an FBG domain in C-terminal and a putative signal peptide of 19 amino acids in N-terminal. Semi-quantitative PCR revealed that the main expression of PcFBN1 was observed in hepatopancreas and hemocyte. Temporal expression analysis exhibited that PcFBN1 expression could be significantly induced by heat-killed Aeromonas hydrophila. Tissue distribution and temporal change of PcFBN1 suggested that PcFBN1 may be involved in immune responses of red swamp crayfish. Recombinant PcFBN1 protein binds and agglutinates both gram-negative bacteria Escherichia coli and gram-positive bacteria Micrococcus lysodeikticus. Moreover, binding and agglutination is Ca(2+) dependent. Further analysis indicated that PcFBN1 recognizes some acetyl group-containing substance LPS and PGN. RNAi experiment revealed that PcFBN1 is required for bacterial clearance and survival from A. hydrophila infection. Reduction of PcFBN1 expression significantly decreased the survival and enhanced the number of A. hydrophila in the hemolymph. These results indicated that PcFBN1 plays an important role in the innate immunity of red swamp crayfish as a potential pattern recognition receptor. PMID:27417229

  15. An investigation of gene-environment interactions between 47 newly identified breast cancer susceptibility loci and environmental risk factors

    PubMed Central

    Rudolph, Anja; Milne, Roger L.; Truong, Thérèse; Knight, Julia A.; Seibold, Petra; Flesch-Janys, Dieter; Behrens, Sabine; Eilber, Ursula; Bolla, Manjeet K.; Wang, Qin; Dennis, Joe; Dunning, Alison M.; Shah, Mitul; Munday, Hannah R.; Darabi, Hatef; Eriksson, Mikael; Brand, Judith S.; Olson, Janet; Vachon, Celine M.; Hallberg, Emily; Castelao, J. Esteban; Carracedo, Angel; Torres, Maria; Li, Jingmei; Humphreys, Keith; Cordina-Duverger, Emilie; Menegaux, Florence; Flyger, Henrik; Nordestgaard, Børge G.; Nielsen, Sune F.; Yesilyurt, Betul T.; Floris, Giuseppe; Leunen, Karin; Engelhardt, Ellen G.; Broeks, Annegien; Rutgers, Emiel J.; Glendon, Gord; Mulligan, Anna Marie; Cross, Simon; Reed, Malcolm; Gonzalez-Neira, Anna; Perez, José Ignacio Arias; Provenzano, Elena; Apicella, Carmel; Southey, Melissa C.; Spurdle, Amanda; Investigators, kConFab; Group, AOCS; Häberle, Lothar; Beckmann, Matthias W.; Ekici, Arif B.; Dieffenbach, Aida Karina; Arndt, Volker; Stegmaier, Christa; McLean, Catriona; Baglietto, Laura; Chanock, Stephen J.; Lissowska, Jolanta; Sherman, Mark E.; Brüning, Thomas; Hamann, Ute; Ko, Yon-Dschun; Orr, Nick; Schoemaker, Minouk; Ashworth, Alan; Kosma, Veli-Matti; Kataja, Vesa; Hartikainen, Jaana M.; Mannermaa, Arto; Swerdlow, Anthony; Giles, Graham G.; Brenner, Hermann; Fasching, Peter A.; Chenevix-Trench, Georgia; Hopper, John; Benítez, Javier; Cox, Angela; Andrulis, Irene L.; Lambrechts, Diether; Gago-Dominguez, Manuela; Couch, Fergus; Czene, Kamila; Bojesen, Stig E.; Easton, Doug F.; Schmidt, Marjanka K.; Guénel, Pascal; Hall, Per; Pharoah, Paul D. P.; Garcia-Closas, Montserrat; Chang-Claude, Jenny

    2014-01-01

    A large genotyping project within the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC) recently identified 41 associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and overall breast cancer (BC) risk. We investigated whether the effects of these 41 SNPs, as well as six SNPs associated with estrogen receptor (ER) negative BC risk are modified by 13 environmental risk factors for BC. Data from 22 studies participating in BCAC were pooled, comprising up to 26,633 cases and 30,119 controls. Interactions between SNPs and environmental factors were evaluated using an empirical Bayes-type shrinkage estimator. Six SNPs showed interactions with associated p-values (pint) <1.1×10−3. None of the observed interactions was significant after accounting for multiple testing. The Bayesian False Discovery Probability was used to rank the findings, which indicated three interactions as being noteworthy at 1% prior probability of interaction. SNP rs6828523 was associated with increased ER-negative BC risk in women ≥170cm (OR=1.22, p=0.017), but inversely associated with ER-negative BC risk in women <160cm (OR=0.83, p=0.039, pint=1.9×10−4). The inverse association between rs4808801 and overall BC risk was stronger for women who had had four or more pregnancies (OR=0.85, p=2.0×10−4), and absent in women who had had just one (OR=0.96, p=0.19, pint = 6.1×10−4). SNP rs11242675 was inversely associated with overall BC risk in never/former smokers (OR=0.93, p=2.8×10−5), but no association was observed in current smokers (OR=1.07, p=0.14, pint = 3.4×10−4). In conclusion, recently identified breast cancer susceptibility loci are not strongly modified by established risk factors and the observed potential interactions require confirmation in independent studies. PMID:25227710

  16. Investigation of gene-environment interactions between 47 newly identified breast cancer susceptibility loci and environmental risk factors.

    PubMed

    Rudolph, Anja; Milne, Roger L; Truong, Thérèse; Knight, Julia A; Seibold, Petra; Flesch-Janys, Dieter; Behrens, Sabine; Eilber, Ursula; Bolla, Manjeet K; Wang, Qin; Dennis, Joe; Dunning, Alison M; Shah, Mitul; Munday, Hannah R; Darabi, Hatef; Eriksson, Mikael; Brand, Judith S; Olson, Janet; Vachon, Celine M; Hallberg, Emily; Castelao, J Esteban; Carracedo, Angel; Torres, Maria; Li, Jingmei; Humphreys, Keith; Cordina-Duverger, Emilie; Menegaux, Florence; Flyger, Henrik; Nordestgaard, Børge G; Nielsen, Sune F; Yesilyurt, Betul T; Floris, Giuseppe; Leunen, Karin; Engelhardt, Ellen G; Broeks, Annegien; Rutgers, Emiel J; Glendon, Gord; Mulligan, Anna Marie; Cross, Simon; Reed, Malcolm; Gonzalez-Neira, Anna; Arias Perez, José Ignacio; Provenzano, Elena; Apicella, Carmel; Southey, Melissa C; Spurdle, Amanda; Häberle, Lothar; Beckmann, Matthias W; Ekici, Arif B; Dieffenbach, Aida Karina; Arndt, Volker; Stegmaier, Christa; McLean, Catriona; Baglietto, Laura; Chanock, Stephen J; Lissowska, Jolanta; Sherman, Mark E; Brüning, Thomas; Hamann, Ute; Ko, Yon-Dschun; Orr, Nick; Schoemaker, Minouk; Ashworth, Alan; Kosma, Veli-Matti; Kataja, Vesa; Hartikainen, Jaana M; Mannermaa, Arto; Swerdlow, Anthony; Giles, Graham G; Brenner, Hermann; Fasching, Peter A; Chenevix-Trench, Georgia; Hopper, John; Benítez, Javier; Cox, Angela; Andrulis, Irene L; Lambrechts, Diether; Gago-Dominguez, Manuela; Couch, Fergus; Czene, Kamila; Bojesen, Stig E; Easton, Doug F; Schmidt, Marjanka K; Guénel, Pascal; Hall, Per; Pharoah, Paul D P; Garcia-Closas, Montserrat; Chang-Claude, Jenny

    2015-03-15

    A large genotyping project within the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC) recently identified 41 associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and overall breast cancer (BC) risk. We investigated whether the effects of these 41 SNPs, as well as six SNPs associated with estrogen receptor (ER) negative BC risk are modified by 13 environmental risk factors for BC. Data from 22 studies participating in BCAC were pooled, comprising up to 26,633 cases and 30,119 controls. Interactions between SNPs and environmental factors were evaluated using an empirical Bayes-type shrinkage estimator. Six SNPs showed interactions with associated p-values (pint ) <1.1 × 10(-3) . None of the observed interactions was significant after accounting for multiple testing. The Bayesian False Discovery Probability was used to rank the findings, which indicated three interactions as being noteworthy at 1% prior probability of interaction. SNP rs6828523 was associated with increased ER-negative BC risk in women ≥170 cm (OR = 1.22, p = 0.017), but inversely associated with ER-negative BC risk in women <160 cm (OR = 0.83, p = 0.039, pint = 1.9 × 10(-4) ). The inverse association between rs4808801 and overall BC risk was stronger for women who had had four or more pregnancies (OR = 0.85, p = 2.0 × 10(-4) ), and absent in women who had had just one (OR = 0.96, p = 0.19, pint = 6.1 × 10(-4) ). SNP rs11242675 was inversely associated with overall BC risk in never/former smokers (OR = 0.93, p = 2.8 × 10(-5) ), but no association was observed in current smokers (OR = 1.07, p = 0.14, pint = 3.4 × 10(-4) ). In conclusion, recently identified BC susceptibility loci are not strongly modified by established risk factors and the observed potential interactions require confirmation in independent studies.

  17. Water Mites (Acari: Hydrachnida) of Ozark Streams - Abundance, Species Richness, and Potential as Environmental Indicators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radwell, A. J.; Brown, A. V.

    2005-05-01

    Because water mites are tightly linked to other stream metazoans through parasitism and predation, they are potentially effective indicators of environmental quality. Meiofauna (80 μm to 1 mm) were sampled from headwater riffles of 11 Ozark streams to determine relative abundance and densities of major meiofauna taxa. Water mites comprised 15.3% of the organisms collected exceeded only by chironomids (50.2%) and oligochaetes (17.8%), and mean water mite density among the 11 streams was 265 organisms per liter. The two streams that differed the most in environmental quality were sampled using techniques suitable for identification of species. An estimated 32 species from 20 genera and 13 families were found in the least disturbed stream; an estimated 19 species from 13 genera and 8 families were found in the most disturbed stream. This preliminary finding supports the notion that water mite species richness declines in response to environmental disturbance. Many species could only be identified as morphospecies of particular genera, but the ongoing taxonomic revision of Hydrachnida is expected to provide needed information. A collaborative effort between those interested in taxonomy/systematics of water mites and ecologists interested in the significance of water mites in aquatic communities could prove mutually beneficial.

  18. An Overview of Algae Biofuel Production and Potential Environmental Impact

    EPA Science Inventory

    Algae are among the most potentially significant sources of sustainable biofuels in the future of renewable energy. A feedstock with virtually unlimited applicability, algae can metabolize various waste streams (e.g., municipal wastewater, carbon dioxide from industrial flue gas)...

  19. Using canonical correlation analysis to identify environmental attitude groups: considerations for national forest planning in the southwestern U.S.

    PubMed

    Prera, Alejandro J; Grimsrud, Kristine M; Thacher, Jennifer A; McCollum, Dan W; Berrens, Robert P

    2014-10-01

    As public land management agencies pursue region-specific resource management plans, with meaningful consideration of public attitudes and values, there is a need to characterize the complex mix of environmental attitudes in a diverse population. The contribution of this investigation is to make use of a unique household, mail/internet survey data set collected in 2007 in the Southwestern United States (Region 3 of the U.S. Forest Service). With over 5,800 survey responses to a set of 25 Public Land Value statements, canonical correlation analysis is able to identify 7 statistically distinct environmental attitudinal groups. We also examine the effect of expected changes in regional demographics on overall environmental attitudes, which may help guide in the development of socially acceptable long-term forest management policies. Results show significant support for conservationist management policies and passive environmental values, as well as a greater role for stakeholder groups in generating consensus for current and future forest management policies.

  20. Using Canonical Correlation Analysis to Identify Environmental Attitude Groups: Considerations for National Forest Planning in the Southwestern U.S.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prera, Alejandro J.; Grimsrud, Kristine M.; Thacher, Jennifer A.; McCollum, Dan W.; Berrens, Robert P.

    2014-10-01

    As public land management agencies pursue region-specific resource management plans, with meaningful consideration of public attitudes and values, there is a need to characterize the complex mix of environmental attitudes in a diverse population. The contribution of this investigation is to make use of a unique household, mail/internet survey data set collected in 2007 in the Southwestern United States (Region 3 of the U.S. Forest Service). With over 5,800 survey responses to a set of 25 Public Land Value statements, canonical correlation analysis is able to identify 7 statistically distinct environmental attitudinal groups. We also examine the effect of expected changes in regional demographics on overall environmental attitudes, which may help guide in the development of socially acceptable long-term forest management policies. Results show significant support for conservationist management policies and passive environmental values, as well as a greater role for stakeholder groups in generating consensus for current and future forest management policies.

  1. Early evaluation of potential environmental impacts of carbon nanotube synthesis by chemical vapor deposition.

    PubMed

    Plata, Desirée L; Hart, A John; Reddy, Christopher M; Gschwend, Philip M

    2009-11-01

    The carbon nanotube (CNT) industry is expanding rapidly, yet little is known about the potential environmental impacts of CNT manufacture. Here, we evaluate the effluent composition of a representative multiwalled CNT synthesis by catalytic chemical vapor deposition (CVD) in order to provide data needed to design strategies for mitigating any unacceptable emissions. During thermal pretreatment of the reactant gases (ethene and H(2)), we found over 45 side-products were formed, including methane, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). This finding suggests several environmental concerns with the existing process, including potential discharges of the potent greenhouse gas, methane (up to 1.7%), and toxic compounds such as benzene and 1,3-butadiene (up to 36000 ppmv). Extrapolating these laboratory-scale data to future industrial CNT production, we estimate that (1) contributions of atmospheric methane will be negligible compared to other existing sources and (2) VOC and PAH emissions may become important on local scales but will be small when compared to national industrial sources. As a first step toward reducing such unwanted emissions, we used continuous in situ measures of CNT length during growth and sought to identify which thermally generated compounds correlated with CNT growth rate. The results suggested that, in future CNT production approaches, key reaction intermediates could be delivered to the catalyst without thermal treatment. This would eliminate the most energetically expensive component of CVD synthesis (heating reactant gases), while reducing the formation of unintended byproducts.

  2. 40 CFR Table 5 to Subpart Jj of... - List of VHAP of Potential Concern Identified by Industry

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... by Industry CAS No. Chemical name EPA de minimis, tons/yr 68122 Dimethyl formamide 1.0 50000 Formaldehyde 0.2 75092 Methylene chloride 4.0 79469 2-Nitropropane 1.0 78591 Isophorone 0.7 1000425 Styrene... Identified by Industry 5 Table 5 to Subpart JJ of Part 63 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL...

  3. 40 CFR Table 5 to Subpart Jj of... - List of VHAP of Potential Concern Identified by Industry

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... by Industry CAS No. Chemical name EPA de minimis, tons/yr 68122 Dimethyl formamide 1.0 50000 Formaldehyde 0.2 75092 Methylene chloride 4.0 79469 2-Nitropropane 1.0 78591 Isophorone 0.7 1000425 Styrene... Identified by Industry 5 Table 5 to Subpart JJ of Part 63 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL...

  4. RNA-Based Methods Increase the Detection of Fecal Bacteria and Fecal Identifiers in Environmental Waters

    EPA Science Inventory

    We evaluated the use of qPCR RNA-based methods in the detection of fecal bacteria in environmental waters. We showed that RNA methods can increase the detection of fecal bacteria in multiple water matrices. The data suggest that this is a viable alternative for the detection of a...

  5. Nanoparticles: Their potential toxicity, waste and environmental management

    SciTech Connect

    Bystrzejewska-Piotrowska, Grazyna Golimowski, Jerzy; Urban, Pawel L.

    2009-09-15

    This literature review discusses specific issues related to handling of waste containing nanomaterials. The aims are (1) to highlight problems related to uncontrolled release of nanoparticles to the environment through waste disposal, and (2) to introduce the topics of nanowaste and nanotoxicology to the waste management community. Many nanoparticles used by industry contain heavy metals, thus toxicity and bioaccumulation of heavy metals contained in nanoparticles may become important environmental issues. Although bioavailability of heavy metals contained in nanoparticles can be lower than those present in soluble form, the toxicity resulting from their intrinsic nature (e.g. their size, shape or density) may be significant. An approach to the treatment of nanowaste requires understanding of all its properties - not only chemical, but also physical and biological. Progress in nanowaste management also requires studies of the environmental impact of the new materials. The authors believe Amara's law is applicable to the impact of nanotechnologies, and society might overestimate the short-term effects of these technologies, while underestimating the long-term effects. It is necessary to have basic information from companies about the level and nature of nanomaterials produced or emitted and about the expectation of the life cycle time of nanoproducts as a basis to estimate the level of nanowaste in the future. Without knowing how companies plan to use and store recycled and nonrecycled nanomaterials, development of regulations is difficult. Tagging of nanoproducts is proposed as a means to facilitate separation and recovery of nanomaterials.

  6. Environmental Niche Modelling of Phlebotomine Sand Flies and Cutaneous Leishmaniasis Identifies Lutzomyia intermedia as the Main Vector Species in Southeastern Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Meneguzzi, Viviane Coutinho; dos Santos, Claudiney Biral; Leite, Gustavo Rocha; Fux, Blima; Falqueto, Aloísio

    2016-01-01

    Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is caused by a protozoan of the genus Leishmania and is transmitted by sand flies. The state of Espírito Santo (ES), an endemic area in southeast Brazil, has shown a considerably high prevalence in recent decades. Environmental niche modelling (ENM) is a useful tool for predicting potential disease risk. In this study, ENM was applied to sand fly species and CL cases in ES to identify the principal vector and risk areas of the disease. Sand flies were collected in 466 rural localities between 1997 and 2013 using active and passive capture. Insects were identified to the species level, and the localities were georeferenced. Twenty-one bioclimatic variables were selected from WorldClim. Maxent was used to construct models projecting the potential distribution for five Lutzomyia species and CL cases. ENMTools was used to overlap the species and the CL case models. The Kruskal–Wallis test was performed, adopting a 5% significance level. Approximately 250,000 specimens were captured, belonging to 43 species. The area under the curve (AUC) was considered acceptable for all models. The slope was considered relevant to the construction of the models for all the species identified. The overlay test identified Lutzomyia intermedia as the main vector of CL in southeast Brazil. ENM tools enable an analysis of the association among environmental variables, vector distributions and CL cases, which can be used to support epidemiologic and entomological vigilance actions to control the expansion of CL in vulnerable areas. PMID:27783641

  7. Testing the potential of geochemical techniques for identifying hydrological systems within landslides in partly weathered marls

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bogaard, T. A.; Buma, J. T.; Klawer, C. J. M.

    2004-03-01

    This paper's objective is to determine how useful geochemistry can be in landslide investigations. More specifically, what additional information can be gained by analysing the cation exchange capacity (CEC) and cation composition in respect to the hydrological system of a landslide area in clayey material. Two cores from the Boulc-Mondorès landslide (France) and one core from the Alvera landslide (Italy) were analysed. The NH 4Ac and NaCl laboratory techniques are tested. The geochemical results are compared with the core descriptions and interpreted with respect to their usefulness. Both analysis techniques give identical results for CEC, and are plausible on the basis of the available clay content information. The determination of the exchangeable cations was more difficult, since part of the marls dissolved. With the ammonium-acetate method more of the marls are dissolved than with the sodium-chloride method. The NaCl method is preferred for the determination of the cation fractions at the complex, be it that this method has the disadvantage that the sodium fraction cannot be determined. To overcome this problem, it is recommended to try other displacement fluids. In the Boulc-Mondorès example, the subsurface information that can be extracted from CEC analyses was presented. In the Boulc-Mondorès cores deviant intervals of CEC could be identified. These are interpreted as weathered layers (and preferential flow paths) that may develop or have already developed into slip surfaces. The major problem of the CEC analyses was to explain the origin of the differences found in the core samples. Both Alvera and Boulc-Mondorès examples show transitions in cation composition with depth. It was shown that the exchangeable caution fractions can be useful in locating boundaries between water types, especially the boundary between the superficial, rain-fed hydrological system and the lower, regional groundwater system. This information may be important for landslide

  8. Using Smoke Injection in Drains to Identify Potential Preferential Pathways in a Drained Arable Field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nielsen, M. H.; Petersen, C. T.; Hansen, S.

    2014-12-01

    Macropores forming a continuous pathway between the soil surface and subsurface drains favour the transport of many contaminants from agricultural fields to surface waters. The smoke injection method presented by Shipitalo and Gibbs (2000) used for demonstrating and quantifying such pathways has been further developed and used on a drained Danish sandy loam. In order to identify the preferential pathways to drains, smoke was injected in three 1.15 m deep tile drains (total drain length 93 m), and smoke emitting macropores (SEMP) at the soil surface were counted and characterized as producing either strong or weak plumes compared to reference plumes from 3 and 6 mm wide tubes. In the two situations investigated in the present study - an early spring and an autumn situation, smoke only penetrated the soil surface layer via earthworm burrows located in a 1.0 m wide belt directly above the drain lines. However, it is known from previous studies that desiccation fractures in a dry summer situation also can contribute to the smoke pattern. The distance between SEMP measured along the drain lines was on average 0.46 m whereas the average spacing between SEMP with strong plumes was 2.3 m. Ponded water was applied in 6 cm wide rings placed above 52 burrows including 17 reference burrows which did not emit smoke. Thirteen pathways in the soil were examined using dye tracer and profile excavation. SEMP with strong plumes marked the entrance of highly efficient transport pathways conducting surface applied water and dye tracer into the drain. However, no single burrow was traced all the way from the surface into the drain, the dye patterns branched off in a network of other macropores. Water infiltration rates were significantly higher (P < 0.05) in SEMP with strong plumes (average rate: 247 mL min-1 n = 19) compared to SEMP with weak plumes (average rate: 87 mL min-1 n = 16) and no plumes (average rate: 56 mL min-1 n = 17). The results suggest that the smoke injection method

  9. USING A GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEM TO IDENTIFY AREAS WITH POTENTIAL FOR OFF-TARGET PESTICIDE EXPOSURE

    EPA Science Inventory

    In many countries, numerous tests are required as part of the risk assessment process before chemical registration to protect human health and the environment from unintended effects of chemical releases. Most of these tests are not based on ecological or environmental relevance ...

  10. Potential pitfalls of relying on hydrogen sulfide (H2S) production to identify Salmonella in feed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Salmonella can be difficult to assess and isolate in poultry feed due to stress, uneven distribution and poor growth. Previous studies have shown that several strains of Salmonella can be affected by environmental changes, resulting in H2S-negative colonies. This is a major concern, as H2S productio...

  11. Using in Vitro High Throughput Screening Assays to Identify Potential Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals

    EPA Science Inventory

    Over the past 20 years, an increased focus on detecting environmental chemicals posing a risk of adverse effects due to endocrine disruption has driven the creation of the U.S. EPA Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP). Thousands of chemicals are subject to the EDSP, whic...

  12. Potential health and environmental effects of trace elements and radionuclides from increased coal utilization.

    PubMed Central

    Van Hook, R I

    1979-01-01

    This report addresses the effects of coal-derived trace and radioactive elements. A summary of our current understanding of health and environmental effects of trace and radioactive elements released during coal mining, cleaning, combustion, and ash disposal is presented. Physical and biological transport phenomena which are important in determining organism exposure are also discussed. Biological concentration and transformation as well as synergistic and antagonistic actions among trace contaminants are discussed in terms of their importance in mobility, persistence, availability, and ultimate toxicity. The consequences of implementing the President's National Energy Plan are considered in terms of the impact of the NEP in 1985 and 2000 on the potential effects of trace and radioactive elements from the coal fuel cycle. Areas of needed research are identified in specific recommendations. PMID:540619

  13. Mercury from mineral deposits and potential environmental impact

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rytuba, J.J.

    2003-01-01

    Mercury deposits are globally distributed in 26 mercury mineral belts. Three types of mercury deposits occur in these belts: silica-carbonate, hot-spring, and Almaden. Mercury is also produced as a by-product from several types of gold-silver and massive sulfide deposits, which account for 5% of the world's production. Other types of mineral deposits can be enriched in mercury and mercury phases present are dependent on deposit type. During processing of mercury ores, secondary mercury phases form and accumulate in mine wastes. These phases are more soluble than cinnabar, the primary ore mineral, and cause mercury deposits to impact the environment more so than other types of ore deposits enriched in mercury. Release and transport of mercury from mine wastes occur primarily as mercury-enriched particles and colloids. Production from mercury deposits has decreased because of environmental concerns, but by-product production from other mercury-enriched mineral deposits remains important.

  14. Identifying barriers and catalysts to fostering pro-environmental behavior: opportunities and challenges for community psychology.

    PubMed

    Quimby, Christine C; Angelique, Holly

    2011-06-01

    In this paper, we report on an exploratory study of perceived barriers and catalysts to increasing pro-environmental behavior among people associated with the environmental movement. Perceived barriers include time, money, low efficacy and hopelessness. Catalysts focus on changing social norms, especially through education and institutional support. We discuss the tragedy of the commons and free-riding as impediments to change. We use this study as an entryway to hypothesize opportunities and challenges that community psychologists face in motivating and supporting actions to reduce the impact of global climate change. We provide examples of how community psychologists can foster these changes. In short, we argue that community psychology is well positioned to take a leading role in the fight for a carbon neutral future. PMID:21203832

  15. Environmental Trigger(s) of Type 1 Diabetes: Why So Difficult to Identify?

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is one of the most common chronic diseases with childhood onset, and the disease has increased two- to fivefold over the past half century by as yet unknown means. T1D occurs when the body's immune system turns against itself so that, in a very specific and targeted way, it destroys the pancreatic β-cells. T1D results from poorly defined interactions between susceptibility genes and environmental determinants. In contrast to the rapid progress in finding T1D genes, identification and confirmation of environmental determinants remain a formidable challenge. This review article will focus on factors which have to be evaluated and decision to take before starting a new prospective cohort study. Considering all the large ongoing prospective studies, new and more conclusive data than that obtained so far should instead come from international collaboration on the ongoing cohort studies. PMID:25883954

  16. Potential environmental effects of pack stock on meadow ecosystems of the Sierra Nevada, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ostoja, Steven M.; Brooks, Matthew L.; Moore, Peggy E.; Berlow, Eric L.; Robert Blank,; Roche, Jim; Chase, Jennifer T.; Sylvia Haultain,

    2014-01-01

    Pack and saddle stock, including, but not limited to domesticated horses, mules, and burros, are used to support commercial, private and administrative activities in the Sierra Nevada. The use of pack stock has become a contentious and litigious issue for land management agencies in the region inter alia due to concerns over effects on the environment. The potential environmental effects of pack stock on Sierra Nevada meadow ecosystems are reviewed and it is concluded that the use of pack stock has the potential to influence the following: (1) water nutrient dynamics, sedimentation, temperature, and microbial pathogen content; (2) soil chemistry, nutrient cycling, soil compaction and hydrology; (3) plant individuals, populations and community dynamics, non-native invasive species, and encroachment of woody species; and (4) wildlife individuals, populations and communities. It is considered from currently available information that management objectives of pack stock should include the following: minimise bare ground, maximise plant cover, maintain species composition of native plants, minimise trampling, especially on wet soils and stream banks, and minimise direct urination and defecation by pack stock into water. However, incomplete documentation of patterns of pack stock use and limited past research limits current understanding of the effects of pack stock, especially their effects on water, soils and wildlife. To improve management of pack stock in this region, research is needed on linking measurable monitoring variables (e.g. plant cover) with environmental relevancy (e.g. soil erosion processes, wildlife habitat use), and identifying specific environmental thresholds of degradation along gradients of pack stock use in Sierra Nevada meadows.

  17. Identifying the Environmental Conditions Favouring West Nile Virus Outbreaks in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Metz, Markus; Rosà, Roberto; Marini, Giovanni; Chadwick, Elizabeth; Neteler, Markus

    2015-01-01

    West Nile Virus (WNV) is a globally important mosquito borne virus, with significant implications for human and animal health. The emergence and spread of new lineages, and increased pathogenicity, is the cause of escalating public health concern. Pinpointing the environmental conditions that favour WNV circulation and transmission to humans is challenging, due both to the complexity of its biological cycle, and the under-diagnosis and reporting of epidemiological data. Here, we used remote sensing and GIS to enable collation of multiple types of environmental data over a continental spatial scale, in order to model annual West Nile Fever (WNF) incidence across Europe and neighbouring countries. Multi-model selection and inference were used to gain a consensus from multiple linear mixed models. Climate and landscape were key predictors of WNF outbreaks (specifically, high precipitation in late winter/early spring, high summer temperatures, summer drought, occurrence of irrigated croplands and highly fragmented forests). Identification of the environmental conditions associated with WNF outbreaks is key to enabling public health bodies to properly focus surveillance and mitigation of West Nile virus impact, but more work needs to be done to enable accurate predictions of WNF risk. PMID:25803814

  18. Identification of Potential Estrogenic Environmental Pollutants by Terahertz Transmission Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quema, Alex; Takahashi, Hiroshi; Sakai, Masahiro; Goto, Masahiro; Ono, Shingo; Sarukura, Nobuhiko; Shioda, Ryu; Yamada, Norihide

    2003-08-01

    Using magnetically enhanced terahertz radiation from InAs, various naphthols, which exhibits estrogenic like activity and are potentially mimic natural hormones, are studied. The experimental results show that the naphthols, depicted by the position of the hydroxyl (-OH) component at different carbon atom sites of the naphthalene compound, are distinguishable based on the absorption of THz radiation. It is found that the THz radiation absorption is strongly related to the crystal symmetry and dipole moment of these isomers.

  19. Potential for ag residue collection, economics and environmental benefits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hettenhaus, J. R.

    2003-12-01

    Removing excess corn stover and cereal straws after erosion requirements have been satisfied offers much potential as a renewable feedstock for initial biorefineries, producing fuels, chemicals and materials while reducing crop inputs, increasing farm income and offsetting greenhouse gas emissions. Two biorefinery site studies are presented for the production of fuel ethanol: SW Nebraska and Western Oklahoma. Results include excess available, delivered cost, net income to the farmer, improved SOM from move to no-till and GHG reduction from fossil fuel offset

  20. Potential of calcium isotopes to identify fractionations in vegetation: experimental approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cobert, F.; Schmitt, A.; Bourgade, P.; Stille, P.; Chabaux, F. J.; Badot, P.; Jaegler, T.

    2010-12-01

    This study aims to better understand the role of vegetation on the Ca cycle at the level of the critical zone of the Earth, in order to specify the mechanisms controlling the Ca absorption by plants at the rock/plant interface. To do this, we performed experiments using hydroponic plant cultures in a way that we could control the cooccuring geochemical and biological processes and determine the impact of the nutritive solution on the Ca cycle within plants. A dicotyledon and calcicole plant with rapid growth, the French bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), has been chosen to have access to one complete growth cycle. Several experiments have been conducted with two Ca concentrations, 5 (L) and 60 (H) ppm and two pH values (4 and 6) in the nutritive solution, for which the Ca concentration was maintained constant, so its Ca content is considered to be infinite. We determined Ca concentrations and isotopic ratios in the nutritive solution and in different organs (main roots, secondary roots, old and young stems, old and young leaves and fruits) at two different growth stages (10 days and 6 weeks). Our results show, in accord with previously published field studies, that the bean organs are all enriched in the light 40Ca isotope compared to the nutritive solution (e.g. Wigand et al., 2005; Page et al., 2008; Cenki-Tok et al., 2009; Holmden and Bélanger, 2010). We identify two fractionation levels. The first occurs during the uptake of the nutrient elements by the lateral roots. This implies that the main mechanisms of light isotope enrichments in the plant are due to electrochemical gradient transport processes taking place at this interface. The second fractionation can be observed within the plant itself and is due to the nature of the considered organ itself. Indeed structural reservoirs (primary roots, stem, reproductive organs) incorporate more the light 40Ca isotope compared to the transfer reservoirs (lateral roots, xylem sap, leaves). This could be linked to ion

  1. Potential environmental functions of widespread, abundant, uncultured marine archaea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lloyd, K. G.; Schreiber, L.; Petersen, D. G.; Schramm, A.; Jorgensen, B.

    2012-12-01

    The vast majority of marine subsurface microorganisms are uncultivated, and therefore have unknown metabolisms. Much of the prokaryotes present in the marine subsurface are archaea, and, in turn, much of the archaea fall into the Miscellaneous Crenarchaeotal Group. These organisms are widely distributed globally and are phylogenetically diverse, comprising 17 distinct subgroups, defined by 16S rRNA genes (Kubo et al. 2012). The subgroups do not seem to have any well-defined environmental distribution (i.e., they are all present in different types of marine and terrestrial environments). However, the abundance of sequences from a certain environment type differs among subgroups, and may provide clues to their role in these environments. We sequenced the genome of a single cell of MCG extracted directly from marine sediments. Although coverage was low (~30%), the data quality was high. Conserved genes show that MCG is deeply branching within the newly named "Thaumarchaeota", and contains a complete pathway for the degradation or extracellular proteins. A further search through metagenomic data shows that this process may be widespread in marine sediments. We hypothesize that MCG archaea may be important in anaerobic protein decomposition in marine sediments. Reference Kubo et al., 2012. Archaea of the Miscellaneous Crenarchaeotal Group (MCG) are abundant, diverse, and widespread in marine sediments. ISME Journal, in press, doi:10.1038/ismej.2012.37.

  2. Evaluating environmental modeling and sampling data with biomarker data to identify sources and routes of exposure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shin, Hyeong-Moo; McKone, Thomas E.; Bennett, Deborah H.

    2013-04-01

    Exposure to environmental chemicals results from multiple sources, environmental media, and exposure routes. Ideally, modeled exposures should be compared to biomonitoring data. This study compares the magnitude and variation of modeled polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) exposures resulting from emissions to outdoor and indoor air and estimated exposure inferred from biomarker levels. Outdoor emissions result in both inhalation and food-based exposures. We modeled PAH intake doses using U.S. EPA's 2002 National Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) county-level emissions data for outdoor inhalation, the CalTOX model for food ingestion (based on NATA emissions), and indoor air concentrations from field studies for indoor inhalation. We then compared the modeled intake with the measured urine levels of hydroxy-PAH metabolites from the 2001-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) survey as quantifiable human intake of PAH parent-compounds. Lognormal probability plots of modeled intakes and estimated intakes inferred from biomarkers suggest that a primary route of exposure to naphthalene, fluorene, and phenanthrene for the U.S. population is likely inhalation from indoor sources. For benzo(a)pyrene, the predominant exposure route is likely from food ingestion resulting from multi-pathway transport and bioaccumulation due to outdoor emissions. Multiple routes of exposure are important for pyrene. We also considered the sensitivity of the predicted exposure to the proportion of the total naphthalene production volume emitted to the indoor environment. The comparison of PAH biomarkers with exposure variability estimated from models and sample data for various exposure pathways supports that both indoor and outdoor models are needed to capture the sources and routes of exposure to environmental contaminants.

  3. Miniaturized redox potential probe for in situ environmental monitoring.

    PubMed

    Jang, Am; Lee, Jin-Hwan; Bhadri, Prashant R; Kumar, Suresh A; Timmons, William; Beyette, Fred R; Papautsky, Ian; Bishop, Paul L

    2005-08-15

    The need for accurate, robust in situ microscale monitoring of oxidation-reduction potentials (ORP) is required for continuous soil pore water quality monitoring. We are developing a suite of self-contained microelectrodes that can be used in the environment, such as at Superfund sites, to monitor ORP in contaminated soils and sediments. This paper presents details on our development of microelectrode sensor arrays for ORP measurements. The electrochemical performance of these ORP electrodes was fully characterized by measuring redox potentials in standard solutions. It found that the newly developed integrated ORP microelectrodes produced a very stable voltage response (the corresponding rate of the integrated microelectrode potential change was in the range of 0.6-1.1 mV/min), even when the measurement was carried out outside of a Faraday cage where signals from most conventional microelectrodes are usually inhibited by external electrical nose. These new microelectrodes were easier to fabricate and were more robust than conventional microelectrodes. The tip size of the integrated ORP microelectrode was approximately 200 nm square, with a taper angle of approximately 20 degrees and a length of 57 microm. The integrated ORP microelectrode exhibited better signal stability and substantially shorter response times (from less than a few milliseconds to 30 s, depending on the standard solution used) than the commercial millielectrode (a few minutes). Compared with the slope of the commercial millelectrode, the slope of the integrated microelectrode (61.5 mV/pH) was closerto the ideal slope against quinhydrone calibration solutions. Therefore, it is to be expected that the newly developed ORP microelectrode may have wider applications in contaminated soils, biofilms, and sediments. PMID:16173580

  4. Identifying Determinants of Oncomelania hupensis Habitats and Assessing the Effects of Environmental Control Strategies in the Plain Regions with the Waterway Network of China at the Microscale

    PubMed Central

    Qiu, Juan; Li, Rendong; Xu, Xingjian; Yu, Chuanhua; Xia, Xin; Hong, Xicheng; Chang, Bianrong; Yi, Fengjia; Shi, Yuanyuan

    2014-01-01

    This study aims to identify the landscape ecological determinants related to Oncomelania hupensis distribution, map the potential high risk of O. hupensis habitats at the microscale, and assess the effects of two environmental control strategies. Sampling was performed on 242 snail sites and 726 non-snail sites throughout Qianjiang City, Hubei Province, China. An integrated approach of landscape pattern analysis coupled with multiple logistic regression modeling was applied to investigate the effects of environmental factors on snail habitats. The risk probability of snail habitats positively correlated with patch fractal dimension (FD), paddy farm land proportion, and wetness index but inversely correlated with categorized normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and elevation. These findings indicate that FD can identify irregular features (e.g., irrigation ditches) in plain regions and that a moderate NDVI increases the microscale risk probability. Basing on the observed determinants, we predicted a map showing high-risk areas of snail habitats and simulated the effects of conduit hardening and paddy farming land rotation to dry farming land. The two approaches were confirmed effective for snail control. These findings provide an empirical basis for health professionals in local schistosomiasis control stations to identify priority areas and promising environmental control strategies for snail control and prevention. PMID:25003174

  5. Triclosan: current status, occurrence, environmental risks and bioaccumulation potential.

    PubMed

    Dhillon, Gurpreet Singh; Kaur, Surinder; Pulicharla, Rama; Brar, Satinder Kaur; Cledón, Maximiliano; Verma, Mausam; Surampalli, Rao Y

    2015-05-01

    Triclosan (TCS) is a multi-purpose antimicrobial agent used as a common ingredient in everyday household personal care and consumer products. The expanded use of TCS provides a number of pathways for the compound to enter the environment and it has been detected in sewage treatment plant effluents; surface; ground and drinking water. The physico-chemical properties indicate the bioaccumulation and persistence potential of TCS in the environment. Hence, there is an increasing concern about the presence of TCS in the environment and its potential negative effects on human and animal health. Nevertheless, scarce monitoring data could be one reason for not prioritizing TCS as emerging contaminant. Conventional water and wastewater treatment processes are unable to completely remove the TCS and even form toxic intermediates. Considering the worldwide application of personal care products containing TCS and inefficient removal and its toxic effects on aquatic organisms, the compound should be considered on the priority list of emerging contaminants and its utilization in all products should be regulated. PMID:26006133

  6. Triclosan: Current Status, Occurrence, Environmental Risks and Bioaccumulation Potential

    PubMed Central

    Dhillon, Gurpreet Singh; Kaur, Surinder; Pulicharla, Rama; Brar, Satinder Kaur; Cledón, Maximiliano; Verma, Mausam; Surampalli, Rao Y.

    2015-01-01

    Triclosan (TCS) is a multi-purpose antimicrobial agent used as a common ingredient in everyday household personal care and consumer products. The expanded use of TCS provides a number of pathways for the compound to enter the environment and it has been detected in sewage treatment plant effluents; surface; ground and drinking water. The physico-chemical properties indicate the bioaccumulation and persistence potential of TCS in the environment. Hence, there is an increasing concern about the presence of TCS in the environment and its potential negative effects on human and animal health. Nevertheless, scarce monitoring data could be one reason for not prioritizing TCS as emerging contaminant. Conventional water and wastewater treatment processes are unable to completely remove the TCS and even form toxic intermediates. Considering the worldwide application of personal care products containing TCS and inefficient removal and its toxic effects on aquatic organisms, the compound should be considered on the priority list of emerging contaminants and its utilization in all products should be regulated. PMID:26006133

  7. Triclosan: current status, occurrence, environmental risks and bioaccumulation potential.

    PubMed

    Dhillon, Gurpreet Singh; Kaur, Surinder; Pulicharla, Rama; Brar, Satinder Kaur; Cledón, Maximiliano; Verma, Mausam; Surampalli, Rao Y

    2015-05-22

    Triclosan (TCS) is a multi-purpose antimicrobial agent used as a common ingredient in everyday household personal care and consumer products. The expanded use of TCS provides a number of pathways for the compound to enter the environment and it has been detected in sewage treatment plant effluents; surface; ground and drinking water. The physico-chemical properties indicate the bioaccumulation and persistence potential of TCS in the environment. Hence, there is an increasing concern about the presence of TCS in the environment and its potential negative effects on human and animal health. Nevertheless, scarce monitoring data could be one reason for not prioritizing TCS as emerging contaminant. Conventional water and wastewater treatment processes are unable to completely remove the TCS and even form toxic intermediates. Considering the worldwide application of personal care products containing TCS and inefficient removal and its toxic effects on aquatic organisms, the compound should be considered on the priority list of emerging contaminants and its utilization in all products should be regulated.

  8. Permafrost as palaeo-environmental archive - potentials and limitations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schirrmeister, L.; Wetterich, S.; Meyer, H.; Grosse, G.; Schwamborn, G.; Siegert, C.

    2009-04-01

    Since 1994, the Periglacial Research Group of the Alfred Wegener Institute is studying permafrost sequences of the Beringian landmass. The study sites in Siberia cover lake banks on Taymyr Peninsula, coastal sites at the Laptev and the East Siberian Seas, locations in the Lena Delta, at the lower Kolyma river, the middle Lena and the lower Aldan rivers, and the catchment area of the El'gygytgyn crater lake in Chukotka. In Alaska, permafrost tunnels near Fairbanks and Barrow, and coastal sites on the Seward Peninsula coast were studied. In addition, Canadian sites on Herschel Island in the Beaufort Sea and at the adjacent coast of the Yukon plain were studied. Subsurface exposures like tunnels and cellars provided the opportunity for three-dimensional studies of sedimentary and ground ice features, relatively ‘clean' field conditions for in-situ experiments, monitoring procedures, and detailed and repeatable sampling. Permafrost cores were drilled in order to study inaccessible sequences below the terrain surface and shelf sea floor. Cores were transported and stored frozen for further high-resolution analysis. Reference core sections were preserved for subsequent later studies. Terrestrial sediment cores are highly localized records, sometimes problematic in extrapolating horizons in inhomogeneous sediments like ground ice-deformed permafrost deposits, and drill campaigns are usually cost intensive and logistical challenging. Coastal permafrost cliffs often naturally expose large cross sections trough modern and ancient landscapes. Contrary to cores, they provide an opportunity to study the wider context of depositional environments and ground ice features. Due to the relative easy access to coasts and the recurring natural exposure of cliffs by thermo-abrasive wave action they are very convenient study objects for regional comparisons and correlation of past environmental conditions. Finally, palaeogeographical reconstructions are also guided by remote sensing

  9. Identifying High Potential Well Targets with 3D Seismic and Mineralogy

    SciTech Connect

    Mellors, R. J.

    2015-10-30

    Seismic reflection the primary tool used in petroleum exploration and production, but use in geothermal exploration is less standard, in part due to cost but also due to the challenges in identifying the highly-permeable zones essential for economic hydrothermal systems [e.g. Louie et al., 2011; Majer, 2003]. Newer technology, such as wireless sensors and low-cost high performance computing, has helped reduce the cost and effort needed to conduct 3D surveys. The second difficulty, identifying permeable zones, has been less tractable so far. Here we report on the use of seismic attributes from a 3D seismic survey to identify and map permeable zones in a hydrothermal area.

  10. Characteristics of mannosylerythritol lipids and their environmental potential.

    PubMed

    Yu, Mingda; Liu, Zhifeng; Zeng, Guangming; Zhong, Hua; Liu, Yang; Jiang, Yongbing; Li, Min; He, Xiaoxiao; He, Yan

    2015-04-30

    Mannosylerythritol lipids (MELs) are promising biosurfactants containing two glycosyl derivatives and various fatty acids, which are mainly secreted by Pseudozyma as well as Ustilago. In this review, the latest research is demonstrated on production conditions, structural diversity, self-assembling properties and versatile biochemical functions of MELs. The genetic study and synthetic pathways, which mainly influence the type and yield of MELs production. Due to the excellent surface activity, biocompatibility and restorative function, MELs can be used in enviornmental industry, which has not been widely noted. In this paper, the current status of research on enviornmental potential of MELs has been discussed including petroleum degradation, bioconversion of chemical wastes and enhanced bioremediation of amphiphilic wastes. PMID:25723622

  11. Mapping the Racial Inequality in Place: Using Youth Perceptions to Identify Unequal Exposure to Neighborhood Environmental Hazards.

    PubMed

    Teixeira, Samantha; Zuberi, Anita

    2016-01-01

    Black youth are more likely than white youth to grow up in poor, segregated neighborhoods. This racial inequality in the neighborhood environments of black youth increases their contact with hazardous neighborhood environmental features including violence and toxic exposures that contribute to racial inequality in youth health and well-being. While the concept of neighborhood effects has been studied at length by social scientists, this work has not been as frequently situated within an environmental justice (EJ) paradigm. The present study used youth perceptions gained from in-depth interviews with youth from one Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania neighborhood to identify neighborhood environmental health hazards. We then mapped these youth-identified features to examine how they are spatially and racially distributed across the city. Our results suggest that the intersection of race and poverty, neighborhood disorder, housing abandonment, and crime were salient issues for youth. The maps show support for the youths' assertions that the environments of black and white individuals across the city of Pittsburgh differ in noteworthy ways. This multi-lens, mixed-method analysis was designed to challenge some of the assumptions we make about addressing environmental inequality using youths' own opinions on the issue to drive our inquiry. PMID:27571086

  12. Mapping the Racial Inequality in Place: Using Youth Perceptions to Identify Unequal Exposure to Neighborhood Environmental Hazards

    PubMed Central

    Teixeira, Samantha; Zuberi, Anita

    2016-01-01

    Black youth are more likely than white youth to grow up in poor, segregated neighborhoods. This racial inequality in the neighborhood environments of black youth increases their contact with hazardous neighborhood environmental features including violence and toxic exposures that contribute to racial inequality in youth health and well-being. While the concept of neighborhood effects has been studied at length by social scientists, this work has not been as frequently situated within an environmental justice (EJ) paradigm. The present study used youth perceptions gained from in-depth interviews with youth from one Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania neighborhood to identify neighborhood environmental health hazards. We then mapped these youth-identified features to examine how they are spatially and racially distributed across the city. Our results suggest that the intersection of race and poverty, neighborhood disorder, housing abandonment, and crime were salient issues for youth. The maps show support for the youths’ assertions that the environments of black and white individuals across the city of Pittsburgh differ in noteworthy ways. This multi-lens, mixed-method analysis was designed to challenge some of the assumptions we make about addressing environmental inequality using youths’ own opinions on the issue to drive our inquiry. PMID:27571086

  13. Mapping the Racial Inequality in Place: Using Youth Perceptions to Identify Unequal Exposure to Neighborhood Environmental Hazards.

    PubMed

    Teixeira, Samantha; Zuberi, Anita

    2016-01-01

    Black youth are more likely than white youth to grow up in poor, segregated neighborhoods. This racial inequality in the neighborhood environments of black youth increases their contact with hazardous neighborhood environmental features including violence and toxic exposures that contribute to racial inequality in youth health and well-being. While the concept of neighborhood effects has been studied at length by social scientists, this work has not been as frequently situated within an environmental justice (EJ) paradigm. The present study used youth perceptions gained from in-depth interviews with youth from one Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania neighborhood to identify neighborhood environmental health hazards. We then mapped these youth-identified features to examine how they are spatially and racially distributed across the city. Our results suggest that the intersection of race and poverty, neighborhood disorder, housing abandonment, and crime were salient issues for youth. The maps show support for the youths' assertions that the environments of black and white individuals across the city of Pittsburgh differ in noteworthy ways. This multi-lens, mixed-method analysis was designed to challenge some of the assumptions we make about addressing environmental inequality using youths' own opinions on the issue to drive our inquiry.

  14. Identifying energy and carbon footprint optimization potentials of a sludge treatment line with Life Cycle Assessment.

    PubMed

    Remy, C; Lesjean, B; Waschnewski, J

    2013-01-01

    This study exemplifies the use of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) as a tool to quantify the environmental impacts of processes for wastewater treatment. In a case study, the sludge treatment line of a large wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) is analysed in terms of cumulative energy demand and the emission of greenhouse gases (carbon footprint). Sludge treatment consists of anaerobic digestion, dewatering, drying, and disposal of stabilized sludge in mono- or co-incineration in power plants or cement kilns. All relevant forms of energy demand (electricity, heat, chemicals, fossil fuels, transport) and greenhouse gas emissions (fossil CO(2), CH(4), N(2)O) are accounted in the assessment, including the treatment of return liquor from dewatering in the WWTP. Results show that the existing process is positive in energy balance (-162 MJ/PE(COD) * a) and carbon footprint (-11.6 kg CO(2)-eq/PE(COD) * a) by supplying secondary products such as electricity from biogas production or mono-incineration and substituting fossil fuels in co-incineration. However, disposal routes for stabilized sludge differ considerably in their energy and greenhouse gas profiles. In total, LCA proves to be a suitable tool to support future investment decisions with information of environmental relevance on the impact of wastewater treatment, but also urban water systems in general.

  15. Developing Early Warning Systems to Identify Potential High School Dropouts. Issue Brief

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heppen, Jessica B.; Therriault, Susan Bowles

    2008-01-01

    The high school dropout problem has been called a national crisis. Educators, researchers, and policymakers continue to work to identify effective dropout prevention approaches. One important element of such prevention efforts is the identification of students at highest risk for dropping out and then the targeting of resources to keep them in…

  16. Identifying Carcinogenic Potentials of Drinking Water Disinfection Byproducts using Normal Human Colonocyte Cultures

    EPA Science Inventory

    Epidemiological studies have linked the consumption of disinfected surface waters to an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Approximately 600 byproducts (DBPs) have been identified for the major disinfectants currently in use and represent less than half of the total organic car...

  17. Development of Normal Human Colonocyte Cultures to Identify a Carcinogenic Potential for Priority Disinfection Byproducts

    EPA Science Inventory

    Epidemiological studies have linked the consumption of disinfected surface waters to an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Of the approximately >600 disinfection byproducts (DBPs) identified, the US EPA regulates 11 DBPS for an increased risk of cancer. An in-depth mechanism-ba...

  18. Identifying Leadership Potential: The Process of Principals within a Charter School Network

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waidelich, Lynn A.

    2012-01-01

    The importance of strong educational leadership for American K-12 schools cannot be overstated. As such, school districts need to actively recruit and develop leaders. One way to do so is for school officials to become more strategic in leadership identification and development. If contemporary leaders are strategic about whom they identify and…

  19. Fishers' knowledge identifies environmental changes and fish abundance trends in impounded tropical rivers.

    PubMed

    Hallwass, Gustavo; Lopes, Priscila F; Juras, Anastácio A; Silvano, Renato A M

    2013-03-01

    The long-term impacts of large hydroelectric dams on small-scale fisheries in tropical rivers are poorly known. A promising way to investigate such impacts is to compare and integrate the local ecological knowledge (LEK) of resource users with biological data for the same region. We analyzed the accuracy of fishers' LEK to investigate fisheries dynamics and environmental changes in the Lower Tocantins River (Brazilian Amazon) downstream from a large dam. We estimated fishers' LEK through interviews with 300 fishers in nine villages and collected data on 601 fish landings in five of these villages, 22 years after the dam's establishment (2006-2008). We compared these two databases with each other and with data on fish landings from before the dam's establishment (1981) gathered from the literature. The data obtained based on the fishers' LEK (interviews) and from fisheries agreed regarding the primary fish species caught, the most commonly used type of fishing gear (gill nets) and even the most often used gill net mesh sizes but disagreed regarding seasonal fish abundance. According to the interviewed fishers, the primary environmental changes that occurred after the impoundment were an overall decrease in fish abundance, an increase in the abundance of some fish species and, possibly, the local extinction of a commercial fish species (Semaprochilodus brama). These changes were corroborated by comparing fish landings sampled before and 22 years after the impoundment, which indicated changes in the composition of fish landings and a decrease in the total annual fish production. Our results reinforce the hypothesis that large dams may adversely affect small-scale fisheries downstream and establish a feasible approach for applying fishers' LEK to fisheries management, especially in regions with a low research capacity.

  20. An aggregate analysis of personal care products in the environment: Identifying the distribution of environmentally-relevant concentrations.

    PubMed

    Hopkins, Zachary R; Blaney, Lee

    2016-01-01

    Over the past 3-4 decades, per capita consumption of personal care products (PCPs) has steadily risen, resulting in increased discharge of the active and inactive ingredients present in these products into wastewater collection systems. PCPs comprise a long list of compounds employed in toothpaste, sunscreen, lotions, soaps, body washes, and insect repellants, among others. While comprehensive toxicological studies are not yet available, an increasing body of literature has shown that PCPs of all classes can impact aquatic wildlife, bacteria, and/or mammalian cells at low concentrations. Ongoing research efforts have identified PCPs in a variety of environmental compartments, including raw wastewater, wastewater effluent, surface water, wastewater solids, sediment, groundwater, and drinking water. Here, an aggregate analysis of over 5000 reported detections was conducted to better understand the distribution of environmentally-relevant PCP concentrations in, and between, these compartments. The distributions were used to identify whether aggregated environmentally-relevant concentration ranges intersected with available toxicity data. For raw wastewater, wastewater effluent, and surface water, a clear overlap was present between the 25th-75th percentiles and identified toxicity levels. This analysis suggests that improved wastewater treatment of antimicrobials, UV filters, and polycyclic musks is required to prevent negative impacts on aquatic species. PMID:27128715

  1. Cluster analysis of spontaneous preterm birth phenotypes identifies potential associations among preterm birth mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Esplin, M Sean; Manuck, Tracy A.; Varner, Michael W.; Christensen, Bryce; Biggio, Joseph; Bukowski, Radek; Parry, Samuel; Zhang, Heping; Huang, Hao; Andrews, William; Saade, George; Sadovsky, Yoel; Reddy, Uma M.; Ilekis, John

    2015-01-01

    Objective We sought to employ an innovative tool based on common biological pathways to identify specific phenotypes among women with spontaneous preterm birth (SPTB), in order to enhance investigators' ability to identify to highlight common mechanisms and underlying genetic factors responsible for SPTB. Study Design A secondary analysis of a prospective case-control multicenter study of SPTB. All cases delivered a preterm singleton at SPTB ≤34.0 weeks gestation. Each woman was assessed for the presence of underlying SPTB etiologies. A hierarchical cluster analysis was used to identify groups of women with homogeneous phenotypic profiles. One of the phenotypic clusters was selected for candidate gene association analysis using VEGAS software. Results 1028 women with SPTB were assigned phenotypes. Hierarchical clustering of the phenotypes revealed five major clusters. Cluster 1 (N=445) was characterized by maternal stress, cluster 2 (N=294) by premature membrane rupture, cluster 3 (N=120) by familial factors, and cluster 4 (N=63) by maternal comorbidities. Cluster 5 (N=106) was multifactorial, characterized by infection (INF), decidual hemorrhage (DH) and placental dysfunction (PD). These three phenotypes were highly correlated by Chi-square analysis [PD and DH (p<2.2e-6); PD and INF (p=6.2e-10); INF and DH (p=0.0036)]. Gene-based testing identified the INS (insulin) gene as significantly associated with cluster 3 of SPTB. Conclusion We identified 5 major clusters of SPTB based on a phenotype tool and hierarchal clustering. There was significant correlation between several of the phenotypes. The INS gene was associated with familial factors underlying SPTB. PMID:26070700

  2. Potential for the environmental impact of transgenic crops.

    PubMed

    Dale, Philip J; Clarke, Belinda; Fontes, Eliana M G

    2002-06-01

    In recent years, there has been increasing interest in how changes in agricultural practice associated with the introduction of particular genetically modified (GM) crops might indirectly impact the environment. There is also interest in any effects that might be associated with recombinant and novel combinations of DNA passing into the environment, and the possibility that they may be taken up by microorganisms or other live biological material. From the current state of knowledge, the impact of free DNA of transgenic origin is likely to be negligible compared with the large amount of total free DNA. We can find no compelling scientific arguments to demonstrate that GM crops are innately different from non-GM crops. The kinds of potential impacts of GM crops fall into classes familiar from the cultivation of non-GM crops (e.g., invasiveness, weediness, toxicity, or biodiversity). It is likely, however, that the novelty of some of the products of GM crop improvement will present new challenges and perhaps opportunities to manage particular crops in creative ways. PMID:12042859

  3. Potential for the environmental impact of transgenic crops.

    PubMed

    Dale, Philip J; Clarke, Belinda; Fontes, Eliana M G

    2002-06-01

    In recent years, there has been increasing interest in how changes in agricultural practice associated with the introduction of particular genetically modified (GM) crops might indirectly impact the environment. There is also interest in any effects that might be associated with recombinant and novel combinations of DNA passing into the environment, and the possibility that they may be taken up by microorganisms or other live biological material. From the current state of knowledge, the impact of free DNA of transgenic origin is likely to be negligible compared with the large amount of total free DNA. We can find no compelling scientific arguments to demonstrate that GM crops are innately different from non-GM crops. The kinds of potential impacts of GM crops fall into classes familiar from the cultivation of non-GM crops (e.g., invasiveness, weediness, toxicity, or biodiversity). It is likely, however, that the novelty of some of the products of GM crop improvement will present new challenges and perhaps opportunities to manage particular crops in creative ways.

  4. Identifying potential gas accumulation sites from Oligocene overpressure data in the Qiongdongnan basin, offshore South China

    SciTech Connect

    Liu Funing )

    1993-05-01

    Overpressure in Oligocene formations in southern Qiongdongnan basin, offshore China, can be determined either by actual measurements in wells or by calculations using data derived from well logs and seismic surveys. The overpressure is mainly the result of undercompaction of Oligocene rocks during rapid loading by Pliocene and Quaternary sedimentation and of the subsequent thermal expansion of fluids in the Oligocene strata. Every formation possesses its own normal compaction trend (plot of shale-interval acoustic transit times vs. depth). The actual fluid pressures and potential pressures can be computed by the equilibrium-depth method. This method must be corrected for the thermal expansion of fluid. The pressure corrections are based on shale-interval transit times from well logs, interval velocities interpreted from vertical seismic profile (VSP) surveys, and stacking velocity from sonic log data of nearby wells. Gas generated from source rocks is assumed to have moved vertically from strata of higher hydraulic pressure potential to those of lower potentials and to have moved laterally and accumulated within areas where the contour closures of a gas equipotential hydraulic-pressure surface (U curves) have lower values. In the study area, the vicinity of the Yacheng gas field, the potential maps (U, gas, and V, water, maps) and hydraulic head profiles can be plotted from values derived either from actual pressure measurements or from calculations. These maps and profiles show prospective areas of gas accumulation. 5 refs., 10 figs., 1 tab.

  5. Comparing OECD PISA Reading in English to Other Languages: Identifying Potential Sources of Non-Invariance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Asil, Mustafa; Brown, Gavin T. L.

    2016-01-01

    The use of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) across nations, cultures, and languages has been criticized. The key criticisms point to the linguistic and cultural biases potentially underlying the design of reading comprehension tests, raising doubts about the legitimacy of comparisons across economies. Our research focused…

  6. Identifying Student Potential for ICT Entrepreneurship Using Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicators

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnston, Kevin A.; Andersen, Barry K.; Davidge-Pitts, Jennifer; Ostensen-Saunders, Mark

    2009-01-01

    Literature relating to personality and entrepreneurship has focused primarily on personality characteristics of traditional entrepreneurs. The focus of this study was on personality characteristics and temperaments of potential Information and Communication Technology (ICT) entrepreneurs. The main objective of the study was to evaluate the…

  7. Utilization of solar energy in developing countries: Identifying some potential markets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hein, G. F.; Siddiqi, T. A.

    1978-01-01

    The potential use of solar electricity generated from photovoltaic cells is examined for nineteen developing nations. Energy and economic profiles are summarized for each country. A comparison is made between the use of autogeneration and photovoltaics in a rural area of Haiti.

  8. A Comparison between Survey and Verbal Choice Methods of Identifying Potential Reinforcers among Employees

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilder, David A; Therrien, Kelly; Wine, Byron

    2006-01-01

    Two methods of assessing preference for stimuli (i.e., potential reinforcers) were compared for adult administrative assistant employees. During Phase 1, a survey method and a verbal choice method of assessing preference for 6 stimuli were administered. During Phase 2, a coupon system was used to determine which categories of stimuli actually…

  9. An Event-Related Potentials Study of Mental Rotation in Identifying Chemical Structural Formulas

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huang, Chin-Fei; Liu, Chia-Ju

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate how mental rotation strategies affect the identification of chemical structural formulas. This study conducted event-related potentials (ERPs) experiments. In addition to the data collected in the ERPs, a Chemical Structure Conceptual Questionnaire and interviews were also admin-istered for data…

  10. Cooperative Development of the Digital Library: Identifying and Working with Potential Partners.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poland, Jean

    In a university environment, the library can benefit from interest in the digital future on the part of other concerned groups. Computer science departments are natural partners in the development of digital libraries. Professional societies, for-profit companies, and foundations are also potential sources of support. Cornell University Library…

  11. A national effort to identify fry processing clones with low acrylamide-forming potential

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Acrylamide is a suspected human carcinogen. Processed potato products, such as chips and fries, contribute to dietary intake of acrylamide. One of the most promising approaches to reducing acrylamide consumption is to develop and commercialize new potato varieties with low acrylamide-forming potenti...

  12. A Model for Identifying the Potential Clientele for Substance Abuse Programs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Froland, Charles; Brodsky, Gerry

    1978-01-01

    A model is presented that estimates the rates, numbers, and sociodemographic characteristics of potential clientele for substance abuse programs. Using the synthetic estimates technique and existing bodies of information, the model has been tested and cross validated with substance abuse related problem indicators with good results. (Author/CTM)

  13. Identifying target groups for a potential vaccination program during a hepatitis A communitywide outbreak.

    PubMed Central

    Hutin, Y J; Bell, B P; Marshall, K L; Schaben, C P; Dart, M; Quinlisk, M P; Shapiro, C N

    1999-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: This study sought to identify groups for targeted vaccination during a communitywide hepatitis A outbreak in 1996. METHODS: Residents of the Sioux City, Iowa, metropolitan area reported with hepatitis A between September 1995 and August 1996 were sampled and compared with population-based controls. RESULTS: In comparison with 51 controls, the 40 case patients were more likely to inject methamphetamine, to attend emergency rooms more often than other health care facilities, and to have a family member who used the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. CONCLUSIONS: Groups at increased risk of hepatitis A can be identified that might be [corrected] accessed for vaccination during communitywide outbreaks. PMID:10358687

  14. Fine-Mapping of Common Genetic Variants Associated with Colorectal Tumor Risk Identified Potential Functional Variants.

    PubMed

    Du, Mengmeng; Jiao, Shuo; Bien, Stephanie A; Gala, Manish; Abecasis, Goncalo; Bezieau, Stephane; Brenner, Hermann; Butterbach, Katja; Caan, Bette J; Carlson, Christopher S; Casey, Graham; Chang-Claude, Jenny; Conti, David V; Curtis, Keith R; Duggan, David; Gallinger, Steven; Haile, Robert W; Harrison, Tabitha A; Hayes, Richard B; Hoffmeister, Michael; Hopper, John L; Hudson, Thomas J; Jenkins, Mark A; Küry, Sébastien; Le Marchand, Loic; Leal, Suzanne M; Newcomb, Polly A; Nickerson, Deborah A; Potter, John D; Schoen, Robert E; Schumacher, Fredrick R; Seminara, Daniela; Slattery, Martha L; Hsu, Li; Chan, Andrew T; White, Emily; Berndt, Sonja I; Peters, Ulrike

    2016-01-01

    Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified many common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with colorectal cancer risk. These SNPs may tag correlated variants with biological importance. Fine-mapping around GWAS loci can facilitate detection of functional candidates and additional independent risk variants. We analyzed 11,900 cases and 14,311 controls in the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium and the Colon Cancer Family Registry. To fine-map genomic regions containing all known common risk variants, we imputed high-density genetic data from the 1000 Genomes Project. We tested single-variant associations with colorectal tumor risk for all variants spanning genomic regions 250-kb upstream or downstream of 31 GWAS-identified SNPs (index SNPs). We queried the University of California, Santa Cruz Genome Browser to examine evidence for biological function. Index SNPs did not show the strongest association signals with colorectal tumor risk in their respective genomic regions. Bioinformatics analysis of SNPs showing smaller P-values in each region revealed 21 functional candidates in 12 loci (5q31.1, 8q24, 11q13.4, 11q23, 12p13.32, 12q24.21, 14q22.2, 15q13, 18q21, 19q13.1, 20p12.3, and 20q13.33). We did not observe evidence of additional independent association signals in GWAS-identified regions. Our results support the utility of integrating data from comprehensive fine-mapping with expanding publicly available genomic databases to help clarify GWAS associations and identify functional candidates that warrant more onerous laboratory follow-up. Such efforts may aid the eventual discovery of disease-causing variant(s).

  15. Fine-Mapping of Common Genetic Variants Associated with Colorectal Tumor Risk Identified Potential Functional Variants.

    PubMed

    Du, Mengmeng; Jiao, Shuo; Bien, Stephanie A; Gala, Manish; Abecasis, Goncalo; Bezieau, Stephane; Brenner, Hermann; Butterbach, Katja; Caan, Bette J; Carlson, Christopher S; Casey, Graham; Chang-Claude, Jenny; Conti, David V; Curtis, Keith R; Duggan, David; Gallinger, Steven; Haile, Robert W; Harrison, Tabitha A; Hayes, Richard B; Hoffmeister, Michael; Hopper, John L; Hudson, Thomas J; Jenkins, Mark A; Küry, Sébastien; Le Marchand, Loic; Leal, Suzanne M; Newcomb, Polly A; Nickerson, Deborah A; Potter, John D; Schoen, Robert E; Schumacher, Fredrick R; Seminara, Daniela; Slattery, Martha L; Hsu, Li; Chan, Andrew T; White, Emily; Berndt, Sonja I; Peters, Ulrike

    2016-01-01

    Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified many common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with colorectal cancer risk. These SNPs may tag correlated variants with biological importance. Fine-mapping around GWAS loci can facilitate detection of functional candidates and additional independent risk variants. We analyzed 11,900 cases and 14,311 controls in the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium and the Colon Cancer Family Registry. To fine-map genomic regions containing all known common risk variants, we imputed high-density genetic data from the 1000 Genomes Project. We tested single-variant associations with colorectal tumor risk for all variants spanning genomic regions 250-kb upstream or downstream of 31 GWAS-identified SNPs (index SNPs). We queried the University of California, Santa Cruz Genome Browser to examine evidence for biological function. Index SNPs did not show the strongest association signals with colorectal tumor risk in their respective genomic regions. Bioinformatics analysis of SNPs showing smaller P-values in each region revealed 21 functional candidates in 12 loci (5q31.1, 8q24, 11q13.4, 11q23, 12p13.32, 12q24.21, 14q22.2, 15q13, 18q21, 19q13.1, 20p12.3, and 20q13.33). We did not observe evidence of additional independent association signals in GWAS-identified regions. Our results support the utility of integrating data from comprehensive fine-mapping with expanding publicly available genomic databases to help clarify GWAS associations and identify functional candidates that warrant more onerous laboratory follow-up. Such efforts may aid the eventual discovery of disease-causing variant(s). PMID:27379672

  16. Fine-Mapping of Common Genetic Variants Associated with Colorectal Tumor Risk Identified Potential Functional Variants

    PubMed Central

    Gala, Manish; Abecasis, Goncalo; Bezieau, Stephane; Brenner, Hermann; Butterbach, Katja; Caan, Bette J.; Carlson, Christopher S.; Casey, Graham; Chang-Claude, Jenny; Conti, David V.; Curtis, Keith R.; Duggan, David; Gallinger, Steven; Haile, Robert W.; Harrison, Tabitha A.; Hayes, Richard B.; Hoffmeister, Michael; Hopper, John L.; Hudson, Thomas J.; Jenkins, Mark A.; Küry, Sébastien; Le Marchand, Loic; Leal, Suzanne M.; Newcomb, Polly A.; Nickerson, Deborah A.; Potter, John D.; Schoen, Robert E.; Schumacher, Fredrick R.; Seminara, Daniela; Slattery, Martha L.; Hsu, Li; Chan, Andrew T.; White, Emily; Berndt, Sonja I.; Peters, Ulrike

    2016-01-01

    Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified many common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with colorectal cancer risk. These SNPs may tag correlated variants with biological importance. Fine-mapping around GWAS loci can facilitate detection of functional candidates and additional independent risk variants. We analyzed 11,900 cases and 14,311 controls in the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium and the Colon Cancer Family Registry. To fine-map genomic regions containing all known common risk variants, we imputed high-density genetic data from the 1000 Genomes Project. We tested single-variant associations with colorectal tumor risk for all variants spanning genomic regions 250-kb upstream or downstream of 31 GWAS-identified SNPs (index SNPs). We queried the University of California, Santa Cruz Genome Browser to examine evidence for biological function. Index SNPs did not show the strongest association signals with colorectal tumor risk in their respective genomic regions. Bioinformatics analysis of SNPs showing smaller P-values in each region revealed 21 functional candidates in 12 loci (5q31.1, 8q24, 11q13.4, 11q23, 12p13.32, 12q24.21, 14q22.2, 15q13, 18q21, 19q13.1, 20p12.3, and 20q13.33). We did not observe evidence of additional independent association signals in GWAS-identified regions. Our results support the utility of integrating data from comprehensive fine-mapping with expanding publicly available genomic databases to help clarify GWAS associations and identify functional candidates that warrant more onerous laboratory follow-up. Such efforts may aid the eventual discovery of disease-causing variant(s). PMID:27379672

  17. Transposon Mutagenesis Screen Identifies Potential Lung Cancer Drivers and CUL3 as a Tumor Suppressor

    PubMed Central

    Dorr, Casey; Janik, Callie; Weg, Madison; Been, Raha A.; Bader, Justin; Kang, Ryan; Ng, Brandon; Foran, Lindsey; Landman, Sean R.; O’Sullivan, M. Gerard; Steinbach, Michael; Sarver, Aaron L.; Silverstein, Kevin A. T.; Largaespada, David A.

    2015-01-01

    Non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) harbor thousands of passenger events that hide genetic drivers. Even highly recurrent events in NSCLC, such as mutations in PTEN, EGFR, KRAS, and ALK, are only detected in, at most, 30% of patients. Thus, many unidentified low-penetrant events are causing a significant portion of lung cancers. To detect low-penetrance drivers of NSCLC a forward genetic screen was performed in mice using the Sleeping Beauty (SB) DNA transposon as a random mutagen to generate lung tumors in a Pten deficient background. SB mutations coupled with Pten deficiency were sufficient to produce lung tumors in 29% of mice. Pten deficiency alone, without SB mutations, resulted in lung tumors in 11% of mice, while the rate in control mice was ~3%. In addition, thyroid cancer and other carcinomas as well as the presence of bronchiolar and alveolar epithelialization in mice deficient for Pten were also identified. Analysis of common transposon insertion sites identified 76 candidate cancer driver genes. These genes are frequently dysregulated in human lung cancers and implicate several signaling pathways. Cullin3 (Cul3), a member of an ubiquitin ligase complex that plays a role in the oxidative stress response pathway, was identified in the screen and evidence demonstrates that Cul3 functions as a tumor suppressor. PMID:25995385

  18. Vibrational stark effects to identify ion pairing and determine reduction potentials in electrolyte-free environments

    DOE PAGES

    Mani, Tomoyasu; Grills, David C.; Miller, John R.

    2015-01-02

    A recently-developed instrument for time-resolved infrared detection following pulse radiolysis has been used to measure the ν(C≡N) IR band of the radical anion of a CN-substituted fluorene in tetrahydrofuran. Specific vibrational frequencies can exhibit distinct frequency shifts due to ion-pairing, which can be explained in the framework of the vibrational Stark effect. Measurements of the ratio of free ions and ion-pairs in different electrolyte concentrations allowed us to obtain an association constant and free energy change for ion-pairing. As a result, this new method has the potential to probe the geometry of ion-pairing and allows the reduction potentials of moleculesmore » to be determined in the absence of electrolyte in an environment of low dielectric constant.« less

  19. Vibrational stark effects to identify ion pairing and determine reduction potentials in electrolyte-free environments

    SciTech Connect

    Mani, Tomoyasu; Grills, David C.; Miller, John R.

    2015-01-02

    A recently-developed instrument for time-resolved infrared detection following pulse radiolysis has been used to measure the ν(C≡N) IR band of the radical anion of a CN-substituted fluorene in tetrahydrofuran. Specific vibrational frequencies can exhibit distinct frequency shifts due to ion-pairing, which can be explained in the framework of the vibrational Stark effect. Measurements of the ratio of free ions and ion-pairs in different electrolyte concentrations allowed us to obtain an association constant and free energy change for ion-pairing. As a result, this new method has the potential to probe the geometry of ion-pairing and allows the reduction potentials of molecules to be determined in the absence of electrolyte in an environment of low dielectric constant.

  20. A molecular approach to identify active microbes in environmental eukaryote clone libraries.

    PubMed

    Stoeck, Thorsten; Zuendorf, Alexandra; Breiner, Hans-Werner; Behnke, Anke

    2007-02-01

    A rapid method for the simultaneous extraction of RNA and DNA from eukaryote plankton samples was developed in order to discriminate between indigenous active cells and signals from inactive or even dead organisms. The method was tested using samples from below the chemocline of an anoxic Danish fjord. The simple protocol yielded RNA and DNA of a purity suitable for amplification by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and PCR, respectively. We constructed an rRNA-derived and an rDNA-derived clone library to assess the composition of the microeukaryote assemblage under study and to identify physiologically active constituents of the community. We retrieved nearly 600 protistan target clones, which grouped into 84 different phylotypes (98% sequence similarity). Of these phylotypes, 27% occurred in both libraries, 25% exclusively in the rRNA library, and 48% exclusively in the rDNA library. Both libraries revealed good correspondence of the general community composition in terms of higher taxonomic ranks. They were dominated by anaerobic ciliates and heterotrophic stramenopile flagellates thriving below the fjord's chemocline. The high abundance of these bacterivore organisms points out their role as a major trophic link in anoxic marine systems. A comparison of the two libraries identified phototrophic dinoflagellates, "uncultured marine alveolates group I," and different parasites, which were exclusively detected with the rDNA-derived library, as nonindigenous members of the anoxic microeukaryote community under study.

  1. Development and Use of a Selectable, Broad-Host-Range Reporter Transposon for Identifying Environmentally Regulated Promoters in Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Spinler, Jennifer K.; Zajdowicz, Sheryl L. W.; Haller, Jon C.; Oram, Diana Marra; Gill, Ronald E.; Holmes, Randall K.

    2009-01-01

    This report describes the development and use of TnKnXSp, a selectable broad-host-range reporter transposon with a promoterless aphA gene. Insertion of TnKnXSp into the chromosome of a kanamycin-susceptible bacterium confers resistance to kanamycin only if aphA is transcribed from an active promoter adjacent to the insertion site. We designed TnKnXSp as a tool for identifying environmentally regulated promoters in bacteria and developed general methods for initial characterization of any TnKnXSp integrant. To identify putative iron-regulated promoters in Corynebacterium diphtheriae, we constructed TnKnXSp integrants and identified a subgroup that expressed kanamycin resistance under low-iron, but not high-iron, conditions. We characterized representative integrants with this phenotype, located the TnKnXSp insertion in each, and demonstrated that transcription of aphA was repressed under high-iron vs. low-iron growth conditions. We also demonstrated that TnKnXSp can be used in bacteria other than C. diphtheriae, including Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilus. Our findings validate TnKnXSp as a useful tool for identifying environmentally regulated promoters in bacteria. PMID:19146571

  2. Potential Environmental and Environmental-Health Implications of the SAFRR Tsunami Scenario in California: Chapter F in The SAFRR (Science Application for Risk Reduction) Tsunami Scenario

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Morman, Suzette A.; San Juan, Carma

    2013-01-01

    If human populations are successfully evacuated prior to the tsunami arrival, there would be no or limited numbers of drownings, other casualties, or related injuries, wounds, and infections. Immediately after the tsunami, human populations away from the inundation zone could be transiently exposed to airborne gases, smoke, and ash from tsunamigenic fires. Cleanup and disposal, particularly of hazardous materials, would pose substantial logistical challenges and economic costs. Given the high value of the coastal residential and commercial properties in the inundation zone, it can be postulated that there would be substantial insurance claims for environmental restoration, mold mitigation, disposal of debris that contains hazardous materials, and costs of litigation related to environmental liability. Post-tsunami cleanup, if done with appropriate mitigation (for example, dust control), personal protection, and disposal measures, would help reduce the potential for cleanup-worker and resident exposures to toxicants and pathogens in harbor waters, debris, soils, ponded waters, and buildings. A number of other steps can be taken by governments, businesses, and residents to help reduce the environmental impacts of tsunamis and to recover more quickly from these environmental impacts. For example, development of State and local policies that foster rapid assessment of potential contamination, as well as rapid decision making for disposal options should hazardous debris or sediment be identified, would help enhance recovery by speeding cleanup.

  3. Exome sequencing identifies potential novel candidate genes in patients with unexplained colorectal adenomatous polyposis.

    PubMed

    Spier, Isabel; Kerick, Martin; Drichel, Dmitriy; Horpaopan, Sukanya; Altmüller, Janine; Laner, Andreas; Holzapfel, Stefanie; Peters, Sophia; Adam, Ronja; Zhao, Bixiao; Becker, Tim; Lifton, Richard P; Holinski-Feder, Elke; Perner, Sven; Thiele, Holger; Nöthen, Markus M; Hoffmann, Per; Timmermann, Bernd; Schweiger, Michal R; Aretz, Stefan

    2016-04-01

    In up to 30% of patients with colorectal adenomatous polyposis, no germline mutation in the known genes APC, causing familial adenomatous polyposis, MUTYH, causing MUTYH-associated polyposis, and POLE or POLD1, causing Polymerase-Proofreading-associated polyposis can be identified, although a hereditary etiology is likely. To uncover new causative genes, exome sequencing was performed using DNA from leukocytes and a total of 12 colorectal adenomas from seven unrelated patients with unexplained sporadic adenomatous polyposis. For data analysis and variant filtering, an established bioinformatics pipeline including in-house tools was applied. Variants were filtered for rare truncating point mutations and copy-number variants assuming a dominant, recessive, or tumor suppressor model of inheritance. Subsequently, targeted sequence analysis of the most promising candidate genes was performed in a validation cohort of 191 unrelated patients. All relevant variants were validated by Sanger sequencing. The analysis of exome sequencing data resulted in the identification of rare loss-of-function germline mutations in three promising candidate genes (DSC2, PIEZO1, ZSWIM7). In the validation cohort, further variants predicted to be pathogenic were identified in DSC2 and PIEZO1. According to the somatic mutation spectra, the adenomas in this patient cohort follow the classical pathways of colorectal tumorigenesis. The present study identified three candidate genes which might represent rare causes for a predisposition to colorectal adenoma formation. Especially PIEZO1 (FAM38A) and ZSWIM7 (SWS1) warrant further exploration. To evaluate the clinical relevance of these genes, investigation of larger patient cohorts and functional studies are required. PMID:26780541

  4. Environmental characterization of two potential locations at Hanford for a new production reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Watson, E.C.; Becker, C.D.; Fitzner, R.E.; Gano, K.A.; Imhoff, K.L.; McCallum, R.F.; Myers, D.A.; Page, T.L.; Price, K.R.; Ramsdell, J.V.; Rice D.G.; Schreiber D.L.; Skumatz L.A.; Sommer D.J.; Tawil J.J.; Wallace R.W.; Watson D.G.

    1984-09-01

    This report describes various environmental aspects of two areas on the Hanford Site that are potential locations for a New Production Reactor (NPR). The area known as the Skagit Hanford Site is considered the primary or reference site. The second area, termed the Firehouse Site, is considered the alternate site. The report encompasses an environmental characterization of these two potential NPR locations. Eight subject areas are covered: geography and demography; ecology; meteorology; hydrology; geology; cultural resources assessment; economic and social effects of station construction and operation; and environmental monitoring. 80 refs., 68 figs., 109 tabs.

  5. Infrared Spectroscopy of Pollen Identifies Plant Species and Genus as Well as Environmental Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Zimmermann, Boris; Kohler, Achim

    2014-01-01

    Background It is imperative to have reliable and timely methodologies for analysis and monitoring of seed plants in order to determine climate-related plant processes. Moreover, impact of environment on plant fitness is predominantly based on studies of female functions, while the contribution of male gametophytes is mostly ignored due to missing data on pollen quality. We explored the use of infrared spectroscopy of pollen for an inexpensive and rapid characterization of plants. Methodology The study was based on measurement of pollen samples by two Fourier transform infrared techniques: single reflectance attenuated total reflectance and transmission measurement of sample pellets. The experimental set, with a total of 813 samples, included five pollination seasons and 300 different plant species belonging to all principal spermatophyte clades (conifers, monocotyledons, eudicots, and magnoliids). Results The spectroscopic-based methodology enables detection of phylogenetic variations, including the separation of confamiliar and congeneric species. Furthermore, the methodology enables measurement of phenotypic plasticity by the detection of inter-annual variations within the populations. The spectral differences related to environment and taxonomy are interpreted biochemically, specifically variations of pollen lipids, proteins, carbohydrates, and sporopollenins. The study shows large variations of absolute content of nutrients for congenital species pollinating in the same environmental conditions. Moreover, clear correlation between carbohydrate-to-protein ratio and pollination strategy has been detected. Infrared spectral database with respect to biochemical variation among the range of species, climate and biogeography will significantly improve comprehension of plant-environment interactions, including impact of global climate change on plant communities. PMID:24748390

  6. X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy Identifies Calcium-Uranyl-Carbonate Complexes at Environmental Concentrations

    SciTech Connect

    Kelly, Shelly D; Kemner, Kenneth M; Brooks, Scott C

    2007-01-01

    Current research on bioremediation of uranium-contaminated groundwater focuses on supplying indigenous metal-reducing bacteria with the appropriate metabolic requirements to induce microbiological reduction of soluble uranium(VI) to poorly soluble uranium(IV). Recent studies of uranium(VI) bioreduction in the presence of environmentally relevant levels of calcium revealed limited and slowed uranium(VI) reduction and the formation of a Ca-UO2-CO3 complex. However, the stoichiometry of the complex is poorly defined and may be complicated by the presence of a Na-UO2-CO3 complex. Such a complex might exist even at high calcium concentrations, as some UO2-CO3 complexes will still be present. The number of calcium and/or sodium atoms coordinated to a uranyl carbonate complex will determine the net charge of the complex. Such a change in aqueous speciation of uranium(VI) in calcareous groundwater may affect the fate and transport properties of uranium. In this paper, we present the results from X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) measurements of a series of solutions containing 50 lM uranium(VI) and 30 mM sodium bicarbonate, with various calcium concentrations of 0-5 mM. Use of the data series reduces the uncertainty in the number of calcium atoms bound to the UO2-CO3 complex to approximately 0.6 and enables spectroscopic identification of the Na-UO2-CO3 complex. At nearly neutral pH values, the numbers of sodium and calcium atoms bound to the uranyl triscarbonate species are found to depend on the calcium concentration, as predicted by speciation calculations.

  7. X-ray absorption spectroscopy identifies calcium-uranyl-carbonate complexes at environmental concentrations.

    SciTech Connect

    Kelly, S. D.; Kemner, K. M.; Brooks, S. C.; Biosciences Division; ORNL

    2007-01-01

    Current research on bioremediation of uranium-contaminated groundwater focuses on supplying indigenous metal-reducing bacteria with the appropriate metabolic requirements to induce microbiological reduction of soluble uranium(VI) to poorly soluble uranium(IV). Recent studies of uranium(VI) bioreduction in the presence of environmentally relevant levels of calcium revealed limited and slowed uranium(VI) reduction and the formation of a Ca-UO{sub 2}-CO{sub 3} complex. However, the stoichiometry of the complex is poorly defined and may be complicated by the presence of a Na-UO{sub 2}-CO{sub 3} complex. Such a complex might exist even at high calcium concentrations, as some UO{sub 2}-CO{sub 3} complexes will still be present. The number of calcium and/or sodium atoms coordinated to a uranyl carbonate complex will determine the net charge of the complex. Such a change in aqueous speciation of uranium(VI) in calcareous groundwater may affect the fate and transport properties of uranium. In this paper, we present the results from X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) measurements of a series of solutions containing 50 {micro}M uranium(VI) and 30 mM sodium bicarbonate, with various calcium concentrations of 0-5 mM. Use of the data series reduces the uncertainty in the number of calcium atoms bound to the UO{sub 2}-CO{sub 3} complex to approximately 0.6 and enables spectroscopic identification of the Na-UO{sub 2}-CO{sub 3} complex. At nearly neutral pH values, the numbers of sodium and calcium atoms bound to the uranyl triscarbonate species are found to depend on the calcium concentration, as predicted by speciation calculations.

  8. Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals and Oil and Natural Gas Operations: Potential Environmental Contamination and Recommendations to Assess Complex Environmental Mixtures

    PubMed Central

    Kassotis, Christopher D.; Tillitt, Donald E.; Lin, Chung-Ho; McElroy, Jane A.; Nagel, Susan C.

    2015-01-01

    Background Hydraulic fracturing technologies, developed over the last 65 years, have only recently been combined with horizontal drilling to unlock oil and gas reserves previously deemed inaccessible. Although these technologies have dramatically increased domestic oil and natural gas production, they have also raised concerns for the potential contamination of local water supplies with the approximately 1,000 chemicals that are used throughout the process, including many known or suspected endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Objectives We discuss the need for an endocrine component to health assessments for drilling-dense regions in the context of hormonal and antihormonal activities for chemicals used. Methods We discuss the literature on a) surface and groundwater contamination by oil and gas extraction operations, and b) potential human exposure, particularly in the context of the total hormonal and antihormonal activities present in surface and groundwater from natural and anthropogenic sources; we also discuss initial analytical results and critical knowledge gaps. Discussion In light of the potential for environmental release of oil and gas chemicals that can disrupt hormone receptor systems, we recommend methods for assessing complex hormonally active environmental mixtures. Conclusions We describe a need for an endocrine-centric component for overall health assessments and provide information supporting the idea that using such a component will help explain reported adverse health trends as well as help develop recommendations for environmental impact assessments and monitoring programs. Citation Kassotis CD, Tillitt DE, Lin CH, McElroy JA, Nagel SC. 2016. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals and oil and natural gas operations: potential environmental contamination and recommendations to assess complex environmental mixtures. Environ Health Perspect 124:256–264; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1409535 PMID:26311476

  9. Identifying unprotected and potentially at risk plant communities in the western USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wright, R.G.; Scott, J.M.; Mann, S.; Murray, M.

    2001-01-01

    We analyzed the conservation status of 73 vegetation cover types distributed across a 1.76 million km2 region in 10 states of the western USA. We found that 25 vegetation cover types had at least 10% of their area in nature reserves. These were generally plant communities located at higher elevations and thus more commonly associated with national parks and wilderness areas. All but three of the remaining 48 cover types occurred with sufficient area on publically owned lands in the region to imply that transforming land management intent on these lands could also increase their protection. We also analyzed the level of protection afforded each cover type across its entire geographic distribution in the region. Most cover types that were at least minimally protected in total across the region were also at least minimally protected in most areas of their occurrence. Our results show that there is a realistic opportunity to design a system of biodiversity reserves in this region that represent the full range of environmental conditions in which the various plant communities occur. Conducting this type of broad-scale analysis is a necessary first step in that process and provides a database for others to work from. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.

  10. Application of Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis To Identify Potential Outbreaks of Campylobacteriosis in New Zealand

    PubMed Central

    Gilpin, Brent; Cornelius, Angela; Robson, Beth; Boxall, Naomi; Ferguson, Alan; Nicol, Carolyn; Henderson, Tom

    2006-01-01

    Since 2002, New Zealand's incidence of campylobacteriosis has exceeded 300 cases per 100,000 people per annum. To evaluate genetic variation in human isolates, 183 Campylobacter isolates were collected from a single clinical laboratory in Christchurch: 77 during an 8-week period in spring, and the rest 3 months later over a second 8-week period in autumn. Isolates were identified to the species level and subtyped using Penner serotyping (Campylobacter jejuni only) and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) using both SmaI and KpnI. Approximately two-thirds of the isolates could be grouped into clusters of between 2 and 26 isolates with indistinguishable SmaI and KpnI patterns. Less than 10% of the isolates were of the same type between the two sampling periods. The epidemiological relevance of the PFGE clusters was supported by temporal clustering, some spatial clustering, and some statistically significant demographic similarities among cases in a cluster. Conversely, patient cases yielding isolates which did not cluster with isolates from other cases were more likely to report recent overseas travel and less likely to live within larger urban centers. To identify whether these clusters actually represent common-source outbreaks, however, would require the detailed, rapid, and reiterative epidemiological investigation of cases within a PFGE cluster. The combined and timely application of subtyping and epidemiological investigation would appear to be a promising strategy for understanding campylobacteriosis in New Zealand. PMID:16455892

  11. Antibody microarray profiling of osteosarcoma cell serum for identifying potential biomarkers.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Zi-Qiang; Tang, Jin-Shan; Gang, Duan; Wang, Ming-Xing; Wang, Jian-Qiang; Lei, Zhou; Feng, Zhou; Fang, Ming-Liang; Yan, Lin

    2015-07-01

    The aim of the present study was to identify biomarkers in osteosarcoma (OS) cell serum by antibody microarray profiling, which may be used for OS diagnosis and therapy. An antibody microarray was used to detect the expression levels of cytokines in serum samples from 20 patients with OS and 20 healthy individuals. Significantly expressed cytokines in OS serum were selected when P<0.05 and fold change >2. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to validate the antibody microarray results. Finally, classification accuracy was calculated by cluster analysis. Twenty one cytokines were significantly upregulated in OS cell serum samples compared with control samples. Expression of interleukin-6, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, tumor growth factor-β, growth-related oncogene, hepatocyte growth factor, chemokine ligand 16, Endoglin, matrix metalloproteinase-9 and platelet-derived growth factor-AA was validated by ELISAs. OS serum samples and control samples were distinguished by significantly expressed cytokines with an accuracy of 95%. The results demonstrated that expressed cytokines identified by antibody microarray may be used as biomarkers for OS diagnosis and therapy.

  12. Sleep-related eye symptoms and their potential for identifying driver sleepiness.

    PubMed

    Filtness, Ashleigh J; Anund, Anna; Fors, Carina; Ahlström, Christer; Akerstedt, Torbjørn; Kecklund, Göran

    2014-10-01

    The majority of individuals appear to have insight into their own sleepiness, but there is some evidence that this does not hold true for all, for example treated patients with obstructive sleep apnoea. Identification of sleep-related symptoms may help drivers determine their sleepiness, eye symptoms in particular show promise. Sixteen participants completed four motorway drives on two separate occasions. Drives were completed during daytime and night-time in both a driving simulator and on the real road. Ten eye symptoms were rated at the end of each drive, and compared with driving performance and subjective and objective sleep metrics recorded during driving. 'Eye strain', 'difficulty focusing', 'heavy eyelids' and 'difficulty keeping the eyes open' were identified as the four key sleep-related eye symptoms. Drives resulting in these eye symptoms were more likely to have high subjective sleepiness and more line crossings than drives where similar eye discomfort was not reported. Furthermore, drivers having unintentional line crossings were likely to have 'heavy eyelids' and 'difficulty keeping the eyes open'. Results suggest that drivers struggling to identify sleepiness could be assisted with the advice 'stop driving if you feel sleepy and/or have heavy eyelids or difficulty keeping your eyes open'.

  13. A quantitative high-throughput screen identifies potential epigenetic modulators of gene expression.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Ronald L; Huang, Wenwei; Jadhav, Ajit; Austin, Christopher P; Inglese, James; Martinez, Elisabeth D

    2008-04-15

    Epigenetic regulation of gene expression is essential in embryonic development and contributes to cancer pathology. We used a cell-based imaging assay that measures derepression of a silenced green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter to identify novel classes of compounds involved in epigenetic regulation. This locus derepression (LDR) assay was screened against a 69,137-member chemical library using quantitative high-throughput screening (qHTS), a titration-response method that assays compounds at multiple concentrations. From structure-activity relationships of the 411 actives recovered from the qHTS, 6 distinct chemical series were chosen for further study. A total of 48 qHTS actives and analogs were counterscreened using the parental line of the LDR cells, which lack the GFP reporter. Three series-8-hydroxy quinoline, quinoline-8-thiol, and 1,3,5-thiadiazinane-2-thione-were not fluorescent and reconfirmed activity in the LDR cells. The three active series did not inhibit histone deacetylase activity in nuclear extracts or reactivate the expression of the densely methylated p16 gene in cancer cells. However, one series induced expression of the methylated CDH13 gene and inhibited the viability of several lung cancer lines at submicromolar concentrations. These results suggest that the identified small molecules act on epigenetic or transcriptional components and validate our approach of using a cell-based imaging assay in conjunction with qHTS.

  14. A Quantitative High-Throughput Screen Identifies Potential Epigenetic Modulators of Gene Expression

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Ronald L.; Huang, Wenwei; Jadhav, Ajit; Austin, Christopher P.; Inglese, James; Martinez, Elisabeth D.

    2008-01-01

    Epigenetic regulation of gene expression is essential in embryonic development and contributes to cancer pathology. We used a cell-based imaging assay that measures derepression of a silenced GFP reporter to identify novel classes of compounds involved in epigenetic regulation. This Locus Derepression (LDR) assay was screened against a 69,137-member chemical library using quantitative high-throughput screening (qHTS), a titration-response method that assays compounds at multiple concentrations. From structure-activity relationships of the 411 actives recovered from the qHTS, six distinct chemical series were chosen for further study. Forty-eight qHTS actives and analogs were counter screened using the parental line of the LDR cells, which lack the GFP reporter. Three series, 8-hydroxy quinoline, quinoline-8-thiol and 1,3,5-thiadiazinane-2-thione, were not fluorescent and re-confirmed activity in the LDR cells. The three active series did not inhibit histone deacetylase activity in nuclear extracts or reactivate the expression of the densely methylated p16 gene in cancer cells. However, one series induced expression of the methylated CDH13 gene and inhibited the viability of several lung cancer lines at submicromolar concentrations. These results suggest that the identified small molecules act on epigenetic or transcriptional components and validate our approach of using a cell-based imaging assay in conjunction with qHTS. PMID:18211814

  15. Using Market Research to Characterize College Students and Identify Potential Targets for Influencing Health Behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Berg, Carla J.; Ling, Pamela M.; Guo, Hongfei; Windle, Michael; Thomas, Janet L.; Ahluwalia, Jasjit S.; An, Lawrence C.

    2013-01-01

    Marketing campaigns, such as those developed by the tobacco industry, are based on market research, which defines segments of a population by assessing psychographic characteristics (i.e., attitudes, interests). This study uses a similar approach to define market segments of college smokers, to examine differences in their health behaviors (smoking, drinking, binge drinking, exercise, diet), and to determine the validity of these segments. A total of 2,265 undergraduate students aged 18–25 years completed a 108-item online survey in fall 2008 assessing demographic, psychographic (i.e., attitudes, interests), and health-related variables. Among the 753 students reporting past 30-day smoking, cluster analysis was conducted using 21 psychographic questions and identified three market segments – Stoic Individualists, Responsible Traditionalists, and Thrill-Seeking Socializers. We found that segment membership was related to frequency of alcohol use, binge drinking, and limiting dietary fat. We then developed three messages targeting each segment and conducted message testing to validate the segments on a subset of 73 smokers representing each segment in spring 2009. As hypothesized, each segment indicated greater relevance and salience for their respective message. These findings indicate that identifying qualitatively different subgroups of young adults through market research may inform the development of engaging interventions and health campaigns targeting college students. PMID:25264429

  16. Antibody microarray profiling of osteosarcoma cell serum for identifying potential biomarkers.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Zi-Qiang; Tang, Jin-Shan; Gang, Duan; Wang, Ming-Xing; Wang, Jian-Qiang; Lei, Zhou; Feng, Zhou; Fang, Ming-Liang; Yan, Lin

    2015-07-01

    The aim of the present study was to identify biomarkers in osteosarcoma (OS) cell serum by antibody microarray profiling, which may be used for OS diagnosis and therapy. An antibody microarray was used to detect the expression levels of cytokines in serum samples from 20 patients with OS and 20 healthy individuals. Significantly expressed cytokines in OS serum were selected when P<0.05 and fold change >2. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to validate the antibody microarray results. Finally, classification accuracy was calculated by cluster analysis. Twenty one cytokines were significantly upregulated in OS cell serum samples compared with control samples. Expression of interleukin-6, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, tumor growth factor-β, growth-related oncogene, hepatocyte growth factor, chemokine ligand 16, Endoglin, matrix metalloproteinase-9 and platelet-derived growth factor-AA was validated by ELISAs. OS serum samples and control samples were distinguished by significantly expressed cytokines with an accuracy of 95%. The results demonstrated that expressed cytokines identified by antibody microarray may be used as biomarkers for OS diagnosis and therapy. PMID:25815525

  17. Combined expressional analysis, bioinformatics and targeted proteomics identify new potential therapeutic targets in glioblastoma stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Stangeland, Biljana; Mughal, Awais A.; Grieg, Zanina; Sandberg, Cecilie Jonsgar; Joel, Mrinal; Nygård, Ståle; Meling, Torstein; Murrell, Wayne; Vik Mo, Einar O.; Langmoen, Iver A.

    2015-01-01

    Glioblastoma (GBM) is both the most common and the most lethal primary brain tumor. It is thought that GBM stem cells (GSCs) are critically important in resistance to therapy. Therefore, there is a strong rationale to target these cells in order to develop new molecular therapies. To identify molecular targets in GSCs, we compared gene expression in GSCs to that in neural stem cells (NSCs) from the adult human brain, using microarrays. Bioinformatic filtering identified 20 genes (PBK/TOPK, CENPA, KIF15, DEPDC1, CDC6, DLG7/DLGAP5/HURP, KIF18A, EZH2, HMMR/RHAMM/CD168, NOL4, MPP6, MDM1, RAPGEF4, RHBDD1, FNDC3B, FILIP1L, MCC, ATXN7L4/ATXN7L1, P2RY5/LPAR6 and FAM118A) that were consistently expressed in GSC cultures and consistently not expressed in NSC cultures. The expression of these genes was confirmed in clinical samples (TCGA and REMBRANDT). The first nine genes were highly co-expressed in all GBM subtypes and were part of the same protein-protein interaction network. Furthermore, their combined up-regulation correlated negatively with patient survival in the mesenchymal GBM subtype. Using targeted proteomics and the COGNOSCENTE database we linked these genes to GBM signalling pathways. Nine genes: PBK, CENPA, KIF15, DEPDC1, CDC6, DLG7, KIF18A, EZH2 and HMMR should be further explored as targets for treatment of GBM. PMID:26295306

  18. Gremlin 1 Identifies a Skeletal Stem Cell with Bone, Cartilage, and Reticular Stromal Potential

    PubMed Central

    Worthley, Daniel L.; Churchill, Michael; Compton, Jocelyn T.; Tailor, Yagnesh; Rao, Meenakshi; Si, Yiling; Levin, Daniel; Schwartz, Matthew G.; Uygur, Aysu; Hayakawa, Yoku; Gross, Stefanie; Renz, Bernhard W.; Setlik, Wanda; Martinez, Ashley N.; Chen, Xiaowei; Nizami, Saqib; Lee, Heon Goo; Kang, H. Paco; Caldwell, Jon-Michael; Asfaha, Samuel; Westphalen, C. Benedikt; Graham, Trevor; Jin, Guangchun; Nagar, Karan; Wang, Hongshan; Kheirbek, Mazen A.; Kolhe, Alka; Carpenter, Jared; Glaire, Mark; Nair, Abhinav; Renders, Simon; Manieri, Nicholas; Muthupalani, Sureshkumar; Fox, James G.; Reichert, Maximilian; Giraud, Andrew S.; Schwabe, Robert F.; Pradere, Jean-Phillipe; Walton, Katherine; Prakash, Ajay; Gumucio, Deborah; Rustgi, Anil K.; Stappenbeck, Thaddeus S.; Friedman, Richard A.; Gershon, Michael D.; Sims, Peter; Grikscheit, Tracy; Lee, Francis Y.; Karsenty, Gerard; Mukherjee, Siddhartha; Wang, Timothy C.

    2014-01-01

    The stem cells that maintain and repair the postnatal skeleton remain undefined. One model suggests that perisinusoidal mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) give rise to osteoblasts, chondrocytes, marrow stromal cells, and adipocytes, although the existence of these cells has not been proven through fate-mapping experiments. We demonstrate here that expression of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) antagonist gremlin 1 defines a population of osteochondroreticular (OCR) stem cells in the bone marrow. OCR stem cells self-renew and generate osteoblasts, chondrocytes, and reticular marrow stromal cells, but not adipocytes. OCR stem cells are concentrated within the metaphysis of long bones not in the perisinusoidal space and are needed for bone development, bone remodeling, and fracture repair. Grem1 expression also identifies intestinal reticular stem cells (iRSCs) that are cells of origin for the periepithelial intestinal mesenchymal sheath. Grem1 expression identifies distinct connective tissue stem cells in both the bone (OCR stem cells) and the intestine (iRSCs). PMID:25594183

  19. Identifying Key Issues and Potential Solutions for Integrated Arrival, Departure, Surface Operations by Surveying Stakeholder Preferences

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Aponso, Bimal; Coppenbarger, Richard A.; Jung, Yoon; Quon, Leighton; Lohr, Gary; O’Connor, Neil; Engelland, Shawn

    2015-01-01

    NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) collaborates with the FAA and industry to provide concepts and technologies that enhance the transition to the next-generation air-traffic management system (NextGen). To facilitate this collaboration, ARMD has a series of Airspace Technology Demonstration (ATD) sub-projects that develop, demonstrate, and transitions NASA technologies and concepts for implementation in the National Airspace System (NAS). The second of these sub-projects, ATD-2, is focused on the potential benefits to NAS stakeholders of integrated arrival, departure, surface (IADS) operations. To determine the project objectives and assess the benefits of a potential solution, NASA surveyed NAS stakeholders to understand the existing issues in arrival, departure, and surface operations, and the perceived benefits of better integrating these operations. NASA surveyed a broad cross-section of stakeholders representing the airlines, airports, air-navigation service providers, and industry providers of NAS tools. The survey indicated that improving the predictability of flight times (schedules) could improve efficiency in arrival, departure, and surface operations. Stakeholders also mentioned the need for better strategic and tactical information on traffic constraints as well as better information sharing and a coupled collaborative planning process that allows stakeholders to coordinate IADS operations. To assess the impact of a potential solution, NASA sketched an initial departure scheduling concept and assessed its viability by surveying a select group of stakeholders for a second time. The objective of the departure scheduler was to enable flights to move continuously from gate to cruise with minimal interruption in a busy metroplex airspace environment using strategic and tactical scheduling enhanced by collaborative planning between airlines and service providers. The stakeholders agreed that this departure concept could improve schedule

  20. Identifying built environmental patterns using cluster analysis and GIS: Relationships with walking, cycling and body mass index in French adults

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Socio-ecological models suggest that both individual and neighborhood characteristics contribute to facilitating health-enhancing behaviors such as physical activity. Few European studies have explored relationships between local built environmental characteristics, recreational walking and cycling and weight status in adults. The aim of this study was to identify built environmental patterns in a French urban context and to assess associations with recreational walking and cycling behaviors as performed by middle-aged adult residents. Methods We used a two-step procedure based on cluster analysis to identify built environmental patterns in the region surrounding Paris, France, using measures derived from Geographic Information Systems databases on green spaces, proximity facilities (destinations) and cycle paths. Individual data were obtained from participants in the SU.VI.MAX cohort; 1,309 participants residing in the Ile-de-France in 2007 were included in this analysis. Associations between built environment patterns, leisure walking/cycling data (h/week) and measured weight status were assessed using multinomial logistic regression with adjustment for individual and neighborhood characteristics. Results Based on accessibility to green spaces, proximity facilities and availability of cycle paths, seven built environmental patterns were identified. The geographic distribution of built environmental patterns in the Ile-de-France showed that a pattern characterized by poor spatial accessibility to green spaces and proximity facilities and an absence of cycle paths was found only in neighborhoods in the outer suburbs, whereas patterns characterized by better spatial accessibility to green spaces, proximity facilities and cycle paths were more evenly distributed across the region. Compared to the reference pattern (poor accessibility to green areas and facilities, absence of cycle paths), subjects residing in neighborhoods characterized by high

  1. Genetic activity profiles--application in assessing potential carcinogenicity of complex environmental mixtures.

    PubMed

    Waters, M D; Claxton, L D; Stack, H F; Graedel, T E

    1990-01-01

    Some knowledge of the potential genetic activity of a complex environmental mixture may be gained from an assessment of the genetic activity of its component chemicals. The expanded genetic activity profile (GAP) data-base provides a computer-generated graphic representation of genetic bioassay data as a function of dose of the substance tested. In addition, the atmospheric chemical compound (ACC) data-base contains information on chemical structures, properties, detection methods and sources of chemicals found in ambient air. Using the combined data-bases, information on the quantity of an individual chemical present within a mixture or fraction of a mixture may be related to the quantity (lowest effective dose; LED) of the chemical required to demonstrate a positive response in one or more genetic bioassays. Alternatively, quantitative information on the carcinogenic potency of each individual compound (TD50 value) may be related to the quantity present in the mixture or mixture fraction and used to calculate the percent human exposure dose/rodent potency dose (HERP) for the chemical. Using an additivity assumption, a conservative estimate of potential carcinogenic hazard for the mixture may be calculated based on the HERP indices for its chemical components. This conceptual approach is limited by the relatively small number of chemicals identified in complex mixtures for which genetic toxicology and animal cancer data exist.

  2. Expression Profiling Identifies Bezafibrate as Potential Therapeutic Drug for Lung Adenocarcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xinyan; Yang, Xiaoqin; Chen, Xinmei; Zhang, Yantao; Pan, Xuebin; Wang, Guiping; Ye, Yun

    2015-01-01

    Drug-induced gene expression patterns that invert disease profiles have recently been illustrated to be a new strategy for drug-repositioning. In the present study, we validated this approach and focused on prediction of novel drugs for lung adenocarcinoma (AC), for which there is a pressing need to find novel therapeutic compounds. Firstly, connectivity map (CMap) analysis computationally predicted bezafibrate as a putative compound against lung AC. Then this hypothesis was verified by in vitro assays of anti-proliferation and cell cycle arrest. In silico docking evidence indicated that bezafibrate could target cyclin dependent kinase 2(CDK2), which regulates progression through the cell cycle. Furthermore, we found that bezafibrate can significantly down-regulate the expression of CDK2 mRNA and p-CDK2. Using a nude mice xenograft model, we also found that bezafibrate could inhibit tumor growth of lung AC in vivo. In conclusion, this study proposed bezafibrate as a potential therapeutic option for lung AC patients, illustrating the potential of in silico drug screening. PMID:26535062

  3. Molecular markers and imaging tools to identify malignant potential in Barrett's esophagus

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, Michael; Mashimo, Hiroshi

    2014-01-01

    Due to its rapidly rising incidence and high mortality, esophageal adenocarcinoma is a major public health concern, particularly in Western countries. The steps involved in the progression from its predisposing condition, gastroesophageal reflux disease, to its premalignant disorder, Barrett’s esophagus, and to cancer, are incompletely understood. Current screening and surveillance methods are limited by the lack of population-wide utility, incomplete sampling of standard biopsies, and subjectivity of evaluation. Advances in endoscopic ablation have raised the hope of effective therapy for eradication of high-risk Barrett’s lesions, but improvements are needed in determining when to apply this treatment and how to follow patients clinically. Researchers have evaluated numerous potential molecular biomarkers with the goal of detecting dysplasia, with varying degrees of success. The combination of biomarker panels with epidemiologic risk factors to yield clinical risk scoring systems is promising. New approaches to sample tissue may also be combined with these biomarkers for less invasive screening and surveillance. The development of novel endoscopic imaging tools in recent years has the potential to markedly improve detection of small foci of dysplasia in vivo. Current and future efforts will aim to determine the combination of markers and imaging modalities that will most effectively improve the rate of early detection of high-risk lesions in Barrett’s esophagus. PMID:25400987

  4. Expression Profiling Identifies Bezafibrate as Potential Therapeutic Drug for Lung Adenocarcinoma.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xinyan; Yang, Xiaoqin; Chen, Xinmei; Zhang, Yantao; Pan, Xuebin; Wang, Guiping; Ye, Yun

    2015-01-01

    Drug-induced gene expression patterns that invert disease profiles have recently been illustrated to be a new strategy for drug-repositioning. In the present study, we validated this approach and focused on prediction of novel drugs for lung adenocarcinoma (AC), for which there is a pressing need to find novel therapeutic compounds. Firstly, connectivity map (CMap) analysis computationally predicted bezafibrate as a putative compound against lung AC. Then this hypothesis was verified by in vitro assays of anti-proliferation and cell cycle arrest. In silico docking evidence indicated that bezafibrate could target cyclin dependent kinase 2(CDK2), which regulates progression through the cell cycle. Furthermore, we found that bezafibrate can significantly down-regulate the expression of CDK2 mRNA and p-CDK2. Using a nude mice xenograft model, we also found that bezafibrate could inhibit tumor growth of lung AC in vivo. In conclusion, this study proposed bezafibrate as a potential therapeutic option for lung AC patients, illustrating the potential of in silico drug screening. PMID:26535062

  5. Ocean-bottom Pressure Signals as Potential Identifiers of Tsunami Earthquakes in the Near Field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salaree, A.; Okal, E. A.

    2015-12-01

    The real-time detection of "tsunami earthquakes" remains a challenge, especially in the near field. These events are characterized by an anomalously slow seismic rupture, with their true long-period seismic moment, and hence, tsunami potential, deceptively concealed from short-period waves and in particular felt accelerations. In the context of the deployment of long-period ocean-bottom sensors in epicentral areas, we explore simple but robust ways to quantify source parameters which could potentially lead to the real-time identification of tsunami earthquakes in the near field. We use records of 2011 Tohoku aftershocks on the JAMSTEC stations deployed off the coast of Japan in the wake of the mainshock. Because seismic phases are not resolvable at short distances, we simply consider an integrated measurement Ω of the square of pressure variations, sharing the philosophy of Boatwright and Choy's (1986) seismic energy, and compare this parameter, scaled to seismic moment, with other discriminants, such as Newman and Okal's (1998) energy-to-moment ratio, Θ, Okal et al.'s (2002) T-wave parameter Γ, or Okal's (2013) parameter Φ combining (in the far field) body-wave duration and energy. We also consider the duration of the pressure signal, and examine its relation to Ω.

  6. Niche Divergence versus Neutral Processes: Combined Environmental and Genetic Analyses Identify Contrasting Patterns of Differentiation in Recently Diverged Pine Species

    PubMed Central

    Moreno-Letelier, Alejandra; Ortíz-Medrano, Alejandra; Piñero, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Solving relationships of recently diverged taxa, poses a challenge due to shared polymorphism and weak reproductive barriers. Multiple lines of evidence are needed to identify independently evolving lineages. This is especially true of long-lived species with large effective population sizes, and slow rates of lineage sorting. North American pines are an interesting group to test this multiple approach. Our aim is to combine cytoplasmic genetic markers with environmental information to clarify species boundaries and relationships of the species complex of Pinus flexilis, Pinus ayacahuite, and Pinus strobiformis. Methods Mitochondrial and chloroplast sequences were combined with previously obtained microsatellite data and contrasted with environmental information to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships of the species complex. Ecological niche models were compared to test if ecological divergence is significant among species. Key Results and Conclusion Separately, both genetic and ecological evidence support a clear differentiation of all three species but with different topology, but also reveal an ancestral contact zone between P. strobiformis and P. ayacahuite. The marked ecological differentiation of P. flexilis suggests that ecological speciation has occurred in this lineage, but this is not reflected in neutral markers. The inclusion of environmental traits in phylogenetic reconstruction improved the resolution of internal branches. We suggest that combining environmental and genetic information would be useful for species delimitation and phylogenetic studies in other recently diverged species complexes. PMID:24205167

  7. Pharmaceutical screen identifies novel target processes for activation of autophagy with a broad translational potential

    PubMed Central

    Chauhan, Santosh; Ahmed, Zahra; Bradfute, Steven B.; Arko-Mensah, John; Mandell, Michael A.; Won Choi, Seong; Kimura, Tomonori; Blanchet, Fabien; Waller, Anna; Mudd, Michal H.; Jiang, Shanya; Sklar, Larry; Timmins, Graham S.; Maphis, Nicole; Bhaskar, Kiran; Piguet, Vincent; Deretic, Vojo

    2015-01-01

    Autophagy is a conserved homeostatic process active in all human cells and affecting a spectrum of diseases. Here we use a pharmaceutical screen to discover new mechanisms for activation of autophagy. We identify a subset of pharmaceuticals inducing autophagic flux with effects in diverse cellular systems modelling specific stages of several human diseases such as HIV transmission and hyperphosphorylated tau accumulation in Alzheimer's disease. One drug, flubendazole, is a potent inducer of autophagy initiation and flux by affecting acetylated and dynamic microtubules in a reciprocal way. Disruption of dynamic microtubules by flubendazole results in mTOR deactivation and dissociation from lysosomes leading to TFEB (transcription factor EB) nuclear translocation and activation of autophagy. By inducing microtubule acetylation, flubendazole activates JNK1 leading to Bcl-2 phosphorylation, causing release of Beclin1 from Bcl-2-Beclin1 complexes for autophagy induction, thus uncovering a new approach to inducing autophagic flux that may be applicable in disease treatment. PMID:26503418

  8. Melatonin identified in meats and other food stuffs: potentially nutritional impact.

    PubMed

    Tan, Dun-Xian; Zanghi, Brian M; Manchester, Lucien C; Reiter, Russel J

    2014-09-01

    Melatonin has been identified in primitive photosynthetic bacteria, fungi, plants, and animals including humans. Vegetables, fruits, cereals, wine, and beers all contain melatonin. However, the melatonin content in meats has not been reported previously. Here, for the first time, we report melatonin in meats, eggs, colostrum, and in other edible food products. The levels of melatonin measured by HPLC, in lamb, beef, pork, chicken, and fish, are comparable to other food stuffs (in the range of ng/g). These levels are significantly higher than melatonin concentrations in the blood of vertebrates. As melatonin is a potent antioxidant, its presence in the meat could contribute to shelf life duration as well as preserve their quality and taste. In addition, the consumption of these foods by humans or animals could have health benefits considering the important functions of melatonin as a potent free radical scavenger and antioxidant.

  9. Identifying At-Risk Employees: Modeling Psychosocial Precursors of Potential Insider Threats

    SciTech Connect

    Greitzer, Frank L.; Kangas, Lars J.; Noonan, Christine F.; Dalton, Angela C.; Hohimer, Ryan E.

    2012-01-04

    In many insider crimes, managers and other coworkers observed that the offenders had exhibited signs of stress, disgruntlement, or other issues, but no alarms were raised. Barriers to using such psychosocial indicators include the inability to recognize the signs and the failure to record the behaviors so that they can be assessed. A psychosocial model was developed to assess an employee's behavior associated with an increased risk of insider abuse. The model is based on case studies and research literature on factors/correlates associated with precursor behavioral manifestations of individuals committing insider crimes. To test the model's agreement with human resources and management professionals, we conducted an experiment with positive results. If implemented in an operational setting, the model would be part of a set of management tools for employee assessment to identify employees who pose a greater insider threat.

  10. Kinase analysis in alcoholic hepatitis identifies p90RSK as a potential mediator of liver fibrogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Morales-Ibanez, Oriol; Affò, Silvia; Rodrigo-Torres, Daniel; Blaya, Delia; Millán, Cristina; Coll, Mar; Perea, Luis; Odena, Gemma; Knorpp, Thomas; Templin, Markus F; Moreno, Montserrat; Altamirano, José; Miquel, Rosa; Arroyo, Vicente; Ginès, Pere; Caballería, Juan; Sancho-Bru, Pau; Bataller, Ramon

    2015-01-01

    Objective Alcoholic hepatitis (AH) is often associated with advanced fibrosis, which negatively impacts survival. We aimed at identifying kinases deregulated in livers from patients with AH and advanced fibrosis in order to discover novel molecular targets. Design Extensive phosphoprotein analysis by reverse phase protein microarrays was performed in AH (n=12) and normal human livers (n=7). Ribosomal S6 kinase (p90RSK) hepatic expression was assessed by qPCR, Western blot and immunohistochemistry. Kaempferol was used as a selective pharmacological inhibitor of the p90RSK pathway to assess the regulation of experimentally-induced liver fibrosis and injury, using in vivo and in vitro approaches. Results Proteomic analysis identified p90RSK as one of the most deregulated kinases in AH. Hepatic p90RSK gene and protein expression was also upregulated in livers with chronic liver disease. Immunohistochemistry studies showed increased p90RSK staining in areas of active fibrogenesis in cirrhotic livers. Therapeutic administration of kaempferol to carbon tetrachloride-treated mice resulted in decreased hepatic collagen deposition, and expression of profibrogenic and proinflammatory genes, compared to vehicle administration. In addition, kaempferol reduced the extent of hepatocellular injury and degree of apoptosis. In primary hepatic stellate cells, kaempferol and small interfering RNA decreased activation of p90RSK, which in turn regulated key profibrogenic actions. In primary hepatocytes, kaempferol attenuated proapoptotic signalling. Conclusions p90RSK is upregulated in patients with chronic liver disease and mediates liver fibrogenesis in vivo and in vitro. These results suggest that the p90RSK pathway could be a new therapeutic approach for liver diseases characterised by advanced fibrosis. PMID:25652085

  11. Cheap and nasty? The potential perils of using management costs to identify global conservation priorities.

    PubMed

    McCreless, Erin; Visconti, Piero; Carwardine, Josie; Wilcox, Chris; Smith, Robert J

    2013-01-01

    The financial cost of biodiversity conservation varies widely around the world and such costs should be considered when identifying countries to best focus conservation investments. Previous global prioritizations have been based on global models for protected area management costs, but this metric may be related to other factors that negatively influence the effectiveness and social impacts of conservation. Here we investigate such relationships and first show that countries with low predicted costs are less politically stable. Local support and capacity can mitigate the impacts of such instability, but we also found that these countries have less civil society involvement in conservation. Therefore, externally funded projects in these countries must rely on government agencies for implementation. This can be problematic, as our analyses show that governments in countries with low predicted costs score poorly on indices of corruption, bureaucratic quality and human rights. Taken together, our results demonstrate that using national-level estimates for protected area management costs to set global conservation priorities is simplistic, as projects in apparently low-cost countries are less likely to succeed and more likely to have negative impacts on people. We identify the need for an improved approach to develop global conservation cost metrics that better capture the true costs of avoiding or overcoming such problems. Critically, conservation scientists must engage with practitioners to better understand and implement context-specific solutions. This approach assumes that measures of conservation costs, like measures of conservation value, are organization specific, and would bring a much-needed focus on reducing the negative impacts of conservation to develop projects that benefit people and biodiversity. PMID:24260502

  12. Cheap and Nasty? The Potential Perils of Using Management Costs to Identify Global Conservation Priorities

    PubMed Central

    McCreless, Erin; Visconti, Piero; Carwardine, Josie; Wilcox, Chris; Smith, Robert J.

    2013-01-01

    The financial cost of biodiversity conservation varies widely around the world and such costs should be considered when identifying countries to best focus conservation investments. Previous global prioritizations have been based on global models for protected area management costs, but this metric may be related to other factors that negatively influence the effectiveness and social impacts of conservation. Here we investigate such relationships and first show that countries with low predicted costs are less politically stable. Local support and capacity can mitigate the impacts of such instability, but we also found that these countries have less civil society involvement in conservation. Therefore, externally funded projects in these countries must rely on government agencies for implementation. This can be problematic, as our analyses show that governments in countries with low predicted costs score poorly on indices of corruption, bureaucratic quality and human rights. Taken together, our results demonstrate that using national-level estimates for protected area management costs to set global conservation priorities is simplistic, as projects in apparently low-cost countries are less likely to succeed and more likely to have negative impacts on people. We identify the need for an improved approach to develop global conservation cost metrics that better capture the true costs of avoiding or overcoming such problems. Critically, conservation scientists must engage with practitioners to better understand and implement context-specific solutions. This approach assumes that measures of conservation costs, like measures of conservation value, are organization specific, and would bring a much-needed focus on reducing the negative impacts of conservation to develop projects that benefit people and biodiversity. PMID:24260502

  13. Cheap and nasty? The potential perils of using management costs to identify global conservation priorities.

    PubMed

    McCreless, Erin; Visconti, Piero; Carwardine, Josie; Wilcox, Chris; Smith, Robert J

    2013-01-01

    The financial cost of biodiversity conservation varies widely around the world and such costs should be considered when identifying countries to best focus conservation investments. Previous global prioritizations have been based on global models for protected area management costs, but this metric may be related to other factors that negatively influence the effectiveness and social impacts of conservation. Here we investigate such relationships and first show that countries with low predicted costs are less politically stable. Local support and capacity can mitigate the impacts of such instability, but we also found that these countries have less civil society involvement in conservation. Therefore, externally funded projects in these countries must rely on government agencies for implementation. This can be problematic, as our analyses show that governments in countries with low predicted costs score poorly on indices of corruption, bureaucratic quality and human rights. Taken together, our results demonstrate that using national-level estimates for protected area management costs to set global conservation priorities is simplistic, as projects in apparently low-cost countries are less likely to succeed and more likely to have negative impacts on people. We identify the need for an improved approach to develop global conservation cost metrics that better capture the true costs of avoiding or overcoming such problems. Critically, conservation scientists must engage with practitioners to better understand and implement context-specific solutions. This approach assumes that measures of conservation costs, like measures of conservation value, are organization specific, and would bring a much-needed focus on reducing the negative impacts of conservation to develop projects that benefit people and biodiversity.

  14. Potential tumor biomarkers identified in ovarian cyst fluid by quantitative proteomic analysis, iTRAQ

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Epithelial-derived ovarian adenocarcinoma (EOC) is the most deadly gynecologic tumor, and the principle cause of the poor survival rate is diagnosis at a late stage. Screening and diagnostic biomarkers with acceptable specificity and sensitivity are lacking. Ovarian cyst fluid should harbor early ovarian cancer biomarkers because of its closeness to the tumor. We investigated ovarian cyst fluid as a source for discovering biomarkers for use in the diagnosis of EOC. Results Using quantitative mass spectrometry, iTRAQ MS, we identified 837 proteins in cyst fluid from benign, EOC stage I, and EOC stage III. Only patients of serous histology were included in the study. Comparing the benign (n = 5) with the malignant (n = 10) group, 87 of the proteins were significantly (p < 0.05) differentially expressed. Two proteins, serum amyloid A-4 (SAA4) and astacin-like metalloendopeptidase (ASTL), were selected for verification of the iTRAQ method and external validation with immunoblot in a larger cohort with mixed histology, in plasma (n = 68), and cyst fluid (n = 68). The protein selections were based on either high significance and high fold change or abundant appearance and several peptide recognitions in the sample sets (p = 0.04, FC = 1.95) and (p < 0.001, FC = 8.48) for SAA4 and ASTL respectively. Both were found to be significantly expressed (p < 0.05), but the methods did not correlate concerning ASTL. Conclusions Fluid from ovarian cysts connected directly to the primary tumor harbor many possible new tumor-specific biomarkers. We have identified 87 differentially expressed proteins and validated two candidates to verify the iTRAQ method. However several of the proteins are of interest for validation in a larger setting. PMID:23557354

  15. Conflict on the coast: using geographic information systems to map potential environmental disputes in Matagorda Bay, Texas.

    PubMed

    Brody, Samuel D; Highfield, Wes; Arlikatti, Sudha; Bierling, David H; Ismailova, Roubabah M; Lee, Lai; Butzler, Rachel

    2004-07-01

    The sustainable management of coastal natural resources inevitably involves identifying stakeholder conflicts and developing planning processes that prevent these conflicts from becoming intractable disputes. This study links environmental conflict to specific areas within a large ecological system. Specifically, we use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to map potentially competing stakeholder values associated with establishing protected areas in Matagorda Bay, Texas. By overlaying multiple values associated with a range of stakeholders across space, we are able to identify hotspots of potential conflict as well as areas of opportunity for maximizing joint gains. Mapping stakeholder conflict is an approach to proactively locate potential controversy in response to a specific environmental management proposal and guide decision makers in crafting planning processes that mitigate the possibility of intractable disputes and facilitate the implementation of sustainable coastal policies. Results indicate that under different management scenarios, protected area proposals will generate more conflict in specific areas. Most notably, regulated uses would produce the greatest degree of conflict on or near shore, particularly at the mouth of the Colorado River. Additionally, of all the management scenarios evaluated, the prohibition of coastal structural development would generate the overall highest level of conflict within the Bay. Based on the results, we discuss the policy implications for environmental managers and provide guidance for future research on location-based conflict management within the coastal margin.

  16. Mercury Isotopes as Proxies to Identify Sources and Environmental Impacts of Mercury in Sphalerites.

    PubMed

    Yin, Runsheng; Feng, Xinbin; Hurley, James P; Krabbenhoft, David P; Lepak, Ryan F; Hu, Ruizhong; Zhang, Qian; Li, Zhonggen; Bi, Xianwu

    2016-01-01

    During the past few years, evidence of mass independent fractionation (MIF) for mercury (Hg) isotopes have been reported in the Earth's surface reservoirs, mainly assumed to be formed during photochemical processes. However, the magnitude of Hg-MIF in interior pools of the crust is largely unknown. Here, we reported significant variation in Hg-MIF signature (Δ(199)Hg: -0.24 ~ + 0.18‰) in sphalerites collected from 102 zinc (Zn) deposits in China, indicating that Hg-MIF can be recorded into the Earth's crust during geological recycling of crustal material. Changing magnitudes of Hg-MIF signals were observed in Zn deposits with different formations, evidence that Hg isotopes (especially Hg-MIF) can be a useful tracer to identify sources (syngenetic and epigenetic) of Hg in mineral deposits. The average isotopic composition in studied sphalerites (δ(202)Hg average: -0.58‰; Δ(199)Hg average: +0.03‰) may be used to fingerprint Zn smelting activities, one of the largest global Hg emission sources. PMID:26728705

  17. Identifying the environmental factors that effect within canopy BVOC loss using a multilevel canopy model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chan, W. S.; Fuentes, J. D.; Lerdau, M.

    2010-12-01

    This presentation will provide research findings to evaluate the hypothesis that the loss of biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) within plant canopies is dynamic and depends on factors such as plant canopy architecture (height and leaf area distribution), atmospheric turbulence, concentration of oxidants (OH, O3, NO3), and the reactivity of BVOC species. Results will be presented from a new one dimensional, multilevel canopy model that couples algorithms for canopy microclimate, leaf physiology, BVOC emission, turbulent transport, and atmospheric chemistry to investigate the relative importance of factors that impact BVOC loss within a forest canopy. Model sensitivity tests will be presented and discussed to identify factors driving canopy loss. Results show isoprene and monoterpene canopy losses as high as 9 and 18%, respectively, for tall canopies during the daytime. We hypothesize that canopy height and wind speed (i.e. canopy residence time) may be the most important in dictating within-canopy loss. This work will reduce the error in bottom-up flux estimates of BVOCs and ultimately improve parameterizations of BVOC sources in air quality models by accounting for within canopy processes.

  18. Mercury Isotopes as Proxies to Identify Sources and Environmental Impacts of Mercury in Sphalerites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, Runsheng; Feng, Xinbin; Hurley, James P.; Krabbenhoft, David P.; Lepak, Ryan F.; Hu, Ruizhong; Zhang, Qian; Li, Zhonggen; Bi, Xianwu

    2016-01-01

    During the past few years, evidence of mass independent fractionation (MIF) for mercury (Hg) isotopes have been reported in the Earth’s surface reservoirs, mainly assumed to be formed during photochemical processes. However, the magnitude of Hg-MIF in interior pools of the crust is largely unknown. Here, we reported significant variation in Hg-MIF signature (Δ199Hg: -0.24 ~ + 0.18‰) in sphalerites collected from 102 zinc (Zn) deposits in China, indicating that Hg-MIF can be recorded into the Earth’s crust during geological recycling of crustal material. Changing magnitudes of Hg-MIF signals were observed in Zn deposits with different formations, evidence that Hg isotopes (especially Hg-MIF) can be a useful tracer to identify sources (syngenetic and epigenetic) of Hg in mineral deposits. The average isotopic composition in studied sphalerites (δ202Hgaverage: -0.58‰ Δ199Hgaverage: +0.03‰) may be used to fingerprint Zn smelting activities, one of the largest global Hg emission sources.

  19. Mercury Isotopes as Proxies to Identify Sources and Environmental Impacts of Mercury in Sphalerites

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Runsheng; Feng, Xinbin; Hurley, James P.; Krabbenhoft, David P.; Lepak, Ryan F.; Hu, Ruizhong; Zhang, Qian; Li, Zhonggen; Bi, Xianwu

    2016-01-01

    During the past few years, evidence of mass independent fractionation (MIF) for mercury (Hg) isotopes have been reported in the Earth’s surface reservoirs, mainly assumed to be formed during photochemical processes. However, the magnitude of Hg-MIF in interior pools of the crust is largely unknown. Here, we reported significant variation in Hg-MIF signature (Δ199Hg: −0.24 ~ + 0.18‰) in sphalerites collected from 102 zinc (Zn) deposits in China, indicating that Hg-MIF can be recorded into the Earth’s crust during geological recycling of crustal material. Changing magnitudes of Hg-MIF signals were observed in Zn deposits with different formations, evidence that Hg isotopes (especially Hg-MIF) can be a useful tracer to identify sources (syngenetic and epigenetic) of Hg in mineral deposits. The average isotopic composition in studied sphalerites (δ202Hgaverage: −0.58‰; Δ199Hgaverage: +0.03‰) may be used to fingerprint Zn smelting activities, one of the largest global Hg emission sources. PMID:26728705

  20. Web-based Tool Identifies and Quantifies Potential Cost Savings Measures at the Hanford Site

    SciTech Connect

    Renevitz, Marisa J.; Peschong, Jon C.; Charboneau, Briant L.; Simpson, Brett C.

    2014-01-09

    The Technical Improvement system is an approachable web-based tool that is available to Hanford DOE staff, site contractors, and general support service contractors as part of the baseline optimization effort underway at the Hanford Site. Finding and implementing technical improvements are a large part of DOE’s cost savings efforts. The Technical Improvement dashboard is a key tool for brainstorming and monitoring the progress of submitted baseline optimization and potential cost/schedule efficiencies. The dashboard is accessible to users over the Hanford Local Area Network (HLAN) and provides a highly visual and straightforward status to management on the ideas provided, alleviating the need for resource intensive weekly and monthly reviews.

  1. International comparison of cave radon concentrations identifying the potential alpha radiation risks to British cave users

    SciTech Connect

    Hyland, R.; Gunn, J.

    1994-08-01

    Elevated concentrations of {sup 222}Rn have been recorded in many limestone caves throughout the world. As prolonged exposure to high radon concentrations has been linked to cancer and tumors, particularly of the lung, a national survey of radon in British caves was undertaken. Passive radon detectors were exposed at 250 sites in 47 caves over four 7-d sampling periods. Mean concentrations ranging from 454-8,868 Bq m{sup {minus}3} were recorded. In one system, in the Peak District, radon concentrations of 155,000 Bq m{sup {minus}3} were recorded. The results indicate that the potential radiation dose from a single 4-h trip could exceed the national average annual background radiation dose (for the UK) from radon of 1.25 mSv. 18 refs., 3 tabs.

  2. Use of alternative assays to identify and prioritize organophosphorus flame retardants for potential developmental and neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Behl, Mamta; Hsieh, Jui-Hua; Shafer, Timothy J; Mundy, William R; Rice, Julie R; Boyd, Windy A; Freedman, Jonathan H; Hunter, E Sidney; Jarema, Kimberly A; Padilla, Stephanie; Tice, Raymond R

    2015-01-01

    Due to their toxicity and persistence in the environment, brominated flame retardants (BFRs) are being phased out of commercial use, leading to the increased use of alternative chemicals such as the organophosphorus flame retardants (OPFRs). There is, however, limited information on the potential health effects of OPFRs. Due to the structural similarity of the OPFRs to organophosphorus insecticides, there is concern regarding developmental toxicity and neurotoxicity. In response, we evaluated a set of OPFRs (triphenyl phosphate [TPHP]), isopropylated phenyl phosphate [IPP], 2-ethylhexyl diphenyl phosphate [EHDP], tert-butylated phenyl diphenyl phosphate [BPDP], trimethyl phenyl phosphate [TMPP], isodecyl diphenyl phosphate [IDDP], (tris(1,3-dichloroisopropyl) phosphate [TDCIPP], and tris(2-chloroethyl)phosphate [TCEP]) in a battery of cell-based in vitro assays and alternative model organisms and compared the results to those obtained for two classical BFRs (3,3',5,5'-tetrabromobisphenol A [TBBPA] and 2,2'4,4'-brominated diphenyl ether [BDE-47]). The assays used evaluated the effects of chemicals on the differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells, the proliferation and growth of human neural stem cells, rat neuronal growth and network activity, and development of nematode (Caenorhabditis elegans) and zebrafish (Danio rerio). All assays were performed in a concentration-response format, allowing for the determination of the point of departure (POD: the lowest concentration where a chemically-induced response exceeds background noise). The majority of OPFRs (8/9) were active in multiple assays in the range of 1-10 μM, most of which had comparable activity to the BFRs TBBPA and BDE-47. TCEP was negative in all assays. The results indicate that the replacement OPFRs, with the exception of TCEP, showed comparable activity to the two BFRs in the assays tested. Based on these results, more comprehensive studies are warranted to further characterize the potential hazard

  3. Using event related potentials to identify a user's behavioural intention aroused by product form design.

    PubMed

    Ding, Yi; Guo, Fu; Zhang, Xuefeng; Qu, Qingxing; Liu, Weilin

    2016-07-01

    The capacity of product form to arouse user's behavioural intention plays a decisive role in further user experience, even in purchase decision, while traditional methods rarely give a fully understanding of user experience evoked by product form, especially the feeling of anticipated use of product. Behavioural intention aroused by product form designs has not yet been investigated electrophysiologically. Hence event related potentials (ERPs) were applied to explore the process of behavioural intention when users browsed different smart phone form designs with brand and price not taken into account for mainly studying the brain activity evoked by variety of product forms. Smart phone pictures with different anticipated user experience were displayed with equiprobability randomly. Participants were asked to click the left mouse button when certain picture gave them a feeling of behavioural intention to interact with. The brain signal of each participant was recorded by Curry 7.0. The results show that pictures with an ability to arouse participants' behavioural intention for further experience can evoke enhanced N300 and LPPs (late positive potentials) in central-parietal, parietal and occipital regions. The scalp topography shows that central-parietal, parietal and occipital regions are more activated. The results indicate that the discrepancy of ERPs can reflect the neural activities of behavioural intention formed or not. Moreover, amplitude of ERPs occurred in corresponding brain areas can be used to measure user experience. The exploring of neural correlated with behavioural intention provide an accurate measurement method of user's perception and help marketers to know which product can arouse users' behavioural intention, maybe taken as an evaluating indicator of product design. PMID:26995041

  4. Estimating juniper cover from NAIP imagery and evaluating relationships between potential cover and environmental variables

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Juniper management is constrained by limited tools to estimate juniper cover and potential cover at stand closure across landscapes. We evaluated if remotely sensed imagery (NAIP) could be used to estimate juniper cover and if environmental characteristic could be used to determine potential junipe...

  5. A NEW HIGH RESOLUTION MASS SPECTROMETRY TECHNIQUE FOR IDENTIFYING PHARMACEUTICALS AND POTENTIAL ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS IN DRINKING WATER SOURCES

    EPA Science Inventory

    A New High Resolution Mass Spectrometry Technique for Identifying Pharmaceuticals and Potential Endocrine Disruptors in Drinking Water Sources

    Andrew H. Grange and G. Wayne Sovocool U.S.EPA, ORD, NERL, ESD, ECB, P.O. Box 93478, Las Vegas, NV 891933478

    Mass spectra...

  6. Results of an Assessment to Identify Potential Barriers to Sustainable Agriculture on American Indian Reservations in the Western United States

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Singletary, Loretta; Emm, Staci; Brummer, Fara Ann; Hill, George C.; Lewis, Steve; Hebb, Vicki

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: This paper reports the results of survey research conducted with tribal producers between 2011 and 2012 on 19 of the largest American Indian reservations in Idaho, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, and Washington. The purpose of the research was to identify potential barriers to sustainable agriculture on reservation lands. This…

  7. Employment of 16 S rDNA gene sequencing techniques to identify culturable environmental eubacteria in a tertiary referral hospital.

    PubMed

    Xu, J; Smyth, C L; Buchanan, J A; Dolan, A; Rooney, P J; Millar, B C; Goldsmith, C E; Elborn, J S; Moore, J E

    2004-05-01

    Universal or 'broad-range' eubacterial polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed on 53 isolates from environmental water-associated sites in a haematology unit (N = 22) and the outer surfaces of cleaning lotion containers sited throughout a tertiary referral hospital (N = 31) 16 S rDNA PCR was performed using two sets of universal primers, including the novel reverse primer, XB4, to generate a composite amplicon of 1068 bp, which was sequenced to obtain each isolate's identity. Sequence analysis was able to identify 51 isolates. Most (75% from the haematology unit and 81% from cleaner containers) were Gram-positive. Nine different genera were identified from the haematology unit and 13 from the cleaning lotion containers. This study provides the first reports of Terrabacter spp. and Brachybacterium paraconglomeratum isolated from a hospital environment. As unusual and difficult-to-identify environmental organisms are unlikely to be clinically significant, and molecular identification is costly and labour-intensive, we recommend that molecular methods are only used as an adjunct to first-line phenotypic identification schemes where a definitive identification is required. Where molecular identification methods are justified, partial 16 S rDNA PCR and sequencing employing the novel universal primer XB4, is a valuable and reliable technique.

  8. Identifying the role of environmental drivers in organic carbon export from a forested peat catchment.

    PubMed

    Ryder, Elizabeth; de Eyto, Elvira; Dillane, Mary; Poole, Russell; Jennings, Eleanor

    2014-08-15

    Carbon export in streams draining peat catchments represents a potential loss of carbon from long-term stores to downstream aquatic systems and ultimately, through mineralisation, to the atmosphere. There is now a large body of evidence that dissolved organic carbon (DOC) export has increased significantly in recent decades at many sites, although there is still debate about the drivers of this increase. In this study, DOC export and particulate organic carbon (POC) export were quantified from a forested peatland catchment in the west of Ireland over two years at a fine temporal resolution. The principle drivers of change in stream DOC and POC concentrations were investigated using a general additive modelling (GAM) approach. The study period included drought conditions in the early summer of 2010 and clearfelling of some commercial forestry in early 2011. The results indicated that annual loads of 9.5 t DOC km(2) year(-1) and 6.2 t POC km(2) year(-1) were exported from the catchment in 2010. This combined annual load of 15.7 t C km(2) year(-1) would represent between 0.01% and 0.02% of typical estimates for peat soil carbon storage in the region. Soil temperature, river discharge and drought explained 59.7% the deviance in DOC concentrations, while soil temperature, river discharge, and rainfall were the significant drivers of variation in POC concentrations, explaining 58.3% of deviance. Although clearfelling was not a significant factor in either model, large spikes in POC export occurred in 2011 after the first forestry clearance. The results illustrate the complexity of the interactions between climate and land management in driving stream water carbon export. They also highlight the sensitivity of peatland carbon stores to changes in temperature and precipitation, which are projected to be more extreme and variable under future climate scenarios. PMID:24840277

  9. Identifying the role of environmental drivers in organic carbon export from a forested peat catchment.

    PubMed

    Ryder, Elizabeth; de Eyto, Elvira; Dillane, Mary; Poole, Russell; Jennings, Eleanor

    2014-08-15

    Carbon export in streams draining peat catchments represents a potential loss of carbon from long-term stores to downstream aquatic systems and ultimately, through mineralisation, to the atmosphere. There is now a large body of evidence that dissolved organic carbon (DOC) export has increased significantly in recent decades at many sites, although there is still debate about the drivers of this increase. In this study, DOC export and particulate organic carbon (POC) export were quantified from a forested peatland catchment in the west of Ireland over two years at a fine temporal resolution. The principle drivers of change in stream DOC and POC concentrations were investigated using a general additive modelling (GAM) approach. The study period included drought conditions in the early summer of 2010 and clearfelling of some commercial forestry in early 2011. The results indicated that annual loads of 9.5 t DOC km(2) year(-1) and 6.2 t POC km(2) year(-1) were exported from the catchment in 2010. This combined annual load of 15.7 t C km(2) year(-1) would represent between 0.01% and 0.02% of typical estimates for peat soil carbon storage in the region. Soil temperature, river discharge and drought explained 59.7% the deviance in DOC concentrations, while soil temperature, river discharge, and rainfall were the significant drivers of variation in POC concentrations, explaining 58.3% of deviance. Although clearfelling was not a significant factor in either model, large spikes in POC export occurred in 2011 after the first forestry clearance. The results illustrate the complexity of the interactions between climate and land management in driving stream water carbon export. They also highlight the sensitivity of peatland carbon stores to changes in temperature and precipitation, which are projected to be more extreme and variable under future climate scenarios.

  10. Principal components analysis to identify influences on research communication and engagement during an environmental disaster

    PubMed Central

    Winters, Charlene A; Moore, Colleen F; Kuntz, Sandra W; Weinert, Clarann; Hernandez, Tanis; Black, Brad

    2016-01-01

    Objectives To discern community attitudes towards research engagement in Libby, Montana, the only Superfund site for which a public health emergency has been declared. Study design Survey study of convenience samples of residents near the Libby, Montana Superfund site. Participants Residents of the Libby, Montana area were recruited from a local retail establishment (N=120, survey 1) or a community event (N=127, survey 2). Measures Two surveys were developed in consultation with a Community Advisory Panel. Results Principal components of survey 1 showed four dimensions of community members' attitudes towards research engagement: (1) researcher communication and contributions to the community, (2) identity and affiliation of the researchers requesting participation, (3) potential personal barriers, including data confidentiality, painful or invasive procedures and effects on health insurance and (4) research benefits for the community, oneself or family. The score on the first factor was positively related to desire to participate in research (r=0.31, p=0.01). Scores on factors 2 and 3 were higher for those with diagnosis of asbestos-related disease (ARD) in the family (Cohen's d=0.41, 0.57). Survey 2 also found more positive attitudes towards research when a family member had ARD (Cohen's d=0.48). Conclusions Principal components analysis shows different dimensions of attitudes towards research engagement. The different dimensions are related to community members' desire to be invited to participate in research, awareness of past research in the community and having been screened or diagnosed with a health condition related to the Superfund contaminant. PMID:27507235

  11. Using self-organizing maps to identify potential halo white dwarfs.

    PubMed

    García-Berro, Enrique; Torres, Santiago; Isern, Jordi

    2003-01-01

    We present the results of an unsupervised classification of the disk and halo white dwarf populations in the solar neighborhood. The classification is done by merging the results of detailed Monte Carlo (MC) simulations, which reproduce very well the characteristics of the white dwarf populations in the solar neighborhood, with a catalogue of real stars. The resulting composite catalogue is analyzed using a competitive learning algorithm. In particular we have used the so-called self-organized map. The MC simulated stars are used as tracers and help in identifying the resulting clusters. The results of such an strategy turn out to be quite satisfactory, suggesting that this approach can provide an useful framework for analyzing large databases of white dwarfs with well determined kinematical, spatial and photometric properties once they become available in the next decade. Moreover, the results are of astrophysical interest as well, since a straightforward interpretation of several recent astronomical observations, like the detected microlensing events in the direction of the Magellanic Clouds, the possible detection of high proper motion white dwarfs in the Hubble Deep Field and the discovery of high velocity white dwarfs in the solar neighborhood, suggests that a fraction of the baryonic dark matter component of our galaxy could be in the form of old and dim halo white dwarfs. PMID:12672435

  12. Using self-organizing maps to identify potential halo white dwarfs.

    PubMed

    García-Berro, Enrique; Torres, Santiago; Isern, Jordi

    2003-01-01

    We present the results of an unsupervised classification of the disk and halo white dwarf populations in the solar neighborhood. The classification is done by merging the results of detailed Monte Carlo (MC) simulations, which reproduce very well the characteristics of the white dwarf populations in the solar neighborhood, with a catalogue of real stars. The resulting composite catalogue is analyzed using a competitive learning algorithm. In particular we have used the so-called self-organized map. The MC simulated stars are used as tracers and help in identifying the resulting clusters. The results of such an strategy turn out to be quite satisfactory, suggesting that this approach can provide an useful framework for analyzing large databases of white dwarfs with well determined kinematical, spatial and photometric properties once they become available in the next decade. Moreover, the results are of astrophysical interest as well, since a straightforward interpretation of several recent astronomical observations, like the detected microlensing events in the direction of the Magellanic Clouds, the possible detection of high proper motion white dwarfs in the Hubble Deep Field and the discovery of high velocity white dwarfs in the solar neighborhood, suggests that a fraction of the baryonic dark matter component of our galaxy could be in the form of old and dim halo white dwarfs.

  13. Identifying food proteins with allergenic potential: evolution of approaches to safety assessment and research to provide additional tools.

    PubMed

    Ladics, Gregory S; Selgrade, MaryJane K

    2009-08-01

    A safety assessment process exists for genetically engineered crops that includes the evaluation of the expressed protein for allergenic potential. The objectives of this evaluation are twofold: (1) to protect allergic consumers from exposure to known allergenic or cross-reactive proteins, and (2) protect the general population from risks associated with the introduction of genes encoding proteins that are likely to become food allergens. The first systematic approach to address these concerns was formulated by Metcalfe et al. [Metcalfe, D.D., Astwood, J.D., Townsend, R., Sampson, H.A., Taylor, S.L., and Fuchs, R.L. 1996. Assessment of the allergenic potential of foods from genetically engineered crop plants. Crit. Rev. Food Sci. Nutr. 36(5), 165-186.] and subsequently Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations/World Health Organization (FAO/WHO) [FAO/WHO, 2001. Evaluation of allergenicity of genetically modified foods. Report of a Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on Allergenicity of Foods Derived from Biotechnology. January 22-25, 2001. Rome, Italy]. More recently, Codex [Codex Alimentarius Commission, 2003. Alinorm 03/34: Joint FAO/WHO Food Standard Programme, Codex Alimentarius Commission, Twenty-Fifth Session, Rome, Italy, 30 June-5 July, 2003. Appendix III, Guideline for the conduct of food safety assessment of foods derived from recombinant-DNA plants, and Appendix IV, Annex on the assessment of possible allergenicity. pp. 47-60], noting that no single factor is recognized as an identifier for protein allergenicity, suggested a weight of evidence approach be conducted that takes into account a variety of factors and approaches for an overall assessment of allergenic potential. These various recommendations are based on what is known about allergens, including the history of exposure and safety of the gene(s) source; amino acid sequence identity to human allergens; stability to pepsin digestion in vitro; protein abundance in the crop and

  14. Eye fixation-related potentials in free viewing identify encoding failures in change detection.

    PubMed

    Nikolaev, Andrey R; Nakatani, Chie; Plomp, Gijs; Jurica, Peter; van Leeuwen, Cees

    2011-06-01

    We considered the hypothesis that spontaneous dissociation between the direction of attention and eye movement causes encoding failure in change detection. We tested this hypothesis by analyzing eye fixation-related potentials (EFRP) at the encoding stage of a change blindness task; when participants freely inspect a scene containing an unmarked target region, in which a change will occur in a subsequent presentation. We measured EFRP amplitude prior to the execution of a saccade, depending on its starting or landing position relative to the target region. For those landings inside the target region, we found a difference in EFRP between correct detection and failure. Overall, correspondence between EFRP amplitude and the size of the saccade predicted successful detection of change; lack of correspondence was followed by change blindness. By contrast, saccade sizes and fixation durations around the target region were unrelated to subsequent change detection. Since correspondence between EFRP and eye movement indicates that overt attention was given to the target region, we concluded that overt attention is needed for successful encoding and that dissociation between eye movement and attention leads to change blindness.

  15. In silico approaches to identify the potential inhibitors of glutamate carboxypeptidase II (GCPII) for neuroprotection.

    PubMed

    Naushad, Shaik Mohammad; Janaki Ramaiah, M; Stanley, Balraj Alex; Prasanna Lakshmi, S; Vishnu Priya, J; Hussain, Tajamul; Alrokayan, Salman A; Kutala, Vijay Kumar

    2016-10-01

    To develop a potential inhibitor for glutamate carboxypeptidase II (GCPII) effective against all the eight common genetic variants reported, PyMOL molecular visualization system was used to generate models of variants using the crystal structure of GCPII i.e. 2OOT as a template. High-throughput virtual screening of 29 compounds revealed differential efficacy across the eight genetic variants (pIC50: 4.70 to 10.22). Pharmacophore analysis and quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) studies revealed a urea-based N-acetyl aspartyl glutamate (NAAG) analogue as more potent inhibitor, which was effective across all the genetic variants of GCPII as evidenced by glide scores (-4.32 to -7.08) and protein-ligand interaction plots (13 interactions in wild GCPII). This molecule satisfied Lipinski rule of five and rule of three for drug-likeliness. Being a NAAG-analogue, this molecule might confer neuroprotection by inhibiting glutamatergic neurotransmission mediated by N-acetylated alpha-linked acidic dipeptidase (NAALADase), a splice variant of GCPII. PMID:27430729

  16. Identifying the Potential for Robotics to Assist Older Adults in Different Living Environments.

    PubMed

    Mitzner, Tracy L; Chen, Tiffany L; Kemp, Charles C; Rogers, Wendy A

    2014-04-01

    As the older adult population grows and becomes more diverse, so will their needs and preferences for living environments. Many adults over 65 years of age require some assistance [1, 2]; yet it is important for their feelings of well-being that the assistance not restrict their autonomy [3]. Not only is autonomy correlated with quality of life [4], autonomy enhancement may improve functionality [2, 5]. The goal of this paper is to provide guidance for the development of technology to enhance autonomy and quality of life for older adults. We explore the potential for robotics to meet these needs. We evaluated older adults' diverse living situations and the predictors of residential moves to higher levels of care in the United States. We also examined older adults' needs for assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), and medical conditions when living independently or in a long-term care residence. By providing support for older adults, mobile manipulator robots may reduce need-driven, undesired moves from residences with lower levels of care (i.e., private homes, assisted living) to those with higher levels of care (i.e., skilled nursing). PMID:24729800

  17. Identifying solar energy potentials and intensifying the climate-friendly use of photovoltaics within urban areas.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Lange, N.

    2016-04-01

    Limited non-renewable fossil energy reserves and the essential ideas of sustainability have caused an increase in the demand for solar energy. The intensified use of renewable energy in Germany is primarily encouraged by the German renewable-energy-law. Solar panels mounted on roofs generate electricity using the energy radiated from the sun by taking advantage of the photovoltaic effect. However, not every roof is usable for power generation through solar energy. Therefore, web-based solar energy registers for multiple regions in Germany have been developed that provide detailed information on roofs suitable for carrying solar panels. The analyses are based on a digital object model derived from airborne laser scanning data of high accuracy and a fully automated technology to classify the points. First, roof points are separated according to their single roof sides and are converted into polygons. Then, exposure, slope, size of the roof, and particularly shading effects are computed to calculate the solar potential of each roof side. The web-GIS provides detailed information about the roof's suitability, such as the installable capacity and the expected generation of electricity. Thus, it helps house owners to calculate their investment and later revenues.

  18. Blood DNA methylation markers in potentially identified Chinese patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zongying; Yan, Haixiu; Zhang, Jinshu

    2016-07-01

    To determine whether blood DNA methylation is associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) for Chinese patients, we used genome-wide DNA methylation detection to access the blood samples of Chinese patients by Illumina Human methylation 450K arrays. Sixty potentially gene locis which had different methylated levels significantly among tumor and adjacent normal tissues would be tested in this study. A previous study was conducted in China communities and followed with 7 years. The DNA from white blood cells (WBC) from 192 patients with HCC and 215 matched controls were assayed in this study. The χ2 test was used to measure data to categorize variables and t -test was used to evaluate the different characteristics among groups. Besides, odds ratios (OR) and 95%CI was calculated for matching factors by conditional logistic regression models. We found that high methylation in WNK2 was related to increased risk of HCC, and high methylation in TPO were related to decreased risk of HCC. In our multivariable conditional logistic regression models, these results all exist. Those findings support the methylated changes of WNK2 and TPO may become a new detection index for HCC patients in clinical laboratory. However, the results should be replicated in additional prospective studies with lager samples. PMID:27592479

  19. Identifying the Potential for Robotics to Assist Older Adults in Different Living Environments

    PubMed Central

    Mitzner, Tracy L.; Chen, Tiffany L.; Kemp, Charles C.; Rogers, Wendy A.

    2014-01-01

    As the older adult population grows and becomes more diverse, so will their needs and preferences for living environments. Many adults over 65 years of age require some assistance [1, 2]; yet it is important for their feelings of well-being that the assistance not restrict their autonomy [3]. Not only is autonomy correlated with quality of life [4], autonomy enhancement may improve functionality [2, 5]. The goal of this paper is to provide guidance for the development of technology to enhance autonomy and quality of life for older adults. We explore the potential for robotics to meet these needs. We evaluated older adults' diverse living situations and the predictors of residential moves to higher levels of care in the United States. We also examined older adults' needs for assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), and medical conditions when living independently or in a long-term care residence. By providing support for older adults, mobile manipulator robots may reduce need-driven, undesired moves from residences with lower levels of care (i.e., private homes, assisted living) to those with higher levels of care (i.e., skilled nursing). PMID:24729800

  20. In Silico Screening Identifies a Novel Potential PARP1 Inhibitor Targeting Synthetic Lethality in Cancer Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jian; Zhou, Nan; Cai, Peiling; Bao, Jinku

    2016-01-01

    Synthetic lethality describes situations in which defects in two different genes or pathways together result in cell death. This concept has been applied to drug development for cancer treatment, as represented by Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARPs) inhibitors. In the current study, we performed a computational screening to discover new PARP inhibitors. Among the 11,247 compounds analyzed, one natural product, ZINC67913374, stood out by its superior performance in the simulation analyses. Compared with the FDA approved PARP1 inhibitor, olaparib, our results demonstrated that the ZINC67913374 compound achieved a better grid score (−86.8) and amber score (−51.42). Molecular dynamics simulations suggested that the PARP1-ZINC67913374 complex was more stable than olaparib. The binding free energy for ZINC67913374 was −177.28 kJ/mol while that of olaparib was −159.16 kJ/mol. These results indicated ZINC67913374 bound to PARP1 with a higher affinity, which suggest ZINC67913374 has promising potential for cancer drug development. PMID:26907257

  1. The Potential Use of DNA Methylation Biomarkers to Identify Risk and Progression of Type 2 Diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Gillberg, Linn; Ling, Charlotte

    2015-01-01

    Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) is a slowly progressive disease that can be postponed or even avoided through lifestyle changes. Recent data demonstrate highly significant correlations between DNA methylation and the most important risk factors of T2D, including age and body mass index, in blood and human tissues relevant to insulin resistance and T2D. Also, T2D patients and individuals with increased risk of the disease display differential DNA methylation profiles and plasticity compared to controls. Accordingly, the novel clues to DNA methylation fingerprints in blood and tissues with deteriorated metabolic capacity indicate that blood-borne epigenetic biomarkers of T2D progression might become a reality. This Review will address the most recent associations between DNA methylation and diabetes-related traits in human tissues and blood. The overall focus is on the potential of future epigenome-wide studies, carried out across tissues and populations with correlations to pre-diabetes and T2D risk factors, to build up a library of epigenetic markers of risk and early progression of T2D. These markers may, tentatively in combination with other predictors of T2D development, increase the possibility of individual-based lifestyle prevention of T2D and associated metabolic diseases. PMID:25870586

  2. Declines in Crime and Teen Childbearing: Identifying Potential Explanations for Contemporaneous Trends

    PubMed Central

    Colen, Cynthia G.; Ramey, David M.; Browning, Christopher R.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives The previous 25 years have witnessed remarkable upheavals in the social landscape of the United States. Two of the most notable trends have been dramatic declines in levels of crime as well as teen childbearing. Much remains unknown about the underlying conditions that might be driving these changes. More importantly, we do not know if the same distal factors that are responsible for the drop in the crime rate are similarly implicated in falling rates of teen births. We examine four overarching potential explanations: fluctuations in economic opportunity, shifting population demographics, differences in state-level policies, and changes in expectations regarding health and mortality. Methods We combine state-specific data from existing secondary sources and model trajectories of violent crime, homicides, robberies, and teen fertility over a 20-year period from 1990 to 2010 using simultaneous fixed-effects regression models. Results We find that 4 of the 21 predictors examined - growth in the service sector of the labor market, increasing racial diversity especially among Hispanics, escalating levels of migration, and the expansion of family planning services to low-income women – offer the most convincing explanations for why rates of violent crime and teen births have been steadily decreasing over time. Moreover, we are able to account for almost a quarter of the joint declines in violent crime and teen births. Conclusions Our conclusions underscore the far reaching effects that aggregate level demographic conditions and policies are likely to have on important social trends that might, at first glance, seem unrelated. Furthermore, the effects of policy efforts designed to target outcomes in one area are likely to spill over into other domains. PMID:27695160

  3. Declines in Crime and Teen Childbearing: Identifying Potential Explanations for Contemporaneous Trends

    PubMed Central

    Colen, Cynthia G.; Ramey, David M.; Browning, Christopher R.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives The previous 25 years have witnessed remarkable upheavals in the social landscape of the United States. Two of the most notable trends have been dramatic declines in levels of crime as well as teen childbearing. Much remains unknown about the underlying conditions that might be driving these changes. More importantly, we do not know if the same distal factors that are responsible for the drop in the crime rate are similarly implicated in falling rates of teen births. We examine four overarching potential explanations: fluctuations in economic opportunity, shifting population demographics, differences in state-level policies, and changes in expectations regarding health and mortality. Methods We combine state-specific data from existing secondary sources and model trajectories of violent crime, homicides, robberies, and teen fertility over a 20-year period from 1990 to 2010 using simultaneous fixed-effects regression models. Results We find that 4 of the 21 predictors examined - growth in the service sector of the labor market, increasing racial diversity especially among Hispanics, escalating levels of migration, and the expansion of family planning services to low-income women – offer the most convincing explanations for why rates of violent crime and teen births have been steadily decreasing over time. Moreover, we are able to account for almost a quarter of the joint declines in violent crime and teen births. Conclusions Our conclusions underscore the far reaching effects that aggregate level demographic conditions and policies are likely to have on important social trends that might, at first glance, seem unrelated. Furthermore, the effects of policy efforts designed to target outcomes in one area are likely to spill over into other domains.

  4. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals and oil and natural gas operations: Potential environmental contamination and recommendations to assess complex environmental mixtures

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kassotis, Christopher D.; Tillitt, Donald E.; Lin, Chung-Ho; McElroy, Jane A.; Nagel, Susan C.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Hydraulic fracturing technologies, developed over the last 65 years, have only recently been combined with horizontal drilling to unlock oil and gas reserves previously deemed inaccessible. While these technologies have dramatically increased domestic oil and natural gas production, they have also raised concerns for the potential contamination of local water supplies with the approximately 1,000 chemicals used throughout the process, including many known or suspected endocrine-disrupting chemicals.Objectives: We discuss the need for an endocrine component to health assessments for drilling-dense regions in the context of hormonal and anti-hormonal activities for chemicals used.Methods: We discuss the literature on 1) surface and ground water contamination by oil and gas extraction operations, and 2) potential human exposure, particularly in context of the total hormonal and anti-hormonal activities present in surface and ground water from natural and anthropogenic sources, with initial analytical results and critical knowledge gaps discussed.Discussion: In light of the potential for environmental release of oil and gas chemicals that can disrupt hormone receptor systems, we recommend methods for assessing complex hormonally active environmental mixtures.Conclusions: We describe a need for an endocrine-centric component for overall health assessments and provide supporting information that using this may help explain reported adverse health trends as well as help develop recommendations for environmental impact assessments and monitoring programs.

  5. “What is this?” Gesture as a potential cue to identify referents in discourse

    PubMed Central

    So, Wing Chee; Lim, Jia Yi

    2010-01-01

    This study explores whether caregivers follow the discourse-pragmatic principle of information status of referents (given vs. new) in their gestures and how children respond to their caregivers’ gestures. Chinese and American caregivers were videotaped while interacting spontaneously with their children. Their speech and gestures were coded for referential expressions. Even though Chinese caregivers gestured more often than American caregivers, we found that both groups produced more gestures when asking their children to identify new referents than when asking their children to identify given referents. In addition, both groups of children were sensitive to the gestures accompanying new referents and using these gestures to identify the referents. Thus, we conclude that gesture serves as a potential cue for both caregivers and children to identify referents according to the discourse-pragmatic principle of information status. PMID:22505785

  6. Kennecott Utah Copper Corporation: Facility Utilizes Energy Assessments to Identify $930,000 in Potential Annual Savings

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2004-07-01

    Kennecott Utah Copper Corporation (KUCC) used targeted energy assessments in the smelter and refinery at its Bingham Canyon Mine, near Salt Lake City, Utah. The assessment focused mainly on the energy-intensive processes of copper smelting and refining. By implementing the projects identified, KUCC could realize annual cost savings of $930,000 and annual energy savings of 452,000 MMBtu. The projects would also reduce maintenance, repair costs, waste, and environmental emissions. One project would use methane gas from an adjacent municipal dump to replace natural gas currently used to heat the refinery electrolyte.

  7. How to assess species richness along single environmental gradients? Implications of potential versus realized species distributions.

    PubMed

    van Goethem, Thomas M W J; Huijbregts, Mark A J; Wamelink, G W Wieger; Schipper, Aafke M

    2015-05-01

    Quantifying relationships between species richness and single environmental factors is challenging as species richness typically depends on multiple environmental factors. Recently, various methods have been proposed to tackle this challenge. Using a dataset comprising field observations of grassland vegetation and measured pH values, we compared three methods for deriving species richness response curves. One of the methods estimates species richness close to the maximum species richness observed at the sites, whereas the other two provide estimates of the potential species richness along the environmental gradient. Our response curves suggest that potential species richness of grasslands is slightly more sensitive to acidification than realized plant species richness. However, differences in corresponding environmental quality standards (EQS) for acidification were small compared to intrinsic spatial differences in natural soil pH, indicating that natural background values are more important to consider in the derivation of EQS for pH than methodological differences between the three approaches. PMID:25705854

  8. How to assess species richness along single environmental gradients? Implications of potential versus realized species distributions.

    PubMed

    van Goethem, Thomas M W J; Huijbregts, Mark A J; Wamelink, G W Wieger; Schipper, Aafke M

    2015-05-01

    Quantifying relationships between species richness and single environmental factors is challenging as species richness typically depends on multiple environmental factors. Recently, various methods have been proposed to tackle this challenge. Using a dataset comprising field observations of grassland vegetation and measured pH values, we compared three methods for deriving species richness response curves. One of the methods estimates species richness close to the maximum species richness observed at the sites, whereas the other two provide estimates of the potential species richness along the environmental gradient. Our response curves suggest that potential species richness of grasslands is slightly more sensitive to acidification than realized plant species richness. However, differences in corresponding environmental quality standards (EQS) for acidification were small compared to intrinsic spatial differences in natural soil pH, indicating that natural background values are more important to consider in the derivation of EQS for pH than methodological differences between the three approaches.

  9. High-Content Imaging Assays for Identifying Compounds that Generate Superoxide and Impair Mitochondrial Membrane Potential in Adherent Eukaryotic Cells.

    PubMed

    Billis, Puja; Will, Yvonne; Nadanaciva, Sashi

    2014-01-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are constantly produced in cells as a result of aerobic metabolism. When there is an excessive production of ROS and the cell's antioxidant defenses are overwhelmed, oxidative stress occurs. The superoxide anion is a type of ROS that is produced primarily in mitochondria but is also generated in other regions of the cell including peroxisomes, endoplasmic reticulum, plasma membrane, and cytosol. Here, a high-content imaging assay using the dye dihydroethidium is described for identifying compounds that generate superoxide in eukaryotic cells. A high-content imaging assay using the fluorescent dye tetramethylrhodamine methyl ester is also described to identify compounds that impair mitochondrial membrane potential in eukaryotic cells. The purpose of performing both assays is to identify compounds that (1) generate superoxide at lower concentrations than they impair mitochondrial membrane potential, (2) impair mitochondrial membrane potential at lower concentrations than they generate superoxide, (3) generate superoxide and impair mitochondrial function at similar concentrations, and (4) do not generate superoxide or impair mitochondrial membrane potential during the duration of the assays.

  10. Assessing the Potential of Farming Regions to Fulfill Agro-Environmental Functions: A Case Study in Tuscany (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marraccini, Elisa; Rapey, Hélène; Galli, Mariassunta; Lardon, Sylvie; Bonari, Enrico

    2013-03-01

    The increasing interest in agro-environmental management entails having tools to assess, monitor and map agro-environmental functions (AEFs) in different regional contexts. In Europe, decision-making in agro-environmental policies generally targets single functions instead of multiple ones and rarely considers the regional variability of agricultural or geo-physical conditions that may influence the fulfillment of functions. We propose and test a method to assess the potential of farming regions to fulfill a set of AEFs. The method was applied in the "Collina interna grossetana" farming region (Italy) and concerned three functions: protection of surface water from nitrates, protection of soil from erosion, and conservation of landscape diversity. These functions were qualified and mapped using various geo-physical and land cover descriptors from common geographical datasets. All of the descriptors were combined using geographical cluster analysis to identify their contribution to the three functions, and thus to assess the potential of the farming region to fulfill these functions. Three levels of potential were calculated, according to the more or less favorable fulfillment of soil and water functions. No totally favorable contribution to the functions was identified in the studied area. Moreover, we mapped the spatial patterns obtained for the different levels of potential. The landscape diversity function was found to be the least variable in the study area, while different patterns were identified for the other functions. In fact, the northern and central sections of the study region were organized more in the form of large core areas of different levels of potential, whereas the southern section presented more boundary areas, small core areas and isolated pixels. The method may help to establish local priorities in agro-environmental management pointing out where the set of functions is completely or partially fulfilled, as well as where and how it is more or

  11. MCNP{trademark} simulations for identifying environmental contaminants using prompt gamma-rays from thermal neutron capture reactions

    SciTech Connect

    Frankle, S.C.; Conaway, J.G.

    1996-12-31

    The primary purposes of the Multispectral Neutron Logging Project, (MSN Project, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy), were to assess the effectiveness of existing neutron- induced spectral gamma-ray logging techniques for identifying environmental contaminants along boreholes, to further improve the technology, and to transfer that technology to industry. Using a pulsed neutron source with a high-resolution gamma-ray detector, spectra from thermal neutron capture reactions may be used to identify contaminants in the borehole environment. Direct borehole measurements such as this complement physical sampling and are useful in environmental restoration projects where characterization of contaminated sites is required and long-term monitoring may be needed for many years following cleanup or stabilization. In the MSN Project, a prototype logging instrument was designed which incorporated a pulsed 14-MeV neutron source and HPGe detector. Experimental measurements to determine minimum detection thresholds with the prototype instrument were conducted in the variable-contaminant test model for Cl, Cd, Sm, Gd, and Hg. We benchmarked an enhanced version of the Monte Carlo N-Particle computer code MCNP{trademark} using experimental data for Cl provide by our collaborators and experimental data from the variable-contaminant test model. MCNP was then used to estimate detection thresholds for the other contaminants used in the variable-contaminant model with the goal of validating the use of MCNP to estimate detection thresholds for many other contaminants that were not measured.

  12. Simple indicator to identify the environmental soundness of growth of consumption and technology: "eco-velocity of consumption".

    PubMed

    Nansai, Keisuke; Kagawa, Shigemi; Suh, Sangwon; Inaba, Rokuta; Moriguchi, Yuichi

    2007-02-15

    Today's material welfare has been achieved at the expense of consumption of finite resources and generation of environmental burdens. Over the past few decades the volume of global consumption has grown dramatically, while at the same time technological advances have enabled products with greater efficiencies. These two directions of change, consumption growth and technological advance, are the foci of the present paper. Using quantitative measures for these two factors, we define a new indicator, "eco-velocity of consumption", analogous to velocity in physics. The indicator not only identifies the environmental soundness of consumption growth and technological advance but also indicates whether and to what extent our society is shifting toward sustainable consumption. This study demonstrates the practicability of the indicator through a case study in which we calculate the eco-velocities of Japanese household consumption in 2 years: 1995 and 2000. The rate of technological advance during the periods concerned is quantified in terms of the embodied carbon dioxide emission per yen of product. The results show that the current growth rate of Japanese household consumption is greater than the rate of technological advance to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions. The eco-velocities at the level of individual commodity groups are also examined, and the sources of changes in eco-velocity for each commodity are identified using structural decomposition analysis.

  13. Simple indicator to identify the environmental soundness of growth of consumption and technology: "eco-velocity of consumption".

    PubMed

    Nansai, Keisuke; Kagawa, Shigemi; Suh, Sangwon; Inaba, Rokuta; Moriguchi, Yuichi

    2007-02-15

    Today's material welfare has been achieved at the expense of consumption of finite resources and generation of environmental burdens. Over the past few decades the volume of global consumption has grown dramatically, while at the same time technological advances have enabled products with greater efficiencies. These two directions of change, consumption growth and technological advance, are the foci of the present paper. Using quantitative measures for these two factors, we define a new indicator, "eco-velocity of consumption", analogous to velocity in physics. The indicator not only identifies the environmental soundness of consumption growth and technological advance but also indicates whether and to what extent our society is shifting toward sustainable consumption. This study demonstrates the practicability of the indicator through a case study in which we calculate the eco-velocities of Japanese household consumption in 2 years: 1995 and 2000. The rate of technological advance during the periods concerned is quantified in terms of the embodied carbon dioxide emission per yen of product. The results show that the current growth rate of Japanese household consumption is greater than the rate of technological advance to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions. The eco-velocities at the level of individual commodity groups are also examined, and the sources of changes in eco-velocity for each commodity are identified using structural decomposition analysis. PMID:17593758

  14. Predatory online behavior: modus operandi of convicted sex offenders in identifying potential victims and contacting minors over the internet.

    PubMed

    Malesky, L Alvin

    2007-01-01

    Sex offenders have used the Internet to identify and contact minors for sexual exploitation (Armagh, 1998; Hernandez, 2000; Lamb, 1998; Lanning, 1998). Yet little is known about how these individuals select their online victims. In order to gain a better understanding of this behavior, the online activity of 31 men who perpetrated or attempted to perpetrate contact sex offenses against minors they communicated with via the Internet, was examined. Three-fourths of the participants monitored chat room dialogue and almost one-half reviewed online profiles of minors in an attempt to identify potential victims. Recommendations to increase the online safety of children and adolescents are discussed. PMID:17895230

  15. Metagenomic Analyses Reveal That Energy Transfer Gene Abundances Can Predict the Syntrophic Potential of Environmental Microbial Communities.

    PubMed

    Oberding, Lisa; Gieg, Lisa M

    2016-01-01

    Hydrocarbon compounds can be biodegraded by anaerobic microorganisms to form methane through an energetically interdependent metabolic process known as syntrophy. The microorganisms that perform this process as well as the energy transfer mechanisms involved are difficult to study and thus are still poorly understood, especially on an environmental scale. Here, metagenomic data was analyzed for specific clusters of orthologous groups (COGs) related to key energy transfer genes thus far identified in syntrophic bacteria, and principal component analysis was used in order to determine whether potentially syntrophic environments could be distinguished using these syntroph related COGs as opposed to universally present COGs. We found that COGs related to hydrogenase and formate dehydrogenase genes were able to distinguish known syntrophic consortia and environments with the potential for syntrophy from non-syntrophic environments, indicating that these COGs could be used as a tool to identify syntrophic hydrocarbon biodegrading environments using metagenomic data. PMID:27681901

  16. Metagenomic Analyses Reveal That Energy Transfer Gene Abundances Can Predict the Syntrophic Potential of Environmental Microbial Communities

    PubMed Central

    Oberding, Lisa; Gieg, Lisa M.

    2016-01-01

    Hydrocarbon compounds can be biodegraded by anaerobic microorganisms to form methane through an energetically interdependent metabolic process known as syntrophy. The microorganisms that perform this process as well as the energy transfer mechanisms involved are difficult to study and thus are still poorly understood, especially on an environmental scale. Here, metagenomic data was analyzed for specific clusters of orthologous groups (COGs) related to key energy transfer genes thus far identified in syntrophic bacteria, and principal component analysis was used in order to determine whether potentially syntrophic environments could be distinguished using these syntroph related COGs as opposed to universally present COGs. We found that COGs related to hydrogenase and formate dehydrogenase genes were able to distinguish known syntrophic consortia and environments with the potential for syntrophy from non-syntrophic environments, indicating that these COGs could be used as a tool to identify syntrophic hydrocarbon biodegrading environments using metagenomic data.

  17. Metagenomic Analyses Reveal That Energy Transfer Gene Abundances Can Predict the Syntrophic Potential of Environmental Microbial Communities

    PubMed Central

    Oberding, Lisa; Gieg, Lisa M.

    2016-01-01

    Hydrocarbon compounds can be biodegraded by anaerobic microorganisms to form methane through an energetically interdependent metabolic process known as syntrophy. The microorganisms that perform this process as well as the energy transfer mechanisms involved are difficult to study and thus are still poorly understood, especially on an environmental scale. Here, metagenomic data was analyzed for specific clusters of orthologous groups (COGs) related to key energy transfer genes thus far identified in syntrophic bacteria, and principal component analysis was used in order to determine whether potentially syntrophic environments could be distinguished using these syntroph related COGs as opposed to universally present COGs. We found that COGs related to hydrogenase and formate dehydrogenase genes were able to distinguish known syntrophic consortia and environments with the potential for syntrophy from non-syntrophic environments, indicating that these COGs could be used as a tool to identify syntrophic hydrocarbon biodegrading environments using metagenomic data. PMID:27681901

  18. Incidents of potential public health significance identified using national surveillance of US poison center data (2008–2012)

    PubMed Central

    LAW, R. K.; SHEIKH, S.; BRONSTEIN, A.; THOMAS, R.; SPILLER, H. A.; SCHIER, J. G.

    2015-01-01

    Background The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Association of Poison Control Centers conduct national surveillance on data collected by US poison centers to identify incidents of potential public health significance (IPHS). The overarching goals of this collaboration are to improve CDC’s national surveillance capacity for public health threats, identify early markers of public health incidents and enhance situational awareness. The National Poison Data System (NPDS) is used as a surveillance system to automatically identify data anomalies. Purpose To characterize data anomalies and IPHS captured by national surveillance of poison center data over 5 years. Methods Data anomalies are identified through three surveillance methodologies: call-volume, clinical effect, and case-based. Anomalies are reviewed by a team of epidemiologists and clinical toxicologists to determine IPHS using standardized criteria. The authors reviewed IPHS identified by these surveillance activities from 2008 through 2012. Results Call-volume surveillance identified 384 IPHS; most were related to gas and fume exposures (n=229; 59.6%) with the most commonly implicated substance being carbon monoxide (CO) (n=92; 22.8%). Clinical-effect surveillance identified 138 IPHS; the majority were related to gas and fume exposures (n=58; 42.0%) and gastrointestinal complaints (n=84; 16.2%), and the most commonly implicated substance was CO (n=20; 14.4%). Among the 11 case-based surveillance definitions, the botulism case definition yielded the highest percentage of identified agent-specific illness. Conclusions A small proportion of data anomalies were designated as IPHS. Of these, CO releases were the most frequently reported IPHS and gastrointestinal syndromes were the most commonly reported illness manifestations. poison center data surveillance may be used as an approach to identify exposures, illnesses, and incidents of importance at the national and state level

  19. Characterization and Potential Environmental Risks of Leachate from Shredded Rubber Mulches

    PubMed Central

    Kanematsu, Masakazu; Hayashi, Ai; Denison, Michael S.; Young, Thomas M.

    2009-01-01

    In order to determine whether shredded rubber mulches (RM) posed water quality risks when used in stormwater best management practices (BMPs) such as bioretention basins, batch leaching tests were conducted to identify and quantify constituents in leachates from RM such as metal ions, nutrients, total organic carbon (TOC), and aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) activity (determined by the chemically activated luciferase gene expression (CALUX) bioassay) at varied temperature and initial pH values. The results indicate that aqueous extracts of RM contain high concentrations of zinc (Zn) compared with wood mulches (WM), and its concentration increased at lower pH and higher temperature. Although methanol extracts of RM displayed high AhR activity, none of the aqueous extracts of RM had significant activity. Hence, while unknown constituents that have significant AhR activity are present in RM, they appear to be not measurably extracted by water under environmental conditions relevant for stormwater (5 < pH < 9, 10 < T < 40°C). Our results suggests that organic constituents in water extracts of RM which have AhR activity may not be of significant concern while leaching of Zn from RM appears to be a potentially larger water quality issue for RM. PMID:19450864

  20. Identifying/Quantifying Environmental Trade-offs Inherent in GHG Reduction Strategies for Coal-Fired Power.

    PubMed

    Schivley, Greg; Ingwersen, Wesley W; Marriott, Joe; Hawkins, Troy R; Skone, Timothy J

    2015-07-01

    Improvements to coal power plant technology and the cofired combustion of biomass promise direct greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions for existing coal-fired power plants. Questions remain as to what the reduction potentials are from a life cycle perspective and if it will result in unintended increases in impacts to air and water quality and human health. This study provides a unique analysis of the potential environmental impact reductions from upgrading existing subcritical pulverized coal power plants to increase their efficiency, improving environmental controls, cofiring biomass, and exporting steam for industrial use. The climate impacts are examined in both a traditional-100 year GWP-method and a time series analysis that accounts for emission and uptake timing over the life of the power plant. Compared to fleet average pulverized bed boilers (33% efficiency), we find that circulating fluidized bed boilers (39% efficiency) may provide GHG reductions of about 13% when using 100% coal and reductions of about 20-37% when cofiring with 30% biomass. Additional greenhouse gas reductions from combined heat and power are minimal if the steam coproduct displaces steam from an efficient natural gas boiler. These upgrades and cofiring biomass can also reduce other life cycle impacts, although there may be increased impacts to water quality (eutrophication) when using biomass from an intensely cultivated source. Climate change impacts are sensitive to the timing of emissions and carbon sequestration as well as the time horizon over which impacts are considered, particularly for long growth woody biomass. PMID:26001040

  1. Identifying/Quantifying Environmental Trade-offs Inherent in GHG Reduction Strategies for Coal-Fired Power.

    PubMed

    Schivley, Greg; Ingwersen, Wesley W; Marriott, Joe; Hawkins, Troy R; Skone, Timothy J

    2015-07-01

    Improvements to coal power plant technology and the cofired combustion of biomass promise direct greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions for existing coal-fired power plants. Questions remain as to what the reduction potentials are from a life cycle perspective and if it will result in unintended increases in impacts to air and water quality and human health. This study provides a unique analysis of the potential environmental impact reductions from upgrading existing subcritical pulverized coal power plants to increase their efficiency, improving environmental controls, cofiring biomass, and exporting steam for industrial use. The climate impacts are examined in both a traditional-100 year GWP-method and a time series analysis that accounts for emission and uptake timing over the life of the power plant. Compared to fleet average pulverized bed boilers (33% efficiency), we find that circulating fluidized bed boilers (39% efficiency) may provide GHG reductions of about 13% when using 100% coal and reductions of about 20-37% when cofiring with 30% biomass. Additional greenhouse gas reductions from combined heat and power are minimal if the steam coproduct displaces steam from an efficient natural gas boiler. These upgrades and cofiring biomass can also reduce other life cycle impacts, although there may be increased impacts to water quality (eutrophication) when using biomass from an intensely cultivated source. Climate change impacts are sensitive to the timing of emissions and carbon sequestration as well as the time horizon over which impacts are considered, particularly for long growth woody biomass.

  2. Molecular analysis of faecal samples from birds to identify potential crop pests and useful biocontrol agents in natural areas.

    PubMed

    King, R A; Symondson, W O C; Thomas, R J

    2015-06-01

    Wild habitats adjoining farmland are potentially valuable sources of natural enemies, but also of pests. Here we tested the utility of birds as 'sampling devices', to identify the diversity of prey available to predators and particularly to screen for pests and natural enemies using natural ecosystems as refugia. Here we used PCR to amplify prey DNA from three sympatric songbirds foraging on small invertebrates in Phragmites reedbed ecosystems, namely the Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus), Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus) and Cetti's Warbler (Cettia cetti). A recently described general invertebrate primer pair was used for the first time to analyse diets. Amplicons were cloned and sequenced, then identified by reference to the Barcoding of Life Database and to our own sequences obtained from fresh invertebrates. Forty-five distinct prey DNA sequences were obtained from 11 faecal samples, of which 39 could be identified to species or genus. Targeting three warbler species ensured that species-specific differences in prey choice broadened the range of prey taken. Amongst the prey found in reedbeds were major pests (including the tomato moth Lacanobia oleracea) as well as many potentially valuable natural enemies including aphidophagous hoverflies and braconid wasps. Given the mobility of birds, this approach provides a practical way of sampling a whole habitat at once, providing growers with information on possible invasion by locally resident pests and the colonization potential of natural enemies from local natural habitats. PMID:25572526

  3. Report: Potential environmental impact of exempt site materials - a case study of bituminous road planings and waste soils.

    PubMed

    Bark, Marjorie; Bland, Michael; Grimes, Sue

    2009-09-01

    The use of waste materials for ecological benefit, agricultural improvement or as part of construction works are often exempt from waste management control in order to maximize the reuse of material that would otherwise be disposed of to landfill. It is important, however, to determine whether there is potential for such waste to cause environmental harm in the context of the basis for granting exemptions under the relevant framework objective to ensure that waste is recovered or disposed of without risk to water, air, soil, plants or animals. The potential for environmental harm was investigated by leaching studies on two wastes commonly found at exempt sites: bituminous road planings and waste soils. For bituminous road planings, the organic components of the waste were identified by their solubility in organic solvents but these components would have low environmental impact in terms of bioavailability. Leaching studies of the heavy metals copper, lead and zinc, into the environment, under specific conditions and particularly those modelling acid rain and landfill leachate conditions showed that, except for copper, the amounts leached fell within Waste Acceptance Criteria compliance limits for defining waste as inert waste. The fact that the amount of copper leached was greater than the Waste Acceptance Criteria level suggests that either additional testing of wastes regarded as exempt should be carried out to ensure that they are in analytical compliance or that legislation should allow for the potential benefits of reuse to supersede deviations from analytical compliance.

  4. Geochemical and ecotoxicological assessment of iron- and steel-making slags for potential use in environmental applications.

    PubMed

    Wendling, Laura A; Binet, Monique T; Yuan, Zheng; Gissi, Francesca; Koppel, Darren J; Adams, Merrin S

    2013-11-01

    Prior to the productive use of iron- and steel-making slags as environmental amendments, a risk assessment supported by material characterization concomitant with leaching and ecotoxicological testing is necessary. Five iron- and steel-making slags were characterized geochemically, and the leachability of their elemental constituents was assessed. The toxicity of slag leachate to microalgae (Chlorella sp.), cladocerans (Ceriodaphnia dubia), and bacteria (Vibrio fischeri) was related to elemental composition. Slag leachates with the highest concentrations of dissolved elements were the most toxic (10% effective concentration [EC10] ∼1%), whereas those with the lowest concentrations of elements were the least toxic (EC10 63-85%). It was not possible to determine which elements caused the observed toxicity; however, comparisons with contaminant guidelines and published toxicity data identified several elements of potential environmental concern. Low to moderate activities were measured for radionuclides in the U and Th decay chains in slags. Based on these data, some of the slags examined herein are potentially suitable for use as environmental amendments following ≥10 times dilution to ameliorate potential toxic effects because of leachate pH.

  5. Bivalves as indicators of environmental variation and potential anthropogenic impacts in the southern Barents Sea.

    PubMed

    Carroll, Michael L; Johnson, Beverly J; Henkes, Gregory A; McMahon, Kelton W; Voronkov, Andrey; Ambrose, William G; Denisenko, Stanislav G

    2009-01-01

    Identifying patterns and drivers of natural variability in populations is necessary to gauge potential effects of climatic change and the expected increases in commercial activities in the Arctic on communities and ecosystems. We analyzed growth rates and shell geochemistry of the circumpolar Greenland smooth cockle, Serripes groenlandicus, from the southern Barents Sea over almost 70 years between 1882 and 1968. The datasets were calibrated via annually-deposited growth lines, and growth, stable isotope (delta(18)O, delta(13)C), and trace elemental (Mg, Sr, Ba, Mn) patterns were linked to environmental variations on weekly to decadal scales. Standardized growth indices revealed an oscillatory growth pattern with a multi-year periodicity, which was inversely related to the North Atlantic Oscillation Index (NAO), and positively related to local river discharge. Up to 60% of the annual variability in Ba/Ca could be explained by variations in river discharge at the site closest to the rivers, but the relationship disappeared at a more distant location. Patterns of delta(18)O, delta(13)C, and Sr/Ca together provide evidence that bivalve growth ceases at elevated temperatures during the fall and recommences at the coldest temperatures in the early spring, with the implication that food, rather than temperature, is the primary driver of bivalve growth. The multi-proxy approach of combining the annually integrated information from the growth results and higher resolution geochemical results yielded a robust interpretation of biophysical coupling in the region over temporal and spatial scales. We thus demonstrate that sclerochronological proxies can be useful retrospective analytical tools for establishing a baseline of ecosystem variability in assessing potential combined impacts of climatic change and increasing commercial activities on Arctic communities. PMID:19394657

  6. Bivalves as indicators of environmental variation and potential anthropogenic impacts in the southern Barents Sea

    PubMed Central

    Carroll, Michael L.; Johnson, Beverly J.; Henkes, Gregory A.; McMahon, Kelton W.; Voronkov, Andrey; Ambrose, William G.; Denisenko, Stanislav G.

    2009-01-01

    Identifying patterns and drivers of natural variability in populations is necessary to gauge potential effects of climatic change and the expected increases in commercial activities in the Arctic on communities and ecosystems. We analyzed growth rates and shell geochemistry of the circumpolar Greenland smooth cockle, Serripes groenlandicus, from the southern Barents Sea over almost 70 years between 1882 and 1968. The datasets were calibrated via annually-deposited growth lines, and growth, stable isotope (δ18O, δ13C), and trace elemental (Mg, Sr, Ba, Mn) patterns were linked to environmental variations on weekly to decadal scales. Standardized growth indices revealed an oscillatory growth pattern with a multi-year periodicity, which was inversely related to the North Atlantic Oscillation Index (NAO), and positively related to local river discharge. Up to 60% of the annual variability in the Ba/Ca could be explained by variations in river discharge at the site closest to the rivers, but the relationship disappeared at a more distant location. Patterns of δ18O, δ13C, and Sr/Ca together provide evidence that bivalve growth ceases at elevated temperatures during the fall and recommences at the coldest temperatures in the early spring, with the implication that food, rather than temperature, is the primary driver of bivalve growth. The multi-proxy approach of combining the annually integrated information from the growth results and higher resolution geochemical results yielded a robust interpretation of biophysical coupling in the region over temporal and spatial scales. We thus demonstrate that sclerochronological proxies can be useful retrospective analytical tools for establishing a baseline of ecosystem variability in assessing potential combined impacts of climatic change and increasing commercial activities on Arctic communities. PMID:19394657

  7. Potential animal and environmental sources of Q fever infection for humans in Queensland.

    PubMed

    Tozer, S J; Lambert, S B; Strong, C L; Field, H E; Sloots, T P; Nissen, M D

    2014-03-01

    Q fever is a vaccine-preventable disease; despite this, high annual notification numbers are still recorded in Australia. We have previously shown seroprevalence in Queensland metropolitan regions is approaching that of rural areas. This study investigated the presence of nucleic acid from Coxiella burnetii, the agent responsible for Q fever, in a number of animal and environmental samples collected throughout Queensland, to identify potential sources of human infection. Samples were collected from 129 geographical locations and included urine, faeces and whole blood from 22 different animal species; 45 ticks were removed from two species, canines and possums; 151 soil samples; 72 atmospheric dust samples collected from two locations and 50 dust swabs collected from domestic vacuum cleaners. PCR testing was performed targeting the IS1111 and COM1 genes for the specific detection of C. burnetii DNA. There were 85 detections from 1318 animal samples, giving a detection rate for each sample type ranging from 2.1 to 6.8%. Equine samples produced a detection rate of 11.9%, whilst feline and canine samples showed detection rates of 7.8% and 5.2%, respectively. Native animals had varying detection rates: pooled urines from flying foxes had 7.8%, whilst koalas had 5.1%, and 6.7% of ticks screened were positive. The soil and dust samples showed the presence of C. burnetii DNA ranging from 2.0 to 6.9%, respectively. These data show that specimens from a variety of animal species and the general environment provide a number of potential sources for C. burnetii infections of humans living in Queensland. These previously unrecognized sources may account for the high seroprevalence rates seen in putative low-risk communities, including Q fever patients with no direct animal contact and those subjects living in a low-risk urban environment. PMID:23663407

  8. Bioorthogonal labeling cell-surface proteins expressed in pancreatic cancer cells to identify potential diagnostic/therapeutic biomarkers

    PubMed Central

    Haun, Randy S; Quick, Charles M; Siegel, Eric R; Raju, Ilangovan; Mackintosh, Samuel G; Tackett, Alan J

    2015-01-01

    To develop new diagnostic and therapeutic tools to specifically target pancreatic tumors, it is necessary to identify cell-surface proteins that may serve as potential tumor-specific targets. In this study we used an azido-labeled bioorthogonal chemical reporter to metabolically label N-linked glycoproteins on the surface of pancreatic cancer cell lines to identify potential targets that may be exploited for detection and/or treatment of pancreatic cancer. Labeled glycoproteins were tagged with biotin using click chemistry, purified by streptavidin-coupled magnetic beads, separated by gel electrophoresis, and identified by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (MS). MS/MS analysis of peptides from 3 cell lines revealed 954 unique proteins enriched in the azido sugar samples relative to control sugar samples. A comparison of the proteins identified in each sample indicated 20% of these proteins were present in 2 cell lines (193 of 954) and 17 of the proteins were found in all 3 cell lines. Five of the 17 proteins identified in all 3 cell lines have not been previously reported to be expressed in pancreatic cancer; thus indicating that novel cell-surface proteins can be revealed through glycoprotein profiling. Western analysis of one of these glycoproteins, ecto-5′-nucleotidase (NT5E), revealed it is expressed in 8 out of 8 pancreatic cancer cell lines examined. Further, immunohistochemical analysis of human pancreatic tissues indicates NT5E is significantly overexpressed in pancreatic tumors compared to normal pancreas. Thus, we have demonstrated that metabolic labeling with bioorthogonal chemical reporters can be used to selectively enrich and identify novel cell-surface glycoproteins expressed in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas. PMID:26176765

  9. Can inbound and domestic medical tourism improve your bottom line? Identifying the potential of a U.S. tourism market.

    PubMed

    Fottler, Myron D; Malvey, Donna; Asi, Yara; Kirchner, Sarah; Warren, Natalia A

    2014-01-01

    In large part due to current economic conditions and the political uncertainties of healthcare reform legislation, hospitals need to identify new sources of revenue. Two potentially untapped sources are inbound (international) and domestic (within the United States) medical tourists. This case study uses data from a large, urban healthcare system in the southeastern United States to quantify its potential market opportunities for medical tourism. The data were mined from electronic health records, and descriptive frequency analysis was used to provide a preliminary market assessment. This approach permits healthcare systems to move beyond anecdotal information and assess the relative market potential of their particular geographic area and the diagnostic services they offer for attracting inbound and domestic medical tourists. Implications for healthcare executives and guidance on how they can focus marketing efforts are discussed.

  10. Can inbound and domestic medical tourism improve your bottom line? Identifying the potential of a U.S. tourism market.

    PubMed

    Fottler, Myron D; Malvey, Donna; Asi, Yara; Kirchner, Sarah; Warren, Natalia A

    2014-01-01

    In large part due to current economic conditions and the political uncertainties of healthcare reform legislation, hospitals need to identify new sources of revenue. Two potentially untapped sources are inbound (international) and domestic (within the United States) medical tourists. This case study uses data from a large, urban healthcare system in the southeastern United States to quantify its potential market opportunities for medical tourism. The data were mined from electronic health records, and descriptive frequency analysis was used to provide a preliminary market assessment. This approach permits healthcare systems to move beyond anecdotal information and assess the relative market potential of their particular geographic area and the diagnostic services they offer for attracting inbound and domestic medical tourists. Implications for healthcare executives and guidance on how they can focus marketing efforts are discussed. PMID:24611426

  11. The stingless bee species, Scaptotrigona aff. depilis, as a potential indicator of environmental pesticide contamination.

    PubMed

    de Souza Rosa, Annelise; I'Anson Price, Robbie; Ferreira Caliman, Maria Juliana; Pereira Queiroz, Elisa; Blochtein, Betina; Sílvia Soares Pires, Carmen; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera Lucia

    2015-08-01

    Neonicotinoids have the potential to enter the diet of pollinators that collect resources from contaminated plants. The species Scaptotrigona aff. depilis (Moure, 1942) can be a useful indicator of the prevalence of these chemicals in the environment. Using high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, the authors devised a protocol for neonicotinoid residue extraction and detected the presence of neonicotinoids in the bee bodies. Thus, the authors consider this species to be a potential indicator of environmental contamination.

  12. Use of a transposon with luciferase as a reporter to identify environmentally responsive genes in a cyanobacterium

    SciTech Connect

    Wolk, C.P.; Yuping Cai; Panoff, J.M. )

    1991-06-15

    Anabaena, a filamentous cyanobacterium, is of developmental interest because, when deprived of fixed nitrogen, it shows patterned differentiation of N{sub 2}-fixing cells called heterocysts. To help elucidate its early responses to a decrease in nitrogen, the authors used a derivative of transposon Tn5 to generate transcriptional fusions of promoterless bacterial luciferase genes, luxAB, to the Anabaena genome. Genes that responded to removal of fixed nitrogen or to other environmental shifts by increased or decreased transcription were identified by monitoring the luminescence of colonies from transposon-generated libraries. The Tn5 derivative transposed in Anabaena at ca. 1-4 {times} 10{sup {minus}5} per cell and permitted high-resolution mapping of its position and orientation in the genome and facile cloning of contiguous genomic DNA.

  13. Identifying High-Risk Populations of Tuberculosis Using Environmental Factors and GIS Based Multi-Criteria Decision Making Method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rasam, A. R. Abdul; Shariff, N. M.; Dony, J. F.

    2016-09-01

    Development of an innovative method to enhance the detection of tuberculosis (TB) in Malaysia is the latest agenda of the Ministry of Health. Therefore, a geographical information system (GIS) based index model is proposed as an alternative method for defining potential high-risk areas of local TB cases at Section U19, Shah Alam. It is adopted a spatial multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) method for ranking environmental risk factors of the disease in a standardised five-score scale. Scale 1 and 5 illustrate the lowest and the highest risk of the TB spread respectively, while scale from 3 to 5 is included as a potential risk level. These standardised scale values are then combined with expert normalised weights (0 to 1) to calculate the overall index values and produce a TB ranked map using a GIS overlay analysis and weighted linear combination. It is discovered that 71.43% of the Section is potential as TB high risk areas particularly at urban and densely populated settings. This predictive result is also reliable with the current real cases in 2015 by 76.00% accuracy. A GIS based MCDM method has demonstrated analytical capabilities in targeting high-risk spots and TB surveillance monitoring system of the country, but the result could be strengthened by applying other uncertainty assessment method.

  14. Childhood Obesity Prevention in Childcare Settings: the Potential of Policy and Environmental Change Interventions.

    PubMed

    Lessard, Laura; Breck, Andrew

    2015-06-01

    Current obesity rates in young children are a serious public health concern; developing and implementing obesity prevention interventions in childcare settings is a promising avenue to address this issue. In recent years, there has been increasing focus on environmental and policy change interventions for this setting. Improving access to and quality of outdoor play spaces and implementing the Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (NAP SACC) are two promising environmental change strategies in this setting. Laws at the local, state, and federal level have also been implemented; New York City and Delaware are two jurisdictions that have passed policies and provided preliminary evidence of the potential of policy interventions to change child outcomes. A combination of programmatic, environmental, and policy change strategies will likely be most effective in maximizing the potential of childcare settings to promote healthy weight in children. PMID:26627214

  15. Genomic profiling of murine mammary tumors identifies potential personalized drug targets for p53-deficient mammary cancers

    PubMed Central

    Agrawal, Yash N.; Koboldt, Daniel C.; Kanchi, Krishna L.; Herschkowitz, Jason I.; Mardis, Elaine R.; Rosen, Jeffrey M.; Perou, Charles M.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Targeted therapies against basal-like breast tumors, which are typically ‘triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs)’, remain an important unmet clinical need. Somatic TP53 mutations are the most common genetic event in basal-like breast tumors and TNBC. To identify additional drivers and possible drug targets of this subtype, a comparative study between human and murine tumors was performed by utilizing a murine Trp53-null mammary transplant tumor model. We show that two subsets of murine Trp53-null mammary transplant tumors resemble aspects of the human basal-like subtype. DNA-microarray, whole-genome and exome-based sequencing approaches were used to interrogate the secondary genetic aberrations of these tumors, which were then compared to human basal-like tumors to identify conserved somatic genetic features. DNA copy-number variation produced the largest number of conserved candidate personalized drug targets. These candidates were filtered using a DNA-RNA Pearson correlation cut-off and a requirement that the gene was deemed essential in at least 5% of human breast cancer cell lines from an RNA-mediated interference screen database. Five potential personalized drug target genes, which were spontaneously amplified loci in both murine and human basal-like tumors, were identified: Cul4a, Lamp1, Met, Pnpla6 and Tubgcp3. As a proof of concept, inhibition of Met using crizotinib caused Met-amplified murine tumors to initially undergo complete regression. This study identifies Met as a promising drug target in a subset of murine Trp53-null tumors, thus identifying a potential shared driver with a subset of human basal-like breast cancers. Our results also highlight the importance of comparative genomic studies for discovering personalized drug targets and for providing a preclinical model for further investigations of key tumor signaling pathways. PMID:27149990

  16. MYSID CRUSTACEANS AS POTENTIAL TEST ORGANISMS FOR THE EVALUATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS: A REVIEW

    EPA Science Inventory

    Verslycke, Tim A., Nancy Fockedey, Charles L. McKenney, Jr., Stephen D. Roast, Malcolm B. Jones, Jan Mees and Colin R. Janssen. 2004. Mysid Crustaceans as Potential Test Organisms for the Evaluation of Environmental Endocrine Disruption: A Review. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 23(5):12...

  17. 76 FR 21938 - Potential Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Runway 13 Extension and Associated Actions for...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-19

    ... Federal Aviation Administration Potential Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Runway 13 Extension and... extension and associated actions for Devils Lake Regional Airport in Devils Lake, North Dakota. SUMMARY: The FAA has issued the final EA and FONSI/ROD for the proposed Runway 13 extension and associated...

  18. HOLISTIC APPROACH FOR ASSESSING THE PRESENCE AND POTENTIAL IMPACTS OF WATERBORNE ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINANTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    As an integral part of our continuing research in environmental quality assessment approaches, we have developed a variety of passive integrative sampling devices widely applicable for use in defining the presence and potential impacts of a broad array of contaminants. The semipe...

  19. Using Community-Based Participatory Research to Identify Environmental Justice Issues in an Inner-City Community and Inform Urban Planning.

    PubMed

    Mansyur, Carol Leler; Jeng, Hueiwang Anna; Holloman, Erica; DeBrew, Linwood

    2016-01-01

    The Southeast CARE Coalition has been using community-based participatory research to examine environmental degradation in the Southeast Community, Newport News, Virginia. A survey was developed to collect assessment data. Up to 66% of respondents were concerned about environmental problems in their community. Those with health conditions were significantly more likely to identify specific environmental problems. The top 5 environmental concerns included coal dust, air quality, crime, water quality, and trash. The community-based participatory research process is building community capacity and participation, providing community input into strategic planning, and empowering community members to take control of environmental justice issues in their community.

  20. Using Community-Based Participatory Research to Identify Environmental Justice Issues in an Inner-City Community and Inform Urban Planning.

    PubMed

    Mansyur, Carol Leler; Jeng, Hueiwang Anna; Holloman, Erica; DeBrew, Linwood

    2016-01-01

    The Southeast CARE Coalition has been using community-based participatory research to examine environmental degradation in the Southeast Community, Newport News, Virginia. A survey was developed to collect assessment data. Up to 66% of respondents were concerned about environmental problems in their community. Those with health conditions were significantly more likely to identify specific environmental problems. The top 5 environmental concerns included coal dust, air quality, crime, water quality, and trash. The community-based participatory research process is building community capacity and participation, providing community input into strategic planning, and empowering community members to take control of environmental justice issues in their community. PMID:27214672

  1. Chemical and biological methods for the analysis and remediation of environmental contaminants frequently identified at superfund sites

    SciTech Connect

    Melinda Christine Wiles

    2004-08-15

    Substantial environmental contamination has occurred from coal tar creosote and pentachlorophenol (C5P) in wood preserving solutions. The present studies focused on the characterization and remediation of these contaminants. The first objective was to delineate a sequence of biological changes caused by chlorinated phenol (CP) exposure. The second study was to develop multi-functional sorbents to remediate CPs and other components of wood preserving waste from groundwater. Following water remediation, the final aim of this work was to explore the safety of the parent clay minerals as potential enterosorbents for contaminants ingested in water and food. Based on evaluations of toxicity and neutron activation analysis of tissues, no significant differences were observed between animals receiving clay supplements and control animals, with the exception of slightly decreased brain Rb in animals ingesting clay. Overall, the results suggest that neither clay mineral, at relatively high dietary concentrations, influences mineral uptake or utilization in the pregnant rat. 420 refs., 28 figs, 15 tabs.

  2. Health Impact Assessment practice and potential for integration within Environmental Impact and Strategic Environmental Assessments in Italy.

    PubMed

    Linzalone, Nunzia; Assennato, Giorgio; Ballarini, Adele; Cadum, Ennio; Cirillo, Mario; Cori, Liliana; De Maio, Francesca; Musmeci, Loredana; Natali, Marinella; Rieti, Sabrina; Soggiu, Maria Eleonora; Bianchi, Fabrizio

    2014-12-01

    Avoiding or minimizing potential environmental impact is the driving idea behind protecting a population's health via Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs). However, both are often carried out without any systematic approach. This paper describes the findings of a review of HIA, EIA andSEA experiences carried out by the authors, who act as institutional competent subjects at the national and regional levels in Italy. The analysis of how health is tackled in EIA and SEA procedures could support the definition of a protocol for the integration of HIA with EIA and SEA. Although EIA and SEA approaches include the aim of protecting health,significant technical and methodological gaps are present when assessing health systematically, and their basic principles regarding assessment are unsatisfactory for promoting and addressing healthcare concepts stated by the WHO. HIA is still poorly integrated into the decision-making process, screening and monitoring phases are only occasionally implemented, and operational details are not well-defined. The collaborative approach of institutions involved in environment and health is a core element in a systematic advancement toward supporting effective decisions and effective protection ofthe environment and health. At the Italian national level, the definition of guidelines and tools for HIA, also in relation with EIA and SEA, is of great interest.

  3. Secretome analysis identifies potential virulence factors of Diplodia corticola, a fungal pathogen involved in cork oak (Quercus suber) decline.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, Isabel; Alves, Artur; Correia, António; Devreese, Bart; Esteves, Ana Cristina

    2014-01-01

    The characterisation of the secretome of phytopathogenic fungi may contribute to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis. This is particularly relevant for Diplodia corticola, a fungal plant pathogen belonging to the family Botryosphaeriaceae, whose genome remains unsequenced. This phytopathogenic fungus is recognised as one of the most important pathogens of cork oak, being related to the decline of cork oak forests in the Iberian Peninsula. Unfortunately, secretome analysis of filamentous fungi is limited by the low protein concentration and by the presence of many interfering substances, such as polysaccharides, which affect the separation and analysis by 1D and 2D gel electrophoresis. We compared six protein extraction protocols concerning their suitability for further application with proteomic workflows. The protocols involving protein precipitation were the most efficient, with emphasis on TCA-acetone protocol, allowing us to identify the most abundant proteins on the secretome of this plant pathogen. Approximately 60% of the spots detected were identified, all corresponding to extracellular proteins. Most proteins identified were carbohydrate degrading enzymes and proteases that may be related to D. corticola pathogenicity. Although the secretome was assessed in a noninfection environment, potential virulence factors such as the putative glucan-β-glucosidase, neuraminidase, and the putative ferulic acid esterase were identified. The data obtained forms a useful basis for a deeper understanding of the pathogenicity and infection biology of D. corticola. Moreover, it will contribute to the development of proteomics studies on other members of the Botryosphaeriaceae.

  4. Quantification for total demethylation potential of environmental samples utilizing the EGFP reporter gene.

    PubMed

    Qian, Yan; Wang, Xiao-li; Lv, Zhan-lu; Tysklind, Mats; Guo, Chen; Liang, Bao; Wu, Jia-bing; Yang, Yong-jian; Yang, Yi-shu; Wang, Fei-fei; Duan, Xiao-li; Ma, Jin; Wei, Yong-jie; Wang, Chun-hui; Yang, Li-xin; Zhang, Jin-liang; Shi, Xiao-ming; Wang, Xian-liang

    2016-04-01

    The demethylation potential of pollutants is arguably an innate component of their toxicity in environmental samples. A method was developed for determining the total demethylation potential of food samples (TDQ). The demethylation epigenetic toxicity was determined using the Hep G2 cell line transfected with pEGFP-C3 plasmids containing a methylated promoter of the EGFP reporter gene. The total demethylation potential of the sample extracts (the 5-AZA-CdR demethylation toxic equivalency) can be quantified within one week by using a standard curve of the 5-AZA-CdR demethylation agent. To explore the applicability of TDQ for environmental samples, 17 groundwater samples were collected from heavy polluted Kuihe river and the total demethylation potentials of the sample extracts were measured successfully. Meaningful demethylation toxic equivalencies ranging from 0.00050 to 0.01747μM were found in all groundwater sample extracts. Among 19 kinds of inorganic substance, As and Cd played important roles for individual contribution to the total demethylation epigenetic toxicity. The TDQ assay is reliable and fast for quantifying the DNA demethylation potential of environmental sample extracts, which may improve epigenetic toxicity evaluations for human risk assessment, and the consistent consuming of groundwater alongside the Kuihe river pose unexpected epigenetic health risk to the local residents. PMID:26774982

  5. A brief overview of the potential environmental hazards of ionic liquids.

    PubMed

    Bubalo, Marina Cvjetko; Radošević, Kristina; Redovniković, Ivana Radojčić; Halambek, Jasna; Srček, Višnja Gaurina

    2014-01-01

    Over past decades ionic liquids, a promising alternative to traditional organic solvents, have been dramatically expanding in popularity as a new generation of chemicals with potential uses in various areas in industry. In the literature these compounds have often been referred to as environmentally friendly; however, in recent years the perception of their greenness dramatically changed as the scientific community began to proactively assess the risk of their application based on the entire life-cycle. This review gives a brief overview of the current knowledge regarding the potential risks linked to the application of ionic liquids - from preparation to their disposal, with special emphasis on their potential environmental impacts and future directions in designing inherently safer ionic liquids.

  6. Speciation Methods Used to Assess Potential Health Effects of Toxic Metals in Environmental Materials

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wolf, Ruth E.; Morman, Suzette A.; Plumlee, Geoffrey S.

    2008-01-01

    Assessing potential exposures to toxic metals or metalloids such as arsenic and chromium in environmental materials is important in protecting public health. The chemical form of an element in, or released from, a material is also important, since some forms, such as Cr(VI), are more toxic than others, for example, Cr(III). We have used a variety of procedures to assess potential exposures to hexavalent chromium in ash and burned soils from October 2007 southern California wildfires. Synthetic lung-fluid and de-ionized water extractions simulate release in the lungs and potential environmental releases due to rainfall. Extracts were analyzed for specific chromium and arsenic species using HPLC-ICP-MS methodology. Results indicate that the highly oxidizing environment in wildfires promotes some chromium conversion to Cr(VI), and that the caustic alkalinity of ash enhances Cr(VI) release and stability in lung fluids and rainfall.

  7. A brief overview of the potential environmental hazards of ionic liquids.

    PubMed

    Bubalo, Marina Cvjetko; Radošević, Kristina; Redovniković, Ivana Radojčić; Halambek, Jasna; Srček, Višnja Gaurina

    2014-01-01

    Over past decades ionic liquids, a promising alternative to traditional organic solvents, have been dramatically expanding in popularity as a new generation of chemicals with potential uses in various areas in industry. In the literature these compounds have often been referred to as environmentally friendly; however, in recent years the perception of their greenness dramatically changed as the scientific community began to proactively assess the risk of their application based on the entire life-cycle. This review gives a brief overview of the current knowledge regarding the potential risks linked to the application of ionic liquids - from preparation to their disposal, with special emphasis on their potential environmental impacts and future directions in designing inherently safer ionic liquids. PMID:24210364

  8. Identify potential drugs for cardiovascular diseases caused by stress-induced genes in vascular smooth muscle cells

    PubMed Central

    Ciou, Jin-Shuei; Chen, Shun-Tsung; Chung, Yi; Tsai, Jeffrey J. P.; Kurubanjerdjit, Nilubon

    2016-01-01

    Background Abnormal proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) is a major cause of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Many studies suggest that vascular injury triggers VSMC dedifferentiation, which results in VSMC changes from a contractile to a synthetic phenotype; however, the underlying molecular mechanisms are still unclear. Methods In this study, we examined how VSMC responds under mechanical stress by using time-course microarray data. A three-phase study was proposed to investigate the stress-induced differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in VSMC. First, DEGs were identified by using the moderated t-statistics test. Second, more DEGs were inferred by using the Gaussian Graphical Model (GGM). Finally, the topological parameters-based method and cluster analysis approach were employed to predict the last batch of DEGs. To identify the potential drugs for vascular diseases involve VSMC proliferation, the drug-gene interaction database, Connectivity Map (cMap) was employed. Success of the predictions were determined using in-vitro data, i.e. MTT and clonogenic assay. Results Based on the differential expression calculation, at least 23 DEGs were found, and the findings were qualified by previous studies on VSMC. The results of gene set enrichment analysis indicated that the most often found enriched biological processes are cell-cycle-related processes. Furthermore, more stress-induced genes, well supported by literature, were found by applying graph theory to the gene association network (GAN). Finally, we showed that by processing the cMap input queries with a cluster algorithm, we achieved a substantial increase in the number of potential drugs with experimental IC50 measurements. With this novel approach, we have not only successfully identified the DEGs, but also improved the DEGs prediction by performing the topological and cluster analysis. Moreover, the findings are remarkably validated and in line with the literature. Furthermore, the cMap and

  9. Decision tool for clients with medical issues: a framework for identifying driving risk and potential to return to driving.

    PubMed

    Dickerson, Anne E; Bédard, Michel

    2014-04-01

    This paper offers occupational therapy generalists and specialists a new framework by which to consider clinical evaluation data and an older adult's driving risk and potential to resume this previously learned skill. Based on Michon's model describing the hierarchy of driving levels, clinical questions identify the factors that may affect a client's fitness to drive. The first part is intended to support clinical judgment of whether a client needs a driving evaluation by a driver rehabilitation specialist. The second part offers a framework to organize clinical data that are already known and determine what other evaluation information is justified and necessary to make a driving recommendation. Methods and rational for use are discussed.

  10. Potential Drug-Like Inhibitors of Group 1 Influenza Neuraminidase Identified through Computer-Aided Drug Design

    PubMed Central

    Durrant, Jacob D.; McCammon, J. Andrew

    2010-01-01

    Pandemic (H1N1) influenza poses an imminent threat. Nations have stockpiled inhibitors of the influenza protein neuraminidase in hopes of protecting their citizens, but drug-resistant strains have already emerged, and novel therapeutics are urgently needed. In the current work, the computer program AutoGrow is used to generate novel predicted neuraminidase inhibitors. Given the great flexibility of the neuraminidase active site, protein dynamics are also incorporated into the computer-aided drug-design process. Several potential inhibitors are identified that are predicted to bind neuraminidase better than currently approved drugs. PMID:20427241

  11. Substance flow analysis and assessment of environmental exposure potential for triclosan in mainland China.

    PubMed

    Huang, Chu-Long; Ma, Hwong-Wen; Yu, Chang-Ping

    2014-11-15

    Triclosan (TCS) is a widely-used antimicrobial agent in many consumer products around the world, and China is a major producer and consumer of TCS. In this study substance flow analysis (SFA) was used to construct a static model of anthropogenic TCS metabolism in China in 2008. The systematic SFA results were used to determine possible exposure pathways and trends in environmental exposure potential through different pathways. TCS discharged in wastewater mainly flowed into surface water sediment, ocean, and soil, where it accumulates in aquatic and agricultural products that may pose a higher risk to human health than brief exposure during consumption. Only 22% of TCS discharged was removed in the built environment with the remainder discharged into the natural environment, indicating that anthropogenic TCS metabolism in China is unsustainable. Per capita TCS consumption increased 209% from 2003 to 2012, resulting in increased discharge and accumulation in the environment. If current trends continue, it will increase to 713 mg capita(-1) yr(-1) in 2015 and 957 mg capita(-1) yr(-1) in 2020. Accordingly, annual environmental exposure potential will increase from 388 mg capita(-1) in 2008 to 557 mg capita(-1) in 2015 and 747 mg capita(-1) in 2020, indicating an increasing trend of exposure to environmental TCS. Results of Pearson correlation analysis suggested that feasible countermeasures to reduce environmental exposure potential for triclosan would include encouraging the development of small cities, raising awareness of health risks, nurturing environmentally-friendly consumer values, and improving the environmental performance of TCS-containing products.

  12. Pile Driving at the New Bridge at Tappan Zee: Potential Environmental Impacts.

    PubMed

    Popper, Arthur N; Moese, Mark; Rollino, John; Krebs, Justin; Racca, Roberto; Martin, Bruce; Zeddies, David; MacGillivray, Alexander; Jacobs, Fred

    2016-01-01

    A new bridge will be constructed to replace the aging Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River in New York. Construction will potentially result in hydroacoustic impacts to the local fish fauna. As a consequence, a substantial environmental impact analysis had to be conducted to obtain construction permits. This paper describes the process of environmental analysis and some of the results of the studies that led up to the final permitting. The process included modeling of pile-driving acoustics, analysis of river ambient noise, analysis of test piling, and observations on fish behavior during these tests.

  13. Potential environmental contaminant risks to avian species at important bird areas in the northeastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Ackerson, B.K.

    2007-01-01

    Environmental contaminants, acting at molecular through population levels of biological organization, can have profound effects upon birds. A screening level risk assessment was conducted that examined potential contaminant threats at 52 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in the northeastern Atlantic coast drainage. Using geographic information system methodology, data layers describing or integrating pollutant hazards (impaired waters, fish or wildlife consumption advisories, toxic release inventory data, estimated pesticide use and hazard) were overlaid on buffered IBA boundaries, and the relative contaminant threat for each site was ranked. The 10 sites identified as having the greatest contaminant threats included Jefferson National Forest, Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Blue Ridge Parkway, Shenandoah National Park, Adirondack Park, Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, George Washington National Forest, Green Mountain National Forest, and Long Island Piping Plover Beaches. These sites accounted for over 50% of the entire study area, and in general had moderate to high percentages of impaired waters, fish consumption advisories related to mercury and PCBs, and were located in counties with substantial application rates of pesticides known to be toxic to birds. Avian species at these IBAs include Federally endangered Roseate terns (Sterna dougallii), threatened piping plovers (Charadrius melodus), neotropical migrants, Bicknell?s thrush (Catharus bicknelli), Swainson?s warbler (Limnothlypis swainsonii) and wintering brant geese (Branta bernicla). Extant data for free-ranging birds from the Contaminant Exposure and Effects--Terrestrial Vertebrates database were examined within the buffered boundaries of each IBA, and for a moderate number of sites there was qualitative concordance between the perceived risk and actual contaminant exposure data. However, several of the IBAs with substantial contaminant

  14. Space Toxicology: Environmental Health Considerations during Spaceflight Operations and Potential Paths for Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Khan-Mayberry, Noreen N.; Sundaresan, Alemalu

    2009-01-01

    Space Toxicology is a specialized discipline for spaceflight, space habitation and occupation of celestial bodies including planets, moons and asteroids [1]. Astronaut explorers face unique challenges to their health while working and living with limited resources for rescue and medical care during space operation. At its core the practice of space toxicology to identify, assess and predict potential chemical contaminants and limit the astronaut s exposure to these environmental factors in order to protect crew health. Space toxicologists are also charged with setting safe exposure limits that will protect the astronaut against a multitude of chemical exposures, in a physiologically altered state. In order to maintain sustained occupation in space, toxicological risks are gauged and managed within the context of isolation, continual exposures, reuse of air and water, limited rescue options, and the necessary use of highly toxic compounds required for propulsion. As the space program move towards human presence and exploration other celestial bodies in situ toxicological risks, such as inhalation of unusual and/or reactive mineral dusts must also be analyzed and controlled. Placing humans for long-term presence in space creates several problems and challenges to the long-term health of the crew, such as bone-loss and immunological challenges and has spurred research into acute, chronic and episodic exposure of the pulmonary system to mineral dusts [2]. NASA has demonstrated that lunar soil contains several types of reactive dusts, including an extremely fine respirable component. In order to protect astronaut health, NASA is now investigating the toxicity of this unique class of dusts. Understanding how these reactive components behave "biochemically" in a moisture-rich pulmonary environment will aid in determining how toxic these particles are to humans. The data obtained from toxicological examination of lunar dusts will determine the human risk criteria for lunar

  15. The E-screen assay as a tool to identify estrogens: An update on estrogenic environmental pollutants

    SciTech Connect

    Soto, A.M.; Sonnenschein, C.; Chung, K.L.; Fernandez, M.F.

    1995-10-01

    Estrogens are defined by their ability to induce the proliferation of cells of the female genital tract. The wide chemical diversity of estrogenic compounds precludes an accurate prediction of estrogenic activity on the basis of chemical structure. Rodent bioassays are not suited for the large-scale screening of chemicals before their release into the environment because of their cost, complexity, and ethical concerns. The E-SCREEN assay was developed to assess the estrogenicity of environmental chemicals using the proliferative effect of estrogens on their target cells as an end point. This quantitative assay compares the cell number achieved by similar inocula of MCF-7 cells in the absence of estrogens (negative control) and in the presence of 17{beta}-estradiol (positive control) and a range of concentrations of chemicals suspected to be estrogenic. Among the compounds tested, several {open_quotes}new{close_quotes} estrogens were found; alkylphenols, phthalates, some PCB congeners and hydroxylated PCBs, and the insecticides dieldrin, endosulfan, and toxaphene were estrogenic by the E-SCREEN assay. In addition, these compounds competed with estradiol for binding to the estrogen receptor and increased the levels of progesterone receptor and pS2 in MCF-7 cells, as expected from estrogen mimics. Recombinant human growth factors (bFGF, EGF, IGF-1) and insulin did not increase cell yields. The aims of the work summarized in this paper were (a) to validate the E-SCREEN assay; (b) to screen a variety of chemicals present in the environment to identify those that may be causing reproductive effects in wildlife and humans; (c) to assess whether environmental estrogens may act cumulatively; and finally (d) to discuss the reliability of this and other assays to screen chemicals for their estrogenicity before they are released into the environment. 57 refs., 3 figs., 9 tabs.

  16. Cellulolytic potential under environmental changes in microbial communities from grassland litter

    DOE PAGES

    Berlemont, Renaud; Allison, Steven D.; Weihe, Claudia; Lu, Ying; Brodie, Eoin L.; Martiny, Jennifer B. H.; Martiny, Adam C.

    2014-11-25

    In many ecosystems, global changes are likely to profoundly affect microorganisms. In Southern California, changes in precipitation and nitrogen deposition may influence the composition and functional potential of microbial communities and their resulting ability to degrade plant material. To test whether such environmental changes impact the distribution of functional groups involved in leaf litter degradation, we determined how the genomic diversity of microbial communities in a semi-arid grassland ecosystem changed under reduced precipitation or increased N deposition. We monitored communities seasonally over a period of 2 years to place environmental change responses into the context of natural variation. Fungal andmore » bacterial communities displayed strong seasonal patterns, Fungi being mostly detected during the dry season whereas Bacteria were common during wet periods. Most putative cellulose degraders were associated with 33 bacterial genera and predicted to constitute 18% of the microbial community. Precipitation reduction reduced bacterial abundance and cellulolytic potential whereas nitrogen addition did not affect the cellulolytic potential of the microbial community. Finally, we detected a strong correlation between the frequencies of genera of putative cellulose degraders and cellulase genes. Thus, microbial taxonomic composition was predictive of cellulolytic potential. This work provides a framework for how environmental changes affect microorganisms responsible for plant litter deconstruction.« less

  17. Cellulolytic potential under environmental changes in microbial communities from grassland litter

    SciTech Connect

    Berlemont, Renaud; Allison, Steven D.; Weihe, Claudia; Lu, Ying; Brodie, Eoin L.; Martiny, Jennifer B. H.; Martiny, Adam C.

    2014-11-25

    In many ecosystems, global changes are likely to profoundly affect microorganisms. In Southern California, changes in precipitation and nitrogen deposition may influence the composition and functional potential of microbial communities and their resulting ability to degrade plant material. To test whether such environmental changes impact the distribution of functional groups involved in leaf litter degradation, we determined how the genomic diversity of microbial communities in a semi-arid grassland ecosystem changed under reduced precipitation or increased N deposition. We monitored communities seasonally over a period of 2 years to place environmental change responses into the context of natural variation. Fungal and bacterial communities displayed strong seasonal patterns, Fungi being mostly detected during the dry season whereas Bacteria were common during wet periods. Most putative cellulose degraders were associated with 33 bacterial genera and predicted to constitute 18% of the microbial community. Precipitation reduction reduced bacterial abundance and cellulolytic potential whereas nitrogen addition did not affect the cellulolytic potential of the microbial community. Finally, we detected a strong correlation between the frequencies of genera of putative cellulose degraders and cellulase genes. Thus, microbial taxonomic composition was predictive of cellulolytic potential. This work provides a framework for how environmental changes affect microorganisms responsible for plant litter deconstruction.

  18. Cellulolytic potential under environmental changes in microbial communities from grassland litter

    PubMed Central

    Berlemont, Renaud; Allison, Steven D.; Weihe, Claudia; Lu, Ying; Brodie, Eoin L.; Martiny, Jennifer B. H.; Martiny, Adam C.

    2014-01-01

    In many ecosystems, global changes are likely to profoundly affect microorganisms. In Southern California, changes in precipitation and nitrogen deposition may influence the composition and functional potential of microbial communities and their resulting ability to degrade plant material. To test whether such environmental changes impact the distribution of functional groups involved in leaf litter degradation, we determined how the genomic diversity of microbial communities in a semi-arid grassland ecosystem changed under reduced precipitation or increased N deposition. We monitored communities seasonally over a period of 2 years to place environmental change responses into the context of natural variation. Fungal and bacterial communities displayed strong seasonal patterns, Fungi being mostly detected during the dry season whereas Bacteria were common during wet periods. Most putative cellulose degraders were associated with 33 bacterial genera and predicted to constitute 18% of the microbial community. Precipitation reduction reduced bacterial abundance and cellulolytic potential whereas nitrogen addition did not affect the cellulolytic potential of the microbial community. Finally, we detected a strong correlation between the frequencies of genera of putative cellulose degraders and cellulase genes. Thus, microbial taxonomic composition was predictive of cellulolytic potential. This work provides a framework for how environmental changes affect microorganisms responsible for plant litter deconstruction. PMID:25505459

  19. Environmental potentials of policy instruments to mitigate nutrient emissions in Chinese livestock production.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Chaohui; Liu, Yi; Bluemling, Bettina; Mol, Arthur P J; Chen, Jining

    2015-01-01

    To minimize negative environmental impact of livestock production, policy-makers face a challenge to design and implement more effective policy instruments for livestock farmers at different scales. This research builds an assessment framework on the basis of an agent-based model, named ANEM, to explore nutrient mitigation potentials of five policy instruments, using pig production in Zhongjiang county, southwest China, as the empirical filling. The effects of different policy scenarios are simulated and compared using four indicators and differentiating between small, medium and large scale pig farms. Technology standards, biogas subsidies and information provisioning prove to be the most effective policies, while pollution fees and manure markets fail to environmentally improve manure management in pig livestock farming. Medium-scale farms are the more relevant scale category for a more environmentally sound development of Chinese livestock production. A number of policy recommendations are formulated as conclusion, as well as some limitations and prospects of the simulations are discussed.

  20. Environmental potentials of policy instruments to mitigate nutrient emissions in Chinese livestock production.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Chaohui; Liu, Yi; Bluemling, Bettina; Mol, Arthur P J; Chen, Jining

    2015-01-01

    To minimize negative environmental impact of livestock production, policy-makers face a challenge to design and implement more effective policy instruments for livestock farmers at different scales. This research builds an assessment framework on the basis of an agent-based model, named ANEM, to explore nutrient mitigation potentials of five policy instruments, using pig production in Zhongjiang county, southwest China, as the empirical filling. The effects of different policy scenarios are simulated and compared using four indicators and differentiating between small, medium and large scale pig farms. Technology standards, biogas subsidies and information provisioning prove to be the most effective policies, while pollution fees and manure markets fail to environmentally improve manure management in pig livestock farming. Medium-scale farms are the more relevant scale category for a more environmentally sound development of Chinese livestock production. A number of policy recommendations are formulated as conclusion, as well as some limitations and prospects of the simulations are discussed. PMID:25247484

  1. Integration of photomosaics and stratigraphy in the Western Appalachian Basin as an aid to identify potential hydrocarbon reservoirs

    SciTech Connect

    Wegweiser, M.D.

    1996-09-01

    Paleozoic stratigraphy of the southern Lake Erie region is commonly interpreted as being dominated by flat-lying sedimentary rocks. Recent surface stratigraphic studies in New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio have revealed the widespread presence of NW- and NE-trending folds and faults exposed along stream beds, and in bluffs along the southern Lake Erie shoreline. A black shale unit, previously unknown in northwestern Pennsylvania, was also discovered and its lateral continuity mapped. The shale forms a disconformable contact with the overlying Northeast Shale. Ship-based photomosaics were made of bluffs along Lake Erie, and integrated with land-based stratigraphic sections to map the continuity of units, identify displacement zones, and identify low amplitude folds. The black shale unit aided identification of offset and folding. Faults observed at the surface off-set Devonian and Mississippian rocks, and unconsolidated Quaternary sediments. Subsurface wrench faults, apparently extending into Precambrian rocks, have been identified by others. These wrench faults are generally perpendicular to the strike of the Appalachian Mountains, and are known as cross-strike discontinuities (CSDs). Principle zones of displacement associated with the CSDs can be recognized at the surface by numerous fractures having little offset, aligned drainage systems, and zones of increased hydrocarbon productivity and fluid migration. Increased hydrocarbons production occurs where reservoirs are cross-cut by the faults. The faults offset various reservoirs in Pennsylvania and Ohio in the subsurface. Identifying the location of these faults at the surface may provide information that leads top the discovery of new potential reservoirs.

  2. The potential of current- and wind-driven transport for environmental management of the Baltic Sea.

    PubMed

    Soomere, Tarmo; Döös, Kristofer; Lehmann, Andreas; Meier, H E Markus; Murawski, Jens; Myrberg, Kai; Stanev, Emil

    2014-02-01

    The ever increasing impact of the marine industry and transport on vulnerable sea areas puts the marine environment under exceptional pressure and calls for inspired methods for mitigating the impact of the related risks. We describe a method for preventive reduction of remote environmental risks caused by the shipping and maritime industry that are transported by surface currents and wind impact to the coasts. This method is based on characterizing systematically the damaging potential of the offshore areas in terms of potential transport to vulnerable regions of an oil spill or other pollution that has occurred in a particular area. The resulting maps of probabilities of pollution to be transported to the nearshore and the time it takes for the pollution to reach the nearshore are used to design environmentally optimized fairways for the Gulf of Finland, Baltic Proper, and south-western Baltic Sea. PMID:24414808

  3. Identification of Chromobacterium violaceum genes with potential biotechnological application in environmental detoxification.

    PubMed

    Carepo, Marta S P; Azevedo, Juliana S Nina de; Porto, Jorge I R; Bentes-Sousa, Alexandra R; Batista, Jacqueline da Silva; Silva, Artur L C da; Schneider, Maria P C

    2004-01-01

    Chromobacterium violaceum is a Gram-negative bacterium found in a wide variety of tropical and subtropical ecosystems. The complete genome sequence of C. violaceum ATCC 12472 is now available, and it has considerable biotechnological potential for various applications, such as environmental detoxification, as well as medical and agricultural use. We examined the biotechnological potential of C. violaceum for environmental detoxification. Three operons, comprising the ars operon, involved in arsenic resistance, the cyn operon, involved in cyanate detoxification, and the hcn operon, encoding a cyanase, responsible for biogenic production of cyanide, as well as an open reading frame, encoding an acid dehalogenase, were analyzed in detail. Probable catalytic mechanisms for the enzymes were determined, based on amino acid sequence comparisons and on published structural information for these types of proteins.

  4. Next-generation sequencing identifies high frequency of mutations in potentially clinically actionable genes in sebaceous carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Tetzlaff, Michael T; Singh, Rajesh R; Seviour, Elena G; Curry, Jonathan L; Hudgens, Courtney W; Bell, Diana; Wimmer, Daniel A; Ning, Jing; Czerniak, Bogdan A; Zhang, Li; Davies, Michael A; Prieto, Victor G; Broaddus, Russell R; Ram, Prahlad; Luthra, Rajyalakshmi; Esmaeli, Bita

    2016-09-01

    Sebaceous carcinoma (SC) is a rare but aggressive malignancy with frequent recurrence and metastases. Surgery is the mainstay of therapy, but effective systemic therapies are lacking because the molecular alterations driving SC remain poorly understood. To identify these, we performed whole-exome next-generation sequencing of 409 cancer-associated genes on 27 SCs (18 primary/locally recurrent ocular, 5 paired metastatic ocular, and 4 primary extraocular) from 20 patients. In ocular SC, we identified 139 non-synonymous somatic mutations (median/lesion 3; range 0-23). Twenty-five of 139 mutations (18%) occurred in potentially clinically actionable genes in 6 of 16 patients. The most common mutations were mutations in TP53 (n = 9), RB1 (n = 6), PIK3CA (n = 2), PTEN (n = 2), ERBB2 (n = 2), and NF1 (n = 2). TP53 and RB1 mutations were restricted to ocular SC and correlated with aberrant TP53 and RB protein expression. Systematic pathway analyses demonstrated convergence of these mutations to activation of the PI3K signalling cascade, and PI3K pathway activation was confirmed in tumours with PTEN and/or PIK3CA mutations. Considerable inter-tumoural heterogeneity was observed between paired primary and metastatic ocular SCs. In primary extraocular SC, we identified 77 non-synonymous somatic mutations (median/lesion 22.5; range 3-29). This overall higher mutational load was attributed to a microsatellite instability phenotype in three of four patients and somatically acquired mutations in mismatch repair genes in two of four patients. Eighteen of 77 mutations (23%) were in potentially clinically actionable genes in three of four patients, including BTK, FGFR2, PDGFRB, HRAS, and NF1 mutations. Identification of potentially clinically actionable mutations in 9 of 20 SC patients (45%) underscores the importance of next-generation sequencing to expand the spectrum of genotype-matched targeted therapies. Frequent activation of PI3K signalling pathways provides a strong

  5. A cell-based fascin bioassay identifies compounds with potential anti-metastasis or cognition-enhancing functions

    PubMed Central

    Kraft, Robert; Kahn, Allon; Medina-Franco, José L.; Orlowski, Mikayla L.; Baynes, Cayla; López-Vallejo, Fabian; Barnard, Kobus; Maggiora, Gerald M.; Restifo, Linda L.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY The actin-bundling protein fascin is a key mediator of tumor invasion and metastasis and its activity drives filopodia formation, cell-shape changes and cell migration. Small-molecule inhibitors of fascin block tumor metastasis in animal models. Conversely, fascin deficiency might underlie the pathogenesis of some developmental brain disorders. To identify fascin-pathway modulators we devised a cell-based assay for fascin function and used it in a bidirectional drug screen. The screen utilized cultured fascin-deficient mutant Drosophila neurons, whose neurite arbors manifest the ‘filagree’ phenotype. Taking a repurposing approach, we screened a library of 1040 known compounds, many of them FDA-approved drugs, for filagree modifiers. Based on scaffold distribution, molecular-fingerprint similarities, and chemical-space distribution, this library has high structural diversity, supporting its utility as a screening tool. We identified 34 fascin-pathway blockers (with potential anti-metastasis activity) and 48 fascin-pathway enhancers (with potential cognitive-enhancer activity). The structural diversity of the active compounds suggests multiple molecular targets. Comparisons of active and inactive compounds provided preliminary structure-activity relationship information. The screen also revealed diverse neurotoxic effects of other drugs, notably the ‘beads-on-a-string’ defect, which is induced solely by statins. Statin-induced neurotoxicity is enhanced by fascin deficiency. In summary, we provide evidence that primary neuron culture using a genetic model organism can be valuable for early-stage drug discovery and developmental neurotoxicity testing. Furthermore, we propose that, given an appropriate assay for target-pathway function, bidirectional screening for brain-development disorders and invasive cancers represents an efficient, multipurpose strategy for drug discovery. PMID:22917928

  6. Immunohistochemical Validation of Overexpressed Genes Identified by Global Expression Microarrays in Adrenocortical Carcinoma Reveals Potential Predictive and Prognostic Biomarkers

    PubMed Central

    Ip, Julian C.Y.; Pang, Tony C.Y.; Glover, Anthony R.; Soon, Patsy; Zhao, Jing Ting; Clarke, Stephen; Robinson, Bruce G.; Gill, Anthony J.

    2015-01-01

    Background. Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare malignancy with a poor prognosis. The aim of this study was to identify novel protein signatures that would predict clinical outcomes in a large cohort of patients with ACC based on data from previous gene expression microarray studies. Materials and Methods. A tissue microarray was generated from the paraffin tissue blocks of 61 patients with clinical outcomes data. Selected protein biomarkers based on previous gene expression microarray profiling studies were selected, and immunohistochemistry staining was performed. Staining patterns were correlated with clinical outcomes, and a multivariate analysis was undertaken to identify potential biomarkers of prognosis. Results. Median overall survival was 45 months, with a 5-year overall survival rate of 44%. Median disease-free survival was 58 months, with a 5-year disease-free survival rate of 44%. The proliferation marker Ki-67 and DNA topoisomerase TOP2A were associated with significantly poorer overall and disease-free survival. The results also showed strong correlation between the transcriptional repressor EZH2 and TOP2A expression, suggesting a novel role for EZH2 as an additional marker of prognosis. In contrast, increased expression of the BARD1 protein, with its ubiquitin ligase function, was associated with significantly improved overall and disease-free survival, which has yet to be documented for ACC. Conclusion. We present novel biomarkers that assist in determining prognosis for patients with ACC. Ki-67, TOP2A, and EZH2 were all significantly associated with poorer outcomes, whereas BARD1 was associated with improved overall survival. It is hoped that these biomarkers may help tailor additional therapy and be potential targets for directed therapy. PMID:25657202

  7. Planting sentinel European trees in eastern Asia as a novel method to identify potential insect pest invaders.

    PubMed

    Roques, Alain; Fan, Jian-Ting; Courtial, Béatrice; Zhang, Yan-Zhuo; Yart, Annie; Auger-Rozenberg, Marie-Anne; Denux, Olivier; Kenis, Marc; Baker, Richard; Sun, Jiang-Hua

    2015-01-01

    Quarantine measures to prevent insect invasions tend to focus on well-known pests but a large proportion of the recent invaders were not known to cause significant damage in their native range, or were not even known to science before their introduction. A novel method is proposed to detect new potential pests of woody plants in their region of origin before they are introduced to a new continent. Since Asia is currently considered to be the main supplier of insect invaders to Europe, sentinel trees were planted in China during 2007-2011 as an early warning tool to identify the potential for additional Asian insect species to colonize European trees. Seedlings (1-1.5 m tall) of five broadleaved (Quercus petraea, Q. suber, Q. ilex, Fagus sylvatica, and Carpinus betulus) and two conifer species (Abies alba and Cupressus sempervirens) were planted in blocks of 100 seedlings at two widely separated sites (one in a nursery near Beijing and the other in a forest environment near Fuyang in eastern China), and then regularly surveyed for colonization by insects. A total of 104 insect species, mostly defoliators, were observed on these new hosts, and at least six species were capable of larval development. Although a number of the insects observed were probably incidental feeders, 38 species had more than five colonization events, mostly infesting Q. petraea, and could be considered as being capable of switching to European trees if introduced to Europe. Three years was shown to be an appropriate duration for the experiment, since the rate of colonization then tended to plateau. A majority of the identified species appeared to have switched from agricultural crops and fruit trees rather than from forest trees. Although these results are promising, the method is not appropriate for xylophagous pests and other groups developing on larger trees. Apart from the logistical problems, the identification to species level of the specimens collected was a major difficulty. This

  8. Identifying Potentially Hazardous Co-orbiting Material of Known NEOs Using Magnetic Signatures Produced in Destructive Collisions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Hairong; Russell, Christopher; Jia, Yingdong; Wei, Hanying; Connors, Martin

    2015-04-01

    It is estimated that over 99% of near-Earth objects (NEOs) with diameters of about tens of meters are undiscovered. However, simulations show that they result in the most damage per year. Many of these bodies, produced in non-destructive collisions with larger well-characterized NEOs, are co-orbiting with their parent objects. Thereafter, scattering will occur due to gravitational perturbations when the co-orbiters have close encounters to any planets. Such gravitational scattering may not affect the orbits of the parent body. Therefore "safe" NEOs which have negligible impact probability with the Earth may be accompanied by potentially hazardous co-orbiting material. Those co-orbitals do reveal their existence in collisions with meteoroids, which are numerous and can be as small as tens of centimeters in diameter. Clouds of fine dust/gas particles released in such collisions become charged after generation and interact coherently with the solar wind electromagnetically. The interplanetary magnetic field is then perturbed. The resultant structures have been called interplanetary field enhancements (IFEs). They are readily identified when they pass spacecraft equipped with magnetometers. Although the co-orbitals responsible for the IFEs were disrupted in collisions, they are valid samples of the remaining co-orbiting material. Therefore, we can use IFEs to identify the spatial and mass distribution of such co-orbitals. With statistical studies of IFE occurrence, we identified asteroid 2201 Oljato and asteroid 138175 to have such co-orbiting material. The mass of the co-orbitals can be inferred by combining the results from observations and MHD simulations. Multi-spacecraft simultaneous observations measure the dimensions of the magnetic perturbations and the forces lifting them away from the Sun, while multi-fluid simulations give the accelerations of the perturbations. In summary, our technique not only helps us to identify which NEOs are accompanied by hazardous

  9. A framework to gauge the epidemic potential of plant pathogens in environmental reservoirs: the example of kiwifruit canker.

    PubMed

    Bartoli, Claudia; Lamichhane, Jay Ram; Berge, Odile; Guilbaud, Caroline; Varvaro, Leonardo; Balestra, Giorgio M; Vinatzer, Boris A; Morris, Cindy E

    2015-02-01

    New economically important diseases on crops and forest trees emerge recurrently. An understanding of where new pathogenic lines come from and how they evolve is fundamental for the deployment of accurate surveillance methods. We used kiwifruit bacterial canker as a model to assess the importance of potential reservoirs of new pathogenic lineages. The current kiwifruit canker epidemic is at least the fourth outbreak of the disease on kiwifruit caused by Pseudomonas syringae in the mere 50 years in which this crop has been cultivated worldwide, with each outbreak being caused by different genetic lines of the bacterium. Here, we ask whether strains in natural (non-agricultural) environments could cause future epidemics of canker on kiwifruit. To answer this question, we evaluated the pathogenicity, endophytic colonization capacity and competitiveness on kiwifruit of P. syringae strains genetically similar to epidemic strains and originally isolated from aquatic and subalpine habitats. All environmental strains possessing an operon involved in the degradation of aromatic compounds via the catechol pathway grew endophytically and caused symptoms in kiwifruit vascular tissue. Environmental and epidemic strains showed a wide host range, revealing their potential as future pathogens of a variety of hosts. Environmental strains co-existed endophytically with CFBP 7286, an epidemic strain, and shared about 20 virulence genes, but were missing six virulence genes found in all epidemic strains. By identifying the specific gene content in genetic backgrounds similar to known epidemic strains, we developed criteria to assess the epidemic potential and to survey for such strains as a means of forecasting and managing disease emergence.

  10. Identifying cognitive preferences for attractive female faces: an event-related potential experiment using a study-test paradigm.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yan; Kong, Fanchang; Chen, Hong; Jackson, Todd; Han, Li; Meng, Jing; Yang, Zhou; Gao, Jianguo; Najam ul Hasan, Abbasi

    2011-11-01

    In this experiment, sensitivity to female facial attractiveness was examined by comparing event-related potentials (ERPs) in response to attractive and unattractive female faces within a study-test paradigm. Fourteen heterosexual participants (age range 18-24 years, mean age 21.67 years) were required to judge 84 attractive and 84 unattractive face images as either "attractive" or "unattractive." They were then asked whether they had previously viewed each face in a recognition task in which 50% of the images were novel. Analyses indicated that attractive faces elicited more enhanced ERP amplitudes than did unattractive faces in judgment (N300 and P350-550 msec) and recognition (P160 and N250-400 msec and P400-700 msec) tasks on anterior locations. Moreover, longer reaction times and higher accuracy rate were observed in identifying attractive faces than unattractive faces. In sum, this research identified neural and behavioral bases related to cognitive preferences for judging and recognizing attractive female faces. Explanations for the results are that attractive female faces arouse more intense positive emotions in participants than do unattractive faces, and they also represent reproductive fitness and mating value from the evolutionary perspective.

  11. Global miRNA Expression Profiling Identifies miR-1290 as Novel Potential oncomiR in Laryngeal Carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Kostrzewska-Poczekaj, Magdalena; Bednarek, Kinga; Paczkowska, Julia; Jackowska, Joanna; Grenman, Reidar; Szyfter, Krzysztof; Wierzbicka, Malgorzata; Giefing, Maciej; Jarmuz-Szymczak, Malgorzata

    2015-01-01

    Background Laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) is the most common group among head and neck cancers. LSCC is characterized by a high incidence in Europe. With the aim of better understanding its genetic background we performed global miRNA expression profiling of LSCC cell lines and primary specimens. By this approach we identified a cohort of 33 upregulated and 9 downregulated miRNA genes in LSCC as compared to epithelial no tumor controls. Results Within this group we identified overexpression of the novel miR-1290 gene not reported in the context of LSCC before. Using a combined bioinformatical approach in connection with functional analysis we delineated two putative target genes of miR-1290 namely ITPR2 and MAF which are significantly downregulated in LSCC. They are interesting candidates for tumor suppressor genes as they are implicated in apoptosis and other processes deregulated in cancer. Conclusion Taken together, we propose miR-1290 as the new oncomiR involved in LSCC pathogenesis. Additionally, we suggest that the oncogenic potential of miR-1290 might be expressed by the involvement in downregulation of its target genes MAF and ITPR2. PMID:26694163

  12. Phosphotyrosine profiling identifies ephrin receptor A2 as a potential therapeutic target in esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Syed, Nazia; Barbhuiya, Mustafa A; Pinto, Sneha M; Nirujogi, Raja Sekhar; Renuse, Santosh; Datta, Keshava K; Khan, Aafaque Ahmad; Srikumar, Kotteazeth; Prasad, T S Keshava; Kumar, M Vijaya; Kumar, Rekha Vijay; Chatterjee, Aditi; Pandey, Akhilesh; Gowda, Harsha

    2015-01-01

    Esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma (ESCC) is one of the most common malignancies in Asia. Currently, surgical resection of early-stage tumor is the best available treatment. However, most patients present late when surgery is not an option. Data suggest that chemotherapy regimens are inadequate for clinical management of advanced cancer. Targeted therapy has emerged as one of the most promising approaches to treat several malignancies. A prerequisite for developing targeted therapy is prior knowledge of proteins and pathways that drive proliferation in malignancies. We carried out phosphotyrosine profiling across four different ESCC cell lines and compared it to non-neoplastic Het-1A cell line to identify activated tyrosine kinase signaling pathways in ESCC. A total of 278 unique phosphopeptides were identified across these cell lines. This included several tyrosine kinases and their substrates that were hyperphosphorylated in ESCC. Ephrin receptor A2 (EPHA2), a receptor tyrosine kinase, was hyperphosphorylated in all the ESCC cell lines used in the study. EPHA2 is reported to be oncogenic in several cancers and is also known to promote metastasis. Immunohistochemistry-based studies have revealed EPHA2 is overexpressed in nearly 50% of ESCC. We demonstrated EPHA2 as a potential therapeutic target in ESCC by carrying out siRNA-based knockdown studies. Knockdown of EPHA2 in ESCC cell line TE8 resulted in significant decrease in cell proliferation and invasion, suggesting it is a promising therapeutic target in ESCC that warrants further evaluation.

  13. Cross-comparison of the genome sequences from human, chimpanzee, Neanderthal and a Denisovan hominin identifies novel potentially compensated mutations.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Guojie; Pei, Zhang; Ball, Edward V; Mort, Matthew; Kehrer-Sawatzki, Hildegard; Cooper, David N

    2011-07-01

    The recent publication of the draft genome sequences of the Neanderthal and a ∼50,000-year-old archaic hominin from Denisova Cave in southern Siberia has ushered in a new age in molecular archaeology. We previously cross-compared the human, chimpanzee and Neanderthal genome sequences with respect to a set of disease-causing/disease-associated missense and regulatory mutations (Human Gene Mutation Database) and succeeded in identifying genetic variants which, although apparently pathogenic in humans, may represent a 'compensated' wild-type state in at least one of the other two species. Here, in an attempt to identify further 'potentially compensated mutations' (PCMs) of interest, we have compared our dataset of disease-causing/disease-associated mutations with their corresponding nucleotide positions in the Denisovan hominin, Neanderthal and chimpanzee genomes. Of the 15 human putatively disease-causing mutations that were found to be compensated in chimpanzee, Denisovan or Neanderthal, only a solitary F5 variant (Val1736Met) was specific to the Denisovan. In humans, this missense mutation is associated with activated protein C resistance and an increased risk of thromboembolism and recurrent miscarriage. It is unclear at this juncture whether this variant was indeed a PCM in the Denisovan or whether it could instead have been associated with disease in this ancient hominin.

  14. In Silico Repositioning-Chemogenomics Strategy Identifies New Drugs with Potential Activity against Multiple Life Stages of Schistosoma mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Neves, Bruno J.; Braga, Rodolpho C.; Bezerra, José C. B.; Cravo, Pedro V. L.; Andrade, Carolina H.

    2015-01-01

    Morbidity and mortality caused by schistosomiasis are serious public health problems in developing countries. Because praziquantel is the only drug in therapeutic use, the risk of drug resistance is a concern. In the search for new schistosomicidal drugs, we performed a target-based chemogenomics screen of a dataset of 2,114 proteins to identify drugs that are approved for clinical use in humans that may be active against multiple life stages of Schistosoma mansoni. Each of these proteins was treated as a potential drug target, and its amino acid sequence was used to interrogate three databases: Therapeutic Target Database (TTD), DrugBank and STITCH. Predicted drug-target interactions were refined using a combination of approaches, including pairwise alignment, conservation state of functional regions and chemical space analysis. To validate our strategy, several drugs previously shown to be active against Schistosoma species were correctly predicted, such as clonazepam, auranofin, nifedipine, and artesunate. We were also able to identify 115 drugs that have not yet been experimentally tested against schistosomes and that require further assessment. Some examples are aprindine, gentamicin, clotrimazole, tetrabenazine, griseofulvin, and cinnarizine. In conclusion, we have developed a systematic and focused computer-aided approach to propose approved drugs that may warrant testing and/or serve as lead compounds for the design of new drugs against schistosomes. PMID:25569258

  15. On the use of the resting potential and level set methods for identifying ischemic heart disease: An inverse problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nielsen, Bjørn Fredrik; Lysaker, Marius; Tveito, Aslak

    2007-01-01

    The electrical activity in the heart is modeled by a complex, nonlinear, fully coupled system of differential equations. Several scientists have studied how this model, referred to as the bidomain model, can be modified to incorporate the effect of heart infarctions on simulated ECG (electrocardiogram) recordings. We are concerned with the associated inverse problem; how can we use ECG recordings and mathematical models to identify the position, size and shape of heart infarctions? Due to the extreme CPU efforts needed to solve the bidomain equations, this model, in its full complexity, is not well-suited for this kind of problems. In this paper we show how biological knowledge about the resting potential in the heart and level set techniques can be combined to derive a suitable stationary model, expressed in terms of an elliptic PDE, for such applications. This approach leads to a nonlinear ill-posed minimization problem, which we propose to regularize and solve with a simple iterative scheme. Finally, our theoretical findings are illuminated through a series of computer simulations for an experimental setup involving a realistic heart in torso geometry. More specifically, experiments with synthetic ECG recordings, produced by solving the bidomain model, indicate that our method manages to identify the physical characteristics of the ischemic region(s) in the heart. Furthermore, the ill-posed nature of this inverse problem is explored, i.e. several quantitative issues of our scheme are explored.

  16. Phosphotyrosine profiling identifies ephrin receptor A2 as a potential therapeutic target in esophageal squamous‐cell carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Syed, Nazia; Barbhuiya, Mustafa A.; Pinto, Sneha M.; Nirujogi, Raja Sekhar; Renuse, Santosh; Datta, Keshava K.; Khan, Aafaque Ahmad; Srikumar, Kotteazeth; Prasad, T. S. Keshava; Kumar, M. Vijaya; Kumar, Rekha Vijay; Chatterjee, Aditi; Pandey, Akhilesh

    2015-01-01

    Esophageal squamous‐cell carcinoma (ESCC) is one of the most common malignancies in Asia. Currently, surgical resection of early‐stage tumor is the best available treatment. However, most patients present late when surgery is not an option. Data suggest that chemotherapy regimens are inadequate for clinical management of advanced cancer. Targeted therapy has emerged as one of the most promising approaches to treat several malignancies. A prerequisite for developing targeted therapy is prior knowledge of proteins and pathways that drive proliferation in malignancies. We carried out phosphotyrosine profiling across four different ESCC cell lines and compared it to non‐neoplastic Het‐1A cell line to identify activated tyrosine kinase signaling pathways in ESCC. A total of 278 unique phosphopeptides were identified across these cell lines. This included several tyrosine kinases and their substrates that were hyperphosphorylated in ESCC. Ephrin receptor A2 (EPHA2), a receptor tyrosine kinase, was hyperphosphorylated in all the ESCC cell lines used in the study. EPHA2 is reported to be oncogenic in several cancers and is also known to promote metastasis. Immunohistochemistry‐based studies have revealed EPHA2 is overexpressed in nearly 50% of ESCC. We demonstrated EPHA2 as a potential therapeutic target in ESCC by carrying out siRNA‐based knockdown studies. Knockdown of EPHA2 in ESCC cell line TE8 resulted in significant decrease in cell proliferation and invasion, suggesting it is a promising therapeutic target in ESCC that warrants further evaluation. PMID:25366905

  17. In silico repositioning-chemogenomics strategy identifies new drugs with potential activity against multiple life stages of Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Neves, Bruno J; Braga, Rodolpho C; Bezerra, José C B; Cravo, Pedro V L; Andrade, Carolina H

    2015-01-01

    Morbidity and mortality caused by schistosomiasis are serious public health problems in developing countries. Because praziquantel is the only drug in therapeutic use, the risk of drug resistance is a concern. In the search for new schistosomicidal drugs, we performed a target-based chemogenomics screen of a dataset of 2,114 proteins to identify drugs that are approved for clinical use in humans that may be active against multiple life stages of Schistosoma mansoni. Each of these proteins was treated as a potential drug target, and its amino acid sequence was used to interrogate three databases: Therapeutic Target Database (TTD), DrugBank and STITCH. Predicted drug-target interactions were refined using a combination of approaches, including pairwise alignment, conservation state of functional regions and chemical space analysis. To validate our strategy, several drugs previously shown to be active against Schistosoma species were correctly predicted, such as clonazepam, auranofin, nifedipine, and artesunate. We were also able to identify 115 drugs that have not yet been experimentally tested against schistosomes and that require further assessment. Some examples are aprindine, gentamicin, clotrimazole, tetrabenazine, griseofulvin, and cinnarizine. In conclusion, we have developed a systematic and focused computer-aided approach to propose approved drugs that may warrant testing and/or serve as lead compounds for the design of new drugs against schistosomes.

  18. Immunoproteomically identified GBAA_0345, alkyl hydroperoxide reductase subunit C is a potential target for multivalent anthrax vaccine.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yeon Hee; Kim, Kyung Ae; Kim, Yu-Ri; Choi, Min Kyung; Kim, Hye Kyeong; Choi, Ki Ju; Chun, Jeong-Hoon; Cha, Kiweon; Hong, Kee-Jong; Lee, Na Gyong; Yoo, Cheon-Kwon; Oh, Hee-Bok; Kim, Tae Sung; Rhie, Gi-eun

    2014-01-01

    Anthrax is caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis, which has been used as a weapon for bioterrorism. Although current vaccines are effective, they involve prolonged dose regimens and often cause adverse reactions. High rates of mortality associated with anthrax have made the development of an improved vaccine a top priority. To identify novel vaccine candidates, we applied an immunoproteomics approach. Using sera from convalescent guinea pigs or from human patients with anthrax, we identified 34 immunogenic proteins from the virulent B. anthracis H9401. To evaluate vaccine candidates, six were expressed as recombinant proteins and tested in vivo. Two proteins, rGBAA_0345 (alkyl hydroperoxide reductase subunit C) and rGBAA_3990 (malonyl CoA-acyl carrier protein transacylase), have afforded guinea pigs partial protection from a subsequent virulent-spore challenge. Moreover, combined vaccination with rGBAA_0345 and rPA (protective antigen) exhibited an enhanced ability to protect against anthrax mortality. Finally, we demonstrated that GBAA_0345 localizes to anthrax spores and bacilli. Our results indicate that rGBAA_0345 may be a potential component of a multivalent anthrax vaccine, as it enhances the efficacy of rPA vaccination. This is the first time that sera from patients with anthrax have been used to interrogate the proteome of virulent B. anthracis vegetative cells.

  19. Variations in Environmental Signals in Tree-Ring Indices in Trees with Different Growth Potential

    PubMed Central

    Hafner, Polona; Gričar, Jožica; Skudnik, Mitja; Levanič, Tom

    2015-01-01

    We analysed two groups of Quercus robur trees, growing at nearby plots with different micro-location condition (W-wet and D-dry) in the floodplain Krakovo forest, Slovenia. In the study we compared the growth response of two different tree groups to environmental variables, the potential signal stored in earlywood (EW) structure and the potential difference of the information stored in carbon isotope discrimination of EW and latewood (LW). For that purpose EW and LW widths and carbon isotope discrimination for the period 1970–2008 AD were measured. EW and LW widths were measured on stained microscopic slides and chronologies were standardised using the ARSTAN program. α-cellulose was extracted from pooled EW and LW samples and homogenized samples were further analysed using an elemental analyser and IRMS. We discovered that W oaks grew significantly better over the whole analysed period. The difference between D and W oaks was significant in all analysed variables with the exception of stable carbon isotope discrimination in latewood. In W oaks, latewood widths correlated with summer (June to August) climatic variables, while carbon isotope discrimination was more connected to River Krka flow during the summer. EW discrimination correlated with summer and autumn River Krka flow of the previous year, while latewood discrimination correlated with flow during the current year. In the case of D oaks, the environmental signal appears to be vague, probably due to less favourable growth conditions resulting in markedly reduced increments. Our study revealed important differences in responses to environmental factors between the two oak groups of different physiological conditions that are preconditioned by environmental stress. Environmental information stored in tree-ring features may vary, even within the same forest stand, and largely depends on the micro-environment. Our analysis confirmed our assumptions that separate EW and LW analysis of widths and carbon

  20. Variations in Environmental Signals in Tree-Ring Indices in Trees with Different Growth Potential.

    PubMed

    Hafner, Polona; Gričar, Jožica; Skudnik, Mitja; Levanič, Tom

    2015-01-01

    We analysed two groups of Quercus robur trees, growing at nearby plots with different micro-location condition (W-wet and D-dry) in the floodplain Krakovo forest, Slovenia. In the study we compared the growth response of two different tree groups to environmental variables, the potential signal stored in earlywood (EW) structure and the potential difference of the information stored in carbon isotope discrimination of EW and latewood (LW). For that purpose EW and LW widths and carbon isotope discrimination for the period 1970-2008 AD were measured. EW and LW widths were measured on stained microscopic slides and chronologies were standardised using the ARSTAN program. α-cellulose was extracted from pooled EW and LW samples and homogenized samples were further analysed using an elemental analyser and IRMS. We discovered that W oaks grew significantly better over the whole analysed period. The difference between D and W oaks was significant in all analysed variables with the exception of stable carbon isotope discrimination in latewood. In W oaks, latewood widths correlated with summer (June to August) climatic variables, while carbon isotope discrimination was more connected to River Krka flow during the summer. EW discrimination correlated with summer and autumn River Krka flow of the previous year, while latewood discrimination correlated with flow during the current year. In the case of D oaks, the environmental signal appears to be vague, probably due to less favourable growth conditions resulting in markedly reduced increments. Our study revealed important differences in responses to environmental factors between the two oak groups of different physiological conditions that are preconditioned by environmental stress. Environmental information stored in tree-ring features may vary, even within the same forest stand, and largely depends on the micro-environment. Our analysis confirmed our assumptions that separate EW and LW analysis of widths and carbon isotope

  1. Genomic analysis identified a potential novel molecular mechanism for high-altitude adaptation in sheep at the Himalayas

    PubMed Central

    Gorkhali, Neena Amatya; Dong, Kunzhe; Yang, Min; Song, Shen; Kader, Adiljian; Shrestha, Bhola Shankar; He, Xiaohong; Zhao, Qianjun; Pu, Yabin; Li, Xiangchen; Kijas, James; Guan, Weijun; Han, Jianlin; Jiang, Lin; Ma, Yuehui

    2016-01-01

    Sheep has successfully adapted to the extreme high-altitude Himalayan region. To identify genes underlying such adaptation, we genotyped genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of four major sheep breeds living at different altitudes in Nepal and downloaded SNP array data from additional Asian and Middle East breeds. Using a di value-based genomic comparison between four high-altitude and eight lowland Asian breeds, we discovered the most differentiated variants at the locus of FGF-7 (Keratinocyte growth factor-7), which was previously reported as a good protective candidate for pulmonary injuries. We further found a SNP upstream of FGF-7 that appears to contribute to the divergence signature. First, the SNP occurred at an extremely conserved site. Second, the SNP showed an increasing allele frequency with the elevated altitude in Nepalese sheep. Third, the electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA) analysis using human lung cancer cells revealed the allele-specific DNA-protein interactions. We thus hypothesized that FGF-7 gene potentially enhances lung function by regulating its expression level in high-altitude sheep through altering its binding of specific transcription factors. Especially, FGF-7 gene was not implicated in previous studies of other high-altitude species, suggesting a potential novel adaptive mechanism to high altitude in sheep at the Himalayas. PMID:27444145

  2. An Investigation of Circumbinary Planet Orbital Stability and Habitability to Identify Potential Planetary Systems with Several Habitable Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mason, Paul A.; Zuluaga, Jorge; Cuartas, Pablo A.

    2015-08-01

    The census of planets orbiting the center of mass of binary stars is rapidly growing. The question of stability for circumbinary planets has been the focus of much recent research. We review this work and present results of new simulations, from which we find criteria for the long term stability of exoplanets orbiting binaries. We are especially concerned with the potential stability of planets in habitable zones surrounding binaries. For this purpose, we merge a long-term orbital stability study with an analysis of the rotational evolution of the stellar components. The stellar evolution and rotational study enables estimates of stellar activity, and the effects on the magnetospheres and atmospheres of planets over the course of history for a potentially habitable circumbinary planet. We find that the long-term orbital stability of circumbinary habitable zone depends sensitively on the initial orbit of the binary and on the masses of the stars. We find that stellar twins (binary mass ratio ~ 1) and binaries with circular orbits provide the most stable solutions. However, if the binary orbit evolves too rapidly, planets may be lost due to changes in resonance locations. A subset of binaries are identified possessing both stable orbital solutions for multiple planets in the habitable zone and reduced stellar aggression due to tidal torqueing of the stellar rotation.

  3. Genetic Diversity of Giardia duodenalis: Multilocus Genotyping Reveals Zoonotic Potential between Clinical and Environmental Sources in a Metropolitan Region of Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Durigan, Mauricio; Abreu, Aluana Gonçalves; Zucchi, Maria Imaculada; Franco, Regina Maura Bueno; de Souza, Anete Pereira

    2014-01-01

    Background Giardia duodenalis is a flagellate protozoan that parasitizes humans and several other mammals. Protozoan contamination has been regularly documented at important environmental sites, although most of these studies were performed at the species level. There is a lack of studies that correlate environmental contamination and clinical infections in the same region. The aim of this study is to evaluate the genetic diversity of a set of clinical and environmental samples and to use the obtained data to characterize the genetic profile of the distribution of G. duodenalis and the potential for zoonotic transmission in a metropolitan region of Brazil. Methodology/Principal Findings The genetic assemblages and subtypes of G. duodenalis isolates obtained from hospitals, a veterinary clinic, a day-care center and important environmental sites were determined via multilocus sequence-based genotyping using three unlinked gene loci. Cysts of Giardia were detected at all of the environmental sites. Mixed assemblages were detected in 25% of the total samples, and an elevated number of haplotypes was identified. The main haplotypes were shared among the groups, and new subtypes were identified at all loci. Ten multilocus genotypes were identified: 7 for assemblage A and 3 for assemblage B. Conclusions/Significance There is persistent G. duodenalis contamination at important environmental sites in the city. The identified mixed assemblages likely represent mixed infections, suggesting high endemicity of Giardia in these hosts. Most Giardia isolates obtained in this study displayed zoonotic potential. The high degree of genetic diversity in the isolates obtained from both clinical and environmental samples suggests that multiple sources of infection are likely responsible for the detected contamination events. The finding that many multilocus genotypes (MLGs) and haplotypes are shared by different groups suggests that these sources of infection may be related and

  4. Identifying Active Faults in Northeast North America Using Hypocenters and Multiscale Edge Wavelet Analyses of Potential Fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carpenter, K.; Horowitz, F.; Ebinger, C. J.; Navarrete, L. C.; Diaz-Etchevehere, D.

    2015-12-01

    Multiscale edge Poisson wavelet analyses of potential field data ("worms") have a physical interpretation as the locations of lateral boundaries in a source distribution that exactly generates the observed field. The worm technique is therefore well-suited to analyses of crustal-scale stuctures that could be reactivated by tectonic stress or by fluid injection processes, providing new tools to analyze existing continental-scale data sets. Northeastern North America (US, Canada) hosts potentially damaging intraplate earthquakes, yet many of the Proterozoic structures are covered by thick sedimentary sequences or dense vegetation, and crustal structure is relatively poorly known.For the purpose of extending basement structure beneath the Appalachian basin and establishing a consistent regional basis for comparison, we use worms to identify steeply dipping structures in compiled gravity and magnetic anomaly data sets. We compare results to intraplate earthquake locations to assess seismic hazards. Clearly, not all locations of lateral boundaries are faults, and we do not expect all faults to have shown activity in the ~50 years of seismic records available. However, proximity statistics between hypocenters and worms are of interest since they assist in the identification and location of a subset of potentially active faults. We compare structures of lateral mass-density or magnetization contrast with locations of earthquake hypocenters cataloged from the ISC, the NEIC, and the ANF from the EarthScope Transportable Array. We develop a GIS based method for calculating hypocenter/worm proximity, and we will show statistics and maps from this method for the region at the meeting.

  5. Identifying environmental variables explaining genotype-by-environment interaction for body weight of rainbow trout (Onchorynchus mykiss): reaction norm and factor analytic models

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Identifying the relevant environmental variables that cause GxE interaction is often difficult when they cannot be experimentally manipulated. Two statistical approaches can be applied to address this question. When data on candidate environmental variables are available, GxE interaction can be quantified as a function of specific environmental variables using a reaction norm model. Alternatively, a factor analytic model can be used to identify the latent common factor that explains GxE interaction. This factor can be correlated with known environmental variables to identify those that are relevant. Previously, we reported a significant GxE interaction for body weight at harvest in rainbow trout reared on three continents. Here we explore their possible causes. Methods Reaction norm and factor analytic models were used to identify which environmental variables (age at harvest, water temperature, oxygen, and photoperiod) may have caused the observed GxE interaction. Data on body weight at harvest was recorded on 8976 offspring reared in various locations: (1) a breeding environment in the USA (nucleus), (2) a recirculating aquaculture system in the Freshwater Institute in West Virginia, USA, (3) a high-altitude farm in Peru, and (4) a low-water temperature farm in Germany. Akaike and Bayesian information criteria were used to compare models. Results The combination of days to harvest multiplied with daily temperature (Day*Degree) and photoperiod were identified by the reaction norm model as the environmental variables responsible for the GxE interaction. The latent common factor that was identified by the factor analytic model showed the highest correlation with Day*Degree. Day*Degree and photoperiod were the environmental variables that differed most between Peru and other environments. Akaike and Bayesian information criteria indicated that the factor analytical model was more parsimonious than the reaction norm model. Conclusions Day*Degree and

  6. Identifying coherent patterns of environmental change between multiple, multivariate records: an application to four 1000-year diatom records from Victoria, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tyler, Jonathan J.; Mills, Keely; Barr, Cameron; Sniderman, J. M. Kale; Gell, Peter A.; Karoly, David J.

    2015-07-01

    Empirical orthogonal functions (EOFs) of indirect archives of environmental change are increasingly used to identify coherent trends between palaeoclimate records, to separate externally forced patterns from locally driven idiosyncrasies. Lake sediments are particularly suited to such syntheses: they are abundant in most landscapes and record a wide array of information, yet local complexities often conceal or confuse the climate signal recorded at individual sites. Lake sediment parameters usually exhibit non-linear, multivariate and indirect responses to climate, therefore identifying coherent patterns between two or more lake records presents a complex challenge. Ideally, the selection of representative variables should be non-subjective and inclusive of as many different variables as possible, allowing for unexpected correlations between sites. In order to meet such demands, we propose a two-tier ordination procedure whereby site-specific (local) ordinations, obtained using Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA), are nested within a second, regional EOF. Using the local DCAs as representative variables allows the retention of a larger fraction of variance from each site, removes any subjectivity from variable selection and retains the potential for observing multiple, coherent signals from within and between each dataset. We explore this potential using four decadally resolved diatom records from volcanic lakes in Western Victoria, Australia. The records span the 1000 years prior to European settlement in CE 1803. Our analyses reveal at least two coherent patterns of ecological change that are manifest in each of the four datasets, patterns which may have been overlooked by a single-variable, empirical orthogonal function approach. This intra-site coherency provides a valuable step towards understanding multi-decadal hydroclimate variability in southeastern Australia.

  7. Suitable environmental ranges for potential coral reef habitats in the tropical ocean.

    PubMed

    Guan, Yi; Hohn, Sönke; Merico, Agostino

    2015-01-01

    Coral reefs are found within a limited range of environmental conditions or tolerance limits. Estimating these limits is a critical prerequisite for understanding the impacts of climate change on the biogeography of coral reefs. Here we used the diagnostic model ReefHab to determine the current environmental tolerance limits for coral reefs and the global distribution of potential coral reef habitats as a function of six factors: temperature, salinity, nitrate, phosphate, aragonite saturation state, and light. To determine these tolerance limits, we extracted maximum and minimum values of all environmental variables in corresponding locations where coral reefs are present. We found that the global, annually averaged tolerance limits for coral reefs are 21.7-29.6 °C for temperature, 28.7-40.4 psu for salinity, 4.51 μmol L-1 for nitrate, 0.63 μmol L-1 for phosphate, and 2.82 for aragonite saturation state. The averaged minimum light intensity in coral reefs is 450 μmol photons m-2 s-1. The global area of potential reef habitats calculated by the model is 330.5 × 103 km2. Compared with previous studies, the tolerance limits for temperature, salinity, and nutrients have not changed much, whereas the minimum value of aragonite saturation in coral reef waters has decreased from 3.28 to 2.82. The potential reef habitat area calculated with ReefHab is about 121×103 km2 larger than the area estimated from the charted reefs, suggesting that the growth potential of coral reefs is higher than currently observed.

  8. Suitable Environmental Ranges for Potential Coral Reef Habitats in the Tropical Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Guan, Yi; Hohn, Sönke; Merico, Agostino

    2015-01-01

    Coral reefs are found within a limited range of environmental conditions or tolerance limits. Estimating these limits is a critical prerequisite for understanding the impacts of climate change on the biogeography of coral reefs. Here we used the diagnostic model ReefHab to determine the current environmental tolerance limits for coral reefs and the global distribution of potential coral reef habitats as a function of six factors: temperature, salinity, nitrate, phosphate, aragonite saturation state, and light. To determine these tolerance limits, we extracted maximum and minimum values of all environmental variables in corresponding locations where coral reefs are present. We found that the global, annually averaged tolerance limits for coral reefs are 21.7—29.6 °C for temperature, 28.7—40.4 psu for salinity, 4.51 μmol L-1 for nitrate, 0.63 μmol L-1 for phosphate, and 2.82 for aragonite saturation state. The averaged minimum light intensity in coral reefs is 450 μmol photons m-2 s-1. The global area of potential reef habitats calculated by the model is 330.5 × 103 km2. Compared with previous studies, the tolerance limits for temperature, salinity, and nutrients have not changed much, whereas the minimum value of aragonite saturation in coral reef waters has decreased from 3.28 to 2.82. The potential reef habitat area calculated with ReefHab is about 121×103 km2 larger than the area estimated from the charted reefs, suggesting that the growth potential of coral reefs is higher than currently observed. PMID:26030287

  9. Potential pathogenicity of Aeromonas hydrophila complex strains isolated from clinical, food, and environmental sources.

    PubMed

    Albarral, Vicenta; Sanglas, Ariadna; Palau, Montserrat; Miñana-Galbis, David; Fusté, M Carmen

    2016-04-01

    Aeromonas are autochthonous inhabitants of aquatic environments, including chlorinated and polluted waters, although they can also be isolated from a wide variety of environmental and clinical sources. They cause infections in vertebrates and invertebrates and are considered to be an emerging pathogen in humans, producing intestinal and extra-intestinal diseases. Most of the clinical isolates correspond to A. hydrophila, A. caviae, and A. veronii bv. Sobria, which are described as the causative agents of wound infections, septicaemia, and meningitis in immunocompromised people, and diarrhoea and dysenteric infections in the elderly and children. The pathogenic factors associated with Aeromonas are multifactorial and involve structural components, siderophores, quorum-sensing mechanisms, secretion systems, extracellular enzymes, and exotoxins. In this study, we analysed a representative number of clinical and environmental strains belonging to the A. hydrophila species complex to evaluate their potential pathogenicity. We thereby detected their enzymatic activities and antibiotic susceptibility pattern and the presence of virulence genes (aer, alt, ast, and ascV). The notably high prevalence of these virulence factors, even in environmental strains, indicated a potential pathogenic capacity. Additionally, we determined the adhesion capacity and cytopathic effects of this group of strains in Caco-2 cells. Most of the strains exhibited adherence and caused complete lysis.

  10. Aluminum is a potential environmental factor for Crohn's disease induction: extended hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Lerner, Aaron

    2007-06-01

    Aluminum (Al) is a common environmental compound with immune-adjuvant activity and granulomatous inflammation inducer. Al exposure in food, additives, air, pharmaceuticals, and water pollution is ubiquitous in Western culture. Crohn's disease (CD) is a chronic relapsing intestinal inflammation in genetically susceptible individuals and is influenced by yet unidentified environmental factors. It is hypothesized, in the present review, that Al is a potential factor for induction or maintaining the inflammation in CD. Epidemiologically, CD incidence is higher in urban areas, where microparticle pollution is prevalent. Al immune activities share many characteristics with the immune pathology of CD: increased antigen presentation and APCs activation, many luminal bacterial or dietary compounds can be adsorbed to the metal and induce Th1 profile activity, promotion of humoral and cellular immune responses, proinflammatory, apoptotic, oxidative activity, and stress-related molecule expression enhancement, affecting intestinal bacterial composition and virulence, granuloma formation, colitis induction in an animal model of CD, and terminal ileum uptake. The Al-bacterial interaction, the microparticles homing the intestine together with the extensive immune activity, put Al as a potential environmental candidate for CD induction and maintenance. PMID:17804561

  11. Forecasting potential global environmental costs of livestock production 2000-2050.

    PubMed

    Pelletier, Nathan; Tyedmers, Peter

    2010-10-26

    Food systems--in particular, livestock production--are key drivers of environmental change. Here, we compare the contributions of the global livestock sector in 2000 with estimated contributions of this sector in 2050 to three important environmental concerns: climate change, reactive nitrogen mobilization, and appropriation of plant biomass at planetary scales. Because environmental sustainability ultimately requires that human activities as a whole respect critical thresholds in each of these domains, we quantify the extent to which current and future livestock production contributes to published estimates of sustainability thresholds at projected production levels and under several alternative endpoint scenarios intended to illustrate the potential range of impacts associated with dietary choice. We suggest that, by 2050, the livestock sector alone may either occupy the majority of, or significantly overshoot, recently published estimates of humanity's "safe operating space" in each of these domains. In light of the magnitude of estimated impacts relative to these proposed (albeit uncertain) sustainability boundary conditions, we suggest that reining in growth of this sector should be prioritized in environmental governance.

  12. Maternal Expressed Emotion Predicts Children's Antisocial Behavior Problems: Using Monozygotic-Twin Differences to Identify Environmental Effects on Behavioral Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caspi, Avshalom; Moffitt, Terrie E.; Morgan, Julia; Rutter,Michael; Taylor,Alan; Arseneault, Louise; Tully, Lucy; Jacobs, Catherine; Kim-Cohen, Julia

    2004-01-01

    If maternal expressed emotion is an environmental risk factor for children's antisocial behavior problems, it should account for behavioral differences between siblings growing up in the same family even after genetic influences on children's behavior problems are taken into account. This hypothesis was tested in the Environmental Risk…

  13. The environmental and economic sustainability of potential bioethanol from willow in the UK.

    PubMed

    Stephenson, A L; Dupree, P; Scott, S A; Dennis, J S

    2010-12-01

    Life cycle assessment has been used to investigate the environmental and economic sustainability of a potential operation in the UK in which bioethanol is produced from the hydrolysis and subsequent fermentation of coppice willow. If the willow were grown on idle arable land in the UK, or, indeed, in Eastern Europe and imported as wood chips into the UK, it was found that savings of greenhouse gas emissions of 70-90%, when compared to fossil-derived gasoline on an energy basis, would be possible. The process would be energetically self-sufficient, as the co-products, e.g. lignin and unfermented sugars, could be used to produce the process heat and electricity, with surplus electricity being exported to the National Grid. Despite the environmental benefits, the economic viability is doubtful at present. However, the cost of production could be reduced significantly if the willow were altered by breeding to improve its suitability for hydrolysis and fermentation. PMID:20727740

  14. Wind energy potential in the United States considering environmental and land-use exclusions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elliott, D. L.; Wendell, L. L.; Gower, G. L.

    In support of the U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Strategy, estimates of the land area with various levels of wind energy resource have been developed for each state in the contiguous United States. The estimates are based on published wind resource data and account for the exclusion of some land owing to environmental or land-use considerations. These exclusions assume that 100 percent of the environmentally protected land and various percentages of land designated as urban, agricultural or range would be unavailable for wind energy development. Despite these exclusions, the amount of wind resource thus estimated is surprisingly large. For example, estimates of available wind resource and resultant wind electric potential from advanced turbine technology show that a group of 12 states in the midsection of the country could produce more than three times the nation's 1987 electric energy consumption.

  15. Kinase Gene Expression Profiling of Metastatic Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma Tissue Identifies Potential New Therapeutic Targets

    PubMed Central

    Ramaker, Ryne C.; Cooper, Sara J.; Chen, Dongquan; Sudarshan, Sunil; Wei, Shi; Guru, Arjun S.; Zhao, Amy; Cooper, Tiffiny; Della Manna, Deborah L.; Naik, Gurudatta; Myers, Richard M.; Sonpavde, Guru

    2016-01-01

    Kinases are therapeutically actionable targets. Kinase inhibitors targeting vascular endothelial growth factor receptors (VEGFR) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) improve outcomes in metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), but are not curative. Metastatic tumor tissue has not been comprehensively studied for kinase gene expression. Paired intra-patient kinase gene expression analysis in primary tumor (T), matched normal kidney (N) and metastatic tumor tissue (M) may assist in identifying drivers of metastasis and prioritizing therapeutic targets. We compared the expression of 519 kinase genes using NanoString in T, N and M in 35 patients to discover genes over-expressed in M compared to T and N tissue. RNA-seq data derived from ccRCC tumors in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) were used to demonstrate differential expression of genes in primary tumor tissue from patients that had metastasis at baseline (n = 79) compared to those that did not develop metastasis for at least 2 years (n = 187). Functional analysis was conducted to identify key signaling pathways by using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis. Of 10 kinase genes overexpressed in metastases compared to primary tumor in the discovery cohort, 9 genes were also differentially expressed in TCGA primary tumors with metastasis at baseline compared to primary tumors without metastasis for at least 2 years: EPHB2, AURKA, GSG2, IKBKE, MELK, CSK, CHEK2, CDC7 and MAP3K8; p<0.001). The top pathways overexpressed in M tissue were pyridoxal 5'-phosphate salvage, salvage pathways of pyrimidine ribonucleotides, NF-kB signaling, NGF signaling and cell cycle control of chromosomal replication. The 9 kinase genes validated to be over-expressed in metastatic ccRCC may represent currently unrecognized but potentially actionable therapeutic targets that warrant functional validation. PMID:27574806

  16. Genetic screening test for psoriatic arthritis and UVB irradiation potential responders: A new tool to identify psoriasis subpopulation patients?

    PubMed

    Lotti, Torello; Tognetti, Linda; Galeone, Massimiliano; Bruscino, Nicola; Moretti, Silvia; Giorgini, Simonetta

    2011-07-01

    Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a psoriasis-associated inflammatory disease of the joints and enthuses. The occurrence of PsA is linked to the complex interplay of gene environment, and immune system. Genetic factors have long been recognized to play an important role in PsA. Genes within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region have been shown to be associated with PsA. These include genes coded in the HLA region, (especially Class I antigens) and non-HLA genes (i.e., MHC class I chain-related antigen A, MICA, and TNF-α genes). Association studies in PsA have also identified a number of genes outside MHC region, including interleukin-1 (IL-1) gene cluster, killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs), and IL-23R genes. Established systemic treatments for moderate-severe psoriasis and PsA may be potentially dangerous and usually time consuming for the patient and often expensive for the National Health Systems. Tests which could predict which subset of psoriatic patients could develop the most severe forms of the disease (i.e., PsA) or will respond to well-established (UVB irradiation) or other systemic treatments are now required. The goal of genetic test screening is to rapidly and safely identify subjects for preventive or early treatment or extended surveillance prior to the onset of signs and symptoms. Genetic tests today represent a reliable investigation procedure which could rapidly and consistently improve the diagnostic ability of the dermatologist and contribute to the early and correct treatment of the different subsets of PsA.

  17. Genetic screening test for psoriatic arthritis and UVB irradiation potential responders: A new tool to identify psoriasis subpopulation patients?

    PubMed Central

    Lotti, Torello; Tognetti, Linda; Galeone, Massimiliano; Bruscino, Nicola; Moretti, Silvia; Giorgini, Simonetta

    2011-01-01

    Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a psoriasis-associated inflammatory disease of the joints and enthuses. The occurrence of PsA is linked to the complex interplay of gene environment, and immune system. Genetic factors have long been recognized to play an important role in PsA. Genes within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region have been shown to be associated with PsA. These include genes coded in the HLA region, (especially Class I antigens) and non-HLA genes (i.e., MHC class I chain-related antigen A, MICA, and TNF-α genes). Association studies in PsA have also identified a number of genes outside MHC region, including interleukin-1 (IL-1) gene cluster, killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs), and IL-23R genes. Established systemic treatments for moderate-severe psoriasis and PsA may be potentially dangerous and usually time consuming for the patient and often expensive for the National Health Systems. Tests which could predict which subset of psoriatic patients could develop the most severe forms of the disease (i.e., PsA) or will respond to well-established (UVB irradiation) or other systemic treatments are now required. The goal of genetic test screening is to rapidly and safely identify subjects for preventive or early treatment or extended surveillance prior to the onset of signs and symptoms. Genetic tests today represent a reliable investigation procedure which could rapidly and consistently improve the diagnostic ability of the dermatologist and contribute to the early and correct treatment of the different subsets of PsA. PMID:23130225

  18. Kinase Gene Expression Profiling of Metastatic Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma Tissue Identifies Potential New Therapeutic Targets.

    PubMed

    Ghatalia, Pooja; Yang, Eddy S; Lasseigne, Brittany N; Ramaker, Ryne C; Cooper, Sara J; Chen, Dongquan; Sudarshan, Sunil; Wei, Shi; Guru, Arjun S; Zhao, Amy; Cooper, Tiffiny; Della Manna, Deborah L; Naik, Gurudatta; Myers, Richard M; Sonpavde, Guru

    2016-01-01

    Kinases are therapeutically actionable targets. Kinase inhibitors targeting vascular endothelial growth factor receptors (VEGFR) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) improve outcomes in metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), but are not curative. Metastatic tumor tissue has not been comprehensively studied for kinase gene expression. Paired intra-patient kinase gene expression analysis in primary tumor (T), matched normal kidney (N) and metastatic tumor tissue (M) may assist in identifying drivers of metastasis and prioritizing therapeutic targets. We compared the expression of 519 kinase genes using NanoString in T, N and M in 35 patients to discover genes over-expressed in M compared to T and N tissue. RNA-seq data derived from ccRCC tumors in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) were used to demonstrate differential expression of genes in primary tumor tissue from patients that had metastasis at baseline (n = 79) compared to those that did not develop metastasis for at least 2 years (n = 187). Functional analysis was conducted to identify key signaling pathways by using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis. Of 10 kinase genes overexpressed in metastases compared to primary tumor in the discovery cohort, 9 genes were also differentially expressed in TCGA primary tumors with metastasis at baseline compared to primary tumors without metastasis for at least 2 years: EPHB2, AURKA, GSG2, IKBKE, MELK, CSK, CHEK2, CDC7 and MAP3K8; p<0.001). The top pathways overexpressed in M tissue were pyridoxal 5'-phosphate salvage, salvage pathways of pyrimidine ribonucleotides, NF-kB signaling, NGF signaling and cell cycle control of chromosomal replication. The 9 kinase genes validated to be over-expressed in metastatic ccRCC may represent currently unrecognized but potentially actionable therapeutic targets that warrant functional validation. PMID:27574806

  19. Subtractive Phage Display Selection from Canine Visceral Leishmaniasis Identifies Novel Epitopes That Mimic Leishmania infantum Antigens with Potential Serodiagnosis Applications

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Lourena E.; Lima, Mayara I. S.; Chávez-Fumagalli, Miguel A.; Menezes-Souza, Daniel; Martins, Vivian T.; Duarte, Mariana C.; Lage, Paula S.; Lopes, Eliane G. P.; Lage, Daniela P.; Ribeiro, Tatiana G.; Andrade, Pedro H. R.; de Magalhães-Soares, Danielle F.; Soto, Manuel; Tavares, Carlos A. P.; Goulart, Luiz R.

    2014-01-01

    Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a zoonotic disease that is endemic to Brazil, where dogs are the main domestic parasite reservoirs, and the percentages of infected dogs living in regions where canine VL (CVL) is endemic have ranged from 10% to 62%. Despite technological advances, some problems have been reported with CVL serodiagnosis. The present study describes a sequential subtractive selection through phage display technology from polyclonal antibodies of negative and positive sera that resulted in the identification of potential bacteriophage-fused peptides that were highly sensitive and specific to antibodies of CVL. A negative selection was performed in which phage clones were adhered to purified IgGs from healthy and Trypanosoma cruzi-infected dogs to eliminate cross-reactive phages. The remaining supernatant nonadhered phages were submitted to positive selection against IgG from the blood serum of dogs that were infected with Leishmania infantum. Phage clones that adhered to purified IgGs from the CVL-infected serum samples were selected. Eighteen clones were identified and their reactivities tested by a phage enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (phage-ELISA) against the serum samples from infected dogs (n = 31) compared to those from vaccinated dogs (n = 21), experimentally infected dogs with cross-reactive parasites (n = 23), and healthy controls (n = 17). Eight clones presented sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of 100%, and they showed no cross-reactivity with T. cruzi- or Ehrlichia canis-infected dogs or with dogs vaccinated with two different commercial CVL vaccines in Brazil. Our study identified eight mimotopes of L. infantum antigens with 100% accuracy for CVL serodiagnosis. The use of these mimotopes by phage-ELISA proved to be an excellent assay that was reproducible, simple, fast, and inexpensive, and it can be applied in CVL-monitoring programs. PMID:24256622

  20. Planting sentinel European trees in eastern Asia as a novel method to identify potential insect pest invaders.

    PubMed

    Roques, Alain; Fan, Jian-Ting; Courtial, Béatrice; Zhang, Yan-Zhuo; Yart, Annie; Auger-Rozenberg, Marie-Anne; Denux, Olivier; Kenis, Marc; Baker, Richard; Sun, Jiang-Hua

    2015-01-01

    Quarantine measures to prevent insect invasions tend to focus on well-known pests but a large proportion of the recent invaders were not known to cause significant damage in their native range, or were not even known to science before their introduction. A novel method is proposed to detect new potential pests of woody plants in their region of origin before they are introduced to a new continent. Since Asia is currently considered to be the main supplier of insect invaders to Europe, sentinel trees were planted in China during 2007-2011 as an early warning tool to identify the potential for additional Asian insect species to colonize European trees. Seedlings (1-1.5 m tall) of five broadleaved (Quercus petraea, Q. suber, Q. ilex, Fagus sylvatica, and Carpinus betulus) and two conifer species (Abies alba and Cupressus sempervirens) were planted in blocks of 100 seedlings at two widely separated sites (one in a nursery near Beijing and the other in a forest environment near Fuyang in eastern China), and then regularly surveyed for colonization by insects. A total of 104 insect species, mostly defoliators, were observed on these new hosts, and at least six species were capable of larval development. Although a number of the insects observed were probably incidental feeders, 38 species had more than five colonization events, mostly infesting Q. petraea, and could be considered as being capable of switching to European trees if introduced to Europe. Three years was shown to be an appropriate duration for the experiment, since the rate of colonization then tended to plateau. A majority of the identified species appeared to have switched from agricultural crops and fruit trees rather than from forest trees. Although these results are promising, the method is not appropriate for xylophagous pests and other groups developing on larger trees. Apart from the logistical problems, the identification to species level of the specimens collected was a major difficulty. This

  1. Planting Sentinel European Trees in Eastern Asia as a Novel Method to Identify Potential Insect Pest Invaders

    PubMed Central

    Roques, Alain; Fan, Jian-ting; Courtial, Béatrice; Zhang, Yan-zhuo; Yart, Annie; Auger-Rozenberg, Marie-Anne; Denux, Olivier; Kenis, Marc; Baker, Richard; Sun, Jiang-hua

    2015-01-01

    Quarantine measures to prevent insect invasions tend to focus on well-known pests but a large proportion of the recent invaders were not known to cause significant damage in their native range, or were not even known to science before their introduction. A novel method is proposed to detect new potential pests of woody plants in their region of origin before they are introduced to a new continent. Since Asia is currently considered to be the main supplier of insect invaders to Europe, sentinel trees were planted in China during 2007-2011 as an early warning tool to identify the potential for additional Asian insect species to colonize European trees. Seedlings (1-1.5 m tall) of five broadleaved (Quercus petraea, Q. suber, Q. ilex, Fagus sylvatica, and Carpinus betulus) and two conifer species (Abies alba and Cupressus sempervirens) were planted in blocks of 100 seedlings at two widely separated sites (one in a nursery near Beijing and the other in a forest environment near Fuyang in eastern China), and then regularly surveyed for colonization by insects. A total of 104 insect species, mostly defoliators, were observed on these new hosts, and at least six species were capable of larval development. Although a number of the insects observed were probably incidental feeders, 38 species had more than five colonization events, mostly infesting Q. petraea, and could be considered as being capable of switching to European trees if introduced to Europe. Three years was shown to be an appropriate duration for the experiment, since the rate of colonization then tended to plateau. A majority of the identified species appeared to have switched from agricultural crops and fruit trees rather than from forest trees. Although these results are promising, the method is not appropriate for xylophagous pests and other groups developing on larger trees. Apart from the logistical problems, the identification to species level of the specimens collected was a major difficulty. This

  2. Assessing the Connection Between Health and Education: Identifying Potential Leverage Points for Public Health to Improve School Attendance

    PubMed Central

    Kuo, Tony; Coller, Karen; Guerrero, Lourdes R.; Wong, Mitchell D.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives. We examined multiple variables influencing school truancy to identify potential leverage points to improve school attendance. Methods. A cross-sectional observational design was used to analyze inner-city data collected in Los Angeles County, California, during 2010 to 2011. We constructed an ordinal logistic regression model with cluster robust standard errors to examine the association between truancy and various covariates. Results. The sample was predominantly Hispanic (84.3%). Multivariable analysis revealed greater truancy among students (1) with mild (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.57; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.22, 2.01) and severe (AOR = 1.80; 95% CI = 1.04, 3.13) depression (referent: no depression), (2) whose parents were neglectful (AOR = 2.21; 95% CI = 1.21, 4.03) or indulgent (AOR = 1.71; 95% CI = 1.04, 2.82; referent: authoritative parents), (3) who perceived less support from classes, teachers, and other students regarding college preparation (AOR = 0.87; 95% CI = 0.81, 0.95), (4) who had low grade point averages (AOR = 2.34; 95% CI = 1.49, 4.38), and (5) who reported using alcohol (AOR = 3.47; 95% CI = 2.34, 5.14) or marijuana (AOR = 1.59; 95% CI = 1.06, 2.38) during the past month. Conclusions. Study findings suggest depression, substance use, and parental engagement as potential leverage points for public health to intervene to improve school attendance. PMID:25033134

  3. Identifying conservation successes, failures and future opportunities; assessing recovery potential of wild ungulates and tigers in Eastern Cambodia.

    PubMed

    O'Kelly, Hannah J; Evans, Tom D; Stokes, Emma J; Clements, Tom J; Dara, An; Gately, Mark; Menghor, Nut; Pollard, Edward H B; Soriyun, Men; Walston, Joe

    2012-01-01

    Conservation investment, particularly for charismatic and wide-ranging large mammal species, needs to be evidence-based. Despite the prevalence of this theme within the literature, examples of robust data being generated to guide conservation policy and funding decisions are rare. We present the first published case-study of tiger conservation in Indochina, from a site where an evidence-based approach has been implemented for this iconic predator and its prey. Despite the persistence of extensive areas of habitat, Indochina's tiger and ungulate prey populations are widely supposed to have precipitously declined in recent decades. The Seima Protection Forest (SPF), and broader Eastern Plains Landscape, was identified in 2000 as representing Cambodia's best hope for tiger recovery; reflected in its designation as a Global Priority Tiger Conservation Landscape. Since 2005 distance sampling, camera-trapping and detection-dog surveys have been employed to assess the recovery potential of ungulate and tiger populations in SPF. Our results show that while conservation efforts have ensured that small but regionally significant populations of larger ungulates persist, and density trends in smaller ungulates are stable, overall ungulate populations remain well below theoretical carrying capacity. Extensive field surveys failed to yield any evidence of tiger, and we contend that there is no longer a resident population within the SPF. This local extirpation is believed to be primarily attributable to two decades of intensive hunting; but importantly, prey densities are also currently below the level necessary to support a viable tiger population. Based on these results and similar findings from neighbouring sites, Eastern Cambodia does not currently constitute a Tiger Source Site nor meet the criteria of a Global Priority Tiger Landscape. However, SPF retains global importance for many other elements of biodiversity. It retains high regional importance for ungulate

  4. Identifying conservation successes, failures and future opportunities; assessing recovery potential of wild ungulates and tigers in Eastern Cambodia.

    PubMed

    O'Kelly, Hannah J; Evans, Tom D; Stokes, Emma J; Clements, Tom J; Dara, An; Gately, Mark; Menghor, Nut; Pollard, Edward H B; Soriyun, Men; Walston, Joe

    2012-01-01

    Conservation investment, particularly for charismatic and wide-ranging large mammal species, needs to be evidence-based. Despite the prevalence of this theme within the literature, examples of robust data being generated to guide conservation policy and funding decisions are rare. We present the first published case-study of tiger conservation in Indochina, from a site where an evidence-based approach has been implemented for this iconic predator and its prey. Despite the persistence of extensive areas of habitat, Indochina's tiger and ungulate prey populations are widely supposed to have precipitously declined in recent decades. The Seima Protection Forest (SPF), and broader Eastern Plains Landscape, was identified in 2000 as representing Cambodia's best hope for tiger recovery; reflected in its designation as a Global Priority Tiger Conservation Landscape. Since 2005 distance sampling, camera-trapping and detection-dog surveys have been employed to assess the recovery potential of ungulate and tiger populations in SPF. Our results show that while conservation efforts have ensured that small but regionally significant populations of larger ungulates persist, and density trends in smaller ungulates are stable, overall ungulate populations remain well below theoretical carrying capacity. Extensive field surveys failed to yield any evidence of tiger, and we contend that there is no longer a resident population within the SPF. This local extirpation is believed to be primarily attributable to two decades of intensive hunting; but importantly, prey densities are also currently below the level necessary to support a viable tiger population. Based on these results and similar findings from neighbouring sites, Eastern Cambodia does not currently constitute a Tiger Source Site nor meet the criteria of a Global Priority Tiger Landscape. However, SPF retains global importance for many other elements of biodiversity. It retains high regional importance for ungulate

  5. Identifying Patient-Specific Epstein-Barr Nuclear Antigen-1 Genetic Variation and Potential Autoreactive Targets Relevant to Multiple Sclerosis Pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Tschochner, Monika; Leary, Shay; Cooper, Don; Strautins, Kaija; Chopra, Abha; Clark, Hayley; Choo, Linda; Dunn, David; James, Ian; Carroll, William M.; Kermode, Allan G.; Nolan, David

    2016-01-01

    Background Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection represents a major environmental risk factor for multiple sclerosis (MS), with evidence of selective expansion of Epstein-Barr Nuclear Antigen-1 (EBNA1)-specific CD4+ T cells that cross-recognize MS-associated myelin antigens in MS patients. HLA-DRB1*15-restricted antigen presentation also appears to determine susceptibility given its role as a dominant risk allele. In this study, we have utilised standard and next-generation sequencing techniques to investigate EBNA-1 sequence variation and its relationship to HLA-DR15 binding affinity, as well as examining potential cross-reactive immune targets within the central nervous system proteome. Methods Sanger sequencing was performed on DNA isolated from peripheral blood samples from 73 Western Australian MS cases, without requirement for primary culture, with additional FLX 454 Roche sequencing in 23 samples to identify low-frequency variants. Patient-derived viral sequences were used to predict HLA-DRB1*1501 epitopes (NetMHCII, NetMHCIIpan) and candidates were evaluated for cross recognition with human brain proteins. Results EBNA-1 sequence variation was limited, with no evidence of multiple viral strains and only low levels of variation identified by FLX technology (8.3% nucleotide positions at a 1% cut-off). In silico epitope mapping revealed two known HLA-DRB1*1501-restricted epitopes (‘AEG’: aa 481–496 and ‘MVF’: aa 562–577), and two putative epitopes between positions 502–543. We identified potential cross-reactive targets involving a number of major myelin antigens including experimentally confirmed HLA-DRB1*15-restricted epitopes as well as novel candidate antigens within myelin and paranodal assembly proteins that may be relevant to MS pathogenesis. Conclusions This study demonstrates the feasibility of obtaining autologous EBNA-1 sequences directly from buffy coat samples, and confirms divergence of these sequences from standard laboratory strains

  6. Experimental investigation to evaluate the potential environmental hazards of photovoltaic panels.

    PubMed

    Tammaro, Marco; Salluzzo, Antonio; Rimauro, Juri; Schiavo, Simona; Manzo, Sonia

    2016-04-01

    Recently the potential environmental hazard of photovoltaic modules together with their management as waste has attracted the attention of scientists. Particular concern is aroused by the several metals contained in photovoltaic panels whose potential release